Belated Weekend Report

I hope everyone is doing well and that spring is begining to come around for all. The sweet sound of birds in the morning is very motivating lately and leaves me with faith that warmer weather is just around the corner!

A beautiful sunrise on the way to races...this picture dosn't do it justice but you get the idea

Out to dinner with the team. Doug (the coach) has now started arranging catering services to the hotels we stay at and that has been super amazing, because as you can imagine going to a resturaunt with 30 people makes for quite a long evening.

So for the weekends happenings...

We traveled to Athens, GA on friday and got settled in at our hotel. We decided that I would not do the Individual time trial Saturday morning due in part to my having fallen on my clavical earlier in the week. On a side note I did go to the trainer about that and have been told it is just a bad sprain and it should hopefully feel better in about 2 weeks. For the time being it is mainly just real sore in the morning, but it could be much worse and it is nothing to complain over for that matter. As it turned out I was pretty happy about not doing the TT because first of all it was really cold that morning and the second part you should understand after reading about the road race.

2PM road race with 20MPH winds: This was a 46 mile, 3 lap road race and i had heard from the TT riders of the morning that the start/finish strech was a direct head wind like hitting a wall. About 1-2 miles in to the race the women were being typical women and riding around 12mph. I got a little feed up and decided I would pull them along for a bit going a little faster. So I got on the front and was turning 19mph easily. I looked back and had a gap of about 100 yards. I just kept the pase at around 20mph and they basically let me walk away. Someone could have easiler pulled the group up to me but my teammates where just sitting in like they were supposed to. I should mention the plan was to chill for the first lap and a half or so and then start launching attacks and try to get a break...but that is not what happened. Given the conditions with the wind i myself would have said there was no way a one rider break could hold, none of the girls would have the strength to hold off a pack...that is exacly what the girls in the pack were thinking as they let me float into the distance (my teammates even said the other girls were verbalizing that idea and they agreed). In any case i kept looking back and realizing i was really gaining on them. I was feeling pretty confident and thinking "ok, maybe i can do this for the next 40miles, i just need to keep a steady pase". At one point i was within about 100yards of catching the mens B field but they picked up the pase. Then it happened...i hit the wall of wind..."yikes, i'm not so sure i can hold this anymore" was my first thought, which only got worst as i hit the biggest climbes of the race going into a 20mph wind with gusts that would have been great for a sail boat! I calmed down and watched my speed, basically always calculating what i thought the girls in the pack might be able to hold and then trying to keep my pase above that. As it turned out I had just over 4 minutes on the pack when they came though the feed zone of the first lap. That is when the other teams thought 'crape we better go get her'...but they couldn't gain on me as i countinued to gain time. I would crank on the back sections of the course and then just hang on through the head wind and hope they weren't strong enough, I knew I had 5 teammates behind me who would be doing their best to slow the pack down, cover attacks and make the other girls work and suffer as they attempted to close the time gap! It was a physical and mental battle for me, but one that went pretty well and satisfied me for the day! I ended up winning with something like a 5-7 minute gap on one girl that got away in the last lap and about a 7-9 min gap on the field. The other girls on the team did well, winning the field sprint and coming in exahused from a hard ride of covering attacks and doing everything they could to help me. Needless to say my legs were spent and all I wanted was an ice bath and a massage so I could be ready to race again the next day.

9:30AM criterium on Georgia Campus: The course was tons of great fun with lots of corners and some little hills. I got on my bike to roll over to the bathrooms and thought o man, i need to shift down and make this easier...only to find I was already in my easiest gear. Geeze, today should be interesting i thought, knowing that I had better get a good warm up in and hope I could open up my legs! So, that is what i did. We started the race and tried to send Clara off from the gun but the others chased her down and I waited until one of the stonger girls had done a pretty hard pull and then attacked her up the hill on the back side. I got away and made them do some work. My time split was fluctuating from 30-75seconds and it didn't take too long lap the main field. But it became clear I wasn't going to lap the girls who where chasing me, so i chilled out a little and let them start to catch me. I got them in site and picked it up a little to make em' chase a little harder until they got on my wheel. No one was interested in coming around me but the lead girl was panting pretty heavily so I decided to jump another little attack just to put her in the hurt hole a little deeper!...hahaha...gotta take advantage when you can. I'm sure i'll get it back soon. Anyhow there was now a group of 4 of us on the front, one of which was my teammate Mo who had been working her butt off chasing down the other girls jumps. It was pretty uneventful from there and in the end i grabbed a wheel and sprinted for the line taking first and Mo snagged 3rd after recovering from clipping her pedel in the final turn. I later found out Jo (another teammate) had been trailing not far behind us and was able to stay infront of the pack for 5th! All others did well also! I tryed to jump into the mens A race but soon discovered my legs were a little more beat than i thought and I only lasted a few laps...a little disapointing/embarassing, but no complaints here!

