Saturday, August 30, 2008

Maybe it's time

Maybe it is time to see the doctor about my stomach. I've blamed the heat, dehydration and even the altitude but today I had none of those. And there's been days I've ridden with all of those factors and my tummy has been fine. And today the problems started early. I thought maybe the nausea would go away once I was warmed up. But when I met the team 10 miles later I still wanted to throw up.

We headed up Emigration. I was looking forward to making it to the top of Big Mountain before turning around. Not even half way up I could no longer keep pace with the team even though they were going at a real reasonable pace. I've climbed Emigration much faster than that but today it was not meant to be. So I dropped off the back, went into an easy spin and got passed by every old man and weight watcher groupie out there. I only kept going because it was such a beautiful day and I knew the weather was supposed to turn ugly for the rest of the weekend. It felt like the last ride of the summer :(. The other thing that kept me going was the runners. No matter how miserable my stomach was, at least I wasn't running half a marathon.

I made it to the top of Little Mountain and turned around and headed home. The tummy is still not happy and the food commercials are killing me. I'm bummed I missed more of a beautiful morning ride but at least I got my closet cleaned out and at least it wasn't a race day!

So I guess I'll buck up and find a good gastroenterologist. The problem is that I know a lot of them because I work with them. I really don't want people I know sticking scopes in places. Especially if they are only going to come up with some catch all diagnosis like "irritable bowel syndrome". (That diagnosis is like pointing out the obvious- irritable bowels- ya think?) Then in the back of my mind I keep hearing the discussion at the family reunion that the Matheson's have an unusually high rate of colon cancer. So high in fact that the University of Utah was at one time doing a study on us. Ah, a proud family heritage.

Friday, August 29, 2008


Well Diane just emailed me to inform me that the Women's categories for the eagerly anticipated Harvest Moon crit have all been combined. That sucks. As the last UCA race and not a hill climb I was hoping to do well. I have good power and I can handle a corner. . . just not quite as well as the pro women.

As if women's racing isn't discouraging enough. If you don't already know there is no Cat 5 women's category like the men have. There is no come and try out racing with other newbies. Instead come out and race against women that may have years of experience. Add to that incentive, the fact that Women's 4s usually race with the Masters women. Masters is just another name for women that were once pros but are "out of shape" or just don't want to go as long or hard. They are still usually very strong and of course they know how to race.

So let's say you stick it out in the Women's 4 and you figure it out and you start winning. This is not necessarily a good thing. Win enough and you "get" to upgrade. Well sure, if you're strong enough you shouldn't be racing with the beginners, but once you upgrade to a Cat 3 you now get to race with the pros. Usually the the Cat 3 women are combined with the 1/2s.

Okay, okay. I know I'm whining. And I know the reasoning behind all of this combining the women. There just aren't enough women racers. I'm not sure where they are. Maybe home barefoot and pregnant? Handing up waterbottles to their men racers? Afraid to try because of all of the above reasons? Afraid of helmet hair?

C'mon ladies. I know helmet hair is not attractive but racing is fun! You get to push yourself harder than you ever thought possible . . . it relieves stress. . . the racer women are nice (most of us anyway). . . and well it is just cool.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Happy Birthday Austin! Yes 19 is scary!

Happy Birthday to my not so little kiddo Austin. If you guessed that I had him when I was 10 then you are right!

Austin is awesome! My favorite thing about him is how quiet he seems. Really he is just taking mental notes for later. Once he knows you he will harrass and tease you mercilessly. He has the best sense of humor. I never knew the nightly news could be so funny. . but if you watch it with Austin it is hilarious!

I'm so proud of how well he is doing in school. He almost has his Associates in Graphic design then he'll attend the Art Institute to get his bachelors in WebDesign. He works (if that is what you call his job) at as a photo assistant. He is such a great kid and would be one of my favorite people even if he weren't my kid!

Love you Austin!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


On my ride home from the crit I started having detailed fantasies about Crown Burger. It was then I realized I hadn't eaten since lunch! Duh. . no wonder I felt so tired at the crit. I had gu in my pocket and even a fruit roll up but forgot all about them and didn't feel hungry until I was headed home.

It was another one of those days at work. I'm not sure why Tuesdays are especially hectic but I think it may be that our psychologist is there and that is when all the crazies come in. Dr. V also finally made it out after surgery so I could parade him around to all my physicians. I don't think I'd ever go to him. Not that he's not a fantastic surgeon, its just that he could have only started shaving recently and I'm not sure I'd trust him with a scalpel. He looked like a kid dressed up for halloween in his scrubs and pressed white lab coat.

The Crit

C flight was small tonight. The first few laps they were taking it easy, which was fine with me. I was struggling early on to find any power. Kara got sick of the slow pace and attacked on the back stretch. It was awesome! Her short break worked nicely to speed the field up and dump me off the back. She wasn't out too long before being caught. Some young punk pulled up to her and politely said, "ma'am, could you please scoot over" WTF?! She's racing against you and if you don't like her up front then do your own attack.

Once I got off the back I waited to get lapped then hopped back on. I didn't stay for long, I was just done. I wanted a nap. I didn't feel the need to pace with Kara even though she was yelling at me to get my A back in there. I quickly wished I had stayed in since I was immediately acosted with unsolicited advice. Apparently my cranks that used to be awesome, hollow, light and stiff needed to be traded in for the carbon ones which I had been told (by the same person)were too flexible and not stiff enough. Um thanks? Do you have a cheese burger?

Saturday, August 23, 2008

SanPete Classic

Whew! It was great to be back out racing. I am sad that the season is coming to a close. Just the Harvest Moon Crit and we'll be racing cyclocross.

We had a good field starting out with 14 racers. Early on Margaret started with the attacks. With her in the field there is no chance of sitting on and having a group ride- if the pace lets up at all she's gone. Fortunately, she's on my team so I can let the other girls work and pull me up to her. 17 miles in Bev decided it was her turn to attack. Since she is an awesome time trialist we decided we couldn't let her sit out there too long so I chased, pulling most of the pack to her. As soon as we caught Margaret and Kara went off for a counter attack. Crap! I was not recovered and got completely blown off the back.

I don't need much recovery though so I caught my breath and attempted to chase back on. I jumped on wheel after wheel letting them pull me back. By the time I'd caught 4 or 5 women the main field was split in two. I caught back up to the chase pack and there were only 4 left off front. I hung on up the hill despite really wanting to throw up. Kara ran out of water an popped then we managed to drop the RADD girl. Now it was down to Melanie, Jo and me. I knew I could outsprint Jo but Melanie has some serious power. I hopped on her wheel and was ready when she took off at the top of the climb. She pulled me down to the 200 meter mark where I came around her. I hoped she was worn out from pulling me the last 6k but I sprinted too soon. I was out of full power and Mel got me at the line. I finished 6th. I was really happy with my race. I managed to average 172 hr topping out at 190. It was a good, hard, fun day on the bike.

Friday, August 22, 2008

I'm IN! Watch me compete!

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Olympic musings

Since Tour of Utah is over I'm back to my Olympic addiction. Here are a few of my observations:

*To the Chinese women divers: I hope now that you've won Gold and Bronze they will feed you. Of course you don't make a splash. At 60lbs you could do a cannonball and not make a splash

*Why do the women's volleyball wear bikinis and the mens baggy shirts? Come on. . I wanted a little Top Gun action

*BMX is cool

*The open water swimmer amputee is awesome (sniff, sniff)

*Did the swimmers use all of the razors because the Brazilian mens volleyball players are only a couple of days away from looking like Grizzly Adams.

*Track stars have nice legs

*To the USA men's and women's 4X100 relay teams. . . velcro, bubblegum, practice?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Tuesday Night Worlds

Finally I made it back out to RmR tonight. My commute from work is 40 minutes to an hour and between leaving work late and my vacations I haven't made it out for a while. Tonight wasn't looking much better but Dr. V got called into do an appendectomy so he had to reschedule our meeting. Thank you to whomevers appendix burst so I could leave work early!

I am happy to report that I felt great tonight! I thought maybe they were taking it slow but I looked down a few times and we were going 28-31. I did manage to get popped off the back at about 15 minutes in. I was just not paying attention and the field sped up. I got lapped and got back on. (Sorry Gary, I didn't pay 8 bucks to ride by myself. . I do that everyday on my way to work). I did start moving up the outside down the straight away. I just wanted to not be off the back going into the turn. Somebody started whining that I couldn't contest the sprint. I assured him that I knew the rules and he wouldn't be outsprinted by a girl tonight. When the bell rang I pulled off eager to be out of the way of the craziness.

It was fun and felt good. . . . Sanpete here I come!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Feeling better about Time Trials

I woke up a bit crabby today. I'm not sure why. . it's not like I had to race the stupid time trial. It's just that they aren't too exciting to watch and I couldn't understand why they needed marshals there 2 hours before they were to race on a closed course. I wasn't looking forward to standing in the hot sun for hours even though I knew I'd get my daily bottle of warm water from the volunteer tent.

