Friday, August 14, 2009

Total Neglect.....

So I have completely managed to neglect the blog for the past month! Guess I have been to busy facebooking to notice.  Of course, part of it has to do with the lack of racing this past month/month and a half.  A few weeks ago marked my return to racing for the summer at the Kirkwood 9 to 5 endurance mtn. bike race.  8 hours on a completely brutal course! My hope for this race was to win (but when is that not our hope?????), but I REALLY wanted to win this one because all solo winners won a season pass to Kirkwood for the winter.  My husband has deprived me of a season pass to Kirkwood for a few years now, with the claim that Heavenly is closer.....blah, blah, blah.  This was my way to, well, get my way.

A few days before the event, I pre-rode to find out HOW brutal the course would be.  The entire week leading up to the event, I felt like I was getting sick......maybe it was just stress........or COMPLETE lack of sleep, I wasn't sure.......probably a little of all 3.  I came into the race feeling confident that I could pull this off. It was my home turf.  First lap went okay.  Came in from lap 1 in 3rd place.  Second lap, didn't go so well.........I really felt like I was moving in reverse. It all kinda went downhill from there, I just didn't have it, it wasn't meant to be.  At least the season pass went to my friend, and former Backbone racer, Chrissy Bono (now Earnhardt).  Ultimately, I ended up in 7th (OUCH, what a way to ruin the record I had going this season!).  Next up that is definitely on the calendar is 24 Hours of Idyllwild, which I can hardly wait for.....I LOVE this course!  So let's hope for the best!

Monday, July 13, 2009

My Hood is on Fire!

So I finished up my swim workout this afternoon, changed into the bike clothes to go meet up with the junior team, checked my voice mail from the husband........only to get a message that "Honey, there is a brush fire by our house, cross streets are Sandstone and Flint (ummmmm....we live on Flint.....), if you are near the house, you HAVE to go home and get the dogs.....we might get evacuated. I am headed to the fire station to get on one of the trucks to go fight the fire". Yeah, just what I want to hear as I am 30 minutes away from home! Called my mom and answer. Called the answer. I was hoping that mom and dad had gone to rescue the dogs, and that all was okay. I had to sweat it out my entire drive home, and of course, EVERYONE was driving THE speed limit, not a MPH faster! Seriously house could be on fire! Called the other junior coach, and he had to deal with my emotional breakdown (thanks Mel!). I finally made it out home to see that my house was safe. But the fire is only a block away, but the wind pushed it in the opposite directions. I have yet to get home. Things are in the mop up stage, and I am kickin' it at mom and dads....using their internet, and eating there food. They probably can't wait for me to leave.........................

Monday, June 22, 2009

Coolest 24 Hrs at Boggs Mtn.

Gotta LOVE being on the top of the podium!!!!

This last weekend marked my first attempt at a 24 hour solo race for the season! I have been so busy racing 8 hour races (and having fun with the shorter distances for once!), that I just haven't "fit" one of them in yet this season, and what a race to do it at! This is a first year event, put on by the same people who put on the legendary Coolest 24 Hr Race in Cool, California. Jim Northey and his crew at Global Biorhythms events did not disappoint!
Mom and I packed up and headed out EARLY Saturday morning (figured we would avoid camping or hotel fees this way) towards Cobb, Ca. We arrived, picked up registration, and set up camp. We quickly made friends with 2 guys who were racing the 8 hour event, and next thing you know, mom is making them peanut butter and jelly sandwiches! They were cool, and it was the least we could do since we managed to enlist in their help with putting up the EZ-UP. For some reason, I was WAY nervous about this race, even though it was not my first race of the season. I think it was the fact that it was my first 24 of the season, and I had no idea how I was going to feel. I have been doing great in the 8 hr events lately, but wasn't sure about my endurance! Upon starting the race, any worries I had were quickly put to legs felt SO amazing, especially climbing. Today was gonna be a good day! I jumped right out into 1st place right away, and managed to hold it for the entire race. The climbs that had previously kicked my butt earlier this year at the Boggs 8 Hr Race, felt like nothing. Things were close between 2nd place and myself for about 3 laps, which is when I started putting a dent in my gap between myself and 2nd. At that point I was about 20 minutes up. I kept pressin on with the hopes of lapping her, so I had a "cushion". On our first night lap, I got my wish. My nearest competitor had lighting issues which set her back significantly. It must have taken the wind out of her sails, because at some point I was 2 laps up on her. Things had gone REALLY smoothly up to this point.......but I felt it coming on.......what had zapped me and caused me to lose 1st place back at Idyllwild in September.....was rearing it's ugly head again........OVERhydration. NOOOOOO!!!!!!!
I took mini breaks as needed, and just hoped for the best in keeping 1st place. There were times where myself and 2nd place were in a complete "standoff" on who was going back out on the course. My advantage of course was that I had 2 laps up on her. I was able to stay in a while to try and get my stomach to settle, and finally went out for lap 12 at about 9am, and it was safe to say that it would be my last lap! Victory was mine, and it felt SOOOOOO good to be on top of that podium again in a 24 hour race!
A few added race notes..........once again, the pink Pivot Mach 4 was a hit on the race course! So many people commented on it, and it has gotten way more attention that any of my traditional colored Mach4's (make a note of it Chris!). I was known on the race course, not by name, but as "pink Pivot girl". One guy even came up to my mom after the race and said "that pink Pivot was hands down THE BEST LOOKING BIKE on the race course all weekend".
Thanks again to all of my sponsors who make it all possible!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Yup, ANOTHER new bike!

