So today was the first day of my last week in Blacksburg. It will be sad to leave… but I think I’m just about ready to get out of here. I mailed all my stuff to California last week and have been living out of my suitcase. 242 is all packed up and we are in the process of painting and cleaning the rugs. What a fun house… so many great memories. Riding has kind of been put on the back burner… packing and moving has kind of taken over my life… but I get out a few times a week and have been running a lot. The pup is doing well and he went trail running for the first time on Saturday. I finally found a home for my precious pony… but I can get him back in a couple years. Big Chevy is staying in VA, and I’m flying out with the dog and the bikes. I can’t wait!
So a lot has happened in the past few months. Probably the most significant being graduation. I received a Bachelor’s of Science in Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University… phew, try to fit all that on a class ring! Significant event #2: I was accepted to the graduate school at San Diego State University. I will be working on a concurrent/dual masters’ degrees in Nutritional Sciences and Exercise Physiology. I’ll be chillin in Blacksburg until August, just working on the farm, then moving to SoCal. #3: I got a puppy! His name is Harlin and he looks like a German Shepherd/schnauzer cross thing. He eats paper.
This past weekend a buch of us from Blacksburg went down to Wilkesboro, NC for the BURN 24 Hour Mountain Bike Challenge. My team (the Clumsy Hammjobs) won the female team division and got $250! unfortuneately that wasn’t even as much as the entry fee. We only had 4 people, but one of them was the infamous Laura Hamm. 24 HOURS of racing, and we on by 2 minutes! WTF. It was neck and neck the whole race, but in the end Jennie Belt dominated the last lap and we won. We had an AMAZING time camping, riding, drinking and just hanging out. And like I said at 2:45 AM as I was heading out for my double lap in the rain… I LOVE Mountain Biking!!!
We are entering week 3 of the collegiate cycling season. What a blast. There is nothing I LOVE more than cramming into a van with 12 sweaty dudes after a long hard race 🙂 But seriously…. there is nothing greater than collegiate cycling. These past two weekends have been down in Raleigh… meaning we get to stay with the McDonnells in Chapel Hill. It amazes me how they can provide beds and food for over 20 hungry college students, two weeks in a row! RR # 1: 54 miles with the 1,2 women. There was a break, but none of the collegiate riders were in it. i won the field sprint and therefore the collegiate race. The crit the next day was also with the 1,2 women. I stayed with the field and ended up lapping most of the collegiate riders who had been dropped early. Nicole from UNC is really strong and stayed with the field too, so it was a sprint between the two of us for the collegiate race. RR #2: 46 miles with the Men’s B field. Nicole and I stayed with the guys and finished in the field. I was sooo excited… never been able to stay with the guys before. I don’t think they were going very hard though. The crit was kind of lame. There were only 3 of us, so the first half of the race was more of a parade. I eventually got bored, attacked and rode away.
My training has been going pretty well. The B ride on Tues afternoons has been super helpful. we have been practicing chasing, bridging, attacking, pace lining, lead outs and sprinting. The rides are pretty intense and definitely leave me hurting… but I am learning a lot about bike racing.
This week I’m going up to Cadence with Lyd for a brief visit then to Annapolis for the Naval Academy race. Should be fun!!!
This past Saturday was the annual Owen Cup… kind of a pre-season tune up for the team. It was a great time, a bunch of the guys from the team last year came into town, oh and the weather was perfect! Who says global warming is bad? Anything that makes it 60 degrees in February is ok in my book. Anyway the first lap was kind of a cluster f*ck of being dropped on the climbs and catching up on the descents. The second lap was much better and I got to work on pace lining with a few people. It was a tough 60 miles… but I definitely feel ready for the first collegiate race THIS WEEKEND!
I am officially out of all money, food and gas. There is $4.16 in my bank account and I had a cupcake and half a bag of popcorn that I found in the garbage for dinner… stupid economy. Right now I am watching Heros with my roommate. What a weird show. I don’t really understand it… it is retarded…or maybe I’m just retarded.
Whoa… It has been a while. Winter break was amazing. I spent some time in NYC w/ Dan, NoVA w/ the fam, and a week in Colorado w/ my snowboard and some pretty awesome folks. As far as training goes… meh. I’m definitely glad to be back in school… but kind of depressed to think that these are my last few months in Blacksburg. Guess I’ll just have to make the most of what is left. My applications to the master’s degree programs in Exercise Science at Oregon State and Colorado State have been submitted, and San Diego State should be out this weekend. My classes this semester are going to be sweet. Despite switiching majors halfway through my junior year… I only need to take 2 classes to graduate on time; Senior Seminar Writing & Discourse and Metabolic Nutrition (part deux). I am taking Clinical Exercise Phys., Exercise & Neuromuscular Performance and Nutrition & Physical Performance for fun, and so that I can still get health insurance and race my bicycle.
