Monday, December 22, 2008

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays to everyone!

Speaking of the holidays, Christopher does not have pre-school for the next two weeks and my mother is also not watching him (she usually takes him one afternoon a week) for the next two weeks. They may lock me up in a little padded room by the beginning of January. Last week, he urinated on the carpet once; defecated once partially on his potty seat and partially on the floor; and, when I didn't immediately change his diaper after he said "poopie," he took his diaper off, dumped most of it out and then shook the diaper to get the last bit out. The dog ate it before I could stop him which then made Christopher extremely upset.

On a more amusing note to me (I'm sure what I just wrote is very amusing to most people), my poor little son is already becoming a freak. With me as his mother, I knew he was doomed but I didn't expect it so early. He has taken to riding his little bike, getting off, picking it up and walking with it a little and then getting back on to ride again. I have to try to videotape it or at least get a photo of it because it is so insanely obvious that he has been to way too many cross races. = )

Monday, December 15, 2008


Cross Nationals was an awesome experience. I raced the Women's Cat. B and the 35-39 races. My Cat. B race sucked but was a great learning experience. There were more than 30 girls lined up with a road leadout. I was way too tentative and let too many girls get in front of me. I started passing them in the dirt but then slid out and had my chain fall off. I get the chain back on, catch up and pass some more girls but was then redlining. I see Tom & Christopher and wonder why they aren't cheering and clip a white pole and can't get my pedal off of it. Ick. So, I ended up 21 out of 29 finishers and 2 DNF's. I didn't get lapped which was good but I felt I should have done so much better so I was pretty bummed.

On Friday was the Women's 35-39 race. I raced much better. I stayed upright. Redlined a little and let a couple girls past me but then got back ahead of all but maybe one, I think. I ended up 15 out of 19 finishers and one lap down. However, 10 of those girls were elites. There were a total of six of us that did both the Cat. B and 35-39. I only beat one of them in the Cat. B race but beat 3 in the 35-39 race including the girls who were 12th and 16th in the B race. So, I thought it was a good end to the season.

I think I'm going to focus on cross for next year. I'll do the few local mountainbike races there are, hoping we can have a relative watch Christopher. But, it is just too aggravating to try to both watch Christopher and warm-up at the same time. I then don't race well and am way too cranky. Tom isn't nearly as addicted to racing anyway and, of course, would rather not have to deal with me being a grouch. I'm going to try to do some road races. I figure it will help me get faster and will help me with cross.

I'm also going to get a SRAM Rival 165 crank and swap my cross gears to it. But, of course, I now have like nine months 'til the next cross race. How completely depressing.

As an early Christmas present though, Christopher has now started going to pre-school three days a week as opposed to one. I can get some work done and he was starting to get way too bored being with Mommy all the time and has been destroying the house.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Woo hoo!

(Photo courtesy of Amy)
I thought this course was so much better than last year's race. I called Tom after preriding (to ask him to bring with him some spare socks for me), and told him how great I thought the course was. I lined up with a larger group of girls than normal. I traded spots throughout the race with Beth from xXx. I definitely race better when I'm going back and forth with someone. We both had a few minor spills during the race which facilitated with the going back and forth. I thought she had me and then as I came through with two to go I saw her getting up after slipping going around the tree. I kicked it in high gear, got past her and had my fastest lap of the race. I then saw I still had one to go and thought crap. But, I managed to hold her off. Yea! We had traded spots in the beginning of the season but I hadn't beaten her since Carpentersville so it was cool. I ended up 11th out of 14. I was a little disappointed but there were a lot more Cat. 1 and 2 riders than usual. The officials said 17 girls registered but a couple actually didn't start and one didn't finish.

As I was walking back to the car after getting my Schwinn out of the pit, I saw a small Redline Conquest. It ended up being Sarah Huang's. I was able to ride it around and talk to her father. I definitely had less toe overlap but, when we held the frames up to each other, the geometry was pretty much identical. He said he has 165 cranks on her bike. I'm now trying to find a 165 cross crank. QBP doesn't have any. I found a FSA Gossamer 34/48 online. According to FSA's website, they have a 36/48 in a 165 crank length so I've emailed them to try to find out where the heck I can get it from. I'm also going to try to track down Sarah's dad at Nationals to find out what cranks are on there.

