Thursday, November 17, 2011

Off season well at least the start...


Well it’s definitely fall out there and starting to look a little like winter also.  Can’t complain Mother Nature has been really nice to us giving us fairly warm weather into November now and last year at this time I was already listening to my trainer hum and my Husband sing to his music on while he is training also.  On average lately I have been able to get in like 9 hours a week plus or minus a few hours not bad for the fall and with the time change.  I can see that coming to an end fairly soon it looked like a blizzard out there today.   This can only mean indoor training is coming soon.

Indoor training has started a little with learning of riding rollers.  I was so scared of rollers last year and still pretty scared to start on them this year but I knew I just had to get pasted that.  So some new stuff has come my way with the selling of my old trainer to picking up a new trainer and my husband & I are now sharing a set of rollers.  So all I have to say is wow.  My coach, Dino, prescribed me to do at least 15mins every day no matter what on those darn rollers and here I thought it was going to be torture.  Lol Nope not anymore.  I start with the thought of oh my god I don’t think I can do this on the first day to the second day home by myself alone to let myself just do it…And yup I got it can believe it.  The roller tricks were on after this point.  I can now drink water out of my bottle a major plus and standing up to relieve the pressure on my butt lol….The best part about the rollers is I’ve already found that it has made me more balanced outside. 

Just my thoughts for today have a good night.

shell

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Better late then never...Provincial tt


Starting to get ready for our trip to see coach Dino in California for our gift to us trip at the end of a long season that was planned for even before the season started but first I still want to tell you about my provincial time trial that happened way back in August.

I know I know I was good at getting on top of my posts but now the season is done it’s a little harder to get around to my posts but I still wanna remember this race.  The provincial time trial happened in Ottawa well an hour east of Ottawa.  So traveled 7hrs the day before the race to town to be able to preride the course.  The course was a 4 corner course easy as pie right?  Apparently not.  My husband and I battled construction traffic in downtown Ottawa and finally made it to our hotel an hour and half longer than what it should have taken us but we were finally able to get to the race course to preride it.  I did the course 3 times and 3 times I tried to make a wrong turn so it was enviable that I did it on race day.  During the preride managed to find the only rain of the day on the course but that helped for race day let me tell ya.  So driving rain and heavy wind that seemed like it wanted to take my front wheel for a ride of it’s own.  It took all of my weight on the front end of the bike to keep it where I wanted it to go. What a day.  The day of the second most important race for me of this year the weather wasn’t that great to start I at least got through my warm up before it started raining.  Then while in the line up to get my bike checked it started spitting…Then in the start house it start raining a little more.  For the second time of this season when the count down happened in the start house and when I was told to go the holder didn’t let go.  So I pushed off for the second time and he finally let go.  Of course I thought my race was doomed from the start because of the way I was heading down the ramp, which was steep and short, but I got through it and I was mad.  I was a locomotive going into my first corner which I thought in my mind was not a corner.  I caught my minute person on the street that paralleled the back straight.  Now it’s raining full on.  My breathing was great at this point very fluid with my pedal stroke.  I felt so good.  I could just see my 2 minute person down the rode far down the rode.  Last corner on the course which was getting pretty slick from the rain. In and out of the corner was fine.  Going down the last straight away.  I can now fully see my 2min person down the road.  I focused on her and getting past her. Midway past the last corner I managed to pass my 2min person she gave me a good job and I was on my way.  I see another intersection coming up and guess what I did.  Yes I did it I turn right where I was suppose to just keep on going straight.  I could not believe I did that.  So I grabbed a fist full of front brake it wasn’t slowing me down.  So I grabbed the back brake…eeek not a good idea.  Back end of the bike came around and I saw my life flash for a couple seconds then let go of the brakes and got turned around and back on track. Back on track and going like mad again especially into the finish god I was happy I was done that race.  Could of lost it all on that one corner.  Can’t wait til next year.

Keep the rubber side down which I was apparent able during this one.


shell :-)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Niagara Classic


So it’s been quite a summer of racing.  I’ve had a few more races since my last post and still have a couple that I want to blog about to remember down the road. 

Niagara Classic was one of those races.  It was threatening rain kinda the whole day.  Only 13 of lined up on the start line that day which I was surprised about.  Pretty much the cream of the crop showed up.  We settled into a moderate pace on the first lap until we hit the climb on the course.  Well the girls flew up that first climb.  I made sure that I stayed in the group not on the front not on the back but that didn’t help on that first climb.  So the time trial was on middle of the climb no less.  The fight was on now to get back to the main group and there were a couple of girls in between the main group and me.  We did some work together taking turns and rotating to get back up there and we finally made it up to the group.

At that point I had 2 options merging into the group again.  To put on my brakes and filter into the back of the group or go past the group and see how it went.  I chose the latter.  I went off the front from the back of the group rode really hard to get away.  Someone told me a while ago if you try to get away from a group go as hard as you can for a good 30s to see if you get away and look back to see if anybody or the group has come with you and if you are free don’t look back.  Thank you G it worked this time.  So I was off and running.  Up the climb by myself this time around with family and husband on the side of the road watching and wondering what the hell I was doing off the front.  At this point I just wanted to ride it like I stole it.  I think I had a full lap by myself and Sue P came like a cannon was shot off past me.  Sue P was looking back at me seeing if I could catch up to her to latch on to her to go a couple rounds on the course but I couldn’t match her speed.  So off she went and now I was between her and the main group.   On that lap going up the hill I was caught by and past by the main group and now I was out the back of the race a very similar situation for me.   

