The Quiet Weekend at Home

After a couple of crazy race weekends, it was nice to not be traveling. I’d originally planned to go to the Devil’s Den Adventure Race, but turns out my high school reunion (Germantown High c/o 99!) was scheduled for Saturday the 29th, and, besides that, I still can’t run without my hip adductor starting to hurt. On Friday, Ryan left town for the River Gorge Omnium in Chattanooga.

Friday: after finishing up the shopping I needed to complete my “little black dress” ensemble for the reunion on Saturday, I spent a night out with friends at Flying Saucer. We ended up meeting up a little after 9:00, which, oddly enough, is about the time I start thinking about going to bed… FYI, Trois Pistoles beer is freaking awesome, and if any of my readers knows where to buy it in Memphis (other than in a bar), please tell me… or just buy some and send it to me. That’d be cool, too.

Crappy camera phone photo:

Saturday: go to bed at 1:something. Actually get up and drag my tail to the Trinity ride. Luckily I think I wasn’t the only person on the ride to have a late night (early morning?), and the ride was just “hard” instead of “eye-bleeding hard.” My legs actually felt pretty good, but my brain wasn’t into it. I’d suffered so much the two weekends before, it was tough to convince myself to keep doing it. I stayed with the group nonetheless, though there was a bad wreck just after I split off at me street, and local legend David Lacek was badly injured (broken pelvis & ribs and a partially collapsed lung). He’s still in the hospital as I’m typing this, though he’s expected to recover & be alright.

That evening, we met up again at Flying Saucer for a couple of pre-party beers then headed to Falling Creek in Eads where the reunion party was being held at the mansion of one of my former classmate’s parents. Wow. It was really, REALLY nice! There was an open bar, too.
I’ve heard a lot of disaster stories about class reunions, and I wasn’t sure how this one would turn out. I was friendly in high school, but I generally kept to myself because most of my friends weren’t in my class (a lot were at other schools, too). However, when we arrived, everyone was awesomely friendly. I have to say, it was one of the most fun times I’ve had in a looooong time. Everyone was happy to see everyone, I got to see some old friends, and got to make a few new ones with people I hadn’t really known back in the day. It seemed like we’d just arrived when the music stopped… though it was nearly 1am. (again) Somewhere, there is photo evidence that I rocked the hell out of the Little Black Dress. I’ll post those when I find them.

There were a couple of after-party get togethers, but I opted for home. BTW- designated drivers are the most awesome people on earth…

Sunday: I didn’t bother to set the alarm clock, but ended up waking up a little before 7:00. Apparently the dogs did NOT go out & party the previous night, so they were up & pacing the bedroom floor when the sun came up. It was a little late to make the Outdoors group ride, and I didn’t have the mental capacity for a hammerfest anyway. So after a big breakfast, I headed out in search of gravel roads. I found a couple… I got some OK shots w/the camera phone that I’ll post later.

Then I found a bridge that was out between me and home. I had to detour to highway 64 though Oakland and ended up having to dodge traffic and ride on the sidewalk where I managed to run over something that ripped the bejesus out of my nearly new Conti Gatorskin. Crap. I made it home nonetheless, though my plan for ~60 miles turned into 81. Glad I brought that extra Clif bar along!
I got home around 3:30 and remembered that I had a Marx and Bensdorf team party to go to at 5:00. Yes. Another party. It was reletively sedate, though I did enjoy several Fat Tires in the process…

So that about sums it up. I haven’t been “out” so much in as long as I can remember, and I doubt I will for a while, but it was more fun than I’ve had in a while, and a great way to cap off a wonderful summer. Today, I’m back at school for the start of the Fall semester. Time to get back to work!

Out of the Ashes: Oak Ridge Omnium Race Report

Friday was a tough day.

I hadn’t ridden all week because of my adductor pain, so Ryan and I went for a quick spin on Friday morning so I could see how my legs felt. It was bad- not injury pain bad- just “you haven’t ridden in a week” bad. I tried a leg-opening effort and was barely able to sustain normal wattage without searing lactic acid that felt as if it was being drawn from my legs into my lungs. I tried a couple of attacks… worse. I had no “snap” to speak of. It was exactly the type of ride that you don’t want to have before a state championship race.

