Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Getcha one!

It finally arrived, however, all I can currently do is look at it, as the weight weenies at Specialized thought it would be a good idea to put the shortest seatpost possible on this bike. Sorry guys, but if its too short for Mrs. 5'3"....

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Run Randall Run!

People have been asking me what my plans are for 2009 and I happily keep telling them that I don't really have any...except for a few early season events that I've already signed up for. The big shocker...they are all running events. Against my better judgement, I signed up for the Red Top Rumble, an 11.5 mile trail race in February, and I'm supposed to be teaming up with Thomas "the Hitman" Turner for the Blankets Creek Dirty Duathlon.

So I'm doing way more running than usual..3-4 times a week and my pace over my usual 8 mile course is the fastest its ever been..just under an hour. The problem is, that while I'm pretty respectable on a scale of 30-yr-old-women-who-don't-consider-themselves-runners over longer distances, I still lack the foot speed to run a sub-twenty minute 5K. (6:27 min/mile)

I went to the track today to run some 200m and 400m intervals and I learned one very important thing...I one-hundred percent totally SUCK at running fast. I'm so ashamed of my times that I won't even post them, but lets just say those Olympic marathoners run faster for 26 miles than my gasping, drooling, flailing 400m pace. Even worse was my 200m speed. Damn, I was WAY faster when I ran track when I was 13...which is pretty pitiful. I've been told that it gets easier, and that I just need to "retrain" my muscles for speed. We'll see, but in the mean time, I'm trying not to trip or pull any muscles!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Bike Fell Off the Sleigh!

Seems the chubby man in red lost some precious cargo en route to Canton, GA. Hopefully my new ride will make it here today or tomorrow. I'm not sure if I'm excited yet or not, as I've managed to get along quite nicely without a FS bike for several months..and I'm really digging the IF. I'm currently drooling over a Custom IF Ti Singlespeed - same exact geometry as my Ti Deluxe, but with a real SS dropout because I'm tired of dealing with chain tensioners. Wish I still had a hookup with those guys becuase I just can't bring myself to pay 3K+ for a frame, even if it is handbuilt in the USA...grrrr...

If OutSpokin' started carrying IF, then Lisa's world would be nearly perfect. (hint Kevin if you read this!)

I WILL need the new Specialized S-Works for TransRockies in 2010, as I'm not sure I could survive 7 straight days on a hardtail SS.

As far as my not-training training, it was more NOT last week as I fell off the wagon and indulged in about 5 pounds of Christmas Cookies. I have several rides planned this week so I'm looking forward to some time in the mountains.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Tired of washing my bike

After getting pounded with rain yesterday and last night, we decided to head down to Dauset this morning, as we hoped they didn't get any rain. As we got close to the trail, we noticed the roads were wet, so of course I thought "whoopee! another soggy ride and an hours worth of cleaning gear and bikes after the ride..."

As it turned out, the trails weren't too bad, except for the huff and puff connector which was just a boggy mess that spewed mud and slop all over our bikes and bodies. Note to self...avoid this trail next time around. By our third lap, the wind and sun had done a pretty good job of drying the trails out so it was actually pleasant riding.

We got home before the bottom fell out of the thermometer, but I still had frozen fingers by the time I finished washing my bike...for the third time this week. We've got a day of wretched cold (highs in the 30s) weather tomorrow that my father in law from Chicago must be bringing with him. I think it was like 8 degrees up there today...

We'll have a full house for the holidays...5 people and 4 cats. Thankfully we at least outnumber the cats or they might turn on us!

Saturday, December 20, 2008


This morning I awoke to rain pounding on our bedroom windows, but against my better judgement, I hitched up the wagon and headed up to Ellijay for the Chilly Dawg ride, hosted by Cartecay Bikes. After checking the doppler radar, I had convinced myself that it surely would be done raining by the time we started riding. I was pretty happy to see some other people up there when I arrived - hopefully I could convince at least one of them that it wasn't too nasty to ride.

As luck would have it the rain subsided to a mist, and everyone suited up and headed out. I was too lazy to ask Chris to put my climbing gear on the SS, so I was a little worried I'd be hating life on the long climbs. Turns out it wasn't too bad and just made me get them over with that much faster. Think strong like bull...

There were only three of us who did the longer ride, and I think if I wasn't dead set on doing the longer ride, everyone would have opted for the short route. The roads up to Winding Stair Gap and Springer Mountain were pretty soupy, and more than once I could have sworn my back tire was flat because I'd lose my momentum all of sudden. Of course once I made the descent down from Springer and hit the pavement, it started pouring so that I was thoroughly saturated by the time I finished the ride.

We sat down for some post-ride chili and then I packed up and jumped in the FX to head home. I throw it in reverse to back out of the grass where I parked and conveniently get myself stuck in the mud. F'ing [expensive] piece of $hit 2WD SUV!!!! We tried pushing and putting stuff under the tires to no avail. Thankfully we were at a fire station and had some heavy equipment at our disposal, however no one was really sure how to use any of it. I also couldn't find the damn tow hook on my car so, against my better judgement, we ended up throwing a chain around the axle and pulling it out with a bigazz off-road fire truck that easily weighed 5 times that of my car. I figured it was worth the risk, as I'd never hear the end of it if I had to have Chris rescue me from that Fire Station again...

You see, he had rescued me from there a long, long time ago, when myself and two others miserably flunked the ORGT map and compass school (I know, shocking!). I was the only one who had a significant other who could/would come get us, so he had to drive up to Ellijay from GA Tech to rescue our sorry bunch.

Anyways, it doesn't appear that we did any permanent damage to the car, and I got a nice lesson when I got home where the tow hooks were and how to hook everything up...not that I plan on driving the FX on any wet, soggy grass again anytime soon.

Anyhow, it was still a good use of an otherwise crappy day, and the Cartecay folks put on a nice ride that was well worth the drive.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Good Weekend, No Pics : (

Had a nice weekend, although it could have been warmer. Saturday I pre-rode the Blankets Creek Dirty Duathlon Bike course. It was 14 miles exactly, but it may be a bit too long for some of our racers. I might look at shortening it to 12 miles like last year so that the slowest racers are done in 3 hours.

Sunday, Kim and I went to the Bull Mtn area and did an nice fireroad/ATV trail climbing ride. I was expecting temps in the 50's but I'm glad I over dressed since it never hit 50 at the low elevations and up high it was hovering near freezing. Lots of icicles on the rock outcrops and icy patches on the roads. The descent off winding stair gap felt a good bit colder than last weekend but it was still fun and the ride was much more singlespeed-friendly than I had anticipated.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Taking my off week seriously

So my plan of non-training has gone pretty well. By non-training, I managed to do about 50 hours of activity over the last 3 weeks (yes, I still write it down AFTER I do it). With a long training "race" last Saturday, and a lot of time spent in the gym, I figured I'd better give myself a break...and thats exactly what I have been doing. Lots of sleep and lounging around. I did decorate the house with Christmas lights and yesterday I built the cats a carpeted "cat tree" as I like to call it. Truth be told, I had planned on a long singlespeed ride up near Bull Mtn, but it rained pretty hard all day, so I just stayed home instead.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

How do I know its Wednesday?

Because this is coming tomorrow:

Yep, it never fails...always on my long ride days...crappy weather. Sure, the temps will be near 60, but then again, we'll be in the middle of a downpour! Cleaning bikes? Ugh... Cleaning bike clothing? Ugh... Riding on mushy roads? Ugh... This vicious cycle of happy-sunny while I'm at work and dismal-doom-gloom on my days off is sure to continue for the next 3 months, so I'm going to go to my happy place:

After this week, things should certainly improve though...between business travel, holiday vacation, and working from home, I only have to go into the office 3 times during the next three weeks, which is definitely a good thing.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Bull Mtn Mock Race and Orienteering Meet

Jay Scott and I met up near Bull Mtn and participated in the Bull Mtn Mock Race. Detailed race report is on the TrailBlazer Forum.

