Thursday, August 31, 2006


If you can't learn to do something well, learn to enjoy doing it poorly.

Monday, August 28, 2006


Tammi and I did the pre-ride together and it went well, at least the first lap on the second I somehow wiped out on the third bridge and fell into the water. I know Tammi was hesitant to come to this race given her hip issues and oh yeah those dam tire issues too. I can't let her fool me though, she may whine and get frustrated on the pre-ride but when race day comes she is balls to the wall no stopping her. This is what I like about her attitude and work ethic. She even finds time to bake or cook something up special for the team for race weekend.

Well it was a great day for a race, temps in the mid 70's and just a little sun.
I started off slow knowing the hill climb is so long. I started to kick it up a notch just as we were headed into the single track passing whomever I could. Feeling good despite my slow start. I kept plugging away and sure thing I was able to see the orange blaze ahead, that of my teammates, Tammi and Cathy. I could see I was gaining time and anxiously awaited to hang with my team members for the first time in a race this season. They usually Kick my ass and I NEVER see the whites of there eyes. All my riding is starting to pay off. I finally caught up to Tammi and passed her at the water hole and just around the corner was able to get behind Cathy. It's too bad that they don't wait for me to catch up :), which would be a nice gesture since we are teammates and all, but I forget this is a race. The technical rocky sections demanded full attention so there is not much time to socialize especially in a race, ha ha I know better. So the course was a bit tacky but not too bad in some sections where it was relatively dry that is on the first two laps. I was keeping a good steady pace and keeping the bike under control from wipeouts. I almost felt like Mikey in the single track for a moment or two. For awhile it seemed like I was just passing Sport Men and so I felt like I was way behind to the front group. My brother-in-law Tony will be upset with me for not being in the top 10 going into the single track, and I would not be in this mess if I would of listened. I think I am afraid of blowing up my heart rate too soon on hill start, I will eventually get over this. I do recall his MTB boot camp lessons as I race and try hard to incorporate this with each lap which is not easy. I started to fatigue on the top of the third lap climb in the single track. It was killing me to ride in the big gears and I tried to shift down and the inevitable happened once again, click, click, click and no luck. I mustered my way up dying in this gear, I felt SOO SLOW, got out of the single track, off my bike to spin my pedals to get it into gear and NO LUCK. I had to walk my bike up the grassy hill to the flats to get back on. My legs were feeling like lead and I was getting exhausted especially since the singletrack turned to peanut butter. Mean while, while I was not shifting into a better gear, low and behold there was Greisbach passing me probably smiling all the way to the finish line. I tried to catch her but I could not for the life of me. The group must of been just ahead because Greisbach caught a few and had a great finish, top 10! Then to really top it off Cathy Passed me somewhere on the third lap and that was it for my Triumph. Well once I got to the top it got better and I could live with the gears for the rest of the race. Felt great to fly down the hill to the finish except for the last twisty steep downhill section that slowed me to a halt. Had to take it cautiously and made my way through. All of a sudden I hear a female voice, turned my head around, behind me was Klipp the famous roadie just behind me. The flight or fear gave me goose bumps and courage I never had before, dodge it to the finish I thought. All of a sudden I see this HUGE mud puddle at the bottom of the hill, no going around it just straight through, praying for life I don't wipe out before the finish. I took a straight line and closed my eyes and I made it! Dashing to the finish line within seconds of Klipp. I have to say it was great to have a bit of glory at this last race even though I did not finish in the top of the field.

Thursday, August 24, 2006


My husband TY has noticed this year that the women racing in WORS look leaner and meaner than previous years of competition. Of course my husband would be so observant of such things as looking at other women:) He tells me that these women look leaner and more athletic then previous years and it appears more women and young girls are taking mountain biking seriously than just your weekend jo. I agree with him and recall races where I am pushing it and think I am fast only to get passed by a younger girl in her pink bike who looks like she is not even hurting. I think this is a great sport and very enjoyable, including the tough competition. Yeah, I have goals just like a bunch of us when it comes to racing. Sometimes we succeed and other times we fail to meet our own expectations, but it is the competition that drives us to behave in some fantastic, unbelievable ways that in the end make us a stronger individuals personally. Keeping this fun and having a personal challenge is what this is all about. Keeping a fresh perspective towards the end of a season is what keeps me determined to push my own envelope.

Monday, August 14, 2006


Ty and I had a blast this weekend and it was sure nice to have a weekend free from the race scene. We started off Friday night with a nice Italian dinner at Maggiano's just around the corner from us. We like the Rigatonni D pasta and always have leftovers to take home. Having leftovers works out after a long ride the next day. Just pop it in the microwave and, Wa La! We decided not to cook again and actually relax instead of preparing at home. We both love to cook but sometimes it takes up too much time and we don't have time to actually relax and enjoy each others company.

