Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Middle Mountain Mamma Race Report

Temp was 88...humidity 90%..It was going to be a tough race. This was the first day of real heat & humidity we've had. I knew it would be a tough day in the saddle, but I didn't realize just how tough. I was the only Master Woman over 40 so all I had to do was finish. My class raced with the other sport chickies so usually I try to stay competitive w/ them. Not this day. At the start I led the pack out the gravel road into the trail head. I climbed as best as I could to stay in front, but one of the other sport chickies was younger & stronger so I let her go. She sped off into oblivion. I settled in & just rode to the best of my ability. I forgot how much climbing is in this race. I've been doing short, fast stuff for the past few weeks so the long climbs really took their toll.
At one point 3/4 of the way up, I started getting chills. I knew my that wasn't good especially since the temps were near 90. That meant I was dehydrating. I decided to keep plodding on. When I got to the campground area I considered bailing out but decided to keep going.
It was tough, I walked most of the back side. I kept wishing I had one more easy gear but the 1x9 was all I had. Through the race I stopped alot, took a lot of electroytes and fluids, and kept regretting my decision to keep going.
I finished the race but was in a world of hurt. I crossed the finish line in tears and basically had a melt down. After lots of water, electrolytes, more water, and more electrolytes I started feeling betting about 4 hours after the race. It was ugly. I think my time for the 21 miles was somewhere around 3 hours & 21 minutes. Next time I'll listen to my body.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Bedford MTX #3 race report

Fun, Fast, Frenzied...did I mention Fun?
That sums up the last installment of the 2010 Bedford MTX Series. Coming into the race I was in second place in the standings...not t0o shabby for an old lady.

Earlier in the week I wasn't thrilled about racing..I'm not sure why, I just wasn't feeling it..that is until Friday evening. We joined some friends to celebrate a birthday in the group. A little birdy told me that one of the riders who was in contention for a podium spot was out for me. (all in good fun)...That's pretty much all of the motivation I needed going into Sunday's race.

Weather was perfect..mid-60's, slight breeze. The course was pretty dry with a few exceptions. We did a practice lap to get a feel for the course..It was gonna be fast...Kenny Palmer (race organizer & overall good dude) mentioned the expert men would probably pull 8.5 minute lap times..that meant I'd pull closer to 11 to 12 minute was gonna be a close one.

My buddy Jen & I took off at the start. We headed up a paved area, then dumped into a grassy area, then into the singletrack...yes..this race had singletrack...It was great!...After the singletrack section, we went back into the field where you could put it into high gear & just go. I loved my gears for this race.. Once out of the field, we went into another singletrack section...twists, turns, fun fun...then back into the field....We crossed over a bridge and rode the semi-muddy/tacky section of the course. This is where I lost time b/c I was getting slightly bogged town. After the boggy section, we crossed another bridge & had to climb up a grassy hill.
I was hauling butt on my first lap. My goal was to hold off the "pain train" for as long as I could during the race. Getting 2-3 laps ahead of them would be ideal...As I came through the start/finish area on my first lap I checked the clock and came in just over 10 minutes. Wow! And the pain train had not started yet.

I hammered as hard as I could on my second lap then on to the third lap....I was riding hard but felt something bearing down on me...Pain train...or at least part of it. 3 of the boyz zoomed by me...then I rode alone for a bit...then the next one came by..then alone...then hubby went by, then alone,.then the last pain dude went by. It was more like the Pain train...followed by the "vomit comet"....Ok that's gross...but the last 3 members of Pain Train were hurting a bit.

I was starting to tire on laps 4&5....Just keep matter how much it hurts....That's what I kept saying to myself. As I headed down the grassy hill before the bridge, I caught a glimpse of my teammate Laura...Was I going to catch her? I pedaled harder to at least grab on to her wheel. As I got closer, we both caught up to Jen.....she was riding her new 29er..and looking good...we both passed...Laura pulled away up the hill..I eventually caught her on my 6th lap.....I passed by & she grabbed onto my wheel. We rode together for the last lap. I would pull away in the sections where I could gear up...but she would catch up each time once we hit the hillier sections. She rode my wheel all the way until we hit the last grassy hill. As a way to keep me moving b/c we didn't know where the Pain Train was..she said "race you up the hill"...I held her wheel for about 5 pedal strokes..then I was done.
As I crested the hill I noticed the pain train hanging out at the top....That meant I got 6 laps in & held them off....which meant I won the day's race! Woo Hoo

As Kenny tallied the results...he asked me how many laps I did...I honestly couldn't was either 5 or 6....but the pain train only passed me I stayed 1 lap up on them. It turns out I was the only racer who completed 6 laps...That extra lap gave me the championship!..Woo Hoo! (again)....

