Saturday, June 30, 2007
For those of you that are interested..... the race course is AWESOME and so fun which I will need to remind myself that I said when I am pinned tomorrow. There are banked turns, bridges, rock formations to go over, tunnels, etc. It's like a fun park. It is a 6.2 k loop that turns on itself over and over again at a small ski area 15 minutes outside of St. Felicien. There are many slick roots and ruts along with rocks of course too throughout the loop. That said, there are also super fast banked hard packed sandy sections. Super fun. The lushness, roots, dark mud and wetness remind me of West Virginia NORBA course without all the rain. On that note, it has rained on and off up here all week though and I think for tomorrow its a 60% chance and 13 C. Whatever-my only job is to race, rain or shine. We just got back from the managers meeting and the ladies will be doing 5 laps plus a longer than normal start loop. Gonna be a long hard day in the saddle. Need to go sharpen my elbows......
So a chaperon from the race organization drove us over to the house which is situated in a neighborhood in St. Felicien. Apparently St. Felicien does not have enough accommodations for the World Cup rif raf so they had to ask their citizens to open their doors. Bottom line is that there is no chalet and we have rooms in a home with the owner still here and 2 other girls. One of the girls goes to school and rents permanently from this guy and the other girl is Laurence Leboucher who will be racing in the World Cup. Ever heard of her? Well she would be a 2 time World Cyclocross Champion and current MTB French National Champion. She is really slow (not!!). She is the one that tried to work Katie Compton (USA) over with her teammate at the Cyclocross World Championship this year. Katie ended up 2nd, Laurence 3rd and Laurence's teammate-1st. She is hilarious actually and has a tendency to say "dat is sheet" all the time about everything which has us rolling with laughter! She has a great personality and she will be regretting that she asked us to come stay with her in France. Of course, when do we really have time for that?
Friday, June 29, 2007
Thursday, June 28, 2007
And no, we are not at a bed and breakfast........our host family is treating us like royalty!! We were sooooooo lucky to find these guys and we are so thankful to them for making our trip to a french speaking area so easy, nice and pleasant.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
This is the house we are staying at in Saint Prime right now. We love it!!
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Here is what Tobo-Ski looks like in the winter:
Yes, this is all that is up here right now. That one building. Again, the UCI has much set up to do.
On the way back to our hosts home we ran across an artists house. He likes dragons:
Monday, June 25, 2007
Sunday, June 24, 2007
I guess on the frozen lake during the winter they kite board because the winds are soooo crazy fierce. Winters here are brutal it sounds like with a ton of wind but they make up for it with dog sledding too! Not to mention that there is a cheese museum just down the road. This place is great. Can you believe we have wireless at this house too? Amazing!!
Saturday, June 23, 2007
Before I go into what actually happened I just need to ask the question "Why are there always HUGE crashes at the start of World Cup races?" Is it not possible to not hit someone else on the bike and just keep your stinking line people? What is wrong with these folks? Pro riders at the top level in the World? Hmmmm. Needless to say......MASSIVE PILE UP 10 seconds into the start. I had anticipated it because I have seen it happen over and over at the World Cups. I just waited for it because I could, as I had a back row start. I saw it happen and made a split decision to make a cyclocross move over the tape, ran up 10 feet and then went back over the tape onto the course. Other people did it too and then everyone was in gears that were wrong and trying to peddle and falling over and people were still crossing their bars over your thigh. What the?? Meanwhile half of the field is still on the ground behind us curled up in balls waiting for the confusion to end. I remember seeing one gal laying in fetal position with a pile of sand that was coming up and over her helmet. Ooooh not good. The only reason I saw her was because my wheel almost went up and over her face. Again....not good. That is when I busted out the cyclocross moves.
