Saturday, May 9, 2009

HURT BOX Workout

This weekend was looking random for me, as the weather was predicted crap and only one crit Saturday in Milwaukee. After the past few weekends of traveling one or both days, a house that is full of dirty laundry and mail that needs sorting, I opted to stick around Madison.

This past week I feel like I may have had a turn-around with workouts and how I am feeling on the bike. Its funny, I look back to about a year ago, and think of how fit I was living in Tucson, availability to ride all the freaking time, but I don't necessarily think that there's benefit if you are doing junk workouts without structure. I have been dilligently trying to follow my "go hard or go home" combined with "easy means easy" workouts. Hard is hard, and easy is easy. There really shouldn't be much fluff in between. Fluff is fluff, and lets face it, no one is fluffin' on race day.

Tue night was the season opener for the Madison Tue Night Crit series. Holy hell, this has got to make one stronger!!! I rode over an easy 20min from the house, and did the 30 min effort in the B's race, feeling like a fish out of water in the first few laps. I found a group to work with that had been spit off the back, and though I was already discouraged being that I couldn't hang with the chase group, I was humbled by my ability to actually work harder than I have been all season (read: The crit that I DNF'd the week prior to..blech)

My group was about 4 deep and I sprinted hard to the finish, crossing ahead of the others. I thought to myself, "damn, I am just getting warmed up, let's do it again!" I rode a few cooldown laps solo, and this awesome gal Jane pulls up alongside (I had recognized her from Baraboo the week before) and she encouraged me to join her in the A's race that was minutes away from starting. What the hell, why not,right?!

So low and behold, Jane and I promised to stick together and work if we got dropped> Boy, did we EVER get dropped. Early on and for the next 40 min, we would hang to a wheel for 30-60 sec, and then recover til they lapped us again..we got lapped a milion times, but it was a super workout!

Today I was painfully introduced to the hurt box that is Jill Kislia. She is riding effin strong and kicking butt this year. Neither of us did the Muskego crit, so we instead took off to Observatory hill and did some hard (for ME!) hill repeats...Jill was encouraging the whole time, and though I am certain the workout didn't kick her butt nearly the way it did mine, I am uber grateful for her forcing me to be in pain during most of the 50 miles today. Ahhhhhh......and now I am tired..

Rachel won the Muskego Crit! Rock on ISCorp...and from what I can tell Kristin is hanging in the mix at Joe Martin...can't wait to read her race report!!!! Good luck to everyone else racing this weekend!!!

Other than that, life is good and I need to find a dress for a wedding of my dear friends next Fri.....So after a bit more downtime its off to TJ Maxx to bargain shop...happy training until next time!


Some recent races and a re-cap:

The past few weeks have been filled with many exciting events. I think my last blog entry was pre-IA so let's dig back deep in the vault and recap for just a minute

IA CITY RR/CRIT: (2wks ago?!)
RR-A 44mi race that included a large and in charge field of about 30 women, many from Team Kenda..ahem...who were kickin a$$ and takin' names all day. Kristin, Jill, Catherine, Mo, and Jessica were there and had the largest showing, as well as the win (Catherine). Unfortunately dear Mo didn't have such a fun time, as she took a spill on the 2nd lap (I think) and ended up with a second butt cheek that was full of red gunk and fluid. She didn't break anything but still, it was a crappy way to end the weekend and we hope to see her out again really soon.

Kaitlin (who is in Belgium with the natl team right now) had a great race and came in 4th, and I tried best that I could to chase most of the attacks so she could save herself for the finish. I hope it helped, and truthfully, I wished I could have done more, but I ended up popping in the 3rd lap and rode the last 12mi pretty much solo. A feeble attempt, and you have to walk away with at least learning from your mistakes. All and all, I worked really effin hard out there in the time I was with the pack, and I just need to dig a little deeper next time.

Sun's crit....well, let's just say I have NEVER DNF'd a race by choice, and I rode 4 laps of a 20 lap race. I pulled. I was pissed as hell. I'd like to forget it, so moving on :) (Kaitlin held on for 4/5th and Rachel was right there in the mix working all day..Great work ladies!)

BARABOO RR: last weekend was a super close and hilly RR that consisted of about 30 miles of solid climbing over a 15 mi loop course. Rachel, Kaitlin, Yvonne, Elicia and myself made a nice representation for ISCorp, in addition to the other 20-something women in the 1/2/3's. It was a large draw for the Kenda and MadCity teams, as both had as many or more riders.

