Friday, April 29, 2005

Where oh where did the week go?

This week went by in a blur. Suddenly it's Friday once again and I'm getting in the mode once again for racing. I'm digging the routine. Today was slower than usual, which enabled me to do some thinking about tomorrow's tactics. I'm looking forward to it.

On a personal note - Ryan has been under a lot of stress at work in trying to make his deadlines. Unfortunately that means he's been taking it out on me. I know it's just temporary - but it doesn't make me feel good. He's already left for the weekend for our friends wedding - and I am thankful to have some serious chill time before my full effort tomorrow. Sigh.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Seward Spank

My legs feel like they used to after a hard telemark skiing effort. They are tired and worn out. That means that I gave it my all today - and then some. I didn't hold back at all. What a great feeling. I'm looking forward to the day when I beat the men. :)

That was a good experience - getting in a bigger pack like that. It was good to move around and get my teammates motivated. Melinda and I worked together - she sat on my wheel for a couple of laps and then had enough energy to keep going. I didn't sit on enough wheels tonight - however, resulting in extreme fatigue. And maybe it was rookie of me to keep going once I got dropped - but how else am I going to get stronger?

I'm bummed I didn't get to sit on your wheel much - maybe next time. That was my first Thursday night - and I'm looking forward to doing more of those and getting that much stronger. Next time I'm going to target some men to see if I can keep up. Once I mark them off my tick list then I'll move on to another victim. I'm thinking that if I set small goals for myself while in a crit, then it won't be as overwhelming with all of those people. Hmmm.. something to think about. I'm headed to bed - I'm pooped.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

strayed from my training program...

Jill made me do it. On Monday we went for a longer ride than I had anticipated (2 3/4 hours long). And I'll tell you what - my legs are tired tonight after my climbing efforts. Yesterday I only went out for an hour to try and offset the previous days effort. I promise, I won't deter away from your regime again. Doh!

I am trying to help Jill gain some skills and confidence in the saddle. She's making some progress - but still lacks confidence since our spill while pre-riding Snohomish. We were attempting some hills today in Magnolia - one had a steep three tiered climb and she ended up walking up the third tier. She even admitted to having mentally defeated herself prior to starting the climb. I'm trying to help her break through and defeat the anxiety - but only she can do it. We also climbed GG and headed into the Blue Ridge neighborhood - where I was able to sit on her wheel and coach her along. Her position on the bike is too upright - I told her to unlock her elbows, relax the upper body and use her core more to climb the hill. That's going to be a hard habit to break. But if she can get lower, then her center of gravity and balance will be more solid so descents, cornering and climbing will feel more natural.

It's a tough job - glad you're the coach and I'm not. :)

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Still lovin' it

I am so glad there were photographers at the race this weekend. Amara and took such excellent photos of the event. What a treat. I am the happiest person on the planet.

So training is going well in the meantime. My easy days were a little harder than before - in that now I want to race everywhere. I finally got through to myself that I needed to chill and recover for the next set of races. I can't wait to hone in my sprint more. I still want to be fast like cheetah. Can we work on those again soon?

Thank you for the compliment - it's nice being able to work well together. Cycling is all about harmony - in so many aspects. I am lucky to have found such harmony early on.

How's your training going?

Monday, April 25, 2005

Better than I could have imagined...

This weekend went amazingly well. The TT was a new challenge - but I did well and placed 5th. Our RR was cancelled due to inclement weather so it was up to the crit to decide the overall standings. The crit was perfect - I did exactly what I had invisioned and was told to do. I couldn't have done better... except for maybe get the other time preme available.
My sprinting still needs some work - but it was good enough to secure the win. I am elated. Looking forward to some more training and kicking ass in the USCF calendar.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

new tt bars

Looking forward to giving it my all this weekend. I tried the new tt bars today - and realized they are not so good for the Burke. They should be stellar for the TT though.

Legs are feeling good - tonight's sleep should be good and I'm going to try and sleep in tomorrow morning.

mentally - I'm ready. I learned some valuable lessons last weekend and am ready to use them to my advantage.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

nice ride...

It's too bad Mikey got accosted on the bike today - poor guy. He should seriously consider taking a vacation from the bike for several days to mentally recover. It seemed like he had a mild concusion. Scarey.

The legs felt good today albeit slight fatigue. They screamed at me on the first hill and then opened up on the second one. I'm looking forward to climbing at WW.

