Sunday, April 27, 2008


To fully feel summer in April is wonderful. I rode my Eddy up to 6,800 feet with full sun and an average temperature of 78 degrees. What is not to love about Tucson. I think I'll do it again today.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Is that my shadow?

Pat Gray and I closed down the town last night at my favorite restaurant. Sad to say but my head was killing me the next morning when I boarded my flight to Tucson this morning begging my window companion in 1D to close his blind as the light was painful. Landing around noon, nursed back to shape, I found my shadow!

I know, I know....Seattle has lots of shadows today, but they don't have mount lemmon!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Walla Walla SR

A few FIRST to note:
a) my first race of the 2008 season;
b) my first CAT 3 race EVER;
c) my first stage race (SR) of 2008;
d) my first multi-day race event;

All those FIRST should absolutely moderate my expectations for doing anything but trying to hang on during the first climb of the road race. I certainly realized that I have GOOD endurance (finishing before the cut off and riding nearly 40 miles in the wind pulling a few development squad members who just didn't have experienced legs to pull in the wind) HOWEVER, I did learn that I have NO QUICK POWER to deal with surges or the blistering pace of a very fast CRIT on Sunday after 3.5 hours in the saddle on Saturday.

So the stages - 7 mile TT with a good little climb and a blistering fast down hill with speeds of 39 miles an hour (with a good gusty cross wind to push my disc like a sail - if only I could tact on the way up). There were some lessons learned - namely, make sure your bike is fully functioning before you mount it (front derailleur issues).

In summary....

Racing is a lot of work; preparation and the anticipation. But the post mortem and comradery with team mates and other racers is precious. It opens up a lot of discussions that are relevant to life; the unexpected consequences of flats and victories (big and small). Most importantly, racing teaches me that if I think I can do something, I can. If I don't think I can hang on, I won't. I need to be present in what I can do every minute of the event, not thinking about falling off and the disappointments, but the shear joy of running hard and giving your all in each moment.

I love racing and its symbolism of life. I love racing my bike and doing so many other things in life as I find balance is the key to my contentment. I love the passion people have for this sport and its many disappointments, yet we mount our saddle and do it again and again.

Next race; Wenatchee.
But a little altitude and massive climbing training in Tucson this weekend. I will need to work on power.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

I'm fast...wait!

Yesterday in Walla Walla was magical. Staying at this wonderful B&B in the surreal wheat fields around the town, I found zen. I used this as my base to do my training rides, tour some wineries, then find great food. Waking at areus in walla walla gave me so much peace, that I had no desire to check my emails until Monday morning. Hmmmmm.

But I must tell you about my ride!
So Saturday morning, I have a lovely little breakfast, suit up and head out to Waitsburg (this amazing little town in the middle of now where; actually between Clarkston and Lewiston on the Lewis and Clark trail (now isn't that cute? - I digress).
I head out for the 38 miles race course with 2600 feet of climbing. It was a brisk 55 degrees, puffy clouds - oh and wind; lots of wind. My ride out I was FLYING! Looking down it was 27 mph and uphill was nearly 17-18mph. I'm thinking... I'm so fast, I'm so strong, hell yeah! Woooo Hooooo! My heart raced at this new found fitness; a rocket I was. I had visions of riding off the front in this race. I managed to miss a turn and went about 5 miles further...

THEN, reality set in.

HOLY CRAP, what a freakin' head wind. I finally pointed my bicycle back toward Waitsburg and if I could have tacked on those roadways with the 35mph+ head wind I would have. The wind was so awful, my ears began to hurt with the noise. My speed declined to 11-12 and in some cases 6mph as I struggled to just stay upright. 20 miles in a fierce headwind was a killer and I cursed the course. I thought, if the headwind is like this in two weeks, and I lose the peloton, I'm headed to the wineries and putting my feet up at the spa. Hmmmm. Here are some pictures from my experience this weekend. I had the place to myself; no LCD's, no wifi, no cell service, just me, the yoga studio, my yoga mat, the birds and the endless view of wheat fields. I can't wait to go back when the fields are in full height.

bubbly fountains outside the yoga studio.
A place to watch the world go by....

View from my bathroom; notice the cool agrarian life beyond the modernized yet tasteful zen foreground.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Walla Walla

So I blistered on to Walla Walla on Thursday because the weather in Seattle looked less than stellar for the weekend and I needed to get some training time/miles in. The weather here in the glorious wine region is sunny, chilly and very windy. OUCH, that ride today with 30 mph head winds was fun at the start (as I rode about 27mph) but on my return... ugh, it took me soooooooo long to get back at 12mph and I felt like a slug. Well, I did manage to get about 7.5 hours of training time in my bike these last two days. I also had dinner at the BEST restaurant in town; Whitehouse Crawford (parsnip perogis, thai basil muscles, arugla w/ humbolt fog - is this Walla Walla?). I made a reservation at WC when I'm back in town on April 18th... because it was that good. Oh, and I'm staying at this cool little B&B in the wheat fields outside of town with a spa and a HUGE yoga studio (pictures to come). I'm in HEAVEN!!!! So I get up and do yoga to the sunrise each morning as the cell phone doesn't work and the place doesn't have wifi; HEAVEN. Gotta go... I'm having dinner with owner of the spa who happens to be a fashion designer from Italia. Wait, is this Walla Walla?

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Pro Gress

So I've held to my diet plan and I'm down a legit 2 real pounds and hopefully with more lean muscle mass. Work has been super busy, so workouts have moved to the trainer (mostly) as the weather here was basically winter in Seattle the last two weeks. So tempted to jump on a plane and head south... BUT, I'm headed to Walla Walla this weekend for a few training rides and to pre-ride the course of Walla Walla Stage Race. Using CalorieKing, to exactly construct my food days and sufficient nutrients these past three weeks have been very prescribed and calculated. I'm focused...except for those two glasses of wine past week...but I could spare the calories. My exact nutrients were as follows: