Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Cheetah.

Cheetah's medicine includes - speed and focus, brotherhood, elusiveness, ability to focus intently on something for a short period of time, swiftness, self-esteem, accelerating time, keenness of sight

Different to other felines, who stalk, then swiftly jump on their prey for the kill, cheetahs, the fastest animals alive, run down their prey.

The lesson to be learned here, the inspiration, is to fulfil our goals with speed and focus. When we feel stuck, cheetah energy can help us spring into motion. If we are moving with great speed but with little direction, cheetah medicine can help us to keep our eyes on our goals, to focus, and to find the most direct way of achieving them.

Sometimes we must carefully consider all aspects of a plan to reach a goal. At other times, it may be necessary to be flexible and adaptable in rehashing plans. However, sometimes the most important thing to do is to act with both speed and focus. The goal is almost reached, but continually putting something off, or lack of clarity keeps one from accomplishing it. It is at times like this that cheetah medicine is extremely valuable.

There is more wisdom to be taken from the cheetah's actions - there are those who want to accomplish their goals but who may take on too many goals at one time. Though the cheetah is able to reach speeds of up to 63miles per hour, it can only maintain this incredible speed for a short period of time. Afterward, it must rest for around 15 minutes.

The cheetah period of rest teaches us that intense activity should always be followed by a time of rest, relaxation, and contemplation.


Wednesday, June 29, 2011


What the pint?

Sorry - it just got stuck in my head and I thought some of you might appreciate that one too...

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Letting go

I started meditating about a month ago. I take ten minutes out of the day - using a timer on my phone to make sure I take a full time - and visualize myself standing on top of the South Early Winter spire, overlooking the snow capped mountains of the Cascades. The serenity and senses I visit each mediation help center me in so many ways. I feel the gentle breeze on my skin, the accomplishment of getting to the top of a mountain by human power. I feel content, loved, happy with my mind and body at ease.

When I don't take the time things start to unravel. Little stuff starts to invade my peacefulness. The overgrown yard, things that should be put away, the bikes in the living room, the chores, etc. And as soon as I realize I've traveled down that path, I stop. I break out my phone, set my timer and I climb the spire and sit at the top - absorbing, observing, and just being.

A few days ago, for the first time, I had an unexpected visitor. Ryan joined me there. I know this sounds crazy, but I swear to God he was there. I felt him and heard his voice. It made me cry - but this time not from sadness and grief but from the realization how lucky I am to have someone who touched me so much. He's very much a part of me - and I take strength knowing he's there when I need him.

Three years is flying by.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

It is the last day here in Wisconsin. My bag is partially packed and a full day of travel and racing awaits. The past 2 weeks have been filled with a ton of experiences and a lot of laughter. After our morning spin, we'll get a few hours of down time before departing for Madison to race the last crit of the Tour of America's Dairyland series. Then we'll beat feat to the airport in Milwaukee to catch our 9 pm flights. A tight squeeze as our race is at 3:30-4:30 - but we should be able to make it. Then I get to sleep in my own bed! And make peace with my little dog dog dog.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

She lives! She breathes!

I am still alive! And I'm still in Wisconsin. A total of 10 race days (with two more to come) since June 10th, is certainly taking its toll on all extra brain power.

Two more crits to go (Downer's Crit and Madison) and then I get to sleep in my own bed for four nights before packing up the track bike and racing in San Jose....

Updates to come, I promise!

Monday, June 20, 2011


I found my OM in Waukaesha. Or perhaps it's better to say my OM found me.

I also found my physical limit. It hit me like a rude awakening. A glass ceiling that shattered into a million pieces.

Let me set the stage. Yesterday was the fourth day of racing in a row. The day before I had a stellar performance. It was one of those days when everything syncs up - nutrition, physical prowess, mental attitude - at one point I remember thinking to myself, "who is this girl?!" I didn't let any doubt sink in. Instead, I filled my head with positive affirmations and kicked. some. ass.

That night I went to bed, thrilled with the prospect of another opportunity to demonstrate my ability. Especially since Waukaesha defeated me five years ago when I visited Wisconsin for Speed Week while racing for Tamarack. I visualized being a position master throughout the race, especially the finish.

