Tuesday, February 28, 2006


Rain, rain - GO AWAY! Come again next winter! Actually the good news - spring is definitely almost here because our weeping willow just outside my kitchen window is starting to show bright green buds. I'm looking forward to the warmer weather and trying to tan this ghostly white freckle face of mine.

Later today I get to battle the dew and do Juanita hill repeats. Fun times! The catch is timing it right so you don't get run off the road by the crazy commuters. I'm hoping for mid-afternoon summits - a total of 4. The other trick is good music ...

Monday, February 27, 2006

It's hard to believe it's been only a year since I started racing. This Saturday is the first Mason Lake in the series and it's funny looking back on how much I've experienced since then. I was rereading some of my emails during the season -especially when it got hot and heavy with the Starbucks leadership and am so thankful I don't have that stress anymore. What an emotional drain!

Cyclng is a very social sport. But for right now it seems as though going solo is the way to be. It'd be great to race with some teammates who have a similar drive and goals as I do - and I hope I meet them within the next year. Am I alienating myself too much by not joining an all womens local team? Okay enough pondering - time to study.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

ride - like ANIMAL

So Zana and I headed out this morning and avoided the rain. My legs felt the previous days efforts and it took a while for the Vitamin I to take effect. But once it did we were good to go and climbed Norway Hill and then dipped into Juanita. We stopped for a quick wrap on the eastside before embarking on the remainder of our ride - which included Mercer Island instead of the south end. Suddenly, half way around the island, the legs felt like a million bucks and I started sprinting like a mad woman. I miss sprinting - but in a few short days I will be right back at it again in a race simulation. FUN!!!

Saturday, February 25, 2006


I knew the reprecussions of doing night skiing last night would take a toll on today's ride - but I had no IDEA just how exhausted I would be after doing 66 miles with two shallow Cougar Mtn repeats. I'm ripped up. Time for couch.

Ready, set, ride - especially before the rain comes down!

I'm looking at very high clouds at the moment and off the coast lumes a huge rain front working its way inland. Time to hit the bike up and try to avoid any precipitation in the form of snow on good old Cougar Mtn. Flying solo this morning - but it should be a good workout.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

in the middle of the night

I awoke, listening to my dog whimper along side the bed. Knowing it's better not to ignore her, I got up and let her outside to watch her scamper back and forth doing the shit dance at 4:30am. After letting her back in, I crawled back in bed only to toss and turn for an hour and a half before finally realizing sleep was not going to come unless I silenced the tum tum. I was more than happy to shovel down another piece of pizza from dinner. The morning's weigh in showed just how smart that was though. Ahhh the scale. It's a love/hate relationship. Depending on which way it tips - it can either make or break the day. I try not to dwell on it but having a weight problem in the past does wonders for my paranoia. And I recently read a quote that if you want to become a better climber than lose weight.

I read through some of my blogs from last year - wow. I can't believe how much you learn in the first year of racing. It's been a trip and the journey has just begun!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

a wee heavy

I woke up this morning - day two of rest week - to extremely heavy legs. They feel like they've gaining 10 pounds a piece.... thank goodness today is an easy hour or so. You know it's funny - I felt guilty for not putting in the serious miles the past week or so and now I'm more fatigued than I would have imagined from those hard efforts.

The days are just ticking away - one by one down to the start of the racing. I've been following the National coverage on both Valley of the Sun and Tour of California. Two things struck me - first the Sun tour is highly supported by Trek/VW racing team .... banners and signs posted all over the finish line. Interesting. And second the Cali tour has some excellent coverage. It's definitely motivating on both aspects for the upcoming season.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Sunday ride

Sunday rides rule. Today especially - although I must admit I like to do morning rides to get them done and out of the way. But to avoid any mishaps with the impending ice I went out at 1pm. It was a cloudless day - a common thing for the past several days. We had a high pressure northeasterly move into the area bringing colder air (into the teens at night).... and to be honest I did some riding inside rather than risk injuring a cold achilles or hammy. They say the rain should be back tomorrow - my nose and buggs will be thankful!

Zana and I headed out the North end from mi casa and did Hollywood Hill x 3. I'm getting more confident with climbing the hills and have developed a rythm and concentrate on the hip flexer sensation while billy goating up the hill. It seems to be working so far! I think the reality is the VO2 efforts starting to show their importance on the longer rides. I look forward to expressing that in a race.

I must admit I think the training gets me more hyped up then the actual races. All of the anticipation and training - it's finally coming to a head in a few short weeks. Thank goodness. I'm anxious to see if the time I put in with Miller and training will pay off. How can it not though?

Saturday, February 18, 2006

The last push...

