Palos Meltdown 2009

I was looking forward to this race for awhile. Getting sick I wished it was a week later. Turns out that Saturday I started to feel better; so I wasn't bummed at all. I was in a way excited. I still didn't know if I would be affected or not.
Anyway, we've been taking our neighbor kids out mountain biking. They've gotten a few rides in so we signed them all up for the Meltdown.
All of us plus Gage and Jeremey headed out to Palos to start the day. Meg and Bubba showed up shortly. Carlos and Sonia showed up after them.
What a fucking awesome day! I don't think it could've been more perfect.
We had our neighbor kids there. The 11 year old, Ryan, raced citizen and had a spectacular time. He even outsprinted a full-faced helmet dude at the finish line! He couldn't stop talking about the race. I find that so awesome! Our other neighbor Mark, who is 15, raced citizen as well. He ended up cramping on the finish hill and had to run it up for the finish trying to stay ahead of the guy right behind him. It was hysterical yelling at him to GO... He was like "I can't". So we just started yelling "RUN" and he started running. I'm still laughing about that today. Our other neighbor kid, Ryan, raced sport. He's 15 as well. He has a little more ride time than the other two kids (two WORS races and riding tons when he can). I loved watching his face as he struggled up the finish hill while we were yelling at him. He gave it his all and ended up collapsing at the finish! I have some great photos of that.
I'm proud of all of them. I know they were hurting and they stuck it out.
After laughing our asses off at their finishes we headed back to get ready for our race. I started at the back of the pack with Bubba and Meg. The first lap I struggled with recovering as usual. Megan and I rode the majority of the race together.She'd pass me on the opening stretch and then I'd pass her as we were heading to stair steps. Then I'd gap her on Turf. My second lap was awesome. I felt like I was killing it out there (whether or not I was remains to be seen, it just felt like it). I didn't see Meg until I headed down towards the green grassy hill going into the 3rd lap. When she caught me there, I knew she'd take me in the end. I barely gapped her heading down into Turf- I'm not even sure I'd call it a gap. Then I was struggling. Up Psychopath I told stories of wanting to quit right then and there. My quads hurt so bad. I was on the verge of cramping. By Gravity Cavity I let her go by. I watched her motor out. We practically could've slapped hands on the two way on the grass heading into the finish. Sweet.
I had an AWESOME time.
I don't think being sick had any bearing on my race. I felt great really. It was a long race. Someone mentioned lap distances with the grass hill were closer to 9 miles and not 8. I finished 3rd overall. Podiumed 1st in age. Holly took 1st overall, so wasn't in age group awards.

John took 6th overall in the men's race.

Little Ryan finished 65th out of 93 finishers, 5th age. Mark finished 14th overall, 1st age. Ryan finished 19th out of almost 250 riders, 1st age as well.

Good Times.

p.s. The spacing and the pictures is pissing me off, but I'm too lazy to switch it all around.


Lame... *cough

I'm still sick.
At my doc appointment yesterday I still had a fever, 100.3. I was wondering why my palms wouldn't stop sweating...
Anyway, I have antibiotics, mucinex and some nasal spray. Hopefully I feel better by Sunday. I've been looking forward to the Meltdown for awhile, now, not so much.


ETA: This fucking rain on Wednesday bullshit is total bullshit.


Very cool

Claire declared the Border Battle Twin Six day. The result... lots of great photos of WORS racers and friends and families sporting the 6.

T6 day photos

There were quite a few cool ones of my husband. What a hottie.

*photos by Todd Bauer and Bruce Adelsman


From the wedding...

John, me, my mom, dad, sis and b-i-l

Most of my cousins

All of my cousins.

If you don't know who these peeps are, not sure why you're reading this.

As I said before, when you have a wedding to go to, it's kind of meh. But once there, it's nice to see everyone. Life is so busy sometimes, we don't make time to get together and get caught up. Weddings sort of force us to do these things.