Feeling good I went burning up the climb hit the technical descent no problem, climbed up another 20 feet and started descending over a huge rock/dirt staircase section. I tried make a pass on that, misjudged how much it dropped off on the other side of the rock I was going over and literally landed on my front tire with my bike vertical to the ground with me on it. I was staring at the ground as I endoed BIG. First thing out of my mouth after masses of racers passed me was "my rib!?!". I didn't know what was going on. I just knew I had sharp pains. I didn't know if they would subside or get worse but I got back on the bike almost immediately after gathering myself and just kept going at what ended up being a notch below full race pace. It was tough. I had a lot going on in my head. I had no idea who was up the course anymore and no idea who was behind. All I knew is that all I could focus on was me and the pain. I didn't know what was going on with my ribs and I had thoughts of sharp pieces sticking into my lungs, lungs filling with fluid, and me keeling over mid race. My mind does wonders at thinking outrageous thoughts if you can't tell. I just didn't know what was wrong or how wrong it was you know? I thought about stopping but I have never just stopped (dnf'ed) a race at my own will and I just couldn't do it today either. Just couldn't. Pain was the game but this time it was the pain of being just below race pace that overtook the rib pain. So actually racing was a great thing because it took my mind off it for 2 hours. Didn't get lapped-don't know how because I was slugging slowly down everything wincing in pain as my tire made contact with the ground as I dropped over stuff. Oh ya, good times.
We shall see how the next few days go on the bike. I sure my ear is not going to fall off or anything and I should live though. Just need to adjust to a slower lifestyle and a new way of living for a while.
Friday, June 22, 2007
Today I think I burned every single favor that anyone and everyone has ever owed me, thought they owed me or never wanted to owe me. And the low down on the day-
Ride to venue (not far)
Register/Packet pick up
Beg every team and person for a feed tomorrow-find one....first favor burned
Find someone who will work on my tires.......second favor burned
Ride to hotel to get more bike parts
Ride back to venue (seems a little farther)
Get the right tires put on so Kathy won't go over the bars again..third favor burned
Beg someone for a brush to wash my bike with.....fourth favor burned
Return to hotel only to find that my brakes are rubbing probably from the crash yesterday
Talked to a mechanic at the hotel but he was having none of it.......fifth favor ALMOST burned
Ride back to venue again (getting annoyingly far now)
Beg every team, team manager and mechanic to find someone that can work on brakes-find one.......sixth favor burned.
I just have to say thank you to every single individual out there who made my life easier today by getting my bike in working order. From old friends, to old and current sponsors, to old team mechanics from years ago, soigneurs, etc who I know probably wanted to run the other way when they saw me coming but they didn't. It is those kinds of folks that make the world go round in the right way and it does not go unnoticed on my part. Thanks everyone!
Tomorrow = 11am back of the pack start. Sah-weet!!!
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Once unloaded we got out on the course and I had what I found out to be a false sense of security about my tires and went "over the bars and through the woods" on the very first techinical DH. Right when my tire sneaked over that slimy rock I knew I was done in for. I bounced off a few rocks and even laughed as it happened because it was so dum. I am ok mom, don't you worry!
Oh ya and you've got to just love what styles from around the globe these World Cups bring. Did I say STYLE?
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
She has a few things to choose from...............
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
A layover in Denver, CO gave me enough time to squeeze in some emails and more phone calls that I wasn't able to complete in the last few days. All work related which is unbelievable I know............ "What do you do with all that time you have every day, Kathy?". Oh YA RIGHT.
The flight to Boston took FOREVER. At some point I wasn't exactly sure if the pilot was really headed to Boston or freakin' Europe!! Some thunderstorms elongated my journey across the US to a 5 hour flight. Not cool but at least there was no one sitting next to me on the plane.
Monday, June 18, 2007
Sunday, June 17, 2007
Holy lord was the Short Track hard for me today!! I still got 7th but after a peddle bumble at the start I was playing make up from the get go. Darn it!! Sucks when stuff like that happens and you know you have good form. And on this course in particular that peddle issue mattered because this STXC was more like a Time Trial with not a plethora of room for passing. I made some good passes but just wasn’t recovering on the DH at all which sent me so past the point of sheer and utter pain. The pain was so bad at one point that I looked down at my watch and it only said “7 minutes” (into a 25 minute race that wasn’t going to get any easier). Oh boy – this was suffering at its finest. I was on the rivet the entire time. One more surge and I was going to blow. I could feel it. I have blown once in my racing career and I now know the symptoms all too well from my body (nausea, tunnel vision, cold sweats,) so once I get right on the edge of feeling those I know that is all the body can and will do. So I just simply stayed on it hoping someone else may crack, maybe drop a chain, or bobble. But no such luck. 7th was going to be where I finished and I will always happily take a Top 10!!!
