Monday, November 17, 2008

These Go To Eleven

This is one of the best things I've seen on YouTube. Just had to post it. You'll be glad you watched the whole thing.

Donate $ to the American Cancer Society for my 5k on November 29th!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I think I've found it...

My motivation, that is! I have a desire to actually complete my prescribed workouts, and I enjoy feeling the pain in my legs and fatigue in my body afterwards. It's enough to be...exhilarating!

Unfortunately, I'm also proving to myself that I can not do all of the following in the same time period: (1) work full-time with a 1hr+ total commute, (2) train with dedication, (3) studiously take a class, and (4) get enough sleep so that I don't conk out while I'm attempting one of the first 3 things.

So, I'm trying to figure out how to rectify that.

In any case, it is now quarter after 9pm, I need to wake up early for a morning meeting, and I'm hoping to make it to the place where I can register my car. Plus I have a 1.5hr ride scheduled tomorrow. In the rain? Yep, in the rain. Don't really feel like confining myself to a trainer quite yet.

Time for bed. Homework can wait till tomorrow...

I'll leave you with some photos from our trip to the zoo (!) last week:

Bald Eagle (Where's Waldo?)

Primate (Chillin')

Lion (Peekin')

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Floating along

Recently I've felt little motivation to get on my bike. A dull feeling of guilt occasionally nags at me, but I don't do much about it. I sit on my butt. I sometimes go running. Then last Sunday, Byron convinced me to go for a ride. I expected to be gone for 3 hours max, hoping for closer to 2. We were gone for about 5. I ran out of food and limped home. But at least it convinced me I could still pedal.

The weather has been gorgeous, so that definitely wasn't the issue with my motivation. But today was our first real taste of the winter to come, and it has me even less enthusiastic than I was. Plus I'm all partied out from last weekend's early Halloween party, and now that my house's party is tomorrow, I'm just not very psyched up about it. Can it just be Saturday morning already?

What I really need is to give my bikes some good TLC, get them all back in working order, and get my butt on them! So many excuses, though - homework, studying, getting ready for it's cold, my basement (where I keep the bikes and ideally where I'd work on them) isn't well-lit, and I'm tired!

Maybe this weekend will do me good. I plan to ride both days, get my butt kicked, and hopefully take my rain bike in for a good tune-up next week. If I'm lucky, that will all be enough to whip me back into gear (pun intended).

And my house is cold. Need more blankets. And sweaters. And rugs... hmmm... I think trips to Target and Ikea are in order...

I DO have an epic adventure to the Northeast (yes, again) planned for Christmas and New Year's to look forward to! I am quite excited about it: we'll fly into Boston, spend Christmas with my parents in Amherst, and then bounce around the MA/CT/NY area through the New Year. No real plans - just an itch for some excitement. Now THAT sounds fun.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Head of the Charles, Part I

yesterday we arrived on the red-eye, walked down to the information desk, and asked the woman sitting there he we should get to Harvard on the T. She opens her mouth and proceeds to tell us in a thick Bostonian accent, "Well, to git ta Havad squay, ya gotta take the Silva loine..." It was all I could do to keep from laughing! She then explained that we could use the automated T ticket machines that were "really confusing," or just take the bus to South Station where we could "tawk to a real pehson." We managed to figure out the rather self-explanatory machines to buy our passes.

This morning, we wandered down the main drag near Will's house in search of something resembling breakfast. We decided to try Ruggiero's Market, a true greasy spoon that more resembled a convenience store than a restaurant. While waiting for our food (and coffee), we eavesdropped on a guy talking on his cellphone, also waiting for his breakfast. "I just got out of jail at 3am last night," he told his friend. He then explained how the cops had eaten his sub sandwich, which Jamie agreed would make him pretty angry too. Then another guy walked in who told the cook that he only asked her to get him something so he could see her bend over. Classy. He then continued on to tell her about some tickets he'd been given to the Madonna concert in Boston last week, but ended up not going to. Jamie asked if I could imagine seeing this guy dancing to "Like a Virgin." In fact I could, and it made me laugh pretty hard. :p

Now we're on the T headed back to Hahvahd for today's races. More stories to come...

Oh, by the way, the coffee was awful. (:

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Nats Wrap-up

I guess I'll finish up the report and post on the final day of racing. Jamie and Dan raced the Madison (not with each other - Jamie with Kenny, Dan with Beardsley), and I did the Points race. I made it 35 laps before they pulled me. It was fast. I was slow. That's about all there is to it. As for Jamie and Kenny, they made 6th place, just one step short of the medals and the podium.

I've had some time now to reflect on things. Many things contributed to my poor performance at track nats, but I think the overarching issue was that I did not mentally prepare myself to race this long a season. When I started racing in February, I didn't plan to go to track nats in October. I planned to race my heart out until Friday Night Racing ended in September. I think I did that. And then I took a mental break. So I didn't continue to train hard, I got sick, and I had no real goals for nationals. I went to get the experience. Now I know I need to be faster, and I think that is more than possible for next year. I will begin the year knowing that I want to go to nats and surprise people who saw me this year. (:

Now it's time to focus on winter training...and time to stock up on toe warmers.

Saturday, October 04, 2008


Unfortunately I didn't have the presence of mind to take a photo of any of this, but I just HAD to share the happenings of this afternoon.

So Dan, Jamie, and I took our time heading to the track, since they wouldn't need much warmup, and I just wanted get in some ride time. Little did we know, Sarah Palin was making an appearance at the Home Depot Center. Traffic was backed up, and they wouldn't let us in our normal entrance. They redirected us to another entry, then made us park in a remote lot. After we unloaded our stuff, we headed over to where a bunch of other racers and even some officials were waiting around. We asked if perhaps they were waiting for an escort inside or something, but no, the entire center was on "lock-down" for Sarah Palin! So as we stood there on the corner, waiting indefinitely, most of us cursing Palin for making us miss our warmups, all of the sudden down the road comes a caravan of black SUVs with flashing lights. As the caravan rounds the corner where all of the cyclists are by this point very disgruntled and all yelling, "Obama!" we see sweet little Sarah Palin smiling and waving at us through the window of one of the SUVs!! I simply cracked up. Hilarious!

I wish I'd had a video camera. The whole situation was just priceless.

Jamie and Sam also pointed out that even though we are fervent supporters of Obama, and have strong negative feelings towards Palin, we're still kind of star-struck with the incident...

I can't wait for election day - man, are we gonna have a kick-ass Obama supporters party!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Racing Day 1

Today Jamie and Dan had their team pursuit with Kenny and Roman. I had my scratch race heat. Then Jamie had his scratch race heat.

I managed to sleep in until 11am!! I don't think I've done that since college! It worked out perfectly, though, because I had time to eat breakfast, check some email, respond to some classmates for my online course, and pack up before we headed out the track at 1pm.

