Wednesday, May 26, 2010

And now onto the good stuff.

So the cool piece of news that I didn't want to have thrown into my Miss Negativity post was that myself and my two teammates who are heading up to Mt. Hood will be guest riding for Metromint! They're also sending three girls, so we'll have a strong 6 rider squad. Unfortunately, I'll definitely be the weakest link. But I'm sure it will be an excellent learning experience, nonetheless! I'm hoping that the altitude will give me a bit of a boost. I mean, a lot of it starts at 1100 feet or so, but on the gnarly 3rd stage we get up to 5300. Even if it's just psychological, it could help. And honestly, I need all the help I can get. I'm nervous, but I'm also wicked excited. I hope I can hang in there long enough to be of use to someone.

Oh yeah, so, since I've switched jobs and now won't be able to make it to Cascades in all likelihood, I've developed a little secondary season goal. I might even add it to my list, although I'm not sure it's entirely realistic. So, over here on the Eastern slope of the Sierra we have the Sierra Nevada Hill Climb Time Trial series. It's 4 races long, and I've already missed one, but if you do 3 of them you're eligible for the overall. The races I've added to the calendar are the backside of Mt. Rose (my most loathed of all Reno-area climbs), Geiger (must redeem myself!), and Mt. Rose proper (also eligible for redemption). You get points based on coming in 1-3, and they're weighted depending on which race it is. Mt. Rose proper gets the most points. My friend Amber Broch, who's totally insanely fast this year (and last year, for that matter) won the first one, and won the Geiger TT a couple weeks ago, and beat me by two minutes. She's strong and lean and flies up hill. I don't know if I can beat her, but I'd like to try. It will be a good motivator for my climbing, and even if I don't win, I'll be happy knowing that I was bested by a friend, and a strong one at that. Anyway, winning the overall is not a terribly realistic goal, especially considering that I already missed a race, but maybe I'll make my goal a top 3 in the overall. I don't think I want to start setting time goals for the various climbs - if something goes badly and I suck then I don't want to dissolve into that blubbering whiny thing that I was after Geiger. Get a grip, Mare, fo' rizzle.

And, working on that climbing is going to be important since the Elite District road race is going to be at Challenge this year. You may recall my last attempt at this race. Not. Pretty. Gotta get the climbing legs ready!

In other good news, my neck is doing a lot better today. I still have to turn my whole upper body if I want to look at something that's off to my side, but I can sit up and move around without whimpering. Yeah, I know, I know, I'm a big wimp. But feeling uber-motivated by having such a crappy day yesterday, so I'm going to be getting off my ass and away from the glowing rectangle of my monitor and get some shizit done.

Okay, one last piece of snooze before I go. I was in the paper yesterday:
Apparently I'm like, an expert, or something.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

More Whiny Crap

As I recall from the beginning of May, I may have made some statement about how blogging was going to be slim because I wouldn't be racing much. Um, hello? Mare? Turns out that when I'm less busy with travel I seem to blog a lot more. But my posts suck, so it's kind of a hard call which is better. Mostly they've been sucking a lot lately because it's just been bitch bitch bitch, whine whine whine, boo hoo, poor me. God, people like that are annoying as hell, aren't they? Whether it's my crappy Geiger time, getting a wimpy little cold, my lousy job (haha, not any more, suckers!), the weather, or whatever else I have to complain about, it's been pretty much non stop negativity out of me for the past couple weeks. Well, this is more of the same, so I would encourage my 1.5 readers to find a better use of their next several minutes.

This morning I sneezed, and promptly threw my neck out of whack. I got some whiplash when I was 13 and ever since then I have to treat my neck like a Ming vase to keep it from doing this crap. It's actually gotten a little better over the past year or two, and I don't think I've done this since last November or so. It used to be ever 3 months. I'm going to tell you that it hurts, a lot, and I hope you understand that I fancy myself a pretty tough guy (girl), and I hope I don't come off sounding like a big wimp. Whatever, it hurts. I didn't get anything done today because I was laying around, rubbing Tiger Balm into it and sucking back pain killers. Tuesday = suck. I finally took a couple of Excedrin because Vitamin I wasn't cutting it. I'll probably be awake all night, but at least I'll be somewhat more comfortable.

