Sunday, July 29, 2012

NC.Com Crits #11, 12: Exhausted

Most weekends are good weekends, and for that I am grateful. This one was definitely a good one, and as I’m sitting here I am not sure exactly what has made it feel like such a good weekend. It was probably a combination of everything—fun, rest, work, training, relaxation, sunshine, rain, and more.

Friday I went to Percy Warner Park to hike the red 4.5-mile trail. My legs felt so good and I really wanted to run it, but I had to remember that I was racing the next day and couldn’t run it all. Instead, I ran the downhills and most of the flat sections (what little there are). As a result, I finished in the fastest time it’s ever taken me: 1:02! Usually it takes me 1:30, though last time Anna and I finished in 1:20. This was so much faster than normally comparatively!

1:02:25, 4.5 miles, 13:52/mile pace (4.3 mph), 143 bpm (170 max), 2164’ ascent, 2183’ descent

Then I walked (slowly—16:45) another mile because I had some time to kill before meeting Kat at Edwin Warner Park for our 5-mile walk through that park. I’d only been in the park once or twice and she knows it well, so she showed me a bunch of the paved paths and where some of them connect to paths from Percy Warner. Those parks together allow for some high mileage without a lot of back-tracking.

1:23:45, 5.0 miles, 16:45/mile pace (3.6 mph), 110 bpm (137 max), 2876’ ascent, 2932’ descent

Then, of course, I spent some time watching the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics. Pretty impressive! I enjoyed the show and am excited for the cycling events, the track and field races, gymnastics, and more.

Saturday we had some races downtown. Val, Cath, and Shelly raced the Cat 4 women’s race with 17 other Cat 4s—it was great to see so many women out there racing. They finished as the top 3 women (in that order), and Valerie won the overall Saturday series for Cat 4 women. I watched more of this race than last week’s race but still was watching Madison so I didn’t see everything.

Shelly, Catherine, and Valerie post race

I had a few hours between their race and my first one, but that time seems to pass so quickly and before I knew it I was on the line with 32 men for the Men’s Cat 3/4 race. As I did Wednesday and last Saturday, I was racing this race to get the experience of racing with a bigger, faster field, and this race did not disappoint. My goal today was to score some omnium points—the top 15 are scored, so I had to get top 15. I also wanted to stay closer to the front than last week so that I could actually see what was happening. I was definitely closer to the front all race. Every once in a while people would come up on both sides of me and I’d get pushed back farther than I wanted, but at the next available opportunity I’d move up.

Midway through the race (minute 21 according to my HR data, and the race was 40 minutes), there were 4 men off the front in a break. They weren't too far ahead, maybe 10 seconds, but they weren't getting closer or farther away. No one in the pack was trying to bridge up to them or bring them back, so I decided to attack. I thought if I could bridge up, I’d be in a 5-man break and possible get top 5. If I couldn't bridge up, I’d get caught by the field and just stay with them. I stayed away by myself for about a lap and then 2 guys bridged up to me. However, we didn't really work together (I was tired, one had 2 teammates in the break, and the other either was tired or didn't want to work), so we got caught by the field within another lap. I jumped back in where I had been and stayed there, finishing 14th and scoring 2 omnium points. Woohoo! This was an exhausting race, and I worked hard. Yet I had to toe the line for the next 40-minute race 10 minutes after the first race ended. Yikes.

Crit 1 stats: 16.18 miles, 39:11, 24.8 mph (33.1 max), 180 bpm (195 max), 511’ ascent, 475’ descent

The women’s race started out pretty rough for me, and I lasted only 10 minutes with the 11-woman field. I then rode by myself for at least 10 minutes, maybe 20, and then rode the final minutes with the leaders (who by then had lapped me). When the 3 leaders lapped me, I got behind the girl who was last and just stayed with them. I didn't have to do any work, but I also pretty much wasn’t in the race any more—I couldn’t sprint against them, and my only chance at not being in the worst position overall was if they would catch/lap the rest of the field. One of the leaders did, but the two I finished behind didn't, so I ended up being scored 8/11 (not my actual position, but it’s about how I felt and it’s where I was scored, so so be it).

