Sunday, July 31, 2011


The rain only slightly altered my plans this weekend, and somehow it seemed like I had even more time than I’d expected. Maybe I just made the most of the time I had. Friday I got up early and rode and then took Lauren and her friend Amy to the MFY pool. We met Valerie there and thoroughly enjoyed the slightly cooler and cloudy day. Later, after a quick supper with the fam, Lauren, Amy, Luke, and I headed to Fellowship for a Downhere concert. They are releasing a new album in a month, and they played a few songs from that album. They also played a few songs we all knew and could sing along with. Overall it was a great concert. They write some great songs with deep lyrics. Of the ones I heard and can remember, How Many Kings and Rediscover were my favorites.

Saturday the rain came, and instead of riding with in the morning, I ran a bunch of errands, did 5 minutes extreme slow (bench w/45lb, standing curl w/18lb, plate front delt w/5lb, GHR, and lunge), and took a nice long nap. It was wonderful. Then, after church, I headed out to celebrate Lisa’s birthday with another concert (The Kickstands, a band comprised mainly of cyclists—how appropriate) at her friends house. I met a couple new people and enjoyed the music and conversation and spent just enough time there.

Then, because we had been rained out Saturday, Valerie and I met for an early ride on Sunday morning. We did a route very similar to the one we’d done last Saturday but cut out the hill on North Berrys Chapel and added a mile. Surprisingly, though, we finished faster than last week. We must’ve gotten better over the week!

Stats: 53.91 miles, 3:07:06, 17.3 avg (46.3 max), 155 HR (186 max), 4382 feet total ascent (4370 feet total descent). Here’s a graph of heart race, distance, and elevation. This is something I recently realized my Garmin can show me, and I’ve been enjoying it. I also tried the Courses feature today, and if we’d have done the entire course, we’d have beaten our time from last week. Even though we didn’t do the exact same course, because we got back on course, it put us back on course and told me when we finished, “You win! Course complete.” Pretty exciting.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Early Morning Ride

The plan for the day was an early morning ride so that I could spend the afternoon with Lauren and a couple friends at the pool and then go to the Downhere concert at church tonight. I got up early and rode, a great start to the day.

2 Chronicles 9:5–8

Then she said to the king: “It was a true report which I heard in my own land about your words and your wisdom. However I did not believe their words until I came and saw with my own eyes; and indeed the half of the greatness of your wisdom was not told me. You exceed the fame of which I heard. Happy are your men and happy are these your servants, who stand continually before you and hear your wisdom! Blessed be the LORD your God, who delighted in you, setting you on His throne to be king for the LORD your God! Because your God has loved Israel, to establish them forever, therefore He made you king over them, to do justice and righteousness.”

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Weekly Run

This was my run for the week. I try to make each run worth it since I have had only a few opportunities all summer to run. Not that I mind. It's true that cycling helps your run fitness and running doesn't help your cycling. Not that your fitness isn't there on the bike, but your legs just don't work the same. So I've been cycling a lot and running a little, but when I do run I have fun. Today I ran 13 minutes, walked 2, and repeated that 3 times, for 45 total minutes and 5 miles. Not too fast, not too slow. I was definitely faster on the out portion though, which is not surprising since it's all downhill out and all uphill back. It was beautiful!

"Be Still, My Soul"

Be still, my soul; the Lord is on thy side;
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul; thy best, thy heavenly, Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

Be still, my soul; thy God doth undertake
To guide the future as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence, let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul; the waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.

Be still, my soul, though dearest friends depart
And all is darkened in the vale of tears;
Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart,
Who comes to soothe thy sorrows and thy fears.
Be still, my soul; thy Jesus can repay
From His own fulness all He takes away.

Be still, my soul; the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord,
When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love's purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul; when change and tears are past,
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

NC.Com Crit #10

This was probably one of the most interesting Wednesday-night crits we've had in a long time. These races are training races, and it's fun to have different plans and see what plays out. We had a couple different plans tonight and we'd had a couple conversations with riders from the other teams, so we kind of had an idea how it was going to play out. But there were a few wild card riders tonight, and that made most of the race an unknown because we were never sure what they might do.

