Sunday, January 25, 2015

ABRA Meeting, WoCAA Party, and Race Against Time!

This weekend was filled with cycling goodness.

I drove up to Chandler yesterday for the ABRA Race Promoter's Summit. I'm not sure how much I should share to the general public, but there was a lot of stuff discussed that I agreed with, as well as some things I had vehement opposition. One of the big conversations was the race calendar and the tier system used to schedule races. There are some people involved in ABRA who would like to make it so there is a crit season, a TT season, a road race season, and then track starting in June. After a lot of discussion, most of those people seemed to understand why it wouldn't make much sense and instead focused on the idea of having "cornerstone" or "anchor" races such as state champs, VOS, and TBC each month and races pertaining to each leading up to those. It's an interesting idea, and I'm okay with most of what people discussed. As a promoter of a small race who doesn't have a whole lot of interest in turning it into a ginormous $10,000 cash purse event, I want to make sure that I still have a race that will get racers.

The other discussion was on the tier system. What was proposed was that more collaboration and a longer conversation should happen instead of the first-come-first-serve tier structure we have. Obviously, state champs and stage races should have top priority, but maybe make a focused effort to pair Tucson races with Phoenix races (and maybe not a Flagstaff race the week before a Showlow Race, because not too many people want to make a four hour drive two weekends in a row...).

The final thing discussed was something I am completely against. It was brought up that small teams should have less of a vote than big teams. It was interesting to me that the two large teams who really pushed for this have very clear agendas they want to push through ABRA. Hmmmm perhaps that's why they want more votes? Don't want to turn this into a bitchfest, so I'll leave it at that.

Next stop was the WoCAA Party up in Scottsdale! I had some delicious food from Pita Jungle (sadly, I did not drink any of the beer), and got to catch up with some women I haven't seen in MONTHS! It was pretty awesome. Even better, I won a crap ton of stuff from the raffle (you'll notice the free entry for Espirit de She...I may end up giving that away to someone, but we'll see).

After enjoying some popcorn and peanut butter crackers, I marathoned through some Cutthroat Kitchen in my hotel room and fell asleep.

I woke up around 6:30, and made it all the way down to Picacho. It was quite freezing at the start. Breezy and cloudy. I warmed up on the southbound frontage road, watched the officials deal with some juniors who missed their start time because they had to pee, and was off!

My goal for the tt was pretty simple (and for the most part, was completely well-executed). The first 10km, I'd go just below my threshold. It's definitely a risky move, but it was mostly flat and I had a slight tailwind. This would allow me to conserve energy for the way back, where there was a slight headwind and a little uphill (all in all, we're talking about 150 ft of elevation change). I upped things a bit in between 10-15 km, and then went as hard as I could in the last 5km, especially since it flattens out there. Luckily, I turned around without too much trouble. I unclipped, but didn't step my foot down (I have a tendency to get overzealous in my turns and end up in the dirt).

The part that I hadn't counted on was something I noticed but couldn't place during my warm up. There was a "whoosh" sound that would happen every once and a while. Finally, I realized right after the turnaround that my 808 in front was rubbing my brake pads. We had opened them up pretty wide on Friday, but apparently, I failed to test it when the wheel was on the ground. I  attempted to tt and adjust the brakes one-handed for a bit, but decided to focus on my speed and keep my bike as level as possible.

That last 1 km seemed to take FOREVER. I was going balls out, and had that coppery taste in the back of my throat (which tells me I'm going way too hard). It paid off, and I ended up 5/12 (only two seconds behind 4th place - if only I hadn't taken that sip of water!) at 36:05. It was about 1.5 minutes off from my time two years ago.

Despite my stone cold face, for the most part, I'm pretty pleased. Racing always makes me want to race more, so I'm considering doing the UA Crit on Saturday - definitely not Oracle RR on Sunday, as I'm not sure how fast I can actually do 45 miles at the moment.

I start my 12 week triathlon training plan. My goal is to really work on my running and swimming endurance. This particularly important, as the swim is 750 meters, which is twice as much as I did in my first tri. All while I'm doing that, I need to improve my cycling road fitness to stand a chance at some of these crits. It should be a very interesting year for sure.

Until next time,


Sunday, January 18, 2015


So this week, I gained a pound. I need to stop eating so many Peanut Butter M&Ms. I haven't been quite as diligent in terms of riding/running either. Just once a week.Two weeks in and I'm already getting lazy.

Yesterday after my ride, I fixed my Strava. For some reason, when I uploaded my rides through my Garmin 500 to Garmin Connect, it also made a duplicate ride on Strava for like...50 rides. It gave me a chance to go through all of my old rides. I was riding like...five times a week...and racing every week. I really miss it. I definitely want to keep working on getting back into that shape again. I kicked serious cycling ass back then.

I think part of it was my fear that even though I got better, I wouldn't be able to win. I'm super competitive, and it turned into more of a, "what if I keep losing?"- type experience. Not trying was easier.

Anyways, to sum up, I don't want to be that person. I want to be riding three times a week, even though it might hurt and cause extreme tiredness.

Yesterday's team ride was up Mt. Lemmon. I averaged the lowest speed that my Garmin has EVER recorded. Luckily, I felt great, despite the slowness. It's a good start, because I plan on tackling the Lemmon TT and the Snowbowl HC in June. Strava has a cool feature where you can view your segment history as a scatterplot graph.