Ok...it's finally over!

I hope you all get sun shine soon and it brings a smile to your face!!!


3/12 Party

Two of my teammates, Mo and Wes have an awsome place they rent where we can have bonfires and the whole bit! So the party was at their place last night and somehow....your not going to believe this, but I was there until 3am... ok it was just to make sure people got home safe, but still that is pretty late for me!

I'll start by getting the bad news out of the way and then give you a few pictures. At the start of the night we set up a slackline and while i was walking across i tryed to catch a fall and ended up landing on a stange angle on my sholder/collarbone. It cracked and at first felt like a hard core chiropractic adjustment, until it started getting real stif and made me want to throw up. It feels more like clavical damage than anything else, but i don't think anything is broken...i'm pretty sure it would have hurt a lot more. So i'm iceing it now and we will see what happens when I attempt to venture out on the bike today.

Enough of that, here are some pictures to leave you with and hopefully next time i post my arm will be feeling well enough to do sprint intervals and all that fun stuff!

We got a few good flames going to keep us warm...

but most of the time it was more under control

O what?...that's right Aaron Bradford is back! He shaved his legs...he was giving us a show...

O..o...pose for the camera...

Believe it or not this is my teammate Jesse singing, yes he was making those facial expressions!

So it was a good time and everyone enjoyed themsleves. Pray for my sholder/clavical to feel better soon, I really need to keep healthy at this point!


3/10&11 Report

I got a few new pictures for ya! I didn't do a great job but I'm getting better! So we'll start with the pictures and then move on to filling you in on the races of the weekend...

Down to the lobby for breakfast before hitting the road for the days races

We pretty much take over the entire area for about 45 minutes before departure

We took two rigs like this with us...many times we travel in a bigger bus but a lot of kids were driving themselves and then taking off for spring break...

We occupied quite a strech of road at the road race sunday with our two buses and trailers, along with a few other individual vehicles

The bikes have been unloaded and are ready for the day...

More bikes and wheels, etc...

In the bus on the way home!

So, if you haven't noticed we are treated pretty darn well. Better than the average Pro team for sure! All our nutrition needs are taken care of as far as gu's, bars, recovery drink, and everyday food fuel. We stay at nice hotels where most kids main concern is whether or not we have free wireless internet and we have enough extra equipment that most everyday problems can be fixed in time for a race!

On to the races...

Morning - Individual Time Trial - I did alright, had some skipping on my rear cassette but for the most part it felt ok. I didn't feel real smooth and had a hard time deciding on a pace but that will come with time and experience. I just rode my regular road bike for the event, which was fine becuse it was a bit of a hilly TT course. However I did just get a frame that I plan on building into a TT bike so that should be a good time soon! O, I got 2nd.

Afternoon - Road Race - We did 6 laps of what we had already done for the TT in the morning, it was about a 46 mile road race on a beautiful warm day! The team was doing pretty well together, just getting used to riding together. There were a few things we should have done differently but we will learn with time. In the end I really messed things up by sprinting one hill early. I though the finish was at the top of on one hill but it was actually at the top of the next. So I used a lot of energy going for the wrong finish and then I got impatient and fustrated and pretty much stopped using my head. I ended up mashing up the last hill in way to big of a gear and just drilling myself into the ground. Luckily my teammate Kristi had been wiser than I and ended up taking 2nd, as I came in 4th and we had the rest of the girl not too far behind. Overall I just made a bad error and learned from it, no good excuse, just wan't focused enough I guess.

Morning - Road Race - This road race was on a longer loop so we only had to do 4 laps for a total of 44 miles. Being girls, a lot of riders had to go to the bathroom in the middle of the race, including myself on this particular day. So someone kinda headed up a pee break and we all stopped...all but one Georgia girl who decided to keep going. Thankfully as I was running into the woods two of my teammates realized what was going on and went with her. This caused a real hustle to get back on the bikes and chase them down. I got in the front of the pack and one of my other teammates was with me. Clara stayed back and pulled our other girls on...I should have dropped back sooner than I did to help but I got a bit anxious. In any case we brough the pack back together and there were the three girls off the front. My team should have attemped an attack for a few of us to bridge the gap but I was unsure and never initiated anything. With only a few miles left to go we caught the break and played it out till the finish. I got myself in a good position and drilled it from about 300meters out to take the win...I had some additional insentive after Saturday. Mo came in 3rd and we had good finishes behind that as well!

I should also mention that our B women racers also did very well this weekend. They swept the TT and then placed 1st and 3rd on saturday and 1st and 2nd on Sunday! The Boys also did well but I'm not positive on any numbers so please forgive me...I can only keep track of so much!

It was a good weekend and i'm happy to be back in Banner Elk for another hard week of training...the intervals increase this week and I still have to go back to Georgia and race again next weekend. It should make for some good pain in many different forms.

Hope all is well with everyone and i'll try to keep you tuned and up to date!


Where I Live...

Ok, so i finally got around to taking some pictures of the appartment so anyone who is interested can see where i live.

This is the front door coming in from the parking lot:

Breezeway area where we keep extra bikes and usually place our garbage underneath:

Walking into the appartment from the breezeway:

And then into the kitchen, the most important things co exist here - our bikes and food!

A nice large kitchen area so we don't run into each other too much:

Our living room has been furnished by katie and the old coffee table of some friends, the nice big window looks out to the mountains...

Our laundry room also serves as storage for more bike stuff!

Heading up the stairs we have the main bathroom...

And now to head into my mess...

More bikes and bike equipment along with some books and things of the sort:

The closet wall

My picture wall of friends and motivation...i need to add some more

Here is more the motivation side...!

And the workstation area for creating things like "moose mitts"...

So that is about it. It's a nice place and it has treated me well. I'm not sure if I will be keeping it over the summer or not, but time will tell.

This weekend the collegiate team travels to Georgia Tech to race and then I return to banner elk for spring break week before going back to Georgia for another race the following weekend...we'll see how those races go. I promise i will try to take some pictures this time and keep everything updated.

Hope all is well with everyone and I hope to hear from all of you soon!


March 3 & 4 weekend race report

Sorry again...somehow i have to force myself to get some darn pictures! Anyhow the college team traveled to Greenville, SC again this weekend for road races. It was the same race course as saturday last weekend and we did the same thing both days...a little boring but good training non the less. So here are the quick run downs:

We had a large field of women, i would say 50+!!! The pace was pretty tame, especailly because there was a strong wind, so whoever was at the front was doing a lot of work, hats off to Mo (one of my teammates who was pretty much on the front all day). I really focused on trying to keep all the team in the race and getting Jo (another teammate who came from triathlons) to feel comfortable in the pack. Jo dropped on the first lap last week but we knew she had the power to hang in with the girls. So after some romping around this week we threw her in the mix and i just helped her along, teaching her all the things the guys back in MI taught me...use the pack to protect yourself, pay attention to the wind and base your positioning off of that, etc. It worked like a charm and before the finish she was doing everything without any prompt!!! I was so proud! Ok, so for the finish. We were coming up the final climb (not too steep or long) and the Cheerwine girls (Beth and Clara - Clara also rides for the collegiate team but usually races with Cheer when they are around) come flying up the left, Beth pulls off and Clara books it for the finish, which is a long ways off at this point (at least 800-1000m out I would say. I thought someone would jump on it and i could tag along, but no such luck. Mo had just done a hard pull up to the front girls so i felt like i had better do something...which of course ment i was going to have to start working a lot harder than i had planned a lot earlier than i had planned. I geared up and started off in pursuit of Clara who at this point had quite a lead on all of us. As I passed i heard Mo say something along the lines of "you better win"! I could tell I was starting to gain and I just prayed she was running out of energy becuase I didn't know if i would be able to catch her. I got to her rear tire just before the 200m marker and was EXAUSTED...so much so that I had forgotten to check behind me and see how close the next girl was. This resulted in Clara easing off and my doing the same sense I figured i would recover for a few strokes before i got ready to go for the line. Well, another girl came flying by on the left and I thought to myself "how am i going to explain this...i had better get her". I was skeptical at first but was able to nab her by about a half wheel or so at the line for the win of the day! Lets just say i was pretty worked over and only sat in on the guys race for a few laps before deciding to cool down and call it a day.

