Sunday, December 28, 2008

Winter Goings-On

So, as usual, the racing winds down and so do my blog posts. Cause, well, that's the most interesting thing I do! But I think it is time for a mundane update.
School wound down okay, and I actually got really good grades. Suuuuper happy that I decided to not take the Wintermester class that I was thinking about. I need a break! So mostly it's just be lots of training, and lots of eating, too, which ain't such a bad thing, really. Except, yeah, I got sick on Thursday night, lame. Not super sick, but sick enough that I want to lay low and make sure I don't end up with some gnarly flu or something. So a few days off the bike, and then right back to it! Not bad timing, exactly, since the weather hasn't been conducive to outdoor bike riding, and I'm running out of movies to watch on the trainer.

Cody's back in MA. The novelty of having the house to myself wears off surprisingly quick and then I start really wishing he'd come back. He's just gone for a couple of weeks, tho, so no biggy. I'll be busy between now and then. And at the end of it all I have the Velo Bella training camp to look forward to! I almost didn't go, since it's a good 7 hour drive, but I think it'll be great riding and lots of fun to see the team, and maybe meet some new teammates, too. Sadly, school starts the day after I get back.

I think it's time for New Years resolutions, which I think are kinda stupid, but which I seem to make anyway, every year. This year's? Cut out the white sugar, except when I'm biking and I'm drinking Cytomax or eating Gu or whatever. I've preemptively started on this resolution and I'm feeling pretty good about it. I've also started drinking a shot of apple cider vinegar each day. It's truly vile, but I've heard from so many people who say it really helps their immunity and digestion. That's not a resolution, tho, I'm just giving it a try. I guess my New Year's resolution is just to be healthier all over. Physically and mentally, and especially in my relations to others. Maybe that's just the part of me, a part that we all have, hoping to be a better person. Blah blah blah, sappy, yeah, I'm done with it.

Here's some pictures from our rainy and freezing and soaking wet ride on Auburn last sunday. It was soooo much fun! Except for the cold. For once, Cody was colder than me! Unheard of!

After the ride, putting muddy bikes on the car.

Muddy legs - I think Cody was colder because he didn't have shoe covers.

Awesomely epic singletrack.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008


So, I'm pretty boring, so I'm gonna blog about my cats. Yesterday Cody spilled a bunch of cat nip on the floor and they pretty much freaked out. In the top picture you can see them getting all silly eating it (oh, just for reference, the orange one is Little Bit and the grey one is Big Kitty - sweet names, huh?). And then on the bottom one you'll see Little Big rolling around in it being all agro and cracked out. Coincidentally you also get a nice view of my pink Schwalbe Ultremo tires.

Lots of riding, but none interesting enough to talk about. Well, I did some long easy-ish hill interevals yesterday morning up Geigar Grade. It was about 23 degrees out (that's farenheit, folks) so I pretty much thought I was going to die. Like, the sweat on my neck froze solid. Or that's what it felt like anyway. And NOAA is calling for snow alllll weekend. I guess that's winter! Even though it's not yet . . .

Friday, December 5, 2008

Nothin' New

Yep. Uh huh. Pretty much.

That about sums up the excitement level of life right now. I've been getting lots of base miles in, no cyclocross racing, no travelling, lots of work, work, school, school, work more, still can't pay rent. But not this weekend! No, this weekend I'm getting the hell out of Reno! I'm going to San Francisco to visit with my very bestest friend Lindsay. I'm going to make her come with me to the Sheila Moon warehouse sale in Oakland, where I will further inhibit my ability to pay rent. Then, I dunno, food an drinks, and some riding townies around GGP on Sunday. No cross racing for me! Nope! Because on Monday I'm going to Whole Athlete in Marin for my MSS test (the real reason why I have no rent money) and I'm supposed to be rested. Yep, I hired a coach. But the real question is going to be - can I train lots (enough to justify my $150/mo coaching bill) and race my bike and work and volunteer at a convalescent hospital cooking meals once a week and pass the 17 credits that I'm currently enrolled in for next semester??? That, my friends, is the $64,000 question. I'm no overacheiver, and I'm definitely not so good at keeping the balance, so this will indeed by a challenge. Honestly I'm not sure I'd be taking this many credits but they're threatening a 50% tuition increase next year so I really want to get done!!! Hopefully my Genetics class isn't as hard as it sounds, because I have a feeling A&P will be even worse than I'm expecting.

In other news . . . uhhh, I have no other news. No pictures, no funny anecdotes, nothing. I think I'll take the dog for a walk, then ride my bike to school, then work. Tonight I'll pack my shizit in my car, and tomorrow I'm off! Sans doggy, sadly, but the kitty at Lindsay's house thought he was going to eat Riley for dinner the last time I was in SF, so I think it's best if I leave him in Cody's care.

But never fear! Next weekend I am racing 'cross, and I will surely write a highly entertaining report shortly thereafter.

Monday, November 17, 2008

NPR and Coffee

Yep, that pretty much sums up my morning! I didn't get sh*t done this weekend, other than ride, since I was pretty much pooped when I got home from my long rides. Yep, I'm basetraining in November. For a race in . . . May? Jeez, what a dork.

So I'm skipping my morning class (bummer, since it's pretty much my favorite class!) to do laundry and try to bring some order to my life/house/self.

And I spent so much time on my bike this weekend because I bit the bullet and hired a coach! Lisa Hunt at Whole Athlete. I'm going down there in a couple of weeks to get all set-up and meet her and chit chat and whatever else it is they do there. I'm currently giving plasma to be able to afford it. Haha, no, not yet, but we'll see! I am selling a bike - my first road bike, too! Sniff sniff, ah, the centuries I've ridden on that bike . . . Wildflower, Death Ride . . . uhh, a couple others, too. But seriously, this coaching thing? I'm super stoked on it and feeling like it's probably the best thing I've ever done for myself. So yay!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Lazy Saturday Morning.

I have teammates at the USGP in New Jersey, at Hellyer, and tonight racing night 'cross at Sierra Point. Uhhh, I'm not doing any of that. Woke up, went out to breakfast with my mom, did a little shopping, and now I think I'm going to go take a nap. So, I feel kinda lame, but at the same time just soooo happy to have a day off from life. Anyways, between the kitties and the doggy and the bed-hog that sleeps next to me I didn't get enough sleep last night. Later maybe a nice bike ride on this beautiful sunny Saturday in November, I'm thinking maybe a nice climb up Geigar Grade. Tomorrow I have a super duper ladies' group ride with some of Reno's finest, so that's fun. Uhhh, I think that's all. Maybe a little bike maintence, a little homework, and I'm seriously thinking of cooking a quiche for dinner. Either that or sushi, since I haven't been out for sushi for like, 2 years, and I've been getting a craving for it.

I'm throwing this picture up because I just found it on my camara from Cross Vegas and I think it's actually kind of cool, even though it's just got some random dude in it.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Racey reports

Whew. My legs still hurt from this weekend.

Saturday was a local Sagebrush series race, although it was a lot different than usual because it was an NCNCA cup race. What that meant for me was that I wouldn't be the only women's A, and we wouldn't be racing with the boys. Of course, it takes a pretty die-hard 'crosser to drive over to Reno for a race (in the snow and what not) so the five women who showed up to race A's were pretty much hella fast. Stella Carey, Kathleen and Mary Ann (who ride for Hunter) and Sarah Piccolo. I raced with Sarah last year at the first Sagebrush race of the year held up at North Star, and I actually beat her by like, 6". This time I was lucky to be hanging to her wheel for the first 4 laps. Stella pretty much rode away from everyone immediately, the Hunter girls were together and just a little ways ahead of me and Sarah, who kept dropping me over the barriers and on the gnar run-up. Like, I've been running lately, why do I suck so much at it in races??? Maybe I'm just not suffering enough. Right. Anyway, I was actually pretty stoked with the race because: A. It was a hellla fun course, and B. I actually had those Hunter girls in my sights for the first couple of laps, plus I hung with Sarah for quite a while. So I was DFL, but okay with that, because I beat all the masters and B's. Haha, yeah, way to go, Mare. Anyway, aftewards I actually set up my trainer to cool down while watching the guys race. I'm not usually that diciplined. Weird.

