Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Whoa! What a Class!

I want to preface this post by saying that I hope it makes sense. I only managed to get about three hours of sleep last night, and I am REALLY tired. For some reason when my brain heard that my body had mono, it said, "Ha! I'll show you!" And, I haven't been sleeping well for the last couple of nights.

This morning's Spinning class was something out of the ordinary. I almost called in a sub since I was so tired when I got out of bed. I'm glad I didn't. I had a group of firefighters come in and join the class. In full gear. With their masks and tanks on and everything. They proved to be quite entertaining for me and the rest of the class.

As the heart rates went up, alarms started sounding and lights started flashing. The head fireman would occasionally yell at the group to do something with their equipment. The firemen's face masks started to steam up. I felt really sorry for them. At one point, when we were out of saddle, one of them made the comment to me that I should try doing this with an extra 50 pounds on my back. I thought that sounded like a challenge I'd like to try someday. But probably not in full firefighter gear.

After about a half an hour, one of the firemen's alarm went off and a loud "psffft" sound filled the room. I guess he blew his tank. The head fireman rushed over to him and soon they were running out of the room. I could feel the tension in the air as everyone wondered if the poor guy was going to survive. Then another alarm went off and another fireman left. Then another. Pretty soon there was just one left. I declared him the winner.

Well, I can't stay awake any longer. Over and out.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Results Are In

I got the results of my bloodwork back today. What I found out is that I have an unusually high count for Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). Normal range in 0-99, and my count is over 4000. Basically, I have mono. So that explains why I've been so incredibly exhausted lately!

The good news--

  • I can continue to justify my daily naps.
  • Contrary to popular belief, the EBV is not highly contagious.
The bad news is that there is nothing more that can be done to fix it. I'll just have to continue to be tired for a while until it passes.

I'm going to have a nap now.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Did It Have To Be A Headwind Both Ways?

Twelve Cat4 women showed up to the Chalk Creek Road Race this morning. The US champion speed skaters whomped on us all. If I trained for six hours a day, I might be so fast, too.

Here we are as we left the start line:

My race was 30 rollery miles. I had to stop three times for animals: twice for cattle and once for goats. I placed 6th. I feel pretty good about that.

Slingshot raced today, too.

Here's some of the Cat1 men coming to the finish line.

On the way home I noticed that the Bridal Veil Fall fire has gotten out of control. I ticks me off that some vandal decided to burn down the building at the top. I have some good memories from that place.
I could see that the fire had burned some of the tram-car cables, and they were hanging down, laying against the mountain. I guess that pretty much seals the deal that this place will not get rebuilt.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

More Rambling Thoughts

This morning's ride
I was really looking forward to sleeping in this morning. I didn't have to get up and teach the pre-dawn Spinning class. Happy Pioneer Day to me! But, last night I got a phone call from Coach Girl inviting me to ride with the group this morning - at 6:30 a.m. I protested. Too early! Then she reminded me that getting up at this time would be sleeping in for me since I wouldn't have to get up even earlier for class. So I got up and went.

I rode as far as Bridal Veil Falls before I decided to turn back. We had been riding up the canyon into a stiff headwind. My legs felt like lead, and I was dropping back from the group. We were going to go up South Fork, but I didn't want to burn myself out for the Chalk Creek race on Saturday, so I came back home. The tailwind coming out of the canyon was quite awesome! I love tailwinds! Recovery ride the whole way home.

Health Stuff
I'm still feeling absurdly fatigued. Today I tried to run some errands only to realize that every place I wanted to go was closed for the holiday. I came home a little grumpy and laid down for "a second." I was gone. I woke up, looked at the clock, and was surprised to see that I had slept for over an hour. It felt like I had just laid down.

I'm still waiting for my bloodwork results from the doctor. On the one hand, I hope they find something wrong with me so there's a reason I have been off lately, and so they can fix what's wrong. On the other hand, I hope nothing's with me.

I hope everyone had a more exciting holiday than I did. I'm planning to go to bed early tonight. I'm hopeful that the neighbors don't keep me awake with fireworks. I need my beauty sleep!

Memories of me
I realized today that the majority of the people who read my blog either have never met me or have spent incredibly limited time with me. So the memory thing from my last post, although a cool concept, really doesn't work here. Still, if you have a memory of me (online or off) to include, please do so.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Memory Game

Let's play:
1. As a comment on my blog, leave one memory that you and I had together. It doesn't matter if you knew me a little or a lot, anything you remember!

2. Next, re-post these instructions on your blog and see how many people leave a memory about you. If you leave a memory about me, I'll assume you're playing the game and I'll come to your blog and leave one about you. If you don't want to play on your blog, or if you don't have a blog, I'll leave my memory of you in my comments.

3. If you can't say anything nice, don't comment. If you do, I'll delete it OR point out what a jerk you are! (he he).

Random Thoughts

I skipped my ride yesterday because I woke up to find my lungs a bit irritated. I thought maybe I would ride later in the day, but the day got busy.

So I rode to the fitness center today instead. It was a super easy ride. Easy physically. Which pretty much makes the ride hard mentally. It is really hard for me to ride nice. I usually have to take someone who is new to biking with me when I need to do a recovery ride. But, today, I had no one to ride with. Since my lungs were still bothering me some, I managed to take it pretty easy.

One of my class members was sweet enough to bring me a huge bag of apricots from her tree this morning. I was super excited because I had been craving apricots lately. Then I looked over at my bike. How was I going to get them home? Even after I ate a few and gave a few away, the bag seriously weighed more than my bike. I laid the bag across my shifter cables and away I went. It worked pretty well! I only had to adjust the bag once when it started rubbing my front wheel.

After class, I hurried and showered and was off the the doctor. I need to figure out why I've been so incredibly fatigued lately. I can sleep for 9 hours at night and still need a 2-3 hour nap by mid-afternoon. She took some blood, okay a lot of blood - three whole vials, and told me she'd call me when she has some results. She also told me that my lungs are bothering me because I have asthma. This doesn't feel like the asthma I remember as a kid!

One last story I forgot to include in my last post (and because I wondered if it could have had something to do with why my lungs are hurting): As a final kick in the butt after the Capitol Reef race last weekend, I felt something hit me hard in the arm - like a BB gun shot might feel. Right after that, I could feel something moving around in my shirt sleeve. I quickly brushed the insect away. Immediately, the pain set in. Sharp, stinging, stabbing pain was running up my arm, into my shoulder and my neck. I grabbed my arm and ran for the car. We drove a while with me moaning and groaning. My arm was starting to swell and turn red and feverish. I made Sling pull over so I could dig a Benedryl out of my bag in the trunk. I had no idea how I was going to continue to react to this insect sting (I can only assume that it was some sort of hornet or wasp). The Benedryl soon started working it's sleepy magic on me, and I was able to calmly ride the rest of the way home. Today is the first day that the sting hasn't really bothered me. Just a little lump now.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

I am a Doofus...a.k.a.= Another One Bites the Dust

I had been so excited for the Capital Reef Classic Stage Race for a long time. I hadn't been down to that area of the world since I was about eleven and I was camping with my family. I had good memories of the beauty of it all, and I was ready to go back.

Slingshot and I left home on Thursday after he got off work, and we drove down to the little town of Torrey. We checked into the Wonderland Inn (which, when we checked out on Saturday, was the Sandstone Inn). The first thing I noticed when we were checking in was the note on the door: "No bikes allowed in the rooms." I told the lady that I intended to take my bike into the room. She told me that they had a shed out back and some bikes were already there. Um, no thanks. She told me that with all the red dirt in the area that they just couldn't have bikes in the room. I told her that I had no intension of riding my bike in the dirt and that I kept it clean so it wouldn't be a problem. Finally, she gave me permission to take the bike in the room.

Friday morning Time Trial
9 a.m.
I was the third person off the line. I pulled up to the line and tried to clip in. No luck. I knew I only had 30 seconds and time was burning away. I got clipped in, but couldn't trust the holder-upper guy to keep me steady so I could clip in on the other side. Then the official says to me, "You have 30 more seconds." "What? I thought we were going out at 30-second intervals," came my reply. "Oh, shit!" was what the official said after looking at his clipboard. Great. I was already a minute down and I hadn't even left the line. Everyone else after me left at 30 second intervals.

8.3 miles
Mostly flat with some mild uphill sections.
24 minutes 33 seconds
5th place
Disappointing since I felt like I had ridden strong.

Some TT pictures of my teammates, Shanna and Kara:

Friday Afternoon Circuit Race
1:30 p.m. (Not enough time to recover! Plus, really, really hot!)
Here I am warming up in the only shade available.

