Monday, September 28, 2009

Exciting News

While I am waiting for a few more pictures to come online from the cyclocross races this weekend, I figured I'd take this opportunity to devote a little post to let you all in on some exciting news in my world. As of last Wednesday evening, I officially became a new member of the Punk Rock Cycling women's team!!! This is a pretty big deal for me...these girls are great cyclists and their team is widely respected as one of the top women's teams in the area. I am still somewhat in shock that they asked ME to join their team, but I am totally excited about the opportunity to learn from and race with these girls. More on this to come, but don't I look good in the black, green and blue???


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

F-U-N

I am having an absolute BLAST right now. Cyclocross has begun...I'm back at CrossFit...my sister and her family have officially moved back home...life is good.

CYCLOCROSS
I'm happy to report the black eye has healed and I have not acquired any additional injuries from crashing my cross bike...so far. I have a few bruises from working on dismounting and re-mounting for obstacles and from shouldering the bike up some hills, but other than that no new injuries to report. We had our first Renegade cyclocross training ride Tuesday night. Some local bikers pick a city park each week, throw some flags down for a course and we all show up to ride and have some fun. Tuesday was the first ride at Union Park. They had a great course set up for us, with a couple sets of obstacles, a big hill run-up, some off-camber stuff, some tight turns, a tiny bit of pavement and some good ole flat grass. We rode a "practice lap" to get a little familiar with the course, then it was go time. 45 minutes as hard as you want, as many laps as you want. After the first lap I wasn't sure I was going to make it 45 minutes. It was TOUGH! But I held on, lap after lap...quads were burning, hips were screaming, sweat was dripping off my nose. I.LOVED.IT. Each lap I got a little more comfortable...the downhill seemed to get easier, I could go a little faster, let go of the brakes a little more. One of the riders snapped some pictures on the last loop, going down the hill...F-U-N!!!!

My friend Steve is taking me out to ride some single track tonight - I'm so excited! Then Sunday, I'm heading out on a long ride with Greyt. Renegade again on Tuesday. So much fun I can barely stand it!

CROSSFIT
Last November I started CrossFit as a way to work on strength training that wasn't boring or routine. For those of you who aren't familiar with CrossFit, you can check out the website at http://www.crossfit.com/. But basically it's a strength and conditioning program that includes plyometrics, olympic lifts, running ,rowing, gymanstics,etc. I was in CrossFit from November till April and I really loved it. Then...I broke my hand. I stayed out of CrossFit during the summer to let my hand completely heal and also to focus on just racing. Now that I'm done with my triathlon racing season, I wanted to go back and work on gaining back some of the strength I have lost. I went back last week, two days...and was so sore I could hardly walk. First day consisted of 50 power squat cleans (clean it from the floor into a squat, then stand it up) using just the 45# bar. I was supposed to do 75 cleans but my wrist wasn't allowing it. Then two days later I went back for workout #2 - 150 kettlebell swings for time (36# kettlebell). By Thursday, I was one hurting unit. My muscles clearly were not ready to quite jump in as fast as I did. WOW. It hurt, but I loved it. I had really missed doing those workouts.

I went back yesterday for my third class...and wouldn't you know it, the workout of the day was the same one I was doing when my accident happened in April - Helen. Yes, some of the workouts have names...and the ones named after chicks are complete bitches. "Helen" is 3 rounds for time of 400m run, 21 kettlebell swings (36#), and 12 pull-ups. I have to admit, I was pretty nervous going into it. I had to get my mind over the fact that the last time I was doing pull-ups, the bar broke and I was in surgery two days later. With some great support from my girl Kelli, and my buds Jon and Cliff (in the red)....it was HTFU time!!!


Yeah, it hurt...my grip in that right hand is not as strong as it used to be. And I only did about 5 or 6 as kipping pull-ups and had to do jumping pull-ups for the rest, but I'll take it! At least I finished Helen this time...and with no trip to the ER!!!
THEY ARE HOME!!
My sister and her family have officially moved back to Iowa. It's been a crazy month or so getting them all moved out here, them finding jobs, finding Gabe daycare, etc, but they are finally here. Last weekend they packed up their house in Chicagoland and moved it all home. I stayed behind and watched Gabe for the weekend....which I think at times was harder than the actual moving part! :D In an effort to still get some bike riding in while he was here, I borrowed a friend's bike trailer and decided I'd try it out with him. I thought he would enjoy it, but I just wasn't sure....
The faster I went, the louder he giggled. He absolutely LOVED it. I think this will have to be my next purchase so I can use it to pick him up from day care every now and again while it's still nice out. Not to mention the fact that it's a heck of a workout pulling him around in it!
I'll leave you with one last picture....doesn't he look like a happy boy?

Pool hair and cookie face

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Going Over To the Dark Side - Big Creek Road Race

Yes, boys and girls, I finally took the plunge and signed myself up for a bike race. Just a bike race. No swim before, no run after, just 34.5 miles of just the bike. It was hard. I was hitting speeds on my bike I never imagined I would hit. And my HR was probably at levels I never have hit on the bike either (I didn't wear it to know, though). BUT, I had a blast. I absolutely loved it. I have a lot to learn about racing bikes...but I enjoyed the strategery...the chess-playing...the ability to race the competition side-by-side. Now I just need to work on becoming a smarter biker so I can hold on and not get dropped in the last lap. DOH!



Here are some of the race in pictures (and video). Courtesy of spectator extraordinare - Greyt! Enjoy!


I really am excited!!


Pre-race with my adopted biking family, the Robinsons

Getting a little pre-race pep talk from Steve

Steve with his "I wish I was racing" face on...me with my "I hope I don't puke" face on...

video
Women's Beginner Race - GO!

Hanging tough with the girls...through Lap 5 (of 6).

video
The girls finishing without me. :(

video

But here I come!! Finishing strong!