Valerie, Cali, and I were the three Team Belladium representatives, and we were up against Sandra and Kathy of SVMIC; Amanda, Marsha, Emily, and Chrysa of Cumberland Transit; Shannon and Paula of Team Vantaggio; and 2 unattached riders. The race started calm enough with only a few surges (kind of relaxed attacks), and about 10 minutes in Val and Kathy attacked a couple times. They got away once, but Val was caught in no-man's land and eventually came back to the pack. Kathy stayed out for about 5 laps while CT and Vantaggio chased her down.

Cali and I had to work really hard to stay patient and do no work. It wasn't too bad for 2 or 3 laps, when Valerie was up with Kathy, but when she came back to our group we no longer had a teammate up the road and had no excuse to not work except that we didn't need to. So we waited until 2 laps to go to move, and Cali led for at least a lap before I came around her to take the final 2 corners and the win. Definitely couldn't have done it without those two lovely ladies. And I'm sure we made quite a scene for the spectators who know what normally happens during our races, because this was pretty different—different attackers, different chasers, different riders. But it was definitely one of the most fun.

Monday, July 25, 2011

RB's Cyclery Tuesday Hilly Ride

I decided to do a different ride than normal tonight and rode over to RB's Cyclery for some hills. It was a small crowd, only 7 of us (which turned into 6 after one guy broke a spoke after 3 miles), and we were ready to climb. Here's the route:

Someone else flatted about 100 meters from the shop, but otherwise we had no incidents. Though 2 out of 7 bikes having problems seems like a high ratio to me.

Stats: 1:20:00, 20.34 miles, 15.3 avg (49.1 max—maybe a new record for me), 144 HR (187 max)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Weekend Rides and Other Workouts

Friday I think I rode. Can't really remember the route right now, but I might come back later and edit this post.

Saturday, Val, Kat, and I got up early-ish to get in a long ride. We met at MFY, said hi to Anna and Todd who were just finishing their ride, and headed out. Here's the route we took, which we chose mainly because it's mostly shaded and lightly trafficked:

Stats: 53.00 miles, 3:16:30, 16.2 mph (45.2 max), 154 HR (186 max)
Climbing: According to my Garmin, we climbed 5,497 feet. I finally connected my Garmin to the computer and really like the stats it gives me! Someday soon I'll get a screen cap of it.

Then it was off to Farkas' for the afternoon. I wanted a rootbeer float and someone to enjoy it with, and Lauren was a willing subject. We also played a game with her friend, and I got a bit of sewing done. It was definitely a productive day.

Sunday, I got up in time for the first service at church and then went to the Y for 10×10sec: Lunge (with 3 RLs each leg), GHR with reps to the top, squat with stick, pull up, altitude drop curl, and crunch. Then of course I went out to the pool. But it was so hot I couldn't even stand being in the sun—instead, I found some shade and enjoyed my book. Later in the afternoon I went out for a short ride:

Stats: 18.43 miles, 1:05, 17 mph (48.1 max), 154 HR (182 max),
Climbing: 1,229 feet of ascending, 1,193 feet of descending

July 24, 2011. Lynnwood climb: 7:40, 1.17 miles, 9.1 mph, 173 HR
April 6, 2011. Lynnwood climb: 7:51, 1.16 mi, 8.9 avg, 173 HR
March 3, 2011. Lynnwood climb: 8:23

I knew this climb was faster than the previous, but I didn't know by how much—1 second would have been enough of an improvement. All I know is that I felt smoother, like I was climbing better, and happy. In fact, about 0.7 miles in, I saw a fence post and got the biggest grin on my fact. It might sound weird, but I saw all the sap coming out of a cut and purposed piece of wood and thought, God, even this tree-turned-fence post can't stop praising you! Just thanking God for being who He is gave me a little push forward.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Threats of Rain

I had hoped to ride today and was all prepared to. But the rain had come and was coming, and I decided that rather than get stuck out in the rain (with no tail light) I'd got for a run. Well, more of a run/walk: Walk 2 min, run 10, walk 3, run 12, walk 3, run 3, walk 2, run 3, walk 2. It was fun to run through a little neighborhood I hadn't been in before, too.

