November 21, 2014

No Plans Other than the Weekend

Filed under: Trail Riding,Trails,Training — Andrea @ 8:12 am

Too often on blogs and other social media, individuals paint a shiny, perfect picture of their lives. I’m not in to that. Even if it loses a few readers, I like to keep it real. It’s also somewhat therapeutic to organize and describe my feelings in neat and coherent paragraphs. So, for my next therapy session…

That last post got me down a bit. I was really enjoying the break from my usual grind and looking forward to the upcoming marathon challenges. I’ve basically written off being well enough for the December 6th LOViT Marathon. My tendinitis is still there and wants to flair up if I do any sort of ballistic movement with my left leg. I can, however, ride a bike without any pain, so I’ve been getting back on the trail on two wheels… not really with a plan, but that feels alright for now.

I do plan on working with a good PT in the coming weeks. I think that my injuries are all stemming from the last round of hamstring injections I had back in late September. I have to figure out the root cause and deal with it in order to train as hard as I want to without continually injuring myself. As for what I’m training for? I don’t know yet. I’m going to bike race next year, but I haven’t felt compelled to put together a schedule other than “Crested Butte Enduro Stage Race.” I’m not sure if I want to keep it more regional, maybe go to Pisgah a little more often, or try and get out to Colorado more than once.

All of my hesitation to make a 2015 plan boils down to my ability/inability to train. Living in Memphis, training on the road is almost required. I used to enjoy it. Then, I got hit by a car, and it became a necessary evil that I fought through and tolerated. My ability to do so has become almost totally exhausted. I dealt with PTSD once before after aiding in cadaver recovery (with a recovery K9) at the World Trade Center following the 9/11  terrorist attacks. It took a long time for that to go away, but I realized the other day when I passed a burning car (which smells almost exactly like a burning World Trade Center) and didn’t have any sort of panic or flashback feelings, that I could call myself 99.99% healed from that experience.

Dealing with the hit-by-car thing has been way different. The best way I can describe it is it’d be like if you’d worked in the World Trade Center and barely managed to survive the terrorist attacks, and then immediately went back to work in another high rise office with airplanes constantly circling it, and on most days, at least one of the planes would buzz your window and/or play chicken with your building, and at least once a week, you’d have a friend or a friend of a friend whose office was exploded via another errant plane. That’s basically where I am now.

I’m not saying that I am giving up- far from it. I’m just saying it’s going to take some extra work and determination to do most of my riding away from vehicles. I’ve had a few people suggest group rides. Being tucked in a group does nothing to make me feel safer the same way being in a high rise office with hundreds of other people wouldn’t make the person in my example feel safer.

I decided to run off to the cabin for the weekend to get back in to some fun riding. The mountains are very much my sanctuary when I’m feeling stressed or overwhelmed by anything. I’m not all doom and gloom, it’s just going to take time to work through my fears and figure out what I can tolerate and where I can compromise. I have never been one to stress over uncertainty… I actually don’t mind it at all, because it leaves the future open to anything rather than corralling me on to the same worn path.


November 18, 2014

Change of Plans

Filed under: MMA,non-bike,Training — Andrea @ 9:25 am

Well, when I started my marathon training last month, I said that my main goal would be to increase my volume at just the right rate to both be prepared and uninjured. Saturday, I went out to the Wolf River trails (pretty flat, pretty smooth) to do my weekly “long run” of 13.5 miles. When I started warming up, my left ankle and knee were kinda achy, but it mostly went away after a mile or two. I finished my run, cooled down, and drove home, only to find that after sitting in the car for 5-10 minutes, the same slight pains I’d felt warming up were now nearly crippling.

I took a couple of days off, and now I can walk and go up stairs with no pain. However, running and going down stairs are left-side torture. At first, I was thinking it’d be a job for ibuprofen, ice, and KT Tape. However, once I started looking in to KT taping for medial ankle pain, I found out that the pain- likely caused by tibialis posterior tendinitis, wasn’t something I should be training through for something as un-serious as an offseason marathon.

Of course, I immediately took to becoming an internet expert on it.