You can imagine my delight when I got a front row call up - right before Laura Van Gilder, the series leader. The announcer said something about "And out of Seattle, Washington - surprising everyone yesterday with her aggressive racing, riding for Hagens Berman..... JENNIFER TRIPLETT!" Who? Me? Oh right, that girl and I are one in the same.

The race starts and I'm ready to go. I pull the first time through the start/finish, setting myself up for perfect positioning. And then, well.... I lost it. I found myself floating further and further back into no man's land. Then I'm dangling and playing the whip on the back. And next thing I know I'm detached. I just can't push any more. Time check? 15 minutes. UGH.

I roll off the course - on the exact same street I did 5 years ago. Defeated. Cooked. Exhausted. But this time, I'm hungry. Not only for calories - but hungry to recover. I'm hungry to rest, to relax and come back on Tuesday to throttle it again.

I pedal back to the car, the long-head-hanging-low way. If I was a dog, my tail would have been between my legs. I eat a chocolate chip cookie, eat a peach, drink some water and call the coach. We talk things through - and I'm already picking myself back up. I put on my civies, changing back into my Clark Kent clothing and make my way to the finishing straight to watch the end of the race.

As I'm waiting for Cari to finish up, I wander into a jewelry shop. And there, hidden at first are a pair of earrings with the OM symbol and a turquoise stone. Perfect. And there's nothing like a little retail therapy to cheer the soul. Especially something as symbolic as that.

OM. Meditation. Accepting things for what they are. Embracing life's lessons. A crafty smile spreads across my face for there is nothing I would rather be doing, right here, right now. Well, maybe one thing....

I chalk the day up as "just one of them days" and take today off from the road race, propping my feet up on the couch and recharge for the remaining 5 days of racing. OM.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Yesterday I raced my bike.

Racing your bike is more than putting on a team jersey and shorts. It's more than pumping up your tires, lubing your chain and making sure your helmet straps are tight. It's more than toeing up to the line and taking a sip out of your bottle to quench cotton mouth. It's more than following a training plan, being diligent about rest and recovery.

Racing your bike is being the master of your own destiny. It's staying in the front 1/4 of the race. It's anticipating the surges, responding and making the surges happen. It's attacking just after a prime lap when the sprinters sit up. It's recognizing a break and putting yourself in it. It's laying it out there with no fear of failure and no fear of success. It's living in the moment and then celebrating your success for doing so.

For the first half of the race I didn't see more than 6 different racers. And honestly, sitting up in the front part of the race is much much much easier than hanging out in the middle. Any time I would slip more than 15 ladies back, I would make an effort to get to the front. I had confidence in my engine and my bike handling ability. It was as though a light bulb went off. I found myself in perfect position for two primes.

And my efforts were recognized - with a "Most Aggressive Rider" jersey. I am happy to be taking steps in the right direction but I am far from satisfied until I stand atop the podium. I've got another plan for today....

Putting your plan into action? = priceless.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Recovery Mode

Cycling requires mastery of many things. You have to master handling your bike, pedaling efficiently, hydrating, nutrition, timing gu's, cornering, sprinting, bridging, pushing your body, learning lessons and moving on - but above all you must master recovery.

For as hard as one must push their body, it takes three times as much recovery to enable a repeat performance. Time spent laying down is money in the bank. And as much as I would love to be seeing all the wonderful things the state of Wisconsin has to offer - I also know the inside of my guest bedroom like the back of my hand. It's a glamorous lifestyle, let me tell you.

Tonight is the Grafton Crit- a stop on the USA Pro Crit series. Huge crowds, big cash premes and ladies ready to throw down will ensure a true test of grit and determination. I have a game plan - a confidence building, ninja moving, leg throbbing good bike racing strategy. Here's to making it happen.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Well today was a learning experience, that's for sure. I have an easy time moving around in the pack, taking corners with ease and feeling comfortable with everyone around me. My engine is big and I am able to recover and relax in the amoeba. But when push comes to shove, I struggle with maintaining my positioning. So tonight's meditation will be dedicated to holding that position and fending off any challengers.