If it wasn't for the handicapping format I wouldn't have had the opportunity to do as well as I did...I love the format as it gives slower riders the same opportunity as the experts and levels the playing field.
Fun race series this year..we had all types of conditions to contend with...snow, dark of night, and fast. I can't wait to do more of Kenny's races...Hopefully I haven't peaked too early in the season...

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Bedford MTX #2 race report

Deja Vu? - Well sort of...the result was deja vu from last year's 2nd Bedford Mountain Cross race but the conditions were very different.

I was not at all motivated to race. The weather was a far cry from last week's 60 degree temperatures...although the course conditions were much better. Weather was in the high 30's with a head wind on much of the course. This week's race was run at night. The course was just over a mile...We started on paved road, then climbed up into a section of singletrack, back onto the road, then onto a fast, fun, field downhill which crossed a stream, then a gradual mudclimb, onto a grassy climb back to the start where we had to dismount & cross 2 barriers on the way through the start/finish area.
My stomach had been doing flip flops towards the end of the week..Each time I ate on Saturday, I would get major stomach cramps....After talking to a bunch of the racers from last week..many people had been fighting the same symptoms..some worse than others. I think we all picked up something from riding in the mud the previous week, then trying to drink from our water bottles...(note to self..wear a camelback next time conditions are like that). I figured riding would help purge some of it from me.
Warming up was tough....It was so windy & cold that you couldn't really get warm. I did one lap to check the course..then decided I wasn't going to get warm so I'd just wing it..
Jen & I lined up at the start & off we went. Down the road, up into the singletrack, back on the road, onto the field, etc, etc. At the start of the race, I decided to wait to turn my light on since there was enough daylight. When I got to the grassy field section I attempted to turn it on and nothing happened....tried again, nothing. This went on for the entire grassy section.
As I came through the start finish, I was in a bit of a panic...I whined "I can't get my light on!!"...luckily Dave from East Coasters had not started he helped me...He asked "is it plugged in??" I said yes..I tested it before the race...Luckily he got it turned on for me & off I went.
As I started my second lap, I noticed Laura just up ahead of me. She was going the wrong way so I figured she was on a warm up lap...come to find out she wasn't really paying attention at the start & got a little misdirected. I continued on the lap & entered a section of trail which is little rocky & technical. As I got through the first part of the trail, I attempted to pedal & my pedals wouldn't go. I looked down & realized I had thrown my chain....I rolled through the next section then pulled over to fix it. When I pulled over, a bunch of the sport men passed me...I didn't realize my buddy Laura was in that group too....I got the chain back on & followed the group...As we hit the road, the group went straight .(this was the wrong way).....I shouted to them but no one heard me...I hammered back down the road & continued w/ my second lap. When I got mid-way through the grassy field section, the "Pain Train" caught me. This group consisted of Clif, my hubby, and a couple other fast guys. They caught me on my second lap..they were only on their first so I knew I had to do everything I could to hold them off. I decided to start riding like I had my single speed...I didn't use the easy gears...stood up each time through the field, etc.
On my third lap, Adam caught me..I tried to hang on his wheel until we got to the field downhill..then he was just gone. I started passing people who were walking in the field section...why are they walking when they have gears?? I kept hammering through...laps 4 & 5 went well..
When I came through the start finish for lap 6 I looked at the clock & tried to calculate if I could do the lap in enough time to get a 7th in. It was going to be close. I went hard through the first half of the lap but once I hit the mudclimb & the grassy field, I could feel myself getting tired.
I tried to put it in a harder gear & mash the climb...When I hit the barriers I only had 5 seconds to make it to lap wasn't going to happen...bummer. Throwing the chain earlier in the race cost me that little extra time to start the 7th lap. I wasn't sure where the pain train was in relation to my finish so I figured I placed top 10...
When I came in, the timers informed me my buddy Laura stopped after 1 lap. Apparently the stomach boogers got her good & ended her race she got to stay warm & dry all night...
After the race we hung out while the remaining racers finished up. My stomach was giving me fits I couldn't eat anything. I grabbed some pretzels & a coke...Kenny (the race promoter) wanted to see me...I thought Oh no....did I do something wrong? He asked me if I remember the Pain Train passing me a second time in the race..I said I didn't think so b/c they passed me on my second lap & I didn't remember seeing them again, but I couldn't be sure..
Turns out..I ended up winning the race...None of the Pain Train had passed me again...Woo HOO! I caught a bunch of grief again for Sandbagging....but once again..when I have a 20 minute head start...all I had to do was ride hard, and clean.
One more race next weekend...Can't wait to see what's in store.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Bedford County MTX #1 Race Report



