Monday, March 30, 2009

Post- race stretching

Luna decided to mimic Sam's post-race stretching. Yup, pretty much the cutest thing ever.
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Friday, March 27, 2009


The genius work of Dr. Gene Zeitler. Yay! Instant relief!
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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


After a day off from workouts on Monday and a bit of indulgence in champagne and chocolate, it was back to work. Tuesday brought two workouts - a steady longer run and a fun drill-swim!

Coach Eric

has created some fun workouts and yesterday's was a set of repeats: 150 swim steady, 100 pull, 50 kick, 2 x 50 fast on 1 minute. It was fun, it moved and I felt strong and happy throughout.

It's been a big help having company recently. As cyclist Sam gets ready for his first 1/2 Iron, I've gained a new training partner! Between having something nice to look at while swimming, it hasn't hurt that he is super positive and hard working. I tend to be a stickler during workouts. I'm exact o n my rest and on my sets. I don't like chit-chatting or interruptions and Sam gets this. I think he'll have a great race this Spring!

Beyond Sam, the athletes I'm working with are doing fantastically well - showing commitment, motivation and a positive attitude. These ladies are on the right path to achieve their goals. It's helpful in getting myself out the door, knowing I'm expecting the same of others. Lead by example, right?

With that, it's time to fill the tires... workout 1 of the day awaits!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Weekend Update - only not as funny as SNL

Wowzers McGowzers! I can't believe it's been days since my last post. That is probably a good sign (to my coach, especially) that training and life are moving at the speed of a steam train (well, maybe that's a bad comparison - how fast do trains travel? If train A leaves the station at 11 and train b... oh, forget it!).

It's been a fun few days - my brand new Cannondale Super Six arrived last week to much fanfare - someone, who shall remain nameless, tried to scare me into believing the bike wasn't coming!! ACK! Do not mess with type- A athlete!!

Tuesday night, the boy arrived at the house with a big box - inside was a beautiful 48 cm beauty - white with red accents and silvery logo. Just gorgeous and so light, I thought the box was empty! Add to that some sweet SRAM Red components and you get a wicked-light speed machine!! I'll be posting picks and video of the bike build and the C-dale website will as well.

That was a fast-forward to Friday night. Wine, beer and bike building, oh my! At 9:30, the bike was still not complete - hunger pangs were setting in and the question of food was raised. "I cannot cook" I declared. Stanley and Dorothy were still in the office and so we all opted for Sushi. It was just what we needed to power thru the last bits of the bike-build.

Saturday morning arrived too soon (maybe b/c it was morning when we went to bed) and with it a ride and run. Sammy and I got out on bikes and did my Roubaix-style route. Dirt roads galore! Such a blast and I noticed the difference of riding carbon immediately - none of that fatigue in my forearms or upper back. No kidney pain! SO lovely! I could not stop smiling and I think my riding partner could notice. Transition run and a quick shower later and we were off to the "Eagles leave the nest" party for our Switzerland-bound friends, Erin and Erik Eagleman. It was a party to remember...on many fronts... great food, conversation and a bit too much libation..

Again, the morning came too soon and with it, a day of bike racing! Somehow Jeremy Mikesell managed to rise early for the Cat 5 men's race and took 10th! Mercifully, the women's race is at 10:30 and a crash, courtesy of the men's Cat 4 field meant an extra warm-up for those of us a bit late - ahem- to the race site. The women's race was brutal again - Filled with National Champs, Pros and Cat 1, 2 women (mind you, this is an open Cat Pro,1,2,3,4 women's field). I felt good and chased down breaks, matched accelerations and kept my heart rate up as instructed by coach Eric. On the final lap, I was not in good position, but managed to work my way up the side of the field. Had good position coming into the sprint - a few girls went too early and I was able to edge into 5th. YAY!