After getting home & packing up, we hit the road. To add to the crappy ride I’d had earlier, my leg got more sore as the day went on, and, by the time we went to dinner that night, I was in enough pain to be limping. I kept watching out for other competitors… I didn’t want them to see that I was that injured. I told Ryan that I needed some sort of miraculous healing process to occur by the time I woke up in the morning and went to bed feeling both mentally and physically broken.

Road Race
Determined to do what I could with what I had, I woke up, ate some breakfast, and pinned my number. Strangely enough, after a couple of ibuprofen, I couldn’t feel my injury. Once I arrived at the staging area for the race, I changed and rolled around a little. A lot of women were showing up and registering. We lined up with a nice sized field. While we were waiting to start, Ryan rolled up from his race. He was grinning-Â turns out he’d won the cat 3 state championship in a 2-man breakaway on the last lap. I was so excited that I laid my bike down and hugged him. He’s been working so hard this season… it’s awesome to see it finally pay off.

Soon after, my race started. Two laps on a course with a couple of big hills and a lot of rollers. When we came to the first hill, I tried an attack. I don’t think it registered as an attack to any of the other racers. Fail. A few miles later, we hit the next hill. The riders behind me stuck me out in the wind.

Fine. You want me in front? Well, then you’d better hold the eff on.

Figuring that my attacking legs were non-existent, I took my week of frustrations out in a barely-sustainable tempo up the hill. It was a bit of a stair-step climb… I never let off during the reprieves, and, just as we passed the feed zone and I was feeling like puking, we passed a church’s sign that said “PREPARE TO MEET THY GOD.” I took that as a cue to continue the punishment. I looked back and saw that the peloton had exploded behind me with a few riders hanging on and others sprinkled down the road. The crest of the hill came soon after, and, being pissed off at gravity from my wreck exactly one week before, I stood up and let loose upon the descent. It was technical in a couple of spots, but the roads were well-banked, so I never touched the brakes. I wanted to show the descent who was boss.

Once we hit the flat/rolling section after all of these shenanigans, I pulled through, flicked an elbow, and surveyed the damage- five riders and myself had a good gap on a shattered group of chasers. We started working together to stay away. It was a great ride from there. We finished the remaining lap & a half mostly cooperating until we left the race course loop. I took that as a cue to get on a wheel and prepare to sprint. When we hit 1k to go, one rider took the inititive to lead the field out. We rounded the corner to the finish and Mary Mayhew jumped. I followed and went to her left just as Jennifer Schuble did the same to me. It seemed like the world’s longest sprint, but I managed to hold her off and take it by a wheel. I nearly cried on the way back to the staging area. I couldn’t believe that I’d been able to ride that hard. I couldn’t believe that I’d been able to match Mary’s jump into the sprint. I couldn’t believe that I’d actually been able to sprint so hard against some really good sprinters. I was almost overwhelmed.

Time Trial
As soon as I rolled in from my race, I told Ryan the good news and we headed back to the hotel. I had to immediately eat and get my bike ready for the 8 mile time trial just three hours later. I’m finding longer time trials to be “easier” as far pacing goes now that I’ve got a powermeter. I used to start too hard then fade at the end. Now I know what type of wattage I should see for the duration, and it helps me hold back a little at the beginning and finish with barely anything left by the end. This strategy paid off- I rolled a 19:35, which was more than enough for 1st place. With the omnium weighted heavily towards the time trial and criterium, this was good, but I’d still need to place in the top 3 on Sunday or risk losing the #1 spot.

FYI- in Oak Ridge, State Champions drink for free. I was glad that my Sunday race wasn’t until late in the day!

I was feeling pretty good warming up on the trainer. Ryan raced both the masters 30+ and cat 3 crits, so we were at the race course pretty early. I didn’t mind watching a few other categories, because the finish of the race was a little bit tricky. It was a short, sharp uphill followed by a left turn and a long drag to the finish… with an intermittent tailwind. It seemed that whoever was able to get around the corner first was holding on for the win, but not all of the races played out that way, so I was slightly worried about making sure that I nailed it and kept my top omnium placing.

