...fasten your race chains

30.4.09

FAST GRRRLZ Put Out More Watts.

So A.Miles beat me to the post, but yesterday's ride was really great. And I even learned a couple things:

1. Lifting before the Wednesday ride = not a good idea
2. Being sickly for the week before the Wednesday ride (Swine flu?Not) and still going = less than optimal performance
3. I need to learn how/when/what to eat on rides, because I forget
4. Anyone who shows up to the ride on a Surly Cross Check with down tube shifting (cough, Frenchy, cough) is a bad ass
5. I feel squirrely on group rides. And when I feel squirrely I act squirrely, even though I know better. So I have to stop feeling squirrely and grow some confidence!
6. SchmowerSchnap is awesome.

I promise not to be nerdy about wattage and all that jazz in the future, but to echo A.Miles, it really is fun to look at the numbers. I wouldn't call it improving at this point, seeing as I've had less than 5 rides to measure what I can do, but it is fun to keep improving the baselines for my training for the rest of this summer.

I forget a lot how much I enjoy group rides, but yesterday was really, really great. It feels like a family reunion.

the pains of only getting ONE fajita when all the boys get TWO...

Last night's ride was so fun! I rolled up to Burwash Park with Axel & Nick and there were about 30 other people there, including Jess, B.Chan, E.Mart and all of the usual guys. SO MANY PEOPLE WOOOOOOT

We left town going east toward Homer and rode through the hills and turns...super fun route. The weather was perfect and there wasn't a lot of wind. I was riding with Jess, which was good because she's ├╝ber strong :-) and I pushed myself to take good pulls and stay with her..

after we stopped at homer Lake alex attacked as we were heading back toward town. He tapped me so i followed him and Frenchie. Soon the rest of the group caught up. I thought Jess was just pulling around me because I didn't know the whole group was there too, and the whole group came around and kind of guttered me and i was flustered & didn't know what to do.. and..got...dropped. ........

i struggled to keep my watts at about my 5 minute max and soon caught up to some other people who got dropped, finally catching up to B.Chan, and then rolling back to town with her and Karl and ending up at the Park (where Nick, Axel, Chan & I began quoting our favorite Sesame Street skit).

It was a fun fun ride. I took along some Hammer gel this time and it helped. Again I set record wattage for everything except my 120 minute max. This week I've been setting records in every hard ride and it's confidence boosting. Even when I get dropped, at least I'm making improvements. I really just have no idea what to do in any race situation, but that comes with practice. In any case, I'll never really be able to keep up with the likes of Dave Stone if his wattage at the front of the lead group is almost the same as my 5 second max... oh oh oh ^_^

After the ride we came home to the Shire and all tried to cook dinner in the kitchen at the same time. We all had about two pots going on 4 burners, which doesn't really equal out... Nick's baby bok choy looked fresh & delicious though, as did Chan & Axels fajitas (B only got one...) and although my garbanzo beans were undercooked, the spices were perfect and anything is good with mango pickle. Asparagus with tandoori sauce is amazing btw.

Now I am going to take a long ride if the weather holds out. I'll be making some gel to take along, using sorghum molasses instead of brown rice syrup because it is half the price and I've never tried it...

28.4.09

With the arrival of B.Chan's Schmowerschnap our training has gone to a whole new level. Watch out Cat.4 women, the Tammy Thomas Twins have been spawned...


..and now we have another excuse to use DZ-Nuts.



27.4.09

SO it's been windy.  WINDY!  

Yesterday Nick & I went to Kickapoo and rode mtn bikes.  My second time on my 29er and first time mountain biking in SHORTS and a SS jersey and not wearing booties, tights, 5 hats, 15 base layers....   it was SO FUN !  I love mountain biking.  It's easier for me to put out a max effort mountain biking than road I think.  The obstacles are so tangible...you do whatever it takes to get over them.  The 29r rolls over everything, but it's fairly difficult to maneuver around hairpin turns and some corners.  Still I love the bike & the riding.. Ahhh

After Kick, I came home and Dan & I rode the tandem into 67 mile per hour wind to Friar Tuck to pick up the maltodextrin and some DogfishHead 120 Minute IPA (!!YUM!!) and then we went grocery shopping.  We made Chinese style dumplings and noodles for dinner.  It took us forever to prepare, and the result was a fairly doughy dumpling.. but delicious.  

