Wooo Hooo! I'm back home in Denver from an awesome training adventure in Cali over the last 10 days. Also, please notice that I have a fully redesigned blog! Super yea! I've been working on this for about a month (okay, a guy I hired has been, but you know what I mean) and I'm so excited that it's finally up and running. Notice that my youtube videos are over on the left sidebar, and that you can look at posts by category via the top bar. Also we now have Facebook integrated commenting, optional of course. AND, the font is easier to read! Lots of new fun stuff! The Coast Ride this year was AWESOME. Last year the weather was fantastic and this year the weather was EVEN better. It was warm and beautiful, no rain, not many clouds. I just could not have asked for a better time. This year was also awesome because.... I knew where I was GOING!!! Yea, for not feeling like you might get lost every 10 miles. Also, this trip ended up being a total girl fest, which I honestly needed and loved.
The night before my mom had a bit of a slumber party with the Happy Hikers and of course at 5am we all loaded into Joyce's minivan to drive me up to the city. Dropping me off for the ride was a Happy Hiker affair! The ladies even drove about 8 miles into the ride and then stood on the side of the road and cheered like crazy when we all went by. It was hilarious and made me feel loved!
I rode a lot of this Coast Ride with Hailey and Jess. They really are just wonderful women. In fact, if you look at the Kona results for 4 years now, Hailey and I are always just a few minutes apart. We consistently come in as some of the top AGers in the US, and yet, we can get together and ride on each others wheel for three days, no competition, no weird feelings, just love and appreciation for the support and friendship. I would trade every single medal and plaque for this fact. Thank you Hailey, you have so much heart.
Mark did not want his photo taken, he is too cool for school. But it's hard to escape my mom and her iPhone, which had us laughing for the first few miles of the ride. Huge thanks to Mark for driving us home from Santa Barbara and putting up with 3 women in the car who literally talked at breakneck speed the entire way home. I have also been utilizing my front break much more since chatting with Mark. He's a bit of a roadie perfectionist and we all love him for it!
I rode with Jess last year and she is just one of the most down to earth, mellow, go with the flow girls I have ever riden a bike with. She's a total bad ass and has the best stories. She's one of those new pros that I'm just on the edge of my seat about, because at some point soon, she's going to launch. You heard it here folks. Also, she has an adorable niece and now I can't stop using the phrase "SHHHHAAADDD" for sad.
This year it was fun to see how people handled their first Coast Ride and Kayla, AKA: "KK" get's rookie of the year award. She hurt, she suffered, she got dropped...but you would never know because she just wouldn't quit smiling. Ahh, a girl after my own heart, the constant happy never gets old!
Christine and I roomed together after the first night and shared dinner on night two. I crave time with Christine, she's got a wonderful sense of humor and I wish I lived next door to her. She was also much fitter this year and cussed at her bike seat much much less. I'm so proud of her.
So how did I ride? Well, let me tell you, I was pleasantly surprised in a few instances, I got dropped in a few other instances, I bonked once, and I had my rear wheel clipped once. But all in all I was super jazzed about how much stronger I felt this year. I was on the edge of implosion much much less this year and was delighted to feel more in control of my effort and my ability to do hard work for short periods of time and recover. Morro Bay is still once of my favorite places on earth. I never tire of it and I feel so grateful I got to grow up here.
I had a really strong day 2 this year, and I had a fun 42 miles after Big Sir. By some stroke of crazy luck I burned a mactch at just the right time and was somehow able to stay with the group through all the rolling twists and turns of the Big Sur coastline. Last year we were taking pictures of whales, stopping to smell the roses and dealing with my mechanical. We pulled into Ragged point close to last. This year I remember being in the big pack, taking my short turns at the front, holding my own, and seeing VERY little scenery. It was 100% focus and I didn't really even fuel or eat.
Day 3 was a little rougher for me after a harder day 2 and I had my first bonk, but 2 huge things of iced coke at the Subway revived me for the remainder of the day. Rolling along the Santa Barbara coast on Hwy1 and hearing Jess say "I don't want it to end" was exactly how I felt. It was so fun and so awesome, I didn't want it to end this year either. Last year I was ready for it to end, this year, not so much.
The next day, there was no rest for the wicked. I was on the track for a 5K time trial with legs that felt like bricks. It was so awesome! There was ice all over the track that we had to dodge left and right. I did the same thing last year so it was good to get another benchmark a year later. Good stuff of course! Track was in the morning and spin class at Concept Cyclery was in the PM. Concept is in Morgan Hill and Muddy coaches the spin class there. It's great! If you want to meet Muddy, go check out the class. It's a great mix of technique and strength work, I have definitely watched the people in the class get stronger over this past year!
Jen is one of my favorite chicks that I have met through Muddy. I'm not going to tell you what Age Group she is or you might pee yourself, let's just say that I have found the fountain of youth and it's called triathlon. Jen and I like to take an annual gun-show-shot. As you can see her arms are better than mine and she can be my mom....what? what?
I do love the fact that this year I have some great Muddy Gals to train with. I love training with the boys and they push me hard, but it's nice to have some other ladies in the mix as well. Strong hard workers!!
We did lots more riding, and as the week went on my legs got heavier, and I got more tired. I tried to sleep more and eat more, but a point does come where you can't sleep and eat yourself out of the fatigue, you just gotta decorate the fatigue cave and cozy up in it. I love this photo of Jonny and Eric. Jonny had a mechanical and got a tow from Eric via his rear pocket. It was awesome!
I got to ride in Woodside for the first time in a long while, thanks to Rob. I love Woodside! It's amazing out there and we are already planning some future epic training days. They have awesome running (horse) trails through there that I can't wait to explore!
This was how I spent my evenings, in the chair, with the dog, really trying to fix my legs!
Dan and Eric and I on the top of Mt.Ham. I heart Mt.Ham, it feels like home now. After a mellow day I had a personal best up the climb on my next to last day of camp. I've said it before and I'll say it again, when you are doing these sorts of things, the body adapts. It adapts in the long term from the hard training block but it adapts in the short term as well. It's not uncommon for me to have my best day at the end of camp when I think I am spent and done for. Sometimes that's actually when the magic happens!!
This training camp would not have been so successful without my mama. She tended to me like the grand master sherpa that she is. She cooked and did laundry, got me ice cream (shhh) and covered me in blankets. She tucked me in at night and just made it to where all I had to do was train. Thank you mama!!!
And I have to thank coach Muddy. He's so good at managing me and he really is the best coach I have ever worked with. He really understands me as a person and athlete and I'm excited to see where his plan takes me this year. The cool part about it is that the plan is always rooted in fun and enjoyment so the destination doesn't really matter as much.
I'm back to video blogging, and today I got an awesome crick in my neck. I basically talked about it for 5 minutes. I promise that I will get back to talking about interesting stuff from here on out. But the crick is where I am at right now!