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Showing posts from April, 2012

Ridgeline preview

Nick and I took advantage of a day off and headed north to Castle Rock to check out the course for the next race in the RMES - the Ridgeline Rampage. We've never ridden up there so didn't really know what to expect. And after two laps -one to make sure we had the course right (little maps on iPhones are kinda hard to read in bright sun without my glasses) and another to test the course at speed, I'm thinking it's gonna be interesting. The course is definitely flowing, with some steep hills and some deceptive climbs. I was actually a little surprised at how much climbing there was in the lap - pacing is gonna be important for this race for sure. Burning matches on some of those climbs early will lead to trouble later. Not super technical at all with fairly wide trails, but passing is still gonna be a challenge because of the high speeds. Lots of cornering - and many of the corners off camber and loose.

It's a pretty ride - meandering through the scrub oak and open …

Lighting a Fire - VooDoo Fire Race Report

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A the start of the year, I decided to change my focus away from the Xterras of the last three years to endurance and ultra mountain bike races. And while I was confident that I'd made the right choice and was really looking forward to the season, that didn't help with the nerves building as VooDoo Fire approached. I knew I'd done the training and was ready to ride long, hard and fast. At the end of the day , I executed a fairly smart race. I made some mistakes for sure, but will learn from them. I kept everything together, kept a steady tempo as the temperature rose and rode my own race as best I could with the number of riders on course. There were 175 finishers in the marathon, 225 in the half marathon, and 140 finishers in the cross country races. Add many more who suffered mechanicals and other issues and DNFs. Warriors Cycling did a great job managing the event, the riders on course and ensuring a good event for everyone. In the Women's Marathon, Honey Stinger Sa…

Raindrops and Lilacs

Yesterday, I felt sure I was going to get soaked on my run. The clouds were dark and looming over the mountains and the wind was whipping the trees. So I left my sunglasses at home and tied a long sleeved shirt around my waist just in case. That must have scared the storms away, because I had beautiful weather. A slight breeze, the sun came out and the trails were quiet. But there was enough wind to fill the air with the wonderful aroma of the lilacs blooming all around the neighborhood. That and the hit of rain in the air, it was an outdoorsy evening perfect to get outside and do something.

So I was in a great mood even before I started running. I think that translated into the run, because it was such a smooth run. Everything clicked, with a perfect flow to every movement. The miller moths fluttered around every bush, a gentle buzzing from the wings and from them hitting the leaves and branches. Fanciful when an entire bush would erupt into flight - would have bees better if it had…

Miller Moths!!!

After a few quiet years of Miller moths, this year is already bad. The lilac bush outside the window is filled with moths, just fluttering around. Normally, it would be an issue, but with the kittens - oh man... George loves sitting and watching the trees and birds and now all of a sudden there's all these bugs! And she thinks they should become cat toys. The ones in the house are quickly dealt with between the three cats. But those outside, those moths are just annoying George.

Sunday night, a loud sound echoed from the living room, like a bird hit the window. Nick crawls out of bed to check. And it's not a bird, it's a littl black kitten who doesn't think glass should get between her and her moths! She took a flying leap up against the window, trying to catch the moth on the other side. And proceeded to bounce off! We don't want her breaking the window, so Nick soaked her with the squirt bottle. That didn't help - now she just leaps up against the window, th…

VooDoo Fire nerves

I could tell I was amped up for this race - getting nervous as the start got closer. I've done one other long race - the Falcon 100km, but that was just for "fun." This was the turning point - the start of my new focus and the racing season. So when I was talking to Coach Adam before the race and he asked how I was feel, I was honest. More nervous then before any of the tris last year.

But when the racing started and Sari took off up the Dam Road, I felt in my element. Steady, controlled and looking forward to a few hours of racing. Sixty six miles later, a few layers of dust on my legs, and having drained three water bottles and two camelbaks, I crossed the line in 5:40 - second place to Honey Singer racer Sari Anderson who burned up the course in 5:11. Third place went to single speeder Holly Wade, who finished in 5:51. Full report coming later. It was a good day to shake out the legs and nerves and made me happy I'd decided to change my focus. A lot of work to do…

Getting excited...

For the first time in three years, I was not on the starting line in Lake Las Vegas for the Xterra West Championships. And while I missed seeing the rest of the Xterra Tribe, I did not miss the rest of it. The long trip out to Vegas. Being away from home for so long. Trying to be comfortable in a strange environment. The course at Vegas. I woke up Saturday, went for a run and went to work. Checked to race updates on Twitter, but that was it. (Congrats to Conrad and Renata for some fast racing in what sounded like tough conditions) I was home, with my husband and my kittens. Able to head out for some epic rides and chill out. It was so nice!

But that doesn't mean I'm not getting excited for my race season to start! Next Saturday, at Lake Pueblo State Park, the racing season kicks off with bang at the VooDoo Fire. My second ultra distance mountain bike race ever. And I am so looking forward to it. Thats why I know this change of focus will be what I need. I've got that pre r…

Speed intervals, sunshine and snow!

