Friday, August 31, 2007

Is This What You Mean By Recovery Ride?

The Coach had assigned a one-hour recovery ride for me today. I thought that after the ride yesterday, a recovery ride sounded wonderful.

So how I found myself surrounded by six buff cyclist and triathlete men, all of us hooked up to a computrainer at Elevate Fitness, I don't know.

I raced my heart out against those men. They said they were impressed I could hold my own. Do I not look like I could hold my own, I may ask? Anyway, I came in fourth. Pretty good considering that the guy who won was 2.5 miles ahead of the next guy. It was a hard course, with grades up to 10.4 percent. It was a strange sensation when all of a sudden your bike becomes nearly impossible to pedal, and you're sitting in a perfectly flat room, watching a computer screen.

I was pretty tired and sweaty when I was done. Everyone agreed we'd like to come back and do it again. Only next time, we'd leave the guy who won home.

I came home and recovered with a big bowl of ice cream.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Riding West Mountain

76 miles
4 hours & 20 min
Total ascent = 1782 feet
Two flats

Chocolate milk should NOT be consumed mid-ride.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Not the Ride I Had Planned

Today I rode the ride which has been haunting me to do for a couple of weeks now. Or, at least I did most of the ride. More on that later.
First we (Coach Girl, Ragla, Binlaw, and I) rode up Provo Canyon.
Here we are (except me, someone had to take the picture) by Bridal Veil Falls. In case you're wondering, they're holding their bikes because I made them stand in the weeds, and they were worried about sticker weeds puncturing their tires. Rio is looking lonely on the right.

We turned off at the Sundance turn, and climbed the Alpine Loop. It felt better than usual. I didn't HAVE to stop, but stopped anyway at Sundance to get new bottles out of Sling's truck. He just got hired on at Sundance, so it was really convenient to have a cooler with fresh bottles waiting there.

Here I am with Ragla in front of Sundance. The rock we're standing by actually says "Sundance" on it, you just can't see it in the picture.

Ragla wasn't feeling good, so I rode the rest of the way to the top with her. I stopped several times to take photos, and let her get ahead of me so I could catch back up. It rained on us on the way up, and an ambulance passed us (which worried us thinking it could be Coach Girl or Binlaw, who had ridden ahead). Pretty exciting stuff. We found out later that the ambulances were there for a biker who had gone down on the slick, wet road and gave himself a concussion and some road rash on his face.

View of the back of Mount Timpanogos on the way up the Alpine Loop -- so beautiful!

The view looking down at Sundance:

A little higher up. You can see in this picture that it had started to rain:

The way down was wet, but the brakes worked good. It's scary enough riding down the Alpine Loop without the rain...very narrow windy roads, with barely enough room for one car. The wet roads did not help the anxiety factor.

Here's the view on the other side of the Alpine Loop (the American Fork side). Judging by this picture, you probably no longer believe me that it had been raining. You can see the road at the bottom of the photo, the road where I was headed. Yes, it's as steep as it looks:

Ragla and I had considered skipping Traverse, but since we both felt good coming out of American Fork Canyon, we continued. It was a hot climb, but not miserable. Binlaw rode ahead, I rode alone in the middle, and Coach Girl and Ragla rode at the back.

Here's the view of the Utah Valley side:

By the time we got to the top of Traverse Ridge, Ragla was really sick. I stayed with her while she threw up and called her DH to come rescue us. Coach Girl and Binlaw decided they couldn't wait and went on ahead, down the Suncrest (Salt Lake) side. I was kinda glad I didn't have to go down that side today. It's scary fast with a cross wind that tries to blow you into traffic. Plus, in order to get back to my side of the valley, you have to go on the freeway frontage road which is way too narrow with way too many huge cement and dump trucks thundering along.

Anyway, here's a picture of the Salt Lake Valley from the top of Suncrest.

Also, I don't know why this tickled me so, but at the time, I thought it was really funny. I found it in the restroom at the top the Traverse Ridge.

Like I didn't know how to wash my hands and maybe I might think the toilet was where I should clean up.

I'm not giving my numbers today because they're laughable.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Another One Bites the Dust

Sanpete Road Race--Spring City, Moroni, Fountain Green, and Wales, Utah
I thought this race was gonna be so easy...I thought wrong!
You can see by the bad position I'm in at the finish line that I was hurting:

I hung on to the lead group for about the first half of the race before dropping off the back. I don't know why I did. Maybe the false flat had me fooled, or maybe I thought I'd catch back on to the group again, but I didn't hang on. So I suffered in the headwind and false flats alone for the last half the race. I hate that!

Then the worst happened. Ok, I know there are worse things, but it was bad. The people who were helping on the course directed me left when I should have gone right. Luckily, Sling was there waiting to take a picture and he realized I had gone the wrong way. He chased me down in the car and got me back on the right course. I lost several minutes and gained a couple of miles because of that mistake. Back into the headwind and inclined road.