Crit 2 stats: 14.21 miles, 39:16, 21.6 mph (32.2 max), 174 bpm (190 max), 516’ ascent, 528’ descent

I didn’t have much time between getting home and having to go to church, but since I miss so many weekends while traveling, I wouldn’t miss being able to fellowship when I am home. After church, however, I went home and chilled.

Sunday morning I got up and took a short walk and my legs were exhausted! Just that little walk reminded me quickly that yesterday’s race had been hard. But there was no rest for the weary today as Val, Anna, Parri, Shelly, Lee, and I met at 10 for a little ride. We frequently do this ride, but thankfully today we took it a little slower than normal and all stayed together; plus it was windy, and it felt like we had a headwind the entire route. Then it was off to the pool for a BEAUTIFUL afternoon of relaxing and reading Runner’s World and the newspaper. I still had a few chores to do when I got home (like cleaning my bike and changing my cleats, since during today’s ride my cleat actually came out of the pedal because it was so broken/chipped), but at least I did get to relax somewhat, and it wasn’t too hot to just sit in the sun/clouds and rest.

Ride: 32.66 miles, 1:45:42, 18.5 mph (32.1 max), 142 bpm (178 max), 1651’ ascent, 1648’ descent

What is most interesting to me, after looking at and comparing the HR data from the two races and then having gotten on my bike since then, is that I am so tired from the men’s race and I can feel that specifically. The men’s races have been pretty smooth; that is, there is not a lot of sketchy riding around the corners and it is pretty easy to hold your line and know that the others will be holding there line—I don’t have to be worried that someone is going to ride over into me. But, because there are so many people, there are a few surges and there is a lot of I guess what feels like “catching up” to everyone else. I did have to try to catch up or move up a few times, but when I was in the group I could pretty much not work too hard. My HR stayed elevated the entire race, as opposed to the women’s race where it was up and down and up and down the entire race. But today while we were riding, any little reaction I had to make to try to catch someone or stay on pace with Parri up a hill or even just stand up, I could feel that tiredness and those muscles that I’d worked so hard yesterday in the men’s race. I don’t necessarily like that tired feeling, but it is a good sign of a hard job well done.

7-21-12 Crit 1 stats: 16.85 miles, 38:41, 26.1 mph (31.9 max), 183 bpm
7-25-12 Crit 1 stats: 7.94 miles, 20:11, 23.2 mph, 181 bpm
7-25-12 Crit 2 stats: 10.72 miles, 28:09, 22.9 mph, 187 bpm
7-28-12 Crit 1 stats: 16.18 miles, 39:11, 24.8 mph, 180 bpm
7-28-12 Crit 2 stats: 14.21 miles, 39:16, 21.6 mph, 174 bpm

Women's Crit Stats
7-28-12 Stats: 39:16, 14.21 miles, 21.6 mph, 174 bpm, 8th of 11
7-25-12 Stats: 28:09, 10.72 miles, 22.9 mph, 187 bpm, 2nd of 11
7-21-12 Stats: 37:58, 14.24 miles, 22.5 mph, 178 bpm, 3rd of 11
7-18-12 Stats: 30:04, 11.29 miles, 22.5 mph, 179 bpm; 5th of 15
6-20-12 Stats: 30:06, 11.21 miles, 22.3 mph, 185 bpm; 6th of 16 (no post)
6-16-12 Stats: 40:18, 15.36 miles, 22.9 mph, 186 bpm; 1st of 14
6-13-12 Stats: 29:40, 11.37 miles, 23.0 mph, 187 bpm; 4th of 23
5-30-12 Stats: don't have them; 3rd of 21
5-23-12 Stats:  31:08, 11.63 miles, 22.4 mph (31.1 max); 3rd of 12

Friday, July 27, 2012

Olympics Opening Day

I am excited for this year's Olympics and am going to watch whatever sports I can. Hopefully the cycling road race, the marathon, other track and field events, and gymnastics, and then we'll see what else. If only softball were still in the Olympics!

Here is a little treat I made – I couldn't let such an occasion pass without an appropriately themed treat!

Fruit pizza with blueberries, black grapes, raspberries,
pineapple, and kiwi. Yum!