When our race started, I did what a normally do and attacked off the line. I like setting the “mood” for the race before anyone starts to get too comfortable. My attack strung the group out, but no one was really caught off gaurd, so I tucked back in line to catch my breath and wait for an opportunity to try again. I really wanted to thin the group out early in the race then rest up a bit for the sprint.

A couple of laps later, my strategy would be unnecessary.

Someone pulled for a lap then tried to pull through along the start/finish stretch. Whoever was behind her didn’t let her pull through. The pace bogged down to 16 or 17 mph and everyone in front of me started looking at each other and swerving around trying to make one another pull. I can’t stand that crap, so, of course, I attacked the bejesus out of them for it. It was about 7 minutes in to the 50 minute criterium.

I got a gap. They chased. For several laps, I was wavering at about a 10-15 second lead. A couple of times I’d look back and wonder if I should sit up, get caught, and try to conserve energy.

I’ve tried this solo break thing enough to know that at some point, you either give up and try to recover, or you go “all in,” meaning that you commit enough of your energy that you’re either staying away and winning or getting caught and not have anything left to get you to the finish line.

I went all in.

The gap grew to close to 30 seconds and continued to waiver. I knew that if I could get far enough away far enough into the race that the morale of the chasers would be broken and they’d let me stay out. Twenty minutes remained on the clock, and Ryan gave me a time check of 37 seconds… next lap, 54 seconds. As I’d hoped, the chasers began to fear being too tired to be able to sprint well, sat up, and resolved themselves to racing for 2nd place. I continued to fight the wind with all I had left, and the gap continued to grow. As I passed the start/finish with 5 laps to go, Barb Rigby, the official, announced on the loudspeaker that she wanted me to lap the field.

yeah… you get out here and lap the field. With the times I’m turning and the time remaining, I should have had 5 to go on the previous lap…

Such is you inner monologue when you’re swimming in a cesspool of lactic acid. I got within 20 seconds or so of lapping them. 53 minutes after the first attack (told you she made me do an extra lap!), I crossed the finish line… totally exhausted of both my physical and mental capacities, but very, very happy.

The pack sprint was handily won by Jennifer Schuble. I’m glad I wasn’t there…

And so, my road season comes to a close.

I spent most of the ride home in total disbelief of the past 8 days. I had an insane MTB wreck, managed to ride 30 more miles thinking I’d broken some bones, held on to second place, then spent all week limping around and going nuts with a torn hip adductor. Between the pain and the horrible morning ride, if you’d told me Friday night that I’d sweep the omnium, I would have called you a fool. I still can’t figure out how I manage to do these things. Luck? Genes? Physiology? Your guess is as good as mine. All I do know is that I can’t wait for the next challenge. Ok, enough cheese. Time to get some real lunch.

Oh yeah, and here’s a link to Ryan’s photos…

Fool’s Gold 50 Race Report

Well, my weekend didn’t go quite as planned, but I still consider it a success.

I arrived at Camp Wahsega late in the afternoon and went out for a quick spin to get my legs moving again after the 7+ hour drive. Afterward, I cleaned up and figured I’d drive back to town for dinner. I was joined by Cesar Grajales… who, I have to admit, I first thought was just a guy in a rock racing t-shirt he’d picked up at the bike shop until he talked about his team, and I asked who his team was… oops. Dinner was good- we met up with Mike from Niner bikes and some other racers at Caruso’s- an Italian place that was a race sponsor. When we got back, I got to meet with a lot of the other women who were racing… I think that the people I’ve met at MTB races are part of the reason why I love it so much!

The next day started at 5:00 am with the ringing of the canteen bell (just like summer camp back in the day!) By 7:00, I was at the start area to watch the 100 mile racers take off. At 7:15, we were off. The course started on a 12 mile climb. It was pretty gradual, so I settled in to a nice tempo pace. At the top, we passed the first aid station, and only one woman- Loretta Simpson (local expert MTB racer) had stayed with me. I threw in a couple of attacks on the flat section at the top just for good measure. It was very tempting to go a lot harder at that point, but I made myself maintain the same tempo pace so that I’d be able to finish strong. It seemed to have worked, because she dropped back before the next aid station, which was at 19 miles in. I had to stop for water, and she caught up to me.

