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!