Off the front, in the pack, and then out the back of a race but the fight was still in me.  I could still see the group in front of me so I continued on fighting to get back up with them.  I went another couple of laps by myself trying everything I had to catch back up to the group.  Which I did on the last lap on the last corner going up towards the last climb of the day.  Sara B's reaction of me getting back to the group was priceless and awesome…”Shelly you’re back” yes that was a great feeling.  They then speed up a little bit and I was gone again but at this point it didn’t matter to me I just loved the factor that I got back and that I was close to end of this race.  The last climb was torture and pushed so hard my asthma didn’t like me by the end.  Oh well another Niagara Classic in the books and this time I was very happy with my 7th placing a very well deserved placing.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Tour of Catskills


Now this is an unreal stage race 3 stages.  Stage 1 19k time trial, stage 2 105k road race including devils kitchen climb and stage 3 95k road race.   

I cannot believe how smooth the time trial course was it was unreal.  I’ve never been on a smoother course ever.  We were on 1min start gaps between riders.  Now since I have left it so long I can’t remember if I pasted riders on the way out but I know I passed riders on the way back.  At one point I was playing a back and forth game between another rider we were so close and on this course we couldn’t go outside of the white on the shoulder of the road or we could get disqualified.  The rule made sense cause of the traffic on the road.  So finally the last time I was behind this one particular ride she said not to draft her and I wasn’t trying to because I know the rules about drafting.  So the fire got lite under my butt but I guess it wasn't enough of a fire at the end of the day I was in 5th place only 5s out of 3rd place and couldn’t believe it.

The next day I wasn’t really looking forward to stage 2 because of the devils kitchen climb just not knowing the climb was killing me.  I almost got dropped a couple of times out of the main group at the beginning of the race but worked really hard to get back into back of the group.  I played it smart in this race I didn’t stay at the front for very long when I pulled.  I do believe the switch in my head went off at the provincial road about the amount of work I did in the race and controlling myself which was perfect timing.  So back to stage 2 and devils kitchen.  I have never ridden/raced up a hill like this in my short little racing career.  WOW. It was funny when I turned the corner and saw this hill it was like holy crap you want me to go up this how the hell am I going to do this??? Had to definitely mailbox up this hill, which means I had to criss cross on the road to cut the steepness down but atlas I had to at one point get off my bike because I just couldn’t breathe.  So once I got my breath back and was able to find a somewhat flat part of the road I got back on my bike and started going again.  At some point of the climb I was pulling so hard on the handlebars that my shoulders were slightly coming out of place and yup I was definitely using muscles climbing up this hill that I have never used before.  Once I final got over this climb I thought for sure I was going to get a decent down hill nope I was not so lucky.  More rollers and some roads that was still slight going up sheesh but I finally found the finish line on this stage and went over if.  The weather pretty much waited till the last few ks to start raining, which I was very happy about.  So that was stage 2 of 3.  Finished 8th in the stage and slid back to 6th place in the GC.

Sunday was another road race that started and finished at a ski lodge of course now I can’t remember the name of the place but very nice location.  Started this stage with 26 women from the 30 that we originally started with on stage 1.  I do have to say being in the top 10 of a stage race is pretty neat because each stage you’re in the top 10 you get a call up at the beginning of that stage freaking cool.  So we were off and running into the last stage.  It was feeling more like a group ride at the beginning, which was nice because I think everybody was pretty baked from stage 2 race I know I was.  The race profile kinda lied a little bit about this stage cause with looking at it it didn’t look that rolly but oh my gosh there were no really flat parts on this race.  The road was either going up or going down and it felt like every corner we turned went towards another hill.  The group was pretty much stayed together until we got into some super rollers and of course the one time that I was not close to the front of the race was when 3 girls just rode off the front of the race and were gone.  I was pissed with myself about that but what can you do I wasn’t in the right spot this time.  So as the rollers continued a long the course the group kept on getting smaller then it was just 2 other girls and me.  This change up happened after the 2nd kom and after another major steep climb on a road called airport road.  This climb was similar to the devils kitchen steepness but this time I did not get off of my bike to walk I made sure that I did the mailboxing going up the climb and got myself to the top and was able to pass a couple girls because they were walking a portion of the climb.  That was a huge boost to my confidence for climbing and being able to get up that hill.  So the other 2 girls caught up with me and continued to share pulls on the front but when we were going down the descents I was getting down them at a faster speed then the others but they would catch me on the up hills.  I was hoping I wasn’t driving them crazy with that but it’s just how it played out.   Now we were finally getting on to roads that I was recognizing so I knew the finish was coming which I was extremely happy about…On the final stretch of road into the ski place we were still sharing the load of being on the front and then once we got into the parking lot it was on…And since I have such a great sprint lol especially going up a slight hill I rolled over the finish line from the group of 3 last.  Overall I was extremely happy about my performance for this race.  It was great racing with girls that I was competitive with and that I was not out classed completely.  Final finishing was 8th place on the last stage and 6th in GC.

At this point I can’t wait til Green Mountain Stage Race which now is only 5 days til the first stage.

to be continued again I know...

So many races


I have been a little delinquent with my blogs lately yes I know it’s been over a month since the last posting and I have done so many races since then.  Hmmm how many races has it been eek. 

