Friday, August 31, 2007

we take a break from this cycling blog for...puppy love!

My black lab, Corky is about 14 years old this year. That's beyond ancient in puppy years. He probably isn't much longer for this life. But, he's lived out his golden years in puppy heaven at my parent's home near Pismo Beach.

It's kind of a long story why he ended up living with them, but he's been very happy there. Here are some pics my parents snapped with him at the beach this week.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

San Ardo - out with a fizzle - yay for the teammies!

Well, we made the whole weekend of going to San Ardo to race with the Tri Flow development team girls. My head wasn't really in the race, but I was looking forward to working with them and helping however I could. Thursday night rolled around, and my throat was scratchy. Then, on Friday night it was more sore. And, I felt like I was run over by a truck (OK, a little Hyperbole). Anyway, I think all the work stress of late had put a chink in my armor.

When I woke up on Saturday, I knew I didn't have a 48 mile race in me. I just didn't. So, I opted to be number-pinner, feed zone volunteer, team cheerleader and all-around gopher.

It was a fun day. We finally met some of our blogger buddies - Dr. Kim, Doc Nitro, Marscat & Ippoc. We also chatted briefly with Alicat and agreed to give her feed on lap 2 as well. We chatted with Flandria and cheered on her hunny when he was in a break in the men's 4 race.
Photo: Lindsay Owns the W4 Final Sprint!

We dutifully did the feeding - took care of the teammies and Alicat and one of the husbands who was racing. Then, we headed up to the finish line to watch the action. First we got to see Marscat come in 5th of the W30+/M55+ combined race. What a stud! Then, the W4 women came in. Lindsay was looking strong and was 3rd wheel coming out of the corner. We were yelling hard for her, and were thrilled to see her take the win! Mason finished a strong 5th. The rest of the girls trickled in. We heard two of them and two others had been involved in a crash. I hope everyone is OK. Just road rash on our two girls. I didn't see Melissa from EMC finish, so she must have been in it. We saw a Dolce Vita with bandages on but looking OK, so she must have been the other.

I crashed on my mom's couch for 2 hours after getting there from the race. Then, I slept 10 hours last night. I'm starting to feel better now. Rest was definitely in order. My goal this week is to try to let stuff roll off my back more and stay relaxed.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Dunnigan Fun and what-nots

This was the first road race that I've done with 50 women in the peloton. That was pretty cool to see at at W4 race - especially at the end of the season.

I somehow screwed up my hydration and suffered through this race a little. I don't think it starting 1:10 behind schedule helped, either. When our race started, I thought I had mistakenly signed up for a crit. We were rolling 30 in the flats! Holee Cow. Of course, throw that effort on me and then add even the slightest undulation and POP! That's the sound of my lungs and legs exploding as the peloton leaves me behind on the second roller. It was a good day for coaching a few other women on how to work together off the back. We never got our machine well-oiled, but it was still a good learning experience for everyone.

Sunday, I took the current Tri Flow team out to the coast for a 3 hour ride from Half Moon Bay. It was beautiiiiiful on the coast - so clear and lovely. But, Oweeeee! My legs were hurting. Oh, and I forgot about that 2 mile climb in either direction just north of Tunitas Creek intersection with Highway 1. That thing put the hurt on me both directions. On the way out I dropped my chain and was playing catch up with the group. On the way back, I was just plain broken. But, I managed to stay with most of the girls - minus the 3 fairies that were floating up the hills and chattering off the front. Dang skinny girls! I'm pretty sure one of them hasn't even passed the century mark. I think her helmet and bike weigh more than her body.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

forgive me Coach, for I have sinned

Today was supposed to be a rest day. Well, I AM supposed to do yoga tonight....Anyway, I've been driving so much lately. I couldn't face the prospect of getting in the car again this morning, so I bicycle commuted. I know it might not have been the best thing, but I really wanted to. I went really easy and worked on just spinning fast in my 39x23. Sabine pointed out on Tuesday at the Twilight Crit that I was mashing (doh!). I know I have a tendency to mash. I did good breaking myself of it earlier in the season, but I've let myself slip back into the habit. I think I do it more when I am reaching for big power/speed. Hopefully some time on the track this fall will help me retrain the legs again.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

thunder thighs and pea brain

Well, with some quality assurance from Rick, I was finally able to get an accurate measure of my quads.

At the tanline: 48cm
At the "Most muscular part": 60cm
Head: 56cm

Note: Rick's (puny climber boy) quads are smaller than my head.

Monday, August 13, 2007

slummin' in the east bay and marin

This weekend was all about mixin' it up, spending time with friends we've neglected since racing season began, and mileage overload.

Saturday, we rode with a teammate and her husband who are moving out of state. They live in Fremont. So, we rode from Fremont to Berkeley. There were lots of new cycling roads in there - Redwood, Pinehurst, Skyline and Tunnel. Lots o' fun. We even caught a glimpse of the rare blue and white Spotted Panda while descending Tunnel into Berkeley. We lunched at Top Dog and then headed back on the BART. This was our warm-up ride for Sunday. 45 miles and 3,900 feet or so.

