Friday, June 29, 2007
As it should after pairing about 20 different foods with wines.
Last night we went to Elemental in Wallingford to celebrate Dave's birthday. Dave and Kristin are foodies and love wines as well - perfect company for a night of eating and drinking.
Let's see - highlights I remember.... we started with a scallop/watermelon appy coupled with some white wine. (All I can tell you is the color of wine - not only because I'm a moron when it comes to wine, but also because the owner, Fred, refuses to let you in on any of his secrets.) Down the hatch it went - yum. But let me back up a little, when you first arrive you're served a shot glass of sherry and some cucumber water. Then after you've warmed up your palate Fred will mix up a little cocktail surprise that'll knock your socks off. Since I'm a light weight I was seriously buzzed before they even gave us some food. They also give you a little helping of popcorn sprinkled with black pepper and truffle oil. A teaser, if you ask me.
Since we all enjoy food so much we decided to try everything. "Bring on the food," Fred said.
At one point we had five spice duck and a five star red wine - that was a show stopper. We also enjoyed pigeon, but I'm sure there's a more sophisticated name and things started to get really fuzzy from that point on.
Dave and Kris kept referring to "French Laundry" down in San Fran - a place I had never heard of. A meal for two will cost around $750 or so. Elemental is not nearly as pricey or stuffy for that matter. We walked out of there (thankfully we live 4 blocks away - driving was not an option) in under $280.
But you do pay for it the next day - especially if you drink all of the wine that he serves with dinner. Often we would have two wines with every dish - to compare and contrast the different tastes. I personally preferred the whites - but learned that I only needed a sip to wash it down. Dave and Ryan on the other hand were drinking the rest of what I left in my cup and were wasted! I bet both of them are hurtin' units this morning. :)
If you are ever in Seattle, or live here and are looking for a special treat, I highly highly recommend Elemental. The place is super small - and if you're not there by 5 pm to claim a table then you might as well find somewhere else to eat. They only have 5 tables, can accommodate two parties of 4, the rest two tops. But it is so worth every anxious minute you have when approaching, will we get a table tonight? Then you are wined and dined until 10pm or so - so make sure to bring good dinner conversation. And make sure you don't have to make any important decisions the next day. ;)
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Ryan climbs at Lil' Si and has been working on numerous hard routes. He headed out to North Bend after work and I decided to ride out there and meet him. I've done this ride before - but decided to do some exploration this time and try to avoid any congested roads at the height of traffic. Boy was I in for a treat.
Usually I head out and follow I-90 till Issaquah and then follow Lake Samamish till the Home Depot and head up this 11% grade monster hill to intersect Issaquah/Fall City Road. Then I meander on some back country roads and eventually end up in Fall City, then follow 203 into Snoqualmie. But I wanted to avoid the 11% grade because there's no shoulder and often cars zoom next to you, nearly bumping the handle bars on their daily commute home. They're usually not too happy that a cyclist is sharing the road - and they let you know.
I stopped in downtown Issaquah at the Fire Station and asked the fellas for the safest way up to the plateau and it turns out all I had to do was follow Sunset. They did mention the road was super narrow in the this one section and slightly dangerous - but that's nothing new. Luckily when I approached the area they were talking about there was a nice barricaded shoulder and trial system. I was stoked. Then it turns out I found the Cedar River Trail - a nice railroad grade packed gravel road that parallels 90 through a thickly forested area. It was beautiful and totally unexpected. Had I not been worried about getting a pinch flat with my skinny little road tires, I would have stopped longer and smelled the roses.
Once you exit the trail it kicks you onto this amazing meandering country road into Preston. From Preston I followed the Preston/Fall City Road and it had a nice shoulder. Cars were traveling a little fast but I wasn't buzzed - as it seems most of the people on this road aren't uptight Seattlites. :)
203 from Fall City into Snoqualmie was a little sketchy - only because they just paved the area and have yet to mark the lanes. There's a great climb from the valley floor to Snoqualmie Falls and then it's pancake flat from there into North Bend. The weather rocked yesterday - 72 degrees and not too hot.
Once I got to the trail head I popped my bike on the racks and then made the 25 minute trek up to the climbing area. What an incredible day of hanging out in the forest - away from the hustle and bustle of the city. We stopped in North Bend for some food and beer around 10pm - a nice way to wrap up an unexpected kick ass day.
On a side note - the other night I was doing my core exercises and got stung by a bee! In my own house! Son of a biscuit!
