Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Too much to do, Way too little time

Things have been pretty ridiculous around here recently. School is starting to get to that point in the semester where I have to do more than spend a few hours a week reading. I actually have to think and write about stuff. I really should be thinking and writing about stuff more since my thesis is going to be up for review at the end of next semester, but... alas....

I have been working pretty hard on a weekly basis. In fact for the first time since college I actually have real consistent work to do that pays me money, which is pretty cool. Day in Day out is pretty much wake up, eat, walk dog, ride (hopefully in the am), tutor student-athletes, read, got to class, go home, ride (if I haven't already), walk dog, eat, sleep.

I also got my cross season under way for Pioneer Racing this past weekend at the Boulder CX Series #1 and Cross at the River in Buena Vista. It felt good to really hammer again after skipping cross season last year. Unfortunately I have not made the physical adaptations to cross that are necessary to actually riding fast yet and suffered pretty hard. Probably didn't help that it was 90 degrees on Saturday and in the 80's on Sunday. Long sleeve skinsuits and bikes without bottle cages with a super high heat factor really don't go together all that well.

Last night I finally got my cross bike dialed to where I want it. Switched out the Shimano shifting for some smooth operating Sram Force. Also got rid of that silly double chainring thing up front for a single ring set up.

Gave the new set up a quick spin/shakedown at the Wednesday Worlds Cross Ride in Boulder (the 8 am version, not quite up for the working man's edition at 6:25). Was throttled pretty hard during the course part and then Brandon Dwight had us do some super painful intervals (sprint to hill, dismount, run up, remount, sprint down hill, stop, sprint up hill riding and back down - rinse, repeat). Then to top off the pain cave aspect a huge group decided to ride up and over Poorman's road outside of Boulder. I was amongst that group, that really hurt. Maybe I'll actually ride quickly on the 11th with all this training?

That is pretty much it. Some short ramblings about life to catch up the very few who actually read this.

Till then....

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I Made It....

This past weekend was the Mountain States Cup Fall Classic. The Fall Classic is supposed to highlight true mountain biking in and around Breckenridge over the weekend and that is what it did. With a 3 race stage race in 2 days we did plenty of mountain biking in Breckenridge mixing it up with the trails in town, above town, and much farther up in the mountains as well.

Overall I would say the weekend was a success to end my first professional mountain bike season. I struggled in the circuit race (the cold rain and insufficient warm up did me in), pulled it together for the Hill Climb Time Trial, and then killed it for Sunday's Epic XC race.

The XC on Sunday was the best race I have had all season, minus one thing, my epic flat. For the first time this year I think I actually rode intelligently instead of blowing myself up in the first 45 minutes of racing. By the time we reached the heinous climb up French Gulch my legs were really ticking and I just motored away from the group I was in and bridged up to Tim Allen. After jockeying back and forth all day with Tim I eventually dropped him on some tight singletrack climbing and left him behind until I hit a rock hard at the beginning of the final descent bending my rim and causing a sudden lose of tire pressure that would not seal (I am still not sure that I will be able to use these rims tubeless anymore). Tube in, tube valve stem broken, aaaargh! Ok, well cross season is coming up I guess I can go for a bit of a run, right? As a ran down the trail with bike in hand I remembered that I still had close to 5 miles of course left to get around before the finish line.... Here comes Nick Truitt. This guy is awesome, after a flat in the circuit race the day before he had to fix it and finish the remainder of 5 laps in order to get a time for the overall in the stage race. Well, he stopped, threw me his saddle bag and went on his way. Tube in, air in, off we go.... I didn't finish dead last it turns out, but man that 10th place I was in would sure have been nice.

All in all, I am happy with the race regardless of the result. I ended the season on such a high by mixing it up with guys my age that are mad fast for the first time ever. I realized that I definitely do have the power and the skill to ride in the pro field after a number of disappointing weekends. To top it all off, now I am even more motivated for Cross Season and next year! Sweet!

The Cross bike should arrive soon and I am looking forward to donning the kit of my new team Pioneer Racing. These guys are awesome and it is going to be a sweet program with some sweet teammates!

Cheers all!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

An Update on Life

As per usual with the school year in full swing there are not enough hours in a day to accomplish as much as I need to accomplish. This leads to the slight lag in posts as well as my ability to misinform those that follow me on twitter (@KatStatman) that I would post an update about this weekend on Tuesday. Clearly that did not happen, so here it is and then some....

This weekend was a bit of an odd weekend of racing at the Mountain States Cup (MSC) where instead of our typical Saturday-Sunday race scheme we did a Sunday-Monday race scheme (in honor of labor day I guess!?!) Sunday was the XC. The race plan, see how long I can handle another one of these silly Colorado ski resort climbs that goes on and on and on while not hating the Patriot Trail at Sol Vista Ski Resort as much as I did for Nationals. Turns out I hated the Patriot Trail a lot more while enjoying the rest of the course a lot. Though there was a lot of climbing it was not particularly sustained. In fact we would climb for a bit and then descend and then climb for a bit more ride flat, descend, climb, descend, flat climb, descend. There were some really cool and challenging sections of singletrack mixed into all this too, which made for a fairly good course. Unfortunately the legs weren't responding and once again I did find myself bringing up the rear. Turns out though I did not finish in dead last, apparently someone came in 5 minutes after I did, that was pretty cool to see! All in all Sunday wasn't much to talk about.

Well Monday morning rolled around I went through my normal routine at home (man it is sweet being to sleep at home between race days!) and then loaded up and headed off to Sol Vista. The Short Track course was much less than exciting, especially considering the super fun course we got to do at Nationals with a brutal short and steep climb and wicked fast but fun descent! Regardless I warmed up and toed the line against 9 other pro men from Colorado. Well it turns out I was feeling pretty darn good and I ended up finishing 7th of those 9 riders and the one rider I finished in front of in the XC on Sunday wasn't there, so these were guys that clobbered me the day before. That was pretty sick for sure, I was stoked in fact.

Maybe it was the 1x9 set up on my bike that allowed me to save some time and energy or maybe I was just on the ball for short track this past week.

Well since then things have pretty normal. The game plan for this week is to rest up as I have a monster weekend of racing coming up (3 races in 2 days!). Just a chill mountain bike ride in Nederland yesterday, hoping to get out for another chill hour and a half this afternoon, though that depends on the efficiency of my bike shop changing tires for me (with a full school and work schedule I unfortunately don't have time to do much of my own wrenching anymore) and possibly replacing my bottom bracket (not sure yet on that).

Happy trails!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Quick Update

So a lot has happened in the past week. Made it safely through the first week of classes. Finally decided what classes I was going to take for the remainder of the semester. Raced a short track and cross country race up at Copper Mountain. Discovered that with the training I have done all year I am far from prepared to race 40 minute climbs at race pace without cracking. Did some training. Snapped my front derailleur power cordz cable. Switched to a 1x9 set up with the MRP 1.X and an MRP 34 tooth podium chain ring (don't worry the 36 is on it's way). Dropped nearly a pound of my bike doing this. Drank some quality beer while enjoying a peaceful evening with my sweetheart at a belgian restaurant in Copper Mountain. Was rained out from riding my bike, so had to ride late again. Signed up for Master's Thesis hours, I guess my time as a CU student is slowly nearing an end. Well anyways, here are some photos: