Monday, June 30, 2008

The Gate City Grind

First off, I want to say that I am so glad I went to the race this weekend! I had a fabulous time hanging out with my awesome teammates! And by the end of it all, I was really glad to get back home to the same life I had been so excited to run away from only days before. The weekend away was exactly what I needed.

Thursday morning I woke up with no intention whatsoever to go to the race. By afternoon, the wheels in my head had started turning.

I tried to talk myself out of it (see Thursday's post). That didn't work. Posting that blog entry just made teammates start calling and hounding me to go.

I tried to get Slingshot to talk me out of it. All he had to say was that it sounded like it would be good training and he thought I should go. He really is a great guy! So supportive. Even after I had been acting like such a high-maintenance brat. Or maybe he just needed the time with me away, too.

I tried to get my coach to talk me out of it. But, he was just like, "Yea, it's a fun race, you should go."

I checked with more teammates. I wanted to know if it was too late for me to be trying to sneak my way into their ride and room. But, no, they had plenty of room to take me along, and I could share a room with them, too.

Well, with everything falling into place for me to go to Idaho, I still needed to get out of a few obligations here at home. I made a few phone calls, and wah-law, that all worked out too. I was free to go!

I managed to get myself registered for the race with seconds to spare. By this time, it was getting late, so I went to bed. I knew it was my last chance to get a good night of sleep. I didn't sleep. I was too worried about all the stuff I needed to get done the next day. My teammates wanted to leave Salt Lake a lot earlier than I had expected. I only had three hours to get everything done that I needed to do. And I had a lot to do to prepare for a stage race.

I managed to get it all done, drive to Salt Lake, load up with my teammates, and we made the drive to Idaho. I was glad that we got there early enough to pre-drive the road race course, and do some goofing off and relaxing.

After a sleepless night, we got up Saturday morning, ate breakfast, and drove to Arimo for the road race. Our race didn't start until 10:35 a.m., so we had plenty of time to check in and get a good warm up. There were fourteen Cat 4 women (including a 12 year old and a 14 year old), two junior women, and one master woman racing with us. As the race started, there was a lot of jockeying around. It was quite sketchy at times and there was some mouthing off going on, especially by the teenage crowd. We made it up the first long climb with Kara off the front. The pack regrouped after the first turn. I stayed with the lead pack until the steep climb. When we had pre-driven the course, I knew I could climb that stupid hill with power, but when I got to it, I said "bye-bye" to the pack, and watched them climb away from me. What the...? I thought I could chase back on, but it wasn't meant to be. I knew I wasn't the first one popped off, so I worked hard to stay ahead of the others who were behind me. The last thing I wanted to hear was a voice behind me telling me that they had worked their butt off to catch me. I never heard it. They never caught me. But it sure was lonely racing more than half the race alone.
My Garmin says it was 33.02 miles, but I think it was closer to 34.


Post race:

After the road race, we went back to the motel, showered, ate lunch, and tried to have a nap. Then it was time to get ready for the time trial. The results from the road race never got posted, so no one had a clue what time to be to the time trial. We were some of the first ones to the time trial course. We hung out and waited for the start times to be posted. Once the times were up, we realized that we had a while before our race times. It was so hot! We wandered around looking for shade and generally killing time. Finally, we decided we should start warming up. We headed out on a road on the other side of the railroad tracks. Clint had warned us to give ourselves plenty of time to get back in case a train blocked our way on the way back. Wouldn't want to miss our start time! Anyway, my teammates decided to take off to warm up without me because I was busy looking for the keys to lock the truck. I found the keys, took the keyless-entry remote, hid the keys, and left for my warm up. Kara rode slow to wait up for me, but I forgot to tell her where I'd put the keys. She didn't want to climb the hill we were headed for, so she turned around. Up the road I could see the rest of my teammates turning around, too. I still had a few more minutes before I wanted to turn around, so I kept riding. Alone. Out in the middle of nowhere. I got to a turn in the road, and decided it was a good time to go back. What a crappy road to descend! It was such bumpy chip and seal that I thought my brain was going to rattle out of my head. I started losing focus. Once I got on better road, I started wondering where I was. Had I turned at that intersection? I didn't think so. I kept riding. Nothing looked familiar. I started freaking out. I didn't even have my phone on me in case I really was lost. And, I was the only one who knew where the keys to the truck were! Finally, I crested a hill and saw the race venue. Whew!

