Saturday, February 28, 2009

Riding with the Boys

So, Ragla was a no-show this morning. After making us plan to go so early, she couldn't come.

Anyway, it was 25 degrees out when we started off. Brrr!!! Even with two sets of long-fingered gloves on my hands were painfully numb by the time we got to Provo. Luckily, we met up with BDE not too far from his house, so he went and got a decent pair of gloves for me to wear. Relief! Once I put them on I was able to ride without wanting to cry anymore.

We rode out through Mapleton to the mouth of Spamdish Fork canyon. By the time we got there, the temperatures had come up to a balmy 40 degrees, and I was feeling pretty good.

The only problem I had on today's ride was that I feel like I don't have any power for climbing. And really, the only climbing we did was some overpasses. But, everytime the road would turn up, I would fall way back. Maybe it was just that I was riding with a couple of guys and they are simply more awesome than I am. Whatever it was, I just wasn't feeling the climbing love today.

45.1 miles in 2:40

Friday, February 27, 2009

Hope the Day Warms up Quickly

Last minute decision on riding tomorrow.

Best Draft Ever (BDE) invited me to ride again tomorrow. Looks like it should shape up to be a good day for riding. The problem is that I invited Ragla to come along, and she has other stuff to do come noon. So she wants to ride at 9:30 a.m. It's gonna be cold! I don't like cold. I much prefer HOT!

In other news: I got word today that there is going to be a Utah County crit series this summer. Here are the details:

"The location is at Utah Valley University (1062 W 800 S, Orem) in Parking Lot V.

The cost to participate is $1.00 for kids (includes award) and $8.00 for all others. The event name is: The Powerhouse UVU Crit series, presented by UVU Cycling. There will be more info on The Fan website coming soon:

This is the schedule for the weekly Thursday night crit at UVU:

May: 7,14,21,28

June: 4,11,18,25

July: 2,9,16,23,30

August 6,13


5:30: kids 5-7 / 8-9 / 10-12yrs

6:00-6:55 A Flight (cat 1,2,3)

6:00-6:40 B Flight (cat 3,4)

7:00-7:30 C Flight (cat 4-5)

7:00 -7:35 Women (women may ride in any group)

7:40-8:00 D Flight (beginners)"

Now, I just need to free up my Thursday evenings...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

What a Difference Ten Degrees Makes

Another beautiful day for riding.

I subbed the early morning class this morning, and as we were cooling down, I asked the class what the weather was going to be today. "Nice. 55-60 degrees," they told me. "I'm riding!" came my answer.

Phil was up for going with me. So we met at noon and rode out to Saratoga Springs. It was fabulous! I didn't even need a jacket today. Bonus: we made it out and back before it started raining.

On the way out, we had a fabulous tailwind. Of course this meant that it was all headwind on the way back home. I wasn't feeling the power to push hard into the wind. Phil would leave me every time we'd turn into the wind. I think it was because I had no back-end strength. I woke up this morning with my lower back severely out of alignment. It pretty much hurts to do anything except ride. So that's what I attribute the lack-of-power feeling to. Besides, Phil is an animal now that he has a road bike.

On the way home I saw something wonderful! The farmers had planted the fields and little green sprouts were starting to emerge. Spring is coming! As much as I love playing in the snow, I am ready for some warm weather.

I had to keep my Garmin in my jersey pocket since my handlebar mount broke, so I couldn't see my numbers as we rode. I thought we had been going slow and keeping things conversational, but was amazed to see that we had made some decent time. It may be a good thing for me not to stare at my numbers while I ride.

31.5 miles in 1:55

Monday, February 23, 2009

Saturday's Group Ride

Saturday was a beautiful day for riding!

Temperatures were around 48 degrees F when we started off in Springville. Just a jacket and a long sleeve jersey kept me warm - surprisingly, since I really hate being cold. Sixteen people showed up for the ride, including three sets of tandems.

The group took off, and I was a little unsure of all the rider's abilities. I had advertised the ride as a moderate-paced, no-drop ride. That lasted all of 30-seconds.

