Monday, April 30, 2007


If you would have told me during the first 30 minutes of the race that I was going to end up 12th I would have laughed. I was happily in 4th place reaping the benefits of all my hard training and work that I have been putting in when someone flicked a switch of some sort sending my stomach into a knot of horrible pain. Throwing up several times, GI trouble, tummy cramps, bloating and all the was as if someone had pumped my stomach full of air and then lit it on fire. I couldn't believe what was happening to me as I catapulted backward through the field. I was in utter misery and it was just the stomach- legs and lungs were groovy. I tried pushing through it and found out quickly enough that I had just gone into total survival mode. The harder I pushed the more it sent my stomach into an unbearable twisted knotted cramp so I went as hard as I could which wasn't that hard while bearing the pain of my stomach. The bumps and small pits that formed over the day on the trail just added to the immense pain that I had going on.

Tough times for sure especially when everything else is in place but I have to keep in mind that I came in 12th on an absolutely and positively miserable day. I have had the after affects of whatever was in my system all day today and haven't been too into the eating thing yet.

That said, I have Fontana to look forward to this coming weekend. I know my fitness is there so if I can just keep people from taking me out and keep my stomach in line I will be good. That is racing for you!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

NMBS #2 - Waiting

Let the waiting begin. XC Race today at 2:45pm and I am just hanging out w/feet up. It'll be during the heat of the day for us and 24 miles or so of fast singletrack. Yee Haw.

If I have to eat more more carb I think I might hurl; but hurling seems to be part of the game in good ole bike racing and training. Guess you get used to that feeling somewhat eventually as it becomes part of life. My friends think I am a pig too because I have munched my way through every carb I can find. Ugh.....(all you cyclists know the feeling).

Saturday, April 28, 2007

NORBA #2 - Super D

Chris just got home and he placed 2nd in his Super D!!!! Yes!!!! He said their were 20 starters in the Expert Class without the "0" in 20. No just kidding, we were just giving him a hard time and there were about 20 people in his race!

But unfortunately just now when Chris got home and entered the front door he was hit in the face with a wall of pepper spray. is what happened....................our buddies Eric and Kristin who are kindly offering their services up as our soigneurs tonight by making us a huge pasta dinner had some friends over and someone got into the pepper spray that was sitting on the table. Maybe it was Liberty who did it. Doesn't he look guilty? So here we all our are standing outside their new house waiting for the pepper spray to clear out. Nice, thanks Liberty. :)


What a hot day in the saddle at 86 degrees but I loved every minute of it. It was 100+ degrees in the tent I was "warming up"....(why????) in because there was no breeze in there-youch that's gotta hurt.

The STXC course was actually pretty long at around 3 minutes a lap. It started with a flat and windy ATV width road, U turned up a quick gradual hill, flattened out and then sent you on a few super dusty "S" turns on your way back down and through the start/finish area. The day went pretty solid for me coming in 8th with a group that were all contending for the last spot on the podium!! Why not me? Why wasn't I able to pull that one off? Not sure because I was feeling good but apparently so were the other gals! Talk about being on the rivet the whole time too. Wow I love that feeling. Why am I so sick and twisted like that? Anyway, no excuses but it was darn fun and a good race for me and fun race to watch for Chris who was there yet again to support me at every corner.

Right now he is racing his Super D up there while I am blogging from the couch prepping the legs for tomorrows XC race. I am hoping for some good news here soon from him.

Friday, April 27, 2007

CA XC Race Course

Today Chris and I went up to the 96 degree weather in the Santa Ynez Valley to pre-ride the NMBS XC course. Amazing how different the weather is on the water in Santa Barbara when compared to a 40 minute drive up and over and on the other side of the mountains. About 20 degrees difference.

What was weird is that Chris and I had unknowingly trained on the road that leads right to the venue and course back in 2003. It looked so familiar today as we were driving in and we couldn't figure it out. But as it turns out, in 03 we were on our way down the 101 heading towards the next NMBS in Big Bear and I had to get some training in so we pulled off at just a random exit, got the bikes out of the car and rode. Yep, same exit and same road. Life is so weird sometimes.

