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!