Sunday, August 28, 2011

River Gorge RR

Kat, Jonell, Lisa, Valerie, Shelly, Cali, Parri, me, Lee, Anna

I got in a good morning’s work before picking up Kat and heading to Chattanooga for our final ‘A’ race of the season. We wanted to get there early enough to pre-ride the TT course, and though I remembered most of it from when we were there 2 weeks ago, I was really happy to ride it again, refresh my memory, and have Todd give us strategy and tips throughout the course.

It was a short, 4-mile course, and the climb beginning at mile 1.1 was going to determine the outcome of the race. I had heard that in an earlier year, the winning time had been 9:48, so my goal was to get as close to that as possible.

My plan was to race to the top of the climb and then start a new race to get down and to the finish line. It took me 4:58 to get to mile 1.6 (2:18 of that was the climb), and I was racing as if I was being chased by all the other women (that would be because I was; I was the first woman to go, and I had 36 women trying to chase me down! By the time I got to the open road around the dam, I could see a rider ahead of me. That motivated me to go even faster—I had started 4 minutes after the rider ahead of me and thought I had a chance to catch him. Catch him I did, within 200 meters of the finish line. That felt so good, and I knew based on my Garmin that I’d come in under 10 minutes. I watched the next 2 women finish and knew I’d beaten at least the woman a minute behind me, so then I went to cool down a little and cheer on my teammates. I found out later that my official time was 9:58, good enough for 18th out of 37. The winner of this event finished in 9:24, Kat was 4th in 9:37, and then 14 of us were within 20 seconds of that time. This was a fast, tough field! I was thrilled with my time, but I wasn’t quite as happy where that left me in the results. I’m going to have to work on being 35 seconds faster next year so I can win this TT.

Stats: 4 mi, 9:58, 24.2 mph (42.6 max), 177 HR (191 max), 217’ ascent, 417’ descent
This was a fun course. It wasn’t too technical, and the fast descent after the climb was wide open. You can see pretty far ahead of you along the dam, so if someone is ahead of you, you have something to push you to ride even faster. I like a course that has twice as much descending as ascending!

Since I started my TT at 9am and my crit wasn’t until 6:15pm, I had lots of time to chill. Sadly, I didn’t get done what I’d brought to do, but I did relax, spend a little time in downtown Chattanooga for lunch, and almost nap. The Cat 4 women were racing at 3:45, so we went down to cheer them on, getting there in plenty of time to cheer them on before they lined up. During the course of their race, we walked backward on the course to get an idea of each of the 3 corners and then found a good place to sit and watch the finish. When we started our race, the wind that the 4s had faced had died down slightly, so we were expecting a fast, hard race. I was not disappointed. We were quite aggressive during this race, which was fun for me (and I think all of us); it caused us to always be on our toes, watch what each other was doing, and watch what the competition was doing in reaction, too. At one point, I think around 32 minutes (13.1 miles) based on the HR stats, I attacked and stayed away for 2 laps. It forced the other women to chase me down, but it also meant that I was a little more tired for the finish than I’d hoped (I’d actually hoped that when the field caught me, my teammates would attack and get away and we wouldn’t finish on a field sprint). Thus I finished farther back in the field than I wanted to; we’d whittled down the field only slightly during the 45 minutes and still had 16 of the 20 finishers with us for that sprint. My position was horrible and I didn’t move up soon enough, so I ended up 11th of 20 (but with not much left in my legs, so that was a rewarding feeling).

Stats: 45:15, 18.17 miles, 24.1 mph (32.8 max), 179 HR (199 max), 868’ ascent, 883’ descent
This was a very fun, flat, fast course. It looked like there was a hill coming toward the finish line when we walked around, but I never felt it. It was a 3-left-turn wide triangle, with a long curvy back stretch before turn 3 and the long final stretch. All 3 turns were pretty open and clean; we didn’t have any incidents, nor did the Cat 4 women.

Finally on Sunday (after we got to sleep in!), we had the road race that began at 11. This was a course we’d ridden a couple weeks ago as well, and Todd had walked us through it during our pre-race chat, so I was looking forward to it, remembering it, and surprisingly slightly excited. Our field was large for this race, too (36 women), and I had my goals for the race: Climb each of the climbs faster than I’d climbed them 2 weeks ago, and finish the race. I knowingly accomplished the latter, but I wasn’t paying attention to the former at all during the race. I was basically just focusing on wheels.

This race has 3 major climbs:
  1. Queen of the Mountain (QoM)
    • Begins around mile 10.2 and lasts approximately 1.8 miles
    • 8-14-11: 9:40 (1.8mi)
    • 8-28-11: 9:20 (1.9mi)
  2. Stair-step
    • Begins around mile 20 and lasts approximately 2.1 miles
    • 8-14-11: 11:06 (2mi)
    • 8-28-11: 11:13 (2.1mi)
  3. Final climb
    • Begins around mile 33.3 and lasts approximately 3.4 miles
    • 8-14-11: 29:50 (3.4mi)
    • 8-28-11: 25:12 (3.4mi)
Sadly, these are just estimations because I pressed the Lap button for only the final climb Sunday.

For the QoM climb, I was mostly with (but behind) Valerie. When we came to the descent, we worked together, caught Robin, then saw and caught Anna and her group. That was an exciting catch for me. When we began the stair-step climb, we could see lead group ahead of us and I was thrilled. Val and Anna were climbing strong with our group, and Robin and I weren’t able to hang on. After the feed zone, I nearly lost Anna and Val’s group and no longer had Robin working with me, so I had to press in and work as hard as I could to catch them. I kept praying for a car to pass me so I could draft off it, but that didn’t happen. However, thankfully, I did finally catch them and stayed with them until the beginning of the climb before we turned into the TVA property. But when I turned there, Val was just ahead of me and we worked together until the bottom of the real final climb. Then she took off and I climbed my pace. Though evidently Todd’s changing my cassette (I assume—I wouldn’t know the difference by sight or feel), Val and Lee not too far ahead of me, and the thought of being at the top helped me climb faster, because I was over 4.5 minutes faster this time than last time. Hooray! I finished 26 of 36 finishers.

Stats: 2:12:32, 37.08 miles, 16.8 mph (47.0 max), ~164 HR (192 max), 3861’ ascent, 2813’ descent
This is not my favorite course, mainly because of all the climbing. However, it is absolutely beautiful and I will definitely do it again. I managed to maintain a positive attitude throughout Sunday regardless of the terrain. Someday I’d like to climb well enough to stay with the lead group!

I finished 16th of 17 in the omnium, with 5 total points (from the crit). But, Kat's win in the RR put her in 2nd, and Anna and Lisa C finished 4th and 5th, respectively, in the 4s. So this was a pretty good showing for the team.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

NC.Com Crit #14 and Podiums

Amanda (with Anna and Porter), Sandra, and me

Tonight's race was the last in the series, and there was a huge field of 18 women tonight! In that big field, 7 were from SVMIC, 4 of us were from Team Belladium, 4 were from Cumberland Transit, 2 were unattached, and 1 was from Team Bikers Choice. What a great turnout!

Anna, Valerie, Cali, and I tried to make it exciting. We were a little more aggressive than we had been, and that resulted in Anna getting into a 3-man break mid-way through the race. Shortly thereafter, Cali and Jess went for a prime, got far enough away from the rest of us in the field, and bridged up to Anna (who was with Marsha and Kathy). So the 5 of them duked it out for the win, and another 7 of us behind them got to have our own little race and sprint. I had a blast this season; I love racing. Plus, thanks to Valerie's and Cali's (and others', but theirs is the most notable) hard work, I represented Team Belladium on the overall omnium podium. Hooray!

Stats: 25:07, 9.23 miles, 22.1 mph (28.1 max), 177 HR (197 max)

Monday, August 22, 2011


No ride today. Instead, I took a nice, long walk and did 10-6-3 EDIs. Lunge, standing ham, squat, curl (15lb dumbbells), bench (20lb dbs), front delt (towel), and crunch. It felt great to do something different than ride but still be outside.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Grant Park Crit

Valerie, me, and Anna before our race

This was a last-minute trip for me, not that I minded at all. Yesterday before our crit, Todd asked whether I wanted to race today. I said yes, of course. Then I asked what kind of race it was—I was more excited about being able to race again than concerned about what we would actually be racing! Eventually, I found out that this was the final race in the WE Racing: Women’s Racing Initiative race and was a big deal to Anna. Going into the race, she was in 1st place in the series by only a few points; the woman just behind her was signed up for the race, so Anna wanted to go to defend her position. Only a few of us were able to go, and Todd, Anna, Valerie, and I hit the road early Saturday afternoon for Atlanta, GA.

Me leading for a little

Our race was at 11am today, and we had plenty of time to ride multiple times around the course and work on a game plan. We lined up with 17 other women for our 35-minute race, and the officials said go. Within a few laps, Anna, Val, and I were still in the lead group that by then contained only 12 riders. We soon lost another one, and then the officials said there was a prime lap. This second prime strung us out even more, but we remained together for almost a full lap after the prime. Then I attacked. The back stretch, between turns 3 and 4 of the 4-left-turns course, was all slightly uphill, and I used our high pace and that terrain to attack. By the time we were through turn 1 again and almost through turn 2, we were down to 6, and none of those riders was Anna or Valerie. The second I realized that, I had a decision to make: Stay with this break, or stay with Anna. I glanced behind me, thought I saw Anna, and decided to stay with her rather than the break. My reasoning was that if Val, Anna, and I were all together, we should have no trouble catching that lead group quickly.

