Friday, December 31, 2010

More snow fun

Since I seem to not be adept at taken pictures of my own, I steal them; from my friends or from the Internet.

Today's pictures are from the Meriwether.  They are from yesterday's backcountry ski.

When we got to the top, you could see the trestles on Rollins Pass.  That was cool.
 Also on the top, this cool tree.  I didn't think it was that cool until The Meriwether sent us this picture.  This is my most favorite picture of the day.
Seems my favorite word of the day is cool.
Hopefully next ski day will be just as cool as yesterday's.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Old Stomping Grounds

Today, by surprise, I happened to find myself in my childhood neighborhood. I knew we were headed to Aurora, but it's a pretty big suburb.  What were the chances?

All of a sudden, by way of a new road, we were driving by my old middle school.  Then Utah Park, then on to my old house, followed by my elementary school.  Wow.  It was cool.  All the roads even had bike lanes (good job City of Aurora).

Needless to say, today has been a fun "tour of the memories".

Yes, Mom, my apple tree is quite big and looks healthy.  Yes, the plum tree is gone.  Actually, all bushes and shrubs are gone.  No more jumping off the roof into the snow covered bushes.  They took the basketball hoop down (why?)  The house next door is for sale.  My Elementary school doesn't look as big as it did when I was 7.  The playgrounds seem smaller.  The "long walk to school" isn't actually that long at all.  Everything looks different as a "grown up".


I'm happy to have lived there when I did, but I'm also happy to not live there anymore.  Each home builds different character and different memories.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Ski boots + snow = Fun?

It's been a long time since I've had fun skiing. I've tried my best to avoid it due to various reasons. Ski boots make my knee hurt, it's boring, I'm over sitting on the chair lift being cold, it's not a "workout", I need to ride my bike, it's boring, etc.
Other than standing on the side of the hill coaching kids, I have not really skied for several years.  No desire...at all.  Until recently. I kept being left at home while friends would go backcountry skiing.  They would come home with funny stories, tired bodies, and great pictures. I found myself wanting to be part of that.
So, it happened.  Thanks to "He Who Shall Not be Named on the Internet", I got all the necessary equipment needed for the backcountry and off we went.

 And DANG it was FUN!


 I laughed, I got an amazing workout (i.e. "training day"), and I had fun.  A lot of fun.

 Next time, along with my Dr. Vie SuperFoods bar, I'll need to bring my own flask.
Thanks Meriwether and Heyride for the photos!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

No quitting

This time of year, it helps to have a "ride goal" in mind because riding in December can be cold, lonely, and boring.

Yesterday, my ride goal was to ride to the town of Eldora to stalk a little border collie puppy I've heard about.  On my way there, I wanted to quit and turn around several times. After 6 weeks off the bike, not only is my fitness lacking, but a hour ride feels like forever to me right now.  But I kept on, knowing that the way home would be much faster than the ride there.

I made it to Eldora.  I never found the little puppy, but I did feel a huge since of accomplishment and I was proud of myself.  And, sure enough, what took me an hour to get there, mostly due to head wind and uphill pretty much the entire way, only took me 30 min to get back.

Ride accomplished, goal accomplished, guilt free couch time earned. 

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Ride Time

Looks like I'm going to have to find a new hobby.  You see, this week something weird has happened.  On Tuesday, after almost 6 weeks of injury, I started to ride my bike. This is not the weird part, but it is exciting. The weird part, it seems, are my taste buds.  Thursday night, I poured myself a small glass of wine to drink with dinner.  I took one sip of it and, ew, it tasted yucky.  Second sip, same.   Friday night, I poured myself one of my new favorite drinks, a Ten Fidy.  I couldn't finish it.  It didn't taste that good.  Weird.  Beers and bikes are supposed to go to together, aren't they?  Looks like not for me.



One a side note, yes, I have been riding. Not much, but a little bit. 4 days on the trainer this week (2 hrs total- I may have surpassed my winter trainer allotment).  Today, I rode outside.  I was wonderful.  I s'pose I'm back.