Once we arrived, I did some laps on the track, and then relaxed while lots of racing happened. One of the things I hate about the track is trying to time my warm-up, and waiting around while all the other racing goes on. I ended up getting in a longer warm-up than I'd planned, but that's not really a bad thing. We were finally up, and a kind guy was my holder (holders for a mass start?!). It was helpful to have someone who knew what was going on to calmly talk to me, tell me to sit up, and basically help me mentally at the beginning. It was a heat of 13, and the top 8 would advance. I tried to remember all the advice I'd been given - don't work too hard, don't pull at the front, don't chase things, but be sure to follow certain people if they tried to attack. I was doing great, making the stronger people chase things down, sticking with the pack when the pace picked up, and responding when I needed to. But with about 4 laps to go, the pace just picked up and I couldn't hang... it sucked. I feel like a few months ago, I could have made it to the final, but my fitness seems to have faded, unfortunately.

I now know what I need to work on for next year, and maybe that even involves taking a mid-season break in racing. When the road season starts at the end of February, it's hard to peak in October...

Now I don't race again till Sunday, the last day of racing, in the points race. We shall see how that pans out...

Here's Jamie's pursuit team on the podium claiming silver:

And here's a blurry view of his scratch heat, which he WON by lapping the field with 5 other guys! The final is tomorrow:

Oh! And you know what else I learned? I was reminded that I LOVE racing! It feels so good! Next year I'm coming back, and I'm going to rock this.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

ADT Event Center velodrome at the Home Depot Center in Carson, CA

This afternoon we headed back to the track to get in a training session. Annette was kind enough to help me navigate the track by taking me on a few jumps. Jamie, Roman, Dan, and Kenny practiced their team pursuit pace. It was crowded. I also bumped [figuratively] into Leigh, which was a nice surprise! A bunch of people I met in Minnesota have come as well. It's fun to see people I know here. And after this week, I'll have ridden on 5 different velodromes! That's a lot of new people. (:

I'm still waiting to see if we'll be running heats tomorrow for the scratch race.

Here are our pretty Tiemeyer bikes; the view is from our little corral, facing the homestraight:

And this is the view as you walk through the tunnel, facing corners one and two:

Tomorrow I may try to get some good photos of the Jamie and Dan's team pursuit, though the shutter speed on this camera is somewhat slow.

Chillaxin' in LA

Yesterday afternoon we arrived in Los Angeles for Elite Track Nationals (or, as many people call it, "Track Nats," which sounds kind of like a VD...heh). Anyways, it was apparently the hottest day of the year, and we were sweating as we loaded all of my, Jamie's, and Dan's gear into the Chevy Trailblazer (which the kind lady at the rental place upgraded us into for free).

We stopped at the track in Carson to get in a quick spin, and I got a feel for what my traction speed is -- my rear wheel slipped multiple times, but I managed to stay upright. Luckily I don't think it'll be a problem keeping my speed up during our races. : p

Then we headed to our host house in Cypress. It's a nice home, with a pool that takes up over half the back "yard":

I even went for a swim this morning. The thermometer now shows that today has bumped yesterday to the second-hottest day of the year...

Soon we're headed back to the track to get in a workout before today's session of racing begins. Vroom! : D Hopefully I'll remember to take some photos this time, and I'll post them when I get back.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Boo on colds.

I'm sick. It's annoying. But enough of the complaining, take this quiz!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Is the world falling apart?

It almost feels like it.

The death of a young person, filled with love for others and a love of life.

Hurricanes and their aftermath ravaging friends' homes.

Our rapidly declining economy, with large financial institutions flailing and failing.

This frustrating strike with no end in sight, and not knowing whether we will strike as well in December.

I feel so helpless. What am I supposed to do? Everything is so much bigger than any of my influences or abilities.

At least the weather in Seattle has been beautiful lately. Going on something like 2 weeks of constant sun and perfect temperatures. And my track fitness is showing, I think. Only 2 weeks to Nationals.

The service was so nice yesterday, listening to others recount their memories of Ryan. Lots of tears, but smiles and laughs as well.

Small things. But that's all it is, sometimes, eh?

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

My Teammate, a National Champion!

I'm sure she'll be posting all about it on her own blog, but I wanted to brag for her. Ms. T is the new Women's Masters Champion in the Pursuit for her age group!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Portland and Seward Park

Quick recap.

Saturday was the Alpenrose Qualifier for Elite Track Nationals. Through their interesting system to try to get as many people qualified as possible, I managed to qualify in the scratch race. So I'm headed to LA in October for a beating with Liz and Jen! I can't wait - I think it's going to be an amazing experience, no matter how I perform.

Sunday I raced the end-of-season Seward Park crit. It was my second race as a Cat 3, and a hill-repeat crit to boot. Even though I got dropped, I managed to put out some crazy power numbers, so I'm pretty happy with my performance in the end. Hopefully I can use that power and some good prep to get ready for nats!

Tonight: a field test. Thursday: motorpacing. Friday: racing. Sunday: final road race of the season.

Then it's time to focus, and head into the homestretch of the track season. (:

Photos from Manzanita

Well, first we had to get there. On I-5 around Kent we saw this awful sight:

Then closer:

And the gutted double-bus:

But we finally made it to the Oregon coast, and Jamie, Claire, and Tai cozied up on the couch to watch some Olympics:

Then Jamie and I did some riding - Saturday it was north to Canon Beach, and Sunday it was south to Tillamook:

What a great break from everything!

(Photos courtesy of my new iPhone!)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Manzanita Adventure

This weekend Jamie, Claire, and I drove the scenic route to Manzanita, Oregon. It was gorgeous, and Jamie and I did some great riding. But there was a bit of traffic on the way out, and now we're stuck in a really frustrating traffic jam between Olympia and Tacoma. Teh sux0r! Pics to come.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

So much to write about!

There's the FSA Grand Prix, the State TTT, all the hubub about Critical Mass, and my awesome boyfriend. I'm too tired to write a comprehensive report about everything, so I'll do the best I can with the time and energy I've got...


The FSA Grand Prix was amazingly fun. I was able to compare myself to some of the strongest women in US track racing, plus some from around the world. Like I said in last Friday's report, I bettered my Individual Pursuit time, we placed in my first ever Team Pursuit despite a flub on the last lap where we passed the other team on the track, and I helped out Jen in the points race just a li'l bit. Saturday was even better, with a fun and fast scratch race (where I did WAY too much work), a miss and out (where I'm always learning - this time it was learning to pay more attention, and learning that I still need more fitness), and my first ever Women's Madison!

