Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Fiesta de Bicicletas

It’s been one big party on the bike. Almost 200 miles in a week and a half and I still can’t wait to get back on it. Last week I managed to make it to JT’s ride Tuesday and Thursday. It’s starting to look like masters swimming is taking a back burner. It’s hard enough to get on the bike with arm warmers that early in the morning; I can’t imagine jumping into a cold outdoor pool. Boohoo, I know I live in San Diego; it’s what, 55 degrees in the morning?
Last Saturday was the November club race; my first one on Fiesta Island. The race was awesome - even after only running once since P-man…hmm, could it be this new gleaming machine I get to ride on? Or the extended calm swim? (thanks Cory!) Whatever it was, the race couldn’t have been better. I ended up 2nd for the women.
Here’s the breakdown:
1:19.40 Final Time
1000 yard swim 11:08
12.5 mile bike 35:37
1st loop (2 miles) 17:56
2nd loop (2 miles) 14:59
The swim was amazing. Yes, I still love my De Soto wetsuit. I ended up 2nd out of the water (behind a UCSD guy, and one second ahead of Jim Vance who was drafting off me almost the entire way back). I hopped on my bike, using Dianna Black’s socks – hey I was moving this weekend = scatter brain. 5 laps around the south loop. I paced myself as if I was swimming the 500. First lap settle down heart rate/spin, second lap get into the pace, third is about control, fourth increases intensity and fifth would normally be all out (swimming) but I kept the pace of the fourth. Elizabeth caught me on the final quarter mile and we were exchanging conversation about JT giving her crap. We headed into the transition together, and I was out first…but we all know that ended right away into the run. First lap…not too many men passing me, but I know I’m running slow. I feel heavy and sluggish like I’m running through jello. I’m thirsty. I grab my water as JT is running behind me through the transition cheering me on, take a swig, and toss it back at him. Brendan catches me at the first turn and is running with me. Wow Brendan, thanks! He has water (lifesaver!) and begins to tell me to push the pace. He continues to look back for a girl who I assume is hunting me down. No sign yet. I’m feeling surprisingly better with the increased pace. I knew I’d have to put the hammer down, so “at the next sign” we’ll pick it up. We passed a man who passed me at the beginning of the 2nd lap. Crap, did I pick a sign too far out? Am I going to bonk? Why am I doing this again? No get those thoughts out! Finish hard. You’re still in 2nd. Don’t give up now. Continue to lift those heels. Finish!
Woohoo! I got a pretty orange medal and $25 gift certificate to the Running Institute. Sweet! Plus the usual yummy yogurt/fruit/granola post race meal. Here are some of the great pictures Caleb took at the race. I smile when I run? Must have been the only moment.
Onwards with the weekend: Moving in my tri outfit. Yeah I was dirty, didn’t feel like a shower and it was 95 degrees out. Why change? I now live with 3 other fabulous ladies in Point Loma. 1.0 miles from work. Previously, 1.8 miles. Moving on I have a kitchen. My Tupperware is happily out of storage and neatly organized. Mom, you'd be proud. Got everything moved in and somewhat settled and headed to hockey practice where I felt like crap. (Hmm…late night + early triathlon + moving + heat = tiredness?) Sunday I promised myself I’d sleep in. But after 3 solid weeks of 7am or earlier wakeup calls, that didn’t happen. What??? I can’t sleep in anymore! Again, mom, be proud. Stephen and I headed out to Einstein Bros for a bagel boost for our 50 mile bike to Mysti’s house near Poway. Sandal retrieval commenced. My bike computer thermometer went into the triple digits! It hit 100 degrees out there! Man, am I glad I live by the ocean. We stopped at an In and Out for direction correction and cold water, as well as a Shell station for another water fill up. Made it to Mysti’s, found the sandals, water reload, and we were back on the road. We stopped for frozen yogurt on the way back. Mmm mango yogurt with mochi, strawberries and peaches; what a great mid-ride treat. After the ride we went to Snow Jam for our discounted Mt High lift tickets and then to Pizza Port with Des and his family. A busy, hot, fun weekend. Sounds like a Fiesta to me.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Goodbye my Felty, Goodbye my friend