I also did 5 minutes of work. Will said to focus on not moving at all during the lunge, and that was way harder than I'd anticipated. It's always hard, but this was quite possibly harder than doing the entire 5 minutes. I know this because I was unable to accomplish the wall squat after it. Wall squat is something I can always do (in fact, I was thinking maybe Will should make me do it with weights for an added challenge), and since I couldn't I knew I'd worked hard! I did finish it later though, so I did lunge, standing ham, wall squat, curl (10-lb dumbbells), push up, and crunch.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

NC.Com Crit #9

Olga, Amanda, Sandra, me, Marsha
Photo from AJ

Today's race was definitely a fun one. It was just Val and me from Team Belladium this week, and we were content to let the others do most of the work. Considering that SVMIC had 2 (Sandra and Olga), CT had 6 (Amanda, Marsha, Alli, Emily, and Chrysa), Team Vantaggio had 2 (Shannon and Paula), and there were a couple unattached riders, it wasn't hard to sit back and watch for a little while. Val did an awesome job keeping a couple attacks from succeeding, and I waited a little longer. Eventually, Amanda's aggression paid off and Sandra, her, and I broke away from the field. We started with a tiny gap and we really had to turn it up to stay away, but that lasted only a couple minutes (maybe not even that long) before we got away.

Sandra, Amanda, and I worked together well, maybe a little too well, and caught the field with just over 1 lap to go. I saw them coming up and attacked Sandra and AJ to get up to Valerie; my hope was that if she picked up the speed enough and I could stay with her, we could create just enough of a gap that I could stay ahead of win. Unfortunately, it didn't work quite as well as I'd planned and I got caught and passed by Sandra and AJ with 2 turns to go. If my little move of trying to break away from those two had worked, it would have been beautiful and pretty much perfect. I'm glad we have these weekly training races where we can learn and improve and have fun! When we were in the same group, Val and I worked well together, and that was a lot of fun. Results are here.

Stats from 7-20-11: 29:20, 10.70 miles, 21.9 mph (29.6 max), 188 HR (206 max), 3 of 15
Stats from 7-13-11: 30:43, 11.18 miles, 21.8 mph (29.0 max), 172 HR (201 max); 4 of 16
Stats from 7-06-11: 27:58, 10.05 miles, 21.6 mph (30.2 max), 179 HR (205 max); 1 of 12
Stats from 5-25-11: 31:16, 10.62 miles, 20.4 mph (27.7 max), 179 HR (200 max); 6 of 11
Stats from 5-11-11: 31:02, 11.43 miles, 22.1 mph (27.9 max), 177 HR (207 max); 6 of 13

Val, Lisa, Parri, Jay, Kat, Cali, Sam, Jonell, John, and me

After the race, I headed out for dinner at The Wild Cow for Kat's birthday. She really wanted to eat there, and we were all up for something new. This was my first experience at a vegetarian/vegan/gluten-free restaurant, and the taco salad I at was surprisingly tasty. Though I think anything I ate would have been good considering how hungry I was! Here's what the menu says was in it; there was definitely something spicy, but it was pretty tasty:

Taco Salad: Our fresh seasoned pinto beans, brown rice, tomatoes, homemade salsa, our homemade vegan sour cream and tortilla chips on a bed of leaf lettuce with a side of ranch dressing and choice of cheese (organic cheddar, vegan cheddar or vegan queso)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Hot, Hot, Hot!

My lunchtime workout was 5 on, 5 off thru 40: lunge, standing ham, squat, and push up (pull up later). I did it at the DHY outside by the pool. Lovely way to spend lunch.

After work, I went out for a ride. Tuesdays are usually group rides with the Harpeth Club, but I wasn't up for a 6pm ride and wanted a little recovery, so I went out on my own to do the following route:

Race tomorrow, can't wait!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

French Broad Cycling Classic RR

Todd, Parri, me, Val, Anna, Kat, and Shelly at our cabin—the view was amazing! (Not pictured: Tonya, our massage therapist)

This weekend was amazing. We left early Friday for Marshall, NC, and drove straight to the Time Trial course. Anna and Shelly were the first to go, and Anna was back before I started. That meant I could hear all about the course and how to ride it from someone who had just done it. The information she gave me was very helpful, and I went out to ride hard and fast. Some guys blew past me close to the start, and a girl passed me before the turnaround, but otherwise it was pretty uneventful. After Allison passed me, I kept her in my sights and tried to minimize any time lost. A car got in between her and me, and I was able to use it to pace off of. It wasn't anywhere near me so I wasn't drafting, but it gave me the perfect perspective of where she was and whether I was closing the gap.

