Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Now where was I?

Milwaukee, Appleton, Salt Lake for a day, Boise, Bend, Boise and back to Salt Lake.  Aaaaand I'm spent.  The hubs and I headed to Bend via Boise last Wednesday.  Italia racing teammate Liza was in Boise that night to celebrate her engagement to bestever Jono.  Because she is a true Italiana and "can always make room"--she insisted on our staying with her dad Paul during our Boise layover.  We arrived late and we were bummed to miss out on the party.  However, there was a buonissimo selection of treats from the party near where we were sleeping.  So awesome.

The next morning, we did a little giro di Boise with Liza, Jono and Sarah B (coach K's former teammate and super cool chick).  It was SO GREAT to see Liza and Jono, whom I hadn't seen in what felt like forever.

After said piccolo giro, the hubs and I made our way to Bend where we stayed with Marisa's host "parents" Nils and Karen.  We had a lovely dinner with this super cool couple and then slept soundly.

The next day was US Criterium Nationals.  The hubs and I went for a little spin in Bend.  We ran into one of our Cascade host "moms" Ellen while out riding.  Hugs and laughs and she promised to come watch the crit that night.  After our spin (and delicious treats from Nancy P's), I had nap time (i.e. get really nervous time) and the hubs went to secure a campsite and to ride some more. He took some sweet pics of the campsite (the most beautiful campsite EVER) and had an amazing road ride in the Cascades. 

While it was a great race, super aggressive and fast, it didn't end up so well for me.  Coming into the last lap, a rider went down and Brooke Miller and Theresa Cliff-Ryan (2 previous champs) also went down.  Kat and I didn't crash but we did have to do a massive brake slam.  Not ideal at the end of a race. Liza was able to squeak through thanks to her Italian ninja handling skills.  She hopped a curb and stayed up there for 12th.  I ended up finishing 22nd and Kat was 39th.  It was a little disappointing but that's racing.  And luckily, I didn't go down (and there were several crashes).

One of the coolest parts of the race was having the hubs there.  In the fray and fracas of any given race, I usually don't notice much--but I heard his voice cheering me on at various points in the course.  That was so awesome and really motivated me!

And BP--my old Boulderland roomie and college teammate--came down from Portland to spectate, recreate and pontificate!  It was an uber rally, no doubt about it.

After the race, the hubs, BP and I headed up to the campsite.  The hubs really did good on that one.  It was in a high alpine setting next to a lake.  Totally amazing.  Of course we had an excellent fire and consumed some campfire beverages.

As for the rest of the weekend, we had a couple awesome mountain bike rides and lots of fabulous mountainous hang time. The hubs and I tried out a new air mattress in the limosienna (we needed a bigger one).  I liked it, but the princess-and-the-pea hubs wants more comfort--so we will likely try out the foam arrangement next.

And yes, the limosienna still rules on road trips.  If you're doing any road tripping in the west, I'd recommend Larry McMurtry books on tape.  We listened to "Telegraph Days" and it was great.

Few days at home before heading to Sun Valley for a little camping/hang times with the Woodies at another amazing spot!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Serious whirlwind

A few photos to view until the dust settles and I can chronicle the adventures properly...

The hubs and I on a spin in Bend and then a few pics from crit nationals.

All courtesy of Nils. Check out more of his excellent work here

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

In transit

Just finished up 5 days of racing at Tour of Americas Dairyland with bestest teammates ever Downtown Sydney Brown and sexy beast Gwen. We had some decent results and after getting 6th at Grafton (along with some sprint points) I am winning the USA Crits series.

It was awesome, fun racing. The jersey has changed hands almost every day. They still have 6 more races to go and I am sure the jersey will continue to change hands.

Loved the racing and fun times in "the good land" and I am happy to report that I will be getting a christmas letter from Ricky since we are pretty much best friends now. More stories and a few pics to follow once I am back in the 801. Currently in the hooked on Phoenix airport. Can't wait to see the hub!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Eye of the Tiger

I did my first ever VO2 test last night with Cameron Hoffman.  It was awesome.  Not as awesome as the VO2 test in American Flyers.

But that's just because there were no daisy duke gym shorts, knee high striped cotton shorts, or mile long print-outs.  Oh and that 80s movie music?  Then it would've been really sweet.

