Friday, December 28, 2007

Oh just wait till I post a trip report on this place. It´s been amazing! I highly recommend coming here - being a climber or not. Time to get back to playing!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Shoes, Cookies and Presents

My mom, sister Marcy, Ryan and I got together on Monday night for some sugar cookie making and decorating and to celebrate Christmas. My mom tends to excel at gift giving - she even had something for Makiah. She quickly snatched the treat out of my hand and hurried off to her dog bed to commence the chewathon.



We followed a serious butter fest sugar cookie from my new favorite cookbook and it took a while to figure out the consistency. But once it finally started to roll into a monster ball, I divided it into two discs and put it in the fridge to chill. And a new trick I learned- put parchment paper on both sides of your cookie dough to prevent the dough from sticking to your rolling pin. (Notice smiley Makiah in the background - she's such a people dog.)



Next came the baking, and then after they cooled completely, the decorating. Ryan's homemade icing was good - a little runny though and it made for a hard precise decorating medium.



Of course we couldn't just fill up on cookies - and my mom came prepared with a childhood favorite of Portuguese Bean Soup. Don't worry - if you didn't get enough fat intake from the cookie scraps, you will most certainly get there by downing some sausage soup! Nothing that tastes that good can be good for you!



After dinner we did our gift exchange and Ryan hit the nail on the head with the soap shoe dispenser. (Originally it was a re-gift from Carrie at the elephant exchange this past weekend. Ryan saw it, wrapped it and we had a good chuckle about it.) I swear he used a whole thing of tape to wrap it - but it was well worth it. My mom was squealing in delight, "where on Earth did you find such a perfect gift?"



We headed back to the kitchen to complete our cookies and Marcy and Ryan both kicked out the final touches on the heart stopping treats. They looked great!



And of course, Marcy's favorite creation - a sky diving santa wearing a G string. Nice work Marcy!


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

It's hard to follow up the CT...

Thank you all my faithful female readers who got a kick out of the last post. It makes me laugh thinking how hard it made all of you laugh when you read that well thought out and carefully crafted post. HA!

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Cougar

Today was very productive on the surf front - I just couldn't pass this one up.


Thanks Jesse -

This was created by our Spanish interpretor Jesse. Thanks for the laughs.

Ryan

Stiff Neck

Yet another bad ass weekend of fun fun fun!

Kicked off the long winter nights with a sushi party with chef Melanie directing all of us how to make sushi. Turns out we bought one too many spider crabs and eel and had a few pieces of sushi leftover. The good news - everyone walked away with stuffed bellies and happy faces.

We went to Uwagimaya on Thursday and picked up some necessary ingredients - can't forget the MSG! Luckily only the mayo and the eel had the sixth food group in it - speaking of which - eel is super fatty with 265 calories in one teaspoon! According to Ai, this fat is what makes the ladies more attractive and attaches to the hips. Bring on the Omega 3's and pack on the ba-donk-a-donk butt.



The ladies had the first attempt at the rolling and made cute petite little rolls. They were perfect bit size pieces. You could even talk while chewing them down.



Then the guys had gave it a go and made some macho man rolls. Check out Ryan's big rice sushi fix! He attempted to eat it in one bite too and was chewing for a while. And then he made some oyster sushi and spread on a shot-to-the-dome chuck of wasabi.






The next morning, Ryan got up at 5 and I slept in till 6 to meet up with Julie and head up to Steven's Pass for some inbound skiing. Ryan went with some fellas to Crystal area and did some back country skiing. Julie and I planned on meeting Karen at the clock at 9:30 and by 9:50 we were itching to go with no sign of her and headed up the mountain. It snowed all day - and the powder was great. They still need more snow - a couple of rocks were exposed and they have yet to open the back side of the mountain - but all in all it was a great day! We managed to ski up till 3:30 - a record for me, especially on tele skis. The slopes were crowded though - with way too many people on the mountain. We saw evidence of a collision under the Skyline chair - a good excuse to do more moguls and harder terrain.

My legs are starting to come around and they weren't nearly as sore and sluggish as last week. Afterward we headed to Leavenworth to Karen and Anne's bungalow nestled on the Wenatchee River off of Icicle Creek Road.. They fed us enchiladas and we had some laughs over dinner. We also had the annual Ti white elephant gift exchange - and I finally got rid of the infamous penis shorts! Carrie is now the proud owner of the statue David nude colored shorts, well until next year.

The next morning we woke up and headed out for a few hours of skate skiing. The snow was great and we built up a sweat on fun rolling terrain. At one point, we were cruising along and some guy was approaching us, I decided to go in hot into a down sloping corner, lost my balance and did a cartoon looking maneuver, yard sailing and taking out the cross country tracks. We all laughed pretty hard - although this morning I woke up with a crook in my neck. I sure wish someone could have caught that on camera - classic!

We worked up an appetite and headed to the Sleeping Lady lodge for some food and decided to try the golf course, across the street from Karen's place. It was much more challenging with tons of hills and descents - not to mention deer poop. My dumbass thought it would be fine to roll through it and it stopped me in my tracks and I went down hard. Good times, good times.



Thankfully I have a massage booked for today and I can get my neck worked on!

Friday, December 14, 2007

I've been struggling with getting on the bike lately - specifically the weekends. Will it really hurt if I take a mental break from riding long, wet and cold rides on the weekends and instead run my legs into the ground while descending mountains?

So this weekend I get to hang with some Avanti ladies and laugh our butts off on the slopes. Photos to follow....

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

GRD

We got home at 11:45 last night - waaaay too late for attempting to get up this morning in time to meet Peter and Shawn at Stoney G's for a morning jaunt. But surprisingly enough, I roused myself out of a deep slumber and was out the door by 7:35am. I'm going to be a hurting unit as the day wears on, I'll tell you what!

I've been scrambling lately to get things done before we head out to Spain NEXT FRIDAY. Stoked!!! I finally picked up Miller's compact bike box (I contacted him weeks ago and just now got over to Team Miller's house to pick it up), dropped off the old TV at the dump (it's been rolling around in the van for about two months - ever since we got the new one and it cost $37 smackaroos to get rid of it!), returned some stuff at Home Depot that I bought for our gutters and didn't end up using. I even had time to bake some Almond Biscotti. The days are whizzing by!

We are quickly approaching the winter solstice too - the shortest day of the year. It's all uphill from there though and we start building back toward the summer solstice - yay!



This is where we will be by the way - 60 degrees and mild temps. Hellsya!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

White Fluff Addiction


You know it's bad when you start checking the snow report more than visiting your daily blog haunts. Things are getting chilly around the good old PNW - and that means white pow pow to be had in the mountains.

Suddenly our rustic cabin in the Methow is sounding really appealing despite not having any heat source. Who cares? We'll be skiing our brains out.

I did get up and move my legs in a circular motion outside this morning and it felt great.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Welcome Little One!


Proud new parents Sol and Cassie welcome Regan Tate Daughtery to the world on December 1, 2007 weighing in at 8 pounds 5 ounces. Way to go guys!!!

We were fortunate to visit them earlier in the week while they completed their stay at the Northgate Hospital and got to hold Sol's new "little Bud." It was funny hearing their account of picking out a name. Cassie said that Sol was insistent on a S name and they had already agreed on Tate for the middle name (a family name) and of course, she'd get Sol's last name. But any name starting with an S would leave the babies initials with STD and ridiculed for life. Cassie responded with, "it's like naming your baby HIV. Not happening." They are funny.

Weekend Warriors


I officially kicked off my first ski weekend of the winter this past weekend and am paying for it dearly this morning. The knees are tender, the body fatigued but my grin factor all weekend was HUGE!

Friday night was Ryan's office Christmas party and quite different than years past. He works for a home builder in Bothell and due to the real estate market fluctuation, they let go 40% of the office staff as a precaution. They also reduced their party budget significantly - in years past they've included a huge assortment of Costco party gifts people could bid on using fake money. (Items like personal computers, Ipods, a week vacation in Alaska, etc.) This year everyone was asked to bring something under $25 and people would still bid on them. Booze went for a whopping $1200 - pretty funny. We re-gifted some wine - shame on us! But some lucky $1200 bider had some nice red zin.

Saturday morning was an early start - up and at em by 4 am - on the road by 4:30. Orion and Sonya picked us up - and we headed north to Baker area to do some backcountry skiing. We arrived to the parking lot just as the sun came up - making for some awesome lighting.



