Monday, August 11, 2008

Monday, April 07, 2008

Monday blues...

I'm still sick. After we watched George race at the Anthill crit, I crawled into bed with the worst sinus headache I have ever experienced and it hurt so badly, that I couldn't even sleep. I've had sinus infections in the past, but nothing trumps the way that I felt yesterday. Pain enough to make a grown woman cry. :( Today I broke down and started some antibiotics. I'm hoping I'm well enough to make my way through the Mulholland Challenge on Saturday.

Friday, April 04, 2008


I'm sitting at my desk thinking about how awesome it would be if I had some sushi right now. I went out to lunch yesterday with my co-worker Chris and our former co-worker Becky. We ate at Sushi Imari and I just can't get enough of that place. Becky and I discovered it a few months back and I was thrilled to walk in the door yesterday, greeted by shouts of "Happy Thursday!" As Chris and I were sitting there with our ginormous mugs of water, we noticed that as other people walked in, they were greeted by name. We're determined to visit often enough to not only be greeted by name, but get our polaroid picture on the wall.

Anyway, back to what I'm wishing for...sushi. Now. I have dinner plans with two friends and I'm not thrilled about the location, so I just text messaged them to see if I could sway them into sushi instead. Keep your fingers crossed.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Okay Sean, here you go...

this blog entry is dedicated to Sean, who so kindly called me out in public in regard to my lackadaisical approach to blogging. Thanks mister. ;)

So...where do I begin? I'm sick and it sucks. The cold started just in time for San Dimas Stage Race and settled in nicely, making itself at home and in turn, making me sound like I was dying on the way up Glendora Mountain Road during the time trial last Friday. Saturday was worse and two laps into the road race I called it quits. I would have been more upset and bummed about it if I just couldn't hang because I wasn't fast or strong enough, but it was crappy timing and breathing is essential for racing. It was out of my hands so I decided to not sulk about it. I will admit that there were a couple of tears as I got to the car, but it was quickly followed by falling asleep curled up under a Teletubbies blanket until George called to tell me his race was starting and that it would be nice for me to be at the start.

Let's see...I'm still sick. Blah. I wanted to race the UCI Anthill crit this weekend because it's so close to home, but I still feel like poop. I may see how my ride goes on Saturday and just pay the late fee to register on site on Sunday. We'll see.

My crit bike is being built right now, but I'm being picky and refusing to ride it until I get the handlebars that I like. Hopefully in the next week or so. It was funny, I fell in love with the color scheme of the white Cannondale CAAD9 and told George "I always wanted a white bike!" In looking back in my old blog entries, I stumbled across a picture of my first road bike...which guessed it. White. A white Trek 1000. I'm such a dumb ass sometimes! So I guess what I really meant was that I want a white bike that isn't an entry level aluminum...oh wait, that doesn't fit either since the CAAD9 is exactly that. Oh well...I tried to redeem myself for the dumb moment but it's not working. The new bike "Cady" has fatter tubes and I can't wait to ride her. ;) I'll leave you with that. :)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Today my panties were inside out...

which is better than them being in a wad, I suppose. I figured it out when I got to work, but decided to embrace it rather than strip down out of my dress pants and flip the suckers around. Funny how I don't typically give much thought to my undergarments, but that today, all I could think of was how they were on the wrong way. I came thisclose to divulging the little secret to my co-worker Chris, but when I got to his cube he was on the phone and then I was distracted by his candy dish, so the secret remained safe. I should have told him, he would have appreciated it.

I've been struggling with which direction I should go with my cycling this year and I keep coming back to not feeling ready for, and truthfully, not having the desire to suffer through Mulholland and Heartbreak Double Centuries. I was hesitant to back out of them because I set these goals and really wanted to stick to it. I had no idea that I would jump into racing, that I would be so excited about it, and that the different training required for racing would throw a wrench in my well laid plans to climb, climb, climb this month. I needed to take a step back and look at it as revising my goals instead of looking at it as quitting. I emailed Planet Ultra this morning to see if I could switch my registration to the century versions that I did last year and I I immediately felt like a weight had been lifted. The Triple Crown will be there next year and many other years if I choose to chase after it again.

Since my first criterium earlier this month, I've been out at Eldo every week. El Dorado Twilight Series is a Tuesday night race that runs from March through August. When I started talking to people about racing, hands down this was the recommendation for gaining pack riding skills. I'm racing with the 40+ men and honestly didn't expect to be able to hang for the whole hour the first week out there. I surprised myself and finished strong with the pack. The following week had a bigger field with some faster laps and there were times I thought I was going to pop. We either slowed, or I recovered...perhaps both...but I managed to stay in again! Last night there was a crash in our field and caught behind it, I sat out a lap on the suggestion of a Major Motion racer, since the field took off. I felt good out there though and am learning a lot about pack riding.

This week I have a 60 miler planned on Friday since I get off work at noon, then I'll climb out at GMR on Saturday. The following weekend is San Dimas Stage Race!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Dash for Cash Criterium

It looks as though I'm up to my old tricks again, and not blogging regularly. You would think that having raced my first criterium, that I would be eager to talk about it! Here's the scoop...

I did the Dash for Cash crit on Sunday March 2, 2008.

I'll preface it by saying I was SO nervous and anxious. We were there at 7:00 a.m. to watch the Cat V race and my race didn't start until 11:31.

