Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Happy Valley Time Trial

See how happy I am. Note that I haven't left the start line yet. The start line is where the happiness ended.

So, I stink at time trials. Surprise, surprise.

Actually, I'm more disappointed about other stuff that happened today than my lack of speed. Those of you who were out there with me today know what I'm talking about. I just hope that I can channel my anger and disappointment in a positive way and use that energy to go out and kick some butt. Someday.

Anyway, about the race. I was really surprised at how much harder it was for me after the turn around. When I pre-rode the coarse on Tuesday I thought that the going and the coming back were similar in effort. Not today. I really lost focus on the way back. At around mile 20 I was starting to feel all weird. I grabbed some gel and lost some more focus. The last four plus miles were tough.

After the race, I came home and changed into my Pink Fatty jersey, then rode to the fitness center where I helped do a bike clinic to teach people how to do stuff like change a flat and put their chains back on. I rode a little way with the group before I decided I had too much stuff I needed to be doing back home. It was a good thing I headed home when I did: both my dad and my in-laws showed up to visit the very moment I pulled onto the lawn.

In other news: apparently I'm a stalker. I guess I've gotta stop being friendly at the races.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

What am I Thinking? WHAT AM I THINKING!?!

Hell. Here I sit, hovering over the "register" button for the Happy Valley Time Trial. Why am I even debating doing this race? I would have so much more fun doing something else on Saturday. Anything else. Really. Someone suggest something. Hurry.

So why am I registering for this race?
1) I promised to drive my friend to the race. If am driving way out to the middle of nowhere, I may as well race while I'm there.
2) I've raced every other race in May, so why not this one too?
3) It's on my schedule of things to do this week, and I hate not to cross things off my list.
4) I am a glutton for punishment.
5) I'm beginning to think that I secretly enjoy getting my butt kicked every weekend.

None of those seem like very good reasons compared to my list of reasons NOT to race this Saturday:
1) I have absolutely NO time trial equipment. Nope, not even aerobars.
2) I already hurt and don't even want to imagine how much I'm going to hurt during/after the race. I'm already regretting my decision not to go to the chiropractor yesterday.
3) I don't want to. Really, I don't.

But, I will race. It will be good for me. I'll gain some experience, burn some calories, enjoy the sunshine.

Ok, here goes...I'm pushing the "register" button.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Not Much Happening in Elberta

I went out and rode the Happy Valley Time Trial course today. Boy, it is way out in BFE! If you're planning on doing this race expect lots of bugs, and be sure to look out for the antelope crossing the road. No, I'm not kidding about the antelope. I sure hope they're not out there on Saturday because they are distracting. I had to slow way down to watch them watching me. I am a wildlife junkie!

I'm glad I went. It's always nice to know ahead of time what to expect. The event flyer describes the course as "exceptionally flat with negligible elevation." I was expecting a pancake flat road. I didn't find this to be the case. There are some slight rollers, mostly the false flat type. No big deal, just not pancake flat.

The road hasn't been marked yet, so I'm unsure exactly where the turnaround will be. Plus, my bike computer seems to be broken, so I didn't have anything to tell me distance. The only way I knew I was close to where the turnaround is was the fact that there are little green mile marker signs that seem to coordinate with the distance. That, and the flyer says that there is one right hand turn, which is near mile marker 12.

One more thing: lots of big trucks use this road. Be careful!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Garden Creek Gap Race

Race report: Ugh! No excuses.

Some observations during the race that possibly I'm the only one to have noticed: a pair of sandhill cranes, a hawk carrying off a good-sized fish, and a huge nest in a tree that looked like it could have had a bald eagle in it. Are they still nesting around here? Maybe I was delusional. Anyway, it doesn't seem like I was too focused on the race this weekend, does it?

In other news: Looked like one of the super speedy girls on the team was speedy on the drive home too, since she was pulled over and possibly getting a ticket. She's cute enough though, so maybe she was able to talk her way out of it. ;-)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Talking Smack

I've got a lot to say on the subject, but have decided it would be best just to shut up.

Gonna say only one thing: if you didn't do as well as you would have liked in a race, it's nobody's fault but YOUR OWN!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Bear Lake Road Race

I had so much fun racing 52 miles around Bear Lake!

I loved all the strategy, watching for moves, waiting for attacks, and the excitement of it all. The attacks started early, but no one really seemed able to get away for very long.

At about eight miles into the race, Shanna started leaning hard into me. She was shouting at someone on her right to back off, and she was telling me to hold on. I could feel my bike slipping out from under me, and I was sure I was going down. I focused on holding my line because I didn't want to get pushed over into the girl on my left. We rode like that for at least 10 seconds. I was strangely okay with it. I remember thinking that it was a good experience for me and I would learn from it. (By the way, this is the second time this year that someone has come so close as to touch me. Both times this has happened that person has won that race! Now, don't get any ideas about me being a good luck charm. I don't like getting bumped in a race!)

