brickhouseracing

June 2, 2009

Rescue Kitty

Filed under: non-bike — Andrea @ 9:05 pm

Today I brought home what will hopefully be a new member of the fur family. She is from Kitties for Keeps and was rescued when the head of the rescue saw her get tossed out of the side door of a van in a school zone one morning. She was given the name “Mishka” when they saw a Law & Order episode where the Russian mob threw a guy named Mishka out of a van.

Since she’s not Russian or male, I plan to re-name her. That is, if the dogs get used to her. Right now, they’re a little freaked out. She’s not too concerned as long as she’s on the other side of the baby gate from them, but otherwise she’s hissing & slapping them when they get too close.

Right now, I’m calling her Chunk, because she’s got a little cat head & tail, but a fat belly:

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Andrea’s Magical Saddle Sore Shrinking Oinment

Filed under: Training — Andrea @ 5:17 pm

So somehow I’ve got the folliculitis-type saddle sore from Hell right now (well, they’re all from that general vicinity, but you get the idea). I’ve had them before and tried various ointments and whatnot, but really the best thing is to just not ride for a day or two. However, as any serious cyclist knows, that’s not always possible. In that case, I present to you, my new recipe for saddle sore shrinking ointment…

Equal parts of the following:
PRID Drawing Salve (it smells gross and is really thick & greasy)
Preparation H Hemorrhoid Cream
1% Hydrocortisone Cream
Benzoyl Peroxide Acne Cream (careful- it will bleach any fabric it’s absorbed into)
If you’ve got broken skin: Triple Antibiotic Ointment (if the skin isn’t broken, then infection isn’t as much of a concern, so leave it out)

Mix all of these together. The drawing salve it tough to incorporate, but it’s important, so make sure it’s in there. Now, slather a thick layer over your (clean) saddle sore and cover it with a bandaid. Yes- put a bandaid over it… otherwise it just rubs off on your clothes. This may require some shaving and creative taping. Do what you have to do.

Then, just wait. Within a few hours, it should shrink down and not hurt nearly as badly. That’s not to say you’re cured- if you go and ride with an active saddle sore, it’s not going to heal very quickly if at all. However, this combination will really knock the swelling/pain down between rides. Good luck!

May 31, 2009

Please… just 4 more hours…

Filed under: Training — Andrea @ 6:29 am

Yesterday’s “Cat Smacker” run was tough- 7200 feet of elevation gain in about 20.5 miles. I was happy to run it in just over 4 hours.

So, with approximately 8 hours of the Ouachitas in my legs over the past two days, I’m pretty beat today. Time to wrap the weekend up with a 70 mile bike ride. My legs are protesting this descision. I told them that if they just get me through it, I promise they’ll get an ice bath when we get home.

UPDATE EDIT:
Not only did they give me 70 more miles, they gave me a kickass sprint at the end of Watkins mid-ride. Thank you, legs!

May 29, 2009

Afternoon in the Ouachitas

Filed under: Epic Summer of 2009 — Andrea @ 7:45 pm

This morning, I left behind Ryan (who was on his way to Tulsa Tough) to go to Lake Sylvia for some forest road MTBing and a bit of trail running tomorrow morning. I ended up setting up camp and rolling out around 2:00.

I had my Garmin 205 with me, so it’s easy to describe my ride today in objective terms: ~35 miles, 9.9 mph average speed, 8844ft of climbing, 3.5hours rolling time.

I can’t really describe it otherwise. Beautiful is an understatement. Here are some photos:

North Fork Saline River

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turkey

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Remove shoes/socks, wade through thigh-deep creek, stop for a snack on the other side while feet dry off...

I've passed this overlook "road" many times, but never ventured up until today

The ride up made the view at the top even more excellent

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Can I stay here forever?

May 28, 2009

Spotted @ Ross Today…

Filed under: non-bike — Andrea @ 3:13 pm

Stuck at the office? Need your baseball fix? You’re in luck!!!

