Monday, 29 August 2011

What am I getting myself into!!!!

Nose is healing good!!! Scar isn't too bad, and I don't think I'm going to loose the end of my nose...though I did cut through all the nerves and I can't feel the right side of my nose, very weird feeling! I've been back swimming, and good thing too, the big Xterra race is this weekend...YIKES!!!

My big goal is not to embarrass myself, by doing something like drowning in Alta Lake. Though I think the wetsuit will save me there, hopefully I don't trip trying to get out of it...or, oh my...haha, could be very exciting. The swim is 1500m, which I'm hoping will take me less then a half hour. It's hard to make a goal because I haven't swam that long continuously yet, but I think that's a safe goal.

The bike is 30 km...yippee, and it sounds like it's going to be really technical. PHEW!!! May be able to make up some time there....probably not much on Mel McQuaid, she's a beast I tell you!! And incredibly strong!! I have been told that the main route for the bike is on the trail "River Runs Through It", which is a slow, twisty singletrack with a number of bridges and low stunts...good thing I'm turning into a west coast rider.

The run is 12 km (why the extra 3 km from last year I really don't know...and I don't know that I like that!!!). I've been slowly upping my running, but I know it's going to be painful regardless at the end. Running and cycling muscles are completely different and my running years are very far in my past, hopefully there's some running muscle memory left in me. My first goal for the run was an hour, but after a couple of runs, I'm think more like an 1:15 would be realistic!! Regan, you're going to have to carry me back to the truck!!!!!

And now I've gone and signed up for Cross Vegas for Sept 14...yipppeeee. Nothing like a Wednesday night cross race, the biggest cross race in North America, to start off the season!!!! Then I'll fly right to Seattle where I'm hoping I can get Regan to pick me up at the airport so we can go do StarCrossed and the new Rapha Focus GrandPrix on the weekend!! Can't believe it's already that time of year again....Here we go again! Busy, busy, busy...I'm looking for a job for the fall too, yuck.

Thursday, 25 August 2011


Nothing like a nice little mid-week ride up and over to Duncan and home with Mel McQuaid. That's the first 5 hour road ride for me for the year! Yup, not ashamed to admit I sat in Mel's draft as much as possible while she hammered out her intervals on her spacey looking TT bike.

Today I'm going to get back in the water, I think my nose is good enough to go (maybe not in the lake yet). And, yipppee....getting my stitches out!!!

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Xterra Training

All recovered from the TR3, and feeling strong. I have to say that stage racing is the best training ever for me, I always seem to come out really strong afterwards, especially if I manage to keep myself healthy. And it looks like I finished up just in time!! The second half of the Transrockies had more of the typical rain (though not nearly as bad as the last two years) that makes the clay really slick....yes, I weenied out this year, and I'm okay with that.

Huge thanks to the guys at Trek Pro City for hosting the ladies night at the shop on tuesday. Nothing says a great night out like a chocolate fountain (ya, and Bill gave me the chocolate to melt...that's dangerous), cheese and crackers, wine and manicures!!! Ya, that's right first one and I love the hot red nails.

Xterra training is going great, 2 weeks to go and I'm excited, very nervous, but really excited to give this a go....and Whistler is always a really fun venue. Thanks to one of the many great Pro City Sistas I have my very own super spacey wetsuit that is going to make me super fast (well hopefully not last) in the water!!! Along with a couple really good runs (with blackberry picking detours) and rides I'm feeling really strong for this time of year...

Friday I had a bit of a set back......a very painful and scary set back. Hanging up my bike in the bike room, rear wheel up on the wall, I manage to hit the big heavy glass ceiling light cover and smash it. It happened really fast, and didn't feel a thing, but next thing I know I have blood spurting out the side of my nose and all down the front of me. I'm usually pretty calm, and blood really doesn't upset me too much, but I panicked when I saw myself in the mirror. Calling Regan, cause I know I can't drive myself to the hospital, I end up freaking him out so bad that he calls the ambulance for me....yippee, another trip to the hospital. The glass was so heavy that it actually managed to slice right through the cartilage, but was stopped by the thick cartilage that separates my left and right nostrils...sorry, I know it's gross. You know it's a little serious when they get you in right away...I think that was my fastest hospital visit ever. 7 stitches in my nose, and 3 in my temple (didn't even know that I'd cut myself there) to add to my overall count.

Regan wrote me instructions for my ride :)

But I really am lucky not to have hit my eyes!! After a day off yesterday (the nicest day of the year!) I set up the trainer today to make sure I didn't end up blowing a stitch and watched good ole Transformers....that's a great movie for trainer riding. Couple more days of easy then back at it. Hopefully I get some feeling back in my nose!!

Friday, 12 August 2011

Awesome pictures from the awesome photographer John Gibson !!!!

Day 3

For those who say, Day 3 couldn't have been that hard!!! HA!!! I say, here's the course profile!!!!!

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

I love this race!

Okay I know I missed a day..... But I was so gooned yesterday I could barely walk straight!!!  I'm uber pooped after todays stage so this is just a quicky.

Yesterday, Day 2 of the Transrockies was one of the harder days of racing. Almost 2 hours of steady climbing is definitely not my forte, I think they need a Clydesdale category !!  I was able to keep Mel McQuaid and Catherine Vipond within sight up till the first feed zone, but I cracked pretty hard here and found myself barely moving over the rolling doubletrack and mossy slow singletrack to the summit of Porky Blue.

Porky Blue is this gnarly fast steep switchbacked descent where you loose over a 1000m elevation in something ridiculous like about boiling brakes!!  From the top of Porky to the finish I was in no mans kinda funny how you start to loose focus when you're 2+ hours in and buy yourself....and it's kinda lonely.  Missed my mule (Jeff Neilson) from the past two years.

