Thursday, June 29, 2006

Nice Jeorb!

Uh, whad you say coach?

Check it.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006


is my favorite food. Last night we went to Chisou, our weekly regular hang out, after Fast Track. There was another couple sitting adjacent to us at the sushi bar and they watched in amazement as we ordered roll after roll, nigiri after nigiri. They couldn't believe the amount of food we could put down. But that was just a typical sushi night - all under $70. Ryan went out with Lincoln last week and they managed to spend $70 each! Oh it is so worth every single penny.

The owner, Tai Chi, loves hearing about our adventures and always says, "let me know when you kick some more ass!" I am still considering a jersey that says: Powered by Dragon Roll.

I woke up with the sweet and salty sushi taste in my mouth - I can't wait to go back again...

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


Have you ever woken up Monday morning after a weekend adventure to feel like you've been hit by a train? your whole body aches - legs throbbing, arms feel like they could and should fall off your body, back tight, legs so heavy you can barely lift them enough to walk, and you hope and pray it's not a normal Monday at work which requires mental capacity? Yet something about making your body that worked, that fatigued, felt so good that on Tuesday, once the muscles have calmed down and your recovery is well on it's way... doing it again the next weekend already sounds appealing. :)

Yes, I'm addicted to cycling.

But no, I'm not doing any wicked long rides this week. The longest ride? 3 hours - tops. The terrain? Flat as a pancake. The pace -negative zone 1. As much as I'm ready to go again - most of that is due to adrenaline and it would be silly to attempt anything ridiculous after such a long SR. Good food, good sleep, plenty of relaxation and I'll be well on my way to this weekend's grand prix.

Monday, June 26, 2006

101 mile final stage ...

They started the women early on Sunday morning at 8am, mainly to beat the heat. Temps were supposed to hit the upper 90's - a zapping heat that destroys what ever you may possibly have left in your legs. No warm up is necessary because the first incline starts at about mile 27. Up we went - and I hung for about 1.5 miles until getting shot out the back. I was joined by two other cat 3 women and we were able to catch back on... just in time for hill #2. Unfortunately when we rejoined I had adrenaline rush through me and I went up front. Not even two minutes passed and we hit hill #2. Out the back I went - not to see them again until the finish line. Fortunately I met this guy Scott from Lake Tahoe area and he said he would much rather ride with someone else in because the next stretch up to the base of the final climb was just brutal. Boy was he right. Luckily the Master's men caught us and I was able to draft in their field - until the official told me I had to hang back because we were approaching the women's field. I never saw them though! Darn. Scott continued on in their group - and I just kept pedaling away - breezing through the feed zone and catching on to another master's chase group of 3. They pulled me for about 15 miles. And then there was a slight incline and I had nothing left - bonking. Did I mention it was hot out? Eventually I hit the hill and slowly made my way up the 8 miles to the finish line. At one point there wasn't any wind whatsoever and I pulled over to the side of the road and cried. Then I picked myself up, dusted myself off and continued climbing. I have never been so happy to see a finish line in all my life! And my time bumped me into 10th in the GC! Nice work.

Tamarack had a great weekend - Jana placed 6th in the final road race, despite her apprehension about doing a long 101 race. We had a lot of fun and brought home some cash!

Next stop - Colorado 7/11 Velodrome....

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Despite everything...

So despite the little seat slipage yesterday - today I pulled it around. The TT this morning was a 10 mile out and back - on a rolling course that was downhill on the way out. I felt great - despite the achy knees and issues yesterday. :) I felt fast and imagined cutting through the air like a knife. Using imagery and keeping focus and repeating positive affirmations worked like a charm. I ended up with a time of 25:36! Excellent... excellent.

Then tonight we had our crit - and in between stages I went to the hardware store and found something to make my seat clamp work. Well it worked for about 16 minutes and then my seat slammed down to the frame again. I ended up riding it out and placing well. Tamarack did great - chasing down attacks and winning about $350 in primes! Not to mention the winning of the stages that we get to pick up. Saweet!!!

The best part was calling my mom and she always answers the phone... "are you a weiner?" And I got to answer - YES! Twice!!! Hearing her scream in delight was priceless - I love hearing that. Thanks mom - your support means the world!

