25 April 2008

Day Long Gone

Remember that day? It was two weeks ago, it was a Saturday and it was, what? 70 degrees! Yes, 70 degrees, and sunny. It seems so far away now, but I still have fond memories of it. I remember it well and I get all misty eyed just thinking about it. I was at the Kings Valley race and this was all I had to wear:
Thanks to my awesome teammate Eryn (who is the most core pregnant person I know) for the pre-race photo. So, two pieces of information can be gleaned from this photo. First, it was warm and therefore I only had to wear standard warm weather cycling clothes (no hat, long finger gloves, tights, booties, jacket and all the other stuff that makes you feel slow and sloppy when you ride). Second, it was dry, hence the white shorts and their miraculous appearance at such an early season race. Not a chance of puddles, road grime or wet roads that would taint the color of my brand new white shorts. I actually got a sunburn, which has now turned into a tan but no one would know since I have been wearing jackets, ski hats and all the bulky winter crap I am sick of for the last two weeks. My white shorts and I miss the sun, please come back and bring some hotness with you.

So I never did post about this race. Kudos to all 70 women who showed up to race, it was awesome to have such a great showing. Please come back! Okay, race report. Don't worry, I am going to fashion this race report after a radio commercial I heard for Blockbuster where they would re-cap a movie plot in 30 seconds or less. Here it goes:

First lap: Squirlley human pinball machine on wheels, stayed in back and out of trouble. Second lap: pack thins out, nothing exciting, Cat 4/5 men's group catches us and passes us, wow I am still with the group on a course that has HILLS, miracle. Third and final lap: Wow, the fun begins. Some straggler Cat 4/5 men that have no chance of catching their group berate us for being in their way when they try to pass. We are racing, you are not, get over it. We are nice and let them through. Less than a mile later we catch up to one. Jan tells him "Hey, your not so fast now" and he fires back with a derogatory explicative towards her, I fire back with explicative (yes I am supposed to be a good Mormon but I do occasionally profane in races and in all honesty it wasn't that bad. I know, I need to stop justifying what I did.). We drop him and continue on with our race. There is a crash a few miles from the finish, I stay out of it. I make it up part of the finish climb with the skinny climber girls but when the those 110 lb. ladies start attacking on the climb I go backwards. I finish, happy with my training race. Yeah, yeah go eat a bunch of food, rest and so on.

Okay that was way better than my last drawn out post and much more fun to write. I think I just set a new precedent for myself. But seriously, I miss the you sun, please come back soon!

20 April 2008

Seriously, It's April!

Okay, enough is enough

02 April 2008

Piece o' Cake

***WARNING: BORING RACE REPORT!!! IF YOU DON'T LIKE BIKE RACING, FIND SOMETHING ELSE TO READ! (Your car insurance policy would certainly do)***

Mmm, yeah that title is a total misnomer. Last Sunday was my first race of the season, you know the one where everything hurts, your race bike feels weird (i.e. it doesn't have fenders or weigh 25 pounds!) and you really have no clue what your fitness level is. Usually I have at least a couple of hard team rides in my legs before I start racing so I can at least know at what HR the tunnel vision and dizziness (what I call race brain) is going to start. This year I had zilch, nothing, totally foreign territory for me. The fitness quandry was compounded by the fact that Bryan had just installed the new SRAM shifters on my bike, and I had only ridden it once, and that was three weeks ago. So now I have the fitness issue and I can't remember how to shift my bike proficiently. Luckily I was smart enough (or dumb enough to just honk on the thing until it did something) to figure out the shifting on the first lap, plus it was a flat course so not too much thinking involved which was definitely a plus once the race brain sets in.

Lets just say that winter conditions were in abundance during the race even though it was the end of March. We had sun, rain, hail and a skiff of snow. Every lap had something different to offer, oh joy! I have a sneaking suspicion that the reason the weather was so crappy was because I skipped my last meeting of church to go race. Had I stayed in church and not raced, it would have been sunny and 70 degrees (yes, you can all kill me later).

My goal for this race was to a) not get dropped, b) race as hard as I could to get into some sort of racing form, and c) do a lot of work to help out my friend Mel (since she is the most awesome sprinter I know) so that she would be fresh for the final sprint. The race went really well. There were quite a few women from Seattle that came down and several teams present so that made the race really interesting, attacking, countering, tactics, etc.. Nothing was successful in staying off the front so we stayed together until the final lap. I had a lot of fun chasing down attacks, it was the best training for the pursuits I will do on the track. During our lovely hail/snow/rain storm on the final lap I thought to myself, man this would be a great time to attack. I know I was preoccupied with keeping the hail from stinging my face (which it managed to scratch my new Oakley Radars, but if you look at Oakley's wrong they will scratch) and wondering if I was ever going to have feeling in my fingers and toes again. Right after I had that thought Rebecka H. launched a hard attack off the front. For some reason I was in the front and decided to try to reel her in, except at this point my legs were so cold that whatever snap they had, was gone. We were in a nasty cross wind section (so windy that it actually caused a crash in the Master Men's 1/2/3 race I found out). I caught up to Rebecka and looked behind me expecting to see our small peloton trailing behind me and there was no one there! What? I had managed to drop the girls behind me when I went after Rebecka and created a gap. At this point my legs felt like absolute crap and the last thing I wanted was to be in a 2 person break-away working twice as hard with no rest. I could barely stay on Rebecka's wheel, and when I could finally start helping her by taking pulls, I would watch our speed drop. It was pathetic. We were by ourselves for a while, but a couple of miles from the finish we saw a group of 5 coming up behind us. At this point Becka dropped me and I was content to rest until the girls behind caught up and then try not to get dropped by them (at this point I had nothing left). Mel was in that group and I was able to get behind her at the back. It was good for me at this point because we still had to catch Becka and she had two teammates in this group so they wouldn't chase, Mel and I had no reason to chase, so the chasing was left to two girls which kept the pace where I could keep up. I managed to recover a bit, we caught Becka, and about the 1K mark everyone started slowing to play the cat and mouse game of not wanting to be on the front in the wind going into the final sprint. I had nothing to lose so I sat on the front with Mel behind me. There was an acceleration right before the final turn to the finish. I tried to stand up to go with and the legs screamed "stick a fork in me, I'm done", so I sat down and rolled in across the finish in 7th place.

I don't think that the best races are always the ones that you win. This race was great for me because I surprised myself with how good I felt and the race was interesting. I can't wait until the next one :)