Last night I went to bed early and this morning woke up and did an hour recovery ride.  It was hella windy.  Hella.

I'm deciding my plans for the weekend.  Got a couple of races to choose from.  The Fat and Skinny Tire Fest in Indiana looks like a great time (thanks Jess!)  

ok g2g kthxbai <3>

26.4.09

It's so windy!!!!

23.4.09

point taken

Use high quality locks !

22.4.09

wednesday nite ride

Ah ...  tonight I skipped out of work early (thank's John Henry Birkenstock!) and went to the wednesday night ride.  Good turnout.  Hella windy.  We rode west toward Centerville and then cut north and back east to town.  It was a gorgeous day and nice ride.  A few miles out of town, the guys in front just started cranking and I stayed with them for a couple minutes and then my legs just quit.  I tried to get on a wheel...another wheel....a wheel.... and then got dropped.  I made it back to my house totally spent...  Ahhhh     I feel good because I made more of an effort to stay with them, and I tried to anticipate an attack rather than space out while riding.  I gave more of an all-out effort than last Wednesday and feel much better (or worse) because of it!

D.Penn & I made pizza with okara "meatballs", asparagus, spinach, onions and garlic.  Deliiiicious.  We have pizza every day now.

Tomorrow we are having a picnic!  

20.4.09

schmower schnap ?

Woot!  B.Chan is playing with the buttons on her PT head right now.  Soon we will be posting our numbers ...NOT  -that is TOP SECRET!

In this morning's 20 minute intervals I improved my wattage from last time's 20 minute intervals by about 10% !  It gets me motivated anyways.  Hope it doesn't rain tomorrow so I can get a ride in outside.

We survived the Spring Sale at the shop last weekend..sigh. Friday night Dan put together Roz's Simple City; its soooo beautiful and has a super annoying DingDong bell.  Saturday I went out with the three handsome Penner brothers.  Fun weekend, but didn't get to ride much...

Good job to B.Chan last weekend!  We know who we need to watch out for ^_^   & please get better Ms. Moon !!!

PPPPPower Tap is Here.

More later....



RAR!

19.4.09

Collegiate Season Wrap-Up

This weekend was my last race for the U of I. Long story short, it went okay, not great, but I still had a lot of fun.

The adventure started at about 4:35pm on Friday afternoon when I received a phone call from Miz Cole informing me that Mat Brown's car had died. Fear not: As any team of industrious engineers and LAS majors would, we packed 4 people, 4 bikes and all their stuff into Nick's 2-door Ford Focus. That's right, kids. Me, Nick, Mat Brown, and Logan in a 2-door Ford Focus. It shall forever be known as le Clown Car.

The next morning I lined up for a 30 mile road race. At the past few races, I've been chompin at the bit right up to the starting line, but Saturday morning was I definitely still feeling Thursday night's "festivities" (some time I'll have to blog about my Harry Potter challaces). I moved up the pack fairly quickly, and felt like crap the first lap. Then there was a three girl break on the last mega hill that I couldn't follow and it got away. I'm so lame. The beginning of lap 2 saw 2 girls from DePaul, me and Morgan. Morgan's knee was hurting her, so she dropped (feel better, Miz Moon!!!!). I tried to get DePaul together to work to catch the break, but they weren't working so I discarded them and chased for a lap and half by myself. I could see the break waaay up the road, but just didn't have the legs to drag my butt up there. I ended up 4th. Meh.

Today was a 45 minute crit around the WI state capital building. I really wanted to throw down a V today, but that didn't happen. The same beastly WI girl who won yesterday broke away today and I was left to working with UCVC and DePaul to try to catch her. It didn't work. We lapped the rest of the field, which was fun, but still no luck. I felt like I had no gas in the tank. I waited about 3 seconds too long into the final corner to throw down a sprint and Liz from UCVC beat me by about (half?) a bike length. (Props to her-- she's looking mighty strong!). 3rd place. Meh.