But things got better once we got there. First they needed help in the rider sign in. All of the racers got stamps on their hands so I got to hold hands momentarily with the racers so I could apply the stamp. I'm hoping that will give me more good cycling karma and make me faster. I need all the help I can get since I've been standing around and not riding for a few days now.

My next assignment was for the scales at the start line. I really wanted to help be a holder but I feared I'd be too distracted by the skin suits to do a good job and I didn't want to drop anyone. So I settled with touching the bikes. It was a great job since all of the riders had to come by me. They sat in the shade waiting for their start and when they ran out of chairs they sat on my cooler. How many other people can say Tyler Hamilton sat on their cooler?

Ashley quickly tired of her marshalling job. They put her by some barricades and it was pretty obvious which way the course went since the riders were still in a chute at that point. So she came and sat behind some riders and got a few more autographs for her Rock Racing hat. When she tired of that I shoved her into a Canyon bicyles car and sent her out on course behind a rider.

So it was fun but I'm glad its over. I'm not sure that I'll volunteer again. I spent a lot of money driving all over the place. We did get some swag at the end but next year it might be more fun to choose where to go watch the racing and be able to just enjoy it without getting yelled at by motorists and pedestrians. Hopefully there will be a next year.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Another ROCKin' day

How freaking cool is this? Tyler Hamilton, me, Freddie Rodriguez, and Ashley. Damn!

On the way home from Snowbird we stopped in 7-11 for some gas and Rock Racing was there. One of the guys had a bag full of hats and he graciously gave one to each of my kids. We took them along with the hat I got in the motorcoach last night and headed off to the signing at Contender.

When I gave Tyler my hat to sign he gave me a funny look and asked,"where'd you get this hat?" (Maybe it was his?) I sheepishly admitted that I got it out of his motor coach.(Good thing he hadn't left his shorts in there!) He commented that it was "used and abused". I said that as long as it was one of RR team that used it I was thrilled to have it.

Both Tyler and Freddie were extremely gracious. We thanked them both and told them we'd be out at the race tomorrow to watch them. Freddie said he'd be in the cheering section. He laughed when I told him that I didn't blame him because Time trials suck! (He's actually had a stomach bug that has been bothering him. Then again my stomach hurts just thinking about climbing the Alpine loop).

In other news I have to say congrats to my good friends Tara, Steve, and Mel that all completed the 300 ride. For those of you that don't know they did the same route that the pros did today. . . all 98 miles and 14,000 feet of climbing. Impressive!

The Crit. . .

Fast Freddie. . . looking cool right before the crit.

It was a beautiful thing. 150 guys flying down the straight at 35 mph, flying through turns, breaking away, suffering to hang on, crowds screaming and cheering. . . and people still watch football?

The podium.

It was a great night. All my favorite cycling friends were there to watch and cheer. Sonia and I made sure we were right by the start/finish line. We had so many people wanting to constantly cross the street. A lot of times the same people kept coming back and forth. Some I'd let out to cross and they'd be on their cell phones dilly dallying. It made me a nervous wreck! But it was a safe race, no crashes, no idiot pedestrains strayed onto the course and it was an amazing sprint finish.

After the finish I went and found my kids. They had already been hanging out in the Rock Racing Coach but they were nice enough to let me in for a peek. They even gave me a hat one of the guys had left in there. Sweet! After that I met teammates for dinner at Rio Grande. It was a fantastic night!

Friday, August 15, 2008

This ROCKS!!!!!

Thank you Sean YD! You are right. Why settle for the Caddie when you can go in the motor coach.

Nice flat screen. . .

The cockpit

No. . this picture is not upside down. It was taken by shooting into the mirror on the ceiling. . oh yeah. .

Me, stepping out in style in my new Rock Racing hat. I can only imagine who's head this was on before mine. . . ahhhhh. . .

So Freaking cool!!!!!

Um, oh yeah. . . there was a crit too! I'm tired. More on that tomorrow and more pictures too!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Tour of Utah Stage Two

I managed to get a few pictures today. Austin was up early and ready to go since his GF was coming along. We found the camera and the walkie talkies and he even cleaned out the Jeep. This pic is of the race before they turn to go up the short climb to the top of Little Mountain.

Right after this picture two girls with panniers rolled up from Parleys. They asked which way to Salt Lake. They were finishing their tour from Banf, Canada. They managed to finish their journey in style by riding through an NRC race! They were excited when we told them. They didn't seem to fully understand what we were saying but the word Chipotle got them excited. We passed them down Emigration and they were whooping and hollering with joy. It was cool.

