2013 in review. And here I thought no one was reading this.

31 Dec

2013 was an amazing year! Let me break it down:

Strava reports the following, but does not include the following rides where I:
• did not think a Garmin was worth turning on.
• forgot said Garmin.
• forgot to charge the Garmin.
• forgot to upload the Garmin files to Strava.

What was reported:
I logged 5,391.9 miles, which is the distance between Free State and Bakhtiyarpur, if you were wondering.

Distance between Free State and Bakhtiyarpur

Distance between Free State and Bakhtiyarpur

I spent over 341 hours in the saddle. That’s 14.2 days, or 8.5 40-hour work weeks.

I climbed over 352,480 ft. Thats like climbing Alpe d’Huez over 74 times. And the boys in the Tour only do it once. Screen Shot 2013-12-31 at 1.49.55 PM

I went out on over 220 rides, which is just under 2/3 of the number of days in a year. Thats a lot of coffee drinking, and selfies of drinking coffee. IMG_5135

What else happened on the bike:

I raced in El Salvador in my first international UCI race.

I spent two days in the break.IMG_3662

I won points towards the sprinters Jersey.

I signed thousands of kids school note books. This little one was not to sure she wanted my autograph.kids note book

In the US:

I trained a lot. I raced a lot.

I lapped the field for the first time in a crit.

I won some races, had a lot of 2nd and 3rds, and some other placings.

I got one concussion and no broken bones, lost some skin. Right after this picture was taken.rain

Most importantly:
I received support from some amazing generous people who made the above all possible. Without their support none of this would have been possible. I cannot say thank you enough.

Off the bike:

I started working for myself 100% as a freelance Graphic Designer!

I moved to Portland OR.Screen Shot 2013-12-31 at 2.28.35 PM

I said YES. To what? You will have to ask me personally to find out.

I wrote a few blog posts about the year that stopped before the season was over. ( I am sorry) I was not sure anyone was reading, but below proves me wrong. I promise to be better in 2014.

Speaking of  2014, I have some big goals, I just hope I can find a team to help me achieve them! Here’s to looking ahead.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,000 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 33 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Race trip cut short

12 Jun

I’m excited to be going home, and disappointed for the reason. It has been a great season so far, and I was looking forward to this time on the road racing Glencoe, Tulsa Tough, and Nature Valley. Well, the racing was realistically over before it really had a chance to begin.

A torrential downpour engulfed the Glencoe criterium. Screen Shot 2013-06-12 at 6.09.41 PMWith 5 laps to go I hit the deck pretty hard due to a rider changing her line to avoid a manhole cover in the apex of a turn. I suffered minimal road rash, had a few contusions on my hip and back side, and hit my head pretty hard.  I was lucky to not break anything when I slid into the curb, but received a concussion that left me dizzy and a bit out of sorts. I was seen on site by two MD’s and was told there was nothing to be done other then monitor my head for any worsening conditions.I was scheduled  to fly out in two days to Tulsa, OK  for Tulsa Tough. A decision needed to be made: go home now or fly to Tulsa spend the week there and see how the head was feeling. I chose the latter. The first few days in Tulsa I rested, slept and took note of how the head felt. Over the next few days I got out on the bike for some easy short rides again paying attention to what the body was saying. I had a bit of anxiety, but the foggy feeling was lifting. I was still extremely fatigued by end of day and was avoiding to much mental stimulation, making sure to get plenty of sleep.

Teammates arrived on Thursday and I put in some harder efforts on the bike, to test the legs and the head. Legs were not happy and nothing significant to report with the concussion. I knew I was still concussed but symptoms were not worsening and i felt it was manageable, so I decided to race.

As I write this, and I’m sure as you read this you will be thinking the same thing. “What was I thinking, this is my brain, my life force, what makes me who I am. No race is worth the damage that could happen.” I know this and yet the drive and determination to race my bike was stronger. I kept telling myself I was ok, I would monitor how I felt and if the time came during the race to pull out I would.

I raced all three days, Friday night I had a really hard time getting my head in the race, I was not the confident, aggressive racer I had been a few weeks ago, I was getting a bit overwhelmed in the pack so was motivated to be off the front and launch some attacks, the pack was nervous and there were several crashes, one that almost took me down but I managed to keep it upright. This race was a struggle for me, I just did not have the clarity and the fight it took to be in the final push for the sprint.

