Friday, October 31, 2008

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Yep - that hurt (prologue & epilogue)

Well, the weekend started normal enough, get everything loaded up and hit Waffle House for breakfast before heading off to the east.
(Moni - Our favorite Waffle House harasser... I mean waitress)
Of course, you never know when you'll have some parking lot entertainment to make you appreciate your mundane life


Had a good pre-ride with Cynthia and Raine, just out enjoying the day and the ride. Later that night while at dinner I spotted this thought provoking sign on the front of the dessert cooler
Oh my - I would hate to have the package unpacked before being firmly located in the outlet!

Lincoln Parish Park, Ruston Louisiana

Saturday was pain filled fun on a bike (see post below), followed by a good dinner with good friends. Recovery at it's finest!

Sunday was the third and final race of the stage... a 20 mile (2 lap) cross country race - wheee! All I could hope for was that the other ladies had the same heavy, tired legs that I did. After a little warm up spin the legs started feeling better and I was as ready as I was going to be for the race.

The usual cast of characters line up and Jurgen gives us the 15 second countdown to GO! The race start is fast and I find myself up front with Cynthia, but also find myself starting to hit my max heart rate - not a good thing this close to the start. I fade back a bit and hold my place but keep Cynthia in sight in the single-track, but she puts a gap on me when we get to a long open section. Kathleen (30-39er) takes a pass and since we are about the same speed I grab her wheel. Tonya passes when we get to a section that I don't like, but I work to keep her in sight. The rest of the 1st lap is spent keeping Tonya in sight. The start of the 2nd I can see Tonya in the distance and Kathleen is between us. I'm happy with this and hoping I can keep up the pace. I finally catch up to and pass Kathleen and we pass back and forth a couple of times before she is able to gap me again. About 1/2 through the lap we come by the parking area and I'm told that "she's right there, only about 10 seconds ahead". Kathleen isn't in my class, but it doesn't matter, having a "rabbit" to chase keeps the focus on racing. I keep chasing but can't seem to close the gap. I catch and pass one of the guys and close to the end I find another to chase, but can't catch sight of Kathleen.. dang it! I later found out that she had a mechanical and DNF'd (did not finish) - no wonder I couldn't find her!

Hike up the final steep climb, fly down the final descent (hitting 30.5mph!), struggle up the final false flat and finally cross the finish line. My third 3rd of the weekend, with an overall finish of... you guessed it... 3rd!

So far, I've been pretty happy with my racing this Fall. My times have been closer to the leaders and I took 20 minutes off my lap times compared to last year's Ruston race.

Women - Expert - 40-99





1 Cynthia S
2:2:19.00 Bike Barn/Gary Fisher/Subaru
2 Tanya W
3 Kathy J
2:7:20.00 Matrix RMB
4 Pamela J
2:12:19.00 Mad Duck Max Muscle
5 Janis M
2:17:25.00 Bicycles Inc/TREK

"To be a cyclist is to be a student of cycling's core lies pain, hard and bitter as the pit inside a juicy peach. It doesn't matter if you're sprinting for an Olympic medal, a town sign, a trailhead, or the rest stop with the homemade brownies. If you never confront pain, you're missing the essence of the sport. Without pain, there's no adversity. Without adversity, no challenge. Without challenge, no improvement. No improvement, no sense of accomplishment and no deep-down joy. Might as well be playing Tiddly-Winks." Scott Martin

I'd say that pretty well sums it up. Does that also imply that cyclists are masochistic? Maybe we are - but ,then again we don't necessarily "enjoy" or derive "pleasure" from the pain. I think it's more that beating the pain is a goal in and of itself and anything beyond that is just icing on the cake. Ouch - all that made my brain hurt.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Yep - that hurt.

This weekend's race is a Stage Race (really it's an omnium) were there are 3 separate races that are added together for an overall GC (general classification) result and that is what the awards are based on.

Nothing like a short track race, closely followed by a time trail to make you feel so alive in a extremely painful way. Well, at least you feel alive after the racing is over and your heart rate has come back to a semi-normal rate. Because, if you're doing it right, during the races you think you might just fall over dead because you can't suck enough air in to breathe and your heart is just going to explode, that is if your legs don't fall off first.

The short track loop was about 1 mile long and the race lasted a little over 20 minutes (20 minutes + 1 lap for the leader). While my results won't show anything amazing, I am happy that I wasn't pulled for not keeping a fast enough pace (although at the time I would not have complained) and I stayed on the same lap as the leaders.