The time trial was only 6.1 miles. Mostly flat road with a little descent and a little climb. I lost time when the holder-upper guy let go of me and I almost fell over. It was kinda funny. I also lost some time because I'm such a chicken when it comes to turning around. I don't know why I let it freak me out the way it does. I was not impressed with my time trial.

By the time we got back to Pocatello, it was getting late. We went and drove the criterium course in the dark. Margaret hatched the team plan for the next day, and I started freaking out. I don't like crits, and this looked like a doosey. We had a late dinner with the team at a little Mexican restaurant. Then off to bed. Mexican food was a bad idea so late at night. Another night with little sleep.

The next morning at the crit course, I really started wondering what the hell I was doing in Idaho. The course was lined with bales of straw, just waiting to be plowed into by wrecking bodies and bikes. I could only imagine the carnage that awaited me. I slowly rode around the parking lot, trying to get myself calmed down while I practiced cornering.

The criterium was 40 minutes. Luckily, it was earlier in the day when it was a little cooler outside. I lined myself up at the front of the group at the start line. I had gone over the course in my head multiple times, trying to figure out exactly where I wanted to be at each corner. The plan was that I was to stay in the front and help block the field while we sent teammembers off front. The plan worked for about the first half lap of the race. After the first tight corner, the speed ramped up and the field slowly filed past me. I hung onto the back of the pack for a couple of laps before being spit off. The two junior girls were behind me, and I figured if I had any chance of catching anyone, I had to let them work with me. So I slowed up and let them hook on. We rode around a couple of laps with me pulling before I decided it was their turn to work. I slowed down, signaled off, and looked back. Neither one would come up. I signaled again for them to come up. Nothing. Finally, I told them that they were going to have to come work or I would drop them. They waited until we had gone through some of the scarier corners, then came shooting around. I caught on to the back of them and away we went. A couple of laps later the lead pack lapped us. One of the juniors was able to hang onto them, but not for long. The chase pack came up behind me and stayed there. Cool. Now I was doing my job of blocking. I couldn't understand why they were just hanging out back there until after the race when one of them told me that they just were just too tired and needed a break for a while. With three laps to go, I was surprised to see a teammate not too far ahead. I dug in to try to catch her. With a half a lap to go, I was almost there when she turned around and saw me coming. I knew as soon as she saw me, I didn't have a chance. Sure enough, she dug in too, and she beat me across the line by two bike lengths.

After the race, we went back to the motel, showered, and went back to watch the rest of the races.

For the most part, I stayed in the shade of the tent to take my pictures. But BG was excited to go out in the hot sun and get some good action shots.

I'm thinking this is the Cat4 men with Shane off the front. Correct me if I'm wrong.

The Cat 3s. Seems like there were lots of wrecks in this group.

The Cat 1/2s. They had to race for 75 minutes in the 3 p.m. heat of the day. By the end of the race, half the field had dropped out.

Good times!

Too Tired to Post

I'm back from the Gate City Grind. What a weekend!

Race, rest, eat, repeat.

More to come on the race later. I'm still catching up on the rest and eat part of the weekend.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Am I Insane?

Am I crazy to have suddenly decided that I have to race Gate City Grind this weekend?

I have never done a stage race. I wasn't planning to do this stage race. I am not prepared to do a stage race.

Yet, I'm tempted to throw all caution to the wind, drive myself and my bike to Idaho, and race.

Reasons to go:

  • I feel like it.
  • I want to.
  • I need to get away.
  • I don't like watching my name slip down in ranking while I take a break from racing.
Reasons not to go:
  • I would be in trouble with Slingshot if I dropped everything and ran away.
  • I have things I need to do around here.
  • I don't have the money to register, let alone pay the travel expenses.
  • Like I said before, I'm not prepared to do a stage race right now.
Darn! Looks like the cons outweigh the benefits of going, doesn't it?

Well, that was some short lived excitement to my day. Can't hurt to dream some.

Thanks for helping me think this through.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Nothing Really to Say

How come when I'm away from my computer I can think of all sorts of things I want to blog about. But, now...

So in an effort to top the most posts I've done in a month, today I'm blogging about nothing, really.

So, here's my life lately-in a nutshell (not necessarily in this order):

  • Wake up grumpy that morning's here already.
  • Water the garden.
  • Stare at the weeds. Where did they all come from?
  • Weed the garden.
  • Teach Spinning class.
  • Ride my bike.
  • Scrounge the kitchen for something to eat.
  • Commute to the basement to get online and work for my internet security job.
  • Check email - nothing new.
  • Check my blog - no new comments (come on people, entertain me!)
  • Check Facebook - getting boring.
  • Finish work and log off.
  • Make dinner.
  • Eat dinner.
  • Go to bed.
  • Wake up and do it all again the next day.
That about sums it up. How boring is that?

Well, it's getting about time to start on dinner now. I think I'll make spaghetti and salad tonight. Mmmm...with garlic bread. Wait! I can't have garlic tonight. I have to teach a Spinning class in the morning. Shoot! I guess plain french bread will have to do. I'm hungry!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Why a 90 Minute Ride Took Me Three Hours to Complete

This morning, I wasn't planning to ride my bike at all. Not until I checked my schedule to see if I really had to. But Slingshot suggested that we throw my bike in the truck and he'd give me a ride to work. By this time, I was running late enough that I couldn't commute in, but riding home sounded fine. So away we went.

After teaching a Spinning class, and chatting with some class members for awhile, I jumped on my bike and commuted home by detour. The ride home was a really easy ride because about five minutes into the ride I caught up with a girl I knew from class. She was towing her little girl in the bike trailer. She was going the same way as I was, so I rode most of the way home with her - at 9 miles an hour.

Once home, I changed out of my sweaty clothes and turned on the computer to check my schedule. Crap! I still had 60 minutes of riding to do. I considered putting the ride off until later when it was a little cooler outside. Then I changed my mind. I actually don't mind riding in the heat. It's much better than riding in the cold! I grabbed something to eat and changed back into some riding clothes.

I was going to head up the canyon where it would be a little cooler. But as I rode along I decided a visit to my grandparents' house was in order. Grandma J. had knee replacement surgery last week. Since I spent my whole weekend camping and unavailable to the world, I figured I had better check in with the family.

Grandpa was home, but not Grandma. She had been sent to a rehab facility over the weekend. I visited with Grandpa for a while. He gave me the address to the place where Grandma is staying. It wasn't too far from where I live.

I rode back into Orem taking the steepest road I could possibly find. Not on purpose. I was supposed to be riding endurance. I had no idea that hill was a 12 percent grade! It hit me like a ton of bricks! I've gone down it before, but never up. Once I recovered from the hill I decided to go find Grandma's rehab facility.

I was only going to ride by the rehab facility to see where it was. By now, I was pretty sweaty. I'm sure I looked lovely! The next thing I knew, I was parking my bike by the entrance and going in the doors. Boy, did I feel silly in there! Click, clack, click, clack went my cleats on the floor. Everybody, and there were a lot of people in there, was staring at me. I went to the desk and asked for my grandma. Of course, her room was located way down the hall, around a corner and down another hall. Click, clack, click, clack. More people. More staring.

I found Grandma's room. Jim, the therapist guy, was loading her into a wheelchair to take her to lunch. I told my grandma that I had just come by to say "Hi" and that I couldn't stay because my bike was all alone out front. Jim told me to go ahead and bring the bike in. I could put it in the therapy room. He said he wanted to use it in there to scare the patients. He was going to tell them that my bike was there for them to train on. Great. No excuse to get away from the staring people. I went back down the hall, around the corner, and down the other hall. Click, clack...

I brought Rio in and put her in the therapy room. Everyone was really staring now. "Jim said this was okay." Where was Jim now? I wanted him to tell everyone that it was really okay for my bike to be there.

I left Rio alone again and went to the lunchroom to find Grandma. Everyone at lunch had assigned seats and I was feeling pretty out of place in there. I found a chair and wedged it in between the wheelchairs. I visited with Grandma and her new found rehab friends until she had finished her lunch. Then, in mostly an effort for me to get out of there, I pushed Grandma down the hall to therapy. The therapists got to work on Grandma, I got my bike, and I got out of there the fastest way I could find. I don't think I'll be visiting Grandma by bike until she's back at home again.