Our route was to head up to Table Mountain area, assess everyone's ability and desires for the day and then make a call of where to go from there. The avalanche danger was pretty low - and the sky was cloudless - a perfect day for being outside and skinning around. We met up with Brent, Emily and Dave and headed out the ridge. Emily just got a new split board and had a difficult time with skinning - we traveled over a technical section and she took a fall into some trees and had a hard time getting out. Ultimately she and Brent decided to do some yo yo's on a guaranteed powder section while the 5 of us did a one day classic tour around Table Mountain.

The visibility was amazing - you could see Shuskan in full effect with its two hanging glaciers, Glacier Point, Mt Rainer and of course Mt Baker. It was absolutely stunning.



Luckily Dave was familiar with the area and guided us through the ridges and gullies. There was quite a bit of avalanche activity from the previous storm during the week - but when we dug a snow pit and did some analysis, we were confident we were safe. Talk about amazing powder turns and getting those first tele turns of the season! It was fantastic.

It was a long day though - at one point we boot packed to the top of a run and I remember wondering to myself, why am I here? But the next few powder turns quickly turned that frown upside down. :)

Our skin skirted around a lake - some brave soul had skinned across the lake before - but we were unwilling to risk a chilly dip in some ice cold waters. Instead we went around - and skinned for probably an hour and 15 minutes before finally arriving at the top of the saddle and shedding our skins for the last time. Talk about sloppy skiing down to the bottom - my legs were D-U-N.

The best part about skiing all day - is the sharing a good laugh over the days blunders while drinking beers at North Fork Beer Shrine on the way home. If you ever find yourself skiing at Baker and need some food - it's on the 522 just past the Sumas Y and has great pizza and beer.

The next morning came a little too early for the ski clinic I signed up for - so I decided to make the afternoon session and take my neighbor Jo. We had a great time learning some efficient V-1 techniques - thanks to an excellent instructor Eli. I was pretty tuckered out last night when I got home and the legs are definitely feeling it this morning!

The hiatus is over though - and this week it's back to the bike - I guess. :)

Friday, December 07, 2007

You gotta know when to hold 'em....

The frantic gift preparation phase hasn't quite hit me yet - but it's bound to start next week. Luckily we're leaving the country over the holidays and won't be doing the enormous gift exchange we usually do - but still have a few things we need to get together before leaving.

Speaking of traveling - we forfeited some tickets last winter to Beaver Creek because I pulled my hamstring right before we were supposed to fly out. We had a year to use them - and pay a $100/ticket change fee to exchange them. The deadline is tomorrow - and yesterday we finally found something reasonable. Check this: $159 round trip per person from Seattle to Tahoe Feb 1-4. And with our credit, as well as change fees, we only paid $11.38 out of pocket. Hellsya! Not to mention the killer deal we found by staying at a casino on the lake - we can gamble just minutes from our room. Let me tell you - Ryan and are a HUGE gamblers. ha! You gotta know when to hold 'em; know when to fold 'em; know when to walk away; know when to run.

We saw Larry the cable guy last night, and no, I'm not a closet hick. Talk about an interesting crowd that goes to see his act at the paramount. Larry's humor is pretty funny - he's definitely a dirty guy and likes to talk about poop. He's a man of one line wonders and strung about 1.5 hours worth of them together. One that sticks out in my mind, and this may not be appropriate for some of you younger readers, but you're going to hear it somewhere....

"I once took a picture of my butt hole with my camera phone and sent it to my aunt. She texted me back and said, 'boy that's the worst pumpkin pie I've ever seen!'"

Guess you had to be there. But the mullet man sitting in front of me was howling.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Near record breaking rain

Washington State Governor Christine Gregoire declared Washington in a state of emergency yesterday after the second highest recorded rainfall in 50+ years. SeaTac airport recorded 3.77" of rain in a 24 hour period.

I woke up to the constant tap tap tap of rain against the window. And then I listened a little closer and heard the undeniable sound of water inside the house. Uh oh. I rushed downstairs, expecting to see the basement awash in 12" of standing water again (remember our $48,000 broken water heater last winter?) relieved to find it was only water running through the aquifer in our over flow sump pump tank. Phew.

But I could still hear water running - and checked the other half of the basement to discover our reoccurring flood area and happened upon 7" of standing water. Luckily it was contained in the basement entry way. But if it gets much higher than it could over flow and start draining into our basement. Sweet.

Next order of business - a trip to the Home Depot. I figured the issue was in getting the gutters to kick the water further away from the house. The sump pump isle was filled with people, looking frantic at the empty shelves and empty Starbucks cups in their hands. I found some pipping, gutter adapters and duct tape and headed back home.

My earlier attempt to get rid of some of the water build up did nothing - the pond was as big, if not bigger than it had been when I left. Next step - find out why the gutters were leaking so bad. I should have known - they were FULL of leaves and crud from the roof. Whoops. Apparently we missed our annual gutter cleaning. (Which boils down to I didn't nag Ryan enough this year to get them cleaned.) 2 hours later the gutters were working like magic and I was able to bail out the flooded basement.

Short story: I saved our homestead and Ryan owes me dinner. :)

I finally get to get out on the bike today - and am STOKED! (7 hours of trainer time in the past few days will make anyone CRAZY.) It's in the mid- 50s today and other than the occasional flooded urban stream, it should be one of those ear to ear grin rides. :)

MAD PROPS TO JENNIE REED who rocked the World Cup Keirin with a Silver medal. Way to go Jennie!!!!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Why do you ride?

It's that time of year when the holidays settle in and the motivation to get out and ride start to wane. The sun makes a rare and welcomed appearance about once a week - but the other 6 out of 7 days include gray, dark rainy skies. The temps have started to dip - hovering just above freezing and regular bike commuters start to drop like flies from the busy Burke. Soon it will only be the hard core cyclists who take to the road and have a crazy grin (or is it a cringe?) pasted on their faces.

As a racer, you have to have a mind over matter attitude or possibly fall victim to short trainer rides (I mean come on, who can seriously ride on the trainer for over an hour?) and, heaven forbid, not ride at all. This will be my 4th winter of riding and I definitely have new found respect for racers who refused to ride in the winter anymore.

So what do you do to combat this overwhelming urge to sleep well past the designated team ride time on the weekends? How do you fight the quick-to-pass guilt of only doing 1 hour instead of 3? Why not skip the gym and go out for some winter beers with some buddies? We're naturally supposed to pack on the winter weight, right?

I'll tell you why you slog countless hours in 38 degree rain; because all of the blood, sweat and tears that you put in throughout the winter become readily apparent in the sweet warm summer months. And when everything comes together and your legs feel like they could churn out 400 watts for hours - you'll know deep down it all started with those cold winter mornings that you rousted yourself out of bed and took to the streets solo.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Old School

Jerry Baker graciously allowed me to borrow some old photos and memorabilia from his personal collection of Marymoor history. I came across some sweet old photos. There's even one from before the railing was installed around the banks!






And here's one of Rick Adams, our excellent host when we raced down at Hellyar this past summer. This photo was probably taken back in 1977 or so.





And the fabulous Rebecca Twigg, on track to win a national title, world championship and medal at the Olympics hailed from Marymoor. She's tearing it up with the fellas - in the sprinters lane. Her 1990 3000m pursuit time still stands as a track record at 3:52. That's super fast for such a slow outdoor track! She is such an inspiration.

Monday, November 26, 2007

From 19 down to 13

Wow what a week. My desk is covered with things I put off last week in prep for the Thanksgiving gorge and long weekend. I just filtered through my emails, sent off bill payments and am starting to get a handle on preparing for Spain in less than a month. Time is flying by - and yet, at the same time, I feel like I have more time on my hands than last year.

I have to admit, I'm a little panicked about not having the insane saddle hours built up already. I've been averaging 13 hours a week per month and that seems a little low. This time last year, I was putting in solid 19 hour ride weeks, with multiple intervals thrown in the mix. I figured the best way to get better at climbing was just to do as many climbs as possible. I really started to notice a difference - and felt amazing. I was climbing like a mad woman. So amazing in fact, I didn't feel it when my hammy popped and couldn't figure out why I couldn't walk the next day.

I guess I just calmed myself down - and am realizing I need to have more faith in my coach. It's scary to get out of your routine - and this is the first winter without being under Miller's coaching. It seems strange, but I'm sure I'll adapt and get used to the quality, not quantity I was putting in before.

It'll be interesting to see how my body handles less work and how this translates into racing.

Bottom line - make each pedal stroke count.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I love noodles

In case you get sick of eating Turkey tomorrow, you could always have some noodles.

Cyanide and Happiness, a daily webcomic

Monday, November 19, 2007

Thanks to Ryan...

Make sure you have your volume turned up on this one....

Link

Booked our tickets to Beaver Creek for Presidents weekend - STOKED!!!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

CHILLy!

For once it didn't rain all weekend. But it didn't get sunny either - but I'll take a gray non-threatening sky any day over a drizzling wet one. I'm sure cyclists all over the Seattle area were stoked on todays break from the steady downpour that created many epic riding stories from yesterday.

We headed up North to Snohomish on a zone 2 ride - winding our way through the ever growing suburbs and quickly spreading sprawl. The once quiet back roads are now becoming main routes - and combining big diesel trucks and cyclists two abreast don't always mix. But the conversation was good and the bike handling better as we meandered up and down the valley floor.

The Pacific Northwest rules. Were else do you get solid 40 degree temps throughout the entire winter? We might have, say 2-3, sub frozen temp days, but that's it. It really makes for good riding year round - if you can handle the rain. And as Clay, Iona's hubby mentioned today, where else do you find the totally decked out "rain bike" with dual front and rear fenders with buddy flaps extending almost to the ground? It's definitely a Seattle cultural thing.

To celebrate my nearly three weeks on this diet thing I bought some Oysters today at the Ballard Farmers market. YUMMY. I can't wait to devour them.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

It rained, it poured and luckily I wasn't hung over...

Phew, all that dancing made for some tired legs today! Just teasing - once the chocolate came out only the conversational volume got turned up and the voices became more animated, much to my dismay. And maybe it was the downer Radiohead I had playing that didn't put them in the mood. Oh well.

Our next ladies night is "Casino" night and we're planning on wearing either prom dresses or old wedding gowns for the festivities. Hopefully we'll go down to Tacoma and catch some boxing too! Feather boas are a must.

Anyways, we had a good time last night and experimented with a bunch of fondues - from French onion, pesto bree, traditional swiss to peanut butter chocolate. And of course there were bottles and bottles of wine - which people did good at polishing off! I think I dumped 10 bottles this morning. Nice work ladies!

Of course this morning came early and I'm a little tired from hosting and got to dodge hundreds of Husky supporters on the trail.

AND BIG NEWS!!!! The Sonics won last night in double overtime vs Atlanta 126-124. Their first win of the season. GO SONICS!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Ladies night

I actually have non-cycling friends. And to prove it, we have a ladies night once a month at someone's house and ditch our hubbies to celebrate our estrogen.

Tonight it's at my house. Luckily Emily arranged all of the food items - thanks Em! So all I have to do is make sure the shitter's clean and strawberries are on the table. (No connection there, don't worry.)

No one is really a hard core drinker so what do we do to entertain ourselves you ask? Dance Party 2007! Yep, we have a dance off. Well, hopefully we'll have a dance off. The theme is fondue and after my last experience (New Year's Eve 2005) - as soon as the chocolate hits the pot we'll be ready to get our grove on. Time to break out the Yo! Bell Biv Devoe.


OR even better.... ah the 90's...

Thursday, November 15, 2007

3 down, 7 to go

It's been a week and a half and I'm already starting to see some results from calorie counting. It took a little time to detox from my steady diet of sweets, but now that it's been a little while, I'm not experiencing the cravings I used to. More than anything I'm learning about my personal nutritional choices and how to make my body perform better.

I've always been a strong proponent for exercising as means to lose and maintain weight. But sometimes you travel in circles when you put in a solid 3 hour ride and then come home to binge on cookies and beer. So exercise isn't the only way to do it- having an awareness of what you're eating helps too. Who knows - this may be the missing link for taking my pedaling to the next level?

Just call me Dr. lab rat. (This picture was just too fitting.)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Doing something for yourself

When's the last time you decided to do something for yourself? Take an ordinary day, and spend say 10 minutes out of it doing something for you, and only you.

I cleaned out my bottom dresser drawer. Big deal - except in it were underwear from my freshman year of college. They're gone now. :) Elmo hit the trash can. Is it weird to good will your old undies?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

It's sunny!

The legs are starting to feel recovered from the weekend - but thankfully I don't have to push it this rest week. It's beautiful outside right now and I'm looking forward to an easy ride.

Hope you get to enjoy it too!
After signing into blogger, I noticed a new item posted on the "Blogger Buzz" board all about to do lists. Reading further, this woman created a book of the hundreds of to do lists she's collected over the past 7 years. She's put a connection between what people write on their lists and how it defines them.

Interesting.

It left me wondering if I should start keeping all of those lists - because maybe the keys to the universe can be mysteriously unlocked by looking at how much granola I've put on those lists over the years. Or maybe my answers to life's little dramas can be unfolded by weeks worth of scribbled to do lists.

I think it's time for a Freudian approach and pull out the old journals - I'm sure there's some revealing stuff in there.

And as promised, something from the depths of my journals. This blurp was written Sept 24, 2000 when I had first started focusing on boxing. (That bout lasted about 3 competitive years - I saw a Washington State Welterweight title and was an alternate on the first women's world championships.) It's pretty much transfers to cycling though - and I still believe a champion is made a day at a time.

"Stand up straight," is what my coach always tells me. "Fight 5'10", not 5'8" or 5'9. You're height is an advantage, use it." I have a bad tendency of hunching my shoulders. So I decided the only way to prevent it is to have good posture all the time. At least keep my spine straight when I'm sitting and standing. Everything practiced outside the ring transfers directly into it. Bad habits suddenly appear and good habits are easily forgotten. It is a constant struggle. But after months of practice, hours of grueling work and endless days of sweat, there will come a day when everything comes together like clockwork.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Oh the kitty!

(That title's for you, Zana.)

Just got home from a fun weekend up north in the land of maple leaves and hockey. But we weren't visiting to partake in either of Canada's finest offerings - we did some sweet track racing at the Burnaby Velodrome. Ryan came with and so did Makiah - although if you ask her, she spent the weekend golfing. Poor thing got sick in the car Saturday night and we discovered a nice little mess to clean up around 11pm when we got back to the car. GROSS!

I like Jamie's highlights/lowlights so here goes:

Highlight - Screaming through the corners and getting enough g force that you feel the boards creek and moan underneath you.
Lowlight - Hearing people moan from having face to face contact with the boards and pulling out the splinters. Our very own Annette Hanson had a rough go in the unknown distance race and had some nice road rash from crashing down the track. My thoughts are with you Annette and I hope you feel better soon! (Luckliy no bones were broken.)

Highlight - The hubby came and gave me encouraging words after each race and was given my well earned prime money ($25 Can, $28 American!) from Jeremy Storie. He got a little tanked in the beer garden, but who can blame him?
Lowlight - Cleaning up dog shit and vomit after racing my legs off. Gives me the chills even thinking about it. We're screwed when we have kids.

Highlight - Narrowly missing someone's head when he crashed right in front of me. I pulled an ab muscle trying to avoid him.
Lowlight - Putting in a monster attack during the 6x20 points race with 48 laps to go and getting caught, chewed up and spit out the back, eventually pulling myself wondering if I ate some thing wrong or what? No, Jen. You just didn't have the GRRRR and put in a fruitless attack. Damn!

Ah track racing - it was nice putting some time back in the saddle for the weekend. Kirk O'Bee is my new hero - that dude is fast, relentless and cagey. Super fun to watch him dominant race after race. Fast like a bunny!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Our sinking dollar

I've always written in a journal. When I was younger, I'd keep a diary with me at all times and misspell everything. It was pretty comical (thank goodness for spell check!). And then I have this habit of substituting words that you understand what I mean when I say them, but in all reality it's nothing close to the word I should be using. Ah the English language. I've kept all of my journals - and it's funny to go back and read them. I'll see if I can come up with a goody next time I pass through memory lane.

So onto stuff that matters! Um - right. I can't think of anything.

The Canadian dollar is worth more than the US dollar. As of today, our dollar equals 0.9420 of a Canadian dollar. Crazy yo! Border crossing into the US today at the Peace Arch as of 11 am is an hour and a half. Ouch.