Tuesday, November 23, 2010

New Hobby

5 weeks and still no bike ride.  Not even close, actually.  So, without riding, I have a lot of free time on my hands.  Also without riding, it seems my body is not as intolerant to wheat as it once was.

Free time + not riding + not gluten free anymore = beer.

I have never liked beer.  Gluten free or not, I didn't like the taste of it.  Then something happened.  A couple months ago, we went on a cross bike ride and everyone had to drink beer at the top of each mountain.  By mountain 3, I was actually looking forward to the beer stop. 2 weeks later, post cross bike ride, I tasted the most wonderful thing ever (second only to espresso); Older Viscosity from Port Brewing Company.  I was hooked.  I couldn't believe there was actually beer that tasted like chocolate AND whiskey.  Problem was, Older Viscosity is quite expensive.  So, I had to find a beer I could drink and that wouldn't break the bank.  This quest, has turned into a new hobby.

What's the difference between a Stout and a Porter?
How many calories are in each kind of beer? (that matters as I am not riding right now and do not wish to weight 200 lbs)
How does tap differ from bottle or can?
What other beers taste good?

Though beer is not quite filling the void left by my bike, it is keeping me busy. This new hobby is time, money, and taste bud consuming, and though I don't drink beer everyday, it has me looking forward to happy hour.

Monday, November 15, 2010

New Experiences

Sometimes, when you least expect it, new experiences and new people come your way.  In these situations, people can do one of two things.
1- get nervous, and quickly try to make the situation more comfortable by doing "normal" things.
2- embrace the situation and be excited at the chance to try something new.

Such was the case for me on Friday and Saturday.
I got a call Friday evening from a man who had supposedly found my credit card.  I didn't even know it was missing and how did he get my phone number?
I looked around and sure enough, my card was gone. Weird.
So, I could do one of two things-
1- call my credit card company, cancel my card, hope the guy never calls me again, and call it good.
2- call the man back, meet him, get my card back, and hope he has not bought anything with it.

I chose #2...the more uncomfortable (for me) choice.
Turns out, I made the right choice.

We met at a coffee/tea place I NEVER go in Boulder, The Tea House.  I ordered something I had never tried (also uncomfortable for me), and I met a really nice man who had great stories to tell and made for nice conversation.  I got my card back, and made a new friend.  It was a great, though somewhat uncomfortable at times, experience.

The tea I ordered (a "display" tea), some kind of white jasmine tea, opened up and looked like a flower at the end.
Though interesting, it was quite good.

Because I've done it in my past two posts, here's a dang cute picture of The "Moe" Dog, Jackson.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Stalking

Here's a recent conversation I had-
"You've got to update your blog more often".
"Why?"
"Because I like to stalk you and know what you're doing".
"Oh. That's a little weird.  Plus, you know what I'm doing.  Nothing.  Healing."

Then I got to thinking about it.  I do it too.  I stalk a few people on their blogs.  I want to know what they're doing, what's going on in their life.  Weird. But true.

So, here's what I'm doing. 
I'm sitting at FasCat (where I work) drinking tea and hang'in out.  An hour ago, I ate lunch and watched a tri guy do a workout with O2.  Everyone needs supervision...
In 45min, I will go to Salon Salon for a hair cut with Renee.  That's followed by a few errands then home to hang with the doggies, make a fire, and chill some more.

Are you still interested?

So, stalk all you want.  I'm not doing much these days.  Coaching, chilling, healing, stuff.  I'm pretty happy and that's all that matters.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Everything Happens for a Reason

My Dad once told me, "everything happens for a reason".  At the time, I thought that was the stupidest advice ever.  Why in the world would God or "whoever" break my ankle and not let me to go Nationals?  That's totally dumb...  But I never forgot that advice, and over the years, I also have come to believe 100% that everything does happen for a reason.

I look back on things that have happened in my life and almost always the good things happen after a bad thing.  No matter how bad the bad thing was (broken ankle, surgery, no Nationals) something good came from it (more motivation for the next season, kick ass, make the US Ski Team).