BH Cristal Womens Road Bike

Yup, here it is! Another work of art that I have been waiting to get my hands on for months! Pictured above ladies and gentlemen, is my new BH Cristal road bike. It is even more beautiful in person. I got to ride it for the first time yesterday, and can't even begin to describe how amazing this bike is. Very stable on the descents, and so far, climbs like a dream. Too bad my body didn't want to "play" yesterday in the road crit I did on it! (probably because I did the local Tuesday night mtn. bike race 2 days prior, in which I kicked butt----took 1 minute off my time from 2 weeks prior!) On the schedule tomorrow, a little mountain pass climbing! Thanks to Chris at Pivot/BH for an awesome bike, and thanks to Rob (Pivot/BH) for making it all happen!

Monday, June 8, 2009

8 Hrs of Laguna Seca

Podium shot----too bad my mom doesn't know
how to turn on the flash!
My ever so attractive picture--taken moments
after my sprint finish between myself and 3rd place.

Last trip down the stairs for the day!

"Outta my way man, I am riding these stairs!"
Needless to say, there were lots of people NOT
riding the stairs.

Suffering midway through the race.

The new pink Mach 4, right before I was about
to get it all dirty!

Leading up to this race, I was actually quite unsure if I was even going to make it there. My back had been giving me problems in a big way, as well as my shoulder. In addition, my dog ran away on Thursday, and came back having been shot by a BB gun.......gotta LOVE the rednecks I live amonst! After a late night trip to the vet, and an overnight stay, I figured he was well enough to be able to hang out at my parents house while I raced, and while the hubby was in his EMT class.
Mom and I embarked on our journey to Monterey at 4:30am Saturday morning, this would put us at Laguna Seca Raceway at around 9:30am, with enough time to pick up my race packet, and get things ready. The drive started out a little rough, we saw a truck tag a deer within half hour of leaving home. Once over the hill in Sacramento, we were nearly sideswiped by some cracked out lady (she looked the part.....) in a pink Honda Civic del Sol. Okay, a pink bike is one thing......a pink Honda is a WHOLE other ball game!!!!! Within minutes of that near miss, another car in front of us proceeded to lose not only it's tire, but it's rim AND it rotor! No joke. So we had to swerve to miss that. I was really beginning to think the cards were NOT in my favor on this one......maybe we should just turn around and go home now??????
We finally made it to Monterey safely. Picked up the race packet, got my bike ready, and got dressed in my new pink and baby blue Pivot team clothing (thanks again Chris for taking us girls into consideration!). My original plan was to do the 24 hour race at this venue, but after the week I was having, and considering the fact that I have another 24 hour race on June 20-21st, I figured the 8 hour version was in my best interest. I did really well in the 8 hour race at Idyllwild in April, so it left me kinda excited to try another "shorter" race. As it neared 12pm, we all lined up, and were quickly making our way onto the course. I held 1st place most of the first lap, until the point that the 2nd place girl (who weighed MAYBE 105 lbs.....) went climbing past me like a goat on speed on the "long climb out" that any of us who have raced Sea Otter know so well. Her bike sounded like it was going to break, and I figured that my work to my advantage later on (but no such luck.....). I steadily held on to 2nd place the entire race, just enjoying the fact that I was finally riding the bike frame I have lusted over since Interbike! It was amazing how many complements I got on the color of the frame while out on the course. I have always gotten comments on my Mach 4's before, but most of the comments came from the guys! Everything from "what a sexy looking bike" to "that looks bad ass in pink". I thouroughly enjoyed my first ride on the new bike. I am really digging my new Magura fork they sent me this season as well!
Things were pretty uneventful for most of the race. Like I said, I managed to hang in 2nd place, and my lap times were consistent. Lap 3 was a bit of a challenge, but that one usually gets me anyways. At the end of lap 6, I felt the cramping about to come on (not taking in enough bad!), and did not want to go out for lap 7. Unfortunately, my mom informed me that 3rd place was only 6 minutes back on the prior lap. Off I went on lap 7, praying for no leg cramps.......but oh could I feel them lingering! Shortly into the lap, my whole inner thigh cramped, luckily I fought through it......I just wanted to be done. I finally made it to the bottom for the last "long climb out". I was cruising, I was feeling good. I was nearing the top, had maybe 1 mile left to go in the race........and I got passed by 3rd place!!!!!!! NOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!
My worst nightmare had happened. I tried to dig deep, I felt like it wasn't happening for me. I tried to keep her within my sight, but then I lost sight of her. I fought to regain sight of her, and fought up the last little kicker to try and latch onto her wheel. I caught back on, we were then side by side. Then, she tried to bump me over into the cones marking the course! You have to be kidding me!!!!!! It obviously made me mad enough to try and beat her to the bridge. A good majority of people that day, for some reason, were not even attempting to ride down the stairs, including many of the men. I think enough of them had seen the carnage that occurred at the bottom of them earlier in the day! Ok, so I beat her to the bridge, jumped off my bike, carried it up the stairs, hopped back on the bike towards the downside of the stairs. As I was riding across the bridge, I heard her behind me......running. There was no way she was gonna ride the long as I could safely manuever them (like I had all day), I was set, and I would still finish 2nd, where I had fought so hard to stay all day long! I made it down the stairs, riding as fast as I could (and I was already DYING from trying to catch her!), and sprinted across the finish line. WHEW!!!!!! I did it, after 8 hours of riding, it came down to a sprint finish, and I pulled it off!!!!!!! With the way it all went down, I was almost as satisfied as I would have been if I had finished 1st.....just because of the hard work that had gone into it! Next up, Coolest 24 Hour Race at Boggs Mtn. in 2 weeks!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Pink, Pink, Everywhere There's Pink! (Kinda matches the theme of the blog....)