Let me tell you about the Madison: it consists of teams of 2 racers each, competing in a points race (every X number of laps there are sprints for points across the start-finish line). One rider on each team is racing at a time, while the other rider is "on relief," rolling along slowly at the top of the track. To relieve the rider who is racing, the relief rider accelerates as the racing rider is approaching, they link hands, and the racing rider transfers her momentum to the relief rider via an arm sling, and then the relief rider becomes the racer. See a photo of Jen relieving me here. It's hard to understand without someone showing you in person, or just watching the race, but I think you get the general idea - a relay race. This race is FAST, as you can see by the pain on ALL the riders' faces if you flip through Amara's photos. It's basically one and a half HOT laps, and then you do an exchange and your partner is up, while you try to recover as quickly as possible before you're thrown into the melee again.

The women's Madison had 9 teams participate, which I think is an incredible turnout. In the late evening, it was shortened to a 5x8, which means a 40-lap race with sprints every 8 laps (on our 400m track). We managed to pull off 4th place (with prize money of $100!), even contesting 3rd for a short while, and losing to 3 extremely strong teams of women who'd been winning all weekend.

Also exciting was watching Jamie in his 40 lap scratch race. LAST year at this same extravaganza he won that race in a spectacular showing, where he was in a 2-man break for the majority of the race, then completed the final laps solo as the pack surely gained on him. In the final lap, coming down the home straight towards the finish line, he was so nearly caught, but held off the sprinters by mere meters for the win. THIS year, there were constant attacks and various breakaways, with the pack chasing when it wanted, and letting up as it saw fit. Jamie, lacking teammates, had to choose which attacks to chase, when to bridge, and all that stuff. He was in a break for a while that kept growing with people bridging across, and was finally swallowed up by the pack again. Later in the race, he got into really good break with some strong guys, that you just knew would stay away. They rang the bell for a prime with 4 laps to go, and Jamie took it - wohoo! $40 richer! There was a weird crash, in which only Emile went down, and he managed to get back in, but it was too close to the end. On the final lap, the break came out of turn 2, and Jamie was in perfect position. Out of turn 4, he was coming around the leaders, and it was a nose-to-nose sprint for the line, where he beat Adrian by a small but certain margin! I was so excited, and screaming my head off as I spun on my trainer to warm up for my Madison. YAY JAMIE!!!

We got home late, after stopping for Taco Truck (dinner), and I managed to get into bed by 1:15am. But with the racing still running through my head, I couldn't fall asleep till after 2. I had to set my alarm for a 5:45am wake-up, so that I could make it to the Team Time Trial (TTT) on time, down in Elma (ugh!). I managed to get a front flat on the 0.5-mi ride to the starting line, had to sprint back to the car to get another wheel that I had luckily stuck in there at the last minute, got some help throwing it on and pumped it up, then sprinted back to the start with about 3 seconds to turn my bike in the right direction and clip in -- NO exaggeration. My exhausted legs got me dropped from the paceline a few miles after the turn-around halfway, but I did my part, and we had a good time.

I was going to put something in here about the Critical Mass incident, but I'm running out of time, and this is getting long, so suffice it to say that BOTH the riders and the driver seem to be at fault, and I really wish people who know nothing about those kinds of rides, or the situation, would stop passing judgment on it.

As for my awesome boyfriend -- well, I already wrote about his incredible win on Saturday night in the scratch race. Then he and his teammates pulled of 2nd place in the State TTT, after a team of the strongest time trialists in the Pacific Northwest. Plus, he brought me a slice of CHOCOLATE cake from his office party on Monday morning, helps me out with all my bike issues, and is an all-around great guy. I just thought he deserved some blog-time in the form of a big thank-you. I don't think he knows how appreciative I am of all that he does for me - including putting up with me on Monday mornings when I don't want to go back to work (or really any morning when I'd rather stay in bed and sleep than wake up and do anything). Thanks, baby, you're the best.

On that note, it's time to get psyched up for Friday night, the schedule for which looks meager compared to last week's racing. Let's rock!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Monday Morning

Coming off such a crazy weekend of racing is difficult, especially when all I want to do is eat, sleep, and ride my bike, but I still have to get up and go to work to earn a paycheck. (Yes, I hear you: at least I have a paycheck to earn. Blah.) I hope this gets better once I have something meaningful to do at work. Here's to Friday (when I not only start my new position, but also get back to the racing).

Weekend report is forthcoming. I'm trying to actually accomplish something - anything - at work today, despite how it may appear.

In the meantime, you can appreciate this crazy photo of me in the Madison.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Quick Post for Friday

Exhausted. Realized I already am up on last year's performance. I set a new PR for the individual pursuit by 11 seconds. I won $10 in the Team Pursuit (with Ms. T and Ms. N). And I was actually something of a factor in the points race, which my teammate took 3rd in - SWEET. Tomorrow: 20 lap scratch, miss and out, and MADISON!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Jumping Jitterbugs!!

I'm having pre-race jitters and it's only Wednesday! Racing starts at 1pm Friday with the Individual and Team Pursuits. At least they start us off nice and easy with the non-mass-start events.

I spoke with Coach yesterday and have been trying to become more mentally prepared since our talk. I know my body is ready. I am more on form than I have ever been. All I can do now is focus; channel my (nervous) energy towards concentration, speed, and racing smart.

I was looking at last year's results, largely to figure out how many international names were there, and how many girls did well whom I normally race with. I realized I actually did better than I thought (in the mass start events, at least -- the individual events were a disaster). But I was still a long ways from qualifying for Nationals. I know I need to believe that I can do it in order to even get anywhere near the ADT center, ergo the mental preparation. Building on my lesson(s) learned from last weekend, I am reminding myself over and over to never give up. I watched Jennie Reed's World Championship-winning Keirin about 10 times this morning: she never relinquishes her position, and even when she has to take the long way around for an entire lap, she doesn't give up; she JUST KEEPS FIGHTING. And then she wins the rainbow jersey. It's so inspiring to watch.

So, there's my midweek rant. I'm nervous. I pictured myself heading towards the line with Jen and Liz for the finish of the Team Pursuit and I could feel my heart in my throat. But I will focus on my fitness, which is great. I will focus on eating right, which I can control. I will focus on getting more sleep (which I really need to do). And I will focus.

Monday, July 21, 2008


Skipped Friday Night Racing at Marymoor because my body was saying, "NO!" I slept for hours when I got home (early) from work. I guess my body needed a break.

Saturday I drove down to Portland for the final day of their AVC on Sunday.

First up: Keirin heats. In both the first one and the repechage I felt stronger than I performed, and learned a lot. Going around that track at race speed is a LOT different than rolling around it with 1 other person. And you have to start thinking about your final sprint WAY earlier than on Marymoor. Oops.