Seeing this (Keith is a BF member) from the Cat IV race didn't help the nerves.

I was able to get a good 45 minute warmup in, along with a pep talk from my 7 year old daughter.

I was feeling pretty good and stayed mid or front pack most of the race. With less than 1.5 laps to go I'm feeling great and our race gets neutralized on the slight incline for the elite women to pass. The race promoter who was riding with us tells everyone to stop pedaling, but only half of the field listens so I go from 4th or 5th wheel to mid-back of the pack coming up on the turn. Totally confusing and I had no idea when he was going to tell us to go again, but by that time there were women ready to take off when he called it at the line with one lap to go. Pretty strung out after the first corner but I managed to latch on to the back of the lead group, definitely lost steam on the incline before the last turn though. There were some STRONG women out there!

Official results...18th out of 30.

Anyway...I didn't get dropped! I never felt like I was going to get dropped! Two good things.

I definitely learned a lot today...mainly...
I need more intensity work!
I need to get some better group riding skills so I'm more confident staying on a wheel...spent way too much time in the wind on the outside.

Avg speed w/o cool down lap: 22.29 mph
Max speed: 30.42

After initially being disappointed, I got over myself and remembered that I didn't plan to start racing until June when all of my ultra-distance events for the season were done and I could train specifically for intensity. I made a last minute decision last week to register for this race because I wanted to get at least one crit under my belt before San Dimas at the end of March. So...not too bad and I think that with some work, I could do better.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Ride-Strong's Colnago Giveaway!

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The chance to win a brand new
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Visit the Ride-Strong site for entry details!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Lukas from Switzerland visits...

and I have to say, if you ever get a chance to host someone from Switzerland, do it. They bring chocolate. Lots of chocolate. Not your run of the mill chocolate...good chocolate. In fact, I think that the quality of chocolate that Lukas brought as a gift to me will help me lose weight. How so? For once, I'm not scouring the office for dark chocolate Hershey's because frankly...I'm too good for that now. I'm hooked on the good stuff and I'm going to hoard it and make it last.


Enough about the chocolate...Lukas is in California visiting from Switzerland and stayed with us for just one night before leaving this morning to see the Grand Canyon and Monument Valley. I wish that he could have stayed longer, I really enjoyed his company. Lukas races mountain bikes back home and uses the road bike for training. While in Northern California, he raced in his first two criteriums and placed well. Maybe he'll come over to the dark (lycra) side. ;)



Lukas told us that we could come visit him...and bring the kids along too. Ha. Poor thing wouldn't know what hit him if we made our way over there with all of the wee ones. Who knows...maybe someday.

In the meantime...if anyone needs a place to stay, hit me up. I rent rooms for the price of good chocolate. ;)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Getting anxious...

so I'm getting anxious and really want to get out there and race. I know that there are things that I need to work on before I have any business getting started, but I have to say that being at crits watching George race the last two weekends has me itching to throw myself into it like he has.

Sunday morning we were up early for the Anger Management Crit in Long Beach. George had just raced the Butterfield Double the day before, as I did...but he's crazy enough to get out there and race a crit as a recovery ride. I love watching these races and this course was great because you could see the entire course from the start/finish line. I was honestly shocked every lap as George stayed in the front of the pack. I had told him not be disappointed if he didn't do as well this week because hey...he had 460 miles on his legs this week between commuting and the double century! There he was though...up front the whole time! He managed a 12th place finish, which is awesome! I only hope I can do half as well as he's started out with his racing. :)

Check out his blog for his race reports...

Anger Management

Butterfield Double

Tour of California

Thanks to Amgen for the Live Coverage! If I can't see it live and in person, this is definitely the next best thing.

I have just one comment...the field slowed for a "natural break" 55 minutes into the stage. I no longer feel bad about my tiny bladder and having to stop for my own "natural breaks"...I usually last longer than 55 minutes though. ;)

Monday, February 18, 2008

Butterfield Double 2008


As I mentioned in my last blog post, I finally felt some excitement about Butterfield Double less than 24 hours before I was set to start. Friday night after work, we grabbed some dinner at Knolwood while we waited for the check in to open at 7:30. After saying hello to some friends while we waited in line, we signed our waivers, picked up our route sheets and numbers and headed home. It's nice to be 15 miles from the start of a double century and be able to sleep in your own bed the night before! We had to do some last minute bike prep and then we were off to bed, but not before George hands me some Nathan Reflex wrist/ankle bands and tells me he wants to be visible when I'm signaling. :)

4:00 a.m. and the alarm is going off. I think I stretched it to 4:30, but then it was out of bed and a quick shower to wake up, and on with the Sho-Air kit that I had laid out the night before. In the truck on the way to the start, I drank a bottle of Sportquest Carbo Pro mixed with Interphase since I didn't feel like eating anything solid at that time. We arrived at the start and I didn't want to get out of the truck. I was being a wimp about the cold. Funny since I spent most of January training in the dark and cold, but at those times I was wearing wool. No luxury of that today. On a double I try to minimize my clothing since I'll be out on the road for so long and the temps will change so much throughout the day. I'd rather suffer a little bit with cold in the beginning and end in exchange for not being overheated during the majority of the day. I wore a sleeveless wool base layer, my Sho-Air jersey, Assos shorts (though I love and typically train in bibs, I won't wear them on long distance events because the time wasted fully undressing to pee is ridiculous) wool arm and knee warmers and my Velom jacket.