So for those of you that are interested, here are the course details:

Think Sonoma without the bumps, pavement, or dirt roads and a hand full of shade to go around. Then think Sea Otter with nothing technical and you have the race course almost in mind. Longest climb is not more than 5-10 minutes and its just fast and fun. Nothing loose and nothing crazy. There you have it.

Alright, tomorrow in the AM is the STXC!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Life Can Be a Beach

...if you drive 751 miles to it.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

My Morning Started Like This..........

Yep, that is my beloved French Coffee Press that I don't leave home without.
Me not happy. Must go pedal to make self happy again.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Pain Management

You may think that this is going to be a paragraph about training but I am about to talk about the highly recommended Massage Therapist..........oh I mean Massage Masochist that I just came back from. Oh my god are you stinking kidding me? I have NEVER EVER endured such immeasurable pain and suffering in my life. I have never had a deep tissue massage and I will NEVER get one again. I don't care that you are NEVER supposed to say NEVER because I stinking mean it. The bike is enough suffering for me thank you. And yes I did tell the guy that it feels like the movie Backdraft up and down my arms and legs and he would proceed to convince me that I needed it while he continued to detach the rest of my limbs from my body. I think I may have even grown an inch during the horrendous process.

Why didn't I jet? I guess being that I am some sort of athlete, I must enjoy the mental and physical challenges of putting myself through pain intentionally for training and racing. And when you have that personality you can't give in, give up, quit, leave, not finish. So I didn't.

I have never been so happy to see a massage end in my life. Pure and utter delight and relief.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Joke Is On You

Kristin and Eric have the coolest back yard full of neat trees, plants, flowers, fire pit, hot tub, fountain, a trellis, patio, and all kinds of birds (hence my nutty thoughts on the birds the other day). But they also have this cheesy topiary that was shaped into a heart by the former home owners that sits at about 6 feet tall and 4 feet wide up against their fence. Chris decided to do this to it as a joke since it faces their kitchen table and now stares right at you while you are eating your cereal:

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Don't Let This Happen To You

Dang it........I mistimed the closing of the Platinum Fitness Performance gym so I ended up improvising my routine at "home" with full paint cans (of which there are plenty of at the new place).

Friday, April 20, 2007

I Don't Want to Be a Bird

Today in Santa Barbara it rained buckets especially in the morning and it was chilly willy. Remember that little guy? He was cute.

Speaking of the bird species, today while it was raining I decided I wouldn't want to be a bird. It would be so boring to sit around in a nest waiting for the rain to stop. Or I guess the other option would be to try and have fun and dodge the rain pellets but I think the rain would win. Tough living on those nasty days. See the kind of thinking my poor husband Chris has to put up with?!

Pain Cave

Kristin and Eric my friends who just moved bought their new place on one of the bigger climbs out of Santa Barbara. How sweet is that? So instead of being a pack mule on my rides, I get to keep a line up of H2O bottles at their front door along with other supplies while I head up and down the climb 10,000 times. It is always just those small things in life isn't it?

The San Marcos Road that they are on connects to the Painted Cave Raod and all I have to say that there is no need for the "ted" on "Painted" Cave Road . Wow this certainly is CA riding at its best. This is where I went yesterday and was definitely in the Pain Cave.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Training in the Dark?

I asked myself how I got to this point today of having to end my training in the dark. How did I let the day go? Was it that I got so obsessed with finding internet or was it moving and feeling a bit out of sorts. Maybe it was all the above as this is how the day went:

-Get up groggily at 9am at new house.
-Find mug for coffee in box.

-Settle for (plastic) spoon for oatmeal after looking for normal spoon.
-Take and make phone calls.
-Freak out that there is no wireless to poach in the area.
-Freak out some more that my back up Verizon wireless card won't work because cell phone reception is too spotty at the new place.

-Pack everything up and let my nose lead me to the land of wireless at a Starbucks that I saw last year here but never went to.
-Drove right to it with no directions, just sense.
-Set up camp in Starbucks and get really perturbed that my (now) stupid so called "free" wireless card defaults to the "have to pay" T-Mobile service.