Next: Miss and Out. Wanted to try the technique that's been working for me recently, and when I missed my first chance, I kind of lost motivation and just gave up on the race. I know, looking back on it, that was totally the wrong attitude, but now I've learned that lesson. I should have relentlessly tried to regain my desired position in the pack, but oh well. Next time... Also frustrating was missing the initial instructions when they told us they'd be pulling every other lap because I was being asked by another official if I was really not a Cat 1/2. Grrrr!

Finally, the Points Race. I had a renewed sense of purpose, had finally started to learn this track, and felt strong and ready. I contested the majority of the sprints (if not all of them? memory is fuzzy), and held 2nd for a while, but I think I lost placement in the final sprint, which, unbeknownst to me, was for double points. Darn it. Oh well, still pulled off 4th, and got some kudos from friends and teammates.

It was encouraging, also, to have Jane come up to me after the Keirin and say that she took comfort in being on my wheel. And it was also a confidence booster to have Steph tell me she thought I should be a cat 2, and that I raced like a 1 on the track! about ego padding...

So, although I was disappointed with my overall performance, I took a lot of learning away from this weekend. I need to remind myself to never give up, especially in the middle of a race, and also to not hesitate (as in a sprint). It could cost you the race (or at least the $$$!). And then I'll know I tried my hardest.

Team pursuit practice is tomorrow with my wonderful lady teammates, and I have FSA to look forward to all week...and taking Friday off of work to race - w00t!

Friday, July 11, 2008


I have no reason to be, but I'm nervous for tonight at the track.

The only thing I can think of is that I feel I have quite a bit to live up to after last weekend's performance.

What is wrong with me?? : p

It's a gorgeous day. Hopefully not too windy at the track. Should be a fun night!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

4th of July Weekend Highlights (and not-so-highlights)

July 4th morning - Women's Open crit. Got gapped in the first 10 minutes, then pulled from the race.

July 4th evening - Friday Night Track. 3 races:
1) Win-and-Out. Beth (Cat 1 roadie, new cat 3 trackie) takes the win with a late flyer, Amara takes second, I take 3rd.
2) Keirin. I draw the obligation. While attempting to take the motor, my wheel slips and the chain falls off. They restart the race, but as I'm clipping in, I realize my crank arm is loose. No Keirin points for me. At least I get to race the repechage.
3) 20-lap scratch. People take primes. I chill. I take some pulls. I end up at the front on the last lap. I slow. Amara jumps between turns 3 and 4. I chase. I sprint around. I win!!

July 5th morning - Omnium Road Race. The hill shatters the field. Two teammates and I end up in a breakaway with one other gal. We are tired. We do not attack. Other gal almost wins. Uphill sprint for the finish and I overtake her for the win!!

July 6th morning - TT. 10 miles. 1-mile hill. I use Heidi ahead to pace me up the hill. I take second!!

July 6th afternoon - Crit. More teammates show up. I lose my head, and get stuck on the inside for the last corner of the last lap. Whoops. Pull off 7th. 2nd or 3rd in Omnium!!!

GREAT weekend. VERY happy. Feeling quite on form for FSA in 2 weeks. More good things to come.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


BY THE WAY -- Jamie won the state circuit race championships, motoring in solo off the breakaway he and 2 teammates beat up on all day!

Ice Cream

I won the scratch race last Friday! It was a nice combination of skill, fitness, and luck that got me across that line first, and it felt wonderful.

We're in the process of introducing the women's (or possibly co-ed) Madison to Friday nights. How exciting!! Check out what the Madison is.

Racing in the Methow Valley was great fun, and I mostly enjoyed the very tasty milkshakes. Oh, and leading out my teammate for her to take 2nd in the road race, and 2nd in GC.

Now I'm trying to set myself up for a successful July...we'll see how that pans out. Unfortunately, I think it involves fewer milkshakes, and more intervals that make me want to puke. Too bad the new ice cream shoppe just opened 3 blocks away. At least summer is finally here!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Whoa, June is flying by!

So I failed at reporting on the Minnesota Fixed Gear Classic. It was an amazingly organized event, with free dorm housing just yards from the track, a beautiful racing surface, and great competition - plus simply amazing hosts. I learned quite a bit from racing there, but most of all I learned that I'm often better than I think I am. I need to give myself some more credit, and race like I'm worth it! Plus I had some good times with my teammates Adrian, Dan, and Jen (see photo).

Last weekend I drove out to the Methow Valley for the crit and road race part of the omnium. Heather raced all 3 omnium stages, and I rode in support of her. It was great!! I managed to give her a lead-out in the road race, and she took 2nd, moving up to 2nd in the GC! The scenery was gorgeous, and we even got to hang out in the river in Winthrop on Sunday afternoon.

Yesterday evening I went on my first truly structured training ride in a while (mostly it's been just race and recovery recently). As I rode home through Madrona, I caught a whiff of cool water trickling down the rock surface off the side of the shaded road -- it reminded me of Ithaca and the gorges; brought back some fond memories. It was also a great workout: I really put my heart into the interval efforts, climbed Madrona hill on the way home, and found my way back to the normal route all on my own. Felt so good!

This weekend will be another @ss-kicker: Friday Night Racing, the State Championship Criterium on Saturday, and the State circuit race on Sunday. I think I'll be due for some rest after that... (: We shall see!

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Training, New Friends, and a Great Conversation

This weekend was amazing for my training. I raced the track Friday, which totally trashed my legs for the remainder of the weekend. The crit on Saturday started off great for a few laps, then I found myself at the back of the pack for the rest of the race. But I did still manage to hang on. Today was the hill road race, and I got popped off the main group 3/4 of the way up the hill. That's ok, because I ended up working with an amazing group of gals who kept me strong, positive, and having fun every single minute of that race! Plus I reached my goal of working my butt off for 3 days in a row.

And tonight ended with a great conversation that will lead me in a brand new direction from now on.

I love progress. And this weekend was full of progress, on all fronts.

Next weekend: the Minnesota Fixed Gear Classic!!! (Full schedule here.)

Friday, May 30, 2008


But really, it's not at all about the $20.

It was about remembering how much track hack sets in.

It was about almost puking in the first race of the night.

It was about not being able to wipe the smile off my face during warmup.

It was about getting used to a new track, a new field, and a new climate.

It was about having spectators for once.

And it was about just getting out there and racing. And having a gal teammate to give me advice!

Three races. 10 lap tempo (points to the first 2 across the line each lap). Miss-and-out (last person each lap gets pulled). 20-lap scratch (race 20 laps to the finish). Managed 5 points in the tempo, and pulled off 4th in the scratch. So it was a 9-gal field...that's ok, because it still rocked. Now to bed. Tomorrow (and Sunday): Enumclaw.

Like I said -- busy. But still...

