Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Catching up

slept 10 hours last night. I didn't even bother setting the alarm this morning - in hopes I would be able to sleep in - something that I haven't been able to do in over a month. Usually my mind wakes me up before 8 - with racing thoughts dancing through my brain and my body ready to get up and get at 'em. Well today was like opening a big bow topped present - totally unnecessary but absolutely amazing. And I slept like a baby.

I was doing the morning routine of checking the web for any new news that might have happened while slumbering when I realized today was the day to get my F650 into BMW to check on a battery drain warranty issue. I quickly dressed, threw on my helmet and was out the door. The beauty of having a BMW other than the fact that it can stand for "Break My Wallet" is they have a loaner program - and they HOOKED ME UP. The Ride West site boasts the R1200 S as "enough raw power to shock...."

And they weren't kidding.

It scared the shit out of me on my way home. Easily cruising up to 50mph in 2nd - and quickly reminding me I can pop wheelies in any gear - any time. Talk about a smoking hot bike.

Hopefully I won't lay down a $14,500 bike. VRRRRRRRRRROOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMM!!!!!

(It's a straight up track bike.) And you can bet - I'm taking the long way home.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Lucky Charm's Continued....

We hung around for a little while before the second session started up which included a Keirin and points race. Phil Miller, the chief ref, did a great job of informing the athletes their duties (making it a show) and playing fairly. Dave Mann, the promoter, also thanked everyone for coming out - he did an amazing job!

First up - the Keirin. Thankfully they ran them with semi's so instead of one person qualifying from each heat, 4 would then proceed to a semi-final. Then in the semi's - the top 4 advance. I breezed through both heats and lined up for the final. You could tell each person wanted to win bad. Instead of lining up and playing nicely behind the motor as they sped us up to speed - the ladies were in a double file line - bumping and grinding. I backed off - and once the time the motor pulled and the acceleration happened - was in poor position for the finish. Dead stinking last.

The beauty of track racing? I got to do it again in another race that night. Since the pressure was off for qualifying for Nationals in the pursuit - I decided to have fun and race the points race with gusto. We had a large field - so staying in the front was key. Christine and Liz were both involved and I got a couple of stellar lead outs - it was RAD. I managed to win a sprint and then Kristen King launched a solo flier and held the rest of us off for the win. I was tied for 2nd with Cari Higgins - but she aced me out in the final sprint by placing higher. But I was tickled with a 3rd place finish - more podium time! Can someone please pinch me?

We got home LATE Friday night - poor Liz had to drive back in the early morning for the sprint tournament while Ryan and I slept in until 10:30. I woke up a couple times in the middle of the night - first because I was hungry and then from hacking up a lung thanks to the track hack. Being asthmatic is awesome - NOT! I ended up using some Vick's Vapor rub to calm my chest down.

I headed back to the track around 2 - to meet Christie and get my new fork installed on the Tiemeyer. A quick drive to Redmond Bikes and they had me back in action hours before the evening session. I took a nice nap in the van and the suited up for the Scratch, Miss and Out and Madison races.

Thinking the Scratch race would be fast - I geared up to a 91.8, which jacked the legs in the end. I should have raced a 90! And although I was active and in the front for a lot of the race - when the winning move launched, I had wasted too many matches to bridge up and ended up swarmed in the pack sprint. Oh well - like I said before - the beauty of track is having another race in 20 minutes. Turns out we had 39 women in our Scratch race - a record! How cool is that???!!!

Next up - the Miss and out with 27 starters. Luckily they pull every lap - but we still had 30 laps to go. I played it smart. Settling in and then coming around each lap. I nearly got aced out the lap before the final 5 to go - but somehow stayed in. Shelley Olds made a move - I knew she was coming and jenny trew did a great job of blocking me so I could only contest her for 2nd. And let me tell you - that was the hardest 150m I've had in a LONG time. I whipped out the donkey face for that one!

