Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Ladies

5 to Go!

5 more classes to go and I will finally have my bachelor's degree! Since I only have time and can only afford one class at a time it will still be December before I'm done. I'm trying not to get too excited planning what I'll do with my spare time. But hopefully I can fill the time I usually spend reading and writing papers with eating better and training harder. It will be so nice to focus more on my racing!

Here's what I have left:
1.US History (zzzzz)
2.Geography of World commerce (this seems obvious. Oil= Middle East, Cheap, lead filled products= China, Bikes= Europe and the US)
3.World Religious traditions (I grew up here, there are other religions?)
4.Principles of biology (may be interesting but possibly EW! At least with online courses there shouldn't be any dissecting)
5.Psychology of Personality (ha, maybe I can begin to understand what makes myself and my fellow cyclists do this crazy sport!)

Monday, April 28, 2008

East Canyon Pictures

Suffering, suffering, suffering.
Click on the Zazoosh link at the right to check out all of the amazing Ski Utah divas of cycling!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

East Canyon Road Race WOW!

WOW! What a great day! Not because I did well but I did blow myself up trying! Actually I didn't expect to do great at this race. I know my teammates and I know some of our opponents. I have some amazing climbers and some amazing all around cyclists on my team. At this point I'm still not sure of the finish but I know Allison, Breanne and Jamie were all up there.

For me it was a training race. I could have gone South and done the Cactus Hugger but there is no way I would have worked as hard as I did today. It was great training. We started off with Gary telling us how proud he was of our field. I think he might have had a tear in his eye when he talked about how we were out there "really racing". He was right. We are out there racing hard and boy is it fun.

Our group headed out at about 20 mph around the lake and up the rollers. Everyone seemed a little antsy and maybe a little hesitant knowing some serious climbing was coming. I was sitting second wheel behind a Kuhl girl that kept slowing looking like she didn't want to be up front. As we left the lake and started climbing I'm not sure why but I attacked. I think part of me just wanted a head start up that hill knowing that it wouldn't be long before I was dropped. Why not at least start out up front? I also thought it might be fun to just mix things up. I knew for sure my teammates would have no problem in further stringing out the field. One of my teammates caught me and said "look what you did to the field!" It was very satisfying to look back and see all of the other teams strung out behind me while the Ski Utah girls were taking off ahead of me.

Unfortunately, I really didn't think about what the attack would do to me. I guess I thought once I was caught I could sit on and rest. There is NO sitting on and NO resting on the wall. My friend Diane compares each big power surge to lighting a match and each time you light one that is one less you have to burn. Well, I had just lit my entire match book by the time I reached the top of the wall. I hoped for a nice recovery on the descent but the head wind kept me from ever topping out my pedals. Thanks to John's training centuries he took me on last season, I knew the descent and hammered all the way down. However, with no more matches I was unable to catch anyone and suffered out the rest of the ride alone. I wasn't last though. I saw at least two ladies that were behind me at the turn around.

Still it was a great day. I pushed myself to my limits and beyond. I never push myself as hard as I do in a race. I also had the pleasure of seeing Saul Raisin on my descent and he was right in what he told me "things really do get better". I have come a long way since my injury. I also got to race a train and got him to blow his horn for me- my Dad will be thrilled when I tell him.

So, exhausted and happy I'm going to go sit on my couch and drink some water and fill my match book up again. Hopefully today's overload will mean I have a few extra for the next race.

Friday, April 25, 2008

How to get out of work early

MRSA. Healthcare-Associated Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

It started as a bug bite on my shin. Today it was bugging me so I pulled up my pant leg to look at it and the bug bite is now bright red and swollen. Since they were already talking about mucus in the lunchroom I didn't think anyone would be bothered by my sore. Sure enough 3 docs gathered around and concluded that it looks like some kind of staph infection. Since I work in healthcare and I have had surgery in the past year it is likely MRSA. I got loaded up with topical antibiotics and was immediately sent to the pharmacy to start on oral antibiotics.

Please note that if my performance at East Canyon sucks tomorrow I will not hesitate to use my flesh eating bacteria as an excuse.

So I got my prescription and headed to the bike shop. I have found my next road bike. Well, once I win the lottery or get a sugar daddy or something. It is a beautiful silver Litespeed. It has lovely red accents but the best part is the sparkly silver fork. Oh ya, it is also full Durrace with deep dish carbon Bontrager wheels. On a more realistic note I checked out the LeMond Poprad cyclocross bike. Another carbon/steel mix, 105/Ultegra components. $1499. Hmmmm. I think I have some tuition reimbursement coming.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Broadway Night

My daughter loves the theater and loves to be on stage. I was excited for her and very nervous when she told me that her and her friend Ashleigh would be singing "Angel of the Night" from Phantom of the Opera at Westlake Jr. High's Broadway night.

