Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sweetness in the SW CO

I had an excellent 2 days in Ridgway after working in Southern Utah last week.  It was really great to be in the hood again.  Dinner with couch potato, breakfast with Andy at Artisan, and a little hang time at Peak to Peak Bike Shop with Danika while she was building some Yetis.

I headed over Red Mountain, Coal Bank and Molas Passes to Durango on Friday afternoon.  After picking up my race stuff, I ambled up to the Compton Compound.  Though Moira, Ted and C were out of town (in Alaska--how is that more exciting than Iron Horse?), I still had the invite to stay there.  Superawesome Katri was also staying there to take care of all the animals (dogs, horses and a barn cat).

Saturday was the Iron Horse road race.  Its a 50 mile point to point race from Durango to Silverton.  It climbs about 5700 ft and goes over two passes.  It is not what you would exactly call "my" "strong" "suit."  But it really is a super cool, amazing beautiful race.

The race started out mellow since the 1st 10 miles are pretty flat.  Kris Walker (aka Coach K) was not content to tool across the valley and she attacked pretty much right away.  I bridged up to her and we worked together on the flats.  No one ever gets away on the flats so I figured we'd get caught soon.  But Coach K was intent on helping me get a little head start on the climb...and, thanks to her, we got to the top of the 1st climb ahead of the field.  I knew big guns Mara Abbott and Alisha wouldn't really be too worried about us being in front for a while, but hoped that I might gain a little on the rest of the field and force other people to work some so my 2 stellar climbing teammates could chill out for a bit.

Being in a break with my coach so great and a really neat experience.  I will definitely remember that one for a while.  While we were off the front, we joked that maybe we would get a Giro day, and sort of slip away unnoticed.  But this race is really way too hard for that, and there were too many talented girls.

At the top of the 1st climb, Mara passed us.  Kris and I tried to hang with her but she was super strong and as soon as the road pitched slightly up, she was gone.  Really impressive.

Shortly after Mara passed us, Marisa, Alisha and Alison Testroete caught us.  It was so cool to be able to ride with these girls at this point in the race. ALL of the girls (not just my teammate) all gave me the thumbs up for being able to even hang in that long.  They were pretty much just tempo'ing the climbs and I had to give'r to even just hang on their wheels--but still, I was just psyched for that.  Whenever the road flattened out I went to the front and pulled as hard as I could to try to minimize the gap to Mara.  I pulled to the base of Coal Bank pass and then those girls started to do their thing.

And that's when I basically started my own self-motivational program.  I was super tired, worked over, ad waiting for the rest of the field to pass me on the steepest climb of the day.  However, it didn't end up so bad after all.  As I was entering the pain cave, I heard my name--teammate Kasey came riding up--looking fresh as a daisy.  I gasped out what was happening ahead and gave her the woot woot to go catch the next group.  As I got closer to the top of Coal Bank, Shantelle caught and passed me (giving me a little encouragement on the way).  I caught back up to Shantelle  on the descent but couldn't hang up Molas.  Everyone says Molas Pass isn't as bad and I suppose I would generally agree but I was completely tapped out at that point and it was all I could do to get myself to the top, worrying about being passed the whole time.

However, I made it into Silverton without anyone else passing me (phew, relief) and was met at the finish line by Marisa and Kasey who ended up finishing 2nd and 5th.  Awesome! Alisha finished 3rd, Alison Testrote was 4th, Shantelle was 6th and Coach K was 7th.  8th is the best I've ever finished at Iron Horse and I was about 7 minutes faster than my time from last year--so I was psyched.

Had a fabulous afternoon and evening with the Mapels and then came back to chez Compton for some recovery times.  I also ended up taking a yoga class taught by Mara Abbott which was really cool.  I definitely had to retreat to child's pose several times during the class--but felt better afterward.

This afternoon is the crit...It should be a lot of fun and hopefully we will do well too! Send us your speedy vibes and thanks for reading!

Write up about the race here

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Back in the womb aka Ridgway

A long highly unchunky week and landed at couch potato's tonight. And the pieces are getting put back together.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The. Best.