Last but certainly not least was Marymoor's first all women's Madison. We had one more team than the elite men did! Dave Mann dubbed 2008 as the "Year of the Women." Christine and I managed 4th - not bad considering she hasn't raced one before. A couple more races and she should be good to go for contesting the podium with me! We botched a couple exchanges - which compounded gaps in the end - but did great overall. At one point she jumped the lead ladies and made them chase chase chase her for a sprint. It was rad!

I ended up placing 5th overall - not bad. But it still makes me hungry for next year. And I'm feeling good about going into nationals this year - that's for sure.

It's so fun attending this events - and even better when they're held at your home track. Thanks to all the out of towners who made it out and brought some amazing intensity. I'll see you ladies in LA in October.

Monday, July 28, 2008

My Lucky Charm

Little did I know how lucky I would be this weekend thanks to my early morning wake up call Friday from Ryan.

Liz Reap-Carlson and I headed to the track at 10 am on Friday - with plenty of time to spare for setting up our tent and getting ready for the morning session. I asked Pat to help me out with installing my cap and headset on my bike from swapping my aero bars and he quickly hopped to it. When tightening down the bolts on my stem though, we both looked at each other in panic when we heard a CRACK! Yep, the steer tube cracked under the pressure of Pat's STRONG hands. Did I panic? Not really - at least not yet. And with three guys looking at my fork - they determined it would be fine to ride the pursuit and team pursuit - and possibly that evening with the mass start events. But they all advised to replace it ASAP. Pat placed an emergency call to David Tiemeyer on the bat phone to have a new Renoylds Track Fork overnighted to replace the cracked one. What a guy!

You could say I was a little stressed - and Christie asked me if I was ok because I seemed awfully quiet. I got ready for the pursuit - borrowed smoking hot yellow booties from Shawn Larson, suited up and prepared to go in the last heat against Kele Murdin. I was aiming for a 4:04 and told Mike my split times. Kristen King and Shelley Olds were in the previous heat - rocking a 4:02 and a 4:04 respectively. I really wanted to place in the podium to qualify for nationals and have zero stress the rest of the weekend so it felt like a lot was on the line. A 4:02? That's smoking fast! My start was great - opening lap a 34. Second lap 30 - then it was just settling into a rhythm. I knew Kele was going to throw down - and I wanted to too. My previous pursuit at Marymoor was a 4:09 - so you can imagine my surprise when I rocked a 4:02.46! I beat Kristen King by .5 seconds! Kele mustered a 4:00 - it was that close!

Next up - the team pursuit. I corralled Christine and Liz to do it with me - and we had one practice previous to our first timed attempt. One the final lap we ended up passing the opposing team - nearly crashing into Christie as she hadn't heard me yelling at her before we went around. This cost us a few seconds - and could have easily put us into second. Oh well - we definitely learned from that mistake!

Last but certainly not least - the team sprint. Monique the wonder Canadian and I paired up again and I had a great start with a BIG gear on. I dropped her off with a lot more speed and she sped around the bankings - setting a new track record! It was awesome!

More to come....

Friday, July 25, 2008

I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll blow the house down!

This morning I woke up to the sound of several loudly whispered expletives and Ryan using a floor pump on his tires, then the gushing noise of air traveling too quickly more expletives and repeat. "You've got to be f*(&&**(ing kidding me!" This happened 4 times.

Even Makiah nestled in next to me - sensing something was amiss. I mustered up energy to get out of bed and see if I could help a code red frustrated man in skinny spandex solve the pump fiasco. Strewn across the living room were 4 tubes, broken off valves, two pumps (neither of which work properly, btw) and an Irish man as red in the face as the leprechaun wig he wears on St. Paddy's day. His hands were shaking - all patience long gone - and he was late for work.

"Should have just run my tires at 80 psi - at least I'd be half way there by now!"

A slow, steady hand, team effort to make a pump work and off he went chasing his pot of gold, pedaling his heart out to make it on work time for his Friday meeting.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

ET Phone Home?