Saturday morning Ty washed the dirt off the MTB from the last race in preparation for hitting the trails at Kettle Moraine today. We had intentions of going early but we both got tied up in conversations with the neighbors and one thing leads to another and it is soon noon time and nothing is done. We decide to pop in on Tony and Ulla to see how they are doing with their new bundle of joy. When we arrived mom and dad were both relaxing in the back yard with Francisco but not for long. I think maybe they were able to sneak in 15 mins or so before he let them know he needed another diaper changed. Good thing Mikey and Chemain brought them those extra diapers. He is a growing boy and is getting more handsome by the minute. Ulla looks great as usual, you would never know she just had a baby.

Here are some pictures to share:

Tony, Ulla, Francisco and Grandma
Uncle TY and Francisco
Auntie Christine and Francisco

After the family social visit, we headed off to the Kettles for some fun riding. The trails are awesome! They have new sections of single track in the beginning that are twisty single track fun and then there is even more new single track on the way to Emma Carlin. We had a blast and I am seriously thinking of doing the Fall Colors Festival this year because it is really a nice course. Who ever put in the new additions of the single track really know their stuff. I think this was one of the rare rides that I am not braking every two seconds due to sharp corners or 360 degree turns. The single track flows very nice and you can really go fast which makes it a hell of a lot of fun! After riding we decided to stop in at the local store La Grange for a quick bite before the long ride home. We happened to run into Doug Baily working, it sure was nice to see him again. He looks great and I think he is back on his bike riding. He is still recovering but overall doing well. He took us out to the garage where his crashed rig was stored, it looks bad. He said he has had attorneys investigating on the crash and they also got an analysis from Trek of what they say most likely caused him to crash. Something is very fishy... How in the world could one just get a flat and crash your bike this bad? He was just riding near a grassy ditch on the road. I hope things work out for him. I think it really is difficult not being able to race in WORS especially after having such a great start to his season.

Sunday we headed down to New Lennox IL where my cousin had us over for a family pool party. We had a blast, the weather was perfect and it was good to see my dads brother uncle Jerry. Karls wife made some tasty Sangria and lets say it was a perfect way to end a perfect weekend.

Saturday, August 12, 2006


No, I did not finish a marathon race, the EPIC "Madness" is this dam new computer charting system Froedtert/Medical College installed. It now takes me 10 minutes to write a prescription rather than a few seconds to hand write it on paper. I spent 3 1/2 hours cleaning out my "computer" inbox on Friday morning, thank GOD I did not have any patients to see or I would of been up shit creek. Every 5 minutes something new pops up in my box that I have to take care of from phone messages to lab results to stress test results and refills for meds, it is INSANE! Get this, I finally cleaned out my box after lunch and at 3:45 PM on Friday I had 8 stress test results clicked into my inbox that I had to address. I work for 5 cardiologists and my partner was gone for the day and I was covering her inbox too. To understand where I am coming from you have to pull the patients chart, review the reason the stress test and why it was ordered, then make sure the patient is ok and if the test was positive, you then have to get them in for an appointment soon or that day depending on symptoms. This process alone for each patient can take up to one hour per patient. I love my job as a nurse practitioner and love to see patients but this has gone beyond to what I call a "glorified medical secretary". I am spending endless time on the computer and it takes away from what I really love. I was so upset the other day that when I came home from work, I went for the best training ride of my life. If I had raced that day I would of smoked the competition. I just had to get this off my chest. I think I would make a better sales lady then a secretary, maybe I'll get a job as a drug rep and can this job. Health care is really getting out of hand and I am getting burnt out on it.

Monday, August 07, 2006


Well it was a great weekend and it looks like everyone had a good time at the final year of Calumet racing. Ty and I arrived on Friday night to set up camp early and relax. Mikey and
Chemain joined us for a few brewskies and a fire to start off the weekend right. The rest of the gang joined us on Saturday making for a spectacular social gathering. A fresh pot of Alterra French Roast was brewing to start off the morning and the best part is Mikey's specialty French toast he prepared for us, I did not know the boy could boil water, he must of been showin off to his gal. Speaking of his gal...It's about time Chemain join the gang for the weekend. She certainly was a trooper and had no problems acclimating to the outdoors, infact
look here what was she thinking of recycling her tissue for reuse?

