Wednesday, May 31, 2006


Can you even remember your New Year's Resolutions?

What was the last movie you saw at the theatre?

What are you going to do when you run into the woman with the yellow bike again?
I think I'll mooooo at her. Surely mooooooing transends languages. Silly cow.

(for the record her bike isn't broken, for I saw her today doing laps in front of my office window. Mooooo.)

blogger down!

Unfortunately I am not going to recreate my super long boring post from yesterday that got lost in blog land cyber space. Sorry.

So while I've been pedaling in circles around the track, my younger sister has been having the time of her life in NZ. She's a recent grad from Brooke's institute of Photography and has some amazing photos. She traveled to Australia to see about a boy and is coming home at the end of June. Yeah! But who knows where she'll land. She's trying to get her career going - and that might take her to odd spots of the country... like Dallas Texas. I wish her the best of luck - especially there! :) If you have a minute check her site out....

Training is going well. Emily came out with me to Fast Track last night. GREAT workout. Except when we were doing our second warm up paceline (10 @ 23mph, 10@ 25mph, 5@ 28mph, and 5 @ 30mph)... guess who had to pull the first lap at 30 mph? Moi. And right after that I was shelled. I caught back on though and used my sewing machine legs to ease back into the pace. Then we did some mini jumps with Miller, Woody and Randy. We got up to 38mph - and being in a small gear (49x16) means my cadence was at least 150. That's what I'm talking about. Some serious leg speed. The first Friday night track racing starts this Friday. I'm going to race with the fellas because although $35 per race would be nice to take home, a medal at nationals would be priceless.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Weekend Review

This weekend Ryan and I headed up to Bellingham to hang out with family and friends. We stayed at his mom's house and she cooked this amazing corned beef and cabbage meal - traditional Irish style. It was amazing. Later that night we went out with Josh and Camille to Clark's point and watched the sunset. It made me realize how much I miss Bellingham.

Later that night we ended up at this Irish pub and ran into Erin, Tyson's step sis. She invited us to a family BBQ where Ty would be - Ryan was stoked to be able to see his best friend. It's been nearly 5 years since they last saw one another. Tyson now has a 4 year old and is looking good. It was fun to see him. Tamara was there too - and she seems to be getting along just fine. She is such a sweet lady - tormented by drugs unfortunately. But she's been sober for 6 months so she's doing well. Their son is beautiful and a spitting image of Tamara.

The next morning we woke up and had some corned beef hash - yum - then headed up to Galbreth Mountain with Josh for some wet and wild mud feast mtn. biking. I giggled like a little girl. I was only thrown from my bike twice - and avoided any serioius bruising. It was cool to see how many people ride their bikes in the Ham.

Later that night we went to a ski to sea party and watched yet another gorgeous sunset. I miss watching it dip out of view over Bellingham Bay. And listening to the train toot it's horn as it passes through town. I met one of Molly's coworkers - small world.

It was nice being off the bike for the weekend. Although I was feeling a little guilty at first. But now that I'm back into training and motivated - I feel awesome and excited to race again. Miller and I went for a three hour tour yesterday - and it felt good to get a little intensity in. Tonight is fast track - saweet.

Friday, May 26, 2006


Maybe it's the fact that I want to get on the track really bad that the rain is sticking around. Whose idea was it anyway to put an outdoor track in rainy-9-months-out-of-the-year Seattle? It just makes those sunny days that much sweeter.

Miller and I were skunked on Tuesday - we even made the drive out east. Only to discover a super wet velodrome. Tonight is Friday night racing - but with the sprinkles and no sign of sun - I get to look forward to a roller workout and climbing session at the gym.

We head to the Ham this weekend. It's been a while since we last visited. Should be fun.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

TT action and dodging the rain clouds

I managed to avoid any serious thundershowers today and headed up North to Juanita for some shallow side hill repeats on Anna Belle. It feels good getting used to that position - and I think I can even get more aggressive in stance. On my climbs I concentrated on relaxing the upper body and not gripping my bars at all. It felt great - and then on my third repeat I discovered I had a rear flat. It took me a little longer than usual because the tires are new and not as stretched out... for some reason I always struggle with getting the tire back on the rim. Swearing usually does the trick.

Decending in a TT position is a little freaky at first. It feels like you are out of control completely - but if you glide into your turns and relax you can haul ass.