Warming up. Happy, before the pain.

Sweet panoramic shot, courtesy of Nicholas Connolly.

Me, hanging on for dear life.
After the race on Saturday I drove down to my dad's house in Grass Valley to minimize my driving on Sunday for the Sacramento CX race - also an NCNCA cup race. Anyway, me and my doggie arrived at Discovery park with plenty of time for warm-up and reg and preriding the course (well, the dog didn't do that stuff, I guess). The course was hard. Like, Cross Vegas hard, with lots and lots of flat grass. Yeah, so, long story short, today I wasn't DFL, but I sure did suck a lot. I was super tired from Saturday, and was just happy I didn't get caught by the master's and B's who started after us. Well, one B pretty much caught me at the end, but it was teammate Beth coming in for a big win!!! So that was cool, and I didn't mind being caught by her. So, second to last for me. Blah. Next time. It was fun, and I didn't fall in the mud under the bridge where it smelled like people peed all the time. Haha, yeah, that was my goal for the day (to not fall in that stinky mud) and I managed to pull it off, so yay me! Anyway, Bella Katie came down to watch and cheer, and it was nice seeing her and Beth.
Now I'm off to work. Yes, work on Veteren's Day. Wish I worked for the Post Office or something... :)

Friday, November 7, 2008

Pay rent or race my bike?

Maybe it's not so simple as that, but I'm currently thinking about hiring a coach. See, I have a great deal of trouble making decisions for myself, especially when it comes to training. So I'm looking around for a coach. Seems like it's going to end up costing me about as much as I pay for rent (which is ridiculously low for rent, yet seems like a lot of money for someone telling me when and how to ride my bike.) Hmmm. . .

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Yay Obama!

Here's to democracy!!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Belated comments on a rad weekend.

Wacky weekend. Totally devoid of bike racing, but still pretty radical. (yes, I said radical)

Uh, so, Friday was Nevada Day! Oddly enough Nevada Day falls on Halloween. I'm sure they weren't thinking of that when they admitted Nevada to the Union in 18whatever-year-that-was but it works out pretty conveniently, wouldn'tcha say? People who grew up here all say that they thought Halloween was a federal holiday 'cause they didn't have to go to school. Anyway, no school, but sadly Sinclair Imports doesn't place the importance on Nevada Day that UNR does, so I still had to work. Got home and got all dressed up in my Dorothy costume. Cody was the Scarecrow. It was pretty cute. Went to a couple of parties and then took a cab home (hell, it's pretty much a once-a-year sort of event that we both drink too much to drive). A friend of ours put on a pretty radical (there it is again!) haunted house.

Awww . . . Toto's licking himself . . .

Anyway, next day Cody had to work so I cleaned up the hay (Scarecrow tracked hay everywhere he went) and went for a ride in some lousy weather. It was kinda wet (not pourint, but the roads were wet and it was raining off and on) and suuuper windy - I almost got taken out by a tumble weed, and was engulfed in blowing leaves and debris a number of times. I only saw 3 other people out and about - 2 pros and one of my favorite local old guys. :) I think most people were sitting Saturday out. Anyway, we had a couple of friends from Bend and my pops coming over on Saturday night 'cause I had bought us all tickets to Neil Young and Death Cab for Cutie! Wooeey! Long story short, Death Cab was great, and then Neil came on, and I pretty much forgot about DeathCab. He played for 2 1/2 hrs and, with such a repertoire as he has it's pretty much impossible to not play something great. So, yeah, totally amazing. Best. Concert. Ever.

Tried, and failed, to capture just how windy it was on Saturday.

On Sunday we were pretty pooped, and it had poured all night on Saturday, but we dragged our butts out of bed and drove down to ride Thomas Creek Trail. This is pretty much the best ride in Reno w/out driving to Tahoe. It was in killer shape after all the rain. Suuuper tacky and fun and gorgeous up there, too. Ran the dog (and ourselves) for 3 hours - it suuure was nice to be on the mountain bike again.

Pretty fall colors, pretty fall puppy.

Yeah, anyway, I guess that's it. Next weekend's a full weekend of 'cross! Hopefully it isn't snowing!!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Weekend Adventures

Okay, well, I've been meaning to write a Surf City report, and I haven't gotten to it 'cause I'm lame like that. What can I say, it's been a busy week. Between school, work, Outlaw 'Cross, Halloween, and early voting it's been one hell of a week. So I think that if I put it off any longer in the hopes of writing the most badassest report ever I'll never get to it, so . . . abridged version!

Last saturday I picked up my friend Harry and drove down to Genoa, NV for the second race in the Sagebrush Cyclocross series. It's an awesome little town and the locals come out and build a mud pit with a couple barriers in it every year. There was only one other Women's A, Joan Gregg, who I routinely watch ride away from me, and a couple of B's who were racing at the same time as us, and we were all racing with the men's B's. Anyway, long story short, Joan kicked my butt again. I had a pretty good start, and felt decent for the first 2 laps, and then started fading. I backed off a little, but it still just kept getting worse. By the last lap I was having a hard time just turning over the pedals on the little climbs. Ouch. I attributed my disfunction to a hard week of riding and weight training (uhh, taper???). Joan beat me by like, 5 minutes, and I was just glad she didn't lap me. My one small dignity was in still finishing ahead of the women's B's, and beating a couple of the dudes, too. Still, it was not pretty.

I drove Harry (who had gotten a flat on the line, fixed it, and then flatted with one lap to go!) back to Reno and headed over the hill to my pop's house in Grass Valley. Got a good, if brief night's sleep, and headed down to Santa Cruz at the painful hour of 4:30 AM. Again, long story short, I had a blast down at Surf City. I saw lots of Bellas I haven't had the pleasure of seeing since Kern (seems like an eternity ago!) or, in the case of the Kitty People, Mt. Hamilton. I dressed up as Dorothy for the costume race, and led out the Kiddie 'Cross race, which was by far the highlight of my weekend! Sabine, I mean, uh, Stevil, :), told the kids to, "Follow Dorothy!" It was adorable. Anyway, then I raced the costume race, accompanied by none other than Jesus Christ, and a large gang of Mexican wrestlers. That was hilarious!!! Jesus kept blessing people as he rode by - I think I'm saved! Anyway, yeah, it was great.

Which brings us to the "serious" race of the day. I was lined up in the second row before the start of the Women's A race. Barb showed up after everyone had lined up and we scooted over for her (second row for Barbarella? that doesn't seem right . . .) but ended up squished in there like sardines. When we took off the girl to my right bumped me, and I bumped the girl on my left, and after a considerable amount of jostling, a couple of people went down. I barely managed to stay up, but I had to put a foot down and come to a complete halt. When all was said and done I was, uh, pretty much in last. Poor Barb was just a couple of people in front of me, but because of all our second row antics she was pretty far away from the front of the race. We got to the rideable run-up, and you know how it is when one person gets off so the rest have to??? Well, yeah, it was a total pile-up as everyone tried to funnel up the hill. I was pretty much just standing holding my bike and waiting for people go get moving when I saw Barb running around people in a crazy outside line. I was pretty much expecting to have a lousy race based on how I'd felt the preceeding day, so I didn't see much point in following her. As things got sorted out, tho, I felt pretty good. I kept catching and passing people! Unfortunately after I'd put in a supreme effort to pass a couple of girls I took a slight wrong turn and had to stop and get back on course. D'oh! They got back in front of me, and I had to get around again. Ah well, stupidity must be punished, right? Anyway, ultimately I ended up with a girl named Kelly (that's what all the people who were cheering for her kept yelling, anyway) and stayed with her for the rest of the race. I was sitting on her wheel feeling pretty decent, but I saw a couple of girls ahead of us who I thought I might be able to catch so I took the lead. That was probably a mistake. She was pretty comfortable on my wheel, so with a lap and a half to go I let her take the lead, hoping I could rest up and maybe win a sprint. Well, it didn't work out that way, when she got a little gap on me and I couldn't bridge back up as we rode through the swirly of mayhem (I loooooved the swirly!!!). So she beat me, but it was a damn good race, and I was happy that I felt better than the day before.