I also got in a good workout this morning (altitude drop legs/phasic hip flexion, altitude drop front delt/phasic biceps curls, lunge press) and am hoping to hike at Percy Warner or Edwin Warner Park with Kat and Valerie later. Should be a fun afternoon!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012 Crits #9, 10: Protected

Tonight I decided to do two races again; Saturday I raced the 3/4 men's race and the 1/2/3/4 women's race, and tonight I raced the 4 men's race and the 1/2/3/4 women's race. The course was different than Saturday's but the normal Wednesday night course, so it wasn't anything new but it wasn't anything easy, either!

I stayed with the main field for 10 minutes, 10:22 and 4.3 miles to be exact (25.0 mph), and then I couldn't hang on any more. I ended up with another smaller group for the next 10 minutes until we all got pulled just before they started showing lap cards. This is the second time I can remember being pulled from a race; the first was last year in Fond du Lac in the ToAD series, when I'd already been lapped by the field 3 times and was SO HAPPY to get pulled from the race. Today I wasn't as happy but I wasn't disappointed either, and looking back I am very thankful. In the final lap, there was a big crash in the third-to-last turn. God has been protecting me all season, and this was a visual example to me that He still is! Thankfully everyone was OK, and they placed most of the riders who went down. Preliminary results are below, and I am 19th. Omni points are awarded through 15 people, and my goals is to not only earn omni points but to also place in one of these races!

7-25-12 Men's 4 Crit Results

Since I got pulled, I had an additional 10 minutes to recover between the men's race and the proceeding women's race. After chatting with Anna and Cali, I hit the line again with 10 other women. Pretty much immediately, AJ, Jes, Katie, Marsha, and I were together at the front, and we pretty much saw the other women only when we lapped them. I did absolutely no work, just sat on AJ's wheel the whole time and watched her cover attacks from Katie and Jes. She asked me once to help and I couldn't, so I said no. A few times I did have to bridge up to her and either Katie or Jes; I don't know if the SVMIC girls planned it, but it seemed like they were trying to create some separation among us with only 2 in the front and the other 3 off the back of them. I wouldn't let any 2 get away and AJ wouldn't let any 1 get away, so it never worked. With 1.5 laps to go I attacked and AJ came with me. We basically sprinted the final lap, and she won it with me coming in second. I am pretty happy with both efforts tonight and quite tired!

7-21-12 Crit 1 stats: 16.85 miles, 38:41, 26.1 mph (31.9 max), 183 bpm
7-25-12 Crit 1 stats: 7.94 miles, 20:11, 23.2 mph, 181 bpm
7-25-12 Crit 2 stats: 10.72 miles, 28:09, 22.9 mph, 187 bpm

Women's Crit Stats
7-25-12 Stats: 28:09, 10.72 miles, 22.9 mph, 187 bpm, 2nd of 11
7-21-12 Stats: 37:58, 14.24 miles, 22.5 mph, 178 bpm, 3rd of 11
7-18-12 Stats: 30:04, 11.29 miles, 22.5 mph, 179 bpm; 5th of 15
6-20-12 Stats: 30:06, 11.21 miles, 22.3 mph, 185 bpm; 6th of 16 (no post)
6-16-12 Stats: 40:18, 15.36 miles, 22.9 mph, 186 bpm; 1st of 14
6-13-12 Stats: 29:40, 11.37 miles, 23.0 mph, 187 bpm; 4th of 23
5-30-12 Stats: don't have them; 3rd of 21
5-23-12 Stats:  31:08, 11.63 miles, 22.4 mph (31.1 max); 3rd of 12

Sunday, July 22, 2012

NC.Com Crits #7, 8: Racing with the Men

Friday I ended up working out in the morning and then walking in the afternoon, deciding to not do the afternoon workout. My legs and mind were tired, plus the MFY was closed and my gym bag was in a locker there. Thankfully the sun was out and I could walk around a neighborhood in the Cool Springs area for an hour. Here is my route, which was 3.8 miles and included 1022’ ascent/1212’ descent. Then for dinner I met up with a bunch of my teammates for Kat’s 30th birthday party. The food at Olivia’s Good News CafĂ© was good, and the company was even better—Cali brought 5-week-old Bennett, who I held for most of the evening!

Saturday we all had a few races downtown. You can (usually) race your own race plus others that you qualify for: women are allowed to race their race plus a men’s race that is their category or one category down. That is, as a Cat 3 woman, I could have raced the Women’s 1/2/3/4 race, the men’s 4/5 race, the men’s 3/4 race, and the men’s 1/2/3 race. And if I were old enough, I could also race the Masters’ race (I will stay young for as long as I can).

