Thursday, June 28, 2007
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Monday, June 25, 2007
Sunday, June 24, 2007
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Monday, June 18, 2007
I did the pre-ride on Friday with Carlos and the course was bumpy but a bit better then last year. Some of the single track was worn in but none the less, no real big change except they took out the steep grassy hill climb.
Second pre-ride with the CHAMP was a killer. The temps on Saturday were climbing and we waited until late Saturday afternoon to ride the course after it was worn in a bit. I noted on the climbs the heart rate was up there due to the heat and thought it was going to be a bitch come tomorrow if this heat continues. MTB Girl seemed to slither through the single track like a snake as I was trying to keep up. I was really feeling the bumps and felt like I was getting thrown around a bit off the seat which ended up causing me extreme numbness and pain in my lower back. The short power climbs were not going smooth and I could not get my weight centered for the climb and it felt I was falling backwards. I was thinking that the bike may be too big for me and I was getting a bit nervous about this because I usually don't have a problem with this. After trying to keep the pace, I could barely make it back to camp due to my lower back pain and all the issues I was having did not make it any better. A few tweaks to the rear shock and seat adjustment and I went back to the start after dinner to test him out. The only way I'll know is to try the start climb into the single track. Well by now, the lead into the single track was pure dirt powder The only way one is going to conquer this is by hitting the one foot cement slab at the base full speed. I tried twice and gave up. A few others were out riding still and one of the girls had the same issue. I thought I was not going to waste any more energy on this and but it behind me and headed back to camp to relax.
Sunday morning was overcast and cloudy with a nice cool breeze off the lake and it was looking like a good day for a race. As far as I was concerned, the sun can stay behind the clouds all day today. The first tune I heard coming from Don's speakers was American Girl by Tom Petty and that started off the day on the right foot since I listen to this song when doing intervals. I suited up and headed out for the warm up. I was not feeling super great once I started riding and had a hard time getting my heart rate up on the warm up. After a few minutes of spinning I thought to myself this is not my day and I was tired.
At Gooooooooooo, I hit the pavement and gave it my best shot. I was off to a great start in the lead pack up the gravel road. Once again, a huge red truck came barrelling down the road in the opposite direction towards us Sport Women and it was again a near miss. The same darn thing happened last year, only that truck was black. The front started to slow a bit and at first and we were sitting pretty nice until a few more were pushing for the front from the back and the speed took off. I managed to head into the single track in good position and hit the dirt from there. The front pack somewhere off the end of the first or the start of the second lap got a bit of a lead. By now, the thunder clouds have rolled in and the rain began to pour. The cool rain felt good and would help the course a great deal but the thunder was a bit scary. I was out in the field on the second lap and was wondering if this was going to continue for long. I did not feel like getting electrocuted today. I have a full mouth of metal and would be a great target. The rain continued and the second lap some areas were a bit greasy such as the little rocky garden of single track. I thought if this keeps up, the third lap is going to be hazardous. Sonia and I were duking in out in the single track on the second lap, I believe, and then after that I manged to create a gap. I think the seat adjustment helped. Thanks to the peeps for the encouragement, I could not believe I was still holding on to my position going into the second and third lap. I kept waiting to get caught, and for the first time I was in control. I had an awesome race experience all the way to the finish line, knowing I finally cracked a top five finish.
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Less than 15 minutes into the Alterra road ride tonight, one of our members hit a hole and wiped out, thank goodness she is tough and only had a few scrapes and was wearing her helmet! Once she hit the hole the front wheel made like a taco and she lie beside it.
Monday, June 11, 2007
Saturday, June 09, 2007
I can't wait to take him out for a test drive at Crystal Ridge.
The Alterra team will be out at Crystal Ridge today to start working on trail maintenance for the up coming Alterra Coffee Bean Classic Race in August. Grab a shovel and some weed whacker's and join us today at 10:00 AM!
Southern Kettles at 11:00 AM
Thursday, June 07, 2007
Monday, June 04, 2007
I have to say I was not expecting anything going into this race other than a chance to race hard for as long as I could. Nothing bothered me at all this weekend which was good for a change. No worries, no bike issues, no mental issues... I just took it all in and enjoyed every moment. The weather was not a threat to me, I was ready to race no matter what, and I think many others felt the same way. I did my usual warm up and was listening to my music a bit too long and did not realize we were to line up. Not more then 5 minutes and Don said GOOOOOOOOOO!
I had a great start and avoided anyone that looked suspiciously dangerous. I think I was putting down a good pace until we hit the dreaded bottleneck which actually took me for surprise since I did not plan this into my strategy. I for sure thought this would not be a problem 2.5 miles into the race. We came to a complete HALT and I was number 50 something in the pack of I don't know how many people. It appeared that no one was moving up front, and at first I thought someone was badly hurt. I guess that was not the case, anyway... A couple of us were singing campfire songs while we waited. I finally made my way in to the single track legally, (even though I wanted to run it, I was out numbered and did not want to get called any names) and headed on my way thinking I fell back to the very back of the Sport women and had some work to do.
The glasses fogged up and came off and then I started getting sprayed with mud so I tried them back on and then off two seconds later. I basically kept my head above mud the entire race, facing skyward at every chance so that the rain would wash my face off. I even tried to ride close to the end of the trail where the trees were hanging low heavy with rain water to wipe my face clean and it worked. I guess this stuff entertained me for at least the second lap.
Going into the third was fun since I was running into peeps I usually don't see when I am racing and it made it more fun to try to catch them when they went by. I even ran into an old friend we have not seen in 4 years or so which took me by surprise. Riding with the Comp and Expert crowd was a lot of fun and motivating which kept the race interesting! I made it to the finish line hoping at least I finished under three hours.
The best part of the day was seeing everyone else having fun too, despite the rainy conditions. Those bagels sure tasted good even though I did not want to see another carb for at least a week.
I never checked the results and was surprised when I checked on line I got 12th over all. I have to say it was the endurance and thank goodness no mechicanicals or personal injuries. I am a few minutes closer to the lead, one race at a time.
The sky 45 minutes prior to the start.
Last minute details
Picture of the day
How would you like to have his job?
More pics here