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
I am a position master.
KW also noticed my tiny crank arms. Funny, I run a 165 on my track bike. It's what came with the bike and no one told me I should bother with changing it. Maybe that's why when I hit a high RPM my heart feels like it's going to explode. With 5mm on each side of the crank, I might be able to really lever myself a little better. We'll see how that goes.
I'm on the hunt for a single speed for the road. If you have an old frame in a 54-56 let me know.
Sunday, June 24, 2007
I look forward to each opportunity I get to show my skill and ability to position myself in each and every race I do - from road to track.
So here's the thing. This past weekend I raced like butt because I wasn't in proper position. Both Friday night with the fellas and today's road race in Olympia. Sure my legs felt like bricks but had I positioned myself smarter in both races I would have been in the finish. Instead I shot out the back like a rocket, and discouraged as can be. But whenever I'm faced with a challenge and something screams at me that I can't do - I respond well and face those fears.
Maybe my ability to overcome needles took it's toll on me mentally. Ha!
Seriously though - I owe it to myself to be in better position and stay in the top half. No more in the back bull shit. I end up wasting more energy physically and mentally after the race wondering what went wrong.
So, as I said before, and I'll keep repeating to myself and posting it on my fridge - I am a position master.
I am a position master. I am a position master. I am a position master. I am a position master.I am a position master.I am a position master.I am a position master.I am a position master.I am a position master.I am a position master.I am a position master.I am a position master.I am a position master.I am a position master.I am a position master.I am a position master.I am a position master.I am a position master.I am a position master.I am a position master.I am a position master.I am a position master.I am a position master.I am a position master.I am a position master.I am a position master.I am a position master.I am a position master.I am a position master.I am a position master.I am a position master.I am a position master.
I think you see what I mean.
Saturday, June 23, 2007
I forgot my track sack at home on accident and was unable to gear up for the races. I couldn't tell why I wasn't able to hang on but in retrospect it's because my gear was too small. Time to up it.
Grant man is doing awesome. He's a week shy of heading out to Colorado Springs for junior nats, held the weekend before the Independence GP. He's often giving Kenny a run for the money. It's really fun to watch and I look forward to seeing how far he can push himself in cycling. Mark, Grant's dad said that upgrading him to a 1/2 on the road made a huge difference because he's still in junior gearing and able to keep up with the big guns. The future is certainly looking bright for that young man. Go Grant go!
Helped Bilko teach a track class today, which was fun. I woke up with sore legs so it was nice to be able to spin them out in warm up. My replacement powertap showed up today too... I'm off to install it. Later.
Friday, June 22, 2007
“When I get on the track, especially pursuiting,” Hammer says, “I want people to look at each other when I get off the track like, ‘Damn, wow!’ Not, ‘Okay, she won.’ When I was the only girl racing junior boys, I wanted all the young boys’ father to be like, ‘Wow.’ I’ve always been like that.’”
Funny - that's what always made my fire burn brighter too. Especially when I was in elementry grade school playing dodge ball. I loved hitting those boys and being the last person standing. :) It was only after competition that I realized I was the only girl still playing with the boys.
Thanks Sarah for giving me something to think about when I'm on the verge of puking. I know I can dig that much deeper.
(Read the entire article about Sarah at http://www.competitor.com/article/?Guid=5785fe51-e55b-4b31-b0c8-6daac4ff5a33 )
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Or at least trying to. You know how sometimes you have all those little lose ends you've been meaning to wrap up for days/weeks/months now? Well I finally ticked some of those off my list. Yippee.
I'm trying to get the MVA website updated with some new content and it's slowly coming together. I'm also trying to get my talented photographic sister involved to take some new photos for the website. It would be awesome to get her involved. She has a great eye for design and taking photos.
Ryan's been working on the back end of the site and frantically trying to get the results page up and running. Hopefully we'll post something today.
I'm nailing down a delinquent tenant who owes some back rent. The sneaky little bugger. He's going to have quite a little wake up call when he sees his new lease.
