Monday, December 28, 2009

Fort Collins, Part 3

Sadly, tonight is my last night in Fort Collins with the 'rents. It has been a long trip in some ways, but in other ways it has gone by in a blink of an eye. Who knows, perhaps I'll see some Fort Collins time in my future...

We had a lovely Christmas here. Of course I had some riding Christmas Eve but I got that out of the way nice and early so I could enjoy the family. We kept our traditional Christmas Eve ritual with church, Christmas light-looking, turkey chili, and present opening from each other (Santa's presents are saved for Christmas day). We probably made a pretty funny sight since we all knew most of our presents beforehand because we went shopping together for them and we were quite sarcastic guessing what each present was :-) I am very grateful that we have the opportunity to do that and I am very grateful for my family.

Christmas day was full of fun. We woke up early and I made breakfast while my dad made coffees and we opened "Santa's presents." Later we planned on going shoe-shoeing but the winds were over 20mph and it was below freezing so we passed. I cooked most of the food for our Christmas feast and I must say most of it turned out pretty fantastic. I love cooking for people but especially when it turns out good haha.

I was supposed to have a solid four hours of riding (on the trainer) Saturday but I just couldn't bring myself to suffer that long on the trainer. After a good 2.5 hours with plenty of intervals and Harry Potter #5, I called it quits and went shoe-snowing with the parents for an hour and a half up in Lory Park. It was really fun! It was like hiking except with a marching-like gait. Typical Whitney managed to fall plenty of course :-) The day concluded with a beer sampler from Odell's Brewery.

Sunday was our final day out and about. After church we went out to brunch at possibly my favorite place, vegetarian restaurant, Rainbow Cafe. We journeyed back to Boulder so my dad could exchange a Patagonia shirt he got from Santa. A little pit stop at Celestial Seasonings was made so we could go on the tour- it was quite interesting! They make over half a million boxes of tea a day!

Today was a good final day, although it started ridiculously early. I woke up at 5am so I could do my LT intervals and ride two hours before my 8:30am massage (a gift from Santa). It was very hard not to go back to sleep, but I am so so glad I sucked it up and rode. For the massage, I went to GTS Therapeutics. I was extremely impressed with Gary the masseuse. Even though I had my first LT intervals of the off-season, my legs feel like a million bucks right now. Later, Brenna and I went out to Alley Cat cafe downtown, famous for their Chait Tea and we played a couple rounds of Battleship. The shop was fantastic and artsy with murals painted on every inch of the ceiling. The evening was nice and chill with my family and packing, packing, packing.

I am ready to roll tomorrow morning. With the increased security, we have to leave the house by 5:30am tomorrow so it looks like another early morning. I'm definitely going to miss my parents big time, but it looks like they'll be busy with all their racing they are doing these days! Endurance mountain bike events, time trials, half marathons, duathlons, etc. Only a few more hours of vacation are left now- once I get back to Austin, work will start up, training camp is just around the corner and there is plenty left for me to do with that, not to mention job searching, and training! I am looking forward to getting home and tackling those projects and I am looking forward to seeing Peter and friends of course!

Pictures to come soon!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Fort Collins, Part 2

This weekend I got out for a little riding on the road. It was a bit cold for an Austinite like myself on Saturday- a blistering cold 25 degrees- which made for a cold Whitney after 4.5 hours to Boulder and back. Despite the cold, it was a very nice ride and a great route. An interesting and noticeable difference between Austin riders and Colorado riders is that in Austin you are pretty much required to wave, say something, give a head nod, or at least acknowledge a person when you pass them and if you don't you obviously think yourself better than others. Here that rule doesn't apply- 80% of people completely ignore each other. Perhaps when there are so many riders, seeing a fellow rider isn't such an anomaly like in Texas! I love riding here either way. Sunday was pretty much the same thing- another longer ride, just short of 4 hours, but luckily a lot warmer and almost 50 degrees!

Monday we took a nice trip out to some fancy outdoor/indoor mall and then we went to CELESTIAL SEASONINGS! It was very exciting- I love their tea. Unfortunately we got there a little late for a tour, but we did get to try teas and they obviously had every tea they make including their hard to find Sugar Cookie Tea :-) I was a happy camper.

One of a million walls of tea!

Yesterday was the last day of decent weather but it is a rest week for me, so I just had a quick power training and some trainer stuff. My mom and I finished Christmas shopping and got everything for cooking for Christmas. We like to cook :-) I'm pretty sure I spent a solid hour and a half wrapping presents for my dad, mom, and Peter. Somehow my parents, especially my dad, manage to give me all the presents for each other to wrap. That is all done now.

Last night it started snowing and the white stuff continued falling through most of today. There seems to be a solid foot of snow outside! I've never been around when stuff like that has happened. Helloooo White Christmas! I can't believe yesterday would have just been arm/leg warmer and vest weather for outdoor riding. Nevertheless, I managed through a two-hour trainer ride due to the inclement weather- riding the trainer is definitely a drag, but it's always nice when you finish early in the day and have the rest of the day to be a normal human being.

Normally there is a sidewalk and a street out there!

Pretty snow-covered trees

The patio?

I can't believe tomorrow is already Christmas Eve! I have a long 3 hour ride to get through on the trainer (more snow) in the morning and in the evening we'll have our tradition: church, Christmas-light looking, chili, Christmas present opening and maybe a game of Rummikub. I love traditions and family :-)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Fort Collins, Part 1

Hi from Colorado!

My flight to Colorado went as smoothly as possible. A 4:30am wake-up call and a drowsy ride in the car to the airport (thank you Peter!) got me to the airport an hour and a half before my flight to Denver. Southwest is still the most "cyclist-friendly" airline I've been on. Flat, reasonable (if that is possible) bike fee. A quick and quite bumpy two-hour flight later, I arrived in Denver at 8:20am Colorado time. My bags were waiting, my parents were there, and my bike appeared almost immediately- things couldn't have gone smoother that morning.

