Friday, March 3, 2017

It's March!

I said I wanted to update every month...well I'm two months in instead.

A fair amount has happened between New Years and now cycling-wise. Mostly good stuff.

My first FTP test (January 2 or 3, can't remember which) told me that my FTP was at 142. Considering a few years ago when I was just below competitive my FTP was just above 200, this really sucks.

So far for the year, I'm at 407 miles. That's definitely under what I would like to be at, but it isn't horrible. I've been lucky not to get super sick, so that's been nice.

Mid-January I did the UA Crit. This year, it went back to the UA Campus, and included a fairly technical turn right before the finishing sprint. I raced in the women's 4/5 field, and we also raced with the younger junior riders. I got squirrely at the beginning and was dropped by the third corner.

One of the biggest issues I have as a cyclist is that I have decent technical skills, but I haven't had the strength to show it. Throughout most of the race, many of the dropped riders who I caught (or caught me) couldn't hold my wheel around corners (or I would have to slow down behind them). I remember one time a few years ago, that skill got me a prime. Maybe one day it'll get me a win! :P

I ended up dead last. It really sucks, but it was fun to get out there and race.

I've been getting into the Zwift events and races as well. So far I've ended up near the end of my category, but it's been a lot of fun. It's far safer than actual racing, and it costs a lot less as well! My first crit I ended up 11/14 (which was after more than half the field was DQed for having too high of a power to weight ratio for the category they signed up for). Once I fell off, it was fun trying to pick up other riders who had fallen off and trying to stay away from chasing racers. I've also done some time trials and group rides, which are fun. There's a group ride every Wednesday for the Tour of California, so I'm doing that and enjoying trying to push myself and stay with the front group (even though most people are just chilling in the back and enjoying themselves). There's also a sub 2.0 watts/kg group that rides throughout the week, and I've been having fun on their Sunday afternoon rides.

Also, I finally went to physical therapy to try and address the pain I've been feeling since my trip to Sedona in November. What happened was we rented mountain bikes and severely underestimated the skill level required for the trail we picked (in our defense, it was considered an "easy" trail...just for hikers, not cyclists). We ended up having to push 40 lb mountain bikes up a hill on a very narrow trail with a cliff beside us. At one point, the bike slipped away and began to fall off the cliff. I reacted quickly and rescued it. I'm almost positive that was the moment I injured myself. Throughout December and January, I was reduced to laying on the floor at home and work trying to find a way to relieve the pain. I couldn't stand or stay seated for an extended period of time without setting off pain.

My physical therapist, Craig Smith (AWESOME guy, highly recommended) diagnosed me with gluteus medius tendinopathy and trachanter bursitis. He also believed there was a bit of trauma to my spine, but I don't know if he ever called it anything specifically. Essentially, part of my butt and upper thigh was inflamed. I had been doing deep stretching to make things better, but it turned out I was actually making things worse.

Four weeks of PT and my hip is almost back to normal. I tried some deep hip stretches and running as a test, and definitely felt some pain the next day. It sounds like I just need to keep working on strengthening the hip and know when to pull back. It does suck, especially with not being able to go as deeply in yoga, but I hope one day I'll have that hip back to its full potential.

Even though I went through all of that, I was still able to ride. I actually managed to raise my FTP to 162 as of last Sunday!

For upcoming races, I think I'm going to do Flapjack Flats TT and the Colossal Cave RR. I'm a little too busy and under too much stress at work to think about doing the crit, even though it's in the evening. I'm hesitant about Colossal Cave because the women 3/4 do 54 miles now...and the most I've done in the past four months is 35 miles, but I'm going to try a 50-60 mile ride tomorrow AM and see how things go.

Here are some lovely pictures from the past two months:

Early ass morning zwift workout.

Hitting the technical corner at UA crit without falling over!

Superfun Zwift climb group ride.

17% grade felt like Gates Pass without the fresh air.

I think I was trying to show my aero position here.