Being a believer of the "everything happens for a reason" philosophy, makes the bad things much more tolerable, because sometime in the future, either near or far, something good will come of it.

Such is the case with my current situation.  Status- still injured with pain in my Achilles.  It all started with a small tear in the tendon and I made it worse by continuing to ride and walk around.

I gave myself a week of rest to heal, then tried to ride again.  I couldn't even make it 10 minutes without pain. Shit.  The CX season was finally beginning to ramp up and I really wanted to race. I had told all my sponsors I was going to race and there was no way I'd be able to race.  My body was simply saying "NO".  So, after a few days of thinking about it and talking to others, I decided to "pull the plug" on the CX season and focus on getting better.  Right away a big weight lifted from my shoulders and I instantly felt better.  I was tired, I was tired of traveling and I was tired of riding hard.  I needed a break and injuring my Achilles was my body's way of giving me a break.

Now, I can rest, heal, and enjoy being at home.  I used to take 4 weeks off every October.  I wouldn't ride my bike and I'd eat and drink whatever I wanted to, guilt free.  It felt good to have a "free" month to do or not do whatever I wanted.  For the past two years, I have not had that break. Between racing CX, coaching, and general enjoyment of my bike, I have not taken the time off that I have needed.

Everything happens for a reason.  It took injuring my Achilles to realize that I'm tired, I'm unmotivated for racing and I need a break.  I have to admit, I'm extremely relieved to have guilt free time off. Yes, I'd like to ride or hike or take the dogs for a walk, but mostly because I feel like I'm getting fat after two weeks of doing nothing, not because I am ready to "train".

Everything happens for a reason.  I've gotten to know our FasCat PT, Ann Trombley, and I really think of her as a friend now. I've gotten to experience Acupuncture, which is a blog post all in it's own, and I'm actually looking forward to Nordic skiing.

I really hope my Ahcilles heals soon, but I'm not stressing about it.  When my body is ready, it'll come.
For now, I'll enjoy Jackson the Moe Dog's company as he keeps my knee warmer, that I use for icing, safe.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Healing

I arrived from North Carolina to two things.
1.)- Cold weather, snow and wind.  It's a bit of a shock to go from high 70's to mid 20's and snow.  But that's what I love about Colorado so much.  One day it's 20 degrees and snowing sideways and the next day is 70 degrees and sunny.
 2.)- a Bona Fied Achilles injury. It is official. I hurt my Achilles tendon pretty badly while I was in North Carolina.  Riding through (during) the pain only made it worse and I have not been on my bike in more than a week.

Instead of riding, I have been healing.  I had PT three times this past week and my bag of frozen peas is my new best friend.  I'm trying to heal because I hate being injured and I hate not being able to ride my bike.  Fortunately, I have been injured several time during my athletic career, so I have a good idea of what the "healing process" involves.

So, I've been at home or at FasCat Coaching, where I now work.  If I can't ride my bike, I might as well be happy in helping others ride their bike faster.

This is Lucy Dog.  While at home, she helps me heal.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

What's going on?

I'll tell you what's going on.  I've been in Charlotte for the past 10 days.  It's been really good and fun and interesting and now it's time to go home.

I've been staying with my friend and teammate Robin.  She is an amazing and she has the most energy I have ever seen a person have.  I get tired watching her.

This entire week has been filled with riding bikes, getting ready for our Fall Cycling Camp in Asheville, spending time with cool people, and general "stuff".  It's been so much fun that somehow I managed to injure my left Achilles tendon.  Ouchy, it hurts and the worst part of it was the fact I couldn't ride in a 3 day cycling camp I was helping to put on.

"Come ride with Alison Powers and she'll cheer you on from the sag car".  Oh well.  Shit happens and at least I can be somewhat of a good role model of what to do when injured.  Stop, rest, ice and take care of yourself.

