Saturday, January 23, 2016

What's up + RAT Recap

Since my last post, I was sick for two weeks, rode over 150 miles, and completed my first bike race of 2016!

I was pretty devastated to get sick on basically 01/02 and have it continue through this past weekend. It seems as though I've got some shit in my throat still, but it's far more manageable than it was even earlier this week. Hopefully that means I'll be in ship shape for the rest of the season - or at least until the end of the school year.

Even though I'm supposed to be waking up at 5:30 for my trainer rides on Tuesdays and Fridays, I still struggle with the waking up part and end up doing them in the afternoon...or not at all. Bad Andi. Gonna try to go to bed earlier in the coming weeks and see if that helps. I'm one of those lame people that need at least 8 hours of sleep or I'll be a zombie all day.

Race Against Time Recap:

I was psyched to see so many of my old cycling buddies, some of whom I hadn't seen since the summer! I was actually late warming up because I got so involved in talking to people.

Today, I rocked the usual setup - Powertap + disc cover in back and Zipp 808 in front. Wore my skinsuit, Specialized helmet, and shoes. I also borrowed Mike's shoe covers...which are a little worse for wear, but they're aero, and also warmer for the cold morning.

They didn't hold your bike at the start, which made awkward start. I can't say I'm the most graceful clipper, so all of the photos of me at the start line are kinda weird. I'm giggling and scowling...and then sprinting like hell.

The ride out was probably a little easier than I should have gone, especially the first mile. I knew it was flat rather than downhill, and it's been a while since I've done a steady effort for 20km. I knew I needed to step it up when some dude flew by me going like 35mph. I stepped it up, and it definitely paid off. That tailwind had me going 26 mph for most of it, at one point hitting 29 mph!

Then I turned around. That part sucked. While it was only about 140 feet of climbing in six miles, the headwind was really intense. I managed to hold my speed near 20 mph for a bit, and then after the first mile, I dwindled fast. Trying to keep my heart rate, power, and legs in a safe zone was very hard. At one point, I was hit with a GUST of headwind. I look down - I'm going 250 watts, heart rate skyrocketing to 190, and my speed goes from 14 to 12 mph. *sigh*

After I saw the sign for 5 km to go, I picked my effort up past my comfort zone. The road both flattened out and got bumpier with the older pavement. There were two girls in front of me who I wanted to catch once I saw the start list. Got one of them with just under 1 km to go and was just behind the second one at the finish line.

Averaged 184 bpm, which was low for me...though it is difficult to raise your heart rate on a slightly downhill tailwind without using up all your power. Power was 171 watts, which was 1 watt less than last year's race. I think I'm a slightly better climber than I was last year, especially with the training I've done. However, I seem to leave something to be desired with my threshold. Overall time according to Strava is 38:21, which is crazy slow. I just keep having to tell myself that it was the wind and not me. Even the fast people I know had much slower times than previous years.

(a shot of me with my Tucson Tri Girls!!!)

Next weekend is the Santa Catalina Omnium, which includes the BioPark Crit and the Oracle Road Race. The crit should be interesting - I'm really excited to be able to race with a team this year (though it probably means I'll end up being a carrot attack at some point). There's a chance of rain for the road race...and in Oracle, that also means there's a chance of snow. Eek.

Barring any issues, I'm picking up a new pair of race wheels! A friend of mine is giving me a killer deal on a pair of Enve 6.7s. It'll be a nice all-around pair of wheels to use for races, so I'm crazy excited!

Make sure to follow me on Instagram - @biker_andi!


Friday, January 1, 2016

2015 Year in Review - Looking Ahead to 2016

So I got a little lazy with posting - which could be an understatement, considering I haven't revisited anything since April.

I had a great summer of cycling, and a fun fall of climbing. I had a lot of issues, but overall enjoyed myself. I stopped running, but rode more.

