Thursday, June 30, 2011

I *heart* rural Utah

In Rich county (Northern Utah)
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Good morning Moab!

A little pre-work spin in Moab yesterday...
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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A little communing

The rest of the nationals weeke.d was great. We ended up.missing the winning break in the road race but the lil ducky still got 2nd in the field sprint for 7th. I finished 23rd and was happy with how I rode. Unfortunately, the prof went down in a crash. Fortunately she was ok. The Sunshine Band was a superstar making it in an early break for the first three laps of the race.

Most importantly I managed to avoid melting into a puddle in the Augusta heat.

We finished off the weekend by taking our lovely host Roggie to dinner at a great Cajun place near by.

On Monday I was up at OH-300 hours to catch my 5 am flight. Miraculously I didn't get stuck anywhere but it was a long day of travel. Best part of the return was reuniting with the hubs. 2nd best was a spontaneous welcome home pedi with J9. Close 3rd was celebrating the progress of my garden. After another night of too little sleep I was out the door first thing in the am for a two day work trip. Blurg.

Fortunately I am traveling with my new fave co-worker Mitch who is super fun and a great dude. He has sisters so that probably explains his coolness. After working, we headed up into the La Sal mountains outside of Moab to escape the heat. He went for a sweet trail run and I went for a one hour ride on the La Sal Mountain Loop Road. It was so beayoutiful up there. I felt like I had the whole mountain range to myself. I had a nice walk down memory lane riding past the supersweet Whispering Oaks lodge where the hubs and I celebrated our nuptials a mere 3 years ago. So fun remembering all the fun peeps that were there, the Sleaze's good job as our internet ordained minister, the wedding hike from the campground where most of the guests stayed, to shaking our booties off till the wee hours to DJ B-fisk's wedding master mix. I hadn't been back since our wedding and it was great to re-visit the amazingness of that weekend. Good news, the bridge is no longer out so people can get up there the "quick" way now...
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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Crit Nationals

After FINALLY getting my bike Friday morning, I built it up and went on a sweaty spin with the teammates. We stopped at Outspokin Bicycles to get some beta on where to ride and then we rode past the crit course. We bumped into superstud Matt Bradley who has been tearing it up in the paracycling events here (2nd in the tt!).

After trying to relax for the rest of the day, we headed back downtown for our 8pm crit. The skies went from searing heat to ominous clouds as we lined up on the start. We were informed that in the event of storms our race might be shortened.

The race was pretty fast but no attacks were sticking. Suddenly our race went from 30 laps to go to 5 laps to go.

That was a bit of a shocker. With three laps to go the prof covered a dangerous move that was able to get a few seconds up the road. It was caught with 2 laps to go and then the craziness really started. With 1 lap to go, the Lil Ducky found me and I stuck to her wheel. She moved towards the front. I had her chill for a second before we hit the back stretch. I was hoping to have her drill it right before the last two corners. However, I could sense an impending swarm so I slapped the rains and the lil Ducky buried--and I mean Six feet under buried--herself the ENTIRE backstretch making it first through the last two corners with me on her wheel.

I came around her but still had a healthy 300m to the finish. I put my head down and gave it everything but Shelly Olds, Theresa Cliff-Ryan, Coryn Rivera and Jen Purcell came flying around me with Sam Schneider overtaking me right before the line. So I ended up 6th.

I knew it was way early for Emily to go when I had her go, but right after she stepped on the gas I heard a crash behind us, so maybe it wasn't the greatest thing for the result but I have decided to look at it as a boon in terms of keeping us safe and upright.

It was disappointing to miss the podium but it would've been waaaaay more disappointing to get stuck in a crash...Not like those are mutually exclusive things, but humor me with my cosmic musings.
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Friday, June 24, 2011

Its a christmas miracle!

Bike arrived just in time for race tonight! And now for the sweaty process of unpacking...
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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Is this quick enough

The prof requests immediate updating...I made it to Augusta finally. Spent the night in Grapevine, TX but my cup did not runneth over. Now, if only my bike would make it here..
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Friday, June 17, 2011

Exciting developments

Its been a recuperative week...My lungs and throat decided to stage a protest this week but after some serious negotiations (allergy medications sans pseudoephedrine, sleep, echinacea and neti pot), relations are much less strained.
Frontside: pink flowers from Jane's NM garden are happy here!

More importantly, I am happy to report that my cottage garden is doing smashingly. Coolest thing is that it is an edible landscape. I have gotten lots of compliments which makes me feel so good. It has been a labor of love with lots of contributions (both of the plant and advice variety) from the Kimo, Mrs. Yohnson-Gammon, Jane, Mrs. Jowegawas, my neighbors Heather and Deb and others.
Poppies! In honor of my friendship with Erin

Back 40

This just in: garlic scapes and snap peas are in the hizzy!
The little curly thing (garlic scape) amounts to nothing short of CRACK!!! I'll snap these off in the next week or so (to send energy to the garlic bulb itself) and feast on what might be one of the yummiest things in the WORLD.

