Sunday, June 29, 2008

Yeah, Shep can put a bike on that!

This post is long overdue because of the other random things happening in my life, but here it is. This is how I commute on a daily basis and while the attempt is NOT to cause accidents, people just can't help but stare :)

Many of you have already seen or heard of the bike on bike ordeal going on in Boulder, but what you haven't heard is how absolutely sweet, perfect and pristine these masterpieces really are. Thanks to Shep's bicycle thinking brain and man skills (I'm talking about the ones with tools, metal and building shit), he has been able to design a fully custom bicycle rack that with a little tweaking can fit on any motorcycle! Yeah, he's THAT cool.

Check out his post below for more info and if you are interested in rack yourself, please give him a shout at

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Yes, I have a fohawk!

Yesterday marked another Locks for Love round for this girl. After my giant rat's nest of a ponytail kept coming undone during a 45min run, there was no way I was going another day with long, heavy and obnoxious hair. It has only been 1 year and 8 months since my last extravaganza so I was going to have to take off quite a bit more than the previous time...see last year.

However, I was totally cool with it and actually quite excited. I just told the lady to go short, spiky and allow me the ability to put up a mohawk if I wanted!!! Snip, snip, snip...there goes 2 ponytails of over 11 inches of hair...snip, snip, there goes a little more...squirt, spray, there goes some product to make it stick up...AND VOILA!

The pictures really don't do justice as to what it really looks like, but it's cool and fun and light and easy. I'm definitely gonna have to throw some crazy colors in at some point (maybe a little orange for Timex...) but I didn't have time for that yesterday. Pretty extreme, but hey, that's kinda how I live my life, so why not have some sort of crazy hair style to match it, right?!?!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

R&R...for Real?

Who likes to rest and recover when you're a type A adrenaline junkie?!? Certainly not me! However, it's a good thing. I had a bit of a burn out last year from not resting enough and forcing myself to take it easy will only be a huge benefit during the latter part of the season! Since the training time has been cut down, this has been a great opportunity to get caught up with work and other personal things that need to get done. Not to keep you on the edge of your seat or anything, but I can assure you that the next couple posts will be quite interesting....bwahahahaha :)

Monday, June 23, 2008

XTERRA Buffalo Creek Race Report

June 21st, 2008
Bailey, Colorado
1st AG, 5th Overall (3rd Amateur)

3 races in 3 weeks?!?! Yeah, that's definitely a first for me, but wasn't really all that bad!

After lots of catching up with work and little to no training after Richmond, I was feeling pretty good about kicking some serious butt in my home state. However, after eating some questionable Chinese food Thursday and being up all night with some serious tummy problems, the thought of doing anything other than laying in bed on Friday was totally out of the question. This meant I wasn't going to pre-ride the course nor was I going to camp at the race site the night before. Oh well, things happen and I need to learn how to deal with situations that don't go exactly as planned :)

After a great night sleep, the alarm went off at 4:30am and I was ready to drive 2hrs and race like a rockstar! After getting setup, warming up and hanging around transition for a bit, I got into my wetsuit and hopped in the water to make sure the arms were feeling good...holy shit was that water cold. I've been used to 80* and higher bath water swims and high 50s/low 60s felt like swimming in ice cubes. I didn't have my hoodie either so my head was freezing! Oh suck it up, it's only 1500m...and that's what I did. I also forgot that the race was at 8000+ft high and going from racing at sea level to that is quite different. Had a few breathing issues at first and almost fell over in transition from being so light headed after the swim, but eventually adjusted and began feeling better. Since I had no idea what to expect on the bike, I rode like a giant wienie. I figured taking it easy and not bombing down something I didn't know what was at the end was better than crashing and getting hurt like lots of other people seemed to be doing. Also, I was getting bottlenecked on all the singletrack which is always frustrating from starting in the last wave, but I wasn't too concerned as I just didn't feel like I had the energy to go hard anyway. Got on the run and felt decent except for the giant slosh in my gut from pounding a huge bottle of water 10min prior. I realized I was completely dehydrated on the last part of the ride so I thought it would be a good idea to get all my fluids in at once...hmmmm, not such a great plan. Anyway, got through the run just fine and finished with a decent time. Not where I would have liked to place, but not disappointed. I got through 3 back to back races and that's all that matters, right? Oh, and I won a set a killer set of tires!