-What the heck?!!

-I am out of there but get an Americano because I really think am going to need it today.

-Drive across town.
-Go to my buddies vacant old house where I know I have cell phone reception and some wireless poaching capabilities.
-Get there and no poaching wireless band available. Where did that band go?????
-Get on the ever so slow Verizon wireless card and get some stuff done but everything is taking 10 years.

-Make some more calls.

-Need to train.
-IDEA! Buddies have their own wireless at old house still connected but I don't have code.
-Try to find code on my currently slow network.

-Takes forever and then code doesn't work.
-Ready to throw the computer.
-I probably should just go train.
-And behold the arrival of the homeowner and computer goo-roo at his lunchtime to pack and oh Kathy with the code issue. Darn visitors. :)
-Saved!!! and on the computer for HOURS and HOURS.
-Hungry...need food but at vacant house sitting on an upside garbage can as a make shift seat.

-Find food in really scary places because I can't leave now.......I have a FAST wireless connection.
-Should really think about training.
-Stomach grumbles for the millionth time.
-Why didn't I bring any food with me?
-Ok time to go even though still have tons to do.
-Pack the rest of my stuff out of the old house.
-Pack some of their stuff too because its the least I can do.
-Ok, off to Trader Joes to get a sandwich.
-Well........while I am there I should think about recovery food for after my ride, yah, and maybe dinner too and, yah, for that matter breakfast tomorrow. Good god women!!
-Great, a one minute grab a sandwich turns into a $30 spree and too much time at TJ.
-Deal with SB traffic because now its like almost rush hour. Lovely.
-Get to their new place and fumble bumble with keys and locks.

-I am a fumble bumble.

-Unload fully packed car.

-Fill water bottles....getting closer to that training ride.

-Ready to go but.......

-Decide I need warmer gear because sun is going down.

-Get out FINALLY at about 5:15ish for a 2.5 hour ride.
-What a moron, dealing with traffic on my bike and then having to deal with the dark.

NOTE TO SELF: You are not in Heber where you can ride freely for hours upon hours without stopping. There are such things as stoplights and since I stop my timer every time I hit a stoplight its going to take LONGER to ride 2.5. Try 3.
And that my friends is how I ended up riding in the dark.
Because I was in the dark ALL DAY.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Yep, not only my favorite movie but also my life. As if enough wasn't going on with the move from South SB to North SB, Chris had to catch a flight back to Utah so he could finish up some work details. Then I was on my way to the gym and for a ride which was great. First, the gym.........let me tell you those guys at Platinum Fitness Performance here in Santa Barbara are wonderful. They let me in to do my thing and were very understanding as to what life is like on the road with trying to maintain your hard earned fitness. It was cool too because most of the people in there had just gotten done doing a Marathon or was a Pro this or a Pro that. Great place and real good people. After the gym was some cycling where I actually saw more than one cyclist like I would in Heber. Nice to see that cycling is huge here. After cycling there was some of this (see pic):

Monday, April 16, 2007

Settled (or maybe not..) in Santa B.

We got settled for the time being in Santa Barbara at our buddies place where they have been renting for years. But after being permanent fixtures in the community of Santa Barbara, they have decided to buy a home that they will be moving into this week. Buying in SB isn’t easy……after having it sink in that one million dollars is where you START looking to invest in a home, they found this steal of a deal home that we will all get into in the next few days. Lucky them and lucky us too as this is where we will be "pitting" from for the next few weeks. Thanks for letting us tag along on your journey guys!

In Style eh?

I picked up some swag from the Sram tent because I was freezing while at the Otter. Is this really the in style these days? Wow. Although its made super nice.....its HUGE.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Sea Otter XC - Total Turnaround

After my Short Track race yesterday I felt like a weight was sitting on me. For that matter, I felt like that during the Short Track Race too. I spent most of the late after noon and evening yesterday laying in bed thinking I was getting sick. I was so tired and fatigued that it even took me hours to get out of bed to finally turn on hot water to make pasta. I even felt slightly guilty eating all that I did yesterday in preparation for today's race because I really thought I may wake up ill and wouldn't be racing today. And if that was the case I would have an extra pound of weight on me that wouldn't be coming off in a race. Oh no!!