I had seen the wrong rider, though, and the woman immediately behind me wasn’t Anna. But Valerie wasn’t far behind me (her I’d seen for sure), and Anna wasn’t far behind her. Once we were all together, we continued to work together for the remainder of the race in an attempt to reel in anyone we could. With around 6 laps to go, we could see one girl ahead of us. I said to Valerie, “She’s either 5th or 6th, so if we catch her, we’d be racing for that position.” This was good news to all of us, verified when Todd said we were racing for 6th place. We couldn’t see the lead group, but we could catch this girl and stay ahead of her to get Anna into 6th place for sure. We did catch her, and Anna finished in 6th place. And then I finished in 7th and Valerie in 8th, so we also stayed ahead of that girl we’d caught. And (we think) Anna retained her overall 1st place position, so success all around!

The race was a lot of fun. There was a lot of action, I got to react to a few attacks, lead only a little bit, and initiate a few attacks. We got a chance to work together as a team and keep each other motivated and focused—this is one of the HUGE benefits of being a part of a team and having teammates race with you. I got stronger through seeing a few weaknesses in my own racing exposed. And we raced against women we hadn’t seen elsewhere.

I am so blessed and grateful to be able to race.

Stats: 13.99 miles, 41:00 (so yeah, not the advertised 35, and I KNOW we weren’t 5 minutes behind the leaders), 20.5 mph (32.0 max), 167 HR (190 max), 1348’ ascent, 1370’ descent

We did 16 laps, and each lap was around 0.875 miles.

I can tell by the graph below exactly where I attacked and then waited, and that’s pretty cool to see. Also I can see pretty clearly where Valerie pulled and where I pulled, and that’s cool to see too. It tells me that I’m pretty good about recovering when I need to and working hard when I need to.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

NC.Com Crit #13

Lisa (4th), Val (2nd), Shelly (1st), and Anna (3rd)

This was a bonus race, actually a rain-date make-up, but bonus for me because I was out of town during the two weekly races that got rained out and hadn’t expected to be able to race them. So I was thrilled to be able to race today. Because it was a Saturday, there could be more and longer races, and there were. First, the Cat 4 women got to race, and later, the Cat 1/2/3/4 women got to race. I went to the early race to support my teammates, who represented Shelly, Valerie, Anna, and Lisa C. The others were without teammates or unattached, so Team B definitely had numbers in their favor. And those women made it work for them, sweeping the podium (see the picture above) and taking the two primes offered in their race. There was one mishap in their race, when Lisa got a flat tire just before the bell lap. She couldn’t go to the pit, change her tire/wheel, and get back in the race, so she hung out behind the finish line until she got lapped by Shelly, Val, and Anna, and then limped over the line to retain her 4th place finish.

Our race wasn’t quite so dominated by Team B, but we did have numbers. Kat, Cali, Parri, Shelly, and I all raced this, but we had four CT women (Amanda, Marsha, Alli, and Emily) and 2 SVMIC women (Jess and Beth) to contend with. We were pretty aggressive for much of the race but were never really able to break up the field. Instead, it came down to a field sprint that Parri, Cali, and Kat set me up for. Thanks to their help, I was able to take the win. Kat finished 3rd, Cali 4th, Parri 6th, and Shelly 9th (I think). I’m so proud of each of them for working hard. We did lots right during this race and a few things wrong, and hopefully we can take the best of the right and most of the wrong and learn from each aspect so that we can become better riders and racers. Thankfully, we had no incidents in our race.

Stats: 15.32 miles, 40:24, 22.8 mph (31.5 max, but I’d really like to know what my max power number was during the finishing sprint), 186 HR (204 max), 461’ ascent, 490’ descent

We did 25 laps, and each lap was about 0.61 miles.

My HR in this race was super consistent—almost on par with that of a TT race, only longer. I am not sure whether I’m happy with this, because it means I wasn’t attacking much or resting much, just basically working at the same effort level the entire time. I wonder what would have happened if I had attacked hard a few more times, if maybe we would have been able to break up the field some.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Riding to Work

Since I rode home yesterday, I had to ride in today. And it was absolutely perfect out. Just cool enough to be comfortable without requiring arm warmers. The sunrise was beautiful too. I loved riding toward it! Plus, since I didn't have a backpack on, I was faster today than last week!

8-19-11: To work: 1:01:00, 18.35 mi, 18.0 avg (38.8 max), 140 HR (172 max)
8-12-11: To work: 1:03:00, 18.36 mi, 17.5 avg (35.2 max), 149 HR (175 max)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Riding Home

I decided to try something different this week—riding home from work one day and in to work the next. I like it a lot better than riding both ways on one day because it means I don't have to ride with a backpack. It also means that I can ride faster. Today I was 2 minutes faster than I'd been last week.

8-18-11: To home: 1:03:47, 18.31 mi, 17.2 avg (31.7 max), 155 HR (178 max)
8-12-11: To home: 1:05:15, 18.30 mi, 16.8 avg (32.4 max), 157 HR (175 max)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

NC.Com Crit #12

Me, Jess, Cali, Shelly, Paula (Heather, Kathy)

The course was different for today's race, and it was not all well and good for me. There was some good, though, and that comes first:

  • Cali, Shelly, Jonell, and I were all out there, so Team Bd was well represented. Good thing, too, because we had Amanda, Marsha, Emily, and Chrysa of Cumberland Transit and Jessica and Kathy of SVMIC to race against (as well as 3 lone women: Paula of Vantaggio, Tammy of MOAB, and Heather).
  • The weather was beautiful
  • Cali finished 2nd and did awesome.
  • I finished.