Friday, June 20, 2008

XTERRA East Championships Race Report

June 15th, 2008
Richmond, Virginia
1st Amateur Female

After racing in Alabama, I flew directly to Washington DC to meet up with my parents (who came from Michigan) and my Aunt, Uncle and cousins who live just outside the city. Because this race was the weekend after, I didn't see any point in flying all the way back to Colorado and then fly back a few days later. Plus, I hadn't had the opportunity to see my 8 month old twin cousins so it was perfect! I'd never raced back to back before so I wasn't really sure how to train and rest for this race so I kinda just did whatever worked out with everyone else's schedule :) It was hard to get motivated as the weather was hitting record highs and pretty much unbearable to even stand outside much less train! I did, however, manage to squeeze in 3 pre-rides on the course which were much needed. Again, lots of twisty, turning, and rooty singletrack with several steep power climbs. Although I took some pretty hefty crashes, by the third time, I was starting to get the hang of it. I was super relaxed going into the weekend and enjoyed a great pre-race dinner at an Irish restaurant with the family. I was sleeping like an absolute baby the night before until the fire alarm went off at 4:30am (in the race hotel) and we had to evacuate the building. Let me tell you how sucky it is to have to walk down 14 flights of stairs when you're half asleep. We met everyone outside to just laugh about the situation. About 20min later we got to walk back up the 14 flights of stairs to hear the alarm go off every 15min for the next 1.5hrs! Not exactly the best pre-race sleep, but hey, whatcha gonna do about it?! Everything else went smoothly so no complaints here. Plus, it was Father's Day and I can't remember the last time I got to see my dad on this specific holiday :)

The swim - this was by far the most interesting swim I have ever done. Because the water levels in the James river were so low, the entire swim was in water 1-3 feet deep with gigantic rocks and debris that you could stand on top of. Talk about an 'Xterra' style swim! We even got to swim to an island in the middle of the river, run across it, then get back in the water and swim back to where we started! Being stuck in the last wave made for even more obstacles to maneuver through and although it slowed me down quite a bit, it was absolutely comical!

The bike - since the course was predominately singletrack, all the people who started in front of me were bottled up on the course. I attempted to pass as many people as possible, but it was really sketchy and the last thing I needed to do was fall off the trail or take another crash. The goal for this ride was to keep the rubber side down (i.e. tires on the dirt, not in the air). I wasn't really sure how many girls were in front of me, but when we went through a steep and rooty section, the guy in front of me crashed making me have to get off my bike as well and run the rest of the section. As I was doing that, a train of 3 girls flew right by. I jumped on my bike and began to absolutely hammer in attempts to catch them. They must have passed another group of guys because I got stuck behind another group that again washed out forcing me to dismount and run. This time I was determined to bring those chicas back. I was feeling pretty good for a good 10min or so until I completely blew up and got really frustrated. I let off the gas and just cruised in with a pretty negative attitude and just wanted to get the run over with.

The run - immediately starting the run, I felt incredible. The cadence was there, I had gotten in all my nutrition on the bike and I was relaxed because I figured my race was as I like to call 'in the shitter'! Well that wasn't the case and I was about to prove it. I picked off the first girl within the first mile and she told me the others were pretty far ahead. Perfect motivation for me to kick it in gear, get my head back in the game and go catch them. Girl #2 was about 5 min later. As we were climbing up the 'Mayan Ruins' (a huge full body climb up a series of broken down stairs, wood planks, etc.) I picked off #3. Oh baby, oh baby, here we go. As I got to the section where we run across the rocks in the river, I hit #4 and I was pretty sure there was only one more to catch. At about mile 4, I saw her! My plan at the time was to just sit behind her and then make a move close to the finish line, but I just felt so damn good that I decided to keep my pace and just cruise by. the finish line it was. I notched it down at about mile 5 as no one was anywhere in sight behind me and just enjoyed the last part of the run.