Here are some of the views I got while riding in the car today-

Home tomorrow!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Lucky-Unlucky

-Arrive to the airport on time, with plenty of time to get to the gate- lucky
-Delta agent tells me it's going to cost me $200 (the same as a bike) for my "baby jogger"-  unlucky
-Give nice Delta agent agent my credit card and get charged "only" $100- lucky
-Walk to security line and see it's REALLY long, walk to other security line and see it's longer- unlucky
-Walk around in circles trying to decide which security line to go to- a waste of time
-Wait in line, cut line, hurry to x-ray-er, put bags on belt, and get told I have some "sort of tube of cream" that needs to be taken out of my bag next time. Realize it's sunscreen AND chamois cream AND the nice TSA agent didn't take it out of my bag and throw it away- lucky
-Run like hell to gate and miss flight by 4 minutes- unlucky
-Already booked on a new flight later in the day- lucky
-Surprise my Dad at his gate when he flies in an hour later- happy
-Hang out with Dad in the red carpet club and load up on snacks- lucky
-Fly to Charlotte where my "baby stroller" is waiting for me and dinner is ready- lucky

Friday, October 8, 2010

Hunger

What does exercising three times a day do to you?  It makes you hungry.  Here's what you should eat (in my opinion).

video

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Group Ride- steel*wool style

Normally, I'm not much for group rides.  I don't really like them.  Riding with a bunch of people with varying  fitness levels, for the most part, annoys me.

However, riding with a few fun, skilled riders, I really enjoy.  This type of riding makes me happy, tired and I look forward to it every Wednesday. With the steel*wool ride,  I have found the perfect ride and the perfect ride buddies.  This past Wednesday, was especially great.

Before we ended our ride in the dark, our "training" grounds were bright with changing Aspen. Though I was constantly dropped (I was just enjoying the scenery more than the others), I enjoyed every minute of it.
The steel*wool "creators", Whit and JH, are the most skilled riders I have ever seen.  Give either a bike, any bike and they will amaze you with skillz.
Singlespeeds, singletrack, changing leaves, flat tires, pizza, beer, biryani, and laughs.  A lot of laughing (especially when JH endo-ed going less than 1 mph).
It's fun.  Bring on next Wednesday.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Part 3

Part 1- Vegas
Part 2- Kittery
Part 3- Boston

I arrived in Boston, put on my  chamois, and rode to the coffee shop where we were to meet some of the Harvard Cycling Team members.

After an espresso, I was ready to be the fearless leader of our "cycling skills" ride.  We worked on riding in the "pack", cornering, and sprinting.  It was a solid couple of hours riding and after we hung out and ate lunch together. It was a very enjoyable afternoon.


 My race buddy and "host Mom", Anna, made this for dinner for us. Dang...it was really good.
Woke up Sunday morning, and walked.  For a long way.  It's amazing the motivation a good coffee shop inspires in people.  I needed espresso, good espresso, and the coffee shop, Diesel, was a good excuse to hang out with teammates, friends and coffee.

Sunday afternoon was race time.  TD Bank Mayor's Cup Crit.  You can read all about it here-.
The race was followed by packing, eating, and getting a great walking tour of the Harvard Campus-thanks Anna!

The highlight of Monday was taking the Subway, all by myself, to the airport.
I was successful.  I made my flight, flew, caught the bus and was pretty much home.

I'd say the 3-part trip went well.
Until next time.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

From Vegas to Kittery

It's quite a contrast going from Las Vegas to Kittery Maine, but it's all part of the 3-part trip I am currently participating in.  Each part includes a stay of ~1.5 days, a bike, different kinds of transportation and cool people.

Part 1- Vegas. I got there. Rented a car. Drove around the strip.
 
 I visited sponsors at Interbike and saw this sweet picture of me at the Specialized booth.  This picture is cool and makes me happy.
 That night was Cross Vegas.  We raced under a full(ish) moon.
Despite crashing into the stairs during warm-up... I had a fun time, raced pretty well (8th), and earned an extra $5 thanks to the beer can "reach-down-and-grab-$-while-I-take-your-picture" grab...  You can read more about the race and see pictures on halfwheel.com.
 The next day, my lip injury (due to crashing during warm up) was starting to look like a nice mustache.
 7 hours post Cross Vegas, I was up and driving to back to the airport to fly to Boston where my road bike and my Aunt were patiently awaiting my arrival for part 2 of the trip.  I arrived, got on a bus, then into a car and several hours later the contrast from Vegas to Kittery had been made.