Master club time trial, Tour of Terra Cotta, Tour of Catskills, Niagara Classic and the Provincial time trial wow do I ever have to catch up.

Tour of Terra Cotta was a mass start road mixed mens and womens race and of all different levels from P1 men to M1 men to P1 women and so on. This was such a hot race all around holy crap wow.  Hot weather and hot pace.  I managed to get in with a good group people after I got dropped from the main group pretty much going up the first hill on the first lap.  We worked quite well as a group and then we gained some guys from the Midweek club and well the rotating paceline that we had going on was out the window.  Not a big deal stayed in with this group until the end of the race. Picked up more people as the race went on including my husband and Sara from the Juvederm-Specialized team.  In the end Laura from P-K, Sara and I sprint for the finish because we were all in the same age category cause this race was age based.  Managed to actually win some money at this race, which was pretty cool in the overall women’s classification.

to be continued...

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Provincial Road Race


So I have this new warmup that I have been doing before most races as prescribed by Coach Dino which has been helping a lot to get me ready for racing.  It has been helping so much.

So yes provincial road race as a master A just like nationals unlike Ontario cup races where I race as a Senior 2.  We line up on the start line and start waiting.  Four different categories are starting together the master As and Bs, the junior and cadet girls.  You can tell whom the junior and cadet girls are but figuring out who the master As and Bs are is a little harder.  You’ll have to wait for the finish for me to explain that.  So the start line we are waiting for our follow car and well to let off a little nervousness I let one ripper of a belch off whowa that helped a lot and well all the girls and ladies laughed a little which was nice to see.  Oh yes I have to also say that this race started with a neutral start on a gravel piece of road because of where the start line was at the top of a roller.  So we are off I get my clip in foot in right away but others have problems because of the types of pedals they are running.

Finally on the road and rolling and under way with the race.  The course is pretty rollie as we had already come a few weeks prior to the race to look at the course and wow what a shock to the system.  It was a pretty warm morning to start already pretty humid.  Oh yes I forgot racing in the masters category gives you a pretty early start time 8:05am to be exact for this race.  Up really early to get there and get ready.  So back to the race, nothing really happened in the first lap just a few jumps that were covered right away.  Coming into the start finish line was fun it was on top of one of the more major rollers.  I had to make note of that as to where to position myself well within the group.  All of the jumps usually happened going up the rollers and nobody really got away and if they did they were covered.  I tried some jumps myself to try and get away and me & Julie the lapdog girl got away for like a bit of time but no luck.  I think I tried every kind of jump possible.  No luck but I tried and I was happy with that.  As for the whole race I think this was my first race that I actually raced a smart race.  Not on the front too much not off the back.  Moving around with in the group.

Now about the finish and the different categories racing together.  The master A and B women race numbers were not really highly different from each other like a completely different series of numbers like 400 and 500.  The only difference was second digit like 576 and 586.  So you had to be really paying attention as to where everybody was and I told you about the start finish line.  Well I knew on the last lap I had to get myself close to the front, on the front or off the front to get myself up to the finish line as close to the front as possible without everybody coming around me.   I am just not a great sprinter and then make the sprint go up hill oh boy that’s even more fun.  So in the end some of the juniors and some of the cadets went around me and well a couple of the master B ladies and of course the one master A lady that kept herself really well hidden in the group.  So good job to her and I was second step down from her.  It was a fun race and I hope the next one is just as fun as this one.

Of course the next race is Terra Cotta which mass start of both men and women.  So I slightly different style of racing and women get to work with the men which is always a plus.

Til the next time.

Shell

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The weeks after masters nationals


It’s been a couple of weeks after nationals now and have only done a couple of races since then.  Road race (Ontario Masters Association Club) last weekend and time trial (Hamilton Cycling club) today both were club events.  Been ramping back up the training for the coming races in the next few weeks.  Provincial road next weekend, an OMAC time trial, Terra Cotta the following weekend and then the Tour of Catskills starting in the first week in August.  These days I’ve started doing some hill repeats on our local hill to get ready for some of these races fun times.

So a little recap on Nationals. 

The time trial was on the Thursday, the crit on the Friday and then the road race on the Sunday.  Hamilton Cycling Club is the club I race for and they asked me to do race reports and give them some pictures from all of the races for their webpage.  So here is the link to that:


A couple of days after nationals it kind of felt surreal.  It was like Christmas time when I was a kid you know that feeling like wow it’s all only a certain number of days away and then it comes goes and you have to wait til next year to do it all over again.  At least next year I will probably just do 2 of the 3 races at nationals but you never I may change my mind again lol.  I am thinking I’ll probably just do the time trial of course and the road race next year.


Til after the next race.

Shell 

Monday, June 27, 2011

10 days and counting. errr 3 days...


Had a minor little tumble last weekend.  One of those things that I guess just happen wasn’t paying enough attention I guess.  Now 10 days (correction 3 days) until the masters national races start.  Been busy at work and busy training and racing.  On that note I have not yet reported on my K-W Classic race.

