Wednesday, June 27, 2012

More Clinics, NEW Watches!

With the plethora of events happening at the Runner's Roost in Denver, we've started to be come regulars at the store :)

Like usual, we came prepared to demo our fleet of GPS watches. However, this was our first event with the new Timex Marathon watch! This is a $99 running specific watch designed for the minimalist looking to track time, pace, distance, calories and take the occasional split here and there. It's the perfect product for someone who isn't worried about heart rate or uploading into a computer. It's sleek, comfortable and extremely simple to use! We had great response from those that tried it out and I hope Runner's Roost sees a boost in sales!

Barry had scheduled another Pro Panel Q&A with several local rockstar athletes so it was great to see him and Tim Hola (who was manning the Powerbar booth). Although the Run Trainer has been the hot seller recently, I was able to help sell a Global Trainer to an ultra runner looking for the longer battery life and something with lots of data output. She, too, had smaller wrists and was already accustom to wearing a sweatband under her other watch so she wasn't turned off by the size at all. Just another fun night getting people jazzed about Timex :)

Monday, June 25, 2012

An Unusal Weekend

It seems like a lot of things have been showing how old I'm getting lately... Not only will I be attending my 10 year high school reunion this fall, but all of our good friends are starting to get married! Slightly scary. However it's not nearly as scary as Bryce driving out to Vegas this weekend for Tito's bachelor party with a bunch of crazy boys...especially since the above pic is what Tito was carrying when they picked him up. I was only told of two instances with the police and since they're all home safe, I don't want to know any more :)

Since Bryce was out of town for the weekend and the forecast was showing super high temps in Boulder, I decided to take Russ back up to Winter Park. We met up with good friend Joe Sap and did a fun day on the 'Big Bikes' at the Trestle Downhill Park. I've never ridden downhill specific trails before and I have to admit it was super strange riding a bicycle with all my moto gear. However, I started to get the hang of it and had a total blast. It's kinda fun riding the chairlift to the top then bombing down the mountain over and over again! Russell had to change Joe's DH bike all around because he runs his levers opposite than the normal cyclist...

It's been a while since I've had a super nice home cooked meal and Joe definitely took care of that. He whipped up an awesome Chickpea Ragout and sincerely impressed both Russ and I. Later that night, our good friends Tom and Bobby drove up from Boulder so we could do a big XC MTB ride on Sunday!

After meeting up with a few more friends (also locals of the WP area), we had a rockin' group ready to ride. We rode part of the course for this upcoming weekend's race then hit some of the best trails on the mountain that I had never ridden before! I was the only person on a hardtail which made my day pretty bumpy but all in all, I had a great time. We were incredibly fortunate to have some good cloud cover for the ride because it was a scorcher...even at 11,000ft. It was amazing how much warmer it kept getting as we dropped in elevation on our drive home but the kicker was how hot it was inside my house in Boulder. Yes, 90 degrees INSIDE the house. It's 102 outside as I'm typing this in a nicely air conditioned building but with no relief in sight, there's a good chance I'll be heading back up to the mountains shortly.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Fun with the Moto Boys

After the National Enduro in Wyoming last weekend, we brought back a few of the factory boys so they could take some time of the dirt bikes and enjoy the Colorado summer activities. They had some fun times downhill mountain biking in Winter Park on Tuesday then headed over to Keystone on Wednesday to shred once more!

Unfortunately, Bryce and I both had to get some work done so we weren't able to join in the non-pedaling activities. However, I was able to take two of them out on pedal bikes up to Betasso and Benjamin the following day and give them a taste of my type of riding :) Other than lots of heavy breathing, they both rocked it and had a great time. Nick took off this morning to head back to Ohio for a moto race so I'll be bringing Russ up to WP for another fun weekend while Bryce gets rowdy at a bachelor party in Vegas!!!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Winter Park Hill Climb Race Report


This past weekend marked the start of the Winter Park Mountain Bike Series with the infamous 5.2 mile hill climb (i.e. suffer-fest as seen above).

