Tuesday, January 31, 2006

no bike :(

I just received word that the bike I might have been able to ride for the season was veto'd and put back into the travel fund. The only reason I'm a little bummed abou the situation is that I got my hopes up, like I knew I shouldn't have, and then when it didn't work out I got a little upset. It' s not like I was promised anything for being on the team - I'm not even sure if I have to pay for the entire cost of the jersey's yet. I guess you just have to roll with the punches.

I'd like to take back my bashing I posted earlier. I wrote it out of anger and don't think it expressed how I truly felt about the situation. Gregg's is a great team - I just got my hopes up a little too high when I shouldn't have.

Enough said.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Whistler Weekend

Had a blast this weekend. Leif invited Ryan and I up to his parents condo in Whistler for a weekend of skiing and fun. We jumped at the chance to hit up Blackcomb mountain and skied our brains out. It was a much welcomed break from the 20+ hours a week of riding that has consumed my every thought over the past couple of weeks. Saturday was filled with exploration - we managed to do Spanky's Ladder which was an awesome experience. Basically you take 3 lifts up into the Alpine and then hike up a ridgeline that dumps you over onto the back side with chutes and scarey decents. The snow was soooo good and deep and the visibility wasn't that good so I have no idea what we really skied. All I know is that it was deep and steep - perfect conditions for a true double black diamond. We finished the day off with Outer Limits - which stretched my upper limits of skiing ability. I try to ski the trees - but unless I'm super aggressive and on it then it becomes a side slip fest and I didn't enjoy that part as much.

Day two - Whistler mountain. Leif and Kelly decided to take it easy so we met up with Jonah at 9 and headed into the alpine bowls. Despite only having a trace of snow the night before, the upper bowls were amazing. We had lots of face shots and even fresh tracks! The icy entrance to the back bowls deters a lot of intermediate skiers so the crowds were kept at a minimum. I have never been so exhausted from skiing before - where one turn after another results in a face plant. Midway through the day Ryan and I ended up colliding and eatting shit on hard packed groomer run - I'm not sure what happened. All I know is that my hip flexer is inflamed and pissed at me. Miller's going to kill me. Good thing he doesn't read my blog anymore!!!

All in all it was a great weekend and a good way to complete my base training miles. Now I just have to spend some time learning my new Powertap gadget. Cheers!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Typical Tuesday

Except - the sun came out and stayed out all day today! I had a warm ride! And apparently it was warm enough to break out the weekend warriors on their road bikes and spandex - and I saw.... dunt dunt DUNNNNNNNT - naked knees! There were these two buddies cruising along near the U and I was slowly gaining on them. You know the STP type with aero bars and feeling emancipated from their wives for a jaunt on the trail. I finally got close enough to pass them where the trail splits near Metropolitan market and Ronald McDonald housing. The one in the back said, "this dude wants to pass" - I didn't say anything until I passed the guy in front and said in the most feminine voice I could muster "nice day to be out on a ride." I think they were flabbergasted. Funny - I didn't see them after that.

hahaha - but who's the joke really on? I don't know whether to be offended or proud that I was mistaken for a man! Hahahaha - I think it's funny. :) Maybe I should work on my passing voice (husky and testostorone filled...) ON YOUR LEFT. I am starting to grow chest hairs you know. hahahaa

Sunday, January 22, 2006

The sun came out today. It was marvelous! That along with riding with kele lifted my spirits emensly. I think the SAD was starting to take its toll - at least that's what I'm blaming it on. :) But I'm feeling much better now about riding my bike and think that I just had a bad day yesterday. So sorry if I sounded too sappy.

Last night I woke up at 2am hungry. I didn't realize it until two hours had passed by and I finally got up and grabbed some pizza from the kitchen. I slept like a baby after that and then went on a nice long ride today. My weight is a little lighter than usual - and I think my body is trying to tell me that it needs more calories. Mmmmm ice cream.