I am a little over due for a race report on the K-W Classic.  I was quite surprised to see the pre-reg list for this race up at 26 ladies.  This has been the biggest field yet this year.  I should have known better to even go towards the front of that field.  There were so many fast and smart riders in the field but of course right off the bat I am up there too close to the front of the race and then off the front.  What was I thinking?  Well in the long run I was burning up matches but heck I had to try and get off the front what’s the hurt in that.  I know I could burn too many matches too soon right…I have to remember this for the next race.  We also had a tremendous wind going down the backstretch of the race course there were also little lumps that apparently were trying for me too.  So let’s just say I was off the front way too early in the race I forget which lap it was now but once I was caught and then I was spat out the back of the race.  At that point I started fighting to get back on.  I did not get back on to the main again this day and didn’t even see the back end of the main group again that day.  I did catch up to a little group of 4 that came off the back end of the main group.  It took me a good 2 or 3 laps for me to catch up to this group.  Finally I did catch up to them phew.  Stayed in with these gals for a few laps then as we were starting to go into the turn around the out and back portion of the race course which was fine in my race with 26 but not in the guys bigger groups later on that day but I digress.  We were going into the out and back turn around and I just accelerated a little bit out of the corner and I was off the front of the little group and moving away from them towards the main group.  I think it was 2 or 3 more laps going at it by myself again in no mans land.  Well I at least I have come to the conclusion I’ve got the "I don’t give up" attitude right down pat even when the guy at the finish line said I had another lap to go after I asked him on the previous lap if I was on the last lap.  Oh well such is life.

Elite nationals just finished up yesterday.  It was great to sit back and watch the races go on and cheer for all the local girls that I know and a couple of girls from Alberta.  I was even successful at giving a feed to Katy so I was extremely happy about this.  

Having house guests this past weekend has really helped keep my nerves under control about the racing this coming weekend. Frankly it also helped that they were so laid back it was like we had gone away for the weekend but stayed home and were able to sleep in our own bed.  Thank you Katy and Pepper for a great weekend.  Hopefully we’ll see you again in the fall at the big cyclocross race in Toronto.

until after masters nationals...

shell :-)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

19 more days til the start of Masters Nationals


I was looking on the Ontario Cycling Association website last week and the tech guide was up for nationals..wow…Instant nerves…Interesting…I’ve now done the time trial course on three different weekends.  Twice with marshals and the other time for more practice on certain sections that I thought were going to be problem areas.  Of course I’ve had all different kinds of weather for the three times that I have been on the course.  First time it was cold and with not much warm up to do the 2 laps of the course.  Next time on the course it was a practice session and fog and drizzle was on tap for this time. Almost a 100k on the course, 2 full laps of the course, and then shorter laps to go over some problem areas.  The most recent time was the second time with marshals and police at the corners and cross streets.  This time a storm rolled in just as I was supposed to start.  I was the first rider off for the day at 9am.  They had the full set up for the race start house ramp and everything.  Was not nervous coming off of the start ramp cause I have done it before and I find it quite fun coming of a ramp to start the race instead of just a hold.  Well even before the race had started we had almost a full-blown storm happening.  Thunder, lightening and rain for all the laps.  It got dark enough for the street lights come on.  It was a wild time on the bike.  Rain so hard that I couldn’t see.  Lightening so close that I was seeing little sparks of light next to me.  Even with all of this kind of weather I had renewed faith in myself going into the corners that I really wasn’t slowing down that much going in and out of them.  I was able to get around the course for 2 laps and reduce my time again on the course, which I was extremely happy about.  Let’s hope the weather is much nicer day of the big race. Please oh please.

Next  race K-W classic.


til next time.


Shell

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Nith River Road Race

Another Sunday has come and gone and another race in the race schedule is done.

This past Sunday was the Nith River Road race in Wellesley close to Waterloo.  We didn’t know the race distance until we were actually started racing it with only a maximum time showing up in the technical guide for our category of 2hrs.  The course was 16.25k long with lots of rollers and some kind of technical corners aka more than 90 degrees.  With that being said Mother Nature had to put her own touches on the race too.  Basically half hour into the race she started to pour on us with extra treats of thunder and lightening and then on the last lap the rain finally started to subside.

Now for the race here we go I thought it was going to be like the previous weekend’s race with a slowish start to the race because almost half of the women’s field was at the UCI Gatineau races from Thursday to Saturday.  Well that wasn’t the case as soon as the neutral start was done within the first couple of ks the first attacks happened…I learnt at this point I have to better place myself within the group to sit in with the front half of the race and not the back half if I want to stay somehow with those girls.  Another lesson learnt. So then I was left in a group of 3 other girls to go around the course.  Oh and then the rain started oh and the thunder.  Oh gosh how this was a fun race.  The group was one kalisto team member and 2 p-k team members and the one p-k member didn’t seem like she was having fun at all.  Both of the p-k riders had done the Gatineau races and the one was fried.  So in the end our group became 3.  The weather got heavier and we kept on going around the course right til the end and then the sun came out for us to finish under. 

One of these races I’ll figure out whose wheel is a good one to stick onto and then maybe I will finish with or actually have a chance at the end of the race.

So many things leant in this race that now all are stored up in my head for the next go around which will be the K-W Classic.

Sorry this race report is coming so long after the race but here it is.  It was a busy tting kinda week.  Many ks rode on my tt bike to get ready for nationals, which are coming up so quickly.

Shell

Friday, May 20, 2011

Bike the Bruce

What can I say but I moved back up to the senior ½ category and my first race was this past weekend in the great north.  Bike the Bruce was the race and it was done on the long course. 32 fun kilometers of fun filled time with wind coming into our face going out and cross winds that kept on trying to blow us off the road.  Wow.  With the length of time I had before the race I should have got in a better warmup but I was freaking cold.  It is May right?  Well my coach because of the length of my race told me this weekend I didn’t need to get as long a warmup so well I kinda went with that notion but I still got on the trainer.  Lining up at the start looking around thinking do I belong here again?  Sue P and Leigh H was a couple of the ladies on the starting line both former Olympians.  I was interested in how they race and work within the group. 

