April 25, 2005

An Amazing Discovery

Guess what? I am human. NOT a full-time superhuman, merely a part-time aspiring one.

I was wiped out after Saturday's ride. I don't think I ate enough. The first 20 or so miles were in rain and headwinds, and I think getting cold early on got to me. (It couldn't be that I hung with my Bad Influence Friend the day before, I'm certain of it....) I came home from the ride, ATE COOKIES and passed out by 8:30pm. You can imagine how I felt the next morning, having had cookies for dinner and not hydrating further.

I was actually thinking of bailing on the Grizzly Peak Century this weekend and going camping. I've basically spent every weekend since early February on my bike. I love cycling, but I love hiking, climbing, slacklining, gardening, and goofing off. I don't want to burn out. There's five weeks to go until the TNT century. That's five more weekends on a bike. After Grizzly Peak this weekend, I have the Wine Country Century next weekend. Duh, Jen, what were you thinkin'? But anyway, as of today, I'm not going to bail. If I get tired, I'll just do the metric century (71 miles). It still has 7100 feet of hill climbing. I need more practice on eating on the bike, and this ride is well known for its food.

The other thing: I've not been doing yoga. I'm stiff and tight and sore and cranky. I'm going to get off this silly computer right now and remedy that with some stretching.

PS: Confidential to the kick-ass cookie maker... THANK YOU!!!! they were yum! great cookies, perfect timing, and don't stop there!

April 21, 2005

Rotties on the Beach

Going to the Beach
Originally uploaded by jenworth.

My pal Adam took some photos of us on Ocean Beach at sunset. I like this one a lot.

April 18, 2005

Here's the Photo!

Primavera Century, mile 30ish
Originally uploaded by jenworth.

gawd, i've lost it. i've repeatedly posted photos on the internet of myself wearing spandex.

jeez, am i really that big of a cycling dork now?

April 17, 2005

No longer a virgin!

That's right, you read correctly. I'm no longer a virgin. That is, today I completed my first Century, and have become a de-virginized road cyclist.

Ordinarily, this would have been a moderately challenging Century. You encounter the Calaveras "Wall" at mile 20-ish. It's a stout hill, over 800+ feet of hill climbing in under a half mile. But it's short. It's early, and even though it's hard, it's practically over before you start the mental chatter about how much it sucks. We climbed over Altamont Pass. Again, not too bad. The last serious hill climb came at mile 88. Palomares road was a five mile hill climb. I do pretty okay on the hill climbs, so it wasn't too bad. It's a long freakin' hill regardless, but after 88 miles it took the wind out of a lot of sails.

Speaking of wind....it was the wind that made this ride HARD. At the top of Altamont Pass (about 1000 feet elevation) the winds kicked in. Headwinds. Headwinds from every direction. Head winds for about 45 miles. No matter which way we went, we were assaulted by headwinds. We'd make a 90 degree turn onto a new road, and whaddya know, more headwinds. There's nothing better than headwinds when you're climbing a hill. Except headwinds shoving up against you on the flats. Post ride, in the cafeteria when everyone is chowin', that's what the talk was of, these headwinds.

The winds took a lot out of me, they made me tired pushing against them mile after mile. We did some pacelining, but even then, the winds would kick my ass from the sides. By the time we rolled into lunch at mile 67, I was tired. And almost cramping up.

Speaking of cramping, Gatorade is shit. For real. I forgot my usual Cytomax, an electrolyte replacement drink. I drank Gatorade at the SAG stops. I have a feeling that's what contributed to my fatigue and muscle tightness. Gatorade is useless! At mile 88's SAG stop, Kevin gave me an electrolyte tablet to suck on. That and two packets of Hammer Gel and I got a burst of energy. That energy came in use on the Palomares climb, for sure! The descent down the back side was fun! Very wind-y (as opposed to windy!!) and I enjoyed flying down and taking corners with some speed; I'm finally developing some confidence on the descents!

Bummer Stuff: My chain dropped at mile 90, and I couldn't clip out and crashed on asphalt. On the same knee that I crashed on last weekend when my chain dropped. Time to get the derailleur re-checked. It got bent on the Cinderella ride when my bike got knocked over. And on the backside of Palomares hill, my foot cramped. I had to get off the bike, take my shoe off, and hop up and down to get the cramping to relax. It worked, though.

I wound up riding with Kevin and William, two of my TNT mentors. They were super supportive. When I was cramping, Kevin told me to slow down, take it easy, and that he'd ride at whatever pace I needed. I'm grateful for their encouragement and tips throughout the ride. They were surprised that I was doing a Century before the TNT Tahoe Century, but I think they're learning I'm a little OCD that way.

