Saturday, December 08, 2007

Quick post

Thursday I got adventurous and went out night-riding with Jamie, Tricia, and Amy - all of whom are elite racers. We met up at Speedy Reedy's, rode with Amy back to West Seattle, and then Tricia, Jamie, and I rode out on Alki. We got a great view of the city from across the water, and I got a great workout...more of a workout than I'd planned on, but I felt stronger than normal, and felt like the training was still doing its thing.

To accommodate Thursday's ride, I swapped a rest day for Friday. Apparently, one rest day wasn't enough. Today, Saturday, I went out with the team, and felt like my legs were pedaling in mud. It was awful. We headed down south to Renton and practiced rotating pacelines on Jones Road - I was likely the slowest one out there. And we were on the devo ride. Ugh. I ended up heading back on the west side of the lake with Michele, and felt like my legs were going to fall off. We were both ready to be home before we hit Leschi. And now I'm debating riding tomorrow. We shall see...

Ups and downs...all part of the training, I suppose.

Good things that happened today: we got a Christmas tree, bought tree decorations, had pork sandwiches from Paseo and super-burrito from Gordito's, and the best hot chocolates (ones I imagine are served on the Polar Express) from Chocolati. And I wrapped Xmas gifts!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Since it's just been a while...

It's been brought to my attention that I haven't posted in quite a while, so here is a post to satiate my fans. (;

The overview: I'm loving the Northwest, riding more than I think I did last winter, stocking up on warmer cycling clothes, making lots of plans, and STILL searching for a place to live.

The details: As of tomorrow, the 29th, I will have been here for 2 full months! I can't decide whether it seems like longer or shorter. I've done quite a bit since I've gotten here, so I guess it seems like longer, but on the flip side, it's only been 2 months! I've joined 2 teams (Wines of Washington/Union Bay Cycling for road racing and Broadmark for track racing), and am riding with Wines every weekend, and during the week on my trusty trainer (well, really Jamie's trainer). I had to get my stuff out of the Boeing-paid-for storage by last week, so I took a Friday off and had them deliver almost everything to my new storage unit. So now I get a little more time to find a more semi-permanent place for myself to live. But I did have them bring some boxes to the house, so now I have my rain jacket for riding (BIG yay), my skis, and some other random items that are nice to have around.

Last weekend I spent Thanksgiving at Jamie's dad's house, then drove up to Lummi Island with them to spend 3 days in a nice house with no cable TV and stoves to heat each room. It was a nice break from the city, and this coming weekend we're headed up to San Juan Island to visit Jamie's mom. I'm expecting another relaxing mini-vacation. We even get to stay for free at this SWEET cabin/house with amazing views of the islands and Canada and water and mountains and...

Work is busy, as I'm working on the 787 program, and I'm sure if you've been keeping up with the news, you've heard we're behind. I'm right in the thick of it, helping to get things done as quickly as possible. I work overtime just about every day, and I'm taking a new-hires class 2 days/week. The class is a nice break in the routine, and I'm even making some friends of my own, rather than borrowing them from Jamie. : p

I went to my first EWB-Puget Sound Professionals meeting last night - even rode my bike downtown to get there. It was a nice short ride, and easier than I thought it would be. The meeting was of the Executive Committee, of which I am apparently now a part. I'll be taking care of membership issues, introducing new members to EWB, and matching them up with suitable projects and tasks. How is it that I always end up taking on more than I planned??

Well, that's probably enough of an update for now. I can't believe we're gearing up for Christmas already. I'm looking forward to celebrating the holiday in Seattle, and getting up to Whistler for some New Year's skiing. The snow is already accumulating, and I'm anxious to get out on the slopes as soon as we can.

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!

(Oh, by the way, I can't WAIT to start RACING!!! Too bad it won't be for MONTHS. And I have a great Women's 4 team, and a sweet Women's track team to boot - wahoo!!)

