Friday, March 31, 2006


I've had a hard time waking up in the mornings. I've been putting in some extra long miles/hours on the bike this past week - and getting more than 8 hours a night of sleep - but I'm still feeling fatigued. Also it's early spring - which means the trees omit a pollen that make my asthma go crazy. At night I hack away at the gurggle in the back of my throat to try and clear it - I just hope I don't have another attack in the middle of a race like I did last year at Boat street.

Despite the increased miles (I'll have almost 300 for the week) - my body feels good. I've been making an effort to increase fluids and eating during the rides - which has helped my recovery time. I wake up feeling good in the morning - not stiff or sore - but fatigued all over. I think I have a rest week coming up soon - I've been building for about 3 weeks now. I'm getting sleepy just thinking about my bed right now.... maybe I'll take a nap later?

Thursday, March 30, 2006

time to get serious

So I've been doing some thinking lately - especially in regard to my recent demeanor at last weekends race - and think it's time I truly committed to what I want to do. Suddenly it's becoming clear that if I really want to go for the gusto in women's elite cycling, then I need to start approaching it with a serious attitude and treat it like a full time job. Up until this point, I've often had conversations with fellow female riders that say they decided they don't want to pursue the next level in cycling because they enjoy it as it is. Am I insane for wanting to take it to the next level? I do enjoy cycling - but I enjoy winning more. And if I want to make it to the next stage then it's time I stop messing around and get serious about it.

This morning I thought to myself how disappointed I was for doing all of the ground work this winter - battling the rain/snow/ice/sleet mix and to only act like a giddy school girl when the nicer weather hits. Where's the intensity? Where's the roaring monster that kept me in the saddle during the dark months? The passion is still there - but I guess I'm just learning how to effectively tap into it and harness it into winning races.

I was surfing the net for some info on Functional Threshold Power for women and came across this blog by a woman who is seriously training for an Ironman. She included her training for the past three weeks - and one thing crossed my mind. Sure she's done far less actual training hours then I have, but her intensity is there. She makes it count each time she swims, bikes, runs.... she treats it like work. Luckily she's able to comingle her passion with work - and no doubt will she be successful at it. She inspired me to change my mental approach toward competitive cyling - because it's just that competitive. Save the shit eating grin for afterward - when you're on the podium. :)

Wednesday, March 29, 2006


Amara just posted pics that her dad took at the race last weekend - and I am an idiot. Every single picture he took - and there's probably 8 or so - I'm smiling a big goomer shit eating grin. The funny part - here's a pic from my before getting dropped....
And here's one from after I got dropped on the second hill, first lap. Don't worry - every picture in between shows the pearly whites. Uh - Jen, are you forgetting that you are competing? It's supposed to be painful and you're not supposed to be having that much fun..... someone forgot to tell me that one. My husband just responded - you're not going to get picked up by a pro team using that tactic. I think I was just stoked to be racing my bike again - who cares what anyone else thinks?

On a side note - my test results came back. They are super low. I did the test indoors - and lacked the motivation to go until you feel like you're going to puke - to get a true feel for my power threshold. We ended up using data from some harder training rides. Regardless though - my power threshold needs to come up. I'm on the scale of a solid Cat 2 rider - but I want to be on a higher level. So we're focusing on increasing that until june/july when speed becomes the focus. This past couple of weeks has been a humbling experience. I just need to keep going and get past this rough patch....

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

understanding power

Miller had me do a test yesterday to try and figure out my power thresholds. We will look over the data tonight and be able to start focusing on power rather than heart rate or perceived exertion.

Now that I've had a couple of days to chill out and process what happened at the race on Saturday I'm starting to realize just how much I love this sport. I'm constantly learning from it - both physically and mentally - and figuring out how to avoid mistakes from happening again. There's truly nothing like experience. I'm back in research mode trying to find out more about it. One thing's for sure - you can't rush it. You have to let things take their natural course. Prime example - training. Although I feel like I did a lot of training this winter - it's nothing compared to what I will do to it next winter - or the winter after that. Miller refers to it as the Eddie Meryx approach. Thankfully I was blessed with a body that can take more training than the average woman. I can subject myself to more training - and do well. And two things are going for me this season - I'm fast and tough. Now if I can just work on the climbing and tt'ing. :) Crit season is beginning in two weeks - now that gets me amped.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

I went for a mellow recovery ride today - the first one I've had in over two weeks. It felt really good to chill out. Miller surprised me this morning with a phone call and that he was willing to go on a ride - so we headed out to do the North end with a short stop in Kirkland. It was a social hour for him - he saw about 10 people he knew. It was funny.