Went to Hood 2-ish weeks ago. Had an amazing time. Played soigneur for a team of 6 gals that shrank down to 4. (One of my favorite quotes from the week: "That's a SEVERE whittle!") It was humbling yet encouraging at the same time watching 3 of my strongest teammates kick their own butts in a UCI field. I even got to do some riding along the Columbia River Gorge, and up "Seven Mile Hill Road." Yes, it was a seven-mile hill. I have a photo somewhere of me at the summit. Maybe I'll post that soon. Met the HealthNet soigneur, watched the Pro-1 men's crit, (wo)manned the feed zones, got lost with Team TIBCO trying to find the feed zones, drank beer with the mechanic, and had an all-around great experience.

Raced the road bike leg in Ski to Sea last weekend. Also had an amazing time. Pushed harder than I ever have for 38 miles before. Kicked my own butt. It's crazy what drafting can do for you. Yes, it makes it easier, but it also forces me to push myself just that much harder to stay on the wheel in front of me. Wow. Finished 8th in my division, out of 64, and 96th out of all 440-some participants. I'm satisfied for now, but hungry for next year.

Mountain-biked at Galbraith on Monday. We spent 4 hours in the saddle, on largely technical singletrack. Crazy-fun, muddy-dirty, wet, tough, and at times very frustrating. But my friends were patient and encouraging. I'm SO glad I got a mountain bike before moving out here -- I just hope I find more time to use it! Maybe I'll do more MTBing next fall/winter.

This weekend: the first night of the real Friday Night Track Racing season! Then the Enumclaw Omnium - 3 stages in 2 days. Let's hope my legs are ready for this, eh? If nothing else, it's great training. Patience...I know it's a necessity, but sometimes that's really hard to remember.

Friday, May 09, 2008


Tonight I finally get to head out to the track and test the legs. Old bike still, but that's ok. Putting off the sweetness of the new machine for at least another week until components come in.

Tomorrow is another race in the cat 4 series, and we will have minimal team support. Should be interesting. Following that are some nighttime festivities.

Sunday is Mothers' Day brunch and relay team meeting.

Monday is volunteer meeting all night.

Tuesday is prep for Hood, and hopefully some PR action.

Wednesday I head to Hood River, Oregon, to volunteer at the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic stage race with an awesome women's team. Will be there working my butt off till the following Sunday.

I guess I'll stop there. But you get the gist of it. Phew!

And on top of that I'm spending ridiculous amounts of cash on all sorts of bike-related things - components, accessories, race food, and other consumables...and I wonder where all the money goes. (:

I'll check back in when I get a chance. Should be some good posts about my stage race soigneur experience at least.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

She's here!!!

My new frameset is here!!! Wohoo! Now I just have to wait for all my other components to come in... (: Might cannibalize my T1 just so that I can race the new machine on Friday. We shall see. SUPER SWEET!!!

Sunday, May 04, 2008


sick = no racing = no exciting updates
Missed the first night of pre-season track racing, and today I'm missing the state road race championships.

Rousing game of bike polo yesterday took a ton out of me, but was also tons of fun.

Today is a gorgeous Seattle spring day and I don't have the energy to do anything. I've been making scattered attempts at cleaning the house and yard, but none seem to have a large enough impact to make me feel much better about the condition of either.

Time for lunch and rest, I guess.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Holy tamales, is it really MAY?

Well, tomorrow it is... it's amazing how fast time flies when every weekend is chock full of racing, riding, and recovering...

Just a thought.

(In other words, "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." Or something like that.)

Highlights in the Half-week

It's halfway through the week. Time for some highlights. And some not-so's.

(+) Coming in 2nd in Sunday's race, all in all a great team performance once again.
(-) Listening to the intern blab way too loudly to his mentor about how thankful he is (we GET it already).
(+) Completing my workout yesterday in spite of the rain, Spring coldness, and a great desire to just sit on my ass and watch Scrubs and Gray's Anatomy.
(-) Waking up this morning with a sore throat that has yet to go away.
(+) Finding a cheap fare to Minneapolis for the Fixed Gear Classic.
(-) Listening to static-y elevator music while waiting 20 minutes for the airline agent to get back to me about fare promo deadline.

To end on a high note, at least I got to work early today so I can go home a little after 3. Perhaps the weather will hold and I can do a dry recovery ride. Let's just hope Friday doesn't get rained out... Keep your fingers crossed.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Walla Walla -- Crazy Crazy legs are still totally wiped from last weekend. Racing the Thursday night series last night validated that. But first...last weekend's race report:

TT: Uphill out, downhill back, WINDY out, but kinda windy both ways. Felt strong, and did better than I thought I would (15th out of a field of 48 gals). Rode my new (to me) front Zipp 303, but kept my Mavic powertap wheel on the rear (there's no way I can do a TT on perceived exertion, at least not yet). Thinking about lacing up another PT hub into the rear 303. Glad the wind wasn't strong enough to knock me over in my aerobars.

RR: Later that same day. Legs tired from the hard TT effort. Since I had 3 strong teammates ahead of me in GC, I was a workhorse for them. Went out on a big attack up a sizable climb, and stayed off the front in a 3-woman breakaway for a fair amount of time. It was rough. The wind made it harder, and my legs were yelling at me from wanting so much out of them still after the morning's performance. They finally caught us, but I'm hoping they shed a lot of riders in the process. The race shattered on all the rollers on the back side, and then I found myself at the back of the lead group. Clawed back on a few times. I eventually got dropped up a hill, and had coughing fits the rest of the way back to the finish line. A few times I tried to start working with other dropped riders, but my legs wouldn't go. So frustrating. But those 3 teammates all moved up in GC so the effort was totally worth it.

My mind then turned to refueling and resting for the crit Sunday morning. It was an awesome 6-corner L-shaped course, flat and perfect for me. Great course. It was cold, and actually snowing at the end of our race. Got in a good warmup and pre-rode the course a bit. Stayed with the pack the whole race, and took it as my responsibility to make sure this one girl didn't get away without me (if she won, she'd knock Heather out of 2nd in the GC). I stuck on her wheel consistently with 5 laps to go, and made it into the top 10 at the finish by the skin of my teeth. The pace was pretty high the whole time, and I was happy with my ability to change my pack position when I wanted to. I also kept an eye on the lap cards - something I've had issues with this season so far. Good practice for track, too, I think.

It was an exhausting weekend, and poor Jamie who's been training towards this course all season got sick last week and had to bail after the first stage (they had a RR Friday evening as well). I'm just trying not to get sick now too!

My legs still feel like toast. Last night I raced the Thursday night crit series, and got dropped on lap 2. There's a hill on the course, and my legs just weren't happy with that. Bummer. I hope I'm recovered by Sunday for another race in the Cat4 Women's Series. My teammate Heidi is in 1st (I'm in 6th!), so we could be in for a tough ride. It's only 26 miles or something, but I hear there's a doozy of a hill ("The Wall") at the end and in the middle (it's a loop we do twice).