Some highlights:

The first trek we attacked counterclockwise, and everything went according to plan except for us getting separated on the prologue. I ran up the trail, but Jay must not have seen me turn and head up as he ran up the road, which took a few minutes longer.

We hoofed it up to the top of Springer and I distinctly remember saying "This one BETTER be up there!!" we get up there, search around for a bit but come up empty handed - not even a sign of flagging tape. Grrr and Brrrr as the wind was whipping through there making standing around scratching our heads not the preferred activity. Back down...grumble grumble...briefly contemplated asking for my $10 back.

The final trek was way back up near Sringer Mtn and Jay wasn't feeling super great, but he went along anyway so I wouldn't be eaten by wild boars in the dark.

We had 4 hours to ride up, do the trek, and get back - which I thought was plenty...Nope, not quite!

From the road we carefully crossed the creek, taking care to keep our feet dry and after scurrying up the bank on the other side, were greeted with the nastiest bunch of vegetation you could imagine.

OMG!!! Is there such a thing as Old Growth Rhodo?? I'm pretty sure we found it! 15-20' tall bushes with fallen trees intermingled creating a thatching that made travel unbelieveably slow. To add insult to injury, there were little snow and ice patches, so every once in a while you'd step on a log, lose your footing, fall over and become completely entangled in the whole mess.

We rode hard enough back up to Winding Stair Gap to actually be warm flying back down to the TA, and it was actually fun! The roads were super tacky and smooth, so you could just rail around the corners. Big Smile! We finished up at about 9:15, and then cermoniously burned our passports in the fire.

On Sunday, Chris and I headed to an orienteering meet. I actually didn't feel THAT bad, but I must not have been moving all that fast since I got smoked by Chris and a bunch of other folks. I didn't even screw anything up too bad, but I did learn that you should go to the bathroom BEFORE you start the course - not on the way to the first control!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


29 degrees...yeah, brrr

I decided to bail on my solo ride in Ellijay and just stay closer to home, thinking I could hit Blankets once it warms up above freezing. Supposedly, the gate is still closed as peeps are bitching and moaning that they drove up all the way up here this morning and it was still locked. Seeing as it was dry yesterday, I'm hoping someone goes over there and unlocks it BEFORE 5 pm, when it starts getting cold and dark. I dare not jump the gate, lest I be labelled as a reckless "gate-jumper" and rumors will fly about how I jumped the gate with my ATV and 8 reindeer and tore up the trails beyond repair. Hell, I'm even afraid to ride PAST the gate on Sixes Rd (even though I freakin' live here) for fear of mockery and ostracization. Yeah, its a rough crowd up in these parts...

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Drying Out

Pretty dismal weekend...wet, rainy, 40's, phooey. I wasn't in the mood to clean my bike, so Kim and I went for a hike on the AT/Benton MacKaye Trails today. It rained most of the time (actually the sun came out when I pulled into my driveway after returning home...) but it wasn't so bad. Gear cleanup consisted of just hanging stuff up to dry as opposed to soaking heaps of mud-crusted clothing and picking dirt out of my ears/nose if we would have gone riding. So, in short, not so bad and a nice end to the weekend. Back to the grind tomorrow...

Thursday, November 27, 2008

While you were stuffing yourself with stuffing...

Snake Creek Gap today - had the whole place to ourselves...

Gobble, Gobble

First ride at the Snake on the made the climbs go by much faster!

Random dead guy on the side of the trail.

Still some leaves on the trees (although it sure SEEMED like they were all on the ground!)

Not sure what hurts more..the downhill or the uphill..

Now WE'VE earned our stuffing!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Wednesday Ride

Had a nice ride in the mountains today around Bear Creek and the Pinhoties. I took Green (my SS) for a spin after we put a "climbing" gear on it last night. I checked my ride time after Pinhoti 2, and surprisingly, I was just as fast on the SS as I am on my fastest geared-bike runs. Funny, since I'd alternate between working hard and hardly working...and I was really cautious on the descents. The combination of fresh leaves and being alone made me not want to push any limits. Perhaps what this really says is that I don't know how to use my gears efficiently, or maybe I'm just a big wimp, opting for an easier gear, just because its there.

This is the first time I've actually done any sustained climbs on the SS and I do think I prefer the Up-Down-Up-Down-Up-Down type of trails to the Up-Up-Up-Down-Down-Down type. The SS is a great tool for rolling trails when you just want to go fast and can recover after the hard efforts. In the mountains, it seems to be more of a device of suffering, especially on the 4-5 mile climbs. That being said, I still had fun and enjoyed the challenge so I'm sure I'll do it again - maybe even tomorrow since the weather will be good and we don't have any plans for Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Why train when you can just ride?

This was posted on BikesnobNYC a couple weeks back and it still cracks me up. After years of racing and beating the crap out of my body, I'm pretty much at a level of grumpiness that is summed up below:

"Personally, I'm against training. In fact, I feel that if you're against doping in cycling, then you should be against training too. Some riders have access to more and better training, which in turn forces their competitors to attempt to match that training in order to level the field. In turn, the former riders seek out increasingly esoteric training methods to reclaim their advantage. The result is a cycle as vicious as it is dorky, and as anybody who's spent any time around bike racers knows, training (like drugs) can take a horrible toll on a person. Sure, training is much less likely to kill you than drugs are, but in large doses, it is almost guarenteed to make you incredibly boring and unpleasant to be around. If I want to have fun, I'll ride my bike. But if I want to spend a lot of time around people who constantly monitor their bodies with electronics, can't drink alcohol, and go to bed early, I'll volunteer my time at a hospital."

So that's training plans for a while. If I ride 25 hours in 3 days, its because I've planned an over-ambitious, spur-of-the-moment 3 day epic over a warm weekend, not because that's what a piece of paper says I should do. I WILL NOT spin for hours this winter on the trainer, and if I can't suck it up and drag myself outside to ride (hell, I only live a mile from 15 miles of trails) then I ought to just not ride. Yes, this winter I'm going to try the "riding for fun" non-training plan and see how that goes.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Whew..I'm tired! O-Meet and Cyclocross today!

Our day started at the crack of dawn, having to get up at 5:30 a.m. and load up to head to our Sope Creek Orienteering meet. Once there, Chris, Kim and I spent about an hour hanging bags and then stood around and got cold for the next 2 hours. It was a chilly 29 degrees when we got there, so I was anxious for it to warm up. Julia arrived a bit later and I got her and Kim squared away on registration so I could leave and head over the the State Championship Cross race.

The race was on a fairly twisty, power course with four dismount sections, including one long sand pit/rooty climb/90 degree barrier run section. I, of course, had only a so-so start, mostly due to lack of effort on my part...but I'd rather ease into it and not burn all my matches off the line. Once we hit the sand pit section, I moved from 6th to 3rd just by booking it through the sand and barrier combination. I powered up the next climb and hit the pavement with first and second place just a few seconds up. I closed the gap really quickly and figured, hell, since I've got the momentum, I'll just pass them and keep on going. The three of us soon got a gap on the rest of the field and I ended up leading our happy threesome for about three laps. I couldn't really size the other two up, as they were behind me, but I wasn't gapping them - so I figured they were feeling strong. I didn't feel like I was handling my bike very well in the corners (uh..MAYBE BECAUSE YOU HAVE NEGLECTED YOUR CROSS BIKE FOR TWO YEARS!!!), so I needed to stay in front and save enough energy to give it all I had on the final sand pit/barrier section.