My Ashley is an amazing actress but not a fantastic singer and I feared Andrew Lloyd Webber might be a bit of a stretch. But her and Ashleigh stole the show. They came out in prom dresses with hair and make up done to perfection. My daughter strolled out looking confident and beautiful in her evening gown . . . . and skater shoes. At first I was a bit appalled by her choice of shoes but it put the whole night into perspective. The show wasn't about the prettiest costume or the best voices but about getting out there and doing your best. That is what my kid did. I am so proud!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Coolest People

What a great community of cyclists we have! I was excited to see Marit and Christy out at RMR tonight. They didn't race but I could tell they were tempted. As usual we had a great group of Ski Utah women including Margaret, Jamie, Kara, Gail, Nancy and me and it was good to see Jennie out going for it again. It was also good to see the Porcupine guy (damn, I can't remember his name). He said his legs were still sore, probably from hauling my butt into the wind for 3 hours on Saturday.

When I got there I realized I had brought last year's race plate because suddenly there was the name Ben by my number. Gary took the number away from me (I don't know what he thought I was going to do with it. Maybe he was worried about getting Ben and me mixed up) and I was a bit sad since I had crashed that number and it was a bit nostalgic. My legs felt like lead and I dropped off early. Once again I should have warmed up better, my 6 mile ride over is not quite enough. I had fun working with Gail, Kara and Jennie and when the pack lapped us I hopped back on (against Gary's wishes). I was able to hang until the bell lap then I was completely fried.
Great training, great people. What more could you ask for on a Tuesday night.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Clubbin part II

Since I'm still hankering for a cross bike and I keep wanting a better bike with better components, I opted to save money and not make the drive to Idaho for Tax Day circuit. Of course, once I heard the race report from Brandi I was sad I wasn't there. Win or lose I really love racing. My club rides make me realize how much. By the way congrats to Jamie and Breanne for taking 1st and 2nd.

So I went out and did the BBC Willard Bay century. I figured it would be a good way to get some base miles and practice chasing and breaking away. Somehow my group made a few wrong turns and got off course. Eventually though I was able to catch up with the "racer" boys of the team. I said Hi as we stopped for a Stop sign and as soon as they saw me in full Ski Utah kit they took off. It was obvious that they were hammering hard in an effort to drop me. That was fine with me. I chased and chased until I realized that I still had about 70 more miles to ride today so I'd better save some matches.

I caught up with them at the Willard Bay turn around and told them "good job on dropping a Cat 4 woman!" One of them asked me about my kit and I told them that I race for Ski Utah. He asked why I wasn't racing for BBC. As innocently as possible I asked, "you guys race? I've been to every single race this season and haven't seen you." He mumbled something about "training" and they quickly got on their bikes and left me so they could be the first ones back. I guess they do race, they race back to thier cars in an effort to beat other club riders.

I waited and left with my real club friends. They are the reason I even still go to club rides. We had such a screaming tail wind on the way out we knew we were in for some suffering on the way back. They were all kind enough to wait for me through 2 flats! GRRRR! Oh well better out there than in a race. Although a wheel car would have been nice. It was a long slow grind back to Centerville. The tailwind that was pushing us a long at 26-30 mph was now in our face and we were lucky to do 15!

I did meet a real Porcupine racer also out for some more base miles. He crashed about 2 weeks after me at RMR and was in a coma! He's back out this year though and back to racing at RMR. I am sorry to say though that neither of us racers won the race back to the car. But congrats to those BBC racers that did.

Also, congrats to my dearest friend Tara. She rode yesterday for her second ride in months due to a back injury and managed to do 77! I can't wait to see her kick some butt at Lotoja. Way to go girl!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

A day in the life. . .

So I saw Matt today. Nice to be touched by a man even if he has to remind me to breathe through the pain. He has this knack for finding trigger points in my legs that send me through the roof! Oh yes, Matt is my massage therapist- get your mind out of the gutter. My neck has been bothering me since using my new TT bars. Another reason to avoid TTs.