I had to get going right after my race to get home and finish some homework I had due that night. Lame. And it's a looong drive. But the race was totally worth it, which isn't always how I feel after such drives.

Uhh, no more typing. Off to ride the bike . . .

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Funny sh*t.

Some folks, including my significant other, are in North Carolina at Collegiate MTB nationals. One of the guys who went has started a UNR cycling team blog - and he just happens to be one of the funniest people I've ever had the pleasure to drink with. He's got some hilarious posts going on as a narrative to their adventure, and I highly encourage anyone to read them. Here is nationals post no. 1:


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The view from up here.

Legs - need to shave one of these days.

Ginormous pile of laundry - really ought to put away.

Rear wheel - desperately out of true, really need to rebuild it as my rim has a flat spot.
In other news, I've eaten an entire 24" loaf of french bread in the last 24 hours. Hmm, I guess that's 1"/hr. That's not so bad, but I've been generously topping each bite with butter or olive oil, and occasinally both. At least my coat will be nice and shiny.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Who says we don't have fall colors in Reno???

I had lovely long ride today, by myself, but lovely nonetheless. We're having the nicest fall weather!!! Cool enough that you can wear a sweater (not while riding, of course) but warm enough that your face doesn't go numb on descents. And the colors!!! As the photos will demonstrate, we DO get pretty fall colors in Reno. Sure, maybe it's not as spectacular as in Vermont or NH or wherever, but it's really nice anyway. The pictures don't do it justice. Mostly cause you can see the stupid sign for the stupid gated community. Hmph.

Anyway, back to my ride! I had an equally enjoyable solo ride yesterday, too, with some fun TT intervals and some exploring out in Lemon Valley and Stead. Now, Lemon Valley and Stead are a little shady in places (think Meth Lab shady) but it has a totally different feel from all the ritzy planned communities I was riding through today - different in a good way. Anyway, both days I was listening to an oddly thought provoking mix of Coldplay, Moby, Bad Religion and Steve Earle, and generally feeling very existential. I'm sitting at home eating leftover spanakopita (I have a slight obsession with all things phyllo dough right now) and feeling major Bike Love. Maybe a nap . . .

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Rookie move?

^^^ Clearly my sunglasses run under my helmet straps.^^^
Is this photographic evidence of my rookie-ness???

So - I've recently heard people talking about what a fred you are if you wear your sunglasses under your helmet straps. Is this true? Why has no one told me about this until now? Is it because they've been giggling about what a lame-oh I am behind my back? Or are they just elitest snobs with no idea what they're talking about? Well I started looking around the interweb for pictures of "pros" - you know, since I'm so P-R-O and all that. (insert hysterical laughter here)

Pictures of Katie Compton, Georgia Gould and Gunn Rita all appeared to have their sunglasses over their helmet straps. Proman ladies Shelley Olds and Rachel Lloyd appeared to have them under their helmet straps. Now I'm really confused. Basically that's like, if Ghandi and the Dalai Lama gave me conflicting notions of how to build a peaceful society. Does that analogy make sense????
Perhaps a better question is: Do I even give a good god damn if people think I'm lame because of how I wear my sunglasses??? I think we both know the answer to that.


So, out on my ride on Saturday I saw this really cool bird by the side of the road. I'm pretty sure it's a blue heron. It was enourmous!!! So I was standing there with my bike taking a picture of it and some old dude almost ran me over. I have poor impulse control, so I yelled at him, and the bird took off. It was pretty neat, really. Okay, that's all I got.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Sagebrush CX #1!!!

A friend who I credit for singlehandedly getting me into racing bikes took this picture this weekend. It's a sweet picture, except it makes my butt look rather large and lumpy.

Our local Reno cyclocross series had it's first race on Saturday! I loves me some good racing without the driving. And it was snowing all day Friday so there was the promise of some mud! Sadly, that possibility didn't come to fruition. I guess 1/4 inch of precipitation after 4 months of zilch rainfall isn't enough to make for sloppy conditions. Bummer. But it was freaking freezing, so at least we had that going for us!

It was a fun course (Shawn, who puts on the series, always finds fun courses for us) with some weird little turns in the deep sand, two sets of barriers (one on a nasty little run up), and a longer paved climb. We don't have many ladies who race 'cross around here, so, as is typical, I was the only A. They race us with the men's B category, and they ran the women's Bs at the same time. Off the line I was actually in the lead, and am pretty sure I coulda gotten the hole shot (I'm getting good at that, finally!) but I chickend out 'cause it was into one of those loose downhill sandy turns and I didn't want to crash and get run over by 15 big dudes. Ouch. So, what can I say, I'm a wus. Like, it woulda been different if it was just women, but dudes get all agro. I guess the lesson is to work on riding my 'cross bike through loose tight turns so I'm not such a wus. Anywho! Everything was going pretty well (I was ahead of all the B's women and quite a few guys) until probably my on my third lap through the barriers. I set my bike down too hard and dropped my chain, but didn't notice. As I was jumping on I nailed my leg on my pedal and just barely stayed upright. Then I went to start pedaling and that's when I realized I had no chain. D'oh! So I had to get back off and get my chain back on. Such a rookie move! Anyway, there's this one dude here in Reno who's a very good and experience 'cross racer, but not as strong as me, and he caught up to me while I was dickin' around with my chain. Long story short, he beat me. I was stronger on the climbs and though the flat stuff, but he kept punking me in the sandy turns. Weak. But all in all I had a good race, I just need to spend some more hours on my 'cross bike working on my skillz. I won tho! Ha! Easy to do when there's no competition, but it's good practice.

Anywho, I was looking at pictures from the CCCX race at Laguna Seca on Sunday and I soooo wish I had gone! But, really, it's like a 6 hour drive from Reno, which woulda sucked. But the course looked wicked fun!!!

Speaking of courses that looked fun, I think next year I'm defintely going to try to race in Gloucester! I mean, I'll get whupped, but that's okay. For anyone who doesn't know, Gloucester is where I've spent the last two summers - my boyfriend is from there. So when I see pictures of people racing around Stage Fort Park I think - oh! That's where I sat to watch the fireworks this summer! And I want to go race there because it feels like my home away from Reno. And it was sooo cool to see teammate Amy Dombroski dominate both races! So, next year. I just need to start saving my pennies for my plane ticket now . . .

Sunday, October 12, 2008


Clothing inventory for today's ride, Oct. 12:
-Leg warmers
-Knee Warmers
-2 pairs of socks
-Shoe covers
-Under shirt
-Long Sleeved Jersey
-Extremely warm winter riding jacket
-Warm gloves
-Glove liners
If you think this sounds like overkill you should see my the thermometer in my back yard.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Catch up.

After much deliberation I've decided to not do anything this weekend. I was signed up to do the Lake Tahoe Xterra, but bailed on that 'cause I'm getting over a cold and it's freezing and windy outside. 30 minutes in a freezing and turbulent lake followed by a 25 mile mountain bike ride followed by a 3 mile run sounds like pneumonia or mono or something like that to me.

Then I was going to go down to race 'cross in Sacramento tomorrow. I decided to pull the plug on that, too. Mostly 'cause I don't feel like driving. Anyway, I'm pretty stoked that I have the whoooole weekend to myself. I'm going to do a couple good rides, get caught up on some homework, tidy up the house, and finish building my single-speed.

Hooray for weekends! I think I'm going to bake some cookies . . .

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Cough, hack.

I got sick this weekend. I was fending it off all last week, barely hanging in there through Cross Vegas, and only avoiding it because I slept most of Thursday and Friday. And then the weekend roles around, and the UNR Collegiate MTB race. We hosted it up at Sky Tavern - the site of my previous poor performance on numerous occasions. Actually, last year (it snowed the night before) I did pretty well, and came in 3rd. As a matter of fact, I was faster (only just) than the girl who won this year, and beat me by a whopping 12 minutes, Maureen. What can I say? She's an animal and my endurance is shaky at best. Anywho, the field was waaay thinner this year, and I got 2nd. I was pretty stoked, given that the preceeding week had only seen me on my bike for 45 minutes of agony.
Anyway, that night I started feeling all lousy and now I'm sick.
On Sunday we raced the short track. I got the hole shot again! Damn I'm getting good at that. Me and Maureen lapped everyone else a couple of times. I was pretty stoked I could hang with her for most of the race, but she dropped me at the end. Actually she dropped me a couple of times, but for the first couple I was able to catch back up. It was some good racing, even though it was just 1 on 1.
Here's a pic of when I was leading.