We made a detour in Boulder on our way back to Fort Collins. A nice, hot coffee at The Unseen Bean, roasted by a blind man kept us warm for some shopping on Pearl Street. Our Christmas shopping efforts were focused on the wonderful Patagonia and Prana stores there. I may or may not have gotten a couple of sweet presents that I may or may not know about ;-) The Boulder trip ended with some amazing Ethopian lentil soup from a little soup and gelato cafe (random?!). I'm pretty sure I slept the entire way home and groggily made it through my training when I got back. It sure is nice to be with my family though :-)

Tuesday's highlight was a warm yoga class at Corepower Yoga with Brenna and her friend Cassandra. They have a free week of yoga for new students so of course I had to take advantage of that! Wednesday was my mom's birthday so I made her a Tex-Mex breakfast of breakfast tacos and then we went to another hot yoga class. It's good to spend some quality time together. I actually got to ride outside on Wednesday because a lot of the snow had melted so the roads were mostly safe for a wimpy, Texas-based cyclist. It wasn't too bad at all and I think I'll be able to manage my 4.5 hours in the cold tomorrow.

Yesterday was some more early training, perhaps New Moon with my mom, some hair chopping, and a bit more hanging out with Brenna before she leaves Fort Collins for the holiday. Today my mom and I did a hot yoga class and the heater was actually working. It was so hot and I was so sweaty but it felt really great. I definitely need to bring a towel next time because I slipped out of Wheel Pose. I was able to make some good progress on some stuff for Texas Cycling training camp as well as some job stuff which has been looming over my head. A bike shop in town here, Lee's, had a sweet 1-hour bike sale of 40% off of everything in the store so I was able to stock up on new training tires, cables, cleats, etc. for hopefully a good portion of the season.

It's finally starting to feel a bit like a the break now that things are slowing down. Tomorrow should be another great day with a long ride all morning, perhaps I'll check a couple things of my to-do list in the afternoon, and some Christmas tree decorating in the evening. Sounds like a plan. I love it here in Colorado and I'd definitely love to live here someday!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Finals done, Marathon done, now off to Colorado

The past four days have been a whirlwind. Thursday after my final final exam of the semester, I hopped on the car and headed to Dallas for the White Rock Marathon with Clif Bar. I did the event last year as well and I loved that we got to stay at Hotel Indigo again this year. Per usual, it was a busy weekend with long hours but I still managed to get in my abbreviated riding schedule...meaning all the intervals before work at 5:30am :-) Saturday night, fellow Clif crew memebers Eric, Emily, and I went to dinner at Cosmic Cafe in Dallas. It was amazing- really good vegetarian Indian food complete with free yoga classes and a meditation room upstairs. Next time you are in Dallas, you've got to hit that place up. Today we had an early morning and made it to the Mile 19 rest stop by 7:30am and set up the monster Clif arch. Luckily it was warmer and less windy this year compared to last year so it didn't blow over and crush anyone. After a solid 5.5 hours setting up, handing out Clif gel shots and tearing down, we hit the road by 1pm. I've been home for a bit taking care of some loose ends and soon I'll hit the rollers for an easy spin and then PACK. Tomorrow morning I fly out to Fort Collins at 7am to see my parents :-) I am very excited. We have some fun stuff planned and also lots of relaxing and training ;-)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

3 Down One to Go!

Three finals down and now just one to go! So exciting :-) Thursday I went out with Tammy to Cork and Co. where we wined and dined on a couple of really great white wines and cheese. Later we met up with Peter and Pat and headed to First Thursday for a bit. Boy it was cold! Nevertheless, it was a great night, in my book.

Friday it SNOWED for like ten minutes- absolutely crazy. We also had the end of the semester party for UT Cycling and I was lucky enough to get to organize it. Two wonderful, ironically non-cycling friends helped me get everything ready. We did a lot of baking, that's for sure. The party itself was a blast- too many tacky sweaters, some pretty funny white elephant gifts, and lots of friends.

A very late night turned into an late morning for me (10am wake up!). Peter, Joey, Daniel, Sean, Ken and I went out to Lime Creek. After almost two hours, I pulled off and did my own thing until the 4.5 hours were up. I was pretty tired since I started the power phase in weight training this week...alternating lunge jumps did me in on Friday and I could barely peddle today.

Right at the end of the ride with 20 minutes left, some nice guy pulled up behind me on a 4-lane road, horn blaring. There wasn't a shoulder and the other lane was free. After maybe 10 seconds he swerves around me and his buddy dumps a big things of Hi-C on me all over my face and it splashed down onto my vest and all over my white sleeves of my long-sleeved jersey. Unbelievable. I don't understand how someone can be so inconsiderate to another human being. I definitely follow the "treat others like how you want to be treated rule" and I believe in karma...who knows...maybe someone will barf on him :-P The rest of my day has been pretty chill- just trying to get some studying done and do a few things around the house and STRETCH.

Tomorrow is another long-ish ride but I'm not sure if I'll have to trainer it up or brave the 40-degree-and-raining weather on the forecast- both sound pretty awful. Lots more studying is on the agenda and maybe my Netflix if I am productive with my reading!!

Monday, November 30, 2009

One Final Down, Three to Go!

Thanksgiving break finished up nicely. Lots of relaxing with Peter's family and a ride with Peter, Jen, and Christian on Saturday. Sunday Peter and I headed back to Austin at 6am so that we could avoid the seven hour drive we faced last year in the evening. It was an easy drive back with a pit stop at Czech Stop. We got back by 10am and by 10:30am I hit the rode for a 4 hour 15 minute ride complete with some Endurance On/Offs and an hour of low-cadence tempo. Phew it was tiring.

