Sunday, June 30, 2013

BCBR Day 1 Dodge City

Welcome to Dodge!

I am sitting on my back deck eating Riders Pizza, hydrating and waiting for my laundry...perfect time for a little recap from day 1!  The 5 line summary is at the bottom for those who don't need the play by play...

Yesterday was a blur of driving, ferries, line ups and buses...I left home at 4:30am and got back just after 6pm.  In between I met racers from South Africa, Australia, and Mexico, checked in, picked up my awesome BCBR swag, learned how to fight a bear and avoid getting saddle sores and diarrhea at the racer meeting, and caught up with my newest biking buddies, Adrienne and Davin.  

Serious racer meeting stuff.
Did you know there are 550 racers from 26 countries in the race?

Check out the sweet swag!!  

Today, however, was a bike race.  And a grand one it was!  My home turf meant racing a course where I knew every root and drop on trails that I ride every week.  It was a gift to know what was coming next so i could prepare mentally and physically for each section in advance.  My goal was to take full advantage and go hard in my backyard while I had the opportunity. Hey I'm gonna be trashed by day 3 anyways so why not go all out on from day one? :)

We started on the main drag in waves of 50 riders, self seeding ourselves based on goal finish times.  4 minutes between waves, I went in the 3:30-4:00 hour heat.  I stood up and cranked as hard as I could off the line and worked hard to stay on the back of a fast pack down the logging road to Bevan.  I learned a lot about drafting in those first few minutes.  Wow it's awesome!  But it's brutal if you fall off the back lol.

I tried to hammer the road because I anticipated a bottleneck and slow pace in the single track and ... I guessed right.  The wave starts spread us out but we still managed to come to a full stop once we entered the Bevan trails.  We rode the Snow to Surf course and it was carnage from the get go.  Dudes were sliding all over the place and biting it left right and centre.  Why you ask?  Apparently not everyone has ridden on damp roots lol!  Not wet roots like we have on the Island I guess.

Lets just say it was a slooooow ride all the way to Nymph and the start of the forbidden plateau 10k climb.  But we got there and then it was all up for about 40 minutes.  I was surprised but there were some really strong climbers!  

Aid station for a water and cliffe block reload and then it was all downhill for about 40 minutes through the best trails- Two Sheiks, Cabin, Slither, Transmission, Catnip and then back to the Bears Bait trails.  I figured the climb would have spread us out for the downhill but I found myself in another unfortunate traffic jam for a lot of it.  Peeps were a bit spooked on the rocky bits and grabbing serious brake.  I'm sure that will be me once I'm in unfamiliar territory but for the first time I was actually passing dudes on the descent woot woot!

Back to Cumby via Whites Bay and one more climb- up Twoandajuice, Buggered Pig and the HOT road to Teapot... Crashed hard in a freak accident just after the little up on Teapot trying to squeeze between a dude and a tree...upside down yelping with a crash cramp for a few minutes but I survived and got back on the horse lol.  Railroad, Crafty and the classic Blackhole Space Nugget finish and I was finito.  Completely.  Like I had to lie down for a minute tired.

I should have eaten/drank a bit more in the second half but the heat made it hard to stomach.  It was shockingly hot today after the colder weeks of rain we have had.  There is always tomorrow to work on that...and they next day...and the next day...and...

Very well marked course
Very enthusiastic volunteers!!
One big 10k climb
One long flowy descent
Three bottles of water
2 packs of Cliffe margarita blocks
2 S Cap electrolytes
3:45 hours of virgin BCBR racing!  I don't know my official finish time yet but it was somewhere around there.

Ok must eat are some shots of base camp from this am.  I've never seen so many people riding their bikes while brushing their teeth...


Saturday, June 29, 2013

Bike Fever

BCBR Day Zero.

I'm on the boat sailing into the sunrise on my way to check in for the BC Bike Race.  Which starts in my town.  So I will be turning right around and heading back home this afternoon.  A nice 10 hour commute to check in lol.  C'est la vie...I'm starting the BCBR woot woot!! 

The best news of the day?  The rain finally stopped!!  Wowza that was like a winter storm with day after day of rain.  Looks like summer is here just in time.  😀

Yesterday I got home from a wet week camping on the coast and squeezed in a ride to wake up my legs and check out my bike.  We rode part of Day 1...and came across real life BCBR flagging.  Every year I have seen the flags in town on the July long weekend...and its still hard to believe this year they are waiting for me!  Well ok and about 500 other racers but still...

The other thing we found out there were puddles.  Actually they were more like ponds.  I ride all year round and I have never seen that much water up there at the top of Two way around them...just pick up your feet and make your own wake.   Come on sunshine work your magic!

The not so good news is I have had a fever and flu like ickiness for the past few days😩.  I don't know what little bug is trying to take me down but Im calling it Bike Fever.  I'm feeling much better so far today however. Crossing fingers it's behind me and I don't need Gravol to race tomorrow lol!

I started packing yesterday. Well, ok I threw some things in a pile...perks of living in the area of race central...  I get to stay at home for the first 3 nights!!  So I won't actually join the camping caravan until we head over to Powell River on day 3.  

Stay tuned for pics and dirty tales from the trail!  And be sure to check out the BCBR Facebook page for deets on cheer stations and daily race videos/reports!

Friday, June 21, 2013

BC Bike Race Training...time's up!