The next day, I had a nice ride along the NH coast, spent time with family and ended the day with lobster and ice cream (though  not mixed together).
 This morning was a walk with the "Powers Ladies" (my three Aunts), then a car ride to Boston where Part 3 of the trip begins.
Part 3 includes a ride/clinic with the Harvard Cycling team, a BIG $$ Crit race, and a flight back home to Colorado. 1.5 days left...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Vegas day 1- Quotes of the day

Yesterday marked the first trip of my own little Cyclocross team, Team ALP Cycles Specialized. I was a little overwhelmed making this trip alone so instead of thinking about everything that had to happen between home and my Vegas host house, I broke it down into pieces.

#1- drive to the airport and get on plane. Check
#2- get rental car. Check. This is where the first interesting quote of the day happened.  After waiting in the amusement park style line for the rental car shuttle, I then arrived and waited in the Thrifty line.  I finally got to the nice lady who helped me get my mini van.  After talking to me, she said, "you look like a baby. You're so wide eyed and innocent looking. You look like a baby". Ok, that's great...
#3- get bike and skin suit. Check. This included driving, parking, and getting into the Sands to get my bike that the nice people from Rocky Mounts drove from Colorado for me, finding my Pactimo friends, and meeting up with the lady from Rolf Prima who had my "show pass".  Interesting quotes 2 and 3 came  from here.  As I was carrying my boxed bike and leaving the Interbike show, I saw a floor pump that I desperately needed to use. I asked the man standing next to the pump if I could use it.  That lead him to asking, "is that your bike in that box?" Yes. "Is that why your body's so nice?". Oh, um, thanks.  I guess so. I do ride my bike a lot.
With tires pumped, and ego big, I leave the Sands just to be stopped by a security guard. "Is that an empty box?" No. It has my bike in it. "I need you to fill out this paperwork". Ok. Security guard promptly starts feeling himself and every pocket. "I got no pen". Feels every pocket again. "I got no pen.  You got a pen?" No. "Well we need a pen and I got no pen".  Long story short, I got to carry my boxed bike all across everywhere (my biceps are sore today) to find a pen and then to finally leave the Sands and get back to the car.
#4- get to host house. Check. (that was easy and right by the Cross Vegas course)
#5- put together bike and race wheels. Check. (Also easy)
#6- ride cross course. Check (that wasn't so easy. That course is going to be hard).

All in all, it was a good day.  Things went pretty smoothly and I'm happy to be here.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Stuff

First of all...you've got to check out www.halfwheel.com - there is a lot of fun stuff going on and you can be involved too!  It's goona be big!!

The past two weeks have been busy but really nice.  Home is the best (and it's where my heart is).
First, was the giant fire outside of Boulder. Here's a nice view of the smoke.  Yes, that is smoke and not a cloud.
The fire resulted in this; for many, many miles.

The Aspen are changing and it's been really beautiful.
I've been kept "in check" with the steel*wool rides every Wednesday in Ned.  Those guys are though and they make me feel like a bit of a sissy.  But when the sun sets, the riding is the best and the scenery is even better.

The last of the humming birds are keeping me entertained.
To me, fall is not only the best season of the year, it is the best time to ride bikes (even though it means the snow is coming).

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Been wondering?

You been wondering what I've been up to??
Short answer- busy.
Medium answer- getting ready to put on my first CX clinic
Long (and much more interesting answer)- Click here.

Monday, August 30, 2010

The past two weeks- in pictures

Post Charlotte and Chicago, Josh and I went to Crested Butte for a week of singletrack and vacation. It was amazing.

