Monday, 25 April 2011

Happy Easter everyone. Hope the Easter Bunny was good to you!! We found chocolate Easter eggs yesterday on out ride out through Thetis Lake yesterday!! Yummmmmmm....haha. Ya, I did snag them and I did eat them:)

I had an absolutely wonderful week home so far, with some really great training and super fun riding. The weather in Victoria has been great (well, minus the rain today) since I got home, and even reached high teens on Sat. Definitely signs of summer! I have officially put away all winter gear for the summer, and no matter what the weather it's not coming back out!!!

Saturday I went on a long easy road ride with the Tour de Victoria clinic group down to the William Head prison. As the road out is a dead end road, the prison guard came out to make sure that we weren't lost ;) Then the long climb out. It's amazing how much a warm sunny day can increase the mood of a group, and make the climbing seem not quite as daunting.

Sunday, Regan and I went out for an amazing mountain bike ride (profile posted below) on some secret trails up and around Mt Finlyason. I've missed doing long steady climbs living here on the island, ya I've missed long climbs...haha, but this is definitely a good trail to fix that. Long, steady, steep loose double track and techy singletrack say, how can that be fun??? But the long fast twisty descent is definitely worth the effort. It's funny how rewarding a ride like that can feel once you've hit the top and let your heart rate and legs settle down.

Monday's are generally my active recovery days, and today being a kind of snotty day outside, Regan and I decided to go swimming. I've been trying to get back into swimming a little through out the past season. I used to do a lot of swimming as a kid, and was actually quite good, but it's amazing how "gone" those muscles are when you don't use them for a while. 15 mins and I'm pooped now.....but it's a great strength workout for the upper body and core, and helps to balance out all the cycling muscles. And it definitely makes me sleep well at night!!

Thanks for the awesome ride Regan!!!

Thursday, 21 April 2011

"Pain is Temporary

Quitting is Forever"

That's what got me through my hill intervals today!!

Monday, 18 April 2011

Fuel for the season

I'm home in Victoria for a month.....the longest I've been home, by 2 weeks, all year so far!! Yup, definitely more then a little excited. I've got 3 good races under my belt so far this season, well 4 if you count the short track, and I definitely count that as a really really ......ya, really good work out. It was really neat to race Friday and Saturday at Sea Otter this year (we usually race Sat and Sun), so I actually got to be a tourist and check out the venue without being worried about "saving" my legs for the race. So after my typical bad post race sleep I got up early, had a big hotel continental breakfast and road back up to the venue to do a lap of the old long course. The old long course you ask...ya, the XC at Sea Otter used to be a pretty neat 21 mile loop out and around Laguna Seca. The course is a mix of double track, gravel road and lots of sweeping buff singletrack (which was very rough and chopped out after 1000's of racers/riders on course over the week), and I do have to say, was a lot more fun then the current short course that we do which consists of more road then trail. I had an absolutely great fun ride, taking advantage of as much of the dry, sunny, warm riding conditions that I could.

After riding I worked up the energy to wander around the venue for a couple of hours....WOW!!!! That is definitely an experience! I have a whole new respect for all the people out there working the tents and vendors, especially in the heat. I was wiped right out after wandering around for 2 hours.

So now I'm home, yippeeee....and I have one month to the day to get myself in wicked race shape for the World Cups in Dalby Forest, UK and Offenberg, Germany at the end of May with the Canadian Team. And what to my super duper delight, but a wicked athlete package from Clay at PlanetFoods!!!!!!

I think we need a bigger pantry

I'm so excited to start my day off tomorrow with the best coffee from Kicking Horse Coffee, and fueling training rides with Sharkies and HoneyStinger gels, protein bars, energy chews and the new WAFFLES!!!!

Sharkies (I'm addicted to these from Transrockies)

Protein Bars and Energy Chews

Oh ya!!!! That's right, Waffles!!