On what was supposed to be our 3rd lap from the finish I picked a bad line through a loose corner and wiped out. (Above pic was taken just before "the crash"). Thankfully I didn't get run over by the two behind me, but they attacked big time while I was down and got a gap on me. On our two to go lap, I just tried to ride steady and save something for the bell lap. Unfortunately, we all got lapped by the Men's B leader on that lap so our race was over upon completion of that lap. I had completely forgotten about that little caveat of cyclocross, so I was a bit frustrated when I learned the race was over and I wasn't at least able to give it one last big push. A non-GA resident ended up winning the race, so I ended up with the Silver Medal for the Georgia State Championships. Not bad, but its a lot more fun to be on top of the podium! I may have just created a monster that I've dipped my toes back in the CX pool, I want to jump back in! With a little bike handing practice, some intervals, and perhaps not spending 4 hours in the gym lifting the week before, I might have a figthing chance : )

After awards I had to jump in my car and head BACK to Sope Creek to spend an hour running around and picking up orienteering bags. All I could think about was food and a coke, but sadly I had already gobbled up every scrap of food in my car. I had to resort to chugging a bunch of egg nog the moment I walked through the door. After Chris got home he said the meet had near record attendance so they all had their work cut out for them while I was off riding around in circles.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Its the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Oh how I love the holidays. I know they aren't officially here, but they are coming! The holidays are great for many reasons...I get to see family members that I only see once or twice a year, I get a bunch of paid days off at work, and most of all...


Quite possibly the world's best tasting recovery drink! This one even ranks higher than chocolate milk and sweet tea on the yummy-o-meter. I wish they stocked this stuff in the stores year round, but then again, I might be sporting an Egg-Nog Belly if they did that.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Gym Rat (warning: cynical content!)

Yes, I think I can officially start calling myself a "gym rat". There are some upsides to being a gym rat never rains in the gym, you don't get frozen fingers and toes in the gym, and there's generally a bunch of people around for motivation - a handful of ripped athletes that you want to be like, and a whole bunch of others that serve as a warning of what you'll look like should you stop exercising. I also figure I'm saving huge amounts of time by just not having to "layer-up" each time I work out.

I'm mainly there to lift weights and swim, however I have been known to hit the treadmill occasionally. Mundane but effective for helping to increase my running cadence. I'm hoping to grow some upper body muscles to balance myself out a bit better, as right now I have Popeye legs and Olive Oyl arms. I'm still fairly strong though and can crank out five pull-ups despite my scrawny appearance and incessant whining anytime I have to lift something heavy. My goal is to get back up to my upper body strength of my rockcliming days when I could do 15 pullups and hang off a couple of granules of sand with my pinky.

There are some things I WON'T do in the gym though..such as go to a spin class.... Now I'll go to a spin class at a BIKE SHOP or jump on the trainer at home occasionally...but, at the gym, ugh, I just can't bring myself to do it. Watching the soccer-moms coming out of spin class with their pristine, not-a-speck-of-dirt-on-'em, shiny new Sidi's is like some form of sacrilege to me...utterly shameful, and I just can't be a part of it. Its like some form of wanna-be biking and the thought of it makes me shudder. What's worse is nearly everyone I see in the locker room ASSUMES that I'm going to spin class (despite clearly not being dressed for it) and asks me all kinds of questions about it...sigh...

Anywho...sold the Turner - Yay! One less bike to fall on my car now that I have to park in the garage because its damb cold and frosty in the morning. We're finishing up mapping and course layout for our GAOC meet this weekend, but of course we waited until the last minute and now we're scrambling to get it all done. Come out and see us because it will suck to do all this work and have no one show up because its cold and windy outside.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

For Sale: Small 2007 Turner Nitrous - SOLD

The time has come for me to send this one to a good home! Fork seals have just been replaced and bike includes extra derailleur hanger, new Turner decals, and replacement spokes for the Mavic SLR wheels. This bike was a custom build, approximate weight is 24 lbs. Charcoal custom color. Good condition - some rock scuffs here and there, but mechanically sound and a TransRockies winner.

I'm hoping to sell locally for $2000, so as not to have to deal with shipping, etc. (Retail price new approx. $5700)

Mavic SLR Wheels
Chris King Headset
XTR Shifters, Brakes, Derailleurs, Crankset, Cassette
New White SLR XP Saddle
Easton Monkey Lite SL Riser Bar
Fox F100 RLC Front Shock, RP23 Rear Shock
Thomson Masterpiece Seatpost, Thomson Elite Stem

Friday, November 14, 2008

One with the water...

Since I can't run or ride very effectively (well, at least not without serious modification to my left shoe) I've decided now is a good time to get back in the pool. My gym membership has become soley a donation to the YMCA for the past couple of months, so I'm glad to be using it again.

What I didn't realize is that my swimming form (did I EVER have any??), endurance and speed have gone south for the winter. I felt fine in the water and it SEEMED like I was moving pretty good, but the stopwatch tells a different story. Granted I couldn't kick very hard, but still...

I've also started lifting again, so look for my rock-hard beefcake body in a couple of months. I figured no reason my upper body can't do some work while my lower body recovers a bit. Only problem is my arms are so tired I can't even hold the hairdryer up long enough to dry my hair!

I'm anxious for my new Specialized S-Works to show up, although I have grown quite fond of my lightweight hardtail. Kevin at OutSpokin' tells me it should be here sometime in December, so perhaps it will be an early Christmas present. BTW - Does anybody want to buy a "gently used" Size Small 2007 Turner Nitrous? I'm also anxious to see what our kits look like for next year - I'm hoping we keep the same colors and don't end up with desert camo or something equally hideous.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Denied a ride..

After helping Chris do some O-meet course vetting at Sope Creek, I realized that the mystery burning sensation in my "good" ankle that I had during Nationals had not gone away. I have this strange ball of something or other that appears to be along one of the flexor tendons on the top of my foot. All I know is that when I put pressure on it, it BURNS, and conveniently every pair of running shoes or bike shoes I own seems to dig in RIGHT THERE. I swear, I'm a damn mess! So needless to say, I had to cancel my ride and waste a perfectly good, non-rainy Wednesday. Instead of zipping through the leaves, I'm pecking away at my keyboard catching up on some work..WORK..ugh.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Blue Ridge Blunder

Yeah, I messed this one up big time. We were doing well until I chose an agressive attack on a bike orienteering section. Why I thought we'd be able to pull it off while I was hurtin', in the dark, in the middle of the night is beyond me. When the going got tough, I got frustrated, demoralized and called it quits like a big freaking pansy. What a pity, as those that toughed it out stayed in the top ten. I suck. I'm done racing this year. I think I'm going to go back to riding around in circles, because I used to be pretty good at it back in the day.

Tomorrow on our ride, we will be revisiting that section during the day, in the opposite direction to see how we fare. My guess is that it will seem stupid easy.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Blue Ridge Bound

The wagons are loaded and we're about ready to roll out for the USARA National Championships. I really hope this is our year, but if we manage to somehow screw the pooch, then hopefully one of our friend's teams will take home the glory. We definitely need to protect our turf!

Soooooo.... with all the variables that make AR so interesting...I'm hoping the planets will align and the AR gods will bestow good fortune upon us that shall lead us to the podium.

I'm looking forward to feverishly working on maps tonight and not getting any sleep because my over-active brain will still be trying to process what the optimal route is...

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

2 Days

Everything is packed and ready to go. I've caught up on my sleep big time. Ankle actually feels good, although it has started itching for some reason (???). Got a brace that doesn't suck too bad. Staying away from sick people and just doing enough exercise to keep my legs from getting stiff and tight....

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

3 Days....

Whoo hoo, just got back from voting and didn't have to stand in line! Yay for me! I'm getting excited about Nationals, as my ankle gets better every day and all the tenderness seems to be going away. I have full range of motion and can run, jump, ride, and everything in between. I'd say I'm at 75% today and may well be up to 85% by the race. I ordered a bunch of ankle braces to try out and decide which one to wear during the race. I'll pick the least annoying of the bunch and send the others back.

I've got everything ready to go for Nats..all food is bought and packed and gear is ready to go. Just need to do some laundry and I'm set.