You have been the one, you have been the one for me. Hello my Guru, hello my friend, you are the one, you are the one for me! -a play on James Blunt. Although Felty has brought me great memories it's time to move on. Some highlights to reflect upon:
My First:
-time using clipless pedals, drop bars, vertical breaks/shifters, and aero bars
-"long" 18 mile ride along the 56 bike path
-critical mass
-triathlon: Mission Bay Spring Sprint, 1st in my agegroup!
-time changing a flat
-of many Del Mar tri club rides along Hwy 101
-80 mile epic ride! (after my prior longest being 40)
-olympic distance triathlon (Pumpkinman)
-60 mile Borrego desert experience
All in all, Felty gave me 1673 fairly enjoyable miles although she had some issues near the end. She was a great ride, and she will be missed. And here is the replacement:

TaDa! My custom Guru Crono in Trimuph Green with Zipp 404s.
Bike arrival doesn't equate to instantaneous riding of the bike. A lot goes into the building of this awesome piece of machinery. I would know...I think I spent over 9 hours Friday and Saturday watching the mechanics turn the frame and parts into a smooth-riding bicycle. I asked for a maiden voyage for Saturday morning, along the 101 with the triathlon club Del Mar ride, which sadly, didn't occur.

I came in Friday after work and it hadn't been started. This custom stealth black Parlee (over $10k, 3 month wait time) was in line before me...and was harder to put together than first anticipated. Friday evening after a bonfire at Bahia with Des and Bob, and dinner at Roger's, I headed back to check JT's progress. Not Started!! What? lol. He then remembered a crucial part had to be glued with epoxy. Epoxy that needed 12 hours to dry! He worked on it as much as possible without messing up the headset but had to stop at midnight. I walked out of the shop...with my old bike in hand. (sad face).

I then headed to Solana Beach to hang with the hockey players. We all went on a breakfast ride to Pannikin Saturday morning (on the old bike). A brisk 10 mile ride on the 101 to start the day...and it ended up being the final voyage on Felty. Saturday afternoon, back to the shop to really watch the transformation. Dan was hard at work, installing the cables, bottom bracket, crank, chain, derailleurs, and everything else needed to get this bike out of the shop, under me, and on the road! At 4:30 it was finally done. Stephen had come by to check it out and ride the first ride with me.

Here I am taking my first (nervous) pedal strokes. Light, quick to start, fast on the flats, smooth, and it rides beautifully. We headed up Canon to Cabrillo National Monument on the usual JT Tuesday ride route. Rolling hills at the top of Point Loma with sporadic views of the sunset over the ocean. It was so much fun to put the hammer down! We only had enough sunlight for a quick out and back ride. So many differences from the old felty; quite the upgrade. Saturday night we went to hockey Bill's house in La Jolla for a dinner party, where I was named the Most Improved Player at the Pacific Coast Championships.
Sunday morning we woke to grey skies and a chill to the air. Ran back for the arm warmers. (thank goodness!) Mark and Shannon met Stephen and I at my place and we headed to El Cajon for my debut ride on the Great Western Loop. Holy hills! This 43 mile ride has over 5000' of climbing (and descending) and would normally be in the scorching inland heat. Nope. It was chilly on the flats, I sweat on the uphills no matter what, and then descending it's cold with wet clothes! Burr...oh yeah did I mention it RAINED! On my new bike! (Yes, I shed a tear!) 3 hours later we made it back and headed to Rancho's Mexican Restaurant in OB for brunch.

So my bike really likes the flats and downhills. And I love my bike. So it works out. Now she needs a name. Crono croc, guru gator, green gator, green revolution...any thoughts?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

7 has ARRIVED!

Seven weeks to the day. My Guru Crono has arrived. Lynn called me this morning and left a message with the good news. A box arrived on their doorstep. A box carrying my bike and all the parts.
I took my lunch break and rushed over. This is better than any Christmas morning. Better than when I got Molly, the American Girl doll. Better than my high school letter jacket. Better than my iPod. I got to unwrap a completely custom carbon fiber triumph green Guru Crono. I took it outside to admire the paint in the daylight.
It’s beautiful. JT is building it today and tomorrow, for an estimated maiden voyage of Saturday morning.
Almost done waiting for my bike. Lol :)

Monday, November 3, 2008

Good 'ole fashioned CAMPING!