The first day, we got hailed on. After being in the heat and humidity for two weeks, I actually liked the hail, the cold, and the rain that followed.Snack time on 403.
Everyday, for 6 days, we rode something cool like this (can't remember what trail this was).
Now home from Crested Butte, it has been time to catch up, work on continuing to grow my coaching business (ALP Cycles Coaching), take time off the bike, and spend some time with two of Gilpin County's finest.
The cops saved the day (don't worry, everyone and everything is ok- more precautionary than anything), and I got to ask a question I have always wondered; can Gilpin County cops pull you over for speeding in Boulder County? (yes they can, whether they want to go through the hassle or not is up to them)

Up next is CX time. Cyclocross season is coming up fast, and I'm getting excited!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

CX Skills Camp


Interested in racing Cyclocross (CX) but not sure where to begin? Join me (Alison Powers) and ALP Cycles Coaching in Fraser, Colorado for the Introduction to Cyclocross camp. *Come one day or come both days*

CX is a challenging sport as it combines the fitness and tactics to road racing with the bike handling skills of mtn biking. Riders who want to be successful (and have fun) in CX need to be proficient at both and this "green level" camp will teach you the basics to enjoy your progression as a CX rider.

Skills to be covered are-
  • mounts and dismounts
  • cornering
  • barriers
  • basic bike handling
  • starts
  • race day strategy
Whats included-
  • lunch, snacks, goodie giveaways
  • small group, "hands on" coaching
  • professional bike fit (add $50-paid upon registration)
Camp Price-
  • $80 per day or $150 for both (register by Sept 1)
  • $100 per day or $180 for both (register by Sept 8)
  • no day of registration
  • all riders must have a USAC license. Unlicensed riders can purchase a one day license for an additional $5.
Registration-
  • This camp is designed to be a small group learning environment, so call now to reserve your space as it will fill up quickly.
Contact-
  • Alison Powers
  • 303-501-7890 or ap.alpcyclescoaching@gmail.com

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Quick Fix

Post Charlotte, was a quick trip to Chicago for the Glencoe Grand Prix. On tap was a visit to a Vera Bradley store, a press conference, a skills clinic and of course, a race.

Toni and Lauren at the Vera Bradley store
The store visit, press conference, and skills clinic all went well. All that was left on the list was to race. All was good until 35 minutes before the start when I found this crack on the top tube of my bike.
Houston, we have a problem.

Not to worry, the amazing guys from SRAM, Jose and Ed, where there to save the day. A quick switch of seat posts, cranks, pedals and a shorter stem made it so I was good to go-with time to spare.
The trip ended well. The race was fun, bike was awesome, and team rode well. Now, it's time for home.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Charlotte Fun

A few weeks ago, I blogged about the fact that bike racing isn't all about the racing. I said something like the actual racing part is a small section of each day and we don't race every day. The rest of the time can be filled any way you like. Well, for the past 4 days we've been filling our time any way we like.

Mornings, of course, are filled with biking riding. Tony, Toni, Tone is always the first one ready and is always waiting for us.
We make the rides enjoyable by either attacking each other, sprinting for city limit signs or riding to neat places-such as we did today to the National Whitewater Center.
Two of the 4 days, have involved us getting our asses kicked by Robin's trainer, Laura. Ouch, I'm still sore. Day 1 was Arms and Day 2 was Core. We're smiling in this picture, but really we hate her. :) If you're in Charlotte and need a workout look up 1-ON-1 Fitness Training.
We've filled our afternoons with internetting, grocery store going, hanging out, or playing Foosball. Robin beat Toni, I beat Toni, Robin beat me. Quote of the game, "I hate losing to Powers!"
Evenings have been really nice. We have cooked dinner together (mostly Toni cooks for us), and gone to friends' homes for dinner. Yesterday was a trip to the Trip for Kids Re-cyclery.
That place is awesome. Pretty much, they help spread the love of bikes to kids who wouldn't usually get a chance to ride a bike. Not only do they get to ride bikes, they get to learn about bikes too. It's cool. Trips for Kids
This week in Charlotte has made Tony, Toni, Tone and I very happy.