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


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.

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


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.