In other news, Barack Obama spoke at UNR on Tuesday. I missed it, cause I'm pretty dumb, but from what I hear it was pretty stellar and exciting. Not that I need any convincing, of course, but it would have been neat to see the future pres speak at my school. (That's what we call reasonable optimism.)

Monday, September 29, 2008

Cross Vegas!

Alternate post titles:

How I lost my helmet in the Las Vegas Airport.
The longest day ever.
The suffering-est race ever.

Erm, yeah, Cross Vegas! I've been waiting to post a report because I was hoping there would be a picture of me surfacing out there on the interweb that I could include, but alas, none have. So I'll content myself with a report.

So, my whole Las Vegas trip (lasting all of 24 hours) was a bit of an adventure. Cody dropped me off at the Reno airport on Wednesday, the day of the race, at 7 AM. When I got to Vegas my bike was there at the luggage claim (no seriously alarming holes in my bike box!) and I stepped out of the terminal to figure out how the hell I was going to get to the convention center. Ah yes, airport shuttle. $12.00 round trip, and I just had to call them to schedule my return trip the next day. Not too hard. The guy driving the shuttle grumbled about loading my enourmous box into the van, repeatedly telling me that they wouldn't allow it in the convention center. Um, it's a bike expo, and this is my bike . . . huh? But then he was hella nice and drove me all the way to the doors of the convention center, even though they usually just drop people off at the Venetian and make them walk. And Milo and Otis was playing on the TV in the shuttle van and some foreign dude behind me was cracking up. All in all a good start to the day.

So, I walked into the convention center and immediately saw the coat/bag check office. I asked them if I could check my bike (box and all!) and, after some deliberation, they allowed it! Sweet, one less thing to worry about. I picked up my badge that my boss had arranged for me (it said I was a distributor from Belgium . . . haha) and wandered around the expo for awhile. Talk about sensory overload. I found my coworkers at the Ridley booth and verified that I could stay with them that night (3 dudes sleeping in a room together, one on a cot, and they offered me the couch. Pretty sweet deal if you ask me!). Sampled some of Clif's new offerings, tried to get some free stuff, and then took a nap in the lobby on the floor.

Ultimately I decided to take a cab to the race venue. It was a little pricey, but at least I could bring my bike and then build it at the venue. I was just putting my wheels on in the parking lot when I saw Alex from Velo Bella getting set up at the Kona tent. Yay! People I know! I walked over and said hi, met some new people, and set up camp. Lots of Bellas (really freaking fast ones!) racing. Anyway, the team support from Alex and Melanie was awesome!

Anyway, to get to the point (finally) the race started at 7:30. I felt decent - kinda tired from my early morning and my wanderings at Interbike, but ready for a thorough ass-whooping. They called everyone up, and it was pretty freaking cool hearing my name, "Marian Jamison, racing for Velo Bella, from Reno, Nevada!" - or something like that. My friend Harry was there at the start line (I think he'd had a couple beers at this point) and he yelled, pretty much right into Laura Van Gilder's ear, I think, "This is Marian Jamison, people! Marian Jamison!" It made me smile. :)

Ready, set, hurt! The start of the race was sooo fast! LVG was right in front of me and she popped out of her pedals and almost went down. Holy crap, I almost ran over Laura Van Gilder. Anyway, we got going on the little parade lap and it was pain pain pain, hard hard hard from the very beginning. I was pretty far near the back, worked my way up past a couple of people, and then jockeyed back and forth with a couple of girls for most of the race. The course was mostly flat, with a couple little gnar up sections. Those little up sections made me feel like my brains were going to pop out of my eye-sockets. Seriously, pain. But there were lots of people around the course who knew me (I had no idea who they were at the time) and were cheering for me, and every time I went by Alex he told me to suffer more (that was essentially the gist) so I was pretty encouraged to flog myself for the whole race. Or, almost the whole race. My accomplishment for the evening was being the last girl to not get lapped and pulled. I was riding sooo hard going into my last lap so that Katie and Katerina wouldn't catch me, and I think I went through the finish when they were maybe 100 feet back and closing in fast! So, there was no one behind me on my last lap, and the girl in front of me was pretty far away, so I backed off a little, since I was pretty sure I was dying at that point. But I did my last lap, and sat down on the grass to wait for death. Alex came by, congradulated me, and told me to cool down.

I took a spin and ran into a couple of the people who'd been cheering for me. Bella Marian (California Issue) was there. I hadn't seen her since Kern, so that was pretty much rad, 'cause she's pretty much rad. Also Maureen Kunz, Pro-MTBer extraordinair and collegiate rival (if you can be in a rivalry with someone who is hella faster than you) and maybe one of my favorite people to get beat by, was there offering congrats and catch up with. Plus Harry and his friend, were was pretty much awesome with the cheering. Ha! Even my old boss who I routinely avoid, and some fun ex-coworkers were there cheering for me like crazy. I felt like such a star coming in 5th from last that I can't even imagine how those people who actually do well must feel. Golly.

So, thus ended the extremely fun and painful part of my adventure. I watched the men's race, which was rad and hella exciting. There was some dude named Lance Armstrong racing? Anyway, people seemed pretty excited about him. It was so awesome to watch some of the fastest guys in the world (Frischknecht and Sauser were there) and they were all so fast. After the race there was a bit of a mass exodus from the venue to where they were shuttling people back to the strip. I was planning on taking the shuttle, but the line was like, a mile long, so I decided to ride. I strapped all my bags of crap on my back and got ready to depart. Some dudes from Boston offered to let me ride with them because they had lights, and we had a jolly nice ride back into Vegas. It was a pretty surreal experience, tho. I mean, I'm a Reno-ite, so I'm used to bright lights and tall casinos, but Vegas is on a whole other level. It was pretty weird riding towards all that through darkened neighborhoods at 11 o'clock at night.

My destination was the Rio - I was heading to the Sinclair party where my coworkers could supply me with a room key to get washed up and then go get drunk with Phil Liggett at the party (haha, only kidding). Long story short (too late), I was way too tired to enjoy the party much, but I hung out for a while because California Marian was there, as were my Bostonian riding buddies. So that was cool. Anyway, the pole dancers were a little much at the end of a very, very long day. So I headed to my couch at 2 AM, only to be woken up by a phone call from some number I didn't know. See, in all the hustle and bustle to get back to the Rio, I'd forgotten to dispose of my cardboard bike box, and it had my name and phone number on it. Some dude was wicked pissed that I'd left it in the parking lot (totally on accident! I don't litter!) and called me to tell me so. Sorry dude! It was an accident! Oops! Well, I felt like a jack ass. Oh well, moving on.

I got up at 5:45 the next morning to take the shuttle back to the airport. Ouch, 3:45 hrs of sleep. I left my bike with my coworkers (they would be driving back to Reno after Interbike). In my sleep deprived state I managed to leave my helmet somewhere in the Las Vegas airport. I realized I didn't have it with me about 20 minutes before my plane left. D'oh! I checked, very quickly, with the lost and found folks at the Security check - the only placed I feel I could have left it - but it wasn't there and if I waited any longer I was going to miss my plane. So that was a bummer of a way to end my trip.

Well, I'm still getting caught up on sleep from that trip, but I think it was worth it. I think next year I'll go to Gloucester instead, tho . . . I know lots of people there, too, so I should have a good cheering section. :)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Lame blogger and 1st Cross Race!!!

I've just been soooo busy. I'm not a good multitasker. You know, some people can do it all, and make it look good, and be highly successful at it. I'm not one of those people. If I am super busy and try to do it all I usually just end up feeling like a mediocre flake, cause I usually end up bailing on a lot of the shit I said I'd do.