T minus 26 hours before I have my lungs bleed out of my chest. ;)

Oh and this is for all you cat lovers out there - I love you tube.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Just one of them days

Yesterday was rough. I had a hard time pushing the pedals around mentally for some reason. Maybe it's because I've done just shy of 6 hours in two days, solo - mid week and along the same tried and trued routes and I'm at the end of the build cycle - or maybe it was just one of those days.

They don't come that often - luckily. But when they do, I begin to wonder, why am I tormenting my body this way? Wouldn't it just be easier to pull over, whip out that cell phone and dial a ride home? Of course the thought crossed my mind but I've only acted on it once - two winters ago in the freezing ass cold Seattle drizzle in 38 degree temps. I figured yesterday wasn't that bad - so toughen up there and put that tool in your toolbox. Who knows? Maybe during a road race it will be the same conditions and you can push through it.

God, I love track. Long live banked velodromes and dry weather.


Going to go see Sarah Ellis the wonder massager to hopefully iron out the last kink in my armor. Since last time, my hammy hasn't acted up at all, knock on wood. My back is starting to loosen up and things are almost back to normal.

Ryan's joining me in the venture up North - YAY! We're stopping in the Ham on the way up to visit his folks. http://www.burnabyvelodrome.ca/

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Surfin'

Wow there are a lot of bull shit boring blogs out there. I just got time warped in cycling nerd land.

May your blogs be spicy and juicy. And if all else fails, make some shit up!
Yesterday the sun set at 4:48pm. 4:48 PM?????!!!! Yep, 4:48, pm.

Only 4 more months of darkness.

Tonight I plan on doing a nice volume ride - 3.5 hours, and get to pack some extra weight for lighting once the sun goes down. I don't know how people do it who have a full time job and can't see the light of day. Talk about becoming a hermit.

I actually like riding in the dark - it's kind of like Star Wars on a bike. I remember this ride last winter where it was dark and I got three flats. One down in Renton, another in Bellevue and a third on Juanita hill. Good times. It POURED on me that day. The type of rain that cars were having a hard time keeping their windshield wipers fast enough, while stopped. I remember calling my mom and telling her I was going to be a little late to dinner. She offered to pick me up, but I didn't even consider it. Sometimes you have to be stubborn - I was warm, although wet - and another hour on the bike wasn't going to kill me. Actually, it's one of the rides I remember most from last winter. Funny how that works.

Headed to Burnaby for the weekend for some racing - should be a blast! Although going from zone 2 to zone 86 is going to hurt a little. ;)

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Time to get serious

Got in some excellent ride time this weekend but came to the conclusion that it's time to get serious and start making each pedal stroke count. I'm focusing on climbing this road season and one of my goals is to drop 10 pounds. Don't worry - I have ample room to do it. Ideally I want to become a lean mean fighting machine that can hang on the hills.

It's going to be rough - but I've made up my mind. No more screwing around - I'm even going as far as employing a calorie counter (thanks Zana!). Good bye my sweets... I'll miss you.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Team Ride

Even though I told myself I would avoid the Burke at all costs, I rode the Burke today. It's hard putting in the miles and if you avoid it well then you forfeit 1.5 hours in the saddle. After all, it just means I'm building a bigger base, so what the hay.

We have some great new ladies joining the mix this year and they are super excited to learn. We did a big loop up Hollywood Hill and then through Woodinville. We descended my favorite steep pitch and while going down Linda got a front flat but managed to hold it up right! Turns out she had a huge chunk of tire shredded from her bike and it needed a boot. (Unfortunately two tires were wasted to figure out the problem.) Talk about an adrenaline rush, I'm sure! I think the team rides should be named after Linda since we continue to discover the wonders of bike mechanics. (Remember last time with the broken chain?)

Thankfully Kenny was there to do the obligatory man duties (fix the flat while the rest of us yacked away). And now my legs are a little lethargic since I definitely didn't drink enough liquids while riding. I came home and one bottle was 3/4 full. Bad Juice, bad!

I tried some chocolate milk for the recovery drink and although it made me feel better while chugging it, I'm not sure it did much. ;)

Friday, November 02, 2007

Fantastic Friday

My new training schedule allows me to relax on Fridays and not do anything active. Ha! As if?! Does raking a back yard full of leaves and bagging it all count as activity? You bet.

The tree trimmers came today and cut down a dangling willow branch. It broke during the last wind storm we had. I had no idea how big it was until I watched them slowly lower it to the ground with a rope. I counted the rings later - 15. And to think, it was one of the smaller diameter branches. Left to its own demise, it definitely would have taken out the green house.

Ryan worked from home today so we walked Makiah to the Essential bakery aka "Crack House." Their pastries, breads and coffee are to die for. We ran into my neighbor Jo and she volunteered to help me with our out of control ivy hedge Sunday afternoon. Yowsa - that's going to be some messy lame work! I'm going to have to try and make room in my garage for all of the bags. Anybody want to help me with some yard work? I'll pay you in beer and food. :)

Should be a good weekend - headed out on a nice ride in the morning with the ladies and then potluck that night. Then on Sunday headed over to Vashon with Zana and Joanna for some hilly fun riding. Ryan's off to Cali to climb of course. We haven't spent a weekend together in about a month!

Thursday, November 01, 2007


Apparently kids are into trick or treating at the mall more than at houses. I didn't have a single trick or treater last night! Bummer, I guess I'll have to eat those kit kats.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Motoring

Took the motor out of the garage today and had a very chilly ride to work. It felt amazing. I'm looking forward to some two wheeled adventures later today....

And the quote of the day "Life should be measured in achievement, not success." (I think that's how I remember it... maybe I'll double check that one on my ride.)

And this is some of the funniest shit I've seen in a while - thanks to mr. brad huff and Mike Freidman - I'll never look at another Umpa the same way....


Huffy


I love the pic taken of the Umpa getting it from the dude in wings with a shirt that says "sure looks good to me!"

Buuuuuwahhahahaha!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Ride along with Deputy Sutton

My older brother has been a deputy sheriff for the past 6 1/2 years for Linn County in Oregon. He and his newly formed family (the most recent addition added in January) live in quaint little Brownsville (population 1630). The Tour of the Williamette used to hold a crit in down town Brownsville - and now it's a frequent resting spot for Harley riders. I love visiting them because of the country road access - just a mile from their house - and how life just seems to slow down.

I cruised down Friday night - and got stuck in a little bit of traffic (5 1/2 hours in the car). Coleman was super excited when I first showed up and couldn't stand it. He just turned four and is cute as can be. Am I a proud auntie? You bet.

Anyways, on Saturday I headed out for a ride between Brownsville and Eugene, traveling along some of the best roads I've been on this year. The sun was out, the leaves in full effect and I didn't get chased by a single dog! It took me about 3.5 hours and I saw several covered bridges and farms. The Ducks were playing USC so I was glad to be traveling via my own accord when I reached the city. Apparently OR goes nuts when there's a duck game in town - I-5 was solid grid lock after the game. Luckily 99 was wide open and I hitched a ride back North with my Dad and Martha.

Saturday night we carved pumpkins till about 9 - at which point we all felt like zombies and went to bed. I did a ride along with George the next morning - meaning up at 5:30. Ouch. I haven't been up that early in a long time!

We had one call - some woman reported her 19 year old daughter was missing. Apparently they've had this same issue before - which resulted in the daughter putting a restraining order against her abusive boyfriend, who is also the father of their 9 month old. Well her R.O. expired and he in turn had one against her, which was still in effect. If the daughter was found with the loser boyfriend, then she was going to be hauled to jail. A few phone calls later, the daughter was cussing out my brother on the phone saying she hadn't been in contact with her ex-boyfriend. Well according to her friend who she was last seen with, the daughter was dropped off at said ex-boyfriends house and they were "getting back together." My bro tried calling the number the daughter had left at the sheriff's office and the boyfriend was trying to dial out at the same time. "We should've known your mom was going to pull some shit like that!" George called her back, told her that he has a R.O. against her and if he finds them together, he's going to put her in jail. Jerry Springer action. Hair pulling, cat fighting, screaming - all the essentials for some good American television. Who said the Sunday morning shift was boring?