Yes, even the pivots are hot pink.......
My new Mach 4 in all of it's pink glory!

They even gave us girls clothes to match the bikes
Ladies and gentlemen, it was Christmas time in May at my house this afternoon!!!!! Yes, the moment I have been waiting for since I first laid my eyes on it wayyyyyyyyy back in September at PINK Pivot Mach 4 has finally arrived! Better yet, it also came with our new pink and baby blue team clothing. For the first time in my 15 (holy cow has it really been that long???????) years of racing, I have my hot little hands on a girly bike AND clothing. You have no idea how excited I am.
So, the bike is being built up this weekend, hopefully the fork will arrive either this weekend or Monday, and it will be ready to race next weekend. We are hoping it's trial run will be our local cycling club's Tuesday night mtn. bike race. More to come as it progresses!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

12 Hours of Mesa Verde

A little bit behind on this one. A week ago, I drug my poor mom to Cortez, Colorado so I could partake in the 12 Hours of Mesa Verde on a 2-person team with my good friend, and fellow Kenda sponsored rider, Tom Wehe. After 15-ish hours in the car, we finally arrived at Tom's house in Durango. An exhuasting drive to say the least (and did I mention this weekend was the weekend before finals for me???? Yeah......dumb move on my part.......). We woke up bright and early for this one for the 7am start. I of course got "roped" into doing the run (ha, ha, little did Wehe know I would get him back later.......), but it was kinda nice, cuz it was the coolest temperatures we would see all day on the bike. The race was pretty much sold out, so it allowed for ALOT of people on the course at one time. I of course managed to get myself stuck behind some guy who refused to let anyone get by......there were about 10 of us in a line behind him, and the course was 16.5 miles of singletrack, this was gonna be a long lap. Finally he faultered, and we all got by. I rolled in from my first lap, passed off the batton, and it was time to "rest". This is the part of the race I was unsure of.....I am used to just continuing on to the next lap, and the next one, and the next one. Wasn't sure how my legs were going to react to this one. My second lap came along, and needless to say, it was a little rough getting the legs going again. Both Tom and I proved to be pretty consistent with our lap times. We shuffled positions in the race a bit (we were 12th for a while, then 7th, then 9th). After my 3rd lap, my back was killing me, and so was my shoulder. I think it was all the stress I have been going through with school, but nonetheless is killed me. Upon returning from my 3rd lap (our 5th as a team), I had to fill Tom in on the fact that he not only was going to be doing his 3rd lap, but consecutively a 4th for him (payback time for the run thing....). Don't think he was too happy with me at this point! I did however prepare myself to go back out, just in case. While waiting in the transition area, he managed to somehow come right in and go back out, I had no idea.......but I was SO relieved!
Anyways, Tom returned from his 4th lap exhausted, and I felt really bad cuz I hadn't seen him come through the transition area before that lap. Ultimately, we came in 10th. Not quite what we had hoped for, but there were alot of 2 person co-ed teams, and this was our first shot at the 2 person team thing. On the positive side of things, we were super consistent in our lap times, and even better yet, my fastest lap time was 20 minutes faster than my fastest lap time here last year! Even my slowest lap this year was faster than my fastest lap last year. Next up, back to the solo thing on June 6th for the 24 Hours of Adrenalin race at Laguna Seca.