Bedford Mountain Cross Race #1
Finally a chance to ride outdoors! Sunday was the first of this year's Bedford Mountain Cross series. The course had to be shortened due to the fact we've had an abundance of snow this year. This was only the second time I've ridden outside this year & the first race w/ Clarence & his new gears. (1x9) They would come in handy on this course. We started out on pavement, then a left turn into the first part of single track...more like peanut butter track. it was muddy but rideable. Then a short run up..this would be a mess by the end of the race...then a crazy downhill loaded w/ mud, rocks, snow...I ran this the first 3 laps, then was able to ride it the last 3. Then we crossed a bridge, rode through a field, cross a stream, up the next part of the singletrack which was super muddy & got worse each lap, then back on the pavement to do it all again.
The format of the race was a handicap system. Beginner riders, or slower riders go off first and have more time to do as many laps as they can in 1 hour. They are chased by faster, more experienced riders who have less time. I raced in Vet Women which meant I had 57 minutes to do as many laps as I could. My buddy Jen raced in the same class... When we came through the start/finish area, all of the experts had not started yet. our first lap was slightly over 10 minutes....I knew we were in trouble. Sure the start of my second lap, the "pain train" passed us. These were all of the super strong, expert males.
I decided to just have fun this race & not worry about lap times. It was going to be a test of my technical skills. Normally I do not race well in slippery, peanut buttery conditions. I averaged just over 10 minutes each lap..but got slower as the race went on. Conditions improved in some areas while others deteriorated quickly. I was very happy with how I rode...I handled the bike very well in the slop. At some points I was riding was pretty funny.
I did rely on my lower gears a little too much..that accounted for my slow lap times...but I'm glad I had them. I need to learn to ride the bike like the single speed and not rely on the easier gears so much.
I was in second place for most of the race until the "pain train" caught me again..then I was done. I ended up in the top 10..but that's only because of the handicap system. Had it been a normal race.. I would have been close to the bottom.
Overall I had a fantastic time. Normally I don't like mud but I think I was suffering from a serious case of cabin fever so I didn't care about the mud & slop.
Next week we'll race in the will be interesting

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Montvale Mahem Race Report

I had to do 2 pics are pulling in weird to blogger.