Ryan's mom, Trish, was onto something many years ago. Finally - the truth comes out.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Keirin Crash

You may have heard about this already - but on Saturday during a elite men's Keirin, a HUGE crash happened taking out the entire field. Fortunately everyone walked away - although some equipment was ruined. As you watch the slow motion - check out the wheel that goes flying through the air - the fork is still attached.



Thanks to Amara for capturing me killing it in survival mode and making my motivation to train in the winter that much stronger. This photo was taken at the Gastown Crit in the only sliver of light to be found on a course dominated by tall buildings.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Podium shot from the Miss and Out. Erica Allar in first, and Kele Murdin in third. Photo taken by Brujo)))'s. Check them all out at

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Five down, one to go!

Wow - what a long weekend of racing. Just got back from the morning session after a LONG day of racing on Saturday. Highlights - placed 3rd in the 200m, and held off my third place in the sprints. (Yeah, I know! What's this sprinter shit?!) Then raced a fast and furious scratch race - placing 4th behind Cari Higgins, Erica Allar and Shelley Olds. Immediately afterward I lined up for the Team Sprint with Monique Sullivan and we set a new track record!!! It was amazing!

I had a hard time falling asleep last night with all that adrenaline pumping through my body.

Unfortunately the Keirin heats were hard - first I was paired up with Monique and although I gave her a run for her money - she was just too fast. Then I was in a rep with Kele and some other girls - and sat in 4th. I had to come around too many people, nearly nipping Kele at the line and lost. :( But it makes me stronger and prepares me for next time.

In between the Keirin heats was a miss and out - one of the hardest ones I've done to date. I made it down to the final three and tried jumping but Erica was a little faster than me today and got a jump. Kele was third. So far the racing has been super fun - and last but not least is our points race. It's going to hurt - but should be fun!

Friday, July 18, 2008

One down 5 to go

Just completed the first session of a weekend long biking extravaganza called the Alpenrose Velodrome Challenge. First up - a 3k pursuit. Christie graciously let me borrow her dank aero bars for my effort and they made a HUGE difference. I posted a PR at Alpy putting in a time of 4:14, nine seconds better than last year. One BIG lesson I learned though - and this pertains to the Alpenrose track particularly - make sure you tighten down your helmet prior to doing your effort. Otherwise the bumpy track will knock your helmet down, causing some vision issues but at the same time giving you something else to focus on other than the burn in your legs. At one point I had to take my hands off the bars and flip my helmet up - that is soooo pro! And Heather (aka Coach) was letting me know my split times and since my Rudy Project helmet has ear covers - all I could hear was "Blah blah blah!" and see her briefly jump up and down on the track in her pink outfit as my helmet slipped further and further down my face. Good times!

Luckily that time was good enough to put me into 2nd - right behind Kelekelebobelly. She bested me by 3 seconds - and I noticed her helmet sat securely on her head. LUCKY!

Oh well - next up a 500m. Should be interesting!

More to come...

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Getting your ducks lined up in a row

Although when looking at the overall results would reveal a big fat DNF from last nights fast and furious Tour of Gastown, I honestly think I took a huge stride toward getting better. I truly believe you can learn faster through failure and making mistakes because they are so much easier to recognize and hopefully correct. (Especially when they're obvious!)

So without further audieu - here's what I believe went wrong and how I can fix it next year. Yes, next year. There's nothing like a personal challenge to get me fired up and ready to train harder and come back to better my previous attempt.

#1 - Downplaying the excitement and intensity of a NRC crit. Sure I've done a small handful of them in the past - but it's been over a year since I've jumped in with the big girls and I automatically assumed I'd be able to hang with them without any problem. Hmmmm... well when you clip in, hit it full gas to the first corner, slam on your brakes, avoiding everyone who's a moron and doesn't know how to handle their bikes, sprint out of the corner and don't move up immediately? You get stuck there and eventually you get popped due to the surges and how much harder it is to race in the back. Even I know and preach how much easier it is in the front of a race - and yet, I had to relearn this lesson last night. (That's probably the MOST frustrating lesson of it all - mainly because I keep relearning it.)