Womens field was much smaller and the day was much easier overall. Not as many attacks and the wind wasn't as strong. I basically sat in and kept myself protected for the majority of the race. Once again making sure the girls on the team were doing ok and trying to help them out. I taught Ally that when your chain falls off to the inside of the chainrings 99% of the time you can just shift up and get it to catch back on...she was lucky to have me there sense i can remember the numerous times that happened to me in NRC races when I thought the only way to get the chain back on was to actually get off the bike completely and do it by hand, which resulted in a lot of pain on my part trying to chase packs down. Jo did great and i focused more on just getting her to start understanding tactical stuff through out the day. All of our girls raced really well and I think we looked great out there as a team. We will be a force to recon with at collegiate races, especially becuase we will also have Clara racing with us. O i forgot about the finish, it was a pack sprint. Mo, Ally, and Jo pulled up the last hill and then I jumped on a few other girls but Mo was close on my wheel. One girl jumped and Mo grabbed her wheel so i took the 3rd position and kept an eye out for any others attempting to come around...no one tried. Once i felt it was safe and i have enough power i left the draft behind and punched it to the line taking the "W" for the day!

So much for a quick run down. I appologize for those of you who don't understand some of the bike jargon...just drop a comment with any questions and I would be happy to do my best at answering! Overall a good racing weekend and this week has some ineresting training in store so we will see how that treats me!

Take care all!!!


The first race of the season!

Ok, I appoligize I have no pictures for you at this point but I have gotten a lot of calls asking how the first races went to here is the run down...

For those of you who didn't know, the Lees-McRae college team was supposed to go to the University of Florida last weekend and do collegiat races. Against my better judgement I agreed to go...there were races in Greenville, SC which is only 3 hours away and I wanted to do those but thought I should probably go with the team. So we left last Friday morning at 10am with our old mini bus and a huge new bus both pulling big trailers loaded with all sorts of fun toys! I will have to take picutes of this stuff so you can see what i mean...we looked like some sort of mob. In any case things weren't on our side and the trailer lights on the new rig weren't working right, so we stopped for about and hour or so and narrowed the problem down, kept traveling to Charlotte where we were going to eat lunch and get the lights fixed before continuing...5pm rolls around and we are just getting the bus back and the lights still don't work...back to Banner Elk. Ultimatly we were gone from 10am till 8:30pm and accomplished very little, althogh at least i got a lot of school reading done.

SO....Saturday morning at 5am we try again and take a crew to Greenville...we made it!!! Basically no warm up for the womens race but it was a 35mile road race so i just did a few spinning efforts in there to get ready for the final sprint. I didn't get myself in the best position, but luckily it is early season and neither did anyone else so I was able to come away with the win on the first training race of the season! Then I turned around and jumped in the mens Pro1/2 field for about half of their race before I decided to call it a day. As i said to one of my teammates who asked me "What happened?"..."i had enough of going 40mph for one day"...they got a laugh out of that, although i will admit it was a bit of an exageration, 30 to 35mph would have been more accurate...but he got the point...I WAS TIRED!

We awoke to clowdy skys and rain on Sunday. Had i been alone i would have headed for home and just done an indoor workout but that wasn't the case. I suited up and headed out into the 43degree raining weather and swam around the BMW test track where we were having the crit. There were only about 12 women there as opposed to the 50 on the previous day. A while into the race we got a break of 3 going and kept a pretty steady tempo, remaining away from the "pack". In the end i was sputering and told the stonger girl that if she kept me on till the finish I would lead her out (this mean she keeps the pace low enough for me to hang on and when we get close to the finish line i will punch it and give her a lead out, so she gets to draft my jump and then sprint around me for the win), she agreed of course and she finished 1st with me bringing in 2nd. My teammate Mo was back in the pack and had been trying to keep things slow back there and she won the field sprint to bring in 4th!

Ok, ok, enough writing...i'm procrastinating studying for a big exam today. I will try to take pictures this weekend and make things a bit more interesting!

Take Care all!