Monday, September 29, 2008

The Cavemen cometh. .

So Fatty's blog has had me thinking. First off I don't really like what Lisa's friend said (you'll have to go to Fatty's blog and read it for yourself). Anyway, no woman should ever say anything to the effect of "have to ride with us girls". That makes it sound like we are all slow and could never keep up with a man and should be home scrubbing pots or painting our nails or something. I know some really damn fast women that a lot of men would be lucky to hang with- not have to hang with. The implication that you are a slow, fat, out of shape man to be riding with women is insulting to us women!!

Outside of that comment Fatty's post was great. I'm glad that he is man enough to admit there is a neandrathal in there that makes him want to catch women on bikes if only for the sole purpose of clubbing them and taking them back to his cave.

But that begs the question of what is the protocol? Not that I pass alot of men nor am I suddenly going to start going slower so I don't pass you. But do you want me to smile and say hi? comment on the weather? or just pretend like I didn't see you there suffering?

And maybe I'm a bit of a chick neandrathal because I like to chase just to see if I can hang. . . and even better if I can pass.

Along those same lines I once dated a guy (it has been known to happen) that was a cyclist (supposedly a track racer from somewhere East). We had a few dinner dates then decided to ride Emigration. At first I wondered why he was letting me take the lead. Then I realized he couldn't hang. . . at all! Then I didn't know what to do. Is it more insulting to ride really slow with him while he's gasping? Go ahead and then stop and wait? I chose to ride easy but I still dropped him. I asked all of the women that were passing me if they'd seen him and what they thought I should do. Needless to say that was our last date. I guess a real man wouldn't have cared but since then I've tried to only date guys faster than me.

So the neandrathal thing brings me around to RMR. I suspect that a bit of this caveman clubbing stuff was going on a couple of weeks ago when there was a 20 man and one woman pile up in C flight. My teammate Kara was feeling good and still in the race with 3 laps to go. She followed another teammate off the front. The remainder of the field put the hammer down to chase and the result was a big mess! Was this a neandrathal reaction? Given the previous week's comments of "ma'am can you please get out of the way?" I'm kind of thinking so. You know, if you don't like being behind a girl in a race, don't let it happen.

Even sweet little Alisha Welch has dealt with comments like "OMG, you're a girl!" as she passes men in hill climb races. I guess it is good that her hubby is still faster than her up the hills. . . but only a little. One day she just may beat him. I'll be watching for Dave standing on the side of the road beating his bare chest and throwing leaves!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Harvest Moon Crit

It was a great day for a bike race! It was pretty hot for the end of September but I'll take that over too cold!

My back has still been bothering me, although it seems to get a little better each day. But I decided to take some Tylenol and give the race a try anyway. They combined us with the 123 women and we were off for 45 minutes. I was worried about the longer time but as it turns out I actually started feeling better as the race went on.

Laura P. took off right from the start. The field managed to stay together for the first few laps but the 123's were just too fast for us 4s and the field split into 2. The 4s worked together and maintained our speed and when the 123s slowed we managed to catch them. It wasn't too long though before they were launching attacks and dropping us again. For the rest of the race we had our own little field. There were a few attempts to bridge but none lasted long. Eventually our entire group was lapped by the faster gals.

My cardio felt great and I was able to stay in my drops pretty comfortably. The only time my back really gave me trouble was when I tried to stand. Pushing down on the handlebars was pretty miserable- so I just sat! But overall I feel pretty good about my performance, even though my results don't show much. I took some good pulls and attempted to break up our group but was never able to stay out too long. On the final lap I should have been more aggressive about staying toward the front since the final sprint after the corner was so short. So between bad positioning and sprinting from my saddle I slid backward and only finished ahead of 2 people. Oh well. It was a good last race. I'm happy that I was in a group and able to give some hard efforts. And of course, crits are always fun!

James was out taking pictures so hopefully I'll have some to post soon.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Crash and Burn

Crash and Burn. That is the new nickname that Scott gave Kara and Me. I'm not sure which one of us is which.

So today I took Kara to her appointment at the wound specialist. Her ankle on her left leg is non-existent from the swelling. There really is no skin from her knee down to her ankle. When she removed the bandages the wound was covered in a nice green slime.

Her conversation with the doctor went like this:

Dr:How did you do this?
K:bike racing
Dr: A motorcycle?
K:no, a pedal bike
Dr:a BMX bike? (sheer puzzlement. You know he's imagining Kara on a beach cruiser)
K:no, a road bike
Me:Like Tour de France
Dr:(Still puzzled) How fast were you going?
Dr and male nurse: silence
Dr:maybe you should wear leather
Me:That would look great with the kit! Ski Utah leathers!

By going with Kara I had hoped that would mean they would give her good drugs and I could drive her home. But no, they slathered her leg with lidocane and the doctor went to work scraping, yes scraping off the green stuff. He scraped until it bled. I cringed in the corner and Kara, stud that she is pulled her hat down over her face and sucked it up.

I was impressed with Kara's fortitude. She threatened to go take care of the patient throwing a fit in the waiting room, she accused the doctor of making grown men cry and she told him he needed to do it faster "like ripping off a bandaid". But no tears and no swearing. I probably would have cried like a baby but dang that girl is tough.

Afer her visit I drove her to the pharmacy where we gawked at the hot pharmacist. Then we had a nice lunch. She still has some more healing time but hopefully with two oral and one topical antibiotic she'll get her ankle back soon.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


I thought I had signed up for the Contender Cross clinic on Thursday nights. I can only go every other week because of my classes at Gold's but it still would have been worth the $5. But I just looked on the list and I never did register- dang! Oh well, I guess I'll just have to go by myself to the park by my house and practice. (You should see my big pouty lip). The neighbors already think I'm weird anyway. I'm sure this will help.

Licking our wounds

Last night I went over to visit Kara. Her road rash is terrible! It starts at her ankle and goes all the way up to her waist on the left side. There really is no skin on her elbow and her forearm has another huge patch. Crazy girl should have been sitting around with her leg up but instead she was playing hostess, keeping everyone's drinks filled and taking care of kids. By 8 her leg was swollen pretty good and by that time I was also leaning forward in my chair attempting to take the pressure off my back. We're quite the pair!

Today Kara had big plans to sit home and watch football while her hubby took the kids to the Zoo. I hope that is what she did. I woke up with the back feeling pretty good and too much pent up energy. I cleaned the house and couldn't take it anymore. The sun was shining, the leaves were turning and there was a nice cool breeze blowing. How could I stay off my bike? So I decided on an easy ride up Emigration. By the time I'd pumped up my tires I was starting to think that riding might not be such a good idea. . . oh well, I don't generally listen to reason. So I went. I turned off my bike computer and rode without heart rate. I took it pretty easy since breathing deeply seems to be the second biggest source of pain, right after standing and pulling on my handlebars. So I sat and spun all the way up. I got passed a lot. I even got passed by a guy with fenders and a rubber duckie on his handlebars which he squeaked at me as he went by. I must have been going really slow!

So now I'm sore, but not too bad. The ride was worth it. I needed the mental break that riding gives me and it would have been terrible to waste such a beautiful fall day. I think in a few more days I'll be good too go! Harvest Moon here I come!

Friday, September 19, 2008

More of the same

Back to PT today. There was more folding, popping, hugging and twisting. After that another coworker put electrodes on my back and set me up on the heating pads. I wish I could say that I immediately felt better. Instead I spent the afternoon trying not to breath because the wrong move would cause major spasms and major pain.

At 3:30 I left work and headed to the massage therapist. My old girl had moved so I was trying out a new guy. Turns out RB is one of my students from spin class. He was really good and for the first time all week my back felt good. So in one week I've had both coworkers and students see me undressed. . . . weird!

So now I'm at home, back arched over a pillow full of ice. I'm still moving with great trepidation but I am able to breathe a bit deeper. I'm hoping that I'm at least headed in a healing direction. I am missing my bike.

No worries though. Kara is recovering from having her infected road rash debrided today and we have big training plans for tomorrow. We're going to sit and drink margaritas until the pain goes away. . . .

