Sunday, July 27, 2008

Carson Valley Classic: District Criterium Championship

The bellas-- Andrea, April, Soni and I came out to play in the smoke in Minden, Nevada. My new 35+ is a fast masters category. There weren't even any 30+ that showed up. We attacked, sprinted for primes. I tried to position my teammates and keep them out of the wind. April won a prime-- she has really raced her way into superb shape this year. She did a lot of work. It was hard to breathe. Taitt beat up on us a little. I narrowly avoided a solo crash in turn one. It was a good race. I love working for my team and hoped I could help them a little more than I did. I ended up 10th place. Andrea rode really well and ended up 6th! :)

The highlight-- seeing Soni get 1st! in the 40+ and seeing Jeff win after that bad crash last year.

I like my horoscope today:
July 27, 2008
TaurusTaurus (4/20-5/20)

Experience is what you get when you don't get what you want. So if you are upset that you recently failed to attain a goal, don't dwell on it as a failure. Try to see it as a lesson, not as a waste of time. You are taking away something very valuable from this endeavor. Use it to carry your forward. You've got other goals to pursue, so switch your focus to those and choose to believe that you will attain them. Just because you missed last time does not mean you will fail again.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Eppie's Great Race 2008

Saturday, July 19th, 2008

Eppie's isn't your average triathlon, but it's a heck of a lot of fun. It includes a 5.82 miles run, 12.5 mile bike ride on the American River Bike Trail, and 6.5 mile paddle down the American River benefiting Sacramento County Therapeutic Recreation Services. Everyone from the most hardcore athlete down to your neighbor next door who has a bike or kayak competes. This year there were over a thousand teams, with over 2000 people competing in team, iron-person, corporate, fire/police, kids and adaptive divisions. It's a big deal here in Sac Town.

This was my second year sponsored by California Canoe and Kayak. Last year we won the open women's division and wanted to defend our title. This year we added a new fast runner, Karen Jeffers, to our already strong team. I had great faith in our paddler Elaine Baden, who is one of the best female open water paddlers in the Bay Area.

2007 Podium

I touched bases with Karen in the morning about 7:00 and warmed up on the way down to Sac State were the bikes were staged. I know the bike trail like the back of my hand, so I knew exactly what was coming. I chatted with Linda Elgart and some other River Ride peeps, until we heard the news helicopter coming. My heart rate jumped up to 100 bpm and palms started to sweat, even though I knew it would take a while for Karen to get to me. The fastest runners started coming down for hand-offs and Karen was one of the first women in. They told her to go down the wrong chute, but she lept like a gazelle over the barrier and pushed me off in my ungraceful not-a-triathlete-or-cross-racer mount.

Karen of the River City Rebels

Thank God I started doing intervals over the Winter, so I knew a little better how to pace my self. I did some 2x20's, so I figured this would only be about 10 more minutes of pain. Unlike most time trials, you are allowed to draft and I quickly hooked up with some serious triathletes in full aero gear (unlike myself). They were flying along between 24-27 mph. I could only hang with that for so long, and popped off near a footbridge over the river. I blew a kiss to the parents when I passed and settled into my pace. My fast friend Suz caught me and we traded drafts for a bit. She flatted and I was solo again in the pain cave. I averaged 236 watts/174 bpm heart rate, which I was really happy about, knowing that I that's about where my threshold is. I averaged about 22mph-- about the same as last year.

I reached the Kayak point and handed my bike off to a volunteer, running down towards the river in my look cleats, ack! I was hoping not to fall flat on my face in front of the hundreds of spectators. Elaine was easy to spot in her Dalmatian Ear helmet. I breathed a sigh of relief and ride back with a group of cycling buddies to the finish.

I got back to the finish just in time to see Elaine come in. Our team was interviewed by the local news and we dedicated our finish to my Dad, who went through heart bypass surgery in March and is turning 65 on the 24th. I made it in a little sound byte that made it sound like I trained 20 hours a week just for Eppie's (not). Oh my... let's just hope they don't repeat that one over and over.

The Results?:

1st Overall Open Women's
Karen Jeffers, Katie Norton (Velo Bella) and Elaine Baden
Time- 1:52 (very few teams made it under 2:00)
26th overall out of over a 1000 teams

The second team of much younger women (we are all 35+) came in 23 minutes behind us! We smoked' em! Tee hee! My boyfriend Dino also hit the podium again with a 3rd place on the Co-ed team division. I'm hooked and if the sponsorship holds I'll be there again next year.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

August Races?

Now What?
When I look at the race calendar, I think about the following things: How far away is it? How much energy do I have? Will I have any teammates there? Will I get my butt kicked? I'm trying to figure out where I want to go from here this season.