We had a good talk - about training and how we both need to communicate to one another more than what's been going on. I admitted not wanting to call him too much - he has to have a life, right? He said that's not the case - I should call whenever I have a question. And he also said his athletes don't understand just how excited he is about their progress - something I didn't give much thought to before. We are now realigned with goals/coach/athlete relationship and should get things dialed back in. I'm releaved. Now I can just focus on winning some races. :0)

Saturday, March 25, 2006

what to do, what to do, what to do

Today's race was - interesting. It's a new course out of Rochester, Wa with some rolling hills and two climbs. The first is about 1 k - 7-9% gradient and not too bad. You can pretty much power up it without feeling too tapped. The second hill is a kicker - 1/2 k at a 10-12% grade. It killed me. It was as though I threw out an anchor and said bombs away! Next thing I know I was kicked out the back gasping for air to catch back and and never quite made it. I ended up hooking up with Taylor and Michelle from Ti Cylces and trying to chase the main group. We were unsuccessful. Taylor ended up pulling off after about 6 miles and threw up on the side of the road. She wasn't feeling good before the race and was sick on Tuesday - and unfortunatley the intensity killed her. Michelle and I ended up finishing the race and getting Wa cup points - both dumbfounded that we were dumped off from the pack so quickly.

I think my training in Honolulu was a little too intense and I didn't recover adequately from it. All of those sprints - the stops and goes then the hill climbing - just took its toll. So when it came time to shove - I had nothing to give. A little frustrating. But I learned my lesson.

But wait! That isn't it at all! Well - it might have something to do with my lack luster performance. But another part - which Miller pointed out to me - is that I was in Zone 6 for about an hour prior to the second hill climb. So when it was time to push up the hill - I had no recovery in the legs and nothing to give. My mind was screaming at my body to go faster but I ignored its warning signs prior to the hill. I pushed too hard and didn't fully utilize the rest positions during the rotating paceline and climbing just a little so I could hang but not push the big wattage up the hill. The surges are what tax the legs - and they were surged out. Lesson learned. :)

Friday, March 24, 2006

Back in the saddle

It feels good to be home. Ryan and I were able to spend just under 24 hours together and we're back into the routine - he goes climbing for the weekend and I go race. Luckily I have an afternoon race - this jet lag is tiring! I'm already looking forward to bed.

Did a hour today with a couple of jumps. The body is feeling strong - and I'm looking forward to getting some intensity under the belt tomorrow. I'm debating the Roubaix race on Sunday - it sounds brutal. But I could use my old training wheels and let the gravel wreck havoc on them rather than my nice wheels.

On a side note - apparently I pissed my brother off while he was in the islands. I don't think he was expecting to have such a mellow time with Gam - his only experiences over there have been for vacation - not to nurse someone. I might have gotten on his case with his over eatting issue - reciprocating the brutal love he instilled on me when I was young and had a weight problem. I remember him putting me down and saying some nasty things. And I hope and pray that I didn't make him hurt in the same way. But I did let him know that eatting 4 manapuas (white dough with salty pork inside - approximately 900 calories each) was not good for him. I told him I was saying something out of love and that I want him around a while and in good health. He didn't want to hear that.

So again, I go into a race without a clear head. Last time I had inner turmoil was when Joyce and I blew up. I have learned though that I am able to block out all those inner and outer demons and just race. Not to say that I strive for drama - because that's the last thing I want. Hopefully George and I will get to talk tonight.

Thursday, March 23, 2006


Thank you for your comment/compliments. I appreciate them. I will shut up now about seeing if anyone reads my blog anymore. That one should last me for a year or so.

My grandmother is doing much better. I leave today for home and my mom comes back from Australia to figure out some long term care for her. We spent some meaningful time on the beach yesterday - talking about life and how important it is to take care of your body. She's in the recovery phase and working on physical therapy.... and she has a hard time with not seeing overnight results. As a 4 time right knee surgery veteran I was able to pass on my wisdom that the end result takes time and patience, not to mention dedication to get there. I think she understood what I was saying.

As far as training with other people - yes, I know that's one weakness I have. During the winter it was difficult to find someone who had the time to train as well as the will to train in our weather. But I'm sure they're out there. That saying haunts me from boxing ... "Someone is out there training harder than you and when you meet them in competition they will beat you." That's all I have to think about that keeps me going in less than ideal training conditions. I know, it's sick. And believe it or not - I do have a coach who was a junior phenomeneneon (sp?!) and with the little bit of hands on that I get from him I get alot. But it's been a while ----- and he's way past due for a training ride with me. :) Still - I need to find a core group to train with and push me outside of my comfort zone.

So in the meantime - I'm thinking of doing some traveling this summer to some bigger races and get some more experience. I hear Superweek is a great experience - and I will get to some NRC races. And track season is just around the corner - where I'll be taking it up a notch and racing with the men.