Checking the time trial start list after the short track we (Expert/Cat1 women) found out that our start time was just over an hour away. Not enough time to change and recover. So, it's grab a quick snack and keep spinning away. The only good thing is that all the ladies are feeling the same, and... we'll be done with the day's racing all the sooner.

30 second staggers on a 3.5ish mile course and I'm the first one off in my age group, which means everyone else gets to chase me... loverly! My main goal is not to get caught and passed.
On a long straight about 1/2 through I look over my shoulder and I can see Tonya closing in, Oh Shhh....oes! We get back into the single-track, where I have a little advantage, and I just try to keep ahead a Tonya. We get to the finish run and I just keep working hard, crossing the finish line I hear Tonya right behind me. What I didn't know is that Cynthia had caught up to and finished with Tonya. So, although I didn't get caught they obviously had a faster time than me.

The finishing order for both races was the same: 1st Cynthia; 2nd Tonya; 3rd me; 4th Pam.

Tomorrow is another say and another race (cross country). 20 miles and we're all done... for now.

I'm tired and it's time for bed...

Good night.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Peer pressure

Apparently there is at least one person out there that checks this on a regular basis. That person made themselves known to me when I was chided for not having written anything recently.

Seems like there really hasn't been anything to post about. It was another week of highs and lows... a couple of good girly rides; a long 3+ hour ride at one of the local trails; buying new rear tires for the car, since the front ones were replaced back in July;and, a one day road trip to OKC to say a final goodbye to Don Sleeper, one of Alan's old racing buddies, that succumbed to cancer.

Yep, I lead a pretty exciting life don't I?

Anyway, this weekend is a stage race at Lincoln Parish Park in Ruston, Louisiana (home of the infamous WalMart tire department). This is one of our favorite trails and a race that we look forward to each year.

So, to my loyal fan(s)... you're going to have to hold your horses and wait until next week for your next dose of The Amazing Life of Kathy.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Ooohhh look... something shiny!

and red!

Due to peer pressure (zero) I decided not to wait until tonight to post the new phone pics

and no it didn't go to Facebook first ;~P

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Phone update

I got a new one, but it's late and I'm ready for bed...

Tomorrow, maybe.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Phone woes

Sometime Friday I managed to break the front display on my cell phone, which means no clock
but at least it's a cool Autumn leaf design and the phone still works.

The good thing is that I'm due for an upgrade, the bad thing is I don't know which phone I want. It took me forever to decide on a digital camera, so hopefully I can do this in a day or two.

Anyway - so far I think I'm leaning towards an red LG Shine (Kyle, it looks like you're safe on a Pantech).

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Lake Bryan & signs

Last weekend's race was in aggieland (Lake Bryan near College Station). In addition to the regular mountain bike race there would also be some collegiate races over the weekend, so Kyle would also be in attendance. Alan had a Team in Training ride Saturday morning so he wasn't going to be able to leave until Saturday afternoon. Since Alan had the ride, it was up to me to lead the race clinic Saturday afternoon (yippee!).

Friday before leaving I went by the high school for a bit to watch the Longhorn Band run through part of their halftime show for the Texas-OU game (TX 45-ou 35 HOOK 'EM HORNS!). I also got to say a quick "hi" to Chris, one of Kyle's friends, who is a member of the drumline.

Then it was time to meet up with Christine who was riding down to the race with me. Unfortunately the aggies were playing at home and the closest decently priced hotel room I could find was in Huntsville - about 65 miles away.

Christine and I had a good drive down with lots of chatting and some visual entertainment

Note to self: Don't let Christine keep the camera too long

We get to the hotel, check in and start unloading bikes and gear bags into our room. While we're going back and forth this man, aka "creepy guy", is watching us and making weird small talk comments each time we walk by. Luckily when we walk over to dinner Mr. Creepy has gone back into his room and we don't have to deal with him anymore.


Saturday morning we head over to Lake Bryan to get our ride in. After our ride Christine drives my car back to Huntsville to meet up with Alan (so he can come get me) & Drew (she & Drew were track (velodrome) racing in Houston Saturday night). I take care of the clinic and hang out until Alan gets to Lake Bryan. During the clinic Kyle shows up for his pre-ride before the collegiate short track race. Alan gets there in time to watch the collegiate short track (Kyle's awesome race report is here). Kyle is the only one to come in from UT for Saturday racing so he went to the hotel with us instead of camping solo.

