Thursday, July 26, 2012

family vacation

husband returned from deployment.
i worked. i raced.
he raced. he crashed. [someone crashed into him]

Then we flew to Ohio. Our first flight together! Hauling all our "camera equipment" for our documentary of how awesome our life is. Nice try, says the lady at the counter - that'll be $500 unless you want to say it's a bike; then it's only $150. Okay, so we lie and say it's a bike, but really it's a bike. Or rather two bikes. We stopped trying to push our luck. At least our bags flew for free - welcome home sailor!

other sister megan :)
Ohio trip was filled with a lot of food, family, and fun. And too much humidity, heat, and hell. And by hell, I mean an hour long criterium race in the heat and humidity. What [in the hell] were we thinking? [Kyle signed me up while he was on a metal ship, sailing in the hot Persian Gulf, while dreaming of riding his new bike; let's face it, he wasn't thinking and I'm a sucker for punishment.]

swinging sibblings
Before I get to the race, I'd like to thank my mothers-in-law. Yes mothers - they rock. Seriously awesome moms who know how to cook real food and make our bellies happy and our hearts full. Ann [and family in tow] brought us a cooler of food to the airport for our climbing adventures in KY before heading to Ohio. Sandwiches, veggies, breakfast, yogurt, beer, snacks...and her amazing chocolate chip [crack] cookies. Before you know it, you've eaten 5. And are still going back to the bag for more. [Sorry to my mom, they weren't in Tupperware; at least I know what to get you for Christmas]. And to Kris for the amazing breakfasts and our family dinner, where I got to meet the Smith's and experience a midwestern storm that I've actually missed. Thank you moms. I'm lucky enough to have 3. And yes, thanks to the dads; John, especially for the awesome photography of our race, and Bill for the hospitality and laughs.

grill time during the storm
family dinner at the "adults" table - not so sure that's an accurate adjective.

Alright: Hyde Park Blast Criterium. The race sucked. From the gun to the end. Pure sufferfest. The suffering was more than Panama - because in Panama, when I suffered, I got to walk. When I suffered in Ohio, I had to suck wheel even harder. Do. Not. Get. Dropped.

Interesting course in a quaint town, with a diversion that leads you up a narrow residential alley and a I used my big ring for a couple laps, and after my pack got dropped from the break, I began to shift down and spin up the hill as a means of conservation. Power was non existent [thank you chocolate chip cookies + beer] and my only method of preservation was wheel sucking and spinning. Absolutely no endurance on the straights, which BTW were straight INTO THE WIND. Oh, but it wasn't a nice Pacific Ocean cool breeze...this "wind" was straight from the breath of Hades. Hotter than hell wind that is neither refreshing nor beneficial in any way. I have zero memories of this wind from my childhood in MN - probably because I always had my head underwater in the lakes.

suffering. next to a giant. 
I can't even remember how many times I was near cracking off the back of this chase pack. "Hold on. Hold on. The pace will ease up. No it won't. OMG." Somehow I managed to keep making my way up the chase pack to the front while on the hill. Spinning. That never happens in So Cal. I was working harder on the straights, when I was drafting. It was craziness how these ladies were mashing up...I would have blown up. But luckily their cadence was so low that my super easy gearing with relatively high cadence actually enabled me to move up and conserve energy...what little I had. Gatorade was a thick sugar tar and I would've paid a competitor $100 for a chunk of ice in my mouth [and down my bra] during the race.

Last lap. I found myself sitting in the back on the last corner...crap! Where did the time go! Well now I suppose it's time to stand up for this long straightaway. And "sprint" with all my heart, since my legs and lungs weren't paying attention to my crazed mind anymore.

Ended sprinting my way to 2nd in the chase group which was good enough for 10th OA and 1st in the Cat 3 women. I even beat some 1's and 2's that were in my group! What a race. $60 richer... however, like I said, I would've traded in that prize money for ice packs. Oh yeah, and we didn't get lapped...score!

Surprised, but Ohio has a women's scene. It's fast, and the camaraderie is similar to So Cal - cold. Arguments about the results, no podium and no constructive feedback after the race. My beef was that they didn't score it separately.

Husband survived his 30 min race before mine and in typical super sherpa fashion, brought me a beer, when I just needed ice for the heat stroke I was experiencing. After my near internal meltdown, I did enjoy some libations.

Pedicures, pool time and pizza. Miguel's Pizza. Backtrack to day 1-2; we made a trek down to good 'ole Slade, Kentucky; home of the Red River Gorge and some of the nations best sport climbing [and pizza]. Motel'd it since we accidentally left our sleeping bag in the bike box that we passed along to the parents we met at the airport...doh! Climbed all day and earned our pizza. Drove to Cincinnati where we earned a shower.

Ale8 and Miguels - yummy in my tummy
Very excited I made the switch at work to enjoy the time with my husband and his family. Our time in Ohio was quick and we feel as if we didn't get enough time with either family, but are thankful for the vacation.  Once we returned to SD we got a vacation from our vacation. Fun at the fair, a housewarming party in Encinitas, the 4th of July, a ride on our new bikes, and of course, each other.

So happy my husband, my sherpa, my sailor, my best, and forever friend is back from his ocean journeys. Welcome home Kyle.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Faking fitness with my competitive nature

June 24th was the 30th Annual San Diego International Triathlon. It was my 5th year participating (year one I swam for a relay). I love this race even with all it's faults. It's in my backyard. My training grounds. I know the course and every pothole and corner and hill. This is my annual bench mark in this sometimes crazy triathlon journey. Kyle returned from deployment 2 days before, and it is also the Anniversary Sale weekend for Moment Cycle Sport, so I knew I'd be trashed going into this race.