Saturday, June 16, 2007
Alright alright. I know this is going to sound cliché or something but I have to say that today was a "dream come true." I had my first ever Cross Country podium at a National race and to do it on my home turf at a home town race was pretty darn cool. It was an amazing feeling to come across the line with friends, family, former
I have worked hard for this day for sure. Lots of sacrifice, lots of suffering, lots of commitment, lots of ups and lots of downs. I still can’t believe it. This picture says it all as I crossed the line in 5th. A podium shot here too. And another shot of me just hanging after the race:
It was a bit of a strange day that didn’t go precisely as one may have wanted. It started out with me forgetting my heart rate monitor strap which wasn’t a huge deal. Once I discovered this while making the drive from
Ok so back to this heart rate monitor strap thing……I forgot it. Bummer. It would have been nice to have it while warming up is all. I DO NOT use it during the race for any purpose other than for time so I know when to take my gels. But once I realized I didn’t have the strap I also realized that I am from these parts and pretty much know every bike racer in the area!! So one lucky friend, Ron Prue, got the call…… “Dude, are you in the area and do you have an HR strap with you?” The answer..... “yes and yes” Ok, my day was already looking up. I only ended up having to do ½ of my hour warm up using “the force” and occasionally sticking my hand on my carotid to make sure that the force was actually with me. No biggie, Ron saved the day and maybe even gave me a good luck charm too I am thinking.
When the race started I was off like a shot thinking that we were going to be dumping single file into the singletrack that wasn’t too far up the dirt road we were climbing. You know the drill…..first ones in = first ones out so I boogied up and was all set to be around 3rd into the singletrack and I then noticed girls #1 and #2 heading straight up the steep dirt road and not turning. At first I thought, oh maybe the singletrack is further up than I thought and I will continue to kill it to get in first. Halfway up the dirt road I realize that we are heading straight up it, no singletrack involved. Oh boy…..I was already pinning it………..guess I should have listened to those pre-race instructions at the line that apparently were given to us over the microphone regarding sending us straight up the road on the first lap—whoops e daisy. Ah heck who I am kidding? I don’t want to listen to someone giving me instructions at the line! :)
I down shifted at that point and kept er steady as we climbed. Over the next 6 minutes of climbing to the top of Little Stick I got passed by about 6 or 7 women but the weird thing was that I didn’t panic AT ALL. I must have known deep down that it was going to be a solid day for me.
By the bottom of the first descent I had passed one gal and gotten stuck on the back of a train of 3 more. I knew there was no passing on the DH for the most part so I took the opportunity to sit on a fuel up because a small climb was in our future. There was some minor shifting of places going on within the group of 4 of us until we hit the paved road headed towards the next climb. That is where I made the move and passed 3 more women, busted a move climbing like a mountain goat through all the switchbacks and let-er-fly on the DH towards Mitt Romney’s house. I know those corners and turns SO well and would have been interested in an odometer reading on that one for sure! My only goal at this point = lose the girls I just passed and give them no hope of catching me. Racers are so mean deep down aren’t they? :)
As I made my way back towards the start/finish area to start lap 2 (of 3) I was fast approaching another gal. I couldn’t believe it- she was holding that last spot on the podium I was pretty sure!!!!! It was just a matter of time before I passed her so I kept on it past the feed zone and back up the Little Stick climb trying to decrease the gap. At the top of the Little Stick climb it pitches up nice and good and that is when I decided to throw in attack-right where suffering was at the finest for all parties involved. And when I did I got no response from her which I was psyched about!! At this point I was happy to have just moved into 5th but not overly so because things aren’t over until they are over. I still had almost 2 laps to go and was going to need to fly in order to keep this podium spot. I told myself to grow the gap, grow the gap, grow the gap. I became like a mad sheepdog with only one mission to grow the gap. During this process I got a bee sting right in between the eyes too!! That little guy got caught right under my Zeal Optics sunglasses on the bridge of my nose and decided to zap me. The sting actually felt good when compared to the pain in my legs and during that brief moment in time I felt relief from the pain in my legs. It was something else to concentrate on until the bee sting pain disinigrated and the leg pain took over again. It was good while it lasted though!