Oh - and I almost forgot! There's this guy who walks his Jack Russell in front of our buildings every day. He's missing a few bolts in the old tool box, if you know what I'm saying. The dog is always super hyped up and the owner always yells loudly, "LEO! LEO!" Yip yip yip! And Leo does a back flip or two. Well yesterday Leo and his owner were out walking along the trail and this poor female roller bladder was just riding down the trail, minding her own business, when suddenly you hear LEO LEO LEO! Bad dog! The little monster attacked the woman biting at her ankles, sending her down hard on the concrete. Apparently Leo was off leash and the owner was on his cell phone. My mom and I both caught the action - and were glad to see the woman roll away. I saw Leo again this morning on my way into work - thankfully strapped to his owner. Bad Leo, bad.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
First and foremost - Ryan redpointed a 5.13a this weekend in 4 goes! What a stud. He said his body is sore in ways that he hasn't felt since he first started climbing. Which I think means he crossed a serious hurdle and is now ready to attack his ultimate goal - 5.14. I'm so happy we both have our individual sports and have passion for them in common - it is such a valuable and important support network to have.
Monday morning I headed to the gym for my first weight lifting session. I went through the moves but didn't add any weight or rep to it because I was curious how my body would react. So far so good. Later in the day I headed to Ballard for another acupuncture session and Ed hit my sore hammy on the head. He stuck a needle right into the tender area - where I've been trying to rub out for four months and with one needle movement released the junk built up in there. I'm headed back for one more session and should be good after that.
We also went over to Dave and Kristin's for dinner last night and had a great time. Kristin is seriously the world's best cook and loves to experiment with different foods. Dave is a lucky lucky man. :) Two bottles of wine later, we headed home from the plateau to jump in bed a little before midnight. That made for an early morning - Ryan left the house via moto at 6 am this morning so he could get off early for another good climbing session at Lil' Si. I woke up at 6:45am (super duper early for me!) and headed to Kenmore to meet up with Kenny and head to the track for some motorpacing. It took us an hour to get from his house to the track. Ridiculous!
The moto session went good though - although we had to cut it short because I was headed to a 11am PT appointment. We did a nice warm up and then some points race simulations. Ideally I want to be able to come around going 35-37mph and hold it to the line from 200m. Today I was able to hit 32.7 in my final effort - but without really taking a run at the motor and sling shot in front of it. Now I know for next time. I made my appointment just in time and then headed back to Kenmore to drop of Kenny's track bike. Talk about spending the morning in the car! Makiah came along for the ride though and I think it made her day.
Now I'm relaxing, listening to some dub music and the constant spin of the washing machine as I down another tall glass of water and rest my tired legs. Oh yeah - I also picked up some new tires from 2nd bounce for my sorry ass track bike during my afternoon ride. I got a rear flat this morning just as we were about to start and think it's time I updated those wheels. They served me well - it's been 3 track seasons and I'm just now replacing them. Blah blah blah. Thanks for listening.
Sunday, June 17, 2007
Thankfully the drive was awash in lush early spring greens - making for striking and jaw dropping contrasts between the mountain peaks and meadows along highway 20. I recommend driving highway 20 to anyone that ever visits this planet - it is seriously one of the most beautiful roads in the world, if not the prettiest. Even better if you can bike it.
We rolled into the Mazama Country Store around 10 pm and immediately inhaled the clean pine fresh air. I wish I could bottle it. It smells so amazing. That in itself is worth the long ass drive. (It normally should take 3.5 hours.) My only regret - our weekend was too short.
We spent the weekend in a nice cabin with 15 friends and one incredible baby who never cries, Sophie. They're mostly Ryan's climbing buddies who were a little disappointed to hear I wasn't racing so they couldn't get drunk and heckle me in the crit. :) Instead, Melinda, Josh and I hiked to the Goat Mountain Overlook on Saturday and had an amazing panorama view from 7,000 feet. The view was breath taking - literally. Having this short break from the bike made me super antsy to get back to it. We got home early because Melinda's dog, Yatzee is 12 and her health and agility is starting to fail her. She wouldn't have made it the 30 minutes up to the crag without an airlift so Melinda and I headed back early.
I spent quite a bit of time tonight booking flights and getting my logistics down for the busy track month of July. I'm packing in more traveling in that one month than the entire season so far. I'm super excited and really stoked about resting and healing up this past weekend in anticipation of hitting things hard and steady from here on out.
4 different velodromes in July, with only one being a new track to me. That makes me grin from ear to ear.
I'm really looking forward to what's in store for the next few months race wise. It seems all of my patience and waiting out this hamstring issue is going to pay off. It makes me want it that much more and I can't wait to express my eagerness.
Friday, June 15, 2007
Should be fun - do a little climbing and hiking and of course hanging out with friends. There's 12 of us going. Yahoo!