Major, major thanks to CErbach, Ameena, and Karl Erbach for treating us to an awesome pasta dinner and then showing us a good time at Essenhaus. And thanks to Nick for driving. And for having a Clown Car. And thanks to Logan and Mat for racing and having a good time, and taking some rad pictures. Riding bikes is so much fun :)


Maine Coon.


Time to do some catch up on some homework. And then it's off to a conference in Atlanta this week.

16.4.09

hot wheels hot wheels


hi !  Sorry I've been slacking lately.  Our blog is losing it's luster... 

Since last week I've done some intervals: pyramid intervals and 2 X 20s.  On dreary disgusting Tuesday I took a ride; it was one of those days where the sky looked like it was about to crack any moment...and I didn't want to ride.  I forced myself to ride, and only began to enjoy it after I turned the corner of Lincolnshire and was home (and locked out with Nick).  Wednesday I went on the Wildcard group ride and had a great time.  Unfortunately I got dropped...I just FREAK out when we start going really fast!  I wasn't tired the whole ride--the pace was easy--and then we started picking it up.... and up.... and then everyone sprinted and I just felt like I didn't want to go faster.  See...this is so frustrating, because I think I can totally hang on, but something besides my legs is stopping me.  The guys are strong and fast, and I'm not saying that I can always keep up... but I know I'm holding back, and I think I can stay with them.  No more of that.  No more holding back.  

Today I finally rode my new wheels !  I was about to leave on a ride when Nick asked if I was going to ride my wheels.  I was like Hum..ho hum  YES !  Dan helped me glue the tires a couple of days ago and they were all set..  SO I rode out to Kickapoo and did a lap through the park up the two steep hills and then rode home.  The wheels are delightful.  DELIGHTFUL.  Amazing.  They accelerate so fast!  I noticed that they cut the wind well, and they climb fast.  The whole way back from the park I would sprint and then cruise, sprint cruise, sprint cruise...  unusual for me because I've never had much fun sprinting.  Now I get why people love it!  Ah these wheels are such a luxury...  love love love them :-)  

Sometimes when I sprint the bike lurches forward and I feel like its going away without me, like it's too fast for me to keep up...   oh oh oh I must get faster.

Tomorrow Roz comes to pick up her new Simple City 8 speed!  yay !


14.4.09

IT'S BACK: LIKES AND GRIPES TUESDAYS!!!

Greetings, readers. We at Fastgrrrlz admit that there's been some slackin' over the past few weeks. What can we say? Gettin swol can be quite time consuming. But now that the first real race of the season is under our belts, le Gran Tour de Universidad has been completed, and spring is in the air, it's time to get our priorities straight. That's right, ladies and gents. Likes and Gripes Tuesday is back.

(A.Miles, chime in here when you get a chance)

LIKES
1. PENNDESIGN - Despite the results of our latest poll, after many pro/con lists, cross country flights, and loaded emails, the decision has been made. I'm going to the University of Pennsylvania to get me a masters in Historic Preservation. What now, betches?

2. Aldi - Yeah, it gets a bad rap for its lack of flashy food displays and plastic bags. But Aldi stocks awesome organic soy milk, the densest bread in the world, a fine frozen fish selection, and quite the array of dried fruit, all at low low prices. Background research (completed by my mother) revealed that Aldi is in fact owned by the same company that owns Trader Joes. Interesting. And, really, who needs a plastic when you've got a messenger bag? Good job Aldi. Galdi. YESSSS!!!!!!! Love & Matchin' SoymilK!

3. The State of Oregon- it's truly lovely. I'm so jealous of A.Miles!

4. Chocolate bunnies...

GRIPES
1. Paying for PennDesign- let's just say I won't be buying a new road rig any time soon....

2. Easter Candy Hangover- I ate too many chocolate rabbits last weekend and I have a feeling I'm going to pay for it when it comes time to climb some hills this weekend at Wisconsin.