I came back from the Thiensville crit and laid down on the floor for 45 minutes. I was unable to move and just soaked in how hard I had pushed my body. There is nothing like doing this much racing back to back to back. You get so many opportunities for improvement. And there's free chocolate milk after every race.

Tomorrow is another day of racing - it's all about recovery after those races and chilling out as much as possible.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Well, I can tell my legs are still attached to my body. They are throbbing a little bit at the moment - letting me know I punished them today. Good. They needed it!

The first race in Shorewood is complete. I got pipped at the line not once, not twice but three separate times for cash and prizes. All in all those pips cost me about $600. But lessons learned were huge and tomorrow is a new day. My game plan - do as little as possible. Wait to burn my matches for when it really counts. Things are only going to get better from this point forward.

Cari did well - she placed 3rd! But one thing's for sure - we're both singing the blues about how veteran racer Laura Van Gilder got us for some big cash premes. It is on like donkey kong tomorrow.

The Chamois Test

I picked Cari up at the airport yesterday morning and she quickly assembled her bike so we could beat the rain for a mid-afternoon ride to stretch our legs. Our host housing (at casa de Riege) is centrally located to all of the racing - and less then 1/4 mile from Friday's Thienville crit. It is also a stone's throw from a fantastic bike trail that runs north to south.

As we were riding, we passed a female rider going the other way. She waved and was super friendly and Cari and I both wondered if we knew her? Nope. Cari was in her Peanut Butter & Co. kit, and I was masked in my HB shorts and Marymoor track jacket as the temps were a little on the cool side.

We continue on our ride - turning around after 50 minutes or so. I threw in a couple of efforts to wake my system up and circled back to rejoin Cari. As I was finishing my last effort, I cross paths with the same female rider and say hello. She completely ignores me. Doesn't wave, doesn't say hello, nothing. I turn around, to rejoin Cari and watch as the girl gives Cari a wave with both hands.

How do you say.... chamois sniffer?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Trusting your gut and intuition.

It is easy to recognize when you did or didn't follow your gut after the fact. But how often do you find yourself in the moment and hesitating on which direction to go? Do you find yourself in limbo to make a decision or do you just do it?

I find, for the most part, I just go for it. Hanging in limbo can be the hardest position. But if you're able to listen to your gut and instinct they are often way more powerful then we give them credit.

Racing is great because it gives you immediate feedback. If you hesitate, the moment is lost. If you make the wrong choice you immediately find out. If you make the right one, you can win. And sometimes, you can make the wrong choice but it plays out in your favor. There are so many scenarios and different factors that play into a race that it never gets boring, that's for certain.

One thing I know for certain, every time I trust my gut and intuition it results in unimaginable results.

Trust your gut and instincts.

Val and I holding hands.

Monday, June 13, 2011

And that's a wrap.

My feet are up, track bike shipped, road bike packed and I'm relaxing this morning before heading to the next stop on my mid-West tour: Milwaukee.

It's quiet, finally, here at the dorms. Most everyone has departed - with a few of us left waiting on afternoon and evening flights. I hope to catch a few more zzz's....

But first: a race recap!

The endurance ladies only had two more events in our omnium - a 12 lap tempo and Madison. I did a proper warm up for the tempo - making sure to get into a lung throbbing effort on the track before racing as that may have been my demise in the miss and out the previous morning. We had a little over an hour before the gun went off for our race so I relaxed on the infield and kept the legs rolling every 15 minutes. I geared up - as the tempo is probably the most brutal race. For those unfamiliar, a tempo awards 2 points to the first person across the line, 1 point to the second person per lap. The person with the highest accumulated points wins, with the last sprint being the tie breaker.

What ends up happening is pretty much a sprint from start to finish, with no recovery between efforts. If you let up at all - points slip right out of grasp and leave you gasping for air. So you might as well get points, gasp and push yourself to the limit since it's such a short race. I haven't been that close to puking after a race in a long, long time. Val won, Megan second and I was third. It was a close race and super fun.

