Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Santa Barbara

After Sea Otter we finally got some time to hang with our great host, surfer, cyclist, tennis guru and local native to the area, Michael. He took us on a nice leg flushing ride in the Pacific Grove area. It was beautiful.

Chris and Michael

It was great to spin the legs out. They hadn't seen a double race weekend since August and needed some serious TLC!

Then it was promptly off to the land of Santa Barbara to stay with our awesome friends, Eric and Kristin until the next race in Idyllwild, CA.

I really started feeling like I was getting my life back some too. Just being away from the big move in Utah and getting away with the hubby for the first time since his big injury last year (at this exact time) really helped. It is a good feeling to feel almost normal again!

Our friends have orange, lemon, and mexican guava trees going off right now. It is so awesome to pick the best orange of your life right in your own front yard!

Mexican Guava's taste like a pear and a guava wrap into one. Yummy!

I was getting plenty of training on the nearby 3500 foot hill and ran into longboard skaters more than a few times. They go down the same twisty, turny, blind cornered, steep graded hill that I do except ON THEIR SKATEBOARDS.

Read as.....NO brakes!!!!!!!

They have this rig to pick them up at the bottom and bring them back up to the top to do it all over again too! It is quite cool to watch.....along with insane!

I got a chance to talk to them and it sounds like they have a team and competitions and the whole nine yards. And to stop or slow down they drag a foot or stand up on the board from a near squatting position. Holy Moly. They were super nice to talk to and very informative as well! It is cool to learn about other sports and what it takes.

Next up is the Idyllwild Spring Challenge just outside of Palm Springs, CA.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sea Otter Classic - Monterey, CA

After being in our new house an entire week or two we were off to Sea Otter Classic race in CA. The only problem was that our house had a bit of a problem going on with it - a leaky basement! Luckily Chris happened upon this discovery while folding up his kiteboarding gear that was drying down there. Squish Squish Squish is not what you want to feel underfoot of a new home!!

A good lesson learned is to have an inspector come in both the winter and spring if you can....especially if the sale of your house is going to drag out that long. We had an inspector come during the winter not anticipating that buying our new house was going to take an act from God happening. When he came during the winter everything was hunky dory! Darn spring melt!

Everything was starting to thaw out and there was a pool of water sitting by our front door that was the cause of this leak. From the moment Chris discovered this, he worked day and night on digging a french drain with a ditch witch. What a dirty muddy mess!!!

We wanted to leave on Tuesday, 4 days before Sea Otter but he wasn't even close to done. He finally got everything done late Wednesday and we ended up leaving on Thursday for the Otter which is 2 days later than I have ever left for it before. This was going to be a great test for my legs......how much travel in a car can you do and still feel ok?? I was about to find out for the first time in my career!

The Mafia Racing/Pabst/Felt tent set up at Sea Otter:

Free Pabst anyone?

I got to the venue on Friday with just enough time to squeeze in a quick lap or two on the course. This would have been unheard of in years past with the 36 mile lap we used to do, so from that standpoint having a short spectator friendly lap this year was nice for me.

Ok, now it was off to Trader Joes to load up for the weekend, head to host housing in Pacific Grove and hit the pillow as fast as humanly possible. Short Track racing was underway tomorrow already!

Got the Short Track race with plenty of time, got lined up and off we went. The course was the exact same as in years past. This year though there was an off camber/muddy section about 20 seconds from the start line that was sure to throw a few people off, in both senses of the word. Having rusty cross skills from the past cross season were going to come in handy on this one. Getting in front at the start was key to not getting bogged down. I made sure that happened here on the first lap.

I immediately fell behind pace of the race leaders which was slightly aggravating considering some success I have had in years past in Short Track.

Again, what was I expecting from this race though? I hadn't raced with most of these girls since August in Windham, NY, I had a lot of life changing events occur right after that, I then almost retired, then got super sick and I was BEHIND in all senses of the word right now - in training and in this darned race. : ) Who knows where I stood at this point in the game.