3. Tuesday's gross weather. It's April!!!!!!

AMBIVALENCES new category!
1. Pyramid Intervals- eye-bulging-makes-you-want-to-puke-hell. But they are quick and you feel relieved when they are over and you are swol-er.


9.4.09


B.Chan is on the Grand Tour d'Universidad and will be back Sunday.

I am sore! All weekend I turned Hillsboro over & over & around in my head...then I cooled off..

D.Penn and I made an epic trip to AmKo (asian grocery store) to pick up all kinds of good food. We're on this pizza and somen (noodle) kick. Not together. One night we make pizza, the next calzones, the next noodles, the next noodles... like that. Our most recent pizza variation was a calzone stuffed with kale, sweet potato, black bean, cilantro, red peppers, yellow peppers, poblano peppers and pineapple. I'm often doubtful of Dan's combos (like black beans on pizza), but they always seem to taste delicious. Tonight we made noodles topped with oyster mushroom, snow pea, burdock root, red and yellow pepper, with salmon and kimchee and vegetable dumplings. We've eaten a whole jar of kimchee since Saturday night.

Monday I woke up early and discovered that M.I.A. makes the best beats for intervals!  Tuesday I mistook many reps of the one-leg leg press and lunge matrix for a great idea...and to top it off, I rode through the 25 mph wind to the Centerville loop for some little hills.  Yesterday I rested because I could barely walk.  Today I took advantage of the windless air and rode to Centerville again then back through Mahomet, trying to keep my cadence super high because I'm a natural born masher.  Also practiced cornering for a few minutes, but I should return to that for a longer session at higher speeds.  Tomorrow I hope my legs feel more spritely so I can get in some more intervals.  

My sister's bike was stolen (she left it unlocked in her front yard...) so she is hoping to get a Gary Fisher Simple City!  It's the ideal bicycle for a fashionista who rides to school & work every day in four inch heels and a zany outfit.  She can fit groceries and Hello Kitty paraphernalia in the front basket and the internal 8 speed hub is virtually maintenance free! Wicked!  <3>

5.4.09

Re: Attack or Get Off the Front

I raced stupidly.  (Stupid at bikes..)  But Hillsboro is nice; the course was fun & I was totally fit for it...

Beginning of the race:  Chat chat chit-chat chit chit chat chit-chat.  Behind a girl who can't clip in.  Grr..  I couldn't move up.  Girls were squirrelly & talkative.  No drafting, no pace lines, 11 mph, braking on hills, braking down hills, braking on turns, braking...

B.Chan launches an attack.  I think it wasn't easy.  I stayed behind, int he main pack, we caught up...I tried to launch an attack.  It wasn't a good attack really.  I stayed on the front.  Oops.   I got tired, I got on the back for a bit, I fell off.  Road the rest of the race alone, came in 3 seconds behind the main pack.  Tired.  End of race.  Got 15th.  (Field of 35).

Pros:  I am definitely stronger than half the field.  Actually, I am confident that B.Chan are in the top 10 strongest girls if we race smart.   Probably the top 8.  ACTUALLY I know we can win if we race smart.  And if we get our sprints down.  

 This was a huge field of women; this means women's cycling is getting bigger and more popular.  = more fun!

On the starting line, I felt confident and was able to calm my nerves.  I was focused on the race.  

Cons:  I HAVE TO GET OFF THE FRONT!  I have to put all my energy into staying in the pack if I am about to fall off!   

Do not get frustrated if things are annoying and slow at the beginning.  Move up--just ease people out of the way.  Claim a position and defend it.  Get in a place where I don't have to brake on corners and hills.  If I move up carefully, people will get out of my way unless they want to crash.  

Do not waste energy.  Think and REACT.  

It was just the first race.  I learned a lot.  The way I raced yesterday is like a profile of my personality...it's a pattern typical of any of my first endeavors... it's something that's always disgusted me a little.  It's a combination of over-zealousness and frustration out of bounds: it just needs to be tamed with some smart pleats, some nips and tucks.  It's always helpful to think in tailoring analogies..   