OW!!!!! That about summarizes the Montvale Mahem Race. It's been 3 months since my last cross country race. During that time I was riding fairly strong until about a month and a half ago. Hubby dislocated his I sort of lost a little motivation to ride.. I felt guilty every time I went out w/ out him. I haven't been putting in the long road miles to keep up my endurance & although I've been riding..I haven't felt really strong. Laura keeps getting stronger & stronger since she healed from a crash earlier in the fall. She's been focusing on the Iceman coming up in November all the while practicing short, intense, fast stuff. I knew going into the race it was gonna be a close. I was totally up in the air about racing until about 2 days ago when I saw Laura & Kristin had signed up to do expert. Sport, Singlespeeders & Experts all did the same I decided if I'm gonna race, I may as well sign up for Expert too...just to make it interesting & possibly get some cash out of it for my effort.I had not ridden out here since February. Back then the trails were still fairly new. Much more has been added since then. I had heard folks talking about the fast it was, where the log crossings were, the long climbs...Basically it was a course where you're on the gas the entire time. I would be riding "blind" as I had not pre-ridden the course so I had no clue what was in store.
When we lined up at the start, the girls were quite "whiny"...It was pretty comical to the boyz...they probably thought..."geez, what the heck are they racing for w/ all that whining...were's the cheese??? "
The start began w/ a gravel road climb.....great way to start for someone who hasn't been climbing real well. Laura pushed the pace right out of the gate. If I was even going to have a shot at doing well, I knew I had to stay on her wheel. We climbed the road, then onto the grassy section...then through the freezing cold creek into the singletrack. We ascended Yellow Drum trail..lots of leaves, roots, climbing. Laura was going so hard...I wondered if I would be able to stay w/ her. We got to one of the switchbacks & she pulled off...I took over the lead as we continued up. I thought to myself..oh no...I'm gonna pace the whole race and end up losing in the end. (nice positive self talk huh?) We continued on...up Bealle's Treasure, twisting turning, climbing, descending. A few of the sport boys caught us as we continued.. I had a slight gap going through the second half of the course. It was a ton of fun...very fast downhills, a few bermed turns..the only weird thing was the course went back and forth on itself so much, you could see your competitors but could never gauge how far in front you were. As I descended this super fun section, I must have hit a root the wrong way. The next thing I knew, I was in a heap of leaves on the side of the trail. One of the other riders who caught me said I was riding soo thing he saw was the lump of Paula laying in the leaves.
I got back on & continued. Little did I know I had the start of a nice bruise on my thigh...OW #1. As I continued, I encountered the log crossings. I was so hesitant after my crash that I ended up walking over all of them. It was pathetic. I have a bike w/ big wheels & couldn't do the darn logs!
I continued to push my pace b/c I figured Laura was right on my tail....Lap 2 was harder than lap one. On the climbs, I could feel twinges in my legs...never a good sign b/c I could tell I was on the verge of cramping. I kept drinking & eating my Shot blocks...but all the while telling myself..push the pace, she's gonna get you.
I crashed again in a different spot on lap 2. It was a sandy switchback where I had too much speed & just washed out. I did a 180 degree turn before falling. Argggh! OW #2.........Through Lap 2 I caught a glimpse of Laura in the same area as I was. I pushed it a little more b/c I didn't know how much time I had on her. As I came through the check point, the marshals were encouraging me on. I was running out of gas. The first part of the lap is mostly climb. My legs were starting to cramp...not good. I continued to push through it. Lap 3 was clean...slow, but clean. I still hiked all of the log crossings but I did not crash & maintained good control. I was flying the downhills b/c I knew I could make up ground there since I was labored in my climbing. Came through the last section & then followed the directions to head in. Another sport buddy of mine caught me. He said I had at least 2 minutes on Laura...I said "are you sure..b/c I think she's right there"...he said I was fine. By this point my legs were severely cramping. I didn't think I could make it back b/c there was one more climb. Going through the cold stream didn't help b/c I tensed my muscles we headed back out the grass, I tried to spin & pace w/ the sport....he paced me up the climb....I was groaning & in a serious world of hurt. I tried to spin fast to the finish and that's when my right calf quit. It seized up & I couldn't get my foot out of the pedal to stretch it. Finally I got it out. I hit the finish line screaming. OW #3 Kenny (race promoter) was giving me a hard time for not taking my Sport Legs..when in fact I had taken my pre-race supplement (race caps)....I think I was a little dehydrated going into it & the constant up/down contributed to the cramping. Laura was only a few minutes back..she finished strong.
Overall I'm pleased w/ my effort.
..I wasn't happy about the cramping but I think I know how to fix that. It Plus had a good showing at today's race

Expert Female: 1st- Paula Schimizzi, 2nd - Laura White
Sport Female - 1st - Jennifer Divers
Sport Male - 2nd - Adam Caldwell

Montvale Mahem Race Pictures

Sunday, August 30, 2009


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Cove Trail work & creature sightings

Been a blog slacker again.....sorry...
We did trail work at the Cove on Saturday to fill in some really muddy spots on Songbird Trail. I spent most of the time helping to sort out rocks. After a while the rocks started looking the same. We rode today to try out our handywork. It rode much smoother...flowed well & our line of sight is much better now. The trail looks a little wide
where we had to dig...but that will get overgrown again in time.
Thursday night I finally saw my first bear of the season. A mamma & 3 cubs. ..We kept our distance...the cubs were very cute.
Saturday we saw a rattle snake while working on the trails....he wasn't so cute.
here are some pics..(borrowed from Laura...thanks!)