I asked George if he gets personally vested in any of the cases that he deals with and he responded more than anything else he gets pissed off because he deals with stupid idiots all day long who only lie to him. Note to self - don't become a law enforcement officer! I appreciate what he and all of the other law enforcement people do - but sheesh! Dealing with morons all day sounds depressing. :)

I made it home in record time - 4.5 hours. Just in time to eat some dinner and pass out. Ryan came home around 1 am - after a weekend in Vegas with some rock climbing friends. He had a great time - can't wait to hear his stories.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

One for the books

Yesterday's ride was a test of will. Going from a 72 degree day and then dipping back into the mid forties with rain was certainly a challenge. Even rolling down the bumpy Burke made every bump and stick I hit feel like I should turn around. But oh, it's just the winter slog and realistically not all that bad. Hours upon hours of zone 2 riding. Luckily the weather is cooler and making the muscles move beyond that zone is nearly impossible.

Let's see... if I average 15 hours per week for the next 9 weeks till Christmas, that's 135 wet soggy hours in the saddle. Thank goodness I'll get a break from it when we head to Spain for Christmas - that should be a blast. Especially roaming around the Mediterranean. We're headed to Barcelona first and then driving South West to Siruana. Has any one been to that area and can share some good pedaling routes?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Good Time Sunshine

The winter gloom lifted for two days with yesterday nearly breaking a record high! I got to leave my arm warmers and knickers at home for the last time of year. Even Mt. Baker peaked her head out of the clouds and all of Cascades were in attendance.

Today it's back to normal though - rainy and dark.

Tomorrow I'm going to see a new Massage Therapist to see if we can figure out why my hammy has been flaring up lately.

AND BIG news - my long time friend Denese had a baby girl Sunday night - CONGRATS D!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Cali fires


My thoughts go out to all of those struggling with the Cali fires. It seemed like just yesterday SoCal was dealing with similar flames when it was already four years ago.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Saturday, October 20, 2007

LSD

Gotta love those long slow days.

Except it was slightly chilly out this morning - a brisk 45 with some rain showers. I decided to be a wimp and drive up to LogBoom to avoid the messy Burke. Boy am I glad I did.

We headed north through Bothell and ended up near Snohomish. Linda unfortunately broke her chain - the piece was completely warped. I've never seen that before. We tried fixing it to no avail and luckily Mark was around to come pick her up. Turns out the newer chains don't allow you to fix them by popping the pin in and out - you have to have a master pin. Strange. Who would have thought?

I don't know how I've put up with 3 wet riding winters - and to think, this is only the beginning of a new one. Fun times, fun times.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Art of the Table ROCKS!

It was date night last night so we tried a new restaurant and it was amazing.

http://artofthetable.net/

I saw a review in the Stranger and since it as in the hood, decided to give a whirl.

Oh boy, were we in for a treat.

The space was small and intimate with great lighting. We arrived and were greeted by the chef, his brother and girlfriend? and offered us either our own table or to join the party for a supper club. We opted for the later and Ryan had the best seat in the house - he could see right into the kitchen and watch the action.

The menu is rotated every week and this week Chef Justin focused on Northern Italy. He came out to the table and told us about his inspiration and research ensuring a culinary delight. The Northern Italians focus on using local ingredients so Justin did as well - highlighted by chanterelle and porcini mushrooms, swiss chard, zucchini and Theo chocolate.

We started with brushetta with chopped chanterelles drizzled by truffle oil. It's making my mouth water just thinking about it.

The salad had grilled Radicchio and Zucchini with a 15 year old lip smacking balsamic and a cippolini onion, which offset the bitter radicchio, topped with shavings of parmagiano reggiano cheese.

Then he served homemade gnocchi, which I'm trying this weekend with sweet potatoes, accompanied by imported prosciutto, porcini and melted Gorgonzola. Fabulous!

Our main course was substituted - apparently he wrote his menu before checking the market prices on veal (18.99/lb!) and used boar cheeks instead. The boar was served on a bed of swiss chard and drizzled with a sweet brown sauce. Succulent and moist - it reminded me a little of the inside of a luau luau.

And of course - to top the meal off and satisfy our sweet tooth - home made Tiramisu with marscarpone cheese, using Kailua for the coffee flavor, lady fingers, Theo chocolate shavings and a fig served on the side. Tiramisu originated in the 1940's as the Italian women would make it for their loved ones on their way to war. A little sweet, a little caffeine, would hopefully ensure safe travels for their men.

Of course, with good food comes a bill. You get what you pay for - and this was definitely one of the best meals I've had out in a while. They do have a "Happy Monday" option - where Chef Justin takes his left over ingredients and whips up something amazing, for a small fee. Of course while we were leaving, he had to mention that this next Monday he's putting the boar cheeks and gnocchi together. YUM!

The Chef is young - I'd say still in his twenties and has a lot of enthusiasm and drive for what he does. His passion certainly translates into delectable delights - and if you are a foodie - this place should definitely be on your list.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Liquid Sunshine


It's been raining for a few days now. It's only October and I'm beginning to wonder when there will be an end to this madness.

Interesting, when I searched "how much does it rain in seattle", Google pulled up Wickipedia's answer:

"One city that is known for rain is Seattle, Washington. Rain is common in the winter, but mostly the climate is cloudy with little rain. Seattle's average rainfall is 942 mm (37.1 inches) per year, less than New York City with 1173 mm (46.2 inches), but has 201 cloudy days per year (compared to 152 in New York). However, it should be noted that Seattle lies in the rain shadow of the nearby Olympic Mountains, with some locations on the windward sides of the mountains receiving close to 5080 mm (200 inches) per year."

AND, according to local weatherman Steve Pool,

"This year seemed to be all or nothing in the rainfall department. After starting the year with a very wet January (8.39 inches) and March (6.34 inches), Mother Nature put on the rain brakes for summer, and for the second year in a row, summer rains were well below normal. We only received 0.06 inches in July and 0.32 inches in August.

But Mother Nature can make it up in a hurry. We went from a dry 0.89 inches in September to a record 8.90 inches in October (including the record 5.02-inch rain day on Oct. 20.)

Put it all together, and we ended up with 41.21 inches of rain for the year, well above the average of 37.07 inches. But it was nowhere near our wettest year of 54.61 inches in 1950." (I think this is from last year...)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Dreaming

I woke up this morning thinking about the pursuit. Ok, maybe the thrill of nationals hasn't worn completely off. I won't get to practice it again until next spring/summer. Bummer. In the meantime, the days are getting shorter and we are approaching the dark months.

The soup was AMAZING. I highly recommend it. And it's super cheap to make.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Soup Season

Going to give this recipe a whirl tonight - should be perfect to compliment the cold wet weather outside....

Russian Mushroom and Potato Soup (Taken from Allrecipes.com)

Rated: 5 out of 5 by 137 members Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 40 Minutes Ready In: 1 Hour
Yields: 12 servings
INGREDIENTS:
5 tablespoons butter, divided
2 leeks, chopped
2 large carrots, sliced
6 cups chicken broth
2 teaspoons dried dill weed
2 teaspoons salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 bay leaf
2 pounds potatoes, peeled and diced
1 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 cup half-and-half
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
fresh dill weed, for garnish (optional)

DIRECTIONS:
1. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Mix in leeks and carrots, and cook 5 minutes. Pour in broth. Season with dill, salt, pepper, and bay leaf. Mix in potatoes, cover, and cook 20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender but firm. Remove and discard the bay leaf.
2. Melt the remaining butter in a skillet over medium heat, and saute the mushrooms 5 minutes, until lightly browned. Stir into the soup.
3. In a small bowl, mix the half-and-half and flour until smooth. Stir into the soup to thicken. Garnish each bowl of soup with fresh dill to serve.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Spent some time east of the mountains this weekend in our little Mazama getaway. The leaves were all bright yellow and it looks like winter is going to settle in before too soon. The pass has accumulated a little bit of snow and all of the north facing peaks are still covered. The pass is usually closed by mid-November but due to El Nina?(or Nino?) it might close even sooner. Bring on skate skiing!

Tom, Trish and Molly ventured out East to meet up with us for a weekend of relaxation. We drove up to Hart's pass one of the days and Trish was a little freaked out by how narrow and winding the road was up the mountain edge. Not to mention several big ass hunter trucks came barreling down the hillside, and barely making room for the van to get past. The views were amazing though and you could catch a small glimpse of the jagged Cascade Range. It sure is beautiful out there. I think I'd like to hike part of the Pacific Crest trail before I die - definitely a must do in a lifetime.