Today I was grateful to get out of the office early and go for a massage. I'm doing interviews for a front desk person. The first interview talked so much and so fast I couldn't get a word in edgewise. The second no showed and the third immediately burst into tears when we walked into my office and I shut the door. My fourth and final interview was just odd. I asked her how she would fill the rest of her shift if she had completed all her work. She replied that she'd feel great. Okay, poor wording on the question but it was HR's not mine!

So Saltair time trials tonight but not for me. I am actually sad because the sun is shining and it is supposed to be crap this weekend. I also wanted to try out my new chain and clean chainring and cassette. But I'll be watching the kiddo's dance performance and trying to stay awake. I'm sure the 5 minutes she is on stage will make it all worth it!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

More gray sky. . .

Okay, it is not quite this bad but it is currently snowing outside my office window. I think the Ice Princess from Narnia is calling the shots and just wont quite let spring come. So between the weather and still being wiped from Triple Valley I am going to bag RMR and go home and put a new chain on my bike while having a glass of wine. I do love using my chain tool, it is very satisfying to pop that pin out! Weird, it I am sad to miss RMR. It feels like an old friend after all we've been through. I'll be back next week though and ready to chase the boys around.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Triple Valley Stage Race

No pics yet but hopefully soon. Here is how it went down- at least for me.

Stage One: Skull Valley Road Race. This was a 40 mile out and back rolling hills course. We started with 10 Cat 4 Women and 2 Masters, at least that is what was on the start list. Early on we realized we were missing Nancy and Allison. The pack headed out at a reasonable pace and it wasn't until about mile 10 we started to see some attacks. Nobody got away for long because the Ski Utah women easily worked together to reel them back in.

About mile 18 Diane (Mazda One) attacked and when we had caught her Margaret indicated that this would be a good time for me to counter. So I got in my drops and powered out ahead. My first attack ever. I stayed out suffering for what seemed an eternity (it was probably only a few minutes). The pack almost flew by the turn around as they were working to catch me. It was about this time that I realized Allison had TT'd her way up to catch us!

After the turn around Brandi and Michelle (Procyclery) got away. They were working together and we could see them getting farther away. The Ski Utah Ladies used this opportunity to sit up and let the unfortunate few that had no teammates figure out how to catch the break. Finally after the kind of cattiness that only a woman's race can bring, they started working hard. Once we could see they were going to get caught we started working too. With 5K to go we were all back together. My goal was to follow Margaret. She was resting off the back with me when we hit the 1K line she suddenly took a great line nearly riding in the dirt to move up and won the sprint. I was blocked in and finished the sprint in 7th. We got the same time since we were all together.

Stage 2: 12K Time Trial. I warmed up well and with my new aerobars I was optimistic that I could do a decent TT. I went hard but wasn't able to stay in my bars the entire time because so much of the course was climbing. In the last few miles I got caught and passed by Jillian, Breanne, and Diane! AAAArrrrgh! I new I was losing serious time. I was mumbling and cursing TTs when my friends Brent and Stan showed up to check out this racing scene. I'm not sure they are convinced that racing is a lot of fun since I was taking off my aerobars and getting ready to see how well they would work as boomerangs. I just couldn't figure out how I could feel so good in the road race, go for break aways, chase attacks and then be so slow in the TT. I guess I really will have to practice!

Stage 3: Circuit race. I really wish this had been a crit. I warmed up by trying out the course with Jamie. My legs felt like lead weights. I don't think the muscles were turning the pedals I think I was just picking up each leg and letting gravity pull it back down to turn the pedals. But it was a beautiful sunny day and I hoped I could warm up a bit more as we rolled out.

Thanks to the TT I was 4 minutes behind Jillian. Teammates Breanne and Allison were closest to Jillian in the GC but we still needed to gain 41 seconds to get a Ski Utah win. The plan was for Margaret, Jamie, Brandi and me to work on blocking Jillian so Breanne and Allison could get away and get the time they needed. It wasn't long before that plan went awry as Margaret, Brandi and I were all unable to hang on the long grind. Brandi and I worked together to finish 6th and 7th. I guess up ahead of us things got crazy as Breanne missed the turn and Jillian followed her. Jamie and Allison made the turn and took off. Diane also missed the turn and after the second miss DNF'd. Working together Allison and Jamie held off the rest of the field and Allison finished 1st in the GC. Jillian dropped to 2nd, Jamie 3rd, Breanne 4th, Unknown girl 5th, me 6th and Brandi 7th.

