Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Last (for now) Hurrah

I really enjoyed my last (until next time) ride today. I ended up riding around West Mountain with Slingshot, Ragla, and Binlaw. We rode a really easy pace - even easier than I had anticipated because Ragla has been sick and is doing LOTOJA next week, so she wanted to go super easy. I think Binlaw might have been disappointed by the slower speed, but she didn't show it.

We were passed by the Velo Club group doing their century ride to Mona. I'm glad I opted not to ride with them since they were really pushing the pace. Besides, my saddle really bothered me today. I'm not sure I could have done 50 more miles than I did. I don't know why my Specialized Jett saddle has suddenly started hurting me. It's always been a super comfy saddle. I got it right after the Sanpete race last year because my old saddle hurt so bad that day. So the only conclusion I can draw is that the Sanpete race is a pain in the butt for me.

On the way back to the Cracker Barrel (where we'd parked), Ragla and I decided we wanted more time. Actually, my butt protested about spending any more time in the saddle, but I needed it and so did Ragla. So we gave the keys to Slingshot and kept riding into Provo. We probably could have just ridden home, but Slingshot and Binlaw were following us in the car, so the temptation to get in when 3 hours of riding was up was just too great.

Some wildlife seen on the ride:

  • 3 sandhill cranes
  • 2 great-blue herons
  • A ring-necked pheasant
  • A thousand tree swallows
  • A million bank swallows
  • A crow
  • Several hawks
  • A dead rattle snake in the road
I am freakishly tired after this ride, and while I'm sure I'm going to miss riding, I'm kinda looking forward to taking some time off and resting.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Finishing Up

My ride today was a nice, easy pace around town. I had some errands to run: taking a shirt to a friend and stopping by work for a minute. It was really supposed to be a recovery ride, but, as usual, I was running short on time and I pushed the pace...just a little.

If you're interested - tomorrow's ride will be starting at the Cracker Barrel just off the Springville exit at around 7:45 or 8 am. Pace should be easy and conversational except on the back-side climb, where the pace will be pushed. It's about a 47 mile loop, but since we're going nice, expect it to take about two and a half to three hours.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Today's Ramblings

It was one of those days today. This morning, I was beginning to wonder if my ride was not meant to be. Yes, I'm still riding my bike. I've given myself until the end of the week to finish up before going into recluse. Saturday will be my last fling. It's going to be good. Probably West Mountain, west of Springville, or Hobble Creek, east of Springville, maybe both.

Anyway, I was all dressed and ready to go on my ride. I turned on my Garmin. It turned itself back off again. I tried again. No luck. Stupid thing! I don't know why it's such a pain. I knew that I needed to get it plugged into the computer and then press a certain combination of buttons to get it to reset itself. I tried to take it off my bike so I could go plug it in. The release lever snapped off. Great. Now, it's stuck on my bike. I moved my bike over to a power source and tried to plug it in, but because of the way it's mounted, I couldn't access the plug. Sigh.

So, I moved on to plan B. Actually, by this time I was ready to undress and go have a nap. But, instead, I put on my heart rate monitor and opted to ride without speed and distance information.

Before I left, I went to pump up my tires. I've got these new tubes in that have slick stems. The problem is that my pump won't hold onto it. So, pumping up my tires is a two-person job anymore. Since no one was around to help, I was letting out more air than I was putting in. But, by now I was pretty determined to ride. I ended up taping the pump to my tire to hold it on while I pumped. Pretty nerdy, but it worked.

I had a very pleasant ride up Provo Canyon. I rode to Vivian Park, where I decided to turn back since the park was crowded with about 70 elementary-age kids on a field trip. I really didn't feel like dodging them, so I turned around. I was, however, tempted to stop and ask silly questions along with the teacher such as, "Is this grasshopper we've found living or not living?" I could have made some good ones up given the chance.

The ride home was nice, even with a headwind. The weather couldn't have been nicer, and the scenery up Provo Canyon is unbeatable. I'm going to miss riding my bike.

Well...I'm off to the Boyz II Men concert. I'm sure you're all jealous.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I'm Hanging It Up

It's with great sadness that I write this post. My racing season is done. Mono wins. I'm going to rack Rio and start teaching Spinning off the bike for awhile. I need to let my body rest. It's what it has been asking for for over a month now. If I'm going to recover, I actually need to recover.