The Cat 5 men are the beginners, so I didn’t want to do the 4/5 race. The Cat 3/4 men are more experienced but also faster, but I could convince myself that I was at their level because I typically do women’s Cat 3/4 races. So after getting permission from Todd (because this race was immediately before them women’s one), I lined up for the men’s Cat 3/4 race (with my own condition for myself that if I couldn’t hang with the field, I’d drop out). I didn’t even have to worry about that condition: I stayed with (in the middle of) the field the entire 40 minutes. Woohoo! There were 44 starters and I was 35th—at the very back of the field. I stayed in the middle of the pack until the last lap, when I moved up a little (just to prove to myself that I could) and then drifted back because the extra effort to sprint (for no prize) was not worth putting forth when I knew I had another race immediately following this finish.

Lots more laps in this race, and a much shorter cooldown
Also, a pretty steady HR

Within 10 minutes, I was back to the start line for the women’s race. Catherine, Valerie, Kiki, and I were representing Team Belladium, and we were up against AJ, Marsha, and Karah (Treehouse), Kathy and Leah (SVMIC), and Jess (Trace)—small field compared to the men’s field. The course was the same: 4 corners, all left-hand turns, with a slight uphill after turn 1, a slight downhill after turn 4, and a slight headwind between turns 2 and 3.

There was a lot of action for the first 16 or so minutes of our race, and then for 5 minutes we basically soft-pedaled (for pretty much no reason other than no one was willing to work hard or attack). The pace picked up again after an attack, and Catherine and AJ made it away together. I should have been with them and can’t remember why, exactly, I wasn’t. Then, with 3 laps to go (5+ minutes), I attacked the group that I was with in an effort to catch Cath and AJ. They had slowed down and I could tell, and I knew if I was going to have any chance at catching them it was going to have to happen right then. When they noticed that I was trying to catch them, AJ picked up the pace and I wasn’t able to bridge the gap to them before the end of the race; AJ out-sprinted Cath, and I finished 3rd by myself. It’s pretty evident in the HR data where I attacked the group in the final laps!

Fewer laps in this race, and a much longer cooldown
Also, a pretty unsteady HR

I wish I could’ve won this race; I was feeling really good and we were working together well as a team. But I didn’t make it into the break, and that is completely my fault. I wish I could remember what happened, so that I could make sure I didn’t do it next time we raced! However, this was different than normal because Jes and Katie weren’t there and everyone but AJ and Kathy had raced earlier in the day. Still have some work to do to keep getting stronger and smarter!

The rest of the weekend was a good mix of rest and fun: Easy ride with Val (2h, 34 miles) to watch the Music City Triathlon, shopping, errands (and random conversations with people at the grocery store), church, movie, reading, etc.

Crit 1 stats: 16.85 miles, 38:41, 26.1 mph (31.9 max), 183 bpm, 469’ ascent, 480’ descent
Crit 2 stats: 14.24 miles, 37:58, 22.5 mph (32.8 max), 178 bpm, 618’ ascent, 604’ descent
Sunday ride: 33.39 miles, 2:01:56, 16.4 mph (29.3 max), no HR, 1990’ ascent, 1989’ descent

7-21-12 Stats: 37:58, 14.24 miles, 22.5 mph, 178 bpm, 3rd of 11
7-18-12 Stats: 30:04, 11.29 miles, 22.5 mph, 179 bpm; 5th of 15
6-20-12 Stats: 30:06, 11.21 miles, 22.3 mph, 185 bpm; 6th of 16 (no post)
6-16-12 Stats: 40:18, 15.36 miles, 22.9 mph, 186 bpm; 1st of 14
6-13-12 Stats: 29:40, 11.37 miles, 23.0 mph, 187 bpm; 4th of 23
5-30-12 Stats: don't have them; 3rd of 21
5-23-12 Stats:  31:08, 11.63 miles, 22.4 mph (31.1 max); 3rd of 12