The odd thing seems to be that, though one of my feet is slightly flatter than the other, the injury is not on the flat side (it’s usually associated with lots of overpronation & fallen arches). The good news is, mine is relatively minor at this point. I can still stand on my toes and balance on that foot. However, if I want it to go away, I need to not piss it off any more and do some rehab exercises… all of which I’m still too sore to do at this point, according to the instructions.

So, my marathon status is very unsure at this point. I’m basically going to be forced back on to the bike for any endurance exercise. That won’t be unbearable, except for the fact that it’s really freaking cold outside. Also, I’ve developed a nearly crippling fear of drivers. I have this terrible mental picture of how much people want to kill me when they see me riding a bike on the road. It’s terrifying. Cars are huge and terrifying, and the people who control them are totally tuned out and self absorbed. I don’t know how I’m going to deal with it. For now, I’ll likely be taking the unfinished greenline to the nearby trail system in order to avoid nearly all roads.

In the meantime, I’m definitely getting the fight bug again. I ended up not going to the proposed grappling tournament over the weekend because of schedule conflicts with training buddies John and Aaron. Oh yeah, and it’s probably worth noting that a couple of weeks ago, the nice girl who gave me free rhinoplasy back in July won against her next opponent via first round TKO. She no longer has the losing record as she did when we’d first picked her as a potential opponent. I have to say… good work on her part. If you read the comments section on most of her old fight videos, there are some really mean people saying mean things about how she should just give it up. Ryan was at his Marx-Bensdorf team party Saturday and was asked by a couple of his teammates as to whether or not I’d fight again. Of course I will… why not?

In other non-cycling, non-MMA news, I’m super excited that a yoga studio (Pike Yoga) opened not too far from me- less than a 15 minute drive. Their schedule is nice, and includes plenty of classes that are somewhat “easy,” which is nice when all of your other physical activity is “hard.”  They’re offering free yoga until Thanksgiving, too, so, for now, I’m going to take full advantage of it. I need both the physical benefits and the inner peace at this point.

November 14, 2014

CX Omnium, Etc.

Filed under: Bike Racing,Training — Andrea @ 8:43 am

I was all wrapped up in Enduro-ing, and I forgot to mention the Brickhouse Racing Women’s Cyclocross Omnium that occurred while I was at Iron Mountain. Since its inception several weeks ago, some generous local sponsors stepped forward to throw in on the “hey, ladies, COME RACE!” prize money. I am extremely appreciative of their efforts and support.

Todd Mosley

Urban Fitness Kickboxing

One Stop Plumbing, Heat, and Air

901 Racing

It means the world to me to see people give their support to women’s cycling in Memphis.

Despite mine and many others’ best efforts to publicize and promote the competitions, no ladies from outside of Memphis came to race. Two local ladies- Laureen Coffelt and Lucia Colbert (respectively, in photos below) battled it out for the cash.



In the end, it was Laureen who took home the dough (and yes, those are World Champ stripes on Lucia’s jersey. She’s an age group XTerra killer).

In extra-enduro news, as I mentioned in my previous post, I’ve been charged with learning how to ride on flat pedals.


Yesterday, I installed them on my Jet, donned some shinguards under my jeans, and took off for the park near my house. I began by practicing a few wheelies (er, short, sort-of wheelies), stoppies, rear wheel drifts, and baby manuals. I then moved on to applying the baby manual to a small set of stairs…


…something I would not have attempted on flat pedals in the past. After a couple of shaky, slightly foot-slipping attempts, I was able to carry some nice speed and roll off in good form, landing both tires gently at the same time while keeping both feet firmly on the pedals. Small victories.

I’m still 100% unable to actually jump (versus manual-ing off). It’s frustrating to feel like I should have learned this 20 years ago instead of trying to learn now. Old dog, New tricks… the motor learning process isn’t as quick and pliable now as it is as a kid. I don’t mind posting my struggles here for all to see.

Matt (bless his heart) wrote it all out in math and geometry on the whiteboard in an attempt to explain the lift/push motion to me:


Unfortunately, math and geometry, no matter how detailed and well thought-out they are, don’t translate to motor nerve signals being relayed to the proper muscles to create the movement. I want to show everyone out there that I’m not a 100% Wonderwoman who masters everything at the drop of a hat. This is going to be tough, but I know that if I get it, my technical riding skill will be elevated to another level. I’m never going to be too old to stop looking to improve myself.