As I made my way “over the river and through the woods” (at that point I was wishing it was “to Grandmas house we go”) I would have to say that around almost every turn there seemed to be someone yelling for me. I swear the bushes were talking because people seemed to be stuffed everywhere. THAT was motivating for sure!!!
As I came in towards the finish line I took the instructions of a friend/spectator and kept it smooth, took it down a notch and took it in for the podium spot. When I came across the line I swear I have never felt such relief and excitement in my life. Everyone was cheering at the line and the announcer was going crazy knowing I am from the area. You would have thought that I won or something!!! But in my mind I did. I always knew I could do this; it was just a matter of having it all come together. And what a better place to do it – home town in front of everybody! Incredible. I will remember this day for the rest of my life!!!! Thanks for letting me share it!
Friday, June 15, 2007
I have got to say though that for me signing stuff is so surreal. It wasn't that long ago that I sat in my office at Deer Valley Resort plugging away at Human Resources work only to look up and see signed posters, "baseball" cards, postcards, etc of the Luna team, the Trek/VW Team, the Haro team, DH ers, etc. on my office wall. I didn't even know those people on my wall back then and now they are my competitors, acquaintances, my coach!, teammates and even my friends. Wow. Who ever would have thunk? I mean really?? At that stage I had no passion to do what I am doing now (cycling competitively) but I thought it would be cool if you could do it - you know? I never told myself that is what I want and that was what I am going to do though. How things change right?
It must have been seeing all the teams and riders come through Deer Valley Resort ever year that got me to do that first race in June of 2000. I had decided to join in the reindeer games as a Beginner racer which I most definitely was, having NEVER raced before. I would ride after work on the incredible singletrack that Deer Valley has and that was it. But, 0ne race = hooked.
And then fast forward to 2007 and I am signing autographs? Are you kidding me? Someone has to be. And now I have that opportunity to sit on someones wall and stare at them while they are at work plugging away? I only hope to get into their head subconsciously like all those posters and postcards did to me over the years in my office. Here is me last night on my way to getting into that subconscious:
Top 10 Reasons to race or get into cycling:
The people are sooooo cool.
You learn about yourself.
Your aren't old just because you are mid 30's....in fact you are in your prime.
You are surrounded by athletes and athletic minded people.
You now have something to do every weekend if you want.
You create and meet small goals all the time.
You burn soooo many calories.
You learn to push beyond what you ever thought was possible.
And the best one...........you only get faster, stronger, have more power, more endurance, more speed, etc. as you get older (if you train). Now THAT is cool.
See you at the races!
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Weird having a big race at your back door.
Weird sleeping in your own bed each night.
Weird having the option to do errands and stuff.
Weird to think about going to your own gym.
Weird seeing all your competitors on your home course and home roads.
Weird hanging out at my own house each day.
Weird training on roads I know leading up to a big race.
It is just weird or did I not mention that before?
Usually there is such a build up of things like flying somewhere across the US for a race, renting a car, getting lost while trying to find your condo, building your bike up, stocking up the condo fridge, getting settled and unpacked, finding the course and venue, riding the course and figuring out race day logistics, etc........... but I don't have any of that going on right now which is sweet!
I am here and always was, I know where I am, I know the course and I even know where it is and how to get there. My bikes are built my fridge is stocked, I am really unpacked (so says the bedroom floor). All I really have to do is race. Wow what a concept!
