Monday, June 27, 2016

Spring Racing & Mechanicals

April 3 NWA RR

Today started with a bad omen...two deer ran across the road and one of them did real damage to our car. I should have known it was going to be a long day!

I started the day feeling great but my head wasn't in the game. I was nervous! This was my first race since my crash in Austin and I just kept thinking what if someone takes me out again! This is the wrong way to start a race. The race started, I was riding strong and getting some confidence back. Then, we a turn straight into the crosswinds. I was in the wrong position and got split from the front group. The group I was in tried to bridge gap but I was having gear troubles. It turns out my rear derailleur was bent and I couldn't get the lower gear I needed in the crosswinds. So, I did my best but eventually had to just decide to turn this day into a great training ride. I was bummed but that's racing! Placement 50/63

April 10th Eucha RR

Today was a new race day! I had taken my bike to get a thorough check and tune up so I wouldn't have any bike issues. This is not the place you want to have any gear issues as the climbing is insane. I started off great and could hardly wait to get to the big climb (Spavinaw Hill). I was super stoked to still be with the group through this climb but trouble started soon afterwards as I wasn't able to quickly get back into my big chainring. It was a downhill/flat section and I could not stay with them in my small chainring. When I finally got into my big ring it was too little too late. I was caught in no man's land, solo! I finally got with another small group. But, trouble started when we hit the feedzone... I missed my hand up (first time that's ever happened), and I was completely out of water. Thankfully, another rider grabbed my missed bottle and gave it to me! WHEW...that was a life saver as we still had about 30 miles to race including climbing Spavinaw AGAIN! I just kept working and when I saw the 5K to go sign I dropped the guys I was with and just took off! It wasn't a great day but I had completed my longest road race and learned a lot about myself this day! I'm learning more and more with every race that doesn't go to plan! You have got to stay positive and keep working to get better! Placement 24/31

April 16 Matrix Challenge Crit

I had a rough start with trouble getting clipped in. I lost the main pack but I worked really hard to get to a group. It was just a couple of guys for a while. I had to put in a lot of work pulling because the other two riders I was with weren't strong enough to keep our speed. I finally got with a group of about 15 riders. I learned how to move within the group, not letting gaps open and got more comfortable in a pack on a technical course. I didn't have to pull anymore so was able to just sit in with them. I worked myself up toward the front of our group on the last lap on the backside of the course near Stackhouse and stayed there until the finish. I started in last place and finished 37th out of 54. I also set a new 30 minute power record! I was really hoping to race on Sunday and get a better start to see if I could use what I learned. I wasn't racing scared for the first time. Unfortunately, Sunday was canceled due to bad weather!

Hey, this is racing and I'll come back better from all this disappointment!

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Camp and Wisdom Teeth

It was a long drive to camp but totally worth it! We got settled in the cabin and got dressed for a short day on the bike. We went for about 30 miles just to spin our legs out. When we got back we had to get dinner prepared. I worked with Josh Brazeal grilling the chicken. Dinner that night were these amazing chicken sandwiches. Then, I turned in early to be ready for Saturday's long ride.

Last year, I was totally dropped on Spavinaw Hill and was super embarrassed. This year my coach, Mark Teruki, had me ready! This year, I felt strong! I was not dropped and stayed with the group all day! We rode 107 miles of paved roads, gravel roads, and over 5,100 feet of climbing. I had an marvelous day on the bike! We had beautiful weather and it was awesome having so many teammates tell me they could really see improvement. YES! Hardwork does pay off! I really feel this is going to be a break through year!

Photo Credit: Kristen Ryan

Austin thinks he can get me to cut my hair but it's not happening anytime soon! Check out my cool Handlebar Mustache @hbstache socks! #sockdoping #sockgameisstrong

Day 3 of camp I woke up with a migraine headache so I helped in the SAG wagon. The guys had to cut the ride really short anyway due to the strong winds. They even had a tree blow down right in front of them on the way back to the cabin. Sorry I didn't get a picture of that for my blog! Overall, it was a really fun weekend of riding with some great guys. Thank you TLC and Josh Brazeal for such a fantastic weekend.

I wasn't too excited to come home because I knew the coming weekend wasn't going to be much fun! The Friday, after camp, I got my wisdom teeth removed! I was pretty miserable for about 5 days and VERY swollen. I tried to ride a couple of times but it didn't go well. I'm glad that's behind me and I can start training again. My next road race will be in a couple of weeks! So, stay tuned for more from the road!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

2016 Racing Has Begun

This past weekend was the start of my second season with Transitions LifeCare Cycling Team and my 2016 racing season. I went to Austin to race Bat City Apache Pass and Pace Bend. These are both road races. I went down early to ride the course so I was prepared for the "Texas Cobbles".

I was excited when race day was finally here! On the first lap, I was sitting in a great position when I hit a bump and my water bottle popped out of my cage and got stuck in my wheel, chain and chain ring (see picture below). I have never seen anything like it. Good news: I didn't go down and didn't cause anyone to go down. Bad news: it took me plus the two guys in the SAG truck to remove the bottle, was down to one water bottle with Skratch, jacked up my front derailleur, was more than 2 minutes behind the field and it was windy. The SAG guys asked if I just wanted to call it a day get into the truck. I said, "no thank you...I want to finish the race." I knew my placement would be bad but I didn't care, I just wanted to finish. I was dead last coming through the feed zone but I didn't quit. I rode hard, caught some people and ended up 44th out of 53 starters but I finished. The good part was my coach, Mark TeRuki with TeRuki Training, was pleased that I set new peak power numbers for 10, 12, 20, 60 and 90 minutes during the race. Progress!

Sunday was the Pace Bend Road Race. I felt like today was my day! Legs felt good and I was confident. I really like this course! I was on the first lap and climbing a hill. There was a gap and I was trying to make my move up through the pack when a guy changed his line, hit my wheel and took me out. My bike wasn't rideable and so my day was over before it hardly started. Super bummed!

The weekend didn't go the way I wanted it to but that's racing! I will keep training and getting faster!  Next stop...TEAM CAMP! Oh, by the way, I got new cages and a helmet from Celestial Cycles when I got home! Thanks Sheridan the Arundel's ROCK!!