Sunday, April 29, 2012

Stay Thirsty, My Friend

"Did you buy a bike or a piece of art?" Someone asked me today.
"Well with what I spent on that bike, I could have bought some really nice art." She had good reason to ask though. I haven't ridden the Superfly yet. I'm definitely nervous to take it out because I'm afraid I'll dent or crack the frame on the first ride (highly unlikely). I told the guys at the shop I feel like I should ride it first on a group ride so I'm in a safe environment if something does happen. But until then, it's just going to keep sleeping in my laundry room.

That's me, being a Diva.
I have been on my old mountain bike, the Mamba, which weighs in at an obese 33 pounds. Which is amazingly still less than Nessie (Mary's beagle). The first ride of the season I did a 10 mile loop at a really rocky terrain (one of the guys warned me of this but the other place I was thinking of going required me getting gas, which I loathe). I was not impressed and at one point shouted, "If Leadville is like this, I'm selling my spot." Luckily no one was around to hear me because I was really just being a Diva and needed to eat a snickers. Not really a snickers but I felt better after I realized I was crabby because I needed to eat something. Wanting to get my confidence back up after that ride I went back to my house and picked Wayne up to do a loop at the area by our house. We did about 15 miles and at one point on the descent I lost my focus and caught a rock off the front tire and rammed my right leg into the back of the stem which launched me over the bike. Each time I fall I hear the words of one of my guy friends when he tries to pick up a girl "just let it happen" it seems to work pretty well for me, not him. I gracefully rolled over and got up and got back to it. Only later when the bruises appeared did I realize that in mind it was a lot smoother than my body thought. Luckily it seems that all the bruises are above my short line so I don't get weird looks at work unless I show them, which I do.

10,000 feet up, not a bad way to spend Easter
The shop mechanic that I ride with keeps kicking my ass. And he keeps reminding me of it. But it's making me a better rider so I can't complain. We did a 14 mile hill climb on Easter, we were going to keep going because the total ride is 28 miles, but the road was closed due to snow. We gained about 4,000 feet elevation and had we kept going it would have been a total of 7,000 (so yah, I used my inhaler). I look forward to the last half of that ride when the snow melts. We've also done Lookout mountain a few times now. I thought that maybe the last time I was going to get closer or even beat him, mainly because he lifted legs heavily in the morning and was exhausted and he had forgotten headphones for music. Unfortunately I got a little excited at this thought and took off too fast and he dropped me within a mile of the climb. Whomp, whomp, but it made me realize I still need a lot more discipline when climbing so I don't blow my load so early in the ride.

Got reconnected with this guy pretty fast!
I went back to Boston this month too. It was really nice to see a lot of friends and teammates that I hadn't seen since I graduated. As I was walking around I realize that it's actually a miracle I only got hit once while living there. No one seems to know what a lane line is or a cross walk for that matter. I also heard more cars honk (not exactly at me) during the 3 days I was there then I have the past 9 months living in Colorado. I wasn't able to get any bike rides in while I was there but I did go for a run. It was weird because it was in a park that I used to ride through and I realized that my last road ride that I did out there was actually the day I got hit. So it was a little surreal because I rode through that park the day of the crash.

I'm thinking of doing some road races or a couple of road centuries before Leadville just to get some more experience. I'm imagining my experience at Leadville to be much like Frank's when he comes here to go mountain biking and I take him to a mountain that's 9,000 feet up. He starts off pretty good but about 10 minutes in he starts wanting to stop and "take a few pictures" and oh "let me get some water"and then by 30 minutes in he's offering money for my inhaler and by an hour he is asking where to get an oxygen tank and that the extra weight of it would be totally worth it. So in the words of Frank with my training I must stay thirsty.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Crazy Beautiful Life

March has been madness!! And not just because Duke lost in the first round. Work has been crazy with sales all month long in Aurora, Colorado Springs, and Boulder. I still feel like I'm recovering from living in my car on and off for the month. And while trying to up my training. I did seem to add more complications to it with ordering the wrong bike. 