At this point, I feel like I have learned a lot this year. I don't feel to hung up on doing any one race. I don't feel too disheartened after my DNF on the Terrible Two (I found out that only 140/250 people finished), but it made me want to focus on a new direction of sprinting instead of hill climbing. I have lots of base miles to keep going strong. Points racing on Tuesdays at the track has kept things fresh and fun.

Possible Races:

Carrera de San Rafael 8/9-- It's the Saturday after we get back from camping, if we haven't ridden our legs off! 1:35 min drive in the evening. W 3/4 race at 2:45 and W 1/2/3 race at 6:50. Lots of cash and prizes. Not in the Cal Cup It's the same day as Patterson Pass. I've never done it before.

The Esparto TT (W 1/2/3) is the next day. Esparto was a fun experience last year and I'd like to get more chances to TT in the future. I don't think I'll do that well. I could pick either the Carrera or Esparto. Right now I feel like the Carrera is more where I'm at since I've done the points races. Cal Cup Race.

Dunnigan Hills Road Race 8/16. I'd like to keep the energy level up for the next day, but this course isn't too too demanding. Long flat rollers. I'm not sure what categories they are offering right now. Last year I think they had seperate women's categories. I got 3rd place in the W4's last year. Nice and close to home. Cal Cup Race.

Suisuin Crit 8/17 (W 1/2/3)-- Back in the saddle for this baby! Last time I got dropped on the first lap as an unattatched 4 who was having trouble getting in her cleats. It was an open women's field in the Cal Cup. Doh! It will be nice to hang with that one. Cal Cup Race.

Winters Road Race 8/31 -- A fun course close to home on familiar roads. It was my first road race back in 2005 and I had a great time. Rollers and one short power climb/ technical descent. I would get to say hello to Kyle's Camel. Cal Cup Race.

Help Me Decide? What races do you consider fun? What do you think of the Carerra? To TT or not to TT?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Tour De France Commercials
For those of us without a DVR, we get the pleasure of watching the same commercials over and over again. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad the tour has sponsorship. What I've determined:

1. My beer and my life should have more than one dimension.
2. It's never too late to set yourself straight.
3. You can take energy from exhaust and recycle it.
4. Repetition does not equal joy.

Tuesday Points Racing
Every week has been more fun! Great camaraderie and learning from the pros. Larry Nolan does a great job running things, teaching and keeping it fun. I feel like I've turned a corner and have figured out how to get up on top of the gear and sprint. We did three 30 lap races, sprinting every six laps with a few brownie primes thrown in. I attacked a few times and got some points, which is better than my past performance. At the end of the last race, I knew I was cooked and outgunned by the juniors and Kelly of Proman, so I attacked with three to go. Beth, my bella teammate, used this to her advantage and attacked after me and won 1st (I think she won two of the Cs points races for the night). Go team! Go Beth.

Monday, July 7, 2008


This cute little email popped into my in-box earlier today... when it's purple, meaning VERY UNHEALTHY, and 111 degrees in my back yard I have to listen to reason (especially with asthma). Sigh... it feels like rain days in the winter. I'll have to vent my frustrations on the track tomorrow.

The high particulate matter 2.5 forecast for today and tomorrow is due to smoke from wildfires and is focused primarily on high readings in Placer County .

Sacramento Regional PM2.5 Forecast

Monday, Jul 7: 205 AQI - Very Unhealthy (PM2.5)

One happy cyclist again...

What have I been doing since the Terrible Two?

1. The Monday Night River Ride--
Pain, suffering, wind and camaraderie. Who will be the next king or queen of the freeway overpass?

2. Tuesday Points Racing at Hellyer Velodrome-
"As long as I breath, I attack." Bernard Hinault

Four bellas + cookie primes + repeated attacks = the team wins (Erika)! It's really hard to have more fun on the bike. Friday night racing is sponsored by the team. The Beergarten Beladrome! Dino smashed the B's race by lapping the field and earning 46 points.

3. Davis 4th of July Criterium--
"If you brake, you don't win." Mario Cipollini

I decided to race with the 3/4s considering the pro field signed up. It was fast, competitive and surprisingly safe. No crashes in our field. Last time there were four (with myself involved). I was nervous and let gaps build in the corners, but once I started spinning and relaxed, it was more fun. April and I finished mid-pack. I met my goal of just doing it again and keeping the rubber to the road.

4. The Saturday River Ride--
The boys were tired after racing on Friday, so there were some unusual breaks in the speed. No one was too froggy. I kept up just fine.

Racey! Racey! Yeah baby (ala Austin Powers).