It is pouring down rain right now. We're taking full on monsoon style. I can't believe the island hasn't washed away. Amazing. I wish you could hear it.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


I often wonder if anyone out there reads my random blog anymore. No comments... did I completely unable them? Crazy.

Did some hill repeats on the Pali this afternoon. It felt good to get the heartrate going. It's super muggy today. George left to head home - he was pissed because the manapua store was closed today. He didnt' need 3 dozen anyway. His waist will thank them!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Mental preparation

I talked to my friend Melinda yesterday. She called to say hello and find out what's been going on. She won the Mason Lake series - and is going to upgrade so I'll get to start racing with her again! I'm stoked. In the meantime I've been using this time as preparation for racing. I can't wait to get back to it. But maybe a break in the early season will result in greatness overall. We shall see.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

The SUN!

I can't help but feel a little neee neeer neee neeer neee neeeeeeeeer! to all those Washingtonians who are racing in the rain this morning while I pedaled in the warm Hawaiian sun. I'm lounging in a tank top and shorts as we speak - with all of the doors and windows with screens open to let the air pass through the house. It feels great - and other than missing Ryan - I'm getting more used to being over here. My tan is certainly improving!

Friday, March 17, 2006

Red Hot Training

Pedaling in 80 degree with 90 % humidity is different - especially when you're used to freezing rain cold in Washington. But I'm not complaining at all! I get to work on my funny little bikers tan...

It's hard though when there's no real hills to climb on the way - I'm going to try and seek some out today.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Doing some serious hill repeats in the heat of the tropics. Feels good to exercise and is keeping me sane.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Family Emergency

I got a call last night from my mom in Australia saying that my grandmother is in the hospital. Upon calling her back I found out they think she had a mini-stroke although preliminary tests are not revealing what actually happened. I worried through the night as my uncle flew from Kona to Honolulu to see if he could find out what's going on. He and the family are leaving today for the east coast for Kim's father's wake and my mom won't be back through HNL till the end of the month. Since I"m the closest and available relative, I booked a flight this morning for tomorrow and will return in two weeks. They don't know if they will release her yet - but it's best to have someone there with her when they do so she has some assistance at home. She lives by herself in the Pali and is 90 years old. It's truely amazing she's made it this long without assistance in her daily activities - but I think it's time.

I'll be missing some early season races - but should be able to stay fit while over there. The Pali has some excellent climbs and I should be able to wander all over the neighborhoods in search of elevation. The island is in flash flood warning mode - so hopefully the rain will stop eventually. Most important though - I hope my grandmother is ok.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

The training must go on!

Despite the blistery winter weather enveloping the PNW. They closed the 520 bridge yesterday due to high winds... it was so stormy that I dared not risk going outside to deminish my love for pedaling. Instead I stayed inside where it was warm and dry, popped in the 2004 Tour and spun away 60 miles with a 30 minute LT effort. Lance, Jan and Ivan never cease to amaze me. Those guys rock.

My fitness is coming along - the longer 60 + mile rides are no longer as taxing and it doesn't take me as long to recover. Part of it is probably due to diet and hydration - something I am a firm believer in. It's Thurday already which means tonight I make sure all of my race clothing is ready for a weekend of wet cold riding.... snow showers are threatening on Saturday at Mason but we should have clear skies on Sunday.

Ryan watched me churn out some wattage last night on the trainer and commented on how even my pedal stroke is. I can't beleive how far it's come in one year! Amazing.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

spring showers bring may flowers!

I checked the weather early this morning and according to their guestimate the morning was going to be better than the afternoon. I jumped at the chance to avoid the 40 degree driving rain and hail - but within 20 minutes of hopping on the saddle it started to come down. I figured, I'm headed out anyway so why not go super late to work .... you never know what the afternoon will hold weather wise. Especially considering how freaked out the meterologists are right now about what's in store for the PNW.

I was headed to do 3 hill repeats in the big chainring - grinding on the knees. It started to really rain when I hit Bothel and then continued to come down for the remainder of my hill efforts. I took off my fenders for race season and my ass got soaked. It was okay cruising up hill but the downhill was CHILLY... and then I had to ride home an hour and twenty minutes.

As soon as I got to work the rain stopped - it looked like it was going to be nice. And then this HUGE rain cloud came and dumped off enough rain to flood the streets. Phew - am I glad I went this morning or what?!

Monday, March 06, 2006

Ice Breaker TT

I woke up Sunday to rain and wind gusts that sounded like they were going to knock my wind chimes off the porch. Perfect conditions for the seasons first individual time trial! A true test to see who's fit and mentally strong for 10 miles out and back in flat Black Diamond, WA area. The weather report said 90% chance of rain with 18 mph winds and a high of 46. Ahhhh the great PNW.