On our way back to Huntsville, we stop for some BBQ and I just had to take a picture of this

We get back to the room, shower and rest up for Sunday's racing. Oh, don't forget the chocolate creme pie for dessert... yum!

Sunday is race day, so we get up early for breakfast and the drive back to Lake Bryan. As we get out of Huntsville and into the country it starts to get a tad bit foggy.PhotobucketPhotobucket

The race went well. Lots of twisty trail, which I like, and not too much of the stuff that I don't like.
Women - Expert - 40-99





1 Mary
2 Kim
1:35:33.00 Matrix/Richardson Bike Mart
3 Cynthia
1:40:4.00 Bike Barn/Gary Fisher/Subaru
4 Kathy
1:42:56.00 Matrix RMB
5 Tanya
6 Karie
2:19:38.00 Chase/Velocity

Alan & Kyle also finished 4th in their races, so overall it was a good weekend of racing for us.

One the way back home I saw this sign and couldn't resist

I think that is a good note to end on....

Monday, October 6, 2008

I like walks in the rain...

Today started normal enough. You know - the alarm going off too early in the morning; laying there not wanting to get out of bed but knowing you have to; finally rolling out of bed and... yawn... stumbling off to start the day.

I grab the iPod, grab Shimano and we go for our morning walk. We are a couple blocks from the house when it starts sprinkling. No big deal - rain isn't so bad if you've already started your walk/run or bike ride... besides it's coming from behind me. We finish the first leg of our walk and it's time to turn around. Now it's gone from sprinkling to a steady light rain - it's still tolerable, but now it's coming at me straight on. Now I wish I had put on a hat. I get to the first turn-off to head home and think the rain still isn't so bad, I'll go ahead and finish off the walk. During the next block the rain picks up a little more and Shimano is giving me this "Why are we doing this?" look. Yeah pup-dog, you're right - why are we doing this? Time to head home!

We get home, I'm putting the leash away and when I look up Alan is standing at the back door laughing at us. I'm sure we had the poor, pitiful, wet & bedraggled look down. I really wish I had asked Alan to take a picture of us - it would have been classic.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Palo Duro

Last weekend was my TMBRA Fall race debut at Palo Duro Canyon just a hop and a skip (or 375 miles) away from Dallas. This was our 2nd time to race in the Canyon, so it still has the "new" feel to it. This is also such a scenic venue, it is easy to get distracted when you are riding the trails.

The drive down into the Canyon:

I didn't have the best race experience here last year... me & ledge riding don't mix very well, and I remembered what seemed like a long section of ledgey trail in the race. Our course consisted of an XL loop (15+ miles) and a S loop (3+ miles) which overlaid the last bit of the XL loop. The pre-ride went well (15 miles in about 1:45) and it seemed like the ledge stuff wasn't so bad. Maybe I got better.... nah.

After the pre-ride we held the race clinic, visited with friends and then went up to watch the King & Queen of the Mountain Hill climb out of the canyon. Where they had to get from the bottom of the canyon
up the twisty road
and keep on going to the top.

After watching the suffering of the hill climbers it was time to head back to the hotel, grab dinner and veg out for the rest of the night. With a 9am race start it would be an early morning.

Race morning was chilly (upper 40s-mid 50s) so it was hard to get motivated and moving. With about 30 minutes to the race start I finally got on the bike and started pedaling around to get warmed up. We had a new girl in the class, Kim, who was kicking butt in the Sport class and I later found out is a National Masters Champion on the road... great. Anyway it was Kim, Tanya, Cynthia, me and Janis (who was returning to racing after being away for a couple of years).

I had a good race and even did a little back in forth with Tanya, but she ended up getting a gap on me that I couldn't close.
Women - Expert - 40-99





1 Kim
1:40:48 Solar Eclipse
2 Cynthia
1:49:19 Bike Barn/Gary Fisher/Subaru
3 Tanya
4 Kathy
1:56:44 Matrix RMB
5 Janis
2:13:01 Bicycles Inc/TREK

Although nothing spectacular, I was happy with my overall race and time. (Oh - as for getting better on the ledgey stuff... I found out that they took out the worst part of that section of trail.)

The next race is at Lake Bryan in a couple of weeks. This course has a lot of tight twisty single-track, so hopefully that will be to my advantage.