Friday, May 23, 2008

In Memory of Lincoln

Wyttsend Loaded for Bear, CGC (aka. Leapin' Lincoln)

April 22, 1995-May 23, 2008

May he leap freely again with no pain.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Kern--The Rest of the Story

Well, since I'm sure race reports will come out in due time, and there will be plenty of those, I thought I would dwell on some of the other "fun" that went on at Kern. Those who were there already know all this...and those who weren't will never really actually I'm not sure what the point is to all this, but...some Kern randoms:

On the way to the races on day 2, we had to stop for cows in/on/near the road. Not once, but many times! Here is a photo I took during one of these stops. Over the course of the weekend I saw: Cows, Calves, snakes (2, both alive and dead), spiders, ticks, squirrels, buzzards, other birds, heard frogs, a bunny, and an assortment of lizards.

Day 2's road race started and finished at a cemetary! Kind of eerie, and yet cool. This was just a weird day...on lap 1, at mile 2, we went neutral for a bit so a girl could stop her bike from making this annoying ticking noise (her speed sensor was hitting her wheel magnet....). Then, a few miles later, we (the cat 3 peloton) again stopped, this time to take a pee break! How pro do you have to be to take a pee break? It was certainly a race first for me... The follow car got a good show!

I have such mixed feelings about Kern which changed throughout the weekend. I went into it very excited. I had such a good race last year, and so much fun that I was looking forward to it again. My training has been going ok, and I really thought it would go better than SeaOtter for me. After the TT, I was pretty mentally beat-up. That effort took a lot more out of me than I would have hoped, mostly because of the heat, and it was hard to get re-motivated for days 2 & 3. In addition, I have been fighting some inner demons about racing lately, and they came back to haunt me on Day 2 as well. I am usually mentally very tough but sometimes things out of your control affect you more than you know...and I was a bit of a victim to that on Day 2. Thankfully by the evening, I had mostly compartmentalized everything, but was still pretty blown apart about posting a less-than-stellar hill climb, and didn't sleep well at all. Sunday I decided to work really hard on the "have fun" part, and try to be realistic about the results. This is against my very nature, and it is so hard. However, I think I did ok with it. I even sat up a couple of times to wait for others in my field so we could work together, when I got gapped by the leaders on a steep climb. However, that call turned out to be a poor one, as the other folks near me didn't have anything left, and I didn't want to be out in the heat any longer than I had to be! So I got 25 miles of solo riding to think and ride and bake in the 100+ heat! I got 6th at the end of the day, both in the stage and overall.

Here's me with the $20 (in fives) I managed to win :-).

And here's Susie, with the significantly more that she won!

And here's a shot of some of the Santa Barbara area women near the finish of the final days RR. We all look happy it's over!

After all that, I'm glad I did it...I just wish I was: 1. skinnier, and 2. faster! I guess both of those things are variables that I have control over, though, so watch out Kern next year!


Friday, May 16, 2008

Kern Day One (or...baking in Bakersfield)

Well, I survived the first day of my second was hot and windy. I am kind of tired and dehydrated (even after drinking 1 recovery drink, 2 water bottles, 5 gatorades, about 5 glasses of water at dinner, and 2 diet cokes (ok, so the diet coke didn't help, but it sure tasted good...) so this will be short and sweet.

It was the worst I have ever felt on a bike. The temperature was well over 100, although I'm not sure how much! I didn't really want to know. And it was windy, too. The wind was so hot, however, that it felt like being in a convection oven (I can only assume that's what being baked feels like). Although on a good note, I accomplished the following:

1. Finished.
2. Didn't throw up (came mighty close though)
3. Didn't blow up/pass out/ride off the road
4. Achieved my max heart rate at the finish (201)
5. Ran a higher avg. heart rate than I thought previously possible without blowing up...
6. Felt like I was racing in a sauna
7. Didn't drop my chain this year!
8. Got 4th.

And on a great note, my teammate Susie won!!!! She has over a minute on me, and with us sitting in 1st and 4th, we'll have our work cut out for us tomorrow. Tomorrow we have a 50 mile RR in the morning (with 7 time bonus opportunities), and a 13 mile Gibraltar-style hillclimb in the afternoon.
(sorry about the image quality..the lighting was very poor in the hotel hallway)


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Twas the night before Kern...

and I'm excited!

I'm sure this year will be epic as well.
My goal is to have fun.

Oh....and I'm feeling fast!


(photos courtesy of Weixel)

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Waxing poetic...

...or maybe just waxing.

Anyway, I apologize to my faithful blog readers (all 3 of you) for not posting in awhile. It has just been one of those months I'd rather just forget. The whole world has seemed rather "blah" and nothing has seemed worth blogging about! So maybe blogging about not blogging is interesting? (I think not).

So the month in recap. I raced a lot. I didn't blog about any of them. The short recap:
Island View Crit: Super fun until I crashed about 1/3 in, and my bike got messed up so I couldn't continue.....bummer. I got to watch my teammate have a fun race, though...

Ojai 3/4: A bit sore from crashing the previous day, and a 7:01am start time. I just wasn't quite feeling it, and didn't quite have the fight in me. I got 10th. (again, my teammate had a great race, finishing 4th)

Ojai P1/2/3: In order to redeem myself (or maybe just beat myself up more) I toed the line for the women's 1/2/3 crit. It was kind of cool to just BE at the starting line with such a large group of amazing women. So many of the big teams were there...that in itself was cool. I didn't have unrealistic goal was to hang on as long as I could, and race until I got lapped. It was 100 degrees, and a hilly course, and my 2nd race of the day, so I knew it was goign to be painful. And it was. I made it through 35 minutes of the 60 minute race, and I was ok with that. It was actually fun at times. I made it a grand total of 6 laps before I got gapped, and I was ok with that, too.

Sea Otter: Let's just forget it ever existed. It was not an A race for me, and I knew my climbing wouldn't be in gear, and news-flash, I didn't have enough! The circuit race nearly killed me. It was demoralizing, and it was really hard to get up the next morning and do the road race (which was not a good one for me last year--even more reason to not want to do it at all). However, the RR went better for me. Although I got gapped on the climbs, I was able to chase back on in every case, and rode the entire race with the lead group. I only got gapped on the final climb up to the finish, when my legs proclaimed loudly that they were done with this climbing crap, and should NOT be required to do it any more. Oh well...I actually felt ok about this race, even though my result was still only 12th place.

I skipped Devil's punchbowl and the following day crit in the interest of having a weekend away from racing to find the joy in cycling again. The weather was beautiful in SB, and it would have worked out perfectly if someone didn't manage to take me out in Sunday Worlds! I mean completely and quickly. I'm back to form now, but unfortunately my poor bike is not! I am looking at new bikes today. And I've had a loaner bike for the past week. Anyway, I guess if you're a racing bike, it's not a bad way to go....

So Kern is coming up...and my expectations are different this year. I'm going to go and have fun. I know it is going to be hard, the longer distances in the 3s are going to be no picnic. But Kern has such a special atmosphere, everyone is so competitive yet supportive, it's just a really unique thing. I wouldn't miss it for anything, even if I'm not quite where I want to be form-wise.