TT course

I was closing the gap during the back section of the out-and-back, and that felt great (because I knew she'd beat me unless I could catch and pass her). The race directors had marked the road with 1K to go, and I knew Todd would be around 600 meters from the finish line. He was, and I tried to pick up the pace even more right then because he said to. Unfortunately, as I was closing the gap to Allison, the car still hadn't moved around her and I couldn't risk getting too close or trying to pass either her or the car when neither was paying attention. So I gave everything until the last 500 meters and then just maintained through the finish line. I couldn't complain, though, because I'd been using the car as a marker for the last 6 miles or so. My official time was 32:40, which was good enough for 13 of 15 in the Women 1/2/3.

Anna ready for the TT!

TT stats: 32:29, 12.55 mi, 23.2 avg (30.3 max), 182 HR (192 max)

After a nice leg massage and a short sleep, we headed to the RR start for an early-morning start (8:30!). We'd been told that it would be a Women 1/2/3/4 race, but at the line they said they were splitting us up and starting the 3/4s about 5 minutes after the 1/2/3s. That left us with 20 or so women, and we were off. I didn't know much about the course except what I'd seen on the profile and what Valerie had pointed out as we were driving to the venue. All I knew was that there were a couple tough climbs and I was going to hold on for as long as I possibly could.

RR course

That little mound around mile 18 almost did me in, and I fell off the back. Shortly after I made it up, however, I got caught by the Cat 4 and Masters men and slowly (very slowly) made my way from the front of their pack to the back. I was determined to hang with them and let them pull me, and I hoped it would be enough to pull me up to my group again. It was, and they did. I didn't last long, though, as I dropped off just after the start of that HUGE climb in the middle. I climbed my own pace, and just before the top 5 Cat 3/4 women caught me.

For some reason I thought I had another mile or 2 to go and didn't jump on right away. But as soon as I saw that I was really close to the top, I kicked it in and jumped on their train. I didn't want to have to ride by myself, and I knew I could work with them. We worked really well together during that whole descent and flew through there. It was so much fun! At the base of the final climb, I kept them in my sights for a while but really had no chance of climbing with them. So again, I went at my own pace, determined to finish strong. I finished, immediately found the car, and put my bike up. I'd had enough riding and was so glad that Todd and Tonya had brought the cars up! I finished, but I ended up 19th of 19 finishers. I know of at least one girl who turned around (it was one of those Kat had told me to try to pace with)—evidently she'd had enough 0.5 miles into the first major climb and didn't want to finish.

Kat riding smart in the road race

The Women 1/2/3 field in the RR

RR Stats: 2:24:00, 39.99 mi, 16.7 avg (46.8 max), 162 HR (188 max)
Lap 1: 1:04:07, 18.72 mi, 17.5 avg, 157 HR (with the field)
Lap 2: 9:15, 3.07 mi, 19.9 avg, 169 HR (off the back)
Lap 3: 3:55, 0.96 mi, 14.6 avg, 164 HR (with the field)
Lap 4: 46:14, 15.01 mi, 19.5 avg, 164 HR (climbing and descending)
Lap 5: 20:25, 2.22 mi, 6.5 avg, 170 HR (climbing)

We had two crits on Sunday: one for the 3/4s and one for the 1/2/3s. Again, it was nice to have Shelly and Val already have raced on the course and to get advice from them. Todd gave us the plan, and Kat, Parri, and I were off. Mid-way through our 40-minute race, Kat got in a break of 4 (though we were told it was 5). I sat in the chase group (I think we had 6 or 7 until we lapped 2 or 3) and did absolutely NO work until the last 2 laps, when I knew I had to start making my way to the front. I'd been content to sit at the back, but I also remembered that the closer you are to the front, the better chance you have at finishing higher in your group.

