Sunday, November 21, 2010

Just a little bit......

of cross racing left :( .....

and with that brings some changes.

First are some changes with my training. Its no secret that the CCC series has been as important to me as any triathlon I did this year. Everything has been going great, but last weekend was a double race weekend and it comes sort of late in the season and I couldn't really find my legs. Hellooooo legs where are you?...I have taken for granted that they should always be there because the hours per week of training is so little compared to triathlon season....but as Joe Friel would say...I have lit a LOT of matches. I have tried to maintain some decent run form which I honestly think has helped me in cyclocross, but it is still a match lit with some track workouts and tempo runs, that with lots of fast racing every weekend and pooof I was tired at Indian Lakes. I didn't place as high, the conditions were the toughest so far with down pouring rain 1 day creating a mud slide....

to wind and bitter cold the next day. But I did manage to hold on to 5th place in the series but felt fried. So we made some changes to the training and wow what a difference.

I actually found my way to my first masters practice since sometime in Aug. I had to dig a suit, cap, and goggles out of the depths of the back of the garage. Some of that stuff was HIDDEN in my tri bag way back behind all the bikes and helmets. (we have a LOT of bikes in our garage!) Several months off from swimming and you will pay in the water!!!, but I have found that it comes back fairly quick IF 2 things are true:

1. you have some depth...years of experience and aren't a newbie. While I did not start swimming for real until after college and was never on a swim team until I joined a masters team....I have been "swimming" for a lot of years now, and it does come back !

2. you have some consistency in the water....well that is what I didn't do so great with last year but plan to be better about this year.

So my first time back in the water we swam over and hour and more than 3600 yds. Aerobically I felt fine, but my arms have been forgotten with all the cross racing and pooped out at about 2000!!! I resorted to solo swimming on the weekend to just practice form and get used to swimming again. But I forgot how much I dislike solo swimming burnt myself out on that rather quick.

Another change is my triathlon coach for next year. I LOVED Simon THOMO and have no complaints what- so -ever! He pulled me out of triathlon burnout ...and helped re light some fire in triathlon and actually helped me pull out some decent performances on half assed training. But he is kicking butt in AUS with TREK AUS and has stayed down under. Sometimes a change is good and I LOVED the idea of a local coach. So, I have Scott Iott, coaching me for triathlon next year. He is a TBC coach too and just broke 9 hrs. at IM Florida and will be heading to Kona next year......and yes I hired him before he broke 9!!!! I think change is good...sometimes scary, but can take you to another level when you mix it up. He has been very patient with me and my cyclocross habit.

And finally, another good change!

I had a great start at the Northbrook race and stayed in a pack with the lead girls through about 1/2 a lap before the top 2 broke away on an open section and I later found myself on the ground on a slippery slope :)

Only 1 more race, the state championships on Dec. 5 at Montrose after a week off to eat turkey! Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Through the off season! Or is it?

Woodstock....the barrier run up/ my favorite part of the course/ Thanks to Bill Draper for this pic and Chris in the background for heckling me.

I have to say I am just having so much fun doing "off season" with cyclocross, but is it really an off season for me or...a change of focus? I can't tell. Its too fun, and manageable to feel totally serious, and I am going out and being social and having it feels like off season, but....I do care tremendously about cyclocross season and doing well, so much so that I gave up on some late season triathlons and races and even some running races to do well in the series. So I'm confused, off season? or ......what? I've even T O Y E D with the idea of going to Bend for cyclocross NATIONALS ....because of course Bend Oregon is 1 of my favorite places on this earth.....but a girl can only do so much!

Trust me the hours per week training are way down compared to triathlon season, but what I do do is short and sweet and I am racing every weekend. I haven't been swimming (oh my ...that day is coming that will not be pretty in the water!!) but I have still been running some to include 1 track workout a week, doing weights and of course biking, but the biking is on trails, off road and a total change from triathlon training. I haven't visited my Scotty P since Chicago Tri. It feels like a walk in the park in terms of commitment and time, but today when I went on my easy 40 min run with some strides....I was shuffling for the first 20 min because I was sore. Seriously....sore from a 45 min race on Sunday? YES! Either I truly went ALL OUT in Woodstock which was my best race yet, is off season and I'm getting out of shape !

