Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Cantua Creek & Pine Flat RR's

Me, Lauren & Erin warming up for Cantua Creek
February 17-18, 2007

In my quest for upgrade points I decided to compete in back to back road races, the first in Coalinga.
I left for Coalinga on friday afternoon in hopes of getting down there early enough to have some time to relax before going to bed. Erin and her husband Mike got to the hotel before I did as I ended up taking the LONG way!

Lauren arrived a few hours after I did as the three of us were going to race saturday morning at 8:50am. Both Erin and Lauren are getting used to bike racing and are having a good time and are doing very well.

It was an early morning on saturday and a little drive to the local Starbucks before arriving in the middle of nowhere for our 52 mile bike race which actually ended up to be only around 48 miles approximately.

The course was mostly flat and two loops with an up hill finish. The pace was pretty slow for almost the entire ride which made it seem to take a long time. I had to pee so bad and one of the women, Jessi, tried to organize a stop. We were all almost in agreement as I wasn't the only one who needed to go, but one women didn't want to stop, so we all kept going. The night before the race in Coalinga

I jumped at one point up a small incline to see what would happen and the pack jumped also. I slowed down at the top of the rise and let them catch me and we rode together for the final loop. I saw the sign for 1k to go and so I took a chance and went for it. I glanced back a time or two and no one was with me. I pushed as hard as I could and ended up finishing first! Lauren was right behind in second and Erin I believe placed 6th! Overall it was a great race and warm up for the next day.

We got back to our hotel and changed into running clothes. Erin and Lauren ran for about a 1/2 hour while I ran about an hour. It was so warm out and the terrain was rolling hills that it was great Wildflower training.

I got back with just enough time to shower, pack and grab some food before Erin, Mike and I left for Fresno. The drive wasn't too bad and we arrived at our hotel in time to relax for a bit, take a dip in the pool and then go grab dinner. We got to bed early as tomorrow would be yet another early morning.
Since we don't have matching jersey's, Erin
bought us matching "Team Heart Socks."

We made our way to the start of the Pine Flat RR; approximately 62 miles of rolling hills in the misty morning. Erin and I warmed up on our trainers and talked excitedly about today's race. We both felt pretty good on the trainer, but the true test would come as we start the race with an up hill. I'm not exactly sure how many of us there were, but we did have a pretty good group who actually worked together. Erin was having some trouble during the first half of the race with the down hills; she is getting better, but was still a bit nervous. She is strong on the flats, she if there was a gap, she'd always catch us...pissed her off she said, but she's a tough girl and I know every time she gets on her bike, those down hills will get easier!

My finish at Pine Flat

I felt really good and did my fair share of pulling especially toward the end. There was one other woman who was pretty strong on the up hills; she used to race Cat. 2 in Canada but hadn't been racing for quite some time. She and I rode away from the pack towards the end when the climbs got a bit steeper. We worked really well together (she was crazy fast on the down hills and I worked extremely hard to stay with her) and rode almost all the way to the finish. It was probably just over 200m to go when she jumped from behind but just didn't have quite enough to keep her momentum and I saw my chance...jumped and rode as hard as I could on the up hill finish for the win. I can't believe how good I felt and it was great to have Cara to work with. Erin finished in 5th place and she felt great!

My next bike race won't be until Sea Otter Classic in April.

Sport Beans/NTTC Camp

February 8-11, 2007
Fairfield, CA

I walked into the Tangerine Room at the Jelly Belly factory in Fairfield and what an amazing presentation! I met Mark, our team director and Stephanie from Jelly Belly. Then moved right along to meet some of my team mates who had arrived earlier. We proceeded to take head shots in our polo's and in our singlets and got a chance to talk with each other. The other half our team finally arrived after getting stuck in traffic and after more introductions it was time to head to our hotel and get ready for dinner.

We met downstairs at our hotel to have dinner with Stephanie and Deborah from Jelly Belly. What a great dinner it was too. After dinner we made plans for an early morning swim or run. I decided on the run! My room mate was Kathryne Bertine from Arizona. We had such a great time getting to know each other and chatting about everything under the sun. It's great to click with another female athlete with similar goals. Like I said, it was an early friday morning waking up at 5:30am to get a quick 45 minute run in on the treadmill in the small, stuffy fitness room of the hotel. Those two treadmill's were a hot comodity too!! Jenna & Mark Wendley

We got to the Jelly Belly factory at 8am and just in time for the factory tour!! I can't believe all that it takes to make a Jelly Belly! It was such an amazing thing to watch. How much time and energy is needed to produce this candy and also the Sport Beans. For those of you who don't know or haven't tried a Sport Bean, it's larger than a Jelly Belly and is fortified with electrolytes and vitamins. It tastes great and is used similarly to a gel. You must drink water with the Sport Beans and 14 beans are 100 calories. Our Factory Tour outfits!

Friday was such a busy day. After the tour of the factory, we had a nutrition talk by Dr. Liz Applegate followed by lunch; then a media talk by Tomi Holt. After a day at the Jelly Belly factory it was time to head back to the hotel, relax for a bit and then it was off to dinner.

Saturday morning was scheduled for more photo shoots, but because of the non-stop rain the entire weekend, it was cancelled. So, what do athletes do...train. Half of us decided to go for a run and the other half for a swim. I met 3 of my team mates down stairs in the lobby at 7am. Lauren, Alison, Kirk and myself left for a run in the cold drizzling rain. We had an idea of where to run, but pretty much made it up as we went along. Lauren and Alison ended up running for an hour and 20 minutes and Kirk and I continued on for another hour!! It was a bit longer than I had planned to do, but I had a great time. After having a huge breakfast Kirk and I headed to the YMCA for a swim. We had about an hour and a half and eventhough the workout was easy for Kirk, some of it was hard for me. It was nice though to have another person to swim with.

That afternoon Stephanie booked a Wine Tour for us in Napa. After the tour we headed to a nice Restaurant for dinner and met up with Rob (also from Jelly Belly) and his wife. What a dinner...I ate so much, I should I have been rolled out of the restaurant!

It was nice to sleep in on sunday! We met in the hotel restaurant for breakfast and then goodbye's. I drove home that afternoon thinking about the wonderful people I met and how excited I am to be a part of the Sport Beans/NTTC triathlon team!