I think that's about where I gave up. I figured that I was so far behind by now, I really didn't put much effort into the race anymore. Plus, I was really starting to hurt. I don't know why. I've done plenty of rides of this length, so I really shouldn't have been suffering so much. But, my back had locked down, I had gone into some weird position to help it feel better, and therefore caused a lot of sit-bone pain. My tushie was on fire for about the last 10 miles.

The last couple of miles were fun because it was a fast descent with a tailwind. The finish line just kind of snuck up on me, but I was glad to be done.

The race organizers served a really good dutch-oven meal after the race. Pulled pork, chicken breasts, potatoes, salad, and rolls, with peach cobbler and ice cream for dessert. Too bad I didn't feel like eating much.

45.21 miles in 2:20 with 1497 feet of climbing.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Housework in Cleats

I'm supposed to be out on a three hour bike ride --right NOW! Actually, I meant to leave an hour and a half ago.

So what's the problem?

First, I couldn't find my heart rate monitor strap. I found it in the most random place after looking everywhere I could think of.

Then, I went to turn on my bike computer to make sure it was reading the monitor. It wouldn't turn on, which is bizarre since I just charged it after my ride yesterday. The only thing I can figure is that I must have left it on after I charged it and it ran dead.

So, here I am waiting for the dumb thing to charge. I know from past experience that if I unplug it before it's done charging, it will go into "punish-user" mode, and won't turn on for a couple of days. So, here I sit watching my computer give me the message, "BATTERY CHARGING IN PROGRESS."

I've been dressed in my bike gear for a while now. Been finding things to do around the house. Cleaning the shower was kinda fun while wearing my bike shoes. I could stand on my toes even better because of the cleats. At least stuff's getting done for a change. Or at least it was before I sat down in front of the computer.

I'm going to be riding well into the afternoon today.

Later in the Day

I've made it back from my ride. I had to cut it a little short because I left so late, and I had other more important things to do.

Ride consisted of riding through construction zones (most memorable one was the total shut down of the southbound lanes coming out of Provo Canyon) and manuvuring around car accidents. Kept me on the edge of my seat.

38 miles in 2:24 with 1286 feet of climbing.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

LOTOJA Worries

I woke up this morning to the sound of thunder in the sky and rain hitting the windows. I was supposed to be meeting a group for a bike ride around the Alpine Loop (which takes you past Sundance Ski Resort into some gorgeous foresty areas, to an elevation over 8000 feet), then into Lehi/Highland, and up Traverse, and over to Salt Lake. We were planning on about 75 miles, and over 4 hours of ride time.

Did I want to ride in the rain and the wind and the lightening? Not really, but I did need the miles.

The phone rang. The group ride was put off with an agreement that if the weather cleared up, we'd go.

I went back to bed and slept for almost three more glorious hours. I really needed that sleep.

At around 2 p.m., things were looking up in the weather department. The group convened, but we decided that because of the chance of a downpour we would skip the Alpine Loop. None of us wanted to risk having no brakes on a scary fast, twisty, windy descent. So we headed out to the other side of the lake. We wound our way around Saratoga Springs then hit the Jordan River Trail toward Lehi. Since we were in Lehi anyway, and since the weather had improved considerably, we decided to climb Traverse Ridge. By the time we got to the base of the mountain, it was getting hot. It was probably about 5 p.m. by this point. The clouds had moved out, and there was no more wind. This is where things got bad for me. About halfway up the climb, I think I was on the verge of heatstroke. I was getting delusional. Coach Girl finally started taking my begging for shade seriously when I asked her if the guy who passed us on a motorcycle had fangs. So we found a corner where there was a big sign to provide me some shade. Luckily, we'd climbed high enough by this point that there was a nice breeze to cool me off. After a couple of minutes of rest and cooling down, we started back up the climb again. I was totally energized by the rest, and the rest of the climb went by really fast. The descent was fast and fun, but the ride home was long because everybody was so tired.

So, I spent almost four hours on my bike, and I am exhausted. In three weeks I will be riding my bike for over six hours of mostly climbing at LOTOJA. I'm worried.

The good news is that my back is feeling better. Only a little bit of cramping during the climb. Or, maybe I was so focused on not dying of the heat that I didn't notice my back?

58.67 miles in 3:45 with 3114 feet of climbing.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

How long should a two-hour ride take?

It took me only SIX hours to ride a TWO hour bike ride this morning.

I left the house at 6 a.m., and didn't get back home until noon!

In between that time I fixed a flat, came back home for a good tire pump-up, attended a Pilates class, taught a Spinning class, chatted with some students, checked out a friend's new car, talked on the phone with Mom, and went to visit my grandparents to get a snack and refill my bottles.

It seems like forever since this morning, and at the same time, I can't believe it's already almost dinner time.