As it turned out, I woke up and wasn't sick but I will say I didn't feel like myself. I didn't even feel like there was race that was about to happen. For the 38 mile Cross Country race today the sun came out and so did the winds. Here is the synopsis: 3 hours of pain, 3100 calories burned, no crashes, no mechanicals and a hot first lap had me up in 9th place. But unfortunately halfway through the second lap got the best of me and I grudgingly surrendered 3 spots coming in 12th. Not bad considering all the ripping gals that were here to contest this semi international event. I am happy with the effort but never completely satisfied because I always want better.

When I crossed the line I thought I was going to barf. And actually now that I am writing about it I do remember barfing during the race. Don't worry all you squeamish folk out there, its not like it was pizza or lasagna coming up it. Just pure liquid since that is the only thing in your system along with tons of energy gels. But because my mouth was open, the wind was whipping and it came on soooo fast I didn't have to deal with it at all. Hmmmm....maybe that is how I got the gap on the gal behind me. Just kidding.

My system has been out of sorts up until this very moment (race ended at 3:30pm). Stomach ache, nausea, cold chills, achey everything and flat out fatigue were just some of the ways my body was choosing to ask me what the heck I did that to it for? My answer- I did it because it was fun!

We our heading down 101 South right now. Destination is Santa Barbara where we will be surfing and riding for the next few weeks waiting for the next NMBS race to take place. Life is rough sometimes but someone has to do it. WAS rough today. Owe.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Sea Otter STXC - Check Engine Light

Well, today it rained as expected. They cancelled tons of races due to the sleet that was coming down but they didn't cancel the Pro races. After getting the venue 2 hours early, being greeted at the Titus tent with a mud floor that was like quick sand, changing tires to a smaller very spaced out knobby, getting the Magura brakes realigned to fit the new disc wheel set, setting up my trainer IN the actual Titus trailer to shield myself from the wind and cold and then putting on more layers of clothing..... I was ready to warm up. Whew....finally hugh?
I got a good warm up in but wasn't feeling the love. At the start line I was battling the evil thoughts that were going around in my head which can be one of the worst things you have to deal with. The short track course was Mud-EE. But nothing like last year. I guess I am trying to say that there was none of this (see pic) from me this year so all of you can just put this lovely picture that you have posted on walls, screen savers and all the rest (you KNOW who you are) TO REST! Ha ha!

Unfortunately I just wasn't fast and feeling the snap today during the race. It was simply the engine -my check engine light had come on and was flashing by the end of the race. I slopped it in for a 20th place which 2 years ago I would have been elated with. Now, not so much but I have to move on get ready for the Cross Country race tomorrow. It is supposed to get sunny again and have high winds.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Sea Otter TT - Tied for 10th

Today we had the Time Trial at the Sea Otter Classic in Monterey, CA. The course was the exact same as last year except for that there was not a speck of mud to be found. Instead there were only deep dry ruts that were as tough as cement and completely unavoidable. Just point, go and hope. That is what I did and I was able to ride a clean race to tie for 10th along with Lene Byberg from Norway.

When a race is so short like today (4 entire minutes) every little last thing matters and can therefore help or hinder your final time so it can be fairly nerve racking. You also have to prepare for a 4 minute race the same way you would for a 3 hour race. And then you get done and think "that is it?...I was just getting started!" Well, I guess I will have THAT chance on Sunday during the 3 hour "ish" cross country race. Tomorrow is the Short Track and it is supposed to rain. We shall see.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Sea Otter Super D - Congrats Chris!

Congrats to my husband Chris on his 3rd place in the Super D in the Open Men category at Sea Otter. Not only does Chris support me in every single way with my cycling and racing, but he gets out there and races too. The Super D (descent) has turned into his favorite event and is suited to him perfectly with it being 80% downhill and 20% uphill. Great for those that have a endurance background and rippen’ DH skills. These races are anywhere from 10 minutes to 35 minutes in length depending on the terrain. And the downhill in them isn’t super gnarly stuff like drop offs, ruts and rock gardens although it may contain those things on a minor scale still making it quite challenging.