#2 - Ok so I don't really have a no. 2 because I pretty much summed it up in #1. But I must applaud my efforts for attempting Gastown - I hung till the half way mark. I saw some friends (fraz and carla) who I haven't seen for a while and got to meet Matt Shriver from LYP. And some ladies were shelled after the first lap. FIRST LAP!

And like I said - it makes me HUNGRY for another attempt. Hopefully something will pan out this year. I'm already starting to think about next season and shifting my focus a little less on track and A LOT more on road. And now I have a new tool in my toolbox to pull out when it's 38 degrees and raining. :)

Gina Grain did a fantastic job last night and definitely demonstrated she's ready for the Olympics. She's going to rock it in Beijing!

In other news - the men's race was impressive. Svein Tuft and Andrew Pinfold (sp?) are both headed to Beijing and had a full squad of Symmetrics backing them up. Chris Horner was in the mix, Andy Jacques-Main (sp?) and several other top notch racers shed the field from the original 150 starters down to 30. Dave Richter was doing well - hanging in great position going into 5 laps to go - when an idiot in front of him, hit the barrier, endoed, and Dave ran right into him, flipping onto the barrier with his face. He didn't get up right away - I panicked, ran over to him, although couldn't get to him because of the barriers. Luckily there was a hay bail near by for him to climb over and we immediately walked him to the medics on hand. Thank goodness we were there to help him - he smacked his head really hard and was really out of it. His cheek had a serious cut on it requiring stiches. Poor guy! Aaron Levin, his teammate on BRI unforutnately had a little run in with another hay bail in the beginning of the race and scraped up his arm pretty badly. Heal up quicly guys!

Svein Tuft was off the front for about 6 laps leading into the final sprint - at which point he was caught and then his teammate Pinfold secured the win. I missed the finish - but saw them celebrating on the back straight as they rolled back through.

Now we're off to Portland for the AVC and some killer competition. First up - the pursuit. And now I have something to prove. :)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Gastown Bound!

Last week I discovered it takes USA Cycling up to one week to grant an International License. Applying online isn't sufficient enough - you also have to send it a copy of your passport and sign a license agreement document and then snail mail it into their office in Colorado Springs. I found this out Thursday. Luckily I made it to the Post Office in time to send it via Priority so their offices would receive it before the end of the workweek. ($16 bucks plus $90 for the license)

I anxiously waited for the confirmation - you can print an authorization to ride from their website once the paperwork has been completed and use it in lieu of a license. Thankfully that went through yesterday. I arranged a carpool with Tela and Ian Crane for the venture to Vancouver on Wednesday and sat down to double check to make sure I can register for Gastown prior to Wednesday and MISSED REGISTRATION!!!


A quick email to the registration link and admittance of being a bonehead... and luckily everything worked out and a nice Canadian named Kim let me in. :) ($60 CAN for registration.)

Total cost to get to Gastown? $166. And that's just for stinking license and stuff.

On a side note - our car is fixed! And it only cost $250! Yikes. Spending money like its going out of style. Better win some money to pay for living!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Flower Manager

The weekend was pretty stressful and today actually feels like what a Monday should feel like - manic!

Friday racing was great. My friend Monique was in town and we partnered up to do the men's Madison. Though we came in dead last - we got a point during one of the sprints and did really well! She had a slight mishap while waiting for me though - by hitting her handle bars on the railing and then sliding down the track. Slightly embarrassing but she took it with ease! Looking forward to racing with her again soon! Karen was out watching and was stoked to see so many strong women out there racing - thanks for the renewed perspective Karen!

Afterward Ryan and I headed to Big Time to get some beer and pizza. We split a pitcher between the two of us. Apparently I forgot how badly it hurts the next day when I drink more than one - I was hurtin! Not to mention we woke up super early so Ry could head out to Gold Bar and go bouldering and I met up with my neighbor Jo to do some raspberry picking. We headed out to Carnation to do some berry scavenging (as the berries are still under-ripe) and I got back with 20 minutes to spare before heading out to Josh and Ai's wedding.