The past few days have sucked ass.
Wednesday I wanted to ride so badly at Palos, but of course Mother Nature had other plans. It probably didn't matter, I hadn't felt well all that day and by evening I was pretty sick. I initially thought it was allergies but having slept early Wednesday into late Thursday afternoon, I'm thinking it was something else.
I can't believe how much pain I was in. My body ached, my skin hurt to the touch, I could barely open my eyes. My jaw felt mis-aligned the sinus pressure was so intense. Friday I felt a little better but still felt a bit off balance and my head was still on the verge of exploding. Saturday I finally felt well enough to walk around, talk, etc. I even took Zoe to her allergist appointment and the doc was more interested in me! She ended up making me fill out a bunch of paperwork so she could give me some samples and a prescription to help me feel better.
Saturday afternoon it was my cousin's wedding. I was glad to be feeling a little better of course. I'm not a huge fan of weddings, but still, I didn't want to miss it. It's weird, I didn't think I'd care at my own, but I was so happy to have my friends and family there to share my day. I wanted to do the same for her. Later that evening I started to feel more like myself. The left side of my head still hurt and I was pretty congested and out of breath. I couldn't dance as much as I wanted, but I still was able to.
John ended up getting sick on Friday night, so he was sick at the wedding too. Kind of a bummer as I wanted to dance more with him... but I'm glad he was able to make it all.
Sunday I had hoped to get a good ride in with the Meltdown next week. I'd hoped to get some good riding all of last week actually. Obviously being sick doesn't help my cause. Anyway, John and I took our neighbors Ryan (another Ryan) and Mark out to Palos to see if they wanted to do the Meltdown. It was perfect. Ryan is 11 so obviously can't go fast (yet). I was able to ride, not push myself and introduce him to mountain biking. It was a great day. I'm so happy to have made it out.

Now almost 10:30 and starting to feel better, I totally don't want to go to work tomorrow.


