Sunday, June 27, 2010

Mt. Morris-Subaru Cup XC

Friday I drove up to Mt. Morris. Kevin had just gotten back from NY so I wanted to wait to wish him a happy birthday before I left. Got there around 4 and met up with Rachael to do the preride. We set off and for some strange reason my Specialized shoes kept on unclipping with every single little bump. I rode the first lap frustrated with my shoes and before the second I went back and changed to my Northwaves.(glad I brought and extra pair!) Second lap was much better and I was totally digging the course.We went back to the hotels and got showered and all went to dinner. We went to a Mexican Restaurant(Po Po's) that used to be a Denny's or Friendly's. The menu was the old menu but an added section with Mexican fare. We were all really surprised that our plates looked just like the pictures and the food was good. We went home and it was time for sleep.

Got up early and headed over to the course so I could watch the Cat 2 races and hang a bit before having to get warmed up to race. Around 10 it was time to get changed and do a warm up. I hit the road for a bit and got the legs going. Rachael and I then headed over to the staging area. I was glad that there were no series call ups because sometimes those call ups tend to put some people on the front row that really shouldn't start there.  I made sure that I got a spot on the line and was ready to go. 

Don did his thing and we were off. I had a great start and hit it hard. It paid off cause when I looked back I had a nice gap on the rest of the field and knew I would be able to hold this pace all the way up. My strategy was to haul ass up the climbs and make the girls work to catch me but my plan was spoiled when I saw the congo line of Cat 1 men at the entrance of the single track.  There was nowhere to go except wait in line. Foot down and all the women soon assembled in line with me. Stuck in the congo line for 2 or 3 sections of single track sucked. It was slow and guys kept bobbling on the rocks which then made us constantly running around them or putting a foot down. At one point in the congo line one of the women decided to go off the course and then back in a few spots ahead. I was thinking what the hell was that? In cross if you cut off the course you need to go back in where you went out, tape or no tape but I guess its just an etiquette thing to not do that in mt biking.  It pissed me off but there was nothing I could do but try to keep my spot and not let others sneak by like that. Things started to spread out a little and we were able to ride almost at speed. I was feeling good about keeping the girl in range until the guy in front of me went down and I got caught up with him as Lisa blew by.  Finally we were out of the single track and in a nice power section. I went to my big ring and got chain suck and had to stop pedaling to keep the chain from getting wedged up in my chainring and Robin flew by me. I got going but I didn't want to risk miss shifting again so it was the small ring for the rest of the race.(I have XX so it isn't the granny thank goodness!) At some point in the downhill single track I let Lori go ahead of me so I could follow her lines. We hit the section with the tight uphill switchbacks and the rock drop. I rode the switchbacks but when I went to do the rock drop I ended up sitting on the rock. People were yelling at me to get up but I was kind of enjoying the rest and hopped back on the bike. I was able to get back on Lori's wheel as we went through the lap through and charged up the hill passing and gaping Lori. From there I would remain for the rest of the race, in fourth. 

Second lap went well and I felt really strong on the climbs. I got back to the rock drop section and rocked out the switchbacks and as I was about to go over the rocks I chicked out and put my foot down. The whole 3rd lap I kept on seeing Becca(?) so I wanted to keep things steady through the single track and hit the hills with everything I had.   Kept on thinking about the rocks as I started the switchbacks and decided to dismount and run them. This was actually a good decisions since I was able to get through it fast. I then finished up the last bit of single track to the finish. It was weird racing 3 short laps. It would have been nice to do another since the course was awesome! I was and still am stoked about getting 4th in my first race of the season especially with the field being 35 women!

Spent the next 7 hrs with Rachael watching the pros race and then waiting around for the awards with John, Lori, Mark, Cale, and Katy. Got some CASH and then headed for home to celebrate Kevin's birthday which was on Thursday. 

Thursday, June 24, 2010

12 opps! 10 Hours of Muir

Saturday we were given a bit more time in the AM due to a later start for the 12 hr Muir race. A couple months ago Kevin Heppner asked Tom and I to do the 12 hr team event. We then snagged Jason Labella a few days before the race to be our fourth. 

Tom started us off and I made him promise not to run like a candy ass to his bike(he usually likes to do this just to annoy me). He ran like a normal human and got right up there in about 6th position. An hour ten later he came rolling in muddy as hell. Trails were a mess and he went down a few times. Jason was next and he was planning on doing 2 laps in a row.

I got suited up just in case he only wanted to do 1 and waited for him. He came in and yelled for me to go. I then set off planning on doing 2 in a row too. My first lap was slow due to the mud. Every corner in the blue was messy and slick so you would pick up speed and have to slow down before making the turn and then accelerate out again and again. I came through and felt good so I then set off on my second lap. It was a totally different course. Things were drying up and getting fast. I finished my second and Heppner set out for his lap. Things were getting faster and soon after Tom's second(fastest time for our team @1:01) we realized we were going back and forth for 2nd place.

Jason had gone off for his second lap and again was planning for 2 in a row. If this happened it would put me with the responsibility of the last lap. Again, I got ready just in case and watched as the other team came in a few minutes ahead of Jason. Again, Jason was screaming for me to go, he had crashed into a tree.  I was taken by surprised and wasn't quite prepared to go. Legs were tight from sitting around and as I was busy tightening my helmet through the kids section hoping my legs would loosen up fast. Legs came around quickly and the course was perfection. I got in a good groove and was flying. I was passing people left and right. When I turned onto the orange to go the opposite way towards the white I saw the guy from the team in 2nd. Since it was a slight climb and I knew the white trail really well I quickly got right on this guys wheel. He asked if I wanted to pass but I said just keep the steady pace for now. Well, what has been happening a lot, again happened. He started to ride a little bit faster and then hit the deck. This has been happening a lot lately as I ride behind guys that don't know me. They realized a girl is behind them and can hang and all of a sudden they pick up speed and then crash. I went around him and was gone after that. I kept my groove and "girled" Russell, Tim, and Bubba. I came in a few minutes ahead of the guy and had my best lap time of 1:04!