We had some down time between the tempo and Madison, so I ate some food, and geared back down. Four teams were signed up for the first ever Women's Madison held at the National Sports Center - and it is really cool to be a part of history! Oh, and my teammate Val and I lapped the field, twice. Winning is fun.

The award ceremony was great - with Megan winning the overall Endurance title, Val second and myself third. Not bad for a girl who hasn't been on the track since December.

The next time I get to ride my track bike will be in San Jose for the Tessarosa Velodrome Challenge, July 1-2. Should be fun! But for now - I'm all about ten days of crits and win some chocolate milk.

Facebook has a ton of photos... check em out!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Mega Session #2

Last nights rain out meant today was packed with 10.5 hours of racing, straight. Wait, I take that back. We had a 45 minute break. My legs are feeling it. Thankfully their steady throb is becoming a dull ache as I wind down for the night. Jesus Fest 2011 is still rocking next door though - pulsating through the windows and walls of the dorms. I hate to say it, but don't they have a noise ordinance at 10pm or something?

Today's racing was good. Some new lessons learned. Ready? Here we go.

Lesson #1 - Keep your thoughts to yourself. Miss and Out - whittled down to a small handful of us left. I'd been drilling it at the front in the pull lane, on Megan's left hip. I'm getting a little tired. A girl comes up and over the top, boxing me in. They're pulling riders every two laps. Tired from the effort and not ready for a big effort of backing out and going back over, I'm doing battle with Shelby "Scrappy" Reynolds. We both bike throw - she willing to get a little closer to Shelley's pedal and I get pulled. My immediate response, which I told her: "Shelby, you're such a scrappy bitch!"

Her response, "I know!"

Lesson #2 - Spell check twitter updates. Well, this one wasn't a lesson I had to learn. But rather Shelby - she tweets "@jtothetriplett Shelby your such a scrappy butch!"

Lesson #3 - This one hurts. I had the points race in the bag. That is no exaggeration. I'd managed to win 3 of 6 sprints, and lap the field with Megan. All I had to do was mark her wheel, nothing else. Instead, I'm struggling with my recovery and off goes Megan. In a well timed move, she laps the field, again. FUDGE. Even with her additional lap, I lost by a mere 6 points. 46 to 40. That one still stings.

Lesson #4 - Winning stuff is cool. I arrived in MN with very little clothing. Mainly because most of my luggage weight was allotted to bike gear. It's been a little chilly here. And today in the points race I won a sweatshirt. YES!

Lesson #5 - Keep your ears open. There is some funny stuff happening on the infield. Bike racers are a fun lot of people - and today's quote of the weekend goes hands down to Kevin: "Contrary to popular belief, BALLS are not cushions!"

Okay - bedtime. Jesus Fest finally called it a night and I'm exhausted.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Session Uno

Rain delay. Drats.

At least I got one race in - a super sprint to elimination. The officials wanted only 12 women in the miss and out final so they decided to take our field of 20 and whittle it down a little in two qualifiers, ten ladies each. The first portion of the race is run like an elimination - with only 3 riders being pulled and the second half is run like a scratch race, with one person from that race being eliminated. One lap to go and I hit out - putting a little daylight between myself and the rest of the ladies and sailed through uncontested. Might as well start the weekend off with a bang, right?

Then big fat rain drops started coming down - slowly at first. Teasing us - letting the men do a couple of "rickshaw" rounds (that one's for Tara - they're called repechage (sp?)) for the Keirin before having a ten minute rain delay and then calling the racing off, entirely.

Around 80 of us got to spend some serious time in the chamois - and you know what they say: "Chamois time is training time!" If that's the case then I'm ready for an iron man.

Early morning tomorrow - and a long session. I'm hitting the hay early....

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Step número UNO.

Step one.

Even with three hours left in my day before my airport ride arrives, I am in mad scramble to get everything together. It figures as traveling with two bikes and spandex to outfit a small army and keeping my baggage under the 50 pound allotment is a challenge in itself. But I write from the air so I managed to get it all in, somehow. And thankfully Frontiers bike fly free policy is legit, indeed.

Destination: Blaine, Minnesota.
Why: Fixed Gear Classic, version 2011.

