Saturday, November 29, 2008

Stupid Tights!

The 'cross race at Wheeler Farm today was filled with a bunch of would'ves, could'ves, should'ves for me.

I was doing really well - first place, in fact - for the first half lap. I had taken off from the starting line in a dead sprint. I was determined to be the first one to the 180 degree turn. I was. And I continued to lead the group - until the first run up. Then I had a mechanical - with my tights. The stupid tights got caught on my saddle as I was getting off the bike. And if that wasn't bad enough, they got stuck again getting back onto my bike. Part of the issue was that my tights have gotten a little loose on me lately. Another part of the issue is that I really shouldn't even be wearing tights in a 'cross race (I heard that they cause a lot of people issues). And part of the issue was that the saddle on the borrowed bike I used was too nose up. It was enough nose up that I'm sore from it after only 20-30 minutes on it.

Anyway, back to the race. Because of the tights problem, my sister-in-law, Brooke (in her first ever 'cross race), came around me. Now she was in first place, and I was in second. Then we caught some junior boys who had started their race 30 seconds before us. Brooke was able to get around them on the wide part of the trail. But I got stuck behind one of the juniors as we hit the single track. So, I got to slow down and recover a bit, and Brooke kept getting further and further ahead of me. By the time I was able to get around him, she was too far ahead of me to catch her again.

After several more issues with the tights, and most of the group passing me, I went into goof off mode. The second, and last, lap was just me enjoying myself, trying not to lose any more places, and trying to gain some places back.

Brooke ended up taking first place. Ashleigh, my old neighbor's wife, took second. She would have been first, but had her chain come off on the run up. I was able to pass her then, but being in goof off mode by that time, she easily passed me again. I ended up in third place. Yeah! Utah County girls -1st, 2nd & 3rd!

The best part of the day for me, other than the awesome lead out, was that I was able to earn a dollar from a handout on the course. I could've had another, but I didn't take the second offer. I should've.

If only I would've worn shorts instead of tights...

If only I could've stayed ahead of Brooke...

Next time...

Can't wait for the Draper 'cross race next weekend!

Friday, November 28, 2008

T-Day Report

Thanksgiving is over! After a couple of weeks of scrubbing, decluttering, organizing, and cooking, I can decompress. I hope it was a great day for everyone!

Actually, I really enjoyed my day yesterday. I woke up in the morning, looked out the window, and saw that it had been raining. Great. I knew no one would show up for the group ride if there was rain. But, by the time I'd had my breakfast and gotten dressed, the sun was shining through the clouds a little bit.

Since I was the ride leader for this year's annual Thanksgiving Day ride, I couldn't opt out of going. I'm glad I didn't. When I stepped out the door I was surprised at how warm the day felt. Even after we were on our bikes and moving, the weather felt great! Sure, the roads were a little wet, but it really couldn't have been a nicer November day.

Nobody was at the meeting place when Slingshot and I got there--surprise, surprise. We waited around for about ten minutes before we decided that everyone else had been scared off by the rain. We considered just riding back home since there was so much to do, but since it was so nice out, we decided we'd rather keep riding.

We didn't ride for long. We only covered 11.5 miles. But, I could have kept riding all day. I really wanted to forget about everything else and just ride. In reality though, I did have to get back home. I had family coming for Thanksgiving dinner, and I still had to cook a lot of food. So, not quite an hour later, we were back at home.

Thanksgiving dinner with my family went better than I expected. All my preparation went really smoothly, and everything turned out great. Everybody seemed to enjoy themselves, and even my mom was nice.

Her husband, on the other hand, was about to get kicked out! That man seriously needs a lesson in manners! I think the following picture shows how I felt about some of the comments I got from him.

Carving the turkey.

Finally, able to sit down and eat.

After dinner we played games and enjoyed each other's company. I helped my niece set up a facebook account. She already had three friend requests, and she quickly dismissed two of them because "they're dumb."

It was a busy, happy day. I'm glad it's over. It's nice to get together with people you don't see often. But, it's lots of work. At least it's not my turn to host again until 2012! That seems like such a distant date, but I'm sure it will be here before I know it.

Friday, November 21, 2008

I am Easily Entertained

I thought this was funny, and had to get a picture. Found on the back of the lawn-chemical sprayer guy's truck (sorry so small - I cropped it. Click on it if you want to see it bigger): thank you!

Speaking of pictures, my phone takes some really interesting ones sometimes. It seems to have a mind of its own. I think it thinks it's Picasso. Here a couple of my favorites:
I seem to have lost my head on this bike ride.

Pre-cross race craziness!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Who's This Jadin Person?

So...I just looked at the 'cross race results from last weekend. Apparently, I didn't race after all. Someone named Jadin Van Steenvort raced for me. While I like the name Jadin, it's NOT ME! Good job, Jadin! Can't complain about 4th place.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Things That Keep Me Awake at Night

It was a restless night last night. I couldn't sleep because I had 'cross on the brain. My mind insisted on going over and over every aspect of the race scene from Saturday: the people that I talked to, the people I wish I could have talked to more, the sights, the sounds, the smells, and of course my brain was trying to figure out that crazy race course. So many twists and turns--such an obstacle course. I spent a fair amount of time thinking about why that course didn't scare the holy begeebers out of me! What I decided is that I must have just turned off my brain and let my body do what it knows how to do: ride a bike and protect itself.

My body did a great job a protecting itself during the race- I only almost laid the bike over once. I went around a turn a little too fast and the bike slid out. I tipped, put my hand down, caught myself, and continued racing. I figure that's where I must have gotten this sore bruise on my right inner thigh.

I also thought about the mistakes I made that day. I could have pushed harder. But since it was my first race, and I had no intention on doing anything other than trying it out for fun, I didn't put in my best effort. I also could use some practice with getting on and off the bike without stopping. There was one time when it actually took me FOUR tries at getting clipped back in and going, and that lost a lot of time for me.

And of course I thought a lot about getting a 'cross bike of my own. People ask me, "Why not just get a mountain bike?" My answer is that the only reason I would mountain bike is to practice for 'cross. From what I've seen, a 'cross bike can go pretty much anywhere a mountain bike can go. Besides, a 'cross bike is sexier. Plus, I have a mountain bike that I don't ride much. I think I would ride a 'cross bike more. The real question is: Do I really need another bike? Probably not right now. Maybe next year.

Moving on and switching subjects. I usually teach a mid-morning Spinning class. It is rather standard to generalize the mid-morning gym crowd into the classification of "soccer moms." But the people in my classes are so much more than that to me. I have been able to spend time talking to some of the people who ride in my classes, and have learned much about them and their lives. Here is a short list of some of the awesome people from my classes:

  • A rather famous Utah artist
  • A soldier who visits my class when he's on leave from Afghanistan
  • A runner with a fractured foot
  • A mother whose 7-year old was just diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes over the weekend
  • A city council member
  • A cultural anthropologist
  • A home schooling student
  • A pipe organ designer/builder
  • A young lady recovering from being smashed in between two cars
  • A publisher of a magazine
  • A lawyer
  • A housekeeper
  • A surgeon
  • A gang-unit prison guard
  • A man whose voice is behind many audio books
  • Several people recovering from knee injuries/surgeries
  • Many triathletes
The list could go on and on. Each one of the people who attend my classes are unique and special in their own ways. They are all great!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

My First 'Cross Race

Cyclocross is fun! Today's race was at Wheeler Historic Farm in Salt Lake. I raced the Women's C race. That's the race for the ladies who have never raced 'cross before.

First things first: I want to thank my teammate, Shanna for letting me borrow her 'cross bike. I was so excited after the race, I forgot to thank you. It was so much easier to pick your bike up than it would have been to have to heft my mountain bike around. It worked great for me! Thanks!