I have a cool piece of news, but I feel kind of like a lame-ass including it in my whiny post, so I'll save it for next time.

Saturday, May 22, 2010


Okay, so I officially have a new job. Phew. The downside of this is that I probably won't get to go race the Cascade Classic. C'est la vie. So I'm changing my goal to "don't get time cut from Cascade" to "don't get time cut from Mt. Hood". I can race NRCs next year. This year there's nothing wrong with sticking to the regional stuff.

I rode for 4 hours in the snow/wind/occasional sun yesterday. I think that I need to increase the distance/intensity of my longer rides now that I'm a 2. 90 miles instead of 60. Still a zone 1/2 effort, but more zone 2.

Okay, off to do another 4 hours in the rain/wind/hopefully sun today. It's Reno, so the chances of it being very wet are slim. Still, I might throw on a fender.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Pull the Plug

Today I quit my job. Good riddance. The official rational is that they never once paid me on time, in the almost 4 months that I worked there. There are other reasons, but the cycling world is small and I'd prefer to not talk too much shmack. If you can imagine the total lack of respect that an employer exhibits by not setting and maintaining regular pay periods (as is required by law) you can understand how that lack might manifest itself in other ways. I feel very, very relieved. I asked Cody this morning if it would be cool with him if I quit my job today, and he gave me his blessing - "They never pay you on time!" he said. But I had to promise to start looking again on Monday. Well, I started looking again today, and I think the outlook is good. Making the Reno bike shop rounds here, but sooner or later I'll find one that isn't run by crooked jerks. It's not just me, ask anyone else who's worked at my last two bike shops and they'll fully support my opinion. Whatever, I don't need to justify myself.

But it does pose a couple of new problems. Namely, how am I going to get myself to races with no income? Hopefully the new shop works out, and there's no sense in worrying about things until I know for sure that it won't.

I'm not going to race the TT and RR this weekend. I'm too damn sick. Which is lame, but health is priority number one. So what am I going to do? It's supposed to snow tomorrow and sunday. The wind is gusting like crazy right now. Fingers crossed that this is it, that summer is right around the corner, that I have a new job, and that my legs will come around for Mt. Hood.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Haps

What I did this weekend, in no particular order.

Climbed Iowa Hill. It was really, really steep. I want to go do it again.

Saw the Tour of California race through Nevada County.

Watched it with my pops.

Watched Cody graduate!!! This shot is of the whole family. Both of my parents, his mom and her S.O., his three brothers, his sister-in-law, who's expecting! and his boss/friend/father figure from Massachusetts, who flew out and surprised us! Oh yes, and Riley, who's like my furry little child.


In addition to all this I went to an Elvis Costello concert on Saturday night that was fabulous. Oh yeah, and went out on Tuesday and raced an Air Center twilight crit, which was way fun. And now I'm paying for my big happening weekend - I'm sick. Seriously, I went all winter without getting sick (aside from my systemic MRSA infection, but that doesn't count, because I didn't FEEL sick). And now, in May, with the sun shining and the birds singing? I'm laying in bed with a nasty head cold. So. Lame. Especially because after four weeks since my last race I'm making the drive over the hill this weekend for a nice TT and road race. I figure as long as I'm not coughing up a lung, I'll be OK.