Thursday, September 18, 2008


So this picture doesn't have a whole lot to do with anything except that it explains why I struggle getting on and off my bike- it's the Bootay!

I guess the pic does have a little to do with my frustration since Saturday was when I went down hard on my back when I couldn't clip out of my pedal. My back between my spine and shoulder blade have been killing me since. If I sit up straight it is not too bad. However, lying, moving, even a deep breath sends a stabbing pain clear around to my sternum.

So yesterday I finally gave in and asked for some help from a PT in my office. He had me take off my shirt. Then he pushed on my back a bit, rolled me over, folded me in half and pretty much sat on me. My back popped and he lit up a cigarrette. Well okay, he didn't light up but I kind of felt like that is what should have came next.

Anyway, my back felt better momentarily. It also felt better this morning and I got in a decent workout at spin class. However, tonight's step class didn't go so well. I tried to sit out the weights but since I teach the class and there is a bit of a language barrier at the WVC Gold's I have to show the moves and not just tell them what to do. So now I'm in pain again. I'm not looking forward to another "quickie" PT session tomorrow and I gave all my Lortab to my ex. Dammit!!!

I just want to feel better so I can be ready for Harvest Moon and the first cross race on the 4th! Frustrating!!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Cyclocross and Mosh pit

Practice, practice, practice. . . .

This is what happens when you miss the hop onto your saddle and ride your back tire. To give a bit of perspective the white spot is the width of my cross tire!

Yesterday was the cyclocross clinic at Tanner Park. Bart Gillespie, Kathy Sherwin and Ali Goulet were our instructors for the day. They were really great! All of them were very patient, especially with those of us that are athletically deficient and lacking any sort of coordination.

My day started out a bit frustrating. I had taken my cross bike into the shop for its free 90 day tune up. I'm glad it was free because when I got it back the front derailluer was all messed up. Kara and I spent warm up time adjusting the cable so that I could shift into the big chain ring. It is still not working great. I know that I have Fisher Price (aka Tiagra) components but the shifting did work prior to the tune up. What a pain! At least the clinic was awesome even if my bike was not.

We got lots of practice over the barriers, which I still need more of. I've given up on doing my dismount the fancy way. I just swing my leg over and behind and kind of fall off the bike. The "fancy way" as I like to call it, is when you stick your foot through, clip out, and then jump the barriers. The problem is that the clipping out part was just one too many things to think about for me and so I didn't clip out and then I'd go down every time! I did crash really hard once and strained something in my shoulder/back area. Ouch!

We also got some practice turning, trying out different apexes and lines to take and braking and skidding. I did find out that my brakes suck! No matter how hard I tried locking them up it just wasn't happening. I may have to get some better pads.

This is Diane practicing her turns.

BG turning. . .

Us practicing our starts. . . I'm pretty good at my starts. At the few mountain bike races I did this year I was first to the single track. Of course, once I got there I was just in everyone elses way. . .

After our start practice they wet down a section of the hill so we could practice some off camber muddy turns.

Jennie shows how its done. . .

BG goes down. .

again. . .

Pretty soon it got really muddy and everyone went down. . . even Ali

I stayed up this time but missed the turn. . .

The hill got me too. . . this was after a slow motion somersault backwards down the hill.

It was a great day. I really appreciated all the help from pros. I'm glad I have a couple more weeks to practice and get my bike working and then soon we'll be racing! Yeah!!! It is going to be a blast!

The mosh pit. No, falling in the mud wasn't what I was referring to . . .