Flat #2 hit me about .15 miles from my house. I rode it out until the hill to my house and walked the rest of the way. I'll have to fix that flat before I go out again. The roads were super dirty from all of the rain we've been having. Lots of glass and debri. (sp?)

oh - and I figured out a trick to my bike. I have rear dropouts on the P2C and often I would stand up to get some power out and would pull the wheel to the non-drive side. This happened over and over again. Finally I got smart and changed my quick release skewer to the opposite side and viola! No more issues. You have to be really careful about rubbing the rear wheel on the frame - it doesn't have much clearance and things could get ugly really fast.

Other than that - I've been making cycling plans for the summer. I'm headed to Colorado for the Independence GP and then Portland for the AVC. Shortly followed by Superweek in Milwaukee with the girls. And then later in the summer headed down to LA for Manhattan Beach and again in October for Nationals. Saweet. Should be fun!!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Rain rain go away!

The rain's back. Thank goodness it didn't happen over the weekend though. Enumclaw was rough enough with the climbing and all. What a great course! Now if I can just figure out how to climb. It must be a mental thing - and hopefully I'll overcome that plateau.

Just remembered - I have to do an amended tax return.... later.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Anna Belle

I had a great aunt that passed away nearly a year ago and she left some inheritance money to her heirs. My mom received her check Friday and uttered to me, "let's go buy you a bike!" Seriously? I jumped at that and we headed down to Speedy Reedy, a local tri/TT shop within 1 mile of my house. Amazingly they had the perfect bike - and it's a perfect fit. I'm calling it Anna Belle: The Time Machine.

Yesterday I got to take it out and race it during stage one of Enumscratch TT... and did really well. For having only done a handful of TT's - I'm starting to get better and better at them. Gina's been my bench mark and I've been whiddling down my time closer and closer to hers. In the beginning of the season I was roughly 45 seconds off... and yesterday I was within 8 seconds. 8 seconds! I can make that difference up if I dialed in my position and slapped my disc wheel on. Fabulous!

Later in the afternoon we had our 40 minute crit. The Symmetric team showed up - cleaning house. They dominated us mere amatuers. Except I did pass one of them with my TT time. :) But they shelled me from the crit - about 20 minutes into it - the surges and being in the back of our small pack just killed my legs. My mom's convinced that if I had a radio and ate more (she claims I'm the skinniest woman out there - cha right!) I would have had more left in the tank to take it to those ladies. I wish that were the case. The fact of the matter is the Symmetrics team kicked ass and have lots of hard fast miles in their legs. I'll get there - it's all part of the process.

Lesson learned though - Mandy was in a solo break and I bridged the gap up to her - and she quickly sat up. I talked to Miller about it later and he said Canadians only help Canadians. Maybe I should sew a maple leaf on my jersey. ;)

Today's the RR - I'm looking forward to it. It's going to be an ass kicking - but we'll survive. 4 times - up Mud Dam Mountain. More to come later....

Friday, May 19, 2006

Round and round and round and round.....

Have you ever tried something and realized about 20 minutes later that you're in way over your head? And the only thing that kept you from realizing it earlier is sheer stubborness and determination?

I had one of those days yesterday. I did the 6pm Seward Park crit - 45 minutes of going round and round. I had a great starting position - but then fell further and further back in the bunch as the watts continued being pushed out and my little legs started to fatigue. If I had only maintained my spot in the front 1/3 I would have hung a lot longer. I rode with my powertap - and averaged about 350 watts for 1m. Not bad. It'll only make me stronger!

I don't mind having my butt handed to me on a platter - it lights a fire in my belly to do better each and every time. So maybe next week I'll stay in longer - and put more time in the front position. Let the boys know I'm hear to play and stay in their group.

The CLAW's this weekend....

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Rest Days

Ahhhh - there's nothing like three rest days in a row.

Monday I did a short spin with Eden and got to remind a road raged driver of RCW code 46 - riders are legal riding two abreast. (This guy pulled over, admitted he rides 9,000 miles a year with his buddies at 5:30am to avoid traffic and apparently nothing pisses him off more than when riders are two abreast in the arb. I happily reminded him to Share the Road and that we're protected by law. He should know that rule if he's pedaling that much. What a wierdo.)

Tuesday I headed to Fast Track and only did about 27 minutes of workout - the legs were just not feeling it. Then we went out to sushi afterward to celebrate Miller's birthday.

And today I woke up early with some extra energy and started right away on yard work. I was out mowing the lawn by 8am this morning! And I plan on power washing during the afternoon. It's nice to have a mental and physical break from the constant stream of training. JIll and I are planning on attending the Ride of Silence tonight to pay tribute to cyclists killed by motorists. It's an effort to bring awareness to riders and cyclists alike to share the road and make it safe for everyone.

