ok, before i get into the weekend happenings, i must report on bike commuting this week. it's 18 miles each way, so a solid 36 miles plus a transition run when i got home made for a nice workout. i have my priorities in line- you can only carry so much, and coffee is defninitely #1 (thanks for the idea, charisa!)
yeah, i know the Look 496 isn't really commuter bike material, but i'm logging all the miles i can on this ride before my final races of the season. and to be honest, i just love to ride it. one day, i will get me a proper commuter bike for sure, though. commuting was fun, but a little sweaty. will be kind of challenging on days in need to look super professional at work for meetings, but there is a shower at school we are working on getting in order, so problem may be solved soon.
so, let me set the stage: i'm sitting here on sunday night watching james yell at the TV on the DVR'd chargers game (which ends up 31 to 26- Charger's lose, but james has made sure all day long (while we were racing/travelling) that he didn't see the score and he has been even ignoring his phone/twitter/facebook!). its a little sad to see his hopeful face when i know that the chargers lost (you see, i was in the frozen yogurt store while james waited in the car and the guy behind me asked the yogurt girl who won). poor soul. james is going to be bummed in a couple hours. i think i'll try to go to bed before he finds out they're not going to win.
so i'm sitting here on my computer pretending i don't know who's going to win.
we just got back from a fun weekend in San Dimas, CA. yesterday, james tried his first cyclocross race and now i can safely say any sort of an off-season we had planned together is done. james declared, "racing cyclocross every weekend IS my offseason." in all honesty, i am really glad he loved it so much and i'm excited to watch him get even better.
yesterday, we also pre-rode a couple laps of the mountain bike cross country course with Allison (pro who WON the whole race!) and Justin (her fast hubby). i was a little sketched on the first lap - lots of fast descents, so i took it pretty easy, just getting to know the terrain. justin and allison were AWESOME and gave me a ton of good tips for building confidence on the tricky sections. it helped a lot for sure- i think i might need to commission them for a couple more lessons ( hoping i can persuade them with a jar of nuttzo and a good bottle of vino) . after the pre-ride was over, i set out for a few more laps solo. i know this wasn't ideal the day before a race, but with my half-ironman goal in mind, i knew i needed to put in about 4 solid hours on the bike and a decent transition run. it was close to 100 degrees out there and after the second hour, i literally couldn't get enough water. i was downing bottles in 20 minutes and dying for more. after about 3 hours, the hills (LOTS of climbing on the course- 1000+ feet per lap) really started getting to me. i was "granny-gearing" it all over the place and just made it my goal to keep moving and working for at least the 4 hours. i made it to my goal, made a quick change, watched the finish of james' cyclocross race and headed out on my run.
"i'm ready for my closeup- i mean t-run" (i swear i was untangling my ipod cord and not posing.really.)
i was pretty delirious by the start of my run and saw this big lake/reservoir with huge "NO SWIMMING VIOLATION OF LA CODE 1456 blah blah blah". i decided i couldn't live without jumping in the lake so i made a break for it and dove in in my running clothes about halfway through my run. this was the lake- doesn't it look inviting?
it was awesome. i was glad i wore my Zoot Ultra TT shoes too- drainage holes come in handy! after the dip, i finished off the run strong and was ready to rest- close to 5 hrs of training in the mega heat and i hardly knew my name. but i was proud that i did it solo!
after cyclocross awards, we headed up to LA and had dinner with james' awesome sister (and race support!), steph. i'd love to say we were cool and did something other than eat and sleep but that would be untrue. after a quick recovery sleep, we were up and at it again for today's cross country races. the US mountain bike cup finals/unification race. it was said to be one of the biggest this year and i was nervous! i had decided to race category 2 (which is like intermediate) becuase the beginners races are usually only about an hour and i wanted a little more. but, i knew the girls here were serious competitors. no worries though since its just a "fun" race for me. i started off strong and had a great Lap #1. i was strong on the climbs and all the practice during my long ride yesterday helped me big time with confidence on the sketchy descents. on the second lap, i could tell i was holding strong and eventually i saw a woman in a Team Ouch kit in front of me. i passed her on a climb! yeah! well, yeah until we descended and i went around a corner and yard sale-d all over the place. whoops! i hopped back on after collecting my things, and was determined to catch Team Ouch lady again (she passed me during my fall). about a mile later, i caught back up and passed her....until the next big..
(i must interject: oh, sad, james just asked me to "fist pound" him becuase he saw a good play. so sad. )
climb. i chose some crappy gearing and ended up dropping my chain off my rear derailleur. this time it was not "blame it on the chain", it was totally my bad. i just need practice in pre-shifting and shifting while climbing. this mistake ended up taking enough time to correct that the Team Ouch girl passed me again and made it stick. i was almost a minute behind by the time i got back on and the race was over.
debriefing..."so what had happened was, i took a left and.."
i finished strong and ended up winning my age group for category 2 (not hard when i was the only one who was IN my age group). so, i just compared myself to the other cat 2 women (there were 7 or 8) and i was 4th which i thought was okay. later, i looked at the results and noticed that category 3/beginner had also done 2 laps (not sure why becuase it is usually 1 and i would have raced category 3 if i had known). there were lots of category 3 women (about 20 and would have been 6 in my age group) and i noticed that i would have won my age group by about 8 minutes. so i was stoked because in my head, i am still a beginner.
after the race, i watched james take the win in the category 1 men's field and he really had an incredible race. he was totally shelled after and took a little napper while we waited WAY too long for the awards. you know, the raffle that never ends and all that business...
(ok, by the way, james is still watching the charger's game (4th quarter now) and after several fist bumps, just said, "it's not just a mere football game, we're watching life happen. i live for the bolts."...seriously? he has had a couple beers, i guess.)
so, it was a great game day for team Walsh...too bad not so much for the san diego chargers.
oh, poor dear, james just asked me to take a photo of him "before the game winning drive"[uh....the chargers lose this game]...and i'm going to upload it now...
unfortunately, he also wanted to take a photo of my stupid outfit and my ghetto spot on the floor (thank the lord we're moving this week! wahoo!). this is me right now typing this..
i'm only wearing shoes because i just had to go outside and load the bike into the car for tomorrow's ride...hence the bike grease. i know, i'm super classy.
alright, gotta go upstairs and pretend to sleep. one minute left in the game and i don't want to be here when he finds out they lose!