969203_10201242675087150_1155229520_nDay two was a bit better, a faster course so a safer race. I again tried to be aggressive and managed to be so in the first part of the race but realized at some point mid race I should not be racing. I was not dangerous to myself or to others, it was something I felt, I could feel myself slipping into a hole that would not be easy to come out of. I tailgunned most of the race and with 3 to go my instincts kicked in and I made the push to the front, sitting top three in chase of one rider off the front. 2 to go i lost a few spots, and with one to go I was a bit further back then I would have liked but had confidence I could make up ground to make the podium, coming in to the final turn a rider sat up right in front of me and there I was with nowhere to go safely until we made the turn. I could not make up the ground lost at this time and came in disappointed but with my mind made up that I needed to go home.

My team mate Liza was sitting in 5th in the omnium and wanting to support her and help keep here there. I decided to race the last day, Crybaby Hill, and do every thing I could for the team. I have raced Tulsa Tough several times and had great aspirations for these races. Having a respectable season I had a goal to have a good result in Tulsa, but after the concussion and making up my mind the night before, I knew this would not be my year. I attacked early on hoping it would count for something, burn some matches and protect Liza for as long as possible. Crybaby Hill is unlike any other race I have ever seen, with thousands of spectators dancing in the streets on the hill in costume, celebratory beverage in hand. Sound Pony marshals blow their whistles to part the sea of people just in time for the racers to come through. This is something special to be a part of.  My final time up the climb the crowd cheering I new my fight was over so I indulged myself and the crowd with high fives and they went insane.  With continued team work Liza and Elle stayed in the main group with one up the road for the win and Liza sprinting to maintain her 5th over all. IMG_4560 IMG_4575 936434_10151416164650213_1464336845_n
With Tulsa over it is time to go home. This was a hard decision to make to back out of Nature Valley and not be there to support my teammates. I will hit the reset button and be back to continue the season, soon enough, but not before I am ready.
Image

Playing catch up

12 Jun

It is hard for me to update my blog. Im great with social media, quick posts to FB and Twitter im even good at posting to my GoFund me account, but this blog for me is somehow a black whole where blog drafts go to die. There are several posts, just sitting there never to be published, never to be seen . Why?  Your guess is as good as mine. Maybe its because I believe that no one reads this, or that what I have to say is not funny enough, or interesting enough, or maybe Im just lazy when it comes to writing about me.

This post will include some old stories, to catch every one up. If your not sick of reading about me a new up to date story will follow shortly.

Enjoy.

Quick update.  

I just finished up three days of racing in Saint Louis at Tour de Grove. This was quite a different race experience than the previous weeks of NCC racing at Speed Week.

IMG_4312

I hit the ground in a crash on the first night, but am ok for the most part. The second day was an NCC race so I grabbed a lot of points but could not quite pull off the finish.

The 3rd and final day was one of the hardest days of racing. I chose to be supper active and aggressive, working to create a break or go with a move that made one. This made for a very hard, active race. I was in just about every move except the one that stuck (always the story). My positioning for the finial lap was good for the final sprint but I wanted to try something new and attacked early hoping to stay away, but was caught at the line.

Over all I was happy with how I raced. I may not have made the podium but I walked away with the experience of what I did right, and more importantly what I did wrong.

I am out side of Chicago now for a week of training with awesome teammates, and being hosted by one of our incredible sponsors Enzo’s http://www.enzoscyclingproducts.com and will be racing in one of our other sponsors’ races, the PSIMET fox river omnium http://www.psimetracing.com/fox-river-omnium/ .

And then there were podiums in Chicago:
IMG_4366IMG_4381IMG_4406

A year of firsts, and it’s only May. 
This is the first year in several years I have been able to race without pain. This has given me the confidence to believe in myself and dedicate myself to racing.

The season is just beginning, and I have already raced in El Salvador, where I surprised myself and a lot of other people. This was the beginning. I had the fight to finish one of the hardest mountain climbs (a climb that destroyed the field!) I have ever done in a UCI race. I spent two stages riding in a break, one of those days attacking the break to win sprint points. Another first was placing top 20 in a UCI race.