Monday, November 3, 2008

4 days...

left of healing until Nationals.... Got in an easy 2.5 hour road ride yesterday without any pain or discomfort, so that's a good thing. This morning at PT my therapist was so happy with my progress that he didn't make me endure the horrible milking massage. He set up an obstacle course of stair steps and cones that I had to jump over...which actually looked quite dangerous. I'm pretty sure most people with two good ankles would have ended up on their a$$es, but I made it though three times without incident and he seemed impressed. I think of all his patients, I'm probably the most excited to see him because I'm very motivated at this point to make as much progress as possible. Every session is like a competition in itself...don't lose balance on the tramoline or put a foot down trying to catch the basketball. I'm optimistic and looking forward to Nationals..and no, I don't think I'll be racing in knee-highs and pigtails (just not practical for this time of year).

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Night O

We went to the annual GAOC Night-O yesterday. I was pretty cautious as I didn't want to step in a hole or a pile of pinecones and tweak my ankle, so I was sportin' the trekking poles, oh yeah. I was able to get around just fine and I even jogged on the roads a bit. I had to put a clip on my poles to hold the map, although the whole map/pole/punchcard management was tough with my gloved hands. I took some longer routes on roads/trails, to avoid as much off-trail as possible, and I think I actually beat a fair number of people using this strategy. I picked up all the points that I had originally decided to go for and still had 20 minutes to spare...Enough time to go out for another point, but there was peach cobbler at the start/finish so I just parked my butt on a log and had some dessert. I promise not to be lured in by sweets at Nationals!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Trick or Treat

I am SO BUMMED that I need to/should sit out the CX race this Sunday...because this was going to be my costume....

There's nothing wrong with being the teacher's pet...

I'm pretty sure it would have gotten me some spectator points, and I'm sure Neal will have a thing or two to say. More torture at PT today..he did that horrible massage again and had me jumping around. Funny thing was the ankle felt better after all that. Maybe he knows what he's doing...

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Nationals Prep

So we got a bit of info yesterday in the form of a race update...apparently Nationals will be a 30 hour rogaine style event. VERY GOOD for least the rogaine part...but honestly I was hoping to only have to spend around 20 hours on my healing ankle, but I have my trekking poles, an ankle brace, and a full bottle of ibuprofen, so I should be set.

It is also expedition style...which means we have to carry all our food and extra clothing with us. How much food do you need for 30 hours??? Well, since I suck at eating when I'm out on course (and my teammates ALWAYS have extra food), I should probably pack 2000 calories and call it a day. But no, I have put together 6,500 calories - roughly 200 calories an hour. And I WILL EAT IT...mostly because I DON'T WANT TO CARRY IT. This 6,500 calories weighs about 5 pounds, but at least it doesn't take up too much space. I've decided I'll go light on water (because I also suck at drinking out on course), and just fill up at creeks (or drink my teammates water), since a full 100 oz bladder weighs about 6.8 lbs. Because of my gimp ankle, I'm trying to keep my pack weight 10 lbs or less, so that will mean stashing some of my gear in my teammate's packs (but they are strong like Spartans!) I also need to figure out a way to hide a bottle of Coke in someone's pack without them knowing...I tried that trick on Neal in Michigan last year and the bloody bastard drank half of it before I even had a sip!! Hence I learned..."if you aren't carrying it..its not really YOURS."

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Ankle Update

I went to the orthopedist yesterday where they took some x-rays and poked and prodded. Nothing is broken and my swelling has really gone down. His recommendation - take it easy for 4-6 weeks. Uh...hate to pee in your Cheerios Doc, but I'm planning on doing a pretty damn important race in two weeks!

I asked him for a script for PT so I could go see David Young at North Fulton Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine. I worked with David the last time I wrecked my ankle and he worked wonders, so despite him being an out-of-network provider on my new employer's insurance plan (thanks Cigna!), I wasn't taking any chances.

His opinion was a bit more optimistic than the ortho..he seemed to think two weeks might be enough time to get it back to reasonable shape. He took some measurements and said I likely keep turning my ankles because I am not flexible enough in the heel, and the outward rotation is the foot's way of compensating for that. Next it was ultrasound and a bunch of mundane strengthening exercises. The sad thing is that the exercises actually work! Next I had a "milking massage" which I should have known would be bad when he took me from the gym to an exam room. (so the others wouldn't hear my screaming, I suspect). It was pretty horrible, but effective and necessary to get all the remaining fluids out of my ankle area so it can heal. After enduring that, I will DEFINITELY be more diligent about stretching!

So I've got strenghtening exercises to do at home and I see him three more times before Nationals so I am very optimistic. I'll still have to be careful where I step, but if nothing else, it will slow us down a bit on foot so we can make better decisions.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Upstate Aftermath

Another one bites the dust! Well, at least I don't have to make the decision about going to Dubai...unfortunately its too early to tell if I'll be on the starting line at Nationals...

Most of the race was not very navigation intensive...not really my kind of bushwhacks allowed on the trek sections, lots of paved road riding, and of course the real mountain biking wasn't until AFTER I hurt myself so it was just completely miserable and tenuous.

We had a prologue run that one person had to do...apparently a volunteer directed some folks the wrong way - fantastic, off to a great start! We had Jay do the prologue while we stood around. Once he returned, we portaged our canoe down to the lake.

We were on the water in second, right behind Dart-Nuun and trailed them for much of the paddle until near CP1, when we arrived there first as Dart appeared to be confused and didn't see the channel between the islands. By the end of the two hour paddle, we were again tailing Dart and came off the water right behind them, transitioned, and then hopped on bikes about a minute behind them as we had to return to the TA for some running shoes...D'oh!

The bike was a 14 mile road ride to Table Rock, and it was pretty intense. Jay took us from 0 to 27 mph in about 4 seconds so I was hurting. We caught Dart-Nuun and rode into Table Rock with them. We took off on the first trek just in front of them.

Again, the pace was high up Pinnacle Mountain and I overdid it, as my stomach felt pretty bad for the next 6 hours until I finally...uh...dropped some weight. My legs were so worked on the uphill so I felt wobbly on the descent. We lost a couple of minutes here running right past the CP. I was too far in oxygen debt to notice it.

The next bike was another road ride, and I was completely wasted. I had no power and still hadn't recovered from the previous two legs, so we were moving pretty slow. (ok, I guess that's relative) We dropped our bikes and took off on the second trek with one of the CPZ teams.

We did the first part of the trek with CPZ until we realized we had overshot the trail intersection we were looking for. We all missed the trail because there were about 15 boy scouts all standing in front of the trail intersection signs...we thought it was a campsite, but when we crossed a creek, the warning light went off in my brain and we backtracked. We continued on the trek, picking up the next CP easily, and as we're jogging down the mostly downhill Coldspring Branch Trail, my footing gave way, and CRACK!!! I went down as my right ankle gave way beneath me. Oh, it hurt, but the pain subsided and I was able to walk on it and eventually was able to start jogging again.

When we reached the rocky Jones Gap Trail, I kept tweaking it on the uneven footing and was pretty much reduced to gimping along by CP11. When we arrived there, we found that we were the first full-course team there..WTF??? How does this happen? Physically I was having one of my worst races, and then you add in the hobbling...where did the other teams disappear to? This gave me some adrenaline and encouraged me keep gimping along. We climbed up to CP 12 and didn't see the CP at the falls. Our elevation there was lower than the plot, so we continued up the trail, losing it at times, but didn't see the CP as we reached the road. We debated whether we should go back to the falls, and started heading down, but after seeing so many other teams come back up empty handed, we took our chances and moved onto the TA.

The Camp Greenville TA was happy and sunny during the day...

But when we arrived, there was a 30 mph sustained wind and it was cold and miserable. Our gear was blowing around and it just wasn't the sanctuary I was hoping for. Chris taped my ankle, we downed some food, and took off for DuPont. I was hoping the biking was easier on my ankle, but it actually was worse. The stiff bike shoes were killing me and pedaling was actually more unpleasant that walking. Every bump made me cringe.