A bit of a break and then I hopped into the Men's Cat 3/4 race where I was instructed to "sit in". 27 miles of pain. That's what it was. 27 miles at a 27 mph average. Holy bjeebus, I didn't think these guys were supposed to be that fast! The race was strung out most of the time, one of the Comedy Central girl's boyfriend was off the front for the whole race (apparently he's a Cat 1 track cyclist). The men weren't very organized and no one was really chasing down the break. Then, more attacks came. I tried to stick by Sam, Joey and Murray, but with all the movement in the field, I was just happy when I found Rick's wheel. He is about 7 feet tall and no wind gets around him! For fun, I saw an acceleration happening, I jumped on the hill and closed the gap. I then told the boys how lazy they were for letting a 5'1" 100lb girl lead them back to the break... well, maybe that just happened in my head. At that point in the race, I was ready to die... it was hot, I was panting and sure my heart rate monitor was wrong...nevermind, I have a new max heart rate.

Finishing the race, I got stuck behind a crash, but it was still a fun day. I have new respect for my Sam boy, doing the men's 3/4 and pro 1,2,3 race and placing! Amazing.

Pictures to come... in the meantime...keep's fun!

Congrats to my Team Teany teammates - Steph and Colleen for a strong finish in the women's race and to miss Megan Searfoss - it's her 2nd bike race ever and she finished in the top 15. Just rad!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

All I have to say

is, "It's a beautiful day - don't let it get away." - U2

Today is definitely a U2 soundtrack of a day. I've been working away all morning, and now it's time to head out for a bike and run, then a ride on the caballos before a swim with my boy later!

Lots to do, but it's too nice out to not drop everything and just enjoy it. That's what blackberries are for - if someone really needs me, I'm available.

My new bike arrived yesterday and I'll do the grand unveiling (and building) later this week... stay tuned and get outside!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Another Sunday, another race! Whewph! What a weekend. With Miss Erin making her way to Switzerland soon, it was a call to action for the ladies.

A group of 10 headed to Barca on Friday night - a bar/restaurant in Danbury that had me pleasantly surprised! Nice atmosphere, menu and the best mixed Kir-Royal I've ever had. Lots of laughs and it was so nice to reconnect with these girls. We talked men, work, and everything in between. I'm already longing for another night with the girls.

Sometime after midnight, we opted to go home and when we arrived at the Tarrywile lodge, we could hear the raucous noise from within. Bottles of tequila emptied on a table scattered with limes proved the the perfect ego-enhancer as the boys played a wicked game of rock-band. It's amazing how many MBA' s and advanced degrees we had collected in the room, yet no one is pompous or full of themselves. Everyone can let loose and just have fun. It's absolutely liberating!

Saturday was race day for some of my teammates (they rocked by the way - taking 4,5,6) but I opted for a long-ride and brick run with the boy. We took off in the mild weather on a fun ride that I call the "roubaix" ride. Add in a nice 6k, 14% grade average climb and it was the perfect balance of work and fun. 3.5 hours later and I made my way out for a run with the dog. I returned home to find my Sam-boy passed out on the couch.

Late night + early work + long ride = tired boy.

As we made our way to Washington to meet my parents for dinner, I got a phone call - "can you do evening chores?" Of course! It is amazing to have Sam around the horses - he is very natural with them and asked me "what's your advice?" My advice: You need to be the dominant figure around horses - to not show fear. Show confidence. They want to be directed and like small children, they like boundaries and expectations. Do this and they are your best friend! It got me thinking that this is a great way to think about racing and training. To be confident, yet without ego. My training motto this year has been to, "race with ego but train with none".

With that in mind, Sunday morning arrived - and with it, the 2nd round of the Bethel Spring Series races. The women's field was large again - filled with pro and Category 1 (top category) bike racers. These girls are incredible and it makes for a really dynamic, fast and fun race. Friend and pro-roadie, Silke Wunderwald was on the front the whole race. She is beautiful to watch with a steady, smooth pedal stroke and an acceleration that will take your breath away (literally). I still laugh at something Silke said to me last year - Before Tour of Hilltowns, we were planning to drive up together. I started to plan out the day - when we'd leave, arrive, warm up, etc. When I threw out an arrival time, Silke said to me, "Girl, this ain't no triathlon, you just get on your bike and go." It still cracks me up and makes me remember to settle down and relax before my races.