However, it was still really cool.  As I warmed up on a trainer (on my own bike), Cameron and his assistant/phlebotomist/sister Lydia were velcro'ing and moving wires everywhere it seemed.  Eventually, they put a darth vader mask on me.  It was stressful trying to breathe with it on my face.  But everyone has to deal with it when they test I suppose.  The test starts out easy and then gets progressively harder (increasing the watts every minute).  At the same time, they monitored the lactic acid in my body by drawing blood 3 different times from my finger tip.  They were super professional and they totally motivated me to push myself as hard as I could.  I am psyched to get the data from the test as it should be an awesome tool to help in training.

Cameron is going to be doing more testing throughout the fall and summer and he does it for everyone from the recreational to the professional athlete.  Or even non-athletes wanting to get in shape.  I really enjoyed the experience.  It was fun--type II fun--but still fun.  Check it out by contacting Cameron through his website here
and have some type II fun** yourself.

** Type II fun:  Experiences that suck a$$ while they are happening but somehow seem like they were enjoyable once they're over.  Cf. Type I fun: experiences that are both enjoyable during and after the fact. i.e. Flying Dog trail

I don't think the heavy stuff is gonna come for quite a while

Apparently the 801 has decided it wants to be the northwest.  I'm not complaining, but the weather has been a little trippy around these parts.

The hubs' parents came for a visit this past weekend which was great.  There were nervous about it being too hot.  Then they ended up stressed they didn't bring enough clothes.  We had a really nice time visiting with them.  On Sunday, we rode up Big Cottonwood and met them at Kimi's Mountain Bistro at Solitude for brunch.  And then we got a ride back down.  It was pretty much the best ride ever up BCC because there was no stress about how much it was going to suck on the downhill.  That and the fact the ride ended with raisin toast and baked Swedish omelettes.

The tied for 1st best part of the visit (aside from getting QT with the 'rents-in-law) was the reassemblage of one of our most favoritest wedding gifts--our germ chair porch swing! The hubs and his dad had some man moments with tools and the large parts of the swing in the front yard.  It was awesome.  And now we have our swing back again!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Coming back

First ride yesterday since Tulsa.  It felt funny but once I was in Mill Creek Canyon I was just PSYCHED to be on the bike again.  And loving just plain old riding (not starting at wattage--which I also love to do now)--and soaking up some Wasatch goodness.  I live in a beautiful place.  I got a little soggy and was pretty chilled when I got home--but totally psyched.

And I finally spoke with really good friend, Mel, who has been living in Canadia for what seems like the past million years.  There are few that can make me laugh like her, and it was so good to catch up.  Living in maple leaf land has definitely lessened her tolerance for the ridankulous conservatism of the good 'ol  Fox news watching lower 48. During the convo she may or may not have said: "We'll be doing a big road trip, we'll go down through Oregon, then California, maybe hit Santa Cruz and see Erin, then speed through Arizona, not spend a dime there, probably litter, and let our dogs crap and not clean it up."

And yes Sleaze, Mel is the one who you think is the only person you've ever met that uses profanity more than me. 

Have read some decent books lately too.  Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood, Little Bee by Chris Cleave (this one really rocked my world), and about to finish Scat by Carl Hiaasen.

Another soggy day here in the northwest, that is, the 801.  And its the 1st day of farmer's market!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

A little out of whack

I'm slowly digging myself out of the exhaustion hole I swirled into with Tulsa.  The bike bag is actually unzipped (for possible building up tonight) and finally motivated to do a little downward dog early this morning.  Should feel good again for some testing on Monday!

Cameron Hoffman is going to be doing physical testing at various locations in the upcoming weeks/months.  Find out more about it HERE!  They'll be unleashing the pain next Monday and Tuesday at Spin Cycle.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Miscellaneous catch up

Back in the 801.  Fantastico to be home.  The garden is FLOURISHING, snow peas have been enjoyed along with an abundance of lettuce.  SO SO great to see the hubs.