This was probably the best I have felt all season up to this point, as I had recently gotten compact cranks on my bike, and my climbing was feeling more solid...Kaitie blew a spoke early and was out, Elicia giving up her wheel to Kaitie. Rachel and I hung on with 2 others for most of the race in the 4th group from the front and worked together to finish strong. Rachel had an awesome break on a hill with about 2 miles to the finish, and I was finally able to hold off the other women in our field and let Rachel get away. I think our group finished in the MOP but after talking with the others, EVERYONE seemed to have a tough race.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


I can't even believe it, but I have become a little yogi. I never ever thought I would become so addicted to something that doesn't involve a bike, goggles, water, a trail, or running shoes, but its true. I have found something that (GASP!) I love to do INDOORS! Its bewildering, but also invigorating.

My co-worker, who is a certified Baptiste instructor, has been harassing me-or should I say "Challenging" me-to come to her class for awhile now. Now, don't get me wrong, but I know its hard work. And with this lingering ITB issue that is still rearing its ugly head now and then, I figured what the heck, perhaps I should go??
I've been switching between the reallyhotyoga and the lessthanreallyhot yoga places. The former is much better on days when I have consumed at least 3 Nalgene-sized bottles at work. You really need to prepare your hydration for those classes. I can already tell in the past month that attending even as few as 1-2 classes per week (which is all I can afford, both time and financially speaking!) has helped to improve my flexibility, my strength, and my overall sense of well-being. I think I may let the gym membership lapse for the summer and yogacize instead.

This weekend was the opening Madison crit series that a local velo club sponsors. Rain had been predicted for the weekend, and since Sat am looked awesome and the womens race was scheduled for 5pm, I opted to instead get a longer ride in the am with Lia. We headed out for about 60mi, at a very nice aerobic pace, and I threw some hard intervals in when I could. I have been working on my strength by SITTING while I am climbing. This is a new skill that I have yet to master :)

This race season is long, and right now, its more beneficial for me to get some longer miles in since I spent so much time off of the bike prior to my move. While this past week proved to be a bit of a breaking point in terms of leg fatigue and my perception of lack of speed, I think my fitness is finally coming around and I am getting stronger. We will see.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Big Easter Miles and FUN!

I am an orphan this Easter!! My dad and bro are sunning and funning in FL and Mexico, respectively, and my mom and sister are hanging back in Ohio!! So I am here in WI, and what better thing to do this weekend now that Spring is here but RIDE RIDE RIDE! Its warm, its sunny, and there are lots of people here so let's go!

Rachel and I took the liberty of organizing a fun group of hardcore women to do something long on Saturday. I rounded up the ladies with email, Rachel planned the route out to Blue Mounds (HILLS!)

It was fantastic! We had about 12 women show up, perhaps more, I am not even sure since it was so big you couldn't talk to everyone..Some of us from ISCorp and a large group from MadCityVelo...We even had a UWcycling group that rode part way with us!

First stop was at the coffee/bicycle shop in Cross Plains, notice the cool bike racks below with all of the rides!

Here are some of the ladies, refueling with cookies and scones prior to our next part of the journey!

That's Lia, one of my new riding buddies, and I don't think she knew I was taking her pic! LOL!

The ride was a fantastic 5hr-ish jaunt, filled with good hills, great conversation, and everyone feeling glad they took the afternoon to enjoy the outdoors..Some peeled off early, some did the whole route..but either way it was fun! Today I am heading out for something a bit shorter, then off to my friend Courtney's for some Easter Dinner and relaxing!

Below is a new creation, I just made it for brekky! Pecan Cinnamon Whole grain French toast with mango, blueberries, and raspberries on top! De-Lish!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Race Report-Hillsboro 4/4/09

This report is about a week overdue! Woops!!

I feel like this is my coin phrase, but honestly, "There's been a lot going on around here these days.."