And now, for the not so good.

  • Time changed up the course, so we had a 180* turn before an uphill finishing straight.
  • I hit the ground on the 2nd lap. Ouch.
  • My chain fell off when I fell, and it took a while to get it back on (though maybe this was a good thing, because I missed at least 2 laps).
  • I finished 7th, well off the lead group (but at least I got to watch them finish and didn't get lapped).

Stats: 7.6 mi, 24:05, 18.9 mph (31.5 max), 164 HR, 303' ascent, 313' descent

It looks like my max speed was just before I went down, and I went down in the 180* turn. The course was very short, and I rode pretty slow comparatively. I did 16 or 17 laps.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Cool Springs Short Route

Val, Lisa, and I all decided to do the short route tonight. It was nice to have company, and we had a guy named Allen with us as well. No one from the fast group even came close to catching us, and that is always my goal. Well, I take that back. Shawn caught me as I was turning onto Carothers to head home, but he had done the short route as well.

Stats: 4-19-114-12-115-31-11. 6-07-11. 7-13-11. 8-09-11. 8-16-11.

  • 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)
    Total: 1:41:21, 30.68 mi, 18.2 avg (35.3 max), 147 HR (186 max)
    Total: 1:44:44, 30.73 mi, 17.6 avg (34.8 max), 147 HR (187 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
    Warm up: 21:15, 5.82 mi, 16.4 avg, 117 HR
    Warm up: 24:44, 5.81 mi, 14.1 avg, 128 HR
  • Rollout: 8:10, 2.33 mi, 17.1 avg, 116 HR
    Rollout +: 9:25, 2.93 mi, 18.6 avg, 146 HR
    Rollout: 7:47, 2.28 mi, 17.5 avg, 135 HR
    Rollout: 7:22, 2.29 mi, 18.7 avg, 128 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 split: 15:51, 6.56 mi, 24.8 mph, 158 HR
    Ride to route split: 16:31, 6.55 mi, 23.8 mph, 168 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
    Ride to route finish: 11.98 mi, 41:26, 17.3 avg, 160 HR
    Ride to route finish: 12.08 mi, 40:42, 17.8 avg, 157 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
    Cool down: 15:01, 4.04 mi, 16.2 mph, 137 HR
    Cool down: 15:23, 3.99 mi, 15.6 mph, 136 HR

I also did a little more work today, 5-minute lunge, standing ham, pull up, and wide push up. It felt good to get a little variety, but I definitely could tell I haven't been keeping up with these workouts.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

River Gorge Recon and Saturday Ride

Me, Parri, Kat, Valerie, and Anna at the top of Raccoon Mountain
Shelly, Todd, and Jay weren't far behind, but we forgot to get another picture when they arrived

Today we hit the road late enough to avoid the rain but early enough to tolerate the heat and finish before noon, and we had a good group, too. It ended up being me, Valerie and Jeremy, Kat, Lee, and Anna, and we altered the route slightly at the end to make it easier for Kat to get home. This added about a mile to our route from last time, yet we finished around the same time (only 2 minutes slower today). It must have been the company Valerie and I had.

Saturday route

Saturday ride HR, speed, and profile

Stats (8-13-11): 54.46 miles, 3:09:30, 17.2 avg (42.3 max), 129 HR (182 max), 3731' ascent, 3737' descent
Stats (7-30-11): 53.91 miles, 3:07:06, 17.3 avg (46.3 max), 155 HR (186 max), 4382 feet total ascent (4370 feet total descent)
I am not quite sure how we did, according to the Garmin, 600 fewer feet of climbing today when we did on nearly the same course. Hmmm.

Our last big race of the season is the Chattanooga River Gorge Race at the end of August. Since we weren't racing this weekend, we headed over to Chattanooga to recon the course. I am so glad we did--I like to know what I'm getting in to, and this was the perfect way. You can know a little about a course by driving it, but you can know way more about it by riding it as you would during the race. So 11 of us (including Todd and two husbands) rode the road race course (plus a few miles) and the time trial course We will have plenty of time to ride around the crit course before that race, so we didn't check that out.

The RR course is a challenge. That will be good for all of us. It is the last race of the weekend, so my plan is to go all out, go faster than I think I can, and do my best.

River Gorge RR and Profile

Totals: 3:10, 47.89 miles, 3:07:28, 15.3 mph (48.4 max), 144 HR (188 max), 5394' ascent, 4603' descent
I drank 5 or 6 bottles while we were riding, plus 2 more at the end of the RR course (Bill brought us a cooler of gatorade and water, and we were all so grateful!) and another when we were done. I am going to have to figure out how I can stay properly hydrated during the race, when we won't stop to refill at a gas station and will have only 1 feed zone.
Notes from the RR route: ~38 miles, 5103' ascent, 4116' descent, rolling and hard with 2 big climbs (~mi 20 for 2.4 miles and ~mi 35 for 3.5 miles)
Notes from the TT route: ~4.1 miles, 275' ascent, 442' descent, 1 little climb that's less than Lynnwood (~mi1.2, 0.5 miles)

River Gorge TT and Profile

River Gorge Profile: RR and TT, including HR, elevation, and speed

I figured out that the climbs looked like the following for me.