November 11, 2014

Dirtsmart MTB Clinic

Filed under: Training — Andrea @ 6:25 pm

Back at the inaugural Arkansas Enduro race at Iron Mountain, I won not only the race, but also a raffled-off spot in the 2-day DirtsmartMTB clinic. I was way stoked (bro), because, though I’m pretty good at going downhill, I always had some glaring holes in my skillset… mostly loose corners (like many of the ones at Iron Mountain) and getting my bike off the ground without feeling like I’m totally out of control and about to die… along with plenty of other skills that lack some polish.

Friday, I left around noon so I’d get to Arkadelphia in time to eat a late lunch and ride the trails for a little while. On the recommendation from Kent, the curator of the Enduro series, I checked out Little Penguin Tacos… a taco stand right across from the hotel where I’d be staying. Not only was it freaking delicious (definitely stop there if you visit the trail), but I also caught Ken and Steven (one of the other clinic attendees) out there. Afterward, I drove up to the trail system and had a nice little ride (first one in a while with all this “offseason” running I’ve been getting in to). I ended up crossing the Lake DeGray dam just before the sun really started to set. Arkansas is pretty sweet scenery.


Once we’d all introduced ourselves, Saturday’s teaching covered the very basics- position on the bike, vision, braking, and wheelies/manuals. After lots of drills, we went out to ride the trail system and apply what we’d learned. The combination of braking lessons and body position made a huge difference in my comfort level in the loose turns.

Sunday was a little more out of my comfort zone. We started with turns (including some switchbacks and drifting, which I managed to pick up on more quickly than I’d expected). Then, it was on to my yet-to-be conquered crux… lifting the rear wheel. I knew going in to the clinic that, since I’d always ridden clipless pedals, that I was highly reliant on them to manipulate my rear wheel. In turn, my ability to jump off of or over anything is somewhat lacking. So, I was charged with going home and learning how to do everything on flat pedals.

Our post-drill ride was fun. I sat on the back of our train so that I could slow down a little and somewhat exaggerate the turn drills we’d done earlier in the parking lot. We did a lot of stopping and looking/riding on some turns in the trail, and, between the turn drills and previous day’s braking lesson,  I gradually felt faster and more comfortable. Also something I’ll practice a lot once I’m back on my bike. Something that helped a bunch was having some instant feedback (this was in the parking lot, but he carried it out on the trails so we could do something then immediately circle back and watch)…


I feel like I got a lot of those two days- both in immediate success as well as potential success as I practice and learn more on my own. It also leaves me wanting to add something longer travel and smaller wheeled to my bike collection. I’m definitely excited about the 2015 Arkansas Enduro Series and will likely hunt down some more competitions in other parts of the country.

Did I mention that Arkansas is gorgeous?




November 6, 2014

Acute Torti-what?

Filed under: MMA,Training — Andrea @ 7:56 am

If you’re a long-lime reader, you might remember, almost 6 years ago when I “did something” to my neck when I was sitting in my office chair at University of Memphis. If you haven’t been reading for 6 years, here’s the post:

Side note- yes, I used to teach college students. I like fixing bikes better.

Since then, I’ve suffered from the same neck issue 2 or 3 times per year. It seems to be brought about by doing a neck bridge type extension while strongly contracting my trapezius muscle (like what you’d do if you put your hands on the back of your head, pushed against them with your head, and leaned back to stretch in your office chair). I basically get to a chiropractor as quickly as possible, which will help a good bit with my range of motion, but not alleviate the extreme soreness that hits the muscles as soon as they spasm into their vertebrae-twisting position.

Tuesday, I was in full-on kick ass training mode. I trained jujitsu in the morning, then went to Shelby Forest for Red Loop Repeats (there was a chance of rain in the nightly forecast, and I didn’t want to get burned on the MRTC track workout like last week), then turned around and went back to the gym for some weight training. I was doing pull-ups, when the stabbing mid-back and neck pain hit. It was intense and instantly crippling. I went home and took lots of ibuprofen and laid on a heating pad. In the morning, it wasn’t much better.