So today marked the last VO2 max interval - and I won't have to do those again until next year. I'm sad because I only just recently figured out how to adequately train that way. Had I known what I knew before then I could have gone harder. But now I know what wattage output I want to achieve and how the burn should feel in the legs. I'm interested to see what kind of an improvement I will have in the upcoming time trial. And to think - it'll be here in about one month!

Over the past couple of days I've felt a little down on how little of mileage I've been putting in - but it's funny how quickly that's forgotten right after a hard effort. I'm looking forward to seeing if all of this hardwork will pay off.

Friday, February 17, 2006

catch 22: the numbers don't lie

I guess I didn't mentally prepare myself for the up and down side of being able to collect power data and see how the workouts are going. Up until this point everything I've trained with has been based on percieved exertion - which is a poor indicator when it comes to hard VO2 efforts and time trialing. Luckily TT is something very trainable and that's one of the reasons I invested in a powertap but damn those numbers hit me a little harder than I thought they would yesterday.

For example - I've been doing hard efforts for the past two weeks. But last week during the second day of training, I severly slacked off from the previous effort. Maybe it was because I was tired... maybe listening to some downer music... having a bad training day.... whatever it was - now that I can look at the numbers I found out that I should have just quit that session. On the flip side though - without a poor performance I would have nothing to tell me when to pour on the gas or to ease up. So now I know an actually wattage output to benchmark the remainder of my VO2 sessions with. (And I have to remind myself that I am still wet behind the ears.)

Tomorrow I have one more VO2 workout and then my hard work will show in the season... which is less then 3 weeks away. Ryan helped ground me later that night - for which I am so thankful for. Even though I had several great workouts with high wattage output I dwelled on the one that wasn't. Out came the perfectionist. But the reality of the situation - now I have something I can easily work toward and improve. A very good and important lesson to learn.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

My mom had this chest freezer stored out in our garage for the past 4 years. I remember looking inside of it about 4 years ago to see frozen fish and chicken. It quickly became a spot to store other garage items on top of - and as our garage filled up with more and more junk, I forgot about the freezer. That is until my mom offered it to my brother who would actually use it. He came over on a cold day in January and we went out to the garage - opened up the lid only to discover the most rancid and stinky freezer ever. Somewhere in the midst of moving things in the garage, grabbing garden tools, mowing the lawn, etc etc, the freeze was unplugged. For all we know it's been unplugged for the past 4 years. My brother related the smell to that of a dead corpse that he occassionally has to deal with at his job as a deputy. YUCK.

Three weeks went by and apparently my mom felt aweful about the whole situation. She kept telling me that I needed to deal with it - but how? Should I wheel it down the street and put a free sign on it? Along comes a poor bystander who opens it and discovers dead carcasses in it? Or do I dump it down the street in the middle of the night and then call the city to say someone abandoned a freezer in our yard and someone needs to dispose of it?

Well the answer came in an unexpected way - a newspaper article about a couple who cleans up life's little nasty messes for a living. Apparently there's a strong demand for people who will clean up suicides, murders, etc etc - and this was certainly the perfect job for them. Honestly - it probably smelled worse than a dead body. Still I waited in calling them - mainly because the smell was still burnt in my nostriles. Then the mail came and in it was the number for Urget Care - another couple who was more than willing to deal with our smelly mess. $500 seemed cheap to deal with our little problem.

They even came over later that afternoon and adorned white suites with full resporators - they looked like martians. They dragged the dead solider out of the garage, opened the lid and started cleaning the fish and chicken out. Then they wheeled the freezer down the driveway and dumped the liquid into the closest drain. I took some photos for documentation - they looked hilarious! But gone is the smelly freezer. Now where am I going to stash a dead body? Just kidding.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

So I got a call this morning from a friend of mine who is having some trouble understanding what's expected of her from her team. Actually she's not having trouble understanding what's expected because that has been made perfectly clear to her - but she's having trouble understanding the logic behind the concept and the reality of the situation. Let me give you an example.

This past weekend they went on a team ride. This is a Cat 4 team - with only 5 experienced (a year or more as a Cat 4) riders on the team - the remaining 10 new to the scene. They went to preride a race course to know what to expect and work on break aways. Enter in hill - the stronger riders reach the summit, the middle riders follow shortly behind and the less than fit riders get dropped. The less then fit riders proceed to get mad at the strong riders for being strong and the leaders start bitching to the strong riders that they are too strong. And because this team talks about everything they have a team meeting about it to bash the people who are stronger riders, forcing them to apologize for being stronger. Mind you this is a team ride - so everyone understands the team concept. However, how will this translate into a race? Do the strong riders have to forgoe their opportunity to stay with the pack and learn to stick with the lowest denominator? Ohhh man, I am so glad I'm not facing that anymore.