I finished up my first final today for my Brand Management class- not too bad at all. I've started a new phase in training with pretty long big gear intervals, some sub-threshold training, and a power phase in the gym. I did the power training in the gym today and holy crap my legs are already so sore. The last officer meeting of the semester is tonight and another final tomorrow. I'd best get going on some studying!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving Time

Thank goodness for Thanksgiving break! It's nice having a break from school but boy its just a tease! There is so much studying to do to get ready for the last week of class!! Luckily, after the last week (3 tests and a paper), I just have one final left. School this week was pretty easy- it's all prepping for the last week and finishing up some presentations. I had a big Luna project due on Tuesday and I think I passed with flying colors! So much fun (big thanks to Danielle too for saving my life!).

I had my threshold test on Wednesday which didn't go so hot in 30 degree weather at 6am :-) I get to redo it next week. I think I'll elect do it a bit later in the day. Hehe. A new training phase is beginning with more plyometrics and more power focused weights, sub-threshold training, and longer big gear intervals. I'm very excited. I love to suffer- weird, I know.

Peter and I left for Dallas at 2pm on Wednesday and didn't get to Dallas until almost 8pm! Gosh- six hours for a normal 3.5 hour drive. We've had a nice visit with his family and a good Thanksgiving. Today is pretty chill which is good for studying :-) Tomorrow is the Mad Duck ride with Metro and after we're going to lunch together. Peter and I will jet out of here before dawn on Sunday to avoid the 7 hour drive home we experienced last year (MISERABLE). I have a nice 4 hour ride to come home to too!

It's going to be very busy until I get to Colorado in just over a couple of weeks but there is also a lot of fun thrown in there!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving Hurry Up!

Time is flying fast! I’m grateful thanksgiving is almost here! School has been just tests and projects and papers and presentations every day for the past who even knows how long. Just one full (hell) week of classes left and one final and that concludes the semester. Thank goodness! Next semester will be pretty awesome though. I’m taking four marketing classes- one about corporate social responsibility (hello doesn’t that scream my name?), data mining, consumer behavior, and the capstone marketing class.

Peter and I celebrated our two year anniversary, gosh, almost two weeks ago now! We had ourselves a little date, sadly not on the 11th but rather on the 12th- darn work and project schedule! We’ll make up for it with a Christmas trip though!

Work has been good too. I ended up not going to the surfing events which was a little bit of a bummer since I wanted to see one, but it was probably better that I went just to San Antonio instead for the San Antonio Marathon. It was a pretty impressive expo and very crowded. I also just finished up a side project for Luna Bar for collegiate women athletes which was so cool- I loved meeting all these people involved in these wide range of sports from water polo to water ski to wushu. I’m definitely looking forward to more cool projects like that.

Training has been fantastic. Every week I get stronger and stronger and I watch my heartrate decrease for the same power. I am still definitely looking forward to the break with more time to ride and not having to rush to the library when I finish riding…or riding at 6am.

Rhiannon, Siobhan, Kalla and I have formed pretty much a giggles club. We’re pretty ridiculous- watch out collegiate racing ;-) Last week we went to a 1997 Sing-A-Long and sang ourselves hoarse for two hours to all the hits from 1997 and, man, there were a lot of them! It was a very late night for me which then turned into an early TWILIGHT morning. Yes, my friend Mukta and I went and saw the 10am showing of New Moon with a theater full of women skipping work or that had bribed their husbands to take little Suzy to school because she had an “appointment.” Hehehe. I loved the movie, by the way, but nothing can beat the book.

I also took a little trip to Dallas this past weekend for Metro Club meeting- it was good getting to see everyone, especially my lady teammates Lauren and new teammate Jen! We went on the Mad Duck ride Saturday- it got a little out of control for awhile, but that is just a good reason to slow down and take a detour ;-) I’m excited about next season for sure and can’t wait for the team to be officially launched soon! Don’t worry, Bike-Import is still on the agenda after U23 Nationals J

That’s all for now. Thanksgiving this week will be spent in Dallas at Peter’s family’s house. I’m in charge of making a holiday dessert with no pumpkin and no nuts and with cream cheese frosting. Hrm… More updates, more frequently hopefully!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

And So On and So Forth

Classes keep on chugging along. Only 1/3 of the semester is left. Every semester I am stunned how fast it goes by. Now my mind is being occupied with the women's movement, managing a brand across cultures, data regression for marketing research, and life insurance. Since the semester is coming to a close, I am delighted to be bombarded with so many presentations, exams, projects, and homework assignments and a ton of reading...and only two and a half weeks of class left.

I had an awesome time last Friday with a few friends (hey Rhe!) at Master Pancake Theater's version of E.T. Wow I can't believe that movie is considered a kids' movie- it was scary! That night was probably my favorite lately. I think we're planning on going to the next Master Pancake as well as 1997 Sing-A-Longs there- I can't wait! Such an awesome group of friends.

I actually have a riding buddy now which is very exciting. Drew from Texas Cycling is joining me on the weekends now which makes 3.5 hours in zone 2-3 much more entertaining :-)

In the spring, I'll be taking on a larger role with Clif Bar, well, Luna Bar to be exact, doing more logistical work and project planning and implementation. I'm quite excited- I love the company and getting to take on a larger role will be great!