We picked up the first two CPs, spending considerable time scratching our heads near CP16, but unfortunately led Dart-Nunn to CP16, which they may not have found as their navigator did not agree with where we were looking.

After realizing that I wasn't going to be able to ride fast, and knowing that the last trek along the Jones Bridge Trail would likely cripple me, I had to make the call to bail, and hope that I could get myself healed for Nationals in less than two weeks. I have no idea what the doc will say tomorrow, but right now its looking pretty bad...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Upstate Bound

Finally returned from VA, and am now finishing up my packing for the Upstate AR this weekend. So first off...WTF..its like, cold here! I swear it wasn't as cold further north...better pack some extra layers! Good news is there is no longer a 70% chance of rain for Saturday.

I'm a bit worried about this race as I'm racing with Bo and Jay Curwen, who may collectively destroy me out there. They are both super fast so that first 6 hours is going to HURT!

The 1st place prize for this race is an entry and airfare (for 4) to an AR in Abu Dhabi in December...basically a $10,000 prize. Sounds great, but now we're all kind of exhausted with racing and traveling and the thought of racing well into December just doesn't sound like something I want to do. Not to mention I'd end up going way into the hole on vacay time at work (again), and wouldn't be able to take any extra time off during the holidays. So more than likely, if we should by chance win, we will probably pass the prize down to the next team...maybe. I'm sure Neal is gasping at that, but we've just lost motivation since he's not here to rally the troops.

I briefly thought about taking a picture of my food bin for this race, to contrast the nice pic of Carey's healthy assortment...but it would just be too embarrasing. I don't think her coach would approve of my choices.....jelly bellys, coke, frappucino, fig bars, fruit roll ups, twix bars, hershey bars, granola bars, clif bloks, chef boy-ar-dee ravioli, chicken n stars soup to go, hawaiian rolls, caffinated gum, and ensure. All high calorie processed crap, but its not like I have time to grill some salmon and steam some broccoli at each ensures will have to function as my "healthy" food item.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Blue Ridge Day 2

Today we spent running and riding around in the Cooper Creek WMA. Since it was 36 degrees in the morning, we started with a trail run/hike that took us along the Cooper Creek Recreation Area trails as well as some unmarked stuff and up to the Duncan Ridge Trail. The view from Duncan Ridge was incredible, but of course I left my camera in the car again...grrr! We were out for four hours, but it sure didn't seem that long. There was a lot of up-down and my legs were feeling it.

Once we finished our hike, we did a short ride which included a short hike-a-bike and then a ride on some new-to-me jeep trails. We found a climb that was worthy of TR status in terms of energy expenditure, but after the crappy straight-up FS Road we were on yesterday (for like 3 miles straight!!) this one didn't seem THAT bad. We were rewarded with a somewhat rough descent, which actually didn't seem that bad on my hardtail (again, might have been the Flat Creek and Stanley Gap the day before). Once we hit one of the main FS roads, it was just a few miles of rolling roads back to the car.

It was a pretty productive weekend, so now I'm just resting up for Upstate next weekend in SC.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Blue Ridge Day 1

Spent the day up in Blue Ridge today.. We started out with a ride on the typical Blue Ridge singletrack trails...Long Branch, Green Mountain, Flat Creek, Stanley Gap and a gravel road that had about 30 pickup trucks with gun racks parked along the side...hmmmm. We got some friendly advice from a hunter to not get off of the main road, as there were lots of guys with guns in the woods. So that pretty much meant no more exploration, so we just rode back down the road the same way we came. It was pretty steep though and not a whole lot of fun, so we weren't terribly disappointed.

Next we waffled about paddling the Toccoa, as it looked like we'd be dragging the canoe more than paddling it. We eventually decided to put in along Old Dial road and just paddle a 4 mile section. Ugghhh...what an exercise in patience! We were moving at about 2 mph and constantly in and out of the boat dragging it over rocks and through shoals.

About halfway down the river, I remembered that I stupidly left the keys to our shuttle vehicle at the put-in, so I jumped out of the boat and ran the road back to the car while Daniel and Bo kept going. Wow, it only took me about 12 minutes to run what took us close to an hour to paddle...nice!

It took the guys a while to get to the takeout, and I think I actually got the better end of the deal, running back to the car. At least I had time to snap a few pics.

After the paddle we had to decide between camping and staying here.

And it had this view....

...from the hot tub. Needless to say, it didn't take us long to decide where to stay!

Tomorrow we're running in the morning and riding in the afternoon near Cooper Creek.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Cow Drop

Chris and I went up to Heritage Park in Canton for something called the "Pignic" (some sort of BBQ cookoff), which included 1000 Chick-Fil-A parachuting cows being dropped from a helicopter. Ten of those cows were good for free Chick-Fil-A for a year so we were all over it.

We got there just in time as the helicopter was approaching and when the first batch of cows was dropped, the crowd of people turned into a crazy mob. Thankfully, the majority of the "mob" was 10 year olds, so I didn't end up getting completely trampled. In the end, Chris and I caught around ten cows (none of which were winners), most of which we ended up giving away to various sad looking children who weren't able to catch one. One kid came up to us with a winning cow, but didn't even know it. I briefly contemplated trading him all six of mine for his one, but Chris said I'd go straight to hell! Probably right! There were only a few um..altercations that required police intervention and one child that got lost.

Now I'm working on getting the car packed up for our weekend training up in Blue Ridge.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

While you were working....

We went for another long ride second ride over 3 hours since TransRockies. The weather was again perfect, although a little brrrr chilly in the morning. We started out climbing, so we warmed up pretty fast and got here...

Cruised along the ridge for a while...

Then turned down this road...

Which became this trail...which had about a gazillion spider webs and a nasty little creek crossing at the end. It appeared to be only knee deep, but I sunk into the silt so much that it ended up being over waist pics for a while - camera had to dry out...

Next we climbed an ATV trail to a gap that gave my granny gear a good workout. After a short, woodsy descent off the backside, we came out on another FS road that was pretty rough. Tell me again why I choose to ride a hardtail for these rides?

This is about where I took a yellow jacket to the head...owwie!

We rode a somewhat crappy FS road for a while, then decided it was really just too crappy, so we did a short bushwhack over to this trail...

Much better!

After that, we climbed FS 69 back up to the ridge and bombed down on some rocky singletrack. I wish I had pics but I didn't want to stop. Ran into some of which kindly warned me of a big rock in the trail...thanks, I hadn't noticed with the 3,647,263 other rocks that I had already run over.

After that it was a rolly cruise back to the cars, complete with a fly by of the Army Ranger attack chopper.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Some People SUCK!

Wow...I am continually amazed at how careless and rotten some folks can be...but this one really takes the cake... Chris and I raised $220 in trail donations at our past MTB skills clinic. I put the money in an envelope and stuck it in the pay box at the trailhead. Well, when they went to empty the cash box, the envelope wasn't there so someone must have picked the lock and pocketed it. So I ask you...

What kind of f 'ing piece of shit steals from a non-profit group??!!!!

I don't care what your excuse is!! You better hope I don't catch you out there because I will beat you down and do burnouts on your face you sorry piece of shit!

End rant...

I'm a happy girl

Yesterday's ride was FREAKING INCREDIBLE! Pefect weather and awesome trails. We rode a combination of some familiar FS road grinds, but threw in some new trails that I had never ridden. There are definitely some hidden gems out there that most people don't ride. The golden leaves lining some of the roads and trails were just beautiful, and when the wind blew, it would just rain leaves.

We found some really fun descents that were fairly rugged, but clear and rideable. Those are my favorite types of trails...pure mountain biking. No leaf blowers or work parties to move loose rocks off the trail. If a tree falls, ride over it. Leave the trail as you found it and just enjoy the splendor of nature. Ahhh...happy place.. I even got to practice my nav and not once did we have to bikewhack or get torn up by briars!