So, if you see me out to any of the September races, it's only because I couldn't take it anymore! I love racing! I may suck at it, but I love it.

See you in the spring!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Rebellion

Just when I thought the mono was getting better...

I think I pushed it too hard yesterday. I've never raced as hard and determined as I did when I was chasing Margaret's attack. I've never raced so hard that I could feel my body give up long before I was ready to stop. It felt good while it lasted. Too bad all it got me was burned out and a bad case of full-on mono rebellion.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Racin' Today

Sanpete Road Race today. Short story is that I hung with the pack for more than half the race. Felt pretty good since the pace never stayed fast for very long. Speed up, take it down slow, repeat.

My SIL had come out for her first road race. She was riding really strong until her chain came off, and she stopped to put it back on. I didn't see her again until after the race. She told me that her chain came off again and then she flatted, so she thumbed a ride back into town. It was disappointing not to have a wheel vehicle today.

At around 30 miles in, Margaret attacked, and I tried to go with her. About three or four others were able to go with her, but I burned myself up trying. I chased until I couldn't chase anymore. Then I waited for the chase group to catch me and hung with them for awhile before they decided to crank up the pace, and I was off the back. I could see the chase group just ahead the whole rest of the race, but just didn't have what it took to catch them by myself.

Margaret was awesome today. She is a super strong rider and has taught me a lot about racing. She really took good care of me today (until that attack). She ended up taking 2nd place. Yay, Margaret!

Turbo won the Pro/Cat1/2 race. Go Turbo!

No pictures of me today since Slingshot was racing as well. Here he is coming across the line ahead of a Cat3. Good job, Sling!

After the race I hung out and helped clean stuff up. Didn't even get home until dinner time. Lucky for me the neighborhood was having a deep pit BBQ, so I didn't even have to cook dinner!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

I Didn't Want to Be a Course Marshal

I got put on course marshal duty today. Slingshot and I had two stations to cover: the Sundance turnoff and a super busy intersection in Draper.

We managed to get a few pictures at the Sundance turn.

Here I am feeling pretty goofy in my bright orange vest and slow/stop sign. Luckily at this turn-off station we had awesome support from the Utah Highway Patrol, and we didn't have to stop traffic ourselves - just get the bikes turned at the right spot.

I took a quick shot of the race leaders, but didn't have time to zoom in since I was supposed to be directing them not taking their pictures.

After the leaders went by, I handed off the camera to Slingshot so I could direct the racers. He got a couple of shots of the guys coming to the corner.

After the peloton went past, the UHP left and road was reopened to traffic. It was obvious that it was time for us to move onto our next station.

We drove to Draper, arriving about an hour before the race came through. As we stood around waiting, a Draper animal control officer came over and said he was controlling the intersection with another police officer and told us to keep traffic from coming out of the gas station on the corner. He also told us that the race was at the top of Suncrest and that there was only one leader and the peloton. I trusted that he had good information.

As the race drew nearer, the officers came and took control of the intersection, and Slingshot went out to help them. My job was to stop the cars leaving the gas station. I stood there, left hand holding the stop sign to the gas station, right hand pointing over my head to show the riders to turn right. The leader went through. The next group went through.

Then a bunch of traffic came though. The cops on the corner told Slingshot he was done and to get out of the road. They left. I walked back toward Sling, and some spectators commented on how exciting it all was. We thought it was over.

Then I looked back up the road. Crap! A huge group was coming fast. I grabbed my stop sign, ran and secured the gas station entrance, and pointed the way to go. The cops were gone, traffic was coming, and here comes the main peloton! I thought it was a little weird when some of the guys started to ask me if they should turn when I was standing there pointing the way to go. I confirmed they should turn and thought they all did. Little did I realize that the guy who was leading out hadn't seen me and had missed the turn and gone straight through the unsecured intersection. He soon found his way back on course, but he was pissed. I don't blame him. It was a terrible intersection, we didn't have enough help, the cops had left, and there was no other sign to turn besides me standing there. I think the guy had determined ahead of time that he was going straight and was so focused on getting around the traffic that he wasn't paying attention to the course marshals. Slingshot was doing his best to control the intersection, but without the cops there it was a nightmare! We needed at least four course marshals here, a sign letting riders know a turn was coming, and cops who are willing to hang out for more than 30 seconds.

