Saturday, December 31, 2005

Colorado - Windy and snowy one day, perfect the next!

Ahhhhh what day, you Wisconsin girls really need to think about moving here - the best of both worlds.(Cold and snowy one week then warm and sunny the next) Today went on a 4 hour, 65mile ride in just jersey, shorts, arm warmers, vest and knee warmers. The sun was shining and the birdies were chirping, what a glorious day, the only thing missing was the rest of the herd!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hope you all have a great New Years bash as I know I will be finishing 2005 in style, already had 3 coffees during a nice long ride, now all there is to do is chocolate and red wine.........

Friday, December 30, 2005

hmmmm bloody wind training!!!!!!!

Well I had the best training idea for Wednesday and Thursday, would save me petrol and also allow me to spend time with a good friend who had been hounding me about going to see her. She lives 40 miles from me, so I would ride out on Wednesday and ride home on Thursday..... GREAT PLAN ( or so I thought!!!)
Wednesday I had a really nice ride, tootling along enjoying the weather, not that cold about 45 and the sun was shining. I was really glad to be outside riding in the middle of the day..... This I thought was the harder of the 2 days as it was a gradual climb from my place to hers. Arrived at my friends house ( who by the way thinks I am really crazy to have even though about riding that far!!!!!) and had a great day chilling, laughing and drinking some xmas/new year cheer.
Thursday was a different story......... woke up and it looked like a fantastic day again, sunshine and no wind!!!!!!! Whoppieeeee a down hill 40 mile ride, I was blessed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I headed off to ride home and no less than 3 miles into the ride the wind gods started to unleash their wrath, I felt bits of gravel hit my face as trash and dirt was hurled into my face. I though holy crap what have I done to annoy the wind gods!!!!!!!!!!! Needless to say, I battled these winds (head and cross) and my bike for a good 37miles more to get home.The closer I got to home the colder the wind got and I was heading straight into a small snow shower....... luckily got home before that let loose on me too!!!!!!!!!! Needless to say when I watched the news that night, they reported a steady wind speed of about 30 - 35 mph with gusts of around 50 - 60 mph!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
My lesson for the day, check the friggin weather report before planning any sort of training...................... ( today it is cloudy and currently 29 so am glad that it is a gym day.........)

Monday, December 26, 2005

Mal on Clancy who didn't like the jingle bells on Kay's horse

Me on Genyth on Christmas Day

Kay and Gary on Christmas day. That's a cigar in Gary's left hand.

Christmas Cross Training

Christmas day is a good day to train, especially if you mix it up as I did. Me, my friend Mallory and her husband Gary and their neighbor Kay hopped on the horses for a ride around the farm. Gary brings his own style to riding a horse. Note the cigar and the Santa hat on his horse. Gary got a new bike for Christmas, a Cannondale Caad5. I didn't break it to him yet that he can't have a cigar while he's on his bike. He'll be sad but he's going to have to learn fast to keep up with Mallory anyway so he won't have time to be thinking about a cigar. Maybe I can find them a century ride to do together that includes a cigar in the goody bag? Oooh, now there' s an idea. Forget the gel packets in the goody bag. Just get some red wine and cigars and you'd reach a whole new market of cyclists!

Just so you don't think I didn't ride my bike yesterday, I did that too for an hour before I rode the horse. Then I ate a fabulous meal cooked by the amazing Mallory. We had turkey and stuffing and cranberries and potatoes and lots of great wine and conversation.

After dinner I flopped into an enormous beanbag chair and thanks to the wine I had a hard time getting out of it to go home. What a wonderful way to spend Christmas. Thanks Mal & Gary!

Monday, December 19, 2005

Ramble & Flail

ow ow ow. I went skiing on Sunday at Lapham Peak Park, which is a hilly state park with fantastic ski trails. Rachel and her friend Lori and Bryan Smith and Jordan were there (although we didn't see the boys until the end). Me, Rachel and Lori took turns leading through the hilly wooded trails, stopping now and then to let our heartrates get back down to zone 4. That's a joke--I was supposed to ski in zone 2 but that didn't happen.