La famiglia Pezzulo came for a visit over the weekend.  I picked up the Glennbro (who flew from Denver) and then we returned to the airport to collect Ciao Mama and Ciao Papa (flying in from Ro-cha-cha).  In a grand sorpresa, my sister Mary was there with the 'rents--in a last minute funtimes join in.

Friday morning I woke up to the signs my family had been there: my kitchen was clean, there was yummy bread everywhere and there were chairs in strategic outdoor locations.  I love that. My parents came over from the hotel (as Padre doesn't stay with his kids).  Fortunately I got to have fun sleepovers with the Glennbro and Mary.  Glennbro went for a run and Mary cleaned my kitchen while waiting for the 'rents to arrive.  We went for a passegiata in the neighborhood to get my dad a paper and to get some bread (more pane!) from our local fab market- the Heist (Liberty Heights Fresh).  Somehow during that time, the owner of the market became best friends with my family ("he knows Wegmans!")

Friday night my mom made turkey sausage meatballs (dio mio), pasta, beets and a salad so the Glennbro carbed up for his 10k the next morning.  More good vino (thanks Dad) and funtimes.

The next morning, we got up at 8 to watch my brother get 2nd at a 10k in Liberty Park.  Let me just brother is not what one might call a real runner.  He runs in basketball shorts and has a beard and scruffy hair.  It rules. He doesn't do structured workouts, no time on the track and he doesn't even just focus only on running.  He loves running (especially his Sunday runs and breakfast with Frtiz) but he also loves MH's spin class and he's gotten way into yoga.  So 2nd in a 10k when you're not even a true runner is pretty badass. 

In a confluence of funtimes, Jem (I'm sorry I'll try to call you something different) was also doing the 10k and Clem was there for spectation.  Jem won the women's race which was awesome (they initally had some other girl winning but we saw her only do 3 laps and so we mounted vehement protests to ensure justice. not really.)

I busted home to get dressed for the 2nd athletic event of the day in a park near my house: the Sugarhouse Crit.  There is nothing better than riding to races.  OK, almost nothing.  I made it to the race about 30 minutes before my start and lined up with strong individuals Alisha and Nicole and local strong teams PCIM and Ski Utah among others.  Despite numerous attacks from PCIM, Alisha and Nicole, it was  Ski Utah's Allyson that lucked out with a late race attack that everyone looked at everyone else to do something about while riding coffee shop pace.  Hey that's why its bike racing and not triathlon.  I love that part of bike racing.  I prefer it when I am the lucky one...but hey, it is what it is.  I ended up winning the field sprint for 2nd.

The absolute handsdown best part of the race was having my family and a ton of friends there.  Since everyone lives in the hood, all the kids: The Woodies, Richie and Renee, the Yohnson-Gammons, Caterina, JemClems, DAMIANO, amigo di bro Brad and RICK AND LIZZIE were cheering me on the whole race.  It was so fun to have everyone there, even though they were freaked out by my sprint face.  I am somewhat self-conscious about that now.  Of course having my family there was stupendous as well.

After the race, my mom started cheffing up a feast.  A bunch of the kids from the race came over.  It was definitely a highlight of my year.  My sister and I had to go to Home Despot to buy a folding banquet table to fit everyone.  That was to add onto our dining room table with leaf in.

My mom oversaw the man-grilling activities, my dad talked shop with the chick attorneys, my sister kept everyone laughing and the glennbro kept eveyone's vino glasses filled. 

Grilled pork tenderloin, chicken, couscous, an astonishing bread salad, a green salad from my garden and a sh$% ton of good bread and cheese.  Does it get any better I ask you?  Plus with some of my favorite humans on the whole planet?

My mom made biscotti and Doug's Lemonade Layer cake from Cooking Light. 

It was Big Night meets Old School meets...I don't know, everything that is awesome in my world.

Even after all the friends left, Richie hung tough until the wee hours.  It was like the law school golden years.  Thanks Richie.