I went to the chiropractor Wednesday morning. I’ve recently started seeing a new guy (Dr. Neal) when my usual doctor (Dr. Rynes) was out for health issues for an extended time. This was the first time Dr. Neal had seen me for my periodic neck problem, and he’s also the first to actually tell me what it’s called- Acute Torticollis. He stretched it and adjusted it, and I immediately felt a tiny bit better (as usual). He also applied some e-stim and heat before I left, which was really nice.

So now, I’m dealing with the severe after-pain of my neck spasm-ing out and trying to tie itself into a knot. It should be good enough by the weekend to make it through the Enduro Clinic, but I’m having to take it easy until then, which means no jujitsu until next week. I could really use a few doses of muscle relaxers, but I don’t have a prescription, so I’m making do with ibuprofen, heat, and copious amounts of Biofreeze.

I’m just going to sit at home and watch this video on repeat, since it gets funnier every time I see it.


November 3, 2014

Syllamo Running Weekend

Filed under: Trails,Training — Andrea @ 9:16 am

My Halloween running trip to Syllamo was definitely a success. Wednesday night, I made a last minute pumpkin and candy purchase so that Ryan would be prepared for Friday. There were only a few pumpkins left, so I picked the one with the most interesting face…

IMG_5762 IMG_5763

After some Thursday morning jiujitsu, I packed up the car and made it over to the cabin just in time for a sunset run around the Green Trail. I figured the 4 mile mix of rolling hills and occasional rock gardens would be a good shakedown for the new shoes I’d bought earlier in the week (the Altra Olympus). I’ll save you all the full-on shoe review and say that once I figured out that I could actually lace them tightly and be comfortable, I liked them well enough to try them on my longer run the next day.

Made it to one of my favorite spots just as the sun was setting…


The next day, I’d decided to run most of the length of the Sylamore Creek Trail. It’s one I hadn’t really been on, save a short hike or two, because it’s closed to anything but foot traffic. Since my dad was at the cabin, I parked my car at the eastern end (the Allison trailhead) and he shuttled me to the Barkshed Camp trailhead- the one just to the east of the western terminus of the trail (I’ll do the whole thing next time I go out there).


There was a couple at the Barkshed Camp that had an adorable little beagle that they’d rescued off the side of the road. She’d been hit by a car, and one of her legs had to be amputated…

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I got started on my run, and quickly realized that the changing trees and rock formations were some of the most gorgeous I’d witnessed in years of traveling to the area (we usually wait until a little later in the year to ride the trails because of the overgrowth, so the trees are all leafless and brown).




The trail is actually pretty “easy,” elevation-wise. It mostly follows the creek, so it’s mostly rolling hills.  The surface is often rocky, though, and I found that the shoes I was trying out, while extremely comfortable on smooth ground, were treacherous on rough and technical spots. It was still a great time, though. The miles clicked off quickly, especially since it was really easy to break the trail down into sections as I passed through the campgrounds along the way (Gunner Pool and Blanchard). I got a little lost at the Blanchard Springs trailhead because you basically come out of the woods at this sign…


…then see a couple of blazes on some trees going towards the road, then nothing. I tried following the road across the creek into the camping area and didn’t see the trail, so went back and crossed a bridge to a little (closed) nature center parking area and discovered the trail in the back corner of its parking lot. Between refilling my water and wandering around looking for the trail, I probably killed a solid 20 minutes of time before getting started on the last 5 miles to my car.

The last section of trail is fun… it starts out nearly flat and very smooth, then the last mile is the rockiest of everything I’d run that day. It culminates in the famous (infamous) creek crossing before ending back up at the trailhead where I’d left my car…


Success! I was a little tired and sore, though probably a little less than what I was expecting, given I was more than doubling the mileage, elevation, and technicality of any of my most recent runs. (time/distance below includes both photo stops and “wandering” in search of the trail)


That evening, I ate large quantities of catfish and hushpuppies then vegetated in the recliner flipping between marathons of both COPS and Criminal Minds on satellite TV. Turbo vegetated on the bear skin rug.


The next day, I was slightly more sore (as expected), but I still managed to run/hike a 7-mile loop of the Orange Trail (all business, no selfies). Back at the cabin, I packed and headed home.

Sunday morning, I’d left my schedule somewhat open to either running or going for a recovery bike ride, depending on how I was feeling. Since my soreness level was about what I’d expected (no localized, specific spots hurting), I decided I’d watch the guys race cyclocross then run home the long-ish way.