We didn't have much time at the start to get situated, but made our way over to the front of the hotel to hear the safety speech before we were launched out. I stuck with George who was feeding me tips about riding in a pack and we had set off at a pretty good clip, staying near the front of the pack. I thought that the pace would break the group up rather quickly, but it seemed that the abundance of stoplights would keep most of the group together for the time being. Knowing what was coming up, I was sure that the rollers on Jamboree and the climb up San Joaquin Hills would start some separation...including me! I said goodbye to George at this time, knowing that I wouldn't see him until I finished. We dropped down Newport Coast Drive and turned south on Pacific Coast Highway before turning inland, then climbing and dropping down to PCH once again. Headed south toward Dana Point I enjoyed talking to several people, including a tandem that had done Furnace Creek 508. The descent into the mini-stop was steep, and I was happy to be greeted by Jon, a friend from Bike Forums. :) I topped off my bottle, which I'm not proud to say, was only 1/3 gone. Very poor hydrating and fueling on my part and definitely not enough for 39 miles into the ride. I find that when it's not warm I don't pay attention to my hydration.

I left the mini-stop quickly and rode behind a man in a Surf City Cyclery kit. He was pulling at a great pace until we hit the bike lane inside the concrete barrier on PCH in Dana Point and a group in front of us slowed us down significantly. After exiting that area we were in a pretty tight pack and I hit a large rock that wasn't called out, luckily with no consequences. I was glad when we reached Avenida Pico and the group continued on the coast through San Clemente instead of turning (as the route slip indicated) and following the bike route signs through the residential area. Deb had announced that was fine to do and since the route sheet didn't have any street names and simply "Follow Bike Route Signs" I didn't want to chance a wrong turn. While on this section I recognized the rider next to me, it was one of George's friends Chris. We talked for awhile and as we turned from Cristianitos onto the bike trail, the group thinned out to make the turn safely onto the path, I found myself in the back. I arrived at the San Onofre checkpoint (mile 54.7) alone, said hello to Rick from Bike Forums, loaded up with some Sustained Energy provided by Planet Ultra and hit the bathroom before it was back on the bike.

I rode alone for the next section, though I could at times, see riders ahead of me. As I turned onto the I-5 freeway I could see another woman, who I eventually passed and then she ended up passing me. I caught up to her as we exited the freeway and made our way toward the bike path in Oceanside. After riding on the bike path with another man for a little bit, the woman (who I later learned was named Joni) came around and took the lead. She led our train, which picked up a couple of riders along the way, all the way to the lunch stop. I heard her say at one point that she didn't...or couldn't ride behind people, and I didn't feel like I had the energy at that point to go around her and take off, so I was content to sit back and get some recovery. Thank you Joni!

At the lunch stop (mile 87.7) I said hello to Phil and Jon, posed for a photo, grabbed a Subway sandwich and stuffed it under my jersey, topped off with some more Sustained Energy and was gone in probably five minutes. I had a strategy for this section since I knew that there was an immediate climb after lunch. It's no fun to climb on a full stomach, so I planned to grab the sandwich and roll, eating it later if I felt hungry for solid food. I was in fact hungry when I got to the lunch stop...thanks I'm sure, in part to my poor fueling and hydration, but I knew that I would benefit from sticking to the plan of climbing on an empty stomach. The Circle R climb was much less painful this year and after climbing that and Reche, I took the opportunity to eat on the Green Canyon Road descent. George's early words of advice rang in my head. "Take the food and go. Eating on the bike at 13 mph is better than stopping for 30 minutes and then hammering on a full stomach trying to make up for lost time." Even better...I found myself eating my Subway sandwich while coasting at 21 mph down Green Canyon Road!

I hadn't seen anyone else since Green Canyon when Ron on his recumbent made the left turn before me. As I was approaching the turn onto North River Road, a guy in a Sho-Air kit blew past me. At that point I had been alone for so long that I was actually wishing that someone...or better yet, a pack, would catch me. I knew that I was approaching the bike path and the winds can be strong, a hard haul if you're alone and I wasn't looking forward to the next section. My wish would be granted at the next turn. When I looked back to make sure it was clear for me to get over into the left turn lane, up comes a pack. With a tandem! Wooo! It was the tandem from earlier in the day, along with Isabelle Drake, Chris and another guy. I told them I was just wishing for this situation and thank goodness they arrived. :) The tandem pulled us on the bike path until I heard a sound you never want to hear...Chris, who had been at the end of the line, had gone down. I stopped, turned around and went back to make sure that he was okay. He told me that I didn't need to stop, but I would hope that someone would stop for me in a similar situation, so I just did what felt right. Despite being bloodied, he was back on his bike and riding in no time. Actually, they temporarily dropped me and then slowed so I could reattach. There was another mini-stop (mile 121.1) up ahead, and I was happy to see Jon yet again! I topped off my bottle and added some Sportquest CarboPro 1200 that I had in a flask. I prefer this over the Sustained Energy that Planet Ultra provides, but I supplemented with the SE because it was free (or rather, part of my registration fee) and I only had enough room to carry two flasks of CarboPro. A group took off out of the stop and while I waited until it was clear to cross the road, I realized that once again, I'd be alone. I figured the tandem, who were sticking around to eat a sandwich, would catch me quickly, but alas...I was destined to ride the section through Oceanside, the I-5 and San Onofre until the checkpoint (mile 135.8), alone.