Crit course

One girl went by herself with 3/4 of a lap to go; the course was 1.1 miles long and she'd been unable to stay off earlier, so we all let her go. Unfortunately, she stayed away and finished 5th. (Surprise! There were only 4 ahead of us!) I knew what girls to watch and watched them. When the first one initiated the sprint, I sat on her wheel until another girl came next to us and passed her. I jumped on her wheel until I knew I had to go, and I went. I beat those girls in that field sprint (on my hoods again—I still need to work on sprinting in the drops!), finishing 6th of 16.

The start line at the Women 1/2/3 crit

Crit stats: 42:57, 15.69 mi, 21.9 avg (31.5 max), 169 HR (197 max)

View from the cabin

More views from the cabin—many of the other cabins around us

TT Start 

Crit starting line

Crit mid-race

Crit finishing sprint

Race Photos from here.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

NC.Com Crit #8 (and Post 900!)

The only one on my hoods. Super.
Olga, Valerie, Kathy, Amanda, Marsha, and me
Photo by James Weeks

Team B had only a small group out tonight: Shelly, Valerie, and me. Everyone else was there in spirit, but we were the only real representatives. The field was quite large, 16 women, with a good number of representatives from 3 teams: Belladium had 3, Cumberland Transit had 4 (Amanda, Marsha, Emily, and Chrysa), and SVMIC had 4 (Sandra, Jess, Olga, and Kathy) (the other 5 were either solo or unattached or both).

The entire race was action-packed—everyone seemed to want to race, which makes everything more fun and makes it seem to go faster. Lots of attacks, lots of catching, more attacks, more bridging, and then 2 attacks that stuck. Unfortunately, those attacks put 2 SVMIC girls and 1 CT girl ahead and left me behind to attempt to bridge. I decided to not (if I had, I'd have pulled the other 2 SVMIC girls and another CT girl up), and instead I chilled long enough to let Valerie catch back on. Best. Decision. Ever. She got a couple laps to recover, then shot out with 1.5 laps to go to lead me out. At first, I thought she'd gone way too early. Then I looked up the road and noticed that we were actually making up time on the 3 in the break and thought she'd seen them and thought we could catch them.

Val's leadout was fabulous, perfectly timed, and pulled us away from the group so I didn't have to sprint for 4th place as much as just maintain my position. Val said later she hadn't seen the 3 up the road; she just knew where she could go that would help me most. It worked like a charm. Both she and Shelly rode well, and it was definitely a fun race. A win, of course, is the best; but riding well as a team, learning what to react to and what to let go, racing well, and having a decent outcome also make for a fun, successful night.

Stats from the race: 30:43, 11.18 miles, 21.8 mph (29.0 max), 172 HR (201 max); 4 of 16
Stats from 7-06-11: 27:58, 10.05 miles, 21.6 mph (30.2 max), 179 HR (205 max); 1 of 12
Stats from 5-25-11: 31:16, 10.62 miles, 20.4 mph (27.7 max), 179 HR (200 max); 6 of 11
Stats from 5-11-11: 31:02, 11.43 miles, 22.1 mph (27.9 max), 177 HR (207 max); 6 of 13

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Cool Springs Short Route

Today's ride was a good one—a good, short mix of hard efforts and endurance. I started out with the group and then finished with Jeremy. It was nice to have company for that part, and even nicer to have company for the first part: Parri, Lisa C, Lee, Shelly, and I were all representing Team Belladium!

And wow, it's been over a month since I've done this ride!

Stats: 4-19-114-12-115-31-11. 6-07-11. 7-13-11.