Smirk behind the mountains after breaking off from the Sabino ride to do my own thing.

Much love! I hope to pass on a race report after next weekend! :)

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year!

Yeah maybe one year I'll actually update this regularly. I used to be so good about blogging in high school, but that was daily...and I don't think my exercise life is interesting enough to update a blog on a daily basis.

I had an interesting year, filled with promises of being faster, losing weight, and racing. Instead, I got slower, fatter, and did four races - my lowest since racing.

So basically I didn't meet any of my goals for 2016.

These were my goals for 2016:
Post in this damn blog at least once a month and do race recaps - last update was Jan 23rd - boo.
Upgrade to Cat 3 - Nope.
Follow my Training Peaks workouts as accurately as possible - this was pretty successful through April with the exception of my sinus infection issue (I literally had a sinus infection from January through April and it took steroids to get rid of it).
Podium either a RR or Crit - :(
Do yoga 1-2 times every week - I did yoga once a week through the spring, and then sporadically through the rest of the year. Took an acro yin class, which made me feel like a wrapped up baby (but in a good way).
Lose 10-15 pounds by State RR Champs - Naw I gained like 15 lbs this year
Complete my first Olympic Tri - Patagonia! - I trained for it, and was as ready as I could be ...unfortunately, there was a death in the family and family>tri.

Instead of wallowing in sorrow over my poor choices and bad luck, I'm going to look forward to 2017.

Here are my 2017 goals:
Race at least 2 road races
Race at least 2 crits
Race at least 5 time trials
Race one summer tri and Patagonia Olympic in October
Goal weight of 150 lbs (I don't even want to tell you how far away I am from that right's bad)
Get back to an FTP of 200 watts
Swim 100 yds  <1:50
<1 hr 10k run
At least 50 yoga classes on Gaia

Post in this thing at least once a month and provide race recaps

How will I accomplish this? First, by actually training. I had some serious lazy issues this past year. Second, we've got a TON of women racing with Tolero this season! We've got at least six amazing women - two of whom are almost ready to cat up! This should be great motivation to get me out and riding. Also, Mike and I recently purchased a Wahoo Kickr, along with a Zwift membership. The interactive component of Zwift, the ease of using the Kickr, along with the ridiculous amount of money we spent should be strong motivation to keep active throughout the winter and on rainy/busy days. I'll be doing an FTP test in the next day or two and then begin using some of the training/events Zwift offers.

In conclusion, I'm excited to see what the athletic side of 2017 brings.

Follow me on Instagram - bikerandi is my username.

Here are some fun race/ride pictures from the past year:

My first ride on my ENVE wheels up Lemmon!

Thug life headed home after watching the TBC Circuit Race

Shooutout with Carolyn and Carol! I dropped several groups and rolled all the way to Helmet Peak!

INSANELY windy ride up to Molino with Marisa!

Just another Lemmon ride!

Rented some beach cruisers in Santa Barbara to get from the beach to downtown shops!

Free entry! That was pretty cool. I get to push it out to 2017 since I missed it this year!

SUMMERHAVEN! I got amazing pizza and cookies! (if you can't tell, my hair is SOAKED with sweat from riding for four hours in July)

My least favorite part of Lemmon - miles 15-16!

Hubsy and I at Palisades.


Tri for Kindness 2016!

My first Sabino run! Only a 5k, but I worked my way up to the whole thing!

My beautiful wetsuit that I can't wait to use!

Picked up some new kicks for trail running. Sad I haven't gotten to do much of that since buying them!

I DID IT! Sabino tram road out and back! 1:40 total time. Whew.

My second crit of the December. I can't wait to race with/against these lovely ladies in 2017!

I don't want to look like this anymore. Fat and off the back.

The new trainer! It's so purty!

Screen shot of my Zwift ride from yesterday. I had planned on doing Lemmon, but it was a little too rainy for that. In its place, I did a big climb on my trainer. Not sure I wanna do the opposite direction yet....