Sunday, April 30, 2006
Got R Done today.
Seward park - done it a bajillion times but went the opposite way today. Ended up making the break containing Gina and Carrie. We gapped off the field by 30 seconds in the first few laps. On the back side of the course I could descend faster than them and they would pull through to the hill. Eventually I cracked though - I'm not really sure why. Maybe Gina and Carrie attacked at the same time. Next thing I know I'm 24" behind - and Suz is hot on my tail trying to bridge the gap. She ends up timing it perfectly and pulling my podium spot. She powered by me on the hill sucking all my juice out of my legs. But I managed to hold it together, dig even deeper and hold off the rest of the field. Dang. But as I'm sure the photos will show later - today was a pain game. Staying away on a solo break is a hard thing to do at Seward - so I'm told.
I'm starting to get somewhere. :)
Saturday, April 29, 2006
I was undergeared for the night to get the legs used to leg speed and accelerations (50x16) - and was able to put the hurt on. It felt really good. The only downfall is that half way through the race I started getting a sore throat which stayed with me over night. I was going on a long ride outside today - but it started raining so it looks like rollers for me and staying warm and dry inside. Tomorrow is the Seward Park crit - should be fun!
Friday, April 28, 2006
With that being said - I'm on a saddle hunt. Since I ride and race a lot - finding this uber amazing saddle is important - and the longer it takes the more frantic I get in finding the perfect saddle.
Enter in a women's forum.... team estrogen. I started reading a 4 page article about how amazing the Selle SMP Trek Ladies specific saddle is. Immediately I was drawn to it because one woman boasted of not being pinched in the squooshy area any more - and was just getting used to being on her sit bones again. I was intreguied so I ordered one online. It's on its way. Check it out - it may revolutionize seats....
So I'm going to give it a try. I also just spent some cash on a Terry saddle - the men's version of the Fly. I did a ride yesterday and it squooshed my toosh. But to make sure I give it a proper test I'll try it again this weekend.
Here's to eliminating saddle sores! (My only hesitation is that the women's version may be too wide.... and the men's version jumps a couple hundred bucks .... but like I said - if it works then it's worth the cashola.) Peas.
Thursday, April 27, 2006
I poached some photos from Amara's web site - a little reinactment from last weekend. As you can tell, it was more business than the previous Independence RR - and I didn't have as big of a smile on my face. And even though I don't show one on the inside my heart is soaring because I was in the midst of doing something I LOVE.
Okay - well maybe I had one smile - but this was after I finished the Road Race. noc
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
It started with a 5 mile TT - which I did okay in. It was an uphill course and somewhat windy. I did alright - placing 10th in the TT. My original start time was bumped from the beginning of the course to the very last position for some reason. Then we were able to relax between stages - lounging in the warm sun on a nice green lawn. Amara took the team switch news pretty well. I was more afraid of the Boursaw's reaction than anything. But they were very understanding and encouraging.
The 60 mile road race started out well. I felt super strong but as usual once I got up front it was a detrimental mistake. We completed the first small loop and came back around to do the 3 km climb - of which I was immediately dropped. I couldn't catch back on for the life of me. I just don't think I was prepared to deal with the pain nor in my head did I make the decision to go for it. I ended up catching up with Melinda, Jaimie and this other local woman. We ended up doing a rotating paceline through to the final climb - of which I was immediately dumped off. Needless to say I finished the RR and was looking more forward to the crit the following morning.
The crit was really going to see how we as a team work together and hang in there. We communicated throughout the race - but Kele ended up pulling an amazing move and lapping our field. From that point on it was a matter of making sure Jana was locked into 3rd place in the GC - which she easily did. I really enjoyed working with the ladies and contributing. It's so nice to be on a team where I can actually do something! And although I didn't place well in the final sprint, I still feel like I accomplished a lot in the grand scheme of things. First of all - I can play ball. It's only my second year and I'm proving I have the fitness and ability to hang in there. Now I just have to want it. And I have to also be able to deal with pain. Cycling pushes you to the limits - and the only way to advance in the advanced field is to push outside of your comfort zone and become comfortable with being uncomfortable.
