Monday, February 25, 2013

A POWERful Week!

This past weekend was a much needed break from racing and a chance to get caught up on life. It also meant that I got to do 2 classes this week at The Fix Studio!!!  Tom and I heard about Larry and Sophie's power based classes about 3 years ago, we immediately were hooked!  Having never trained with power I was amazed at the results I was seeing in just a short period of time. These classes are down right hard that's forsure, but the best thing about them is they are individualized based upon each riders own personal power threshold and its a 8 to 1 athlete to coach ratio which means trust me there isn't any hiding!  Larry and Sophie definitely helped instill in me the less is often more concept.  On top of all that Larry, Sophie and Lev are genuinely great people, as well as their mechanic Aaron who as of late has been keeping our bikes in great working form and also just finished installing this!!!

I know I know I know, I was that girl that said she was never going to race or train with power. I just like racing on feel I would repeat sounding oddly organic.  In fact I admit I hate technology for the most part as it totally complicates things and messes with my mind. Besides those heart rate monitors feel like they are suffocating me!  Sometimes the best thing to do to an analytical person is to make it nearly impossible for them to think about anything. So as you might have guessed this thing is already driving me nuts with inconsistent power #s and apparently per my discussion with SRAM there is some breaking in period.  Of course I'm just impatient and all will be great in a few days. Its true...I hope.  Since I started training with with my new cycling coach this past fall  its pretty obvious the benefits power will have on this relationship and the gains we'll be able to make. Besides, the achiever in me is dying to see from time to time that the hard work I'm putting in is actually creating some more watts.  cuz lets face it...more power = more speed. 

I've also just purchased my first history book ever!

Chris has been telling me about how much of a bad ass biker Juli Furtado was back in the day.  Since i was too young and obsessed with basketball in 1998 when this book was published I'm dying to learn more about her.  Maybe even some day I will race like her.  I have been staring at this book all night trying to refrain from reading it until our trip to California in a couple weeks, however I did turn the first page to see this and I almost spit out my tea...

yep those are dolphin earrings!! I so remember when dolphin jewelery was hot!

 Oh...and today is also Vito's 1st birthday!  I remember almost 1 year ago driving all the way to Owatonna with my mom to adopt this little fellow based solely off a pretty sweet photo! He meowed like a beast the whole ride home. I remember my grandma saying you drove all the way to Owatonna?.  Damn right we did, and now we have a pretty sweet almost 15 lb addition to the family.  He's really is pretty cool, almost like a dog in fact as he'll play fetch with a ball and he's smart too opening up drawers, cabinets and purses. Yeah basically like living with a toddler.  Poor Chubbs is still trying to adjust, but finally she keeps her yap shut and doesn't meow at 3 in the morning!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Fatbike Frozen 40

So, when the forecast said it was going to be 4 degrees at the start of the race I was so wishing that I hadn't signed up for this! I thought, maybe they will shorten the race, its unsafe right? HA yeah right.  40 miles of singletrack on a fatbike is hard enough geesh!  Man did I feel alive last week.  I was seriously nervous for this that oh my gosh how bad am I going to suffer kind of way.  I hadn't felt this way in a long time, well probably since Ironman St. George.  It felt good to be nervous. I spent most of the week panicking that my feet were going to freeze or that I wouldn't be able to take in enough of my nutrition as that would all freeze.  Well, turns out I survived!!

But damn right it was hard!  The biggest difference I've notice in longer bike races vs long distance triathlons is the initial pace. In an longer triathlon most people start out the swim briskly, but for the most part the swim is about pacing and the bike even more so.  In a bike race your position is very important so the beginning is always a smashfest.  It's imperative to ride with the right group and keeping your eye on the competition is a must. In this case I knew the competition would be tough as the Noquemegon 50K winner, Danielle Musto was making the trip to the cities.  She's a damn good pro from Grand Rapids, MI and she has done more 100 mile and 24 hour races than I can even begin wrap my head around.  And boy did she bring it on Sunday, she set a blistering pace in the 1st lap, one which eventually had me scream Uncle and pull back. When your arms are already tingling 30 minutes into a race and your nutrition is all frozen you realize pretty quickly that 4-5 hours is too long to race like that. 