After we left this station, we headed back home. I would have liked to go up to the finish at Snowbird, but we wouldn't have been able to make it in time for the finish.

I liked working in hospitality so much better!

Friday, August 15, 2008

I Got to Go to the Tour of Utah Today!!!

Yeah! I finally made it out to the Tour of Utah today. I didn't get to see much of the race because I was volunteering in the hospitality tent. But I still had a lot of fun!

Today's race was the criterium, a 1-mile circuit in downtown Salt Lake City.

Slingshot had front row view of the race and was able to get some good pictures for me.

Tyler Hamilton over on the right behind the guy who HAD to get in front of the camera
The Team Type 1 guys

Shanna course marsalling
An early break away

The field. Burke Swindlehurst on the left

DH moving fast
More of the field

The Toyota United rider way ahead of the field, mid-race

A couple of riders try to bridge

DH riding away in front of the field

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Trying to Stay Positive

Sleep last night was restless and sporadic. So, when the alarm went off this morning telling me to get up and ride, I went back to sleep until 8:00. I didn't get on my bike until nearly 9 am. Which ended up being just fine. The air was unseasonably cool for so late in the morning on an August day. Just cool enough that I was glad to have brought my arm warmers.

The first half-hour of my ride was the working portion of the ride. Sub-threshold work. I had a hard time getting my heart rate up there, but once it was up, it didn't want to come back down during recovery. I wonder if this has anything to do with how low my resting heart rate was this morning: 41 beats per minute! I actually saw it dip to 40 bpm a couple of times, but didn't figure it could be right, so I'm sticking with the 41 number.

After the hard work was over, I went into la-la riding mode. At some points in the ride I would suddenly remember I was riding and wonder how I got to where I was so fast. Totally not paying attention! I have a lot of stuff on my mind right now. Then I started looking around at the beauty of the day. Here's what I noticed:

  • A flock of some black water birds (ibis?) flying above me in V-formation.
  • A group of three vultures sitting in a dead tree, nervously watching me-like they were planning my demise.
  • A whole field of Canadian geese. I wouldn't have noticed these if I hadn't been looking.
  • Looking across the field is the lake, shining blue in the sun, and beyond that the valley is surrounded by tall, purple and gray mountains.
The Saratoga Spring ride is really a pretty one. I'm glad I went out and enjoyed it. I live in such a beautiful area!

One the way home, I decided to stop by The Bike Peddler for an adjustment on my rear dérailleur. I had changed out my hanger a few days ago, and today I noticed that some of the cogs were noisy while I was riding. I got to the shop a couple of minutes before they opened. So I put my bike in the rack out front and went to sit on the rack to wait for them to open. I didn't know the rack wasn't bolted down. It threw me. I caught myself before I landed on my butt. I felt really stupid when I looked through the shop's front window and noticed the shop guys inside. I don't think they saw me fall since they were all sitting on the floor fixing a computer. They let me in, dropped what they were doing, fixed the problem (no charge), and I was on my way again. I can't state enough how much I love this bike shop! It's one of the few shops I've been to where a I can walk in and get treated with the same respect I would be treated with if I were a man.

Anyway, I probably won't be posting for a few days. I've got some family stuff I need to deal with for a while. Also, I'm sad to report that I won't be seen at the Tour of Utah until Friday. I'll miss it! I've looked forward to (ok, let's admit it - I've been super excited about) volunteering for two years, and I won't be able to be there very much this year. For all of you riding in the tour-GOOD LUCK (I'm hoping the Utah All Stars kick some butt)!!! For those of you who are lucky enough to be able to volunteer most the days - HAVE FUN and I'll see you on Friday!

Monday, August 11, 2008


False alarm.

The flu bug never developed into anything more serious than a mild fever, body aches, a headache, and a rumbly tummy. I'm chalking it up to the mono asking me to slow down again.

I don't like to listen when the mono speaks.

I'll be riding to Saratoga Springs tomorrow morning if anyone wants to come along...

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Oh, No!!!

I think I'm getting the flu bug.


Friday, August 8, 2008

I'm Starving!!!