Once we were back on the trail, I kept with my strategy- tempo riding then letting it rip whenever I was on a descent. That was working well until mile 21… I hit a descent that started out looking as if it’d be fine at high speed, but about halfway down, it got really rocky. I took a bad line into the rocks, hit a large rock, and lost all control… I found out from my Garmin file last night that my speed at that point was 35 mph. I am not sure what happened between hitting the rock and becoming airborne, but I was in the air long enough to hear people yelling and to think to myself, “this is really, really bad.” All I could think to do was tuck my arms up to my sides and relax… it sounds weird, but it’s probably why I didn’t break anything. I bounced into a rock garden then slid downhill for what seemed like forever. When I came to a stop, I could barely breathe- I didn’t know where I was hurt because everything hurt so much. All I could do was just lay on the trail in a fetal position and let space and time catch up with me. I think I heard someone offer to go back to the aid station and call for help, but I managed to communicate that I thought I might be OK.

This was the type of wreck where even the guy that usually rides by and asks if everyone is OK over his shoulder stops… even if just out of morbid curiosity.

After I laid there for a minute, I sat up- at which point (according to Laureen Coffelt), I turned white, but realized that I was (reletively) OK. After another minute, I stood up and slowly got back on my bike. Everyone asked if I was going to continue the race, and I told them I’d at least ride to the next aid station. Somehow, I ended up on the wheel of Laureen (Memphis local from RB’s Racing who was in the 100 mile race). She asked if I wanted to get by, and I told her that I was just going to follow her for a little while- she was very steady and had pre-ridden the course enough to know where the good lines were and would even yell back to me when we came to a section that was easier in the granny gear. It really let me get my rhythm and nerve back. I don’t think she realizes how much that helped me. I honestly don’t know if I could have kept going if it weren’t for her wheel and her encouragement. Huge thanks are deserved…

Once we were off singletrack and back on some forest road, I decided to pick the pace up a little. At that point, my right groin and forearm were hurting a lot, and I had a dull headache (I saw later that I’d cracked the shell of my helmet) and sore back. I just went into survival mode. The fall broke my spirit as much as it broke my body, so I had no drive to even attempt to chase down Loretta, who’d gone ahead once she was sure that I was alive and not on my way to the hospital. All I could do was think about George Hincapie riding in the Tour with a broken collarbone and count the miles.

Somehow, I managed to drag myself the remaining 30 miles to the finish. I held on to 2nd place, too. I wanted to cry when I got there. After I showered, I packed up the car with all intentions of driving back to Memphis to race at the Stanky Creek XC race the next day. However, I changed my mind as I became progressively more sore and noticed some blood in my urine. I was really disappointed that I didn’t race Stanky because it’s a trail where I feel that I do really well, but I was comforted by kegs of Terrapin beer and a bunch of new friends to swap stories and do a little hiking with (the camp has some pretty cool trails/waterfalls to check out).

Today (Monday), I still feel like I’ve been beaten with a lead pipe. My muscles ache, I think I broke a rib, and mentally, I’m in an odd fog- I don’t think I hit my head, but I can’t think straight, and I’ve lost my appetite. Hopefully it’ll clear up in a day or two. I’ve entered the Oak Ridge Omnium that’s scheduled for next weekend, which includes the TN State Championship Road Race. Even if I’m still a little banged up, the payout is great, and I need to defend my RR Jersey!

I’ll update with some photos soon…

Double-up time

I’ve been planning on the Fool’s Gold MTB race for a while, and I figured I’d be exhausted after the 50 miler. So I was planning on staying overnight and making the drive back home on Sunday… which means that I’d miss the Legends of Stanky Creek XC race back in Memphis on Sunday. That would suck… I’m pretty good at the Stanky Creek trail, AND it’s my home territory! No one likes to NOT show up for the home game.