My track teammate Jen and I are thinking about going to Minneapolis for the NSC Fixed Gear Classic at their velodrome in Blaine. They're putting that on in conjunction with the Nature Valley Grand Prix, and trying to attract some good women racers...hopefully they'll do that and it'll be a fun experience. Can't wait for track pre-season to start -- ONE WEEK to go!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Kids on Stage

When I was little, my brother, our neighbors, and I used to play this board game called "Kids on Stage." I don't completely remember how the game went, but it was a sort of charades game.

Saturday begins the first stage race of the season - and my second stage race ever. I'll have to be on top of warmup, cooldown, and most of all recovery.

Two days of racing, three tough races, and 42 strong competitors.

There will definitely be some charades going on this weekend - when your body is being that beaten up, you have to put on a strong face and just muscle through it.

Time to be another Kid on Stage again...

Monday, April 14, 2008

Weekends Like This

It's weekends like this last one that remind me how much I wish I could get paid to train and race my bike, and how much I hate getting up for work (especially on Monday mornings). So much so, in fact, that I just stood in the women's restroom for a good 2 minutes, playing with my hair, and staring at my face, just to avoid going back to my desk and sitting at a computer.

[The great thing about my job is that it pays for my bike and allows me to train and race more or less when I want (sure, I'd like to be able to sleep till 8 or 9am, and not have to train at night on my indoor trainer in the middle of winter, but it's not a bad compromise). But I digress...]

Really the fun started on Tuesday at PR. The first race in the Women's series was last week, and I showed up along with a handful of my teammates and a bunch of other women. It's basically a training race for W4's, and the W1/2/3's show up to give us coaching advice during the race. They're not competing with us, and they're not there to lead us out or anything great like that. Just to make us be smart or work harder.

So the first ~2-mile lap is pretty neutral, getting everyone used to the course, and then we're racing. Some attacks go off, they get chased down, then the bell rings for a prime, and coming around what I've labeled "Turn 2," I decide to launch an attack. In reality, I totally forgot that this was a prime lap, and just wanted to attack. I've got some distance, and manage to keep it going all the way around Turn 3 and coming into the line. Most of the way around Turn 3 I remember that it's a prime lap, and think, "Man, now I HAVE to keep this going at least to the line!" I totally thought I had it, but neglected to look back one more time, and one girl caught me right at the line!!! DANGIT! THAT was frustrating. So the pack catches me immediately after that, and Gina (a Cat1/2, who happens to be on my team, but the 1/2's are have no loyalties for this race) yells, "You've got someone who just blew her wad!! What do you do?!?!" And some smart girl says, "You attack!" So they do that, but luckily I've still got enough to jump on someone's wheel and I sit in and rest for a bit. Attacks keep going and getting caught, my teammate Heather and I try for an attack, but our communication is sucky, and we get caught. Lap cards go up for 2 to go, and we're kinda just rolling around at a steady pace, not really slow, but nothing that intense either. Well, we are approaching Turn 2 again, and I think, "What I did last time almost worked...maybe I can make it work this time." So I sneak up on the outside and attack around Turn 2. I give it what I've got, and see that I've got a gap on the field, and glance at my PowerTap. I think to myself: "Ok, I've got a little over 2 miles to go (once around the track, plus a little bit more). In the TT on Sunday, I was able to hold 210W avg for 12.5 miles. I'm guessing I can hold ~235W for the rest of the way." So I get into a groove to try to hold that while still trying to gain distance on the pack. It was awesome. Snot flying out of my face, breathing so freaking hard.... I stayed away all down the first straightaway, into Turn 1, down the other straightaway into the wind, around Turn 2....and I'm glancing behind me, seeing them get closer. So I try to go harder. Around Turn 3, still away. I can see the finish line, and I'm coming into it, but I hear the spectators screaming, "Get on her wheel!!" and I know that the girls are close. There are 2 of them. They're gaining on me, and the finish line isn't as close as it seemed a second ago. But they still don't come around. I'm pushing harder and harder, but I know they're not far. Then we're almost at the line, and one girl comes left around me. DANGIT AGAIN. She's going to beat me to the line - I've got no sprint left - but the girl on HER wheel...maybe I can beat her. I give it EVERYTHING I have, and I can hear her moaning, and I beat her over the line! I go 2 more pedal strokes, and start retching... I totally threw up. Not a ton, but definitely a little. That's the first time I've thrown up in a race. It was crazy. I turned my body inside out for this thing! What a training session. Second in the prime AND the overall. Pretty frustrating, but a great effort, evidenced by my power numbers. I was PSYCHED.

So that was Tuesday, and my legs were pretty dead all week from that. I had a workout on Thursday that I completed, but could feel Tuesday yelling at me. (:

Then came the weekend, with back-to-back crits Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday was Volunteer Park, on Capitol Hill only a few miles from home. The non-technical course had a few nice round "corners," if you could call them that, and a small climb immediately before the sharpest, but still safe, corner. We arrived early to pre-ride the course before the first race went off, and then got warmed up and fueled for our race. At 9:45 we lined up at the front (I was particularly excited to see that Jamie and Riain both came to watch us race!), and we were off. I got clipped in quickly, and managed to stay quite near the front for the majority of the race. We could hear Gina screaming at us each time we reached the top of the climb, and it was great encouragement. I made a breakaway attempt, and managed to stay off the front for a few laps, attempting to work with a few different girls, but eventually not succeeding and getting swallowed by the pack again. But I was able to get back in and keep a good position up until a few laps to go. Then somehow the back kind of came around me and I found myself a lot closer to the back than I wanted to be. I knew I needed to get towards the front coming around the last corner, and tried to work my way back on the descent and the climb. Unfortunately, that was somewhat unsuccessful. As I came around the last corner, I could see a girl already sprinting for the finish line, and she was strong -- there was no way anyone would catch her. I tried to find a good wheel to follow for a bit of a leadout, but in the end, saw a nice open stretch of road in front of me and drilled it to the line. I ended up 4th overall -- a fair placement for my efforts, I think.

Afterwards, Dana even told me she was shouting at her girls to catch me: "There goes the race! That IS the race, girls!" which made me feel pretty good...

The weather for Volunteer Park was gorgeous, and I ended up hanging out at the park most of the day (and getting a sunburn). Jamie's race was exciting, with a one-man break for quite a while, and Jamie ending up taking 4th. Afterwards, there was a barbecue at Tom and Joannie's house, where we got to hang out and eat good food. Then we headed home to get ready for the next day...

Sunday I pre-rode the course for the Boat Street/Brad Lewis Memorial Crit, and the sun was even peeking through. But as I rode home (about 0.5 miles from the course) after the pre-ride, the sky was darkening, and rain clouds could be seen to the west. I ate, got my coffee, then rode down with my trainer to get warmed up and register. The temperature seemed to already be dropping from earlier that morning! As we rode to the starting line, Gina told me and Heidi that this was to be Heidi's race, as she was the team leader in W4 series points.