Three days of track racing with an exhausting schedule. It's all about the law of diminishing returns. I entertained the thought of doing both the sprint and endurance omnium until glancing at the schedule again - no way, no how.

I am excited to be traveling again for racing in events longer than 4 minutes. I am thrilled at prospect of good competition, to express 100% of my ability and pushing my limits.

And an added bonus - reconnecting with the travel circus show of trackies. These are my peeps. Last time we were together was in la for nationals. It will be a whose who of national caliber racers and a check to see how well we've been doing our homework. And we are all staying in the dorms.

Follow me on twitter at @jtothetriplett

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Lining things up

As I prepare to leave town for the month of June, I've been tending to the little details. Setting yourself up for success while on the road, at least for me, has been planning and organizing gear down to the smallest detail. This sport requires a lot of gear and with airport luggage fees not what they used to be - you have to pack light.

Thankfully I had some serious practice this past winter traveling overseas and am packing the same amount of clothing and gear as I did for 3:45 minutes of racing as I will for 3+ weeks on the road. Sad, but true.

With the biggest chore being removing my seat post out of my Felt bike complete, the rest is a cake walk. I've managed to pack 2 bikes in under an hour and am using a suitcase that holds me rollers - fully assembled. I've found that to pack as light as possible lists help a lot and once you've pulled out everything you're taking with you, cut that in half.

Really what more do you need then 2 bikes, 4 wheels, helmet, shoes, computer, iPad, iPod, iNano, iShuffle, enough Nuun and Gu's to sink a ship, jerseys, shorts, business time socks, gloves, knee and arm warmers, pillow, track sack, rollers, chain whip, tubes, patch kit, water bottles, kitchen sink, towel, rubber mallet, pedal wrench, hair dryer, etc.?

With a little more down time (is that possible?) - I should have lots of time to report on my whereabouts and racing.

Next up: Blaine, MN for the Fixed Gear Classic.

Monday, June 06, 2011


Saturday's win was seven years in the making....

2005- First big girl race as a category 3. Going into corner three, Miranda Moon crashes right in front of me and I go down, hard. I get up, brush myself off and am ready to get back in when I discover my handle bars are splintered in two. Lame sauce.

2006 - I get 6th - one spot out of the cash prizes.

2007 - A lingering hamstring injury flares up and I pull myself and get to watch as Karen Claeys gets in a breakaway with Jadine. Annette and Deb have a run in on the final lap and next thing we know we hear sirens.

2008 - In Blaine, Minnesota for a track race. Kept tabs on who won. The Ballard crit truly is the gem of Seattle's bike racing crits.

2009 - Tela wins! Though I'm not there to witness it. Must have been at another track race - San Jose, maybe?

2010 - I get 7th. Figured out that positioning is key in that final lap and if I really want it, I have to make the move on the back straight.

2011 - I dial in nutrition, sleep, make life as simple as possible, train right, keep track of my weight, and be super conscientious about everything I do to become the best bike racer I can be. I envision the race, being surrounded by competitors, feeling the wind on my body, the pavement passing beneath me. I keep my eyes up, focus and am 100% in the moment. This is exactly how it plays out in the race and I execute.

We had six HB ladies toe to the line for Saturday's notorious Ballard Crit. With big crowds and glory on the line - Beth, Julie, Liz, Heidi, Tela and I were ready to race our bikes. At registration I ran into Jadine - last year's winner and found out TGH had 10 women there. We certainly had our work cut out. A pre race discussion confirmed that if Liz or I were in a break, we'd be able to do what it takes. But if anyone else were, chase it down to keep things together and set up for the final sprint. This is exactly how it played out - except yours truly countered after a prime lap and found myself solo and at one point 18 seconds up the road, pedaling hard for 6 or so laps. Having friends yelling encouragement on the corners certainly helped - and I could hear Jill Talcott (GO TRIPPY!!!) loud and clearly and fought hard to stay away.

Eventually I got caught nearing corner three and Liz countered, perfectly. I was in the front and braked through the corners, slowing things up for the pack. But the group was having none of that action. Thankfully for me we had 16 more minutes left in the race so I was able to recover for the final sprint.