So with a hearty breakfast in my belly I was ready to attack the course. Anyway the pre-ride went well, the course was dry and fast and the new added single track sections were fun. I accompanied Dan and Cindy on the pre-ride and we practiced the new sections a few times over. Cindy certainly should consider racing one of these days, for someone who does not bike much she certainily ran through the tough sections like a pro without any problems. After the pre-ride I went back to camp to eat and get ready for the shower.
Mike and Jo arrived and they were off for the pre-ride and finally towards the end of the afternoon, Carlos and Sonia joined in.
Tammi arrived with her sister a little after 2:00 pm.
Ty went off to go swimming with Mikey, Chemain and the gang. Dinner time went in shifts and Jo and I were smart to start cooking first before the rest of the gang arrives for dinner. Two gas burners and a dozen hungry bikers all with finicky tastes, preparing pasta several different ways, makes for an eventful evening. My favorite pasta dish is Penne Pasta with a good olive oil, sauted with lots of garlic, fresh basil and chicken, yummy. After dinner we all sat around the campfire and relaxed and headed off to bed at a reasonalbe time.

I think it was around 5:30 Am and I had to get up to pee, just as I got back into the tent I think it started raining. It seemed to be raining pretty steady and I fell back to sleep until 9:00 AM which is pretty late for TY and I on race day. I was already passed my breakfast time and had no caffeine in me so I felt a little rushed in the morning, but I did not let it get to me. Jo was preparing to get ready to race and it was nice to see her so chipper on a gloomy damp morning. I put a pot of coffee on the burner and proceeded to eat my breakfast with some time to relax.

10:45 AM came too soon and it was time to get ready and get on the bike. Sonia and I headed out to do laps on the road and as we were warming up I saw Linda and Katie getting ready in the parking lot unfortunately not getting a chance to chit chat before the race. After the warm up I tried to keep spinning, I hate waiting for the start.

Sometime around 11:20 AM or so, I wait for the infamous GO000000000000000000000000000000! We were off and I was having a great start and got to the front. I remember feeling good and it felt as if we were going a bit slow, but hell, I sucked a wheel and let the leaders pull. Sonia was smart and broke away from the group to be the first one to the single track. Sonia told me later that the person pulling, I think it was a KILLJOY chick was not happy about pulling 30 girls so she held back the pace in the front. This worked out perfectly for those who were conserving their energy for the single track hill climb that was to emerge after the 2 mile lead out. Well, unfortunately the entrance to the single track even though it is wide open, people start to pass on the downhill and you have to keep on alert and call out your moves or someone always gets hurt. Well the downhill went well and we were off to more lead out on the grass along the lake. I was feeling the effects of the grassy lead out and felt a bit of relief on that small section of pavement to pick up some more speed. I was starting to get passed by a few until we hit the start of the grassy climb onto the single track. I was able to step up the pedal strokes and suck it up the hill as best as I could. The first lap on the single track hill had a lot of divits from the runners earlier that day which made it a little tricky on the climb. Finally to the top and down and up again and relief was in site, caught my breath and off I went. I pretty much kept a great pace for each lap and was a bit cautious on the first lap on the downhills where it was a bit slick or tacky on the corners. Along the way here and there hearing familiar voices say hi. I knew that the section of single track that is off camber would be a challenge for some and I took advantage of opportunity and had stayed clear of wipeouts. Shifting problems remain, and was not able to use the granny gear at all, so I suffered on most of those hills. I think I was able to use the granny once or twice during the race luckily on the start hill, although I can't remember. I was back and forth with Greisbach until the last lap hill climb, I stepped it up a notch and was hoping to create a gap. I kept it up and did not look back until I hit the swooping, winding singletrack and rock gardens and no one was in site. I was feeling good all the way to the finish line.

Unfortunately after the race I find out that one of our Alterra members got hurt and no one really new the details. I did not see it happen but Katie went down on the downhill section of the start and then got ran over. I guess from talking to her sister Linda it was pretty bad and it happend so fast it was hard to describe what all transpired. Katie I guess was wisked away to a tiny little hospital and found to have internal parts of her ankle broken, tibia and fibula breaks. She is awaiting surgery this Thursday at St. Lukes Hosptial in Milwaukee. Katie is a mother of 5 children and these times will be tough. Who the hell ran over her?

Thursday, August 03, 2006


I am so excited, our new tent arrived that we purchased at REI the other day. We chose the North Face Trail Head 8 as our new palace. I am glad that TY finally saw it "MY WAY" that the Kelty Mantra 7 was a sweat box and I need room to breathe. One night in that tent and I felt like I was in a sauna. The Trail Head 8 is perfect in size and I will be able to stand up and make our bed and even store our bikes inside the two vestibules. Don't get me wrong, I love tent camping and would never think of the RV thing, but I need space and I don't need a tent that I can carry on my back to go hiking. Hell, maybe now that we have such a large tent it will dampen my loud snoring. Hopefully it will stay dry tonight and Ty can set it up and test it out before setting it up in the dark on Friday night at Calumet. I can't wait for this weekend! Just as I pulled in the driveway tonight, after a bike ride, Ty just finished the set up and it looks like he is quite happy!