Saturday, June 26, 2010

Nationals--the non-racing part.

This week has been all about the National Championships. But it's not a weeks worth of racing. Yes, we are in Bend for 8 days.
Yes, it is the Nationals
No, it is not 8 days of racing.

It is 3 days of racing, 2 days of travel, 1 day of "openers', and 2 days of recovery. What this all means is, we do a lot of stuff besides actual racing.

We do things like going to Trader Joe's to stock up on important things that we can't get at home.We hang out with new friends we make on the road and at our host house.
For me personally, it's been great family time since The Mom and Dad drove to Bend from Colorado to cheer my Team Vera Bradley Foundation teammates and me on in the races. Dang, they've taken good care of me! Thank you.
We make excuses like "it's good for recovery" to hang out in the river during off days.
And, we make good food with our new friends, host family and real family (we do a lot of eating too).
There's a lot of fun stuff to do outside of the actual racing (not pictured is- drink espresso from numerous coffee shops, meet up with old ski racing friends and enjoy seeing what Bend has to offer).

Tomorrow is the last day of racing here in Bend. The U.S. National Road Race. We start bright and early at 8:15am.

The first goal of the morning is to drink enough coffee to get things "moving" before the race.
The second goal of the morning is to be on the bike at 6:50am to ride to the start.
The third goal of the morning is to race.
The fourth goal of the morning....well I can't start planning goals beyond that until the first three have been completed.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Go time

June 24th
Bend, Oregon
2:42pm PST.

Think fast thoughts.
The game is on.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The waiting game

Let the waiting game begin. That's the game I will be playing the next few days. Actually, I have already started to play the waiting game. It started Sunday evening and will continue until Thursday afternoon.

Sunday-Wait around all afternoon for bed time. Racing for Nature Valley was over and we had nothing to do until Monday morning when it was time to fly to Bend, Oregon.

Monday-Due to waking up at 5:30am, I had to wait until 9:30 when we could leave for the airport. Wait for airplane. Wait for another airplane that would take us to Bend.

Tuesday-Wait, all day, for my bike to arrive so I can ride. I'm actually lucky my TT bike is arriving at all due to a car accident that involved my parents and a semi. So, with everything being said, I don't mind waiting at all.

What, you may be wondering, is all this waiting around for? US Nationals is this week in Bend. The Time Trial (TT) is on Thursday, Crit Friday evening and Road Race Sunday morning.

I have to wait around for two reasons-
1- it is impossible to fast forward to Thursday.
2- there's not much I can do as an athlete anymore. Hopefully, my hard work was done so now all I can do is perform on race day (thus I have to wait until Thursday to do my "performing").

So, for right now, I'll just keep waiting for my bike and my parents to arrive from Colorado.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Nature Valley Days #2, 3, 4, 5 and 6

Due to my laziness, this is the reader's digest version of the last 5 days of NVGP. I've had A LOT of spare time but nothing (in my mind) inspiring to write.

Day #2 was an early morning Time Trial followed by an evening crit. The TT went ok. I REALLY missed my TT bike though. I felt like I was cheating on it by racing a TT on my road bike. But rules are rules and road bikes were mandatory.
After hanging out ALL day, it was time to race again. The race was fast, furious, and a little bit dangerous. There were crashes everywhere including one that took me to the ground. After the race (no special results to report for Team VBF) we got taken out to dinner by a great friend, Marco. It was yummy and we were well fueled for the next day.
Teammate Kristin and I after dinner

Day #3 was to be a long, hopefully hard, road race. Early morning spin followed by chillen and fueling for the evening race. We went to the race arena early for a library visit. We talked to kids of all ages about riding and racing bikes. It was pretty fun. That was followed up by a coffee shop stop for espresso, fuel and team tactics.

We chamois-ed up, rode around, signed in and planted ourselves at the start line. 3 minutes later they announced the race was "called" due to bad weather and tornado warnings. Called? What the heck does that mean? We rode back to the car, got in and drove home. A whole lotta preparation for nothing. Race lost.

Day #4- 4 shots of espresso at 4pm and no race, made it challenging to sleep. So after sleeping in, we went for a morning spin. It was very nice to wake up to this view every morning from our host house.
We had another day to kill before an evening crit (but when you sleep in till 9am, the day goes faster). We drove to the crit, found awesome parking in the driveway of nice people who let us come in their house to use the bathroom, then raced. Again no special results to report (we need a sprinter!). Drove home, got rubs and went to bed.

Day #5 was the Me No Monie race. It was a new course this year and after all the crit racing it was a welcome relief to have a REAL hard road race. It was good. No special results but we tried.

One of the best parts of the race was getting there. We had heard rumor the traffic on the Interstate was very bad, so we drove on back roads to the start in Wisconsin. It was beautiful. We even got stuck behind a draw bridge.
The best part of the entire day, however, was my sandwich bowl our Swanny made for me. Being gluten free, I can't eat the bagels she makes them on, so I got a rice bowl with all the goodies. It was amazing.
Day #6-Stillwater "crit". Ouch. It's 50 minutes of pain and more pain. The result was less than stellar (I lost my GC position). I then had to go to USADA for anti-doping. Luckily, I don't have a problem producing a "sample" so I was outta there fast and back in the team van to drive back to our host house where, upon arriving, I sat in the van for another 10 minutes with the Ginger Ninjer. We were cooked (I did get another sandwich bowl so that made me happy).

Later were ribs, chips, potato salad and ice cream cake from our host parents. It was great.

I am finally feeling better after today's effort and am very much looking forward to flying to Bend, Oregon tomorrow. I'll get to see my parents who are driving from Colorado to cheer us on at Nationals at the end of the week.

The End.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Nature Valley Day #1

June. Minneapolis. Must be time for Nature Valley. 5 day stage race with 6 stages. Mostly crits and a lot of newbie girls. Final prep before Nationals in Bend.

After a good night sleep with Triple J and Puff, it was time for breakfast.
Next up was coffee (from sponsor Nossa Familia), and Puffins. Lucky for us, here at Team Vera Bradley Foundation, we have a new sponsor. Barbara's is providing us with the best cereal in the whole wide world; Puffins!!
At 10:30am it was time to ride to the Time Trial course to see what tomorrow morning's race will bring. Scenery along the way included a giant snow man.

On the way home, I took a picture of the snowman, Teammate Lauren, Host brother Coalton and Host Aunt Pat (they were our tour guides).
Right when we got home, we had an amazing presentation from Pat from Kinetic by Kurt trainers. They sponsor our team with bike trainers and it was fantasitc to learn about the company and how the trainers are made. WOW is all I have to say. Amazing (I'm glad we get to be sponsored by Kinetic).
Post presentation, rub and food was a dog walk. When I'm at home, I get to have several dog walks a day, so when I'm on the road, I miss walking the doggies. Lucky for me, our host house has Silver. I got to take her for a dog walk along the lake and all was good.

Now it's chill time. Racing starts tomorrow and we're pretty dang excited (except for the fact the race organizer here at NVGP banned time trial bikes).

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Home Times

Being at home for 3 weeks has been incredibly nice. I'm not sure the last time I was home for such a long stretch. Even in the winter time, I travel to ski races and to cool bike riding places. It has been a real treat.

I've been mtn biking.
I've been supervising strong men doing trail work.
I've been growing my cycling coaching business; ALP Cycles Coaching (check it out here).
And, I've been eating Puffins.

Looks like I'll be eating a lot more Puffins in the future as Barbara's is now a Sponsor of my cycling team Team Vera Bradley Foundation. YUM!

Home time is officially coming to and end as June is busy with racing. After being home, I'm ready to kick some ass.