Monday, October 15, 2007

Wenatchee MTBing

What an amazing experience for my first ever mountain biking adventure. I took out my brand new 29er hardtail (Gary Fisher Cobia), despite the fact that FedEx totally banged it up - yes, I plan on filing a claim. Jamie was wonderful and fixed it all up for me the night before we left, even removed a sheared off bolt that I was sure we couldn't salvage.

So anyways, I've never done anything like this before. We were out for 6 hours on Saturday, and 3 hours on Sunday. Saturday's route was Devil's Gulch, a grueling 13 miles uphill, through mud and mudpuddles and rivers and over tree roots and rocks, on a narrow singletrack that wound up and up and up with a dizzying dropoff and scary, DIFFICULT switchbacks and stellar views (which I mostly missed because I was so focused on the trail). The switchbacks ended right before a perfect lunch spot, where we all regrouped and ate our sandwiches together. Despite the fact that I didn't feel at all like eating, I forced down the first few bites of my sandwich, and then realized how hungry I really was and how good the food tasted. Jamie made us his famous "recovery sandwiches," which include avocado, sprouts, tomato, turkey, amazing bread, and great spreads (whatever yumminess he has on hand), plus probably other things that I can't remember. Coming up that part of the mountain, I definitely had some moments where I just felt like quitting right there. I felt totally weak and incapable. But then I thought about all I had done, and how much determination I really had in me, and got back on the bike and kept going. After lunch, it really wasn't that much farther to the top, where we again reconvened and decided which groups would take which routes back to the cabin (there were something like 19 of us in all). My group of 4 girls headed back down the same trail, and it was the best reward ever to go down the seemingly neverending downhill. I had a few small wipeouts, the worst of which gave me a tiny thumb injury and a nice big bruise on my hip, and smaller ones on my shin.

I think I pushed myself harder than I ever have before, at least in that way. I was in so much pain, but it was so much fun. My legs ached and my arms ached and my lungs felt like they would burst and I fell countless times (inevitable in mountain biking, I know), but it hurts so good. I breathed so hard for such a long time, it's amazing I can still feel my throat (though it is a little sore today). (: We climbed almost 4000 feet, and I think that's an accomplishment to be proud of. I spent all of Saturday night in disbelief of what I'd just done. I just couldn't fathom that I was actually capable of what I did. I could handle many of the technical aspects, I wasn't completely overcome by the steep dropoffs or wet roots or slick rocks, and I kept improving throughout the day.

By the end of the day, I wasn't too keen on going out again on Sunday, but I woke up Sunday morning, didn't feel as sore as I expected, and Katie proposed a nice short route, so I couldn't say no. I was the first one with my gear on and ready to go! We headed out about an hour before the boys to get a good head start, and took a ~2-hour trip uphill in a different direction from Saturday. We could all feel the fatigue in our legs from the day before, but I was getting better and I could feel it. At some really steep sections I did get off and walk, but I feel no shame in that, and know that I have plenty of room for improvement - I think I will build one of my goals next year around being better on these rides. The downhill was SWEET on that one, too, and so smooth, with some great banking that reminded me of the velodrome in spots. (: We were back from that ride in about 3 hours, and had time to shower and relax and EAT a bit before the rest of the gang arrived.

It was great that Matt's friend's cabin was so close to the trailheads! The house is right on the fire road that you can take to the different trails, only one or 2 miles away, and a great cooldown once you're off the trails. The weather treated us wonderfully, with absolutely no rain, and brisk mornings turning into comfortable afternoons. The views were spectacular, especially with the fall colors, and the smell of the forests is something that just makes you feel more alive.

Today I'm sore and I have a boo-boo on my thumb and quite a few bruises, but nothing major, no broken bones, and all my teeth. I am still somewhat shocked that I actually accomplished what I did, and trying to process it all. I have to admit that I'm rather proud, and know that this was GREAT training for climbing all the hills they've got here. I just hope I can get in a few more rides before the snow hits the mountains!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

I live in Seattle?