At one of our rest stops we discussed whether we were doing the V1 or the V2 version of skate skiing. Since all of us are self-taught, we weren't sure. In the end Rachel suggested that her technique was "ramble and flail." I liked I decided that's what I'd call my skating method.

I did 3 hours and my ass is on fire. I think we did about 3000 feet of climbing, the equivalent of 30,000 one legged squats. This is going to be an easy day, likely with a walk while my glute muscles unwind. Even better, I'll poach on my neighbor's hot tub tonight!---rebecca

Tough Girl Points Competition begins!

Note snow...note bike...I managed a 1.5 hour ride and got 200 tough girl points too.--rebecca

Friday, December 16, 2005

"Food" for Thought

Here's a thought in anticipation of abundant holiday food that is sure to be around in the next few weeks:
It is always said that in the off-season, you should eat less to compensate for the decrease in calories burned in relation to decreased training.
Perhaps instead, we need to continue training our digestive system and our appetites by eating the same amount in anticipation of the hard workouts we'll be doing in Spring. Ha!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Relaxing after the kill. Gabby, the murderess.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Gabby 1: Rabbit 0

My dog is a murderer. Last night she escaped the yard while I was shoveling. I saw her booking down the street at about 50k/hour and didn't see her again for nearly 3 hours. I went out around 10:30 in my jammies only to find her outside the fence, sitting in the snow eating something. I managed to get her in the yard but she wouldn't let me come near her to see what goody she had. I finally outsmarted her and caught her by the collar only to find the hind quarters of a freshly quartered bunny rabbit. GROSS.

So training is going well and I think I'll be skiing this weekend since we have fresh snow. I get my new skiis today...yipppeeeeeee! I cannot wait to get on skiis. Maybe JT will skate with me and give me a lesson? She dropped me like a box of rocks last time we skiied (she has won some very big ski races). Minty wants to try skating so maybe I'll give her a lesson.

I talked to Mama Schmitt last night--she's sounding good and it's great to hear she'll be on the training wagon now too. Also talked to Betsy yesterday and she and Natlie are such cowgirls already. We have the best team!! I can't wait for our spring trip!!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

And Then I Fell Off a Cliff

I did decide to go on said 'Epic' mountain bike ride on Saturday morning in Pasadena California. The day started out safely enough with a 1 hour drive to the mountains in Pasadena. Everyone met in the parking lot of the trail head. There were about 8 guys and me. I was pretty nervous about being able to keep up with all these experienced mountain bikers on their home turf. The ride started unassumingly enough with a lazy roll on a gravel fire road. Then the single track started. I had to 'get my balls back' as Jordan would say, as I hadn't mountain biked since the beginning of August. It is weird to accept the fact that if you just keep pedaling, you will roll right over those foot-tall boulders and right through that 8-inch-deep mountain stream and right up that 45 degree ascent (at least it looked that steep!). Well, some of those things are easier said than done, and I ended up walking most of the first section of trail. I was quickly dropped and thought about turning around. I didn't. The group met up after each section of trail to make sure everyone was okay and keep going.

There were three main single-track sections at the beginning, and then we turned onto a fire road and started climbing. And we climbed and climbed and climbed and climbed and climbed and climbed and climbed and climbed. This was probably one of the longest climbs I have ever done. I kept thinking the road would pop into some single track, but the fire road continued and was never less than 10% and probably got up to ~20%. I was loving my granny gear! I was also able to prove that I'm not a total chuffer as I did beat some of the dudes to the top of the mountain.

After about 2 hours of climbing, it was time to go back down. I debated about telling everyone I'd see them at the bottom and taking the fire road back, but against my better judgment, I popped into the single track along with everyone else. The first section wasn't so bad. It was wooded, and slightly sticky since it had just rained the day before. I made it through unscathed and slightly more confident about my ability to make it to the bottom in one piece.