Chris came in 3rd out of about 40-50 guys and prepared for his race like this:

Tues-Work at Deer Valley Resort then drive to Reno (7 hours away)
Wed- Drive from Reno to Monterey (5 hours) and pre-ride the Sea Otter XC course with me for 2 hours upon arrival.
Thursday- Super D Race Day. Get up and go to the venue, pre-ride the course a half an hour before race start and then hit it.

How did he do it all and still come in third? Well pretty much because he knows how to hammer himself into the ground in every single way every single day. I am proud of him!

Only the Sherwins...

would come across this at a rest stop on our way out to CA!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

We Made It

Well, we made it to Reno, NV in 7 hours from the Revolution bike shop Sandy, UT. This is how.......

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

I Would Expect Nothing Less

We are headed across Nevada today and have the same head wind that we get EVERY year when we do this drive. It has to be 30 -40 mph. We are probably getting a whopping 25mpg (normally its 38 mpg) in our TDI while all these other poor suckers in their honking huge cars are getting 8mpg. Hope our car keeps running. So far so good. Isn't this cool that I can post this while in my car? I feel so special. Ha!

Monday, April 9, 2007

I Just Hate Packing. It is sooooo Laaaameee!!!!!

Endless phone calls, bills to pay, things to wrap up, emails to send, errands to run, un-pack from getting back 5 days ago, laundry to do, re-pack, last minute appts, organize, and oh yah, don’t forget to train too. How is it 12am already? Geez, I wonder......

We head via car (yah same ole car that broke down on me last week…….wish us luck) to The Sea Otter Classic tomorrow in Monterey, CA. Can’t wait to race again!

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Toor-key for Dinner

“Aye!! Dat dare……dat dare a wild toor-key!!!!!!” I hear someone yelling. I had passed a big ole feathered friend while riding my bike in Heber City but just chalked the big old bird to someone’s farm animal. I mean really, what do I know? Not much but I do know that dat dare was a wild turkey!! I love Heber!!

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Road Race - The Hell of the North

We have a road race called the Hell of the North in Salt Lake City every year. It is a square circuit race with one side of the square having nothing but a gravel and dirt road for about a mile and a half.

I decided to do this race because the coach thought it would be better if didn’t travel down south 4 hours to the local mtb series race and just stay home instead. What a god send that idea was as the thought of packing and leaving again within a 2 day time period wasn’t appealing to me so much.

I raced a couple different categories today and did two races. The first one started at 9am with the women (Cat 1-3). Geez that was too early for me. Those of you that know me know that I don’t even get out of bed until 8:30am or so it felt like a day at the office getting up at 6am. Yuck!!! Then the next race was at 10:30am with the men (Masters 35+). Once race I came in dead first and the other dead last. Nice.

I raced with the Masters men not knowing what I was getting into as I don’t know those guys at all because I don’t frequent the road scene all too much. But my coach and I thought they were a talented and safe group to jump in with and they sure did give me a run for my money. Wow. From the get go the pressure was on and I was like ……oh boy. And may I remind you that I did this race after I did the opposite of “sitting in” in the Cat 1-3 women’s group. I was feeling the burn for sure but kept thinking about my upcoming races and increasing my fitness…..anything to get me through 35 more miles of pain.

I was lucky enough to get to work with some very nice guys for most of the race. At first I thought to myself … they even know that I am girl? And if they don’t and I say something will the dynamics change (aka will they drop me). How will they react? I know that guys do not like being what they call “chicked” so I just didn’t know what to think but they were totally cool once they figured out that I wasn’t one of them. They made the race a very very good experience for me. Thanks guys! They were complimentary to me and gave me solid direction on when they wanted me to work (the dirt section of course!) which I was fine with. I was just there to get my training in and not make waves. It was pretty cool to see each of them make improvements on the dirt section on each lap too. They took my lead and learned by watching me I guess and they were psyched in the end about all that they learned on navigating the dirt section… that stuff you simply point, commit and go: just pick a gravelly and dusty rut with your 1 inch slick tire and keep pedaling. Don’t stop pedaling and don’t freak out. I almost went down on one of the laps in that section but had what they were saying was a “nice save!!!” What a great day but my chaise lounge is calling…………

