July 22, 2008

New Sport

I went to pick up Cari and the MAX station yesterday by PIR (Portland International Raceway for you out-of-towners) and we decided to hang up the pedals for a new sport. Ran into Bill Cass out there and well, it just seems like a natural progression!

Speaking of PIR, us girls (Cari, Shelby, and Cristin) rode out to PIR today so I could show them the track. The gates were open, so we casually pedaled down by the watch tower... onto the track...and heard a "HONK" followed by, "What are you doing?" I explained that I raced out there and we wanted to take a lap, so I could show them the track." He agreed to our one lap. Whew!

July 21, 2008

AVC 2008

The report you've all been waiting for! Well, it wnt pretty well, considering the last month of my digestive/ athletic life.

Friday afternoon was the 500 meter time trial. I got an acceptable time of 41.1. ANy other year, I would NOT be OK with a time one second slower than my PR, but since it was over a second faster than last week.... ROCK ON!!!

Saturday morning I rode a 13.81. I was thrilled to see a time under 14 seconds. Again, it's about a half second slower than I'd like, but whatever. I qualified 5th for the sprints. The sprints themselves didn't go so well. We began with 3-ups in round one. I finished 3rd. Then in the reps... I got... not first. So, I raced for 7-10 and that video is below.

The keiren was Sunday. In the first round, one rider went to the finals. Everyone else goes to the reps round. So, when I knew I wasn't going to be first, I just rolled in. In the next round, I raced like a racer. I went long when the motor pulled off (not the smartest idea with no endurance) and the crowd cheered. The issue with taking about 5 weeks of not training hard... is the inability to sprint for 2 laps. I got caught in the last half lap. As someone put it, "Yea, we saw the monkey jump on your back," to which I responded, "and his brother." But I felt good about the effort.

Regardless of the results, I am finally on my comeback!

AVC 080719 Heather

Sam Beardsley got my 7th- 10th sprint final. It's a start...

July 12, 2008

My Life As A Zombie

How those zombies can break it down effortlessly in the Thriller video is beyond me. Coming back from the dead is very hard.

I'm struggling with what to expect and what to accept right now. Since I'm no longer hunched over in gassy pain every moment and I have the energy to turn the pedals, it's hard for me to accept my worst times ever. I know people use the words "ever" and "never" much to loosely, but I can honestly say the a 42.5 and a 14.3 are both my worst times on the track in an important event- ever. My first ever 500m. was at AVC in 2001 and I think I did a 41.7. And I've only been over 14 seconds in the 200 on a couple of Friday nights- but never anything that has ever been recorded. Ugh. Not that you need this little nugget of information, but I lost my first sprint today, then got 3rd out of 3 in the rep ride for the sprints. I've never not been on the podium locally in the match sprints for state championships.

My big track family has been AMAZING! Everyone reminding me that I'm pretty much coming back from the dead, that I've had about a month of no training, that I've lost a large amount of muscle in 10 pounds, that I'm just now retaining any calories, and that I should go easy on myself. And I'm really trying. Some have listened to me unload more than they've expected, having an ear turned and just the moment when I'm about to lose it mentally. But I am so grateful that I have people in my racing life that support me and are only trying to encourage and love me, even when I'm so down.

I've had to melt quietly, which has made me a bit of a poor sport lately. My training girls- Amelia, Meg, Emily, and Camille are shaping up so well. Amelia ROCKED at 40 second 500m. last night and made a sweet move on me today. But I'm so wrapped up in my own pity, that I can't even be a good enough sport to congratulate her. And Jen ran a low 39 second. I did have the energy to talk to her last night though. And Meg discovered a big gear today for the keiren. I love watching her become so confident and strong this year. Emily, not a big sprinting fan, took the day to watch some bike racing. She'll kill it tomorrow.

I know its going to get better, but I've never been patient. I have to find a way to suck up the pity and put on a good face and be happy with whatever happens next weekend.

Here's an amazing picture that says a lot. Interpret as you will. Steven Beardsley's dad, Sam sent it to me today. So there I sit, with my national jersey on- from "back in the day." Meanwhile my bike chills patiently, waiting to go fast. "Gee mom," she says, "bring it back already!"

July 7, 2008

My Little Adventure

Which takes longer to travel from the Salmon Creek area to my house?

a. the bus
b. my bike

Answer: the bus

And why would I know this, you ask? Is it because I'm doing a science experiment? No. Is it because I want to convince others to save $2.35 and ride their bike? No... Is it because it's my summer vacation and I was bored enough to try such a thing? No... Did I want to get to know the folks that hang out at bus stops? No.... Did I want to test my motion sickness and see the difference I felt sitting facing forward, versus facing sideways? Nope...

