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Showing posts from December, 2012

New Mexico Escape

Three days with nothing to do but my workouts and relaxing with Nick's parents. The perfect way to finish my last hard week - get some solid training and be able to recover well with no distractions. I could do that more often if only we had the money and time. Training hard is never the problem. It's finding the time to recover smart that is always the issue. Not this week. Sitting around the wood stove with a book was the order of the day. Even Nick was able chill out and do nothing!
We did make sure that we got some quality workouts in. I got up to run in the fresh snow Christmas morning. It was perfectly quiet, with first tracks on the road. Nick ran the first few miles with me, then returned to the house. Without a map, I had decided to just do three out and backs on the dirt road leading to his parent's house. No traffic, just a few dogs,  some crows and a bunch of horses. A brisk wind kept the temperature chilly but the sun was making quick work of the snow. It was…

Southbound for silence

Time to get away from the world. A trip south to New Mexico to visit Nick's parents turned into four days away from the world. No cell coverage, no internet - just peace and quiet. I have to admit it was nice being disconnected from the world. I knew whatever happened in the Twitterverse and Facebook didn't matter. If someone needed to get a hold of me, they could leave a message. Awesome time for some relaxing and just chilling.
I've gotten so used to having my phone all the time, it was a little odd on the last half of the drive to be in radio silence. Of course, that was when we needed the phone. We knew most of the drive - just head south on I-25 to Socorro, then west on hwy 60. Overall, it was smooth sailing. So much faster in the Subaru then the turtle! A few snowflakes, some rain near Santa Fe, but we avoided the worst of the storm. Or so we thought... We were supposed to text his parents when we reached Datil. Well, just after Socorro we hit wind and black ice. I …

Gift of Time

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One of the best presents anyone can offer - the gift of time and a fun ride. At the start on my planned long and hard ride at CMSP, Nick and I decided to invite Mom along for her birthday ride. It's something we've done for the last few years - instead of getting her something she doesn't need, we've taken her out for a fun mountain bike ride. This year, it worked out that we could do it on her birthday, on a very beautiful day, in a quiet park, on some great trails. We always try to challenge her skills, encouraging her to try some new obstacles and work on her technique. It's been fun to watch her improvement and the increased confidence on the bike

This year, with a new bike under her, we decided to challenge her even more. We rode up Boulder run instead of Coyote Run, working on her weight shifting and body position on the bike. Nick made her ride some sections she hadn't tried before and repeat some other little rock gardens. We then headed up to Blackmer…

Cookie time!

I took cookie duty for a holiday party, which meant time to play in the kitchen! Which was a good thing, because I had something I wanted to try and a can of pumpkin in the fridge. Ended up with a pile of cookies - enough for the party, enough to eat and some for the freezer! Nick liked the pumpkin cookies best, but he's not a huge chocolate fan. Yes, I think he's crazy... So here's two cookie recipes that were a big hit in the Thelen house. Hopefully, the pumpkin cookies come out right - I was winging it with some extra pumpkin for the recipe and forgot to write down exactly what I did!


Double Rich Chocolate Cookies
Preheat oven to 300 Combine and set aside                   2 ½ c flour (I use Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Flour)                   ¾ tsp xanthan gum                   ½ tsp baking soda                   ½ c cocoa powder                   ¼ tsp salt In separate bowl, cream:                   1 c packed brown sugar                   1/2 c sugar               …

New Year - New Team... ProCycling!

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2013 is looking like a fun year already. New races, new goals and a new look. We've got some fun adventures planned in addition to our classic events. I'm really looking forward to the different races and rides this year. It's going to be great fun seeking out new and awesome single track with my husband. I also have some big goals for the coming year. Its gonna be a lot of hard work, but I'm ready. And I have a great support crew to help me achieve those goals. But the biggest news is the new look for the coming year.
After the end of last season, Nick was thinking of some ways to make a little extra money after a very slow summer. He decided that working at a bike shop as a mechanic might be the best idea. Something different and a way into the bike industry. Well, the week after he talked to Brian at ProCycling, he landed a good, long term contract. So much for changing careers! But we were still talking about racing for a new team after leaving Ascent (They did a…

Holiday lights

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One of my holiday traditions has been the Lights Run. I've done this for the last 10 years - run after work, late enough for people to get home and turn on their lights. I pick a day where I'm just running easy and turn it into a walking tour of the Christmas lights. No route, no designated distance - just following the glow of lights. It's great fun to head out at night in the crisp air and always a treat to see how people have decorated. There's a few really well done homes in my neighborhood this year, with simple but classy lights. I like the old school style - with the string of lights on the house and neatly wrapped trees. The dangling lights a lot of people use now are also really pretty and add a bit of dimension to the house. I'm also a fan of just a few colors - light blues and whites with maybe some blue or red for added visual impact. But that doesn't mean I don't appreciate the really outrageous  hundreds of lights in all colors that some peopl…