The tandem pulled into the San O checkpoint shortly after I did, so I stuck around the stop until they left. We had a small group as we went through San Clemente and turned inland from the coast. We stayed together until the Antonio parkway climb and I had great legs, so I went ahead of the group a bit, but wasn't putting a ton of effort into the climb because I didn't want to lose the tandem. At some point we got separated and I ended up riding with Ken, who was out there on a fixed gear. We chatted about some of George's fixed gear rides and we came upon Ron on his recumbent again. The three of us came into the last checkpoint (mile 167.5) in Trabuco Canyon together, followed shortly by the tandem and a few others. At this stop I saw one of my favorite people...Lee from Bike Forums, who was volunteering. I stayed at this stop for a few minutes, long enough to fill my bottle (which I then left behind...ugh), eat two mini Butterfingers and 1/4 of a poppyseed muffin and throw on my Velom jacket.

Chris, Ron and I left the last checkpoint together, but we spread out on the rolling terrain through Trabuco Canyon. My goal was to get through this area in the daylight. I don't like this narrow, twisty road with no shoulder and blind corners. It's known for people speeding and numerous accidents. Needless to say, I didn't want to get caught in the dark. Thankfully, I was able to accomplish my goal and turned onto Santiago Canyon Road while it was still light. On one of the descents Chris blew past me as I was soft pedaling and I could only see his tail light up ahead for the rest of the Santiago Canyon section. I reached Dump Hill and knew I was so close the the finish. I felt amazing! As I approached the turn onto Jamboree, I noticed another rider in the left turn lane. It was Isabelle Drake, who by the way...beat my time by 11 minutes on Butterfield last year! She told me that I would be faster to the end than she would, but I said that we should go in together. It was nice chatting with her and we stuck together. Like another rider said in his report...seeing the Sand Canyon street sign was so sweet and beautiful. Just 2.5 miles to the finish...I could taste it!

Isabelle and I reached the hotel, parked our bikes outside and ran in to find out that we had a time of 12:18! Deb told us that only one woman came in ahead of us, a Cat 2 racer for Webcor. I felt so great about my finish! I felt very strong most of the day and really felt like I rode smart. When the results were posted, I realized that Isabelle and I can claim an 8th place finish overall. Can't complain about that!!! :)

I have to say thanks to George for believing in me, even when I have doubts. Following his advice and coaching really helped me ride hard and ride smart. He also took great care of me post-ride, handing me a bottle of Endurox and my Recovery pills, then finding solid food for me to scarf down. He did a great job out there at Butterfield...10:46 for a third place finish!

Thanks to the tandem, Roger and Deanna for pulling and for good conversation. I really enjoyed riding with the two of you. :)

Thanks to the volunteers...without you, this wouldn't have been possible. :)

Next up: ???? Oh, who knows. I'm giving this racing thing a shot, so stay tuned!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Butterfield Double Eve

I'm happy to announce that at 11:15 a.m. on Butterfield Double Eve, I finally got excited about this event. I don't know why, but I've been lacking motivation to get this ultra-distance season started. Maybe it's because there is a big gap between my events and the next one isn't until April 5th. Maybe it's because it's 200 miles and it's a long day in the saddle. Who knows exactly why, but the excitement has arrived and I'm eager to test out my fitness, since my last double was back in June.

In other news, I've spent the last day arguing...okay, vs. cyclists here in Orange County. Yesterday's article What Word in 'Bike Lane' Don't Drivers Understand by David Whiting, prompted many comments from those who think we shouldn't be out there on the road. From saying that we should be mowed down, to poking fun at our silly spandex, to calling us Lance Wanna-be's, the attitude of the commenters was mostly disheartening. I admit that there are road cyclists who do not obey traffic laws, ride dangerously and probably even encourage some of the hostility from motorists. Unfortunately, those who don't act responsibly and courteously are painting a picture that leaves many motorists angry and impatient with all of us...even those who acknowledge patient drivers and ride safely and responsibly. We have a long way to go in getting the "Share the Road" message to sink in here in Orange County.

On the racing front, I'm now officially holding a USCF license and I've registered for my first race! I thought I'd jump right in and go for the sampler platter. San Dimas Stage Race offers a time trial, road race and a criterium. Three days of racing fun. In an effort to prepare, I am going to start riding the El Dorado Twilight Series in March.

That's all for now. After work we're headed to the check-in for Butterfield, then it's home to prep bikes and gear for an early morning tomorrow. We roll at 6:15 a.m. and I'll post an update sometime this weekend!

Ride safely and do me a favor this weekend. Please take the time to acknowledge those motorists that are making an effort to keep you safe while you're riding. The one that slows down and waits instead of turning in front of you, the one that slows down until they can pass you safely, etc. We all encounter the ones that keep us safe, but often tend to remember only the ones that don't. Yes, they are doing exactly what they are supposed to do, but so many motorists do not make that effort and your acknowledgement may be exactly what they need to reinforce that they're doing the right thing.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

I suck...

