Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Today's training ride

I just got in from a great training ride today. I road out to Arlington with Chad today to run this awesome set of stairs that is 200 wood steps long up this hill side through the woods. We did 5 times and got back on the bike and attacked at the top for another 30sec each time. Holly cow is that hard, and what a great workout!!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

SCX #4 Steilacoom

On Sunday morning we heading back down to Fort Steilacoom park for the SCX #4 Series race. This course usually had a very long and steep run up that always makes me hurt, but they took the run up out for this course so I was very happy!! The course was very fast with only one time off the bike for a double barrier, otherwise it was either uphill, downhill or fast flat grass.
We had 10 elite girls on the start line. I got a great start with the whole shot going into the first 90 degree right hand turn. I got a little to cocky and took the corner to fast and to tight and with the grass being wet, I hit the ground hard. I was in front so all the girls had to navigate around me. I jumped back up and realized my front wheel had come loose a bit and my left brake caliper was stuck under my rim. I started to try to fix it and everyone was telling me not to panic and stay calm. That was the best advice, I stayed cool and got everything back working and off I went. I was now about 30 sec behind the last place girl and had a lot of work to do to catch back up. I put my head down and started charging. It took me about 2 full laps to catch back up with the top 5 girls. Once I was there I settled in on 2nd and 3rd's place wheel to catch my breath for a bit.
I could see Ann who was in 1st place just up the road, about 15 sec so I decided I was going to try to attack Jadine and Lea on the flat grass section and try to pull Ann back. I was feeling really good, so I went for it. I managed to get on Ann's wheel by the start/finish area. We had 2 laps to go at this point so I decided to try to get some space. Ann stayed with me through the uphill climb section of the course, she is so strong. When we hit the flat grass again I put the hurt down a bit and pushed myself as hard as I could to get a gap. It worked, I got about a 10 sec gap going into the last lap.
I started catching up with the guys and started using them to help me get a bigger gap. They pushed me to go faster and that gave me the edge to get away a bit. I held my lead and finished about 20sec ahead of Ann who finished in 2nd place.
It was a great race, I am really proud of myself for pushing and not giving up and working my way back up to win the race. Like I always say "never give up, you never know what could happen!"
A great race, we are on to a double weekend this coming weekend with a MFG Series race at Lincoln Park in West Seattle on Sat and a SCX Series race on Sunday at Maris Farms in Buckley.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

SCX #3 Silver Lake

First off I have to say that this might be my very favorite course so far this season. What Phil Oppenheimer and Dan Norton (and everyone else who helped) did with the layout of this course was amazing. We had just about every element you can have in a cross race minus snow and heavy mud. I loved this course!!

I started the morning out with doing a warm up lap with the Cycle U Team. We rode a lap together so I could show them all the different parts and help them learn to ride everything the best they could. While I was out riding I was getting very excited knowing that this course could not have been better laid out for me. It started into a huge flat sandy beach section that was like 250 feet long or so. The best line through there was in the lake!! Then we went into a lot of up and down little sections and then back into another shorter flat sand section, this was much faster then the other section. Then we went out onto the side of this hill that we basically went up and down with both power climbs and great downhill sections. Then back to the finish. This was a course for someone with great bike handling skills for sure and a lot of power in their legs.

I lined up at the start line with our women 1/2 field. I just knew this was going to be a great day for me, I was feeling good and was so excited to ride the course. So the gun went off and I managed to get the whole shot going into the sand and dove right over to the lake and rode in the water about a foot off of the shoreline. SO much faster, I was able to ride everything until the last 10-15 feet where I had to jump off and run to get out of the deep sand. At that point I already had about a 10sec gap on the rest of the women's field. We then went into this up hill section that I wasn't able to ride because it was to loose, down side was when I turned the corner I was looking at about half of the Master 35+ men's category standing still trying to get up this section. So I decided I was going to have to push my way through a little bit. I didn't want to loose the gap I had. So I went up the left side and just started yelling I was coming and it got everyone moving and all those guys let me by.

I hate having to do that, because I know they are all fighting for position too, but they are all so darn nice and always let me through. Thank you guys!!

I started feeling really good and started using my handling skills to pass a lot of the guys. I spent the first 3 laps passing and trying to see how far I could move up in the guys. At the end I was told that I managed to move up into the top 10 with a 30sec gap at the start. So I was very excited about that, that is always my goal is to make the top ten but I have not done it yet this year.

