Thursday, June 28, 2012

Tour of America's Dairyland VII: Sheboygan Crit

This elevation is nothing. 2.5 feet? Can't even feel it!

Thursday Crit: Sheboygan

Today's race was my final race of the ToAD series, and it was a 40-minute crit in Sheboygan. There were 37 women on the line, and this was a fast, flat course. It was different than what was in the race bible, but I didn't mind much—this would be a good course for me. On the 2nd or so lap, I went off the front to see whether I could stay away. I did, for about 4–6 laps, but then the field caught me and I sat in for most of the rest of the race.


With the fam after the race:
Grandpa Bob and Grandma Rita; Gramps and Grandma June;
Calvin, Bradley, and me

Photos here

On the last lap, I attacked halfway around, determined to stay away. I did, and won the race. Winning feels so good! Both sets of my grandparents were there, and my grandma's daughter and her two sons were there—so I had quite the cheering squad and loved it! When I started training for this series, I really wanted to win one of the races—when you win a race, you earn a cowprint jersey, a jar of chocolate milk, and a mooing cow toy. This was my race to win, and I won it! Hooray!

Podium: Katherine (2nd), me (1st), Amy (3rd)

So happy about winning!

East Troy (6-22-12) stats: 36:38, 14.4 miles, 23.6 mph, 17/33
Grafton (6-23-12) stats: 42:22, 16.55 miles, 23.4 mph, 7/54
Waukesha (6-24-12) stats: 39:39, 15.05 miles, 22.8 mph, 182 bpm, 12/34
Greenbush (6-25-15) stats: 59:41, 20.01 miles, 20.1 mph, 164 bpm, 2/43
Schlitz Park (6-26-12) stats: 40:32, 13.87 miles, 20.5 mph, 177 bpm, 7/39
Fond du Lac (6-27-12) stats: 1:00:20, 21.3 miles, 21.3 mph, 166 bpm, 4/39
Sheboygan (6-28-12) stats: 36:48, 14.31 miles, 23.3 mph, 184 bpm, 1/37

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Tour of America's Dairyland VI: Fond du Lac RR

Wednesday RR: Fond du Lac

Today was the second road race of the series. I didn't think coming into this week that the RRs would be the ones I did best in, but that has so far been the case. Monday in Greenbush, I finished 2nd. Today in Fond du Lac, I finished 4th! The course was slightly easier than Greenbush's course in that there wasn't the climb at mile 4 that Greenbush had, but it was significantly windier, and that definitely played into today's race. There wasn't a good place to get and stay away if you were by yourself. I tried early a couple times and two other girls tried later a couple times, but nothing stuck and we were all together at the finish.

4th place finish

Kat has said in the past that it is much easier to win a race if you've seen and passed the finish line, so you know how it finishes. Today I did not see the finish line before I crossed it, and that affected my finish. I thought the finish line was closer than it was, and I basically led out the 3 who beat me. Bummer. I want one of those cow-spotted jerseys!

I am in this group just not in the pictures. However, I
think it gives a good perspective of this hill!

Hiding and protected in the crowd

East Troy (6-22-12) stats: 36:38, 14.4 miles, 23.6 mph
Grafton (6-23-12) stats: 42:22, 16.55 miles, 23.4 mph
Waukesha (6-24-12) stats: 39:39, 15.05 miles, 22.8 mph, 182 bpm
Greenbush (6-25-15) stats: 59:41, 20.01 miles, 20.1 mph, 164 bpm
Schlitz Park (6-26-12) stats: 40:32, 13.87 miles, 20.5 mph, 177 bpm
Fond du Lac (6-27-12) stats: 1:00:20, 21.3 miles, 21.3 mph, 166 bpm

After the race, I met some friends for lunch. One I'd seen last year, but the others I hadn't seen in probably 5 years. It was a fantastic afternoon, spending time with great friends

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Tour of America's Dairyland V: Schlitz Park Crit

Tuesday Crit: Schlitz Park, Milwaukee

Brutal. Just brutal.

