Sunday, December 30, 2007

too much data...

Well, I put the ibike back on the bike this weekend. I had been in a "no data" mood since my injury this fall. I didn't want to be depressed by the numbers, and so I just took all computers and monitors off the bike and rode because I like to ride my bike. But the data bug bit me again when the iBike wireless HR/Cadence upgrade came out, and this weekend I finally decided to put the thing back on the bike. My fitness is still on the upward trend, and the weight training is still tiring out my legs, but I decided to start tracking things again in the hopes that I'll see significant gains as it gets closer to the race season...

The good news is that they have really upgraded their software for Mac! I was pleasantly surprised that the interface has improved so much, and that you can do a lot more with the program. It still has limitations, and if I had a little more $$ I would just buy Cyclingpeaks and use that, but for now, this is ok. For example, here is my ride today. It was a spin from my house in Goleta down to "worlds" and then home again, on a slightly different route. As you can see, the final stretch coming back to the polo fields today was pretty brisk (a little past 2 hours on my can see where my heart rate was maximized...)!

I think I need a nap!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Holiday Memories

Christmas is one of those nostalgic times. I was back up North a couple weeks ago, visiting my parents who still live in the great white north, and my mom shared some old photos with me, and I got a bit nostalgic. Although I am totally a California girl, seemingly switched at birth and forced to live for the first 17 years in the Midwest...I did have a pretty fun childhood...and here are some of those memories. These are the early years...note the presence of snow and winter in so many of them.

Christmas time, 1978
First winter in Upper Michigan (1978)
Yes, that really is a snowbank! This is the front porch of my folks' house! Yes, the snowbank is taller than I! (that year, it snowed 380 inches, or something insane like that). After the roof was shoveled a couple of times, the snowbank on the ground met the one from the roof, and you sometimes couldn't see out the windows anymore!
1979, fall. (Quincy Copper Mine Hoist in the background) first English Setter, Louie (oh, and my grandma, little sis, and dad, too)

Anyway, I was up there to get an alumni award at Michigan Tech, so here's some more recent photos, too!

Getting my 1.5 minutes of fame at MTU commencement.

My dad and I while out snowshoeing.
And my mom and I. This was a silly sign I saw on the ski trail I had to pass by while snowshoeing. Check out all the icons! And I was happy to see that this was a "dog trail!" I found out later what that meant...when someone came by on XC skis, with a dog harnessed up! Skijoring is quite popular now, I suppose! Looks fun.

Yes, this is an industrial-strength snowblower cutting back the banks, and a dumptruck following along to 'catch' the snow!

Now, hence anyone get the wrong was fun to visit 'winter' for a few days...but it sure was nice to have the last 6 days on the bike, outside in the beautiful crisp Santa Barbara air...sun, no snow, (a little frost a couple of mornings) and the company of friends.

It is a Merry Christmas.


Sunday, December 9, 2007

more weight-y thoughts.

how skinny do you have to be to be a cyclist?
I was at a party last night where we were eating desserts and talking about weight loss..
Someone said to me,"5 pounds would make a big difference in your racing next's the time to start making that happen".
I almost said "gaining 5, or losing 5?" because I discovered on Friday that i had gained 2-3 pounds since my weight training kicked into high gear...and of course I hope that training will eventually make a difference in my racing.

I bought a pumpkin scone at the Starbucks this morning when I was out with the red dog. I brought it home, took one bite, and then couldn't eat it. All I was thinking about was that stupid comment about weight loss, and how bad it was of me to eat something with little to no nutritional value and lots of calories.

I went out for my bike ride, which happened to be 'sunday worlds.' I didn't eat enough this morning, just sucking down a banana on my way out the door. I put trader joe's pop tarts in my jersey pocket.

I rode for 3 hours. I didn't eat the pop tarts. I ate one goo. I felt ill. I thought about being skinnier from burning many thousands of calories yesterday (did a really really long training ride), and then I thought about how stupid it was to not eat enough before going on a hard ride today.

