Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Halloween Festivities

This Friday, OutSpokin' is hosting a light demo at Blankets Creek, which of course includes a night ride. Costumes are highly encouraged, so Chris and I will be out there. I hope it isn't cold, as my costume will lose its appeal if I have to put on several layers underneath it...

Saturday night is the annual Georgia Orienteering Club Night-O. This year it will be at Dauset Trails, which is certain to be a disaster if my HID light doesn't work. It didn't work at Midnight Rush but seemed to be functional again once I got home and tried it in my living room..grrrr. The event also includes a pot-luck cook out and I'll be bringing my banana pudding, so that in itself should give you reason to attend.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Midnight Rush

...its an adventure race, not one of Jayden's night time feeding frenzies! This past Saturday, after weeks of diligent pumping to build up a hefty milk surplus in the freezer, I got to have a day away to do a 12 hour race up near Cornelia, GA at the Lake Russell WMA. I was originally going to race with Kim, but she got sick a couple of days before the race, so I was adopted by Julia and Thomas, who were on a second OutSpokin' Bikes team.

The race started with a "prologue" trail run section that took about an hour and a half. I set a moderate to fast pace at the start and was surprised when Thomas (a pro mountain biker/all-around-badass who doesn't ever run) was right there next to me, and Julia (a seasoned xterra/dualthlon/XC/AR/all-around-fast-chick) was falling a little behind. Apparently, Thomas is good at everything he tries... We walked a little bit towards the end, but were still within the first couple of teams back to the TA. We picked up our bikes and after realizing that we weren't coming back to our TA at our campsite until the race finish, I tossed my manual breast pump in my pack for later eh?

The next bike section was all gravel or paved roads. Thomas was on his singlespeed, so he set a nice fast pace up the climbs that kept us working. The nav was straightforward so we were able to move through that section pretty quickly and made our way to Currahee Mountain for our next transition.

Once at Currahee Mountain we got another map for a trekking section that was mostly on trails with a little bit of bushwhacking. Again, the nav was pretty straightforward and there was, of course, the obligatory bushwhack up Currahee Mtn. My "girls" were getting pretty swollen, so I had to pump about halfway through this section. I went off into the woods a bit and sat down to get pumpin'. Thankfully only one team came by, but they did ask if I was ok...I'm not quite sure they realized what I was doing.

Once we cleaned that section, we were back on our bikes for an even longer ride back to the start/finish. When I strapped on my Niterider, I found that it didn't work, so I was relegated to wearing my headlamp. No worries though, as both Thomas and Julia had good lights. The nav was still pretty easy, although I did blow by one CP that we had to backtrack for because I wasn't watching the map and distance close enough. Once we hit the paved road back to the campground, Julia's light totally went out, but we were almost home so it didn't matter.

We finished about 11 pm and had obtained all the checkpoints. Julia and Thomas stayed up and made a campfire and - well I just crawled into my sleeping bag and went to bed. A fine end to my "day at the spa".

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Cool Cyclocross Video

This is pretty cool...courtesy of Steve Hagan.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Georgia Cross #2

After a week of feeling pretty crappy from mastitis, we headed up to the cyclocross race at Montaluce Winery in Dahlonega. I wasn't sure how it would go and I was a bit worried since I didn't really get to work in any intervals after the last race...I had hoped to be faster. I heard the course was "straight up and straight down" and after a quick pre-ride, I decided my weapon of choice would be my mountain bike.

I think I made the right decision for me, because my legs were a bit heavy and I needed the easier gearing on the climbs. I was also able to ride the downhill section much faster, which let me save some energy for the second half of the course. I ended up third again, which I was happy with considering we had a field of around 12 racers this time, but I just didn't feel strong and quick. I felt like I was on the defensive the entire race, rather than the offensive.

Nice weather is rolling in this week, so I hope to get some workouts in and then will head to Lake Russell WMA for Midnight Rush this weekend for a long walk in the woods.

Chris got a fancy new camera and took a ton of pictures. Here's just a sampling...