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Shock and Awe

You would have thought I was the freak of the circus today. In the gym today people kept asking “What happened!!?!” I have really bad road rash all down my right hand side from the Cross Country race (see April 1st’s entry) and with the way they were saying it I would get scared and be like “what!!!?....what's wrong with me!!” scared that there was something more wrong. Then they would point to the road rash and I was relieved thinking “oh just that....good..” I supposed people aren’t used to a 30 year old plus gal walking around with scabs streaking down the right side of her. But to me a pro cyclist…… is a pretty normal thing to see really.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

What Happened?

How in the heck do you jam a finger without remembering how you might have done it? I mean geez, I know cyclists have to have a high pain threshold but this is a bit nuts. My left index finger is sooooooo swollen. What the heck?

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Thank God I Did My Homework

This morning in Flagstaff, AZ I woke up to my phone ringing. It was my husband calling me from UT to let me know that USADA (US Anti Doping Assoc) was standing in our kitchen in Heber City, UT. They had come for a “collection” since I am on the Out of Competition Test list. As some of you may or may not know, when you are on this list, you have to fill out a form on a quarterly basis called the Athlete Location Form that tells USADA, where you are going to be on any giving day for the next 3 months to include training days, travel days, racing days, time at the gym, weddings, normal trips, appointments, etc. Oh ya, that is fun to fill out, let me tell you, but I TRY to think of it as a privilege to be on the list.

Well, as far as USADA knew I was supposed to be home Monday night from the first National race but my car broke down (see entry below). Luckily I had done my homework and remembered late Monday evening to let them know where I was. But because it was so late when I notified them about the change of plans no one (the agency nor the rep) got the message!! I got on the phone with the USADA rep who was at my house and we eventually cleared everything up. Thanks god…a black mark next to my name is the last thing I would have wanted. What a way to start the day. Actually the day was great as I got home in 7.5 hours from Flagstaff. Home sweet home finally.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Why Does My Car Sound Like a Lawn Mower?

NOT the sound you long to hear from you cars engine as you are making your way home across the desert alone. Well almost alone.....I must have had a preminition that something was going to happen because I made it my only goal in life to find someone to road possy with back to Utah from AZ once I found out that my travel partner had to bail on me. I have never been like that before.....that is .....dead set on getting someone to drive with in case something happened. Dana Harrison from Utah was the one to take me up on the offer as he was driving back at the same time I was. Little did he know what he was in for. Well he actually wasn't in for much because THE MOMENT I caught up to him on the road (and I mean THE MOMENT I caught up to him) my VW TDI Wagon died (2.5 years old, 84,000 miles. We travel a lot you could say). So there I was just outside Flagstaff starting to make my way toward Page, AZ and boom, my car suddenly has no power and sounded like a lawn mower. Great. Now what?

I got the car was towed to a killer shop called Ascot Moters out of Flagstaff which we knew nothing about except that they were recommended by some locals. I knew I would be taken care of and felt immediately at home when I walked in and saw all the cycling pictures/frames/card holders and was then given the tour of bikes that were hanging on the wall in the shop. Sah-weet!!

And I was taken care of. Those nice guys got my car in, looked at, fixed and out the door by 5pm that day. Unbelievable. A hose clamp that attaches to the intake manifold had come loose and it was an easy fix. Thank heavens because the nearest VW dealer was back in Phoenix where I had just come from! Had it been a VW part I would have been "stranded" in Flag for a while.

I decided to just call it a day once the car was fixed and took up an offer for a spot on a friends couch for the night. I needed the rest after quite the stressful day plus training in Flag the next day didn't sound THAT terrible!!! :)

NMBS #1 XC - "It's All About Sunday Sunday Sunday"

That is what the announcers kept saying all weekend long about the first NMBS (National Mountain Bike Series) Cross Country race of the season. Too bad I was crashed into after only 10-15 minutes from the race start. I had a rippen' start and was hanging on for dear life in the Top 10 when someone tried to pass me and took me down hard. Ever come to a sliding stop only because of your own skin gripping the dirt, pebbles and cacti on the ground? Oh ya....that felt really good. I went over the bars and landed on my right ride tearing it up good.