This course was was either up or down, there was no in between. It was a 17 mile loop, starting and ending in the town of Teasdale. Beautiful scenery. Too bad I was in such pain to enjoy it. The course description said there were a "couple" of 6-8 percent climbs. Ha!


Me again...

17.3 miles
58 minutes
4th place + moved to 4th in the GC.

Saturday Morning Road Race

Here's where I become the doofus. Saturday morning I woke up, ate breakfast, and warmed up on the trainer in my motel room. The start of this race was supposed to be just down the road from where I was staying. Little did I know that not only did they change the time of the race to 25 minutes earlier, they also changed the start location. I left my motel room at around the time my group was leaving the start line. I rode down to where I thought the start should be. No one was there. I ran inside to check the results table to see where I should go. No papers! I asked some people inside and was told that they had seen racers heading out of town so the race must be at the other end of town. I called Slingshot and told him to come help me get to the race. I got back on my bike and rode back to the other end of town. Nothing! I stopped at the information center and asked them. They were like "what race?" Ugh! Then they said that maybe it was at the city park back down at the other end of town. Since I now only had 2 minutes until I thought we were starting I knew I was screwed. But I figured that I may as well go find out what was going on. So, I got back on my bike again and went back to the opposite end of town. Again, I stopped and asked someone if they had seen any other bike racers. Some lady told me that I should turn at the last corner and I would find the park. Once I looked where she pointed I could see a bunch of cars parked and a tent. That must be the place! I rode over and found the officials, who were quite surprised to see me. It was here that I learned that my race had started way earlier than I had expected. The officials told me that if I still wanted to race they would adjust my start time. So I headed out on the race all alone.

Sling caught up to me and followed me around taking pictures and such. I was glad he was there because I had a flat. I was just about to catch my teammate, too. Sling made a very quick wheel change and I was on my way again. I chased hard to catch up to my teammate. By the time I finally caught her, there was only about 10 miles left in the race. Luckily, the race organizers had taken out the Teasdale loop. I hadn't been looking forward to riding it again, let alone backwards.

Shanna on the course:
Me chasing by the "big rocks":

When I came in with Shanna, the officials remembered to adjust my time. They gave me an extra 36 minutes, putting me in last place in the GC.

At least I finished, right?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Porcupine Hill Climb

I was really starting to question my sanity when I signed up for this race. I had never been to Big Cottonwood Canyon in my life, so I was going into this race totally blind to what it would be like. All I knew about it was that it was going to be nasty hard.

The race started at the Porcupine Grill located at the base of Big Cottonwood Canyon. They sent the licensed riders out in three groups: The Men 1/2/3, the Men 4/5 & Masters, and the Women & Juniors. Here is a shot of the last group:
The climb started from the start line. Mild at first, which meant that everyone started off like someone had lit a match under their rear end. The pace was higher than I had anticipated, and the group got strung out pretty quickly. My legs started protesting right away. I considered turning back and going home. I knew it was only going to get worse.

After about two miles the road steepened, significantly. By this time, my legs had accepted the fact that they were going to work for me, and I started to settle into the climb. I started passing some of the others in front of me, while at the same time telling myself not to get too hot headed and wear myself out too soon. I had no idea how long this steepness was going to last.

After a couple of miles of suffering pain, the road started leveling out a bit. It felt really good. I was surprised to think I was on a descent and look down at my computer and see that I was still climbing a road grade of 2-4 percent. One of the girls I had passed re-passed me. I caught onto her wheel and told myself that under no circumstances was I to let go of it. I held her wheel for several miles, and we caught another girl who also grabbed a wheel. The three of us worked together for a while before I noticed that we had lost one of us. I continued to focus on holding the wheel in front of me. I knew she was a Cat 3, but I wasn't going to let that worry me.

As you can see from the above picture, I was starting to hurt. I can always tell when my back is hurting when my form goes to pot.

The last couple of miles were hard. The road had started to get steeper again. The wheel I had been holding slowly pulled away from me. I worked to catch the next girl up ahead. When I caught her, we rode together and chatted for a while before I slowly dropped off again. The last two miles were hard! For some reason I couldn't hold the same speed I had been holding on some of the steeper sections anymore. I was getting tired. My body was protesting hard. I kept fighting.

Brighton Ski Resort: I came across the finish line so relieved that it was over! I got off my bike and the pain set in. I hadn't really felt the pain while I was riding, but now that it was over, it hurt-- a lot! My lower back had cramped on me and now it was locking up. Even a day later, it is still really sore. I've never experienced that before. I usually recover quickly.

