Showing posts from May, 2014


Nick and I were talking about this on our final pre-ride before the Growler. As I've gotten stronger with the technical aspects of mountain biking, I've started wanting to ride everything. It's challenging and fun - and a good test of how far I've come from when I first statue riding. Trying to ride everything is just fine in daily training. That's when it's time to practice skills and figure out lines. The amount of time I spend working on skills will have huge benefits down the road. Being able to ride the rough stuff when tired or having the skill to muscle through a tricky rock garden will only save me time in the long run. It's usually faster to stay on the bike and keep moving forward. If I can clean the obstacles that is. If I can't, it's not a big deal during a pre-ride or trail day. 

But in racing, it's about getting from point a (starting line) to point b (finish line) the fastest. There are no style points for technical prowess during…

Chasing sunshine at the Growler

Epic is overused, for sure, but I can't think of a better term to describe the Full Growler this year. We started under heavy skies, misting rain and with a course change due to mud. The clouds closed down for the first lap, with fog enveloping the highest point of the course. There was hero dirt, Hartman's pavement and peanut butter mud followed by slimy rocks. And then the sun came out, hardening the tacky mud and drying the slippery rocks. It never got warm, as rain threatened the entire day. There was fast racing, hard riding and a true battle with the demons as only 204 hardy souls finished their two laps around Hartman's Rocks. I met my time goal, but didn't move any higher in the women's field - taking 5th this year. Amanda Carey and Janae Pritchett had a close race, with Amanda taking the win in 6:15:39 to Janae's 6:18:09. Marlee Dixon rounded out the top three finish at 6:36:59.

Race Sherpa

Time to play race Sherpa for a day with Nick racing in the Half Growler! Nick made me drive the van to all the assigned spots and practice turning around so I felt comfortable on Saturday. No fights and I managed to safety maneuver the brown beast over the hills of Hartman's Rocks. We took advantage of the practice to check out the sections of trail that had been closed on the pre-ride. 

Then it was back to the KOA to plan race strategy for me helping Nick. It was going to be a busy day, with three planned exchanges - once for a bout of camelbak jousting, once of a bottle and then a quick pit stop for a fresh camelbak. With everything loaded into a tube, I was ready to go. I made sure I had plenty of drinks and some food to eat while I was out there. After all, I still needed to get ready for my own race on Sunday!
A quick downpour Friday night meant for a chilly morning Saturday. It also meant for pavement quality trails out at Hartman's. Everyone at the KOA was amped up for so…

Rock and Roll

That could so easily be another race name for Growler. You're either playing on some huge rocks or rolling thru endless miles of sage. It's a hard day on the bike, and that just for the first lap. I'm nervous but confident about the sections of trail we've ridden so far. There are things that I can clean and some things that make me a little nervous. It's remembering all the lines, the speed and power needed for the rocks that's going to be hard. Josie's and Gateway have the hardest stuff for me - I haven't ridden either one clean yet. Rattlesnake? As long as I remember the lines, I'm good - those rocks are super fun. Everything else is a matter of remembering timing and lines to make it thru smoothly. Except for the great unknown south of Powerline.  Last year when Nick and I headed to Gunnison, we knew the entire course, having timed our pre-ride for after everything south of Powerline opened. Not this year - we went out early and weren't able…

Potato Nested Baked Eggs

It's no secret I've been using the Skratch Labs Feedzone cookbooks for the last year. I've gotten recipes for training food and living food, ranging from fish tacos to  pie and rice cakes to meat balls. Everything I've tried has been good and well deserving of the hashtag #yum. I've also taken the basics of the recipes - like the pie crust. I'll make the basic pie crust using the gluten free flour and then go crazy with fillings. From strawberry-rhubarb to banana-coconut-pecan, everything has been good and yummy on the bike. And although, I'm not an egg person, Nick is. So I've also tried the baked eggs and a few other things. Last time I made baked eggs, I chunked potatoes and tossed them under the eggs before baking. Nick liked it, but it was a little messy. So this time I took it a step further and made potatoe nests for the eggs. And viola - a nice, neat package for the eggs. So with great respect and thanks to Skratch Labs for the ideas, here's…


I've been lucky - very few injuries over the course is my athletic life. Most likely because I pay close attention to the little niggles and take quick action. So right now, I'm a little frustrated with myself. I tweaked something in my right leg and it's being reflected into my knee. Sharp pain with moving from flexion into full extension and my entire right quad and IT band are tight and gummy feeling. I don't think the knee pain is actually coming from the knee. It's the process of figuring out where the pain is being reflected from and calming it down. At the same time, I need to figure out why it started in the first place. A lot of detective work without a lot of time to get it done. And it's frustrating because I should have paid better attention to the little things and this might not have flared up this bad. Bad enough that I considered taking the elevator to the 10th floor to teach my exercise class! 
Looking back, I can't remember exactly when the…

Back to winter...

Winter does not want to let go this year! All week, they were saying that the snow would move in Sunday morning, with wind and cold. Nick and I took advantage of the perfect weather Saturday for a nice long ride in the mountains. We had the trails to ourselves since most people decided to celebrate Mothers Day early. I was tired from the week and my right knee was aching with hard pedaling. It was a solid ride and I was able to work through the knee pain for a fun day on the bike. I didn't take care of it after the ride - having to dash to work. I paid the price for ignoring the twinge all week - by Saturday night, it was full fledged pain. Yikes. Not good.

Sunday morning, I wasn't even sure I wanted to ride. My knee was hurting badly and the light rain was rapidly turning in heavy snow. Nick didn't let me sit around and feel sorry for myself. We have the clothes - we have lights. Might as well get out and have some fun and get muddy. With my knee hurting,I knew riding the …

Gunnison goings on

What's a really good way to get into a fight with your significant other? Make me drive the van on narrow, rocky dirt roads! Okay, only slightly joking - but me and the van do not get along well. At the Growler, with Nick racing Saturday and me racing Sunday we will be out on course to support each other. Last year was easy - I could just drive out to the end of Gold Basin road and wait till Nick came along. It was far enough into the race but not too far - I could give Nick his pack and call it a day. Not so this year. Going counterclockwise means no easy place to get support. And getting off the blacktop! Yikes. Nick drove out to where we wanted to make the exchanges, but the it was my turn. Not only did I have to drive the van, but he wanted me to turn around, back up and get parked in a few places safety. I can do most of that on blacktop - but something about the dirt just freaks me out. And my driving on the dirt was freaking Nick out. He made me drive all the way back down …

Happy at Hartmans

With the Growler fast approaching, it was finally time for a road trip to Gunnison for some fun in Hartman Rocks. I had a shorter day at work and Nick was able to leave early so we were on the road 2:30 Friday - heading southwest. Our first stop was actually just outside Canon City to explore the Section 13 trails. Nick was riding and I was running, and the trail system was perfect for a little escape. There's not much there yet, a long lollipop with a crisscross in the center of the loop. I ran the lollipop as a figure eight, managing to run up the steeper side on each little loop! It was a fun run with some nice rock features, a great view of the city and Pikes Peak. I think it's better for running or a less experienced rider though - Nick said it took him about 35 minutes to ride the entire trail system. But there is potential in the hills and the BLM knows it. We had a ranger stop by as we were getting organized to ride to ask if we liked the trails! Then it was back in th…