Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Year in Review

I had planned on having this done by now. What I had not planned on was the computer committing suicide ( losing all pictures and music) and super busy holidays. Yeah, I know, excuses excuses. Here it is:

I started the year with my first, and only to date, 24 hour race. April I felt like I was ready for anything. I spent countless hours on the trainer, Luthor, and rode in cold temps at Busch every chance I got. The 24 hours of Syllamo was a 2nd place finish in womens single speed and 115 miles, my longest ride. Two weeks later I found I still had legs and placed 3rd at Bonebender. I remember thinking that this was going to be a great year since my start was so good. May brought on MiddleFork Madness, Team Seagal's nonrace. I learned how to change a flat and the importance of being on a team.The Berryman Duo did not go as planned so, in June, I spent 5 days in the hospital. This accident had me down and out for about a month. This experience taught me that my mind is a dangerous thing and I am thankful that Jim was there to save me from myself. The Brommelseik race was my re-entry race, about 6 weeks after the accident . I set a 6 lap goal and met it. After the race I realized I should not have expected so much so soon. I really enjoyed the dirt crits this year and realized that the B race was probably were I should be, but I seriously lacked speed and would need to fix that. RIM at Crowder park, placed 3rd, showed me how to persevere and the TRUE meaning of rapture. The Burnin' was my only disappointment. In a lot of respects it was a victory, but not having met my goal taught me that even if you do everything right, training wise ,you can not predict the outcome. It was a jagged pill to swallow. The BT Epic was a cathardic (sp) race for me. I felt no pressure. I just rode my bike. I managed to beat last years time by 45 minutes and was able to deal with my disappointment of Burnin'. I did one cross race, and learned that this is really not my thing. These races were expensive and I felt they were over with before I got warmed up. I like the LONG stuff and plan to stick with that. The final non event of the year was CXMAS. I approached this race totally different than any other. I was the first loser in the ladies race but got to see the race from a totally different side, the front. I also got to show the hubby that all the hard work on the "new bike" was paying off.

My favorite ride this year, no contest, was every ride I did with Sydney. At only 4 yrs old she rode her first trail in May and never the training wheels. I am super proud of her and look forward to riding with her in 2011. She doesnt know it yet, but she will get a new bike in the Spring. She definitely deserves it.

With my 3rd year of biking behind me, I am confident that 2011 will be awesome. I have learned a lot about bikes and nutrition and improved on some riding skills. IT just keeps getting better.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Thank You

I have had a fantastic 2010 season and have some thanking to do, so here goes:

  • First thank you to God , for giving me the strength of mind and body to do what I do
  • Second to my family who may not understand all of it, but support me and encourage me anyway
  • Next to my teammates on TEAM Seagal, who accepted me as their token girl but manage to treat me just like one of the guys
  • Team sponsors, The Hub, Pabst,Bye Kyle, and Klunk Bike Shop, KONA , and Velocity for their great deals that support our racing/biking addictions
  • Matt Turgeon, for the hookup on the bike bling that made my Connor amazing this year
  • Matt Keeven, Mitch the Mashor, and Brian Busken for answering my endless questions about trails, which gear to run and nutrition
  • Karen Holtman, for being great competition and always showing me good sportsmanship while we raced each other
  • Chris Ploch, Matt James and Dave Breslin , for talking bikes and sharing some of their secrets with me
  • John Farinella, for infusing my bike with the Farinella Magic ( and the gift of new pedals)
  • Stoney from team Red Wheel, for his pushing me at several races this year
  • Bob Jenkins and Team Virtus, who remind me not to take myself so seriously and to have FUN
  • Kevin Bonney, my Burnin' pit crew, I owe you one
Without ALL of you this year would not have been such a success for me. I appreciate all of you and the knowledge and friendship you have shared with me. I look forward to seeing you on the trails in 2011.

