Sunday, October 23, 2011

MFG #4 Marymoor

Well the bad luck continues, at least not to the body this time.

I was so excited, I loved the course today. It was laid out great with lots of challenging off camber sections and lots of corners. It rained all day yesterday and first thing this morning so every thing was slippery! My favorite conditions. I did a couple pre ride laps and felt good. I was super excited for this race.

We lined up at the start. I was excited. They said go and we were off. I got a great start, right on my team mate Mels wheel in around 3rd. But, about 100 yards into the start my chain broke. Damn it!

I ran to run into the pits. Thank you Dan and Justin for a great pit! But I fell back to last place and was a ways off the back. I was pretty frustrated to say the least. I felt sorry for myself for about 15 sec then decided I had nothing to loose so I started hitting it hard.

I got past 2 girls pretty quickly. Then started passing the guys. I felt good, so I just pushed to see how many people I could get back. I moved up a couple more spots and about half way through I started to see in 5th and 6th place just up ahead. I pushed pretty hard and every lap I was making ground. About half way through the last lap I was about 25 yards from 6th place, Leah, who was only 1point ahead of me in the series. So I gave every thing I had to catch her but ran out of real estate. I pulled her in to about 3 to 4 bike lengths by the finish.

So 7th place for me. I am happy with how I rode after I got my B bike, just bumbed out my chain broke. What a season so far. It has to get better soon.

My son Holden on the other hand raced one of his best races ever. He fought hard and was in 5th for the first lap. He fell back to 7th on the 2nd lap but he raced so strong and he was so much fun to watch! He really has found his competitive side this season. Great job Holden!

Chad raced on Sat up in Skagit Co and got 7th in the Elite men at his favorite course, Sedro Wolley. Awesome race for him. But because he pushed so hard yesterday he paid a little bit today. He raced strong and finished in 14th. Great weekend for him.

Congrats to Mel in her 2nd place finish today. She was with 1st for a bit and held on strong to finish 2nd. Awesome job today Mel!

Congrats to Sean for also finishing 2nd today. He is leading the MFG series now!

And congrats to Even, who is recovering from a back injury. He said his back didn't hurt today for the first race this season without pain! Nice work Evan.

And Brian and Pamela Fiete came out today to watch us race. Brain is part owner of PopCap games, one if our title sponsors. Super great to have them there cheering us on.

Ok 2races next weekend. Time for a come back!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

SCX #3 Silver Lake

I have to say that cyclocross is my favorite cycling discipline but with my shoulder and back injury and my cold this season has not really been fun, until today!

I love the Silver Lake course. Thank you to Phil Oppenheimer for locking in this awesome venue a few years ago! This course has every thing and is really the hardest and most challenging course we have all season.

I came out today with no back pain and just a little bit of my head cold but overall the best I have felt since the Labor Day race. I knew this course would favor my technical skills unlike a lot of the other courses so far this season.

First off I want to say how awesome our women's field is this year. In any given day there us 6-8 ladies that can win and that makes racing so much more interesting. The 1-2 women's field is super talented and strong and it is awesome to see the numbers in the field growing so fast!

I got a great start today, one thing I have beeb lacking on so far this season. I was 3rd into the sand and got a good line and made it through the whole first long beach section and moved into 2nd behind Natasha. I tried to stay on here wheel but couldn't hang. My team mate Mel was on my wheel pushing me. I love having a team mate that is so strong and we can work together. Mel was a bit stronger and got around me but I stayed with her a bit. I held onto 3rd for a couple laps but I knew Courtney was coming on strong. With two laps to go Courtney caught me and passed me. But I stayed with her and she made a couple bobbles and I was able to get back in front of her. But she was stronger on the up hills and pulled away from me and then we caught on to Mel. Courtney got around Mel on the last lap and I tried every thing to try to stay on Mels wheel. We finished 3rd and 4th on the day. It was a great race and I had so much fun. Finally I am coming back, slowly but I feel so much stronger. Super excited for this weekend to see how I can do.

Congrats to Mel on 3rd, Sean awesome 2nd place in 35+ 1-2, Chad 10th in 35+ 1-2, Evan in 15th 1-2 elite and Holden in 17th in junior 10-12. Awesome weekend for Cycle U-PopCap!

I love this team!