After about 12 miles, the attacks stopped, and I settled in mid-pack and just sat in, going easy. Around mile 17, I got impatient and signaled to my teammate, KH, that it was our turn to attack. I sprinted around with KH following. I knew that we had four teammates sitting on the front and thought maybe they would let us go, but I really thought the group would chase. They didn't. We looked back and they were so far back there, I couldn't believe it. Later, I heard that my teammates on the front were holding the pack back, telling them not to chase...and everyone listened! KH and I were in the breakaway for about the next seven miles. I had known better than to break away by myself, and I was glad I had someone to work with me.

We were caught just before the rollers. My team counter-attacked when they caught us, and totally blew the pack to pieces. KH and I were pretty tired from working so hard to stay away, and we weren't expecting the counter-attack, so we missed catching on. But we were able to keep working together to catch and drop several others who were dropped off the back of the pack in front of us. KH started fading on me toward the end of the rollers. I found out that she had forgotten to bring any food, so I was handing stuff off to her, and we were taking it pretty easy for awhile. Pretty soon, we were caught by two other ladies: one teammate and an orange jersey girl. The four of us worked together for several miles before we lost my teammate. We picked up one of Orange Jersey's teammates for a while, but lost her soon after. The three of us worked together for most the rest of the race.

As we got about two miles to the finish, I let Orange Jersey pull. She wasn't about ready to let me back in front of her, and she really started pushing the pace. I looked back and found that we had dropped KH. I focused on holding Orange Jersey's wheel, and focused on nothing else -- no attention-deficit-disorder racing today. As we made the corner to the finish, she was really trying to drop me, but I hung on. I was just about to concede the race to her when I decided that I needed to try to beat her. At the 200m sign, I shifted and pushed hard to try to pass her. Orange Jersey was fighting hard not to let me past, but I managed to barely pull ahead of her at the line! I ended up coming in 11th. It was so much fun!

Congratulations to my teammates, Shanna (1st place), Breanne (2nd), and Jamie (3rd)!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Giving it Another Shot

So, I hustled my buns to RMR tonight so I could give this racing thing another shot. The way I see it, the more I race the better I'll get. At least I hope that holds true for me.

For some reason, as the race started I panicked. I think maybe the fact that a couple of girls in front of me couldn't get clipped in and started swerving a bit had something to do with it. Then the sun in my eyes started bugging me and my bike started to feel like something was wrong. I'm sure it was all in my head. At any rate, I just wanted to get away from everybody. I went to the back of the pack and tucked in behind another girl. Pretty soon, we were dropped.

Then the anger set in. Why do I always have to be off the back? I jumped and sprinted around her. But to no avail...I couldn't catch back on to the pack. Shanna came around and we worked together for about three laps before she took off and left me. It was nice to have a draft and some company for that little while. But for the most part this was another time trial effort for me.

I'm going to get stomped on this weekend at the Downtown Crit.

Saturday, May 3, 2008


So, after the race today I came home and harvested a ton of Orem potatoes, a.k.a. rocks. I'm getting the garden area ready for planting. It's been neglected for the past couple of years due to having a dog and my having little time to work on a garden. I even went to the garden shop and bought a bunch of vegetables to go in the garden: tomatoes, peppers (hot and sweet), pumpkin, spaghetti squash, zucchini, cucumber, carrots, marigolds. Darn! I forgot the onions. I guess another trip is in order.

I also went over to my brother in laws house and sat in the drag racer. I think drag racing will become my new sport. I will rock at drag racing!

Oh, do you get the idea that I'm avoiding blogging about the race today? Hmmm....I wonder why?

I stink at this bike racing thing. My first mistake today, and this is no excuse, was that I didn't warm up. I knew I needed a good, long warm up, but time was up before I knew it. I had high hopes for this race. After all, it was only 30 minutes long. I knew I could suffer for 30 minutes. But I was off the back by lap three. I thought I could catch back on, but it wasn't happening. Next time, I will warm up!

While I was out there racing I said to myself, "There comes a time when you've just got to say to yourself that you're not cut out for this racing thing. That time is today."

So, I guess I have a decision to make. I can continue to race and see if improvements happen. Continuing racing means suffering for, at times, nothing but disappointment with an occasional thrill of betterment.

Or, I can become a recreational rider. I've really wanted to participate at Little Red Riding Hood this year, but haven't planned on it since it's on a race day. The problem with my becoming a recreational rider is that I don't know that I would really ever find time to go out and ride. I have to be training for something to be motivated.

Anyhow, for now my decision is that I'm going to give another couple of races a try and see what happens before I make a final decision. How decisive is that?