In other news, I think anyone that reads this thing probably knows me, but Peter (bf) is officially a pro cyclist- yippee for him! I'm so proud- I've never met such a sincerely hard worker. Today is actually our two year anniversary and we're celebrating by...celebrating tomorrow! We did train together this morning but then it was school, work for him, and soon meeting for me. Tomorrow will be enjoyable and perhaps I'll have photos!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Taking A Step Back

Being a senior getting ready to graduate in May, life can be a bit of a challenge sometimes, more so than I expected. Searching for a job is a very time consuming and daunting task. It is full of trials, tribulations, and plenty of rejection thrown in there. It's also an emotional roller coaster when you know you are a good fit for the company, some of them know that, but not all and you get rejected. That was the fun I had this past week, except I also had two papers, two major projects, and two midterms thrown in there.

Needless to say, it was a relief to have the week over. It also made me think a bit about where I am going. I love bike racing and I had previously decided that this next season is MY year to shine but it is easy to get caught up in the "OMG I have to get a job right now because I graduate in 8 months!"-thing that the business school has a reputation for. I've taken a step back, evaluated myself and my life experiences I've had and have told myself to be patient. I know that to be happy, I must work at a place with similar values to my own, only there can I truly have that passion and I know that that job will come along when the time is right. I am going to do well next season and I have worked hard for it so I need to see where that is going to take me next year as well before I give it up for a 50 hour a week job. A lot of my emotions that had previously been thrown at this job-hunt thing are now being thrown at racing and accomplishing those goals. I am still 100% still looking for a full-time position, but I am going to have more patience and what look at will be much more thought out.

Other than abstract, wishy-washy life things, I am now definitely training. I am riding 4 days a week with various intervals each of those days and have weight training and running the other days of the week. It sure makes for one sore Whitney, but I know it will also make one fast Whitney in a few months. I've really, really enjoyed the training and the results I feel from just a month now. The one downside is that the training is very regimented (which is good for me) but that means zero group rides right now.

Sadly, I pretty much missed Halloween. This past week wore me out to the extent I don't think I really left the house except to train. I did manage to make some Halloween cupcakes, but that is about the extent of it. Life happens sometimes, ya know?

This next week is pretty light for school which means I'll finally have time to catch up on my neglected government and some Texas Cycling stuff that needs to be taken care of...oh and sleep!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Riding and Golfing

Not too much to report from Austin. Life has been pretty jam-packed with life as usual. VPing Texas Cycling is actually kinda time consuming, but I think it's been worth it so far. We have a pretty big group that all likes to hang out and ride together- I think that's indicative of a job well done (I hope!). We had SBOBT last weekend and unfortunately the ride pretty much got rained out. We had to drive everyone back from the 10 mile rest stop back to their cars and to BBQ. People were happy with our driving service though- I think we made the best of our situation. We've had some fun events too- yoga class with Cecilia (think 8 giggling cyclists doing Warrior 3 in a living room) and Peter Pan mini golf on Friday. Both were a lot of fun and included too much laughing.

I've been doing a few Clif events- ACL a few weeks ago and I have a handmade bike festival coming up this weekend. The events sure make me busy to the brim, but it's good money and easiest to work 15-30 hours a week if it's all smooshed into 2-3 days.

Training is going well. I'm slowly building up the hours and the level of difficulty. It's good to get to ride 3 days a week now and I like the effects of strength training. I've been doing lots of yoga too which has had great benefits for me and my back. I've got all the team stuff secured for next season, yippee.

The job search is going alright. It is very time consuming looking for jobs, applying, going to info sessions, interviewing and all the other fun stuff that goes with that. I just need a full day to devote to that this week to feel better.

Classes are good. It seems like the busier you are the easier it is to get good grades. I guess it just makes one more disciplined in every aspect of life. It's hard to believe it is already time to pick my classes for my last semester as an undergraduate! Can you say YIKES?!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Full Speed Ahead

Life has been going about 1000 miles an hour and there is no relief in sight. Last weekend I worked 36 hours between Friday and Sunday at the Renewable Round-Up in Fredricksberg for Clif Bar. It was a fantastic event with all the renewable energy companies and eco-conscious companies from all over the state and some national companies. It was a good event for Clif Bar as well as many people weren't familiar with the company or the Mojo bar and they all wanted to hear what we had to say. Here are some fun picks to show you the weekend.

Organic T-shirts

This kid had about 5 samples in his mouth and he kept trying to smile.

Job interviews started for me this week and it seems like they and job research will never end. It's sure tough in this economy and there isn't a ton out there. Exams also started this week which isn't so fun, but I think I did well if that counts!

I also started training this week and, wow!, I'm so sore! The hours this week are next to none, but the gym workouts made me so sore and all the running too! It feels good to move again. I'm addicted :-)

Last night I got to hang out with friends! Pretty sad that that is very noteworthy, but I feel like I have so much on my plate right now that doesn't get to happen much. I went out with friend Sara and Kelsey to the Alamo Drafthouse Quote-Along of Office Space. It was fantastic. Everyone got flair and staplers, a guy and his wife dressed up as characters, some people had to go on stage and give their o-face, and then everyone got to smash a fax machine. It was way fun, except escaping the beating of the fax machine down a dark alley :-)

"Milton" and the victim printer

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Job Hunt

Looking for full-time positions is exhausting! I'm pretty sure I spend about as much time looking, applying, going to company nights, interviews, etc. as I do doing the rest of my homework! Phew. And this is for next year after I graduate. I'm happy things seem to be progressing with that though and it will be a relief when it is finished.

Friday night Peter and I saw Inglorious Basterds which we both thought was fabulous. Saturday was the first Collegiate Cycling Women's Nights of the year. I thought it was a good showing for being during the biggest football game of the year (oops). There were around 10 of us and I made the super-secret family calzone ;-) It was enjoyable and I think we'll have a fun year this year.