I had the opportunity to race Redlands, the first NRC race of the season, and support my teammate to 3rd over all, and I placed 12th in the hardest crit in America.

I had my first win in 4 years at the Red Kite Crit in CA.
IMG_4116Today, in our 6th day of racing at Speed Week, I attacked the field 1 1/2 laps into a 37 lap technical course, creating the breakaway that would lap the field. In a sprint finish I came in 4th, unfortunately one spot off the podium. This is the first time I have ever lapped a field.

I have had many firsts and small victories already this season. Each and every one of them I am grateful for, and I could not have achieved without all of your help.

Your support, and believing in me have contributed to my success, and has opened my eyes to the athlete I can be.

 

Count down to awesome madness

16 Feb

The last few weeks.

Getting my bike fit on

Getting my bike fit on

I got dialed in on my New Wilier by my dear friend, and fellow bike fitter, Matthew Larson, at Devil Mtn Cyclery in Walnut Creek. We had a lot of fun catching up, getting my fit just right, and talking about the upcoming race season. He asked me some great questions about why I race, what my goals are, and how I feel in comparison to last year. This caught me off guard, and really made me think. It was a fantastic experience sharing this, and it aloud me to be really honest with my self. So thank you Matt.

Ocean View

Ocean View

After being fit on the new bike, and being fully recovered from the flu, I was able to start adding back the miles. Lots of great photo ops. I am lucky to live in such an amazing place.

Got to spend the day coaching a new client. She rocks!

Got to spend the day coaching a new client. She rocks!

So many birds
Tam, sun, fog, we have it all.

Tam, sun, fog, we have it all.

Picture the boss man took. Always love riding with my coach .

Picture the boss man took. Always love riding with my coach .

Mini Me getting caffeinated before our first race.

Mini Me getting caffeinated before our first race.

Cherry Pie was the first race of the season for me. Some of you may have already read the race report on FB, but for those of you who have not, here you go. Those of you who have, enjoy it again.

Today I raced Cherry Pie, my first crit of the season, with two awesome teammates. This race is generally the NorCal season opener, and it’s famous because the podium gets cherry pie, which is not an incentive for us glutards.

I missed this race last year, which was the first time since I started racing. It was not by choice, but out of necessity because I was recovering from hip surgery.

As I was on my way to the race I got that nervous feeling in my belly, and this surprised me. I have not gotten this in years. It was not because I was nervous to race – I have lined up at the start line hundreds of times, it was because I have pretty high expectations for this year and have fought back from several years of injury. I was afraid to line up, and race with the same pain and disconnect of years past.

This was not the case. I felt strong, confident, and pain-free. I felt like myself, a self I have not known in years. Even though I was the designated sprinter and got 6th to my leadout who placed 2nd (awesome), the sprint was there but I chose the wrong side. I accept that, and I was more excited than if I had of won. This was a huge victory for me. The first of many to come this season.

The Sprint.

The Sprint.

More “What I See On My Rides” photos.

Found new bike path on my ride this day

Found new bike path on my ride this day

Lear calm day at Alpine Dam

Clear calm day at Alpine Dam

I mentioned “Awesome Madness” in the tittle. Team camp starts tomorrow!

Riders are coming in from all over the place. We will have an exciting week of riding together, getting to know one another, and meeting with our incredible sponsors.

Camp kicks of with a ride in my neck of the woods.Im excited to be sharing some of my favorite roads with the girls. During the ride we will get to stop by our sponsors Osmo Nutrition headquarters in Farifax to refuel, and give some hugs to some great people.

The next stage of madness will be getting on a flight at the end of camp to head to El Salvador for 10 days of racing!

Stay tuned for FB, Twitter, and eventually blog updates.  Follow me if you want in on the racing action.

Ready to bring the BOOM!

Ready to bring the BOOM!

2013

14 Jan

Introducing Mini me...

Introducing Mini me…

It turns out I’m not the best at blogging regularly. I’ve decided for the 2013 season to do my best to change that. But it’s going to be a bit different this time around. A picture says a thousand words.

But first, I will use a few words to close the door on 2012. Man that was a hard year. For the most part I spent the year racing back from hip surgery. I learned a lot about myself. I met some amazing people. I grew closer to those special people in my life. I learned some new skills, and dusted off some others. I traveled, and raced the hell out of my bike. I laughed, and shared many good times with teammates. I had some good cries. I punched myself in the face a few times putting on arm warmers. I drank a lot of coffee. I thought about updating this blog… I did some other awesome stuff, oh, and survived an apocalypse. No big deal.