How did I let two weeks go by without blogging? Oh wait, I'm boring and have no life. Or I've been riding my bike a lot. Maybe that's it. :)

I ended January with 680 miles for the month. Not bad for early in the season, especially with how freaking cold it has been and the fact that we had rain, rain, rain in January.

I've felt very consistent and dedicated in my training so far this year. I did miss my ride on Saturday. I wanted to get one final century in before Butterfield this weekend, but I came home from a co-worker's going away happy hour puking, so that ride was bagged. Unfortunately it wasn't even the fun alcohol induced kind of puking. I was being good and not drinking since I was riding in the morning, but I must have eaten something funky. Oh well.

As I mentioned, Butterfield Double is this weekend. I'm keeping my rides this week on the easy side to save my legs for Saturday. Right now I'm enjoying my training more than the thought of the actual events. Hopefully that will change as the season progresses. I've also been exploring the possibility of racing this season. Yes. Racing. We'll see how it goes. I'm committed to the ultra events on my schedule, but fortunately there are plenty of mid-late season crits, time trials and road races that I can get my feet wet with. It will be a big change with my training, I need to add intensity/speed/sprinting work and more importantly, I need to start riding with a group. I watched the women's 3/4 race at Roger Millikan Crit on Saturday (George was there racing in Cat 5...I know...what the heck, we're changing things up this year) and really felt a strong desire to be out there. Right now I just need to sign up for a race and make the commitment. Yikes.

Speaking of the crit in Brea on Sunday, this was George's first crit this year. He had done one a couple of years ago and wanted to see how he could do out there. 11th place in the Cat 5 race out of a field of 50. Very cool considering like me, his training is geared toward long distance and climbing events. :) You can check out his race report on his blog. Here's a post race pic with Jesse from Team Bearclaw who took 2nd in the Cat 5 race.


Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The rain has gone...

thank goodness. I know we needed it, but I can't seem to handle more than one to two days in a row of it. It's still cold out there, but that I can handle. Except for yesterday when I asked the seven year old to run to the car to get something for me because I couldn't stand the thought of going outside again. I'm such a wimp.

After a few days off of the bike during the rain last week, I was thrilled to have gorgeous weather on Saturday during my century. The air was clear and crisp, the mountains in the distance were covered with snow and the views of the ocean from the top of the hills were amazing. I started at 4:20 a.m. and headed south on the coast, turning inland in Laguna Niguel and experiencing Pacific Island Drive, a fairly steep climb, for the first time. After a very close call with an inattentive, red light ignoring driver who then yelled at me, I made my way to Rock n Road Cyclery to meet up with the women on the Diva ride. I had been wanting to try this ride for some time, but didn't want to drive 30 miles to the start. I routed the Diva ride into my century plans and figured that I would meet up with them dependent on how I was doing with time. The ride was going through Santiago Canyon as an out and back and I let them know that I would just join them on the "out" and then be on my way toward home. The ladies were all very nice, I can see this as a group that has potential for growth, or I'm hoping it does. I would love to see more women's programs in this region, we could learn a lot from all of the offerings that they have up in the Bay area.

Santiago Canyon is always so nice in the mornings. Everytime I ride there I ask myself why I'm not out there more often. I am going to make a point of adding this into my routes more often. Afer the Diva ride regrouped at Dump Hill, they turned around and went back through the canyon and I continued on, heading toward the coast. I went up and over Newport Coast then headed north so I could get my mileage in before noon. I ended up with 99.6 miles and was home before noon.

Sunday morning it was raining when I woke up and instead of exposing myself to that, I decided to take my recovery in the form of more sleep instead of a recovery ride. Monday was another rainy day and Tuesday I was finally back out there again.

I was so excited, as seen in my previous posts, to have found different options on Newport Coast Drive to keep me from the boredom of actual hill repeats. Then came "the talk" from the coach. He explained to me the true value of hill repeats and how the short steep climbs I was having fun with were not putting me on a path to being ready for my events. So Tuesday, I went out with my power meter and had some purposeful training. It's hard to get bored when your eyes are glued to a computer and you're trying to maintain your power setting. I was able to get six repeats in for a total of 3100 feet of climbing in 22.4 miles. Today my legs are feeling it!


Tonight I have a team meeting for Velosport and then it's back to commuting to work on Thursday and Friday. The blue skies I'm staring at right now are a very welcomed sight!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


It's raining, it's pouring, the old man is snoring. I've bagged training for the week. I had a good day of hill repeats (38 miles and 3400 ft of climbing) on Tuesday and I'm committing to a century (in my head, at least) on Saturday morning, rain or shine. I don't want to drain my motivation by riding in this rain before then.

George FINALLY posted his 300K Brevet report on his blog. It's about time. Just kidding...he hasn't taken a day off the bike since Saturday, so I should stop giving him crap. ;) Both of our bodies could do from a day or two off the bike and we treated ourselves to some comfort food tonight. If you're not training, you might as well eat meatloaf, mashed potatoes, french onion soup and enough bread feed a small army. Right?

Monday, January 21, 2008

It Never Rains in Southern California...

Yeah, well Albert Hammond, Barry Manilow and Tony! Toni! Tone! lie. Lies. All lies.

When I checked last week I saw that rain would be hitting us on Monday and Tuesday. Monday I wouldn't ride because it's Martin Luther King Day and the kids are off of school. Tuesday there would be rain, but that's fine, I would ride in it anyway. No big deal.

