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).