IMG_5800 IMG_5802

I performed obligatory beer hand-ups for the singlespeed race…


Once that was over, I took off on foot, running part of the Tour de Wolf trail then linking in to the unfinished section of the Greenline that goes right behind my house. I kept the pace in the 8:30-8:40min/mile range, which is just “easy” enough that I can do it for a long time as long as I don’t let my mind wander too much.

The additional 5 miles gave me a week-long wrapup of 37 miles and about 7 hours. I’m very happy with how my legs are handling the large increase in volume (the previous week was 13 miles/2.25 hours). Also, I switched on Saturday to a pair of Vasque Pendulum shoes. They’re definitely better on technical terrain versus the Altra Olympus, but I was hoping they’d be like my previous (and extremely worn out) pair of Vasque Velocity shoes. They’re OK, but not quite a home run. I’ll use them for now, but the “new favorite” shoe search is ongoing.

The plan for this week is to take it easy today- a trip to the dog park, some rolling/stretching, and maybe a short ride. The rest of the week, I’ll likely go for more jiujitsu and  speedwork on Tuesday, an easier day Wednesday, then a couple of longer runs Thursday and Friday morning before heading over to Iron Mountain for the DirtSmart MTB Clinic. The bike time should serve as a good leg break before diving back in to the pre-marathon buildup.

October 29, 2014

The Difference

Filed under: MMA,Training — Andrea @ 7:58 am

Hey, two days in a row! That’s a new record as of late…

I just felt the need to make a somewhat motivational post after my workout last night. I’d found a group track workout on the Memphis Runners Group Run list, and figured that it’d serve as a good “intensity day” for my training program.

I started my morning off with a nice jiujitsu training session at UFK. My nose is just now feeling normal after spectacularly losing my first MMA fight back in July, so I haven’t been doing any sparring or hard training where punches to the face are the norm. Instead, I’ve been hitting pads for conditioning and working on my grappling. John suggested looking for a grappling tournament, and I found this: NAGA Mid-South Championship. Since my MMA birthday is December 1st, I qualify for the “novice” division. It should be a good time. I like grappling, and, after being in an actual fight (no matter how short and one-sided it was), everything else seems pretty easy.

Side Note: I told Thomas Turner that MMA was way harder than mountain biking, and it seemed to slightly peak his interest.

Anyway, that somewhat leads me to yesterday. Yesterday made me highly aware of my own personal training ethic. When I arrived at the track for the group workout, I started warming up, and more people gathered and were out there warming up as well… probably around 20-30 people. It was a healthy crowd of all shapes, sizes, and speeds, everything from a fast triathlete who I’ve raced road against in the past to dudes who looked slightly exhausted from their warm-up. I figured, hey, this is great- I’m sure I’ll find someone close to my speed that can help push me through this, and it’ll be awesome.

The coach arrived a few minutes later, and everyone gathered around. Before he could finish his first sentence about the night’s workout, the sky opened up with a massive downpour and a flash of lightning. He immediately cancelled the workout, and people were astoundingly eager to jet off to the safety of the nearby parking garage. I nearly pleaded for people to wait inside the building for the worst (and yes, potentially dangerous with the lightning) part of the storm to pass, but they were dissipating like grains of sugar.

Frustrated, I had the coach tell me the workout before he walked off. With that in mind, I grabbed my water bottle and ran off to wait the lightning out in the safety of the Fieldhouse. However, in the time it took me to trot from one end of the track to the other, the rain had slacked off to just “steady,” and the lightning and wind had passed. So, no waiting was necessary. I started in to the workout- 400m x 2, then 800m, repeated 4 times (at least, I think that’s what he’d told me… it was kinda loud). It was raining pretty hard for a while, but eventually slackened to a drizzle before stopping altogether.

While I was flogging myself, two other people “appeared” on the track. First, a Marine from the nearby ROTC building. He was jogging laps while holding what looked to be a weighted ammunition box. Then, another runner… I don’t know if he was a straggler from the group like myself, but he was totally killing a speed workout similar to mine. It was slightly surreal. The three of us, giving the finger to the weather, pushing our own limits of comfort and physical ability. We never talked, though we occasionally exchanged small nods of respect.

