Monday, December 31, 2007
Sunday, December 30, 2007
Saturday, December 29, 2007
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
We are a lively bunch aren't we?
We then picked up two other lonely cyclists, Jen and Shannon, that were headed through St. George, who were doing what we were doing over the holidays except I think they drove from SLC to LA and back in under 48 hours.
These guys did the TransAlps race in July, an 8 day mtb stage race in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy that is 385 miles long with 65,000 vertical feet of climbing and killed it coming in 7th overall in their category. That was fun to see.
But today we only did about 10 feet of vertical gain I think. I was whooped and then winds were hollering which was NOT cool while we were on a trail that was at points only feet away from the edge of a couple hundred foot drop off into the river. Gusts were at about 25-35 miles per hour making things a bit tedious in spots but we live to tell the story so that is good. Despite the winds it was a nice day for a Christmas morning ride with some buddies.
Monday, December 24, 2007
Makes for good training especially when you have these views to look at:
Then off to Ali's mom in laws house down the road in St. George for an impromptu Christmas Eve dinner. Guess they all felt sorry for us since the 3 of us are kicking it in a hotel room for the holidays. What nice people to invite strangers over to their family dinner!
Ali with Mr Simon. That dog is so cool.
Can't take Fox anywhere I tell you! :) No, no - that is just grape juice in his glass
The nice table set up:
Sunday, December 23, 2007
We went mtb riding today with Fox for what seemed like most of the day light hours. He showed us what riding can be like off a flagged race course in St. George which was way nice of him to play tour guide like that. On the Barrel trail Chris and Fox double handily handed my tail to me which can only make you stronger...er..uh...yeah.......right?
After the Barrel trail we headed out on some steeper rocky descents that I was actually getting down on my hardtail pretty well. Generally I am pretty hesitant the first time down anything and usually need to see it first so I KNOW what's coming up. But getting down all these descents sight unseen today was unfortunately just enough to build the confidence ever so slightly. And that was just in time for us to approach a 3 foot wide gully that had rocks in it to cross. Yep - cased it hard in the gully with my new found confidence. I should have known better when Chris stopped at it thinking it was a bit too much cuz he is Mr. Super D and can dh with the best of them. I said to him oh you can do THAT; here watch me..................."crunch". Nice.
Saturday, December 22, 2007
This video starts out with him on the first row in line waiting early in the morning (12 sec -32 sec mark) for the new lift to open. He is wearing the off white jacket, white helmet, black pants. Then on to the lift (1min 7sec - 1min 14sec mark) where he gets 2nd chair of the brand new lift. Then a quick clip of him skiing in the far left corner at the 1min 23sec mark.
Now a better clip of him skiing which comes at about 3/4 of the way through. It is right after the dude in the black outfit gets interviewed. Check it here on the news.
Friday, December 21, 2007
To see the Deer Valley segment of the video go to the 4min 14sec mark. To see Chris go to the 4 sec 30 sec. This is Chris's 5 min of fame on the net.....uh...er....make it 5 seconds maybe....
Warning: Any opinions expressed in the video are opinions in the video and should not be read into as mine or not. Simply put- I found Chris in a video on a popular website and I posted it. That is it.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
I have been working up at Deer Valley Resort these last few days in their Signatures (gift) stores. Seeing American Express cards that are black (ever seen one of those? yeah, me neither) and helping certain guests that need your help and are shocked when you ask where they are staying because its Stein Eriksen Lodge OF COURSE is too funny. Here are my new buddies that I work with. They are a hoot!
It has been good to go back to DV because it is like a reunion for me. I cannot go anywhere without seeing 10 people I know and really want to sit down and talk to! I have worked there for 14 years now, 11 full time as HR Manager and because of that I know A LOT of the employees still. There are over 2000+ employees there now too. Wow. I miss seeing all the friends I made during that period of time which is why it is SO GREAT to go back, catch up and spend more than I make in their cute gift shops!
HUGE snow storm last night. Took an hour of bumper to bumper to get home. Normally it is 25 minutes. Chris is gonna have a good ski day tomorrow!