The tandems and Best-Draft-Ever (BDE) took off as fast as they could go. I was pretty determined to stay behind BDE, but then I remembered the other eight people I had behind me. I couldn't drop them. So, I let the other seven go and lead out my little group of nine. We decided that we would all stick together, and we pretty much did for the rest of the ride. But, I felt obligated to ride at the back with the slower people.

Let me take you back a few years to my first ride around West Mountain. I had owned my bike for less than three months, and had only ridden it a handful of times when I heard about a group ride around West Mountain. I showed up. So did the hammerheads. I was dropped really, really early. I felt stupid for coming and totally embarrassed by my lack of ability. BDE was on this ride, and he had mercy on me. He slowed the group up and told them that no one was going to be left behind. Well, one hothead would have nothing to do with that, and he took off again. He missed a turn. We yelled and yelled, but he couldn't hear us. We sent BDE to catch him and bring him back. Then, we never saw either of them for the rest of the ride. The rest of us piddled around, waiting for them to come back, and when they didn't, we opted to go back the way we came. The ride was never complete, and it was my fault for being so slow. I've never forgiven myself for feeling like I ruined the group ride.

So, back to Saturday...I wasn't about ready to make anyone feel like they weren't keeping up. So I rode back. Which was totally fine with me. I just wanted to get out on my bike and test the legs out and enjoy the day. Goals met. After the ride I had some people tell me that they felt bad that I couldn't ride harder, but I was okay with it.

At some point, our group re-grouped with the tandem group. From Benjamin back to Springville we killed time by practicing a rotating echelon. It was fun to do with such a big group. Plus, we all got a chance to tease each other as we rotated past each other over and over again. Good times.

After we got back to the meeting place, BDE asked me if I would pace him back to Provo. I told him I just needed to get something to eat and I'd be ready to go. Well, I could see that he was antsy to be on his way, so I made a dumb mistake: I didn't get anything to eat. Here's what I had eaten up to that point: yogurt and some prunes for breakfast, peanut butter and raisins for lunch, and a handful of banana chips mid-ride. Plus, I was only drinking water. Definitely not enough fuel!

By the time BDE and I hit south Provo, I was starting to feel like someone was stabbing my quads with needles or really small, sharp knives. It was all I could think about. I told BDE that I needed some food, but every stop light was green, so we kept riding. Normally, I would just eat while I rode, but I had hidden my food in a place that made it hard to access. Finally, we made it to BDE's house in north Provo. I said goodbye to BDE and stopped and got some food into me. Now that I was alone, I could ride easy again. It wasn't even two miles later that I noticed that my legs no longer hurt. Food was the answer! I'm going to need to spend some time figuring out how to fuel my body now that I'm off all grains and sugar. I can't let Saturday's experience happen again.

59.5 miles in 3:30

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I'm Getting Jittery

Now that the weather is starting to look like Spring might actually arrive, I'm starting to feel that anxious twitter. It's the feeling of "Oh, crap! Race season is upon me!" It's not a bad feeling...just an uneasiness or disquietude. Am I ready? Have I spent too much time enjoying the snow instead of "training?" Should I have tested out my legs at Valley of the Sun? All questions that will have to be answered on the road.

I went to the bike shop this morning to have my new, better fitting handlebars installed. I think that's where the nervousness is coming from. Suddenly, I know that time is up and I need to get serious.

So on Saturday, I ride. It's a group ride starting at the Cracker Barrel off the Springville exit. The group is meeting at 1:20 - ready to ride at 1:30. We'll be riding the West Mountain loop. If I'm feeling good, I'll ride home as well. I've got to get some bike time (plus make up some time from Tuesday, since I still feel guilty from missing a workout on that day)!

Maybe next weekend I'll go out of town...somewhere sunny and warm...I never know where each day is going to take me.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Bummer Day

Here was the plan for Monday and Tuesday:
Monday - Spinning class and weight lifting
Tuesday - Cross country ski

Here's what I should have done:
Monday was President's Day and I was called to sub the Tuesday Spinning class, so I SHOULD have switched the workouts and skied on Monday. Duh! I seems so obvious now.