I’m not going to fault the mass of people who left when the rain started. By the end of the four sets, I was soaked head to toe, and my hands had lost enough circulation that I could barely push the “lap” button on my watch at the end of each interval. That’s not for everyone. But, I’m here to say, when you find yourself coming up short in a competition, it’s pushing through workouts like those that are the likely crux that you’ve yet to climb. The person beating you probably isn’t turned away by rain, cold, or other unperfect conditions. It’s both physical and mental resistance to attrition that you only get by challenging yourself to take on anything. The guys out there running with me probably agree.

October 28, 2014

Syllamo Adventure Time

Filed under: Bike Racing,Trails,Training — Andrea @ 7:07 am

This weekend didn’t go totally as planned. Originally, I thought I’d race the Crossroad Clash cyclocross race, but Sunday morning, I was there and ready, and no other women showed up. With the course markings being a bit vague and the course heavy on the barriers, I didn’t really feel motivated to race the dudes considering my current training priorities (more on that in a second). I’m reasonably certain that the double-up Memphis Velo/Outdoors Inc. Cyclocross races should be different as far as attendance since the Omnium Prize has now grown to $250 for the top lady of the weekend (P.S. If anyone else steps forward with a cash donation, there will be a second place award as well).

Instead, I changed clothes and headed off on a pretty intense run workout. If you haven’t followed along, I’m in the process of cramming for the LOViT Marathon on December 6th. I’m doing my best to strike a balance between training my ass off and not getting injured, and I’ve basically come up with my own training program that’s building up long run distance with a few speed/interval workouts sprinkled on top. Since I don’t have any natural rock in town, and Arkansas is heavy on rock, I’ve taken to running the overgrown/intermittently loose & deep gravel of the unfinished greenline that runs behind my house. Even though it’s flat, I feel like it’s pretty good for building up some lower leg strength and balance. This week, I’ll also be testing my legs at the Syllamo Trails with some running/hiking/trail work. I’m going to take this along as well… just in case.


Speaking of Syllamo, after about a year of talking, planning, and paperwork, what started as a desperate email plea to IMBA for help rehabilitating the Syllamo Trails has grown in to this: Friends of the Syllamo Trail. This week, there’s a 6-person work crew (courtesy of the Walton Foundation) clearing the Bad Branch (red) trail, the longest of the trails in the system that’s also been the worst as far as overgrowth and deadfall. In addition to that, sometime after Christmas, there will be a crew of inmates coming from Calico Rock prison to continue the clearing and tread repair. Good things are happening out there, and I’m excited to see the system being slowly turned back into its former glory.

One thing I realized about making a trip over to do some foot-based training is that I can check out the Sylamore Creek Trail. It’s a foot traffic only trail, and, based on the small section I hiked a while back, you wouldn’t even want to attempt riding a mountain bike on it. It’s been a nice break from bike training so far, though I’m looking forward to getting this initial bit of conditioning over with so I can get slightly closer to the volume I’m used to.

October 23, 2014

Brickhouse Racing Women’s Cyclocross Omnium

Filed under: Bike Racing — Andrea @ 6:54 am

EDIT #2: Today, (11/2), 901 Racing agreed to throw in another $100! The Omnium payout will now be $250 for first and $100 for second. 

EDIT: As of 12:30pm on 10/23, I’ve had three more people come forward to sponsor the omnium! The purse is now up to $250… so, if someone comes in and sweeps both days, she’s taking home $375! Huge thanks to Todd Mosley, Urban Fitness Kickboxing, and One Stop Plumbing, Heat, & Air! This is getting intense! 

There are not many things that keep me away from the Outdoors, Inc. Cyclocross race coming up on November 9th. Even more exciting about that weekend? Memphis Velo is holding its first annual race  Saturday afternoon (the 8th) at Shelby Farms. So, it’s a great opportunity for people to come from out of town, race twice in one weekend, and only have to pay for one night in a hotel (if you’re from out of town and need help figuring out a place to stay, shoot me an email: andrea at brickhouseracing dot com).

Fortunately/unfortunately, I will not be in town that weekend because, back at the Arkansas Enduro, I won a free entry into a two day DirtSmartMTB Clinic over in Arkansas, and it’s the same weekend.

