Monday, September 19, 2011

Back on track: Star Crossed & Rapha Focus GP, September 17-18. 2011

Star Crossed Podium

 I have to say, I was a bit scared to race this last weekend. The breathing issues in Vegas made me a bit apprehensive and my chest and throat were still feeling the effects. However, in the good Pacific Northwest air, I felt a bit better. And you have to start your season at some point. I am going to pretend Vegas didn't happen.
Saturday's Star Crossed was definitely not the same. Not only was it not the first big race of my season (although I am calling a do-over after Vegas), but it was not under the lights and not at Marymoor, it had a different feel. A bit more calm. I welcomed that. I didn't start very well, but found myself in the initial selection soon enough when there were only four of us. Then it separated more and it was Caroline Mani and I together. She was cornering better than I, but I was powering the flats. It was windy, so the little experience I had on the road entered into my mind. Hmmm. How was I going to get third? We worked together to bring back Mical, and to our surprise, we passed her while she struggled with her bike after a wipe out. Then I was thinking, hmmmmm? How to get second? But it wasn't to be. I finished third and was pretty satisfied with my race. It was solid. A good start to the season.
Sunday I got my start back. I had a great start, getting the hole shot, but then happy to relinquish it to follow. Again, the selection was made after a lap, but Mical's fierce attack left Caroline and I together again. The second race of the first double weekend was tough. I didn't quite have enough staying power. I rode to a solid fourth, and although I missed the podium, I raced well. I felt it was a strong weekend to start the season off, transitioning to the efforts of cx. 
The benefit of racing near home is seeing familiar faces, having the crowd support and also staying with friends and seeing others. It is great. Thanks to Monilee Atkinson for hosting us and also for living so close to the venue. It was great. And made for a stress free weekend!

day one

Happy with 3rd for Star Crossed!
The sand was harder on day 2. Check out how far my bars had slipped. Hoods kept getting lower.

Everything was harder day 2. I was tired. But fought to the end!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

What happens in Vegas... 9/14/2011

...stays in Vegas. Enough said. NOT a great way to start the season. Already forgotten. But some great pics by Matt Haughey.

And Jayne Furman

bit high on my carry

much better.

and Dave McElwaine.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Lordy, lordy, I'm really 40.

I finally caught up to my racing age from last year for CX. I guess it was inevitable. I feel I am in a great place for my age. Happy, healthy and having a blast. Awesome weekend of celebrating and doing so many things I love. It's really not that bad turning 40. Embrace it. The alternative sucks.
 Great weekend. Started out with an overnight at the cabin, despite the smoke and fire. It was fabulous & much needed to lower the stress levels from prepping for cx. Had a great meal and time on deck, followed by a great ride on Saturday. Then a sunset beach dinner on the sandbar in Hood River. Never done that before.
Checking out the fires while on our ride.

The best husband ever.

Tim with the other bday folks. Mike's on 9/11, P-Dowd's on 9/13.
SAD! Won't spend too many more weekends here during cx. I'll sneak away during the week.

dinner and drinks on the sand bar on columbia in Hood River.

A perfect sunset.

We headed home and then woke up Sunday for some hot, dusty cx racing and then a party in the evening. It was great fun. I have amazing friends and they made it stress free for me. Monday, my actual birthday, I had some business to take care of, but hung out with Pam and her kids, even though brunch was not to be.

The downhill barriers while suffering in the 92 degree heat.

BFF Pam here for the party.

Rob and I trying to re-enact picture for high school days.

Me in all my glory. I know. Pretty funny. There were some doozies.

The youngest guest at the party. Axel Weaver!

It's good to be loved.

Proof I can do one pull up. But that was it. Just one. Weak sauce.

And the laughter continued...

My husband treated me to an amazing evening of good wine, a beautiful Jill Platner necklace to commemorate turning old and dinner at Laurelhurst Cafe. One of our favorite splurges. Followed up by wine on the roof after packing bikes for Vegas. A girl has to work too, you know. Thanks to all who helped me turn 40. It was great. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Catching up! Lot's of bike racing and more hot weather!

Despite my wishes to just mountain bike, mountain bike, mountain bike, I was somehow conned into doing more road racing. 2 weekends in a row, nonetheless. As it turns out, it was probably a good thing, because there is a big fire west of the cabin which is causing some excessive smoke and ash towards all the good trails. Not good for breathing. So the weekend of the 26-28th of August, Tim and I headed down to Eugene to do a mini-stage race. 4 stages, 3 days. It was hot for 2 of the days. Quite miserable actually. But we survived and I made a clean sweep of all four stages. The field was thin, but fierce. It was great training.
The next weekend, although I hadn't initially planned on racing, I went down to Bend for Masters National Championships. It was a great weekend of hanging out with friends and getting 2 hard races in. I even came away with a national championship in the road race after driving the pace in the crit 2 days earlier and getting Brenna the win, taking 2nd myself. It was really a great weekend. Great dinners with friends and supporting Tim in his races. It was warm and great training for what is going to be the best cyclocross season yet!!! I just wish I would have taken more pictures of the good times. Like hanging out with Joan, Brenna's birthday party, dinner at the Hagens, dinner out at 900 Wall with Ryan, Joan, Cody, Shelly, and P.Dowd, & Tim's team dinner after it was all over. Fun stuff.

And we are off. Hole shot practice. I got it.

I look so excited.

I attacked over and over again.

Sat on the front A LOT too.

But it ended just like we kind of 'planned' it. Brenna's birthday present.

Saturday in the RR I as in a breakaway with one other gal. She attacked me on Archie Briggs.

But I came out on top. Even 'leading out' the sprint finish. Hmmm?

A successful weekend. 2 master national champs.

 Then on Monday to cap off the weekend, I finally got my wish. 26 miles of sweet singletrack with friends. A great way to end the summer and transition to CX. Don't worry. I will sneak in some more mountain bike rides. There is still a few I haven't gotten too.  I even remembered to take a few pictures. I must have been having fun!

We took the scenic route to the trailhead. Never again. It's much more fun by bike.

The obligatory blue pool photo.

Happy to be mountain biking with Emily & Wendy!

My bike enjoyed it too. It's getting sad, b/c it knows it is going to be ignored soon.

Best way to end the weekend! Cheers.