I like a little peas and quiet now an again
Because I am a gangster gardener.  "Ain't nothing but a G thang baaaaabay" where the "G" stands for garden.
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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Some non racing Tulsa pics

Fun river spins, that Prof is a real clown
Bridge over the river where Tulsa-ans were spear fishing
Sunshine in a cloudy heat stroked moment
Lil Ducky and La Lizard
Little sis hosts Maddie and Mia enjoying the podium pandas
Maddie, Melissa and Mia--Super Cutey Primal/MMR supporters!

Aside from racing, it was super enjoyable hanging with our amazing hosts and doing some nice spins along the river. After the Riverview kickintheface race, Darrell and Melissa cheffed up delicious burgers for dinner.  It was great to get to sit down with everyone! La Lizard and the Lil Ducky also joined in the culinary fabulous-ness. 

It took me about midsong to realize that Eminem was a girl and Rihanna was a dude...They were that good. Many thanks to Starla for setting me straight.
After dinner, Liza and Ducky "convinced" me to go out with them.  We met up with our Vandercousins and had a SUPER fun night starting off at the Soundpony, located right on Saturday's course.  From there Liza heard the music and we ended up at Club Majestic.  I would like to recommend that if you ever feel bad about doing bad in a bike race or really anything in life, rainbow therapy is the answer.  This gay club had nonstop Lady Gaga pumping out on the dance floor.  It was interrupted only for a performance by a transvestite Eminem and Rihanna for a pants-peeing lip synch to "Love the Way you Lie."  Rupaul better work because this woman (man) was AMAZING!  She did a few more performances and each one involved a completely different totally off the hook outfit.  It totally ruled.

Jennx turned up wearing a super cute dress and a fanny pack? That ended up making the rounds on the dance floor to various individual...Best performances going to Jono and Vanessa.
Sub optimal camera phone doesn't diminish the quality of fun that was had...

More racing, and oopsie I lost the omnium despite a good lead

More race jibber jabber...

On the second day, we raced the Brady District crit right on the heels of the gay pride parade.
AWESOME! I was YMCA'ing right along with everyone while waiting on the sidelines to start the race.

My team was amazing at this crit.  Everyone took a turn covering something but Liza, Ducky and the Prof turned themselves inside out for me and I was able to get on the podium for 3rd place.  This was another fast race but it mainly stayed together.  Because of my awesome teammates, I was able to sit in and (relatively) chill out and save it for the finish.  With 2 laps to go, Jackie Crowell attacked and held off the field for the win.  The Ducky, Liza and Prof lined it up for me and killed themselves (for the millionth time that race) to keep me in good position on the last lap. Laura Vangilder got on the Prof's wheel coming around a corner on the last lap and then there were a cluster of sprinters including Jen Purcell, Erica Allar, Jen McRae and of course Christina Gokey-Smith.  The prof sprinted down the back straight keeping the pace high to prevent the swarm...I was somewhere in the sprinter cluster but managed to disengage to get 2nd in the field sprint behind Laura.

Brady District podium
With my 1st and 3rd place, I was winning the omnium by 8 points.  What some might even call an unassailable lead. HOWEVER, the last day's Riverview Crit is a real punch in the everything sensitive: balls, achilles, jugular--wherever you have weakness, this crit hones in on and destroys. It has a small chainring climb right after the start finish which heads through some neighborhoods and crazy fan sections then screams down hill through an off-camber corner to the finish. 

Nonetheless, with strong climbers Lil Ducky, Sunshine and Nicole, I was hoping we could manage... While my team did everything they could, with Lil Ducky riding like she was a separate team of 4, the difficulty of the race took its toll... I was hurting pretty bad but so was everyone else.  Only about half the field even finished.  On the last lap I was by myself, not in great position, and found myself needing to close gaps and so I was gassed by the time we spilled out onto the final straight.  I gave it everything and finished 17th which slid me down into 4th in the omnium.  Still a good overall finish, but pretty disappointing to lose the lead and not pull out a better finish when my teammates had worked so hard. 
La Lizard and moi
Moi on the wheel of Tayler Wiles at her first race back since smacking her melon at Mt. Hood
Despite the soul crushing outcome (slight exaggeration, only slight), the race is still such a gem of the Tulsa Tough.  Crybaby hill is a small-scale version of what the Italians call "il casino" or the section in the soccer stadium where all the hooligans are getting shitfaced, shooting off fireworks and creating a complete ruckus. Those partying fans just absolutely RULE! Everything from the noise, the shooting hoses, the outfits (dudes in speedos--it will never get old in these circumstances)...I swear--course sections such as crybaby hill are what make me want to race my bike.
So painful, yet awesome at the same time...

