Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Winter Park is my happy place!

After a rough week of being really tired and a slightly terrified I was getting sick again, I decided to test the waters Saturday morning at the 4th WP MTB Race. I did little to no training this past week but instead slept a ton and pumped up hardcore on several vitamins and supplements. There are so many factors that could have attributed to being exhausted but I wanted to be overcautious in case my immune system was in fact getting a bit depleted. My goal for the race was to go my usual race pace for the first big climb/descent then re-analyze how I felt. There was an easy bail out section that I could take in case I wanted to cut it short so I almost planned on just doing that. However, after the first 10 miles, I felt okay. I knew I wouldn't be able to hold that pace for the next 15 miles so I just decided to cruise. I lost my 2nd position very quickly when I toned it down but my lower/steady pace caught up to the others towards the end. I found myself riding with my friend Lisa who was in 3rd late in the last climb then used my descending skills to pull away on the super long descent to the last climbing section. Although my right inner thigh cramped to the point where I fell off my bike right after the long downhill, I was able to massage it out for a quick minute, get back on my bike, and hold on to the podium spot by a slim margin. It was definitely not my best showing in terms of power output but I was beyond excited to be on the podium considering I honestly didn't even fathom finishing when on the starting line. Every race this season has been a learning experience and I'm so grateful to to be healthy and able to race. I'm now tied for the points series lead so I'm hoping to be back to my 100% self for the next one!

I have been waiting since last December to build up my Norco Aurum DH bike and I finally got to ride it for the first time this past Sunday. We only got in a few runs before the massive rain storm blew in but it was enough to create an ear to ear grin for the rest of the day! What a freaking blast. Also, Bryce and Tom provided some great entertainment by crashing into each other on the fire road leading to the trail! Can't wait to get back up there this weekend and see how big I can go :)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

New toys, weddings, big rides - whoa, what a weekend!


You've probably seen a photo of this bike's frame several months this past winter. After a little impatience, I finally ordered a different fork than I had originally planned on using so I could actually get some use out of it this summer! I've never ridden a DH bike before, but I'm beyond excited to get after it. Bryce says it's just like riding a super lightweight dirt bike...giddy up :)

We joined some good friends on Saturday morning to take the infamous 8:10 bus up to Nederland for a day of mountain biking. It's very rare that we don't get turned around at least once or twice on our rides, but now that the entire trail system has been totally logged, I'm pretty certain we got lost a bit more than average. Needless to say, we all had a great time and enjoyed some high country singletrack and a bombing descent back down to Boulder.

Later that night, we attended close friends, Adrianne and Corey's wedding on top of Flagstaff Mountain.

The ceremony was stunning and the weather couldn't have been more perfect!

Adrianne and Corey are the utmost perfect couple and we all wish them the best of luck on their new adventure :)

The reception was at the UMC on CU's campus so the ''Just Married'' couple rode a tandem down the mountain from the ceremony. We definitely made sure to park along the way so they would have a large cheering section and a crazy fan to spark their attention. Photo credits on the above four images goes to Allen Krughoff of Hardcastle Photography :)

The reception was a blast and as bike racers, it's always fun to see everyone all dressed up and looking good. We slept in late on Sunday then headed out for a tough interval session on the CX bikes up Four Mile. The rest of the day was spent getting Bryce's car ready to sell, going to the grocery and baking some delicious treats. It's been a while since we've stayed in town for the weekend and it felt great to get a lot of stuff done!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Back to the Runner's Roost for some GPS demos!

On Wednesday night, several of the Colorado Timex Multisport athletes gathered at the Runner's Roost in Louisville for their weekly group run session. Even though it was well over 90 degrees, we had an amazing turnout!


Per our usual routine, we brought our fleet of demo GPS watches for the runners to try out!

Barry was fresh off  a lesson at the Training Peaks headquarters so he was full of all sorts of knowledge, tips, and tricks.

Showing the runners their data on Training Peaks is still my favorite part of the demo. Their excitement over the elaborate graphs, maps and charts is so fun to see. We had several runners show up with other GPS watches and were extremely pleased with the Run Trainer 2.0 - most were expressed with how comfortable/light it felt and how easy the screen was to read!