Well, I know I do, but it's still hard to believe. Reality should kick in once I get a routine down, start work, find a team, etc... But for now, this all seems so unreal.

Tuesday I went out for my first bike ride as a Seattlite, and towards the end, a guy actually gave me a thumbs up out his truck window, and yelled, "I love cyclists!" as he nodded his head with a big smile. Crazy. In Houston, a guy would have given me the finger as he yelled curse words out his window. What a contrast already. And what a great welcome to Seattle.

Yesterday, Tricia took me on a ride to Seward Park. Despite the fact that it was probably an easy ride for her, I was gasping for air the entire time just trying to stay on her wheel. She said I could pull through if I wanted, or just stay and draft, and I told her I didn't think there would be any pulling through. There wasn't. (: But it was a great ride, even though we got a little rained on towards the end. The days have been spectacular so far, with mostly sun (the only really rainy day so far was Sunday), and some threatening clouds in the distance most of the time. It's been cold (well, cold for someone who's lived in Houston for 4.5 years), but I just throw on another sweater and I'm fine. Then last night I went and did yoga. That was a disaster. My body was already exhausted, so I just got frustrated at myself for not being able to hold the poses.

Since Jamie's been off at Elite Track Nationals, it's given me some time to settle myself in, and get to know his roommates (and Tricia) without him around. Although it'd be great if he was here, it's kind of nice to have that time to bond with them alone. Riain and I share bad TV shows at night, and Paul even gave me ride back from the airport after I dropped of my rental car today, after which we went and had some great pizza in the U-district. And of course Tricia is amazing, letting me borrow her car (AUDI) to pick up my stuff from storage, taking me on rides, and inviting me to yoga (and Monday night dinner). How awesome is she?!

Speaking of Jamie at Elite Nat's, his team took 3rd in the Team Pursuit yesterday - pretty freakin' awesome, considering this is NATIONALS. We're all so happy for him. I wish I could have seen it, but I think I definitely plan on being there next year - to RACE.

I've been having a hard time finding a place to live, especially since I want to be in Wallingford, and not pay out the *%! for a room. I'm picky, what can I say? And it's difficult to find the motivation to look any harder when I am currently living with some awesome people in a great location.

Well, that's all for the update. Riain should get home soon, show me how to feed the cat, and then I'm off on a short, easy ride for today. (: I love Seattle.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Germany tomorrow!

I leave tomorrow for Germany. The movers came today and took all my stuff. Well, most of it. I couldn't get the pedals off my mountain bike, put a huge gash in my arm trying to undo them, and ended up at Sun & Ski because they have a big sale going on. Then I ended up buying an entire Yakima rack system. But at least it was all 15% off!!! But enough about that...

I get on the plane tomorrow, and meet up with Dad in Frankfurt! And if I'm lucky, I'll catch the Elite Men's Time Trial of the UCI Road World Championships in Stuttgart on the 27th! How SWEET would that be?! We'll have to wait and see, though. The timing could be off.

And when I head back to the States, it'll be to Seattle. I'm becoming so drained, though, that the anticipation is wearing off. I just want to get my last box of stuff shipped off to FedEx and my luggage loaded on the plane to Germany, and I'll be off daydreaming and relaxing. This stress is starting to get to me. Being on edge 24/7 is not always the best policy. Plus I haven't ridden my bike in days (Don't tell Steve!) and I miss it. Can't wait to go riding in my new 'hood...

Catch y'all lata!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Oh and...