Here are the goals I set for myself for 2015:

Fitness goals for the year:
-participate in featured GaiamTV guides (meaning yoga every day for the most part)
This definitely did not happen. I did the New Year New You Guide, followed by Conscious Cleanse, followed by Yoga for Athletes...and that was about it. I threw in some other yoga on Gaiam, as well as in-person classes as well. In the fall, I had a yoga class that I went to nearly every Sunday at Crossfit Purgatory - Sarah Orzel, the instructor, was phenomenal. Not quite as playful and graceful as Arynn's practice, but I've yet to meet another instructor who can do that. Unfortunately, with new team rides on Sundays, I won't be attending those anymore.
-do at least two sprint triathlons (joining the Tucson Tri Girls too!!!)
I did THREE sprints! Oro Valley 1/2, and Firecracker Tri. I placed well in both Oro Valleys, and got third place in Firecracker. I learned that I can swim decently, kick ass on the bike, and then flounder in the run. That will not happen in 2016!
-run 10k in under an hour
Yeah I didn't even get close to this. I did a 4.5 mile run in like...48 minutes. This year...this year...
-do the Cotton Classic and Three Bears TT series, as well as the Lemmon TT
The only one I didn't do was 3 Bears #2 due to some scheduling conflict. In addition to Lemmon TT, I also did all the hill climbs (South Mountain and Kitt Peak) except for Graham (and I even climbed it, I just didn't race it). I ended up 2nd in the Copper Cup (due to a dratted results submission fluke), 3rd in the AZ Time Trial Series (alas, Beata and Tracy kept beating me!), and won the Saguaro Velo Time Trials Series! I finally won something!
-race at least two road races
I did Colossal Cave - placed 10th.
-race at least two criteriums
I did Tolero Crit - placed 6th overall
-run or bike at least three times a week (commuting would count)
Surprisingly, barring any major work stresses or illness, I did this nearly every week. I would probably guess there were under 10 weeks where I only did 0-2 activities.
-ride to Ski Valley at least once and Summerhaven at least twice
Despite climbing at least 3 miles up Lemmon over 30 times this year, the highest I made it was Palisades. This was due in part to having Sunday races on days that were nice enough to get all the way to Summerhaven/Ski Valley, and also in part to my laziness and not waking up early enough to beat the summer heat. I believe there was also a really dangerous day of high winds.

Overall, it was a great year. In October, I went through a month period where I ate everything I possibly could - I briefly thought I was pregnant or dying. While I still don't know what exactly happened (pretty sure it was menstrual cycle-related), it caused me to gain about 10 pounds. Thanks to cycling, I'm managing to keep the weight at bay.

My bike also saw some weirdness. I broke my first spoke, rubbed brakes for nearly a month, and now it makes a scary clicking noise when I push pace. I plan to get the bike taken in this week sometime and I hope that can get fixed.

Now that my review is over, let's look to 2016. Here are some cool things going on with me in this New Year!

1) I've got a women's team. Even though I'm racing with Tolero, there aren't any consistently active women on the team. By volunteering to captain the TTG Cyling Team, I've added about 15 solid women to race with. I can't wait to see all of us dominate the Cat 4 and Masters fields this year!

2) With TTG Cycling, I also have a coach! Phil Reimer is an awesome dude who gave us a ridiculous discount on his coaching services. Despite having race training since 2009, I've already learned a ton. He's also given me direction and discipline in my riding, which is something I've lacked since I started this whole race thing in 2012. Plus, it's so fun to say something like, "My coach has me doing lactate repeats today," or "Nope, my coach wants me to have a rest day."

3) I got a Garmin 520 with Strava and Training Peaks Premium. This data nerd will be data-gasming all year long.

4) I'm on Instagram. Username - bikerandi. It's mostly pictures of my cat, but there will be a lot of cycling pictures up there too.

5) There is so much  more, but quite frankly, I really want to watch Star Trek and get ready for my Tempo Intervals. :P

2016 goals:

Post in this damn blog at least once a month and do race recaps

Upgrade to Cat 3
Follow my Training Peaks workouts as accurately as possible
Podium either a RR or Crit
Do yoga 1-2 times every week
Lose 10-15 pounds by State RR Champs
Complete my first Olympic Tri - Patagonia!

Here's to 2016! May everyone have a wonderful year!