Friday, August 29, 2008

Wells ave bake sale this weekend!

Sunday morning, at Well's ave, you can have a second chance to buy (or win) more cupcakes! The car-bomb cupcakes will be making a second appearance. Along with some other goodies. Stop on by and support your local ski racer!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Lake Placid update

Monday afternoon we ran up Cascade mt, which is a pretty small one close to the road but with an awesome view. Going up we passed this huge family wearing dresses and long hair and stuff with two babies--intense. We also discovered that three of us were wearing the Colby sports bra. Go Colby!

Tuesday morning were some hillbounding/ski walking intervals up Whiteface; we were hoping to make it to the top but I think we were only about 3/4 of the way up before it was time to turn around. They're blasting a new trail up whiteface, and we accidentally bounded through the blasting site but the guys were pretty nice and pointed us the right way (up). It was a gorgeous day, so we stopped by the Flume on the way back to jump off some rocks into FREEZING water.

Tuesday afternoon we went double poling in Keene, and the weather was still gorgeous. I could get used to this... As the van was going along scooping up athletes, Patty sees Kathleen skiing past where the van had stopped, so Paul leaned out the window and yelled "Kathleen! turn around!", and then as she started back, he realized that she probably didn't want to stop. Patty thought she did want to stop, so they quickly made a bet- 20 pushups to the loser. Kathleen skied up and stopped so Paul lost the bet and Patty added some weight to his pushups...

Ahhhh team vans... gotta love the smell...

Last night was mini golf night. Adventure Cove here we come! We teamed up as fairly as possible, ranking ourselves from a 1-5 and trying to split up the horrible people and the golf pros, and that sort of worked, and my team won.

My team

The other team. Water look a little green to ya?

Lauren concentrating

Monday, August 25, 2008

Lake Placid

It feels like fall up here a little bit, the leaves are turning on some early maples and the temperatures are more bearable. Barely...

I arrived yesterday, after picking up Kathleen in Tilton (near that awesome Thai food place where I'm totally stopping for dinner on the way home...), and we bopped over to Hanover, where I left my car and we piled into Alice's prius. What a cool car. We arrived at the olympic training center (OTC) only ten minutes late, luckily we weren't the latest ones, and even before checking in, we headed out for some double pole intervals on Bear Cub rd. Apparently some of the locals have been getting quite annoyed at rollerskiers this summer, causing the OTC to tell us we can't come back if they get too many more complaints. For all we know, it could be skiers just here for the summer causing the problems, but I can see how a huge group of guys taking over the whole road would annoy the average driver...

We avoided angry drivers and did our intervals, which were great fun--who doesn't like to double pole up hills? Today we started out with a distance skate ski, working on some no pole, and this afternoon we're headed over to Cascade Mt. for an easy jog/hike, followed by some core strength. Hopefully it won't rain on us...

I was in the "blue suit" yesterday-- matches the hills behind me =)

Saturday, August 23, 2008

NENSA Camp #2

Heading back to Lake Placid for the week. Senior/U23 camp. Should be good fun! If only this darned stuffy nose would clear up...

Friday, August 22, 2008

Cantaloupe vs Beagle

Got a call yesterday from the parental units that Rudi (one of my beagles) has a cantaloupe-sized tumor in his belly. Hes just a little beagle. The tumor fills most of his belly cavity, and apparently wraps around his liver and his colon. They had hoped it was attached to his spleen, because then they could just remove it, but its attached to connective tissue instead, so there is nothing they can do. I guess the good news is that he doesn't realize he has a giant tumor in his belly, and happily wolfs down chickum and goes sniffercizing for rabbits like nothing is wrong. But they don't think he'll last more than a couple months.