The second section was basically my worst mountain biking nightmare. It was a narrow trail switch-backing sharply down a steep mountain side with loose dry gravel. I was unable to make my bike go slow enough for my comfort level without the tires sliding out on the loose gravel. I crashed several times, each time managing to fall into the mountain side. At one point, I crashed into this prickly plant that stabbed me in my head through my helmet. I believe the mountain was attacking me. So, I was riding along trying not to die when an incredibly narrow section with a steep drop off came along. I was too scared to ride it, so I tried to stop. I slid and managed to come to a standstill teetering right on the narrowest section. At that point, the mountain won. My teeter tottered the wrong way, and I tipped straight over the edge. I screamed--an involuntary reaction that I didn't know I had--and landed about 10 feet down and then started rolling. My bike somehow separated from me, and as I continued to roll, I noticed some little shrubs passing by me at an incredible speed. It occurred to me that I should try to grab a branch of one of these little shrubs in order to stop my uncontrolled rolling down the mountain. I reached out and got one, and then just sat there in an unreasonable state of panic. After a while, I managed to get myself together and climb back up to the trail. Jordan had heard me scream, and he eventually made it back up the trail to help me get my bike. Needless to say, I walked my bike for the next several miles. Each time we came across another ledge/drop-off section, I started to hyperventilate. I realized that this was totally unreasonable and that I should just ride my bike, but I couldn’t. I have never had an anxiety attach before, but I wonder if that is what it is like? When we made it back to the next junction where I could choose fire road or single track, I chose the fire road!

Eventually, we came to the point where I had to ride the single track in order to get back to the car, so I sucked it up and went for it. This section was more wooded and muddy, so there was plenty of grip to my tires and no cliffs to fall off, so I made it to the bottom.

It was quite a day. Basically, I experience my worst fear on a mountain bike when I fell off the cliff, had an irrational phobia for several miles as I started hyperventilating every time I even walked over a narrow section of trail with a drop-off, was forced to face my fear when the only way back to the car was on single track, and actually had fun in the end. I don't imagine many people can say they've done all that in one day! Anyway, I'll be confining my future mountain biking to nice Wisconsin forests where you can never fall further than a few feet!


Sunday, December 04, 2005

New respect for spinner classes

Well this weekend I too trained in shorts and shirt!!! Saturday morning I woke up to a winter wonderland and realised that it would be an indoor training weekend. I wanted to break up the monotony of training in the basement, so I decided to do a spinner class at the local gym. As my coach knows, I have, or I should now say, I had a thing against spinning class. In my mind it was a bunch of wankers pretending they knew how to ride. Well, my opinion changed on Saturday. I reluctantly went to the local gym and participated in my first spin class, thinking it would be a walk in the park. Well what can I say, it literally kicked my butt!!!!!!!!!!!!
Within 10 minutes I was sweating enough to over come Colorados drought problem and by half way point, I was looking for the oxygen tank as the instructor urges us to push that little bit harder. "Up out of the saddle, then down, spin harder, faster, see the competition." I have never wanted something to be over so bad, I am sure that time stood still because every time I looked at the clock, it seemed to never change..........
Needless to say, I am now hooked I WANT to be the wanker that goes to the gym and does a spin class. I have also learnt the lesson, not to make a judgement on something until you have tried it first. Thanks coach for putting it in my program.
As for the picture... WOW looks as though you cowgirls know how to have fun ;) Are they supergirl pants??? Team issue???
Rachel, hope you got that epic mtb ride in and are healing well. Natalie - be careful on that ice, I teach little wankers like the one that took you out and they are EVERYWHERE!!!!!!!
Rebecca I am going to join you with a glass of wine, a girl can't drink alone!!!!!!!!!!!
Till next time....


Who wouldn't want to be on this team?