And thank you Chris for coming out taking such awesome pics!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

SCX #2 Steilacoom

Today was finally a better race day. By no means am I 100% but my back is so much better and the head cold is almost gone.

It was a rough week with this head cold knocking me down Mon and Tues but I was able to get some training in and today it showed.

I got a good start. Found my pedal pretty fast and was in 3rd into the first corner. I moved into first until the climb. With being injured and sick the whole month of Sept I am lacking power and the first time up the climb I felt that.

Natasha and Courtney got around me and hit it pretty hard on the hill. I gave it all I had and got up. Then hit it hard on the downhill. Made up some ground. I hung onto 3rd for a short bit then Jessica flew by me. I couldn't hang on her pace and then Mel came by. I was able to ride with Mel for about a lap, which was awesome to have a team mate to ride with. But Mel gapped me a bit and I wasn't able to hang on. That darn hill was killing me every lap.

So I finished 5th. Every race I am getting a spot better so that is a good sign. Things will continue to get better each week.

Chad had a great race today, finishing 6th not far behind Sean, fellow team mate. He looked strong all race. His coach is awesome :)

Holden also had a great race finishing in 12th. He is riding so well. Super proud of him!

Ok on to a good week of training. See you all next week at Silver Lake. I love that course! Get ready for sand.

Monday, October 3, 2011

MFG #3 North Bend

I knew going into this race that it was going to be another battle. I came down with a head cold last Wed so I knew I was going to be hurting a bit. Good news is my back is a lot better. There isn't as much pain now but I am still a bit weak and not putting out the same amount of power as before.

We got to the race around 8:30am which ment we were up at 5am to get every thing packed. Early mornings for sure. After getting a bit lost we found the beautiful Mountain Meadows Park in North Bend.

Coach Amara Edwards (CycleU's junior head coach) met us as we pulled in and got us a great spot and we got all set up.

The course was ok, a great venue but the grounds were very rough and bumpy. Another totally flat, dry and fast course. So far all the couses this season have been very flat and fast. Not ones that favor my more technical skills, but I know the mud is coming!

Mel, my team mate, and myself raced first on the day for the Cycle U-PopCap team. I got a pretty good warm up and was feeling ok so I went to the start line. There was a little bit of negative energy on the start line that I was kinda sucked into and realized after wards that I need to try better at lining up next to more positive energy. We had a great line up of fast girls and I knew based on the course I had a lot of work ahead me to get a good placing.

The gun went off and I had a good start. I fell into about 3rd place going into the first corner. I was with my team mate Mel. We were together for a bit but Mel had a great start and moved ahead of me a bit. I wanted to work for her but just couldn't hang on. I settled in and found my rythum.

I was riding with Natasha, she was a bit faster then me so I sat on her wheel for awhile. I saw an opportunity with 3 laps to go and attacked her on a section that I felt a bit faster on. I got a samll gap but with 2 laps to go my back started acting up again and I lost some power. Natasha got back by me and I just couldn't hang on. I just rode the last lap out the best I could and hung on to 6th place. I was 10th last weekend so 6th is an improvement for sure.

Mel finished 2nd! That puts her in 2nd place overall. Super excited for her. She is having a great season and I love having her on my team.

Holden raced next. He is on the Cycle U junior team now and has a fellow team mate, Brennan who races the same age group as him. He raced so strong. He to was sick but he raced through it. The junior race was a bit longer then normal so on the first two laps he was riding so strong but when he came through and saw he had one more lap he was a bit tired and had to just ride it out to finish. He was pretty tired at the end but raced so well. I was so proud of him. And Brennan came in one person behind him so a great day for cycle u.

Chad and Sean raced last. Sean and Chad both always get such great starts. After the first lap Sean was settled in a pack of about 8 guys for the lead group. Chad was just behind that group riding strong. Sean raced smart and finished in 3rd which keeps him in the top 3 for the overall and Chad raced awesome and came in 11th I think.

I hope this cold goes away this week. I am off now to get a massage! Thank god. So we are at Steilacoom next week. Another flat fast course. But my goal is to finish in the top 5 next weekend.

Great job to every one that raced yesterday! See you on Sunday.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The new Cycle U-PopCap jersey's

Time to catch up

Wow sorry I have been so out of the loop for so long. It has been a crazy summer for sure.