This morning I see that the forecast has shifted and we'll have rain tonight and tomorrow, clouds on Wednesday and then rain Thursday through Sunday. SUNDAY! I really don't mind riding in the rain, in fact, I enjoy it. The thing that this messes up is my commuting because showing up looking like a drowned rat just doesn't fit in well with our company look. I suppose I could drive in and then ride at night those two nights. I guess I'll just wait and see how many times the forecast changes in the next few days.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

101 Miles, 3 Bottles, 1 Pop Tart

I had a pretty mellow week. After my great ride on Tuesday I was a little sore and wanted to rest for the weekend, because I planned on doing a 90 mile ride. My commute on Thursday in to work was only 9 miles and the same 9 miles after work.

Friday night we spent the night down in San Diego because George was doing the San Diego Brevet Series 300k the next morning. Like I had two weekends before, I stranded myself far from home and vowed to start in the wee hours of the frigid morning and make it home before noon, when the kids were coming home.

The alarm went off around 4:08 and I slowly got myself out of bed and started getting ready. Food didn't sound appetizing at that point, so I made myself a bottle of Interphase mixed with CarboPro and called it breakfast. George helped me get ready to roll, ushered me out the door at 4:42 a.m. and I was off. I realized within the first mile that I had left my flask of CarboPro 1200 behind in the room and there went my plans for not having to stop and buy anything. Rather than turn around, I decided I'd just stop off buy something when my bottles were empty, which is easy when you're riding on the coast.

I was a little nervous in the beginning section since I had never been on this stretch, it was dark and I was alone. I had 11.3 miles to get to Doyle Park, an area I was familiar with and from there it would be a route I knew. The first two hours that I was on the bike, my feet and legs were so cold that I felt like I could hardly turn the pedals. I was remembering back to doing this route two weeks before in the rain, and thinking to myself, that I'd take rain over the cold anyday. At least on that day I was rolling at a faster pace!

By the time I made it to San Onofre it was beginning to warm up a bit and I started to see some other cyclists on the road. I was also through both of my bottles and kicking myself for leaving that flask behind. I was really enjoying the CarboPro that was in my bottles and knew that my only alternative when I hit 7-11 in San Clemente would be something like Gatorade. On the stretch before 7-11 I was getting really warm in my wool baselayer and jersey so when I pulled in, I ditched the base layer and shoved it in a pocket. I went into the store, bought some dreaded Gatorade and a Pop-Tart for some quick energy, since I had been running on very few calories since leaving San Diego. I only managed to eat one of the two in the package, filled my bottles and I was off again.

After going through the State Park in Dana Point I was waiting for the left turn light to change and two cyclists came up behind me. We ended up talking and keeping a good pace on the rollers through Laguna when one had to break off. The other was trying to get some mileage in, so he continued north to Huntington Beach with me. I said goodbye when I turned off at Brookhurst, fully intending to head home and call it a day at my planned 91 miles. I looked at my watch and noticed that I had at least a full hour before the kids were supposed to be home, so I took it easy for another 10 miles so I could get a century in.

All said and done, 6 hours 58 minutes, 101 miles, 3 bottles and 1 Pop Tart.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

List of the Day

It would be more than a crime to keep this treasure trove of a blog to myself, so I give to you...

List of the Day

I was first lured to this blog last week by the Olan Mills photo post, which I promptly sent to select co-workers so they could enjoy as well. After that I couldn't stop clicking on the after post of list after list that reaffirm that the internet is the best thing ever.


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Monday and Tuesday training...

Breathing a sigh of relief after getting into Breathless Agony on Monday morning, I set out for a short ride to test the angry achilles. It's mood had improved over the weekend with some TLC (ice, rest and elevation) but I didn't want to push it too much, so I opted for a flat route. It was absolutely gorgeous outside yesterday. I wore a short sleeved jersey and shorts and enjoyed the warmth as I rode north on the coast. To my delight, the achilles behaved and I had trouble maintaining my easy pace. The day was just calling for a strong ride!

24.5 miles
98 ft of elevation gain (told you it was flat)

Since the flat route was successful and the achilles doth not protest, I decided to head for the hills today. I rode south on the coast and instead of going all the way to the base of Newport Coast, I turned early and got the San Joaquin Hills climb in first, descended Newport Coast, dropped my chain at the base while in the left turn lane. Woo! I'm a big dork! I made the u-turn, stopped to put Kanye West's Stronger on repeat and off I make my personal best time on Newport Coast Drive!

I'd like to thank the academy, my family, my friends, my three legged cat, my four legged cat, my old dog, the random chain dropping which allowed my heart rate to fully recover and most importantly, Kanye West for making me harder, better, faster, STRONGER!

After making it up Newport Coast and leaving an excited message for George about my time, I turned up Vista Ridge, descended, climbed Ridge Park, descended to the Bonita side of Newport Coast and climbed that too. I felt phenomenal the entire day and again, had difficulty maintaining a base miles pace. Oops. On the descent down San Joaquin I turned up spyglass and added a little extra bit of climbing for good measure since I was making good time.

38.2 miles
2,660 ft of elevation gain
one scolding from the coach for not doing base building miles today. oops.