I was in it to see where I stand.....and if I stand. No goal other than that. There is something to be said for no goals sometimes! No goals = no stress but its not a good idea to fall into a pattern like that. You soon need to start setting those goals again or will be lost. But this wasn't the day, race, time or place to be doing that myself quite yet.

I just needed to make sure that I still can put up a fight and WANT to. And I did. I ended up in 12th or 13th (they never posted Pro Women's results past Top 10). I was pleasantly surprised with my first race back with the girls. It was invigorating to be doing what I love again!!!

In addition to giving out Pabst Beer we were selling Mafia Racing gear too

The next day was the Cross Country event. It was only going to be about a 1.5 hour deal which is WAY different that the 3 hour event that it has been for many years. Although not true mountain biking except on the backside of the course, I stilled enjoyed the short course format. Personally, I have fun doing 4 laps instead of one big honker.

By the days end I found myself in 18th place. I fought hard to be there too. I was feeling good on every short steep climb that was thrown at us but apparently there were 17 others that were feeling much better on them than I was!

That's ok, it's still early for me and I am still trying to get my head around where I am at, why I am there and what I am going to do about it. It is all good and only up from here!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Intermountain Cup #2 - Hurricane, UT

As if the chaos of moving earlier in the week wasn't enough, I needed to pack for an upcoming race that was only days away now. Holy lord, my head was spinning. I had no idea where anything was, had limited time and really needed to pack and....oh yeah.....and unpack too. How was this gonna work?

In addition I was in the process of getting my new bike all built up by the weekends race. Everything always happens all at once doesn't it? All good stuff this time though!

Revolution Mtn Sports was awesome enough to get my new Felt Nine LTD frame all fresh and built up with my Shimano XTR parts just in the knick of time. Chris Tolsma at Binghams gets a big thumbs up too for getting my rig in and out all measured up to my specifications/measurements at the last minute. Whew, that was a close call.

Here she is in all her glory:

Check out the protective plate. Big flying rox + carbon = bad news bears.

Ok, got the bike so now it is officially time to pack........seriously??? Pack? OMG!!!

I know my bike shoes are somewhere.....Bueller? Bueller?

And I suppose I may find my sports drink at some point too if I am lucky

So 8 hours and tired Kathy later, I had found all that I needed for the weekend and was FINALLY packed for my second race of the season in Hurricane, UT.

Upon arriving on Friday with my new never ridden (NO, not even a pedal stroke - no time!!) I had flatter than flat tires. Yep, doing the jingle jangle with the ole Stans method on some new Kenda Smallblocks at kinda the last minute was the name of the game. Well that and crossing my fingers it would decide to miraculously hold by tomorrow morning. Oh man this was gonna be an interesting weekend.

My only goal became to just feel better/faster than I did at the first race of the season. Not the greatest goal on the face of the earth but lets get real. I was exhausted.

The Pro Ladies line up!

That goal was somehow realized after two mediocre laps and then a 3rd faster lap when the legs decided they wanted to do some work. Got 2nd place in the end.
And, my tires even held up for the most part. I think I might have pumped them up a good 20-30 times before the race in the last 12 hours though. I was pretty obsessive about it. I do know that I only had 18 lbs in the front tire when I got done with the race so it wasn't quite sealed completely yet. But they got me through and are bound to be sealed soon.

The venue

LOVING the 29r. It took about 29 minutes to get used to it too....just as long as it always takes me personally to get used to new bikes. Some people warned me that I may not like the bigger wheels in the corners but it cornered on this particular course phenomenally. For not EVER having ridden one, I am liking what I am seeing!

I nicknamed her "The SteamRoller" as the bike rolls over anything. There is none of this business of looking at a line and thinking there are too many rocks in it and going for the other smoother line instead. With my 29r you see the line you want and you take it - it doesn't matter whats in the way because it will get you there. I couldn't be happier with my new Felt!!!