I still had some time to put in for my ride, so I took the long way home.

I had started this bike ride at 9:50 a.m. and I finished it at around 1 p.m. I only got in 17.6 miles.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Camping at Strawberry Reservoir

In an effort to try to have some balance in my bike-dominate life, I took the weekend off from bike racing and went camping instead. This is the first weekend I've taken off since early March, so I guess I can say I deserved it.

My in-laws were planning a camping trip this weekend as well, so we decided to camp together. I didn't realize until we pulled into camp that they had also invited everyone they knew. So it was us, my father-in-law, his wife, my two brother-in-laws, and family, some friends and neighbors. Lots of kids and about 20 people, and five dogs, total.

By the time we pulled into camp, it was getting late, and I was getting hungry. The first item of business was making dinner. Chicken and rice in the dutch oven with a garden salad and chocolate fudge cake (yes, baked - in the dutch oven) with ice cream for dessert. Yum!

I promptly burned myself on the fire pit! Duh! That thing is hot when there's fire in it. But, I still managed to enjoy the rest of the evening.

After dinner, I got talked into going 4-wheeling. I say that I had to get talked into it because last time I drove one of those things (probably ten or more years ago), I drove it into a ditch. I was a bit nervous about driving another one, to say the least.

Basically, my fearless sister-in-law, Carrie needed someone to follow her (you know, the buddy system) while she rode her dirt bike. She took off like a bullet up the road. She was sliding the back wheel around on the dirt and gravel, popping wheelies, and basically living like Evil Knievel. I was driving, oh so tentatively, behind her. Every once in a while, I'd give it some gas, and get going fast, only to discover that I would start sliding sideways. "Don't wreck the 4-wheeler, don't wreck the 4-wheeler!" Every few minutes, Carrie would stop and wait for me. I finally told her just to go and enjoy herself and I would keep plugging along behind her. We went so high up the road that there were patches of snow along the side of the road. Just when I thought I'd had enough and was ready to turn around and go back to camp, Carrie decided to go up some side trail. I was terrified. It was rocky, steep, and narrow up there. Finally, she decided that this trail would be best explored tomorrow. It was starting to get dark. So we went back to camp. Whew! I had no idea I was so scared of dirt.

We sat around the campfire and watched the stars and moon come out. The kids started getting really wound up, but I was ready for some sleep.

The next morning, I got up and cooked up some breakfast. The best part of camping, in my opinion, is breakfast over the fire. So, I couldn't understand why I was the only one cooking. All the other campers had brought cold cereal.

After breakfast, everybody else in camp had either gone fishing or were out for a drive. I had told them I would stay behind and clean up camp. I put some water on the fire to boil then I looked over and saw this face:

Lucy had been so good. She needed a walk. With scenery like this

who could resist?

So we headed up the trail.

Normally, I keep Lucy on her leash because she is the type of dog who will run and run and won't come back. This time I decided to trust her to stay near me. I let her off the leash and she took off, but would come back every few seconds to make sure I was still around. She had such fun!

As I was walking along, enjoying the views, I realized something. Look at this scene and see if you can guess what I could have been thinking:

That's right! Today wasn't going to be a rest day from the bike after all! This trail needed riding. I realized I had to go back to camp and get one of the kids' mountain bikes. After the previous night's 4-wheeling adventure, I should know how to handle dirt.

I went back to camp, finished the cleaning up, and tried to have a nap. I decided it would be best to wait for everyone to get back before I stole someone's bike and rode myself off into the unknown forest. Just as I was thinking I really could go to sleep, everyone returned, screaming and yelling. Kids! No nap for me.

I grabbed Austin (the 15-year-old), a helmet, and a bike. Austin and I headed up the trail. Here's Austin.

Normally Austin wears a helmet. But today, I had his helmet. Plus, he's a teenager. Doesn't that make him invincible?

Here's what I discovered on this ride: mountain biking is tough! No wonder the mountain bike chicks usually kick our roadie butts so hard whenever they show up to the road races.

We went up the trail until it got really steep and technical (this is technical for a roadie like me: large rocks and trees fallen over the trail).