  • Total: 1:47:30, 31.7 miles, 17.7 avg (35.5 max), 160 HR (193 max)
    Total: 1:46:39, 31.9 miles, 17.9 avg (33.9 max), 151 HR (188 max)
    Total: 1:43:14, 30.82 mi, 17.9 avg (34.6 max), 158 HR (191 max)
    Total: 1:46:17, 31.41 mi, 17.7 avg (37.2 max), 140 HR (189 max)
    Total: 1:41:40, 30.72 mi, 18.1 avg (34.6 max), 165 HR (195 max)
  • Warm up: 23:38, 5.9 mi, 15.1 avg, 145 HR
    Warm up: 21:24, 5.9 mi, 16.5 avg, 120 HR
    Warm up + rollout: 28:27, 8.08 mi, 17 avg, 128 HR
    Warm up: 20:13, 5.54 mi, 16.4 avg, 140 HR
    Warm up: 21:29, 5.85 mi, 16.3 avg, 149 HR
  • Rollout: 8:10, 2.33 mi, 17.1 avg, 116 HR
    Rollout +: 9:25, 2.93 mi, 18.6 avg, 146 HR
  • Ride: 1:05:04, 20.7 mi, 19.1 avg, 169 HR
    Ride: 1:04:09, 20.9 mi, 19.7 avg, 160 HR
    Ride to route split: 17:32, 6.59 mi, 22.5 mph, 178 HR
    Ride to route split: 15:59, 6.55 mil 24.6 mph, 170 HR
    Ride to route split: 14:57, 5.89 mi, 23.6 mph, 185 HR
  • Ride to route finish: 12.05 mi, 41:34, 17.4 avg, 168 HR
    Ride to route finish: 12.01 mi, 41:00, 17.6 avg, 148 HR
    Ride to route finish: 12.08 mi, 40:45, 17.8 avg, 175 HR
  • Cool down: 18:47, 5.1 mi, 16.2 avg, 151 HR
    Cool down: 21:03, 5.1 mi, 14.5 avg, 141 HR
    Cool down: 15:39, 4.1 mi, 15.7 avg, 148 HR
    Cool down: 20:51, 4.98 mi, 14.3 avg, 113 HR
    Cool down: 15:03, 3.97 mi, 15.8 avg, 154 HR

This was one of the hottest rides yet. I stopped about 2 miles from home to refill my water bottles and drank four 20-oz bottles while on the road. That's a lot of water in a short amount of time, but I guess that's what 100* + super high humidity call for!

Sunday, July 10, 2011


Today's ride was a nice hot ride with Valerie this morning (2:14:21, 37.01 miles, 16.5 mph [32.4 max], 137 HR [180 max]). There were a lot of signs that we sprinted for (short sprints until the last one on Wilson Pike, which we both knew was coming), and the short little wake-ups and shake-outs felt really good. I was feeling yesterday's race, but it was a good feeling. I got to ride on a couple roads (or parts of roads) I'd never been on before, so that was fun. I definitely enjoyed the ride.

Then I got to play softball! I’ve played only one game so far this season, and this will probably be my last until fall ball starts. I don’t mind not being able to play all the games, though, since it means I am racing the other weekends. We ended the game in a tie, and I had 3 at-bats (and did not play in the field since I was basically a sub). All my hits went right where I wanted them to, but none of them went how I wanted them to—if I wanted it high, it went low; if I wanted a line drive, it was a pop-up. Bummer! But I did get to score one run, since we played a one-inning tiebreaker where the person who made the last out got to be on third base. I was that person, and I got hit in. Hooray! That put us in the lead, but we were the visiting team and the other team scored during their half of the inning, so the umpire called the game at a tie.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

ETJC State RR Race Report

Only a few of us made the trip out to east Tennessee for the state road race: Kat, Parri, Cali, Todd, and me. The field was small, too, with only 15 P/1/2/3 women starting (and 12 finishing). Our race began at 12:30, and we were to ride 2 laps of the same 21.5-mile loop. We’d checked out the course profile and new there were a couple decent climbs and some good places to attack (or to expect attacks), and we were all pretty ready to race.

My race didn’t go nearly as well as I’d hoped. I knew the climbs would be tough for me, but I thought I could conserve enough and stay with the group—I had high hopes of being able to help my teammates as much as possible. I made it through the first one around mile 6.5, but I did not make it with the group through the second one at mile 11. About halfway up, I hit the proverbial wall and my legs pretty much said, “That’s all you’re going to get from us at this pace up this hill.” So, sadly, I got dropped. I kept the field in my sights for the next couple miles, but through some of the twisty, hilly areas, I lost them. I still kept telling myself that they were just around the next corner or that I’d be able to see them at the top of the next rise, and this definitely motivated me to continue despite the fact that I would be by myself for the rest of the race (or so I thought).