No, I'm not in the car. I thought Austin took a picture of me in front of it but I cannot find it. He is the responsible one in the family and he wouldn't let me sneak into the car. I do have a really cool picture coming of Brandi, Ashley and me with RYAN TREBON! Brandi recognized him-not sure how she can do this when he was wearing jeans and a T-shirt- (stalker?) but I'm glad she did. He was really nice and hopefully some of his cyclocross awesomeness will rub off on me.

Ashley and Michelle got to be Vitamin Water girls for the day. They preceded the race caravan with swag and Vitamin water from the crowd. They did such a good job that they were asked back for Saturday's stage. I'm sure I'll see her fly by hanging out the back of the truck while I'm standing on some hot road making motorists angry.

Oh, by the way. . . there was a bike race today! Here are the current standings so far:
1 Blake Caldwell, Garmin/Chipotle
2 Darren Lill, BMC Pro Cycling
3 Jason Donald, Garmin/Chipotle
4 Jeffry Louder, BMC Pro Cycling
5 Brent Brookwalter, BMC Pro Cycling
6 Glen Chadwick, Team Type 1
7 Phil Zajicek, Team Health Net
8 Cesar Grajales, Rock Racing
9 Tyler Hamilton, Rock Racing
10 Oscar Rivera, Rock Racing

Cool to see local Jeff Louder in there. Tomorrow night is the downtown crit. I'm so excited! Crits are my favorite, both to race and to watch.

At the finish line today (and in the canyon)it was nice to see some teammates. It was especially nice to see Chase back out on his bike. He said he'll get his wires off his jaw on Tuesday and that he's looking forward to a years worth of plastic surgery-ick! He seems to be in good spirits. He is an awesome kid and I have no doubt that he'll come back stronger than ever.

On the drive home tonight I saw something interesting. A Chipotle kit on a bike pulled up next to me at a stoplight. At first I just figured it was a local rider but then I looked closer. The first thing I noticed was that this guy was riding on 3500 S. in West Valley! I don't usually even dare drive my car on that road let alone ride my bike on it. I noticed that he had not just the kit but socks and was riding the Team Felt. This guy didn't look tired enough to have just finished Stage 2 and he was a little stockier than most of the guys in the pro peleton. Finally I just had to roll down my window and ask what the H he was doing. Turns out he is part of the staff for Chipotle and was just out for a ride. I gave him some advice about a better route to take West and he agreed 3500 S. sucked. I hope the rest of his ride was nicer.

Well, time to go watch some Olympics then off to bed and up for an early bike ride. Sanpete road race is coming up quickly!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Tour of Utah Stage One

No pictures today. After teaching at the gym it was rush, rush to get out the door. Of course, I couldn't find my camera, or my walkie talkies. . just one of those kind of mornings. So we didn't get a lot of time before the race to check out the "equipment" but it was still cool to see the big teams like Chipotle and Rock Racing. It was cool to see our Utah All Stars too, although I can't tell who anyone is since they're not in their usual kits.

We had marshall position one so we got to see the early break. It was huge, but I guess they got off course and lost most of it. It is pretty obvious that we need more marshalls. . . and ones that know what they are doing. Better course maps would help too. After our first stop Austin and I headed to the loop up on hill top road. We had enough time to drive around and see what was up. They had Austin assigned to a corner where there was a dirt road. The cyclists weren't likely to get off course there. However, there was no one at the intersection of US89 so I dropped him off and went back to the fork early on.

It was fun for me to see my friends Holly, Robert and BG go by. Richard came by on his motorcycle and I got a high 5. Kind of like a big parade of all the people I really like followed by a huge peleton of amazing cyclists.

Tomorrow we only have one stop in Morgan so I'm hoping to make either the finish line or the top of Big Mountain to just be a spectator. I'm also hoping to get to the race earlier . . . maybe sneak into a Rock Racing Caddy for a picture. . shhhhhh. . don't tell.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Downhill fun!

Sorry, I didn't get any pictures this time. Sunday Austin got us lift passes and he, Kara and I headed for the hills. I'm not sure if it is just the heat or the end of the season but both Kara and I have had a hard time recovering so a little easy DH action is exactly what we needed.

As we started down the first run Kara took off. When I caught up to her she was squeezing the skin on her knee together and it was crusted with blood. She had crashed hard slamming her head into a tree. (I know this is starting to sound familiar). She said she thought she might need stitches but since the bleeding had stopped we carried on for a few more hours. Austin was doing great on his new 29er and it wasn't long before him and Kara were headed down the black diamonds. Kara's feeling was that she was already bleeding so what the hell. I stayed on the blue trails but was feeling good. I was riding well and not being a chicken and I was clipped in so I am pretty happy with myself.