Ski Utah also did well in other Cats as well. Chase barely lost GC in the Men's 3s. He ran out of gears on the super fast downhill sprint. Just wait until he gets to use big gears. He will be flying! Patrick also pulled out a win in today's stage in the Men's 1/2s field. I'm not sure how everyone else did. Jeremy put on an awesome race! It was so much fun!

One bad side note, Clint Carter crashed hard in the men's 3 field on Stage 1. He was airlifted to U of U hospital. He had a nasty gash to his face and has injured his neck but he is home now and doing better.

Friday, April 11, 2008


Last night I went back to my biking roots and did a club ride with the BBC (formerly BBTC). Some of my best friends are still big clubbies and it is fun to ride with them and then chat over dinner and beers after. I think I'll have to make a point of doing this more often. It is very good for my self esteem. For the most part I used it as a recovery ride and a chance to burn of a few hundred more calories to justify my beer. Since I was in full team kit the "fast" guys of the group wanted to prove they could still beat me. I chased them a couple of times but I let them beat me up 2300 East. It does make me see how far I've come from the days when this ride used to kill me.

Dinner was interesting. I got lots of questions about racing. Like why are all but the pro races so short? Aren't criteriums dangerous? How much do races cost? etc. etc. It is interesting to see the mentality. For them every club ride is a competition and a chance to prove how fast they are, but they are all scared to cross into the world of real racing. I guess it is easier to keep beating women and fat old men than to get out and really race. By the way, I think they are all going to try Bear Lake so give them a wide berth or better yet just drop them early on so they wont crash you.

Well, I'm off to get some stuff done. My bike is still filthy from HOTN and I have to do all of my schoolwork today so I wont have to worry about it this weekend. Yeah! Triple Valley here I come!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Pictures from Hell

Uh oh. I'm busted. Poofy windbreaker! I was going to shed it but ran out of time!

Kara pulling. We had to keep reminding her not to pull away from us every time she's up front. She just got her bike fit and went from clubbie rider to racer. She's going to kill us now!

The pictures are in reverse order. We dropped the Wasatch Woman (in the orange) and somehow Kara soloed to catch up to us.

No Nancy didn't pull me the whole way. Just a lot of it while I was having calf cramping. She is a stud!

Monday, April 7, 2008

The Invitation

It doesn't interest me what you do for a living.
I want to know what you ache for
and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.

It doesn't interest me how old you are.
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon...
I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened by life's betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closedfrom fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me is true.
I want to know if you can disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,"Yes."

It doesn't interest me
to know where you live or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn't interest me who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like the company you keep
in the empty moments.

Author Unknown

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Better than expected

I guess when you have extremely low expectations of something then you are bound to be pleasantly surprised. (I should try this in other areas of my life as well. Wasn't there a SNL skit about "lowered expectations"?) Anyway. I strapped on my new earobars and took them out for a spin. I bought some used ones and they turned out to be really nice. They adjust both side to side and fore and aft. I was able to adjust them so that they do not interfere with my elbow.

Thanks to my Dad there is a nice stretch of paved road that is still closed to the public so I spent about an hour riding back and forth on it. I had no trouble riding the bars and I even feel like I could lower my handlebars another inch and be fine. I actually feel like TTs might be a little less torture now that I won't be forced back onto my hoods when my right tricep starts twitching from fatigue. I still was clock watching and ready to be done once the novelty of riding the bars wore off. But overall I was pleasantly surprised. Hopefully, I'll be pleasantly surprised this weekend for Triple Valley as well.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

I woke up this morning with an upset stomach. It wasn't nerves for the race, I get excited for a race but never sick. I'm sure my time in the toilet left me a bit dehydrated.But since it is a flat course I decided to go for it. I held down my OJ, toast and coffee even though I felt bloated and yucky and headed for the course. I didn't warm up as long as I should have. I'm still learning the hard way how important that is for me.

We headed off at a resonable pace and my stomach was fine! We turned and hit the dirt road and Breanne, Jamie and Melanie (WWC) broke away. Margaret chased them down and as I stood to jump on her wheel to get pulled up to them my left calf cramped. I sat down and spun out. Nancy caught me and told me to hop on her wheel. I would pedal hard then stand up and try to stretch. As soon as that calf let off the other one started in, even worse. I stayed on Nancy's wheel for most of that lap (thank you Nancy, you are a stud). On the nice fast tailwind section I downed a bunch of water and my calves were able to recover.