Did I get a flat tire and knowingly not travel with my pump because I couldn't find it when I left the house and thought I'd take a chance with one ride of only about 90 minutes to the medical lab and back and figured I wouldn't get a flat... and did?


About 4:00, I finally pull myself away from my book and decide to go for my ride. While I was getting dressed, I felt the familiar grumble that as going to be more than a fart. YES! I can do the next round of poop samples the doctor wants, then ride it up to the lab. I wasn't going to drive two times to the lab in one day. THis morning I got to get blood drawn to check me out. Even on vacation, I find ways to multi- task.

The ride was awesome. I felt pretty good, except when going uphill, it was sunny and warm, and all the cars were polite. The lab person was even smiley at 5:10 pm, which is pretty amazing. It must have been my bright yellow Livestrong outfit I was wearing, which by the way, gets a lot of looks inside the doctors office!

I had made it about half a mile towards my home, when I felt a squishiness. No, it wasn't in my pants, but in my rear tire. I call Logan in the off chance that they weren't already in Bend. Nope. I call Norrene, with hopes that she had decided not to do PIR. Nope. I stood at the light at 134th Street and 20th Ave. for about a minute when I looked over my shoulder at my last resort...

Public transportation.

Luckily, I only had to walk about 200 yards to the Park-n-Ride. The first person to talk to me, of course wanted to know if I was OK. He was nice enough, and would later, break my $5 bill into 5 $1 bills for the fare. The second conversation with another man went something like this...

"Excuse me me, I'm just an old, jolly hippy, and my friends and I are trying to get money for the bus, and-"

I wanted to say, does it look like I have money? But to the trained eye, here I sit with my Orbea bike, my full team kit, including my Oakley glasses, Giro Atmos helmet, and expensive Nike shoes. So the answer would be yes.

"I'm not sure that I have money for the bus."

"Then can I have your bike to sell and have money?"

For which I snapped, "NO!" Little did he know that he could probably purchase a first class ticket to fly anywhere in the world if he sold my bike.

Then he turned around to a poor kid with his mother and said, "Don't you grow up to be all uptight like that lady. Life isn't about money. It's about friends, yadda, yadda, yadda."

Dude, if it isn't about money, then how come you wanted some of mine.

Finally our bus comes. Yes, all of us. Nice Guy, Hippy and his friends, and me. I used the front end bike rack for the first time ever and plopped my full race kit self on what I must admit was a pretty nice bus seat. I'd consider riding one more often. Hippy and his friend were lucky to get the 3 for 1 deal and the bus driver let them know, when he got on his microphone to tell them to be quiet and not to use profanity.

Next stop... the 99th street transit station, where I was to catch the #2 bus to my 'hood. As soon as I get to my little bus shelter, a dumpy guy, with some special qualities finishes zipping up his backpack.

Right as I sit down he says, "Oh sorry... (apparently he farted)... I had the buffet today at Izzy's and I don't think the pizza agreed with me. I've been passing gas all afternoon."

SERIOUSLY? You just told this to a stranger, who honestly has bigger intestinal issues lately than your pizza farts.

I politely told him it was OK. He leaves for a few minutes, probably for the same reason I keep walking away from people lately (except when trapped in my car with Jeannie- ha ha ha.) When he returns, he tells me that the bus should be coming in 9 minutes, unless it's late, which it often is this time of day. And that usually he rides this bus all the way home, but today he was getting off downtown because.....

After he finishes telling me all the things you tell strangers at the bus stop, I pull my phone out of my back pocket and call anyone I can think of. Cari, that's when I called you, again.

Finally this bus does come approximately 9 minutes later and we get on, along with a young mother and her sleeping baby, and their stroller, a quirky fellow, from the Parks and Recreation (or so his bright red t-shirt announced,) and another man who helps Young Mom with her stroller, after a long day of doing some sort of labor job.

By the way, to all the guys who work construction of some sort and ride the bus home, and are still nice, friendly, and helpful to everyone you see... THANK YOU!

Anyway, Parks Guy goes to sit next to Young Mom, but she can't move over. That's when Fart Boy tells him, it's because she has a baby on the other side. Parks Guy gives him a funny look and sits anyway.

So, eventually, Young Mom and Nice Labor Man get off at the same stop. Yes, he helped her with the stroller again. And it was just me and Fart Boy. As I sat there, I started thinking about those Chicken Soup For the Soul books with the stories about folks who go about their lives much more positively than I was feeling. I thought about Fart Boy, and although he gave me some unnecessary information, was just being friendly and nice. He let me on the bus first and probably just wanted to visit with someone.