This past weekend we had the annual Multisportmadness Triathlon Year End banquet which is always fun. So of course it feels like off season. Seeing all those friends that you see so rarely, receiving the crazy awards, and watching the year end video surely means its off season. Each year a video is compiled of a summary of pictures and videos clips from the year into 1 awesome DVD with music. This years was so cool, thanks to Megan Martin Becker and her cool husband for putting it together. I saw friends I haven't seen in a long time and Megan and I decided to put together an off season WILD TURKEY TROT! oh my.

Carla, Megan and I planning a Turkey Trot

So rolling through off season has been fun! I keep rolling up in the CCC standings!!! Now 5th!!! Upcoming a double cross weekend at Indian Lakes resort. Not many races left!!!! and not much daylight left :( Get out and ride and enjoy the off season!

Monday, November 1, 2010

wicked weekend....

The last weekend in Oct. was crammed with big fun, cyclcross at home, and of course Halloween.

Friday started the weekend off wild with a girls night to the city to see the Blackhawks play! Carla's client set us up right and chauffeured us to the city and showed us the ropes at the United Center and how to cheer like Blackhawks fans do.

Even though they played bad and lost; it was still fun to dance to that song they play and high 5 your neighbors when they score. Lucky for us it was a fairly high scoring game just to keep it interesting. Add to that it being Halloween weekend, and the United Center was full of all kinds of crazy fans dressed up. I am really out shape and de-conditioned for staying up past my bedtime and was bonking fairly early in the night compared to a die hard Blackhawk fan who is superbly trained for this kind of event. Not too much harm done though, because this was just the first leg of my wild and wicked weekend.

Jack's last soccer game of the season was bright and early Saturday morning. We were lucky enough (ha ha) to have the first game of the morning out in the very chilly temps. It was like torture standing in the freezing wind watching 6 and 7 yr olds try to play who hadn't had practice for 2 weeks in the cold early morning and stand around and kind of act like they want to play this make up game that was added on. I think all they were thinking about was how much candy they would get the next day and when they could put on their costume. Later in the day we headed out to venue for Campton Cross to help set up the course. I have to say this is my absolute favorite course on the circuit. Not just because its close to home, but it is the craziest and wildest course because there are actually some hills and a single track section through some woods. FUN! I had gone out there Thurs night with my cyclocross coach, Rob Kelley, to practice starts and he came up with some FUN additions to the course. There is actually a lot of work that goes into setting up 1 of these courses. There are tons of stakes and flags, and taped off sections that go into making 1 crazy loop. The Bicycle Heaven guys did an AWESOME job making a fabulous course and great race. I only helped a little setting up the course. I can't imagine taking it down. Thanks guys!

Sunday of course.....Halloween and cyclocross ! What a fun mix! I pseudo dressed up as Pippy Longstocking with crazy striped tights and braids, but I wanted to be able to race hard and not have a cape or some costume get in the way.

I was so psyched to race this course, and the field was more competitive than the week before. We lined up and again I had a slow start. All the good practice didn't help when I was caught off guard. They didn't start us in the usual way....most the time they give us a warning......but for some reason they didn't this time and the start came fast and I wasn't ready.......but caught 3 or 4 people by the first uphill section. I felt great the entire racing and kept gaining on the girl in front of me each loop. The crazy uphill off camber section that stressed me out in practice went great and I tried to just power up all the uphills and fly through the barriers. I finished 5th and scored some more $$ again. I feel more proud of this probably than the 3rd place last week because of the strength of the field. The winner is phenomenal. I heard she was like 2 minutes off the front??? Seriously? My pippy longstocking leggings came down cause I was pushing so hard and I probably finished with snot coming out of my nose and mouth but was happy with the result and finally am moving up in the series now in a 3 way tie for 7th!!!

Jack had so much fun practicing on the course he decided to race too. He was in costume and even got a call up! He was so excited to race. For his age he would do 2 loops. After lap 1 I thought he was going to be done. He looked soooo tired, but determined. He kept going and did the whole 2nd loop and was so focused that he forgot and started a 3rd lap! I had to run across the field to stop him! Hmmm do you think there is some competitiveness in there from somewhere?

Adam also raced 2 x (ouch)!. This is about as opposite from Ironman training there is...but he did awesome. We all had to hustle home to get ready for the Main Event...trick or treating. We had a Ninja and Camouflage fairy in the house anxious to get out there. (see ....all my training is not just for racing, its for weekends like these!) After trick or treating at threshold levels we finished with way too much candy in the house.

I was not rested and tapered for a weekend like this, I went into it head first with a bit of fatigue but managed to pull off a stellar performance on all events!