Plan of the day: [POD in Kyle Navy terms] Race hard. Don't hold back. Kill the swim. Race the bike, and start pushing it at the first guard shack, bomb the descent. And run without holding back. Turnover.

Mostly a success.
my sherpa is back!
Swam 11:57. Finally under 12 min. I knew I was capable. This year the young ladies were put after the old ladies. Great; I felt bad swimming over old men, but now women?! Ugh... Nothing is ever intentional I swear. Started out hard. Whitney and Christine and another random girl hopped on my sides and I worked hard to get away. First 100 yards was pretty fast but I didn't feel gassed so I kept up with the pressure on my arms and kept kicking hard. Yes it's triathlon, and yes, I kick. :) Finished feeling ready to ride and hoping that I didn't swallow too much nasty bay water.

passing the walkers. silly small swim caps.
Biked 49:27. Got on Kermit and I was off. Since his wheels got stolen Jen was nice enough to let me borrow her 404/disc for the race. Cory gave the disc some much needed love (and glue) earlier in the week. Unfortunately the valve stem is too long for the hole and a regular pump adapter doesn't work. We managed to get it up to almost 100 [normal tubular psi is 120] with the air compressor the night before. Woke up and it was low. Probably rode 60psi in the race. Not ideal. Was mashing up all my power. I was riding with most of the weight on my arms to try and avoid bottoming out the disc. Carly passed me on the first loop on our way back [at about the same point as she did last year] and I knew I wouldn't be able to stay with her. She kicked my ass at Panama and has been killing it locally. I raced my race, being sure to take care of the disc and myself. Rolled into T2 and the volunteers were yelling at me to go into the guys portion of the transition area - "Um, no, lady, thanks for your help, but my rack is this way!" and I headed back where I came from.

Sioux Girl bike. Moment Kit. = mismatch racing
Run 47:33 Out onto the run course I saw Kyle on his bike and he tossed me a sip of water. He asked if I was leading and I said no, Carly was in front of me, and he was like are you sure? Anyway, 3 min later about a mile into the course, she passes me. WTF? What happened to you? Apparently she actually listened to the same lady  and had to go this crazy way looping around transition and so I got out before she even racked her bike. Bummer for her.

trying to stay with her
So run run run. Keep running. Ouch. Lungs are dead, legs are heavy. Trying to keep the turnover high. Cory with Ethan in tow, and Judd joined Kyle on the bike cheering squad train, and I felt like I was winning the Ironman WC. Super thanks to those guys for the cheers. Got through the nasty car rental area and onto the board walk where the eventual 2nd place chic passed me with a vengeance. Literally I couldn't even keep up with her for 1 step. So for the rest of the race it was a gut wrenching dig to the finish, hoping that all those footsteps behind me were that of males.

too tired to enjoy the prettyness
Finish. Wow that hurt. In a much needed push myself to threshold way. 5 min PR and 3rd place AG again. But a much different race for me.

Overall 1:51. In the last 4 years of doing this race I've dropped 12 minutes. In the last 3 years I've gotten 3rd place in my age group every year. Run was a surprising 7:39 average! Maybe that month of running in April actually helped? Maybe those 2 days of hill repeats with Noko and 3 days in the gym worked? Or maybe, I really know how to push my body beyond it's fitness when I toe the line. Can my competitive nature give me fake fitness?
Off to work after the race, and Kyle was off to Ontario for his first race of the season [on land anyway].  Carlsbad and the latest challenge reports are next up in the blogging backlog.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Cookie Monster returns

And the saga continues. I've been on vacation so I haven't had a chance to get this crazy story in writing. Here it is:

Saturday during our anniversary sale at work we got a random phone call from a person asking the value of a Parlee frame and SRAM rival crank. Um what?! Apparently this person was in a Salvation Army looking at the frame and was wondering if $599 was a good deal. So we ask for the color and serial number...what do you's mine. Cory told the "customer" that it was stolen property and gave the phone to the manager. They kept the frame in the office till I could get the chance to go pick it up. Why did the customer happen to call my bike shop? Well the frame had our shop sticker on it with our phone number [and old address]. So listen up people; shop stickers save [bike] lives.

Monday Kyle and I headed out to the good ole Salvation Army to retrieve my cookie monster. We had to call the cops so they could verify that I did in fact file a police report and I was who I said I was and showed them my receipt. We parked ourselves on a salvaged couch and waited 2 hours occupying ourselves with the iPhones [what would we do without technology?! Actually have a conversation?] waiting for the cops.

They came. Verified. And I walked out Scott free with my bike. Or rather part of my bike.

Who donates a $3400 frame to the salvation army? Someone who knows serial numbers are tracked. They even stole the fork, which was an Enve unpainted worth a chunk of $$ too.

Assuming they stole the bike and parted it out. Dumped the frame into a donation bin and it just so happened to land in my lap.

For now, Cookie Monster will be a [very nice] piece of wall art until I figure out what to do with a frame [no fork] and crank [and yes Dave, the bottom bracket too]. Anyone want to buy a really nice Parlee frame? I'll actually throw in a new Enve fork.

Alright. So who knew I'd actually get to see him again. I'm beyond excited.

I'll give a full report on Super Grover...but Cookie Monster has a very special place in the fleet, always.

SDIT update and Ohio vacation updates to come. Need to get better at posting sooner. :)