My body finally feels like it's recovered. The CLAW's this weekend - should be fun!


Monday, May 15, 2006

Wenatchee, the apple city

Apples are what Wenatchee is best known for - but it's also the location of the WA state stage race omnium (read hilly ass kicking course). I had a good time this weekend - even though I didn't have the best results... but that's not what cycling is always about, is it?

I ended up hooking up with host housing - and stayed with a very nice family, the Clerc's. The father, Christian races in the masters category although he recently took a tumble resulting in a broken collarbone. His wife, Allison is a body builder. She's stacked! Very into fitness and nutrition - it's inspiring really. They have two boys - one was out of town, so I got to sleep in his room filled with sports trophies - actually the whole house was filled with trophies.

The morning of the TT I was super nervous. Luckily I parked next to Jill and Sjla (pronouced Shelia) - and we had a good laugh about me ALMOST taking a tumble on the rollers.

Notice me precariously perched next to my open trunk. Not such a good idea.

Jill and Sjla laughing about it - as everyone else in the parking lot was expecting it.....

But I held it together and moved next to Jill's ride for a sturdy wall.

The TT itself - well, it was ok. Actually I'm not really happy with my performance. It was a 9.14 mile rolling course - with a serious headwind on the way back. I knocked over 2 minutes off my time from last year - 24.44 - but had a hard time putting out consistant power. New bike - different fit, adequate warm up... contributors for sure. But I will say when I passed the finish line I felt like barfing. So that's a good sign that I layed it all out in the finish - but what happened in the inbetween time? We may never know. :) I got 11th - 10 seconds shy of omnium points!!!

Our crit started at 6 that night - and I felt really good. My legs had snap in them ... my warm up was perfect. It's a four corner course with really bad roads, but that adds to the danger and fun of crits. The final corner is a mad dash ... and unfortunately I got pinched in the corner. So basically my finish was from a standing start from the corner... and I beat out all but 4 women. Not bad considering over 25 started. I'm still working on the crucial positioning in the final two laps... as soon as I get that down I'll start winning some stinkin' races. It's frustrating because I know I can do better - but I keep making this stupid mistakes. I knew better than to take the inside line too.... I had been pinched there earlier. Oh well. I got 5th - and points toward the Omnium.

That night Sjla invited me to stay in her hotel room since Jill was headed out to Moses Lake for Mother's day with her family. I was happy to do it - she's great energy and always looks at the positive side of things. She said something to me about hills - she said, maybe, just maybe, I don't know how I'll do on the hills because I haven't been given the opportunity to practice them enough. Well put - that's looking at it in a positive light. And she's right - I need to work on my weaknesses.

Our RR didn't start until 1... so it was HOT. The course is basically a 13 mile hill - determining right away the climbers from the non-climbers. I was shelled within 1/2 mile of the start of the hill - and was actually DFL... but I finished the course. I guess it's the determination in me, not wanting to give up. Telling myself it's for fitness and practice to climb those monster hills. I found that whenever I would stand up I would sap more energy when I sat back down. Then it would take a few minutes for my legs to recover ... so staying consistant is key. I will work on that.

Here's a pic - courtesy of Amara - of me riding into the finish. Notice the smile? It's because I'm doing what I love and although I came in LAST - it won't always be that way. Attitude is everything and as I always say, a champion is made a day at a time.

On a side note - Lisa Dunwald came up to me after the race and was very encouraging. She won the GC competition - and is a kick ass cyclist. She said it's a process, don't get discouraged. Just keep at it... you're improving leaps and bounds and it's hard to remember that sometimes. It was extremely gracious of her to say that and I am very thankful for it.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

I hope it's broken!

Childish rant - yeah, I know. But really - what else was I supposed to say? I mean she wasn't remorsefull or anything. I keep waiting to see her pass by my office window. Any minute now she should be headed out. Unless of course, she did break her bike?

I dropped my excited husband off along with his climbing buddies last night at the airport. They were taking the red eye to Kentucky for a week long rock climbing trip.

So what's Kentucky famous for? Horses, moonshine and that's about it. At least that's all according to Kyle, who did grow up there.