On the way there - the Golf started acting really funny. It didn't have any power on the hills and was starting to get really sluggish. I made it to the wedding but had serious doubts that evening. Around 9pm I decided to head out to get home in time to catch up on some sleep - and made it about 2 miles away before the back end was belching black smoke and the check engine light went on. Rather than hang out on Highway 2, I headed back to Wallace Falls. A quick call to Progressive Roadside and by 11:30pm I was sitting in the cab of a flat bed truck on my way back home with Makiah's head resting on my thigh. Luckily while I was waiting for the truck to show up I got to watch some serious hula hooping and dance party. It was a lot of fun!

My bro is in town and left his new black lab on my back porch. I felt awful for it - it was in its crate all day! I decided to let her sleep in my room - but as a puppy she didn't do much sleeping. And of course Makiah was PISSED another dog was in her space - so she decided to bark at every little thing walking by the window. Then I woke up at 5 am the sound of the puppy puking. Lovely. Next thing I know, my phone is ringing at 7:30 am and my four-year-old nephew is on his way over to help me make jam with all of the raspberries we picked the previous day. My bro showed up a little bit later to walk the dog - and being Mr. Project Man - I put him to work and he power washed my back deck as I got Coleman to help me do some much neglected weeding! Nice, eh?!

Around 3 I headed out to the track and did a 4 hour moto session with Pat and Christie and was a zombie by the time I got home. Passed out about 9:30pm and slept until 8. A few more hours of sleep and I should be caught up!

Meanwhile - the car saga continues and I just had both the van and the golf towed in to get fixed. When it rains it pours.

Oh - and the title of this blog? Tim, our helpful office assistant, is out of town this week and I've been doing his flower watering duties. A DHL delivery guy was joking around - saying it must be tough being a "flower Manager" - to which I responded, you have no idea. :)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

"No man is invincible, and therefore no man can fully understand that which would make him invincible. Even with complete and thorough study there is always the possibility of being defeated and although one may be expert in a particular form, mastery is something a man never stops seeking to attain."

(Taken from the "Book of Five Rings" by Stephen F. Kaufman, Hanshi 10th Dan.

With each workout, each leg flopped over the top tube and butt lifted into the saddle, each time I put on my chamois, each time I strap my helmet into place, fill up my water bottles, turn my crank arms - I'm striving to become a master. And although it might seem overwhelming that you can never truly master something - I look forward to each chance I get in striving toward it.

I can't wait to get out there today!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008


Just spent $61 on filling up our Golf with Diesel priced at $5.09 a gallon. And to think - last night I spent 50 minutes in the car commuting to the track in what normally takes 15. I could hear the jingle of change being spent each time I rolled down the window.

In other news though - the UK has got it going on! Finally a club that sounds really cool! It opens tomorrow night!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

For the record

Ryan gave me a little grief last night because I failed to mention after our double summit in two days - he then went up to the Fire Wall and climbed several 5.13 pitches with his buddy Kemo. Yep, a regular old bad ass that one is!

My neighbor Charlie started the prep on our house painting job yesterday. Which meant we couldn't stall any longer and had to cruise the neighborhood to figure out exactly what colors we want to paint our house. So far a medium shade of green as the primary, creme as the secondary and eggplant as the accent is our top pick.

And my friend Monique, Mrs. Race Across America as a Type One Diabetic, is in town fulfilling her sponsor duties and just so happened to bring her track bike. We're headed to the oval tonight to work on some exchanges and prepare for Friday's 35 lap Madison. Should be fun!

And did you hear about this rocket scientist? Apparently he didn't get the memo about the Brazilian priest. People are weird.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Weekend Punishment

My husband attempted to kill me this weekend. And he came mighty close, to be honest. I still can't walk normally.

Let me back up a bit.

