Sunday, October 21, 2012


I wish I was able to somehow download my thoughts directly into my blog while I am riding.  It seems that is about the only time I have these days to think about things to write about.  I do enjoy my blogger time, but lately family time has eaten up a lot of my "blog" time.  Not that its a bad thing, I am just busy being a Mom and wife.

Below have been my thoughts over the last two weeks of training.

FEET:  I have been wearing my orthotics for about a month now and I do notice a decrease in foot pain. I still cannot walk bear foot on hard surfaces; if I could EVER get back to that point, I would be extremely happy.  Even though it is a bit of pain to constantly move my insoles from one pair of shoes to another, it must be done.  I am hoping that as time goes on, my feet will continue to improve.  My feet were quite happy at the last 6 hour race, on a single speed.  This coming weekend, I will be testing them out on the ORAMM course, single speed style.

RACES:  The final race of the season will be the Chainbuster 6 Hour at Oak Mountain.  This is going to be the most technical and difficult of the series.  Right now I am comtemplating gear choice, as I am going single.   Do I want to suffer on the climbs and the Jekyll portion of the Jeckyll and Hyde Trail or do I want to spin my legs off on the easier sections?  Right now I am going with the latter: spinning is better than cramping.  I really enjoyed this series, but I am going to move on to other adventures next year.

ERGON:  My hands are so in love with these grips.  I am currently running the GS2's on my Niner AC9 SS and Jett 9 RDO and the GX2's on my Air 9 RDO.  I love the extra leverage the bar ends give me.  There have only been a couple occasions where I went "bar end-less" this year due to the tightness of the trees.  The only difference I have noticed over this year as opposed to the last 5 is that I have had to run the grips in a more horizontal position.  I used to run them with the wings in a slightly up position, but I began to have some ulnar pain, so I adjusted them down a bit and the pain went away.

WHOLE 30:  Even though I am still a little over a month away from starting my "cleansing," I have already begun to wean myself of the "junk" foods.  I have made my own mayo and salad dressings, cut my dairy intake by 75%, and am only using stevia and honey as sweeteners.  What I have noticed by doing this is that I am sleeping better and my energy levels are up.  The flavors of the foods I do eat have intensified!  I don't need as much sweetener to make things sweet.  I need very little of my home made salad dressings as compared to the store bought. I LOVE sardines straight out of the can for a snack.  I am anxiously awaiting November 26.  My only concern is that I might just freeze to death this winter as I have lost most of my natural insulation.

LW COACHING:  Lynda Wallenfels is a wonderful coach.  This year, I had to take a step down from her premium coaching package to her basic due to financial constraints.  But I have not been let down in the least.  I did miss talking to her on a weekly basis, but she is so awesome about answering e-mails that I did not feel sleighted.  She even answered one of my e-mails while in the middle of racing the Cococino 250!  I plan on continuing to be coached by her in 2013.

GRAVEL GRINDERS:  I am really liking this type of racing and am gonna try to do a few next year.  I finally have the right bike, which makes all the difference in the world.

19.2 pounds with a 1 x 10 drive train

Thursday, October 4, 2012

JackRabbit 6 Hour Race Report

I was looking forward to this race, as I would be back on my single speed after a 4 month hiatus, nursing painful feet.  This would also be my first race using my $$$$ custom orthotic inserts.  I had been wearing them at work and had done a few short rides; my feet were digging them!

I was long overdue for a mudfest.  Sure enough, it rained the night before and then the skies opened up again just 1 hour before the start.  It was still drizzling at the start line, so I was all geeked up in my shower cap and 16 gallon Glad trash bag.  This was a tip I had picked up at La Ruta.  My Niner was sportin' a mud fender, too.  With this "get up," the plan was to stay warm and dry for the first lap.  Even though the temperature was about 60 degrees, I was shivering.

I would be coming down this, watching oodles of geared riders pass me by!

The start was 1/2 mile of pavement, with a 2% downhill grade, a SS'rs worst nightmare!  And so, as I was spinning a cadence of 140, I watched about 50-60 racers blow right by me.  I was sooo looking forward to "choo-choo" time on the single track.

With the muddy conditions on the first lap, at least being stuck behind some slower racers kept me from doing anything stupid.  And it also allowed my legs to warm up as I sure did not have a proper warm up prior.  On this first lap, I watched at least 5 racers hit the deck.  Luckily they all bounced back up, only their egos bruised.

The rain stopped about midway through Lap 1 and I managed to keep the rubber side down.  As I pulled into the Northwest Georgia SORBA pit (they were kind enough to allow me to set up with them), Norma helped me to to get out of my garbage bag, Hulk-style!  I decided to leave the mud fender on until the course dried out ... my eyes thanked me.

Running through the Start/Finish area ... no need to remount as my pit area was just 10 yards away.

The second lap was slicker than the first.  I got "squirrely" a couple times.  About halfway through the second lap, I was finally able to get in my own little bubble and enjoy the ride.  I had Specialized Renegade Controls (550 grams each) on the bike.  Initially I was worried how they would hook up as I generally like more tread, but I am happy to report that they worked well in the mud.  Luckily this was not a rooty course; I don't believe the Renegades would have worked at all on slick roots.

The third lap was still a little slick, but by the fourth lap, the course was dry and fast again.  It was during this lap that I realized I had chosen the wrong gear ... a first for me.  I was too spinny.  I was wishing I had an 18 on the back.  Oh, well, better to be under geared than over geared.

By the fifth lap, I started doing the math.  I was feeling really good, but I wasn't sure if I would have enough time to get in that 7th lap before the 4 pm cut-off.  (In this series, if you come across the line at 1 second past 4pm, that lap does not count.)  So I really put forth an effort on the 5th and 6th laps.

As I ran across the timing mat finishing up my 6th lap, the clock's cumulative time was 5 hours 14 minutes.  That left me 46 minutes for the 7th lap.  Not having a bike computer, I was only able to guesstimate my lap times; I was thinking about 49-53 minutes per lap.  There was no way I could crank out a 46 minute lap.  So I handed my timing chip to Kenny and went out for a 7th lap anyway.  Why?  Because I was feeling good and this course was fun!

I also wanted to see how my feet would hold up for a solid 6 hours of racing.  I was ecstatic that they were happy for the first 5 hours:  no pain, burning, numbness, or jolts of electricity.  The orthotics were working!  I only had a bit of pain along the outside of my right arch and I attributed that to my arches not used to bearing a majority of the weight; something that will just take a bit more time, I hope.

I finished up my 7th lap at 4:06:  a 52 minute lap and just 6 minutes after the cut off.  The real funny thing was when I took a look at my lap times.  They were ALL 52 minutes and some change!  Talk about consistency!  Danielle would be proud!

6 laps in 5:14 earned me a top spot on the podium.  My feet were a non-issue.  I had a great NWGA SORBA pit crew.  My Niner SS was perfect.  The sun came out on lap 5.  I could not have had a better day!

A great bunch of people.