We put in over 6 hours of rolling time and didn't quite finish the route I had intended. I'm hoping I don't have to travel for work this week, as I'd really like to head back out there on Wednesday and ride some more and take some pictures before all the leaves fall.

Apples and Pinhoti

Saturday began with a trip up to Ellijay for the Apple Festival. The Apple festival is basically a big craft fair, complete with Funnel Cakes and other assorted unhealthy fair food. I was hoping to pick up some Christmas presents for my family, but instead just found a couple of things for myself, including some FUDGE...mmmm!

Of course there was no way I was driving up to Ellijay without my bike, so I convinced Chris that we NEEDED to hit Pinhoti and Bear Creek. We headed up Pinhoti 1 and 2 and I did my best to TRY to keep up with Chris on the descents until I realized that I probably shouldn't be pushing it so close to Nationals. He gave me some pointers, but I think I just need to get some downhill gear and just let 'er rip. I don't know how he goes so fast...and he only rides his bike like 2x per month...grr. I DO go UPHILL faster though...but what fun is that! I'm currently seeking a physics professor who can tell me if he can corner faster because he's heavier and has more force keeping the tires on the dirt.

We finished up with the road climb up to Bear Creek and then the fun descent back down. I really felt like I was getting worked on my hardtail, but I think riding it will help my overall bike handling.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

What's left of 2008..

So my season is winding down...just a few more events to go!

October 25: Upstate Adventure Race
November 7: Adventure Race National Championships
November 23: Georgia Cyclocross State Championships

I'd like to hit a few of the cyclocross races in addition to State, but it all depends on how recovered I am. I KNOW I'm not driving to Savannah for a 45 minute race, that is certain!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Bert Adams O-meet

Today went a little better than Red Top..I still took some wimpy, out of the way routes, but think I might have done better overall. Had one small goof up and hit a few areas that were just slow going. Was a bit tired on the uphills so I lost a couple of precious minutes that I could have used to pick up another control or two.

Right now we're picking f'ing seed ticks off ourselves and soaking our clothing to get rid of them. I hate those buggers...and they seem to be out in force right now.

Saturday, October 4, 2008


Wow, what a day...Chris and I taught a MTB skills clinic at Blankets this morning and I don't think we've ever seen so many injuries. It was a coed class, so instead of the usual South Loop ride, we went to a different area, that had some harder, steeper terrain. Maybe its actually good that SORBA won't build a trail over an 8% grade, otherwise we'd be plucking injured newbies out of the trails on a daily basis. As I was riding out with one of the injured participants, Chris took the rest of the class around the remainder of the Van Michael Loop where they watched someone [NOT IN OUR CLASS THANK YOU VERY MUCH] fall off the 6' drop off on the Van Michael trail. That didn't exactly inspire a lot of confidence in the rest of our group so several folks walked that section.

We went home, grabbed some lunch, and then went down to OutSpokin to pick up some fork parts...well, the second I walk through the door I get hassled for all the day's carnage...I think they even tried to pin the girl falling off the drop off on me...I WAS AT LEAST A MILE AWAY!!! Its amazing how fast word travels in these parts...I told Chris I REALLY hope I never have a bad crash at Blankets...if I do, I'm gonna crawl into some hole and hide till it gets dark so no one sees me.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


Well, its Wednesday evening and I haven't done squat since OME...unless of course you count walking around while shopping as some sort of training. I DID do that for 1.5 hours today. I have to go to Winder for a meeting tomorrow, so I'll probably bring my bike and hit Ft. Yargo afterwards.

I'm probably going to bail on the cross race this weekend as the only reason I'd be racing is to try and score a leaders jersey for winning the first race of the series..I know..that is a horrible reason to race, but this jersey collecting game has become somewhat of an obsession...and they are really cool jerseys. I also have to fly to VA that evening and the thought of having to drive all the way up to Dahlonega and then back down to the airport...well, yuck!

I need to focus on AR for the next month anyways, as I have two big races coming up..Upstate AR and Nationals. Once Nationals are over, I can worry about cross, as there will still be over a month left of it, including the State Championships, which I will plan on attending (another chance for a jersey..ha ha).

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

What I'll be riding next year..

S-Works Epic Carbon Disc

I'll be riding one of these...I just hope I don't break it because it's real 'spensive. I hope I do this bike justice!

In other exciting news, the OutSpokin' Team is merging with OTR-Strenflex, so Julia, Kim and I will all be on the same team. Yay, matching outfits!

I have to say, its been nice sticking with the same sponsor for 3 really simplifies things and I don't have to put together proposals anymore. I also like the freedom to ride a bike of my choosing, not just what I can get for free or for a pro-deal.

Working with OutSpokin' has been great, and I'm looking forward to our new and expanded team next year.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Asleep at the Office!

Yup, that's me right now. At least it doesn't hurt to sit in this chair and stare blankly at my computer. I'm sitting here in the dark too, that way those that look down the hall will assume I'm not in my office and not bother me.

This past weekend was my fourth straight week of racing in a row...the Overmountain Extreme Adventure Race. I'm tired now and my body is tired. I was hacking up goo all week after the 12 Hours of Dauset (during which myself and our team rode awesome), but I think I may have aggravated my asthma with all this high intensity stuff in back to back weeks. Plus, I was experimenting with trying to ween myself off of my Advair (in my mind, I'm still invincible and don't need it..), probably not the best thing to do a week before a 30 hour race. I didn't have that usual spring in my step and felt a bit worked on the Grandfather Mtn trek. The first bike wasn't too bad, but I was feeling a lot more worked than usual. I actually had to take a few 15 second rests on the hike-a-bike, which has been unheard of for me lately.

The wheels really came off on the climb up to the bike drop and I swore I was only firing on three of my six cylinders. WTF..I just couldn't ride..was it the mushy roads?? Two flat tires?? Asthma?? Poor Nutrition?? Did somebody put bricks in my pack?? Why are my TOES cramping??? WTF, WTF and WTFFFFF! I was just a mandatory puddle of goo..

Thankfully (and kind of oddly), I felt much better on the trek, but it was still pretty hard due to convoluted trails and rough terrain. I almost walked off a waterfall in the dark, d'oh!

The last bike was just that..I used up all my energy on the gravel roads and officially checked out once I hit the pavement. Almost hit a bear - looked enough like a dog from a distance...My ass was killing me and I was just plain mad that I wasn't able to ride fast enough and get off my saddle quickly.

I was so happy when we finally reached the paddle. The sun was out and it was shaping up to be a beautiful day. The paddle wasn't too bad, except for some unpleasant aroma that seemed to keep being released into the air around our boat...

We finished around 12:30, after almost 30 hours of racing. We still cleared the course, so HA CHRIS BROWN!! YOU STILL HAVEN'T BROKEN ME! (But I am tired)

I don't think I'm doing squat until Upstate in 4 weeks. I thought about doing a CX race next Sunday, but it depends how I'm feeling that morning. Will have to dust the cobwebs off the CX bike too.

I'm looking forward to the Upstate AR, and racing with Bo and Jay. From reading OME race reports, it sounds like we could have knocked a chunk of time off that trek if we combined knowledge.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Packed and Ready

I'm looking forward to Over Mountain this weekend, however, I'm just hopeful we can fill up the gas tank to get home once the race is over!

Its looking like it might rain, so I have my rain gear all packed. So much for the 72 and sunny weather we had last year. I'm sure Chris has a great course in store for us, so rain or shine, I'm sure we'll be smiling!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Red Top

Today we had an Orienteering meet at Red Top Mtn State Park. Started off shaky as my first step down the stairs (after rolling out of bed at 9:15 am) caused my right quad to cramp. Drank some water, stretched, I'll be fine...just avoid jumping around too much and running Red Top..sure..