I hope I'm as fast as Frank when I get on my Superfly!
See I was planning on getting the Scott Scale Expert, mainly because it has nicer graphics than the Trek. Yes- I'm a girl and I buy my bikes based on color. I had checked the Scott warehouse and there were about 21 bikes left in my size so I filled out the form and waited till the next day to fax it in. I had to go to FedEx Kinkos since our fax machine wasn't working. Then it was the weekend and then on Monday there were none left for me. I could have gone with a lower Scott bike but wanted the to have a Carbon bike. I figure it's the easiest way to lose 10 pounds...get a lighter bike! I decided on the Trek Superfly, the graphics are weak but I'm not going to keep it forever as long as I don't get too emotionally attached to it. I filled out the order form and sent it in and kept checking my bank account to see when it would hit. A few days later UPS dropped off a bike box that said "Superfly 15.5" I looked at it briefly and said, "Is that my bike? No..that's not my size." It's not really odd to get random bikes from UPS but the Superfly a little weird. My manager grabbed the packing slip and informed me that it was in fact my bike. "Are you sure? But I ride a 17.5, that isn't mine." Well it was. I wasn't panicking at this point and was going to wait till the next day so I could go home and check my paperwork to see if it was my mistake or theirs. But then I checked Trek's warehouse to see how many 17.5 were left. Only 5. "Oh shit!" luckily no customers were around. "There are ONLY 5 left...for the whole country! Do you know how many people that is!!!" My manager then told me not to cry. "I'm not going to cry." Well maybe I was. I called the Trek rep and left him a panic struck voicemail. Luckily we had a clinic later that day and the Trek rep was there and I talked to him to try and get it cleared up. Our warehouse manager also called Trek and told them the situation. He might have dropped that the bike was for Leadville. The guys at Trek were super cool about it and pulled the size I needed right away and had UPS pick up the wrong bike. I realized that it was my mistake. See the number I needed was 001178889112 not you see why that is difficult? But still the biggest purchase of my life and I didn't proof read. I think I will forever be loyal to Trek now. 

On a sadder note, while I have been upping my training it seems that one of my toenails is not agreeing with my shoe. I think it's going to go soon, which wouldn't be a big deal but that will take my count down to 7. After losing the first two to the Marathon of 2011 and the Infection of 2010. And it wouldn't be that big of a deal but peep-toe shoe season is RIGHT around the corner...I suppose it's a good thing I'm not trying to date. 

Yep, going over.
Training has been going good. Most of my hours come from riding in to work and back home which gives me about 35 miles. I did do a ride with one of the mechanics and it was a hill climb that lasted 45 minutes. Straight up nothing else. The guy I was riding with is a really disciplined climber and he gave me some really good tips. Which was really nice because I figured he'd drop me in the first 5 minutes and meet me at the top but actually stuck with me to help me out.  On my days off or when I work later there are some great hills north of Boulder that have some awesome climbing. I don't mind going up the climbs but there is one that scares me when i go down. For those of you in the SD area, it has a similar grade to the bottom of Elsie Hill, and I'm just waiting for the day when I topple over the handlebars. 

How do I put this back together?
I'm still basing my training on time and not so much miles. I'm just trying to get my base up to about 4 hours and then will probably start incorporating more intense workouts the latter part of next week. I'm not sure when I'll start mountain biking. I'm actually nervous to ride my new bike. It looks so nice and clean right now and I know after one ride it will no longer be in that state. I did do 4 hour ride today and about 2 hours in I got a flat. Which has never actually happened to me on a ride. Well actually once it did but I was close enough that I just hitch hiked back home because I didn't want to change it on the side of the road. I pulled over and flipped the bike over and took off the back wheel. I then proceed to open up my seat bag to grab a tube and flat fixer kit. Well I have the tube but the kit is nowhere to be found. So for some reason I decided to start changing it even though I have absolutely no way to inflate it. I look at my phone and contemplate calling Molly and realize I have no service...I ponder seeing if I could change my facebook status to SOS. Luckily a little old man came riding up not too soon and asked if I had everything. "Well, actually no, do you happen to have a hand pump?" He Did! And I was saved! He thought it was pretty amusing that I work at a shop and was unprepared. Muh, story of my life. 
Sometimes I run into characters like this....

And sometimes the characters are more bizarre......

I'm also trying to figure out my nutrition, what I will want to eat at mile 70, when I don't really want to eat. One of the guys at the shop goes for cheeseburgers; but my stomach isn't exactly made of steel. I'll figure out the solid food later. But for these shorter rides I've taken a liking to the Clif Shots and Blocks. The shots of espresso are really nice and the Clif Block Margarita's aren't a bad flavor either. They even have extra salt which helps ward off cramping. I'm just really worried if I over do it with the blocks I will never be able to drink tequila again. I know it's a rough life.