Aero bars - easton makes Aeroforce Carbon Clip on bars that are approved for EC90 Equipe bars. My mission tomorrow is to locate them and buy them. Not to mention, try them on my bike.

Thanks for the ride today - you couldn't have picked a better day to train.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Spin cycle and rest day

Yesterday morning I woke up bone tired. I laid in bed and ached all the way to the bone. My muscles weren't sore - but my whole body was. I went for a short ride in the morning and then lounged at work and had an easy evening.

The team met last night at my house - we de-viriginized the new dining table. We talked about Tahuya and Seward. And now that I have had a day to think about TST - I am kicking myself for not trying harder and going faster. Those hills and the headwind decimated the pack. Had I continued in time trial pace I might have been able to catch someone, use their energy and then continue on. Melinda got it - she used my body mass for a rest and then climbed Holly Hill like a champ. I should have tried catching up to her. I have developed a mantra - "Faster, faster, get on her wheel." I hope it works.

Then there was Seward - where I should have savored my strength for the final climb. Instead I was burning my candle in the preceeding laps. Rachel and I were off the start like a bat out of hell and my teammates free rode the pack in trying to catch us. Doubtful if they will pull that manuver again. I just hope if I see one of my teammates off the front in a break - I will be smart enough to hold up the pack.

I'm still processing it all.... thank you for the encouragement - I look forward to sharing this with you in person.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Solving Crits

Did Seward early this morning and the legs felt damn good. Granted, they were tired from yesterday's jaunt - but still they are getting in great condition to kick some butt. I was strong on the climbs - and mistimed my final attack. I only placed 6th - but what the hell. Not bad for having raced two days in a row. It was a great precurser for next weekend's show down.

A huge triumph in spite of defeat

That is one helluva race. Holy Cow. 5,000 feet elevation gain in 62 miles. I must become a billy goat. I want to show those little spry girls that is all they are - little girls. Please teach me how to climb.

As far as the race goes - I was dropped after the first hill with Amara, Melinda and Carol. We managed to arrange a paceline to rejoin... of which, Carol and Amara pulled away first and Melinda lagged behind. Determined to catch the group - because I could see them in the near distance, I got down in my drops and hauled ass in time trial position. You can imagine the officiants surprise when he saw me pull back up with the group solo. That was my moment of triumph. It felt incredible. "Where did you come from?" resonnated throughout the group. Nice.

It was kosher from there - until the loop at the halfway point, and while climbing back up that hill, the women just pulled away. I couldn't make my legs pump any harder. I knew mentally they could go harder - but they wouldn't. I know right there, that's my weakness and I am going to try like hell to reverse it. I want to become the Lancette Billy Goat. From that point on, I regrouped with Melinda and Carol - and the headwind was probably 20-30 mph. Super wearing. Which meant the lead group was getting it as well. If we tried hard enough, we thought we might be able to catch them again. However, one Holly Hill came - my legs pulled the same trick. But on the bright side - I strengthened them yesterday. Ryan said that once I got back to the car and pulled my knickers off - they looked so freaking buff - I put most cat 1s to shame. Oh if only you could win races by the extruding veins in your legs! Ha!

I am happy with my result. I was able to hang with the big girls for 2 hours. It was awesome. It's not that much different than what I'm riding now - but I need to learn how to climb.

This morning I'm off to a crit. It should be nice to spin the legs out. Thanks for your support!

Friday, April 15, 2005

Getting ready

I have the logistics pretty much figured out for tomorrow. Tonight is just a double check to make sure everything is in order and in the van, waiting for tomorrow.

Weather wise - it's going to be a wet one. 100% chance of precip - but I'm prepared - more than most for that type of weather. I'm debating whether or not to put my temp fenders on... I think I'm going to be soaked regardless so who cares.

Since I'm probably going to be riding this one without any teammates - any suggestions? I know I want to follow the strong girls - and I'm getting to know who's who. We'll see who shows and is brave enough to fight the wind/rain/hail. Last time I road it rained a quarter inch. Saturday it may rain up to 1 inch. But I'm ready for whatever may come.

It feels like I'm getting ready for war. I imagine this is what soliders feel like before deployment. I've trained - mentally and physically for tomorrow. I'm ready for the show-down.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

spinning along

had a nice gentle spin this morning. My brother and nephew are in town - what a whirl wind! Drinking lots of water today and getting my carbs in for Saturday. Any last minute advice?