Yesterday's race was interesting, fast and fun and my legs felt good. I had 2 close calls - early-on a few girls rubbed wheels, one falling in front of me, I thought I was going down and managed to death-wobble and stay up. I saw the field accelerating up the hill away from me. I put on the gas and caught back on, and received cheers of congratulations from the field and just when I thought my heart rate might be able to get back to normal, there was another attack off the front. Remembering Eric's orders, I chased it down. Ooof, still tired thinking about it.

The last lap of the race, there were a few attack attempts, but none stayed away. All of a sudden, I noticed that the front 7-8 spots were all Radical Media athletes. These girls are good and know how to work and control a field. I have a lot of respect for them. Coming up for the final sprint, I found myself a bit stuck behind a wavering sprinter - still, took 8th and am happy with how the day went. It was a hard effort and a lot of fun. Afterwards, I got in a nice transition run to spin the legs out.

The REAL highlight of the day was watching Sam race. He did the 3/4 race, taking 7th (and a bit of cash) and then the Pro 1/2/3 race where he worked the field and remained really active. - all of this coming off injury. I was so proud and happy - nothing better than staying in the sunshine with dog and lots of friends! Murray, Jeremy, Hannah, Ron, Joey, Erin, Erik and others were all out. To celebrate a successful day all around, we made our way to the Putnam House. Back to the Future 2 and brownies later ensued, to round off a busy and fantastic weekend.

Today is a day off from training, but don't worry, I'll find a way to fill the time!

And now, some pictures:

Me in my new Teany uniform - 100% natural. 100% nice. Next to me in the black and white is Maggie - eventual winner.
Sprinting for a prime.
In a break with Silke, Miller and Evie. Across the street is the C-dale cheer section.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The run must have been hard

Luna enjoys her favorite chair and the afternoon sun, post-run.
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Just Because It Looks Fun!

Ch-Ch-Check it out... HERE

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Pictures - Bethel week 1

Courtesy of my favorite photog - Mister Samuel Dodge:

Photos are a bit out of order - can't seem to remember that Blogger posts them in reverse order!
The pack! Or most of it. We had a big group that broke away and split the field.
Up the hill and making a move!
Our break-away pack gets a bit smaller. See the stars and stripes jersey on the front? Yup - they don't just give those away. That's multiple-time (and current) National Champion AnnMarie Miller
Before the race, chatting with some friends... That's Maria Quiroga (super racer for Radical Media) on the left...her family is from Colombia ... yea, don't piss her off. We were dying of laughter b/c that gel she's eating went thru the wash, yummy.

And so it begins...

Well, it's been a few days since I've posted something substantial. Life has been busy-busy-busy, which is a good thing. The races are coming together nicely, sponsorship and just life in general is good. The Sam-boy and I have been making up for the lost time together when I was in Spain - great meals and great company. It's amazing how fast time goes by... Talks of Easter plans, my sister's wedding, my races...all of these are coming up quick!!

This past weekend was the official start to the Bethel Spring Series races. Last year, Aki - director extraordinaire - added a women's field. It attracts National Champs and beginners alike. A few of theses beginners were good friends - Miss Megan from Bethel Cycle came out to try her hand at Bike racing!

It was a tough way to start - even for those of us who thought we were fit. A number of Cat 1 and 2 cyclists riding for pro-teams (or who are in talks with them) - were out and it was just a hammer-fest. Attack after attack was brought back, but it made for a fast and furious day. The field was split and somehow I hung on to the front pack. The final lap came, I attempted a break and well, the engine ran out of steam before the final sprint.

I'm not upset in the slightest. I do these races, not for results, but for training - hence them being a "training series". Coach Eric and I agreed, I should use these to get some speed work in. Haven't done any speedwork since last fall, so it was a test for the legs. A test for the heart to jack my heart rate up nice and high and then try and recover! I got in a few "field tests" and really pushed the pace, averaged 24 mph for the 20 mile crit race. Very cool. I can't seem to mimic these kinds of workouts on my own, so it's a blessing when these talented ladies show up and hand me my a$$ on a platter.

Looking forward to the weeks ahead. You def. start to learn who is strong, who is reliable, who has a good wheel - who attacks when, and so another exciting season starts!! YAY!