The finish - It was so great to have my parents and family at the finish line waiting for me. I saw them a few times on the course and it was super encouraging. My aunt even took one for the team as she got plowed over by a rider while cheering on the course! It was a great day for everyone. Tyler, Igntaz, DeCook, Craig and Will all had stellar races as well.

After the awards and a few pics with the twins, it was a 2hr drive to DC for me to catch a flight home and get into Denver at 11pm :( I jumped on the bus and got home pretty late only to get up at 5:30am to begin working like a madwoman for the next few days in attempt to catch up with all the work I wasn't able to do while gone! Thanks to everyone including friends, family, sponsors, the Xterra crew, etc for all the support and super fun times!!!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

XTERRA South East Championships Race Report

June 8th, 2008
Pelham, Alabama
1st Amateur Female

Extreme heat + insane humidity + great hospitality + killer race course = Fun times in Bama!

After a good night's sleep and a delicious breakfast, an excited clan headed to race site. After about a minute of being outside the car, I was already covered in sweat. No joke. It was so humid and hot at 8am that I knew it was going to be a rough day. I ingested several salt tablets and kept drinking as much fluid as I could to stay hydrated. Since I'm so used to starting races between 6am and 7am this 9:30am start just felt weird. At any rate, I was ready to have fun and kick some butt!

The swim - holy bath water hot. 'm talking 82* hot...yuck! Nothing too exciting happened other than I was able to stay on someone's feet the entire race and swim a straight course which never happens. I definitely swam way easier than I should have, but because I was overheating swimming easy, I'm pretty sure I would have drowned had I pushed it.

The bike - twisty, turny and rooty forest singletrack. This is terrain that I am very unfamiliar with so I definitely stayed on the slower side in hopes of keeping my bike under control for the duration of the race. Although most of the course was covered with trees, it still felt like riding through a rain forest and sweat and sunscreen kept getting in my eyes and burning like none other.

The run - as I was heading out of T2, the announcer mentioned that I was the 2nd amateur female and only 3o seconds back from 1st...COOL! I grabbed my hat and race belt and started turning my legs over like a little road runner. I saw the girl I needed to catch and went right after her. I caught her within the first half mile and just stayed right on her heels for a good 10min until she completely started to fade and I made my move. I knew the last few miles of the course had about 6 super steep hills that were almost impossible to run so wanted to get as much of a gap as possible. As I got to the top of the first hill, I could see all the way to the bottom and knew my competition was nowhere in sight. As I trudged up the second hill, I started getting goosebumps from being so overheated. This was my first sign that I needed to slow down and just cruise home. I proceeded to walk each of the gigantic hills as well as use trees and other surroundings to pull myself up and trot the downhills while attempting not to slide out on the loose terrain.

The end - I finally made it to the finish where I was immediately asked if I wanted to join the rest of the field in the med tent and get an IV (they went through over 80 bags of fluid this race). Since I took it super easy during the last segment of the run, I felt great and just wanted to have really cold water dumped all over me :) Great experience racing in extreme weather conditions and couldn't have been any happier!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Alive and slammed!

Had an amazing time with my family in DC and a great race at the Xterra East Champs in Richmond, Virginia. After several pre-rides and numerous crashes on the bike course, I was feeling pretty good about my race. Went in with a great attitude and ended up having a decent day (1st amateur female). I am in the process of writing detailed race reports for both Bama and Richmond so stay tuned. Until then, I'll be catching up on all the work I wasn't able to get done while gone and resting up for the Buffalo Creek Xterra in Bailey, CO this weekend! I have posted a few pics from the East Champs on the 'My Pics' link as well. WHOOOAAAAA!!!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Life in Washington DC