Kick Ass Kicking Horse Coffee.....oh soooooo good!!

Thank you so much Clay and Planetfoods for my race season fuel for the season.

7 times around

Check out the aerial view, you can see Laguna Seca Raceway....too bad it didn't show the venue!!!

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Sea Otter yet again

I'm laying on the couch curled up reading a book and reflecting on finishing my 6th Sea Otter.... Ya 6th!!!! It's one of those events as a cyclist you need to experience at least once in your career. The sheet volume of other cyclists and bike related activities and vendors here at Laguna Seca for this weekend is a little mind blowing. Every cycling discipline, minus track, is raced in one form or another at multiple levels from pro to ametuer this weekend. It's really neat to have so many people who love cycling at one place for a weekend.

So what did I do? Friday was the short track race, which is essentially an off road crit with a course of I'd say under a km, and today, sat was the XC. Had my best finishes at Sea Otter to date with a 10th in the short track and a 9th in the XC. I felt very strong but was definitely lacking the "pop" in my legs to put out the efforts to stay in the pack.....makes for a very long and painful TT in no mans land...... Great work out though!!

My Lazer Helium helmet was so great, really comfortable e well vented to keep my head cool in the scorching sun. My Sidi Dragons were so stiff and of course oh so very very comfortable. And my Genuine Innovations Big Air was there in my pocket for the just in case.....always really glad when I don't have to use that guy!! Thank you Regan and the great guys at Pro City Victoria for dialing in my wicked Trek 9.9!!!!

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

California Dreamin

Alright, now that I've moved into the 21st century with my new iPhone I have absolutely no excuse not to blog .....oh poop. Haha.

I am currently sitting in a loaded down VW van with fellow Victoria racer Peter Wellsman speeding along the I-5 enroute to beautiful Monterey California for non other then the Sea Otter classic. It's funny, I've done this race so many times that it's kinda started to loose it's appeal for me, but I'm actually really excited for it this year.

I had a good week of recovery once I got over my fear that I was going to have the equivalent of last years Guatemala gut and be really ill for 3 weeks.....Colombia gut only lasted 3 days. One really gnarly set of max intervals up the back side of Willis Point ......haha, I had a good swerve on at the end of that workout. Then I had an awesome road ride with the Tour de Victoria clinic. Topped the weekend off with the first mountain bike ride that Regan and I have been able to do in...yikes...a month.... Thanks for suffering out there with me!!!!

So now we are about 3 hours into our 17 hour drive and my phone is loaded with lots of Suduko so I'm set!!

Oh ya!!!! Got my new Pro City Racing kit and it looks awesome. Hopefully I can someone to get a pic of it;)

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Bacon Cheddar Waffles

Haha, ya, a little bit of a strange combo, but I really wanted waffles and I really really wanted bacon!!!! Oh my, did it ever taste gooooooood!!!!

1 1/2 cup flour
3/4 cup cornmeal
1 tbsp sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup shredded cheese
6 slices bacon (fried up and chopped)
1 green onion (I didn't have green onion so I used a Serrano pepper....oh wow!!!)

Mix all dry ingredients, then add:

2 1/4 cup milk or water
1/4 cup butter

Let stand for 10 mins then throw on your waffle maker.

I wasn't sure what to put on the waffle, grilled tomatoes would have been tasty, fried eggs too, even salsa....but I decided pear...haha, ya another strange combo, but tasted good.

1 pear sliced up
3 tbsp honey
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Saute pear until soft. Add honey, sugar, and cinnamon. Marinate on med heat, stirring constantly for about 3 mins. Add butter. YUMM!!!!

Now unfortunately, I'm in a little bit of a sunday morning food coma. With the weather not looking so hot outside, it's going to take a little while to motivate myself to go for my ride today. Maybe I'll go play with my new phone....I've entered the world of the iPhone. It's a huge change from the very very basic flip phone and I'm probably one of the most technologically challenged person around, so if anyone has any user tips to make my life easier....Please help!!!!