Then I decided that I'd had enough.
My reasons for being done:
1) It was hot.
2) Since neither bike had a water bottle cage, we had no water. I was thirsty.
3) I hadn't planned on riding during this camping trip, so I didn't come prepared to ride. No bike shorts = ouch!
4) I wasn't supposed to be on a bike today anyway. Today was supposed to be a rest day for me.

We turned around an headed back to camp. I spent the rest of the day lounging around, enjoying the pretty scenery, watching the kids play,

(Kameron in the above photo)

and wishing I had a mountain bike of my own. That kid's bike I had borrowed was too small for me, and even with the saddle raised all the way, I managed to give myself a good dose of knee pain from riding it.

We had really only planned on staying one night, but ended up staying over Saturday night as well. Most of the other campers had headed home at some point Saturday, so it was just us and one brother-in-law's family the second night. By this time, I was really enjoying the whole camping thing. I really could have stayed another night. I came home feeling really relaxed (despite not sleeping either night), refreshed, and recharged. It was a good thing for me to get away from all my duties, worries, and distractions for a few days.

Now, I've got some catching up to do.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Why Must I Love This Stuff?

Must purge all cake mix from my house! Ugh! I'm sick!

That stuff, simply put, is absolutely irresistible to me!

Why do I buy it when I know I'm just going to eat it? No wonder I'm so tired today. I've been eating like crap lately. If I'm not sabotaging myself by not warming up before a race, I'm doing it by fueling my body with junk. Junk!

I'll throw it away...after I go have the nap I promised myself.

Totally unrelated: Does anyone know of a moonlight bike ride up to Tibble Fork tonight? I heard a rumor there was going to be one, but I don't have any details. It would be good for me to go and work off some of this cake mix.

So Sleepy

Last night I had one of those nights. You know the kind. You wake up every few minutes to check on the time. Then you realize you have several more hours before you have to get up. So you go back to sleep, only to repeat the process a couple of minutes later. Ugh!

At 4:30 am, just as I was finally feeling like I could sleep, Slingshot started rubbing my back. Sigh. I guess it really was time to get up.

I got up, got dressed, and went to work. Interval day in the Spinning studio. I made myself stay on the bike the whole class. No use training myself to get off the bike when the going gets tough.

Class was unusual this morning. More men than women. All the men wearing spandex. Most everyone wearing a heart rate monitor. Everyone doing everything I ask them to do. It was nice.

After class, I came home and showered. Then I decided nothing was more important than sleep. I went back to bed. Two glorious hours of sleep. Deep sleep. I couldn't wake up. As a matter of fact, I may still be sleeping. At least I feel that way. Kind of like I've been drugged. If you've ever taken an antihistamine like Benedryl, you know the feeling. I haven't taken anything. Yet, I have that groggy, sleepy, drugged feeling. I may have to go have a nap. This morning wasn't a nap. It was just going back to bed. I think a nap is in order...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Commuting by Detour

Commuted in to work today.

Normally, the commute is a short, easy ride of about 7.5 miles. Today, with all the construction going on around Orem, the commute ended up being a longer, frustrating ride.

I don't really like to have to think when I ride. But this ride was riddled with lots of thinking about detours and trying to plan the easiest, simplest route that would take me away from the bulldozers, tar, and massive holes in the ground. Today's commute ended up being 14.5 miles. All due to construction.

Orem roads are going to be the best, smoothest roads when all this is over, right?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I am Officially Addicted

Being addicted to your massage therapist isn't such a bad thing, is it?

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Little Mountain State Championship Road Race

LITTLE Mountain? That was no little hill climb!

Quick report: I hung with the pack for the first lap until we got to the big climb. Then the whole field spread out. The second lap, I was caught by two teammates. We worked together with another newbie girl until the climb again. The new girl stopped to adjust her shoe and I climbed ahead of my teammates. All three of them caught me on the way back around - AGAIN! I have got to work on faster descents! Right before they caught me, I managed to lose BOTH of my water bottles (okay, I threw my empty favorite insulated Polar bottle and my dropped my 1st Endurance bottle). So I was SOL on the last lap. I couldn't even beg water off my teammates because they were out of water as well. I knew once I made it to the top of the climb I could get another bottle from neutral support. But, this time up, they weren't offering any bottles, so I had to beg for one. I hope I didn't take one that was intended for someone specific. It had something besides water in it. Anyway, the last time up the monster climb was especially tough. The wind had started blowing, and of course, it was a headwind. Once over the climb, I powered through to the finish because I didn't want to get caught by anyone on this final descent. Nobody caught me! Yeah! 10th place. Not last. Getting better.