Today's crit was the hardest of the series. The start/finish stretch is flat, but you quickly turn right and climb 2 city blocks, 1 of which is at a 7% grade. Last year I think I got dropped 2 laps in. This year I was determined to do better and I did, finishing 7th of the 39 women. It was not an easy 40 minutes. Nearly every time we went up the hill we went up fast, and we slowed on the back stretch (into the wind) and didn't take the descent too fast. Around 21 minutes in, the group split into about 10 of us, and one girl was off the front. I just stayed where I was and fought up the hill every time to just stay with that group. On the last lap Amy attacked, and that split us up again. I couldn't stay with her and just maintained my position, finishing by myself about 3 seconds behind Amy.


At the end of the descent

Surprisingly, I am currently sitting 8th overall in the omnium. I am happy about this!

Omnium results through 6-26

East Troy (6-22-12) stats: 36:38, 14.4 miles, 23.6 mph
Grafton (6-23-12) stats: 42:22, 16.55 miles, 23.4 mph
Waukesha (6-24-12) stats: 39:39, 15.05 miles, 22.8 mph, 182 bpm
Greenbush (6-25-15) stats: 59:41, 20.01 miles, 20.1 mph, 164 bpm
Schlitz Park (6-26-12) stats: 40:32, 13.87 miles, 20.5 mph, 177 bpm

Monday, June 25, 2012

Tour of America's Dairyland III and IV: Waukesha and Greenbush

Sunday Crit: Waukesha

Sunday we raced a 40-minute crit in Waukesha. The course was fairly flat and about 0.85 miles; it was clockwise and a little technical. Turn 1 was more than 90* and went from a wide to a narrow road; the finishing stretch was a terrible road. I didn't look up at the clock until we were 33 minutes in. I didn't get tired at all, and I was paying attention to my position and what the other women were doing, so I didn't have time to look at the clock. We were under 6 laps to go at that time, so I did start paying attention. I won a prime in this race and ended up 12th of 34 Cat 3/4 women.

Waukesha - Game face!

Waukesha crit

Photos here

After the race I spent the evening at dinner with my grandparents, aunt and uncle, and cousins, and then returned to my grandparents' house. I don't get to see them often enough, so it was fun to be there for the night.

Greenbush podium:
Amy (1st), Kailin (2nd), Vanessa (3rd)

Post-race tanning, err, waiting for the awards ceremony

Monday Road Race: Greenbush

2 laps = 20 miles

Monday we raced a 2-lap, 20-mile road race. It was short and hilly. Around mile 4 is a little climb; it is not significant, but it is not nothing, either. It's a little stair-step climb that is pretty much over by mile 5, but when the pace is night it feels a lot steeper and harder than it is. I stayed with the group, and at mile 17 or so we all (25+ maybe) were neutralized for at least a mile while we waited (and waited and waited) for the men to pass us. They should have let us finish our race and neutralized the men, but oh, well, it worked out OK for me. We had a lot of time to chill/drink/think/plan, and I used it well. Since by the time we were able to race again we about 2 miles left, I quickly moved up from my back-of-the-pack position to top 10. Then I waited for someone else to jump and when she did, I went with her. When she let up, I went around her and started basically an early sprint/super-short TT to the final left-hand turn and the uphill finish line. I managed to stay away from most of the riders but not from Amy P, who clipped me at the line. I finished the race in under 60 minutes and 2nd of 42 women. Hooray for a podium!

After the early-morning race, I went home and chilled, went to dinner with Mike and Michelle, and then watched Mike's softball game with M. We saw a few others who I haven't seen in quite a while, so it was definitely a pleasant evening.

Climbing - Not my fave
Photo here

East Troy (6-22-12) stats: 36:38, 14.4 miles, 23.6 mph
Grafton (6-23-12) stats: 42:22, 16.55 miles, 23.4 mph
Waukesha (6-24-12) stats: 39:39, 15.05 miles, 22.8 mph, 182 bpm
Greenbush (6-25-15) stats: 59:41, 20.01 miles, 20.1 mph, 164 bpm

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Tour of America's Dairyland I and II: East Troy and Grafton

Grafton Cat 3/4 women's field - 54 women!