I still want to support these races and encourage people to come to these races- especially women. So, Brickhouse Racing is sponsoring a “women’s omnium” prize of $50. You’ll be given points on both days based on your finish position, and whoever has the most points gets $50 in addition to whatever you win at the races themselves. Here’s the points layout:


In the event of a tie, the winner will be the woman who placed the highest at the race on Sunday. Only ladies who race both days will qualify, so if no one shows up both days, the $50 stays in my pocket.

In other life news, I’m not going to Nite Nationals. My legs made the turnaround and are feeling great, however, I don’t have a crewperson to help out at the race or, much more importantly, for the 6 hour drive back home on Sunday. During the race, a crewperson is a luxury, but the drive home is potentially too much for me to execute safely after being awake all night (even if I were to catch a quick nap in the morning). So, that sucks a little. Instead, I’ll be at the Crossroads Clash CX put on by 901 Racing.

After that, marathon training officially starts.

October 17, 2014

Delaying the Inevitable

Filed under: Training — Andrea @ 8:13 am

Things are still very up in the air with 12 Hours of Nite Nationals. Not only did I discover that it’s an Auburn football weekend (if you don’t live in the South, you may not realize how psychotic the college football fans are down here), I rode a while yesterday, and my legs were pretty junky. Luckily, both the weather and the Yellow trail of the Wolf River System were pretty perfect, so it wasn’t a total wash. I’m giving my legs until Sunday to make an attempt at turning around.

On the winter training end of things, it looks like I’ll be making up my own training program to ready myself for the two marathons I’m planning on for the “off-season.” I’m somewhat relieved to switch to running for a while, because after 3 “close calls” with some really ignorant drivers in the past week, my road riding world is basically collapsing in around me from all sides. I thought that my driver fear would fade somewhat following getting hit nearly two years ago, but it seems to only get worse as I come to the stark realization that people who drive are mostly concerned with looking at their phones and not other human beings. I haven’t ridden my road bike since before I went to Colorado, but I still ride the handful of miles to/from the trail a few miles from my house. Hell, in those three situations I mentioned, the drivers saw me and still acted stupid, so it’s not a guarantee that just because someone knows you’re there doesn’t mean they won’t put your life in danger. The justice system favors drivers in all “accident” situations, no matter how distracted, inattentive, or foolish they are, so there’s basically no punishment for mowing someone down because you wanted to read that email or you just wanted to pass the person on a bike and force them into the gutter immediately before a redlight. I’m prettymuch terrified any time my wheels are on asphalt.

So, you could say that I’m ready for a mental break from the road.

In more positive news…

The Just Riding Along show on Mountain Bike Radio is awesome. I came up with a couple of really cool t-shirt ideas during my last road trip, and we’re in the process of getting S2N Design to help us make my rough MS Paint sketches become a not-so-rough reality.

Turbo, my aged Belgian Malinois, once again wins the “hardass dog” award. For the past couple of years, she’s had an on/off seasonal cough. She occasionally needs medication, but it’s generally not that serious. Last week, she started coughing again. I gave her some cough medicine, but she didn’t really respond, so I took her to the vet. An x-ray revealed that she’s got a pretty significant case of pneumonia in her right lung. The doctor was pretty surprised because, aside from the coughing, she was otherwise acting normal. She’s now on a double dose of antibiotics and the cough is slowly going away.

After this pic/conversation on Instagram, I felt compelled to do a series of “day in the life” photos to illustrate how easy it is to only post the fun stuff on the internet for everyone to see. I keep forgetting to start taking photos as soon as I wake up, though it was probably too dark for pictures during the 4:30am Indy-needs-to-potty wake up call. I may just start posting them from random parts of the day with some sort of witty hashtag. You can follow at Brickhouseracing on Instagram…


Oh, yeah… I almost forgot to mention (late post edit). I just pledged on Kickstarter to get a pair of Keirin Cut Jeans. I’ve always had a stupidly hard time finding jeans that fit my legs and my waist, and these are designed to eliminate the problem. If you have the same issue (and I know a lot of you do), then check them out and sign up for a pair. The more of you who do that, the quicker they’re put into production…

Did I mention that the weather is amazing? I will probably run errands on my scooter this afternoon.

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