My training is still non-existant, but I've been so busy I've hardly noticed. I've run a few times on my own and with Peter which is fun except when he thinks it's funny to try to speed walk next to me :-( I'm trying to do more yoga because I always feel a lot better when I do it regularly. I'm starting up the season with a new coach, Simon Kessler of Simon Says Cycling. Some good goals have been set and I'm excited to start working with him next week.

I have a good amount of Clif events lined up for the fall which I am pretty excited about, including a few surfing tournaments :-) The first event is this weekend at the Renewable Round Up in Fredricksberg.

Still no pictures. I know, I know, I'm bad. I'll definitely have some this weekend though!

Monday, September 14, 2009

End of Season + My Mum Visits Austin

It's been a busy past few weeks on the homefront. Plans for 10K were cancelled at the last minute, so I opted to stay in Austin and race the Tour of Austin instead. Peter convinced me to do every single race I qualified for, so that's exactly what I did. I was in the mood to ride/race anyways (kinda) ;-)

Saturday and Sunday were pretty unnoteworthy. No one would let me get away for very long, no one wanted to do work, and no one wanted to bridge to breaks, so it was not a fun couple of days for me- just frustrating days, so I worked for my teammate. Sunday I did take a flier that Kate and Jen McCrae bridged to but no one would do work and then I was attacked with a lap to go and I was pretty beat by then- it was hot!

Sunday morning I had the "collegiate" race in which I was the only women so I had to race the guys. It was fun though and I actually tried and got 4th ;-)

Monday was my lucky day. There was a lull about halfway through the race so I took the opportunity to test the waters and see how poeple were reacting that day, but instead I ended up breaking away and gaining 24 seconds the first lap. Well, I just went into TT mode and kept a good pace for the final 8 laps. It got close a couple of times but then the gap would open up again when someone got tired of chasing. I ended up winning by like 7.999 seconds which was a fantastic way for me to end the season. It was an enjoyable weekend racing with teammate Lauren and seeing all my friends from Austin and racing with them one last time this season.

Last week was career week at school and we had hundreds of recruiters come to campus which meant lots of company research, networking with potential employers, and lots of business-suit-and-high-heel-wearing. It's crazy but I'm pretty much applying for jobs that don't start until the fall of 2010 right now. That whole job thing is occupying quite a bit of my time for the next month.

I've also been interviewing for part-time work now. I found work with a real estate agent in town for 2 hours a week and I'm still looking for some more work so I can save up for next season. I've had a few interviews, but it's a tough economy, even for part time work now.

My mom visited this last weekend which was fabulous. I don't get to see much of my parents these days now that they spend all their time "working" which means playing in Colorado ;-) Just kidding, except about the playing in Colorado part. My mom and I spent some good quality time together. Some highlights include an Indian cooking class at Whole Foods and Master Pancake theater's The Breakfast Club at the Alamo Drafthouse. We also managed to get rained on every day I believe! Unfortunately, I managed to not take any pictures at all which is sad :-( It always seems like when you see someone you care about after not seeing them for awhile, you realize even more how much you miss them.

This week is pretty busy like usual. I have a few company nights to go to so I can apply for the companies' jobs, Texas Cycling information sessions to help run, school projects to start, homework to do, my first week working with the real estate agent, church, a date night with Peter, and a Texas Cycling Ladies' Calzone night to host. You know, the usual :-) Training won't start until October. I probably won't be riding for the rest of the month, but I'll start dabbling into other fun activities like running and yoga and whatever I feel like to keep me mentally happy. Sorry for no pictures, it's harder when you aren't in a foreign country!! ;-)

Sunday, August 30, 2009

First Week of Senior Year

Sadly enough, I've just finished my first week of my senior year of college. It's hard to believe how time flies. This year will be full of plenty adventures.

My classes this semester will be generally good. I don't have any unbearable classes and my teachers seem pretty passionate about the subjects they are teaching. I'm taking Brand Management, Information and Analysis (Marketing), Personal and Family Finance, and Current Issues (Government). Personal and Family Finance is pretty interesting- it's all about how to be a real adult and buy a car, a house, how to set up your 401k, how to invest, blah blah blah. It's all very useful information.

As far as the bike is concerned, I've already decided I'll be doing Collegiate Nationals and U23 Nationals this year. As far as what team, that is TBA. I can't jinx anything!

Life has been pretty dull with getting settled in still with the house, and cycling stuff, and training, and school. I did manage to get out for a nice long ride with the Austin Flyers and Shontelle. I'm just trying to get caught up and maybe even get ahead with life, so I can start enjoying it next week.

Next weekend is 10K in Atlanta, Georgia, the last NRC race of the year. After that it is break time for me :-) Pictures will follow next week!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Welcome Home

Wow I always forget how exhausting it is to move and unpack a whole house. I haven't made a ton of progress, but I have unpacked all the boxes that I could lift. I'm saving the rest for the boys to move into the house first.

My welcome home gathering was fantastic. It was so great to see everyone that I hadn't seen since maybe April or May. It was good to get caught up on everything that has gone on since I left :-) Jed missed me so much that he wrote my name on his plate in pepperoni pizza grease. Hahaha.

The proud artist, Jed, with his art utensil

It says "WHIT"

After a few hours, we headed to the Teresa Appreciation Party where it seemed like the rest of the Austin cycling community was. It's always entertaining to see everyone in their "normal" clothes since you always see them in cycling kits.

Despite being exhausted from unpacking all day and jet-lag, sleep was not on my side and I woke up at 5am unable to sleep. What to do? Unpack! The rest of the day very very uneventful- just unpacking and applying to jobs. I walked to the grocery store because my commuter has a flat and I haven't unpacked what I need to change it yet and managed to get dumped on by a passing thunderstorm. What were the chances? The city has a drought the whole summer and I probably got hit by the only rain cloud.