Friday, 8 April 2011

Super Cool !!! Check it out :)

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Monday, 4 April 2011

8 Hours in Houston

Team Canada catching some shade, waiting for the course to open

Ya, I have a great little 8 hour lay-over in the Houston airport....but I have to say if I'm going to be stuck in an airport for 8 hours, this is not a bad one to be in. There are lots of choices for some pretty good food, and everything is bigger in Texas. On my way home from my first big race of the season, Pan Ams in Chia, Columbia. It was a really, really neat venue, with an old drug cartel castle as a back drop to the course. Haha, ya, I guess the park where the course is was the stomping grounds of a big drug lord before the Colombian government did a big clean-up of the area and "took back" the castle to make it a pubic park. I will definitely get a picture up of it.

So, I learned the very hard way that racing at over 8000 feet while living at sea level really, really hurts. It's funny because I really didn't feel too bad with the lack of oxygen with every day life, but I really noticed it while climbing and sleeping. Haha, I have found that at high altitudes I don't sleep well at all, and when I do sleep, I have really weird dreams.

This particular course would have been extremely physically challenging even if it happened to be at 500 feet as it was definitely a climbers course with long steep, and I mean steeeeeeep, climbs, followed by fast, rough, point and shoot downhills. We arrived in Bogota on Thursday evening, and had two days of slow pre-riding to save the body and dial the course before our race on Sunday.

Off the start I was in a really good position, sitting just behind Americans Mary McConneloug and Heather Irmiger, not pushing myself hard, feeling actually rather comfortable. But things went a little sideways about 10 mins in when we started to really climb. I knew that I would have troubles sticking with the lighter climbers, but I really tried hard not to push myself too hard to keep up as I new that with the altitude that it would be really difficult to recover from any efforts. 10 mins in I ended up gearing down to my easiest gear and going straight into survival mode, ya, yikes!

I had a little panic moment when I felt both my gels slip out of my shorts (I have a little troubles getting at my gels when they are in the pocket of my skinsuit so I had them tucked in the leg bands of my shorts.....bad idea!) I managed to hold my own, lost a couple of positions, gained a couple back. It's funny when your riding slowy up a climb and you get the bright idea that you should push yourself a little harder, maybe you have a little more in your legs, then 20 secs later you nearly fall off your bike because you can't see straight...haha.

Going into the last lap I was sitting in about 11 place, with 2 rider right a head of me and 3 right on my heal. I managed to keep my pace steady up to the top, passing Katie Compton and a Mexican rider on the climb. I pushed myself hard up the last climb to close the gap to the Colombian rider a head of me (which again left me seeing stars and barely able to hold on to my bars on the rough descent). I tailed the Colombian the whole way down, trying to pass a couple times, but getting pinched out. At this point a Brazilian rider had closed the gap (it's funny though because for some reason I think we actually lapped this rider but oh well), and there was a train of 3 of us looking for the pass.

Finally with about 500 m to go I made my move to pass, maybe not the best move but it was my last chance, and she cut me off taking both of us out. MY POOR's okay, but it lost a little paint on the top tube :( The Brazilian made it around without going down, and the Colombian rider managed to get herself together faster then me, but by the time I got myself figured out and back on my bike the Colombian had gone down again in the next corner.

So a 9th place finish is all I could manage on the day. Honestly I'm happy with my effort on the day, definitely couldn't have gone any harder, but I'm more then a little disappointed with how I felt. I mean, come on, I'm super woman, altitude shouldn't affect me like that!!!!

So now I'm doing my airport recovery day in the Houston airport...always great for recovery. For some reason us Victorianites got really bad tickets home and we end up having to spend the night in Vancouver and have to wait for the 15 min hop over the water early tomorrow morning. Oh well, It'd be too late Monday night for our burger date. Yummm!!!!

Super coach Dan Proulx