The race was a great team effort. I made a few attacks, with one long one where I bridged up to a girl from Western, I think. We tried to work together, but the pack dragged us back in. Heather eventually got into a break with 2 GH's. They kept the break going the rest of the race, and at 2 laps to go, Heidi started a successful bridge attempt. Heather ended up with a podium spot (3rd), Heidi took 6th, I was 8th, and Sara rounded out the top 10. I ended up in a pretty bad position at the back for about 1/3 of the race, and was saved by my sprint in the end. The corners were easier than I thought they'd be, and I was told that I looked comfortable, but should have been in front so I could have kept up my speed. I really wanted the race to be longer, just so we had time to DO more.

So in the end, I had some great races, wonderful team experiences, good placing, and a nice refresher on crits for next weekend's Tour of Walla Walla. My legs feel like they're getting stronger, as well as my overall fitness and endurance. Waking up this morning, my whole body felt sore, but I think that's actually a good thing. I love this feeling, I love racing, and I can't wait until the next race, until I can see how much better I'm getting, until I can see my training pay off, until I can help my teammates's amazing.

Now, back to work...

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Not So Stellar

Saturday was Sequim #2. I had high hopes, with my good showing from Sequim #1. We did alright, but my legs felt tired the whole race, and I didn't have anything for the sprint. Then my number got obscured somehow and they didn't even post me in the results, although I know I'm in the top 12. (What confuses me is that they had my name listed as 11th, then I protested higher, and when the final results got posted online, I'm not even on there...huh???) Heather's not listed either, even though she came in right behind me. Whatever...guess that just gives me motivation to do well at the upcoming crits. My teammates did well, with Jackie finishing despite a crash, Vanessa riding most of the race on her own but still finishing too, Christi staying with the pack, and Heather riding strong as always.

Sunday we had a cornering clinic and my legs were just toast. Saturday I'd had a hard time fueling up and hydrating, and recovery was just shot because of that. So I guess I paid for it Sunday. At least next weekend is only a TT.

It's going to be a busy week again, but hopefully the weekend will bring some rest and recovery. What, it's already Tuesday?! It's already APRIL??? Less than four months until FSA...

Friday, March 28, 2008


I'm starting to REALLY enjoy coffee. I like sitting at my desk with a nice, warm, tasty drink. I like driving to races with a calming pick-me-up. I like following a good meal with a smooth cup of sweet bitterness. I don't know what it is. But I really like it. I might have to buy a coffeemaker.

P.S. It snowed again this morning. REALLY not looking forward to freezing tomorrow in Sequim.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Isn't it Spring?

It SNOWED last night.

Yes, those frozen flakes that fall from the sky.

I'm cold just thinking of the possibilities for this weekend's racing conditions. I wish I were in Hawaii like Tom and Joannie.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Pacific Raceways #2

In response to Jackie's request for details on last night's race, here's what I gave her:

I'll start at the beginning.

Jamie and his teammate Chad RODE down there (yes, Jamie rode from Wallingford). When Jamie left at 4:15pm, it was pretty nice and sunny in Seattle. Tricia and I drove down together (bringing Jamie's race wheels, etc.), leaving around 5. Well, as we got into South Seattle and beyond, the rain picked up and up and up, until we arrived at PR and it was POURING. Tricia decided she wasn't racing. I stepped out of the car, realized how cold it was (on top of all the rain), and decided not to race either. We called Jamie's and Chad's cell phones to see if they wanted us to pick them up somewhere, but no answer. So we sat and waited. Everyone who was there was totally ready - except they were all in their cars staying warm instead of warming up on the track! It was so miserable out that no one wanted to be outside! Anyways, then Tricia saw a woman who's been dominating the W1/2 field, went and talked to her, then came back to the car and said, "We're racing." Hmm. Ok. So we had like 3 minutes to register, and 10 minutes to get all changed, pin on our numbers, and get our bikes together. No warmup. But then again, not many other people had warmed up either. : p

So, yeah, I got out there and raced for 20-30 minutes with the 4/5's again. It was WET WET WET and I even attacked a few times. Those guys are all sketch-cases, but whatever. We didn't know what the officials were saying at the end -- if we were done, if we had 2 laps to go, or just 1 lap or what. I think I could have placed well in the field sprint if I'd known when the finish was. Maybe next time. But it was chaos, especially when we kept yo-yoing with the Master's field (which is what Tricia raced in with that other gal). Anyways, our race ended (officially or unofficially I'll never know for sure), and I did a cool-down 1/4-lap (~1/2 mile), then headed back to the car. Well, in the 5 minutes that it took between the end of my race and the end of Tricia's, I became extremely cold and shivering and could hardly think straight. It was awful. I don't remember the last time I was so cold. All my muscles were tensing up and all I wanted to do was get into warm clothes, but Tricia had the car key. Well, obviously she eventually finished and unlocked the car and all, but it took me a good hour and a half to be totally back to normal again. (So you can see why I'm hesitant to come out tonight if it's raining.)

A cold race yesterday, and it's not promising to be much nicer tonight for TT practice. Plus coach has me scheduled for some recovery miles anyways. We'll see...

Friday, March 21, 2008


Yesterday = First Day of Spring
Today = Coldest Morning in a While
Yesterday = Email from Teammate with Queen's Bicycle Race
Today = No Headphones or iPod
Yesterday = Thought I'd be Relieved that Today is Friday
Today = Not as Relieved as I Should Be

At least my teammates rock:

And what about this guy?

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Working My Way Up...

Saturday was Mason Lake #3, and I was determined to build on what I learned the week before, particularly the comments in the post-race clinic by Tricia and Suz. Unfortunately, those lessons didn't do me a whole lot of good. Three women from the SAME TEAM (First Rate Mortgage) got away up the road, so I tried to get the pack to organize in order to chase them down. As it turns out, few people in the Women's 4 field know what a rotating paceline is. So we just fell farther and farther behind as people didn't want to work, slowed down, and people behind them didn't do any work either. SO FRUSTRATING to watch places 1, 2, and 3 just roll away up the road, ALL on the SAME team, and me not being able to do a THING about it. After quite a few miles of unsuccessfully trying to explain a rotating paceline, I decided to take my 2 teammates to the front of the pack and just pull everyone along with us as we rotated amongst ourselves. But one of my teammates got stuck behind some people on our way up, and since you can't really demo a rotating paceline with 2 people, that turned out to be unsuccessful as well. GAAAhhhh!!!!! So we all ended up sprinting it out for 4th. I ended up 6th overall, using much the same technique as last week. I guess I just need to line myself up closer to the front in situations like that. Positioning is key (but I knew that).