So now I'm taking a couple days off - to get my head on straight ... and tomorrow I start back up with some hard and intense training and racing. I can't wait. Track also starts up on Friday. YIPPEE!!!!
Monday, April 24, 2006
So it's been a while and I got out of my normal routine - and now I think I'm finally back on track. Which means more blogging - more self reflection and time to get serious and start ticking off my intermediate goals.
Speaking of which - I'm not sure if I ever even posted those for this season. Maybe that's do to not really formulating what I wanted to accomplish this year - but now I'm starting to get the shake down and ready to do some hard work. So without further audeiuuieiedoooo (how ever you spell that!).....
NRC - Compete in 5-10 NRC crits this year and place in the top 2/3.
- Acheive a top Cat 3 rider placement
- Figure out the scene and how to adapt to it
Local - Consistent top 10 placement regardless of discipline (early-mid season)
- At least 5 top 6 placements by seasons end
- Improve time trialing and dial in position/bike
- Improve my climbing
- Pushing myself outside of the comfort zone and getting comfortable being uncomfortable.
- Start racing with the men consistently
- Motor pacing practices - at least 5
Track - Become the force to beat at the drome within the womens field
- Race with the men and beat them
- Push a bigger gear - 51 x 15 or larger at Marymoor
- Work on jump in a bigger gear
- Pursuit work in the pain cave
General - Dial in nutrition and best foods to eat prior to training and competition.
- Regular stretching routine
- Find the best electrolyte mix on the market and train/race with it
- Limit alcohol intake
- Limit chocolate intake
- Cross train with rock climbing/ core strengthening
- AT LEAST 8 hours of sleep a night. Meaning - go to bed earlier if need be!
So that pretty much sums it up for now. I actually feel like a weight has lifted off my shoulders now that I have established some goals. Before I was training, but without a real aim or purpose, which was resulting in mediocore results. I wasn't truly happy with my performance because I didn't know if I was doing the right thing or not. But now that I have a baseline to work from - I can start ticking off the goals.
More to come on this past weekend's Walla Walla adventure with the new team!
Thursday, April 20, 2006
Here's what Miller said in response to what I asked him:
I think that we are encountering two forces here that are affecting things-
one is obviously the emotional toll and difficult conditions experienced in
the last week. You must allow yourself some freedom in that area, because
it is never easy to deal with and although you may feel like it shouldn't
affect your performance it inevitably always does.
The other aspect is that we are now comparing ourselves to much higher
standards. Remember where you were last year? You are doing much better,
the season is still young, and you have a lot of racing left. Hawaii may
have set things back a little, but in the long run we should be fine. Give
yourself some time, focus your energy on making the most this coming
weekend, and go from there, OK
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
I am a little disappointed with my lack of success lately - and can only use it as a learning experience. Having something happen - on an emotional level - can take more of a toll on the training then something physical. I guess that's because up until this point in my life, I've only had minor emotional drama happen in my life - and when something hits home, such as my grandmother, shortly followed by Brad's death ... I suppose it's time to take a break for those things too. In the whirlwind we call life, you can forget to take care of yourself. I guess in a way I did just that.
Things are starting to calm down now. Brad's funeral was Monday, the weather has finally started to get nice and my grandmother seems to be getting along taking care of herself. Ryan has been super supportive throughout this whole process - but I'm thinking that he and I need to spend some weekend time together in the near future. I miss him!
On a side note - the other day I was doing some interval work out on Mercer and couldn't help but feel down on myself. TST was pathetic - granted the weather was shit - but I could've pushed more. That was supposed to be one of my peak races. Ryan and I were talking about it and he said one major difference between this year and last was the sheer number of races I was doing. Last year I raced my brains out - and this year I'm targeting specific races. Then when those races come and I don't do so well - I get down on myself for it. Maybe this is where my inexperience comes into play. Maybe it would be smarter to race more - and target specific races next year. I'm going to bounce that idea off Miller and see what he says.
