Friday, August 20, 2010

Oh the things we see...

Racing bikes is extremely fun. And yes, so is just riding! I really wish everyone see the things you can only get to on a bike. The forests, the views, the animals, it's all so cool. Here's a sneak peak from a recent trip to Park City :) (I had the camera, so most of my pics are of my husband!)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Something new thangs...

So, I ordered a cross bike today. Never ridden one, well, at least not in a race. Kym leant me her spare cross bike for some road training last winter while my lovely Trek Madone was on it's way. So technically, I have ridden a cross bike with road tires ;). I'm looking forward to my incredible Trek Xo2 and am pretty confident I'll looove it. Now,the hard part. Cross racing. Never done it, but haw witnessed the pain! Curious to see how I perform in the cross races which are much, much shorter than the UE races..

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


I haven't been training for ultra endurance races this year, but couldn't resist the opportunity to ride on some of my favorite trails! So I decided I'd go out for an extremely long and almost guaranteed "training" ride at the Off Road Assault on Mount Mitchell (ORAMM). It's 63 miles and 11,000 feet of climbing with incredible, loooong, technical downhill. For some crazy reason, my body likes to climb. It actually feels comfortable to me. And, I have the perfect bike for a climbing race. My wsd Trek Top Fuel 9.8 climbs like a goat and has just enough suspension for me to fly on the technical downhills.

We headed down to the race and stayed in the same little tiny campground as before in the pop-up camper. We got there on Saturday (race on Sunday) so we got to eat at one of our favorite restaurants - The Laughing Seed in Asheville. I slept pretty well (after all the late night pre-race prep...what to take with you for racing a UE is like a science. What you're going to eat, when, where are the aid stations, will you have enough calories, will you have enough water. It's enough to drive a person mad!). I went through all the prep in an effort to minimize the pain I knew I would feel the next day.

Got up early for the race, ate what I could and we drove to the start line. The race was full and had about 600 riders, I think. I had to line up with out a warm up, but I knew I was heading into a 6.5 mile climb and would be plenty warm in no time. I raced to the second aid station like I was doing an xc race (mile 26) and felt great and realized I was pretty far up in the pack. I was riding with a couple guys I had met at the stage race in Costa Rica, so I knew I was doing well. After aide station 2 starts the long, grueling climb. It's 10 miles and doesn't let up and in places is very steep. Not to mention it was about 99 degrees and a big majority of that climb is exposed. It was burning hot and it took everything I had to hold it together on that climb. It hurt. When I got to the top, I had chills...ugh. Overheating. So I ate the only thing I could stomach at that point, oranges! I drank lots of water, took some endurolytes and stayed at the aide station for about 10 minutes or so in an attempt to cool down. When I felt better I took off again. It's a short climb then the amazing decent on heart break ridge. I love that decent, and was pretty pleased with myself that guys were hopping off the trail to let me by going down. When I got to the last aid station, I grabbed a coke. They taste so freakin good. I took it with me on the climb back up kitsuma (the fire road portion) and then crushed in and put it in my back pocket. At this point, I hit a wall. It was so hot, exposed and I was tired. 7 hours was more than 2x longer than I'd ridden in months. And I've learned that I don't ride well in extreme heat. So I started praying for rain. Seriously. I just wanted to be cooled down soo bad. And for about 5 minutes I just said over and over, please rain. Then no joke, I felt a rain drop. Then 2, then 20, then the sky open up and it freakin poured! I couldn't see in front of me more than a foot or two. I finished the fireroad section and had to literally ride/wade through a river gushing down kitsuma on my way up to the top. It started to make me mad, and that's good! It was enough to get me to the top, faster than I'd expected. Then it's a rip roaring downhill to the road and a pretty flat ride to the finish. On the decent there was a hold up because someone had a heat stroke! I got his number and name and took off toward the finish. He looked rough, but there were numerous people helping him and help had been called already. I crossed the finish line in 9 hrs. Slower than my time the year before, but it turns out times in general were slower due to the extreme heat. I knew I had finished well and would be on the podium, but with the open women racing I wasn't sure what girls I saw on the trail were in vet women. Somehow I managed to push myself hard enough to win! The next Vet woman didn't finish for 45 minutes after me. And I would have been 6th in open women, one spot off the podium.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Team Kits!

Super excited about our new team kits! Get used to seeing the girls in red and gray dominating this season!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Big Frog 65

Since it's one of my favorite races, I decided to race the Big Frog 65 even though it was just a week after the big stage race in Costa Rica and I was far from being recovered. Justin and I stayed at Thunder Rock campground and I was grateful for having the RV since it stormed all night. Regardless, I slept like a baby. Woke up to a light rain on Saturday morning, and lined up for the race at 7:00. Even though I was tired, my plan was to race the first 25 miles like it was an xc race and then settle into an endurance rhythm.
All of the Big Frog racers lined up together for a mass start which begins with a two mile road climb into the Brush Creek trail, which gets pretty backed up. Needless to say, sprinting that climb is pretty important. I started hard and made it into the single track pretty close to the front of the pack. The pace on brush creek was fast, but fun and I was having a great time on the flowy trail. My legs were pretty tired from the stage race the week before, but the sun was shining and I was feeling good. Then I had flat tire number 1 right before we hit the first aid station. I hadn't had a flat in over a year and a half, so it took me longer than I would have liked to change it. And my legs were not grateful for the stop! My efforts in the beginning were slipping at that point, but I kept going at a good pace. Then about two miles from aide station two, I had flat number two which posed a big problem...I was only carrying one tube. Therefore, I was at the mercy of my fellow riders. So I started walking and it didn't take long to get another tube from a fellow rider, maybe 15 minutes or so. So I was off again. However, I must have pinched the tube or something on that change because about an hour and a half later it went flat again. This time I had to walk for a long, long time. But thankfully I encountered a truck heading to aide station 4 that stopped and gave me a tube and had a pump. The weather had held off until a little after that point and then the sky opened up. It was freezing and pouring the last couple hours of the race. It made for an epic day, and despite the struggles and weather, I finished with a big smile! I later learned that there were riders taking a bail out option and I'm happy to say the though never crossed my mind. What doesn't kill you will make you stronger :)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Five volcanoes, 3 days, One EPIC race!

Justin and I are heading back to Costa Rica in April for the third year in a row for one of the most grueling stage races there is. I invite you to join us! The race is really well organized and soo much fun (if you like long steep climbs, washouts, rocks and hike-a-bike). It's totally worth the pain :)

Check out some PICS of stage 3 of the course.


Sunday, March 14, 2010

Thanks Scott!

This past weekend was team training camp in North Carolina. I packed up my tainer and road bike (Dr. said I could start riding my trainer again, yay!) and headed to Knoxville to pick up Emily. We had a blast jamming out to Kei$ha and getting lost on our way to Brevard! Not to mention an encounter with a graveyard for, well, just about any old appliance, piece of furniture or whatever else can be used as lawn decor. We cooked, played games, watched the Olympics and just hung out. I haven't laughed that hard in ages. I really race with such a great group of girls. Thanks so much to Scott Wagner, of Wagner Research, for an awesome weekend!! And a special HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Emily!!!! You'll never understand the recon mission it took to get that cake and those candles lit :)