The nights were chilly - mid thirties, I'd suspect. Luckily we have a ton of fire wood and nice big fire pit. We had a raging fire and burned through quite a bit of the slash pile. Tom sang about 2 hours worth of cover songs and we happily sang along while staring deep into the fires flames. No marsh mellows though.

The next day Ryan and I climbed up to his project area to retrieve his rope before winter hits. He completed bolting a big climb and got the first ascent - leaving him with naming rites. Of course the first thing that popped into his head were dirty thoughts - so if you hear about some dirty rock climb, you'll know who it was.

We both slept amazing over there - 10 hours each night. Ryan burns himself into the ground during the work week and then plays catch up on the weekend. Wild dreams filled my head - including, gasp, having my house cleaned! Yah right, like that will ever happen. :)

It was the perfect calm weekend before things pick up again on the bike. Gotta love and savor those!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Time to sit back, relax, and figure out all the pluses and whoops of the season and if there's a way to mend them into becoming an all around rider next season.

Lesson 1: Avoid injury. Pulling a hamstring in February is not recommended.
Lesson 2: Postponing Healing. Racing on a lame hammy does wonders for it not healing.
Lesson 3: Align yourself with people who have the same drive.

More to come later - after some beer reflection time of course....

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Killing time

Gone are the days when I exercise to hard that all I can do is sit in a heap on the couch and hope my legs recover enough to do it the following day. Hello off season! (Which only lasts a few weeks before it's back to the heavy training through the winter in prep for the following race season.)

I like to be an over achiever in all aspects in life. And when not training and focusing all my energy on going in circles, I have to occupy my mind and body.

Here's a list of the million things I did yesterday:
1. Took the disposable cameras into Freddy's that have been sitting in my drawer for 3 years.
2. Finished making curtains for our cabin.
3. Replaced all the batteries in our smoke detectors. (They've been sitting without them for months.)
4. Organized and cleaned off my bike catch all area.
5. Cleaned off the window sill from all the junk that's collected in the kitchen.
6. Made a list of goodwill items before dropping them off. (Tax deduction!)
7. Caught up on emails including updating the series points on the MVA website.
8. Took my front wheel in I ran over in my car to be fixed. (It's been sitting in my living room since early August.)
9. Took Makiah on a walk. (This unfortunately only happens in the fall.)
10. Picked up the dry cleaning.
11. Went to Miller and Molly's wedding shower.

During training this little list would have taken me months, if not years to complete. Don't worry I have plenty of other things to fill my time with the next week or so.... I bet you can't wait to hear about those!

Thanks Wes for taking this cool photo at Nationals.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The calm before the storm

Rumor has it the Seattle area is going to be hit by a wind storm in the next couple hours. Batten down the hatches! 60mph winds with rain - sounds like a typical winter day. So why all the hype? Media loves to blow storms out of control when they have nothing else to report on.


I spent some time out in the yard - filling my yard waste can and it still didn't start raining or gusting yet. It was nice out though - 60 degrees and calm. Something is definitely brewing...

I'm taking the next few weeks /days? off the bike and I'm starting to go stir crazy. The rest I put in now though will pay huge dividends later though... and reduce injury.

I decided against trying for the talent pool time this winter. If Nationals had gone better and I had some good placements, then I would feel confident going for it. But as it sits, I need to get some more experience under my belt and then be a contender instead of an observer.

So instead, it's back to the slow long training days and big fat base for the winter. My motivation is super high - and I'm not burnt out at all going into the next big training block. All the more reason to take a good rest, mentally and physically.

By the way - I just checked wunderground.com and it has no mention of any wind storm or rain whatsoever! ALL HYPE!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Sunburnt Cruisin'

My mom and I decided to take full advantage of our last full day in the warm sunshine and rented Cruiser Bikes. It was a slow morning - those Bud's were not good for the old head, especially when your not used to putting much alcohol in the system. Three and a half hours later, we returned our bikes and ensured a complete deep sunburn. The kind where you still feel it the following day. Darn, he he. :)

Other than the head being in a fog, the body feels pretty amazing. I think it's safe to say I'm in the best shape of my life and it's only going to get better...

We head home this morning to the beautiful liquid sunshine. And my BUBBA.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

It's Sunday, already?

Let's see - highlights. The points race came and went. I doubted my body and having the confidence in it that it was ready for the challenge. Result = 2 points. I should have lapped the field. The track is short, I have the endurance. Instead I sat and followed and didn't gain any additional points. I felt great afterward, which definitely means I had more to give. But I put a valuable tool in my toolbox.

My biggest regret though, and it's something I have no control over, is how quickly things flew by. All of that build up, all of that training and putting in the hours to the track leading up to nationals is over in a few minutes. You have to give it your all and express yourself out there - a national championship is about who wants it the most.

I tried getting on a team pursuit but they were not accepting late registration. Basically everyone who competed got a medal. Two Queens and a Fred (Hammer, Reed and Baush) rolled a 3:34. Baush had a little trouble keeping the Queen's pace but they still rocked it. Nice work ladies!

All in all a great week - I'm still digesting everything that happened and will write more soon....

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Seeded with a Watermelon

I had a PR today - but no where near where I wanted to be and calculated my time for the pursuit today. I rode a 4:02.9 and had to pass the other competitor not once, not twice, but three times. And estimates are you lose about 3 seconds off your time every time you pass someone. Damn. That means I would have rolled a much better time. As Phil Miller put it - you were seeded with a watermelon.

The scratch race was fast and furious. Unfortunately I geared down and now know that I will not be riding a smaller gear for tomorrow's highlighted points race.

I'm in good spirits - this is all still a learning experience and I look forward to getting another opportunity to show my ability.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Mass start test = Puke

Well I confirmed that I have not been focusing on the mass start test for my event. I'm over it. :)

Got a ways to go before I make that time standard but I do think it's in me. I also think there's only so many of those efforts that you can do in a lifetime. They certainly take their toll. I could barely walk down the stairs afterward and was starting to see spots. Bottom line - not enough oxygen was being carried to my legs and I had a hard time keeping the pace up.

That's cool though - tomorrow is my main focus with the pursuit. Should be interesting!

Oh and on a side note - NO ONE made the time standard. Just goes to show that test is friggin' hard!!!

Wes did awesome - top 10 in his first 250m standing start. Way to rock it buddy!

Kenny, Dan, Jamie and Tom (Team Rubicon) got third in the team pursuit. Way to go guys.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Third times' a charm

It's funny - I don't remember having any apprehension of getting on the track down here before. And yet, yesterday my heart couldn't help but take a couple bigger beats when I first rolled up to speed. Coming from Merrymoor that track is steep! So I spent the evening getting reacquainted with its boards. It took me a while to get comfortable being up at the rail. My first attempt at a flying 500 was 1.5 seconds slower from my second one. Between efforts I spent my time just getting familiar with being super high up on the drome and getting out of the saddle. Mission accomplished.

The weather here rules. No wonder so many people flock to this area like it's going out of style. We're supposed to have heat wave thanks to the Santa Ana winds blowing in from the desert. Good thing I brought my shorts!

One more day of getting familiar and then show time tomorrow!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Mr. Pee Pee Pants

This was just way too good of a story to pass up...

Ryan's been working a lot this week trying to make a deadline and putting in some extra hours. Needless to say, come Friday night he needed to release some steam with some mindless entertainment so we went to play some pool at the Ballard Alehouse. Our buddy Dave met us there and we had a good time.

Until Mr. Pee Pee Pants came up and asked us if he could "throw down some skrilla" and play with us. He was alone - about 24 years old, tats all over his arms (he was wearing a black tank top), baggy jeans, a chrome belt, short, blond military like haircut and straight out of Ballard's finest. We figured, why not - we had been monopolizing the table all night and the dude seemed harmless, at first. Lucky for us he didn't shark the table and provided some much needed entertainment.

By this point, Ryan's fatigue from the week and lack of eating dinner plus several IPA's started to kick in. He partnered up with Mr. Pee Pee Pants who did several wacko dances whenever he would sink a shot. At one point he stood behind some guy, impatiently waiting his turn to go (the tables are pretty close to one another) and then when it was his turn, he shot the cue ball off the table. HILARIOUS! Every time a woman would walk by he would stick his overly long tongue out of his mouth and keep it out for 10 seconds. Gross! Maybe you had to be there....