The ride was fantastically supported, SAG everywhere, and tons of food! Cyclists eat...a LOT! You kinda wonder how so many are still so thin.

So I did it! 104.5 miles today. At the end, when William and Kevin were going to coast in easy, I had my Hammer Gel sugar spike and took off on the last five miles, just wanting to get off the bike! They looked at each other, one asked what the hell I was doing, and I did the last five miles of pulling into the headwinds with them in tow. I was glad to have done some of the pulling, since I spent a lot of time drafting off William.

I'm in bed on my laptop typing this, haven't even stretched yet or showered. Just worn out and chillin' with Milo (that's a whole nother Boo-sad story for later). Voila! You've just read the account of my first Century.

Confidential to the person who PROMISED to make me cookies after I not only completed the ride, but also posted about it: I've done my part, so I'll be expecting those cookies later this week. How about Oatmeal Chocolate Chip? You know I need to restore those carbs SOON, so don't delay!

April 13, 2005

Send Good Thoughts My Way...

Team in Training Ride
Originally uploaded by jenworth.

I'll keep it brief. Send good thoughts my way, I need them.

#1: Milo's kidney problems have progressed to Renal Failure....and there's not a lot that can be done, except love him and do all that we're doing already. Send lots of doggieluv on to Milo and Luna, please!

#2: I'm riding my first century this Sunday, appropriately enough, called the Primavera (that means first! it's one of the first of the season in the Bay Area). My knee is a little tweaked from a small crash when I rode with my team last weekend (see above photo). So hopefully it'll be good for the duration.

#3: Fingers crossed that my proposed job-share works out at the ad gig. My pal Justine is gonna go meet with folks next week. If it doesn't work (i.e., if they don't think she's the bomb-diggity!), I could be out of a lucrative gig at a time when the vet bills are piling high. I suppose I could work FT, but that would mean putting the dog biz on hiatus and not working at REI. And being an unhappy crankmonster.

***and now for some good news!***

I am joining REI Adventures as an Adventure Guide. I'll be leading the Hiking With Dogs program throughout the Bay Area, doing the in-store clinics and taking people on group dayhikes with their pooches, teaching them how to enjoy their dogs, hike safely, and good trail etiquette.
I'm excited! It combines my love of two of my favorite things....and made that Wilderness First Responder cert come in handy after all.

okay, maybe this wasn't so brief......

April 5, 2005

Cinderella Classic, Mile 35

Cinderella Classic...again!
Originally uploaded by jenworth.

cause I know y'all were dyin' to see me in spandex....

April 3, 2005

Downward Dog

Originally uploaded by jenworth.

My yoga mat resides permanently on the living room floor. While I was eating dinner, Milo demonstrated his own version of Downward Dog.

After Cinderella

Originally uploaded by jenworth.

Milo and me, in my official just-rode-Cinderella photo. I look pale, tired and crappy because I've been sick and just did 66 miles.

Less Bitchy and Feelin' Better

Okay, so that last one was pretty ranteriffic.

The good news: I'm feeling better! Five days in bed and antibiotics paid off. I woke up Saturday morning feeling pretty darn good, so I decided to go for it: I rode in the Cinderella Classic. It was 65 mostly flat miles in the Livermore and San Ramon valleys. It was a nice day, although I had strong headwinds to contend with for about 20 miles. Since I rode it alone, I didn't have anyone I was riding with and no real pace I had to stick with. Since I was trying to go at recovery pace, I tried to stay under 18mph when on the flats. For the most part, I did. Until the last 15 miles when I wanted to pick up the pace. I fell in with another woman who was pulling a good pace, about 22mph and I decided to draft off her and keep pace. She was a strong rider, wish I'd gotten a chance to get her info, I'd like to ride with her again. I pulled ahead in the last mile, just wanting to get off the saddle.

My bike got knocked over at the first SAG stop. A couple lower gears got mashed and were unusable. I only felt their loss on the rollers, but I was able work around it. Dropped my bike off at REI on the way home to get fixed. My Bike Crush was able to get my bike squeezed into the schedule and hopefully it will be done as promised so that I can ride with Pat on Thursday.

It was so nice to be outdoors and moving my body again. I am pretty sunburned on my face, because my antibiotics say "avoid prolonged sun exposure". Wore lots of 'screen, but not enough, I guess. I was happy to have stayed strong and healthy through the ride, and I'm no worse the wear today. Hot tubbed last night and yoga today and I'm set right.

So, back to normal tomorrow: work, spin, box, commute, sleep, eat....lather, rinse, repeat, x 5.