Last Fri we loaded up Rachel and Jordan's cars and about 5 of us headed on down to Litchfield, IL, just outside of STL....Sat April 4th was the official kick off to WI/IL race season for me, and I was certainly ready to test my legs and my (lack of) strength with some big names...Many of the top Midwest NRC racers showed up, including a Webcor gal (Rebecca Much), some fantastic racers out of IN, and many of the Kenda girls (my new cycling friends Kristin, Jill, Monique, and some others). Madeleine and Anne from BH were there, too, looking super strong and ready to go!!
Needless to say, the field was stacked and there were almost 40 women in the 1/2/3's race! That's huge!! Bigger than any race I've done in AZ! (which was a bit of a surprise)

Position is key in road racing, and I suppose you have to learn what to do RIGHT after doing it WRONG...Case it point, I didn't position myself right when the gun went off...Rachel and Carrie-Ann, my teammates, and both very strong Cat1/2 women, were right in front, drafting appropriately and ready to follow the attacks by sticking to a wheel...I somehow didn't get in the mix, and tried to jockey up from waaaaaaaaaay off the back!!!?!?!? After about 3 attacks in the first 5 miles, it became a lost cause, I dropped off (along with about 10 others!) and Shelley from Kenda and I TT'd to get back....

We never ended up succeeding in that attempt, rode much of the first 15mi solo, and finally found a group of women behind. They scooped our tired legs up and we continued to work in this pack of women for the remaining 35/+ mi of the race! It was solid, we all worked hard, and all in all, I felt pretty tired and GOOD when it was all over.

The lesson learned: GO FROM THE GUN!!!!! I hate excuses, absolutely hate them...It drives me nuts when people have excuses for "why they got dropped" or "I was sucky today because..." I couldn't hang today because I am not as fast as those chicks, plain and simple! But I plan to get faster, and frankly, I wasn't that surprised! So back to the lesson: I need to be ready to blow myself up and hang on for attacks earlier than 30mi into the race, and that is what I plan to take with me from that race! What separates the pros from the Cat 3's is that they can ATTACK, ATTACK, ATTACK throughout the race, and still have enough for the finish! And I hope by midseason I am able to stick to their attacks!

After we finished up racing, Carrie-Ann, Rachel, and myself changed and ate some snacks, watched our Cat1/2 men finish up, and then headed off to get some food and drive home. Over 10hrs of driving, 4hrs racing/warmup/warmdown, in 36 hrs was a LOT, but I am glad to have done it!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Wavering Weather..........:/

Well, this week we've had it all....torrential downpour, sunny skies and highs of 50 degrees, and then, low and behold, the only 2 days that I have off, we are supposed to get snow! Go freakin figure!! Not exactly ideal for another 2 long days of base miles in the saddle, but what is one to do!? Move back to Tucson...nahh!!! I guess you just deal...

The work is still busy, the days are flying by, and I am happy to say that I'm up to 11hrs of cycling this week, and its only Fri...I guess that is pretty good, considering I am putting in at least 8hr work days.

Tue and Wed were roller rides, with Tue being more interval focused and Wed a total recovery spin. I am still sooooooooooooooooo incredibly frustrated with my legs!! My L leg, which was the initial source of discomfort and ITband injury, has more or less healed in the past few months. But a stupid 30 min run I did about a week ago triggered some pain in the R leg (which, mind you, I was doing all of the same stretching, strengthening, and rehab on to PREVENT it from being injured like the L leg!!!)...Certainly, its not nearly as bad or painful, but lets just say I am not running...AGAIN!!! Erghhh!! Bike and swim, bike and swim..oh, and yoga and weights! let's hope something works here!!!

The Univ of Wisc cycling listserv is a great place to post a ride, find others to ride with, etc. So, being that I knew I had a light afternoon schedule on Thurs and it was pegged as the "only nice day" this week by all the meteorologists, I opted to post a ride.

To my pleasant surprise, about 15 people showed up at the Arb bridge at 430 and off we cruised towards Paoli, up Observatory Rd, and back into Madison. Awesome, fast ride, and I was the only chick! (I may have even chicked a few of the other dudes out there too!) That's always fun to do...I was probably older than most of those little studs by a decade, but who cares, it was a super workout! And exactly what I needed heading into the wintry weekend...

Off to sip another cup of java and head to work.....

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Something to Try.........

Yummy, healthy, and delicious....Try these if you are looking for a new alternative to cooking/eating Garbanzo (Chickpeas) Beans!!

-2-3 cans of Garbanzo Beans; strained
-Optional: 1 can Black Beans; strained

-Spread out onto cookie sheet
-Drizzle with Olive Oil or spray with Pam (I use the former!!)
-Top with your favorite seasoning: S&P, dill, oregano, Mrs. Dash, etc
-Bake for 40-50 min (depending on how CRUNCHY you want the texture!) at 425
-VOILA!!!!!!! A healthier alternative to croutons or salad toppers loaded with fat and hydrogenated oils!

*They can get pretty dried out, so I store them in an airtight plastic container!