Today Peter gets back to Austin from Dallas where he has been visiting his family. We have a busy agenda in front of us with finishing up the house stuff and getting ready for school and, oh yeah!, riding. I think it can all get done though. Perhaps there will be something to report later.

Friday, August 21, 2009

The End of a Swiss Trip

Well I finished up my Swiss trip and I'm back in good ol' Austin. The trip finished up nicely but I'll start from where I left off.

We raced the last weekend in Bern.Saturday, a women's UCI Italian team came out, Selle Italia, and a few Bigla and Cervelo girls came out. It was a 4-lap circuit race with two climbs per lap- one longer, gentler one (still steep by Texas standards) and one short and very steep one. The steep one didn't go so well for me. My abilities right now aren't quite there, but maybe next year. I did catch back on after the first time through but then couldn't make it up again with the group. I finished two minutes down from the group, so it wasn't the end of the world and I guess I'm getting pretty good at time trialing by myself ;-)

Sunday was an 8-lap circuit race with a 300-meter pretty steep climb. I ended up basically doing the whole thing alone again but the team did well and won the race. It's a bit discouraging with how the last few races went but I have to look at the progress I've made this year and how long I've been racing and training. I'm happy with the improvements for the year and now I know where I am lacking and what I need to do for next year. It was sad saying good bye to the team Sunday but I think we'll keep in touch and hopefully I'll get an opportunity to see them again. Everyone was so awesome and their awesomeness really made the trip extraordinary.

Shannon, Peter, and I opted for a touristy finish to the trip and packed up the bikes for the remaining three days. Monday was Peter and my long-awaited Zurich tourist date day. We headed to downtown Zurich and walked around Bahnhofstrasse (used to the world's most expensive shopping street), old town Zurich, and the lake. We went in a few famous cathedrals like the Grossmuenster. It was a super fun day with super awesome company ;-) We were so exhausted when we got home at 9pm from all the walking.

Tuesday was another busy day, starting with a trip with Shannon, Peter, Rebekka (Benji's sister), and I to visit Benji in the hospital. He had gotten surgery on his nose so he can breathe again. He had this really nice single hospital room and I swear it was nicer than the average hotel. We just had a two hour dance party and said our farewells. In the afternoon, Shannon and Rebekka went shopping and Peter and I took a boat ride on Lake Zurich. It was really relaxing. It was pretty warm the last few days in Zurich. While it was only 32 degrees Celcuis, that ends up being pretty warm when there is no A/C anywhere and buildings are even warmer with no fans either. Phew.

Boat Ride

In the evening, we met with Shannon and Daniel downtown for our night out. First we went to a traditional Swiss restaurant. Peter got this crazy beer that they light on fire. It was pretty cool. After we went to a bar that was on the roof of a building that overlooked the whole city at night. It was really cool. We later went to this other bar across the city called Pure Pure where the waiter was hilarious. We had lots of laughs and fun that evening. I'm glad we got to go out like that once during the trip and once was probably enough for me and for my wallet (everything is so expensive in Switzerland!).
Shannon and Daniel...they don't get along haha

Peter and I

Wednesday Shannon and I left Weiach in the early afternoon after a delicious curry lunch made by Benji's mom. We got back to Embrach and packed up our stuff and our bikes. In the evening, Daniel came back to Embrach and picked us up for a movie in downtown Zurich again. We saw "Public Enemies" with Johnny Depp. After the move we came back to Embrach and said our farewells :-(

After a missed alarm, we got to the airport a little late and got to struggle getting checked in and going through security and all that fun stuff. The plane ride itself was pretty uneventful besides a proliferation of small, screaming, and seat-kicking children on the flight (which means no sleep). We arrived in Atlanta where we spent an hour and a half going through customs. They were a bit suspicious about me bringing Haribo gummy bears back. Haha. I got to my flight just a minute or two before we started boarding and enjoyed a very turbulent flight back to Austin (no sleep there either).

Tammy picked me up from the airport and we went straight to the Driveway where I saw friends :-) It was so hot with capris on, but I guess that's Austin for ya. It was lovely seeing everyone and I'm looking forward to more hanging out tonight. I got back to the explosion that is my new house. It's going to be a lot of work to get unpacked before school starts but I think it can happen. I was so tired and couldn't get my mattress, so just fell asleep on the floor on a blanket at 9:45pm.

Today is just a day of getting internet stuff done (like getting internet for the house!), starting unpacking and moving furniture, and a welcome home party in the evening. It's nice to be home though!

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Final Week

The rest of this week has turned out nicely. In the evening on Tuesday, I went with Shannon and Ernst to the track where I met Peter. It's quite enjoyable watching all the races from the stands. The points races are fun to watch, although impossible to keep score.

Wednesday ended up being a long ride, with a 45-minute ride from Embrach to Weiach and then another 1 hour 15 minutes to Brugg to the crit with Peter. It was a pretty enjoyable but hilly route and the crit was fast and hard. We didn't get back until 9:30pm when Benji's homecoming party was almost finished. Benji's mom made some of her amazing pizza in an outdoor stone oven and she also made some fancy shmancy raspberry mousse. I was pretty worn out after that and was happy for sleep.

In the morning, Shannon, Peter, and I journeyed from Weiach to Embrach to hang out for the day and wait for Daniel, our friend from East Switzerland, who was taking us out to a movie in English in Zurich. We went and saw the Hangover. I'm not sure if it was really fun because it was really funny or because I haven't heard as much English as of late. The seats in theaters here are so much better- more like a squishy armchair- but maybe that is why a single ticket is 17CF! Yikes. Then, of course, you have to take into consideration the higher wages...