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Kroger Shop

Publix is definitely my grocery store of choice, but sometimes I head over to Kroger to see what kind of deals and manager's specials I can find. Today was a pretty good day. I got what they called a weekend platter that had 16 servings of roast beef and cheese tortillas, 10 PowerBar products (2 Energy Blasts, 3 bars, and 5 gels), and a 4-pack of individual-serving applesauce. Here's the cost breakdown:

Item (Quantity)  
Regular Price 
Sale Price  
Final Price  
Tortilla sandwiches14.997.49--$7.49
$0.50/1 MQ
PowerBar bars (3)1.79
PowerBar Energy
Blasts (2)
$1/5 MQ
(applied to
bars also)
PowerBar Gels (5)1.89
$1/5 MQ$4.00
Totals: 12 items35.88--3.00 in Qs+$1.82 tax
$18.80 total
(saved $17.08/

I also did 5 minutes of work this morning and then rode over Lynwood. It took me 6:22 to get up the first side (east to west) and 7:00 to get up the other side (west to east). Back in February I times the east-to-west side and it took me 8:20. This was maybe 1/10 of a mile longer and was mile 39 of of a 42-mile ride, but today's climb was way faster! I also did the same route on Monday and Tuesday and both sides today were about 15-20 seconds faster than those days. I am trying to make myself into a climber :-)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

NC.Com Crit #6

Tonight Valerie, Shelly, Catherine, and I raced against 11 other women at my 6th-of-2012 crits. I had already done a hard workout this morning and didn't know how I'd feel, but I was determined to work hard. Jes was pretty aggressive, and so was Katie. I reacted well to most of their attacks but was a little slow to react to the one that stuck. Plus once I saw that Catherine was with those two and AJ, I decided to let them go to see what Cath could do. That left me with Leah, Kathy, and Shannon. I sat in with them for about 10 minutes (for real – I did no work during that entire time) and then attacked with 4 laps to go. I didn't want to sprint against any of them, and I wanted to see if maybe I could catch Catherine's group.

The lead group had slowed down (I could tell because I was timing around to corners to see whether we were gaining on them or they were gaining on us). We were gaining on them at that point, so it was my best chance. Plus I was running out of time! I ended up not catching them but also staying well ahead of Leah and the others (who nearly got lapped at the finish line) and finished by myself in 5th place. Not the win I would have liked, but I did like being able to stay by myself for 4 laps in the headwind we had! AJ ended up winning, and Catherine finished in 4th place. She said afterward that she could have used me in that group with her, so next week I'll make sure I'm in the break that stays away.

Pictures from here

7-18-12 Stats: 30:04, 11.29 miles, 22.5 mph, 179 bpm; 5th of 15
6-20-12 Stats: 30:06, 11.21 miles, 22.3 mph, 185 bpm; 6th of 16 (no post)
6-16-12 Stats: 40:18, 15.36 miles, 22.9 mph, 186 bpm; 1st of 14
6-13-12 Stats: 39:40, 11.37 miles, 23.0 mph, 187 bpm; 4th of 23
5-30-12 Stats: don't have them; 3rd of 21
5-23-12 Stats:  31:08, 11.63 miles, 22.4 mph (31.1 max); 3rd of 12

Sunday, July 15, 2012

SCRD Rocket City Omni Race Report

It feels like it’s been forever since more than 1 or 2 of us raced together and even longer since we traveled together. So I was really looking forward to this weekend’s race, the Rocket City Omnium (Part II; Part I here) in Huntsville, AL. Anna, Catherine, Kiki, Shelly, Valerie, Todd, and I headed south on Saturday morning before our 11:40am road race. We were scheduled to ride three 10-mile loops in a Cat 1/2/3/4 race, and we set out with 12 of us total (6 Team B, 3 Mystique, 3 no-teammate-women; 1 Cat 2; 5 Cat 3s; 6 Cat 4s). It started out beautiful, with sunshine and humidity. With no neutral zone, we started out fast and quickly dropped 2 of the Cat 4s (I am guessing this was one of their first races, and they had 1-day licenses). Right around 6 miles, Jenny (Mystique) looked up and said, “Do you think we’ll get rained on?” Shortly after that, we did—and it was pretty much a downpour. It’s obvious on the graph because our speed dropped a bit when the rain came. We are aggressive, but we are also all about racing safely!

Kiki leading the charge in the crit.
This and the rest of the pics from here.