I feel that the illness gods are not on my side in 2011. Back in May and June I was the sickest I had ever been before. I was on my way to the 24 hour mtb race in Spokane and wasn't feeling to good. We stopped at a gas station and I threw up all over the back of the gas station. What a way to start a 24hr race!

We kept on driving and got to the race. I was up all night in and out of the port-a-potties. I had stomach cramps so bad. But with my stubbornish I start the race and did the first lap and thought I was going to die. I got through that lap and laid down and slept. I got up thinking I was better, but I was wrong.

My stomach was cramping so bad I could hardly stand up straight. But stupid me, I tried one more lap. I didn't want to let my team down, so I tried. I finished that lap but in the most pain I had ever been in.

With the help of Chad's right mind I decided to throw in the towel. The next 24 hours would be the worst to come. I was in the fetal position most of the day and night and by 1pm the next day we were off to the ER in Spokane.

2 hours of waiting in the ER and then 2 more hours in the room with morphine and spasm meds they released me with no diagnoses. But less pain.

I got better over the next couple days and thought it was just the flu. But driving home the following Thursday I threw up all over myself while in rush hour traffic. Pretty humbling for sure. I was a mess. I made it home to Chad who got me new clothes and I was back in the fetal position again.

I went into my doctor the next day and he tested for ecoli and giardia and the next day I got a call from the nurse that I tested positive for giardia. It was a mixed blessing . I was happy to know what I had and that it was curable, but was disgusted that I had little critters living inside of me.

So onto antibiotics I went. They helped and killed the critters but also killed every thing good in my gut. So the whole month of June I was off my bike trying to get healthy.

I started riding again in July but pretty much starting from scratch. I got in a couple good months of training and then raced the first cross race of the season on Labor Day.

I started out feeling pretty good. I was in 3rd and doing ok considering being a bit behind in training. With 2 laps to go coming out of a turn I stood up to get back up to speed and the course tape grabbed by handle bars and stopped my bike and I went flying over the handle bars. Hit the ground really hard and landed on my head and right shoulder.

Holy crap I had not crashed that hard in a long time. I jumped up and made sure nothing was broken and off I went. My shoulder hurt pretty bad, but I finished and held onto 3rd place.

Instantly my shoulder was hurting. I could tell it wasn't broken but possibly a small seperation. I iced it and went to my chiropractor the next day. That helped a lot and we decided to try taping my shoulder back to help releave pain while riding.

That worked but after two days of taping the shoulder back my lower back went out. That hurt more then the shoulder. So back to the Chiro for more adjustments. But this wasn't going away.

I raced the first MFG race and right in the first lap I crashed. Luckily on the other side. I lost a lot of positions and fell back to around 10th. I felt good though and started fighting back. I worked my way back up to 4th. I was pretty happy with that.

The back was really bad after that race. I could barely stand up. Kept in at chiro and started getting massages.

I started Starcrossed not know what to expect. It was a stacked field to say the least. I got a back row call up. So I knew I was going to have a lot of work ahead of me. I raced hard, and felt pretty strong and worked my way up to finish 14th. Not bad for racing injured.

Back was really sore again after the race. I started the Rapha Focus GP and right away I knew it wasn't going to be good. I couldn't produce any power and had to pull out of the race. For those of you that know me, I don't quit races unless I am in a lot of pain. So that will tell you how bad it really was.

So I was super frustrated and back in chiro and another massage. The back muscles were starting to let go a bit and I started feeling some relief.

I raced the first Seattle Series race and that didn't go so well either. We drove from Chelan at 4am (from a weding the day before) and boy was I tired. The whole morning was stressful with different issues and I just knew it wasn't going to be a good day.

We started only 15sec behind the guys. Not sure why such a short gap but it was horrible. We were mixing into the guys in the first corner and the whole race became a mess trying to pass guys just to stay with the girls.

I normally don't complain about being in with the guys, but 15sec just isn't enough time. So I got caught a few times behind some guys I couldn't get around and the race was over for me. I gave up metally and just finished it out the best I could to finish in 10th.

And now I have a cold. I swear my patience is being tested. I am trying to stay positive and work through it. We will see how tomorrow goes at the MFG race in North Bend. I am on a mission to kick some butt as long as I have the energy.

So long story short this has been a crazy summer and start to the cross season. Look out I will be killing it by Dec!