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
On that note, I have to say that I have had such a wonderful experience in Kansas. Great people. Great state. Beautiful and pleasant area with weather extremes ranging from sunny blue bird skies to heavy snow covering all the interstates over the 3 day period I was there.
I tell you what too. I stayed with another host family for this trip (I stayed with a family in Portland, OR too) and for someone to open up their doors and beautiful home to a complete and total stranger is just simply over the top. I realize that this is the norm for road cycling but in mtb this doesn’t happen too often and this whole concept is still quite new to me. Since cross is a mix of the two sports it has brought in the wonderful idea of host housing which is AWESOME.
For those of you wondering….anyone can host an athlete. Generally the information to do so is on the race website and is coordinated that way. You don’t have to be a racer or even like racing. It is a great way to introduce your family to a fun and active healthy lifestyle.
Monday, December 17, 2007
Found some other pics here and here of when I was rolling along just fine and dandy breathing down 5th places neck BEFORE the mishap.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Need to shower. Yeah, good idea don't you think? :)
Only, I, Kathy Sherwin, can manage to get a photo right by the words "butt". Geez.
PS. At first I thought that was a rip in my trousers but it is just my saddle. Holy toledo bat man that wouldn't have been too cool if it had been me shorts!
Nothing like frozen mud ruts to test out your bike handling skills.A smile on my face at the finish despite my misfortune. Such is racing.
Telling Fox about my woes of the day. BTW-Nice SHORTS. It is HOW cold?? My goodness.
The barriers were supposed to be in this section but they took them out.
Back at host housing enjoying some authentic Kansas City BBQ oh ya..... and a beer. That is right people, a beer. I have to drown my sorrows from the day somehow. :) And no, all 3 plates aren't mine but maybe I will go for it.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Monday, December 10, 2007
Click on image for more up to date KS weather.
I believe I -70 and I -435 on the pull down are the closest to the venue but then again, this is coming from someone who lives in Utah. :)
The good news is that it is warmer in Kansas than here right now!!
Saturday, December 8, 2007
I got up expecting to race, had my pre - race meal and typical pre- race morning. Got the car all packed up to the ceiling with all my stuff and discovered very snowy roads with traffic going 50 mph. The drive to the race site is already a 1.5 hour drive if you are going the speed limit and at the pace we were going it was going to be A LOT longer than that. Plus it would be a white knuckled stressful one at that!
Those were my thoughts.
I have never just thrown the towel in on a race like that but there were other factors too. One being that I have been sleeping a ton and not feeling like myself the last few days. I have been a whiny little racer to my coach and that means something. It means my body is crying out for help and I need to do it a favor and listen to it. You know the signs at this stage of the game and if you ignore them, you are a doe doe head (to put it nicely).
Even this morning my body was still in the "ugh" phase. I thought I could get going and work my way through it because that is what "athletes" do right? But when the drive stared sucking I took that as a big ole sign and second chance to "just say no" and made my U - turn.
Trust me, I would have loved to race but I trust me and know that it wasn't in my best interests today.
Gotta see the light even when in the dark if you can.
Friday, December 7, 2007
Thursday, December 6, 2007
WA - Home of Fort Lewis Army Base, McChord Air Force Base, troops marching down the roads, convoys filled with all kinds of sweet vehicles with men and women loaded up in them, jet and transport airplanes flying overhead, the sound of artillery being fired, machine gun practice, etc.
And somehow you feel safe here while out training in this area even though I could also hear them rustling around in those thick woods you see behind the sign. How does that song go?? ....... "I always feeeeel like somebody's watching meeeeeee!!!"
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Monday, December 3, 2007
Did I mention that cyclists know how to pack a car? If you need anything packed even if you don't think it will all fit, call your nearest cycling buddy. We can "Tetris it up" with the best of em'. Check it out below - one bike case, 3 bikes, a trainer, two travel bags stuffed full, two back packs, 3 bags of groceries, 1 bag of tools, tires, rags, pump, a bag of the muddiest clothing known to man kind, a box of a set of wheels, 2 purses, 2 people and we are off to the airport. Actually, Shannon did most of it. She rules!