After shaking the dust off and getting onto my feet I discovered that the bikes were interlocked in every which way. A big hunk of expensive metal right there. A tug here and a pull there and I was on my way to get back into the race.....of course this is after what seemed like half of the field had passed.

Unfortunately, after I got on my bike I found that my bar stem had been forced 45 degrees to the left from the impact of the crash. Could I fix it manually? I tried. Did I have a tool? I was the tool for not having a tool. Big bummer. So I rode sideways for a lap which was pretty sweet when trying to navigate up and over things and back down rock gardens. Oh ya. I got to the technical zone which was 25 long minutes away and the announcer saw that I was in about 40th place and said over the loud speaker "I wonder if the effort from last nights race got to Kathy" and I am just sitting there thinking "uh..........or...maybe.....just could be the small fact that I AM RIDING SIDEWAYS RIGHT NOW!!" Whatever. That comment was slightly amusing to me which I needed at that moment.

Once I got the stem straightened out I got back into the game for the 2nd of 3 laps. That is when my left hand started to go numb and get puffy because of the mere fact that I had poisonous cactus quills in it. I looked like I was getting acupuncture all over that hand or something. But I put that all in the back of my head because everything was working to include me and the bike and I just thought, ok, this is my chance to make my way back up the field. So I just went crazy trying to gain as many spots as possible because its not over until its over!!

Little did I know that it was just about to be almost over again when on the 3rd lap a bolt in my brake loosened up and dropped out. Oh man, what else was going to happen? Never mind I don't want to know. So lap 3 was a lap with no rear brake. Sweet. Oh well. I kept punching it on the flats and then really needed to be careful on the down grab for a back brake lever that is just limp can be a big issue and I was choosing to have a "rest of the season" by taking it easier on the dh's and reminding myself as if it were a chant....No rear brake. No rear brake.

After it was all said and done, I fought back through the field and ended up 17th. What can you say? That is racing for you and I at least come away from the weekend knowing my fitness is there.

The one thing about a race ending is that the pain stops once you cross that finish line but that was not the case for me. It was just the start of the pain from the crash because now I could feel it. The guys at Titus were nice enough to pluck out every last cactus quill in my hand and even broke out tweezers to really finish the job. Thanks again guys. My left hand was puffy and lumpy and there was plenty of soft tissue damage to go around on that hand but nothing was broken although I had some doubts. This was also the time for what I call "the pebble check" where you start lifting up your uniform where the blood stains are to see just what you have going on there...... but I just had surface wounds if you can believe it. Several hema-tomatoes popped up over the next few hours in places that just make you wonder what exactly your crash looked like for Pete's sake plus I had discovered cuts in the back of my mouth. Geez, just how did I land in that crash? Weird. Overall I was a lucky ducky and cannot wait to do it again next weekend. Well....not the crash part.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

NMBS #1 STXC - Saddle Battle

So like I said, not everything went smooth sailing leading up to the Short Track on Saturday evening. There I was in the dark, on my trainer, near my car, no one around with 2 minutes until staging and I take my bike off the trainer, grab my seat and the hole thing rattles backwards and is totally loose. This is when the panic attack happened and I started searching frantically for the car keys in the dark and then once in I started throwing all my tools and everything around trying to find the right one. Is it 6??? I check it...too big. A 3?? Too small. Oh man time is ticking. How about a 5?? Too big. Ok so I know what one it is now.........but where is it?!!! The most commonly used tool size and it is of course not in its slot in my mess of tools. Ok I tell myself....don't panic.....calm's ok....breathe. And ahhhhhh....I find it. At this point, I DON'T CARE and CAN'T CARE if the seat is in the right position. There is no time to measure to get it perfect. I just eye it, tighten it and go to the line. Whew that was close.

Considering how things went in the race maybe I ought to consider a permanent change hugh (it ended up being 1 cm too far back)? Ha!