Ill figure it out; I'm more confident now than yesterday after the race, and much less disappointed.  In fact, I am really excited!!!

P.S.     To the Unmentionable Cat.3 woman who told Becky and I, after Chan mentioned that she just raced in the 4's, that she would be pleased at the development of a new Cat. 3-4 category because she "could take out any of the 4's":       Bring it!!!!!!  Do you remember 'cross season?  Do you remember how I took you out every single weekend?  I read your blog....I've seen your numbers... I consider your catty remarks to be unexceptional.  

4.4.09

Attack or get off the front. Attack or get off the front. Attack or get off the front. Attack or get off the front. Attack or get off the front. Attack or get off the front. Attack or get off the front. Attack or get off the front.Attack or get off the front. Attack or get off the front. Attack or get off the front. Attack or get off the front.Attack or get off the front. Attack or get off the front. Attack or get off the front. Attack or get off the front.Attack or get off the front. Attack or get off the front. Attack or get off the front. Attack or get off the front.Attack or get off the front. Attack or get off the front. Attack or get off the front. Attack or get off the front.Attack or get off the front. Attack or get off the front. Attack or get off the front. Attack or get off the front.Attack or get off the front. Attack or get off the front. Attack or get off the front. Attack or get off the front.Attack or get off the front. Attack or get off the front. Attack or get off the front. Attack or get off the front.Attack or get off the front. Attack or get off the front. Attack or get off the front. Attack or get off the front.Attack or get off the front. Attack or get off the front. Attack or get off the front. Attack or get off the front.Attack or get off the front. Attack or get off the front. Attack or get off the front. Attack or get off the front.

2.4.09

mua ha ha..

Got ya Mr. French !  (but thanks for the kind encouragement)

I love bikes!  

Yesterday after work B.Chan, Axel & I took an hour recovery ride.  This is Becky's and my rest week.  I hope to be in good form on Saturday, and will begin interval training thereafter.

I'm reading Joe Friel's newest edition of The Cyclist's Training Bible.  The 4th edition differs from previous versions in that it talks about POWER !  Endurance is my strength.  Broadly speaking, Force and speed skills are my weaknesses.  I'm pretty excited to begin doing intervals and I hope to see some changes soon. 

I really need to learn how to better analyze the data from my powertap..  the program Training Peaks WKO+ would help.  Does anyone know if it's possible to share this program?  B.Chan and I were thinking about that....but we don't know if it would work.  

We got a Surly Long Haul Trucker in at the shop.  I blogged about this bike on the shop's blog (it's new..and weak...but we're gonna try) and I'm just generally excited about it.  Yay Touring !!

  

1.4.09

A note to my friends:

Hi everyone who reads this blog--B.Chan, Karl, Wildcard, Mike the bike carrier specialist, Ms. Moon, Axel, George...

I'm new to racing, as this will be my first real road season, and relatively new to your whole bicycle riding cult.  Now I own five bikes and have more cycling clothes than street clothes.  When I'm not riding I blog about riding, I work at the bike shop, delivered for JJ all winter on bikes, and I spent my spring break riding bikes in sunny So. Ill. ..

But guys, I've had enough.  

I'm sick of being punchy 4 nights out of 7.  I'm sick of hanging my delicate clothing to dry.  I'm sick of the tan lines.  ...Not being able to fit into my old pants, spending the money I make at the shop AT the shop, measuring my self worth in watts, waking up early to ride, getting greasy newb marks on my leg, crying in American Flyers, those bike-obsessed boys at the Shire.. the list goes on and on...

SO I am selling my bikes and bike stuff and buying an SUV.  I'll follow this email with a list so you all can place your bids.  Poprad, X-Caliber, I'll throw the fixie and the touring bike together as a "hipster special", and B.Chan, I'll cut you a deal on the Mad One...  again, a more complete list later.  Frankly, I just wanna get rid of this shit.

I didn't know I was this weak at heart, but hey...what's a girl to do.  At least the "old" men we met on the road on that first day of training camp stand a chance at Hillsboro, if they can keep B.Chan at bay.