I head out to Wenatchee tomorrow for the state omnium SR. I'm looking forward to. My Kona Kona is being built up today - so I'll get to rock the TT with it. Plus the weather is supposed to be amazing - upper 70s Sat and 80s on Sunday. That'll make for a hot road race. FUN!!!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Taking a header

Some woman just head on collided with me on the trail by the canal. It's the same woman I've been watching travel back and forth on the trail for the past few weeks. She has this bright yellow road bike and her seat is far too low. I noticed her going back and forth like a hamster on a wheel - and often wondered why she doesn't venture further on the Burke.

Well today I found out why. As I was going home from work, traveling no more than 12 mph... I slowed as I passed a man walking on the left. I stayed far right. And just as I was about to go up the ramp, the woman on the yellow bike appeared out of no where and didn't vere to miss me - instead butted me head on. Then she yelled at me in a foreign language. I stood there in disbelief - that a) I just had a head on with another biker and b) no damage was done. She immediately tried to pedal away.. but her chain fell off and she didn't know how to fix it. I told her, "you're supposed to stay right." But I don't think she understood.

The man walking said, "what are the odds of that happening?" and continued walking.

I started up the ramp and heard her still struggling with her bike. To which I responded, "I hope it's broken."

Shaken up from the whole obsurdity of it all, I am finally calming down 20 minutes later.

What possessed me to comment like that? Weird. Oh well. No harm done.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

There IS a god....

And his name is Specialized Jet saddle.

I can't tell you how thankful I am they put some research into women's specific saddles.

The catch phrase on the rack display? Eleviates soft tissue hot spots.

Maybe my crotch will heal now. If not I WILL let you know. That's what you get for reading my blog. :)

Morning Rides

I've forgotten how much I enjoy getting an early morning workout in. It's the perfect way to start the day. A brisk morning, with lots of neon commuters battling their way into work over the ruts and bumps of the Burke - breathing in the fresh spring, lake air. Ahhh - there's nothing quite like it. I used to commute to Bellevue daily - along I-90 and get to watch the sun come up. It was always a welcomed excuse to be late to work - for not only was I making a difference and having one less car on the road, but I was also taking my health into my own hands. You know it's funny - if I thought about where I'd be now in regard to racing and general fitness - I wouldn't be that surprized. Cycling is such an amazing lifestyle. It has opened my eyes to a bigger picture - yet whiddled it down to a narrow scope. I wouldn't change it for the world.

Training's been going well. I'm so glad I put in the 90 miles this weekend. I just checked out the Elkhorn logistics and it looks like it will be a challenge. I'm trying to get Emily to come with so we can camp in Maggie. Good times - I just hope she takes me up on it.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Champions are made a day at a time

My whole body is throbbing right now. Especially the ball of my feet for some reason. And then there's the lingering pain of hunched up shoulders - relax. Breath - ahhhhh I'm okay now. I don't have to think of my bike for just shy of 23 hours. Thank goodness - today was a mental test. And guess what? I passed! 90 miles in zone 2. It took me just shy of 6 hours - and a lunch break inbetween. I went out to West Seattle and found some kick ass back roads - but then detoured back towards Seattle once the rain set in. Amazingly I didn't get drizzled on once today! I managed to avoid it for all 90 miles even though the weather report stated otherwise and all the surrounding areas looked like they were being dumped on this morning.

One older gentleman on the trail today asked where I was going to parachute from - I must have looked like the hunch back from Notre Dame - I had everything I could possible need with me and you could tell. Luckily I didn't need any of it. Turns out this older guy met Mike Miller earlier this week - and was looking how to get in touch with him. I gave him Ryan's website to try...small world.

I'm pooped - nothing like a full day in the saddle after some hardcore racing to do you in. I'm just shy of 300 miles for the week.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Elma State RR

Every time I call my mom after a race she always asks the same thing, "Are you a weiner?" And it seems like lately I always say, "well, sort of. But not in a winning way...." and then she gives me encouraging words and listens as I recall and evaluate the race to her. It's awesome to have such wonderful support - I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.

I think the hill repeats earlier this week, if anything, gave me a mental edge. Somewhere in the process of climbing 5 times up Norway I told myself that quitting is not an option and neither is giving into the pain. Well apparently that hand played out nicely during today's state road race.