Anyway, I suppose a head cold is small price to pay for having the whole family together under one roof for one awesome weekend. Cody's applying for jobs - the other day he applied for one in Manchester, NH, and one in Folsom. I hear they put in a velodrome in NH, not too far from Manchester!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Feeling My Roots

So, I grew up in Quincy, California. It's a quaint little town in the mountains, close to nowhere. I loathed the place when I lived there, especially near the end. Let's put it this way, Quincy is a "small town" in all senses of the phrase. Nosey neighbors, narrow-minded church-goers, white bread. I mean, this is California, right? And yet there were like, 2 hispanic kids. Just sayin'. I was always a little different, and you know how cruel kids can be, especially to other kids who don't quite fit the mold. I'm not trying to make myself sound cool, or like a free-thinker, or rebel. I wasn't really that interesting, I just wasn't ever accepted. I had a few close friends, only one whose life I stay involved with. I mean, the occasional Facebook comment doesn't really count as staying in contact, that's just cheating. Anyway, Quincy is the kind of town (it could be that all towns are like this, I just don't have the first hand experience necessary to make that call) where if the kids don't like you, the parents probably don't either. Maybe it's because my parents were kind of antisocial, maybe it's because they spent their weekends playing on kids toys wearing spandex instead of mowing the lawn and going to church, perhaps because their kids said I was a witch . . . . you know what the funniest part of that is? That it actually bugged me - stupid rich, white kids calling me a witch. But I digress. Point is, I always felt that from an early age I was not quite approved of my classmates and their parents, who really ought to know better, but don't. "Witch" manifested itself to "lesbian" in junior high, which also got to me. The LGBT population of Quincy isn't much bigger than the non-white population, or the non Judeo-Christian population. Again, the label bugged me. I have no issue with anyone's sexuality, nor my own, but I think it was just the act of being bullied that got to me, which I suppose is the whole point. I mean, it really doesn't matter WHAT someone says to you, but how.

Where was I going with this?

Oh yeah, so in high school I was kind of punk rock I guess. I was more interested in good music than image (at least in retrospect I'd really like to believe that) so I didn't really listen to much punk. I listened to Neil Young, Idiot Flesh, Melt Banana, Sun Ra, James Brown, the Melvins, Bad Religion, the Ruins, Queen, Frank Zappa - just the stuff I liked, you know? Anyway, the only real sub-group in Quincy was the hippy population. And by "hippy" I mean dreadlocks and weed, not social or environmental activism. So it's kind of a derogatory term in this case. Anyway, I freaking hated the hippies. I felt that they did a disservice to environmentally and socially consciencious people by being such lazy-ass posers. Sorry, but it's the truth. I was a little agro back then (these days I channel my continued tendencies towards aggrivation through my pedals).

Anyway, the whole reason I started this blogpost was that I was feeling like a little bit of a hippy and it made me think about Quincy, and how I've changed in the last (gasp!) 9 years since I left. See, I got this really bad sunburn yesterday because I didn't put sunscreen on my arms before riding for 4 hours in the desert. So today I bought some unrefined coconut butter to rub into my skin. I'm wearing baggy flannels, drinking Kombucha, listening to some mellow girl music that I actually listened to when I was a teenager (whoa, am I not a teenager anymore? daaaamn.), rubbing coconut oil into my arms, and thinking that I could probably pull off dreadlocks, at least as well as any other white girl. Oh yeah! And I bought a Neti Pot, and cleansed my sinuses, which made me feel very holistic. Anyway, I'm going to go do some yoga and foam roller my IT bands, then pass out. I have a long ride to take care of tomorrow - fingers crossed for this damn wind to go away!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


So much for not blogging. This is as much for me as anyone else (as are all my blog posts, but whatev).

I went out to the Geiger Grade hill climb TT last night. Ugh. I sucked a lot. I haven't done it in 2 years, and I think my best time was something like 40:42. I really wanted to break 40 minutes. Seriously, it's been 2 years, and 2 years of intense training and focus and dedication and sacrifice, shouldn't I have an extra minute (at the very least!) in my legs? Well, apparently not. As a matter of fact, I was about 2 minutes slower. 2 minutes! Let's break this down a little bit.

Were I going off of heart rate I would say that I rode a good TT. It dropped a wee bit at the end, but overall it was within the range that I like to see for an effort like this. But after the first 15 minutes or so my power just started sucking. See?


Okay, I'm done whining. I've been training really hard the last week and a half and I'm obviously tired. And I've been a bit under the weather, too. I just wish, as we all do after a bad race, that there wasn't going to be a permanent record of it. Whatever.