...apparently my name is on this. Still not sure how it got there, really.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Alkek Elite Regionals

Yesterday and today. Lots of racing. 200mTT, 15k Points race, Keirin, Team Sprint, Sprint, Pursuit, 500mTT, 7k Scratch race, and a MADISON! I am toast. Again - much like FSA. Anyways, the usual suspects showed up: Shelby, Cristin, Cyndy, and even Maureen. Unfortunately Julia crashed hard on a ride 2 weeks ago, and though her broken nose and face are healing, her concussion is worse, so she was not racing. I took 3rd in the points race, pursuit, Keirin, and scratch race. Cyndy raced the team sprint with me, so that was a really fun new experience. And of course the Madison! Now, I wasn't *planning* on doing the Madison, but only 3 or 4 teams had signed up, and they needed 5 to actually make it worth running. So at the beginning of tonight, Jameson came up and asked if I'd be his teammate, so they'd have enough teams. For some reason, I said yes. So there I was, racing a 60-lap Madison after I'd already raced 9 times this weekend, and had JUST finished my 7k scratch race. Well, it was a BLAST. Jamison and I agreed to just do the hand-tap exchange, but halfway through we decided to try a sling, and it ROCKED. He slinged me, and it was so much fun! We tried it again the next time, with me slinging him, and it didn't work so well, but I've never done this before, so I was rather happy with our performace (and no crashes). All in all a great race weekend. I came home with a few extra bucks, and some hardware to boot. I actually took Cyndy and the finish a few times, which was a little encouraging since I was off the bike for essentially a month for Africa. It's nice to know I haven't lost as much fitness as I thought. And this whole thing just reminded me how much I LOVE racing. It just makes me feel so awesome.

I said goodbye to everyone at the track tonight, and it was a little hard. I almost started crying when I said bye to Leigh. And he told me he'd introduce me to some really awesome racers in Seattle (whose names I actually recognize from FSA), which simply ROCKS. I'm definitely taking him up on that offer.

Well, now I have to get ready for Andy to arrive, finish organizing my stuff, finish my last day of work, get ready to move, and pack for my trip to Germany - all in the next 5-and-a-half days. Aaaa! Wish me luck...

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Moving to Seattle!

So, on the 19th or 20th of September, the movers are coming to take my things. On the 21st I travel to Germany for a week. When I return, it's to Seattle! I'm starting a job with Boeing, to live in a place where I can ride my bike on hills and mountains, and compete in bigger and stronger women's fields. I can NOT wait! This is a dream come true.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007


Here is me in the Keirin:

Monday, July 30, 2007


Quick report. IT WAS AWESOME. I had so much fun. Met a bunch of Jamie's teammates. Learned a buttload and then some. Raced faster than I've ever raced before in fields of 20+ women - amazing. I was so high on adrenaline at the end of both nights, Fri and Sat. My legs were toast, and then I went and raced (kind of) a crit on Sun. I blew up immediately, but got $30 for showing up anyways. : p

In the 5-mi scratch I actually led a few laps, and was in the first few riders leading the group for a fair amount of time. I felt great, responded to accelerations and attacks, and was totally wiped at the end. The Keirins were FAST and awesome and I feel like with a little more practice, I could be pretty good at them...

My individual times sucked (pursuit, 500mTT, and 200m qualifier for the sprints), but I have never done any of those before, so what did I expect? Now I know what I need to practice. (:

It was an amazing week(end), and I can't wait to go back and race it again next year. There were racers from all over the US, plus Canada, Australia, New Zealand... And I got to meet Jen Triplett, a racer local to Seattle, super fast, and also super nice.

Racing rocks! And the track is just plain SWEET. Oh! And at Marymoor, when you come down the homestraight, you're looking right at Mount Rainier. How much more can you ask for??

One last note - Jamie ended up in the paper - check him out!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Gearing up for the FSA Grand Prix

So I really just wanted to post because I found this awesome pic on a website:

But I also thought I'd just post a quick update. I've been training my butt off in preparation for the FSA Grand Prix on July 27 & 28, and the Whale of a Crit on the 29th. Both are up in the Seattle area, so I'll be shipping my track bike, and either checking my road bike on the plane, or borrowing one from someone up there. My legs are definitely feeling the workouts, but I can see the results, too, when I look down at my computer and see my power numbers sustained higher than they've ever been. It's a pretty neat feeling to know that the training is working. It's so gradual, but there's a point where you realize what's happening, and it's wonderful.