I knew a few others had been dropped during the first climb, and I also knew that there was at least one field (the pro men) behind me that at some point would get close enough to me for me to see them. I didn’t want them to pass me, but I knew there was a possibility of that happening. Thus I had to look behind me every once in a while. Just before the end of the first lap, I noticed two riders behind me and knew they were women since they didn’t have any vehicle escorts. I debated (not long) between slowing slightly to let them catch me and continuing on at my pace hoping that I was faster than they were. I opted for the latter and continued on, fully expecting to be caught soon (almost as a rule, two are stronger than one).

Surprisingly, it was nearly 7 miles before I was caught by only Beth (I found out later that Alli had DNFed). I was so happy to see someone, to have someone to work with, and to be reminded where my strength and ability comes from (my mind does crazy things while I race, and I wasn’t happy or focused when Beth came; still, I asked, “How are you doing, Beth?” Her reply, “Thank Jesus, I am doing OK,” was a reminder I needed to focus not on my own strength or disappointment but on doing my best and pleasing Him). Beth and I worked together for the next few miles, and her strength made me stronger. Then we hit that same hill I’d been dropped on earlier, and she was climbing better than I was. She encouraged me to climb with her, and I encouraged her to continue by herself. She did, and I rode the rest alone.

At that point, my one goal was to not get caught by the pros. I had yet to see any of them or their lead vehicles, and I really wanted to not get caught. Then, at 2:22 (I do not know how far into the race this was except that it was after mile 32), I got stopped by a train. Truthfully, it was nice to be able to get off my bike, collect myself, and chill. I was planning to talk to the referees at the finish if I got caught by any other women, but since I was the last to finish (everyone who’d been behind me DNFed), I didn’t have to worry about that. But that train stop did mean that, within 1 mile, almost 1 kilometer, from the finish, I got caught and passed by the lead group of pro men.

I ended up finishing 12th of 12 finishers, disappointed that I wasn’t able to help Kat (4th), Parri (6th), and Cali (7th) but happy that I’d ridden hard and focused (for the most part). I rode smart while I was with the group, and I was ready to help then if necessary. Hopefully eventually I’ll grow some climbing legs!

Stats: 2:18:38, 43.02 miles, 18.6 mph (38.2 max), 172 HR (193 max)
Lap 1 (until I got dropped): 35:07, 11.71 mi, 20 mph, 163 HR
Lap 2 (until the lap line): 31:19, 9.82 mi, 18.8 mph, 178 HR
Lap 3 (final lap): 1:12:11, 21.48 mi, 17.9 mph, 175 HR

So the first lap of the course (half with the group) took me 1:06:26, and the second lap by myself took me 1:12:11, just under 6 minutes slower. Not that I ever want a positive split like that, but at least it wasn’t a bigger difference between laps!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

5-Minute Ext. Slow Workout

This was not a good workout today, but I did it. It is what it is, I guess. I'd been hoping for a bike ride tonight or tomorrow morning, but given the flooding today and the chance of rain tomorrow, I guess I'll have to wait for the State RR on Saturday. At least I'm looking forward to racing.

  • Lunge L, R
  • Bench with 30lb
  • Standing ham
  • Curl with 10lb

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

NC.Com Crit #7

Cat 4 women lined up

Today wasn't just the normal crit. Instead, it was ladies' night at the stadium! Todd first did a clinic with the women, and then Tim held a Women Cat 4–only 20-minute crit. It was wonderful seeing all those women out there. There were nearly for the clinic, and 24 of them stayed for the crit afterward.

Jonell and Lisa C ready to race

Anna all focused and ready

Look at all those women!

It was so much fun watching all the women race—it brought back good memories of my first crit. I was super proud of Anna S, who pushed aside her fear of cornering and finished 13th. Way to go, Anna!