Below is a shot of me trying to take a damn picture at Hitchcock (~milepost 12). The sun was funky, and I missed the sign. It was a VERY chilly ride! Viking Blood is back! I descended that damned mountain with toe covers, a wind vest, and gloves. Also, the offline access on Spotify Premium is SWEET. I sang along to "Let it Go" in between miles 10-11.

I'm still doing the Commit to You 2015 on GaiamTV. The past few days have been more kundalini. Combined with the cycling, all of the squatting has been ridiculously painful. I had to stop some of the more thigh-intensive stuff, because my hamstring muscles couldn't move without intense pain. Things are a little better now, but I'm a little disappointed I couldn't ride today.

Also, this past Monday, I joined the Tucson TriGirls! These ladies are awesome. I signed up for their TriCamp next month too! Super excited to meet some women to give me running and swimming advice...and possibly recruit some women for Tolero Racing. I'd love more women to race with...

Next weekend is the Race Promoter's Summit put on by ABRA, followed by the WoCAA Party. I'll be spending the night in Phoenix, and then doing Race Against Time the next morning. I think. I'll get to use Mike's Zipp 808 and his powermeter, so I'll be in full gear. I need to make a decision this week. Hmm.

Anyhoo, those are my thoughts. My belly is full of tortellini and green beans. :)


Saturday, January 10, 2015

Fitness Update!

Things haven't been QUITE as active as I hoped, but I'm making progress!

I've done at least a half hour of yoga every day since January 1st. I'm doing the GaiamTV Commit to You 2015 guide, and it's been awesome. My favorite class so far has been a Kundalini class. I loved how we moved through the breath. It was really cool. My ass hurt for three days straight and I ended up missing my Monday yoga class.

I rode with Tolero last Saturday morning. It was FREEZING! With a nickname of Viking Blood, you'd think I'd be okay in those freezing temps. Nope. I was decked out in a base layer, double layered gloves, leg warms, toe covers, head warmers, and a full zip vest, and I STILL couldn't feel certain parts of my body. I rode with Evan, Randy, and my husband. I got dropped after about 12 miles, and met up with Marco. We eventually regrouped, and I unfortunately got dropped AGAIN as we approached Ridgeside. I made it to the Sag East monument and then rode back. The husband met up with me and we rode back to our starting point. Here are some shots of us after the ride.

I commuted on Wednesday morning, and I was very disappointed that I couldn't ride home in the beautiful 70 degree Tucson temps - I changed my last name and spent two hours of my life at the MVD. It was THE WORST!

Today, I got invited to participate in a coached swim at the UofA Rec Center for $5. I GLADLY paid that money for a coach to work with me on my stroke, considering that's where I'm weakest in terms of skill with multisport racing. It started out kind of awkward. Not knowing ANYONE, and having very little experience in swimming drills made things difficult for me. The pool was awesome, and I got to try out my Garmin Forerunner in the water (I made a mistake in the setup, so it claimed I swam 5000 km - whoops).

I met Robin and Janna, who are part of Excell coaching. I'm not sure I'm ready to commit to a coach, but they did a great job. Janna worked with me on my stroke. I still struggle with how I'm supposed to rotate my body, and it's really difficult to know what your arms are doing when your face is in the water, but I got a lot of positive feedback by the end of the practice session. Sometimes I was so focused on what I was doing, I crashed into several of the other ladies in my lane. Luckily, they were doing it to each other, so I didn't feel TOO bad.

Tomorrow, I'm planning on doing a couple hour ride. I'm considering Lemmon, as the temps are gorgeous, but we'll see. I just need to get back on my bike. Balancing work, exercise, and relaxation time is never fun, especially when it's cold and all you want to do is lay in bed!!!


Friday, January 2, 2015

New Year!

I've decided I'm going to start back up at this blogging thing as a way for me to motivate myself to get into shape.

I know I'm not fat. By most standards, I'm of a relatively athletic build.

I'm at 155 lbs. 5'6". The BMI calculator puts me just at the level of Normal bordering on Obese. Now, this doesn't account for muscle mass and bone density, which I have aplenty. But I see a bum that could use shaping, as well as arms and thighs that could be toned better.

Still, it would be nice to have a more fit body.

My official goal weight is 145 - losing ten pounds. I don't have a set date that I'd like to weigh this much - definitely by the summer. If I can give up the ridiculous amount of sugar and carbs that I regularly inhale, I might even make 140. That's a bit of a stretch, but we'll see how the weight loss goes.

Fitness goals for the year:
-participate in featured GaiamTV guides (meaning yoga every day for the most part)
-do at least two sprint triathlons (joining the Tucson Tri Girls too!!!)
-run 10k in under an hour
-do the Cotton Classic and Three Bears TT series, as well as the Lemmon TT
-race at least two road races
-race at least two criteriums
-run or bike at least three times a week (commuting would count)
-ride to Ski Valley at least once and Summerhaven at least twice

I plan on revisiting my goals once a month and sharing my fitness experience at least once a week. Race reports will also be found here.

Tomorrow, I need to get my freezing butt out of bed and do a ride in 26 degree temps. I can't say I'm psyched, but it's the first time I'll have been out on a road bike since before my wedding! Two months!!!

Time to give my darling a tuneup, and then find all my winter clothes...