Now I'm just nervous about the specific races I'll be doing at Marymoor Velodrome. I've never raced a pursuit before, and I've never really done a 500m or 200m TT either. It should all be very interesting, and I'm sure I'll learn quite a bit while I'm there. Jamie also told me that Jennie Reed may show up!

I've got another week-and-a-half or so of training, and then I'll be put to the test...wish me luck... (:

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Now I know how that works...

"USA Cycling announced the events that will serve as 2008 Track Talent Pool qualifiers. Competitors will have three opportunities to gain entry into the Talent Pool. The first event will be held Aug. 21-22. The second event will be the USA Cycling Elite Track National Championships, Oct. 3-7. The final event will be held Dec. 11-12. All three events will be held at the ADT Event Center velodrome in Carson, Calif. In order to be eligible for the 2008 Olympic Games and other major international competitions such as the world championships, world cups and Pan American championships, all athletes must be a member of the USA Cycling Talent Pool."

Food for thought.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Weekend Update

It's been a little while since I've posted, so I'll write a short update...

At the end of May, Evan drove up to Dallas/Fort Worth with me so I could do a crit in Frisco and the state crit in FW. Frisco was less-than-stellar, but I placed 8th in the state championship, so that was cool.

Since then I've been racing FNR at the velodrome and I did the first 2 crits in the Memorial Park series. I have my on-days and off-days, but steady improvement shows through.

Two Fridays ago I had a great performance in the 3-lap handicap, coming in 2nd. Leigh said he's going to have to give me less of a handicap next time..."Bring it on!" I say. Earlier that night, I'd attacked on the backstraight with 2 laps to go, and got lots of kudos from all sorts of people. I lost, anyways, but you don't know if you don't try, right? This past Friday I attacked in the 8-lap scratch and managed to break away. I almost had it until Shelby caught me on the homestraight. I'm getting stronger, though, and they're figuring out that they can't let me go much longer -- they'll have to chase me, and sooner rather than later. (:

Then immediately after races were over this Friday, I drove the 2.5 more hours out to Austin to race the AT&T Downtown Crit sponsored by USA Crits. I spent the night at a wonderful Hampton Inn (they are GREAT hotels), ate a wholesome complimentary breakfast, and headed downtown. Our race, a W3/4, was at 10:40am. It had rained the night before, but the roads were drying out. The clouds were lingering, and threatening more rain, but were kind throughout the race and left us "cool" (or at least shaded) and dry (except for the copious amounts of sweat). It was a great race, with lots of attacks, and I stayed with the pack the whole time, and even tried attacking once just for kicks. But I had a lot of trouble staying in the front half of the pack, and ended up at the back most of the time. In the final sprint, I gave enough to come in 10th, so I got $10 back for my efforts. I think I got in a good warmup, and I played it pretty smart, so I just need to learn how to stay up front so I can start getting real results.

There's just one more Friday night of racing left for the Alkek season, then a Texas Cup track race in July, then on July 27th and 28th I'll be at Marymoor Velodrome in Redmond, Washington, racing the FSA Grand Prix! Should be exciting...!

Maybe I'll have something fun to write about after FNR next week, when Paul and Evan are planning on coming out to watch. That's all for now, though. Thanks for checking in. (: (So much for the *short* update...)

Monday, May 21, 2007

When do you know when to go?

Well, I can't answer that question, except to say that you just DO. Short story is:

Final BMW Crit was Sunday. I raced the 25-minute W4 category. 35 racers in all, 6 of them women. Three of us ended up in the lead, trading places, making the new girl pull a lot. Sugar Cycles' Amy Taylor didn't feel like pulling very hard and we played leapfrog for a while. After it seemed like more than half the race must be over, we came around the turn where her teammate outsprinted me in the final lap last time. I was behind Amy, but in front of new-girl Melissa. I knew this was my chance. I jumped inside, and gave it everything I had. I pushed like hell and tried not to look back for about 10 pedal strokes, stomping those things down as hard as I could, pulling up with my entire body. The next chance I had, I glanced behind me, and they were waaay back there! I'd done it! I'd dropped em! But they were definitely trying to catch back up, and I sure didn't want to let them. Pushing harder and harder, I thought about my track racing the night before, and the week before that, and how my insides wanted to come out but I didn't let them and just kept on pushing. I wanted to stop, let my heart rate fall back down, let my stomach stop churning, but I reminded myself that I am stronger than that! And then I dropped them for good. It was amazing. Turned out we had about 7 or 8 laps to go when I jumped, and I kept my lead until the end. Awesome. The win felt so pure and wonderful. (:

Friday, May 11, 2007

A Good Night Tonight

Tonight turned out pretty well - a good confidence-boosting night. I knew it would be a good night because I was well-rested from this week, and there was NO wind out at the track tonight, plus I got in a great warm-up because traffic wasn't too bad and I actually got there early. (:

We started out with a Masters/Women 5-lap scratch, which wasn't too eventful. We just rolled around in a paceline at a pretty good pace until the last lap, where I came in a few bike lengths behind the women. Poop. That's ok, cuz it was a great warm-up at a good speed, and got me ready for the upcoming 20-lap scratch.

We started out the first few laps about the same as the 5-lap, and then 2 guys take off and I'm all of the sudden the one pulling the rest of the group up to them. I take a hard, half-lap pull, then pull off and let the rest of them do the work. After a bit, it's just me, Shelby and Julia again. With about 8 to go, we ALMOST catch the leaders, but then they went and sprinted again, and we didn't make it. We never got lapped, and we worked our butts off, though. A good race.

Then we had the 3-lap handicap. Julia decided to leave before this race, and I'm not sure why - she didn't say. A little odd, but whatever. So it was me, Shelby, Cristin, and Michele. Cristin was at scratch (0), Shelby was at the 50, I was at the 70, and Michele was at the 200. The whistle blew, Robert gave me a nice push, and off I went. I could feel how strong my legs were as I pedaled my way onto the track. It felt awesome, and I was still standing up as I came into turn 3. I pushed as hard as I could through the start-finish line, and had a huge mental lapse where I thought that this would be my last lap. So I gave it my ALL on that lap, and as I approached the start-finish line, I saw the lap card showing a big 1, and heard the bell ringing, telling me that THIS was in fact the last lap! Oh no! I felt like I didn't have much left! But I kicked it up again, and finally caught Michele along the backstraight, just after Cristin passed us both. I figured Shelby must be right behind me, so I used every ounce of energy I had in me, and ended up crossing the line in 2nd!!! Amazing! My teammates told me that Shelby almost caught me on lap 2, but I took off and she couldn't catch up. I left her in my dust. Unbelievable. This is how I know I'm improving. Not only does my coach tell me my power levels are increasing, but compared to all the other girls, I'm doing better than I was before. It's a great feeling.

Also, at the beginning of our 20-lap scratch, we had our neutral lap, then Doc Bing said, "20-lap scratch race! Be safe!" and blew the whistle to send us off. Right then, a HUGE smile spread across my face. I couldn't help it! I just love racing, and it felt so good to be out there, feeling *almost* competetive. (: Of course, after 2 seconds of smiling, I realized I needed to start working, so I wiped the smile off and started concentrating pretty hard... : p

Now hopefully I'm off to Jamaica in the morning (or anywhere else, really...)! : D

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Three Days

That's how many days I raced this weekend. And I didn't win once (sorry to ruin the ending, but I figured if you're waiting for me to tell you I won with a flourish, I'd let you down right away).

BUT I had an awesome time, my legs are goo, and I learned a boatload (as always).

Friday night was racing at the velodrome. Three races as usual, and I'm happy with my performance, I can feel I'm getting better, all that good stuff. The highlight of the night was the 24-lap points race where 2 of my male teammates (Women race with the Masters) lapped the field, and I worked with them for a little bit...until I couldn't keep up anymore and dropped back to the pack. But it felt good to bridge up to them from the pack! It was a nice rush, and it was one of those times when you realize the strength you actually have.