Big thanks to Trista, Denny, Christine, and Barry for coming out for yet another successful demo night!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Some big lessons were learned this weekend!


This past weekend was round three of the Epic Singletrack MTB Series in Winter Park. This 23 mile course is a point to point going from the Ski Resort out to Fraser (right by our condo)! It's definitely one of my favorite races of the series as well.

I felt absolutely terrible during my warm up which was a bit weird but figured I was probably just drained from the hot weather that week. With CX being the main focus of my season, I've been going into the mountain races extremely relaxed with little to no expectation so I wasn't too concerned. My ultimate goal for this race was to nail my nutrition no matter what and go from there.

The race began as usual on a 10 percent fire road that goes for a mile until you hit the singletrack. I definitely didn't have the punch I normally do and found myself entering the trails behind several unusual faces. It was tough, but I made my way through the masses and eventually established my place and was able to rip the final part of the first descent at my pace. 

At the bottom of that descent is where things began to go awry! Since we race on the slopes of a ski mountain, the trail is either straight up or straight down...very little, if any, in flat terrain. After the descent, we made a sharp turn onto a steep and very rooty climb that I have done hundreds of times. However, this time I didn't have anything in my legs to turn over the pedals. It was like my body had just shut off. I dabbed on one of the roots and had to walk my bike...that has NEVER happened on this particular section of trail. It was only 30min into a 2hr race and I honestly felt like I had just finished a race and completely emptied the tank. The girls I had passed on the descent were starting to pick me off one by one. I rarely DNF a race but I honestly wasn't certain I could make it to the finish and seriously considered pulling out. At the top of the climb, I soft pedaled to the next descent which eventually dumped out to another fire road climb. Per my original plan, I got my nutrition down and within minutes I was a new person. I don't know if I just needed fuel or the mental aspect of accomplishing my one goal set in, but either way, I was now on a mission. I could see my power numbers sky rocketing (from my Stages Power Meter), and I could see a bunch of girls in the distance. My motivation was higher than ever and now it was my turn to pick off the ladies in front of me one by one. I caught up with my good friend Amy Dombrowski who was sitting in 2nd place about 3 miles from the finish. I tried my best to get around her but I just couldn't match her pop through the rocky, false flat terrain.

I crossed the line in 3rd place and couldn't believe I actually pulled off the race I did. I also beat my time from 2011 by a whopping 10 minutes! A huge lesson was learned today...NEVER GIVE UP! My coach always tell us that you don't have to feel good to go fast and today I got to experience that. Huge congrats to Tammy for her first Pro win and hats off to Amy who has been racing and training like a mad woman in preparation for her CX season with Telnet over in Europe. 


Bryce also had a phenomenal race! Now that he has increased his training hours by 500% with his daily commute to work, I think he's going to see some huge improvements in his racing.

We also talked about how we truly believe our gluten and dairy free lifestyle has made a significant impact on our overall energy levels and recovery times. Congrats on your 3rd place hunny!

Since I'm still waiting on my DH fork to arrive, I went out with my usual WP posse for a long/fun ride on the trails. The conditions were perfect and the company was outstanding. I got a good idea of how tough the next race's course is so that was nice as well. Another amazing weekend in the books!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Good Stuff

Yay, Bryce is finally riding his bike to work every day :) I couldn't be happier for him and it's so fun to be able to join in on either end of his commute. Although this is only week 1 of the new job, he's really enjoying the new environment and loves all his co-workers.

For all you bike geeks out there, I've jumped on the 1x bandwagon. It's 1x10 with a 32T Wolftooth chainring on an XTR spindle and an 11-36T XTR cassette. I've been getting pressured to also have a single speed setup as well so you may be seeing that in the near future as well!

Here's a fun pic from the CU Short Track on Wednesday night. It wasn't my best showing but came in 3rd behind good friends Erin and Karen. I think a week of entertaining plus a week of temps near 100 degrees have been sinking in :) The cooler weather of Winter Park is definitely calling my name this weekend!

Monday, July 08, 2013

A great weekend with the Fam!

