Sunday, April 27, 2008


I just bailed on my planned ride after looking at the radar...rain here all day. I have a rule that if I'm going to ride in the rain, I'm not going to invest any driving time to do it. The exception is of course if it starts raining DURING the ride, but since its actively raining at my house, motivation levels are pretty low. I'll likely just go get lost in the Bridgemill Neighborhood - it's six miles end to end and makes for a pretty decent place to long as you watch out for the cell-phone yakking-behemoth-SUV-driving soccer moms. I'm trying to recover anyways, so no big deal. I think hubby and I will go consume some massive calories now at the IHOP...

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Doctor Visit

So I saw the pulmonary diseases specialist today and he said that the inflammation that was a result of the cold and exercise induced asthma attack I had at CheckPoint Zero could take up to three months to heal...THREE MONTHS???? I HAVEN'T GOT THREE DAYS!

He said that normally he wouldn't prescribe anything different other than avoiding activity that triggers attacks and an albuterol inhaler, but since I'm not about to go into hibernation for 2 more months, he wrote me a script for an inhaled steriod/bronciodilater combo that should accelerate the healing process and still allow me to train at a resonable level. I hope it works because I'm tired of lackluster performances and DNF's. Then he went on to say that it is possible I may have to deal with this forever, as asthma has a way of developing over time and generally it stays for good. NOOOOO!!! I refuse to believe this..I am invincible dammit!

In other fun and exciting news about my almost-30 falling-apart body...I think the rod they put in my broken finger to fix it three years ago is starting to work its way out of the bone. The body tends to get rid of foreign objects that aren't bolted into place, so its probably just a matter of time before it starts poking through the skin. Yippie! Seriously..I'm falling apart.

Sunday, April 20, 2008


Yep, apparently that's the story of my life. I'm moping around today, somewhat depressed about my Cohutta disaster yesterday. The race started in a misty rain, and by the time I hit the singletrack, the trails were pretty mushy. Thankfully I had my 2.35 Maxxis Ignitor tires on, which were allowing me to rail around corners and conserve some of my energy. The only problem was that mud was slinging up into my eyes, making my contacts all gritty and scratchy. Oh well, just deal with it for the next 9 hours...

I didn't have snappy legs at the start, and I never had snappy legs later on. At Aid #1, I was 10 minutes off my pace from last year. It was slower and muddy, so I figured really I was only about 5 minutes slower, taking the trail conditions into consideration. I wasn't feeling great, but I wasn't feeling terrible yet, so I thought perhaps things would pick up. The next 10 miles of fireroad were pretty sloppy and my bike wasn't working all that great, but it was tolerable.

As I hit the climbs up to Dally Gap, I found it harder and harder to keep my HR up and really push myself. I took a puff of my inhaler, but it didn't seem to be helping much. I had countless people pass me on this climb, which definitely shouldn't have been happening. By the time I hit Dally Gap, I was 26 minutes off my pace from last year, and slowing steadily. I was really sluggish heading to Watson Gap, and once there I stopped to go to the bathroom and assessed my condition. I still had the toughest climbs to come, and my lungs were so inflamed that oxygen wasn't being delivered to my blood at the rate I needed to be able to keep my effort even moderate on the climbs. If I made it to Aid #3 and my condition was worse, I'd have a pretty hellacious ride back, or else I'd have to hang at the sag and wait for the broom wagon. It was a little over two hours back to the White Water Center from where I was, so I figured it was wiser to head back, as opposed to keep going, which would have only made my lung inflammation worse, causing more damage and recovery time. Definitely a morale crusher, as I was looking to use this race to gauge my fitness.

The trip back was a struggle in itself. The higher intensity riding I did in the first 2 hours of the race really did me in, as my the end of the ride, I was having a hard time on all of the climbs. I was spinning in a super easy gear with a HR of 140 - but I was huffing and puffing like I was at was awful...the joys of asthsma and lung inflammation. After 6 hours and 8 minutes of total riding, I rolled back back down to the White Water Center.

I'm making an appointment with a pulmonologist tomorrow, in the hopes that they can prescribe something that will clear up my lung inflammation. Unfortunately, I'm probably going to have to take two weeks to a month off (or more..gasp!) to let it all heal. I did a lot of web surfing today, and found several articles that said exercising at moderate to high intensities in below freezing temps can cause permanent lung damage...argh..thanks to the weather at the Checkpoint Zero race for royally screwing up my season. I need to get this worked out before August because I really want to make a good showing at the TransRockies. I just want to go back to feeling normal. I've done a good amount of training, so I feel strong, I just wish I had the lung capacity to power my legs. Hopefully I'll know more tomorrow..

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Yup, that's what I'm doing this week. Short recovery rides and a lot of R and R...until Saturday that is, where I will be getting spanked at the Cohutta 100 by the likes of Pua Sawicki, Trish Stevenson, and my TR teammate Carey (and probably a bunch of others too). There are over 30 women in the hundred miler, so it should be pretty exciting. My goal originally for this race was a time of 8:30 to 8:45. With all the asthma issues I've been having since CP Zero, now I'm just hoping to match my time of 9:03 from last year. My biggest fear is not being able to start decently fast and being stuck at the back of the pack through the Brush Creek singletrack. I've committed to doing a few cross country races over the next couple of months in an attempt to get some speed back in my legs. I'm sure its going to really hurt though.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Blue Ridge AR

This past weekend was action packed..we started with the Blue Ridge AR and then I went camping and hiking up at the Beech Creek/Tallulah River area. A full Blue Ridge race report can be found here, on the TrailBlazer Forum. Short story, we made some goofy mistakes and finished somewhere around 7th I think, but had a good time nonetheless. Here's some photo highlights...