So I finished in first in the 1/2 Women and around 10th in the Master 35+ Cat 3 men. Overall a great day!!!

Off this weekend back to Steilacoom, not usually a course that favors my riding style. With fast flat sections and a longer uphill run. But I will go there trying to do the best I can!! I will let you all know how it goes.


Sunday, October 11, 2009

SCX #2 Beverly Elementary

SCX #2 Beverly Elementary

Day number 2 of racing this weekend. We woke up in Federal Way in Station 62's parking lot in the True North Trailer, which is just so darn awesome!!The morning started out pretty darn cold, coldest race day yet. It was sunny and a beautiful fall day, great for cross racing!We headed up to South Seattle to Beverly Park Elementary school. What a great venue, the course was small but really overall the lap times were perfect and the course was awesome. It really favored me with all the tight corners and the technical downhill section. I was very excited to race this course knowing that I could use the technical parts to my advantage.

Holden my son raced first and what a great job he did. They had the kids to the run up which they normally don't make them do and Holden did so awesome. His little legs got him up that run up and he looked so darn cute. There are so many junior kids in our series and I think some of them have nicer bikes then I do!! Way to go Holden, you rock!

I was next from our family to race. Kari and Jenni weren't there today. Kari went to OR I think to finish out the Oregon/Washington Clash weekend and Jenni had to get back to ID to race the season opener in Spokane for the East Side Series.We still had a good turn out though, with some strong local girls. Our Series is so great, we really have a very strong field of women and on any day anyone of the girls can win. So we lined up at the start, this start was hard, we rode about 200-300 feet and then right into a barrier and a run up that was really pretty steep. So I knew this was going to hurt really bad. I started a bit slower knowing that, and was 2 at the top of the run up behind Lea Stralka. I got on and caught my breath and then attacked on the back side and got in the lead. Lea and Jadine Rolcik were right on my wheel through the first tight corners sections. I could hear them breathing down my back!! So I held my pace and then tried to attack once we hit the more technical part of the course. I managed to get a 15-20sec gap once we hit the track and through the first lap. I kept that gap for another lap, and then noticed that I didn't see Lea anymore. I later found out her pedal broke so she was out.I kept a pretty good gap over 2nd place, so I decided it was time to see how far I could move up into the Master 3 men 35+. We got into their group pretty fast with only starting 30sec behind them. So I started trying to catch and pass as many guys as I could . I really felt strong, my ankle was still a bit sore on the run up so I had to baby it a bit there, but it was ok every where else.I managed to get up into the top 20 of the men's category overall and won my race so I had a very good day. Much better then Saturday because the course was so much better suited for my strengths. I really enjoyed the course and hope we keep coming back to that place for sure!!


Saturday, October 10, 2009

MFG #4 Steilacoom

MFG #4 Steilacoom

What a day, we raced today in WA in the MFG Series #4 race that was also the Oregon/Washington Cross Clash. The idea is that the top 10 places from most of the races throughout the day get points. And at the end of the day the State with the most points wins the Grail, which is this cool keg/creatively decorated trophy. So we want to get as many people from WA in the top 10 to win the Grail. I have not seen the total yet but it looks pretty good that we got it based on the race results today.So the good part is that this race brings up some fast girls from Oregon and I am always happy when we have more women at the races. I knew today was going to be a fast course, almost a road race, and I knew I was going to have a hard time because I run a smaller big ring, and on most courses it is perfect but on this one there was a really long paved downhill and that for me was were I was loosing all my ground today.

I got a good start settling in behind Kari Studley and Jenni Geartner and stayed there for a bit to see how they were riding. We dropped the rest of the field pretty fast and the 3 of us road together for a couple laps. Kari got a little gap on Jenni and I and pulled away to a very big lead. Jenni and I rode together also for another couple laps and then I faded a bit on the uphill and the downhill section of the course. Not having a big enough gear to stay on Jenni's wheel, I fell off the pace. I had a pretty gap over so I could settle in a bit. With 2 laps to go I took a corner pretty fast and skid my rear wheel and when I regained control my rear wheel started making some noise. So I rode it back to the pits and and got my "B" bike and off I went. I guess my rear skewer loosened up a bit so the wheel was not centered. I stayed on the "B" bike and kept on going.Then coming into the barriers I got off my bike and felt something in my ankle give a bit and felt some pain. I got back on and with one lap to go my ankle was hurting pretty bad. I keep it going and held onto 3rd place but had to go ice my ankle as soon as I finished. I was nervous that I had a stress fracture but I think now it is more muscle. So I limped back the truck and trailer and iced it and after some time it started getting better and I was able to walk on it without to much pain.