And then there was an excellent Pezzulo sibling burn down session.  Awesome.  The hubs had to be up at 5 am the next morning but he hung tough until the bitter end too!  Its painful to even type that he managed to make it out of the house with about 4 hours of sleep.  The things we do for Woody.  Or, I should say skiing in the Uintas with sled-owning buddies.

The next morning the Glennbro--because he is a machine--was up early to go work out with my parents and have breakfast with them at their hotel.  Mary and I needed our beauty sleep but we were on the late morning family hang out program.  I had a nice morning with the famiglia before painfully having to take them to the airport.  That sucked.

It was a tremendous weekend of fun activities and stellar times with my family and my friends.  I feel really lucky to have such awesome planets in my solar system.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Ridgway mini reunion

It was a real nice day in the 801 today and I did a lunch meet up with one of my fave Ouray gals--Lisa--who is in SLC for the week.

I met up with Lovely Lisa at the foods of wholeness for lunch.  It was super super great to catch up with her and to hear of the San Juan mountain town goings on.

In spite of my kavetching about the rain, it was so beautiful and fresh today.  I rode out to the DMV training crit and it was a really nice ride (for once).  The ride out to DMV goes through the industrial gheTTO of SLC and is usually uber trafficated and sucky. And hot usually.  Tonight was such a nice pleasant ride.  I don't know what the deal was.  Whatever it was, it really helped my fatigue and general un-psychedness toward going hard on my bike right now.  The B flite had a decent sized field with RMR being canceled last night.  A bunch of studly chicks lined up to duke it out with the guys including Alisha, Nisie, Stephanie and some Ski Utah girls.  The DMV course has about 60000 turns and an uphill sprint.  It is always hard and always fun.  The race was aggressive but no breaks got away. 

On the last lap I got to about tenth wheel.  I opened up a little gap on the upper part of the course and then due to a lack of balls it grew on the downhill.  I closed it on the lower part of the course and then due to a lack of legs, it opened up again.  I just put my head down and went for the last part of the lap and finished just off the main group of 8 or so with 2 guys sprinting around me at the finish.  I was psyched to get a good workout in despite the wooden legs I had the day before.  There's something about racing (even just the training races) that always can get me to dig deeper than just doing intervals.

I rode home in the waning daylight with PCIM cool girls Nisie and Steph.  Super fun to catch up with them.  Looking forward to seeing people at the Sugarhouse Crit this weekend.  I've also got the Pezz fam descending upon the 801 for the weekend.  Expecting treats and fun times. 

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Compleanno di Hubs

On Friday night, a few of the kids got together to celebrate the hubs' 20-18th birthday.  We went to Caputo's FOR DINNER!  What a revolution.  It was awesome, super great to see all the kids, and there were cannoli for dessert.  What more can be said?

Coach K is doling out some serious punishment for Tiff these days.  I have realized that I really love racing my bike--the training, not so much.  Not that it totally sucks...sometimes its just hard to sack up for multiple day in a row ridankulous workouts.  Especially when at least 50% of those are in the rain.

And talking about the weather...I've got an axe to grind with NOAA.  They just need to say what they really feel.  Don't tell me 30% chance when you know I'm going to get poured on my entire ride.  The real rub is getting up super early to ride in 30% chance of precip conditions--getting drenched (right after picking up the clean bike from bestmechanicever tomjow), and then watching the roads dry off through the window at work. 

My experience thus far is that if NOAA says 30% chance or less, I will get rained on for at least 30% of my ride or more.  If it says 40-60% chance, I will probably stay dry my entire ride.  Not that I'm complaining about precip--we need it and my garden is ALL OVER IT!