Up next: 2010 Year in Review

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Castlewood 8: HER SIDE

Although TTM has participated in this race the last 3 years - this year was a last minute sign up. Neither one of us ran as much as we should have - but since this race is so stellar we did not want to miss it.
Registration was the night before at the Alpine Shop, and as a bonus they gave all racers a 30% off coupon for 1 item. I do not suggest trying new gear in a race however, sometimes you have to and just hope for the best. I really needed to replace some 10 year old tights so upon Traci Berry recommendation I bought the Pearl Izumi thermal tights. The mens fit my legs better and also had a panel in front which helped keep my nuts warm- lol. There were no raised seams , and since finding out that bike shorts are overrated and do me more harm than good - these pants were amazing. I did not plan on wearing bike shorts with all that running. Jim had also surprised me with new gloves, Manzella Hi Viz Hatchback gloves, from Sports Authority @ 34.99. Great gloves! And they are windproof.
We were given all necessary info - Jim glanced at it and moaned "there is a lot of running this time" - Figures. We finished visiting with Mr. Ploch and headed home to recheck our gear and try to sleep.
The weather was better than last year so that could not be used as an excuse. At 6AM we boarded buses and were brought to Rt 66 State Park. There would be no plotting since wall 4 maps were pre-plotted. When it comes to adventure races I don't bring very much to the table. I can't navigate my way out of a wet paper bag. So I just bring my very superior attitude and follow. Carrie Sona , of team Alpine Shop, said " We are just going to do our best" and that statement stayed with me all day.

After a 3.5 mile run through the park we got to Sherman Beach for the first of three canoe legs. Cold on the water but Jim and I were in sync. Here's where I get foggy. Bikes - Jim dropped our passport (lost 10 mins). Back at the canoe we loaded our bikes . Scary - we took off our wheels. While paddling I remembered what my 4 yr old says," We do better work as a team" no joke, her preschool is big on TEAMWORK. Running and climbing massive hills at West Tyson. Quite a workout and then back to canoe with bikes - an almost tip over that I came close to crapping in my new tights. When we dropped our canoes for the last time we had to carry them a mile, not really, but by now it felt like it. I really need to work on my upper body some this coming year . Back on the bikes we were at Castlewood to pick up the last checkpoints. Of course it wasn't easy. Bonk Hard Racing doesn't make it easy. We had to climb "the stairs" with bikes. Jim's bike is much heavier than mine so this sucked more for him. I could have done it again if necessary. Cardiac hill was not as hard to climb as last year, but still hard. We finished 21st - one minute faster and we would have been 20th out of 88 teams - with a time of 7:12. At the awards ceremony we each picked a $25 gift card to Alpine Shop. They will be easy to spend!
At the Holtman's afterparty I overheard the race director say to Jim "ever thought about actually training for one of these?" funny huh?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


I know that November has come and gone and that I have neglected my blog for a while. To the 6 followers I have I apologize. I can assure you that I have not resorted to a sedentary lifestyle, nor have I been shoveling bonbons into my mouth. On the contrary, I have been getting to know the Jake the Snake 2011 I received on Oct 30th. I usually start running on Nov 1st, however, the weather was perfect for biking so thats what I did. I put nearly 400 miles on this cross bike in Nov. Gears are quite fun actually. I do forget that I have them sometimes tho. I have done many road rides, a couple off road, and several gravel grinders to figure this whole geared thing out. Long story, short, I am having FUN. I was not training for anything. Just riding whenever I had the chance. This may surprise some of you, but I do not get to ride whenever I want. Usually Mon, Wed, and Fri from 115-330 is guaranteed since Syd is at preschool. Its usually hit or miss the rest of the week. Fortunately , Jim understands that I am much happier after a ride so he tends to push me out on Sat or Sun if we are in town. Support is awesome. Anyway, the JTS is an incredible bike and I am lucky to have one. As I promised, I am riding the helloutta it.

As far as the running goes, I completed 20 miles in Nov. It is hard to run when you have this:

Jim and I were able to get away to ride the MiddleFork the weekend of the 20th . We donned hunter orange and set out for a great ride. I was kinda afraid how Connor would react since it had been a month since I had him out on the trail. I went with 32x19 and it was perfect. I climbed every hill, something I struggled with in May. I felt like the Hulk afterwards and wanted to do it again. Jim, not so much. So, has the geared bike complimented the single speed mountain bike? I think so. My legs feel different and my breathing has improved greatly. All in my head? Maybe. What I can say for sure is that I feel a huge difference when I ride Connor. Thats all that matters. I still choose to grunt up the hills, instead of spinning. I have never down shifted to climb a hill, well not yet anyway.

I am in the process of dissecting the Dirty Kanza 200. Its basically a 200 mile gravel grinder in Kansas. I would like to do this , so if you have completed it share your knowledge with me. I saw that only two women finished this year. I dont take on anything if I think I cant finish it . I dont want to call it yet, but I may do this on the Major One, single speed , if the bike is available. Jim would like to do this race too so stay tuned to see how it all unfolds.

Next up: My side of the Castlewood 8 Adventure race