The race started off fairly slow considering that we were suppose to do 3 laps of the 32k course.  So the first lap was a good warm up for us all.  After the first lap finding out how strong the wind was how slow we went into the wind on the way out the race promoters shortened our race to only 2 laps.  So coming around through the finish line we were told that it was our bell lap.  The pace of the race didn’t really change much until a rolling section of the road and then the attacks started.  I was actually able to put in one attack myself, which I was kinda proud about.  Almost came out the back end of the group then but still managed to stay in.  After the attacks settled down for a little while we were going down division st going towards Wiarton and some how I got myself towards the front of the group again.  I was taking cover beside Sue P on her inside cause the wind was coming from the left side.  For once I figured out where the wind was coming from and was in the right position at least for a little bit.  Sigrid Z and Sue P were paired off at the front of the group and I was just behind them.  Sue P slide back and I somehow took her spot at the front of the group with Sigrid Z and then took over the front.  Well I should have figure out for myself that this was a bad move on my behalf.   I had spent too much time at the front of this race and at this point in the race I should have drag my butt off of the front period.  The road started to rise up a little and then a left turn onto McNaughton which also rises up and well the gas got turned on within the group and I didn’t speed up and I lost the back end of the group.  So after that point I had to buckle down and ride my hardest back and try and try some more to get back onto the group.  Well that didn’t work this time.  I could see them down the road but I could only go as fast as I could and it wasn’t fast enough.  I rode my butt off back from Wiarton to Sauble Beach.

Like I have said before every race you learn something new and every race you learn something not to do the next time. At least I didn't get dqed like at last year's race.

Shell

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Prerace of Masters Nationals time trial course

This weekend was all about testing my legs out on the masters nationals time trial course.   

When I do this race in July I will only be doing one pass at the course so 21.66k not the two passes that I did this weekend.  All I have to say is wow.  Tough course.  I wasn’t sure what to expect from the course.  I know it’s nationals and they can’t just give us a simple out and back course.  I understand that.  All of the time trials that I have done to date is an out and back type except for the one time trial I did in Georgia.  The Georgia time trial had 2 turnarounds and a hard right hand corner into the finish line.  This course for nationals has 5 right turns, a left hand turn, 9k of rollers and almost right out the gate you have a roller that has a part at an 7% ave grade.  It hits you like a sack of bricks.  Or at least that is what it felt like to me.  The not knowing the course was killing me.  The second time around the course was good and knowing what was coming up was good.  Knowing the corners was insane almost not having to brake going around them was great.  Some practice is needed going through the front half of the course especially through the rollers. Oh my gosh.   

Time will tell for me, on this course for me.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Springbank crit in London


Well it was like any other morning before a race except I was nervous as hell like before the Georgia road race.  I was sitting waiting for my ride to come cause my race wasn’t until 1pm and my husband’s race was at 8:30am that morning and I just didn’t want to get up that early for a 1pm race.  I was lucky enough to have another racer in town that had room for me to travel with them to this race.  Of course just like last year it was raining on my husband's race and I was worried as hell, which wrecked havoc on my body oh my.  So at this point I had to stop looking at the radar that was just showing me rain and more rain and get ready to go and get ready to be picked up.  Thanks to Sarah and her family for picking me up and transporting me to this race.

We made a stop at the local cycling cafĂ© Domestique before we were on our way to London.  Another coffee into the body was quite helpful for the road. 

We arrived in London almost an hour and half later to find my husband waiting for me and posed and ready to help me get ready for my race.  I went on to get my numbers for my race and when I came back the trainer and my drink was all set up for me to do my warm up.  I was able to get in a good 45mins of warm before this including a somewhat hardish blowout.  Felt ready for the race.

On the race start line feeling ready for my race and knowing my race plan well heck having a race plan at that point was good.  The elite women went off before us and we had 2 minutes to prepare for our race and one of the ladies I know had a flat right on the start line.  So with that it kind of distracted us all about when we were starting and then the whistle went off and oh man I was not ready but got ready in a hurry because I wanted to be first going into the first corner.  My thought was if I am first going into the first corner I can take the corner however I want.  It’s one of those corners that last year took me most of the race to figure out where I wanted to be and inside of the corner was the best place because it’s a hard left and off camber and sets you up for the second corner which has a lot of bumps in it.  The back straight away was very quick as usual and the little rise was fun as usual. 

The first lap I noticed I was doing a lot of work which I knew was bad on my part because I didn’t want to work for everybody else again as what I did last year but after the second lap I figured out that we created a break in the field me and 2 other girls.  A junior and a senior 3 and then after the third lap it was just the junior and me.  So we settled into and shared the work of the rest of the race.  I was always thinking are we going to get caught are we going to get caught cause you never know right?  After 2 laps of the race we, a junior and I, were out in front and on our way for a break away for 14 of the 16 laps of the race.   

In the bell lap my husband told me “You know what to do now” so I picked it up and let it rip out of the first corner and then along the back straight away.  With that little extra push at the end I was able to get about 15 seconds into my partner in crime for the break away of the race.

Even with the rain it was a great race.