  • QoM climb: at ~mile 12, 9:40, 1.8 miles
  • Stair-step climb: at ~mile 20, 11:06, 2 miles
  • Final climb: at ~mile 35, 29:50, 3.4 miles

My goal is to climb each of these faster during the actual race. That is an attainable goal that will challenge me.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Riding to Work

It was absolutely beautiful this morning. When I saw a thermometer at 6:15, about 30 minutes from home, it was 65*. It couldn't have been much better, riding in that temperature into the sunrise. I loved it and only wish we had a shower at work. Though I think the sink did a pretty good job as a stand-in for the shower.

To work: 1:03:00, 18.36 mi, 17.5 avg (35.2 max), 149 HR (175 max)
To home: 1:05:15, 18.30 mi, 16.8 avg (32.4 max), 157 HR (175 max)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Donelson Y Trails

It has been beautiful this week, so I decided to go to the DHY at lunch and run. It wasn't too long, wasn't too fast, but was pretty much perfect. I ran on the downhills and flats and walked up (or halfway up) a couple of the little hills on the path.

Stats: 32:10, 3.5 mi, 9:12 pace (5:43 best), 163 HR (196 max)
Mile 1: 8:41 (walked about the first 2 minutes)
Mile 2: 8:02 (no walking this mile)
Mile 3: 8:48 (walked up hills)
Mile 3.1: 1:06
Mile 3.5: 5:30 (this was all walking—up the last hill and around the track)

5-minute standing ham after an afternoon walk. I definitely needed that!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

NC.Com Crit #11

Jess (4th), Sandra (2nd), Amanda (1st), me (3rd), Marsha (5th)
Photo credit: AJ

Val and I were out again for another night of racing, this time a slightly shorter 25 minutes because daylight will start to wane shortly and there are still 3 races after ours. Even still, it was one of our fastest averages. There were 11 women, and the officials called a prime for the first lap, so everyone went off the line fast and never slowed down. Well, that's not true. midway through, I was in a break with Sandra and Jess (SVMIC) and Amanda (CT). We were possibly more of the field than a break because there were 2 lapped riders with us, 3 behind us trying to catch us, and 2 off the back, but we still considered ourselves the break. For some reason, we slowed down the pace and got caught by the 3 behind us. Granted Shannon (Vantaggio) did a lot of work to catch up to us, but we still slowed.

Somewhere within 8 laps to go, maybe 6 (of our 17 total), Amanda attacked from the inside while I was on the outside. Why I wasn't on her wheel, I'm not sure, but I wasn't and was in the wrong position and thus missed her and Sandra. Jess and I got away from the rest of the field and tried to catch up to those two, but we just didn't have enough time. We'd make up ground, then they'd look back and see us, and then we'd lose ground. I thought maybe I'd get close enough on the last lap, but that just didn't happen and Amanda took the win. Jess and I got to sprint it out for 3rd place, though, and that was a fun challenge. I came in a nose ahead of her, like close enough that they probably had to check the video to make sure they knew who'd come across first. Those sprints are some of the most fun.

Stats: 9.6 miles, 25:39, 22.5 mph (27.9 max), 182 HR (196 max)

Overall podium: Amanda (2nd), Sandra (1st), me (3rd)
Photo credit: AJ

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Cool Springs Short Route

Stats: 4-19-114-12-115-31-11. 6-07-11. 7-13-11. 8-09-11.

  • 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)
    Total: 1:41:21, 30.68 mi, 18.2 avg (35.3 max), 147 HR (186 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
    Warm up: 21:15, 5.82 mi, 16.4 avg, 117 HR
  • Rollout: 8:10, 2.33 mi, 17.1 avg, 116 HR
    Rollout +: 9:25, 2.93 mi, 18.6 avg, 146 HR
    Rollout: 7:47, 2.28 mi, 17.5 acg, 135 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 split: 15:51, 6.56 mi, 24.8 mph, 158 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
    Ride to route finish: 11.98 mi, 41:26, 17.3 avg, 160 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
    Cool down: 15:01, 4.04 mi, 16.2 mph, 137 HR

It was not nearly as hot today as it has been—it was actually almost pleasant riding weather! And there was a much bigger group than last week, which meant we were moving fast.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Publix Trip

After a nice walk (one of my favorite rest day activities), I went to Publix to take advantage of the deals. I don't have a picture, but I paid for my veggies and tax and walked away with the following:

  • Eat Smart pre-packaged veggies (3)
    • Regularly $2.50 each
    • On sale for $1.67 each
    • $5 total
  • Batter Blaster pancake batter (organic) (2)
    • Regularly $4.29 each
    • On sale BOGO, $2.15 each
    • Used $3/2 Whole Foods Q and one $1/1 MQ
    • $0.29 total
  • Skippy peanut butter (2)
    • Regularly $2.49 each
    • On sale BOGO, $1.25 each
    • Used two $0.75/2 MQs
    • $0.99 total
  • Publix laundry detergent
    • $3.49 total
  • Georgia peaches (2)
    • On sale for $1.29/pound
    • $1.16 total
  • Pepperidge Farms goldfish-shaped bread (2)
    • Regularly $2.50 each
    • On sale for $1.67 each
    • Used two $1/1 MQs
    • $1.34 total
  • Sundown vitamin D (4)
    • Regularly $2.99 each
    • Used two $6/2 PQs and four $1/1 MQs
    • $4.04 overage
  • Publix eggs (1 dozen)
    • $1.39
  • Diet Coke 20 oz.
    • Regularly $1.59
    • Used one $1.49/1 Q (was supposed to have been free, but I told the cashier the wrong price to put into the register)
    • $0.10 total
  • Used $5/$30 PQ
  • Paid ~$2.42 in tax
  • Paid $7.14 OOP
  • Saved $48.07 - $7.14 = $40.93, or 85%!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Oak Ridge Velo RR

Women 1/2/3 Crit Start

Saturday morning came much too soon, since I met Ruth last night at Backyard Burgers for dinner. She’s a friend from high school who was here for a conference, and it was nice to be able to catch up. Unfortunately we had limited time because I was racing, but thankfully we had some time. I picked up Jonell at 5:30 and we hit the road for Oak Ridge. Our road race started at 11:25, pretty much the beginning of the hot part of the day, which meant we’d be on the road in the heat of the day. It was overcast when we started, and I hoped it would stay that way. I was doing the 1/2/3 road race, which meant 3 laps of the 15-mile loop (plus a 2+ mile neutral zone) and about 48 total miles. There was a hill at mile 11 that broke up the field and that we knew we’d have to climb a few more times. I missed the break that Parri and Cali made it into but ended up in a chase group with Anna, Valerie, and Lisa C. I determined that I’d do my best to help Anna or whoever felt best get the best finish and not worry as much about my final place.

Oak Ridge Road Race

At this point, I should probably explain how the race organizers had us race. They had two fields: Cat 1/2/3 and Cat 3/4. Cat 3s get to decide which race they want to race, which gives them a little freedom. But they have to decide before the race which one they want to do. I am a Cat 3 and decided at the beginning at the season that I’d do the 1/2/3 races so that I could improve every time. So for this race, I’d previously decided to do the 48 miles rather than the 32. But all of us women started together, and we essentially had 2 different races going on at the same time, on the same road, and the only way we could tell each other apart was by our numbers: The high 700s were supposed to be Cat 3/4s, and the low 700s were supposed to be Cat 1/2/3s. (They gave at least one person the wrong number, which is why I say “supposed to”.)

Back to the road race: I didn’t want to do that climb 3 times, and I told Val I was going to DNF. This is the first of the season for me, and it never feels good. But I did not feel great, was getting overheated, and was more excited about helping my teammates finish well than my own place. I did what I could by reacting to a few attacks (by Robin and Stephanie) but still ended up finishing by myself of the last little hill. Anna ended up in 5th place, so that was good. In the 1/2/3s race, Parri finished 3rd and Cali finished 7th. I was mostly glad I didn’t finish the race, because I just didn’t feel up to it. But I was also slightly upset with myself that I didn’t finish. 1) We all had to deal with the same heat and humidity, and I was the only one who couldn’t stand it. 2) Stephanie, who I’d been with that second lap, ended up catching Cali; I think that if had been with Stephanie, I’d have caught her too and maybe helped her some. Even with those reasons, I’m glad I didn’t finish.

This was not a fun course for me, and it’s probably the first road race I didn’t really enjoy. Stats: 32.53 miles, 1:46:23, 18.3 mph (42.1 max), 172 HR (198 max), 2503’ ascent, 2202’ descent.

Between the finish of the RR and the time we had to leave for the TT (about an hour), we had just enough time to eat lunch, put on our aero bars (and change wheels if we wanted) and rest for 20 minutes. Then we headed out again. The TT was supposed to have bee 10.7 miles, but due to traffic permit restrictions, they shortened it to just under 8. I found out about 30 minutes before my start time when I was asking Cali about the course and can honestly say I wasn’t surprised or thrown off or excited or anything—basically I was just happy to know that information before starting the race.

Oak Ridge TT (it didn't feel like this—it felt a lot more rolling than mostly up and then down)

It had been raining between the RR and the TT, and I decided I wanted to keep my aluminum wheels rather than riding on Carbon wheels, so it was just me, my bike, my aero bars and aero helmet, and my mind. I had a few goals for the race, none of which was finish-time–related but all of which would push me. It took me about 2 minutes to get up to the effort level I wanted to be at, and I did a great job of staying there but continuing to push. I got caught by the eventual 2nd-place finisher in the out section and the eventual winner shortly after the turnaround. When each of them passed me, I stayed with them (legally, of course) for as long as I could. This meant I had to push harder than I had been, because obviously they’d been going faster than I if they caught me. I did the best when Beth (winner) caught me. I know her and know how she rides, and somehow that made me more comfortable and determined to stay with her. I think I rode behind her for a mile or two before she finally lost me around a bend in the road, but I was able to keep up that effort level for the remainder of the TT. I caught a couple women on the back section, and that always feels good. I finished 5th of the 8 1/2/3 women in a time of 20:55. The winner finished in 19:16.