Going into the final three laps, I'm positioned well right on our designated HB train. Beth is leading with Tela directly behind her, and I'm on Tela's wheel. All I can think is - perfect! Fight for this wheel, stay in position. Two laps to go - things get shuffled up a bit. Suddenly I find Beth and Tela on the right side going up the home straight, and Liz comes sailing up on my left. I get on Liz's wheel and stay super relaxed. I brake slightly as I get chopped in corner one. I have to re-accelerate and weave through traffic finding myself on the outside. We are flying down the back straight in the final lap. I put in a big surge, and advance four places into 4th or 5th wheel, going into corner three. I pedal, misjudging how fast I'm going, clip a pedal and send sparks but manage to keep it upright. We are exiting corner four, Laura Chang has a HUGE advantage. Things spread out. I see a couple of girls just sit up. I weave through traffic, gaining on Laura. I go to her right side, and am closing in, fast. I have no idea where the finish line is but I'm putting out 900 watts. The shadows are playing tricks on me - I think we've passed the finish line and then I see it - do a last minute bike throw and nab her at the line by a wheel length.

A HUGE smile spreads across my face and I get head to toe goosebumps as the adrenaline surges through my body. The feeling of everything coming together - team work, tactics, timing, patience, nutrition, fans cheering, performing and execution - that's why I race bikes.

Thanks to all of you who came out and raced on Saturday - it is so much fun to throw down with friends and fierce competitors.

Here's to many more team wins to come!

Yay! Crit season!!!

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Wow. Yesterday was a great day.

If I could repeat one day like the "Groundhog Day" movie, that could quite possibly be it.

To sum it up: Lunch with my dear friend Molly, winning a bike race and then a concert with Lenny Kravitz and U2. Wham bam thank you mam'!

I should have bought a lotto ticket.

More to come - the sun is out and I'm making the most of the day. Bike rides with friends, pizza later with family and dog walking calls....

Thursday, June 02, 2011

An Open Invitation

You're invited. Because your idea of vacation includes alpine starts
to take advantage of all 16 hours of daylight. Because your house is
one gigantic gear closet. Because your laundry is filled with sweaty
workout clothes. Because your family thinks you're an exercise
fanatic. Because you ARE an exercise fanatic. Because life is richer
by moving your body through space and time. The method of doing so
matters not - running, cycling, swimming, skiing, surfing, diving,
paragliding, base jumping, climbing, rafting, kayaking - just to name
a few.

I'm looking for you. We must unite. We must surround ourselves with like-minded individuals. We must say no to Double Whoppers. We must say YES to super sized endurance sports. Let's make plans to ride 4 hours straight through the Olympics, summit the North Cascades, backpack the Enchantments and appreciate the hidden jewels of the PNW. So come Monday morning, you can barely keep your eyes open at your 'day' job but smile contently recalling the epic adventures had.

What are YOU doing this weekend? I'm making plans for some adventures - join me.

"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of
arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to
skid in broadsided in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally
worn out, and loudly proclaiming "WOW! What a ride!" - Hunter S.

Down for the count!

I crashed myself out yesterday.

The roads were slick from rain and a car was coming down the street. I tapped the brakes a little too hard and it sent my bike out from beneath me. I remember thinking, "crap! not my collar bone!" and instead landed hard and fast on my wrists and right side of my body.

I was 1/4 block away from home.

The car that was coming down the hill didn't stop. Thank goodness. They would have seen a girl, pissed off and cursing herself for having slick tires on. A quick body check - bones, ok. Wrists - a little battered but ok. Bike - ok. I contemplated going back in but I still had a training ride to do so back on the bike I went! No rest for the weary.

Fremont bridge went up so I got to check out my throbbing right arm - to reveal a nice little gash. But no chin dive or head ache - so on toward Magnolia hill repeats I went!

Thankfully intervals do wonders for concentrating the pain into the legs and lungs. By the time I got home though I felt like sucking my thumb and calling my mommy. Um, OUCH! Crashing is not recommended.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Wally the weirdo, I mean WONDER dog! He went a little crazy at my cabin this weekend.