Saturday, January 21, 2006


so I'm going to list the positives first -

1. Learned a new route
2. Got to use my power tap for the first time.
3. Set a easy time to beat in the future (I hope!)
4. Got to experience Ian kicking ass up the mountain
5. Had a nice long ride home solo

Today was the notorious Cougar Mtn hill climb test. Miller decided to take a bunch of people up to time them and see how our fitness and climbing is coming along. I did it in 19.18.... and I want to widdle it down to right about 16 minutes flat. That's a lot of time to make up - but considering that's the first time I experienced the steep side of Cougar - I can only improve. The weather was also a challenge - 39 degrees and pouring. Made for a chilly ride home - that's for sure!

You know, as much as I love riding with the guys - I just wish there was another woman along to compare my progression with. That's a huge downfall of not being part of a women's team this year and I'm definitely going to take it into consideration for next year. I expect the men to beat me - especially in the hills but just having some estrogen there will definitely help.

Reality of what I'm trying to do is starting to really sink in - this work is really hard. I feel discouraged a lot and am starting to lose focus. I finally broke down today and cried - sometimes you need to do that to get better. I remember back when I was boxing and I had this 14 year old popped me in the nose really good. I went into the women's locker room later that night and bauled my eyes out. But I picked myself up, dusted myself off and didn't let that little shit head get the best of me again. So I'm thinking cycling is really starting to challenge me - mentally and physically and maybe I need a good pop in the nose to move forward from here.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

training with purpose

It's funny how life will through you a life line when you least expect it. I thought I was going to have to do some soul searching for the answer to my lackluster training mentality - and bam! USA cycling sends out a newsletter this morning with a beaming Sarah Hammer on the front page and an article on the second page about training with purpose. The article talked about making each training ride count - and not let it roll into just a ride. Some where in the midst of training all these hours - I was focusing on the hours going by - and not the importance of the serious training I am putting in. Ryan had another good point too - what I'm doing is not going to be easy. I have big goals and aspirations - and to get there I'm going to have to put in some serious time and mental capacity to achieve them. Not to be cliche - but champions are made a day at a time. Just when the going gets tough - I have to remember to keep at it.

Plus only 10 more days of this long endurance work and then I'll be onto lighter hours - but harder intensity. I'm looking forward to a change.

On a side note - we went out to dinner last night at the Met with George and Jaimie in celebration of G's birfday. It was a lot of fun and I ate some really really rich food. I wonder how many calories I consumed!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

you know it's bad when...

you see the sunrise and sunset on your bike - the same day! I have been putting in some serious mileage and time spent on the bike lately and it's starting to wear on me. Not necessarily physically - although I am tuckered out - but mentally this is really getting challenging. I'm finding it hard to keep my focus on the bike. Maybe it's my lack of experience on the bike and suddenly I'm putting in 20 hours a week in the saddle? I just hope I stay motivated for the racing season. But if this is what it takes to become a national champion and then world cup rider - then I'm paying my dues I suppose. But man - this is starting to get old.

Monday, January 16, 2006


Surrounding yourself with positive energy is so important when striving for your dreams. I went on two different rides this weekend and both times I encountered people who said that going for more than local races is not their bag and self -defeating. "I want to be a big fish in a small pond instead of getting my butt kicked in a big pond." Well - that's not what I really wanted to hear. Although I suppose I was over due for someone telling me what I'm attempting is nuts and beyond all reason. But then again - those are the moments when what I'm doing becomes really clear and important and reminds me why I'm doing what I'm doing..... it's a dream. And I'm a firm believer in doing what makes you happy - so why not? A champion is made a day at a time. I'm willing to do the work and get defeated - learn my lessons and continue on.

Most importantly - it just goes to show what an amazing network of friends and family I have that are truely supportive of my dreams/hopes and aspirations. Thank you to all of you who believe in me.