Finishing 3rd behind Catherine who stomped the day, and Mel who also had an awesome ride, I lost my pink jersey to Catherine. 

So enter day 3 of the TR3 and I have just over 2 mins ahead of me to Catherine and 2 mins behind me to Mel.... Day 3 was a battle from the get go.  Course profile for this stage is pretty nasty with 5 major very steep climbs, a couple of which have 2 summits, and 4 long fast and technical descents.....oh ya, and 90% singletrack, this was one of the best stages ever....and killer hard. 

It was a slow climbing day, spending most of my time in my easiest gear, sometimes barely even turning the pedals over.  But each and every downhill was more then worth it!!!  So fast, so long and so technical (thank you Troy soooo much for letting me use your dually, I would have been suffering a lot more on my I'm soft!!!) each trip back down the mountain left me giggling like a school girl. 

The last climb up to Island Lake Lodge wasn't the most enjoyable way to finish the stage, haha.  Leaving the gravel road at the bottom we entered an old rail grade trail that was just littered with huge roots, making the riding very rough and slow.  Thump thump thump Ouch!!  Popping back out to the gravel road for a little reprieve, we finish the final stretch up a steep, seemingly never-ending grass  climb. I was moving so slow at this point under the baking sun that the black flies had a royal feast of me.  My biggest thanks ever to Crazy Larry for his motivating yelling that helped me get up the final stretch!  

I had a great ride and was able to grab back the pink jersey!!! Jean Ann had a great day and I could feel her breathing down my neck all day.  Mel unfortunately missed a corner and went off course, it would have been incredibly hard riding with her up those climbs!!!!

My fourth TR was a success and yes, I will likely be back next year!  Thanks momma and poppa for the great support as usual.  Thanks to the girls for pushing me hard for three great days. And a huge thanks to entire Transrockies crew for hosting a great event yet again (and for the great weather this year....finally!)

One month to get myself in shape for the Xterra in Whistler...yikes. 

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Sweet Singletrack in Fernie!!!

I can't believe it's that time of year again already!! Transrockies!  Yippee.  I've opted for the TR3 this year instead of the full seven days of riding.....which I'm actually kinda sad about because the course in the Kananaskis uses all the best trails!!!  TR3 this year is all on the super duper awesome trails of Fernie!!!  Oh how I love Fernie riding:)

After a big mint chocolate chip ice cream with my old TR and BCBR partner and his wife last night, and a delicious organic supper with my folks, I was stoked and feeling good!!  Day 1 was a 32km (my gps says 34km) TT with 1 min gaps.  Based on UCI points Catherine Vipond started ahead of me and Jean Ann Berkenpas behind me....and Mel McQuaid somewhere in the mix behind her.  400m out of the gate I heard the train blowing it's whistle as is rolled through town and right over the course .... Uggh.  Thankfully they let me start again and reset my time,  but now Catherine had a 6 min gap on me...outta sight outta mind.

I had a great start, feeling strong climbing up the first hill,  yup starts are my forte.  Up over the first climb, crossing a chunck of road about 10 mins in I go to shift into a harder gear in the back ..... And nothing.  Ahhhhhh what the????  It's like the shifter is empty, pushing all the way through the lever but nothing is engaging. Big double BOOOOOOO.  Stopping quickly I can't find anything jamming the derailluer, so I give a little sob and a swear and come to terms quickly with the fact that I'm running a really expensive two speed for the next 30 km.  Thankfully the my big ring is only a 38 tooth (which is pretty small) so I'm able to use my big ring a lot.  

I'm stuck in the second easiest gear in the rear, so glad it's not one of the harder gears or that first climb would have double sucked.  Long uber steep grind of a climb, almost 500 m in about 2 km.....ouch.

As I crest the mountain I switch to big ring and I loved the super fast steep technical descent....didn't even need to pedal for most of it.

Through the feed zone, thanks poppa for riding out to give me a feed, the up into the second half of the course.  This half is a lot more rolling and fast, with some short hard steep climbs and fast open sections.  I was definitely hating my gearing on the flat to slightly downhill road section!!!  Haha it's probably the only time you'll ever hear me wish for a climb.  Spin spin spin tuck spin spin spin tuck.  I was looking over my shoulder the whole way running scared.

Looking at the profile, the majority of the run back into the finish was predominately downhill, and this spin spin spin thing was just wearing me out.  By tightening the cable on the barrel adjuster I was able to get my chain to stay in the fourth gear in the back.  Once I got it there I didn't want to risk changing gears again so I was really suffering on a couple of those final climbs haha.  Regardless of the gearing these trails are incredible!!!!  And way more fun this year when they aren't so soggy and so slippery that you end up tripoding everything like last years TR.

So spin spin spin tuck spin spin spin tuck, spinning in fear looking over my shoulder the whole final stretch into the finish!!!  Yippee I survived!!!!  And I actually did a lot better then I thought I would pulling off the first stage win :).

 Yah clean jersey for tomorrow!! And a new rear shifter.....upgraded from a 2 speed to a 20 speed....

Can't wait for supper I'm hungry!!!!

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Liittle Sunday Ride

Thanks Mel for helping me get my endurance back!!!


Wow, moving is a pain in the butt!!! But I think this move is very worth it. Our new pad is about 4 times the size of our last one, and we can actually stand up in the bedroom!!! Crazy I tell you, crazy!! Almost done, it's wild all the stuff we kept pulling out of the crawl space in our old place, when you stay in one place for any period of time you just amass junk!! Purge time!

Tomorrow, yikes already, I'm heading over to Fernie for the TR 3. Nope, no 7 days of slogging through the mud for me this year, going to keep it to the Fernie trails instead. Pretty excited!!