Friday, June 23, 2006

Elk-toot-your-horn-stinkin-seat-post-what-was that stage one

So today was going well until about mile 31 when I realized my seat was starting to slip. I lagged back and asked support for an allen wrench and ended up stripping my stinking bolts that hold the seat clamp. So at mile 34 it completely dropped down - and suddenly I'm battling a low ride seat with 40+ more miles to go. Ouch. But quitting is not an option - it never is! So I rode it out and completed a long hilly 40 miles solo. Turns out I was only 36 minutes behind the leader and not second to last, nor third to last - who knows where I stand but I'm not last! So tomorrow I may be able to rock the TT - and the crit. All is looking up!

Jenn did great! She got 2nd and Jana did well too. This means Jenn gets to stay through Sunday and do the long 100 miler. Ok - time to ice the knees....

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Packed and ready to go!

T Minus 1.5 hours before blast off to the land of Eastern Oregon - where 95 degree temps await and 101 mile RR will unfold. I packed the car full of the essentials - carbs, pillows, wheels, rollers, books, etc - and now I'm just killing time at work before my scheduled departure of 1pm. First I head up North to eat lunch with Ryan and then I continue on my journey 6.5 hours south east from Seattle. I'm staying tonight by myself at the hotel - Jana and Jenn will be joining me tomorrow morning. And then it's show time!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

near breakdown

Yesterday I nearly had a meltdown. I can't quite put my finger on what happened - but suddenly I found myself in the middle of the evening session on the verge of tears. Thank goodness no one walked up to me at that moment - I surely would have melted. So of course, being the over-analytic female that I am, here's my venting about what I think happened....

I like to read people's blogs. I find it eye opening and reaffirming that what I'm doing is right. Well yesterday I read one that had a negative affect on me and from now on I refuse to read it. It's written by another track racer on FGF and yesterday's rant was spewing negativity and I think some how penetrated my usually happy and optimistic demenor.

Second - we had a morning session of motor pacing. And quite honestly I don't think my legs were fully recovered from the weekend. Friday kicked it off with back to back racing in the men's and women's field. It was a great time - but I needed more time to recover. Sunday was another crit race at Seward, which by no means is flat - so it took more out of my already depleted legs.

I took Monday completely off from the bike. I should have spun them out, if only for an hour to release some of the build up from the weekend.

Then during the evening session, Nick crashed during their team pursuit practice. I didn't see it - nor was I around when it happened - but next thing we know he's being taken to the ER by Molly.

It was just after the crash when I had my near meltdown. I remember trying to float on the back of Kenny, Adrian, Dan and Woody's team pursuit with Jenny Reed and just couldn't maintain. So I came into the infield and had a pitty party.

It's funny - the last time I felt this down was last year during the AVC. I had no idea what I was doing - nor the purpose of the race I was racing in. I was up against the Nations finest (Olympians and World Class athletes) and I quit. I went to the car and bawled my eyes out. Luckily my support network was there to catch me and throw me back into action. I guess sometimes you just need to hit the reset button in order to keep going. You never know just how exhausting things can be until you take a breather and relax. Wanting to become a world class athlete and Olympic hopefully can be slightly overwhelming. :)

Anyways - back to my original story.... so basically I came home after track, cooked up a carb feast and salad and chilled out. I did all the things I needed to get done, Ryan came home from climbing and we talked. It is so nice to have someone who loves you and supports you 110%. He encouraged me and said to not forget what I've done so far - and how far I've come in such short time. Yet I still have a long journey to go - but will get there.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Motor Pacing

So last night I discovered that my front zipp 404 has a bunk tire on it. Apparently the nozzle inside of the deep rim was screwed on too tight and got stuck. I tried for countless hours, which only increased my mounting frustration, to unscrew the nozzle. Finally I gave up and requested that Ryan pop the tire so I could reglue it. What a process taking an old tire off a rim is! I've already logged in about 8 hours of scrapping time and probably have a least 2 more in just prepping the rim for the next glueing. I swear I should find some meth addict and have them tweak out in it.

Almost done.... and then the wonderful process of gluing.

This morning we (being Grant, Chris, Adrian and I) headed to the track for a morning motor pacing session. Miller showed up and lead the way on the Keirin bike... ramping our speeds up to about 32. For some reason my legs are not fully recovered - I'm wondering if that's because I didn't ride yesterday to spin them out? A sure sign that my body is certainly adopting to be being on the bike.