When I came ripping into the feed zone after the first lap I was a total spaz.  I think Tom was even shocked I was rattled. I shoved sport beans into my mouth in lightning speed and then even tried to drink cytomax at the same yeah, that doesn't really work... so it all went spewing everywhere!  Ha!  Toms' face made it obvious I needed to chill out and since I finally had some calories I relaxed a bit and raced my own race. 

Looking at my garmin data all 4 lap times were actually fairly consistent which is encouraging and I raced with a higher average heart rate than I even thought was physically possible.  That has me stoked as I now can see first hand the adaptation that's taking place and it's awesome to know the hard work is paying off!   I ended up finishing 2nd place female and 13th overall.  I like the #13 so I was pretty stoked about that.
smashed....yes, I totally deserve a brat!
Sunday I was totally trashed, like so trashed it  hurt just sitting on my fat bike. But that pain quickly dissapated after a massage in the afternoon and a Monday ride on my fresh new Foundry!  He was ripping through the snow and it was so smooth  I wished I had done this sooner!  Light as a feather, stiff as a board. 

Less than 4 weeks til Bonelli and really only 2 weeks until I need to ship my bike!  Counting down the days til some warmer weather...seems this winter will never end.  I do however have one more Fat Bike race left on the calendar, Cuyuna Whiteout in a couple weeks!  But for now I'm sitting in a hotel room in Sioux City, IA, yep. Another frozen day in the plant tomorrow!!  Honestly I do love my job... however, can't say the same for Iowa.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Hillside Sufferfest

I woke up Sunday am incredibly stoked for Fat Bike Fest 2013!  The snow was falling like crazy and we had ourselves a winter great!  It was so rad that I even questioned if I was being a total idiot for venturing out to Elk River in my car.  But I figured I could drive like a grandma and race like an animal, and I was smiling so big that I could barely fit it in the car.  I used to think that I could ride my fat bike anywhere, through snow, sand, fire, lava, mud you name it....well man did things sure come crashing down to earth in rapid epic form!!  

It only took about 30 seconds into the race until I was unable to clip in.  And boy do I suck at steering my bike when I'm not clipped in....give me back my training wheels!!!  The snow was perfect for making snowmen, but was wrecking serious havoc on my race day fun. 

snowball pedals...lovely
Since I couldn't clip in I walked every single stinking hill.  And yes, they don't call this HILLside park for nothing! I tried to keep positive....I at least going to be able to eat dinner guilt free that night and since I was hiking up every hill this probably counted towards some kind of endurance/leg workout?!.  That helped keep the peace upstairs, but in general it was a long 3.1 mph slog for 7 miles.  So it was a bust, but that's alright since race day atmosphere totally rocked and I'll live to race another day!

Walk Up, Ride Down and repeat.... Thanks Mister Moose for the photo!

In fact, I'm already over it since Frozen 40..yes 40, is this Saturday!  It's gonna be cold and I'm already trying to sort out how I'm gonna keep warm for 5 ish hours (I hope), much less consume enough non-frozen fuel to make it 40 miles.  Awesome Tom is coming to give me hand ups each lap!  I'm sure payback for this race day support will be a total biotch come Ironman Texas. 

On another note we have had a breakthrough in our campsite!  Everyone always asks us where we keep our bikes in this tiny little apartment...well here it is folks!  We call this free wall ART! 

Also, Vito told me yesterday that he's decided to race cx next year too. In fact he is already trying to stake claim on my Salsa Chili Con Crosso...silly cat.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Livin the Dream

"Never give up on something you can't go a day without thinking about." - Winston Churchill

I stumbled across this quote somewhere last week which I can't seem to remember.  Was probably on facebook or maybe someones blog, regardless it really hit home.  Remarkable.  It actually got me thinking....what dreams do I have that I can't go a single day without thinking about???

As I continue to ponder this statement  knowing there are many things I can't go a day without thinking about, I'm pretty damn sure I should never give up on a few things.  1. My happiness  2. One day I will ride my bike across a finish line so big that it warrants raising both hands above my head.  3. Eventually Tom and I will move to a warmer/sunnier/mountainier climate and live happily ever after. 

And I can surely promise one thing....we are definitely living the dream.