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Feeling good

Did a couple hill climbs today - Interlocken up to Capital Hill. Melanie joined me and we rocked the house all the way up - all 4 times. The legs felt good - and I got a new inhaler so I could breath deep enough to make the efforts a little easier. I kept the cadence high - which helped in the long run. I am really looking forward to Tahuya. Sean at the climbing gym called it a "suffer fest."

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Tuesday Torture

Had an excellent day today - and managed to avoid the rain and thunder showers. I rode out to Issaquah, down through Redmond and home. Put some serious miles in - on the piece o' shit rain bike. Looking forward to my Kona getting here....

I went and listened to Craig from Cycle U - who Erik Moen recommended as well.. and I am so thankful I decided on you. I really like the results so far - and think we have a lot more to learn from each other. I'm tired - headed to bed.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Monday Recovery

After some thought, I know I had an asthma attack. I ordered a new inhaler today - so that should not happen again. Lesson learned.
Went for a nice ride this morning and thought about the crit. I had a lot of fun and absorbed a lot from Sunday. It was fun hanging with you and Molly too.
Tomorrow should be a good long challenge - I'm thinking around Lake WA and home... via Kirkland. Should be entertaining.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Boat Street Serving up some stiff competition...

My lungs were handed to me on a silver platter today. They looked battered, athesmatic, wheezing and had a tight fist clenched around them. I managed to hang with the big girls for 9 laps and slowly, slowly, slowly got kicked of the end. And once my lungs were toast, I couldn't find the energy in me to continue. I am learning that crits are a skill - all of those girls out there had at least 1+ years of experience and were there to throw down. Maybe it was rookie on my behalf to even show - but I am that much stronger because of it.
Another thing was gearing - I misjudged my gearing. I could have saved my legs had I transitioned more between my small and large front cog. Also - I need to stay more in the middle of the pack - to the front in order to conserve more energy. Funny how I didn't start in the front because everyone told me not and to get behind a wheel - which may have prevented me from reading the group more.... I could think of a million reasons. But the main thing is today brought many valuable lessons. Stay in the front - get in the right gearing, get in my drops more and bring my inhaler. Oh and one more thing - warm up longer before the race and watch out for psychos. You know who I'm talking about!

Saturday, April 09, 2005

warm up

went on a nice mellow ride this morning - with 3 sprint/90% efforts thrown in the mix. I am ready and anxiously awaiting tomorrow morning. Should be fun. Are you feeling up to racing in the morning?

Friday, April 08, 2005

bumpy burke

Rode the burke today - up north. I met a guy on BRI - Lief who seemed to have a negative attitude toward racing. It was funny in that the more we talked, the more he focused on what he can't do... why he shouldn't do this... so and so was preventing him from being all that he can be...downer, downer, downer. Get an attitude adjustment and start winning. Honestly, people like that should be eliminated from the gene pool. (Harsh, I know.) So what if there is someone out there better than you? Chances are there always will be - so you might as well enjoy yourself and have a good time.

We rode to Sheridian Beach and turned around. He said that if I hadn't of joined him he would have turned around long ago. I asked him about some advise re: getting my teammates motivated and he came back with a "bike racing is so friggin hard." Am I missing something? Is it really that difficult?

Downer people piss me off. YOU ARE THE MASTER OF YOUR OWN DESTINY. If something is that messed up - then change it. Why suffer? Enough said.

I was just stoked it didn't rain today. :)


managed to avoid the rain yesterday evening before heading out to see Elvis Costello last night at the paramount. It was a really good show - I recommend seeing him. He's much different then your perception of him from his recorded tracks.

The legs felt good - a little fatigued from the previous day sprint efforts but still feeling strong. I can't wait till my new rain bike comes in. I'm sick of riding the Trek.

On the racing front - I must say that I feel like Amara took advantage of my inexperience in racing. Actually, it was probably one of the best lessons I could have had. Now I know to chill and watch what develops in the beginning of a crit - see who's feeling strong that day and who's not. I'm going to try and suppress my nerves in the beginning so I don't fly off the front of the pack. Then wait and reel them in. I'm looking forward to another crit.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

april showers... bring wet fenders

Had an excellent sprint workout last night. It was warm yesterday - it felt good to be cruising around in knickers and a long sleeve. I had the shop put on 25 gearing for tehellya - rode on it yesterday and that bike just zips. I also went climbing last night for about 1/2 hour - worked on upper body strength.

Thanks for the sage wisdom. That's all the encouragement I need.

The rain is back - going for a two hour endurance ride and loving every minute of it!

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

avoiding the drizzle

These days that is a hard thing to do. Just when you think the coast is clear - and you get on the bike - a Seattle drizzle starts coming down. I'm convinced that Seward park/Mt. Baker neighborhood gets more rain than other parts of Seattle. Once I rounded Boeing field and climbed back up Lake Washington Blvd - I was awashed with a strong smell of lush green April flowers. Reminded me of how good it feels to be alive.

I've been in a little slump the past two days... I'm not sure why. I should be really happy about my finish on Sunday - but I am no-where close to satisfied with it. I know I shouldn't be so harsh on myself about it - but the disappointment creeps back into my brain. Sure I can use it to make me stronger - but it feels more like a point of weakness. A light may have just gone off - I think I am finally realizing what it's like to have a weakness. And rather than dwell on that weakness, I need to turn it around, strategize it and use it to my advantage. Ah ha! Eureka!

Cycling has such an interesting psychology. I was trying to explain why I do what I do to my co-worker. It's a burning itch inside of me - an animal that comes out to the beat of a drum. It cannot ignore its instincts, it just has to do what it knows how to do. And then I have to do it again - but better and better until it comes to perfection.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

tahellya and first crit

my oh my, what a HARDCORE training weekend. yesterday was challenging with the rain and climbs. i will definitely get 39-25 gearing for the race. all in all though it was good to preride it... at one point i fully accepted my insanity, embrassed it - and used it to complete the ride with a huge smile on my face.

needless to say i was tired this morning when i woke up. and i made the mistake of not eatting enough yesterday. my body needed it - that's for sure - but i just couldn't stomach it. i can work on that - and will for the next time. i did use a recovery drink and i think that saved my ass for today.

i woke up - detailed my bike - and then crashed a little. i let doubt enter my consciousness - which was mistake #2. with it pouring down rain this morning, i wasn't that motivated to back into it. but i pumped up the volume with some modest mouse, thought about the good times, and was able to talk myself and my teammate Melinda into racing too. i didn't warm up adequately... which was another small mistake - but easily curable.

amara had made hops on the initial sprint - and lisa chased her down. then i made a mistake of pulling for two laps - no one was going around me. note to self - soft pedal next time, conserve energy and let those blood sucking letches do all the work. and around and around and around we went. while amara and lisa placed a perfect attack - i will remember that for next time.

i did keep a smile on my face the whole race - my body handled it. my mind played tricks on me. i will have to work on that. but placing 4th is humbling - and i am grateful for it. i even got to tell a new rider a suggestion - not to pull out crazily in front for the safety of those around her.

next time - more rest. no long 75 mile rides the day before. my body is not ready for that yet. and my achilles started to let me know. also better nutrition - i ate like shit this week. no more ding dongs :P

highlights - climbing hills, and hot tubing when i got home - twice!!!


a little drained this morning while the reality of yesterday's mission and accomplishment settles down on me. it's raining outside right now - like an old comforting friend who you just can't get mad at because they only know how to be themselves. at least today there's a goal - not only racing in the rain but going for some prize money.

i'm surprised no one else blogs - their loss really. i find it's an excellent time for reflection and something i can look back to and remember that tool is in my toolbox, no one elses. who knows if anyone actually reads them - but i do. and that's all that really matters.

so refelection on yesterday - that is one bad ass course. it has it all - hills, flats, descents, chert, smooth pavement and don't forget tons of rain. i'm looking forward to doing it at a fast pace. the scenery is gorgeous. it's a maddening course though - it can really break someone down. I had my moments of utter anhiliation (sp?) and then really really good moments, which luckily far surpass the humility. i can't wait till summer.

i think cyclist are a crazy bunch of people. they do what no one else would even dream of doing and then some. who in their right minds would go ride 6+ hours in a full down pour? well guess who - yours truely. i had a moment on dewatto hill where my smile was pure insanity - you couldn't mistake that for anything else.

today is another race - looking forward to it - and looking forward to it being over. i'm pooped.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Friday, April 01, 2005

it's wiiiiiindy outside

went for a nice un-predictable ride today. my friend nina lives on your street - just two blocks west. we rode some hills in blue ridge - nice climbing over there. i was going to go climbing but my darling forgetful, pothead husband spaced my climbing bag that i went so far as to strap onto his back pack and make it so he wouldn't forget.... son of a biznatch!!!!!! i ended up making it in time to a bike shop to buy some temp fenders in prep for tomorrow. looking forward to some hardcore riding.

btw - how about that training log?