So I started contemplating an 8 hour drive back on Saturday. Then one of the local guys offered a 6-pack of my favorite beer if I made it back to Memphis for the race… I contemplated harder. Enter my internet buddies over at the forums… I posted about my potential weekend, and they were all for it… a few people are going to send random text messages to me throughout the afternoon on Saturday to keep me from going insane while driving.

You know what’s even more insane than doing both of these races with the help of random friends from the internet??? I want to win both of them.

Ouachita Road Trip Wrap-up

Good times!

I packed up Thursday morning and headed to Bikes Plus to pick Jens up from getting some work done. It took a little longer than expected, so I ended up not getting to Lake Sylvia until around 2:00. I picked a quiet-looking spot and set up camp, changed, and headed out for a short ride. It was nice- I rode a familiar loop that included some rocky goat-trail type roads and a few long climbs/descents. I saw a black bear running through the woods. That was pretty sweet.

When I arrived back a little less than 2 hours later, no fewer than 20 people had moved in to the two sites next to me. I have no idea how many families it was, but there were 6 tents, 4 dogs, 3 vehicles (one being a loud lifted truck), and half the occupants were children ranging in age from ~1-17. Their tents had overflowed their campsites into the area just behind mine (three teenagers were setting one up no less than 10 feet behind my tent). One woman had two volumes to her voice- talk loud and yell until her voice cracked. They drove the very loud truck any time they needed to move more than one person to another area of the campgrounds- they’d load up the back and drive to the bathroom, periodically stepping on the accelerator and gunning the motor. The bathroom was about 100 feet away from their campsite if they’d take the walking trail through the open wooded area. Luckily, the camp host was really nice- he came over as soon as he saw me ride in and helped me move my tent to the other side of the campgrounds into the “primitive” camping area. He had his hands full keeping those folks in line the entire time I was there.

Friday, I packed up early and headed to Story, Arkasas to meet up with Todd Henne. He gave me the introductory tour to the north end of the Womble trail. It kicked my butt so hard that I was wiped out in 20 miles. I know it’s not toally accurate (always on the over-estimation side), but my Garmin 205 said that the elevation gain was just over 6600 feet. Eek! Even if it was just half of that, it’s a good bit of gain for a short ride (by contrast, the entire 50 mile loop for next weekend’s Fool’s Gold race is estimated to be ~6700 feet total gain). Makes me feel a little bit better about the upcoming race…

Saturday morning I went to a short track race (Big Ballin’ Dirt Track Classic) at Burns Park (Little Rock). Short track racing is pretty freakin’ sweet. It’s kinda like cyclocross, criteriums, and XC races all rolled in to one. My race was 30 minutes plus a lap. The only other woman that showed up was riding a single speed… the course didn’t have much elevation change, and was pretty twisty, so I knew that it wouldn’t put her at much of a disadvantage (especially since her bike was about 10 pounds lighter than mine, and a rigid frame rather than full suspension).
We lined up with the category 2/3 men. I figured I should go all out for the holeshot. I did, and it paid off. I settled in behind two men for about 20 minutes until a prime was called, at which point, they dropped me. Luckily, I’d held on to a good lead and finished the last few laps up as best I could. First woman and third overall (against a few guys!) I won a sweet Giro helmet!

After the race, I headed back to camp, rode a little more (just up the FR132 climb and back) then showered, struck camp, and headed back to Memphis. Last night, sleep didn’t come easy. It was too quiet after being in the company of countless noise-making insects and amphibions. I also could feel chiggers crawling all over me (at least, in my head… I don’t think they were actually there) as well as some poison ivy emerging on my left ankle. I got up and rode 70 miles this morning. My legs were pretty torched from the weekend, but I did manage a few threshold intervals once we were with the group. Afterwards, I was beat. Ryan and I got some lunch and went to Lowe’s… I fell asleep in the car on the way to Lowe’s. I guess that’s how you know that it was a good weekend!