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
I think I'm in a cycling plateau right now. I started thinking about it yesterday while I was on Mercer doing laps on the rollers. It seems as though I'm going stronger - but I don't feel as though I'm getting stronger. I have somehow hit a wall - and I think it's a mental break through that has to happen. I can feel it coming - and am trying some new techniques of thinking about what is hurting (quads for example) and putting it in a pants pocket... and working on getting that pocket smaller and smaller. This week has taken a toll on me - with Brad passing away and trying to maintain my strength. I need to have some FUN.
Sunday, April 16, 2006
Other than that though - looking back at the race before I completely erase it from my memory banks - I did ok. I managed to get kicked off on the same hill - and never quite made it back to the lead group - but I did do well with the women who caught me. Actually it was about 5 Wines of Washington women to myself and this Symetrics women who had a flat. And when they started dropping like flies - and we ran into a truck with room in it - I hopped in. I'm not sure what would have been worse though - just finishing the race and depleting all of my energy and facing a raw crotch or the fact that we were in the back of a truck bed only shielded by a tarp. Either way - it was not easy getting back to Tahuya. So many people adandoned the race - but do I regret it? Sort of. Was it the smarter thing to do? Probably. Luckily I wasn't that cold where it starts to impair your judgement - but had I decended down into Holly Hill then I probably would have been toast.
I guess the bottom line - I need to get tougher. And I also need to get better on the hills. Suz pushed it full throttle when the first hill came - popping most of the field. I should have turned around then - but instead my determination kept me going. In a way I'm disappointed because I wanted to do a lot better than last year - but at the same time it was an epic race and miserable. Hats off to those that finished - Kele got 3rd! She's a rockstar. Then again she's tough as nails ... I guess I need to start eating more medal for breakfast.
Thursday, April 13, 2006
All week I haven't felt like coming into work. I find it hard to motivate to do anything really. My energy levels are low and motivation lacking. But I still have managed to get on the bike and put in the training miles. I'm just not sure how effective they are when you're mind isn't in it. I'm actually serious contemplating taking the night off. But that won't do me a lick of good for the race this weekend. I just want to feel normal again - and have things become happier. I tried listening to music while riding to distract myself from sad thoughts and it seems like certain songs just make me melt into a puddle of tears. My appetite is supressed - which normal I would be eating like a horse. I suppose this is normal.
Enough of the self pity! Wallowing in my saddness is not going to make it better. Celebrating his life is what will. At least he was living in the moment doing something he enjoys when it happened. May we all be that lucky! Time to snap out of this funk and focus on the positive message - live life to the fullest! I found a pic I saved of Em and Brad from Friday night track racing. It makes me smile. I'll see if I can figure out how to attach it.
I got an email from the director of Walla Walla saying that as of today only 16 women have signed up for the event. Apparently there's a big pull for the Tour of Willamette - which I would like to do if more competition shows up there. We'll see what happens though.
I started some new socks - and to tell you the truth, knitting is pretty much therapy for me. Something about the repetition... sigh.
on an upswing - a friend of mine had a baby this last weekend. I can't wait to go visit her. Also - I took the plunge and bought a new bike. It is sick. see attached photo. I'm officially broke.
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
I couldn't help but have the memories of yesterday flood into my brain - hearing Em's cries, disbelief, the scream of the sirens. Only to realize the spot where people stopped was 15 feet north of the actual location.
Monday, April 10, 2006
The fact that a very healthy 37 year old male who cycled everyday - raced on the weekends, ate right, lived a non stressful life, loved dearly and touched so many people in uncountable ways ... WHY? My heart goes out to Emily and all of his family members - and all of his friends.
When something so devastating happens - it makes you realize those petty things you fret about and quarrels you have are so not worth it. In a moment all you knew could be gone. I called my brother last night to make ammends and let him know how much I love him. Ryan and I just held each other last night - lost for words -scarred at the mere thought of having our lives ripped apart in an instant when it's our time. I talked to my mom - who is wise beyond words and her strength helped to ground me as it always does. It is so tragic that he died - how he died - when he died. Poor Emily.