Speaking of...this is the view I have this morning as I type:

Tom will probably kill me for posting another photo of his ass, but so it goes. You see that's Jeff Pearson on the left, the 500th Ironman finisher riding next to my cutes...these cats have Ironman Texas in just over 3 months. I'm not gonna lie, I really don't miss these long trainer rides.  Instead I'm fueling up on Cap'n Crunch and getter ready for Fat Bike Fest 2013 at Hillside Park.  What you can't see from the photo above it the nasty,rainy, snowy mess that's taking place outside.  Pretty sure someone had to make sure this one was epic. 

Monday, February 4, 2013

If you build it, he will come...

I can't believe it.  I just keep staring at it, I can't believe this is my bike,  it's MY Foundry brand new racing steed that weighs under 20 lbs.  Is this Heaven? 

I started dreaming about building this bike late last summer.  I love the black stealth look of the Foundry frames, they are super light and responsive.  And I love their slogan, "It's a tool, not a trophy."  You see these bikes aren't for show...they are meant to be ridden HARD.  And If you know anything about know I am  hard on bikes.  Well actually I'm pretty much hard on most things! But for real, this is my work of art... my Mona Lisa, my Eiffel's it just needs some dirt on it!

Well that was definitely the grand finale of a pretty decent weekend.  Since I was sick and coach banned me from all my weekend training/racing fun I decided to take advantage.  Instead of riding I spent the first half of Saturday drinking coffee; something I'm getting very good at. The thing is I'm no coffee snob, in fact I rarely discriminate, I just love the coffee experience, I can't even explain it.
My sat am coffeefest started out at the Angry Catfish watching the Elite Women's CX World Championships while also indulging in an amazing bloody courtesy of the Foundry gang.  Afterwards I met up with Tom, Lisa, Jeff and Christina at the Fireroast Cafe for more coffee and what I deem to be the worlds best breakfast sandwich!   Pretty sure It wasn't until 2 pm that I stopped drinking coffee.  Beautiful Day! 

Sunday I figured I had better do something after 11 hours of sleep and ventured alongside Tom's 10 mile run.  Turns out I can ride next to him and still be technically in my "recovery ride" zone.  So I lucked out and I got to stare at this fine ass for 75 minutes.

Then just as I was about to freeze my toes and fingers off we were distracted by the start of the Penn Cycle Fat Tire Loppet race that was going on...the race the non-sick version of me was supposed to be racing.  Some days your timing is just perfect  though and this was one of those moments as I was able to capture this awesome photo!

Friday, February 1, 2013

"STRAVA!! Coming through!"

I told you all about the gnarly downhill crash I had where I pretty much had no choice other than to t-bone the hell out of a random dude.  Well here is proof....caught on camera.  Huge thanks to Andy Gregg from Marquette Photo for capturing the moment!!!  this is probably the sweetest fat bike photo of all time!

This photo does an incredible job of displaying my kick ass 45NRTH Wolvhammer Boots which are super warm and toasty.  It's funny too cuz the dude I'm totally smashing is wearing the Lake boots.  The guys at 45NRTH totally loved it and ran with it creating a giveaway for the best caption!  as of the time fo this post there were 472 captions...all pretty hilarious and I'm not sure how you could pick just one. 
There are my top ten favs: 
  1. Landon Profaizer "I Love you honey, dinner's at six"
  2. Kurt Franke "So what if my jacket and rims DO match... at least I'm upright."
  3. Leslie Egenberger Constable "I'm totally gonna kick her ass now!"
  4. Greg Herold Should have been wearing wolvhammer boots!
  5. Jay Goude There's a fart down
  6. Michael Macone "Bob, I told you that you couldn't keep up with the girls, but, no, you had to come along anyway and ruin our fun".
  7. Kevin Hinton you just got "Greased "
  8. Andolina O'Lexey I'll see you at the Cinnabun, loser!
  9. Dan Funke Yardsale with a ramp.
  10. Bobby Ketchum "STRAVA!! Coming through!"
On a lame note I've caught a punk of a cold and I'm super crabby about it!  It's totally messing up my weekend plans to smash at the Fix Studio and also to do the Fat Tire Loppet.  "Momma said there'd be days like this."  So I have a lovely weekend of rest, recovery and no racing :(  But the good news is hopefully I can avoid getting bronchitis like I did last year when I tried to train through a cold like a dumbass.  2 weeks til Frozen 40, 4 weeks til Cuyuna Whiteout and only 6 weeks until Bonelli US Cup!!!!  Yikes!