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May 26, 2009

And for my NEXT trick… (and motivational rant/speech)

Filed under: Epic Summer of 2009,Trail Riding,Trails,Training — Andrea @ 7:10 am

I think I’ll run a 23 mile trail (er, forest road) race (The Catsmacker). Sure, I doubt I’ve run more than 10 miles since the Ouachita 50k, but I keep telling myself:

It’s only 23 miles.”

And, no matter how hard I think about it, I cannot see the absurdity of this statement. I know that it’s almost a marathon, that rocks on the forest roads are hard on the joints, that the hills will be long and hot… I honestly think it’s not going to be that big of a deal. Sure, I’ll be sore, but that’s to be expected.

I’ll run ~7 miles today and probably throw in a couple more before the weekend. I think I’m gonna leave early on Friday and do some MTB riding from Lake Sylvia since my last attempt at doing so resulted in massive amounts of FAIL when I arrived to the campsite only to find it closed until the next weekend.

So yes, I plan on riding a bike for upwards of 4 hours on Friday and following it up with a difficult 23 mile run on Saturday. I’ve been thinking about stuff like this for a while. It goes without saying that the general population of people who don’t exercise on a regular basis are dumbfounded by just the thought of riding a bike a couple of hours or even running more than a few miles. However, I’ve grown increasingly aware of the fact that even some of my active “peers” view some of my outings as extraordinary.

I disagree. I think you’re all capable.

I think that everyone has their own standards of what’s “possible.” As long as you have these standards, you view anyone who surpasses them is doing something “crazy” or “amazing.” You’re also setting limits for yourself when you have such standards because, to you, such things are “impossible.” So I’m writing this to encourage everyone who reads it to open their minds a bit and stop thinking in terms of what is within your perception of “normal” physiological limitations and start exploring just how hard you can push yourself. Go ahead- do some two-a-days. Go for a ride or run that’s twice the distance that you’ve ever gone. Do those things on back to back days. Hell, do them on the same day. My point is, stop limiting yourself to the accepted standards of what’s “possible” or “normal.” You can be better than that.

May 25, 2009

In case you haven’t heard:

Filed under: non-bike — Andrea @ 8:11 pm

I’m on a boat.

(This is the uncensored version. They use the “S” word and the “F” word. A lot. You’ve been warned)

Yeah, it’s been out a while, but I found out this weekend that some people haven’t heard the good news. Enjoy.

May 24, 2009

West Feliciana Stage Race: Day 2

Filed under: Bike Racing — Andrea @ 8:18 pm

After yesterday’s shennanigans, I wasn’t sure how my legs would feel today. Though with a 1:50 minute advantage in the General Classification, I wasn’t too worried. The race started out at a nice clip. A lot of the first 15 miles or so was downhill, and we rolled through it quickly with everyone taking a pull or two at the front.

Around mile 15, we turned onto Highway 421. At that point, there was an attack from one of three S3 riders up front. I was sitting at about 4th wheel and decided to let the others chase and just sit in. Ashley Leech (Tiger Cycling) took off. About halfway across the gap, she pulled through to let the next rider continue to close. However, the next rider was from S3. My inner monologue told me that she’d slow down and let her teammate open the gap back up. However, she seeed to be confused and kept slowly pulling the group back up towards her teammate!

Suddenly, I saw all of the stars in the Counter-Attack galaxy align. Two S3 riders hanging out in the wind, unsure of what to do… Ashley, who is normally capable of chasing me down, was gassed and trying to drop back into the group… the rest of the group was behind me and seemed to be waiting for something to happen.

So, I countered.

A few seconds of hard pedaling later, I looked over my shoulder. Gap. Time to go solo again. At least this time, it was at mile 15.5 instead of mile 14, Right?!? Well, it wasn’t any easier. I was slower than yesterday. My wattage was lower. Fatigue was ripping through my quads. I thought for sure I’d be caught.