What do I have going on? 13 credits of school work (not hard, just time consuming), 20 hrs a week of work (more like 12 this week), trying to ride my bike enough to not come in last at Cross Vegas, trying to swim enough to not drown in Lake Tahoe at X Terra, not even bothering to try to run anymore, walk the dog at least every other day (not even adequate from the dog's stand point), being a somewhat decent girlfriend (not even coming close from Cody's stand point), erm, what else? Sleep. I need lots of sleep or I break down. Like today, where I've felt all nasty-sick all day long. Ugh. Enough bitching. Point is, I'm about to crack. But it'll be funny, so stick around and watch.

Erm, what else??? Oh yes, I did my first cross race of the year on Sunday in Sacramento. Flat tires were the order of the day, as I got 4, but only one during my race. However, it was on a borrowed tubular wheel. Lame. But there was a little good news. I am a historically lousy starter. Like, I just kinda start pedalling and let people jump in front of me and then kill myself trying to pass/catch. Like, lame. But on saturday I got the hole-shot! Yay me! Truly a 1st. I was passed by one lady, and then when I flatted I was passed by another and pretty much gave up on the race since there was only one lap to go. Someone handed me a wheel and told me to finish, so I did, coming in 3rd out of 3 A's women. But I won my race entry back! And I was actually have a stellar race until the flat, so, yeah. The picture at the top is of me getting the hole-shot!

And, for your enjoyment, some randomly selected, long overdue pictures.

Awwww . . .

The Balloon Races - cool, but probably not worth getting up at 4:45 AM.

Anyway, I've gotta go pack for Cross Vegas! I'm flying down there tomorrow morning and flying back the next morning. Quick trip. I have no transportation (I think there's a shuttle???) and no place to stay. Sweet. I'm not good at this whole spontaneous thing.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Challenge Road Race Report - very belated.

I haven't written a report for the Challenge RR because, well, I DNFed. Pretty weak, huh? Well, hear me out. I DNFed 2 miles from the finish. 2 miles!!! So you gotta figure that if I couldn't make it 2 more miles it had to have been pretty bad.
This race was so hard!!! For anyone who hasn't done it think Copperopolis in August with more climbing. As in, there was some pretty awful pavement, it was 100 degrees, and the whole thing went up up up. And . . . we did two 33 mile laps like this. Oh yeah, and there were only 4 of us. It's like the bike racing gods were conspiring to make this the hardest freakin' race ever. The pro 1/2 guys protested doing 3 laps - gosh, I wonder why. Hmph.
Anyway, the four of us rolled though our first lap pretty easy. My legs felt good and I felt like I wasn't struggling as much as the other 3 on the climbs. Sweet, training is paying off. The feed zone fell right after a climb of about a mile that was super exposed and steep with a tailwind. I've never felt like I suffer more in the heat than others, but I think the heat got to me. I took a bottle (from my dad who came out to offer support/feed/commiserate) and then we had about 6 more miles of climbing to get to the start/finish area to begin our second lap. I think I kinda started cracking starting the second lap. At this point we were down to 3. I started feeling really parched and my legs were a little crampy. At the top of one of the larger climbs there was a crate full of bottles (self-serve neutral feed) and I actually stopped to take a bottle and then had to chase a little to get back on during the descent.
Long story short, as we started up the feedzone climb I cracked. I was hot, I was thirsty, and my legs didn't want to more anymore. I limped up to the feedzone where my dad handed me a bottle and dumped another one on my head. I think my words to him were, "The heat . . ." Real articulate, Mare. Anyway, I figured I'd finish the race, but there came a point when I just had to call it. It was ridiculous. There was a follow vehicle behind me and my dad was driving up behind it. I took one look at a long exposed section of the climb, shook my head, and got off my bike and got in the car. Bummer. On the shortish drive back to my dad's house I was feeling pretty queasy. Got to the house and up-chucked about 3 bottles of water and a bunch of goo. Oh, I guess that's why I bonked. Stomach didn't seem to really like the heat that day, I guess.
Sooo . . . that's it for my road season. I bailed on the Giro de SF and I haven't been on my road bike since. 'Cross, anyone???

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

And it begins.

School, that is. God, it's only the second day and already I'm exhausted. I slept for 45 minutes after the alarm went off this AM. Oh well.

Soooooo! I had a pretty good race last Thursday out at the Aircenter Twilight Crit. I won! Yay! Racing w/ the men's C's, tho. I mean, they were a strong bunch of young inexperienced dudes (who couldn't organize a chase if Angelina Jolie was riding around naked in front of them) but I still feel pretty good about myself. :) They said it's the first time a woman has won a crit out there, too, so, yeah, I'm done talking about myself now.
Or not. I rode both sides of Mt. Rose on Saturday. Ouch. I made the mistake of dropping down this side road to get to Incline and then climbing back up it. Steeeeeeeep steep steep. Ouch. Pretty much it totally cooked me before I even got to the main part of the climb. I'm still tired from it. But on Sunday we went to Downieville!!! Fun. Swam in the river and ate pizza aftewards. Fun fun fun.
Okay, I'm off to class. I haven't bought any books yet, so I should probably do that. It's a pretty good chunk of change, tho. I'm taking 5 nutrition classes. Yep, that's it. It's getting a little old seeing the same people (and in the case of 2 classes, the same professor) all day long. I mean, they're nice people and all, but variety can be refreshing. Oh well, gotta get done, and better sooner than later.
Off to the Challenge RR on saturday and then hopefully get to race with my awesome teammates on Monday at the Giro de SF!!!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Pudding = New Super Food???

So, I went to the Boca Res. Twilight RR last night, fully expecting a good spanking, and came away with a renewed sense of self-worth. (Is it self-destructive to base my entire sense of self-esteem [is it "esteem" or "esteam"? God! Spelling is hard!] on C's twilight races???) Anywho! There were 3 of us ladies racing in the C's category. The rest of the category consisted of the squirelly-est bunch of dudes I've ever ridden with. For serious. Anyway, this short race (24 mi long) has 1 serious hill, and a bunch of smaller hills. They award KOM points and $$$ for the top 3 dudes and the top lady. So we hit the base of the climb and I let some of the guys hammer ahead and stayed with the other two ladies. With about 200 m to go I jumped and totally dropped the other two girls, passing 4 guys in the process. Sweet. I won $10. I pretty much bailed on the finishing sprint because of the aforementioned squirelly-ness. Like, it's a twilight race and these dudes are going to kill someone, so I'm certainly not going to be the one to die. But my climbing ability was life-affirming, and I'm feeling a little better with the world and my pudding-loving self.
At lunch today I had to go to the bank. The bank happens to be right next to Ross. Soooo, long story short, I found a lovely dress, some cute pants, and a tank top at Ross all for $20. Pretty much awesome.
Good racing, good shopping, good chocolate (did I mention someone brought in a huge bar of Trader Joe's milk chocolate with almonds? Yeah, it rocked.) = renewed sense of purpose.
I'm going to race some crit(s) tonight. Even though it'll be squirrely as hell again, and there's no climbing or money to be had. I haven't done a crit on my Kona yet, so it'll be fun to see how she* does.

*I'm not sure if my bikes are boys or girls. On one hand, my road bike is beautiful and pink and blue and perfect, which implies female. And on the other hand . . . . erm, I dunno. I guess it could be some metrosexual, chest-waxing dude . . . . I'm going to shut up now.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Hmm, one and one . . . two???

I loooove pudding. I also tend to do poorly in bike races. Coincidence???

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

And it's only tuesday . . .

Sigh . . . I feel tooootally wiped out. Like, I'm getting the flu or something. Stupid flu. Okay, maybe I'm just super tired, but it was really cold last night and I got all chilled and I just feel awful.

Speaking of awful, I did a MTB race on sunday. Need I say more?

So, WTF, right?

Obviously my extreme exhaustion (for which I have no excuse) is making me delirious. Let's see, what else is going on? Well, I might go do a twilight road race tomorrow. And the night after that I might go back up to NorthStar for another XC ass-whooping. As in, thanks for whooping my ass, I'm going home now to cry about it. And then I plan on doing some gnarly self-inflicted spanking on Saturday, although I'm not quite sure where I'll be doing said massochism. Rose to Spooner to Gold Hill? Sweeeeet. But then, oh yes, then! Downieville on Sunday!!! Hells yes, I haven't been up there in a whooole year! I'm sure it's beat to shit, but whatcha gonna do? Just eat lots of dust and break my bike! Yeah right, if I was going to break my trusty little Epic I'm sure I'd've managed it by now. I mean, don't get me wrong, Specialized is pretty much the evil-ist bike company in the world, but my XC bike is pretty freakin' cool. The Manitou fork on the other hand . . .