Anyhoo - at one point, Dave and I trying to figure out what drugs he was on (we figured it was meth) and that he had actually peed his pants. He didn't smell like it mind you, thankfully the residue of the Ballard Alehouse funk was too strong to smell it, but his pants were definitely dark and stained in that area.

He left to have a smoke outside, which by the way he kept begging for one from us, big shocker - buddy, we don't smoke. And when he was outside, we ditched him. I know, kick a brother when he's down. But the dude was a fruit cake and we had had enough.

So if you're ever in Ballard and find yourself involved with a Pee pee pants person, don't say I didn't warn you.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Natz Schedule

Here's a tentative schedule for next week's ass kicking:

Wed - Mass Start Test (session starts at noon - I'm guess 1?)
Thursday - Pursuit Qualifier, Scratch Heats (we'll see about that. As of today only 18 women are signed up for the Scratch race), Pursuit Final, Scratch Final.
Friday - Points Race Heats 30 laps, Points Final
Saturday - Team Pursuit - must find team....

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Squeezing (or should I say wheezing?) in one last effort

Maybe it will happen on Saturday - maybe it won't. The weather man is threatening rain from tonight until March. Good thing the fog burned off yesterday and I was able to get in one last effort at the track. And guess what? I hit 33.6 mph in a 90". Sweetness.

The additional 2 laps hurt like a mutha though - this fall weather is for the birds. It's been kicking up the asthma yo.

I was just warming up on the track listening to my dog whine from the infield, when a Colavita rider rolled up. Guess who just moved to the area? Iona Wynter Park. And she's prepping for a Sydney world cup. Sweet! More training partners. :)

All of this anticipation is madness. I'm really looking forward to the adventure. We leave Monday.

On a side note - I realized today I'm getting old. I was driving up the 5 to Kenmore, talking with Ryan on the phone, when we both realized I was blaring the Smooth Jazz station. The sad thing? I didn't turn it down. We chuckled. Last night we had a banter going back and forth and he made some comment about how I was getting kooky in my old age. And then - the topper - I was chatting with my hair dresser about Ken Burn's WWII documentary on PBS and how fascinating it is! (I brought up the subject!) What's up Juice??? Did you drink your prune juice today? You now have to listen to some mandatory hip hop 3 times daily.

I suppose the moral of the story - all this training and focus has left me a little lost.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Fall Daze


It misted all day today - with the exception of the sunset. That means no track workout - but instead I had a nice spin down Lake Washington Blvd and got to really enjoy the fall colors. The autumn hues are just starting to come out - some trees are really vibrant and others are turning shades of yellow. My favorite are the brilliant reds on maple trees.

The weather has certainly changed. I'm looking forward to getting some yard work done in a couple weeks in preparation for the winter.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Registered

ok - my heart just returned to normal beats per minute and my palms stopped sweating. I just laid down $160 buckaroos to compete in this years nationals. $40 per event - and I'm doing all of the endurance events.

My workout was a little hosed yesterday due to a longer than expected road ride on Saturday. I couldn't quite turn the pedals around fast enough and keep the speed moving. All of this training and coaching has definitely taught me when to call it a day and when you should continue to push it. It's taken a while to get there - and I'm sure I still have a ton of learning left to do - but at least I'm making forward progress.

I've been visualizing several times a day - practicing in my head what a start will feel like and how it will burn during the pursuit. It's already paying dividends - yesterday my standing starts felt super duper fluid.

Oh - and I figured out why I hit 34 the other day. I was supposed to be in a 88" and I was in a 94" instead. Whoops! Funny, at the time it didn't feel like a super hard gear.

One week... one week!!!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

The Boulder Analogy

You never know when or where you'll run across a good nugget of information. I remember watching Starcross last year, thinking to myself I couldn't wait to get nationals over with. What a comparison to this year!

Anyhoo - I ran into Woody and told him about my last blog entry and the "suicide mission." He commented that last Friday, between corner two and three during the Kierin, he saw something that he hadn't seen before in my racing - a rocket, we'll call it. I figured out how to thrust myself forward and now that I know it's there, I just need to learn how to tap into that energy.

But the main goody I took away from tonight - and I hope I do his analogy justice - is that everyone starts racing with a boulder. Each time you put a move in, each time you dig to bridge, or dig to hang on, you shave a little off your boulder. Some people get to the end of the race and have a small pebble. But some people get to the end of the race and still have a boulder. Guess who's rock makes a bigger impact?

Moral of the story - make a bigger splash with your boulder.

The catch though - being the one to watch, being the one who always makes a move, will make you a marked target. You can only be dominant for a few years before others figure out your tricks. I love Woody - he's a wise sage who is always willing to give me advice.

As they say, it takes a village.


MAD PROPS to all of you cyclocross racers who demonstrated your passion at Marymoor today. You are all an inspiration! My favorite move, among many, was watching Kristi Berg put in a monster attack on the last lap and hearing her parents enthusiastically cheer for her. Sounds like she has quite a support network! And the other favorite move - Kabush flatted early in the first lap - and had to walk a long way to the pits, blowing his chance for a nice finish. Instead, he walked his rim rolled tubular and bike past the beer garden and chugged a bunch of beer. Cross rules. He just made some more people's hero list, for sure.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Hmmmm... interesting

I was surfing the "radar" and came across Shelley Olds Proman team blog. She went down to LA and did the SoCal Elite Track Championships a week or two ago. Anyway, on the comment page, someone wrote the following:

NorCal said...

Unleash the fury- I like it! I was a spectator at the Marymoor velodrome on Friday night. Who is Kelly Murdin? Not sure I spelled that correctly, she had the national team kit on, raced with the threes along with Jennifer Triplett. Jennifer seems to make suicide early moves hoping it will stick. Nothing did. Murdin waits and seems a little cautious for someone who is on the national team. That is one loooong track- 400 meters. The straights are flat so for standing starts the racers get a push or they would fall over.

Kelly B.


Too bad I raced with my head up my ass that night! Oh well. Everyone's entitled to an off night, right? And I'd rather make an early move and die trying then never to have tried at all....

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Let the Countdown begin...

Yesterday I almost turned my car around, thinking a nap would be better than putting some time in at the track. My eyelids were almost shut on the drive over to Marymoor - but once I pulled up, chamoised up, and started warming up - my body felt amazing. Hmmmm... maybe coach Kenny does know what he's talking about. Just kidding - he totally knows. Those motor pace efforts have done wonders for my endurance - and I'm rapidly approaching top form.

On the agenda last night - 3 x 500's flying, in an 88", 3-4 x 200 from a crawl, focusing on power and form, 3-4 standing starts, rocking the hips forward and concentrating on form. Done. I felt really good - hit my 500s in high speed and feel like I'm ready and confident for early October. Sweet. I remember thinking, if only I saw 34mph when I do my sprints - then I'll know I"m ready. Well guess what? 34 baby!

One more kick ass track session to polish my fast twitch muscles and then taper taper taper.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Putered Out

Spent all morning staring at the computer and putting in some time for the MVA. Looking forward to getting on the bike, in the sun I must add, and pedaling in circles for the afternoon.

Only a few more hard sessions left out at the track and then I'm tapering for Nats. Sweetness!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

ULtimate Websurfing

For all of you that don't have a blog, whenever you sign in to post something you are taken to the dashboard, a navigational page. From there you can moderate comments, edit posts, add posts, customize your blog, etc. Well today on the front page, Blogger Blog people just boasted a new product they've introduced to the site.

http://play.blogger.com/

This cool little tool shows all of the photos that are downloaded to blogger in real time. You can set it to play at different speeds, pause it, click on the photo to take you to the blog, etc. It could definitely mean hours upon hours of time gobbled up by cyberspace. Be careful, I just got hooked after 10 minutes.

Monday, September 17, 2007

My hunka hunk of burning love


Yes, that is a devil in hockey skates and tightie whities tattooed on his arm. This is Ryan climbing his newly bolted route at the Fire Wall in Mazama.

Fixin' Up a Fixie

I've been trying to line up a single speed for training on the road and think I might have found what I'm looking for.....

2005 Novara Trionfo Frame with headset, bars, front wheel, etc. $500 - I'm not sure sure if that's worth it yet, I have to go see it today hopefully.

I also will need to add a BB, cranks, rear hub and wheel, etc. That will add on at least another $200. I might hold out to see if I can find something cheaper...