Training for the BC Bike Race has been like cramming for a test for me... and...well...time is up folks!

Yes, it is true...I really did WIN a free entry to the most amazing single track experience in the world- the 7-day BC Bike Race!  Last year at the Cumberland MOMAR  I was charmed enough to win the BIG draw prize from BCBR & MOMAR:

I can't believe it but race week is already here!  This time next week I will be getting ready to start 7-days of racing 40-60kms of single track mountain biking with 450 other racers from all around the world! 

In a dream world, training for the BC Bike Race would look a bit like this:
  • Nov-Jan: Base training, build the base.  Grow a massive aerobic platform through zone 1 time on the saddle and base training.  Develop an amazing new level of neuromuscular co-ordination through high cadence training and pedal stroke interval sessions.  Become one with the bike, throw the aerobic threshold into the sky and eliminate effort on high cadence zone 1 rides.
  • Feb-Apr: Get climbing fit and strong.  Move from shorter to longer hill climbing repeat sessions to build the legs into climbing machines loaded with unfatigueable power.  Push the lactate threshold up into new heights through endless sessions of crank turning pain. Become one with hills.
  • May-June: Get race fast.  Push the speed with weekly 'meat grinder' rides, sprint sessions and compete in race after race after race to get race fit, race smart, and race savvy.  Become one with racing. 
  • June Peak: Combine race speed, climbing strength and epic long rides into a big training peak of insane fitness!
  • July - BC Bike Race!

We, as you may have realized by this point in your life, are not living in a dream world.
In reality my training has looked more like this:
  • Nov-Jan: Train for the Diez Vistas 50k ultramarathon (that's running).
  • Jan: Sprain my ankle and sit on the couch for a couple of weeks;) First DNS ever in the yeti snowshoe run.
  • Feb: Get sick.
  • Mar: Get sicker.
  • April: Get superbug sick and spend 4 weeks on and off antibiotics, sleeping and resting:)  2nd  DNS ever-never got to see the 10 Vistas at the 50k.  Start riding my bike slowly, not allowing my heart rate to go up, secretly 'training' for the BCBR when I should be on the couch and hoping I will still be able to do it.  Considering checking the cancellation policy.
  • May: Get better:)  Allow my heart rate to go above aerobic threshold.  Start riding up hills.  2 Races including the epic Nimby 50!
  • June: Finally start feeling like myself again!  The exhaustion blanket lifted!  Yippee!  CRAM.  2 Races. 
  • June Peak: Combine what I have managed to accumulate for race speed, climbing strength and epic long rides into a big training peak of moderate fitness.  Here is how my final week of training went down:
Monday: 1hour and Run
Tuesday: 2hour
Weds: 3.5hour
Thurs: Run
Friday: 3.5hour
Saturday: 4.5hour
Sunday 6hour

And now... I am going camping on the west coast and will be sitting in a lawn chair (under a tarp by the looks of things) miles away from my bike for the next 7 days...It is taper time baby!

It has been a whirlwind of training and preparing for the big week and I my bike and I have been to the moon and back even in these 3 short months.  Hours and hours of long solo rides...playlist after playlist on my fuel recipes and pockets crammed full of snacks...experiments with everything from fingerless gloves to seat positions and snack ideas...miles and miles and miles of new routes...broken chains, blown seals, broken tool kits, ripped tires, broken chains...I have learned a lot about myself and about my bike.  

Did I mention that I love my bike?  We are best buds and partners in crime.  We don't go anywhere without each other anymore.  BIG THANK YOU to the crew at Mountain City Cycle in Courtenay for taking such awesome care of me and my rig.  You guys rock!

Black Beauty and I have run a bit wild this spring...but amazing epic rides also mean an empty stall at home for hours, days and weeks on end...big hugs to the best support crew ever:)

I am as ready as I am going to be.  Time to relax, rejuice the batteries and get pumped for a week of epic adventures on the beautiful coast of BC!  I will do my best to blog about the race along the way- if you are around on Sunday, June 30th, stop by Cumby to watch the show!  Details should be on the BCBR website or facebook page.

Happy Trails!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Motivate ME!

Happy Thursday Friends!

A couple of Friday's ago I had the pleasure of leading a 'lunch and learn' session, with the staff at Ecofish Research, as part of their Workplace Wellness program.  I spoke with them about 'Motivation' and shared my tools and tips for getting started and keeping going.   It was a short chat, but everyone can relate to the topic and I hope they all took home a few ideas to add to their own motivation 'toolbox'.

I LOVE the topic of motivation when it comes to fitness, sport and health:)  It is such a wild 'thing' - complex, dynamic, fluid and very very powerful.  Motivation has always intrigued me and I have a passion for helping others find ways to harness its awesome power.  Yes, I even wrote a book on the subject if you want to check it out;)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Sesame Ginger Savory Rice Bars

Hello my patient 'savory' friends!!

For those of you who can't stand to suffer through another sickeningly sweet trail snack this post is for you!  As many of you know, I like to experiment in the kitchen and use whole foods to create natural alternatives to packaged/processed/pricey energy products.  

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Make this salad

Happy Tuesday folks!

When I was a kid my mom had a book around the house called 'Steal this book.'  If you lived in the 70's I am sure you know the one I am talking about.  The title of this book shouts out at you with the same matter of fact but slightly demanding voice that I am trying to convey with the subject of this blogpost.

Make this salad