This is my last weekend of relaxation before I start hitting it hard back in the gym and putting some serious quality time in on the saddle. Hope your weekend is nice!
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Rode with the ladies last night. It was fun hanging with Rachel and working with her within the group. I was in a 50x16 (84") gear - which felt good to get some leg speed. I love going fast and feeling the G forces in the turns. It's a lot of fun. Now if we could just get more Ti ladies out at the track...
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
My hammy is feeling better - and I was able to do the entire workout without flinching or thinking about it. We started with 3 6 lap full out efforts. Annette was the rabbit for the first one, which was easier because you saw how to pace yourself. We switched positions for the second - it's such a mental challenge being in front and maintaining 26mph solo. Then the last effort we switched off lead positions - and increased our speed to 27. The last couple laps were leg breaking - I'm stoked with both finished them.
Next on the agenda - 3x 1 lap rolling all out efforts. We started them at 14mph and then stood up to sprint and get on top of the gear. Those kind of efforts make you realize just how long Marymoor is. I toped out around 31mph. Annette was the rabbit again for the first and last effort - I was her rabbit for the second one. I put so much effort into the last one I swear I felt fuzzy - a little lightheaded and talk about an endorphine high (apparently the dictionary doesn't like my version of that word - and I swear it's a word. You know, the runner high you get?)!
Now I'm slowly waking up and sipping my green tea. It's been 10 days since I gave up coffee and my body is starting to feel better.
Monday, June 11, 2007
Let me be clear - I made the appointment this morning despite my years of needle paranoia. Ever since I was an infant, I've had a severe phobia to needles. I suppose it was rooted in being poked a million times to help me breathe. I had serious asthma as a child - and still do - and when I started to turn blue in the face at 2 years old, my panicked mother would rush me into the doctors office to get shots of adrenaline. To this day I have a hard time with needles - and have bolted out of many doctor offices before. But not today - I was a brave little girl. :)
Ed started with me laying on my tummy and did some core rubs. He noticed my liver was feeling a little interesting - but didn't put me in any discomfort. He worked down to my legs - cracking each toe just like my dad did when I was a kid - and to his delight he heard me giggle. Then he worked my arms - cracking each finger and triple cracking my thumbs. "That was a good one!" He giggled.
Flipped over on my stomach he felt an immediate difference between my two legs. My left glute was super tight - and my right flexible and supple. Then he started sticking the needles in. The first set addressed the general pressure points. The first one he inserted gave me a zing down the leg and then a constant dull ache in the knee. He then continued to insert them - on both legs, with varying degrees of zings and aches. Then he focused on my hamstring. When he inserted it into the muscle it felt like it was severely cramping and then released. An odd sensation I've never ever felt before. I almost bolted, but told myself to relax and enjoy the ride. Then he moved to my butt and zowie! That felt strange. After the initial tinge my muscle relaxed and he was done. Next he put some Masa (sp?) on it and lit it on fire causing a warming and then hot feeling. It stunk pretty bad - Ryan asked me if I was smoking when I came home.
Ed suggested I come back in a week and do another session to fully release the hambone. And much to my surprise, I signed up again. At least the next time I'll be prepared for the zingers.
Time to watch some Fletch. Gotta love that Chevy Chase. It's out of print now and the video store keeps it behind the counter. Sweet.
Sunday, June 10, 2007
Let me work backward from today. Woke up, slightly hung over from our kegger last night, to join the ladies on a 10am ride. We left from the shop and headed north - 70 miles round trip. Just got back 2 hours ago and have been laying low ever since - and just finished the last little cleaning from our party last night.
Last night we had a keg. Lots of yummy food - beef and chicken skewers, salmon and tons of finger foods and salsas. It was awesome. Didn't get to bed until about 1 am though.
Before the party I did the Ballard crit. Well, more like 15 minutes of the crit before my hambone started sending messages to my brain and letting me know it was on the edge. So I happily pulled off, got warm and called it a night. There was a constant mist and the roads were super wet yesterday. Not to mention it was about 55 degrees. Karen Clayes did amazing with a 2nd place finish. She was part of a three lady breakaway. Jadine from TGH won, with Leah from Byrne in third. Nice work ladies! And Annette won the bunch sprint. Well done!
Friday night we had some track racing. It was awesome. I'm starting to get my game face back on and it feels good. Rocked a bigger gear than usual - 51x15 and it felt good. Although it did me in for the following race. It's really fun racing with Annette - she's amazing tactically and very encouraging.