This was a very fun course for me. I had no idea it was going to be so rolling, so that was a big surprise. But I pushed over all the hills knowing that I’d get a little relief. This might have been my best TT effort up till now. Stats: 7.77 miles, 20:55, 22.x mph (30.1 max), 182 HR (194 max), 369’ ascent (309’ descent).

Oak Ridge Crit
Women 3/4 Crit Start

The crits were on Sunday. At the start of the 3/4 race, Anna was sitting in 1st overall for the omnium. She had Shelly, Valerie, and Jonell working for her and all the rest of us cheering and praying for her. It was quite possibly one of the most exciting races for us to watch, just because we knew what the outcome had to be for us to walk away with a win and what a win would mean to some of the other women out there. Anna rode well, Shelly made it very interesting, and after Amanda took the win, Anna finished in 3rd, retaining her 1st overall position. We didn’t know how we were going to match that excitement in our race later in the afternoon!

Thankfully we had plenty of time to chill, eat some lunch, and prepare for our race. Beginning our race, Parri was sitting in 2nd place overall, and maintaining that position meant a lot to all of us. But so did a win, so Cali and I were going to do what we could to win this race. We started with 9 women and rode 50 minutes. The first 10 were quiet, and then Stephanie started a few attacks. I went with her once at least, for a couple laps, and we stayed out long enough for me to get a prime. We got caught but jumped on the back to recover, and somehow I managed to snag another prime later in the race without completely wearing myself out. When they started counting laps to go, we were all still together, and Parri and I started talking about the finish. We were also working on making our way to where Cali had been riding (near the front, but not on the front, the entire race, in the best position possible) to let her in the plan. What happened, however, wasn’t what we planned.

Oak Ridge RR

Just before we crossed the line to start the bell lap, I found myself on the front. I didn’t try to pick up the pace, didn’t attack, didn’t really do anything different than what I had been doing, but I looked back and saw that there was a little (like 2 seconds) gap between me and the field. All I though was, If they’re going to give it to me, I’ll take it! I knew Cali was at the front and if she had to slow down everyone else, she could, so I thought I’d better pick up the pace and just work to stay away for the last lap. Within about 30 seconds (this all happens so fast!), Parri bridged that little gap up to me and significantly picked up the pace. Suddenly we had a decent gap on the field. We still had 4 corners and a hill before the finish line, but at that point, even without communicating this explicitly, we both knew we had this race wrapped up. She pulled me around the first two corners and up the hill, essentially burying herself to keep us ahead of the chasing pack. As soon as I could see my line around the 3rd corner, so quite a bit before it, I came around Parri and gave everything I had to get myself around the last 2 corners and to the line into the head wind. And somehow, I stayed ahead of everyone else and won the race. Even better, Parri finished 3rd and Cali 4th, so both of them pulled out super strong sprints at the end.

I had a gu around 25 minutes in and drank a bottle of water during the race. I think this was the first time I’ve done a “systems check” in the middle of a race. We usually race 30 minutes and this was longer, so I wanted to make sur ei was paying attention to what I was doing and how I was feeling. I just kind of ran through everything at 30 minutes: Legs? OK. Eating and drinking? Yep, bottle’s half empty and gu’s gone. Energy? OK. Paying attention to what’s going on around me? Sure am. Feeling good? Excellent. OK, then, I’m good to keep going. This took me as long as it took to go from corner 3 to corner 4, and it was a good mental exercise right at that point. In fact, in some ways, I felt like I was just starting the race again, I felt that good after having run through all that.

This course was just enough of a challenge to make you forget that it wasn’t technical. It was only 4 left-hand turns with a downhill on the long front straight and an uphill on the long back straight. We finished into the wind, which meant we had a nice tailwind for the little climb on the back stretch. The better position I had up that hill, the easier it seemed, even as the race continued (I think we did this loop 20 times); the only time it was hard was when it was just Stephanie and me, but even then it didn’t seem hard until I got back with the pack and realized how much easier it was with the group. Stats: 17.85 miles, 49:03, 21.8 mph (31.2 max), 175 HR (198 max), 682’ ascent, 195’ descent.