Til next time

Shell  :-)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Good Friday Road Race

GFRR is always my favourite race because it’s in my backyard.  With that being said last year was only my first time doing this race so the comparison to each other is vast.  I raced a lot smarted in this year’s race and knew when to get off the front of group and out of the wind which really kinda impressed myself with.  I am finally starting to somewhat think like a racer especially after last weekend’s race.  Where to move in the group how to get out of the wind if I get stuck out in it, how to get some speed going and break the group up.  Obviously it wasn’t me that did all of the work finally in the group, which I made the mistake of doing last year and not having any more gas at the end of the race. 

There were some strong juniors in the race, which is nice to see some new young face in the field.  I loved that we were able to stir it up and create a break.  I was surprised when I finally looked back and saw how many people were with us before the last corner, which is where I made a mistake, and got myself into the wind and lost some positions in the group.  Oh well lessons learned.  Tactically I think I did a much better job in this race than last weekend’s race, which I am very happy about.  I still need more work on short little rollers damn I know I’ll be better on them some day. 

I was glad I was able to give some pointers to the newer girls in the group about following guys up the road which I did last year and got dqed from a race for.  They weren’t in my category so I felt it was better just to warn her rather than let her go down the road with the guy and then get Dqed by protest.  Everybody needs to learn at some point. 

For me this was a fun race.

Let’s see how next weekend’s race goes.  Springbank long course crit.

Til then

Shell

Friday, April 22, 2011

Calabogie Race Report

First race in Ontario was last weekend in Calabogie.  Six hour drive to north of Kingston to race the Calabogie Classic on the road race track that people get to race there lovely expensive cars on so much fun but made it really had to figure out the wind pattern on the track.  Kept on hitting a brick wall into the headwind and I especially loved the wind going into the finish line, which made for a very slow sprint finish.  At the starting line we were having a mix of sun and rain.  We also had some sleet during the race wow that hurt a lot but then the sun finally came out and then finally the finish.  I am very happy I went to this race to be able to see some competition that I would not normally had seen in southern Ontario.  For the most part the field staid together with only a little break trying to get away more towards the end of the race but it got reeled back in.  In the end for the sprint finish my brain didn't tell my legs to sprint but for once I was in the group and I was there and I felt strong. 

As for results I finished 3rd with a funny story to go with that.  My husband checked the results and it said I was forth so we were ready to go home so we packed up and headed on our way after this weekend in the north.  It was not until we got home and finally settled after putting everything away after the long trip that my husband again looked at the results on the Canadian Cyclist forum and it said I was third hmmmm.  With a question to the promoter of the race he found out that somebody was placed in the wrong category, which moved me into 3rd.  So yes I was happy with the result I was also happy with the 4th place placing it didn't matter the factor that I did the race and stayed upright I was happy.

Stayed at a nice hotel with a kitchenette so we were able to eat our own food and not have to go out to a restaurant the night before the race.  There was some hope that we were going to get out onto some of the local roads to shake the cobwebs out of the legs but in the end I had to ride the trainer in the hotel room.  Not too bad opened the windows and watch some much music or whatever was on the tv frankly it doesn’t matter anymore cause I don’t watch much of it.  The weather was not see nice and kept us indoors yes it’s April right it was snowing out.  Yes it was snowing could not believe.

Until next race which is local Good Friday Road Race put on by my club, Hamilton Cycling Club, so at least I’ll know the course like the back of my hand.

Shell :-)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

back to reality

Back to reality and cold weather at home.

Training camp in Georgia is done with the second last ride going up Fort Mountain and then the last ride in town was with some good friends for a nice relaxing recovery ride.  11 days in Georgia and 33 hours in saddle with 2 +5hr rides.  Had a great time as always in our home away from home thanks to the LaPointe family. Always feel so welcome in their home.  Now as for the weather couldn't have asked for better weather a steady warm up as the end of the camp came with the last day of riding being our warmest day.  I think we managed to climb all the climbs in the Rome area and even some a few times.  Amazing.  The only thing I won't miss about Georgia this year is the amount of dogs off their leashes and not being fenced in. HOLY CRAP.  Dog sprints even on recovery days.

Out for a recovery ride tonight to try to get my tsb back out of the very low negatives and get ready for my first race in Ontario.  Calabogie is the first race for me and I am thinking that it will be the last time I head to this race to race it cause of how far away it is. damn should have figure this out before I signed up for this one.

Let's see how ready I am for the season.  Oh I hope the weather is a little better than they are predicting.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Georgia racing and training

Had an amazing race weekend here in Rome Georgia.  I was very happy with my performance in all of the races.  Did a time trial in the morning and a crit in the afternoon on Saturday and then a road race on Sunday.

The course for the time trial was prefect for me.  Not too flat not too rolly but lots of turn around points though.  The course was 7 miles long which equals out to approximately 11km.  I felt pretty strong throughout the race.  I was happy with my time for this early in the season but I got to the time trial race a little later than what I wanted but nonetheless everything turned out ok for that race.