In addition to my previously clean bike, I also picked up my new race wheels from bme tomjow.  I'm trying out the tufo tape instead of glue--so if anyone knows anything about it, let me know.  Otherwise, seems pretty sweet to not have boogers leaking out the side of your tire.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Girl time

A travel day for work then evening in giardino followed up with girl time dinner at Channon Thai (rest days can be so productive).  Amanda, Lizzie and Liz, you girls are the frosting on my pop tarts! What a treat to get to hang with some of the coolest grrrlz ever.  Fabulous convo, lots of laughs and good eats.  Who can beat that?
So there were finger prints on the vino glasses.  We can roll slumdog styles too.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Lovely spring we're having here in the 801

We are having some major stormage here in the 801.  During yesterday's workout in the driving rain I was giving myself some major hardman points.  Hopefully the weather holds for Wednesday night worlds (the Wednesday night training crits--not to be confused with Tuesday night worlds--or the other training crits).  
A few photos from best ever Doug from Speedweek:

bestever Doug, Kat, Liza, SHANNON, moi, Lins and Amy...sweet rental mini van also pictured

More available here
Thanks Doug! Can't wait to try out the lemonade cake recipe!!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

What CAN'T a burning christmas tree cure?

After a week spent in a very dark place--a wanting to curl up in a closet and suck my thumb kind of place (what kind of person admits this?), I spontaneously headed to Durango on Thursday night from Monticello.  Since I was working/melting down in Southern Utah, I was only about 2 hours from Durango and an hour from Cortez (where I was meeting up with the hubs and JemClems on Friday).

I rolled into chez Compton Thursday evening and immediately felt the buttcheeks starting to unclench.  I went for a little mountain bike spin with Moira and 9-year-old Cecilia on a trail a few miles from chez Compton.  It was a gorgeous evening and so much fun to see C ripping up the trail.

That evening, a few of my most favoritest peeps came to the Comptons including Travis, lovely Mary and stylish Zara and the newlyweds Jimmy and Meredith.  Moira cheffed up a delicioso dinner of baked chicken, rice, taters served with several bottles of Prosecco.  With the bubbly and best people ever, I was slowly returning to a happy place.  As the night wrapped up, "someone" remembered there was a christmas tree outside waiting to be burned.  Naturally, chez Compton is outfitted with a gnarly fire pit that has over time been moved farther and farther from the house (and still close to a garden hose).

In its "stand" (a cottonwood stump), Ted initiated the conflagration with C taking pictures.  I actually took pictures of C taking pictures but they turned out crappy because I was laughing so hard/enjoying myself so much.  It totally ruled in the most ultimate of ways.

Its no secret I'm somewhat porno for pyros.

The next day I did a little road spin in Durango followed by a very brief meet-up with teammate Marisa while her students were at recess.  As I hadn't even seen Marisa yet this year, it was great to do a mini catch-up with this uber studette.

After a grocery stop, I headed over to Cortez to meet up with the hubs and the JemClems.  We picked up our stuff at the Kokopelli bike shop in town and then headed over to the Montezuma County fairgrounds.  We camped next to bestever Jen, Randy and Calden (owners of Peak to Peak Bike shop in Ridgway.)  It was super fun to get a little hangtime with Ridgway's baddestassed cycling couple.  Even more badass than their fast laptimes (in training for the Breck Epic) was the fact that they rode as a co-ed duo team, with the non-riding team member watching 5-year-old Calden. 
Clem cheffed up some pasta for us and I did some additional carbo loading with some vino.  It got pretty cold, but thanks to the best firepan ever, we were going strong well into the night.  The odd thing was that the whole place was dark and silent.  I thought mountain bikers were supposed to be fun?  I guess that is what happens when a Colorado event gets taken over by Utahrds.

I was having a splendid time but the rest of our group was getting tired.  And THEN, just in the nick of time, a group of Durango hooligans showed up seeking warmth at our fire.  Gardie, Steve (there to shoot photos for Mountain Flyer)  and several of their buds including Chad, the guy that races in jean shorts (and is fast).  Gardie had us rolling with his stories. "I got this."
At this point I was getting what you might call a third wind and was poised to throw more wood on the fire.  However, the procurers of the wood who were unsuccessfully trying to sleep put the kibosh on my funtimes and so that was a wrap.  It was the right move as I probably wouldn't have been able to ride the next day.  As it was I slept through the beginning of the race--which occurred only a few yards away from the limosienna.

So the hubs was riding a duo team with Ted (they took an injured Clem's spot), and I was filling in for Jem's teammate who had also injured herself (but still let us use her sweet fire pan which really made the whole weekend!).  The hubs and Jem went first and so Ted and I headed over to the transition zone at the same time.  We were both looking at our watches wondering where the hubs.  He finally rode in and while I was waiting for Jem, he told me how he not only dropped his chain (on a SS!) but also BROKE the chain before even making it to the single track.  Sometimes, the hubs just doesn't win when it comes to mechanicals. (NOB I can't wait for your comment on that one).

Shortly thereafter, Jem rolled in and I was off for my 3rd mountain bike ride of the year (ok 4th if you count the lap I did the day before).  The race was held on Phil's World--some amazing single track without anything ridiculously steep or technical.  It was SUPER fun and beautiful.  Because I am not a mountain bike ninja--I could only go a certain speed on a lot of the course as you needed skillz to ride a lot of that stuff fast.  But I still had a blast and I *heart* my Yeti to death.

As Jem headed off on her 2nd lap, she informed me she would be disappointed if she found me awake and vertical after her lap.  Ha Ha, I laughed.  After some food and some time for the previous night to hit me, the air mattress in the limosienna was looking comfy.  "Oh just 15 minutes..." And then I was waking up when I heard her voice.  So we weren't exactly "taking" "the" "racing" "seriously," but we were having a good time.

The hubs was hurting pretty bad after his 3rd lap.  When Ted finished his 3rd lap, they caucased about what to do.  Because Ted is the best human being ever, he suggested that the 3 of us go ride a lap together, once Jem finished her third lap.  So with the clock ticking away on the hubs' lap, they waited for Joanna to finish her lap and we headed out together for my 3rd lap and the hubs and Ted's 4th laps (only Steve's counted though).  It was really fun to get to ride with those guys, especially since it was the hubs' b-day.  The hubs and I had a really fun lap together and made it back in time to watch the nailbiting finish between the dueling men's 4-person teams: the legends (Travis Brown, Dave Wiens, John Tomac and Darryl Price) and a bunch of younger superstuds.  In the end, the younger dudes took the finish---but the Legends Team definitely "won" the atmosphere.

I have no idea what the results were but I know there were a ton of badasses out there ripping it up. 

After we finished riding, we had some more fun times around the fire.  Even though Ted only lives an hour away, he hung out to camp with us and celebrate the hubs' birthday.  That was so great and really appreciated.

The next day we packed it up and hit up Eklectic Cafe in Moab for breakfast.  I was code red levels of gnarly with the lack of showering and sleeping outside and dustiness of mountain biking.  But that's the good thing about Moab, so is everyone else.  We had a great breakfast with the JemClems before finishing the drive back to SLC.  It feels good to be home (finally after being gone for nearly 16 days!). 

I'm really looking forward to getting some qt here in the 801 with the hubs and with my friends.  I need it!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The post-race hurt locker

If only you could read all the great posts I wrote in my head about the rest of the need for Speedweek races.  But alas, they are gone.

Suffice to say that the week was really GREAT! One of the best parts was getting to re-connect with old teammate and good bud Shannon.  I was thinking how I might write this part without using the phrase "back in the day" but there simply is no avoiding it.  Its kind of a tired idiom but I just dig it.  So Shannon and I hung out a ton "back in the day" in Boulder (does it help if you put it in quotes).  Ok it is kind of d-baggy to use the phrase.  No, I still like it.  So back in the day, Shannon, Anne and I would do lots of rides together in the People's Republic of Boulder and then hang out with our buddy Drew while he was working at Great Harvest and could hook us up with free samples.  Much laughing, much riding, much in the way of good times.  We lost touch for a bunch of years and re-connected last year.  One of the draws to do Speedweek (and there are many!) was getting to spend some time with Shannon.  A former pro cyclist, she has gone through all the stages of quitting cycling: adventure racing, mountaineering, serious relationships, running and now iron man triathlons (if there was a drug binge phase I don't know about it).  She is a super studette of an athlete, successful in her profession, and a fabulous person with a great life and awesome family.  My only criticism is that she doesn't live in the 801.  She is one of those people I could pick up with right where we left off.  The only weird part was there being no Anne the Viking!!