Which brings me to Saturday night - more track racing. It was threatening to rain the entire night, and some brief, light sprinkles even came down, but no real rain. I came in last in all three races. But there was one instant, in our 18 lap points race, where I took off on my own from our little group of 4 women (the only ones racing), and I pushed so hard that I don't know where it all came from. I felt like I was pulling the strength from somewhere deep inside of me and working harder than I've ever worked before. I could feel every single muscle in my legs and arms and back contracting perfectly and intensely. It was amazing... I just need to learn to dig like that all the time now... I did realize that racing with the Women 1/2's as a new 3 really tests your abilities to their limit, and I'm pretty pleased that I just kept up with them every time someone made a go for it -- I was right behind. Soon I'll be right there with them, and even making some of the jumps myself - I'm determined!

Today I woke up, stepped outside, and it was hot, VERY humid, and also VERY windy! My legs were jelly last night, and were slightly better this morning - I finally got to sleep in. (: In any case, I was only slightly wanting to race, and once I got there, registered for the W4 25-minute crit, instead of the Women Open 40-minute. We race with the Juniors and Cat 5's, and apparently more than half of the ten or so of us racing were first-timers. Off we went, and of course I lost the wheels I had around the first few turns, and the headwind along the middle half of the course was brutal. There's always a wind on this course, but I think today's was the worst we've had. There were only 2 other W4's on the course, and I caught up to the one who was only a few bike lengths ahead of me pretty quickly. We played with each other a bit, and I kept trying to figure out how I could lose her or wear her out. I made her pull for quite a few laps in a row, hoping that would help me out. Then she ended up making me pull, but I kind of just rode along not trying too hard, but still trying to figure out what to do. I kept trying to pull off, but she just stayed behind me. The lap cards went up for 5 to go, and we just kept at it. At 2 laps to go, I decided to pull to the side and just kick it into high gear to try to shake her, but it didn't work. On the last lap, I tried to get our to the outside on the last 2 turns, but she edged inside on the second-to-last turn, and the last turn was too wide for me to get around her fast enough, and she outsprinted me to the finish. Dangit!! I got some socks, a Clif Shot, and some hair gel as a consolation prize, though...

So, this weekend was a learning weekend. I didn't win, but I feel strong, and I know where I need to work. I got tons of tips from lots of different people at the track both nights. And I have a prospective woman teammate now! An exhausting weekend, but productive. And I can feel it getting better all the time! (:

Friday, May 04, 2007

BMW Crit #4

Not much to say about this except coach looked at my power file and I've apparently improved since the beginning of the season already. It didn't feel like it, since despite me getting a good, quick start, I was promptly dropped around the first few turns, and then lapped countless times by Joyce and Laura M. The last 10 minutes felt like forever, and the 40-minute race was just plain rough. It probably didn't help that I went wakeboarding a few hours prior, and had never been wakeboarding before then, leading to me being extremely sore afterwards. But it certainly was an ego boost to find out that both Evan and Max couldn't even get out of the water, whereas I ended up actually wakeboarding behind the boat.

My real reason for posting is to add this sweet photo to my blog. I think it's pretty cool, and shows me working my a$$ off in the crit. : p Hope y'all like it, too.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007


Yesterday I sat in a restaurant working on my presentation for class, and staring out the window (more of the staring, less of the working). It was the second time in about as many months that I'd looked at the sunset and thought about Colorado.

Ah, Colorado.

