Tuesday, March 30, 2010

On Spring Break and Redlands

Life has been going at 1000 miles an hour the past month. LUNAFEST wrapped up nicely with 200% growth from last year and making an additional $2k for the Breast Cancer Fund over the previous year. School has been busy but good for the most part- I am getting a bit of senioritis though, that's for sure.

Racing has been going quite well- I did my first collegiate race of the year (Dallas) and had fun racing with the boys. It is good to get some speed back in the legs. I also attempted Fayetteville with the Cat 3 men, but the race turned ugly with a 25 degrees drop in temperature, hail, rain, and the craziest wind I've rode in...all during the race. Oh and I flatted in the first 10 miles. Luckily, I wasn't the only one, so Patrick from Wooley Mammoth and I encouraged each other to keep going. Not that it ended up mattering, since we finished but the officials DQed us anyways. Lame!

Spring break was great- I just enjoyed a week of relaxing and spending time with friends. Peter was at training camp in California, so he was gone for the most of it. When he got back, we enjoyed a few dates without the pressure of classes and work.
Danielle and I- Spring Break shenanigans and silly faces

My spring break ended up being a bit extended with Redlands where I was guesting with Veloforma. I flew out Tuesday after class and arrived pretty late. Randy Williams was kind enough to pick me up from the airport and take me to Veloforma's host house. They were a great team to guest with- great attitude and all very generous and kind. The races themselves went pretty well and I dramatically improved from last year, so I was pleased (but not satisfied).

Thursday was the hilly TT. I only brought my Gary Fisher road bike so I had no TT gear. It's still a toss up to me whether TT gear is necessary or not for that...maybe aero bars and carbon wheels. I finished 46th which was a lot better than last year...about a minute faster. There is still definitely plenty of room for improvement!

Friday was the Beaumont Road Race, just shy of 70 miles with a new bigger loop added with a longer climb. It went pretty well and I was able to move up at the end and try to lead out Christina. I got swarmed right before the finish, but still managed 25th. She was able to pull off 11th.

Saturday was the crit. Sadly, I ended up starting in the back after they called up the top 20 and the girl in front of me missed her pedal and crashed into two other girls. YAY. Went from starting mid-pack to the back. Pretty much ended up tailgunning the rest as the pace was very high from the gun and girls were getting shelled one by one. I finished with the pack but that is about it. I've got to be more agressive. I wasted too much energy trying to move up from the very back with all the turns.

Sunday was the infamously hard Sunset Road Race. 9 laps, half climbing, half descending. Once again I let myself start in the back and had to spend the whole first climb dodging people getting dropped. I finally caught the front group in the feed zone but then was so blown that I slowly got dropped by 2/3 through the second time up. A couple laps later, I was caught by a big group of 30 or so. They pulled us after 6 or 7 laps of misery. There weren't too many up the road- I think maybe 20 finished in the front, front group.

Sunset Loop (I'm middle-right)

I definitely improved a lot from last year, but there is still lots of room for improvement. I'm looking forward to some more speedwork with racing with the boys and learning to be more agressive. Thanks to Veloforma for such a great guesting experience :-)

This week is pretty chill for riding and school, which is allowing me to catch up with life. Looking forward to going to Dallas this weekend for Easter to spend time with Peter's family.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Racing and Birthdays

Who dunnit?? I'm still trying to figure it out!

It never fails to astound me how fast time seems to fly on by. I guess I've been busy with school, work, training, interviewing, and the occasional time with friends:

Some of my favorite people.

Two weekends ago was the infamous Walburg/Pace Bend weekend here in Austin. All my teammates were in town for the race. Walburg was full of epic adventures as usual- this time with a mild drizzle, cold weather, and giant piles of mud in the road. We rode great as a team. I had attacked and gotten off the front for 12 minutes towards the end of the 1st lap and when a group of eight caught me, my teammate Jen and Colavita's Carmen attacked and stayed away. Lauren and I got to chill in the pack and just cover whatever happened. I attacked with 1k or so to go which made the others have to pull me back just before the sprint. Lauren was able to win the field sprint so the team went 1st, 3rd, and 9th I think. Good day, good teamwork.

Pace Bend was probably my most epic race ever. I got up the road early for a very brief break with Carmen, which was immediately countered. None of the teammates were around for some reason so I had to cover that too which was exhausting. Maybe a lap or two later I flatted and had to wait for the wheel truck and chase back on. Luckily, no one did anything while I was gone. RIght when I was close to catching back on, the Masters started to pass me, so I stayed as far out of the way as possible on the opposite side of the road and then way off the back. I caught back on my field a lap after I flatted. Maybe another lap or two later, there was the race winning break which I bridged up to with Jen McRae. Phew I was pretty worked by that point. We must have been hauling because we gained a bunch of time on the field. I ended up 5th. Afterwards, I found out I had been DQed! It was so confusing- I had no idea why. It turns out some motorcycle official said I was rotating and drafting off the men and using them to catch up with the women. How absurd. Anyone that knows me knows that that is not how I roll. It was really upsetting after all that work finding out it was all for nothing. If they had told me when I was catching up to the field that they were DQing me, I still would have been livid but less so than after the race after my teammates didn't chase me down in the break because we all had no idea I was DQed. Lesson learned- don't flat!

This past week was pretty brutal. There were a bunch of school and group project deadlines, Lunafest is rapidly approaching, and I had 3 interviews! Everything was completed in the end but, boy, it was tough sometimes. Friday night was the big Gary Fisher night. He is sponsoring the UT team with discounted Gary Fisher Cronus's and he came into town to meet us and Hotel San Jose. I guess he has reflectors on all his clothing so whenever you'd try to take a picture, it would end up with stripes! He was definitely a cool guy and the team is fortunate to have such a great opportunity.

Gary Fisher himself with his reflector-covered tweed suit

This weekend I did Lago Vista, although reluctantly. Jen was off at Texas Tech for the collegiate race and Lauren was in Dallas taking a weekend off. Rachel, Louise and I went to Lago. The racing was super negative which makes it very frustrating. I should have just thought of it as solely training instead of thinking about results at all. Saturday I rode back from Lago with Shontelle and Carmen which definitely helped me be less frustrated- I was good and tired when I got home. I had been so frustrated from the day before that I wanted to race with the men but it was full. It was probably a good thing because their field was torn to shreds.

Sunday, Olivia, Danielle, and I went out to Cippolina's on West Lynn for a pre-birthday dinner. It was quite fantastic going out with those two girls and the food was pretty good too. Somehow dinner turned into an almost four hour ordeal! I'm sure we'll be repeating the ordeal soon enough! The birthday was good- I had a great time with friends in the evening! The rest of the day was work work work.

Lunafest is coming up on Sunday- I'm looking forward to it but also will be quite relieved when it is over! I won't get to attend because I have second round interviews that day! I'm definitely bummed I don't get to go to Lunafest but I do need to get a job...