Monday, March 31, 2014

Soccer Mom / Mountain Bike Racer / Wife of Real Mountain Bike Racer?

So I have 3 children, 2 girls ages 7 and 5, and a crazy little boy, age 3. The 7 year old just started playing soccer this year. Practices 2 days a week, games Saturdays.

 Also, as previously mentioned, I have a husband.  He works 12 hour shifts, including some night shifts and of course many weekends.  He also races mountain bikes, for real.  This is his 3rd year, he's on a real team ( Pedal Pushers), and he's doing a million races this summer (okay about 10 but that's still a ton). He usually finishes top 10-20% overall and he does the 50 to 100 mile ones and is even doing a six day stage race this summer.  He trains 10-14 hours a week.  Oh and I also work 40-50 hours a week, and generally lift weights twice a week.  So yeah, this is why I label myself busy.  Oh and 2 dogs, we also have 2 dogs one of which is diabetic requiring insulin shots twice a day.  I'm sure there are others busier than I am, and many just as busy.  I'm not complaining, just pointing out the delicate nature of figuring this all out.  And now I'm adding mountain bike racing on top.  Interesting.

Tying to find training time for me is difficult.  According to the training plans, Tuesdays are usually pedaling drills that I can do on a spin bike, or on a trainer.  Luckily we belong to a gym with daycare so that's how Tuesday happens.  I will ride during my "lunch break" at work on Thursdays.  Then I think I'm going to have to pay a babysitter to get in a ride on the weekends as Jeremy works the next few.

But I'm doing it.  I officially paid my money and registered for Battle the Bear (4/1 is the last day for early registration if you are interested).  No refunds.  Either I do it or I'm out the $50.  This brings me to my point.  The Appetizer (20 miles) starts at 1:30pm.  Jeremy has decided to do the Endurance (50 miles).  His race starts at 8am.  There's also a kids' race at 12pm that I'm sure both girls would love to do. They both lost training wheels last year.  And to top it all off the 7 year old has a soccer game at 9am and I have to bring snacks for the team, I forgot to respond to the email in a timely manner and that was the last day open.

So our day is going to looks something like this:
  • 6:00:   Husband up, getting ready to race, ride to park (it's close enough you don't have to drive).
  • 7:30:   Kids up, fed, get ready for soccer, make sure to remember snacks.
  • 8:30:   Get to soccer field
  • 10:00: Go home, get myself ready to race, load the kids' bikes, my bike, etc and drive to park, pay the $5 /car entry fee but I don't think we could all ride down and bring everything we need. The bike trailer for the boy won't fit on my mountain bike anyway.
  • 12:00: Kids race, Jeremy may be done by now, but probably not.  The top non-pro finisher last year finished in 3:51 (it was actually Jeremy's team captain, Nathan Collier, pretty cool Results).
  • 13:30: Jeremy better be done by now so he can take the kids as it's my turn to race.
  • 16:00: If I'm not done in 2.5 hours I'm going to be pretty disappointed.  That's 8mph.

Should be interesting. Hrm, I should remember to feed the children at some point too.

Monday, March 24, 2014

So, yeah, guess I'm doing it.

I sat down and counted out the weeks until the Battle the Bear. It was six and a half weeks from mid-last week. I had been focusing a bit more on cardio fitness lately but yeah, I'm still slow on a mountain bike. Now I have been lifting weights regularly for 2 years but that doesn't help that much. Six and a half weeks, can I do anything in six and a half weeks? So I google. I found this: First Timer Cross Country Mountain Bike Training Plan.  A six week training program from LW Coaching who is actually a sponsor of my husband's team (Pedal Pushers). This is good! It sounds just like what I need, plus I get to support one of his sponsors which is pretty cool.  I talked it over with Jeremy (my husband's name is Jeremy by the way) and he thinks it's a good idea so I buy the program...

Wait, what?  I just bought a program.  I hadn't even officially decided to do the race yet.  I was going to go ride the course first, see if I could do it in an hour.  I hadn't had time (I'd been working and had a nasty chest cold).  But I bought a program.  Guess this is it.  I'm doing a mountain bike race.  I guess.