So, after a little research and some life events pointing me in this direction, I have decided that something must be done about my diet.

I have begun to wonder if something I'm eating could possibly be causing me problems.

So, I have eliminated sugar, wheat, and cow's milk from my diet.

It's been four days now, and I'm really starting to miss sugar and flour. I have been surviving on soy milk, oatmeal, eggs, rice crackers, lean meat, goat cheese (not my favorite, but right now I'll eat anything), and lots of fruits and vegetables. I have not had a cookie, any ice cream, and most importantly: no cake mix!

The good news is that I have lost some weight. And, it's probably just my perception of things, but I seem to look a bit leaner, too. But that's probably just my mind playing tricks on me because it knows I've lost weight.

The bad news is that I'm so hungry all the time now. I'm planning on staying on this diet for three weeks. I figure that's long enough to see if I feel better because of it, but not so long that I waste away if it's not really working for me. If I feel better after the three weeks is over, I'll start adding omitted items back into my diet in an effort to identify the culprit.

Wish me luck! This is starting to get hard.

As far as training goes: I seem to be on the rest-and-recover plan. Not much riding happening in my neck of the woods lately.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

I'm Over Scheduled

I messed up today.

I spent the day goofing off and doing whatever I pleased. I rode my bike to work and I wasn't supposed to. Then I rode home and went to 7-Peaks Water Park for the rest of the day. I was really enjoying myself too; actually spending some down time relaxing for a change.

Then I found Slingshot. He was floating around the lazy river and he motioned to me about the time. I shrugged. I didn't have a clue what time it was. "Who cares? I'm having fun." Then he shouted, "Don't you need to be leaving?" Oh, crap!

By the time I found a clock, I discovered I was already 10 minutes late to an important meeting. I considered for a second actually trying to still make the meeting. But then I realized that by the time I got there, I would be at least a half hour late.

So I stayed at 7-Peaks, and still enjoyed myself, even with a little twinge of guilt hanging over my head.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

The Squaw Peak Ride

I was the only woman on the group ride this morning. I had come on this ride because my sister-in-law convinced me that I should come. Then she didn't even show up. I was a bit leery of the group at first. I've ridden with hot-headed guys before. They always seem to ride like they've got something to prove when a woman's around. I soon learned that I didn't have much to worry about.

The group rode a decent pace up Provo Canyon. We rode the trail up to Canyon Glen Park, then got out on the highway and went back down to the Squaw Peak turn off. I was hoping the group would stop at the base of the climb. I needed to take off my jacket. I knew the jacket was overkill when I had left the house, but I figured that I might want it for the descent. They didn't stop. We started climbing, and I started an all-out effort. I passed all the guys. I knew this wasn't going to go over well. I heard one of them behind me ask, "Is she with us?" and another guy answered, "She is until she drops us."

Then I HAD to stop to take off my jacket. They all passed me. I spent too much time fiddling with my jacket to get it to fit in my jersey pocket. The group pulled way ahead. I got back on my bike and was able to catch and re-pass three of the guys before the top. Sling said that I only came in less than a minute after he did. Little did he know that I stopped again, about 200 meters before the top, to take off the arm warmers (and to take a break). I didn't realize I was so close to the top or I wouldn't have stopped.
The climb at the finish was a 14 percent grade! Ouch! 1956 feet of climbing in less than 5 miles.

Here I am unclipping at the top. Get me off this bike! That's Suncrest above my head, and the Point of the Mountain over my right shoulder (to the left of the picture).

Most of the group at the top.

Sling and me at the top.

I can't believe we climbed up here from down there!

Looking back, it was probably a good thing that I had stopped and let the guys pass me. Sling told me that one of the guys had asked him if he had told me to put the hurt on the group. Apparently, I had broke the whole group apart when I took off at the beginning. Oops!

After the climb, I came down cold-tar slow (to the point my hands were cramped from braking, and I had brake dust covering my legs).

Sling and I rode down University Avenue into Provo. I hit my max speed on flat road! Yes, that descent was slow! My legs felt great after the climb, and they just wanted to go fast on the flat. It felt great!

I'm glad I experienced the Squaw Peak climb once in my lifetime. I don't know that I want to do that one again. But then, I'm always saying that, aren't I?