I think the issue lies in the lack of experience of management in regard to racing. Not saying that they can't learn - however, they are not being open to other discussion or ideas about how to run a competitive racing team and as a result are going to drive the strongest riders away. I'd be very surprized if everyone stayed with the team next year.

Anyways - I told my friend that there are other options available to her. But from my experience they should be approached with caution. She asked me if there was availability on Gregg's team - and it popped an idea into my head... but no, no - I have to focus on my long term goal.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Sunday, February 12, 2006


Last night we watched the Olympics on both the Canadian station and US version. It's funny how different the coverage and approach to the Olympics differs between the two and one more reason to thank that wonderful inventor of the remote control. But one thing I noticed on the Canadian station was the human element and appeal of each of the athlete. They didn't just cover the more well known and already hyped athletes - they highlighted all of the superstars out there and giving it their best. It triggered a memory and my first recollection of wanting to be an Olympian. Back in '84 the Olympic torch made its way through Eugene - right on west 7th and my dad was honored in carrying the torch as it made its way down to LA. I watched, mezmorized as a little 6 year old. Then later I recall watching the events on TV and always thought I could do that. Not one single sport appealed to me - but all of them. Seeing athletes in their peak form and giving it everything they have.

It's funny how looking back over time at my athletic choices how sure I tried every sport under the sun - but honestly, I can remember judging a sport as to whether or not it was an Olympic one. Boxing shortly went out the window once I realized how much opposition there was against female fighting. But what an amazing feeling to be part of the first women's world championship.

And now with cycling - I've told myself if I really want to get there I have to dedicate myself completely to this sport. I can't waver - I can only keep my eye on the big target... because only hard work and dedication will get me there. It's going to be a difficult road but my support network is huge and I can't wait to celebrate with all of them at each success.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

the rub down

I finally got back into the massage kick - it's been a long time since I've been. And oh how I missed them! But I am happy to say I am back to it once every three weeks with Genieve at her new practice in Fremont. She is seriously the best MP I have ever had and if you are in the Seattle area and need someone damn good to see - let me know and I'll give you her contact info.

Even though it's been several months since I last saw her - she said my body feels great and is responding well to the increased stress I'm putting on the body. I was a little worried with VO2 work that my body would start breaking down - but it is responding and doing well.

She commented that Russell Stevenson comes in for massages and his calves are always tight and won't budge at all. Whereas mine are supple to the touch and I'm not wound up like a gasget ready to blow. Thanks Gen - that just gives me more confidence that what I'm doing is right and good things will happen.

I picked up a fortune cookie today - "You will be presented with several good opportunities."

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

VO2 Block

Yesterday was the first real day of VO2 max riding. After work I headed down to Seward to do my 6 intervals on the Boulevard - and it was gorgeous out. Perfect conditions for some hard riding. The first interval went by pretty fast and I felt good. The second went by fairly fast as well and I was putting out a decent amount of power for the entire 4 minute session. And then every interval after that fatigue started settling into the legs - the last two were a struggle. And when the going went tough - I started visualizing the last few kilometers of a race and driving the pace. I heard this great quote last night "pain is just a sign of weakness leaving your body." Well said. I'm still trying to figure out how to disect a powertap file so I can compare intervals to one another.

Actually I enjoy working hard - it makes me feel like I accomplished something. And then there's the endorphine rush that comes gushing in... I haven't felt that since last race season. Come to think of it - that's the addiction with road racing vs. track. You are more likely to have the endorphine-I-just-worked-my-ass-off-for-over-an-hour high road racing then track racing. Except when you have a 100 lap points race with lots of sprinting and little to no recovery. Either way - as an adreniline junky I'm getting my fix. :)

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

So today at work I had waaaaay too much free time on my hands and did a bunch of cycling research. I also went back and reviewed emails from Joyce at the start of last season - and they were helpful but I think I tapped her resources and experiences withing two months of racing and she grew frustrated with me. There were some useful pieces of information that she shared - and today I went back through and picked out some of the best info... here's a snip it.