Kris, Nancy and I were together and we started taking turns pulling when out of nowhere comes Kara! Us fantastic four Ski Utah ladies worked together and were able to drop the rest of the field. We never did catch the break but we had fun working hard together and practicing our eschelons into the wind. We had our own little sprint finish and I pulled it out!

Results were: Women's 4, 1st Breanne (Ski Utah), 2nd Jamie (Ski Utah), 3rd Melanie (WCC), 4th Me!, 5th Kris (Ski Utah), 6th Kara (Ski Utah). I don't know after that, 3 women from our field DNF'd. I think if I had been alone in that wind I would have too! Master Women: 1st Margaret (Ski Utah), 2nd Nancy (Ski Utah). We cleaned house! Way to go ladies!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Two things I've never done with my bike. . until today

A First! My bike has taken me many places. Mountain passes in Colorado, hippie towns in the desert and even to the border of Mexico. But today we took the tram to the top of Hidden Peak (11000 feet above sea level with a 148" of snow!)

The President of Ski Utah invited us up to Hidden Peak this morning for a team photo shoot. We took the first tram up at 8 am with the Ski Patrol and our bikes. At the top we practiced our pose in the warming hut then stripped down to our kits and ran out for a pic. Hard to tell how cold it really is by the picture but it is not nearly as warm as it looks. We got some pictures with the women's 4 group as well as individual pictures that are coming soon!

Another First! So after consulting with the boys on the team I spent the afternoon putting electrical tape over most of my bike frame. Tomorrow is Hell of the North and I couldn't take my baby to the top of the world one day and then let her get beat up by gravel the next. I am told that this is just the protectant my bike will need!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

My Little Thespian

Lil' Abner

I guess I'm going to see a play tonight. Ashley had decided she wasn't going to be in this year's school play because she didn't get a major role and she was already very busy after school with dance, basketball and girls' choir. But the fact that there would be a spotlight and she wouldn't be in it was too much for her to bear. So, having only been to 2 practices she convinced Ms. Rounds (yes if you went to Westlake in the past 25 years this is the same Ms. Rounds- she's timeless!) to let her play the role of dog catcher. Ashley said last night she faked her way through the dances and feels like she did fairly well. So we'll see! It does get me out of the TT!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

TT bars?

Why is it that these remind me of the gynecologists office?
Any suggestions? I'm looking at them as a necessary evil really. One of my goals for the year is to finish in the top 50% in a TT. Since I'm usually in the bottom 10% this will be a big goal for me. If I don't finish last it is usually because some poor girl flatted and is walking her bike so she can do the next stage. Stage races are the only reason I'm working on my TT performance. Every single stage race seems to have one! If I lose 3 or 4 minutes off the leader that amount of time is near impossible to make up in a road race or crit.

So, I'm checking out a pair of used bars on Friday for $75 but there are $50 ones on Performance. I guess for me my biggest worry is keeping the pressure of my right elbow. If I can rest on my forearms I'll be okay. But there are wires right beneath the skin on for the last inch before my elbow. Then on the end of my elbow is where the other wires actually come out of the bone. All it takes is a light tap and a nice wave of nausea hits me and I curse like a sailor. Hmmmm. Maybe I should rest on my elbow. The pain might keep me more focused and moving faster to get the darn TT overwith. Oh dammit! I'll never have this all worked out before Triple Valley.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


Same usual pain different day of the week. Tonight I started off cold with legs feeling like lead. I'm still fighting this stupid cold and the chilly damp air doesn't help things. Tonight there was no hanging onto the fast guys for me, especially since we were in the oval and I couldn't use the accordian effect on the corners to keep up. Hopefully next week will be warmer and drier!

The Ski Utah ladies came out and represented well. Jamie rocked it and stayed in the fast pack the whole race! Way to go girl! Nancy, Kara and I got great practice working together and had a great time. It was good to see Jenny out racing again too.

I'm so excited to see our women out there working so hard and working so well together. Doing the crits will help us in every other race. Every time we go out to RMR we are giving ourselves a bigger advantage over the other ladies that aren't out there working thier buns off or working together. Ski Utah Ladies are going to have a great season!

Now I just need to get some TT bars and talk myself into going out Thursday. TT's are not my favorite thing. ZZZZZzzzzz. . . oh! look at my HR, oh look a bird, oh look I'm in a race and now I'm only going 10 mph zzzzzz. Can you say ADD? Crits and road races are so much more fun. See wheel, chase wheel, rest, go faster, drop someone, see new wheel, yeah corners! No time to look at HR or care! Fun, fun, fun! At least there is Hell of the North to look forward too.