Well, that was another pointless post. And I don't have any cool pictures, either. I'm almost as bad at blogging as I am at racing my bike. Sheesh.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Something's not right.

I finished last in the Mt. Rose Hill climb on Sunday. I DNFed my first race of the season at a NorthStar XC race last night. What the hell? I feel like my training is going great, and I feel like I'm climbing really well, I just seem to be sucking a lot. What's going on? I mean, if I'd paced myself on Sunday I'd've been faster then I was with my spectacular blow up with 3 miles to go. And last night, well, what can I say? I just wasn't in the mood, I guess. What a loser I am. >:(
Okay, I don't really think that, but I do think I need to get this shit figured out ASAP or I'm going to have a bummer of a cross season. And I've been looking forward to cross all year!!! Maybe that's my problem. Maybe I need to live more in the moment??? Whatever. Point is, gotta get it together.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

For that matter . . .
Yay Jeannie Longo!!! To be 49 years young and 1 second off of an Olympic podium?! Holy smokes. And it's not like she's 1 second off of a podium in curling or table tennis, either...
Yay Kristen Armstrong!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Things I've (re)learned this weekend.

I call this one, "Self portrait with slobbering dog."

Sweeet rock section on Mr. Toads Wild Ride. I rode it too.
Most of it, anyway.

1. The Olympics is pretty cool. I mean, I like watching the Tour, but watching the Olympics is almost more fun. I really do love watching cycling (women's olympic road race? Cool. I mean, how often do you see women's cycling on TV! Very cool.) but watching track and field, and rowing, and water polo? Very cool also. Non-cycling athletes are awesome. Okay, maybe trampoline is a weird olympic sport, but maybe I'm just jealous that they get to jump on a trampoline for a living. Who wouldn't be jealous of that?
2. Mountain biking is fun. (um, duh?) And mountain biking with someone you love is even better. And mountain biking with someone you love and your dog, well, nothing really beats that, does it? And doing that and then swimming in Lake Tahoe and eating a hamburger with a glass of Brayzen Hussie red wine (okay, it was okay wine, but that's pretty much the coolest name ever) is pretty much all I need to be a happy person.
3. When I am 2 miles ino a 13.7 mile uphill time trial and my heart rate is 181 is wellll about my LT and my target HR for this race, maybe it's time to slow down a little bit. Cause, erm, 50 minutes and 11 miles into the race when I hit the gnarly headwind at 7500 ft elevation? Yeah, that sucked. Pretty much the next several miles were the slowest miles of my life. And, you know what? I KNEW that! I KNEW, looking at my computer and seeing how freaking hard I was going, that I wouldn't be able to hang in there the whole time. Damn. Everytime I think I'm getting just a teensy bit smarter about my racing I go and do some bonehead thing like this. Next time I'm in the middle of a TT and I'm going waaay harder than I should, would someone please throw a rock at me or something? Come on, Marian, get with it.
On a brighter note, at least I looked hot and fast in my sweeeet new kit and my sexy new shoes and my matching bike.

Sunday, August 3, 2008


For Harry. :) And of course anyone else who has the misfortune to stumble over my blog.

Friday, August 1, 2008

This is the orignal picture. I just thought it would be random and funny if it said "bikes" instead of "bites." Cody tried to tell me that my humor was falling a little flat on this one, but I didn't listen, 'cause why start now?

This is said pig. His name was Big Boy and he weighed 1000 pounds. He was like, as big as my couch. He was just a pet, tho, no one was going to eat him or anything.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Rest Day

Here is a random image for you to ponder. Why does the pig bike? Why should we use caution? Is he sketchy in the pack? Did he glue his own tubulars and thinks they might come off in an unopportune corner? Oh wait, that's me . . .

Instead of riding my bike I ate 2 slices of key lime pie. Mmmmm . . . pie. Still a couple of months to go before I can start saying that I'm at my "winter weight". Hmph. Well, if I hadn't eaten that 2nd slice tonight, I would have undoubtedly eaten it tomorrow, so it's all the same, right? :)

I'm going to go climb Mt. Rose tomorrow in my sexy new kit and shoes.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Is anyone else thinking about 'cross? I know it's still road season, and I have a handful of road races left to do this year, plus some sexy new shoes, but I'm having a hard time getting my mind off cyclocross. Weird, cause I'm not really that good at cyclocross. 'Course, I'm not particularly great at road or mountain biking, either, and that's never stopped me. Yeah . . . 'cross . . .

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Oh my.

New shoes! My old ones are FOUR YEARS OLD! You know what that means? I've been riding in shoes that are almost a full size too small for FOUR YEARS! And these are sooo much stiffer, my goodness. And they're shiny and pink. Yay.

And on another note . . .

Riley has a visor now, too.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

How do I do this, again?

I was making coffee this AM and I was so spaced out that I dumped the whole coffee beans directly into my french press without grinding them. Ooops. I must've really needed my coffee.

Drove down to Markleeville yesterday and climbed Ebbett's pass. I haven't been down there since I rode the Death Ride on my 21st birthday. I had a triple on my bike then, and needed it. So I felt pretty damn accomplished yesterday since my smallest gear was a 38x25. Wow, maybe I've actually gotten a little bit stronger in the last 4 years. Crazy, huh? Anyway, it was beautiful down there.

I want to go race, but I really need a job first. I'm working on that. In the meantime I'm selling a bunch of stuff on ebay. I think that's funny. Unfortunately the # of things I have that I can do w/out (I can't sell my bikes, for example) and anyone else would want (er, 5 year old 105 derailleur anybody?) is extremely limited. Oh well.

I'm taking Riley to Art Dogs in the Park today. Should be good fun.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Blue Skies!

Finally! The smoke has cleared! I can breathe again! I can't tell you how good that feels! Although I'm certain that a whole lot of people in CA are feeling the same way, hopefully. It's the little things that make life worth living, right? Ahh, let's enjoy it . . .
And, to answer the unasked question, yes, this is the most exciting thing going on in my life at the moment. I've been riding a bit and running a lot and think I'll probably drown in Pyramid Lake during my tri in a couple of weeks. So I should really swim more. I'm putting up a fence in my front yard, and I haven't looked for a job yet. Hmm. Oh yes, and I have no cell phone right now because I left my charger somewhere in Massachusetts. Bummer. What else? Erm, I want to race my bike, but I don't think I'll be able to get over the hill until August, cause of that whole unemployed thing. Um, what else? I had a pedicure in June, my first, and now I want another one, cause it was nice and made my feet pretty. Again, unemployment poses a problem to that, and my much overdue haircut. Talk about random post, huh? I'm going to go dig fence post holes and enjoy the clean air.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


This is what a woke up to yesterday. Pretty, huh?

This is what I woke up to today. There's supposed to be a big mountain over there. Since I can't see it at the moment, due to the smoke, I guess I have to just assume its still there. Couldn't see it yesterday, either. My existing sympathy for everyone in California dealing with fires just added a quality of empathy. This sucks, huh? Shoulda stayed away.
Nah, it's nice to be home. I woke up in the middle of the night with no idea where I was. And it took me a couple of minutes to figure it out. It was kinda scary actually. Like, "Why am I alone in this weird building? Who's cat is this?" Oh yeah, it's mine.
Anyway, I'm thinking it would be bad to ride my bike in this. Just going outside makes my throat hurt. Thoughts?

Friday, July 4, 2008

Still here.

Coming home on Wednesday.  More then.  :)

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Sore in muscles I didn't even know I had.

Isn't my new bike lovely?

Ah, well, another District TT gone by, another last place finish by yours truly. But I really can't help if if there are some super fast TT girls that show up to this thing! In fact, I had a great ride, couldn't have been much better unless I'd actually trained for it. Go figure. But I'm happy, nonetheless.