Monday, January 14, 2008


I'm a wee bit anxious this morning. It's January 14th and in 29 minutes, registration for Breathless Agony opens up. Breathless Agony is the second event in the King of the Mountains series and the only event of the series which is not hosted by Planet Ultra. This event sold out in less than a week last year and rumor has it that it will sell out even sooner this year. I'm actually curious to see how quickly the 450 highly sought after spots will go, but AFTER I get our registrations in, of course. ;)

8:17 a.m. UPDATE:

George and I both got in. I'm sure I was fretting for nothing, but this series has become so popular that we didn't want to take any chances. Can't wait for May 3rd!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Angry Achilles

It's official. I've gone and pissed off my left achilles tendon. :( Sloppy, lazy changing of saddles (too high) is to blame and it's all my fault. I grabbed a ride home from a co-worker last night (THANK YOU BECKY!!!) instead of chancing it and bagged my ride today. I'm icing and hoping it's better by Monday so I can train.

On the upside, I got to sleep in today and my body and mind are thanking me. I'm feeling somewhat human today and managed to do the dishes, the laundry and wash my car with the help of George, his son and my youngest, M. :)

Friday, January 11, 2008


I'm so sleepy. The last few days have been a big blur of work, ride, eat, sleep, ride, work, eat, ride, sleep, eat, ride, get the picture.

Wednesday night after work I rode south on the coast to meet George and got 27 miles in. Thursday morning I commuted into work, though I shortened my 20 mile route down to 13 because I hit snooze four too many times. I was exhausted yesterday, but decided to ride south on PCH before heading north again, so ended up with 34+ miles last night. Woke up this morning and thought about shortening the route to work...really it's only 8 miles but I add Newport Coast in and that makes it 20. Somewhere in my exhausted mind, I found the determination...or stupidity, your choice, to commit to the 20 miles. Yawn. I'm still at work and in 1:43 I'll be changing over for the commute home. I think I'll take the short route. I swapped saddles on the fixed gear for my commute yesterday and something was off. As a result my left achilles is screaming at me. :( Ice and rest for a few days.

I've been told that I'll be proud of my determination and that it will pay off. Right now I'm just sleepy.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Hill Play...

I love hill repeats. Stick me on a hill and I'll climb and descend it twenty times. There's nothing I'd rather do! Kidding. Hill repeats bore me to tears and I dread them. It's not the climbing I don't care's the monotony. That said, I think I've found a way to play on the local hills without being bored out of my gourd.

I headed south on the coast again and climbed Newport Coast Drive. After a short recovery I went up Vista Ridge, descended it and then up Ridge Park...the almost 9% average climb. I was good on time so I descended the other side of Newport Coast and climbed that. There are several options for climbing off of Newport Coast and I think I can get some decent climbing in close to home without going crazy with repeats. I didn't realize it at the time, but I could have added another 400+ ft of gain by descending another road and then climbing it...just wasn't sure how I was on time. I ended up overshooting my turn off of the coast (purposely) to add some miles and had time to do a couple more, but my stomach was growling and I wanted to scarf something down before picking up M.

Good ride today, I felt great. It's a constant battle to remind myself that I'm doing base miles and not push myself. So hard!

I think I'll get in at least 20 miles after work tomorrow. George is commuting from Encinitas up to HB, so I'll come home and change and then head down the coast to meet him. I'm commuting Thursday and Friday more miles there. I think I'll be on the fixed gear the rest of the week since it's the bike with the Nite Rider Moab lights all set up.

Oh...and I know that some people don't like that some of us listen to iPods on our rides, but I can get into riding so much more if I have some tunes. Well that and I don't have to listen to my brain which never seems to shut up and drives me crazy on ;) Anyway...I would like to thank Paul Oakenfold for the Perfecto Presents album , Dr. Dre for the 2001 album and Jill Scott for her latest release Real Thing Sounds and Words Vol. 3 for keeping me company on my ride today.

I almost always climb with Dr. Dre. It makes me smile and laugh. :p I mean, how can you not be entertained with lyrics like...

When I had you last night, baby
Before - I blew yo' mind, (blew-blew-blew your mind)
I thought we had a chance, lady
No more - now that I'm sober you ain't that fine

Monday, January 07, 2008

Monday Training...

Despite the rain in the forecast, I planned to get my Monday training ride in. I have about three hours on Mondays and Tuesdays to ride while my youngest is in school and despite the temptation to sit in a quiet and warm house, I planned to ride. Thankfully when I woke up this morning the rain seemed to have cleared and the sun was peeking through. It still seemed cold outside and I had to make my "please tell me to get my ass on the bike because it's cold out there" call to George. Being the great coach that he is, he didn't disappoint and told me to get my ass on the bike. I threw on the Descente Cold Out bib knickers, a Woolistic base layer and a wool jersey and I took off.

I rode down Pacific Coast Highway to Newport Coast where I made a left turn and headed slowly up the hill. I wasn't in any hurry, just getting my base miles in. I am still feeling the effects of being sick for a month and was coughing and spitting a bit more than I'd care to normally. I made it to the top in a time not worth bragging about, though speed isn't my objective at this point in the season so no worries. After recovering for a minute on the short downhill I decided to make a right turn on Ridge Park. The 8.9% grade for just over a mile was made worth it by the amazing view from the top. The skies were clear and you could see the snow covered mountains, it was just gorgeous. I stopped at the top for a minute to take in the view and put on my Descente Velom jacket for the descent and I was off.