So, knowing that I was getting close to my stop, I asked, "Is this the button you push to signal for a stop? It's been a long time since I've ridden a bus, where they have the cables."

"Yes maam," he smiled.

We spent the next couple of minutes talking about bike and the weather and his getting off the bus downtown to go do something, instead of ride all the way home and then he was going to walk. As I got off the bike, I thanked him for his help, thanked the bus driver, and click clacked the three blocks to my house.

How much longer was the bus adventure than the easy ride? About 10 minutes.

July 6, 2008

State Games of Oregon

Today didn't suck. I'm so happy to say that I felt OK today- no stellar, but OK. I felt like a bike racer again for reals. Hats off to my teammate Norrene for doing some great work for me today in the races.

The first was an unknown distance. I hung out in the back most of the time. Great for drafting... not so great for finishing. Plus there was a lot of jockying around, which seemed a little unnecessary. I finally came up to the front where it was safe. But I let myself slide back and have to weave through some traffic to get 5th. Oh well.

The miss-n-out was next. Usually, I'm not a big fan of this race. But Norrene and I went in with a plan. She'd________ (can't give away top secret stuff) and I'd _____________ (pure rocket science.) It's nice to know that the wheel you're glued to is on your side. Wow, it really helps in the race to count riders left. It worked out beautifully and I was in the last 3 with Anna and Jen. Anna jumped in the last lap, with Jen following. I couldn't find my sprint legs to come around.

Our final race was a 15 lap tempo. Again, Norrene motored up front and I got some single points in the beginning. In talking later, we devised a better version of this plan. I got pretty tired in the middle of the race, but got my second wind in the last couple of laps. I came around a few folks to get 1 point in the last lap.

In the end Camille and I were tied for points, but she finished in front of me more than I did her, so she got the 3 step of the podium. She did well today. Jen took first- because she's flipping fast. Anna got second because she's also fast. I'm excited to see her improvement this year.

Kayla and I did a team sprint together. Poor thing got out pretty fast with her smaller gear. She had to wait about half the first lap for me to come under to get a draft. Sorry girl!

So, I'm still recovering. I came home from the race, laid won to rest and read, and fell asleep for an hour. I don't usually nap.

July 4, 2008

1st Real Week-o-Summer.

I say its the first week, since I'm not still super sick (just a little) and I can manage to get through a day with stuff accomplished. So, I just read Jen Triplett's blog and all of the things she wanted to do around the house. Well I finally beat her in a race this week- the race to home improve! Boo-ya!

1. I scoured that bathroom Jen silently tolerated last week. Since it was my roommate's bathroom, I had no idea how bad it was, since I never go in there. Big ew! It's a perfectly clean now for my AVC guests in 2 weeks.

2. I planted my vegetable garden, so I can enjoy the view from the yellow lounge chair on the deck. In 60-80 days (I think it will be sooner) I will be enjoying pees, corn, cucumbers, and squash. I can also freshly season with sweet basil, oregano, and cilantro.

3. I put some ferns in the garden under the cherry tree, and some flowers between my driveway and the empty house my garage in connected to. Today, my neighbor helped me get in some arbovite, so in a year or so, I won't even have to look at that mess of a house.

4. Yesterday, my friend Krishna and I explored IKEA in depth in the morning. It's so easy to spend $130 there. And the most expensive single item was $10. That afternoon, she brought over my brand new (hand-me-down) futon with super thick fancy mattress. We had to take the entire thing apart to get it upstairs and then reassemble, which can be quite a task when you're giggling the entire time! Cristin and Cari are in for a treat later this month!

5. Finally, today, I totally cleaned the refrigerator today. It was one of those cleanings where you take EVERYHING out, including the shelving, and clean everything. along the way, I threw away a few mysterious containers. After the super intesto-virus, I'm not eating anything that might be funky....

... Which is perfect lead in to the "Poo Pants" update. Thanks coach for new nick name, who also made the point today that not only water can be a liquid, solid, or gas all in short amount of time. I'm doing much better. After 2 days of baby food, which is yummy, but expensive, I ventured into some solid foods- even finished Jen's lasagna, and this morning... a breakfast sandwich- that never some for a re-visit. Bad news is that things are still "fluid" in the mornings. Doctor says I sort of stripped my intestines (like roto-rooter?) and just have to let it heal.

I race this afternoon and it wasn't a total loss. I won a sprint, lost two. I watched a keiren from the back of the pack, but I know I just have to be patient. I AM NOT A PATIENT PERSON!!! I'm going to forego racing tomorrow, I think.