Here I am pre-race:

And here I am taking a warm up lap. Luckily, the girl I'm riding with here had a tour guide showing her the course (it was her first time, too). This was good for me because I got a lesson in 'cross as well. I'm glad they let me ride along. I would have totally missed the run up section if the guide hadn't showed us where it was. The most important thing I learned during this warm up lap was how technical the course was.
For a roadie like me it was super technical!
It was muddy. It had narrow, foresty areas. It had some sharp turns. It had steep climbs; most of which were steep enough to get off and push the bike. There was one section where you rode along a narrow, muddy trail that had an incline to the right and you had to make a sharp left, get off your bike and hike (or run if you could) up a steep, weedy section to the top of a hill.

I was excited to see Kelly at the start line. I told her I'd try my best to stay out of her way. And I did a great job at it, too. I got behind her and never was able to pass her.

I love this picture of Kelly. She looks like she is having so much fun with that big smile on her face.

A junior group went out right before our race started. Here I am passing some of the junior boys. Speaking of juniors, there was a tiny little girl on a teeny bike out racing today. She must have only been two or three years old. At one point I saw her going the wrong direction. I just figured that some mom had lost track of her kid, but later realized she had been racing because she came to the finish with a loud roar from the crowd. It was cute.
There was a lot of thinking involved with racing this course, and I think that's why I had so much fun. You don't get this kind of thrill from road racing.

Here's the run up with the barriers. This hill was deceiving to me. It seemed like I could ride up it, but I had to get off to go over the barriers. So I would stop (I need to work on getting on/off while moving), probably way before necessary, and run up. This was my least favorite part of the course. Probably because there were so many people watching my goofy racing skills.

After my race, I hung out and watched my teammates, Nancy and Shanna, race the women's A race.

Then I watched the men's A race. Here are some of them on the weedy run up section I wrote about earlier. There was one guy (I think it was the guy who won) who didn't even have to get off his bike. He would just power it up.

And here's Turbo on the barrier-run up. These men were amazing on the run up! You couldn't even tell when they got off their bikes. They kept moving at a steady pace, got off while moving, ran and got back on the bike. All without changing speed. It was cool.

It was quite an amazing day. I may be hooked on this. Great. Just what I need: another hobby.

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Enemy Has Returned

My fatigue has returned. I think I've just worked myself too hard this week. Most of my classes, with the exception of today's class, have been extremely physically hard classes. Plus, I did extra classes again this week. Stressful classes full of grumpy teenagers.

I was super excited for today's class because it was an endurance class. And we rode really, really easy. I could tell by the looks on the member's faces that they wanted to go way harder than I was allowing. But I needed easy, so that's what we did.

Unfortunately, after class I went down to the weight room. I, being the great coach that I am, had scheduled this workout, and by darn, I was going to do it - just because it was on the schedule. After the third set of weights, I deemed myself done. I really struggled to finish that third set, too. I kept telling myself that there was chocolate upstairs in my coat and I should go get it. That didn't work. I made myself continue on, even trying to convince myself that I would do the forth set as well. But then I told myself that if I was going to race cross tomorrow that I'd better stop at three sets. Maybe I should have stopped sooner. Dumb body can't seem to handle much workload!

Right now, just the thought of riding my bike, let alone racing is making me want to go climb into bed. Hope I can fit in a nap today so I don't feel like a zombie tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

UCA Meeting

Anybody going to the UCA meeting tonight?

I've been looking forward to going for a long time in order to get the official 2009 race calendar and to find out more info on officiating. But I'm tired and it's stormy out, and now I'm not sure I feel like making a drive to Salt Lake. I would be much more excited about going if someone I knew was going to be there too. Please let me know if you're planning on being there.

In other news, I have just one more day of teaching the high school Spinning classes. I'll be much less stressed, and hopefully therefore much less tired once these classes are over.

And...with the offer to borrow a teamate's 'cross bike this weekend, I guess I better show up to the race. I'm planning on putting forth my best effort in not killing her bike. Basically, I'll be racing in terrified mode. She has a super nice bike.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Is the 8th Time a Charm?