Started on the Red Course and probabaly did my least agressive O-meet run EVER. Tried to stick to the roads as much as possible to minimize the up/down...mostly the down. Didn't like the controls in overgrown yellowjacket landmine terrain and I wasn't in the mood to get lit up by those bastards. I WALKED carefully though those areas, not my usual thrash and bash. Made one little mistake that cost me about 5-7 minutes...mostly due to not wanting to go through more dense vegetation. Then saw Chris who started AFTER me. He takes off and I contine to lollygag, looking for open woods wherever possible. Feeling VERY wimpy.. I take the road and run a longer route to the the last control and beat Chris there..he doesn't seem happy about that. Finish in 1:19. Not terrible, but not fast either. I actually had a cleaner run than usual, I just didn't move as fast.

Hung around to help with bag pickup, knee hurts now...grr.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

12 Hours of Dauset

Whew! What a fun day in the woods! Carey, Julia, Kim and I decided that instead of racing for 12 hours straight, that it was much better to only race for three and then sit around and relax for the other nine. With that in mind, we signed up as a 4 person team in the coed division, as the all female teams were tossed in with the mixed teams. No worries though, as we figured we could hold our own.

My choice of weapon for the day was my IF Titanium Singlespeed. The laps were fast and twisty, with only a few climbs on the back half of the course. The singlespeed turned out to be a great choice, as not only did it keep my efforts consistent, I was able to haul ass up the climbs and on the flats.

I did the first lap, including the run to the bikes. There was a prime for the first man and woman to their bikes, so I picked up a cool pair of Tifosi glasses. Pink even to match the pink kit I donned for the day. The first lap was pretty I was pretty close to the front of the race with lots of fast guys behind me that didn't run fast enough. I followed along in the train, and my singlespeed gearing was working quite nicely. A couple of guys made some dicey passes but I guess that's the price you pay when you hang with the boys. When I hit the climbs, I was amazed at how fast I was able (or I should say HAD to) ride up them. I flew by a bunch of guys at about twice their speed. It was freakin' awesome! My lap time was 49 minutes and change, so after that I decided that I was definitely going to keep doing laps on the singlespeed. I felt good the entire race, and had very consistent day laps, all in the 49 minute range, and a night lap that was only a couple minutes slower.

We had a pretty good battle going on with another team, however, they had 3 guys that were riding a minute or two faster than us every lap. Their female was not very fast, so we gained time back when she rode a lap. Unfortunately she only rode two laps, and by the last lap (after Carey and I had turned our final laps...some pretty fast night laps) we were still 5 minutes down. We sent Kim on the final lap thinking they COULD have a flat or mechanical, you never know, but had kind of figured we'd end up in second place. Apparently the other team's rider double flatted about halfway through the course. Kim passed him as he was on the side of the trail, and took off excited and all in a frenzy. Shortly after, her light crapped out, so she was worried about being caught. Meanwhile, we were all standing at the finish line filled with anticipation as to what was going on. Finally, after being out for over an hour, Kim came through and secured us first place in the Coed division.

Victory sure was sweet!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Where can I live that doesn't have these????

Hmm..I don't remember seeing a single one of these in the Canadian Rockies, but they DO have Grizzly Bears.

Seriously...I hate these damn bastards! Do they actually serve some purpose? Are they a necessary link in the food chain? If not, I'd like to exterminate every last one of them!!

Chris and I were working on clearing debris off some lightly-used trails near Blankets for our upcoming advanced skills clinic. Sure enough, Chris picks up some deadfall and tosses it aside which rouses a ground nest of these meanies. I wasn't far away and know all the tell tale signs of a yellowjacket attack (swatting, swearing, etc.) So I took off back up the hill and Chris ran down, getting all stung up in the process. After that we decided to call it a night, but will be back to finish our trail work with bee suits and a canister of nerve gas to take care of any more nests we find!

Once we finish our work, which is mainly just some raking, we will have a great skills area for the class.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

2009 Blankets Creek Dirty Duathlon is ON!

Well, I got roped into planning another race...but this time I'm going to actually COMPETE. Sure, I'll be up at 4 am setting up registration, running around and getting stressed out, but I should be able to dump a bike and some running shoes in the TA, and get to the starting line before they send our group off.

I'm sure Chris can handle any situations that arise...

Some exciting news though:

-We have an actual graphic designer helping us, so we hope to have even better T-shirts this year.
-We plan on expanding the race so we can have more racers.
-I'm pushing for a cash payout to the top male and female finishers, as well as a whole slew of prizes like last year.
-Look for a longer bike course, including the entire Van Michael Trail.
-MORE Port-O-Potties!
-Possibly a pre-race breakfast or post race snacks.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Post-Rockies-Partum Depression?

Ok, so I'm not depressed, but I have noticed that I'm not terribly motivated to train these days. I've been racing well and have a bit of a winning streak going, but racing is the only thing that seems to get me fired up...

Take today...I'm trying to decide where to ride tomorrow. I am FINALLY blessed with a full-time work schedule that gives me Wednesday mornings and afternoons off to go ride and I can't think of a single place I want to go. Actually, no, that's not true..I want to go somewhere with breathtaking vistas, 100 foot tall waterfalls, 72 degrees with a nice breeze, no thorns, no yellowjackets, and not somewhere I've already ridden...ugh...does such a place even exist? Have I been spoiled so much by TR that I just can't be excited by the southeast's landscape? I'm tired of the same 'ol, same 'ol, but at the same time loathe the idea of having to spend $50+ on gas to drive somewhere new. Woe is me...

I've also gone from a perky morning person to a can't-drag-myself-out-of-bed-lazy bum. Chris and I have traded bodies I think...he used to sleep in while I was off to work by 6 am...Now the tables have turned and being able to work from home, coupled with not much going on at work has ruined me and made me fairly lazy.

I'm hoping the cooler temps that are rolling in will snap me out of this funk!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Midnight Rush Adventure Race

Whew! For a "short" (14 hour) adventure race, the MRAR was pretty tough! There was a mandatory course that we had to complete along with several optional points. We were also advised that the course designers would be really surprised if anyone cleared the course, so then it became a guessing game of which points to skip.

Figuring we'd wait and see how we were running on time, we didn't plan to skip any early points, and identified two potenial drop points on the trekking section. Our strategy worked pretty well, and we only had to skip one optional trekking point while finishing with 35 minutes to spare.

A full race report is posted on the TrailBlazer's Forum here

After the results were tallied, we took home first place, as we were the only team to only skip one point. Our friends from Snickers Marathon took home second, missing only two points.

Next week...the 12 Hours of Dauset where our All-Female Foursome will take on our Coed Challengers.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Midnight Rush - This Weekend

I guess I should start getting my gear together for Midnight Rush, a 12-14 hour AR near Lake Russell WMA that we are competing in this weekend. It looks like it will be pretty toasty with some isolated thunderstorms. I hope the course is somewhat exciting, although the fact that swimming is not a discipline has me pretty bummed!

Team OutSpokin'/Enduraventure is racing with 4 different people from our usual competitor's teams in our next four races, so I guess we'll have to be really nice to everyone, otherwise we may have a mutiny on our hands!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Sunday - Georgia State Singlespeed Championships

After doing a quick pre-ride of the course on Saturday evening, I decided that I definitely didn't need harder gearing than the 32-17 I had on my bike. The course had some flats and good downhill sections, but the combination of the sand and turns made it so that spinning out wasn't a huge issue. There were a number climbs on the last 1/3 of the course, so I would have been happier, I think, running a 32-18 to keep my legs a bit fresher on the climbs, but it wasn't an option, so I just hoped my legs would remain strong at the ridiculous intensity I'd have to ride if I hoped to win. Most of the course was twisty, woodsy singletrack that I really enjoyed, but there was about mile of CX-style grass field (complete with an annoying sand pit and BMX track) that I just slogged through each lap.