Julia Radmann rounds a corner

Julia just loves the barriers and is all smiles

Kevin "Roofus" Adams on the gradual climb

Thomas Turner gettin' it done

Thomas's mom can add professional waterbottle hander offer to her resume after all these years of racing

Julia and Trish watching Thomas take the win in the Men's A Race

Women's A my little pink bunny!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Frogtown 10 Mile Trail Challenge

Part run, part obstacle course - the Frogtown Trail Challenge was one of the most fun events I've done in a long time. The trails were of the unmaintained ATV type with lots of logs to hurdle and ditches to climb through.

The first mile had us running through the woods with three ditches to climb through, which caused mass chaos right off the line. I was glad that I took off fast and was just behind the college cross country runners to avoid any bottlenecks. The next major challenge was a straight up, off-camber 200' vertical climb up a big hill that left me and everyone else gasping for air. I held the women's lead for about 5k but was passed somewhere between mile 3 and 4. We had to go through a culvert under the road which was waist deep on me. Mile 4 to 5 was probably the toughest for me...just felt slow...but then I started to feel better. Between mile 5 and 6 was a long section that we had to run in the creek bed which was pretty fun and tiring at the same time. I managed to not trip over any submerged rocks or logs, so yay for me!

At mile 6 I grabbed a couple shots of gel from my drop bag and the next two miles went by quickly and I felt fast again. We had to cross a creek on a log - thankfully no bottleneck there, but I did slip and slide down the embankment on my way down to the log. I'm sure there was a photographer there too to catch it all.

When I got to mile 8, I was thinking whoo hoo...only 2.3 more miles! It was the longest 2.3 miles ever, as the distance seemed to really be dragging on. There were a couple of big hills that I probably took it just a bit too easy on, as a second woman came charging by on the flat coming into the finish. I didn't even see her, and I thought I had a large gap behind me so I wasn't pushing super hard on the last mile. I wish I would have known she was coming, as I would have picked it up to keep her from bridging up to me. I felt good, but I didn't have any sprint left in my legs after all the log hurdling and high knee running through the creek.

I ended up finishing in an hour and forty minutes. I was the third overall female and won my age group. I ended up in the top 20-25 of 180 or so racers, so I was pleased with that considering I haven't run ten miles since my last long adventure race...and certainly not at that type of pace.

It was a really fun event that I'd definitely do again!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Georgia Cross #1

Against my better judgement (ha), I headed down to Macon for the first race of the Georgia Cross Series. I had raced at the venue before and felt that the course didn't suit me very well, but was pleasantly surprised when I saw that this year's course had a couple of forced dismounts through the sand. The Women's A field was pretty stacked with a Pro XC racer and a handful of roadies. My start was bad, as expected, as I just didn't have the horsepower to go out that fast. As we hit the transitions, I started picking off the girls in front of me and eventually made it up to third. I held the girl in front of me to the same gap for a couple of laps, but just never could catch her. The intensity HURT, in a good way, and the running sections were pretty brutal - especially since they all seemed to be at the end of the lap.

It was great to get out there and it reminded me of some things I need to do to perhaps improve my placing next time...

1. Arrive early enough to do more than one lap of a pre-ride and do it at race pace. I misjudged how long the drive there was and we got there late. I didn't do a lap at near race pace, so I didn't have all the corners dialed in and lost a good bit of time on the first lap.

2. Shift to an easy gear before the transition so that you can ride out the hill instead of running the entire way up it...had I done this, I may have been able to catch 2nd place.

3. Do some freaking intervals that involve running up a hill, then jump on your bike and push so hard your eyeballs bleed.

No pics this time...hopefully I can get Chris to go to the next one and take some photos with his snazzy new camera.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Outing with Jayden

Some pics from Boling Park. We also went to Kennesaw Mtn on Tuesday, but she didn't get to go to the top of the mountain. Next week...

Before we took these pics at the bridge, Mom ran a 21 minute 5k (uh...not with the Baby Bjorn), so she is getting back into running shape.