2 weeks from the day and we head down south. 2 WEEKS!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

MVA 2007 Season DUN

We had a great turnout for the final Friday Night Track Racing last night. The Cat 4's had 30 men show, 9 women and the 1/2s had a solid 22+ person field. I wish I could say how many 3's showed, but I was mainly sucking wind all night and didn't bother to look around and find out. All in all it was a great way to put the season behind us - and now only 2.5 more weeks and it's time to turn the heat on down in LA. Have I mentioned before that I'm really looking forward to it? Well I am!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Last Night of Friday Night Track Racing!

Come one, come all to the very last Friday Night track racing for the 2007 season! Racing starts at 7:30 and the MVA is providing FREE beer and pizza afterward. And who knows, maybe you'll get to see Dan Harm's naked butt running around the track. Good times.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

So Alive

Some days make you feel more alive than others.

Yesterday I felt alive, but tired. I couldn't seem to wake myself up all day. I actually considered drinking some coffee. Don't worry - I didn't do it. :)

I've been hitting the track hard with Kenny. We've been doing multiple motor pace sessions. I didn't admit it to him, but my body was a little tired from climbing Goat Wall on Saturday. Bruises cover my body with a few scrapes here and there. But I'm so glad we climbed it - that will make you feel alive, for sure. Ryan said a friend of his climbed the same route the following day and they ran into bears. Oh my!

So when Kenny said I'd be doing 2k efforts behind the motor in my aero bars, I thought, oh crap. Here we go. But amazingly - my body was ready for the challenge and I was able to dial in my efforts. We did three total - and the last one was by far the strongest. I love thinking about how bad it hurts when it hurts so good - how smooth to make it - how to make sure everything in my body is relaxed and unless you can read my mind, you can't tell if I'm hurting or not. It's a catch 22 with that ability - Kenny has a hard time knowing if he needs to increase the speed or if I'll crack. All I think about is smooth movements, staying straight on the black line, relaxing my upper body and concentrating on spinning. It's as though my body goes into auto mode - taking me around and around as fast as can be. We aimed for 33mph and got it. Solid.

Day two - more 2k efforts. This time in a smaller gear so my rpms would be higher. It's so important to stay relaxed. My shins have a tendency to flare up - and I just have to calm them down mentally and tell them to relax. Once they do, my legs are flying and I'm thinking about how much closer I can get to the motors rear wheel without actually hitting it. My body only allowed two of those efforts - the last was much stronger. Just goes to show how important it will be for me to adequately warm up to make my pursuit the best it can be. We were able to hit 33 on the final lap of my effort - a hard thing to do in an 88".

I went to bed at 10 I was so tired. Alive, but tired.

This morning I woke up early (9 hours of sleep, yes!) and hit the gym up. It was hard to throw weights around -but mental training is part of the game. And it's supposed to hurt. I'm starting to think I was born to do this - I love it so much. It definitely makes me feel alive.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Pictures

Before Laurel was born, George and Jaimie didn't want to share what her name was going to be. Instead they nicknamed her ladybug so Coleman wouldn't accidentally slip and tell the world her name before she entered it.

Fortunately, some things you never grow out of. Here's Ladybug.















Coleman and I had a great day of picking strawberries out at a farm in Fall City area. Then we headed to Bybee Farms in North Bend to pick blueberries. Here's a picture of him standing in front of Mt. Si, where he hopes Uncle Ryan will take him climbing next year once he turns four.


















George and family also brought up their boat and we went out on Lake Washington one evening to try and find food. Here's a picture of Ryan, Coleman and I having fun as the sun sets and we realize all the places to eat on the lake have either closed or were too full! Oh well, next time we'll bring our own picnic.
















Now that they've returned home, my brother is building Coleman his very own treeless tree house in their back yard. They had to dig a big hole for the foundation - and Coleman of course wanted to show how big he is.

















And lastly, as big brother and dad were slaving away on digging in the dirt and making a mess, Laurel was perfectly content on watching them. She's so adorable!


Monday, September 10, 2007

Found: The perfect Skyline in Lost River

Ah - there's nothing like 10 days out in the wilderness to rejuvenate your soul, body and mind! Throw in the fact that the love of your life is joining you in this venture - and you have one kick ass time.

Our cabin rules. It's rustic - meaning no running water but we do have water. Never mind that it took us 6 days to get the water running at our outdoor faucet and I didn't take a shower for at least a week. It's perfect. (So what that we have a 5 foot hole underground that took us 1.5 days to dig through the dirt? We have water!)

Don't worry - after three days of hiking around in dusty dirt and battling a million different species of flies - you stop noticing how dirty you are when you crawl into your sleeping bag. I'm sure Ryan didn't notice - he was just as smelly and dirty. :)

And having the same pancake breakfast every morning while listening to the quails and woodpeckers playing in the forest? Amazing. Oh and I can't forget about the stars - a gazillion of them poked out every night. Not to mention how quiet it is in the North Cascades out Lost River Airport area. Looking at Makiah and seeing a huge smile on her happy little face - while basking in the sun. Priceless.

We also biked up the Hwy 20 - to Washington Pass. Truly an amazing climb. It's steep and grueling - especially when you do it at mach ten like Ryan did. Then we really celebrated our anniversary in style by doing a multi-pitch route up Goat Wall. It was rated 11c - which of course Ryan climbing like a champ. I on the other hand got to pull on some draws and aid my sorry biking ass up. The view was stellar. We almost had an epic - thanks to some poorly placed belays. But all in all we made it home safe and sound before the sun went down.

Then during our last day Ryan wanted to hike up to Fire Wall one last time and put in a new route. We spent the entire day in our harnesses while he jack hammered some pins into the rock and set up quite possibly one of the harder sport routes in the area. He's headed back next weekend while I put some time in on the bike and get down to business for nationals.

The best part? Not worrying about the bike - thinking I had to ride it at all. I totally relaxed and had an amazing time. So did Makiah - it might take her a couple of days to recover from all that activity!

Now... time to get down to business and back to the gym....

Saturday, September 01, 2007

We're out

For a week or so to our cabin in Mazama. Should be fun - with absolutely zero internet access and little to no cell reception. Gotta love it.

Check ya when we return.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Heat effects

Yesterday was one of the hotter days of the year in Seattle - right around 82. I know, I know - for all you out of town readers, 82 isn't that hot at all - but for around here, that's hot enough to get your basement to finally dry out after a long winter of rain!

Ryan headed up to North Bend to do some bouldering with some buddies - a perfect excuse for me to ride out East and meet them. This photo shows Mt Si - and little Si, the bump of a mountain to the South of the rocks. The hike to the crag takes about 30 minutes, and the summit to the top of Si takes anywhere from 3-6 hours.















Thankfully I decided to just hang out at the car for an hour waiting for Ryan and his crew to show back up. My tummy wasn't feeling well and for the first time in forever, I didn't feel the need to eat while riding. Strange. We headed to NBBG afterward (a local pub) to get some grub and by then I was hungry enough to eat. But at about 4am, my body let me know that eating a hamburger wasn't the smartest choice and next thing I know, I'm running laps back and forth between our bed and the bathroom. I know, too much information.

So I'm thinking either a) dehydration from the heat or b) food poisoning. Maybe a little bit of both? Either way, I think my gym workout has been canceled for the day and a little R&R is what's needed before I do any kind of exertion. Yep, I'm being a big baby.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Methow Bound

Things to do before heading out of town:

Grueling Track workout - Check
Ride to North Bend and meet Ryan tonight -
Locate a luggable Loo -
Gather up all the things we thought we'd take to the good will, that are now worthy for the cabin - check.

Should be a nice week of relaxation, biking, hiking and enjoying our new property!

Again - mad props to Donna and Annette who duked it out for the sprint final with Donna prevailing for the national title. It's so cool to see that the two top ladies are from Washington State!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Some hardware


Way to go Annette who has brought home two master national jerseys so far on the first day of competition in both the 500m and 2k pursuit!










And nice job Heather for posting the fastest 500m TT for the day and winning her age bracket. Excellent work.













And to Donna Smith who rocketed her TT and with the 4th fastest time of the day - you go girl! I can just imagine you doing a celebratory dance in circles with Heather.




And of course, I can't forget Christiane and Jane who both placed 6th in their age categories for their 500m TT. Nice work ladies.