Friday morning I spent in prep for the BBQ and did a bunch of errands and gathering for the party. Not as many teammates showed up as they said they would - but the rest of us made the most of it! It was a lot of fun.
Now I'm tired and looking forward to sushi. Mmmmmm sushi.
Friday, June 08, 2007
I also had to go to Sound Mind and Body and beg for my membership back. I had just canceled it when I realized I'm going to actually be doing weights this summer (on Kenny's new training program) and need access to an Olympic platform. SM&B is a really nice gym - I only canceled it because I was using it only in the winter. And as it turns out I'm going to be using it all summer as well in preparation for Nationals.
We had a great ladies track session last night. There were about 9 of us in total - but we were really able to work on pacelining and then ran a simulated 4x4 points race. It went really well - and our discussion was one of the best ones I've had out there. One woman is hesitant in taking the right wheel when she knows there's an opening. I could see her thinking she needed to get on that wheel but delayed herself. Afterward she commented that she knew she should've gone but didn't have the guts to do it. Practice grasshopper, practice.
I think the best part about teaching the ladies classes is watching them all grow into better track racers. It's really exciting watching someone grasp a concept and overcome a hurdle as they progress. I love working with people who are working to improve their game and enjoy what they're doing. That makes all the difference in the world.
I read it may rain tomorrow- bummer! Let's just hope if it's raining we start in the rain. Otherwise those Ballard Cobbles get mighty slick!
Thursday, June 07, 2007
So the doctor told me I'm fine - and show no signs of nerve damage. Basically my muscles over -reacted to try and protect my spin when we were impacted. That's a relief.
I'm super excited for the upcoming track season and road racing. Should be amazing.
This HUGE barge just rolled by my office window pushed by Lake Union's largest tug. And it was dangerously close to the side of the canal....
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
I've never been more in tune with my body the I have been since my hamstring injury. I frequent the PT and doctor's office so much that they definitely recognize me.
The tingling that I was experience on the other hand on my right side has completely gone away.
Hmmm... I hope it's nothing serious from the accident. Scary.
Monday, June 04, 2007
On Sunday, Ti had 5 ladies show - Vicki, Annette, Michelle, Heidi and myself. Our field wasn't big - only 14 showed. But it was big enough to have our own field, for which I am very thankful. The course is a big loop with rolling hills and one short steep climb called the wall. It's 21% grade for about 300m. Talk about a grinder. You have to have strong core strength or else you might fall over.
The first lap started off pretty mellow - with Beth throwing the lone attack on the later part of the loop and gaining some time on us. Fortunately it was windy and our group was willing to work and catch her. In retrospect we should've attacked her as soon as we were close to catching her. It probably would've tired out the field even more.
Everytime I saw red on the front, I moved up. Unless she was near another red jersey. There's strength in numbers. We communicated throughout the race and it paid off.
I remember thinking at one point, after the second time up the hill that I could win this race. Holy shit - I survived 50 some odd miles and was actually going to be there in the end. Saweet!
Our plan was to have a lead out train with either Vicki or I in contention for the sprint. Unfortunately we didn't have it together to perfectly execute it - but we still managed to nearly fill up the podium. The finishing section is pancake flat with a left hand turn before you see the 200m to go sign. For some reason everyone in front stayed left, opening a huge hole on the right. I powered down the pedals and found myself pulling away. Next thing I know, I'm raising my hands and then catch Amy on my left about to pip me at the line. Hands back on the bars, a few more strokes and we were done. I had no idea where the finish line was nor who won. I was just stoked that my hammy survived! And that was my first race that I've been able to stick with the pack. And we worked well together as a team! Bonus!
My back is a little funky due to the car accident - it was sore today. I went and saw a PT that is filing in for Izette and she gave me some new inner core exercises to work on. Apparently I've been flexing my obliques too much. Ha! I'm such a dork.
Saturday, June 02, 2007
There's a new crop of Cat 3 men - so it was interesting to see who's going strong so far. That plays a huge part on where to hang during moves. Pick the wrong wheel, as I did on several occasions and get your ass dropped from the fast guys. I learned though - next week will be a whole new scene. Bring it fellas. :)
Spent some time in the yard - as usual. I discovered a hummingbird nest in our curly willow. I thought it was a bees nest at first until I shook it and a bird flew out.
The weather was amazing today. It makes dealing with the rain a small consulation compared to the beauty of the PNW. Time to hit the BBQ up...