After a shower and a brief nap I met teammates and friends for dinner at Porcupine. Ricky is moving to Washington so we had a going away bash. After yummy food and a few beers we moved the party to Liquid Joe's where the Spasmatics were playing. The Spasmatics is this awesome 80's band. I gave away my age by singing along to every song. It is cool having cyclists for friends. Who else can bounce up and down in a mosh pit continually for 3 hours and not get tired? I'm glad all that endurance training paid off. We danced our buns off and had a great time! (By the way Sohmy, it really was Todd grabbing your butt and not me!)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Here's what 5 years and 5K looks like


This isn't a true before picture- just before the braces were off. When we started this whole ordeal she had a bite like a Shitzu. It is good that we started fixing it early. (If you want to know what an adult looks like with an underbite check out Michael Phelps smile. He has a big bottom jaw and his top teeth are all crowded and scrunched.) If we hadn't started when she was 8 she would have needed her jaw broken to fix the problem! Instead she suffered through palate expanders, retainers, gear and lots of pain. To top it off she throws up every time they do a mold. Today was no exception.


Not a true after. She has 4 nights of teeth whitening and then her smile will be perfect!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Time for Chapter 5

"Autobiography in Five Chapters" The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying

1) I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost . . .I am hopeless.
It isn't my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

2) I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don't see it.
I fall in again.
I can't believe I am in the same place.
But it isn't my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

3) I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall's a habit.
My eyes are open
I know where I am
It is my fault
I get out immediately.

4) I walk down the same street.
There's a hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

5) I walk down another street.

Taken from Karen Salmansohn's article at

Monday, September 8, 2008


That is what it says on the shirt the race gave me. So now you know how to pronounce it. Well, sort of. You do have to run it together and mumble it in the way that only a true Utahn can.

Here's the Ski Utah boys at the start. Yes, it was the middle of the freakin night. Holly had the hotel have breakfast ready for us at 4:30 am. That is early even by my standards.

Anyway, it was a beautiful day. Ski Utah was well represented and finished well. . .

M Cat 1,2,3:

Jeremy 4th
Jan 14th
Kirk 20th
ET 21st
Spence 22nd
Clint 34th
Todd 35th

W Cat 1,2,3:

Alison 2nd

M cat 5:

Norm 4th

Masters 45+

Ken 33rd
Ted 37th

2 Person Relay

Sean & Dave 9th
Breanne& Chris 11th
Sheri & Shane 13th

My good friends the Greens did awesome taking first in the "Fun" tandem category and Tara, Steve, Brent, Doug, Curtis and DW all finished strong.

I spent the day keeping track of the Men's licensed Cat 4. Before we even hit Preston they were combined with one of the Master's Men categories. I didn't worry about separating them out. I couldn't even think about how to get 100+ cyclists back into their own racing category. I knew that Strawberry would do plenty of separating with no help from me.

I leaped frogged the leaders of the Men's 4 all day. They were good boys and played by the rules. I got to see a lot of my friends and teammates throughout the day. It was pretty fun and pretty exhausting. Once my group hit the bike path I was off to the finish line. The sun went down taking the warmth with it but thankfully at 8:15 Holly said we could cut it off. Ash and I went to our hotel and warmed up in the hottub.

Sunday was nice. Ash and I did some shopping then we met up with friends and hit the alpine slide and a movie. It was nice to actually be able to enjoy Jackson without needing to eat every hour and without having to use the handicap restrooms to lower myself to the seat.

A friend of a friend had extra bunk beds so we spent Sunday night in Teton Village. The situation was quite interesting. At dinner the Friend of a Friend (FOF) kept asking me questions about DQs and what my job as an official was. He also asked me about the groups mixing and working together. I told him that there wasn't enough of us to watch everyone so we mostly keep track of the licensed riders and that everyone else is on the honor system. I mean really, how could you feel good about beating someone or getting an extraordinary time if you cheated?

After dinner we went back to the condo. He showed us to our room and then the FOF and his wife hurried out the door. They didn't get back until very late. This morning they were in a hurry to get out the door once again. Later I found out the reason for the weirdness. Turns out the FOF actually did cheat and started with a different group 20 minutes earlier. Pitiful. I hope his conscience bothers him and I was glad I was there to make him squirm, even if it was unknowingly on my part. It may be too late to see if I can get him DQ'd but since he took 3rd in his group I'd like him to have a big X on his name.

Today Ashley and I headed home early. We took a small detour so she could show me the Snake River. She had spent a week rafting the river and wanted to show me the cool rapids she had run. It was beautiful.