East Troy results - 17/33 placed finishers

Friday: East Troy Crit

This course is fast, fast, fast, and narrow. In the race bible, it's called the most technical, and it was technical (though I'd argue that the East TN crit in Johnson City that we do is more technical). It was also fun. We had 33 women, and 23 of us stayed together around the 6-turn, counterclockwise course. Between turn 5 and turn 6 was a very small hill, not even really a climb, and I felt no downhill. During the 40 minutes, they gave out at least 4 primes, and I won one (Colavita vinegar and pasta). I did not plan well over the last 2 laps and thus didn't finish well, but the rest of the race went perfectly. Results: 17/33

Sprinting against Amy; guess who won :-(

Tucked in where I belong

Big field!

Taking a corner

East Troy start

Pictures from Karl here

A lot of my family is around here, so I took the opportunity to spend some time with my aunt at Red Robin, at Michael's (a local ice cream shop), and around her neighborhood for a walk.

Grafton results: 7/48 placed finishers

Saturday: Grafton Crit

This course is fast, challenging because of a climb, and wide open. We averaged about the same as we did in East Troy (23.6 mph), likely due in part to the descent on the other side of the climb. We had 54 women, and about 28 of us stayed together around the 6-turn clockwise course. Between turns 2 and 3 and between turns 4 and 5 was the climb; the descent was between turns 5 and 6. The finishing stretch was very flat and long, maybe 400 or 500 meters. During the 40 minutes today, I raced so much smarter and did very little (if any) work, went for (but did not get) 1 of the at least 4 primes, and finished 7th! Today turned out so much better for me than yesterday.

Grafton Men's field - my view the rest of the afternoon

Paul's is the best team

I stuck around for a while in Grafton to watch the Masters Men race (a couple guys from TN were in those races), and Pro Women's race (to watch Pam from TN), and part of the Pro Men's race (to chat with Jamie, who I went to high school with).

Not sure what I was looking at here...

In the middle of the pack

Still in pretty good position

Pictures from Grafton here

East Troy (6-22-12) stats: 36:38, 14.4 miles, 23.6 mph
Grafton (6-23-12) stats: 42:22, 16.55 miles, 23.4 mph

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Road America

Lake Michigan is in the background somewhere

Back-country Wisconsin entertainment--waiting
for the NASCAR trucks on their way to Road America

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Fame in the Blog World

Pretty sure I just got my 15 minutes of fame in the blog world – SR posted my picture on her blog!

Race for One Less finish

Today was the last day of my 3-week program with Will, and it was a hard workout: 100 altitude drops, bench (18lb), curl (18lb), GHR (arm's length), legs (~18"). On the plus side, I am definitely stronger and faster than I was 3 weeks ago and my arms and legs look nice and toned. On the negative side, I did not follow the program exactly because I raced too much (he said he'd intended for me to do my skill once per week) and I did not sleep well. I don't know if the sleep thing is related or not, but I've definitely noticed it. I would've thought I'd have slept better than normal because I'd be working harder than normal, but evidently that was not the case.

Sunday, June 17, 2012 Crit #4 and Avery Trace/Cookeville RR Course

My herb garden is growing! Well, just the marjoram so far.

AJ and me after Saturday's race
Saturday's race was a very hard race. Not sure what made the first 20 minutes some of the hardest 20 minutes of a crit, but they definitely were. I wanted to drop off the main group at minute 19 (at the time, it was me [Belladium]; AJ [Treehouse]; Jes, Kathy, and Katie [SVMIC]; and Paula and Shannon [Vantaggio]). Right around then, we caught Valerie, who motivated me to get back up and stay with the group. I did, and eventually it slowed down a little, but it still was hard. We averaged 23 mph over that 0.6-mile, 6-turn course, so you know we were riding fast!

(front to back) Katie, AJ, Paula, me mid-race

(L to R) Me, Paula, Katie, Shannon, AJ, Jes mid-race

This was where I decided to make my move—but it really looks
like we just couldn't get organized or no one wanted to lead

Besides making sure that AJ and Jes didn't get away, I didn't have to do too much work, so I didn't. I just sat back, plotting when I'd have to make my move in order to win. I made it at the right spot, and I won the race. Woohoo! Definitely thanks to Valerie for the motivation, Will for the coaching (even though I had a workout before and after the race), and Todd for telling me to stand up and sprint because AJ was coming for me at the line!