Sunday night crab feed

Yesterday after a morning ride, Ryan, Makiah and I headed down to Tacoma to visit our friend Chris. He lives in this little fishing hippy community on the tip of Point Defience and bought a "shack" which his is building up. His first major project - tear down and rebuild the garage. He's also put in a new deck around his kingdom and is working on completing his boat house so he can live there while he tears up the main house. We drove up to find Chris and our other buddy Brian working on putting up some siding in the garage - so we lent a hand. Payment for our labor came in the way of all you can eat crab at Anthony's in Gig Harbor. It was soooo good. I think I ate about 4 gigantic dungeness crabs - they were excellent. Ryan and I came home and crashed at 10 - sleeping until 8:15 this morning. 10 hours of sleep - that's what I'm talking about!

Since this is supposed to be a training blog - I suppose I better fill you in. The previous ride I talked about kicked my butt pretty hard. Keeping up with the 1/2's when they are trying to make kick off can really deplete the resources. I should have eatten more - drank more water, replenished the vitals so I could maintain that strenuous pace. Maybe next weekend! So today's mellow aerobic ride was a welcomed break - not only to the legs but mentally. I rode with randy - another one of Miller's athletes and we talked the entire time. It was a good match - he's recovering from a serious cold and I was a little pooped from a long ride week. And guess what?!! It didn't rain!!!

All in all it's been an excellent training week. Skiing put me over the edge - and I'm leary of injury. Luckily I got some serious zzzz's in last night - and I'm going to start going back to massage. My muscles just need a little more help and rub down. Especially with race season rapidly approaching. Later, J

Saturday, January 14, 2006

As I sit here devouring left over angel food cake, garlic bread, OJ and just general calorie consumption - I'm trying to think of way to best described today's ride. I woke up at 7:30 (much earlier then during the week!) and rode down to U Village Zoka to ride with the BRI guys. My buddy Leif invited me to go with and said they cruise at a mellow pace. We headed down the Burke by 9 am and were just Zone 1 down the trail - hit up some Hollywood Hill action. Then it all became a mystery to me where we were and what we were doing. We got to the top of the hill and then zoomed down a really steep section - passed a sign that said road closed - high water..... and watched as one guy gained some speed, unclipped himself from his pedals and soared through the lake covering the road. Next thing I know, we're all doing it and giggling like little kids. I flatted just then - but was quickly saved by Leif and someother guy. They fixed it in two shakes flat. This is the point I should have pulled out the powerbar and munched down - but instead I rode on and on without intaking any calories. I'd pay for it big time later. Luckily there was another woman on the ride - Martha from Byrne. She placed second in TST last year - strong climber! We chatted for the next couple hours as the pace got quicker and quicker so the guys could make the Hawks game at 1:30. She and I ended up getting dropped from the group once Russell decided to start time trialing it back to Sea-Town. Along the way though some Neon throw a bottle out there window and hit Martha! We were shocked. We were way out in some hickville area - no way to catch the bastard. The wierd thing was I noticed him earlier on the ride when he passed us so it certainly was deliberate. How lame is that?

I'm soooo tired now I feel like I'm babbling. I just feel like crawling back into bed and taking a nap. Ryan's up at Latona Pub drinking a beer and watching the Hawks. I'm a little too tired to move. 15 hours on the bike this week so far - I'm friggin' pooped.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

25 days and counting

We are quickly approaching the record for most consecutive measureable days of rain in a row - which was last made in 1953 with a total of 33 days. It is dreary outside - and this weather is getting old - let me tell you! I am so thankful for the inventor of boot dryers - thank you who ever you are. You have made my life that much better!

Yesterday was a triple day workout - starting off with an hour on the rollers first thing in the morning. Then followed by 2 hours with a 30 minute high spin and last but certainly not least - night skiing up at Alpental. Honestly the skiing is what is keeping me sane day after day. It's just nice to be in a different climate for a change. I had a couple of moments of sheer joy while ripping it up down the mountain. How fun.