Now 9 hours later I am thing I can race tomorrow, I will see how it feels in the morning.We have the Seattle Series race tomorrow at Beverly Park in South Seattle. I will write an update on that race and my little injury tomorrow.

And I am writing this from our True North Trailer in the parking lot of Fire Station 62 in Federal Way (South King Fire). These guys are awesome, letting us use there showers and being so hospitable! I tell you being part of the "Fire family" is awesome, everyone really takes care of each other. It really is just one huge extended family.Thank you Station 62, you guys rock!!!Talk with you tomorrow!!


Sunday, October 4, 2009

MFG #3 Lake Samammish

MFG #3 Lake Sammamish

Well this weekend was just awesome. It started with my son Holden competing in his first swim meet and really doing well and loving the sport and finding his competitive side. He got a 2nd place in the breast stroke so he was so excited. It is always the best feeling the in the world when your child does well in sports, to see their excitement and the joy of being such a proud parent!
Then Holden and I drove down to Sumner RV and picked up our new True North Trailer. What a great group of guys at Sumner RV! They are so very friendly and so very helpful. Thank you guys for all your help.

We loaded up the trailer with all the bikes and headed off to a wedding that my husband was one of the groom’s men in. A good friend of ours, a fellow fireman. What a beautiful wedding in the Sodo area in Seattle.

Then we drove to the Fred Meyer in Issaquah to break in the new trailer. Less than 7 hours after getting it we were setting up the bed and sleeping in it so that we could wake up close to the race site and not have to drive home and back. And boy was it awesome. We just pulled in, did some moving around of bikes and bags and we were sleeping away safe and sound in the trailer.

We woke up early and got some coffee and headed to Lake Sammamish State Park for the MFG race. We got there early so we could get a great spot to show off the trailer. And we did, right at the start line. We got the trailer all set up and boy was it awesome!! We had the tunes going, I was able to make lunch on the stove and had a place to change where I didn’t have to wrap a towel around my waste so no one would see me. I could go right inside the trailer and shut the door!!

This trailer has so many great features, I absolutely love it and it is everything we have always needed at the races. Really a great idea, and it works so great for what we do! So many people came by and checked it out and were so excited about it. I think we handed out like 20 brochures and answered a lot of questions.

Ok so the race, I was there to race even though I really just wanted to hang at the trailer! They did call ups and all the Elite Women got to be called up from the finish and was announced and we all road down to the start, very cool!! It was great to be recognized in front of everyone, great idea MFG!

So we rolled back down and the field was stacked again with all the super fast 1-2 women in our series. The gun went off and I tried to go for the whole shot but Lee Smith from Group Health got the lead and I jumped on her wheel. I passed her in a corner and took over the lead. I stayed in 1st for a couple laps but the super long run in the sand on the beach (so cool) took a bit out of me and Kari Studley was able to get around me. I stayed on her wheel for a couple laps matching her efforts but she pulled away a couple seconds each lap on me after the run. I just couldn’t get my legs to turn for about 100 yards once I got back on the bike out of the sand. So I fell off Kari’s wheel a bit, and couldn’t get it back. So I settled in and finished 2nd, with Ann Knapp coming in 3rd.

Overall a great race. A great course, it really was an awesome and fun course to ride. Very fast but fun.

Then I went over to the lake where there was Limited Hydroplane racing going on. I spent the first 5 years of my life every weekend at Hydroplane races. Both my mom and dad raced limited hydroplanes and my mom set the Guinness Book of world records in an unlimited hydroplane in 1977 for the fastest mile time at 163miles per hour. So I come from a pretty wild and crazy mom and dad that might explain some of my energy!! Anyways I got to see some people at the races that I played with when I was 5 and that I had not seen since then. It was so awesome and so many memories came back being in the pits and hearing the boats roar on the water. It was so cool that both the bike race and the boat races were happening in the park on the same day.
So what a crazy busy weekend but what an awesome weekend!! Chad finished 12th in the Master 1-2 men, a great race for him. Much better than last weekend. And Holden did awesome, doing 2 laps on the kid’s course and just rocking it! He said he could have done 2 more laps and he really liked the course.

Ok take care everyone sorry for the long post, just a lot of into to get out!