Tuesday I gave up my sunshine to do my workout inside - wanted the numbers on the computrainer. And while riding inside is mind-numbing, it was good to see the numbers. I like the numbers and seeing the improvement always makes suffering inside worth it. I did get some sun on my run later, so not a completely inside day. Wednesday was raining, foggy and a perfect day for another inside workout. And another good set of numbers on the power sessions. One of these days, I will get a power meter and be able to take my power workouts outside on sunny days! But until then, the computrainer at CTS will give me the data I want.

To make up for inside suffering, and since I am working this weekend, Nick and I decided to head west. A nice long ride up Gold Camp Road for some fun singletrack. It was warm down at our house, but clouds were already building so we made sure we had warm clothes. Thanks to the rain, the trails in Stratton were in great shape. We took advantage of the quiet and rode s…

Fluffy Flaxseed Apple-applesauce Pancakes

Yes, I make a lot of pancakes. I love breakfast and pancakes are super simple when I'm busy with training and working. A pancake with some jam in the middle of the day also makes a great after workout snack. And there's always leftovers with pancakes, so I don't have to worry about breakfast later in the week.

With that said, here's another gluten free, whole grain and fruity pancake recipe. Separating the eggs makes the pancakes light and fluffy, even with the flaxseed. If you are short on time, you don't need to do that step - just mix all the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients slowly. I used Bobs Red Mill gluten free flour, quinoa flour and blue cornmeal, but any combo of flours should work well.

Separate 4 eggs and set aside yolks in large bowl
Beat whites until stiff and peaks form. Set aside.

Add to yolks and beat until pale:
1/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar

Add to yolk and sugar and continue beating on low speed:
1/4 cup ground flax seed
1/4 cup…

A weekend of trails

A long epic girls ride on Saturday and a fun brick workout on Sunday under clear skies and warm temperatures. One of those great weekends to live and ride in COS!

The plan for Saturday had been to head south and explore Pueblo with Kristi for a few hours. But I bailed - didn't feel like driving and had been hoping on camping at Buffalo Creek. The camping trip didn't happen, so I joined the girls for a long ride up Rampart Road to the Overlook Drop. I've only done that ride once before so I was really happy to join them. I left my house early, rode to Kristi's, then roads over to Balanced Rock. My only crash of the day happened on the hogs back- a dumb error that sent me flying into cacti and small rocks. We got to Balanced Rock, met the rest of the group and headed up. It was a nice, steady pace on the initial climb as the four of us (Tracy, Stephie, Kristi and I) headed up to Williams. Kennon was coming, but had been running a little late. The group was all together a…

Blue blueberry muffins

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I made the "mistake" of going to Whole Foods for flour the other day - all I needed was some more gluten free flour, cornmeal and buckwheat flour. And then I started looking - all kinds of cool flours that are whole grain and could add nutrients and flavor to my baking. So in addition to my cornmeal (splurged - got the blue corn meal) and buckwheat, I also got quinoa flour and teff flour. Now, I've cooked quinoa before and love the taste and Nick really likes the quinoa pasta we get. So that was an easy sell. But teff? Never heard of it! Turns out its a pretty common gluten free flour - just a really small grain that's hard to grind. A lot of the things I've read say it adds some of the moistness and stickiness of typical wheat flours back to baking. All I know is mixing the flours with my normal GF flour yielded very tasty, moist and soft muffins. There was a hint of nuttiness, no flava bean aftertaste and the muffins were much lighter then normal. While the rec…

Mountain Bike racing in COS

Mountain bike racing in Colorado Springs is gonna be big this year in Colorado Springs! We have the 24 Hours of COS - the 24 hr national champs in September and a new stop on the Pro XC series in June. In addition to those big events, Sand Creek Sports will be holding six local events - the five race Ascent Cycling Series on Wendesday nights through out the summer and the Pro Cycling Classic XC on July 1st. For the Ascent Cycling Series, three of the races (June 6th, July 18th, and August 8th) will be held on the fast singletrack of the Bear Creek Terrace mountain bike trails. The other two races (June 13th and July 25th) will be contested among the fun rocks of Palmer Park. The Wendesday night races are late enough to accomodate most work schedules and with separate start times and caps on the field, there is plenty of room on the trail to ensure good clean fun racing. With two different venues and five different courses, there will be something for everyone at the Ascent Cycling Ser…

Hot and dusty fun at the lake

We finally made it down to Lake Pueblo to pre ride the course for the Voodoo Fire race last weekend. Important for me for pacing and planning nutrition needs and really important for Nick to check his gearing. It took us a little longer then planned to get going and we didn't start riding until 10:30 on Saturday. A good wake up for the heat we could be facing come April 21 - it was really hot! Not a cloud in the sky, a light wind and dusty trails. My legs were white from the dust when we finished our ride. It's a good, long lap with some fun stuff, some really boring sections and a few cool canyon drops. I'm happy it's the short loop again and not going all the way out on Voodoo loop. The thought of a possible mechanical way out there worries me. But Outer Limits is a fun, flowy trail, Rock Canyon a challenging shale climb and both Stonehenge and Waterfall just fun trails. Rollercoaster will provide a challenge with its steep drops and long climbs. I'm looking forw…