The crit was in downtown Rome was very cool and even better to be able to race with the cat 5 guys.  Lots of challenging parts of the race and lots of learning experience gained from this race.  The course was a rectangle with a steep little raiser on the back straight away.  My legs in the end didn't like that little raiser with a miss shift on the second or third last lap so the field got away from me which I was sad to see but I tried my best to get back up to them no quitting for me.  The announcer was doing a good job in encouraging me in those final laps also with a call out on pretty much every lap "Shelly you have 5 more laps to go get back on there".  Thanks Bruce

Now for the road race on Sunday.  Once again all of the women were racing with the cat 5 guys.  The course was 55 miles long or 88.5kms and 2 climbs up Horn mountain which is a 4km long climb.  First time around the loop the pace was pretty moderate which was good for me because I was not feeling the best and on my "A" game.  The group hit the first time up Horn pretty hard but I was able to get into my own rhythm and was able to pass a lot of people on the climb which I was pretty surprised about.  Now I was at the top of Horn and was able to descend with nobody around which I was very happy about because of the technical quality of the descent.  I saw a guy in front me on the descent and I figured I needed to make it up to him to give myself any chance to stay in the game.  On the second lap I was starting to feel much better and took in some gels to help me a long which boosted my energy.  I was able to get in with 6 other people and we all started working together to get ourselves back to the bottom of the main climb.  On our way to the mountain we were able to pick up a couple more guys into the group which helped our battle with the headwind on 136 gradual up hill and down hill.  The group stayed together until the bottom of Horn.  The last climb of the race.  I made sure and thanked everybody and congratulated everybody on a good job getting us all to last climb.  I was able to climb to a first place finish in this race because of this group of guys.  I was so thankful for their hard work and I was also happy that I was able to contribute to helping the guys get to the bottom of the climb.

All though the women fields were not very big here in GA, I was thank for the racing experience here in Rome.  For myself I was very happy to race with the cat 5 guys for the extra competition.

Now onto the training portion of the training camp.

Recovery ride on monday after the race weekend ending with a great lunch at a local bakery in town.

Just over three hours in the saddle with 2 great climbs today.

More of flatish ride tomorrow and lots of climbing on Thursday...I can't wait. :-)

Until next time.

Shell :-)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Spring has sprung not

Well I guess I said it too early that spring had sprung.  Got over 12" of snow on Tuesday.  Rather surprised with this because I was having a pretty good week outside the week before with getting out and riding for 14hrs.  Though it is Canada so you should expect anything in the spring and they said that it is was going to be a colder and wetter than normal spring here in Southern Ontario.  Dammit I was hoping they were going to be wrong. Nope not so lucky.  Now I am even more lucky I got through the whole winter without getting sick from my poor husband that was sick a few times to have a cold sneak into my system just under a week away from my first race of the year and spring training trip to Georgia.  I should have known something was up last Sunday with my body during some intervals that my numbers were a lot lower than what I expected or where I should have been.  Then bang started not feeling good on Tuesday of this week.  Oh well at least I am into my recovery week.  So I just need to relax and hope the germs get out of my system fast.

Well gearing up for packing tomorrow for Georgia and had a little get gather for my birthday tonight that is next week so all will be better next week when we are on our way.

Rest relax and massage on Monday.

Just short one today.

Shell :-)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Spring has sprung

Was finally able to get outside and enjoy balancing my bike last weekend.  Oh my it was so great to get out.  Only took a few minutes to get the bearings back on the bike so glad that happened here and not in Georgia in a few weeks during a race.  Been out four days this week already and have already been up one of the local hills 10 times.  Have to still work on the cadence on going up hills but it's coming so i am happy.  In the 4 rides outside I have already had 1 flat tire well planned at my front door and almost got hit by a car that just wasn't paying attention to little things coming up the road in the bike lane.

Getting more ready for Georgia and the races that are coming at the beginning of that trip.  Waiting on my new specialized transition to come in if it ever does come in.  It's too late now for this trip for the time trial that is the first stage of the GA Cup Omnium in Rome.  Thankfully I didn't sell my old time trial bike from last year. At least at this point I have my club cloths so I will be fully outfitted in club colours in all of my races now.  I finally have my race license for the season which I got at the Toronto bike show a few weeks ago and by the way I can't believe I went to show and didn't buy anything other than my license.  Still have to sign up and renew my membership with the hamilton cycling club but this will happen this week.  Everything is coming together our normal accommodations have been set up with our friends in Georgia and we are so greatful  for this every year.  As I have said Rome is our home away from home.  Don't need a map to get there and to get around town let alone get around while riding.  Love it.

Waiting on the weather to somewhat clear a bit for today's ride of 3 to 4 hours.

Keep the rubber side down and watch out for those cars coming out of driveways.

Shell  :-)

Monday, February 28, 2011

Spring is coming

What signifies spring to you?


To me what signifies spring is the spring Bike Show in Toronto. 

The bike show is this weekend and i can't wait.  We always see people that we haven't seen in a while or usually the year before bike show.   It seems like we seem to see a lot of people from our mountain biking days.  A little reunion every year. 

Now my cycling world and circle of friends is getting bigger every year and I am loving every bit of it.

I can't believe Georgia is only 29 days away.  Yes the count down is on.  I love the people of Rome and their cycling community is so huge it's unbelievable.

On another note training this past weekend was great and horrible all in one weekend.  Started with an unforgettable ride on Saturday.  I was quite surprised with my numbers I was able to pull off in this ride.  Then came Sunday.  Wow Sunday was a test of my will to stay on my bike.  I knew if I just got off the bike that that would not have helped me.  By the end of my last interval I was starting to come around getting back into the groove.  My last interval was 45mins.  It's funny cause it seems like once I get past the 20min mark of this interval I just start counting down in 2.5min intervals in my head and then finally that last 5min comes and oh my.  Well that's enough about that.  Looks like more 2 by 20min intervals this week to improve my time trialing.