With blue skies and mid 60 degree temps, we couldn't have asked for better weather on race morning. The ladies field was full of great friends and familiar faces and my excitement level was through the roof.

Bryce and I did our usual MTB race warm up and I was ready for the super intense start and the grueling 45min race that was about to take place. From the gun, I took off with my good friend and XTERRA superstar, Sara Tarkington. Although I couldn't hang with her too long (she was on a mission...and finished 3 minutes faster than her time last year), I was able to jump into 2nd place and hang on to the very end. I had another good friend lingering 15-30 seconds behind me the entire race so there was no letting off and I had to fight the entire way to the top.

Over the 2000+ft of climbing, I was able to better my time by over 1.5 minutes from 2011 and I couldn't have been happier! Unlike last year, I've been doing a bit of high altitude riding recently, so finishing at 11,150ft didn't seem to phase me nearly as much as before. Don't get me wrong, it was still hard to breath, but I was able to keep the power up until the very end instead of fading due to lack of oxygen.

One of the coolest parts of the day was seeing all the racers in the 'Adaptive' class as I was chugging up the hill in 'pain-cave' mode. There is no better way to get inspired while racing than watching handicapped athletes climb their way from 9,000ft to over 11,000ft using only their arms to crank themselves up the mountain. Since we were racing dirt bikes in Wyoming on Sunday, we had to quickly take off after the race and unfortunately miss lunch and the awards. I'm jazzed to have started off the series in 2nd and super excited about rockin' the Litespeed Cohutta 29er hardtail - I'm absolutely loving that bike :)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Bicycle Hill Climbs and Dirt Bike Enduros

It was another typical weekend for us beginning with the first race in the Winter Park Mountain Bike Series - the 'Hill Climb' - on Saturday morning.

It was a perfect summer morning and after having slept at the condo, we were refreshed and ready to rumble. This was Bryce's first attempt at the 5.2 mile race that climbs from the base of the mountain to the very top. He was 3rd almost the entire race until the got pipped at the line for 4th. He did, however, have a great race and a respectable time.

I'll post a full race report shortly, but I too had a good race. I didn't have the legs to stay with Sara (who crushed her time by over 3min from last year), but I was able to hang on for 2nd. I had a good friend lingering around 15-30sec behind me the entire time so there was no giving up. I finished 90 seconds faster than last year and was very pleased with my performance. It was a bummer I wasn't able to stick around for the awards or the podium but we had event #2 of the weekend to get to.

After a quick drive back from Winter Park to Boulder, we showered, jumped into the already packed up van and headed another 5hrs north to Upton, WY. We grabbed a pizza on the way for dinner, mingled with a few people when we got there then slept like babies in our little mobile home - i.e Hotel Savana. Albeit the 95 degree temps and ridiculous amounts of dust, the race was a total blast. This is one of my all time favorite races because of how fun the trail is and as in year's past, it did not disappoint. Since this is a National Enduro event, all the big boys (and girls) were there. It's crazy to see how fast some of the top ladies are and I was pleased to have finished 6th considering I lost my rear brakes in the 2nd test and almost killed myself on a cattle guard in the 3rd test - oh and I'm pretty sure I crashed at least 3 times from getting lazy about pulling in my clutch on the 3rd test as well...oops! I finished in one piece and that's all that matters. Bryce had a great race as well finishing 32nd overall. Like last year, we brought home a couple of the top racers to come play on Colorado soil for the week. We're excited to have Russell Bobbitt and Nick Fahringer here hanging with us for a few days and look forward to some good laughs and fun times on the bicycles!

