Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Team Training Camp

Wow, we have a really AWESOME team!!! That is the overwhelming thought I have after this past weekend. Seven of us (Kym, Shannon, Lisa, Star, Emily, Tanya, Catherine) went to Pisgah National Forest in Brevard, North Carolina for a team camp with one of our sponsors, Scott Wagner of Wagner Research. Scott is a Pathologist/ author/teacher from Indiana who has been a great supporter of our team for the past few years. We love all of our sponsors but Scott has a special place in our hearts; he'll put up with a cabin full of crazy cycling women for a weekend!!! He was grossly outnumbered and I am sure quite overwhelmed at many points during the weekend.... THANKS AGAIN SCOTT!! We really couldn't do this without people like you. Gina, Paula and Jamie had other commitments and missed all the fun. Next time ladies, next time....

As I have already mentioned, for 2008 we have an elite mountain bike team AND our newly formed road team. Well the trip to Pisgah is traditionally a mountain bike weekend. This was fine, Star is a recovering adventure racer and Lisa is a "Jack of all Trades" so they are both just as at home on the dirt. Catherine is our one "roadie"... she has ordered herself a mountain bike this year but as of last Saturday, had never been on the dirt. Time to fix that!! Catherine got her first dose of mountain biking Saturday on a rental bike (thanks Scott!!). Our 2008 team bikes are on the way but just missed us for the weekend. We took a little pity on Catherine and decided to ride slow and easy to break her in to mountain biking. We headed to DuPont State Forest Saturday morning and CATHERINE ROCKS!!! She rode everything and we even got her on a little teeter totter before the day was up. What a fun day. I would also like to thank the unsuspecting Forest Service personnel who allowed 7 hungry mountain bike women to fill up their bottles; we only "borrowed" a few of their snacks in the kitchen....

After riding for 4+ hours we headed back to the cabin for a shower, some food and an afternoon of shopping; we are women after all. One of the local outdoor stores was having a huge sale and it was too much to pass up.

It was also Emily's 15th birthday on Sunday so we had to have an excuse to get a gift (the shopping) and a cake. I have never met a group of women that are worse at keeping a secret for a whole three hours. It is a good thing that Emily is not terribly observant because we pretty much told her numerous times "hey, we got you a present and a cake, surprise". It actually became comical after a while.

After a huge dinner at what I have deemed "world's best buffet" we had our little surprise party, lots of giggling and then headed to bed.

Sunday was more great riding, we split up and some of us went to Pisgah for mountain bike fun while the others (including Catherine) went for a nice road ride. The weekend went by WAY TOO FAST... next time it has to be longer. It was such fun experience, not only the phenomenal riding we got in, but the team bonding. I know that everyone is just as excited as I am for race season to start.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

...and Cross Season is Over.

This past weekend was the last cross race of my "off season racing". We have a team weekend coming up for the last race of the Knoxville series and that is the last one of the year. I am a bit sad that it is over already...I've had a lot of fun. If you look at the photos, I've even almost gotten competant at it!! In the process I've won the TN State Championships and the TBRA series jersey. Not bad for a self proclaimed "clutz" that is NOT a cross racer. Okay, maybe I'm a little bit of a cross racer after this winter. I swear it is all the bike. It is my favorite bike I own right now. Thanks Specialized!!

Saturday's race was great. The weather was nice and sunny and I LOVE the course we were racing... what a great way to end the season. We lined up 8 women and I never looked back. It was a slight uphill start into a headwind, I should have probably drafted a bit, but I wanted the hole shot and was willing to do a bit extra work to get it. Sometimes you have those days where you just feel "on" and today was one of them. I felt like I was floating around the course. My Power Tap was telling me I was working hard but it didn't feel like it. I have been doing all of my cross races with a Power Tap, the cross thing has been first and foremost about training for me, (can't you tell??) so I want the numbers. Call me a coaching geek but I am what I am. I have had more than one race that I did not like what it said but today was different, today it said "go Kym, you are killing it...". Yes, I talk to all my equipment, not just the bike.

I won. It was a good day. I turned really fast laps too. We started behind the men today and I caught most of them. I turned as fast of laps as they did. FUN. I wish every day on the bike could be like this!!!

Mountain bike season starts in four weeks and we have a road race in three weeks. Whew. I hope I am ready.

Thanks for reading...