Posted by: Miriam | 08/03/2009

Der Blogity Blog

So yea, apparently I’ve been lacking in my blog updation. Sorry. Well not really. I havent had much to yak about lately.

Work: Yea, still (and forever – I blame my parents for my work ethic) working 50+ hour weeks to get our SAP system up and running. Its almost there. Almost. Maybe I’ll be able to leave before 6:30 one of these days. But I guess I cant really complain too much since I do have a job. But still I dont want to work THAT hard all the time.

Cycling: I am attempting to train. I’ve discovered that although I love to ride my bike, and I do like racing, I hate training inside on the rollers/trainer. I mean who doesnt, but good god this is getting old. Its March. I want to be outside. I want the sun on my cheeks and the wind in my hair (through the helmet of course). I’ve done a few races lately, Cherry Pie and Sublime Sublimity. Race reports to follow.

-Cherry Pie: Oh man I almost chickened out. I HATE HATE HATE racing in the rain. Actually hate is not strong enough of a word. The weather called for nastiness all day. I found a ride, so of course I then had to go. So I did. It was sunny and warm. I was hot with my arm warmers and leg warmers and booties. Hot. Yes in Feb. Hot. I was loving it. And then I had to race. Because there are so few women in the 1/2/3 categories in the state, we all get to race together. Usually we get scored separately. Which is good, since there is a massive difference between a 2 and a 3. 3s are just strong 4s with endurance. Really. I’m a 3, its not that hard to upgrade (obviously). However, the 2s actually have to have some ambition. They have to put a lot of time in the saddle. They have to race outside Oregon (since there are a whole 15 1/2s in the state). So anyways, I’m warm and sweating on a nice Feb afternoon. I’m flying the colors of my new team: Poplollies. The 12 woman peloton stays together for the 1st lap. Theraputic Associates has a butt load of women (Lisa, Karey, Jessi, Jacquie, Pam, and a 6th). They keep sending off attacks. Nobody wants to cover, so Jen (Group Health), Molly (Land Shark), Lindsay (unattached) and I do a lot of the covering. I eat a little. Not enough. Lisa rails it up the finishing hill. This hill is hard. Very hard. I shouldnt have let them out front. I should have taken more wind to keep the TA girls from dominating the front of the race. But its just me, none of the other Poplollies could make it to the 3 race. I cant cover a whole team. So Lisa, Jacquie, Libby, Karey, and Jen form a break. Molly and I chase, we catch Pam and continue to chase. We are hauling ass, giving everything we have. They are sooooo close. And then they arent. Then they disappear over the next hill. Finally Lindsay, Molly and I convince Pam and Jessi to actually work. We all work together. Its fun now, we are just rolling along in a nice pace line. Chatting. Giggling. Oh crap, we have 10 more miles. Shit I havent eaten enough I can feel it. We gap Lindsay. At 2k to go they turn up the tempo and I’m done. My 15lb bike feels like 40 in my easiest gear. I finish it up, I cant hang with the other girls, but I dont want Lindsay to come up. I roller her in. Done. 6th place. I guess that words for it being mid Feb. There are some strong girls in the peloton. I know this is going to be a hard year. And I’m looking forward to May when I actually have some endurance and recovery and speed. And probably the next time I sweat again outside.

-Sublime Sublimity. PG 13 Rating.
I went up with Erin K and Michelle of the Poplollies. Erin was representin’ in the 4s and Michelle and I were rolling out with the 3s. The day looked threatening. But again the weather held out. Yea! That was the highlight of the day. Really. I hear snippets and reports about how hard it is prior to our start. About how the course description and the actual race are vastly different. Unsettling? Yes. So at the start I realized I’ve locked my gloves in Erin’s car. Oy. Ok so I get that straightened away. Then they tell us we are not going to get be scored separately. WTH? Seriously, there are like 13 women. How hard can this be. The promoters say its up to the officials and the officials say its up to the promoters (which it is). I’m already annoyed. This is not a good start. They say something about taking both lanes on a decent to make a hard 90 corner. So we’re off. Veloforma is there, en force. Karey and Jessi from TA, Michelle and I, Jen from Group Health and a few others. We hit the first ‘roller’ aka wall. Oh man this is going to be hard. Where the hell did this come from? Up and over, and again and again and again. Holy hell. My mind is baffled, how exactly am I supposed to do 4 laps of this. I am internally laughing at the 700′ of elevation gain/lap they advertised. I dont have anything fancy, but I have been around long enough to recognize a blatant lie when I see one. We start the largest climb. We are going ~7mph. Jesus H. Christ. In a race?!??! So we hit the decent. Its clear, open, roads are perfect. I tuck (and let me tell you, little people can tuck). I hit 43mph. This is a new record. I pop up over the last little roller in the decent and see a T in the road. Oh F@*K! I yell. I have a steep 500m or so to slow myself down to take this corner. This has a very high potential for being bad. Very bad. I hit the brakes, HARD. Fishtail #1. I get into a cycle of braking into a fishtail letting go and then repeating. I must have fishtailed 4-6 separate occasions. Its a good thing I spend most of last year mtn biking…or I would have left a large portion of my epidermis on the road. So the girls who made it around the corner a little safer than I form a break. Damn. Now its is the majority of us 3s in the chase group. Michelle, Steph (Veloforma), Jessi, someone else, and myself. We start to chase. This is my life on a road bike. Always in the chase group. Steph refuses to work, since 2 of her teammates are behind us, and she wants help, and one is up the road in the break. Nobody realizes this until it is too late and the other 2 Veloforma girls catch. Crap. Luckily one of them gets a flat shortly into lap 2 and the other stays back to help her. Sweet. We roll along. Steph still doing very little work, the rest of us actually trying. Michelle and I dont really have a plan. We just want to finish. If we wanted we could try group tactics I guess, but there are only 2 of us in a 5 person group. 2nd lap is uneventful. Same pain. Same vile thoughts towards the promoters. The 3rd lap comes, I cant believe I have this +1 more to do. I’m dying. Almost out of liquids. None of the girls are talking – we’re all suffering internally now. I drop back to the follow official. We’re 2 hours 30-45 mins into it. If we do another lap its going to be almost dark by the time we finish. I ask if the race can be shortened. About 10 minutes later comes the word that it is. Yes! Small victory. I pussy foot it down the decent. I get gapped by the other girls. Michelle and I chase and chase and chase. She is strong but saying she is cooked. Michelle is working her ass off to get me back to that group. Every time she comes around and I get a draft, I am forever thankful. We get closer and closer. I get with in 25′. But crap, its a hill. I have nothing in the tank. Off the group goes. Michelle has popped. Its just me now. I have miles to the finish. I just keep telling myself over this hill. And now this hill. I see the finishers coming back down. They look like ghosts..eyes a little dead..soul a little crushed. I finally get to the turn off for the finish. Rollers. Ugh. Ok so I get over the first couple and then I see it: a wall. A wall so high and so steep it looks like its coming up and arching over me. Help me Jesus, help me Allah, help me Jewish God, help me Oprah. 20%. I finish. On my feet. Slightly in protest of how goddamned steep and unnecessary it was and slightly because I didnt want to fall over. Michelle does the same. I know why people looked like ghosts…I know I look the same way. I cheer for Heidi and Eryn B as they are headed towards the finish. They will need it.

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