And then I ate the scone.
And it was good.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Last day!

Today is my last day of class for the Fall quarter! My class has a test today, and then it will pretty much be all over. Being in academia, I never really got over the concept of "christmas break" and "spring break" and I look forward to those times just like a kid in elementary school! I am looking forward to joining in the morning rides again, getting caught up on things that I have let fall by the wayside during busy times, etc. etc.

I am sure my reddog will enjoy the little break, too, as he has been in a bit of withdrawal since I've been back on my bike. When I was riding the trainer inside, he would lie on the couch beside me, often upside down, enjoying the company. But now that I am training normally again, he is really not happy with the extra alone time. He sees me in my kit, and he goes and pouts in his kennel. Poor guy. So I plan to make up for that with some long runs for him, too.

Now I just have to start my christmas shopping! Better late than never...


Sunday, December 2, 2007

9 Lives? (or at least 2 or 3...)

My team had a loooong training ride yesterday. I wasn't actually sure I was up for it, but I thought I'd take a stab at it, as I knew I could limp home. I needed the climbing, and this ride consisted of over 7000 ft. climbing over 95 miles or so.

I didn't end up doing more than 50 or 60...but I can think of easier ways to get out of it than the way I attempted it! For those of you who can't stand the suspense, I sustained a high speed (~40mph) downhill crash and lived to talk about it! And better yet, I'm getting ready to go ride this morning!

The ride started well enough. I was having a nice time, and feeling good. I knew I was going to get dropped on the climbs, as my month off of outside riding really took it out of my climbing. But my endurance is still ok, so I can plug along, just putting out seriously less power than the guys. So I did finally make it to the top of the first 2 big climbs, and was looking forward to bombing down the descent on the back side going towards lake Casitas. Its a fun descent, and I enjoy it. I did it once last weekend, but don't get out there during the week. So I was looking forward to it. However, the road is kind of rutted. Also, previously I had gotten a flat front tire, and it wasn't inflated to quite full pressure. I was on someone's wheel, and having a fun time when my tire got into one of those ruts. It caused enough bobble that I couldn't rebalance, lost the front of the bike and slid out. The guy right behind me said he saw a small bobble and then the crash. In a split second, I found myself sliding and sliding and sliding, for what seemed like a long time but probably wasn't. I did slide a LONG way, however. I was pretty sure I was ok, but quite scared to look at the potential road rash..I got up right away so that people wouldn't freak out any more than seeing something like that happen does to you anyway. By that time, the people behind me had all stopped. Everyone was really good...asking me questions, making sure my head was working properly (it was). And surprisingly enough, I wasn't really hurt at all! I mean, my bike clothes were pretty much a complete loss, but everything else was just fine! There really is something to be said for the sliding crash vs. the impact crash... I actually considered continuing on the ride, but was talked out of that pretty quickly. However, someone had planned to turn around near that point anyway, so he offered to ride back to town with me (about 30 miles). I was feeling fine, so on the bike I hopped and rode home. It was a nice day, and aside from the fact that I was a bit indecent, with a good portion of my shorts wasn't even that bad.

Anyway...I do have some road rash, but even that is minimized due to the fact it was 39 degrees when I left home this morning! That meant I was wearing many layers of clothing. The leg/hip took it the worst since there was only one layer there, but on top, a vest and 2 jerseys were pretty much shredded, but my wool base layer is fully intact and there is not a mark (not even a bruise..) on my upper body! It is rather amazing (considering right after the wreck someone who saw the wreck said to me "wow, I was sure you were a goner" and someone else said "I was sure that was a 911 crash."

Needless to say, I won't be complaining about cold weather riding for awhile now...
And it was a freak thing, and I'm still not scared of going downhill...I enjoyed all my descents on the way home :-). And nearly 24 hours later, I'm not really stiff or sore, and getting ready to go out for a ride this morning.

So I'm beginning to think I"m a cat with multiple lives. I'm going to try not to test that theory any time soon, though! Wheel side down...wheel side down....wheel side down...