This weekend should be interesting. Three races back to back to back -- Friday Night Racing at Alkek, then Texas Cup racing at Alkek on Saturday night, and finally the BMW crit on Sunday. Exhausting! Let's hope I have something worth writing about on Monday. : p

Monday, April 23, 2007

Meeting Another C-Squared

Last Thursday I met Chris Carmichael, and then on Friday he came to the velodrome! That's the short story. Longer (somewhat) version: I went to the Bike Barn in Rice Village on Thursday night to hear Chris Carmichael talk about his new book, and brought the copy that I got for Christmas for him to sign. When it came to be my turn in line, I introduced myself and explained that I was a CTS-er, and he came around the table to give me a hug! It was pretty cool, and we chatted for a brief few minutes about stuff. Then I met Ingrid who also trains with CTS and has my same coach! She lives in Dallas and was hanging out with Chris for the weekend. In any case, our conversation ends with him saying he just might come out to the velodrome the next night, where I'd be racing. I tried not to get my hopes up, but the whole drive home from Bike Barn I was ecstatic! Friday night rolled around and I tried not to keep checking to see if Chris had gotten there, and after an hour or so had passed, I gave up hope. Then all of the sudden, Kathy takes the microphone and says she wants to introduce a special guest, and I knew immediately that it was him - so cool! We talked for a little (me, Chris C, and Ingrid), but they had to leave pretty early, probably because the MS150 was starting early the next morning. Anyways, that was a neat experience, and I felt pretty cool to have met him (and Ingrid!). (:

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Paperclip Ride

Today's group ride was interesting. It's called the Paperclip Ride because the route takes you down the feeder road of IH-45, then turns around and heads right back up the other direction, so it looks like a paperclip. We start off and I'm barely putting out any watts, and everyone's just spinning along like we're out with the kids or something. : p Then someone kicks it up a notch and I'm working harder...then harder...then even harder and I'm still just drafting! Then I take a pull, and I'm thinking, "eh, this isn't TOO too bad," and when I pull off I'm to the back of the pack in seconds cuz I'm so tired and they're so strong. I somehow work hard enough to cut back into the middle somewhere, and try to stay in the draft as well as possible with the ridiculous headwind, and being in the draft was QUITE noticeable at that point. After a while, they just keep accelerating so much that I can't hold that kind of power anymore, I lose the guy's wheel, and I get spit out the back. That was a little deflating. So now I still am working pretty hard, and putting out pretty decent power on my own, and after I make the turnaround, I notice a few guys way up ahead that got dropped too. I think to myself, "if i can get them at a traffic light, then at least I'll make it back not alone." So I keep cranking away, and every time I catch sight of them again around a bend in the road I get another little boost of energy, and I finally caught them. It felt good, and they laughed with me when they realized I was right behind them, panting like a dog. LOL But I'm proud of myself for working to catch them, and it was then that I realized it was mostly P123's that I was riding with in the first place, so I should expect to get dropped, right? : p All in all a good ride, and I am POOPED. Time for bed. (:

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

First Crit of the Season

Sunday was the first crit of the year, and the first in a series of 6 that are raced at this awesome BMW test track. See an aerial view of the 1km track here. The two 180-degree turns coming into and out of the wind sucked big-time, but made me realize how far I've come since last year, too.

Unfortunately, there were only 5 gals racing my category, and about 20-25 in the entire race (Cat5, W4, & Jrs). It was a rough race, as I got stuck at the back from the start, and 2 girls (Amy T and Angela) on Sugar got ahead of me. I kept up my pace the whole time, mostly alone, and never got too far behind them. With 4 to go, I finally caught a wheel and caught up to them, but I was too gassed from the effort and didn't even hear the bell, so I came in 3rd. Apparently I did enough work for a water bottle, a pair of socks, and some Gu's and chamois cream. : p

In any case, I know I can do better, and can't WAIT for next week. Plus the first Texas Cup track race is Saturday at Alkek!

There were crashes in the P123 race, and 3 guys from Tilson went down. Slade broke his arm, unfortunately... And Bike Barn's Kremke lapped the field once, and was halfway through lapping it again when he won. I spent the first half of their race admiring Kremke's pedal stroke. It was so beautiful that it was hynotizing... (:

Hopefully I'll have something interesting to say after this weekend!