This is pretty hard news. I know there are plenty of worse things going on in the world than my dog being sick, the dog I don't even live with anymore, but Rudi is a special little beagle and has a place in our hearts that no human could ever fill. Not the Einstein of the dogs, but emotionally intelligent and a champion snuggler. He doesn't realize he's an old dog, he wants to play with his toys and tear out the squeaker and distribute the fluff evenly throughout the house. I'm not ready for him to go, what will Tira do? She won't understand, and shes way more intelligent than Rudi. I wish I could get sick days to go home to see my dogs.

Me?? You think I would steal that chicken that was sitting on the table?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Road Kill

I was noticing the amount of roadkill recently. It seems as though every time I go rollerskiing or biking on the road, I'm seeing dead animals pretty frequently. Over 35 miles of rollerskiing last Saturday, I saw a dead bat, two dead frogs, countless dead salamanders, two dead birds, a dead mouse, many dead earthworms, a slug or two (squashed dead), and a dead racoon. The racoon was in the middle of the road, so Ken moved it. I wish I'd had a camera on me, but since I didn't, I'll leave you with my strikingly lifelike interpretation:

But all this roadkill makes me wonder. If there are so many dead animals on one 35-mile stretch of road, can you extrapolate and say that there are this many dead animals everywhere? I'm not going to go all PETA (that's People for the Eating of Tasty Animals, right?), I'm just saying, roads have a helluva bigger impact on our world than we'd like to think, and roadkill is just the most obvious one.

Nothing beats the suicidal chipmonk when I was riding the gaps last summer, though, that *tried* to run through Blazar's wheel... it didn't make it. We call that natural selection.

Friday, August 15, 2008

24 Hours of Great Glen-- the annotated Garmin picture you've been waiting for

because you have been waiting for it, haven't you?

The garmin elevation data is always kind of shaky, but for the two full laps that it was able to record data before the battery conked out, the ascent was 1337 and 1449 feet. Call it 1400ft, over 8 miles, the only thing I have to compare it to is the ride I did in VT a couple weeks ago, that was 1800 feet over 9 miles. I guess great glen isn't nearly as hilly as it feels... It always feels flat on skis but hilly on a bike--I guess I can just chalk that up to my inability to turn pedals in circles. Or the mud slowing things down.

Monday, August 11, 2008

24 Hours of Great Glen

The team! Rachel, Caitlin (yes, thats a national champion jersey), me, and Callie

I did this event last year on an IBC sport team, and I kind of had a rough time, losing our team a lap by forgetting my timing chip, cracking my helmet, breaking my light, and busting up my knee badly enough that it wasn't really healed until November. This year was considerably better! Rachel and I had expected an easy time to find more teammates, but we were still looking for female bike riders as of last wednesday, and thank god Callie pulled through, because I was starting to think I'd have to train a monkey from Patrice's lab to ride a bike.

The weather forecast called for rain and the occasional thunderstorm, so I prepared by packing nine pairs of socks. That was smart. I also prepared by making some pancake batter and putting that and maple syrup into a cooler. That was also smart. I don't want to make it sound like I am actually smart, though, because I did forget the frying pan.

Ed and I drove up Saturday morning to meet up with the rest of my team, and things went by pretty quickly until race start. We decided that I would go first, because, in Rachel's words, "you can run. I've seen you do it!" and it was hard to deny that one...

The suspects. Foreground is Ed, trying to shrink so that the camera won't get him. Behind him are Dave and Callie, then Rachel, and Caitlin is sneaking in the background.

The campsite.

It starts with a meeting in the big tent, where they tell us to not get eaten by black bears or struck by lightning. Good advice.

The race starts with a lap around the lake, and then you try and find your bike and ride away. Ed was taking pictures, and somehow forgot that the big guy I was trying to get around wasn't going to magically become transparent...

Then we got on our bikes and suddenly the whole "no-warmup" thing catches up and I'm horribly out of breath and my legs already hurt and I have many hours of riding ahead of me... Luckily, my strategic starting position allowed me to slowly walk my bike in a conga line through the field by the ski lodge and admire the blueberries.

