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 years..it 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 downhill...at 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 areas...prime 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 intense...as 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 out...so 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.