Four women lined up at the start of the Open Women's race and we immediately voted to only do 3 laps instead of 4. None of us thought that an extra lap in the sultry, midday Macon heat was going to add to the experience. I checked out everyone else's gearing, which was a tooth or so easier than mine. I was worried I wouldn't be able to stay on top of my gear and that my challengers would pass me on the climbs. I had Ursula S. and Maria C. (last years winner) to contend with, so the race wasn't going to be easy.

From the start, I moved to the front, as I just hoped to get in the singletrack first and gap my chasers in the twisty stuff. My plan started off pretty good...

We had to ride through a CX-style chicane around some trees...still good...

Coming off the BMX track, both Maria and I missed the hard right turn and nearly crashed through the tape...not more than 10 seconds later, I managed to miss another turn, went crashing through some tape and did a slow motion endo less than 3 minutes into the race (yes, those new brakes work REALLY well). Sorry, no pics of that... It was actually kind of funny, as I heard Maria yell "C'mon girl, get up!" So off we go again, and I got back in front of Maria again right as we went into the singletrack. About a minute later, I picked up some huge stick in my front wheel, that I couldn't pull out while riding so I had to stop to pull it there goes Maria again. I fix my wheel and then start chasing, and get back on her wheel in about a minute. I rode behind her for awhile to kind of size her up, and realized that I was able to ride the corners a bit faster, so at the first opportunity, I passed her, hoping she'd have to work just a bit harder to keep up.

Coming back out into the evil grass field after lap one, I had maybe a 30 second gap. I tried to recover through the field, but at the same time, I didn't want Maria to catch me. One of the things that made this a tough race was that there were so many places that your chasers could see you, and figure out what the gaps were. I figured if she could still see me, she was still gunning for me.

My second lap was pretty good, only about a minute slower than my first, and I managed to put another minute on Maria. I had a somewhat comfortable lead, so just needed to not fall apart on the last lap.

The last lap was definitely tough for me, as I was having a hard time staying on top of my gear on the climbs. I wasn't drinking enough, as I chose to use bottles, but I didn't want to have to slow down to drink as often as I should. Thankfully I had enough of a gap that Maria could no longer see me. The last climbs of the lap hurt pretty bad, but once I came out into the final grass field section I felt a bit of reprieve...until I hit the sand pit and had to strain to get through it, which caused my calves to start "thinking" of cramping up. I looked over my shoulder, didn't see Maria, so I just spun the last 1/2 mile into the finish, trying to prevent any full on cramps that would force me off my bike.

I made it to the finish, and won the race, however I was completely dehydrated and destroyed. Not being used to XC racing anymore, it was really hard for me to push myself that hard. Add not drinking enough, and I was feeling pretty crappy afterwards. Somehow I summoned up the energy to stumble up on the podium...

Despite feeling like a train wreck afterwards, I was stoked to win an XC race, stoked that none of the guys who started behind me passed me, and stoked to get a super-cool State Champion jersey. Maria was thinking about racing in the age group race, wow, what a trooper. I, however just crawled back in my car, cranked up the AC and let Chris drive me back to my couch where I proceeded to crash all afternoon.

Saturday - Orienteering Meet

Saturday was National Orienteering Day, so we headed to the Chattahoochee National Recreation Area at Jones Bridge. We were excited as there was a score-O, which basically means you can obtain as many points as possible within the time limit, and you can get them in any order. Unfortunately Chris and I missed one vital piece of information...the time limit. On the website, it said 90 minutes, but there was a sign at the meet (that we saw AFTER the fact) that said 60 minutes. Chris had a pretty good run and I had a so-so run, both getting all the points, but after they apply the penalties for going overtime..we'll both probably be in the negative numbers...sigh.

Oh well, it was good practice anyways, but I would have been more than happy to only run around for an hour versus an hour and a half due to racing at the singlespeed championships the next day.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Open or Age Group?

So I have a dilemma...what category to race at the Singlespeed State Championships. I have the option of Women's Open or Women's 20-34...both get sweet jerseys if you win. The Open has to do more laps, but it starts at 10 am. The age group starts at 1 pm and does less distance, but with a predicted high of 87 degrees, the earlier start is more appealing. Most of the girls I'd race against in an XC race were in the age group categories last year, with the open not having as many entrants...sigh...

So I'm probably going to end up doing the longer race at 10 am, as my husband will give me all kinds of grief if I race in an age group. He is quite delusional and seems to think I'm still capable of going fast in my old age. Forget the fact that I MIGHT be tired after the 1.5 hour Orienteering meet we're going to do on Saturday..I keep telling him that all I had to look forward to when I turned 30 was racing in an age group division.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Call me a wimp!

So I ALMOST violated one of my MTB training rules...

Lisa Rule #1: In no instance shall the time required to travel to and from the trail be longer than the ride itself. Exceptions can be made for races and unforeseen mechanical breakdowns.

Yes, Kim and I drove up to Bear Creek and only rode for 2.5 hours...It should have been around 2.75-3 hours, but we rode a bit faster than usual. Time in the car was a little over 2 hours each way for me, so I almost broke my rule. I just didn't feel the need to ride any longer - perhaps a quality vs. quantity thing going on. Honestly, I think I got my fill of long rides in at TransRockies. Now I'm looking forward to some shorter, faster races. I hope I can find some teammates for some upcoming 12 hr MTB races, as I REALLY am not looking forward to racing them solo.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Lazy Weekend

So the weekend didn't end up as planned... We had to take Banshee to get spayed this past week and she needed meds 2x per day so camping was out. It was probably for the better, as I still haven't shaken this cold. I'm still at about 80%, so I hope I'm well enough for the Georgia State Singlespeed Championships next weekend.

I've done a couple of short rides (meaning less than an hour and a half) and am starting to feel better. Tomorrow morning we're heading out on the boat to do some skiing and swimming before the lake gets too crowded. Hopefully I won't wipe out too bad!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Norfolk, VA

Not real exciting here and not many options for an outdoor gal. The good news is that we are getting our work done and that I only have to be here another day and a half. Then its up to Cooper Creek for some much needed bike time!

Monday, August 25, 2008


Sick + Rain + Business Travel = No Time to Ride

Argh..I'm going through some serious riding withdrawl!! After a 40+ hour riding week during TR, I came home, rode my singlespeed for 45 minutes and got sick about two hours later. Been sick now for a few days, but getting better and resting. Finally feel good enough to ride and what does it do? RAIN! And if it stops raining tomorrow, well that's just peachy since I'm getting on a plane and going to Virginia for a business trip until Friday and won't have my bike. At least I can bring my running shoes..

The upside is we are camping out at Cooper Creek this weekend for three days of riding and trail running. I don't think I'll be as ambitious as the first time we stayed there, but hopefully it will be a productive weekend.

Friday, August 22, 2008


So I managed to pick up the cold Chris had while we were away, so now I can't leave the room without taking a box of Kleenex with me. I hate being sick, as it just makes me feel run down. Of course I'm resting and sitting around makes me feel even more run down and lazy. To make matters worse, I've been eating everything in sight since we got home, and they might as well just stick a sweet tea IV in my arm...that is how much I have consumed in the last few days.

On a positive note, Chris is working on my singlespeed, cleaning the fork and headset for me so it stops creaking. I rode it to the pool today and had to zig-zag up the hill to get back to my house. It was pretty embarrasing, but my legs are still a bit tired!

Not sure what I'm going to do with a weekend off...

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Seriously Sexy Singlespeed

Chris surprised me with some sweet Industry Nine wheels for my singlespeed. Go Green! What a great present..I'm SO glad he didn't get me jewelery or something else I'd never use!

Even though I'm supposed to be resting, I just HAD to go for a short ride at Blankets during lunch. The legs still feel a bit heavy for singlespeeding and I'm still coughing up some nasty stuff.

I can't wait to ride this bike at the Georgia Singlespeed Championships in 3 weeks!