It has come to my attention that my previous blog posts were unclear when relating my forthcoming trip to Massachusetts. Just in case anyone wants to stop by unannounced, I'll be leaving on Tuesday and I'll be back four weeks from then. See you at the races in July!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

No time to ride . . .

. . . cause I was building my new bike! It came today! Or, I should say, new frame and fork came today! (Thanks Tash!) I'll post pictures later. Sure is pretty! And I think this one will fit me a little better than my last bike, which was just a touch on the large side. Those first scratches sure are gonna hurt!

I suspect that I'm not the only person who has a hard time getting motivated to cook for themselves. Unless it's a cheesecake or something to be eaten in one sitting. But really, since Cody's been gone (2 weeks now) I think I've had cereal for dinner 5 times. And instead of cooking my oatmeal on the stove in a pot I've been microwaving it. I mean, I still eat healthy and all (what's more healthy than granola w/ soymilk and fruit?) but it's not really the warm, cooked comfort food that usually graces our table. As a matter of fact, I don't think I've even sat down at the table in 2 weeks, either. I mean really, who wants to cook and do the dishes? Not I!

I quit my job! Hooray! Mr. Boss wasn't too stoked, but that was to be expected. And I don't care because I'm leaving to live a life of selfish irresponsiblity on the East coast for the next month! Woo hoo! But I'll miss my puppy . . . Someone asked me the other day if I would miss Cody, who is gone now but who I will be w/ in MA, or Riley, who I can't afford to bring on the plane so he'll be staying w/ my mom who loves him very much, more. Er . . . Cody or Riley? Tough choice! Just kidding, Riley ate a pair of my bike shorts the other day so I've decided that I won't miss him as much as I miss Cody, who doesn't destroy my bike clothes. That's a good, objective determination, isn't it?

Friday, May 30, 2008


As in, out. As in, no more bike racing please! I'm full! Well, for another week or so, anyway. In the meantime I've been running and swimming (fear of drowning is a powerful motivator).

So . . . my two week trip to Massachusetts to visit the boy has morphed into 4 weeks. Just gotta figure out a way to tell my boss. Do you think he reads my blog? Cause that would simplify things.

"Mr. Boss, I'm not coming back."

I'll miss my puppy, but my mom loves him nearly as much as I do and they'll have fun.

But I'll get to swim in the ocean, and work in a great bike shop, and race Fitchburg again, and take those pictures of the treehouse that I was so negligent in getting last year. And I'll get to get the hell out of Reno for a little while. Don't take it too hard, Reno, I love ya and all, but maybe we need to spend a little time apart.

So I'm pretty stoked. I have about a bazillion things I need to do in the next week and a half before I leave, but I'm sure if I ignore them they'll go away.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Peanut butter by the forkful, because there are no clean spoons!

That's what's for dinner. Cody's on the other side of the country, so there's no incentive to do the dishes. Forks make servicable utensils when the peanut butter is chunky.

Had a nice weekend of un-racing. By which I mean, I attended races, paid lots of money, and then didn't do much racing. Just not feeling it. Although I had a lovely ride up Mt. Hamilton with the Kitty People on Sunday, which was almost certainly the highlight of the weekend. Or, the last 20 miles or so were - fun fun fun downhill fast stuff through a cool canyon. I think I set a new course record for the slowest time on that course. Fortunately I don't think they post times, so no one need know what that time was.

On Monday I went to the Memorial Day crit in Morgan Hill. I was a wus and just raced the 3/4 race, I don't think I got my heartrate above 140 the whole time. I had a lousy position going into the final stretch, and sat on the wrong wheel. So I was, er, near the back. Probably the less said about it, the better. Hmph. Anyway, disgruntled as I was, I had my car packed up within about 5 minutes of finishing my race, and I was on my way back home. Felt lame for not sticking around for the 1/2/3 race, but sometimes you've just gotta call it a day.
Looks like the ladies kicked some butt at the Golden State crit on saturday, though!
I only took one picture this weekend - of my dog on his first trip across the Golden Gate Bridge. Why, you may ask, did I go through San Francisco to get to San Jose? Don't ask, I reply, it's not a good story.

Until next time . . .

Thursday, May 22, 2008

It's snowing.

What's up with that?

Monday, May 19, 2008

Kern. (Yeah, that's the most imaginative thing I can come up with for a title. So? You think you can do better?)

Back to the real world . . . as I count the money I'm supposed to be depositing over and over and over and over again because it never seems to add the same, I'm deeply distracted by the Bangles' Manic Monday playing on the radio. How stupidly apt.

Despite strong premonitions of doom as last weekend approached, I survived Kern. I can't even count the number of times this weekend I thought my brain was going to melt out my ears. So . . .

My tt on friday was, er, not very good. It was blazing hot and there was a headwind both ways. How is that even possible? Er, yeah, and when I got back to the tents Barrett, one of our fellas, told me that my wheel had twisted and was dragging on my brake. Um, yeah, right, I know how to tighten a quick-release. Really I do. I just thought the time trail wouldn't be hard enough without the added resistence of a dragging brake. Right. So that was a bummer, but it was neat seeing all the Bellas roll in after the TT with identical expressions of horror on their faces. Marian SoCal joined me there and we proceeded to get lost on the way to the hotel, and then lost on the way to dinner. How many Chester Aves. are there in Bakersfield? Er, 3 that I've counted so far!

Woke up bright and early to drive out to the circuit-y road race on Saturday. It was a really neat little valley with a couple of rolling hills. And it was actually kinda green and cool once we got away from Bakersfield. Anyway, the whole group seemed into having a nice easy ride and saving their energy for the hill climb in the afternoon, which was fine with me. We all sprinted for the time bonus points (which ended up being pretty meaningless after all was said and done, but they're still fun). All the girls in the 3s were cheerful and nice and it was a very pleasant little racey non-race. Going into the finish I found myself on the front, and decided to stay there since it was better than sprinting from the back. With about 30 ft to the line I kinda resigned myself to mid-pack, but was totally thrilled to see Jenna sprinting around me and a couple of others to take the win. She had a totally impressive burst of speed up that hill. We sat around under the tents afterwards eating all the yummies that had been set out on a table and trying to stay cool and chatting about our races. It was really nice.

We packed up (well, mostly the guys packed up for us) and headed over to hotter-then-hell-Havilah for the hill climb. Everyone rode pretty mellow up to where it took a serious turn for the steep, and then the climber girls hit the gas and we all fell into our respective places. I saw Jenna chasing one of the girls down up the hill from me and was stoked to hear that she caught her. I know this is kinda sick, but I really enjoyed the climb. It was a super fun little twisty road, and the higher we got the cooler the air felt. There were some nice little tailwind sections that made me feel like super woman (if super woman was a mid-pack cat 3) and coming around one corner to see and hear Bob Liebold playing his odd silver clarinet was definitely a highlight. Plus, the whole thing was a mile and 1/2 shorter than I'd anticipated, even if the last 1K was the longest I've ever ridden. But at the top there was a big table laid out with watermelon, and it was a ripping descent back to the cars. Well worth it. I think I was 6th? Something like that.

Sunday was another early day, but we only had 2 laps of the course to look forward to, because some of the other 3s had petitioned to take it down from 3 laps. Whew, good call. It was soooo hot!!! Marian SoCal attacked mercilessly from the get-go much to my glee and the frustration of the other teams. It was awesome. About halfway up the main climb in the first lap the group was whittled down to five of us in the lead - me and Jenna and three others who rounded out the top five, so that was cool. Everyone was really friendly again (the girl who won is crazy fast and also insanely nice. Seriously, it's insane how nice she is. Like, she needs help learning how to be mean.) and worked together and kept the pace high. We stuck together up the main climb on the second lap, but things kinda fell apart on the descent and even more so on the final grunt, which was the hottest, steepest, mostest awfullest climb ever. Fella Tyler dumped some cold water on my back as I was approaching the line and it was the greatest thing ever. Jenna was 2nd, ahead of me, in 5th. But, notably, I beat the next person back by 16 minutes! The break was smokin'. It was way fun, and even funner to hose myself off with cold water afterwards. Oooh, nice.