Old Skool Camping (circa 1990s): family sized tent, Coleman sleeping bag, 3 coolers stocked full of food, juice boxes (cold beer for adults), and any other non-essential food items, flashlights, Schwinn 18-speed sidewinder.

New Aged Camping (2006-present): REI half-dome backpacking tent, sierra designs 20 degree mummy bag, cliff and power bars, water, warm beer, headlamp, Felt roadbike.

Obviously there are some improvements, but the food situation has significantly diminished since my mom has been removed from my camping experiences. The past two weekends I had a small blast from the past, reliving the good 'ole days of yummy food not prepared by me!

I went to Phoenix to visit my sister and camp, climb and hike. Jack, in his element (off-road), made the journey Queen Creek Canyon. The climbing was great! Crimpy, sharp, face climbing. I rocked a super balancy 5.10 which felt incredible! Megan treated me well with sandwiches, home-made pasta salad and muffins, polish, and fresh fruit. Cold beer was also involved. We camped with about 12 of her friends. She was supposed to stay in my tent, but when her friend Mike put up the Wal-Mart 10 person 8' tent, I saw her eyes widen. (as did mine, I sleep better alone!). The evening brought drinking (cold beverages) and conversation by the campfire. I broke out the marshmallow roasting skills mastered through my father's patience. Golden brown perfection. I was on fire! (not the marshies). Smores...yummm!

My second trip, Jack (after $400 in repairs) brought me and Stephen to Borrego Springs for the Tri Club camping trip. We arrived Halloween evening and the crocodile costume made an appearance. After a starlit night a beautiful morning sunrise started off a great day. Cammie, Shawn, Lisa, Jessica, Stephen and I finally rolled out at 7:45 am. We had a pretty easy ride out to Salton Sea. Getting through the 5 miles of the crappiest/bumpiest/most horribleist road I've ever ridden on having to go to the bathroom wasn't pleasant. We arrived at the West Shores Market and Shawn convinces us to enjoy a cold Coors Light (he bought the six pack). That and powdered doughnuts really got me through the rest of the ride! As the sun got hotter (97 degrees!) the ride got harder. I really put the hammer down on the ride back and ended up having a great ride...until mile 56. BONK! Push...come on let's go! I think the Borrego Springs 2 mile sign followed by the 2 miles to the campground sign really turned me off to hammering, and on to spinning in the granny gear. Stephen (riding with the psycho fast group on the way back) waited for me at the gas station and rode the last 2 miles with me as we traded stories.

Back at camp cold water and jelly toast was waiting...along with Bethany! I was beat...but somehow the only thing (after 10 glasses of water) I craved was a margarita! We went to a Mexican restaurant where I had flour tortillas with scrambled eggs. That's it. Oh yeah, 2 margaritas as well. The evening brought more cold beer, and one of the best large group pot luck dinners I've ever had! Tri-tip beef grilled to perfection, shrimp salad, pasta salad, and more steak. Later in the evening the golden brown perfection was attempted but not replicated. (short metal sticks, wind, hot coals = not my greatest works) In any case, the marshmallows were still yummy.
Yesterday we got back and went for a quick ride to test out Stephen's new saddle. Stopped at Dolci Mango in PB for frozen yogurt and mochi! Dinner was spent catching up with non-Borrego goers Nikee, Brendan, and Lori (with Stephen, Bethany and I) at a yummy Tai place in La Jolla.

Side note: Halloween at La Jolla Cove - two top 10 swims. The water visibility was over 40' the 1/2 mile buoy and the entire swim out. I swam in the morning with fellow tri club members with a wetsuit and was warm by the I had a half day at work at went back at 3:00 for a solo wetsuit. Amazing! Seriously, no better words to describe the clarity, calmness, and brisk aspects of that swim. Not to mention the sun was shining! I heart San Diego.'s being shipped!!!!! A (hopefully quick) stop at customs at the Canadian border...and Christmas will come soon for one lucky girl.