Tulsa: The racing part

Sunshine wrote a great race report, check it out on our team blog...
Lyne Lamoreux provided her typical in-depth awesome coverage as well on Podium Insight

For the click-fully challenged...Here you go...
On Friday night I won the Blue Dome Crit, the first race of the Tulsa Tough. My teammates were rockstars and helped get me in a break of 4 riders that included Kori Seehafer, Christina Gokey-Smith and Kristen LaSasso. Once we had a gap I was super motivated to help the break stay away.  We worked awesomely together, I heard on the TV coverage that announcer Dave Towle say we invoked images of a Soviet team time trial. As the work continued in the break, I really started to feel the heat (and the pulls).  There were many self-talks going on...Actually, my brain could really do no more than form utterances...Which utterances went something like this:
"Oh god, hurting"
"My turn already?"
"Don't get dropped"
"Would anyone mind if I just sat on for the rest of the time? OK I understand"
"I hope that elbow flick is a twitch"
"Don't get dropped"
"What's the number for 911?"

With 3 laps to go, Kori and Kristen began doling out punches in the form of attacks. At that point the sweat turned to tears.  On the last lap I started the sprint early, attacking before the 2nd to last corner. Kori came around me with Christina right on her wheel. I was able to jump on and then come around again on the final straight for the victory.

Christina rips my legs off in the break
Final sprint

I rounded the first corner and promptly threw up all over my top tube. Lil Ducky and Liza came up behind with celebratory pats and the Ducky sprayed me and my bike with the rest of her water to mitigate the biohazard.  This was all captured on the televised coverage.

Notwithstanding my complete lack of grace and hygiene, it was a really special win...Last year at Tulsa Tough, things came to a head for me in life...I was super unhappy at my job and spread too thin with trying to train, race travel and still work full-time. Though my work was super awesome about my racing--it was still too hard to work full-time (which included travel for work).  I had some tearful conversations with just about everyone on the planet that weekend...The hubs, my coach, my family and a really great conversation with host Melissa...Because the hubs is the most awesome-est, it was then we decided that it was time for a serious change...I would quit working (for at least a few months) so I could focus on racing and avoid either getting pneumonia or having a nervous breakdown.  While it was a financial hit, the mental and emotional payouts were enormous...All non-essential expenses were basically eliminated. Living like you're still a student keeps you young! 

When the fall rolled around and it was time for me to start financially contributing to the household again, I was asked to come back to working at the state--but on a part-time basis.  What was meant to be a 3 month gig got extended and this has allowed me to maintain a connection to some semblance of a career while prioritizing my racing.  I am hugely grateful to John Hurst (my manager) and John Harja (Director) for being so supportive...They are some of my biggest unofficial sponsors.

The Tulsa World actually did a nice article about it too.

The victory was also special because I got to share it with the most awesome hosts ever--the Meinens and Schoolings. This year marked my third year of staying with these guys (Thanks to Bud for the best ever hookup) and I feel like I have family in Tulsa because of it.  Marilyn and Mike were there at the race ringing the shit out of their cowbells and Darrell was simultaneously taking awesome photos, dealing with race logistics and probably doing about 10 other things too. 

Blue Dome podium
And of course, the win was really a team win because the girls on my team and goddess-directress Susannah have put everything into this team...The successes are shared equally, because they are communally earned. 

Thanks to EVERYONE who has been sending me the congratulatory wishes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Each and every text, message, e-mail, blog comment, and team facebook post is ENORMOUSLY APPRECIATED!!!!!!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Hall of fame hosts

I arrived in the Sooner state this afternoon after a lovely in-flight conversation with my new fave dude racer Stevie Cullinan. We happened to sit in the same row from hooked on Phoenix to Tulsa. Super fun to chat with this awesome kiddo...

Hall of fame host mom picked me up and brought me back to the compound (C2) where the Prof was knee deep in relaxation mode. We headed next door to the Meinens (C1) where I was reunited with Melissa and her two ridiculously adorable daughters Mia and Mattie (see photo of artwork left on my towel by Mia-awesome!)

Though my bike had arrived (phew) my clothes did not. Awesome Marilyn loaned me some clothes to wear on a spin. She loaned the Prof her bike and shoes (the prof's bike was en route from Denver). I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the prof this way...

After a quick spin and pool dip, Liza and the Lil Ducky picked us up to head to Saris Ron's for steak dinner (at his lovely parents house). It was really great to see all the teammates and Ron cheffed up a feast.

First race tomorrow night.
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Magnificence in the 801 ambience

It has been super sweet here in the 801. Perfect weather. C'mon you know this pictue could be a computer wallpaper.

So its a great time to head to the midwest for some sweltering humidity. Goodbye water weight, hello cramp riddled heat stroke.
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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Bring awwwwn the noodlin'!

T minus 24 hours till departure for the home of Okie Noodlin'...I'll be racin' Tulsa Tough with the whole team.  Looking forward to the reunion with the entire cast of characters including the Prof, La Lizard, Lil Ducky, the Mayor, the BOSS the Sexy Beast (she's baaaaaack!) and the Sunshine Band.  Also looking forward to reuniting with compound dwellers the Meinens and Schoolings and Randypants' old school bud- Bud.

Just have to do about 5000 things and then I'm ready to go. Till my next procrastination post when my bike will be in pieces and not packed and I'll have a departing flight I'll be about to miss.

The Yogurt on My Pretzels

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