The race spread out surprisingly quickly, probably due to lots of uphill on big wide roads, and there seemed to be a lot less singletrack than I remembered. We got to the part with the rock thing that I couldn't ride last year, and I couldn't ride it this year either, so I just started running and actually caught up to some riders that way... After that its more climbing on fireroad, then a really muddy climb on the great grumpy grade, which I remember being rideable last year, but the mud just bogged me down too much this year, in fact I didn't get on my bike once on that section first lap, the mud was just too deep to make it worth it to get on my bike just to get back off. I tried to ride down the hill, but until some lines got ridden by people stronger than me I couldn't pedal through the deep mud, and was back off the bike. After that, the course went into the mud bogs of death, a relatively short section that was knee deep mud puddles, ending in a muddy climb. This whole section of the course filled me with dread each lap.

Once the mud bogs of death were finished, you descended for a while on fireroads, did a short loop of singletrack that had a REALLY deep mudpit that I made the mistake of falling into one lap (the bike just stops when you are sitting in a three-foot-deep puddle. And then its impossible to get the bike out of the puddle... good times), a little more fireroad, and the loop onto the plunge. The first part of this last section was rideable, but then I'd have to hike/run the steeper uphill section, and I skied down the plunge, mostly using the bike for balance as I slid downhill. Then you were essentially done, just had to ride around the pond. I came through the first lap in 55 minutes or so, kind of surprised it had taken so long, since that is slower than what I was riding last year, despite the course being shorter this year.

Rachel went next, then Callie, then Caitlin. We are all pretty solid riders, I think Caitlin is definitely fastest, having just won mt. snow in the expert 19-34 group, but the whole never having ridden at night thing slowed her down. My laps were disgustingly inconsistent, but I was ok with that. Really, we just had to finish, being the only team in our category. By my second lap, the course was slightly better, except in the mudbogs of death, which were deeper and threatening to take my shoes to their depths. It was really nice of Ed to clean and lube our bikes after each lap, because without that, well I don't think my bike would have made it more than three laps before I'd be stuck in one gear with no brakes. Not that I can't clean my own bike, its just really nice having someone else do it. I finished the second lap riding hard, hoping to break fifty minutes, but that just wasn't happening, and I did a 52. I just couldn't ride any faster, or maybe I should say I couldn't run any faster. I got my priorities straight after that lap, and spent an hour or two picking a massive amount of blueberries on the hillside next to the ski lodge, watching riders labor through the muck and try and make the turns.

Caitlin decided that she wanted to try a double lap, so we switched up the order to let her get in a daylight and a twilight lap while I got dinner, and Rachel took the first real night lap, before we switched to 1-2-1-2-3-4-3-4 to let us sleep more. My first night lap was decent, I was motivated to keep running through most of the mud, although I was riding even less of the course than before because I just couldn't tell if the mud would be thin enough to keep riding or if I should just keep running, and I'd usually just keep running. I felt pretty good through most of that lap, turning in a 56 minute lap, but after Rachel went and I headed out again, my legs let their unhappiness be known, and my lively running turned into a less-lively hike-a-bike. I was getting sick of all the not-riding we were doing, I wish I'd ridden in toe straps and orienteering cleats or something, just for comfort, because I was getting blisters from my mtb shoes, despite cleaning them out in the river after each lap and putting on new socks. That lap was 1:03 or something... oops.

I rode my next lap around 4:30. I barely made it to transition when Caitlin came through, I was still pulling on my gloves, but I got out there and just started pedaling, doing the first section a little slower to warm up my stiff, sleepy body. I was finding that even though it feels like you're alone out there, every time you turn a corner or come out of some singletrack, there is someone right ahead of you to catch, so that was motivating. I think I turned a 59 minute lap (see what I mean about disgustingly inconsistent?), but it was dawn, which is one of my favorite times to be outside, so I was happy. And then Ed made me blueberry pancakes when I got back. I think that was my favorite part.

Salvation in the form of blueberry pancakes. Yes, the blueberries came from that first hill we rode up... and no, I did not pick them while racing. Master chef here works the magic.