Later tonight we head back to Fast Track for a evening session. I'm so excited that track season is here. But I'm feeling awefully tired right now - could I still be feeling the effects of the weekend jaunt? Maybe I need more down time than I thought. :)

Headed to Elkhorn on Thursday. Unfortunately driving it solo. 6.5 hours in the car - time to update the music in my play list. I heard the crit is super fun though - so we'll give it a whirl!


Sunday, June 18, 2006

Us against them...

We had a Seward park crit this morning going counter clockwise. And believe it or not - our field was actually pretty big! Both TGH and Wines were strongly represented and both had two breaks that made it up the road. One was reeled in by their own teammates and the second one managed to get a 45' gap on the field. TGH and Wines both slowed down the pace siginificantly so the rest of us had to do the chase effort. We all should have talked before the race to make a counter game plan - but unfortunately we didn't. Maybe next time.

Racing with the fellas sure is paying off. I can feel the harder efforts in my legs and they don't scream at me as much as they used to. I'm not saying today wasn't painful because it was but I really think my form is coming along. Bike racing is so much fun.

Here's a shot Amara took at the track on Friday. It's funny - I have such determination when I race track - you have to with the guys or else next thing you know you're spit out the back.

I like the second shot too because you can see the downward motion of my pedal stroke.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Double Duty

Last night was the usual Friday night track series. I told myself that I would always race with the men, and if need be, race in the women's field to keep women's track racing alive at Marymoor. We have had low attendence in the women's fields - I sure wish we could convince more women to participate... and they are out there, it's just making them aware of track, I think.

The men's field is strong this year. Some say it's faster than the end of the season last year. There's a 18 year old phenomonononon Yuri who is smoking the field and keeping the tempo up. And then there's the half dozen or so other competitors who keep the races action packed. Then throw in a bunch of other men who fill the gaps in between - no sketch riders this time around though.

We started with an unknown distance race - basically you don't know when they're going to ring the bell for a sprint at the end. So to spice things up, I threw two attacks. You never know if they'll pan out - but why not go for it? It definitely livened things up. And apparently due to my short hair, I'm being mistaken for young Ryan Miller. Both attacks were unsuccessful - but if you don't keep throwing them and testing yourself to the limits, then you'll never know how far you can test yourself. I ended up in one of the last positions - but stoked.

Immediately back up to the rail, we had a women's 10 lap Win N' Out. Unfortunately we had a crash about 3 laps into the race. People kept pulling up the track - and I kept coming under to keep the pace up and make them work. Well on the last attack, I heard the crashing noise of bike parts slidding on concrete... down went Deb, Tamara and Amara. From Amara's account, (she was in the back), Deb saw me attack and went down track without looking taking out Tamara and Amara landed on top of Tamara. Poor Tamara cut her head and was rushed to the hospital to get stitches. I hope she has a speedy recovery! Deb had a sore neck - possibly whip lash - and Amara bruised her right side. They had us restart - now with 6 riders instead of 9 and Emily threw a sweet attack - gapping the field. She had a great jump and was able to hold off the field.

Back to the rail after the Kiddie Kilo and two 1/2 races for a 12 lap Snowball. That race is all about pain and suffering. Unfortunately I got behind a failing engine, which resulted in me being gapped from the main field. Dang. So we just pace lined around and around the track. Lame. Nick made the move around the guy and I got pinched, resulting in lameness. Oh well - you win some you lose some. Actually, come to think of it - I learned that valuable lesson again in another context... so all is not completely loss....

Back to back - women's race... miss n' out. Fun times. I conquerred that fear and was able to win! Yeah! Emily and I went head to head in the final sprint, I jumped early and she wasn't able to come around me. Our field was small - but fun. Ingrid and James were there and they cheer so loudly - it was great.

Then the final races - a 4 x 4 progressive. On the first sprint I was able to get some points following the lead of Erik who threw a great attack. I'm checking right now to see if I nabbed any points for 2nd place... nope. Denied. Oh well. After that the field caught us and I struggled just to hold on. But I finished the race - which increases fitness.

Last race - women's 6 lap scratch race. Emily threw another stellar attack and as a team, we chased her down. Alynda pulled, me second and Taylor came around to chase her down, nearly pipping Emily at the line. It was a great attempt. I got to bring home some money as a result and get some points in the women's series. It was Taylor's last night - she's headed down to LA to train.