On to 2013. The year started off with a bang! No really, fire works were going off in Portland, as Mr. Gino Z. and I were sitting in a small local pub in SE Portland  having a beverage and a plate of fries. We were determined not to sleep through this new year turnover as we had done in years past. Cheers all around, and here we are in 2013.

I spent the remainder of the first week freezing my butt off, riding in snow flurries with my coach Adnan Kadir , drinking coffee, eating gelato, and talking goals. Since then I’ve been back in CA freezing my butt off.  I got my new bike and turned in my old one. It always amazes me how I can get a bit emotional about an object. I got a choked up having to part with her. Yes, my bike is a her. I spent more time with her then any human being last year, so it was hard to say good bye. I hope she goes to a good home. To ease the pain of saying good bye, I got to say, “Hello” to my new 2013 team issue Wilier Triestina Zero.9. We have spent the last week getting to know each other, and it’s going well so far. Beyond that, I am working to book more fit clients, finishing up some freelance design projects, fundraising, and plotting the 2013 season. Thats all.

On to the new Blog Theme. I am going to do my best to post every week. The posts will consist of lots of pretty pictures taken during my training rides, and anywhere else that applies. I will not be taking pictures of my food, unless its juice and a recipe follows. I will take pictures of me drinking coffee, as that is part of training. I will take pictures of my bike and other equipment as it comes. I will take pictures of new teammates as I meat them. Not the second that I meet them – that would be weird, but some short time after. I will post pictures that other people take, and give them credit. I think you get the picture. There will be a lot of pictures. Oh and not to forget Mini me, if you follow my blog you will find out.

So on with the blog. This one will cover the last few weeks of training, Portland, OR and Marin county. Be jealous.

Christmas day ride, it cant all be rode

Christmas day ride. It can’t all be road.

Adnan Kadir of Aeolus Endurance Sport

Adnan Kadir of Aeolus Endurance Sport

It's snowing and we are eating Gilato

It’s snowing and we are eating Gelato

Beautiful last ride for me and the Focus

Beautiful last ride for me and the Focus

Last ride with my old friend the Focus. It was a beautiful relationship.

Last ride with my old friend the Focus. It was a beautiful relationship.

This view never gets old

This view never gets old

Pleased to introduce my little friend Wilier Zero.9. We will be bringing the BOOM together in 2013.

The new Wilier Zero.9

The new Wilier Zero.9

Maiden Voyage ride on the new Wilier Zero.9

Maiden voyage ride on the new Wilier Zero.9

We had some great conversations on this ride. Well not so much conversations – I did most of the talking, but we came to the conclusion that we are going to win some bike races together.

2nd day out better aquatinted

2nd day out. Better acquainted.

I wanted to go up the bike wanted to go down, we did a bit of both

I wanted to go up the bike wanted to go down, we did a bit of both

That is all for now but we did just enter another week of training and my Coach is in town, so until next time. Get used to the new format. Leave feedback. Ask questions, and I will answer them.

Vanderkitten-Focus Team Camp

9 Mar


Photo By Jason Perry.

This past weekend was our team camp and presentation. There are many fantastic photos by legendary photogs Jason Perry and Christopher See, and  articles documenting the camp by Cycling News,  Velowoo, Podium Cafe, and Famous Fan Boy Rand Miller of Counter Attacking Reallity.

Not to get off the subject of camp but I was reading fan boy’s latest blog, and it got me thinking. If I, were to publicly talk that kind of trash, about my teamies or competitors, I would probably be labeled with a not so nice name. Why is it this? Why can men thrive on trash talking, but the second a woman does, she is a catty beeotch? Now its acceptable for women to trash talk the men, and we are often encouraged to do so, at least those who are good at it. I’ve come close to bringing Rand the woo boy himself to tears, but I could never, ever do that to a woman.

So why the double standard? It cant be because women are soft, in fact I think Kristin Armstrong proved just how tough women are by delivering a crushing blow to the majority of the men’s field, decimating their times in the TT at Merco. I will point out to all the men that if they trained harder, and looked down at their oiled legs less, there is a small possibility that their girlfriends could look them in the eye and still respect them in the morning, but I would be lying.