 Anne--you should've been on this one!

Lins, Shannon and me on a sweet tour de Marietta

Shannon treated us to awesome hospitality and totally took care of us.  I even got to ride with her which was so cool. 

As for the racing?  It was hard and our team did great. Liza ended up 5th and I ended up 6th in the overall.  Our team was 2nd behind Colavita which is sweet.  Our Spartanburg hosts were so great.  Three of us stayed with awesome Rebecca and her husband Remsen along with their haute cuisine loving 2-year old J.R. (he likes sushi!) and their 2 dogs.  I stayed with our hosts from last year, Wade and Shelley.  While in Spartanburg, we got to meet the former mayor (a fellow Dartmouth alum of teammate Kat's) which was great.  Spartanburg was also my last ok race.  Saturday's race in Dilworth was not bueno and Sandy Springs was more Sorry Things.  The great thing about Dilworth was Liza getting in a break and taking 2nd!  The (almost) greater thing about Dilworth was the Pike Cafe which I located with my internal treat homing device.  Those were some sick recovery milk shakes and carrot cake!  I am psyched to re-visit when I go back for the USA Crits race in August.

On Saturday, Kat did a huge pull with the driving, getting us back to Atlanta from Dilworth (Charlotte).  We went straight to hero-Doug's uber trendy metrosexual condo (THAT IS A COMPLIMENT).  Shannon, Emily, WuWu (Shannon's beagle) and Lucas (her golden) were waiting at Doug's for us.  Doug proffered appies: a lovely salmon spread on some crostini followed by grilled chicken and shrimp.  I did some damage on the sauteed swiss chard (now I know what to do with the stuff I'm growing in the giardino!).  And I may have done some damage on his Martha Stewart cookies.  They were even on their own glass covered serving tray.  Oh he can work on bikes and do massage.  Tiff=President of the Doug fan club.

Sunday was a slight fiasco but ended up ok.  We brought all our stuff to the race so that IMMEDIATELY after the race we could put our bikes together and drive to the airport.  The race was hard and hotter than 2 gross things doing something gross in something gross.  Oh and windy too.  My lungs had a vice grip on them (from the pollen, the heat? who knows, who cares).  I finished 11th and Liza was 9th with Lins I believe in the top 20.  Our super great host from last year--Mark--was there so we got a micro-mini hang sesh with him while sweating our asses off i.e. packing our bikes.

We said our goodbyes to Shannon, Doug, Amy and Liza (who was staying a few days before heading to a race in Arkansas) and put some skid marks down to the Atlanta airport.  Luckily, Lins, Kat and I were all flying to Denver so we could contain the funk-nastiness we embodied to one row.  Lins even hooked us up with stretch seating.  Then another race in the Denver airport to make my flight back to the 801.  By some christmas miracle I along with my bike and other bags ALL made it back to SLC where the hubs was waiting to collect the pieces--Yippee!

I really missed the hubs and it was awesome to see him and hear about his fun activities (skiing the pow with Woody, Rick and J9) and dinners with the aforementioned along with Richie and Lizzie.  Lucky!  I was really looking forward to getting some quality hubs time...until about noon on Monday (yesterday) when I was informed I had to travel for work for the rest of the week.
That is what we call t minus 5 to meltdown, and closing fast.  On the one hand, its great I get to be involved and work on some interesting issues.  On the other hand, that is about 24 hours at home.  On the other other hand, my mental and emotional well-being just took a major nose dive.  Add to that the fact that the hubs and I are going to Cortez for a 12-hour mountain bike race this weekend.  Add to THAT he fact I'd be working somewhat close to Cortez, so I had to pack my shit for a week of work plus shit for mtb and camping.  Whatever its fine.  I'm totally fine. Totally. fine. Totally fine in a Girl, Interrupted kind of Sylvia Plath way.  By virtue of the massage and pizza I was able to track down this evening once I got to Moab, it appears I may be able to pull myself together to deal. 

The Yogurt on My Pretzels

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