We made it home in plenty of time for me to go get my Dad's tire and windshield fixed. (I took his car to Jackson since mine died right as I was leaving the city.) If you can't tell I'm quite hard on cars. I managed to chip his windshield as well as get a giant nail in his tire. Steve and Brent are studs and helped me change it despite their aching knees and legs. Ashley was disappointed that they weren't as fast as NASCAR and she made a point of letting them know it.

Overall it was a great weekend. Now I'm eager to get back on my bike. No I didn't at any time wish to be riding 206 miles. Although a nice, free 50 miler would have been perfect!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Lotoja revisited

2 years ago was my first Lotoja. My sister volunteered to be my sag and I stayed with my good friends Ben and Jen Green in Logan before the race. I was pretty new to the whole racing thing so when I registered in my age group I didn't realize that they wouldn't automatically put me with women. So my category that day was 50 men aged 35-40.

It was a great day . . for me anyway. My poor sister rear ended someone about 10 minutes after I started. My entire front bumper was ripped off and the police officer wasn't about to let her drive it with no turn signals. She did the only thing should could under the circumstances and burst into tears. It worked and she made it on time to Preston with me none the wiser. The Greens in the meantime were worried she wouldn't make it so they ran home and grabbed the essentials like powerbars and gels and were there in case Stacey didn't make it. I had no idea any of this was going on. I was enjoying a beautiful day on my bike.

In Montpieler my parents showed up. It was really cool to see them and they were very excited and impressed by the race. They were also a little shocked when right there in the open I loaded up on chamois cream.

Most of the ride was great. I felt pretty good until the last sag stop. I was dehydrated and in a lot of pain. At the last neutral feed I went in the porta potty even though I didn't need to go and took a little nap. Only 30 more miles to go.

Somehow on the way into Jackson I got on the bike path. Soon I was wandering off course. Fortunately, I could see other riders on the road down below me and I realized that I was a bit lost and delirious. I found my way to the final stretch into Teton Village and the people cheering from their cars helped me find a little more speed. I finished in 12:26 minutes, 13 in my category of men. Not bad.

2007 I tried again. It was obvious by mile 100 that I was much slower than the year before and my neck was killing me. I had spent the summer on my trainer with a broken elbow and my neck was unable to hold my head up with a helmet on for very long. DNF.

2008 and here I am again. I'm not racing this time. Although already it has been a bit stressful. This afternoon I dropped my cross bike off at Contender for a tune up and when I went to leave- to head out of town for Logan- my battery was dead. Dad saved the day by bringing me his car and getting mine towed to the mechanic. Tomorrow will be a long day sitting in my car, watching the suffering, keeping track of the racers. Tomorrow I'm an official. I'm sure at the start line I may be a bit sad that I'm not racing but Sunday when I can still sit down without assistance I'll be glad I didn't put myself through the suffering.

I am excited to see my friends that are doing it and I wish them all the best. Good luck to the Greens, TA, DW, DJ, and all of my incredible SKI UTAH teammates and all the rest of my cycling family.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Thanks Gary

Before C flight started tonight I mentioned to Gary the comments made to us ladies the last couple of weeks. Things like "you can't sprint with us" and "ma'am can you please move over?" I figured maybe some of the guys didn't know we were part of the same race.

Gary is a big supporter of women's racing. He wants to see us out there and he loves it when we have a big field and we race hard. So he gave a nice little lecture before C flight. He told the guys that yes we were part of their race and if he caught any of them telling us to get out of the way then he'd get them out of the way. Aaaaah. . . chivalry is not dead! (Our other plan was to sneak Margaret into C flight and let her whip up on the boys a little. That would have been fun but I'm sure Gary would have caught on pretty quickly.)

So off we went. I was inspired by my teammates. Margaret was out there hanging on nicely to the A flight and Jamie stayed in B flight for the whole race. Ski Utah women rock!! Kara jumped into the race late because her tire was flat at the start. The race started out at a decent pace. I worked my way to the front. I forgot how much nicer it is up there. Of course, the pace picked up. I slid back and worked my way back up towards the front. I did that a few times then the break happened and I got popped off the back (nausea again- and no I didn't have a latte and a giant bag of cookies before the race ;)).