The program didn't officially start until Monday, so I thought maybe I could ride the course Sunday.  It snowed Saturday but not enough to make the trails muddy.  I get down there and go to make the right turn on the bridge across Turkey Creek and realize the bridge isn't really there.  It didn't survive the floods late last summer.  I think they are in the process of rebuilding it but it's a "no go" right now.  So I have to go around to the concrete bridge, adding a bit to the 10 miles course.  There's a few other areas still closed from the flood, but nothing that adds anymore distance.  My goal is 10 mph.  I had looked, my usual for the park is 7 mph.  That's a pretty big jump.  But I'm feeling strong, going as fast as I can, actually pedaling on flats and slight downhills (something I don't usually do.  No wonder I'm slow), trying to keep a fast cadence on the more gentle uphills.  I felt pretty good in spite of still having a cold, dead lifting the day before, and not having any food with me but some Sport Beans I found in the bottom of my bag (those were pretty yummy actually).  Oh and I've been dieting lately too.

So I ended up doing 11.5 miles in one hour and 23 minutes.  I thought that was pretty good, but still only 8.3 mph.  I guess that's what the training program is for.  Will it get me up to 10 mph and for 20 miles not just 11?  I don't know.  I'm sure resting and eating better the week before the actual race will help.  So yeah, even though I couldn't make my own standard, I'm still doing it I guess.  I'm going to race my mountain bike.  Still not really sure why.  I'm pretty darn slow...

This is my Strava map from Sunday.  Looks like the last satellite image taken was during the floods last summer.  The lake grew to like 3 times it's normal size.  See how much of the trail was underwater?  Pretty cool.

Me? Mountain Bike Race?

This first post is actually a copy of a post I did on My Fitness Pal last week.  And the first few posts at least might be on this same subject, my decision to race my mountain bike...

Originally posted 3/18/14:

In January at a team party for my husband's race team, Pedal Pushers, the captain comes up to me and asks "So which races are you going to do for us this year?"  I laugh, assuming that he must be very drunk.  He persists.  "You DO have this nice new 'RACE' bike..." (It was a demo, and a really good price, way better bike than I need, a 2013 Scott Spark 920 from Pedal Pushers Cyclery).  I assure him that I am very slow and after bugging me for a few more minutes he moves on.  I'm still pretty sure he was drunk.

However, the truth is that ever since attending Jeremy's first race I've harbored secret desires to do it too. But like I said, I'm slow, very slow.  I like to pretend I'm not the slowest person out there on the trails, just the slowest person to use Strava.  But still.... I DO have a race bike...

Last week, after getting on my bike a few times this "early-spring", I remember there's a womens club in the area that hosts a women only race at the park right by my house, the park I've ridden a million times, the Beti Bike Bash.  It has a "Never Ever" category.  I look it up.  It is only 8 miles long, 2 laps around a 4 mile loop, in a part of the park I rarely ride.  The "sport" category is only 12 miles.  Jeremy does 50 to 100 miles every time.  These seems awfully short in comparison, however I did mention it in passing to the husband.  Today I decide to look into the other race in the park, Battle the Bear, a much bigger, more popular race.  It uses a 10 mile loop, over the area I do actually do all the time.  Jeremy was planning on doing the 50 miler.  They also have an "Appetizer" option of 20 miles. The slowest woman to do it last year did it in about 2 hours.  I secretly decide to go out and try to do the loop.  If I can do one loop right now in one hour, then I was going to go ahead and try to train for the 2 loop race.  I wasn't going to tell Jeremy until I had tried the loop first.  I wasn't sure wether he'd try to discourage me or not (because I'm slow, not because he's unsupportive or anything).

I'm making dinner this evening and he comes and says he doesn't think he's going to do Battle the Bear.  When I ask why he says he's doing too many races and he doesn't want to spend the money for the race fee, and that that way he can support me in my race.  Apparently he thought the Beti Bike Bash was the same day.  I tell him it's not, but a month later.  I then come clean and confess my secret Battle the Bear plans and he's all for it.  (There's also kids' races at both events which will be fun)

So yeah.  I might race my mountain bike after all.  I AM really slow though...