Women 4 results

After the 4s raced, the rest of us got to race. There were 12 of us on the line, a fair number from each team: Lisa C and me from Team Belladium; Sandra, Jess, and Kathy from SVMIC; Marsha, Amanda, Alli, Emily, and Chrysa from Cumberland Transit; and Tina and Deidra from Spring City Cycling. My goal was to win, which meant I had to be super smart during the first 29 minutes and even smarter and stronger in the last 1. At the start of the last lap, Todd said, "You know what to do!" I nodded and smiled, and here's what I did:

Sprint finish

It turned out perfectly, with a win for Team Belladium! Thankfully I'd learned from Sunday's race.

Women 1-2-3-4 results

We hung around for quite a while after our race to chit-chat with the other women and to enjoy the evening of racing. Definitely a good night.

Lisa C, me, Lisa S, Jonell, and Kat post-race

The Women 1-2-3-4 podium—Marsha, Sandra, me, Jessica, Amanda, and her little one :-)

Stats from our race: 27:58, 10.05 miles, 21.6 mph (30.2 max), 179 HR (205 max)

*Lots of pics today! Half are ones I took, half are ones Parri took.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

P-90-X Plyos

It was supposed to rain, so I decided to not ride with the Harpeth Club. Instead, I did Kelson's P-90-X plyometric workout. It was a great workout in that it was challenging and I worked up a sweat. It was also frustrating because I am just not coordinated enough to do all the exercises without more instruction. I miss Will.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Firecracker 5K

If I would have registered for the Maryland Farms Firecracker 5K, I would have done pretty good in my AG (4th of 56). But alas, I just ran and thus have no official results. But it was fun nonetheless! Results are here. I got in a decent warmup by riding to the Y, but there really was no need for warmup given the humidity. And I found out that I can still pull out a little bit of speed (for me, that is) even with so little running: Mile 1 was 7:11 and Mile 2 was 7:18. My finish time was 22:06, just 54 seconds off my PR (which was on that course 2 years ago). And I beat my time from last year and was faster than in my only other 5K this year (Fangtastic 5K), so it was a good morning.

After spending some time at Farkases', I went to Crockett Park to listen to some live music and watch the fireworks. There were way more people there than I'd expected, but it was a blast. I enjoyed the music, read a couple chapters in my book, and was able to relax. Happy holiday!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

NC.Com Crit #6

Sandra and me sprinting
Photo by James Weeks

I haven't been doing all the crits this summer, and it's been nice to not have those races to think about on top of all the other races we've been doing. Tim put on two this weekend; Shelly was the only one who raced on Saturday (and she won!), and then she, Lisa C, Valerie, Jonell, and I all raced together on Sunday. There were only 12 women in the field and 5 of us were Team Belladium women, so we definitely had numbers.

About 11 minutes into the 40-minute race, I attacked and took Sandra and Marsha with me. Because we're all from different teams, the field hesitated for a few seconds and we were gone. At times it seemed like they were making up ground on us, but eventually we got far enough ahead of them that we knew we were going to catch them. When we did, I was happy to have my teammates back and to try to keep the pace up. Unfortunately, I didn't play the finish quite right and ended up second, out-sprinted by Sandra. A Team B win two days in a row would've been wonderful, and I was slightly disappointed with myself that I hadn't done what Todd had said pre-race. If I had, the entire race would've played out differently and we might have come away with a win. I definitely need to learn how to be patient!

Olga, me, Sandra, Marsha, and Shelly
Photo by James Weeks

Later, instead of I heading to the pool like I'd planned, I met Anna S and her friend Janine to hike at Percy Warner Park. Definitely one of the most beautiful places around here!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Morning Ride

It's been 6 full days since I've been on my bike, and they were a great 6 days off. Not off from training, though, since I did some other great workouts and ran a couple times. But off from sitting on my saddle, which I needed after 8 days of racing. Since we're racing tomorrow, I decided to hit the road today and do the following route:

Friday, July 1, 2011


This was the only workout I did today, so I tried to make the most of it. These workouts are not easy—they are just as mentally taxing as they are physically taxing, and I definitely miss being able to do them with someone.

  • 2 sets of all except lunge
  • Lunge with RL (on half)
  • GHR with reps to top
  • Squat with stick
  • Push up on knees
  • Curl with altitude drops
  • Crate crunch