The Battle

Hmmm... where to begin.
(WARNING! This is long.)
We left Friday afternoon for the border of MN and WI. Our newly-bitten-by-the-mountain-bike-bug neighbor Ryan tagged along with John and me for our not-as-long-as-I-thought-it-would-be haul to River Falls, WI.
We pulled to our hotel just shortly after 9pm Friday night.
We grabbed some quick grub at Chipotle and then settled into our hotel room.
Jerry and fam wouldn't be up to pre-ride til around 3 or so on Saturday, so we needed to figure out something to do with our morning.
I thought we could hang with Brent, but I didn't know his phone didn't have email; so my email inviting ourselves to his place went unanswered. So instead we went to Fleet Farm and then made the trip to Mall of America. We just walked around really. Hung out with the Bubba Gump shrimp, explained to Ryan that everything at LegoLand were really built with Legos. After getting bored with the mall we grabbed some Dairy Queen and headed to the course to meet Jerry.
I hate pre-riding. I don't know why, but I always feel like crap. I couldn't breath, I couldn't ride the singletrack. I was starting to get really annoyed. Especially since I upgraded. Anyway, I ended up only doing two laps as I felt dizzy, chilled and just all around crappy. I think I was just really dehydrated.
Afterwards we all headed out for some pretty good Mexican. Then I think everyone fell asleep, early. Except me. I was watching Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. It's such a different movie watching it as an adult.
Anyway, woke up at 5:30, 6:00 and then finally just before 7am. I was starving. Waited around a bit for Ryan to wake up and then grabbed some breakfast.
Then to the course. Ryan was racing Citizen and we hadn't registered him yet.
Brent showed up shortly after we did with his girlfriend Nicole, Hurl and Kelly. It was good to see them all.
Sitting around all day had its pluses and minuses. But I love the atmosphere and the people at the races so it's definitely more plus.
Ryan ended up having a great race! He finished 1st in age and like 14th overall. It was his second race ever and he's only been on a bike for just over a month. He's totally hooked.
After heckling Brent for a bit and him grossing us all out we all started getting ready to race. I wasn't really nervous, I'm not sure what I was. I know I dreaded the start. I dreaded the comp men a bit.
Don called up everyone but 3 of us girls. The start wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. However once we got to the start climb I didn't really look up. I didn't want to see how long it was or how far ahead the girls were ahead of me. I just wanted to ride my own race and finish. I caught the back part of the elite women right away. Back up from the bridge. It was nice to recover there. I still had a hell of a time getting my heart rate down from the start to settle into a pace. I didn't really settle until the second lap. Which I guess is usual; except now instead of two laps to go, I had a whole sport race in front of me.
While on lap one I thought about quitting many times. My lower arms went numb, I couldn't catch my breath, I was sweating like I'd never sweat before. I knew the comp guys would be coming soon and when they did, it wasn't as bad as I prepared myself for. 2 caught me right away and then there was a huge gap. Then a couple more and then they just kept coming. But I never stopped. I moved over on occasion and sometimes I probably yielded more than I have to, but I'll get more confident as time goes on. I never had an incident really. Only with an elite guy. More on that later.
Lap 2 was probably my best lap. It went by pretty quick. I rode with a lot of comp guys in the open sections, were on their wheels in the singletrack, it was fun.
In my third lap (which was another fun lap) near the switchbacks I knew a group of elite guys were coming. There really isn't a great place to pass on those climbs. I hesitated going up the first one and ended up having to put my foot down. A dumb moment of indecisiveness and I had to wait for the small train to go by. Not a big deal, but next time I just have to go for it. You don't necessarily lose a lot of time, but you definitely lose momentum and your groove. Later on the wicked fast awesome downhill I heard a rider coming up on me. I assumed it was a comp guy. Some of the comp guys were slower than I was on the descents so I didn't want to give going first up so I dropped in. I realized that it was an elite rider. I felt bad, but at the same time I ripped that section every time. Right after it opens plenty for a rider to get by. It ended up not mattering. So I really only felt bad because I did have a moment of indecision and he was probably like WTF woman!
I had caught Renee at one point. She was a little out of sorts from crashing on the bridge... still though, it was a small victory for me. I know how much stronger she is than I am on the ascents and open. I ended up losing site of her on the 4th start climb.
My last lap is where I made my biggest mistake. I didn't eat. I knew I needed it. I knew it was in my back pocket. But for some reason I just didn't grab it. I'm sitting her typing this and don't get my thought process. As the lap went on I felt myself fade because I needed to eat. I remember telling myself well it's half way over whatever. But really FUCKING EAT ON THE LAST LAP! I know this. I won't make that mistake again. I know not eating cost me time. Especially when it's a distance I'm not used to doing. I knew I wasn't as strong in the singletrack, etc because I was hungry. But I'm not going to beat myself up over it.
As far as the elite bullshit pass... I was climbing up after the switchbacks and an elite racer took a pass right between a tree and the side of the trail, where I had nowhere to go but off my bike. The other elite rider that was following him and now behind me yelled "Nice pass!" to him. He looked at me and was like he really could've waited a few seconds. I ended up having to walk the rest of the way as it was a little too steep to get on and pedal.
In saying that I had an awesome time. It was hard (it's supposed to be) and it was good to feel like I was racing again. Sport was still challenging for me I suppose. I mean it's not like I was killing it there; there are more then a few sport women stronger than I am. I needed a different challenge I guess. I'm not sure how to explain it. Being stuck behind the old guys and clydes was getting old. It's such a back n forth decision- the move up. Not sure if it was the right one... but yesterday was positive and I hope Lake Geneva is too.

Thanks to all the elite girls who gave their advice. And thanks to all the sport girls for cheering me on and making me feel good about my decision. It was awesome to hear my name all over the course!


Palos Meltdown

The Meltdown is just around the corner. 334 racers are registered right now. Twenty some spots left for citizen and just 40 left in sport. So hurry up if you want to race those categories.
I believe SRAM is sending over $5000 worth of product, so that's cool.


A wreck.