And a little from then to now (or Iron Horse to Tulsa Tough)
Pre Iron Horse dinner with Couch Potato

Iron Horse post crit picnic

Iron Horse post TT with the big winner (though she is actually quite small)

Awesome teammate Sydney's Crown Vic in our Tulsa host parental driveway
Tulsa host little sisses Mia and Mattie

Mia putting a special fire repellant suit on me

Sweet crash photo from Brady Crit in Tulsa (didn't stop the girl on the bottom of the pile up from WINNING the next day)

Ensuing melee (everyone was fine, check out teammate Kat's bandaged arm in the far right side from her crash the PREVIOUS night)

So anywho, great to be home.  Feel like I could sleep for 1000 years and I haven't reassembled bici just yet.  I think it wants to rest in its cozy Pika bed for just a little longer...

Monday, June 7, 2010

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Slightly rough at Tulsa Tough

Kat, Sydney and I showed up in Tulsa for 3 days of crit racing. I was hoping to improve on decent top 15 placings from last year. However it just didn't quite play out that way. 3 days of entirely lackluster results, a crash, and brutal heat have left me figuratively considering selling all the bikes. Ok not that bad. But this was a real disappointing weekend as far as racing.

Good thing I have the coolest teammates ever. Finally got to race with cornhusker teammate Sydney. Having only met her at our team event in january, I wasn't sure what to expect. When she rolled into the compound driving a crown vic with 4 bike racks on top and a tea bag air freshener inside, I had good feelings. When she told me a story that started with rum and cokes and ended with mechanical bull rides (and people continuing to buy her rides because she was so good), I knew this was a girl I was definitely stoked to call my teammate. Not to mention her stories about getting picked on for having a boy's name and then beating up the teasing boys "to show them I was girly." Love that.

And of course it was super great to race with Kat, my teammate from the other end of the character spectrum. As our host mama Marilyn cheffed up dinner, we burned down about our general malaise with the races. As we were herded into the kitchen for ravioli, Kat concluded our debby downer conversation, commenting "see, the great thing about racing is that even when it goes bad, you still get to eat yummy food." Amen sister. And that WAS a fabulous dinner!

It also helps that Tulsa is an awesome town and we have the best hosts EVER here (thanks randy/bud for hooking us up with the compound dwellers!).
More to say on that end. But for now, I'm happy to have my skin and bike intact. And to return to the dry heat. The races here are really awesome, just not so awesome on the results end of things for us this year. Though the results didn't come anywhere near what I had hoped, I am so glad I got to get some racing in with my fabu teammates and some qt with the Meinens and Schoolings (aka the compound dwellers). I suppose when you look back, how you did in the races figures prominently, but I think the off the bike experiences (dinners and hang time with host families, being in cool parts of new cities) are just as etched into all that gray matter taken up by these endeavors.

Similar to what I heard on a chairlift once, a crappy day racing is still better than a great day working.

I am super lucky to do what I do!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Where am I and what am I doing?

Iron Horse deserves its own novella.  I f'ing love that town, I had the greatest weekend ever, and Marisa won the omnium (me 4th and Kasey 5th overall).  The crit was so awesome--hearing my name around the whole course was total moto.  Finished 2nd in (winning the field sprint, Alison Testroete solo'ed to victory).   Got good qt with my adopted family the Mapels, Shantelle and all the other Durango kids.  I have a new Durango favorite--Katri...She *hearts* her bike and she is awesome and we have the same size feet. uh HUH!

On Monday, took 4th in the TT, a stop at Bread (of course--hopefully Dave and Alisha liked it too as I directed them to the gluten-full goodness as well) and then put down the skid marks back to the 801.

A million more things to say about it all. BUT, as I've been home for however many hours, most of which have been working, but who's counting really, I'm just doing a quick cyber check-in or what some might call procrastination.  After working the past few days, I'm in the frenzy of getting ready for Tulsa Tough (hopping on plane tomorrow).  I get to race with Ms. Fast Carr (Kat) and cornhusker teammate Sydney (finally!).  Best of all, I get to see the compound dwellers and Bud!  If I don't have a nervous breakdown before then and I get it together to show up in Tulsa with a bike and my sanity-- it should be SWEET!
Sorry for the gratuitous use of parentheses (shows how I'm not focused and can't see thoughts through to the end, perhaps a touch of the schiz?) and thanks for reading!

The Yogurt on My Pretzels

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