Solo camps in the misty morning.

Mt. Adams (I think) and his reflection.

After that dawn lap, we were back on our 1-2-3-4 rotation, so I headed out for another lap at 9:15. I went out for my sixth lap sort of warmed up, which helped with the bike-riding thing, and the great thing was that even more of the course was rideable, since the predicted rain hadn't come and things were almost drying out in places. I still had to run the second half of the rock singletrack, and the upper part of the great grumpy grade, but I could ride the downhill, although it was more of a slide than a ride. Who says sliding diagonally down a hill isn't fun? I suppose I should be glad that the bike didn't roll that well, since the brakes didn't work that well either! The mud bogs of death still sucked, but the little rise after that was rideable, and I was in a pretty good mood as I skied down the plunge and finished up the lap, a 54 minute blaster.

Rachel went out again, and then it was my turn again. I'd already decided that there was no need to race the lap, just go ride since its actually a bike ride again instead of a run, and I had a good time out there chatting with some kid who was pulling wheelies wherever he got the chance. He convinced me to take a different line down the plunge, the one all the way to the left, and that wasn't even plunging, it was dry and not steep, I wish I'd known about that for my other laps. Anyway, I finished the lap in 1:01, surprisingly fast for an easy lap, and I was really pleased that I'd ridden the plunge. We were all in a great mood once we were done, it was a fun race and a great match of personalities on the team. And then Linnea's parents showed up with goat cheese, and I gorged myself on cheese and life was good.

The rain held off until awards, when it came down with a vengeance, and then driving home through the lakes region, we went through the coolest storm I've ever been in. Hail, huge hail balls, and lightning blowing up transformers on the telephone poles. Not a good day for rollerskiing.

Friday, August 8, 2008


So that whole "we don't have a fourth teammate" thing that was going on yesterday... Callie fixed it by bailing us out. Thank you Callie! Granted, she has to work sunday afternoon, but at least she can do her minimum laps on saturday, and we can race! Life is good =)

motivated by a cupcake prime... I better bring some cupcakes.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Stress? Naaah...

Great Glen is right around the corner- like 48 hours away- and yesterday, one of our teammates emailed the other three of us to say she twisted her knee pretty bad and was probably done riding for a while, definitely out of the race. To put this in perspective, Rachel Brown and I signed up for a four-person team while only having two people, and have been working our tails off to find first a third, then a fourth, teammate... and now we're back down to three.

Many frantic phonecalls later, and we still don't have four teammates. Things are... tense. It'll work out though! Somehow!

Stressed? Me? Never!

It'll be a fun race whether we have to ride it unofficially with three people or we find a fourth... I can't wait!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Good lil' hippy

Today I was a good hippy, I rode my bike to the farmers' market, and I felt so warm and fuzzy and... righteous... buying local, riding bikes. Maybe this will make up for those times when I'm a bad hippy and I throw something recyclable. Or fly on airplanes an exorbitant amount over the course of four months, just shooting those emissions straight into the upper atmosphere...

I know they have to drive to get there and all, but how come they were charging $3/lb for zucchinis? Zucchinis should be practically free, really.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Training weekend

This past weekend I joined forces with Jess and we took on the hills and dales of eastern NY. Janice, basically the heart and soul of NENSA, generously offered us a place to stay and coached us and drove us around and gave us a bike escort on an OD and fed us. Life was pretty cushy. We started with some intense hillbounding in 99% humidity, then we did some skate technique, then we did a strength test. Day two was a wicked long OD (complete with bicycle and then car escort) and then more technique. Then I drove home. And I was tired.

Also of note, I tried a powerbar for the first time since 2001, and it was good! Gone was the peanut-butter-flavored-cardboard I remembered. They were the "energize" powerbars, with fruit concentrate in them, and really, it went down like gummy bears. Which is to say, easily.

Here, Jess models her sexy duct-taped-bumblebee-boots.

Stephi and her mickey mouse gloves...