My bike and body are wrecks.
My foot still isn't fully healed from hitting the tree a couple weeks ago and yesterday I bruised my right thigh pretty good.
My bike needs a lot of crap maintained and I'm just not in the mood. The Industry Nine wheels continue to piss me off. I either get ghost pedaling or the rear wheels loose. I get maybe 2 weeks time of perfection and then back to adjust. ANNOYING.
The whole bike is creaking- housing, bottom bracket, headset. Basic maintenance. But still, boring.
As far as my body... 10 miles at the mesa yesterday with John, Bubba, Goat, Mitch, Gage and Ryan and I'm spent. It seriously made me rethink my choice of moving up.
I fell over the first log crossing. That didn't do anything but make me dirty.
Then while the others rode over the log ride I went to turn around. Tight turn, slow speed, front wheel hits root, my thigh lands on said root, saddle slams into inside of thigh and OW. I'm trying not to be a big baby about it (because I am) but it throbs, it hurts to walk and pedal. I'm so annoyed that something so stupid can be this annoyingly painful. However, I am glad I don't look like this:

I still plan to ride later. Road (that hasn't seen pavement for over a month- what a shame), MTB, who knows. The only thing for certain is I will sweat my ass off. Hello it's 86 but feels like 95. High of 96 and I'm sure will feel like 108.



Hello People

They extended the registration deadline. GET ON IT!!!



I've struggled with this forever. Move up or not?
I told myself after Wausau that if I placed top 5 in an upcoming race I have to move up to Cat 1/Elite the next one. So that means the Border Battle I'll be moving up.
I want to but don't. I've witnessed so many gals move up to the elite level only to stop racing because they hated it. I don't want this to happen to me.
But I don't want to race sport anymore either. The only time I've really been out of the top 10 the past couple years was a mechanical. I almost feel guilty hanging around.
Not really sandbagger. If you look at all of our times, none of us are killing it.
But I so love sport. It's so fun. It still really challenges me. I'm not saying Elite won't be fun, because I really don't know, but it definitely has always been a different vibe.
I know I'll be struggling in the back; I just hope it's a fun struggling.



I haven't been nervous for a race in, well I don't even remember how long... I was nervous for the Alterra Coffee Bean Classic. I hate being nervous. I hadn't raced in so long, nor have I gotten much riding in. And the riding I have gotten in has been riding with slower people. So I had absolutely no idea what I was in for. Nerve-wracking.
Franklin's lead out suits me perfectly. Short climb up to the top and then fast around the cap and then drop right into the singletrack. It's not long enough to where I fade. Moriah led me and the pack around the cap into the singletrack. There aren't very many passing opportunities in the singletrack so I hoped we didn't get plugged too bad. Moriah let me by right away. I caught the men shortly after. I didn't expect to catch them so soon. I just stayed patient and asked if I could get by when they had a chance. We picked off a lot of riders. I wanted to get a gap if I could... I'm not the strongest out in the opens or climbs by far.
Riding up the switchbacks I could see the girls coming out. I saw Ashley and Meg right behind me. AHHHH! I led all the way around O'Malleys and then to the start/finish climb. I knew they'd pass me there. Ashley passed and Meg was right behind me. I didn't realize Katie had passed us until much later.
I knew I'd catch Ashley in the singletrack. I knew she'd catch up with the men to slow her down. Unfortunately Meg and I passed her after she took a corner too hot and ended up going down. Shortly after Meg and I caught up to Katie. We rode her fast wheel for a bit until she unfortunately, I think, caught a tree and went down.
I led Meg around the rest of the lap knowing she was going to take me on the climb into the finish. I wasn't strong enough to gap her enough in the singletrack. I so suck at climbing. I can't say that I was frustrated, but admit to being bummed knowing that I was going to lose it there. I tried my hardest but couldn't match Meg up that hill. However 2nd overall is fucking awesome and I had a great time to boot.

Hopefully we'll see everyone again at the Border Battle.
John didn't have such a great time. Migraine, spectacular crash and just wasn't feeling it. Glad he's okay though.

*pic by julie wolf