Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Oh, woe is me!

I've always thought of myself as a well rounded person. I enjoy a whole host of interesting things: geology, birds, family history, animals, law, gardening, design, drag racing. You name it, I probably find it fascinating.

So it has been with great dismay that I have recently discovered that I am not as well rounded as I have always pictured myself to be.

Apparently, when it comes to exercise, my body only knows how to ride a bike.

I tried to keep myself active by walking. I managed to give myself a good case of shin splints. Now I can't walk at all, or at least not without great pain.

So, I tried the elliptical machine. Boy, did I feel stoooopid! I learned that you can't pull up on the elliptical's "pedals". I nearly feel off the machine. Several times. My legs are so used to pulling up, I couldn't help it. All the time, I'm trying to keep my cool because I happen to be a fitness instructor at that facility. Can't have the professionals falling off the equipment like dofusses.

Next, I tried lifting weights. I hate lifting weights. Especially when you have to fight over the machines with a bunch of other people. My perfectly-timed circuit was all screwed up when some guy sat down on one of MY pieces of equipment and proceeded to JUST SIT THERE. Wouldn't move. He wasn't working a circuit, see, he was resting in between sets and didn't want to have to give up his space while he waited.

Now my whole body is sore. I thought I was in such great shape. Shows you what I know.

Next up is swimming I suppose. I'll probably ingest a bunch of parasites and have to live out the rest of my grounding in the bathroom.

I can't wait to get back on my bike.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Time Out

I'm bored. Three weeks off my bike, or any bike for that matter is going to kill me.

I still have to teach three to four Spinning classes each week. And I have to teach off the bike. Rio still hangs on my bedroom wall like artwork. So I am allowed to see bikes, wrench bikes, and admire bikes. I'm just not allowed to saddle up.

It's like telling a couple of teenagers that they can kiss each other, touch each other, and admire each other, but they aren't allowed to go all the way.

I'm sure by the end of my grounding, er, I mean time off, I'll be so excited to get back on...and then what? Race season is over and the weather is turning cold.

I know. There's always cross. Believe me, I'm tempted. It's the bad boy Mom always warned me to stay away from. The problem is that I sucked so bad at road racing, I don't wanna go mess up cross too. So I'll try to stay away from it, at least for this year.

So, I'm really trying to come up with stuff to do (exercise-wise, anyway) until I can ride again. Probably end up walking the dog a lot. She's gonna wonder what's up with all the extra attention.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Time for a Break

You know it's time to quit riding for a while when you do an 8-mile race and you're totally wiped out for the rest of the day.

Today's race was a time trial hillclimb, the Climber's Cup.

The scenery was beautiful. The race was held in East Canyon, just east of Salt Lake, but not quite to Park City.

I didn't do so well. I haven't recovered from LOTOJA yet. Coach says I need a break. He's grounded me from my bike for THREE WEEKS!

I'm actually pretty excited about it.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

I'm Baaack!

LOTOJA was so much fun!

I'm still pretty spaced out from the whole event, so hopefully something here will make sense. We drove all night to get home, so I've only had about 4 hours of sleep.

My relay partner, Ragla, started us out bright and early in Logan. She rode for 34 miles to Preston, Idaho. Sling and I had driven up to Preston, and thinking we had plenty of time, went to the grocery store so I could change into my bike clothes. I chose this store because I remember from last year that it had a massage chair. After a miserable night's sleep on some stranger's front room floor, I figured a massage was in order. So after changing, I proceeded to sit in the chair and talk to people who were wondering what I was up to. I stood out a bit, I guess. Next thing I knew, my phone was ringing. It was Ragla! Freaked me out! I was sure she had made it to the feed zone already and was wondering where I was. But, luckily, she was only calling to tell me she was seven miles out. So we hurried over to the park and waited for her to come in.

Then it was my turn to ride. I was a bit nervous about climbing Strawberry Summit because my friend had told me how hard it was. I discovered that she lied. I hit the climb and started dropping everyone. I don't think a single person passed me on that climb. It was great! And it gave me a mental boost. The first 16 or so miles had dragged on, but after Strawberry, time passed really quickly. I was in Montpelier, Idaho before I knew it.

In Montpelier, I pulled into my stop, hoping to grab my feed bag and go. But Sling was missing. Ragla ran to find him, and when he showed up, he insisted that I sit and have a quad massage. I did a quick rub down with The Stick, grabbed my stuff, and took off again.

East of Montpelier there was some major road work going on. Luckily the road was totally closed to traffic. There was a place where you had to climb a steep grade, in gravel, come back down another steep grade (I'd guess 10 or more percent), sliding on the dirt and rocks, then ended up crossing a metal bridge made out of railroad cars. It was kind of nerve wracking.

The next climb was Geneva Summit. It was a little more difficult than Strawberry Summit, but not as long. It's almost 1000 feet of elevation gain in nine miles.

The last big climb was Salt River Pass. I had ridden this part last year, but I had forgotten how long of a climb it was. On this climb you gain 1300 feet of elevation in 11 miles. I was so relieved when I got to the top, knowing it was mostly downhill from here.

Coming down from Salt River Pass I felt really weird. Blurry eyes and dizzy. I don't know if it was from the work of climbing, from the sudden change of speed (from about 8 mph to 40 mph), or because of the strong cross winds. I wasn't sure I should go on. But by the time I got to the bottom of the descent, I was feeling back to normal again.

The winds were really bad coming into Afton, Wyoming. It would whip around and smack you in the face every once in a while. I was glad when I was done with my part.

Ragla took the rest of the race, from Afton to Teton Village (11 miles beyond Jackson Hole). She needed me there for her at the end of the race. She felt like she was done at about 20 miles left to go. Said she wanted to throw her bike in the road and watch it get ran over. So, we would drive ahead, wait for her, and encourage her as she went by. I got back on my bike for the last seven miles of the race and rode to the finish line with her. We came into Teton Village about an hour earlier than we expected. Yeah!

Here's a cheesy picture of us at the end of the race:

97 miles
6 hours
6722 feet of ascent

Friday, September 7, 2007

LOTOJA or bust

I'm off to LOTOJA.

Wish me luck -- I'm gonna need it!

Monday, September 3, 2007

Lonely Birthday Ride

It's official. I'm older today. Boo! Hiss!

Went for a ride out to Saratoga Springs to celebrate. Nobody wanted to ride with me. Could it be because I tend to be pretty grumpy on my birthdays? Or maybe everyone wanted to celebrate Labor Day in their own special way. And I thought having my birthday fall on a major holiday would be so fun. I tried to cheer myself up by stopping by my favorite bike shop, but it was closed for the day.

This is the second ride this week where I've tried out a new route only to get stuck waiting for a train for 15 minutes. What is up with that?

Rode really easy today because I feel like I'm getting sick. I can't afford to be sick for LOTOJA, so I didn't push it.

44.5 miles
2 hours 55 minutes


Saturday, September 1, 2007

Hobble Creek

My legs are tired. They didn't want to cooperate this morning. It took over 20 miles before they finally accepted that we were going on a bike ride.

Pretty uneventful ride today. Hobble Creek wasn't nearly as difficult as I had imagined it was going to be. It's rollery (is that a word?). Usually, I prefer to just climb, but today I appreciated the descents that were interspersed in the climbs.

Took a new route on the way home and got stuck waiting for a train to move out of the road. Once the engineer realized there was a group of bikes waiting to cross the tracks, he backed the train up for us. How courteous!

54.78 miles
3 hours 37 min
2578 feet of ascent
195 miles for the week