Miller and Mol-lay are coming over for dinner tonight. They canceled and then rescheduled... I'm just stoked to hang with some friends!

Monday, January 09, 2006

OH Canada!!!

Someone mentioned yesterday it's been raining 22 consecutive days in the PNW. I wonder what our record is? But that didn't matter this weekend because my friend Kele and I ventured up to B.C. to race the track. Yes - Canada's only indoor velodrome. We got up early Friday evening so she could put some time in with her pursuit bars - she leaves today for LA for a World Cup qualifier. Good luck Kele! It took us a while to sort out gears though and she has an old custom bike of Jennie Reed's that has oddly shaped drop outs - some gears fit, some don't. Needless to say after a warm up, several flying efforts and then timing Kele's flying 2K - we finally left the drome at 9:30pm. We were hooked up with great host housing - two of the nicest people ever! The next morning we woke up and the day started out with sprints. This time I qualified for the 1/4 finals - and I am getting a little faster. But I was quickly ousted in the match sprints and rep. Oh well - sprinting is not my specialty. The endurance events were in the afternoon - a 40 lap scratch race and 80 lap points race. The scratch race went really well - a true test to see how the legs and engine are running at this time of year. I remember being on the back stretch, thinking to myself that my legs didn't feel attached to my body and were floating below. When the final move came - I was able to respond and blow by a guy who obviously had an issue with racing women. Those are great moments. The points race - well, let's just say it didn't go well because I wasn't aggressive. It was as though I told myself my goal was just to finish with the pack instead of going for each sprint and seeing what would happen. Nothing ventured - nothing gained. Sunday started with Kierin heats - I gave them my all. But to no avail. Kierin's are super fun - it'd be cool to hone the skillz. It's a throw down race - and reminds me most of boxing (my previous competitive sport). The snowball race went similar to the points race - I rode at the back. But my husband was there to pick me up - tell me what I needed to do and I got right back in. The next feature scratch race I rode with much more aggression - bridging gaps, pulling hard, splintering the pack - making the field respond to my moves instead of being the responder. And you know what? It was WAY more fun to do that. Suddenly I was in contention for a podium spot - and broke through a mental block that plagued my previous efforts. That type of riding style will catapult my fitness and tactics - everything ventured - everything gained.

Friday, January 06, 2006

heading north

Kele and I head up to Burnaby again for another weekend extravaganza at their superdome. She's going to be doing some pursuit work in preparation for a world cup talent pool qualifier next weekend. Good for her! Then I talked to Miller and he said well Jen, you should be doing those efforts too. Ie crumba! What I thought was going to be a fun weekend of casual racing has turned into a slug fest of split times and hammering down the boards. I'm actually really looking forward to it because it's indoors and doing something I absolutely love!

More to come...

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

the last couple days....

So on New Year's Eve I ended up coming home and getting ready for my brother's 80's party down at my mom's house. I wore my standby blue wig and 80's clothes.... Ryan wore some old school ski outfit with size 13 red ski boots. It was hilarious. Everyone dressed up and played the part. I drank one beer and then my body told me no more - while everyone else, including Ryan, started to consume vodka and fru fru drinks. The cast of characters showed up - Punky Brewster, Mr. Mullet man, Magnum PI, Cindy Lauper, Richard Simmons etc etc. It was great.

New Years day was pretty uneventful. I was the only one not hung over - but the legs were pretty tired from the previous day's effort. We finally got motivated about 5 or so and went to IMAX to watch "Wired to Win" a film about the Tour with Jill. It was sweet. Super motivating.

Yesterday I went for a 3 hour ride and my freakin' HRM started acting up. I need to replace the batteries in the speed sensor. It just decided to stop working all together. So I only know approximately how far and long I went. Time to change that up!

Today is another long day in the saddle but it's my rest week meaning not as many hard efforts.