Saturday, December 03, 2005

A Run and a Muck

It was snowing and really cold today so I was inside surfing the net, purchasing some winter running shoes when my friend Mallory called to ask if I wanted to go running. After I talked her into buying the same shoes I drove over to her house. We both needed motivation to run and I said I'd help her clean the barn afterward. We ran the perimeter of her farm with all the dogs. It was a three mile slog through snow but fun. The dogs easily ran twice as far. After the run we drank some hot chocolate (real stuff--with milk!) and then headed out to the barn to muck stalls. Nothing like cleaning horse stalls to make you feel one with the world. All that poo, hay, stray cats--it doesn't get any better than that. I worked up an appetite and so did Gabby. Oh my gosh, would you look at that. Someone opened some red wine and it's sitting right here next to my wine glass. I'd say this was a good and lucky day. Til soon.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Road Rash in December!?

Today I managed to crash a beautiful Santa Cruz Julianna Mountain bike—while going in a straight line riding in the road! To make matters worse, it wasn’t my bike, but a loaner from the wife of one of the founders of Crank Brothers. Ahh! How embarrassing.

I was riding with Jordan down PCH—Pacific Coast Highway, and some other riders rode by in the other direction. One was wearing a Colavita kit, so I turned my head to see if I knew the person. As I turned, the fast-approaching traffic light turned yellow, and I turned back just in time to see my front wheel careening towards Jordan’s rear cassette. I tried to save it by leaning my front wheel into his rear. For a few precious moments, I thought I had it, then I lost conrtol with knobby tires rubbing against each other, and I ended up totally wiping out. Blood was running from both my knees and my hand, and my hip, elbow, and other hand were scraped. Upon initial surveillance, I didn’t detect any broken bones, so I told Jordan not to worry about me but make sure the bike was okay. Normally I think people are more important than bikes, but this wasn’t my bike. Argh! The bike looked fine, and we rode into town for a stop at the Drug Store where I purchased a plethora of first aid equipment.

I feel like a kid who wakes up with the flu on Christmas morning—we had an epic mountain bike ride planned for tomorrow, and today was just supposed to be an easy ride to spin out the legs and dial in the borrowed bikes. Now I’m so sore, and my knee hurts a lot; I hope I can still ride tomorrow!

On a more positive note, it was 71 degrees today in Laguna Beach, and I was wearing shorts and a jersey (though I suppose that proved to be a disadvantage as I believe leg warmers would have at least protected my knees from the pavement). I hope everyone is doing well.


Thursday, December 01, 2005

Hit and Skate

Today I opted for the ice rink and did some high quality-"speed" skating at the Pettit. When I usually skate, the ice rink is quite empty, which is beneficial for practicing my cross-overs; nobody has to worry about me sliding into them! Today, upon arrival the long track was a zoo! There were a few groups of very young up and coming skaters and then the seasoned 'pros.' I don't know if any were really professional but compared to me they were looking scary-fast!
I was a bit intimidated by all this commotion on the ice. I 'puttsed' around for awhile, getting adjusted to the heavy flow of traffic whizzing by me before attempting to take my skates up to some what of a 'speed.' As I began gliding along the ice increasing my speed, a little boy, only coming up to my waist, buzzed right by me, hooking my left skate, and causing me to go butt first sliding down the track. He, on the other hand skated away without even looking back. I think this would be known as a 'hit and run'..or in his case a 'hit and skate.' The initial contact of hitting the ice isn't too fun, but after that first insta-second, you have to just open your eyes, and enjoy the ride! Becuase that my readers, is awesome!
Well, regardless of how many cross-overs were/weren't a success, or even the 'hit and skate' incident, the rink time today was super fun!


Day 1: Trainer in Living Room

I kicked off my 2006 season with an hour on the trainer this morning. It was snowing anyway so I figured that rather than sit in traffic I might as well ride and get to work at the same time. I felt ok on the trainer. I felt better all day knowing I didn't have to worry about training at night!

So, teammies...send in your motivational training notes. Did you ride today?