I descended Ridge Park, then San Joaquin Hills and headed for Back Bay. Shortly after a short, steep descent into Back Bay I heard hissing. that really what I think it is? Damn. A flat. :( I pulled off to the side of the path and found a nice shard of glass imbedded in my tire. I removed it, checked the tire again, changed the tube and inflated...Hiiiiiiiiiissssssssssssssssssssssss! Damn! One tube and one CO2 left and I tried once again and it worked. I don't know what happened the first time around because on my second pass I found nothing in the tire. Oh happens. At this point I was going to be running short on time to get back to pick M up from school so I called George while still in Back Bay to ask him what the mileage was from Jamboree to home. He said he thought it was around 7 miles so I figured I had at least 8-10 to get home from where I was.

I had a killer crosswind on PCH and then a headwind on the home stretch. Figures! I made it home with time to spare though and managed to get 32 miles and about 1500 ft of climbing in. Not bad and much better than the Spinning class I endured yesterday when I decided it was too dark and cold to ride before the kids woke up!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Stormwatch 2008

As is typical here in Southern California when we get a little rain, we're on "Stormwatch"...which basically's raining. ;) Ahhh...we're so fortunate here to have nice weather 90% of the time!

So, I was supposed to do the San Diego Brevet series 200K Brevet on Saturday but decided to opt out so that I didn't have to use precious childcare time. George was going to do the brevet anyway, and my plan was to drive down to La Jolla with him and ride back up to Huntington Beach. It would still give me some good mileage for the day and would get me back before the kids would be home.

Being one who doesn't check the weather often, I was caught off guard when the "Stormwatch" talk started at work. I checked it myself and sure enough...looked like rain all weekend. I confirmed that George was still planning to do the retrospect I shouldn't even have questioned it! I decided that if left to my own devices at home, I would probably skip training on Saturday if it was raining, so I went ahead with my plan to drive down to La Jolla and ride home. Training by force!

It was raining the entire drive down from Orange County. We arrived at Doyle Community Park in La Jolla around 6:40 a.m. and started getting ready. Actually, I had to go to the bathroom so I ran across the park and when I came back my bike was out of the trunk and ready to go. Thank you honey! Some last minute prep and a quick goodbye to George and he was off on the 200K. I rolled out a couple of minutes later with Claire, a Bike Forums member who was visiting from France. We rode together for just a bit until I had to go off in the other direction.

The first part of my ride was great. Once you're wet that's can't get much wetter. I was actually enjoying the rain, even when the hard drops were pelting my face. I made it to Encinitas and stopped by Nytro to say hello to Walt, then was quickly on my way again. I debated whether or not to take the 5 freeway, or to go through Camp Pendelton, and ultimately went with the 5. People are always surprised that I choose to ride this, particularly when I'm alone, but they don't realize what a wide shoulder there is. I honestly feel less nervous on that stretch of the 5 than I do on many sections of Pacific Coast Highway. At the rest stop on the 5 (where bicycles are required to exit and then re-enter the freeway) I stopped to use the restroom and realized that though sections of my wool jersey and base layer were wet, I was really warm. My Descente gloves were soaked (had to wring them out) but my hands were warm. Go figure. Back on the road!

The next section was San Onofre, which takes you through the campground. After a short downpour it stopped raining and all of a sudden, I was freezing. This was also the point where I saw the first cyclists of the day...very unusual for the coast! By the time that I reached San Clemente my legs were aching and cold and I could barely muster 11 mph at one point. I managed to pick up some speed but was still slightly sluggish until I reached Laguna. I realized at that time that I had done almost the whole ride on just two bottles of Accelerade and that's it. I wasn't fueling properly, when it's that cold, I just forget to drink. I downed a gel and felt better within minutes and was able to finish the ride. I arrived home in decent time, ready to get out of my wet clothes and into a hot shower. Good training day!

80 miles
5 hours 20 minutes total time

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year!

I am going to start off by making a new year's resolution to blog more. Kidding. That would only get ugly and never happen, so I'm making no promises.

I started off the year with donuts and coffee with my boys while we watched the famed Orange County New Year's Day ride pass through Huntington Beach and Newport Beach. I was able to snap a few pictures as the peloton moved down PCH.




At 10:00 a.m. I dropped the boys off at Grandma's (thank you, thank you!) and backtracked on the course from the coast to see if I could meet up with George. I got a text from him saying that they were leaving the 7-Eleven on Trabuco and Lake Forest and at that point I was on Irvine Blvd. so I knew that I would see them soon. Just as I had crossed an intersection I saw them in the distance coming my way. I quickly turned around and crossed the street pedaling in the direction that the pack was going. There was no need to look back at all...I knew that they would catch me! :P Thankfully just as they were catching me we had to stop at a red light. I talked to a guy for a minute before hearing George call my name from the middle of the pack. First thought. Holy S***! Second thought. Hmmm...this could be fun. Third thought. I can see now why people race! There's no way I could hang with these guys for the whole ride, but it was fun for the short section I was able to hang on. Maybe next year. ;)

You can read George's recap of the ride here...much more interesting than mine, since I only did a small portion!

Oh...and I have to show off the new Velosport (now Team Sho-Air) team kits for this year. I was thrilled when we picked them up last week. Love the colors!