This was a great weekend for all of us—we all got in the cars happy. Anna won the TT and the Cat 3/4 omnium. Parri did awesome in all 3 and got 2nd in the 1/2/3 omnium. Cali rode smart in the RR and crit and was 4th in the 1/2/3 omni. I won the crit and was 6th in the 1/2/3 omni. Val finished 7th in all 3 races (hello, Miss Consistent) and was 4th in the 3/4 omni. Shelly had a killer crit. Lisa C cut significant time off her TT time from last year and was solid in the RR. Jonell cut a good amount of time off her TT time and rode an excellent crit. Todd saw some of the most nervous of us overcome their fears and go do what needed to be done on the road. We all made an effort to think through the race while we were out there. I think the only thing that could’ve made it better would have been having the other 4 Team Belladium women out there with us!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Humid Ride

I got up early again this morning to ride, thinking that maybe I could beat the heat and be somewhat pleasant while riding. Not so much. The temperature wasn't as high, but the humidity was outrageous. Thankfully I had enough water with me!

I rode back in on Franklin Road with some guy who'd had the same idea about trying to survive the heat, and it was great to have someone behind me. It made me focus on riding smarter and try to ride harder, and he enjoyed the draft. I'll let that happen any day, since it makes me ride better!

A Prayer of Moses the man of God.

Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations.
Before the mountains were brought forth,
Or ever You had formed the earth and the world,
Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.

You turn man to destruction,
And say, “Return, O children of men.”
For a thousand years in Your sight
Are like yesterday when it is past,
And like a watch in the night.
You carry them away like a flood;
They are like a sleep.
In the morning they are like grass which grows up:
In the morning it flourishes and grows up;
In the evening it is cut down and withers.

For we have been consumed by Your anger,
And by Your wrath we are terrified.
You have set our iniquities before You,
Our secret sins in the light of Your countenance.
For all our days have passed away in Your wrath;
We finish our years like a sigh.
The days of our lives are seventy years;
And if by reason of strength they are eighty years,
Yet their boast is only labor and sorrow;
For it is soon cut off, and we fly away.
Who knows the power of Your anger?
For as the fear of You, so is Your wrath.
So teach us to number our days,
That we may gain a heart of wisdom.

Return, O LORD!
How long?
And have compassion on Your servants.
Oh, satisfy us early with Your mercy,
That we may rejoice and be glad all our days!
Make us glad according to the days in which You have afflicted us,
The years in which we have seen evil.
Let Your work appear to Your servants,
And Your glory to their children.
And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us,
And establish the work of our hands for us;
Yes, establish the work of our hands.

Psalm 90:1–17

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Heat of the Day

It's hot. Like triple-digits hot. There's no way to avoid the heat, but I hate being inside all the time. It's also way too hot to run, but Anna and I tried anyway. We ran 3 loops around Granny White Park and then walked another few, enjoying the sun (but not killing ourselves) and talking.

This says that one loops is 0.8 miles, but my Garmin seemed to show it more like 0.6 miles. I'm not sure which is right, but I know we did 5 miles. The last time around was not a full loop (we went only to the first baseball diamond and then turned back), and we must have done 6, 7, or 8 loops. That I'll be able to see on the Garmin when I have time to look. It felt like more than 6, but maybe that was just the heat.

No other real workouts today, but I did swim at lunch yesterday, which I forgot to mention then.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Cool Springs Long Route

Today's ride was a good one. I think the last time I did this long route was May 17, mainly because we've been racing Wednesday nights and I don't want to kill myself the day before. But, we are not racing tomorrow so Parri and I came out to have some fun tonight. The group was understandably small—the actual temperature was 101*, to say nothing of the humidity and "feels like" temperature. But that didn't keep it from being fast and hard.

Parri and I worked hard and had fun! Here is some data from the ride. That big green spike in the middle is Gosey Hill, which I typically cut out by doing the short route. But today I determined to stay on Parri's wheel if I could and just climb. I wasn't quite on her wheel, but I didn't lose as much ground as I'd anticipated, so that was a success. Then again, neither did I get my HR up very high, so maybe I wasn't working quite hard enough. We rode half of the rest of the way with 3 guys who willingly shared the work at a consistent pace. Then, for the last half of that part, we caught another 5 guys at a stop sign and we all rode together. Unfortunately, not everyone could keep a consistent pace and hardly anyone wanted to pull. Frustrating.

The HR data from here is so interesting. I hit and had to stop at every red light during my warm up. Then we rode super hard, then I cooled down. It's actually pretty fun for me to look at. And surprisingly, my HR didn't spike too much during the couple bigger climbs.

Totals 8-02-11: 34.82 miles, 1:51:30, 18.7 avg (37.1 max), 158 HR (192 max)
2093' ascent, 2036' descent
Warm up: 5.74 mi, 20:46, 16.6 avg, 132 HR
Rollout: 2.24 mi, 7:59, 16.8 avg, 131 HR
Ride: 22.36 mi, 1:04:51, 20.7 avg, 174 HR
Cool down: 4.49 mi, 17:52, 15.1 mph, 141 HR

Totals 5-17-11: 34.75 mi, 1:45:00, 19.9 mph, 159 HR
Warm up: 6.12 mi, 21:32, 17 mph, 140 HR
Roll out + Ride: 24.64 mi, 1:08:54, 21.5 mph, 167 HR
Cool down:  3.9 mi, 14:30, 17.5 mph, 160 HR