Luckily I preregistered and knew my starting time (if you have the option - I HIGHLY recommend it - last year a friend and I showed up without preregistering and waited 4 hours for her start time). I broke out my Zipp 909 disc set - it's only seen action on the track so I was excited to find out what it would feel like on the road. It was risky using the disc on such a windy day because gusts could easily make you waver and lose time. But I only had a few instances of panic.

The start went really well - solid and up to speed within the first 500m. There was an awesome tailwind out to the 5 mile point, where you slow to turn around and fight it on the way back in. My disc sounded great - you can really feel when you are utilizing the full pedal stroke or not. It's nice to have something to audibly focus on. I hauled out to the mid way point and then focused on pushing a little harder on the way back in - a little above my LT heart rate... but not too much so my power would peak and valley. With TT's - it's all about consistency. The finish line was in sight and a guy passed me on the left - I shifted up and hammered it across the line in a sprint like fashion. (Probably not the most efficient but I'm still learning how to harness the power.) It felt good - like puking but then the endorphins kicked in and I was floating on cloud nine. If my calculations were correct - I was in the 26 minute range... knocking over 5 minutes off my time from last season. It wasn't until later on that night I found out my time was 25:55... 5 seconds shy of 6 minutes from last year. Holy cow. Uhhh.. thanks coach! It put me in 5th position - and something to work with. By the end of the season I want to be rocking in the 23-24 minute range. Not bad though for the start of the second season.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Do you ever have the feeling like you're hungry but nothing really sounds good? Pizza - usually.... nah, pasta... nah, burritos.... mmmm maybe..... homemade one though and right now my legs are a wee bit heavy.

The race this morning went well. My fitness is a lot better than before - but I botched the final sprint. Actually I got boxed in and by the time I reved the engine up it was finished. But it's cool - it was a training race regardless. Now I just have to work on moving up in the field during the finish and not getting boxed in. Maybe next time I'll do some bumping. I'm happy with my performance - top 10.... could have been better but it's a training race and only that... no money to be had and its a great chance to scope out the competition. I bet Leif is just dying right now! The 1/2 men field had to do 72 miles - luckily it's absolutely gorgeous out right now.

All in all the race was good. mason is funny - it doesn't seem like the attacks ever go anywhere. There's usually just too big of a head wind. In retrospect - I might have gone a little easier on the risers. I would stand up and grind through them - causing the latic acid to build up in the legs and making recovery a little longer than it needed to be. I felt good though - the base miles are definitely paying dividends. Hopefully there's enough of them built up that recovery will be excellent. Actually - come to think of it... day two of high intensity typically is stronger for me. Tomorrow will tell though.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Doubley Sure

I just laid out all of my race clothing for tomorrows test. Okay - so I may have gotten a little out of control. I mean, how many hats will I need? I packed my rain hat, my cold hat and my not so cold hat. Then I packed my leg warmers, knee warmers, two shorts ... one might be too cold. I went out the other day in just one pair and nearly froze my toosh off! But realistically... I'll be warmer than usual with the intensity increased - but who knows... maybe my fitness is so much greater that the field will freeze me to death. We'll see. I'm curious to see how my teammates are doing... I know Amara raced last weekend but I haven't really heard the details of that. And Taylor - not sure what she's been up to at all. But we shall see! Hopefully we will all work together during the races and make some amazing impact. We'll be the local hit squad. Fabulous.

In preparation for the racing I detailed my bike and dusted off my sweet sounding DT Swiss Rims. They actually feel quite a bit faster than my other wheels - or maybe it's because I reserve them for special race times. Whatever it is - may they bring me through the finish line safe and rubber side down. (And of course FIRST!) :)

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Starting to show signs

I saw my massage thearpist this morning. I swear - she's the best dang rubber in the whole world! Ha ha. She commented though on how much stronger my body feels compared to three weeks ago. She really noticed it in my hammies, calves and back as well. I haven't gained any muscle mass - meaning, I'm not tipping the scales any heavier - but my muscles have gotten leaner and meaner in the process of hill repeats and skiing. She commented - your coach must be amazing. Great compliments all around - she rules.

two days and counting - tweaking the bike tonight for any last minute adjustments and preparing to rock the house shortly.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

stomach pains

just got home from a south end juant and downed a glass of endorox. But for some reason my belly is bloated out like I'm 6 months pregnant and I'm having a hard time standing up. Something was seriously wrong with my recovery drink.

Got to hang with a couple guys today on a late morning ride. Leif has been on his bike but once a week - and he was hurtin' half way through the ride. I'm feeling good - looking forward to detailing the bike later tonight and getting it race ready. I'm looking into getting a Zipp 404 w/ a powertap hub for a set of serious race wheels. Should be phatty.

Two days and counting till race time. Saweet.