A little ride to spin out the legs (which weren't really all that sore) on Monday morning, then off to the airport to catch a plane to DC! Flying Southwest Airlines is always a hoot. From the madness of people choosing their own seats to the comical flight attendants, you're bound for some sort of crazy experience. Fortunately I didn't have anything out of the ordinary happen, just a few good laughs :)

Once I got into the airport, I met up with my Mom, who flew in from Michigan, then drove to Alexandria to my Aunt Katie and Uncle Tim's beautiful home to see their 8 month old twin girls! Very cute babies :)

Got in a short run yesterday morning in the swealtering heat and humidity then got my very first pedicure! Oh times. I even let them put clear polish on my toes :) A little shopping and lots of work was done throughout the rest of the day then a delicious lasagna dinner!

Monday, June 09, 2008

Quick Update from Bama

The past weekend has been filled with lots of great times, fun stories and good pics, but since I'm about to head out the door for an easy spin, I'll give you a very simplified version of the race report to come over the next few days. Check out the 'My Pics' link on the right to see some of ridiculousness of the weekend!

Got into Birmingham on Thursday night and met up with Will, Ryan, Marne and Christine at our incredible homestay! Jerry is one of the coolest guys ever...and to let 10 people stay in his house is pretty amazing!Friday morning we went and 'swam' the run course in the blazing heat. I say this because we came back looking like we had actually gone swimming we were so wet from sweating. Then a quick dip in the lake which felt like bath water then home for a little lunch, rest and for me, a lot of work. Later that afternoon we pre-rode the course and met up with Ryan Ignatz, Danelle and her family, all who were staying with us as well. A great dinner from the grill was prepared and lots of laughs were shared.

Saturday was another hot, hot day. A quick swim, short bike and easy run got the body loosened up for the race then it was off to Hooters for lunch...Will was actually showing off more leg than the waitress with his split running shorts and the girls LOVED it! More R&R (rest and recover) was had that day, then a big pasta dinner to top off the evening...mmmmm, good!

RACE DAY - whoooaaaa! A 9:30am start with a heat index of over 100...gotta love it. Like I said, I will post a more detailed race report, but all in all, it was a good, smart and fun day for this girl. Played it super safe while swimming on someone's feet really easy in the swim, totally chilled on the bike while drinking as much as possible and staying cool, then cruised the run and walked most of the steep hills to save myself from joining the rest of the field in the med tent after the race. They actually had a record high of people in there this race...I am racing 3 weekends in a row and once I sealed the first female amateur spot, there was no reason to push any harder as it wouldn't have made any difference monetarily :) Great post race party with everyone in the evening and again, lots of good laughs!

More to come, but I have to say thanks to everyone who has been part of getting me into this off-road scene. I couldn't be a more excited and happy girl about the XTERRA world :)

Saturday, June 07, 2008


Nothing more to say except...HELL YEAH!!!! Is that better Marky?

Thursday, June 05, 2008

East Bound

I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry...

I've been so busy with work and trying to get ready to leave for 10 days that I haven't been able to do much of anything include sleep, train or think straight. I am currently sitting in the airport about to head to Birmingham to meet up with Will and Ryan to race the Xterra Southeast Champs. I will do my best to keep you updated as I'm sure there will be some good stories and funny pictures so stay tuned!

Rock on.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

A little scattered...

So I'm pretty sure that leaving for 10 days at month end and during 3 payrolls is probably not the smartest of things, but hey, I've got some fun races to take names at, family to see and great times to be had. Yes, that is my excuse for not being punctual on updating...I've been a little busy trying to organize my life and such.

As for news in Erin's life...hmmm...well, I've still got the whole smoker's cough going on. I'm now thinking it's allergies, but we'll see. Training has been going well and I'm definitely ready for a solid series of races over the next couple weeks. As for my poor Pistons, I'll just keep quiet. Jon (my roomie) and crazy Celtics fan, had a bet that whoever lost the series had to take out the recycling for the rest of the year. This is what it looked like before I took it out this morning!!! Pretty ridiculous.
As for the Red Wings...sorry Penguins, but the Cup is OURS!!!!!