Today, Shannon and I rode to Zurich to her friend Laryssn's house. We then took the tram downtown and did some present shopping. The city is so big and there are so many shops. It was a lot of fun though, which is saying something because I don't usually enjoy shopping unless if I'm on a mission. I was able to get a couple more presents so that was good.

Tomorrow we leave pretty early for the Bern West race in, well, Bern. We'll stay in Zollbruck to get the rest of our stuff there, race again in Bern on Sunday, and then head back to this area to Weiach for the rest of the trip. It'll be a good but busy weekend. All for now.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


After work, Ernst took us to Rheinfall, the largest waterfall in Europe. It was pretty sweet, but boy it was raining. We were pretty soaked by the time we got in the car, even with our umbrellas. Here are some sweet pictures:

Monday, August 10, 2009


Today’s race didn’t quite go as planned for me. I had a lot of high hopes for the race, but flat-out didn’t have the strength I needed to be successful. The races are much bigger now that the summer lull is coming to an end. Fifty girls started including a bunch of Cervelo and Bigla girls. The course was kinda cool with steep hills, lots of turns, and mountain and sprint prizes, most laps. Two Cervelo and one Bigla girl broke away and Jessica of Bike-Import won the pack sprint.

This week Shannon and I are in Embrach, but have some enjoyable things planned for our last week. Peter is riding to Embrach today to hang out, Tuesday is the track, Wednesday is the Brugg crit and Daniel, our friend from Liechtenstein is going to visit and take us to the movies, Thursday is the welcome home party for Benji, and Saturday and Sunday are our last races here! Phew!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Cheese Buttons and Bike Riding

Our visit in Lietchtenstein has been great as usual with lots of relaxing, good riding, and too much giggling. Friday Shannon and I took a trip into town to check out the international beach volleyball tournament that is going on literally in the middle of downtown. It was pretty sweet. We also walked around the shops a bit. The downtown is very nice, but very small for a capital city!!
After our ride, we went out to a traditional restaurant where we got these things I'd guess you call cheese buttons. They were pretty much these chunks of fresh pasta dough briefly boiled and covered in a cheese sauce and served with fried onions and applesauce to put on it. I guess it is the Liechtenstein version of mac and cheese. It was good for the first few bites and then it got old, but the applesauce was fresh and amazing!

Today we had an easy morning with a long breakfast (cottage cheese and jam on bread is amazing) and then a good 2-hour ride with some friends of Stephanie and Philipp's with a couple of openers. After a snack, we did some shopping in downtown and I got myself a jacket as my Switzerland present to myself. We also watched a couple of women's games of beach volleyball in downtown before the rain came so we left. It was an enjoyable day and now its just time to get ready for tomorrow's race.

I've been feeling much better on the bike than I have in weeks, so I am delighted about that. The race tomorrow will be harder with the full squad from Cevelo and Bigla showing up. The course looks like it will be a lot like the Sunset Road Race course at Redlands with lots of climbing, descending, and cornering and pretty much no flat roads. I'm getting pumped up.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Brighter Week Ahead!

Well my past week had a few bumps in the road, but I think things are getting back on track. Being sick all week was not the ideal for getting to spend time with Peter, but he did a great job taking care of me J The last couple days we didn’t do much besides ride, take care of little things we needed to get done, and go to the farmer’s market to gorge on fresh blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries. One day, Peter got a whole kilogram of plums for $1.50 and ate the whole thing that day. I don’t know how he did it. It must have been well over twenty plums.

Friday morning I walked Peter to the train station and said my sad goodbye. His race was in Austria that weekend and mine was in a neighboring town near Freiburg so Bike-Import was just picking me up on the way. Being sick and hacking and coughing all week, my training load had been pretty light, but I was looking forward to a solid two hour ride that afternoon. I was about 20k outside of town when I shifted down like normal and the derailleur went into my spokes and self-combusted. I had no cell phone and not enough money to get me home so I got to walking. I was surprised that no one (not even one of the 4 dozen riders that passed me) stopped to see if I was okay. I was walking in my cleats with my bike- that’s just not normal. Finally, 8k later, a guy stopped with his car to see if I was okay and to see if he could repair the bike (haha). He gave me a ride home. Luckily, I’ve learned enough German to figure out how to give directions to where I needed to go. Yeah, my two hour ride didn’t even make an hour.

The next day, I knew I had to find a bike shop that could repair the bike. The problem is, I am riding Campy and not many shops carry it. The closest shop I found was 5k away so I got to walking. When I finally got there, they said they didn’t have Campy. I was crestfallen. But, luckily, his friend and his son who were in the shop offered me a ride to a shop outside of town that carried Campy. Once we got there, the mechanic looked at the bike and pointed out the fact that the derailleur hanger was in two pieces and there wasn’t a BH dealer in the city at all. I had an extra derailleur hanger, except I gave it to Peter on Friday for his which was bent. No repairs for me. The two guys were nice enough to give me a ride home. They were mountain bike racers and apparently Freiburg is the place to be for that because there is no snow year round so you can train all year! All the German MTB pros live there I guess. It ended up being a very walk-intensive day once again.

Sunday, Stephanie and Philipp picked me up early in the morning (after I locked myself out of course) and we headed to the course. Philipp let me use his bike for the race. It was like a 56’ or so it was so big. Trying to turn the thing was really hard! My race didn’t go as planned, but maybe that was to be expected with the no-riding, no-bike, sick week. I was dropped not far into the race. It was pretty much the most miserable time I had on the bike. To top it off, I ran into a corn field while cornering too hot on the monster bike. I finished, of course. During the cool down, with my luck, I flatted Philipp’s wheel and had to ride it the two miles back to the car.