Friday, March 6, 2009


As my friend Lauren put it, "We are not alone."

Check it out HERE

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Cool Beans

See what I'm excited about: HERE

Involuntary Naps

They happen. I've been home for almost a week and hit the ground running with work, workouts and fun. Yesterday, all of that caught up with me.

I was supposed to run and swim - wanting to combine the two, I planned to do both at the gym. At 4:30 I pulled into the parking lot and closed my eyes to get "psyched up" and prepare myself for the gym environment.

2 hours later, I was startled by a car horn beeping next to mine. The sky was dark and I looked at my watch, astounded that I had fallen asleep for hours. By that time, I was just about late for the dog and Sam (who I promised to make a nice dinner for!).

I emailed coach Eric and told him about my involuntary day off. Sometimes you can't be angry at yourself or upset. My body was trying to tell me repeatedly that I was exhausted and it finally just shut things down yesterday.

Today is sunny and beautiful - I have workouts and work to do, but will escape those things for a little while and go to the horse farm. My horse West has been injured (well, on the mend, I should say) for over a year and a half now. I just got the clear to start "tack walking" him - meaning I can tack him up and just walk around on his back - nothing else. This is some of the greatest news I've ever gotten and I can't wait to get back on the horse (and my pony, Cass!) today. Nothing makes me feel better (well, maybe not nothing) than connecting with my horses.

Hope you all can "re-connect" with the things and people you love today!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Homemade thai curry, spring rolls and brownies. Yum!
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Monday, March 2, 2009

Carolina on my mind

"In my mind, I'm goin' to Carolina. Can't you feel the sunshine..." - James Taylor

I'd say my thoughts are on warmer places, that I'm bummed about the cold or the snow, but that's actually not true. It was beautiful to wake up this morning, look out the window and see over a foot of powder on the ground and trees. I suited up and took the dog out - promptly realized that:

1. The puppy has outgrown her horse blanket.
2. my boots are not tall enough for snow this deep.

I figured my feet were already wet and the dog didn't seem to mind that her butt was exposed from the blanket, so we hiked on. The snow was perfect - not that hard-packed stuff for snow-men, but the fine powder that seems weightless when you move your feet thru it.

My schedule today called for a 90 minute run and rather than risk getting hit by a car, I took the workout inside. Thank goodness for my IPOD and running into an old school friend, or I never would have survived!

At the 75 minute mark, a gym employee came up to me and told me I had to get off the treadmill - "there's an hour limit on these" he said. I thought he was kidding. To my left and right were about 20 empty treadmills. "Miss, you cannot run longer than 60 minutes". Meanwhile, I kept running - while he's talking to me. Absolutely stunned, I told him I just had another 15 minutes. No dice - I got off the treadmill and marched myself straight to the Manager's office. An "out to lunch" sign hung on the door. Argh! Left her a voicemail and let her know about what happened.

I wasn't angry so much as mystified - I thought they only enforced those rules when it was super busy? Is there some crazy new "cardio limit" that I'm not aware of? Crazy!

Not wanting to email Eric that I didn't get in the whole run, I threw on a jacket and ran the dog to the bank and back to get in those last 15 minutes.

It may sound weird, but when things like this happen, I like to think of it as the workout gods testing me - tempting me with the chance to quit early and have an excuse. Rather than give in, you've got to just turn the music up, throw on a cap and get to it! Hopefully I can add that little bit of mental toughness to my piggy-bank of race strength.

Happy snowy training, y'all!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

10 For Sunday

10. The bike grease that seems a permanent fixture on my fingertips.
9. My new green jacket - the one I negotiated down to 8 Euros.
8. The feeling of a brand new toothbrush.
7. The sound of the snowflakes hitting the window.
6. The news that the race was canceled and climbing back in bed for hours.
5. Leaving the suitcase packed and the house a mess, just because I can.
4. The butterflies I still feel every time Sam kisses me.
3. The way no matter where I sit, Luna curls up with me.
2. Hearing the nickers of Cass and West when I get out of my car.
1. Looking into his eyes and realizing that from Day 1, we knew.