Friday, June 15, 2012

CU STXC & New Washer/Dryer

Every summer, the CU Collegiate Cycling Team puts on a Short Track race series at the Research Park in central Boulder at 6:30pm on Wednesday evenings. The course varies each week but it's always a 25min all out effort with laps around a 3 minute-ish course that is twisty, turny, and punchy. I've always had my hard days on Wednesdays with the Apex crew so I generally choose to spectate instead of participate. However, since my focus has changed to cyclocross this season this year is a bit different. These types of efforts are exactly what I need to prepare for the 45min madness of CX racing! Although I haven't done much high intensity training, I still gave this past Wed's race a whirl. I lasted a solid 15min at the all out effort then had to cruise in the last 3 laps. It's such a different type of effort and the 90 degree heat/dust didn't help. It's also difficult to get motivated for such a hard race that late in the day. All in all, it can only get better from here and I'm looking forward to seeing progress throughout the upcoming races!

On a totally opposite note, we are learning the various drawbacks to being homeowners and landlords very quickly these days. After discovering a leak on the main floor bath, we had to have a plumber come out to fix that, then pay a drywall guy to patch up the ceiling and just recently our dryer took a crap. The washer had been stopping on the rinse cycle for months so we just gave in and bought both a new washer and dryer for everyone's sake!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Testing out a new saddle

I'm usually all about trying new products but when it comes to bicycle saddles, I am a creature of habit! I normally use the same Specialized Body Geometry saddles on my road and mountain bikes and never think twice about it. The Ruby works like a charm on my road bike and the Phenom (above) has been perfect for my mountain bikes. The Phenom has a very narrow shape which allows me to easily get behind the seat when descending steep and technical terrain and it is also extremely stiff and lightweight. I couldn't have been happier with this seat on my full suspension bikes but I've come to realize that a very hard saddle on a hardtail does not feel so great.

Although I've never been able to ride a seat without a cutout, I decided to give the Fizik Vesta a try since I've heard good things about it, and well, I had one laying around. It doesn't have a full cutout but there is a slight curve that does allow for pressure relief in appropriate areas. Not only does it have a quite a bit of flex on the rails to enhance the comfort, the seat itself is extremely soft and cushy. The drawbacks that I have to compromise with are the fact that is quite a bit heavier and a slightly wider. I do have to think about making sure I get my butt behind the saddle in technical situations rather than just sliding back but I normally don't ride super techy terrain unless I'm on my trail bike which has a dropper post.

This is definitely the polar opposite from what I'm used to but after a couple solid rides, I think it is a much better option and my tush is much happier now :)

Monday, June 11, 2012

A weekend with the Torrances

Summer is officially here so heading up to the condo in Winter Park on the weekends is now part of the weekly routine! While it was in the high 90s on the front range, we enjoyed some cooler temps in the high country with a few of our best buds.

Our original plan for Saturday was to do a big mountain bike ride from Fraser to Winter Park, ride the WP hill climb course then make our way back to Fraser via trail. Although we didn't exactly ride the hill climb course, we did make our way up to 11,000ft and somehow managed to work ourselves back to Fraser before dark :) We really need a tour guide on these trails because having two engineers trying to read a map and figure out how to get from point A to point B is pretty much worthless! 

After working on his new house all day on Saturday, Tony drove his butt up to meet us in Rand for a super fun moto session Sunday morning. We had a great group of 12 and in 5hrs of riding, we only had one mechanical.

We all had a great time and it was a blast riding those trails with our superb guide so we never had to question where we were going or having to whip out a map every 20 minutes. It was a big weekend of playing and I'm definitely feeling it today...

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Battle of the Bear MTB Race - Take 2

This past weekend was the rescheduled date for the Battle of the Bear 30 mile mountain bike race that had been previously rained out earlier in May. Trying to slip a race into the Colorado race schedule mid-way through the season is almost near impossible unless you want to share a race day with another event. Although there were no other events on Sunday, there were two big races the Saturday before which didn't make for the same turn out as most of the Warrior Cycling events. The Teva mountain games was the main race which lead to a slim pro field. Since I was still battling a small cackle from that nasty cold, I figured racing with the big girls at 10,000ft was probably not the smartest of choices. So, instead I raced the B2B at 1:30pm in the afternoon in the 95* heat!