But I wasn’t.

After the race, I talked to some of the other girls. Apparently, the group was unorganized and the chase prettymuch fell apart. Lucky for me, because if just one of the teams had decided to work hard to catch/counter, I probably would have been too tired to keep up, and they could have made some GC time back up.

That sealed the GC deal. I crossed the finish line absolutely exhausted, but very happy. Not bad for a first race back from the brink of wanting to feed my road bike to the catfish in the Mississippi River!

May 23, 2009

West Feliciana Classic Stage Race: Day 1

Filed under: Bike Racing — Andrea @ 4:35 pm

Time Trial
The course was 5 rolling miles. Luckily, most of the uphills were preceded by good downhills, which were helpful for creating some momentum. I ended up rolling an 11:58, which was awesome, because the next person back sat at 12:35 (I think?). Being a stage race (fastest cumulative time wins), this was exactly what I wanted.

Road Race
Our race started a few minutes late, in the rain. That’s OK. I like rain when it’s warm. The 36 mile course had one KOM spot near mile 14, and many more gentle, rolling hills. The race started slow. The Tiger Cycling girls and I took turns pulling for most of the way towards the KOM (King of the Mountain time bonus spot- good for 7 seconds off of your total time).

Oh yeah- and the instruction we received as to WHERE the KOM was went something like, “you make a couple of turns in the first 7 miles, then it’s about 3 or 4 miles up the road from there, and has either a sign or something painted on the road so you know where it is.”

So once we started getting close, everyone was a bit antsy. There were a couple of attacks up some non-KOM hills, one of which I countered on the hill just before the KOM hill. The counter softened everyone up a little for the real thing. We passed a “KOM 1K” mark on the road, and the pace quickened. However, the people up front started to blow up. I held steady and passed them. As I neared the line, I looked back and saw that I had ~20 yards on the group. Seeing my opportunity, I didn’t let off of the pace. I got the KOM bonus and hit the drops and began to hammer out my best effort. Did I mention that this was at mile 14 of 36? Yeah. I had a long row to hoe…

The remainder of the race was pretty uneventful. I just rode my butt off. I yelled at a grcoup of cat 5 men that didn’t seem to understand what “on your left” meant (sorry guys- I was in a hurry!) The rest of the time, I just watched the miles, looked over my shoulder occasionally, and tried to keep the wattage going as best I could. It was a good thing, too, because, though I crossed the finishline solo, by the time I rolled up the road a little and slowly coasted back, I saw my chasers sprinting for 2nd. They’d never given up- it’s a good thing I didn’t, either…

So I enter day 2 (another 36 mile road race) with a very comfortable time gap: 37 seconds from the TT, 7 seconds bonus for the KOM, 10 for winning the RR, and whatever gap I had on the group from the solo finish- I’m guessing somewhere around 40-60 more seconds. I really just have to finish with the leaders tomorrow to win the GC. It’s a good feeling for sure.

May 22, 2009

Pre-Race Rambling

Filed under: Bike Racing,Epic Summer of 2009 — Andrea @ 8:07 am

This weekend will be my first road race (West Feliciana Classic) since I temporarily “quit“Â back in March. I’ll admit, I’m not in top form for road racing at the moment. However, I am feeling much better psychologically. I had no idea how crazy my situation had been making me. Looking back at training camp posts, I can see how the burnout started and eventually became bad enough that I decided to stay home and lose the $200something I’d spent on a plane ticket to California for the San Dimas race.

Now I finally want to race. So, I’m really just looking to go and have a fun time. Good results would be a plus. Since I sold my TT bike to help put Jens the Niner together, I’ve got clip-on aero bars in full effect!

I went for a short ride last night, and they felt pretty good. The TT will be important since it’s the first stage, and, if I do well, could make the remainder of the weekend a bit easier as far as strategy…

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