But enough about me. My teammates are awesome, and I wish I could race with the 35+ ladies because they have so much fun and work sooo well together. No, I take it back, cause me and SoCal and Jenna had a blast, too. In fact, I just have such a tremendous amount of respect an admiration for all my teammates. It's wonderful. And the awards were awesome, and the whole thing was a blast. What else can I say? I guess just that it was well worth the incredibly long, long, hot hot hot drive. And I can't wait for the next one. :)

Now I'm drinking a big RedBull and eating cherries and rice chips and trying to get motivated to get some work done before I pass out at my desk. What a way to start the week.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Lazy Saturday

So, I know I should be out doing some gnarly ride, and I know that if I don't I'll pay a price for it next weekend. But I'm sooooo lazy today. Finals totally kicked my ass, and there are a hundred other things to do today. Our house is a disaster, the dog feels thorougly neglected after this past week of minimal walks, the Reno River Festival is going on downtown and I really want to head down there to watch and hang out, and there's a huge pile of gravel in the driveway that needs moving. And I could probably go straight back to sleep right now. But I won't. I think I might go do a bit of shopping (got my "tax stimulus" rebate yesterday - might as well use it to stimulate the economy. Right, like that'll work). So my plans of climbing over Mt. Rose today and then dropping down to Incline are slipping away. Maybe a little less ambitious a ride later today.

So, the Giro started today, right? With the TTT? Yeah, so what, right? How freaking cool is it that Slipstream Chipotle won?! If that isn't an argument for cool looking kits and 1000 calorie burritos making people faster, I don't know what is. ;)

Oh yes! And collegiate nats is this weekend, too! I actually qualified, somehow, but decided that it would totally destroy me to have to get ready to go to Colorado during finals week, and I'd probably come back waaaay to tired to make it down to Kern next weekend. But the Stanford girsl won the TTT. See? It's okay that they dropped me like a bad habit, they're national champions!

Okay, I think I'll go do . . . something. I dunno what.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Study Break

Why I have inserted a picture of pudding? Well, pretty much because pudding is great. If I buy banana pudding Cody won't eat it, too, so that's an added bonus. I was thinking about mixing peanut butter into my banana pudding - doesn't that sound divine?

I have three finals today. Weak. Well, just two more. I already took one of them. It wasn't too bad, I guess. The next two are gonna kill, though. I should probably just keep studying, but I think I've already reached my brain's capacity for the day. No more taxonomic categories of pathogenic microbes, or phylogenic relationships of humans and apes and dusky sea sparrows, or whatever they're called. I guess it doesn't matter, since they're extinct.

But after tomorrow I'm done!

I raced the Coolest 24 hr race last saturday. Only I did the 8 hr version. And I was on a 2 person team. So I'm not really all that cool. But we did win. That was fun. Our team was "The Shady Ladies" which is the name of a brothel out in The Middle of Nowhere, Nevada. We thought that was pretty clever. 'Specially since we stepped on the podium with cans of Miller Lite in our hands. Anywho, the race was really well organized, and for a good cause (cancer research), and the course was incredibly fast and fun and dusty. It was nice to race the knobbies again, too. I should do more of that.

I raced a twilight crit on tuesday night. I've stepped it up and am racing with the Men's Bs now. They are seriously the sketchiest group of people I've ever ridden with. I was just happy to survive. And, incidentally, finish with the lead group. But mostly I was just irate that these dudes kept almost taking me out, and actually took eachother out on one occasion. Sorry, not too into sacrificing myself and my bike for a twilight race. Or any other race for that matter. I don't have health insurance.

Okay, back to studying, I guess . . .

Monday, April 28, 2008

UNR Race Weekend

Ah. It's always nice to get to sleep in my own bed before a race. And to not drive. I'm dreading the drive down to Kern (Bakersfield . . . sweet) in a couple of weeks, so every opportunity to not drive is welcome. So, my school team, UNR, hosted WCCC championships. Lots of folks drove up from LA and San Diego - way too long to drive for a bike race. But hopefully they had fun. Here's a few highlights.

My friend's yellow van hooked up to the porta-potties. So classic. Interestingly enough (no, actually not interesting at all) during this race season I've heard more names for porta-potties than ever before. (See, I told you it wasn't interesting.) But they're still porta-potties as far as I'm concerned. Also notice our awesome volunteers, many of them who raced, and some super awesome significant others who came out to lend a hand.

This isn't really a highlight, more of a low light. People seemed to have a hard time staying upright in the 120 degree turn at the bottom of our course. Ooops.

Cody raced the D's, and I was very proud of him. Ironically, the men's D's were the only field where no one crashed on the sketchy corner. I think that tell us something. It says, "Hey, you folks may be fast, but you don't have the sense to not attack in the corner that already took out 10 people. Get a clue." Sorry, that was unnecessarily hostile. But my weekend was kinda full of unnecessary hostility, so I feel that it's in keeping.

Speaking of which, there was a whole lot of negative racing going on this weekend. This is me sprinting it out in the crit alone after I almost got taken out in the gnar corner in the 2nd to last lap. That was after I towed the "chase" group around for, oh, 18 of the 27 laps we did. A few girls got off the front after the first crash. They were super duper strong. Anyway, every other girl who was in my group had a teammate in the break, so they all just sat up and let them go. Once I realized this I figured it was better to go down fighting, so I went to the front and hammered as hard as I could for the rest of the race, until the aforementioned crash left me alone in the wind. Bummer. Sure, I didn't really think we could catch the lead group, but if I hadn't been working so hard I'm pretty sure we woulda been lapped, so it was totally worth it.

Haha, more hostility - during the road race on the previous day I told the group I was with to "Chill the f*** out and start being nice to eachother." A couple of girls were being all bossy and mean and kept sniping at everyone else and I just couldn't take it anymore. Oddly enough, my totally out of line comment seemed to do the trick, and everyone started being nice. Either that or they just decided I was a horrible person and then didn't want to talk to me at all? Whatever. I'm usually pretty nonconfrontational, too, so that was pretty out of character.

The lesson from this weekend? Okay, every weekend? And the occasional week day? I love racing my bike. But I guess I already knew that so it's a stupid lesson anyway. Back to the real world . . .

Sunday, April 20, 2008

No Otter Slaughter for me.

Okay, I get it. The whole "Sea Slaughter," "Slaughter the Otter" thing is getting a little old. So I'll let it drop. Until next year.

Anywho, I skipped it, because if I had the $200 dollars necessary for the race entry fees I'd probably pay my rent instead. Cause, you know, it's good to pay rent every once in a while. Just sayin'.
So I headed down to Berkeley (okay, Crockett) and raced the Cal collegiate road race yesterday. There was a time, not too long ago, when I kicked ass in collegiate cycling. Now . . . not so much. That race has a really really steep climb and it was hella windy. I did not have a good day. I had some gnarly muscular pain through the right side of my body that I attribute to my crash on monday (since I landed on my right side . . .). So, I'll write it off as good training. Whatever. The UNR team is hosting conference championships next weekend, so I hope I have a better race then, cause it sucks to get your ass handed to you on your own course.

Speaking of my crash, I get my stitches out of my head tomorrow! Yay! I think they're what's making me the most uncomfortable, since there's a bunch of my hair sutured up. I ignored my doctor's prescription and didn't take any antibiotics. Mostly because the majority of my microbiology class has focused on emerging drug resistence in bacteria, largely due to inappropriate use of antibiotics. So. There. But thanks to the good old hearty immune system, and excellent scalp hygeine on my part =), I'm infection free. I'd take the stitches out myself if I could see them.

Okay, this whole post is getting way too long, but I'm not done yet. I have determined to do a triathlon in August. A short one. But I went to the pool to swim today. The first time I've attempted to swim for a purpose other than not-drowning since I was on swim team when I was 10. I pretty much sucked at swim team, too, so today was pretty amusing. I think I swallowed a bit of pool water - erg, ick. And, now I have to stop making jokes about tri people. Damnit! That takes out some of my best material!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

From sweating and sunburns to . . . this . . .

So, yeah, it's snowing. But I guess this week is all about rest and recovery, and I can't even put my helmet on over my hamburgered head, so no harm in sitting inside on the rollers, right? Grr . . . but why does this happen right when the flowers all start to bloom?