My good friend and one of my greatest competitors decided to do a double race weekend and drag her butt out to compete at the B2B even after the super hard race at Teva the day before. There were around 20-30 total women racing, but we happened to be the only two racing in the 'Pro' category so we got a sweet clean start behind the pro men - this was really exciting considering that in years past, we've been stuck starting behind all the men including the Clydesdales and Single-speeders which is just simply miserable.

As we started the race, we giggled going up the first hill but since both of us are super competitive, we quickly gave it some gas and started to full on race. Rebecca has been racing almost every single weekend since she won the 30-34 World CX Champs this winter and her fitness is out of control right now. I figured she'd be a bit sluggish after racing the day before but I guess not. I stayed with her for a good 5 minutes and then just had to let her go. With zero shade and the heat as high as it was, I did not want to put myself in a hole on the first lap - plus, I was out there without Bryce so I had to at least be able to drive myself home.

I slipped into my race pace, let some of the faster AG group men pass by easily and just focused on my race. I came through the first lap right at 40 minutes and knew last year's winning time was holding 39 minute laps so I was pretty stoked. I could still see Rebecca up the road so I knew I wasn't too far back. However, that great feeling diminished soon after when the combo of 185bmp and 95* heat started to sink in. About 1/3 of the way through the 2nd lap, I was starting to get goosebumps and the chills and couldn't for the life of me bring my HR down under 185. My new body awareness mode instantly kicked in and I quickly turned down the throttle. My legs felt great but I'm still not used to racing at a really high intensity so I needed to finish the race controlled, in one piece and not put myself into any kind of sickness.

I finished the second lap 2.5min slower than the first and went out on the third lap with the attitude of staying consistent and drinking every couple of minutes to stay as hydrated as possible. The final lap was about another minute slower than the 2nd but at least I didn't totally blow up. I finished almost 10min faster than my time last year but averaged 183HR vs the 179HR of 2011. I thought it would be fun to compare the graphs from both years so I've inserted them above - the first is 2012 and the second 2011.

Despite having to slow down quite a bit, I still managed to place 2nd overall and win a bit of cash. I was 4.5min behind Rebecca and only a mere 10 seconds in front of 3rd. I got to see lots of familiar faces, mingle with good friends and even meet Ben Pryhoda who works at Training Peaks. My main focus for 2012 isn't until the CX season this fall so I'm thrilled with where things are at now considering the low volume and intensity of my training. The Winter Park MTB series is just around the corner which means summer has officially arrived! Thanks for reading :)

Monday, June 04, 2012

Flying Solo for the weekend!

While Bryce was out racing his dirt bike 110 miles a day in Idaho this weekend, I decided to stay home, get caught up with work and race my mountain bike.

Instead of joining the big girls at the Teva Mountain Games, I jumped into the rescheduled Battle of the Bear 30 miler instead. After battling yet another nasty cold, I didn't think racing at altitude (9000+ft) would have been a smart choice (yes, I do have a brain up there). Although most of the good competition had raced at Teva the day before, my good friend and superstar MTB racer Rebecca Gross came out to race again the next day at the B2B. Her incredible fitness destroyed me but I somehow managed a 2nd place behind her in a blistering 90 degree day with a 1:30pm start time. I'll have a full race report posted shortly!

Immediately following the drive home from the race and a 3 minute shower to de-smellify myself, I headed to the Long-Huang wedding shower only 2 hours late :)

It was a great time with lots of laughs and it was super fun seeing how excited Melanie and James were about their new All-Clad Pressure Cooker that we all chipped in to buy for them! August 4th is the big day and everyone cannot wait for the big dance party!

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Just chuggin' along


I apologize in advance for the lack of content on here this lately. It's been quite the catch up week getting Bryce ready to drive to Boise, ID for the ISDE qualifier and preparing month end financial reports for my clients. In fun news, Tony just bought a fixer upper house here in Boulder and his amazing parents came out from the mitten to help with the initial demo! It's always so great to see them and boy are those Torrance kids lucky to have such nice parents :)

This relates to absolutely nothing, but I did have to post this really funny car stick figure photo because it pretty much sums up mine and Bryce's feelings on having children.