After the race I went to find my water bottles. I knew exactly where they had landed (I made sure to look at the house address). They were gone. I thought I had found my 1st Endurance bottle, but when I opened it and smelled inside, it definitely wasn't mine. Who drinks something minty for a race? Weird. Mostly, I'm mad someone picked up my insulated bottle. I loved that bottle.

The only picture I managed to take today was of Turbo. Disclaimer: I'm not stalking Turbo! I just happened to be standing there holding my camera as he went by. It may appear as though I was trying to take a track-stand-type picture. I wasn't. He's just too speedy for my camera, and was past by the time I got the shot.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Hill Repeats from Hell

I did the Hell Ride today. It was as bad as I thought it was going to be. Strangely, I liked it.

Didn't pop any blood vessels, but I think I may be coughing up parts of my lungs the rest of the day.

What I've found interesting since I've gotten home is that even though my legs can tell that they've been worked, they are not fatigued, but rather feel energized. The rest of my body, however, is ready for a long nap.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

For You, JE

The Cat5 guys at the Sugar House Crit.

Ask and ye shall receive.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

A Great Day at Sugar House

So, I feel pretty good about the race today.

Sure, my result wasn't what I was hoping for, but I still had a lot of fun.

I felt strong and confident during the race. I held with the pack and even took a turn leading the pack around the circuit with four laps to go.

With three to go, I lost the pack. I didn't realize it until it was too late. I'm not sure why. Maybe because there were some others who had been dropped ahead of me, and I was too maxed out at that point to realize they weren't in the lead pack anymore either.

At any rate, once I realized I was off the back, the negative self-talk set in. I quickly nipped that in the bud and started telling myself just to focus on catching those in front of me. With two laps to go, I caught the next three racers. Two of them had told me they were racing masters category, so I wasn't too concerned about them. As we came around the last lap, I was in front, and I led out down the last descent. I was pushing pretty hard because I didn't want to get caught by the other racer. She didn't catch me, but the other two ("masters") caught me as we were climbing to the finish line. I let them pass because, once again, I wasn't worried about them. I came across the line pretty happy with the way things had turned out.

Then, I looked at results. Come to find out, there wasn't a masters category today! I let two racers beat me to the line on a stupid assumption. Dumb mistake! It's not unusual for race organizers to race the Cat4 women with the masters women. So, maybe you can understand why I made the assumption. Oh well, you live and you learn I guess. 10th place.

After the race, I hustled home to shower and grab some grub to barbecue. Then Sling and I jumped back in the truck and drove back to Sugar House Park. The Ski Utah "official" team photo was happening in between races at 12:55. Wouldn't you know it, as we exited I-15 onto I-80 traffic was at a standstill. We only had minutes to get to the team photo. I was frantically calling my teammate, Brandi, asking her how to navigate around the deadlock so I could get to the photo shoot in time. We finally made it to the park, but it was already time for the shoot. They couldn't wait for us because some of the guys were starting the next race in a few minutes. Since the park was closed to traffic for the race, I had to run about a mile to the Ski Utah van. I barely made it there in time. Poor Slingshot. He had to park the truck, and I don't know if he managed to make it into any of the pictures. He was just stepping into the group when the photographer took the last picture.

After the photo shoot, we hiked back to the truck and hauled all the food back to the pavilion near the start/finish line. I think I'm more tired today from all the running back and forth from the truck than I am from the race! Anyway, we grilled up some hamburgers, had some salad, fruit, chips, and cupcakes. We had some extra hamburgers, so we invited some of the Ski Utah team members over to share with us. I didn't want to have to haul any more food than necessary back to the truck.

After eating, I headed back to the start/finish line to watch the men Pro/1/2 race.


Those guys are fast. Burke Swindlehurst came out to the race today. He was off the front in a break for most of the race, and he looked like he wasn't even working hard.

Swindlehurst won.