Good night all.

Shell :-)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Testing is over and first hard weekend out of the way

My testing is done for this block.  I have been told by my coach that I am right on track for where I need to be. Looking at my last results to this results I was quite happy with some of the areas of improvement. 

That being said my first hard rides after my tests were just plain hard but on the other hand I am looking at the positive only 4 more weeks before the Georgia trip but even before that I will need to get outside and get some balance back. 

Which brings me to rollers.  I tried them.  They scared that lyrca off of me.  I know I need to embrace rollers but I am just not ready for them yet.  I know if I just put my mind to it I will do it.  Many people have told me the tricks of the trade for how to use rollers I just have to implement them.

April is coming so fast and first couple of races also.  I can't wait but I am also nervous as per my normal over thinking everything way.  My coach tells me not to over think things just to do the workouts and you'll be fine.  I know i'll be fine I just need to get outside.  The winter blahs are terrible.  I just need to get outside and ride and the weather just has to start cooperating but now my bad weather bike is ready to be used fenders and all so there really isn't an excuse now.  Oh right there is still not enough sunlight after work to get in a suitable training ride.  Soon though.  Weekend training rides will be coming soon outside i hope.

Shell :-)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

testing weekend

Well another testing weekend done thankfully.  More testing on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week going to be fun.  Let's see how this goes this time.  Last time I did this testing was 6 weeks ago at the beginning of my last block.  This is my last block of training before my first 3 races and a mini spring training camp in Rome, Georgia.

Georgia is a second home for training.  Found Rome Georgia through a forum and a wonderful person who was very helpful now probably 6 years ago.  What a hidden gem we found so many years ago.

Short one tonight.  Recovery day tomorrow. 

Happy valentines day tomorrow.

Shell :-)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Active recovery day

It's amazing what goes through your head during an active recovery ride on the trainer.  Your mind is a allowed to wander because you know you're not going to fall over or run into a car while doing this kind of ride.  I much prefer recovery rides outside but in the middle of winter in Canada i don't really have no choice. 

Then my mind tends to start thinking about the coming race season.  At the end of last season I came upon a choice for my next race season.  I raced in the Elite category for my first year of racing.  By mid season I was able to move up from the Elite 3 to Elite 2 and with Nationals coming to town the next season I had a choice of categories to race, either elite or masters.

Then my brain switches over to the music i am listening too.  Coldplay, Muse, Metric and Silversun Pickup tends to help deter my mind from the normal aches and pains that come from a recovery ride.  All in all rest and recovery is the key for healthy training and gaining strength.

Tomorrow is a day i love while on a recovery week....massage day.

Til the next time.

Shell

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Rest day Number 2

Mountain biking in TN.
So hmm yes this is my first blog entry for real.  If you found this blog you probably know me some how or probably i posted it somewhere and you are visiting from there.  You'll have to bare with me as I may stumble through posts and such.  I figured this would be a good thing for me to do a blog over this year to sorta remember the things that come up in this year.  I thought I would start into this blogging thing on my rest week to give myself something to do and think about while trying to keep myself busy.

A little background in my little cycling career.  I started mountain biking in 1999, with my future husband on  Fridays during summer at the office we worked at for my coop semester.  We mountain biked for many years together and raced a few citizen mountain bike races together and separately.  Some of the races that we did was The Squeezer race, The Lake to Lake race and Harrisburg to Ancaster Race (half the Paris to Ancaster).  We mostly mountain biked in the Milton area, at Kelso and Hilton Falls Conservation.  Milton was great for being able to ride from home to get to great trails but we then moved to Dundas.  Dundas is great for the recreational mountain biker but we were getting heavy into the cross country type mountain biking.  So Dundas was great for stringing along a good 65k home to home ride but in the end we started traveling a lot to go to trails to ride.

After about 6 years of mountain biking, many crashes, some thoughts of changing over to road and a back injury that didn't seem to want to go away resulted in my husband and i switching over to riding the road. 

We found our pretty red matching road bikes at the spring bike show in Toronto many moons ago.

My husband and I have been riding the road now for about 6 years and putting in many many kilometers on the bikes.  Then a couple of years ago I decided that I wanted to start trying road racing.  We decided what better way to start in road racing then to start dipping our toes into the local club races.  We did their time trials, hill climb repeats and pursuit road races.  Then last year we started on a road cycling team to really race.

During last winter I started with a coach over seeing my program.  I saw many changes over that winter with my strength growing and many hours on the trainer.  That spring we invested in some power meters to help better connect my training with my coach.  I raced most races with power which helped build my goals and better help my coach understand what I was capable of. 



I started doing the regional races and ontario cup races.  I also did my first stage race last year (Green Mountain Stage Race in Vermont) and I was happy just to finish it.  I represented 2 different teams last year and this year I will be racing for the city club.

I guess now I can call myself a racer and not a cyclist. :-)


Now I am going to fast forward to this year to this winter.  This is my second winter season training with a coach.  Every thing is planned pretty structured and I love every minute of it.  Spending many hours on my trainer from short rides to long 3hr sessions.  As i entitled this my rest day 2 i am on my second last recovery week before the season starts.

I can't believe spring is almost here. 

I have one more 6 week block before the race season starts. 

Hope i am ready for the season.


Shell :-)