My phone is driving me crazy!
I've logged in to Blogger EIGHT times so far, only to kicked off the system each time!
But, I will win! Heck or highwater, I'm going to put up a post from my phone tonight if I have to log in 100 more times! I was able to post my last post from my phone without any problems, so I don't know why I'm having such trouble tonight.

A couple of quick items before I get kicked off again:

First, to my Facebook friends who also have blogs: Please don't forget you have a blog. I enjoy reading about your adventures just as you love hanging out on Facebook. Vague status updates are not cutting it. Update those blogs!

Next, I'm thinking about trying a 'cross race this weekend. I'm not looking to race to be competitive. I just want to go and see what all this 'cross fuss is all about. Plus, I'm looking to be the biggest dork on the course. I'm quite sure I'll win the dork competition. Here's why:
1) I don't ride on dirt - ever. Ok, not never. I have raced Hell of the North a couple of times, and I dinked around on a kid's bike on a camping trip once. But that pretty much sums up my dirt-riding experience.
2) I don't own a cross bike, so I'll have to bring a mountain bike. A mountain bike I've only ridden a couple of times.
3) The mountain bike doesn't have clipless pedals, thus adding to the dork factor. So I would be racing in gym shoes (or hiking boots, depending on the weather).
4)I think I'll add some crazy outfit to the mix just in case someone else tries to out-dork me.

Well...I think I've just about talked myself out of racing 'cross this weekend. Boy, I'm glad I came here to blog tonight!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

RR feels guilty for staying indoors for most of the day

That's how I would word my status on facebook today...if I were looking at facebook. I'm TRYING my best to not look at facebook. I see too many things there that drive me crazy! Plus, it's too easy to be obsessed by it. So I'm trying to show some restraint.

Anyway, back to feeling guilty about not riding. Guilt is not supposed to be an emotion that I feel. At least that's what I tell myself. But when it comes to training, or rather the lack of training, I often get those guilty pangs.

It was such a nice day. And looking at the weather forecast, it may be the last nice day for awhile.

Here are my lame excuses for not doing what I was supposed to today:
1). I used all my hardest profiles in Spinning classes this week. Plus, I taught extra classes. I'm pretty tired...even though I'm still an hour and a half short on training time for the week. GUILT!

2). I promised the guy running today's tri that I would come and help course marshal when I got out of class this morning. Even that didn't work out for me. I ended up having to do an unexpected bike fit after class, and by the time I got outside to the tri, they didn't need my help anymore. So I went and watched the poor people struggle, some off their bikes walking, up the 11 percent grade climb.

3). Mervyn's is going out of business and I HAD to go see if they had anything I couldn't live without. They didn't. But I did waste too much time looking.

4). I had to go to the grocery store. There was seriously nothing to eat in the house, so this shopping trip really couldn't wait. By the time I got to the first isle of the store I realized that my pubic bone was no longer in place. If you've ever had yours out of alignment you know how much it hurts. This made the grocery trip last about four times longer than it should have.

5). By the time I got home it was time to make dinner.

6). Then it got dark.

If the planets align, I will make it up tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


I've been busy lately. Sorry for the lack of blogging on my part.

I've been teaching extra Spinning classes this week. Our center is next door to a high school, and the gym teacher likes to hire us occasionally to take over his job for a while. Sometimes I really enjoy these classes. The energy from the kids can be incredible.

These are difficult classes to instruct. Teenagers tend to get bored easily, and it takes a ton of energy, creativity, and planning to keep them entertained for an hour. Plus, most of these kids really don't want to be there. There is a huge difference between teaching a class full of happy energetic people who are there because they WANT to be, and teaching a class overflowing with grumpy teens who HAVE to be there.

But then there are days when the high schoolers come in ready to work and they seem to have fun, and at the end of it all, they thank me and tell me that they are excited for next time. That makes it all worth the effort.