Sunday was Ravensdale (Market Street). Three laps on a 9-mile course with a few nice climbs, but nothing that bad. I did get into my small chainring on one of the hills each time, but it wasn't really a doozy. I could definitely feel my legs' fatigue from the day before, and every time I attacked I thought, "Hm, maybe that wasn't the *best* idea...." We had a team of 8 gals total, and a FULL field of 50 women 4's! It was great - I think my biggest starting field ever! Anyways, a fair amount of attacks, and finally one FRM girl went off again and somehow I wasn't paying enough attention. Before I knew it, she was a fair way up the road, but still in sight, and close enough that I thought I might be able to bridge. And no one seemed to be chasing... So I attacked the field in an effort to bridge up, and was definitely pushing my limits. I knew I didn't want to burn myself out totally, because regardless of what happened (whether I got caught by the pack, caught her, or whatever), I would want something left for the finish. Well, I was still out there in no man's land, starting to wish the pack would just catch me already, when 2 girls from 2 other teams came up behind me, and Suzy said, "Grab my wheel!" So it was 3 of us, riding away from the pack, and trying to catch FRM girl! I was in my first real break that might actually be a success! So we got organized and did a GREAT job working together, each pulling for a good time, encouraging each other, and gaining time on the pack. We eventually lost FRM girl from sight, but also lost the pack behind us. We knew they couldn't be far behind, so kept encouraging each other to keep on pedaling on the downhills (where the pack kept braking and slowing), and pushing it on the flats. We had a sharp turn and a hill before the finish, at about 1.5k to go, where I kinda got freaked out, and our little breakaway kind of broke up, but we regrouped. We could see the pack about 1/2km behind us, but they never caught us, and I outsprinted both other girls for 2nd place overall!!!!

It was awesome. My first breakaway ever, and it was near-perfect (only perfect if we had caught the 1st girl). I am ecstatic, and can't wait for next weekend. : D And MAD props to the spectacular team I'm on! (I have to keep an eye on my head, though, lest it get too big for my helmet. But I think I'm allowed to be excited over my highest placing in a road race ever, in the biggest field I've ever raced in!) Time for a celebration cupcake and decaf nonfat latte...

Friday, March 14, 2008

First Road Races of the Season!

Quick summary...

Saturday, Mason Lake #2
-2 teammates in the breakaway, took 2nd and 3rd.
-I took 3rd in the pack sprint, for an 8th place finish.
-Lots of attacks (by us and other teams) made for a decent pace, but nothing too bad.

Sunday, Tour de Dung #1 (a.k.a. "Sequim")
-Attacks by everyone, but none stayed away.
-I took 3rd over in the sprint for the finish!

So it turns out I'm actually using some of the stuff I've learned by racing for 2 seasons. Listening to what my teammates have to say and building on my experience is working. It feels good, and now I finally have a podium finish in a road race!

On to next weekend...the last Mason Lake and the Market Street road race in Ravensdale. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for the weather...

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Yes, I owe a race report (2 actually). They're on their way, but check out the link above in the meantime.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Reaching Inside

Yesterday was the Icebreaker TT. It was my first race of the season. To quickly summarize, I set a power goal and reached it. I hit a good HR. And placed 14th out of 37.

All of this means that even though I worked my butt off, I am just not strong enough yet. I will get there. My fitness continues to improve. I'm loads stronger than I was at this time last year. And I know I'm only getting better.

I am still learning how to reach inside myself to find new levels of self-induced pain. Self-induced pain is much more difficult than externally-induced pain. When I am sprinting against someone on the track, I can think beyond the pain; ignore the pain; I don't even realize it was there until it's over. But in a TT, it's just me and my pain. My bike and my pain. On the road. Alone. And I am thinking today that, although I thought I pushed as hard as I could, in truth it's tough to say. Could I have pushed harder? I'll say, "Probably." How do I know how long I can sustain a certain level of pain? If I push just a bit more, will my body explode? No. Will I blow up too early and end up wobbling back to the finish humbled and slow? Perhaps. But there truly is no way to know until it happens, right? Do I have to have this happen to me before I can really know my limit? Hard to say.

I hear we do this course again later in the season. It will be good to compare.

For now, I will work on exploring more pain; looking past the pain. Should be fun.

Next up: Mason Lake #2 and/or Tour de Dung.

Friday, January 18, 2008

On quitting.

Yesterday I felt like quitting.

Tuesday's field test apparently didn't go as well as it should have. After feedback from Coach on my power file, I'm not pushing hard enough. And now I have to do it again, harder, and I can't find anyone who will do it with me outside (like Coach suggests). They all just have their own 2 cents about how another way is better.

Thursday's workout was tough to just get started, much less complete. I couldn't find my iPod, so for the first half of the workout all I had were the thoughts in my head: "This is too hard." "You're not good enough." "Push harder." "It hurts." I finally turned on the stereo, when everyone else left the house.

I just couldn't get rid of the awfully negative thoughts in my head.

Wednesday night I went to a meeting of women track racers. We're trying to figure out how to encourage more women to show up for races. I looked around the room. I thought about the elite women on my team. I remembered how much it hurt to do intervals behind Morgan on Saturday.

And thinking about all those things, I know I have a long way to go.

With these thoughts, it feels like I'll never be as strong as Tricia, Gina, or Suz, not to mention someone like Sarah Hammer or Kristen Armstrong. So why bother? Why waste my time? When I'm struggling to just make myself put on the clothes and get on the bike, is it really worth it? Am I more stressed out than I need to be?

Lots of questions hanging out there, and I don't really know what the answers are.

My dreams seem so unrealistic. Maybe they are. Lots of people would think so. I don't even tell most people because I know they'd make fun of me (or just laugh). They make fun of me when I tell them how I use visualization techniques on the trainer (when I'm not as negative as I felt last night), so who knows what they'd say about wanting much bigger things than just winning a sprint at the track.

And this morning seemed like just another test.

I was out late last night, riding with the .83 kiddos, tearing around Seattle with Christmas trees, and ending up at Golden Gardens, where there are bonfire pits on the beach. It was so much fun. And we weren't competing. I was actually with the last few folks to arrive because I was helping tie and bungee pieces of wood to people's bikes, but I had a blast.

But then this morning I got up after ~4 hours of sleep, dragged myself to work, and ended up going on an hour-long trek because I forgot my badge, and no one had told me yet how to get a temporary badge. I'll leave out the details, but suffice it to say that it was a very frustrating way to start the day. I really just wanted to quit and go home.

So there is my rant on quitting. I'm still figuring out what I'm supposed to do with all the questions I have. There are lots -- more than I've written here. What would I do if I didn't race? Would I still ride? Would I get fat? Would I get depressed?

Questions feel urgent. Remind me of a song - "No Time." I got - got - got - got no time...