Why Rio could be my best friend:

  • I can tell Rio anything and she'll never say a word.
  • She offers me plenty of support.
  • We've been through some rough times, and we're still together.
  • I have caused her plenty of scars, and she never complains.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Ugh! That Bites!

Wolf Creek Pass Road Race today. It was hard and I hurt. I really had no business being at this race. It was way beyond my capabilities. But I finished it, and I'm calling it a good training ride. The only thing nice I have to say is that the descent was a lot of fun. Shortly into the descent I was passed by the Pro guys: Dave Zabriskie (still racing in his CSC jersey), Burke Swindlehurst (Toyota United), and Jeff Louder (Healthnet). If only I had been thinking straight at the time, I would have enjoyed the view a bit. It wasn't 'til I was down the road a way before I realized what had happened. I was so looking forward to meeting Dave Z. at the finish line, but he had taken off before I got there. I can't say I blame him. I wouldn't want a bunch of groupies like me swarming around.

BTW, Burke was wandering around after the race, but I was too chicken to go up and say "hi." Nice legs on that man. :-)

30 miles
Total climbing (including warm up) 4930 feet

I'm the one riding at the back of the group.

Friday, August 10, 2007

What to do, what to do?

I'm a dope! I managed to miss Wolf Creek registration. I thought I had until midnight last night to register, and at about 10:20 p.m. I pulled out the ol' credit card to get signed up, and low and behold, registration was closed. Apparently I neglected to read the bright red notice: All dates/times above are Eastern. Doh! So I email the race director to see if he's be so kind to let me into a race where I know I'm gonna get my butt kicked. I've dealt with this particular person before, so I don't expect to hear anything from him. My only option now is to drive to the race bright and early in the morning and hope to talk my way in. I'm not excited.

To tell the truth, I don't know why I'm even doing this race. All the ladies who have signed up are ranked so much higher than myself.
I can't afford to go. My back has gone into lock-down. My better senses are telling me to just stay home, save the money, and save my back. But for some reason, I'm not listening to reason. I'll be up early tomorrow. Wish me luck.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Freaking Out!!!

I am VERY nervous for the race this weekend! Wolf Creek Pass Road Race: 2400 feet of climbing in 15 miles, then back down again. My back was feeling better for the past couple of days, just long enough for me to decide for sure that I'm racing. Today, it went whack again. I've been lying low all day, hoping that the problem will fix itself. So now I'm committed to racing, and it should be a suffer-fest. I hate suffering. I don't race well when I hurt, so really, I'm just hoping to finish. What a goal...just finish. This is supposed to be my priority race. If it wasn't for the back pain, I would be feeling pretty confident about things. Oh, why, oh, why must I have to have to deal with this right now?

BTW, why do so many races have the word "Creek" in their names?

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Feeling Strong

Feeling good on the ride this morning. Coach Girl, Ragla (my LOTOJA partner), Binlaw, and myself went out for a short, 1-hour, ride. About 5 minutes into the ride, I kindly asked Binlaw to move over so I could make a hill attack on Coach Girl. I went tearing past everyone and away. Nobody went with me (although I later heard that some of them tried). When I realized that I was so far out, I had to rein it back in and wait up. I don't want the reputation of showing off on a group ride. But I was showing off. I couldn't help it...I felt good!

After that, I got lots of comments like: "How many more times are you going to do that?" "What kind of training ride ARE you doing today, anyway?" and "Next time Rio's Rider goes, it's our job to stay with her!" (Bet you can't guess who made that last comment.)

Never train with your friends when you're peaking.

17.5 miles in just over an hour with several shortish, steep hills. The climbing didn't seem to bother my back today. Hopefully it's getting better!

Starting my taper tomorrow for Saturday's race.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Saturday's Ride

I'm supposed to be racing Huntsville today. Obviously, I'm not.

My back has been giving me fits lately. I think my hips are out of alignment, or something. I really should go see the chiropractor. Now's just not a good time. I'm currently the only one in the house with an income, and I can't really call it much of an income.

Anyway, my back has been sending pains and tingling down my left leg. I have no pull up on the left side when I'm pedaling. Not good for climbing. Not good for racing. Especially not good for racing a climb. Thus, no racing for me today.

I really hope it's better for Wolf Creek next week. I have to do that race, even if it's painful. Crossing my fingers that it's not more painful than it should be.

Today I rode to South Fork up Provo Canyon with my LOTOJA partner. We both need to start seriously training and getting some miles in. I'm beginning to really worry about LOTOJA. Will I be ready? I'm a better climber than she is, and she kicks my butt on the flats. So, I'm doing all the LOTOJA hills and she's taking the flatter parts. It evens out that we're each doing about half of the race, or about 100 miles each. I haven't done that kind of mileage yet this year. Next year my goal is to do LOTOJA solo.

Today: 24.5 miles in 1:40

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Summer Fun

Rode this last night:

It was Wicked!

(Sorry about the blurry photo.)