Climbing is a developed skill, so in the meantime, this weekend try two
things. When you hit a hill pick a wheel and determine to stay on it
for dear life. I just stare at the wheel in front of me and follow
every twitch. If I recover, I try to pass them, which bolsters my
confidence. If that doesn't work, if I can't hold the wheel, I just get
into my own rhythm and forget about everyone else around me. Just think
about getting to the top and once your there, gear up and try to power
back up to whomever is left. Don't wait for anyone behind you, as you
now know ;) Think about floating to the top. Pretend you have a
tailwind. Think about Lance climbing the Alp D'Huez. Put a song in
your head. Think about how bad it hurts, then play games w/ your mind
to ignore the pain. I'm not the best of climbers either - when I
started, people always said - you have the body of a climber and then lo
and behold, I'm a sprinter. Those two things are generally mutually
exclusive, so don't sweat it. Look at Robbie McEwen - that guy is
barely making the cut offs in the mountain stages in the tour, but
winning every sprinters stage. Now you know what you are and you can
play to your strengths, like in the crit.
Okay, okay. So my blogging has been a little more scarce and boring. I blam it on Ryan's and my new found addiction to the Soprano's. We watch 2-3 episodes a night and can't turn them off. It's great down time from the bike but we've already watched damn near 20+ shows and at 50 minutes a piece - well that's a ridiculous amount of time to spend in front of the tube. I think we wouldn't be watching as much if Ry's neck wasn't screwed up. He tweaked it about a month ago and still has a hard time with full mobility. And when Ryan can't exercise - he drives me crazy. :)

This past weekend lent to some interesting riding. On Saturday we had "the worst wind storm in 6 years" pass through the Seattle area. My backyard looked like a branch sprawl and filled our yard waste container after clean up. I don't know what to do about our yard - we don't have any grass anymore and it looks like a huge mud pit. Thanks to all the rain we have mass moss growing. I'm almost ready to hire a landscaper to come out and give their professional opinion. Anyway - back to riding. I was invited by Tim to do a CT workout for an hour or so. I jumped on that and managed to get in a total of 2.5 hours.

Sunday was fun - I hooked up with Kele at 9:30 at the UW bridge and we headed to the south end on our way to Cougar. We were almost to Seward when she said her front wheel felt funny and had to stop. Good thing - her rim from years of breaking and grinding in dirt into it splintered apart. "Mike usually takes care of things - that's why that wheel was sitting alone in the corner!" Thank goodness my neck gimped husband was on call and after a trip to Ballard to refill our Biodiesel while he waited for a guy with a 40 gallon pick up truck to fill up - headed to Seward with a spare front wheel and on we went. It was only an hour later when we got moving again - and the hungry bell started screaming at me. Then as we were at the base of cougar putting excess clothing away in our fanny pack like jersery's - Kele discovered she had busted off a rear spoke. But rather than take it off and add it to the plethora of goodies in her pockets - she wrapped it around another spoke and said - "I'm not letting a broken spoke keep me from doing this climb - twice." Freaking' hardcore! So I told her basically the route (minus a few important details) on how to get up the mountain and said I'd meet her at the top. Already I was defeated in my climb mentally (something I am seriously working on!.... I think I can, I think I can I think I can Etc, etc.) and off we went. So the section I forgot about leant Kele into taking a wrong turn and next thing I know I'm rounding the last corner and her she comes like a climbing banchee behind me and whirls by. It was as if I was standing still. Well - if she can do it I can do it. And I'm going to die trying to climb from now on. I talked to Miller about it and he said it just comes with practice and getting in the rythm. And I'm going to throw myself at it just like I do with any other physical challenge and I'm bound to see improvement from where I'm at. :)

But back to the ride - so we're on our way back down the hill and we pass these three guys and he yells at Kele something to the effect of "IMPRESSIVE." Nice work kele - if he only knew about your front rim and then rear spoke - or maybe you told him about it on your way up the hill as you screamed by....

Ready, Set RACE!

The season is almost upon us. Today is my first hard effort of VO2 max and if all goes well I'll start going really really fast. The base miles are accounted for - I did some nice hard work throughout the months of December and January - now it's time to test the legs and see what kind of umph they have in them.

I can't believe it's only bene a year since I started racing. Time has flown by and suddenly I'm finding myself back in the anticipation stage. Racing starts in a month and now I have to pick and choose which events I want to do. We have so many stage races to chose from locally - and it's a great way to find out your strengths as an all around racer. I look forward to the challenges that entails.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

dang! I missed it!

I meant to post on Groundhog's Day. I'm bummed I missed the chance! Oh well - the little critter saw his shadow - whatever that means. All I know is that Seattle was hit with one hellofa storm yesterday and they closed the 520 bridge. I got to ride inside - but made the most of it.

And..... it stopped raining! Yahoooooo!!!!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


I was reading one of the sites I visit frequently and came across the 2006 world cup team announcement for track. For the first time in a while, the US has a full roster for female endurance track riders. The max is 10 - and a couple of the women on the team were brand new to track this past year and have tons of road experience. It gave me a lot of hope and inspiration considering I was competing with them in August even though it was my first year in the sport. If they can do it - I can do it. I'm looking forward to showing the world I've got something special and what it takes to be a world class athlete.