The players - TGH - about 6 of them showed up. On WOW - about 5. Then Ti Cycles had about 8 women. And a few of us straglers - Byrne, UW, Axley, etc...... it was a good race. Surprizingly no one attacked on the first hill - and we stayed together as a group. The decent scared some people off - we were cruising at mach speeds - my favorite. Attacks were thrown left and right but I knew because the teams were out in full force - they would reel them back in. The only one that looked truly threatening was Lisa's attack - to which I said just loud enough to motivate Tia - "well there goes the race." She immediately steam rolled up to Lisa and quickly shut down the gap she had on the field. I sat on for dear life. I'm finding that if I stay positive and not let the "I'm burning matches" infiltrate my brain - then I surprize myself. I don't think I give my body enough credit. It's in incredible shape - although it still has a ways to go - but it can handle the punishment. Pull a Murdin and grind it out.

Ok - got off on a tangent there... sorry. So basically we continue on the attack, attack, chase, chase routine - and we always group back together. Until the very last lap, which goes super slow. The winds were definitely a factor today - they were super strong and you couldn't stay out in them in full force. The final climb came - I was passing people! And then I stopped passing instead of continuing to grind it out and lay it all on the line. Ending me up in a 10th place finish. I know the exact moment I should have gone - and I hesitated. Darn. Well I guess that's what experience will do for you. And I guarentee I won't let that exact situation happen again without giving it my all. It's not like I wasn't tapped when I got to the top - but for some reason if I don't find myself in the top contention for winning then I seem to settle for where ever I end up - and that's not good. I need that killer winning instinct to come out again - regardless if that means 1st or 9th - or where ever - time to give it more -- finish STRONG.

It was a better race for me - I stayed with the group and suffered through the pain with the best of them. I hit this one pot hole though that sent a shocker up to the crotch. Owie. But I'm happy how I did - and the fact that I'm learning is great. To give myself perspective - last year at a state crit I couldn't even finish the race. These road races are wonderful endurance training for the track - preparing me for a national level track comp. Oh I can't wait for the sprinting!!!!

Friday, May 05, 2006

Doin' the duty

Ahhh spring weather. Guess what that means? Yard work. And not just any yard work - but jungle maintenance. Every spring the yard has to be whacked back down to size and the deck needs power washing. I'm procrastinating on the later - only because then I'll have to stain the back deck. And when it's this gorgeous out - the last thing I want to do is yard work. But that means being outside - so it's not a wasted day.

Training's been going well. I connected with Emily yesterday - it was really good to see her. She's getting thin - she commented that nothing really sounds good to eat any more - except Muffins. And I was more than happy to treat her to one. We cruised down to West Seattle - and hit just about every pot hole on the way down there. She's been exercising like a mad woman - which is such a healthy way to get the emotions and drama out of the body. We also talked about starting boxing practice. I think we'll get together sometime this next week and I'm going to show her a trick or two. Miller was into it too - so it looks like I might get an upper body afterall! Sweet. I'm looking forward to throwing some punches - it's been a while.

Amara posted some photos - and as you can tell I had NO smiles going on. It was all business - but I had a blast. Why is racing so appealing? Is it the addictive endorphine high? The rock solid body? The way you can consume everything in sight and not feel an ounce of guilt for eating it?

Oh yeah - our schedule - looks like the team is doing Elkhorn SR, Superweek, Boise, Cascade?, Manhattan Beach and whatever else comes up on the schedule. Not to mention track season - sweet.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Still fighting

this persistent cold that I've had for about three weeks now. I just can't seem to kick it. Maybe it's part allergies - maybe my body is trying to tell me something - whatever the case may be - this has got to stop soon!

The weather is awesome out right now. Perfect conditions for track practice. I also heard from my teammates and we're trying to get a game plan going for our upcoming racing. Looks like we're going to do more stage races. Fun times!

I had a great spin last night with the NWWC ladies. One woman showed up who was honest saying that she has no intention of racing but was looking for additional groups to ride with. She said she's done lots of Cascade group rides etc. I admire her enthusiasm - but it brought up a question in my head whether or not to start including the recreational rider. It's a slow and social pace - but I like to teach people about bike handling, race tactics, etc and if they won't listen to the information being passed on.... I might run into problems there.

I'd hate to turn anyone down but I think at the same time I have to be honest about why I'm there and leading the group - I want to help grow a sport that I feel passionette about. Recreational riding is great - and I applaud everyone who gets on their bikes. And I don't want to discrimate against anyone who loves pedaling too - it's just my motivation is different from the average rec rider. And I think that's an most important thing to convey right off the bat.

Hmmmm.... I just thought of something.... maybe at the beginning of the ride I can tell everyone that this is a great introduction for someone interested in racing - whether that be to race themselves or to support the community. Ask any questions - and hopefully I can answer them! I talked to my mom about it and she said it will probably resolve itself.