The rain didn’t last more than a couple miles, and by the time we crossed the finish line the first time, the roads there were completely dry! We didn’t get rained on again, and the roads on the back stretch were a little wet the second time and mostly dry the third time around. And it started getting super hot! The attacks started just after the first time across the finish line. By 13 miles in, after some solid attacks by Shelly and Valerie, just before mile 13 Catherine, Anna, and I had a gap on the field that Allison (Mystique) bridged but no one else could eliminate. Anna did a ton of the hard work for the first couple miles to ensure that we would be able to stay away, and then she wasn’t able to stay with us. So Catherine and I, with Allison, worked what felt pretty hard for about 10 miles. At that point, we got a time split from the referee that told us we were about 2 minutes ahead of the rest of the women.

Catherine and me as the break in the crit.

I had known we had a decent gap that could stay away because 1) we were the strongest riders, 2) Todd had moved from behind the field to behind us, and 3) Valerie would do her best to keep us from getting caught by anyone still in her group. By the time we finished, we had about 3 minutes on the rest of the field. Catherine attacked with approximately 1 mile to go. Allison reacted and caught her, so she sat up and recovered. She attacked again within 1/2 mile, Allison attempted to bridge, and before she had a chance to catch Catherine I took off to start my sprint to the finish. Coming up to the line, I knew I could catch Catherine or let her win, and I opted to catch her. My 2nd RR win ever! (The first was the first RR of the season, in GA.) Results: 1/12, 1/5 Cat 3s

The TT was a couple hours later on part of the course we’d ridden in the opposite direction. It was super short, and my goal was just to go hard. Go hard I did, and although there was a net gain of 40’ over 0.6 miles, I still managed to finish in 1 minute, 37 seconds, good enough for 44th of 70 finishers and 2nd of the 7 women who did the race. Catherine won in 1:34, and Kiki was 3rd in 1:39, so my 1:37 was pretty much right in the middle of that.

Team Belladium on the crit line.

The crit was Sunday, and 7 of us lined up for the 30-minute race. Team B had 5 women (Catherine, Kiki, Shelly, Valerie, and me), and there were two others (one Cat 2, Beth; and one Cat 3, Allison). There were also 12 primes over the course of the race (in which we did 15 laps). They had a prime on the first lap, and Valerie basically led me out for that prime. I didn’t necessarily need to win the prime, so I waited for Shelly, Kiki, or Catherine to make a move. When they didn’t go before my predetermined place, I went and got the prime. After that, I just went for all of them. Between minutes 15 and 17, they called primes on back-to-back laps. I had won the first one and went for the second, creating quite a little gap between myself and the field. Catherine bridged it solo, and it was just her and me for the remainder of the race. Well, rather, it was just her and then me for the remainder of the race. She was clearly riding stronger than I was, and I just wasn’t able to stay on her wheel. She stayed out by herself and won the race, and I stayed out by myself and got 2nd in the race.

I loved being able to go for every prime I wanted to and still being strong enough to stay in 2nd by myself. I would have liked even more to have won the race, but Catherine was stronger and deserved the win. Todd had said it was either of ours to win, and she earned it.

Catherine the winner!!!

This was a super fun weekend. It was awesome being able to race with my girls again (I’d missed them in WI), and it was so much fun working well as a team and dominating every race (granted there weren’t a lot of women, but we still had to finish well to place well). Beth, the Cat 2 racing this weekend, said after the crit, “It’s hard to beat a team that works like a team,” and that was a great complement. Todd has worked with us for a while on getting us to work together, and we succeeded this weekend.

  • RR Stats: 29.82 miles, 1:19:26, 22.5 mph (34.4 max), 182 bpm (200 max), 1106’ ascent, 1172’ descent, 3 laps
  • TT Stats: 0.6 miles, 1:37.0, 22.4 mph (26.7 max), 170 bpm (184 max), 49’ ascent, 9’ descent
  • Crit Stats: 10.48 miles, 28:24, 22.1 mph (30.6 mph), 175 bpm (188 max), 474’ ascent, 512’ descent, 15 laps
On the crit line - I was just remembering
to put my gloves on at this point.