Sunday, December 2, 2007
A very quiet race morning turned into chaos with one phone call. My dad had been found lying collapsed, not moving on the floor by my mom who had just gotten up. He was only semi - conscious. My brother was on his way down to their house and 911 had been called but had not arrived yet. This was still too fresh for me to deal with. The unknowns, the possibilities, the questions. No one had answers yet and I was/am 2 hours away from them with a race in 3 hours. What is one to do? I got off the phone uncertain of my next move.
The questions for myself started pouring in. Had I been put so close to my parents for this very thing to happen, giving me the opportunity for a last good bye? Dad's been sick a while. Or was this going to be one of many happenings before the end which may be years away? If I didn't go home, raced and dad passed today, how would I feel? Would I feel guilty the rest of my life? How would dad feel about all these questions I have? What would his answers be? Would I be happy with possibly our last conversation that we had on Friday for the rest of my life? Was there more I needed to say? Did he need my support and need me there? How is one to know what the right or wrong decision is? Did mom need me now more than ever and I wouldn't be there because I raced? Would my family shun me and my decisions if something more so went wrong with dads health in the next few hours and I wasn't there?
These were just some of my pre-race decisions that had to be made. Not your average pre race morning. No pressure and actually my family didn't pressure me. They encouraged me to stay and race since there were more questions than answers at this point. That helped a ton and I appreciated that more than they know. I needed their guidance because they were the one THERE. Needless to say I had a tough morning. Very tough in fact. My parents mean everything to me.
Based on what everyone said, my decision was to proceed as normal and pack up everything at the last minute into the car in case I got the "get the hell home NOW" phone call as I made my way to the venue. I decided to take everything minute by minute and just have everything with me in case I need to jet right before the start of the race. This put me about a half an hour behind, leaving for the venue 30 minutes later than we wanted to. Crap.
An interesting warm up that consisted of me being in la la land not really paying close attention to anything (cadence, hr), having to get off the trainer 62 times because I forgot this or needed to get that, got 40 minutes in of a 60 minute warm up, I was hungry, NO high end VO2's completed, team tent was ready to sail away in the crazy wind, I hadn't been drinking enough liquid (1/2 the amount I normally do prior to a race) and finally, my backpack that had my last minute pre-race stuff in it was taken (kindly by a friend I found out) that I couldn't locate right away 10 min from race start.
I wasn't with it AT ALL prior to the race but somehow it felt right. I wasn't worried. I felt taken care of. I wasn't dwelling on any of it and wasn't feeling guilty or getting down about how my race would be. It was a calm feeling quite honestly and yet it should have torn me up inside to know all that went "wrong" up to the race may affect my race GREATLY. All those bits add up and can break you but I was not worried for whatever reason.
Even as I got called up into the 37th slot I just lined up wherever not really thinking about anything except getting rid of my last layers. This isn't how I operate which is why I write this. Everything I normally do when it comes to racing is calculated and for a reason. I have my routine DOWN and you don't mess with it or I will mess with you. :)
The gun goes off and everyone in front of me suddenly parted like the red sea and I went right through to the front with no prob-lem-oh. Say what? That was SWEET!!!!!! It didn't even really feel like an effort to get there. I was in auto-pilot mode. I got up into the top 15 with a snap of the fingers and was more relaxed through the mud, goop and slop than I have ever been. I was putting in an effort for sure but I was so calm taking killer lines, hitting the muddy ruts perfectly creating a train on a track feel, shifting was sweet, the mud was crazy thin with all the rain, tire pressure perfect, puddles were enormous, tires were hooking up, and everything was ridable. Everything.
They changed the course up some from yesterday and added some fun rollers to power up and over and back down. Plenty of off camber slime hills with ruts too. I got in some more passes, about 5 women all at once in a mud laden S turn section. Gapped em there with one that came back through. Others cased it on some of the rollers on the next lap far enough in front for me to sail down one side and miss the carnage as I came back up and over on the other. I was smooth and in my own world but I think I did fall though because I have a knot on my shin. Again, like yesterday, when did that happen? Weird. I kept thinking to myself "Do it for dad. If you are going to be here racing while he is suffering this is the least you can do, now boogy on up to the front and stay there, don't walk away from this regretting your decision plus getting a shat result on top of that." That would be unbearable.