Anyway, we had a lovely day flying down great trails with the cool mountain air and not a car to be seen. At 1:00 we met Lacey and Sharon and had a nice lunch on the patio. When Kara got home she cleaned up her knee and since she could pretty much see to the bone she headed to the Instacare where she got 12 stitches and was told to stay off her bike for 2 weeks. I'm sure I'll see her in spin class on Thursday. After all Sanpete is coming up.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

I'm an addict. . .

I'm a big dork. I love the Olympics! I have reminders on my email, I browse through the photos and I watch every sport I can. My desktop is configured to show me when my favorite sports are on and on what channels. I think my favorite things are the little stories about the trials and tribulations that some of the athletes go through to get to the Olympics. Last night the cute little kid that saved his classmates in the China earthquake got me boobing. I'm sure tonight they'll have some story about a guy that didn't have a pool to train in so he swam in the sewer and I'll be crying again.

Update: I just talked to my teammate Kara. She is still wearing the clothes she went to bed in last night and has been watching the Olympics all day. She decided this morning to quit cycling and become and Olympic rower. By this afternoon she's given up hopes of rowing and is now chasing dreams of Olympic beach volleyball. Nice to know I'm not the only Olympic Geek.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Little brothers

I don't know how or when but I'll pay you back for this one! I just hope this doesn't adversly effect my gas mileage!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

What a weekend. . .

This weekend was Tour of Park City. Since I was officiating I got to stay up there the night before. Ashley came with me and we headed up early for some girl time in PC. We hit the arts festival and then paid too much for Mexican food but got to sit out on the deck. She came with me on the promise that we'd get up early and hit Walmart before the race so she could read "Breaking Dawn". Unfortuntatley, we found out that Walmart in PC doesn't open until 7 am and we'd be on the course by then. She was pretty bummed.

But Holly saved the day. Ashley and I were just returning from a swim in the hotel pool when Richard called and said that Holly would pick us up a copy of the book at midnight and have it there for us pre race in the morning. THANK YOU HOLLY! Yesterday would have been a very long day of whining about when we could get the book if Holly hadn't saved the day. Holly was a bit tired when she showed up to be the Chief Ref on only 2 hours of sleep but she made both of our 13 year olds very happy.

My job yesterday was to follow the pack of 85 Cat4/5 men. They got off to a rocky start when the announcer told everyone they were the masters group. A few turned around but we got it straightened out. My daughter thought it was hilarious when she figured out why the guys were pulling off the road and she giggled even more when a few relieved themselves off thier bikes. Thanks guys for entertaining my 13 year old.

The pack stayed together for a long time. I had to warn a few guys because they were just hanging out in the left lane. I understand that we all get bumped out there but you cannot just ride out there- it is not only against the rules it is dangerous. Thankfully it wasn't anyone I knew! The field finally split with a one man break away up Chalk creek. I followed him until he was caught by about 10 others and then I followed them all into Evanston. At Evanston I got some food and headed back to the start line so that I wouldn't miss the 123 finish.

It was exciting to see teammates Jeremy Smith and Spence DeBry cross the finish line in 1st and 3rd. Clint, ET, Todd and Jan all looked strong but somehow missed a turn and hurt their finish time and placement. At the finish line we were dealing with number issues because the race bible told everyone to put their number on the Right but then the Sportsbase trailer was set up on the left. The worst part was that the finish line was in a rec center parking lot where they were holding soccer tournaments. That meant we had vans full of kids and soccer moms driving and walking where guys were trying to sprint. I thought I'd have a heart attack!

Then I saw Jamie pull up and went over to talk to her. That is when I heard about Shane getting run down by a driver. Fortunately he is okay but his bike is in peices. Patrick got in a few punches and the guy was charged with assault. I think the guy got off easy. I think he should be charged with attempted murder! Breanne also took a spill and ended up with some facial cuts. Scary stuff!

Tour of PC looks to be another Epic race/ride like Lotoja. At 12 hours we finally shut down the finish line but I'm sure there were plenty of riders still out on the course!

Here are a few pics. . . I didn't get very many. . . too busy!

I won't let her kiss boys yet but Moose in drag are okay.

Ashley riding a bike rack. Nice position although she complained that the seat was a little uncomfortable.

Today Kara and I decided to avoid cars and hit the trail. We headed north to meet Diane but she changed her mind. So we went on up to Snowbasin anyway. We picked an easier trail but it was still more climbing than I wanted to do. At the time I was wishing we'd paid the chair lift fee but I'm glad I got in a good workout. It was nice single track with a few rocky patches but nothing technical. We were done by lunch and had a nice lunch and beer on the deck at The Oaks.