Heppner set out for the last lap but couldn't hold off the charge of their last guy. That guy did the lap in under an hour. We only lost to second by a few minutes. Not bad for our team against an all guys team. We had a blast hanging out with everyone. Kenny put on a great race!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

No Race, No 90 day Picture

Last minute on Sat. I decided not to race and instead enjoy time with my family. I also forgot to take pictures on day 90. So no race results or write up and no 90 day pictures like I promised.

Sat. morning I did my leg opener thinking I was still racing and later in the day hit Kettle with Tom. I got back and made dinner with Kevin and watched the Blackhawks win game 1! On Sunday Kevin, Tom, Mark and I rode Kettle. At Emma I ran into Jason. That was fun hanging on his wheel back to the lot. Then I  went out for one last orange loop with Kevin. Kevin was delighted that I was trying to see how fast I could go into the corners and had a good chuckle when I washed out on one of them. I really love the orange loop climb. They did an excellent job with it.

Mark and Tom came back to our house for some food and adult drinks. It was a beautiful bug free evening.  On Monday we got up early so we could get things done before heading back to Chicago. I rode at Kettle while Kevin hit the road for a training ride. I then planted cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce and peppers in my little garden on the deck. I still am looking for strawberry plants to test out my topsy turvy garden.  We left the WI house around 2 thinking there might be some traffic but got really lucky and were in Chicago a little before 4. This gave us enough time to get settled and caught up before the Blackhawks game. The Blackhawks won which was a great way to end the long weekend.

Now I am officially done with p90x and completely devoted to my bike training. I am feeling a little at a loss not having the schedule of the p90x and a slight fear that everything I worked for will disappear quickly. I probably will try to do some maintenance stuff as soon as school is out. June 18th is the magic day!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Day 90 + 1st MTB Race = May 30

Wow I just realized that my day 90 of p90x is the same as my first mountain bike race of the season, WORS Big Ring Classic.  Hopefully I can BRING IT like I have been with p90x! I'm a bit worried since it is very early in my bike training and the p90x hasn't been the greatest at giving me speed, in fact it has slowed me down a bit so my body could build all the lean muscle.(that's what all the forums say and I really believe it)

I have been extremely overwhelmed the last few weeks of p90x because my bike training has stepped up a bit. Combine 1:30 to 2hrs of interval training on the bike and then another 1:15 of p90x, plus work; I barely have time to do normal chores of life.  When I have a rest day from the bike, I have a workout for p90x, and when I have a rest day for p90x, I have a workout for the bike. Needless to say, I haven't had a day of doing absolutely nothing since I started in March. I miss that....

Well there will be no excuses on Sunday from me.  I've had a lot of people say to use it as a training race to see where I am at but unfortunately I will be my competitive self, as there is no off button for that in my body. A race is a race, there is no training ride during a race. You do that before and after a race.  Will post Day 90 pics and race report next week. Wish me luck!

Monday, May 24, 2010

The OFF Seaon with BEACHBODY

So right after Nationals, I had it in my head that I was going to try and maintain as close as possible my race weigh. Now when one isn't racing it is very hard to do, but it was my goal that I needed to set to get me through the holidays and wintry weather.  Along with this goal, I had seen for like the 100th time(I am sure most of you have seen it) the infomercial for P90X . Thinking that p90x was mainly for guys, I checked out the website Beachbody that sold p90x and decided to do Charlene Extreme . This is also a 90day muscle building program.  I told a few people what I had ordered(they were laughing and as skeptical as myself) and wanted to actually see what this program could for my already in shape self. I figured since I hate lifting weights and this will make me do it, which couldn't hurt.

Dec. 23 I started but didn't take any pictures(I am kind of mad at myself for not). By day 30 I was seeing some results and was only off my race weight by a pound. I also noticed my running pace picking up significantly due to the plyometrics portion of the training. By day 60 I was in awe of my nicely shaped shoulders and arms that I decided to order and start p90x . So around day 70 I was now switching to p90x. 

For this I took pictures..Day 1- 75 are below. Can't figure out how to align these. I am on Day 85 today so Day 90 pictures to come. This really works but it definitely has been a challenge with my bike training. Thank goodness my Coach, Brian Conant, has done part of p90x so he has been taking it easy on me so I can finish this round strong.

Day 1
 Not the greatest shots since I couldn't figure out how to get the flash off the camera.

 DAY 15 & DAY 20

 DAY 30 
      DAY 60 (next 2)                                                                        
DAY 75 (these 3)                                                           
All of a sudden my abs really popped out!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Planet Bike/WCA Series Win
A special thanks to our supporters, sponsors and Aaron Hayes for building me an exceptional bike frame. Alex from Roscoe Village Bikes was a great help...building multiple wheel sets, bikes all at the 11th hour before the first race. He dropped what he was doing in terms of his business and always supported us with last minute fixes and building all this stuff Wednesday before the first race. Even if I needed wheel builds for my mountain bikes or stringing up cables on a travel bike.

Thanks again to Brian Conant for helping me get faster this year and properly managing fitness peak and dealing with my last minute business travel and schedule changes.

Also, thanks to the individuals, sponsors, organizers for the Chicago Cyclocross Series and the WCA Planet Bike Series. 4 years ago there were few cross races in the area. Next year, I hope both series can better coordinate to offset the overlap of these races. More racers more fun for each event. We still had 22 race days this year but could always do a few more.