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.