I did my usual routine of riding at 5 mph until I got lapped then jumped back into the main field. I hung on until the final lap. It was fun! It is such good anaerobic training and it really does make racing with the girls easier. Besides I'm sure it was one of the last gorgeous nights left before it is dark and cold. Awesome!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Last Summer blast!

Well let's just say that the weekend didn't start out so hot. I felt crappy on my Saturday ride and only did half of the ride I wanted to. Then I went home and cleaned out my closets. . . boring! While cleaning I compulsively checked the weather on the internet and the forecast never changed. . rain, thunder and lightening. It wasn't looking good for downhilling. So come Sunday morning I was still lying in bed pouting when Kara called. "Come up," she said, "just a few clouds." So I grabbed my mountain bike and threw in my tent and sleeping bag for good measure.

Thankfully Kara just lives and doesn't worry about things like the forecast. It ended up to be a beautiful day! Her husband's friend (aka line up for Shanna) didn't show so it was just Kara, Scott and I. Kara invested in knee and shin pads so there was no worry about her holding back (you're laughing if you know Kara, holding back and Kara don't belong in the same sentence). In fact most of the day I would catch up to Scott and together we'd ponder Kara's whereabouts.

We did my favorite run, that Scott hates because you have to climb (only like 800 ft.) to get to another mountain, Deer Crest.

We finished the day with a long run that headed us into some deep forest and eventually connected us with Midmountain. It was awesome!

After we had exhausted ourselves they headed home to pick up kids. I was planning on meeting friends at Soldier Hollow the next day so I decided to camp. I stayed at Wasatch Mountain State Park. The fall leaves are starting to turn (see above).

I got a great campsite (no worries Mom, I was in a designated site with cell phone service and other campers near). I set up my tent and headed back into Midway hoping to hit the Timp Freeze for dinner. I had fond memories of going there as a teenager after a day of skiing at Deer Creek. Unfortunately, it was closed. I settled for fast food in Heber and got back to camp just as it was starting to rain. I was happy to have a reason to get in my tent and have nothing else to do but read my book.

At about 8 pm there was a break in the rain and I got out of my tent and went for a nice long walk and got ready for bed. (See above picture of the view from my campground. That little sliver of silver is Deer Creek.) I climbed into my sleeping bag at 9 just as the rain started up once again. The roar of thunder echoed through the canyon. I slept with the racket of rain on my tent until 1 am when the first small drop hit my face. It seems my "GoBeDry" rainproof tent system had about all it could take at 6 hours of torrential rains. Before I got any wetter I bailed for the Jeep and I traded the sound of rain on my tent for the sound of rain on my metal roof- still soothing.

It was the lack of sound that woke me. Finally at 7 am it had stopped raining. I enjoyed the warmth of my bag a bit longer before getting up and breaking camp. The tent I'd abandoned was actually pretty dry inside with the exception of two small puddles, one right where my face had been.

I grabbed a gas station breakfast and met my friends at Soldier Hollow for the Sheep Dog Trials.

The dogs were amazing. Through only whistles and voice commands the dogs would gather two separate herds of sheep, guide them through gates and then eventually would separate 5 wearing collars and get them in a pen. It was awesome considering I cannot even get my dogs to stay off the couches.

I finished off the evening with a fish fry at Kara's house. Scott fried the halibut he'd recently caught in Alaska. It was delicious! I especially enjoyed talking to Inger. She's Scott's Mom. She marches to her own drummer and makes no apoligies for it. She comes to my spin class and works harder than most people half her age. She is the only person I've ever had complain if class didn't go the full 60 minutes. She's a hoot!

So despite a rocky beginning, it ended up to be a great weekend.Now I'm a little more ready for fall. This week I start teaching two more step classes in trade for the lesser amount of riding I'll get in. I guess ready or not fall is here. As I was driving home I looked up at the peak I had ridden my mountain bike off just the day before- it was covered in snow.