To the Garage

It's that time of year again - time to hide in the garage with one goal. The foundation for next year's dreams are built right now, with every pedal stroke and foot step. The season starts early and to reach my goals winter is the time to work. I can't call it suffering because I love the effort and the reward later. That doesn't mean it's easy. Coach Adam knows my goals and will push me to the edge to reach them. So into the garage I go. Each workout has a purpose and next week's, next months efforts build upon the hours in the garage. If the weather is nice, I may take to the streets for the workouts but I like the garage.

No cars to distract me from the effort. No ice to worry about. Dressing for the workout knowing it won't start snowing on me. I love the trails and I will ride in most anything for a fun mountain bike adventure. But when on the skinny tires, I tend to be a bit more cautious. And right now, to capture the numbers we need to really lay th…

Cheating Winter

Usually by the second weekend in December, the big rides are either snowed or iced in. Not so this year, but the snow was coming - at least according to the weather man. With that in mind, Nick sent out the text inviting the gang on what might be the final big day of the year. Hoping the pace would be chill enough for me, I packed up my Talon 11 with lots of water, food and warm clothes. I didn't know where we were headed, but I was ready for some fun. As we rolled out thru Stratton, the riding plans tossed around ranged from 666 and Section 16 to Jones-Pipeline or even Emerald Valley. All of which sounded fun - and long. Eventually, consensus voted for a truly epic day of riding UP Jones' Downhill, then down Pipeline.

And I knew I was in for some trouble and some long stretches of riding alone. While the guys were riding comfortable, I was just below my endurance race pace. The train of Nick, me, Matt T, Todd and Cameron quickly caught up with Kim - who decided to tag along …

Exposing the trail with Exposure Lights!

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One thing that all early morning or late night exercisers face is the darkness. Before we turn the clocks back in the beginning of November, I was starting and ending my runs before the sun peeked above the horizon. In years past, I hadn't used a head light at all - but I was running on well lit residential streets and didn't really need much additional light. Now, I'm running in Bear Creek park - with no lights at all and plenty of wildlife. Last year, I was using a tiny petzl light - just enough to kinda see where I was going, but not really enough to see anything else. And not being able to see meant I wasn't getting the quality workouts in. It's hard to run fast without knowing where that next step is going to land.  It was clear that I needed something brighter to be able to get the most out of my workouts before I headed to work. Too bad the Exposure Lights we use for night riding wouldn't work for running...
Or would they? Nick had just gotten the small…

Worth Getting off the Couch for...

Sometimes, getting off the couch is the hardest part about night riding. It's dark and cold and the last thing you want to do is go out into the elements.  I was feeling that way on Tuesday - comfortable at home, just wanting to be a lazy bum. But when Stacy texted to ask if I was planning on coming to the ride, I was tempted. Some of the group had a party on Thursday, so they were getting together Tuesday for some giggles under the stars. I usually try to avoid Tuesdays since the boys ride then. But Nick and I have plenty of lights. And with him getting ready to go rage the Canyon and attempt to tear the legs off his buddies, my motivation kicked me off the couch. It would be a great night to ride my bike! Really quick, I got ready to go and headed over to Palmer Park.
The girls were meeting at Lazy Land, but getting out of that parking lot is a nightmare for me. I just parked at the normal location and headed over. An unusual night at Palmer Park - during my 30 minutes of goof-…

Running for a happy birthday - Rock Canyon Half

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Not to me, but one of my friends! And how do we crazy mountain bikers decided to celebrate a birthday? By running a half marathon! I'd done the Rock Canyon Half Marathon down in Pueblo last year, and off and on for a few years before that - back when I was a runner. So when Kerri posted on Facebook that she was going to run it this year, I was all in on that. I was just hoping for better weather then last year's blizzard.

Well, the weather wasn't an issue at all. It's been a very mild November and the start to December proved to have more of the same. I did bring warm clothes with me and was planning on wearing a t-shirt and arm warmers and shorts. But it was already warm when I did my warmup - with just a slight chill in the breeze. It was perfect running weather. Running in shorts and tank top was a far cry from the layers and layers of clothes last year required!

My goal at the start was to run smart and run my own race, regardless of who else was there. Without a …