Ouachita National Forest Adventure, Take 2

Not much going on around Memphis right now, and I’m still trying my best to prepare for the Fool’s Gold 50 in a couple of weeks. There’s a short track MTB race in Little Rock next Saturday, which, by itself, isn’t very much like a 50 mile endurance race, but is a good draw to venture to Arkansas for other riding…


Pink: Mt Ida- closest town to the Womble Trail
Purple: Lake Ouachita Vista Trail (LOViT) Trailhead
Blue: Little Blakely (mixed reviews from what I’ve seen
Green: the old stand-by, Lake Sylvia, and miles of forest/4×4 roads with some long, occasionally steep climbs

A visit to those would be a great addition to my dwindling weeks of summer vacation, and would give me an opportunity to try out my Element as a camping vehicle.

Finally home!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted because until last night, I’ve been without internet since Tuesday (ok- so I’m not one of those people that’s gonna DIE from lack of internet, but I DO enjoy it, so it was, at worst, inconvenient) . Luckily I’ve got great parents, so after sitting around Bale Honda for a few hours (see previous post), they showed up to rescue me.

We left for Conway and spent the night there. The Honda people said that it’d be late on Tuesday before my car was finished, so we left Tuesday morning for Mountain View where they wanted to shop for cabins. We found a nice one for rent and checked in for a couple of nights. It was sitting about halfway up a mountain and had a gorgeous view of Syllamore Creek. It was also about a 15 minute drive from the famous Syllamore MTB trails. I was excited. However, it rained all day on Tuesday- enough that one of the bridges over the creek was flooded/impassable (we had to loop around to the “high water” bridge in orer to get back to our cabin on Tuesday night).

Wednesday, the skies generally cleared as the day went on. My parents went out to look at cabins, leaving me to watch Stage 17 of Le Tour and ride my MTB on the local back roads. The ride was not bad- I only rode 17 miles, but at least I got about 2500 feet of climbing in during the outing. The Ozark “mountains” in that area are short enough that most roads don’t do much in the way of switchbacking or diagonal routing… they generally go straight up the side and up to the top. I made good use of my granny gear a couple of times. Wednesday night, after dinner, we walked around downtown and watched some performances by local folk music enthusiasts.

Finally, Thursday arrived. My parents drove me back to Little Rock to get my car. I was momentarily tempted to go back to Lake Sylvia, but I was pretty homesick, so I hauled back to Memphis and got back in time to hit up the Thursday afternoon group ride from Bartlett.

So… this morning I have stuff to do- watch the Tour, go over to my parents’ house and check the garden, get a camelbak cleaning kit, shop for a new car, do some grocery shopping, ride my MTB, yardwork… whether or not I get all of it done, I’m just glad to be home!

Epic Win leads to Epic Fail

Right now, I’m sitting in the Bale Honda service area waiting room in Little Rock, Arkansas. You may ask, Andrea, WTF are you doing there? Well, I’ll start with the good news first.

I left early on Saturday morning to head out for a weekend of racing followed by a day or two of training at some other places around Arkansas.

First, the Arkansas State Crit in Little Rock. The course was pretty awesome- kinda technical with chicanes, a little hill, and some bad pavement. Only three other women showed up, and on about the 4th lap, they called a cash prime. I went for it, got it, and looked back to see that I’d gapped the little group, so I kept at it. I ended up staying away for a solo win. Woohoo!

After that, I met up with Kurt (from that adventure race a while back) and followed him up to Eureka Springs for the Fat Tire Festival race in the morning. We pre-rode part of the course. During that time, I clipped a tree with my right shoulder and managed to fall hard enough to get a 3rd butt-cheek of swelling on the back/side of my left leg. The course was pretty tough in places- plenty of climbing punctuated by technical gravelly sections. I was feeling pretty tired by the end of our ride and nearly bonked, but made it back alive with the help of a Powerbar.

