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...