Sunday, we got up WAY too early to arrive in SF at 7:30 at the Sports Basement. The ride was supposed to be a 70 mile jaunt to Nicasio with a few friends we used to ride with all the time and some of their friends. All in all, there were 13 of us to start the ride. Again, a lot of this route was new to us, except some pieces we've seen on a couple centuries. When we arrived, our friend Erika had forgotten her shoes. So, we had to wait for Sports Basement to open so she could buy a pair. At 8:20 or so, we finally rolled out. The route had been modified to include a loop out to Pt. Reyes. We had a very mixed level of fitness and skill from regular endurance riders and racers to a guy who rides 1 x per year. Therefore, there was a lot of stoppage and regrouppage. All-in-all, I think we had 6 hours of riding time and 9 hours out on the course. It was a really long day and I have a biking hangover for sure. Highlights were the descent between Mill Valley and Larkspur and the whole stretch from Pt. Reyes through Olema and back to Fairfax. Lowlights were losing two of our riders in a crash (no major injuries, thankfully), the whole line of riders getting buzzed and 1 hit by a pickup truck while descending into the town of Nicasio on Nicasio Valley Road (again, thankfully no major injuries), and the ride back through Sausalito and the throngs of tourists on foot, bike and in cars.

Friday, August 10, 2007

How long can an interval last before one crashes and burns?

Me crying like a little girl at the end of Peskydero

I find that often cycling is a good metaphor for life.

There are seasons. There are times to rest and rebuild and times to push harder and take it to the next level.

Lately, my life feels like the season that never ends. I feel like I've been pushing zone 4 for about 3 years and wondering how much longer I can sustain the effort before I crack.

Previously, my life had a season of rest and rebuilding. I had come through some really rugged times in 2001-2002 with big changes and a lot of adversity - much like coming off a big crash with a long recovery. Things finally settled into a rhythm. It was comfortable and restful. I was rebuilding for this next season. There was quiet, and long bike rides and a 40 hour work week. There was lots of time for joy, peace, love, meditation, prayer, contemplation and lots of other things that keep me recovered and strong.

Then, in 2005 I went into a hard training and racing block in my life. I got married, went through a home remodel and started a masters program all at the same time. Then, before finishing the masters program, I decided to add on actual racing (sanity of that decision is questionable). I can finally see a potential end to this season with the culmination of my masters degree in December. Or can I?

I'm contemplating some changes coming up. The question is, am I going to extend the hard effort - maybe ramp it up to an even higher intensity and head to the next category, or am I going to be purposeful about moving myself into a more restful season? Decisions, decisions.

Monday, August 6, 2007

A good race!

Well, my measure of success may be different than some of you who regularly step on the podium. However, I am happy that yesterday I had a successful race. Our team assembled yesterday morning for the Timpani criterium. I did not put any expectations on myself other than to have fun and be safe. Honestly, my head has not been in racing for the last few weeks - mostly due to several high stress situations going on in other areas of my life.

I started the race on the outside and in the back half. But, as the race went on, I moved to the inside more toward the front and actually found myself on the front a couple times for various reasons. About halfway through the race, a handlebar into my butt forced me to the outside coming into the start/finish stretch. That was actually a good thing, because on the inside, there was a nasty crash. I saw a bike flying high in the air. It looked like Tracy from Velo Bella was down the longest. A couple of our girls got caught in the mayhem, but they were unhurt and able to reintegrate. I hope everyone is OK.

Anyway, I was actually in this race enough to try to make a move to help the team with 2 to go. Unfortunately, the Mintie Mafia had a better move up their sleeves. But, for me, it was a success to even be able to try something tactical, even if the attempt failed. I pretty much blew my last gasket with that move, and limped across the finish a little behind the lead group. But, overall, I was happy with the experience. Yay!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Holey Moley what a week!

Today is my dad's birthday. Happy Birthday, Dad!

I finally launched a huge project with my team last night. It's been a year in the making, and we're really proud of the work we did. And, I've been busy with email from all our regions at all hours answering questions, hand-holding on the new process, etc. I'm beat, and I hope to catch up on some rest over the weekend (ha! a girl can dream).

I missed the Twilight Crit last night due to the launch, but was able to squeeze away from my computer long enough to catch the Tri Flow team workout in Woodside. What a fun bunch of ladies! I'm sure they will do well in their first race. And, if all goes according to plan, I will get to race with them, since their race is also on my calendar.

This weekend is Timpani Crit, which will be a treat, since it's just a few miles from our home. Rick is going to pull my trainer over to the race with his Burley trailer. It should be fun. I am looking forward to this race, but also looking forward to some fall fun with long rides that have absolutely no purpose to them other than to watch the changing leaves and smell the smokiness in the air. My favorite time of year is just around the corner. Hooray!