Valerie and me ready to race.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

RB's Hill Route

Today I did a different-than-normal Tuesday ride; instead of riding with the Harpeth Bike Club and doing the Cool Springs Route, I rode with the RB's Cyclery group and did the Hills of Hell Route. I met Catherine at the shop, and we rode with Todd and Matt for most of the route. Catherine pulled me up the first hill, on South Berrys Chapel, and it hurt to stay with her. But it felt great, too, to work that hard! I climbed Lynnwood at my own pace (the first red line in the graph below), and then descended fast to start the short, steep climb up North Berrys Chapel in front. The next climb was Manley, and this is not quite as steep but a little longer, and there is a sprint sign at the top of the hill. Catherine and I started this fast, and I tried to not let up at all. This meant that I went up the whole thing in my big ring, and thankfully the descent came immediately because I needed the rest! North Berrys Chapel from the other direction was just as hard as Lynnwood (the second red line, surrounded by orange, in the graph below), and then we did the opposite side of South Berrys Chapel. Finally, we went up Country Lane. Todd was out for a sprint ride, so I decided to push the pace starting this short climb (all these climbs are fairly short, but some are shorter than others, and this was one of the shorter ones, but it was steep and I didn't know how far it went). I went for as long as I could and then basically started going backward up the hill. Maybe after a few weeks of this I'll be able to ride fast up all these hills!

It took about 1:15 to do this entire route, so pace wise it was pretty slow, but we climbed over 2200 feet in those 17 miles, so I'd say it was successful.

Saturday, July 7, 2012


This morning I got up early and rode the GSD ride that starts from the Franklin 5 Points Starbucks and goes who knows where. I turned off where I needed to in order to keep my ride under 80 miles (that's just too far when it's 75* by 7am and the humidity is at 85%). I got on the back of the Ragle train (Steven and AJ) on Franklin Road before we even go to Starbucks and it was fast, so I know it was going to be a good ride. Here's the course:

I missed about 3 miles (the rollout from Starbucks to the corner of Horton/Carters Creek), so here are the stats I have: 2:03:51, 40.85 miles, 19.8 mph, 153 bpm. The time I was with the entire group/smaller group was 1:05:00 for 25 miles, and we averaged 23.3 mph. It felt good to ride that fast and not have to work super hard (though I was working hard!)

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July!

Tuesday hill ride, a day late

From the Kona, HI, parade

This is the first year I've lived here that I've skipped the Maryland Farms Y Firecracker 5K (2011, 2010, 2009). I just didn't want to get up early on a holiday. I woke up early anyways, walked a bit, and then met Anna for a hike at Percy Warner – my favorite hiking trail. We went fast today, too: it took us 1:20 to walk the 4.5 miles, and we usually do it in about 1:30. The main differences were we went the opposite direction (which is actually the slower way in my opinion because of some of the rocky places you have to go down) and we took water with us (which was definitely a good decision). Then we spent some time at the pool.

Crockett Park – I think all of Brentwood was there!

The sunset – the fireworks were there later

Later I went to Crockett Park for a concert by the Kadillacs and the Brentwood city fireworks. Thankfully there was a breeze and it cooled down to about 90* by the time the fireworks started (it was still hot!). I ended up walking 15 miles today...not sure I can consider this a rest day, but I didn't ride or lift, so rest it is.

AM walk

PM walk
The rest of the miles came from PW Park

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Cookeville TN State Crit: Race Report

Jes and me on the back stretch

It's hot outside!

112* on the highway...110* in the city...
this is crazy!

This heat is what we had to race in today.

Race course, I think. It might be a little off.

Lee came out to the P/1/2/3 race to support me, and I was grateful she was there. Only 8 of us were in the race: Liz, Jes, Pam, Lee, and Robin (Cat 2s); and me, Katie, and AJ (Cat 3s).

Liz, Pam, AJ, Jes, me, Robin, and Katie
(Lee is in there somewhere too)

We all stayed together throughout the first part of the 35 minutes, until about 7 to go there was a crash in the 2nd turn and Katie and AJ went down. Robin was behind them and wasn't able to catch back on right away, so Lee, Pam, Liz, Jes, and I continued.

Working with Lee – or making Lee work :-)

Katie ended up getting back on her bike and trying to catch up, so in those last few laps I went from trying to win the race to aiming to keep Katie from catching back up. That meant I finished 4th overall, but it also meant that I won the 3s race and became the 2012 TN State Crit champion! Woohoo!