In the evening, I went back to Ernst’s house so he could fix the derailleur once the parts got in from Bruno. It’s been a pretty chill time here. I’ve gotten a lot done that I need to before I get back. Yesterday I went on a nice 2.5 hour loop that Ernst wrote down for me. In the evening, I went with him, Peter, and Shannon to the track to watch the tracking racing. It was pretty neat sitting in the stands. They did this race where each rider has his own motorcycle pacing him for 150 laps and they tell the motorcycle to go faster or slower. It was pretty cool to watch, but I would never want to race a race like that!

This evening, Shannon and I are being taken to Stephanie’s in Liechtenstein again for the rest of the week. That is always very enjoyable, so I'm looking forward to that. Sunday’s race in Basel will be pretty hard. It’s an 80K circuit race with lots of climbs and sharp turns. I guess all of Bigla and Cervelo shows up and it’s supposed to be tough. I’m guessing it’ll be a lot like the Sunset Road Race at Redlands. One way to find out…

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Catching up

Well the past week has flown by pretty quick and without much internet access. Tuesday Marco took me to Zurich to meet with Shannon and Marco’s friend. Shannon and I left Marco and his friend for awhile and went up Bahnofstrasse, which, until a couple years ago, was the most expensive street of shops in Europe. It was pretty sad going in some of the shops that had 50% off sales and having their jeans still be hundreds of dollars. After stollinig up and down the street for a bit, we headed back and walked along the Lake of Zurich and through the park there. It looked really pretty…too bad it was probably too cold to swim in!

Wednesday evening I raced the Kriterium in Bruegg. The women race with the older juniors and there is a sprint every lap. The race was only 30 minutes long but sprinting the boys every 1k lap was pretty tiring. I attacked a few times, realizing I had nothing on them in the sprint and had to rely on a break-away. I got third in one sprint trying to bridge up to two up the road (one of who was Shannon!) and then got caught at the line in another. It was really fun though. I’ll get to do the race again next week which I’m really looking forward too. I think I do at least part of the men’s race as well and just hang on in the back. We brought Peter back with us Wedensday to Zollbruck.

Thursday morning Peter and I went to the Backerei in town for a breakfast spread they offer which was amazing. After we were able to do a little shopping for presents for home ;-) In the afternoon we went for a three-hour ride with teammate Jessica and her twin brother Christian in the Thun area. Unfortunately, it was pouring rain for most of it and even started hailing huge hail for twenty minutes. We had to hide under a porch for awhile. It was very nice to be warm and dry again later J

Friday morning Peter and I went for a nice and short warmup ride and shortly after we left, I to Fabienne’s in Remigen and Peter back to Weiach. The day at Fabienne’s was good and consisted of vodka-spiked pasta sauce with pasta of course, and trying on a wedding dress Fabienne bought for fun.

Saturday we left pretty early for the race called the Lightweight Uphill Challenge in Germany. It was sponsored by obviously, Lightweight. The winner of each category was given a set of $5k Lightweight wheels. The course was only 8.3k and was a time-trial. I didn’t feel so hot but Shannon won by 1/7 of a second and won herself a brand new pair of wheels. Sweet! After the race we headed to Verduz, Lietchtenstein, where we stayed in a hotel near Stephanie’s flat.

Sunday morning was the death ride with Stephanie, Shannon, Fabienne, Philipp, and Ernst. Three (killer by Texas standards) mountains with my nice cassette meant for flat, Texas roads ;-) The climbs were pretty hard mostly because my cadence was well below 50 but it was good to practice descending. I realized that I really haven’t had much good practice at descending like that but that would be because I really have only been up maybe 6 legit mountains in my cycling career. I think I figured out how to go through a switchback though so that’s exciting! The ride ended up being 4.5 hours which is a lot longer than I normally train right now, but it was good nevertheless and I was happy for the good company. We pretty much vegged for awhile on the couch after and ate some pasta and watched the finish of the Tour. I started not feeling well shortly after the ride, but shrugged it off as the ride. That evening I went to Peter’s house in Weiach and met Benji’s parents. Benji’s mom made us this really good ice cream dessert sundae with espresso and coconut liquor. His parents are very nice.

Baby cows

Monday I woke up pretty sick, but nevertheless, Peter and I left on the train to Freiburg, Germany where we’ll be staying for the week at Christian’s girlfriend’s condo. The trip went by pretty smoothly all things considered and we even ended up paying a lot less for our train ticket by buying it in Germany instead of Switzerland. We walked around a bit along the main shopping street here which is ridiculously close by. Lots of interesting things to look at for sure! Peter and I are all about saving money, so we stopped at a neat Trader Joe’s-like grocery store we found and cooked some dinner at home and just chilled. I went to bed at 8pm and woke up at 7:30am.

The view outside the porch

Tuesday we walked around town a bit more looking for free internet (hahaha). We had no luck for free internet, but we did find a neat little shop that was only $0.03/minute. I think we’ll be going back a bit more this week. We just walked around town a bit more today and had lunch at a bakery and found a Migros to get stuff to cook dinner. It’s really good to have a few days with Peter to explore this city but mostly just veg. I’m really good at stressing myself out and Peter is really good at making realize I don’t have to be, so it’s good he is here.

Peter with gelato "spaghetti"

Wednesday morning we walked to the big cathedral that is maybe a ten-minute walk from the condo. There was a huuuge farmer's market all around the cathedral with tons of produce, breads, olives, meats, flowers, woodwork, toys, and other handicrafts. It was all really inexpensive too. The rest of the day is pretty much chill and go ride. Peter is out riding for three hours now and will come back to pick me up for the last two along the river. We'll make a pitstop on the way back to soak our feet in the icy water. Sounds lovely, huh?

St. Mary's Cathedral


Peter insisted on taking my picture