So again why the double standard? What is keeping me from picking a nemesis? Or commenting on one’s ability to race a bike with a stick up their arse? Am I willing to test these waters? Heck no. There are plenty of men out there who would love to see a cat fight, and just because I rock a kitty suit does not mean im willing to go there. So I will have to stick to making fun of myself, the woo boys, and maybe MKUltr4 because she is a tough girl and a bit cray cray.

I could go in to all the details of camp, but I will simple say It was Pro. And leave you with this. 
photo by Jason Perry

New Partnership & Favorite Homemade Recovery Drink.

30 Jan

I was laying on the floor this morning, working my IT band on the foam roller. It’s amazing where your mind will go, during this self inflicting pain session. My thoughts wondered to how fortunate I am. I have a strong support system of Gino ❤, friends, family, and friends who are my family. They keep my head on straight, and keep me going, when days are hard.  I have a team of professionals who are helping me to rehab my hip, and become a stronger cyclist. in addition, whether you know it or not, all of you readers inspire me to be the best athlete I can be. So, “Thank You”.

That foam roller pain session also provided a great segway in to this post.

I’m supper excited to announce a new partnership with Body Kinetics of Mill Valley. They will be helping in my recovery, along with Mill Valley Physical Therapy & Sports Rehabilitation to get me back on the bike, stronger then ever, along with my amazing Coach Adnan Kadir of  Aeolus Endurance Sport .

Body Kinetics Health Club and Spa is a family owned business. Located at 639 E. Blithdale Ave in Mill Valley, lucky for me right across the street from PT and minutes from my home.

What makes Body Kinetics unique, is their personalized programs and comfortable atmosphere.

I have gone to a lot of gyms, and I have never been as comfortable, or as stoked to go to one, as I am to Body Kinetics. It dose not smell, it is not creepy, or over packed, its not a meat market, and your not treated like a bar code as you are scanned in. People here remember your name, and they smile at you when you walk through their door. You get a since of ease and comfort as you head back to their safe, clean, locker rooms where you store your things, in a security code locker. No more excuses of “I forgot my pad lock”.

On top of exceptional services such as, specialized fitness training programs, cutting edge small group classes, fitness camps, Yoga, spa services, and Pilates Method training, they again separate them selves from others in the fitness industry by maintaining a beautiful facility and providing a friendly caring environment.

Their educated, professional staff is able to address the many concerns of a diverse population. I love coming in every day and seeing a range in age, from high school kids to the elderly.

I’m also supper excited to be partnering with a company that promotes social involvement, supports community, as well as environmental and health causes.

If you would like to come and work out with me, check out the facility, or one of their extensive group exercise classes, Yoga, Pilates Mat, Body Sculpt, Core Conditioning, Zumba and Spin classes, just let me know and ill be happy to have you as my guest.

Look for future posts, as I will be announcing rides, clinics, and possible other events I will be leading at Body Kinetics.

Thank you all for being patient, I know I posted in my last blog that I would be sharing recipes, and you probably hoped it would come sooner, so here is the  first one, it is my  favorite homemade recovery drink.

Beet Juice. Shared from my favorite cook book that every cyclist should have. If you do not already have it, I’m happy to introduce you to “The Feed Zone” Fast and Flavorful Food for Athletes Cookbook, by Biju Thomas & Allen Lim.

Beets in all their forms are one of the best foods for us. They are loaded with vitamins and minerals and recent research has shown that they can even help improve the efficiency of exercising muscles.

BEET JUICE
Start by cutting the beets to whatever size works best in your juicer.
(I have the Omega J8oo4 Nutrition Center Commercial Masticating Juicer  ★★★★★ in my book)

3 medium beets, peeled
1 apple, cored
4 medium carrots, peeled

Optional Additions:

1/4 of a fresh pineapple
1 cup chopped kale
1/2 cup packed fresh parsley
1 cup chopped celery

(I personally find it perfect with out any of the additions).
Tip I would recommend. Peeling the beets will reduce the bitterness.

Left to Right. Grapefruit Juice, Green Juice (that recipe next time), Beet Juice, and Carrot Orange, that ones simple Half Carrots half Orange. Enjoy!

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