Then two other guys. Then Dave Harward.

All in all, I had a really fun day.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

I'm Feeling MELLOW

I just got back from the most fabulous massage!

Now, I don't get massages very often. A massage is a real a luxury for me.

So, what made me decide to go and get a massage today? A whole series of events happening over the last couple of months.

First, my coach has been working with me to help me get over some mental games I'm playing with myself. For some reason, I don't seem to be progressing with this bike racing thing. So, we've come to the conclusion that it's not my physical abilities that are limiting me, but rather my negative self-talk and emotions.

I was discussing all of this with my chiropractor, and he clued me into some stuff that made me think that I just need to find a way to let my body de-stress and let go of some harmful emotions. Just as I was sitting there talking to him, my neck went out on my three times. He finally pulled out some book and showed my how my emotions are affecting how my body reacts. I know it sounds weird, but I'm starting to believe it.

Then, one day I come home to find an advertisement on the door. Usually, I just toss these right into the trash. But this one was different. It had a personal note attached, and said it was from Kenny. "Kenny who?" I thought, ready to toss it. Then I got to looking at it and realized it was from one of my favorite bike shop guys, Kenny. Now my interest was really perked up because Kenny himself is a good reason to go to the bike shop, if you know what I mean. I got to reading the flyer and realized that Kenny is not only a great bike shop guy, but a licensed massage therapist. Not only that, but a lot of the stuff Kenny does as a therapist is dealing with releasing pent up negative emotions and stress. Cool.

So I called and scheduled an appointment. While talking to Kenny, I realized how awesome it will be to have a massage therapist who really understands all that is involved with biking and how it affects the body. He even asked about if I was racing this weekend and told me that he'd go a little easier on my legs so they will be up to performing well this weekend.

Well, now that I'm home from the massage, I've gotta tell you, I'm am feeling great! Kenny really knows what he is doing. I am in a super mellow mood and am so relaxed.

Time to start putting in more hours at work. I think this luxury is going to have to become a necessity in my life.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

I Need a Nap

Group ride this morning. Started out with Slingshot and Ragla. We left before the sun had come up. I hate mornings. But I do really enjoy the peace of early morning, so I guess getting up early is worth it. But, I think I'll try to sneak in a nap today if I can.

We rode down into Provo as the sun was coming up over the east mountains. Then we headed back into Orem to pick up Spinster and to try to catch up to the Telos group. From Orem, we rode up Provo Canyon, and then up South Fork.

It's so pretty up Provo Canyon. The birds were chirping, the river was bubbling, the flowers smelled great. The trees had filled in, and were overhanging the bike path. Yes, I took the bike path. Early mornings are the only time I will take the bike path, before the joggers, dogs, rollerbladers, and skateboarders are out. I had to stop at the restroom at the Nunn's Park campground. Nobody, except Sling, wanted to wait for me, so we lost the group, and he and I rode the rest of the way by ourselves.

It was probably for the best that we rode without the group after that. Sling got a flat, and I had to ride back up South Fork to find him. I also had to stop, twice, to pick up stuff I recogized that Ragla had dropped. By now, we were moving pretty slow, and basically just enjoying ourselves.

Now, here comes the part that got me to thinking. Only once, when Sling was getting after me to bridge a gap (I finally told him to go around me), did he come around and ride in front of me. Why does he do this? What is so entertaining about riding behind me? I'm going to add a poll to let you give your opinions as to why he might be doing this. It's pretty much this way every time we ride together. It doesn't matter if we're by ourselves or with a group, he rides behind me. Tell me what you think.

Monday, June 2, 2008

I'm Going to do WHAT?

I'm pretty sure that my coach gives me certain workouts as punishment when I didn't do something I was supposed to do. Last weekend I managed to miss warming up before the race - again. I'm in big trouble this time. I just checked my workout schedule for the week, and while this isn't EXACTLY the way it was written, this is the way I read it:

"Find an 18 percent grade hill. Try to ride up it in a forward motion without falling over. Push yourself so hard for 90 seconds that your brain comes out of your ear. Then come out of saddle and push until a blood vessel pops in your forehead. Recover for 3 minutes and repeat until you pass out or puke."

I'm supposed to do this workout on Wednesday. Anyone want to come along?