I'm taking a break from packing as I type this. We're leaving for Kansas City tonight. We'll do some of the driving tonight while Christopher is sleeping and do the rest tomorrow. I'm pretty excited to be going. I'm doing the Cat. B and the Women's 35-39. Some of the elites are signed up in the 35-39 so I'm prepared to get my butt handed to me in that race. Tom will be doing the Cat. B 30-39. We'll then start heading home on Friday afternoon/evening with the hope of actually making a family party on Saturday evening. I love cross.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Yeah, it's been awhile...


(Photos courtesy of Amy)

Woodstock was fun. It would have been a great course for me if it was more condensed. At 2 miles, it still had lots of flat power sections. Unfortunately, power is what I'm lacking. Still, I was pretty happy with my race. I stood on all the climbs and kept it in my big ring.

On Thanksgiving, I rode with Leah in the morning at Palos. My Gary Fisher is getting repainted to make it pretty again so I had to go with my old Santa Cruz hardtail. A lot of logs are gone on Out & Back and Turf 1. It was fun but depressing that all the logs keep disappearing.

Christopher got to play with a little three-year-old named Abby at my cousin's. It was really cute. I've decided he has a thing for girls named Abby since he also has a crush on the Sesame Street character Abby Cadabby.

Jingle Cross Day 1
First -- Tom is famous. He is on the beginning of this clip:
It also gives a feel for the course. Tom did the Cat. 4 race. I did the Women's 2/3 and the Women's 35+. I got about a 20 min. warm-up (Tom's race was immediately before mine). There were only 10 of us. I was 9th for a good part of the race and got passed by Heather Curnitt at the end of the last lap. I thought we had another lap to go and should have sprinted once I got ahead of her after the logs -- I rode them, she dismounted and ran them. But, Heather is faster than me and it is quite unlikely I would have held her off.

I was 8th out of 10 in the Women's 35+. I slid out on a section in the first lap. I had been riding it fine in the first race but the 35+ men apparently tore it up more their first time through. My chain fell off and by the time I got back on the bike I was dead last. So, I was happy I passed a few girls, wished I would have been able to pass a few more.

Day 2
Our generator died at about 4:30 in the morning after running out of LP gas. Tom was then up and moving around the RV -- keeping me up as well. I was pretty tired and Christopher let me get a four-minute warm-up. I was so not looking forward to the 2/3 race. I had prerode the course the night before and it had some climbs that were going to be painful by the end of the second race. I had a great start for the first race but just did not have any power. I had put toe spikes in my winter shoes hoping it would help me climb. Instead, I just couldn't clip back in. There was this nasty downhill that I knew I could ride but I kept spending so much time to clip in, I wasn't paying enough attention and would immediately slide out.

For the Women's 35+, I switched shoes -- in addition to bikes, tights and gloves. I'm sure the disc brakes helped, but the switching of shoes was definitely a wise move as I could clip in much easier. I rode down the hill both laps getting huge cheers both times. I gave a little whoop of my own each time after I knew I wasn't going to careen into the building at the bottom of it.
I felt much better this race. I was 7th out of 9 and was right behind sixth place -- literally, right behind her. If there was another lap, I know I would've beaten her as she was really bad on the technical stuff. I would've did better if I was better at hiking up muddy steep inclines. I had a great start but was at dead last trying to get up that stinkin' thing. Still, I was happy with my race. It was amazing the huge difference in my attitude during the two races. I couldn't wait for the first to be over and was wishing to do another lap for the second.

The one thing I noticed from the two races on Sunday is the pros/cons of my two bikes. Riding the Schwinn, I just kept thinking how freaking heavy it was as I was lifting it over the barriers. But, I had no toe-overlap. As the season has progressed, I've had more and more problems with toe-overlap with my Trek. I didn't realize how much it was affecting my riding until Sunday -- which totally sucks. I'm probably going to buy a different frame and switch everything over. A girl who did the Wisconsin series and is about my size has a Redline Conquest. I think her name is Meghan Korol. I need to track her down to see if she'll let me ride her bike before I order a frame. I also am not sure if I want to go with disc brakes or not. After I switched the brakes, I haven't had a problem really with the brakes and it would limit my options if disc brakes is a requirement. But, I do like disc brakes. Opinions are definitely welcomed on this topic as well as help in contacting Meghan.

Upcoming Races = )
This weekend is, of course, the state championships. I'm hoping to do better than last year. It was my first Illinois race as a 3 and it went so incredibly bad.

Tom is taking off work next week so we can go to Nationals. I am so, so excited! I'm going to race the Cat. B and the Women's 35-39. Tom is going to do the Men's B 30-39. I can't wait! = )