Since we had a long weekend with the 4th falling on a Friday, Ryan canceled his plans to trek to Horne Lake on Vancouver Island and instead booked the weekend with me at our cabin in Mazama. He decided to take me up the South Early Winter Spire on a moderate yet classic route.

We parked at the hairpin on Highway 20 and then made the two hour trek up a scree gully filled with water falls and forest obstacles. See the towers behind me? We climbed the left, taller one.

The hike was no burden on my aerobic system - but little did I know how infrequently I use those muscles!

But we were getting closer. And despite having to bush whack in a couple sections, we made it to the apron of our climb a few hours later.

There's quite a bit of snow around - making for a steady trickle of water falls throughout the hike. The water was COLD and we tried to avoid it as much as possible. Sometimes you could only hear running water, dashing underneath big pockets of snow. We didn't risk crossing them and face collapsing a snow bridge. No, we're not big risk takers. :)

Around noon we started to gain some serious elevation and get closer to the start of the climb. The first section is a class 2-3 rock scramble and we opted not to rope up. It was pretty easy slab climbing.

Look at our little car! It's starting to get smaller!

Ryan hamming it up! Don't let that silly face fool you - he is trying to kill me!

Getting closer and closer to the summit.

The views kept getting more and more stunning on the way up. Not to mention the early morning cloud cover burnt off revealing a fantastic view of the Cascades.

Finally - at the summit - nearly 3,000 feet later we took in the most amazing view. What a way to spend the 4th of July!

Our hike down took an additional two hours. Trip time from car to car - 12 hours. That's a long day out!

Never mind that I could barely walk the next day, yet mustered up enough energy to ride the pass from our cabin - a solid 3 hour ride with 3,000 feet of climbing! I could barely move that night. And then on Sunday we did another ride with some climbing at Fun Rock.

Like I said, my hubby tried to kill me this weekend and I loved every minute of it.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Slept in this morning after an amazing Madison Clinic run by Adrian and Dan. Those two have their exchanges down and are excellent teachers! We had 18 people show up - with 4 teams of women and 5 men. Adrian and Dan broke down the Madison into easy chunks with lots of practice. Then we started doing it at speed and finally behind a motor. It was awesome! It was great to learn from such experienced teachers... and I can't wait to try it out at FSA!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008


I've been having trouble sleeping in lately. Maybe it's the early morning daylight, maybe I'm anxious about something. But each morning at the crack of dawn, I wake up and can't shut the brain off. The past couple of mornings I figured it was my metabolism waking me up and screaming to feed it - but I'm starting to wonder if that's the case. I keep thinking of a million things to do around my piled house... but maybe it's from going so hard for 5 weeks in a row that my mind and body is having a hard time settling down and thoroughly enjoying a break. When you GO GO GO sometimes it's hard to just stop.

Of course being a rest week - I thought of a million things I could do around the house. Power wash the deck, get the downstairs prepped, reduce the ever growing gear pile of bike and rock climbing gear in our living room, clear off the bed in the spare bedroom and put some of the bikes in the basement, weeding, planting, etc. etc. But I must remember the definition of rest - and to tackle the piles one at a time.

Ryan and I are definitely spending this Fourth of July together - the first time in two years. For the past couple of years my mom and I have made an annual trip East to Colorado to check on her condo in Beaver Creek and then to a race at the Springs. Unfortunately the race is usually interrupted by thunderstorms and both times was nearly rained out. We spent last 4th of July partly huddled in a rental car wondering if the golf ball sized hail was going to cost us when we returned a dented SUV. Since the racing was delayed thanks to the rain and fireworks (they had to shut off the lights during the show), we decided to high tail it and get out before the masses. I will miss the excellent buffet that next morning though at the Cheyenne Mountain Resort. And of course the outlet malls. :)

I wonder if part of my problem is that I just needed to unwind - to take a moment, collect my thoughts and relax. Deep breathe and sigh - I'm starting to feel much better - and getting a little sleepy...