Last Wednesday, my parents and Keren (my brother's girlfriend) flew into Denver. After spending the first part of the week in Winter Park, my little brother and his dog drove up to Boulder to meet us as well. We raced the local CU Short Track then enjoyed a fun evening of catching up. Thursday morning was relaxing with a nice breakfast, some tour watching, bike riding at Valmont, then a trip to Pearl Street. We ended the day with a fun BBQ and watched the 4th of July fireworks.

My mom went to see Todd at Integrative Healing and Acupuncture first thing on Friday for some bodywork. Afterward, we had a pancake breakfast with the Binghams in Boulder then drove up to the mountains for a little bit of cooler weather. We also helped Ben put his dog, Tigger, into his backpack so he could take him to work...priceless.

Bryce finally got to ride his DH bike at the Trestle Bike Park in WP with Jerry while I went for an epic XC ride with some good friends. 

Winter Park local and all around MTB legend, Keith Sanders, took us on a super technical trail and at the top there was a sign in bullets called 'Redneck Run'. Ya never know what you're gonna get with this guy! Later Saturday afternoon, we said goodbye to Jerry, Keren and their dog Reilly, then headed to Colorado Springs with my parents. We raced dirt bikes on Sunday and it was great to have my parents finally get to see what that scene is all about. On our way back through Denver, we dropped them off at a hotel by the airport so they could easily catch their early AM flight. I believe a great weekend was had by all! It's always so nice to get the everyone together in one place for a few days :)

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Timex Watch Clinic - REI (Boulder, CO)

Tuesday morning I met up with Timex Superstar Athlete, Tim Hola, for a little watch demo at the REI in Boulder.

I brought out the demo fleet of Run Trainer 2.0 watches and also a bunch of older models so we could walk through the history of Timex's GPS products. We mainly discussed the features of the Run Trainer but also answered lots of great questions that the employees had.

 Timex and Powerbar swag is always welcomed at any demo :)

Finally, we gave the group a sneak peek at the new Marathon watch that will be released soon!

Monday, July 01, 2013

The 2013 Breakthrough Race!!!

I have to admit, I hadn't been feeling exceptionally well on the bicycle until this past week. I haven't been able to hit good power numbers and just couldn't quite recover from the super hard workouts. After a good chat with the coach, we changed a few things around so that my hard interval day wouldn't be the morning before the weekly Wednesday evening short track races. Even though it means I miss out on the group session, there is so much more benefit for me to be rested and treat the 25min short track as a race rather than a survival ride. I tried out the Tuesday intervals then the Wednesday STXC for the first time last week and was pleasantly surprised. It was almost 100 degrees at 6:40pm when it started but I was still able to put down the hammer and ride strong in 3rd behind two rockstar racers.

After a rest day and massage, Bryce and I headed to Winter Park on Thursday night. We did a fun shakeout ride with our friend Keith on Friday and learned some sweet new trails on the other side of the mountain. Saturday was a cool and relaxed morning before we headed to the start of the WP XC Super Loop MTB Race. The 18ish mile course had it's fair share of climbing but also some tight/twisty/technical singletrack that is so freaking fun :)

As usual, the race started on a 10% grade service road that goes for about a mile until it hits the trail. If you want first dibs on a clean descent, your only choice is to attack the start and lay it all on the line. I knew there was no way I was beating Erin Huck to the entrance but I didn't want too many others in between. Luckily I hit the singletrack in third, right behind my good friend and great bike handler, Cait Vestal. For the next 30 or so minutes, I relaxed and let myself recover from the hard effort up the first climb. I rode smart and steady and eventually ended up catching Cait up the final big climb. I couldn't believe how good I felt and how low my heart rate was. I'm used to seeing mid to high 180s during 1.5-2hr MTB races and I was barely hitting 170 but still putting out great power (even at 10,000ft). Other than my nutrition, or lack there of, I was ecstatic about my race. I was almost 3 minutes faster than last year which gives me confidence that my fitness is coming back. I'm doing everything in my nature to keep my body healthy and the Epstein Barr Virus AWAY so that I can continue to gain speed and strength for the CX season. 

After the race, my little brother and his puppy met up with us after a long drive from Salt Lake City. He will be spending the first part of the week at our place doing lots of mountain biking with his buddies. Then his girlfriend and my parents will be arriving on Wednesday to spend the long weekend with us! Yay...happy days :)