There's some great upcoming races that I'm really looking forward to... Colorado, Elkhorn, AVC, Superweek, Gastown, Boise... and my form is coming on.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Dialed in

I had my TT bike fit to me a week ago and got an opportunity to try it out today on the Burke Gilman trail. The seat feels a lot higher compared to all of my other bikes - but it feels stellar when I get into a tucked position. My average speed was 17.8 on a zone 1 ride. I can't wait to try it out during a time trial - and next weekend I'll get the opportunity. I also bought some pursuit bars and take my track bike in on the 28th to have that position simulate my tt bike. I look forward to the challenge of tt'ing and pursuit - strange, I know.

Got an EXCELLENT massage this morning. My back knot is shrinking and Genevieve was actually able to work with it today. Usually I cringe too much and it's impossible to touch. And my $30 foam roll is working on my muscles - I wasn't nearly as sore today. (Granted I got a my last massage in the peak of stage race season....)

Mom's gone again to Honolulu to stay with Gam. I haven't heard from her so that means they must be getting along. We leave for Colorado on the 30th - should be fun!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Madison Practice

Last night Leif set up a Madison session out at the track. Amara and I paired up and practiced our hand slings and next thing we know we're in full exchange mode mixing it up with the fellas. It was super duper fun! I was giggling like a little girl! Miller was watching and gave us more pointers on how to sling/be slung. We went back our and practiced it more and more - getting it down.

Woody, mr. track regulator, commented to Miller that the ladies were getting the slings down better then the men! Haahahahaha. (For those who don't know Woody - to get a compliment is rare, if not impossible.) Yeah for the women!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Giving back

Last night I attended the weekly NWWC group ride that leaves every Monday at 6 from Gasworks. We had a huge number of women show up - 12 to be exact. But there was some confusion because Michelle had asked CBC to lead the rides and hadn't informed me of the situation. It worked out well - and I personally felt better as CBC requires a rider release form to be signed to protect themselves from being sued due to any mishaps. We cruised down to Seward park and back - and some of the women commented how fun it was to go faster with a group of women downhill vs. a snails pace. It was great being surrounded by women who are excited to be on their bikes and are actively taking their health and well being into their own hands. I hope they show up again!

It's been raining since Sunday off and on. I'm not sure what the dealio will be with the track tonight but I'm contemplating PIR as well. Jill and Sile are headed down there - which can only mean a barrel of laughs!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Good Times, Good times.

This weekend was action packed with lots of fun racing and decent weather. Friday night kicked off the festivites with Track racing - and kicking it in the men's cat 3 field. We had a lot of men show up - maybe 20 in our field? The women wanted to have our own race so we did a miss n out - which I did much better in than previous attempts. Emily even came out and won that race! It's great to have her out there.

The final race was a 4 x5 points race - and I made one big move to sprint for points, only managing 6th place and the points are only up for grabs for the top 4 places. Damn. Better luck next time. It was hard to get up front and stay there - but that's what you need to do in order to be in contention for the sprints.

The following night was the Ballard Twilight Crit. Last year Miranda Duff crashed me out so I definitely had something to prove to myself that I could finish the race. I did great - staying in front and catching the poor cat 4s in 11 minutes after the race started. People were shelled left and right. But I kept myself up front with a positive attitude and it paid off. Right before the corner three in the last lap Noreen pulled a crazy move and nearly took out the field. It scared a lot of people from being in the running. Patricia Bailey seized the day and won! She's so amazing and strong. Very impressive. Yours truley forgot she was on a road bike and that you can shift down during a sprint. I spun myself silly up to the line - pipping a Ti Cycles girl by a bike throw. It was a great race and I look forward to viewing the pictures.

I can see my break throughs coming out more and more as the season progresses. I am enjoying myself every time I get on the saddle. It's great.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Fluid motion

Floating on the track is all about being light on your toes and able to read a situation. It's a fluid motion - one that needs to be practiced over and over until it becomes second nature.


My sprint is wild. My bike shakes from side to side - not traveling in a straight line but following my upper body. It's fast - but can and will be faster. Instead of rocking so heavily from side to side and having the bike follow, pull the bike in like a bicep curl and have the bike move, without losing the line your following. Fluid = efficent = speed.