You never know how an athlete is going to channel their energy and if that channeling is going to work or not. You don't know until its YOU actually doing it either. I did it and got THE BEST CYCLOCROSS RESULT that I have ever had in a National race. 8th.
Donn from Challenge was there again for us but no need for one bike change. I didn't even think about it. Geez. I have to ask myself if I WAS thinking out there or not today? Maybe that was a good thing??
After teeth chatting shivering and completely ruining the inside of the rental car..........
which WAS blue and is NOW brown with mud, Shannon G (above) and I got back to host housing.
The second we walked in the door I saw a blue and orange flash and heard BAM. Power outage. The winds were so high today here that fir tree branches were falling everywhere taking power lines with them. At one point during the race I was fearful of getting knocked over from the wind whipping across the course at fierce speeds. In fact, the barriers that separated the team tents from the race course were all taken down at once by a powerful blast of wind while the women's race was happening.
The power here was out for approx 5 hours. What would we have done with all our crazy muddy clothing if this had been in between the two USGP's? Oh my.
As it turned out dad suffered another TIA stroke today but walked away from it. In the next few days we will be able to access what capacities he has lost further but things are looking "good" as of now.
Saturday, December 1, 2007
Snow in the morning, rainy conditions and a bit of wind to top off the misery were a part of the women's race today. Today was muddier too than yesterdays pre-ride but it was runny mud for the most part so it wasn't too bad. I was really confident in it which was a nice change of pace from last years Portland race where I found myself riding a cx bike for the first time ever in mud.
And the bike changes today......oh my the bike changes. All I can say is that I need to work on those big time. BIG TIME. There were people practicing their exchanges with their loved ones in the parking lot prior to the race. That needs to be me. I had about 3 or 4 exchanges which didn't help my intentions of staying in the top ten shall we say. Oh well. The guys at Challenge Tires (Don especially!!) pitched in to help with all that. I kept them on their toes but they maintained a coolness about them. Thanks again guys. Support like that is incredible!!
A couple sections today were so loud with spectators that I thought me freaking ears were going to blow out. Crazy crazy crazy. Cow bells, yelling, hooting hollering. I remember one dude saying "Eye of the Tiger!!" (what does that mean?) Another said after I almost bobbled and fell into the fence but caught myself, ""You just made 12 people all yell "OOOOHHH" at the same time!!!!"" Others were shouting out the best lines down the next muddy hill "go right go right!!!" But you never know if the guy shouting at you is the girls husband who is behind you so should you actually take that advice??? Better be careful! :)
When I called home to tell Chris that I had survived the Portland madness he had some great news for me. He's pregnant. Kidding. Ok..... Apparently it snowed a good 4 inches in the valley there for his cyclocross race and he came in 2nd today! Nice. Chris is really great at anything requiring skill and technique on the bike. Then add the extra suffering that those kind of conditions require and you have got yourself a Chris. Way cool!
After my race I was spent. I almost barfed after crossing the line, couldn't feel any of my toes, had a coughing fit that sent my diaphragm into spasm. THAT sucked-weird feeling. Never had that happen before. I was hunched over not knowing what to do but after 2 minutes it released itself. What the?
After heading back to host housing I think it was the near end for me. I was exhausted, dizzy, hot and extremely tired. The team wanted to head out for dinner but the thought of moving myself and navigating all over Portland again did not appeal. I stayed in and let the nausea pass and once it did I should have locked the refrigerator doors. Holy crap I was like a Professional Eater sitting in the kitchen the rest of the night. Boy oh boy. Body was needing something to replenish and rebuild, that is for sure. But all this was a sure sign that I had given all that I had out there. Gotta do it again tomorrow and it has been raining since our race ended too. Mud mud mud!
Oh yeah, I am famous. Seeing that pic reminded me that during the race today a HUGE piece of bark or something flew into my mouth. Oh gross. Never would have remembered that until now either. And lets talk about being so in the purple zone that you don't know which end is up.....I must have taken a spill today because there is now a knot on my knee. I am confused because I don't remember that AT ALL.