Putting in on the Toccoa River

Lisa going up the Cargo Net at Shallowford Bridge

Riding into the final TA off the last biking leg

Heading off on the final road run (Yuck!!!)

Goofy lumberjack shenanigans at the finish, but better than the traditional gooey slippery wall

For the rest of the pictures, click here.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Blue Ridge

Hmm..I wonder where this is. We went riding around the Blue Ridge area today and found a bunch of these posted in numerous locations. Not that the location of the Blue Ridge AR is ever a big surprise..I mean they just cycle through about 4 general areas from year to year..but geez, so much for keeping the race top secret. I just hope we don't have to swim and float our bikes across Lake Blue Ridge this year....brrrrr, chilly!

The day turned out beautiful and we rode just under 5 hours. A girl could definitely get used to this.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

74 and sunny!


Kim, Jay and I headed up to do the Cohutta Death March this morning expecting sunshine and rainbows. When we started at 8:30, it was around 50 degrees and foggy. Oh yeah, and the roads were still wet from yesterday's rain. So we were off to kind of a rough start, but it turned out to be a good ride nonetheless. After about 3.5 hours the sun finally came out, and since I didn't put any sunscreen on, I now have a polka dot sunburn pattern on my legs from all the crusty mud globs I had on them. I tried out some new Maxxis tires, and they were hooking up great in the corners and my rebuilt rear shock was working nicely. A huge thanks to OutSpokin' for letting me cannibalize a shock they already had on a frame to make mine work for today. I think I have the best combination set up for the Cohutta 100 in two weeks.

It was also really nice to not have to carry so much gear. Last time we did the loop, we ended up getting a later start than we would have liked due to me having a doctor appointment, so we had to bring extra warm clothes, lights, enough food for two days, and various other survival items. Yup, we had so much crap that we could have probably camped out, but I'm always one to bring more than necessary in case something unexpected happens. Its going to be very nice not having to carry ANYTHING other than bottles in the race.

I also have a new favorite long ride food...thawed out frozen steak and cheese burritos. We tried them at CP Zero, and they kind of sucked because it was so cold that they pretty much stayed frozen. With the mild weather of today, they thawed nicely and were YUMMY! Much better than an Ensure. I also really liked where we started the ride - basically at Aid Station #4 of the Cohutta 100. It gave us a nice gradual warmup with 15 miles of mostly downhill at the end back to the cars...much better than starting at Gates Chapel and having to deal with Moutaintown, Three Forks, and Betty Gap right at the end.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Bite Me Weather Man!

After the forecasted rain resulted in the cancellation of the Bakers Dozen, I'm forced to find something else to do this weekend that will result in long hours on the bike. I'm hoping all these storms are outta here by morning, so that tomorrow won't be another soggy day in the saddle. I did manage to leave work a little early this afternoon and just snuck in my ride before the rain/hail mix nah nah na nah nah stupid weather! YOU DIDN'T GET ME TODAY!!!!!

Thursday, April 3, 2008


ARRRGGGHHGHHHHHH! Just learned that the Baker's Dozen is cancelled...and conveniently I can't make their rain date since I have another race that weekend. I reserved a campsite which they won't refund since it is within three days of our arrival so now I'm out the $35 for that AND the $35 entry fee.. What a bunch of crap! Yeah, it would have sucked to camp and race in the rain, but at least I'd have gotten my money's worth. This is the last "we're gonna cancel if it rains" SORBA event that I will sign up for. Grumble Grumble.

Now I guess I'll have to go for a road ride in the rain on Saturday and suffer through the Death March again with Kim and Jay on Sunday to get the hours in that I was planning on. The only good thing is I'll get to sleep in on Saturday, but that isn't worth $70 bucks!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The Weather Better Hold!

Argh...I have a feeling my $35 entry to the Baker's Dozen may just be a donation to the SORBA chapter hosting the event as I have this horrible feeling that it will be cancelled. Right now the chance of rain for Fri/Sat is 3o%/40% respectively... Now according to their website, they won't cancel unless it is 60% chance of rain, but SORBA tends to be really protective of their trails. I'll be racing in Blue Ridge on their rain date, so hopefully this weekend will happen. I need an excuse to be on my bike for 13 hours, and a race is about the only way to get me on my bike for that long. Plus if the race gets cancelled, I'll have to suffer through the Cohutta Death March again with Kim and Jay on Sunday...ugh.. Kudos to Kim for Womaning-up and switching to the 100 miler at Cohutta. The women's field has around 30 racers so it will definitely be an exciting event.

Today was awesome..I am definitely enjoying having Wednesdays off - now I just need to work on the getting rid of the other four days a week that I'm stuck in the office. The commute and gas prices are eating into my ride time and race money!!!

We headed up to Tanasi to ride the singletrack portion of the Cohutta 100. The trails were in great shape and Carey provided some motivation for me to work a little. She is truly amazing and has come such a long way in her riding. Endurance racing was the perfect fit for her. After our ride I came home and went for a run over at Blankets. Since the weather is going to be kind of iffy the next few days, I wanted to take advantage of the sun.