14.7 miles of climbing an average grade of 7.8 percent
1 hour 37 minutes of suffering
8th place

Friday, July 11, 2008

Blah, Blah, Blah

Commuted to work today. I was supposed to be riding recovery, so I tried to take it really, really easy. It's hard for me not to try to beat cars across the intersections and chase down other riders. So I put it in my granniest gear and just spun easy. Felt kinda stupid pedaling a fast cadence and not going anywhere fast.

Saw my swim coach out jogging. That man really shouldn't run around without a shirt on! I almost crashed into the curb. He was probably laughing at me anyway because every time he sees me out riding, I'm dressed for the tundra. It was a bit chilly when I left this morning, but had warmed up nicely by the time I got to work. The jacket really was overkill.

An observation: Orem sure keeps their roads swept up better than Provo. I didn't find any change on the road today.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

40 Cents None the Richer

At 5:15 in the morning, it's pretty easy to talk yourself out of getting out of bed. So, when the alarm went off this morning, I tried hard to talk myself out of riding today. The coach had given me the option of riding easy for two hours or taking a two-hour nap. Hmmm...what to do?

Well, surprise! I got up! But not until after I had this little conversation with myself:

"Go back to sleep. You could have a nap instead of riding today."

"You're only supposed to have a nap if you're feeling tired today."

"I am feeling tired. Roll over and go back to sleep."

"Yeah, but it's 5 am. Of course you're feeling tired right now. Besides, CW is riding with us today. It's going to be slow - like a recovery ride. You can nap on your bike."

"Ugh, just let me go back to sleep."

"You'll have to call Ragla and tell her you're not coming."

"Fine, I'm getting up."

Little did I know, but Ragla was sleeping in too. By the time I got to her house, CW had woken her up. We were late getting started. And then we had to go to CW's house to find a pump for Ragla's tires. By the time we were really rolling, we were already 20 minutes behind schedule.

We were headed for Springville, but I was only able to ride as far as south Provo before I had to turn back. Couldn't miss my appointment with Kenny.

When I'm riding endurance, I like to play a little game. I count up all the change I see on the road and see how much richer I would be if I had stopped to pick it all up. Today was a record day for me: 40 cents! I will stop for paper money. Once I picked up a brand new $20.

Oh... I even managed to squeeze in that 2-hour nap today. I knew you were wondering.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

A Good Day to Ride

Group ride today. I had to do both yesterday's and today's workouts today because I had too much stuff going on yesterday to squeeze in a ride. Luckily, the group was up for a long endurance ride with a hill climb thrown in the middle.

There were a TON of cyclists out today. I was surprised by this because we were riding rather late in the day. Maybe they had all waited to get their Tour fix before heading out for a ride.

First, early in the ride I passed (going the opposite direction)a big group of Agel riders and company. Very friendly group. Very distracting.

Next, came a medium-sized group of Canyon riders.

Then, as we were descending the south side of Traverse, there was a bunch of cyclists coming up. Mostly, it looked like a group of Wasatch Women. There was even a teammate of mine! It was a slow descent for me 'cause I was like, "Hi!" "Hi!" "Hi!" "Hi!"

And, there was a lot of other riders here and there.

I've never seen so many people that I recognized out riding around in the UC. It was cool!

A good day to ride.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy 4th!

Went to the park for a little family reunion and breakfast this morning.

Tried a new, interesting way of making omelets: crack an egg or two into a small ziploc baggie; add veggies/meat; seal bag; boil bag in a pot of boiling water until it looks done. Tah-duh! No mess to clean up. Very handy. You learn something new every day, I guess.

My best friend from childhood, Michelle, was there this morning. You see, I liked Michelle's family so much growing up, I married into it. And that's how I get to go to their family reunions.

(Michelle used to be the blond one.)

It was good to see everyone! You'd think we could get together more often. We don't live that far away from each other, and yet, never manage to get together. If only I could talk Michelle into riding bikes...

Thursday, July 3, 2008

This Just Found

I just found this picture of me and my teammate, Kara. I found it on the team website. I don't know who took it, but I like it. I think it must be when we were warming up for the time trial on Saturday evening.

I think it's cool when I find pictures of myself that I didn't even know were being taken. I have been looking for pictures of my races at Garden Creek Gap and Little Mountain, too. If anyone has any, please let me know.