That's just the tip of the iceberg of what I learned last night during fast track. I have to keep some of my secrets to myself. :)

I did buy a book yesterday on sports physcology and it works on breathing and relaxing exercises. They are already helping.

Monday, June 05, 2006

You never know who you'll be up against...

Racing is RAD

Friday night back at the track. I was so excited for racing - it gets me amped just thinking about it!

The rain looked threatening but we managed to hold it off. The lighting was awesome.

Mr. Leif Clarke - Looking good with those new Zipps. I didn't see much of him this winter....

Take a look - I'm digging DEEP. I think this was during the 20 lap scratch race where I was chilling in limbo between a chase group and the pack for 3 miles. It HURT.

But it paid off - I pulled 5th in the GC.

And you can't beat the action shots. I love this one - look at the grimace on everyone's face - except... either I mask pain well or I wasn't feeling it as bad as everyone else. :)

Sunday, June 04, 2006

I LOVE track

yeah! it didn't rain Friday night! That meant heading out to Marymoor for the first Friday night series. Regardless of how many women showed up I decided I would race with the Cat 3 men this year to improve my fitness and racing agility. This means giving up some of the immediate and easy cash to be had - in sacrafice for a potential National Championship medal in October. It wasn't a hard decision. :)

And Friday night reaffirmed my decision. There were only three women tonight so we all raced with the men regardless. Laura Moen, Amara and I battled it out with a field size of about 20. I decided to use a bigger gear - 50x15, which proved invaluable with racing against men. Racing with the men is different because their average speed is higher. So you need to pick a gear that you can jump with going at those higher speeds. A smaller gear would make you spin like a sewing machine - and unless you have insane leg speed - might be hard to keep up let alone over take the men. I swapped out my road to a track hub earlier on my disc wheelset - and oh was that nice. I haven't riden on my wheelset since last racing... and it made a world of difference. They are so responsive and aero... I get giddy just thinking about it.

Our first race was a 10 lap win n' out. I figured I wouldn't spend myself for the first couple of sprints - but would give it a go at any gaps and breaks off the front. I managed to place 4th - the last of the point earning spots. Yeah! My winter training/ stage racing is already paying off. My increased fitness is licking the snot out of the boys. I often heard comments of - "this is way faster than last year," to which my thought is, glad I can contribute!

Second was a 10 lap tempo race. I managed to reel in a point. But instead of continuing at pursuit style, I sat up, and when the chase group caught me they just continued on for the next sprint and off the pack I went. Luckily I grabbed Tim's wheel again and he pulled me in. What a guy. I learned a lot from that race and look forward to the next one!

Last was a 20 lap scratch race - one of my favorites. The announcer kept saying what a LONG race that was - to which I snickered to myself. No it's not! 100 laps is long. Not 20. Byrne rolled off the front and his teammate contributed to slowing the group down. Broadmark attempted to reel him back in - but to no avail. I don't think they communicated enough to effectively put a plan in action. Then there 2 groups of 2 men or so that tried crossing the gap. At one point I jumped to join the rear group and nearly caught on.... stupidly pulling up when I caught them. So when they jumped, I had nothing left in my legs to chase and I dangled in no man's land between the second chase group and the main group. Luckily I held the main pack off to the finish and placed 7th. All in all a great race - and I really laid myself out on the table. It definitely took determination to do what I did.

Oh I love track racing.

Molly overheard some guys saying, "obviously she's faster than us. We should duct tape her legs together." That made me laugh!

Ryan was cheering me on in corner 2 - I love the support!

Friday, June 02, 2006

thunder showers bring july flowers?

June in Seattle is wet. And lately super wet - thanks to the thundershowers that have been floating through the area. The biggest downfall? No track racing when it's wet. I'm hopefull that I'll be pleasantly surprized for tonight's racing... but with a 90% chance of precip right now and more showers on the way.... well we'll just have to wait and see. If track doesn't happen then I'm headed to Magnolia for some serious hill repeats. The intensity must go on!

I bought my plane tickets yesterday for Colorado for the Independence GP and Wisconsin's Superweek. Should be fun times in July. I'm really looking forward to it! Then in between is the AVC, Gastown, Wells Fargo Twlight Crit and Elkhorn. Saweet. Some serious intensity coming my way!