So I’m trying this new self coaching thing… errr well sort of. I’m pretty much just repeating what I did last year (thanks Mike!) except I don’t have to pay for it… hahahahahaha take that Cadence. Some things have been adapted though. Anyway, as of today i’ve done 14 hours this week, should be doing 2 tomorrow then 4 on Sunday for a grand total of 20 hours. jeez… That is like a part time job. I only got to ride the horses twice this week, so I’ll definitely have to ride them lots this weekend. I LOVE IT!
Today marks day 4 of my offical adventure race training. I ran for 45 minutes. Add 23 hours and 15 minutes to that and that’s the race… no problem, right? My new shoes came today so I took them out for a spin. Of course I stepped in a huge wad of dog shit. I wiped it off on the porch of the Republicans’ house next door. So if McCain wins and they run outside to celebrate…. boom . dog shit. And if Obama wins and sadly walk outside to sit on the porch and mope… boom. dog shit. Hahahaha. I win either way.
A word of advice: never buy the cereal King Vitamin. Despite the sweet looking box, there cereal is quite crappy. Imagine Cap’n Crunch… take away the sugar… make it the shape of a pointy crown that tears the hell out of the roof of your mounth and Voila!… King Vitamin. The riddles on the back of the box are really lame too. Q :”What is King Vitamin’s favorite cereal?” A: “King Vitamin!” I don’t even think a kid would find that amusing in any way.
Last week two of my friends asked me if I would compete in the USARA 24-Hour Adventure Race Nationals with them in Georgia on Nov. 7. Apparently you have to have co-ed teams, and the girl that qualified with them is in nursing school and could not compete. Naturally I said yes… without considering the fact that I have never done an adventure race, let alone a 24 hour one. I don’t even think I have ever stayed up for 24 straight hours before.
I figured I should probably try to get my running legs back and do a few training runs before the race. I didn’t really remember why I stopped running, I mean I wasn’t injured or anything…. but I literally hadn’t run in weeks, maybe even a month. I grabbed my running shoes and started to slip them on, realizing that the sole was falling off and there was a crack all the way across the bottom from when I stepped on a stick training for Xterra Nats over a year ago. The baby had done peed the bath tub. I couldn’t possibly run in these things. I found my trail runners and put those on and went out for a run. I looked down and noticed that I could see both my big and little toes on my left foot. I also noticed this annoying creaking in the right shoe and remembered when the shoes started making that noise… 3 YEARS AGO! Then I remembered why I stopped running… I didn’t have functional running shoes.
So I went to RunAbout with my roomate to get some new shoes. I told them I needed a size 10.5 in preferably a trail shoe but would like to try on some road runners too. They came back out with a huge stack of shoes and said they didn’t have ANY 10.5 but there were some 10s I could try out. No 10.5s? Not even one pair… seriously, is that such an odd size? I tried on all the shoes and surprise surprise they were all too small. They said if I ordered a pair they could be in by Friday… which would be extremely usefull because we were leaving for the race on Thursday. I said no thanks and went over to BackCountry to see what they had. Again they did not have any 10.5s or even 10s for that matter. They kept bringing me 9.5s to try on. Finally I said…. Look dude, no matter how many pairs of 9.5s you bring me, my foot is still 10.5 and it ain’t getting any smaller anytime soon. I gave up went home and ordered a pair online.
My teammate took me out for an Adventure Race training session last night. We left around 8PM on our mountain bikes, rode to the top of Brush Mtn. and ditched our bikes in the woods. We ran down the other side following the trails for a few miles and ended up on a road on the far side of the mountain. We got out the map and compass, followed a creek bed for a mile or so then bushwhacked back up Brush Mtn. Covered in blood from hiking through thick brush in the dark, we finally found a fire road and ran on that the rest of the way to the top and found our bikes. It is now around midnight and we ride down the mountian on probably the sketchiest trail I have ever been on— 8 track. We ended up on Buckshot Ln., took that to Glade and rode the 6 or so miles back to to town. We were out for about 4.5 hours in total… so I just have to do that six times in a row without sleeping… easy as pie. I really don’t get that saying. Pie is so not easy to make. Maybe if you buy one of those pre-made crusts and dump a can of goo into it… but I make real pie and it is fricken hard.