Sunday morning- race time. The race started in the middle of downtown Eureka Springs. It was a pretty unique- it went uphill on pavement, then took to the random back alleys and singletrack that led out to Lake Leatherwood, where it lapped the lake before the finish. I raced the Cat II race (not enough points/skill yet to go to Cat I/Expert) against about 8 other women.
The start was a little hectic- we started with some men as well, so I couldn’t tell if anyone was ahead of or behind me for most of the race. My strategy was to just ride at a hard but sustainable pace and hope for the best. Turns out, that was good enough for a win… at least in the 19-39 category. There was an older woman who beat me by about a minute. I’d caught up to her, but she schooled me on the technical rocky sections in between the catch and the finish. I gotta practice those…

So after the awards, I hit the road. I decided to not go to Devil’s Den (my original plan) and just head to Lake Sylvia instead. I rolled in & set up camp around 8:15 last night and was asleep by 9:30. I woke up with the sun this morning, and decided to drop some water about 18 miles out from camp at an intersection of forest roads where I knew I’d pass by a couple of times. I didn’t want to leave my bike at the campsite alone, so I tossed it up on the roof rack (a decision that would turn out to be invaluable later on).
The ride out was fine… I had the GPS running, but didn’t really pay attention to it since it always tried to route me onto goat-trail type roads. However, when I was on the way back, I wasn’t paying attention. The GPS woman told me to turn right at an intersection, and I should have turned left. About a mile down, I realized my error and started looking for a turnaround. Not paying attention to the road immediately in front of me, I hit a dry creek bed and bottomed out. I’ll let the photos explain the rest of it (in case you can’t make it out, in the first photo, the silver spot on the rock is metal from my oil pan, and the brown, shiny stuff is oil)…




Road Trip to Road Trip

So Ryan and I got home from Midland (Michigan) about an hour and a half ago. After unpacking the car, I ran to the store for some groceries and came home to make a quick veggie burger while Ryan started work on my road and mountain bikes. Reason being, I’m leaving for Arkansas in the morning.

My original plan was to run the Midnight 50k tomorrow night, but I haven’t been running at all lately. However, there’s an awesome-sounding MTB race in Eureka Springs on Sunday. Turns out the Arkansas state crit championships are tomorrow (women’s race @ 11:20) as well. So, I’ve got my carbon-wheel brake pads on the road bike as well as replacing the eff’d up granny gear (thanks to Dirt, Sweat, & Gears a while back) and adding some tire sealant to the MTB.

The plan is to leave around 7:00 for Little Rock, race the 40 min criterium, then head to Eureka Springs to pre-ride the race course. Sunday, I plan on racing, then possibly heading over to Devil’s Den State Park for a little recon ahead of the adventure race that will go on there at the end of next month. Whether I go there or not, I still plan on stopping by Lake Sylvia for some distance riding & climbing on the fire roads out there. It’ll be my last long ride/climb before the Off-road Assault on Mt. Mitchell that I’m tentatively planning for the weekend of the 25th-26th.

Epic road trip!!!

Training for August

The past two weeks have yeilded over 43 hours of training- mostly road riding, but also some running and MTB riding. You’d think that I’d be ready for a rest day like today, but I’m pretty itchy to be doing something besides laundry and bike wrenching. This week, I’m gonna cut back a little bit so I can be ready for the Smith & Nephew/ Marx & Benzdorf Grand Prix. I’ll be picking right back up afterward, though, and let that race start another high volume training week that includes some higher intensity efforts on the bike and a little more running.

It’s all in an effort to ready myself for August. The schedule is looking like this:

8th: Bartlett Park Ultras (probably doing the 50k)
15th: Fools Gold 50/100 mile Mountain Bike Race (Goal is to be ready for the 100 miler)
22nd: Berryman 6/12 hour duathlon (Um, 12 hour… duh…)
29th: Devil’s Den Sprint Adventure Race (gonna seem like just a warm-up after the 3 weekends before it!)

So I’ve got to be well-adapted to performing 12 hours of strenuous physical activity in the heat. It’s going to be a killer month, but I think I’ve got a good start on my training base so far. I need to incorporate some longer runs in so that the running during the 1st & 3rd weekends doesn’t kill me too much.

Also, for Fool’s Gold and for the Berryman race, Ryan will probably be off road racing, so if anyone wants to go with and fill camelbacks/kick my butt when I get tired, then shoot me an email.