Sunday, April 09, 2006
They combined our field with the Collegiate A women - and had separate premes for them as well. We stuck together for the first 30 minutes and then the collegiate women had multiple premes in a row. Because us USCF women could care less about their points we suddenly had a time gap from them. It turned into a bigger and bigger time gap - with Rebecca Jensen of Whitman College soloing off the front and maintaining a 35" lead off the bunch sprint. In the meantime in the back of my head I wanted to catch them so I drove the field for several laps - stringing the remaining riders out. Unfortunately it may have cost me a better placement - for when the final 4 laps came I was fighting for position but zapped from my previous efforts. Taylor calculated things just right - she was in third position in the final sprint and ended up winning the sprint. Yeah! Go Gregg's!!! I stood up once I was through the corner and gave it every last ounce I had in the legs - which wasn't much and possibly was pipped at the line by two riders. Never the less I won an early preme so I'm not going home empty handed.
Highlights - taking those corners and feeling completely in control despite the rain. Being able to manuever in the pack with ease. Chasing down the collegiates (caught them all with the exception of Rebecca). Staying in the entire race! (Last year I lasted 12 minutes - 9 laps. Pathetic!) Putting the hurt on the field.
Improvement - Racing smarter. So even though the collegiate women were up the road - they can have it. Sit up more and have Heather pull through. This started working once I started verbalizing it. I should have sat in a little more though - saving it for the final sprint. Position myself in top 3 for the final sprint with 2 laps to go - fight and hold it.
I will say though I am not disappointed in my race today. I did some power moves that put the hurt on the field. I let them know this is a race and it's supposed to fucking hurt. Sitting up is for pussies. I almost puked after my final sprint effort so I know I didn't have any more gas in the tank and gave it my absolute all. Now if I can just work on maintaining the proper position for the final sprint - I'll start winning these damn races. I'm getting there though... every little step counts. And today - I was doing it in strides.
Saturday, April 08, 2006
I do have a slight problem though - I took my bike into the shop to get worked on and they've had it for two days. Understandable - they are in full bike mode right now. Spring is here which means their bike sales go way up and most of the mechanics time is spent building them up and making them just right. But that left me with a little issue -no bike. Well that just doesn't fly - so I'm in the market for a new bike and am leaning toward another Kona.... so we'll see.
It started raining this morning for the first time in several days. Hopefully it will wash down the streets for tomorrow's race. Otherwise it might be a crash fest on Boat Street. My goal is to stay in the front as much as possible - never going deeper than 8 back. My heartrate is increasing just thinking about it!
We had some friends over for dinner last night and laughed the night away. It's been a while since we've had such a large group - but it was well worth the effort. One thing's for sure though - I will not do that the night before a race!
Friday, April 07, 2006
Well - I still have a million things to do before today's ride (we're having a dinner party tonight so I'm running around like a headless chicken). More soon....
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
Tomorrow is my fast day - I get to work on leg speed and power. I'm doing 4-5 sprint repeats at Vo2 max, 1:1 for a minute. That is of course I can still put out the watts for that many repeats. The minute I see a dip in power - I stop and head home.
My sleep is much better - I'm having dreams again! Ryan's been wanting to go to bed earlier so he can get up - which only means more hours for me. I got 9 in last night! Plus I have been craving sweets - which can mean only one thing. Yep - sucks being a woman.
Monday, April 03, 2006
Both had the same questions - how do you train? What do you do? Hopefully I answered in a way to give them some direction - and I really hope they show up next week so I can talk to them more. I told one woman that cycling is a collection of experiences. Each training ride, race, conversation with coaches, fellow cyclists, reading information on the web - all adds to the ever increasing puzzle. Hopefully at the end of it you can make sense out of it all - and teach someone else what you learned.
Thank you for the continuous guidance. It is really refreshing and helpful to hear another perspective on my collection of experiences. I fully agree - racing is something that cannot be rushed. I am eager to learn more - but know that wisdom comes all in good time.
Sunday, April 02, 2006
Saturday, April 01, 2006
We talked a lot about bikes - I ride a Kona Kona frame with an Ultegra set up on it and clinchers. I love tubulars - but save the spendy tires for my track bike. ;:)
There was talk of racing tomorrow down in Oregon - but considering my training from this week I'm not going to do and opt for a short recovery ride (under 15 mph!) tomorrow. Okay - time for dinner and a movie tonight. More later.