Stats: 40:18, 15.36 miles (~26 laps), 23 mph, 186 bpm

Cat 4 start line

Cat 4 race (Shelly in the mix)

Val and Jess having fun on the podium

On Sunday, Anna, Parri, Val, Kiki, Todd, and I headed east to ride the Cookeville/Avery Trace road race course. I didn't know anything about it and am glad I went to ride it. It was much more challenging than I'd thought! The day and the company ended up being wonderful, though, so I was happy to get in a good hard 50+ miles! Not that my day ended there, though, as I had to go to the Y and do a workout still (I ended up combining the AM/PM workouts into one since we left early in the morning and I didn't want to have to go out again).

Sunday team ride/Cookeville Road Race route

This course is definitely a rolling-to-hilly course, except for up on the rim. However, there, it's pretty windy. The good thing about the course is that when you go up, you pretty immediately come down—so it's very rewarding. It's also long and beautiful.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

NC.Com Crit #3

Me (2nd), AJ (1st), and Katie (3rd)
Overall 1/2/3 Omnium after 3 races

Tonight was the third race in the series. Hopefully there will be lots more like tonight! We had 23 women on the line: 2 Cat IIs, 5 Cat IIIs, and 16 Cat IVs! Team distribution was the following: 6 Team Belladium, 4 SVMIC, 6 Treehouse Racing, 3 Trace Bikes, 2, 2 unattached.

There was no prime on the first lap like there had been last week, but we started out fast nonetheless. By the second lap, 6 of us had separated ourselves from the rest of the field: me and Kat (Belladium), Katie and Kathy (SVMIC), Emma (Trace), and AJ (Treehouse). We remained together most of the rest of the race until we caught and lapped the field. That created a little separation, and AJ, Katie, and Kat stayed ahead of me and Kathy until the finish. Kathy and I had a few other riders to contend with during our sprint because we were a part of the main field at that time, but thankfully everyone managed to hold their lines and stay upright, and no one crashed or bumped into anyone else. I edged Kathy at the line—just barely!—to end up in 4th place.

Considering all the work I've been doing the past two weeks and the fact that nearly every muscle in my body ached and knowing that I hadn't planned for this race when I started these workout and having done a hard workout this morning, I'll take it! Definitely felt stronger this week than last time we races. However, I would have like to have been able to stay with AJ and Kat and to have had a little fun with AJ. She was wanting to play a little, but I had nothing except the sitting-in ability. Next time!

Stats: 29:40, 11.37 miles, 23.0 mph, 187 bpm
Warmup: 51 minutes, 15 mi

Monday, June 11, 2012

Kohl's Cards

Shoes, socks, tanks, and baby clothes

Last week, Kohl’s sent out promotional gift cards to many of the residents of my apartment. Surprisingly, I didn’t get one; just as surprisingly, way too many of the residents threw theirs away. I couldn’t let those gift cards go to waste, so I recycled a few of them. I shared a few of them with Aunt Renee and Lauren, who found a few things for a good deal. I’ve been in a few times the last week and found all the stuff in the picture above. Total it cost me $51.97 out of pocket for the 3 outfit combinations for baby Oppeneer, 2 packages of socks, 2 tank tops (one was in the wash), and 1 new pair of shoes. If I’d have paid full price, it would have cost $153.42 + ~$14.57 in tax = $167.99. That means I paid ~75% of retail; the shoes cost $38, so everything else was ~$2 each, all for stuff I’ll wear or give away. Definitely a good week to shop at Kohl’s!

I also started some new workouts this week, and I am really noticing that all the hard work of the 5-minute isometric exercises last week is paying off. Today I did tomorrow’s workout because my days are all running together. Tomorrow I will do today’s workout. The workout I did this morning was altitude drop legs/phasic hip flexion; altitude drop plate front delt/phasic biceps curl; and glute ham raise. The workout I did this afternoon was lunge press; glute ham raise/BW squat; altitude drop legs/glute ham raise @60*; and bench press. I might not be able to walk down the stairs tomorrow with all those squats and alt drop legs, but I feel strong today!