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Sunday, June 10, 2007
Young Riders/Squatter's (Team Big Bear) are throwing a party to kickoff the NORBA weekend at Deer Valley.
The event will take place at Squatter's Roadhouse Grill in Park City.
Thursday, June 14th, 4-7pm.
Cost is $5 at the door.
Food buffet of sandwiches, wings, pizza, etc. will be available, while drinks may be purchased at the 'Cash bar'.
Pro teams from around the country will be there to sign autographs and mingle with their fans.
There will be a drawing for prizes like shirts, camelbacks, jerseys, etc!
This is a community event to draw locals and national racers, etc. together. Expected to attend are all the local mtb teams, riders, young riders and their families. See you there!
Saturday, June 9, 2007
It was cold too but it could have been colder. We lucked out with the weather today after what came our way over the week. Because it was around 40 degrees out when I was "warming up" I think I may have actually warmed down though. It was back to the Cyclocross type of weather, temperature wise but would slowly warm up over the next few hours.
The Pro Women had a good field size which was great to see. We started behind eighty or so Expert/Pro men which meant passing on singletrack whenever you got a chance whether you liked it or not and whether it was at a place you felt like putting in an effort or not. If you wanted to get anywhere you had to pass at inopportune times for your body by putting in higher efforts on what you already thought was a high effort. Oh yeah, the sweet thought of pain comes to mind. But that is racing and it will only help you in the long run....and I guess the short run too: After a very sluggish start, a solid pace and many short efforts later I came out with a win. I also met my silly sub 2 hour time goal by many minutes. A goal that I randomly got it stuck in my mind over the week that I wanted to achieve.
Next up is the Deer Valley National race this coming weekend. Home sweet home! If you want to come join the madness here is the schedule:
Saturday, June 16th
Cross Country Pro Women
Snow Park Lodge start
race time = 2 hours
Sunday, June 17th
Short Track Pro Women
Snow Park Lodge start
race time = 30 minutes
For more info go to http://www.mtbnationals.com/. Hope to see you there!
Friday, June 8, 2007
We will see when this one comes out I guess assuming he is still alive. Aye yie yie.
Thursday, June 7, 2007
Wednesday, June 6, 2007
This view off our deck right now..........
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
Monday, June 4, 2007
We saw a total of about 20 different rabbits darting across the trail too. They would then sit still as if we didn’t see them while we rode by. Is that where the term “Dumb Bunny” comes from? Again, wildlife is cool, as long as they are scared of YOU but if a pack of rabbits came at me with their long teeth I think I would have a heart attack.
Sunday, June 3, 2007
Right before the race there was a mix up of numbers which left us looking for Ned Overend and him looking for us as I had his numbers and he had mine. What the heck?! Why is this not up to registration to figure out and not me and Ned? Don't know but we took care of it. There always has to be something before every race and that was it this time around.
After the race I saw Floyd Landis and he had a bunch probably what were guards and entourage around him but no one else. So I thought what the heck I am going to go introduce myself. Why not? So I did and he mentioned something about me almost passing him in the race (the Pro Men started 3 min. ahead of Pro Women). It's gotta be tough mentally to go from winning the Tour to participating in your first bike race almost a year later and come in 45th or so. Sitting in the court room too much I guess. He was cool though and really nice. I thanked him for coming out to the races because that just makes it big for all of us.
I think our Ultimate Challenge team is going well too with Nikki Kelly winning her Down River Sprint yesterday. Today the rest of our team does the Trail Run (Adam Chase) and then the Road Climb (Jenny Smith). Should go well since we have a strong team and even if it doesn't (go well) I am just happy to help them out.
Saturday, June 2, 2007
Monique (Pua) Sawicki won the Everest Award last night.
One of the editors that we met from Bike Magazine had 2 bikes on top of her rig and the valets at our hotel mashed them into the top of the garage. Bummer :(
I have been volunteered to compete in the Ultimate Mountain Challenge on a Team with:
Jenny Smith for the Road Climb, Adam Chase for the Trail Run, Nikki Kelly for the Kayak and me for the MTB race.
Should be fun!!