Here's what actually happened:
Monday, a friend invited me to go cross-country skiing. But I was pretty dead-set in following the "plan" of the day, so I didn't go with her. Since it was a holiday, I didn't have Spinning class after all, so I rode my trainer. I also went to the gym and lifted weights. But the whole day I felt bad that I had not gone skiing.
Tuesday is my normal day off, but this Tuesday I got to sub the early morning Spinning class. After class, I was planning on heading up to Sundance's Nordic center. But, I found myself without a ride (you have to have 4-wheel drive or chains to get there - neither of which I have) until about 1 pm. Once I had a vehicle, I headed up the canyon - only to find that the road going to Sundance was closed for avalanche control. So I moved to plan B and went back down the canyon to Bridal Veil Falls. I figured I could ski on the old road since it's gated and closed to traffic. Nope. I pulled into the parking lot and found a big, bright orange sign announcing that the area was also closed for avalanche control. Defeated, I went home.

A day later, I still feel guilty for missing my workout.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Recovery Day Rethought

So much for having a recovery day today. I kicked my own butt in Spinning class this morning. Lots of high resistance and out of saddle time. Then down to the gym for some weight lifting. Golden Boy returned to the gym and we got to chatting, and I think I might have put in some extra reps. I'm shot.

But I put off recovery with good reason.

Last night I was staring at one of my many calendars when it suddenly occurred to me that I couldn't go cross-country skiing tomorrow like I had planned. The calendar tells me that tomorrow is the day I go get trained to be a cycling race official. I knew it was coming, but it kind of sneaked up on me. I am pretty excited about becoming an official. I'm still trying to figure out which races I'll race and which ones I'll officiate.

So tomorrow will be the "official" recovery day for the week.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Ladies Night Report

I had a great time at ladies night at the bike shop last night. I was there representing our fitness center. My job duties were to hand out information, talk to people about our Spinning program, and answer questions.

The program included several presentations by different groups promoting this and that. Then a lady spent a couple of hours showing us some handy tips on bike fit, what to wear, and some basic bike maintenance. Next, they gave out prizes. I think everyone there went away with something. I won some Yoga passes (anyone want to go with me?) and this cute shirt:

Plus, the bike shop had "girl" food set up on a beautifully decorated table (complete with pink roses). Tortilla rolls, vegetable tray, and strawberries to dip in a flowing fountain of chocolate were up for grabs. I ate more than my fair share of strawberries. Yum! You really missed out if you didn't go.

Tomorrow is a recovery day for me. I need it. We've moved on to doing all strength rides in the Spinning studio. Add xc ski gliding and added weight on the weight lifting to the mix, and I'm beat.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

I'm Gonna Be Sad When the Snow is Gone

Tuesday I returned to Sundance for more cross-country ski action. I had the best time! 2.5 hours all to myself. My favorite part of the Nordic area is a corridor going over to Little Sahara (a.k.a. Aspen Grove). After working up a good sweat, the shady, pine tree lined trail is a good cool off. I've never skied down into Aspen Grove because it is steep, Steep, STEEP! But I've always wanted to. One of these days...

It seriously doesn't get any better than this (in the winter, anyway)!
I got a new max speed: 15.1 mph! I did it with the biggest smile on my face. It was fabulous just to let go and enjoy.

After skiing, I came home and did the hardest thing I've had to do in a long time: I baked a cake. Now, it wasn't the actual cake making/baking that was hard. It was resisting licking my fingers, the bowl and the beaters. It seemed like a true sin to put unlicked beaters in the dishwasher...what a waste! But I knew that a little pleasure in tasting would have me seriously sick and mad at myself later. The cake could feel my pain. It didn't want to bake and came out of the oven looking truly angry. It knew it wasn't baked with love.

Tell me that's not an angry cake! And to watch everyone enjoying that cake later was sheer torture.

Tonight: Ladies Night at Mad Dog in Orem. Hope to see all of my favorite ladies there!