Friday, February 27

I am pretty sure...

Greg Johnson rocks this jersey too.... and he was at ToC that day.....


Thursday, February 19

My Back is WACK!!

I found the missing link. I "get" nutrition, I flog myself with intervals, I will myself to sleep at early hours. But I have missed proper recovery.

Look no further! Jason Ravel from Ravel Therapy here in Redlands has given me a new lease on training. The best way I can describe it is that my legs feel OPEN and can endure much more during training and sooner after training, than prior years this time of year.

Basically, this therapy can make you cry (if you are weak of mind) or yell (if you are agro), or vomit. I think I yelled at him "are you SERIOUS?!?!" once, but the rest I kept to myself. He refered to my spine as an S and my back as a Rubik's Cube.
This is Massage at a whole new level. Soft tissue, muscle therapy, I am not sure exactly what to call it. But, There is nothing relaxing or pleasant about it except that the days and weeks following: YOUR LEGS WILL FEEL DIALED, TUNED, AND STRONG. I'm just saying...

Plus, he clocks in at $65 an can get one of those Sissy-Lala Swedish massages for maybe that price, for 30 minutes. (sign up online, $45 the first hour!)

I think any of us that spends large chunks of the day in the saddle, at a desk, or in a car have some serious back issues. I thought mine were just because i rode my bikes a lot and maybe didn't stretch enough and certainly had not consumed enough recovery drinks.

Oh contrare!

Come to find out I have some serious....real serious, Lordosis and Kyphosis. Do not fret, I won't get all techno on you, but I believe a TON of cyclists suffer one if not both of these!

It probably does not help that I spent a large amount of my younger years standing like this. No wonder my booty appears large, and my belly a bit round!

But seriously, for Lordosis, most of us have heard of it as swayback. Over the years it has put my pelvis way out of line because of excessive curvature of the lumbar spine, which in turn makes my muscle utilization sub-par and inefficiant. Basically a percent of the muscles become dormant and unused while over-taxing others such as my quads.

Kyphosis, when very pronounced, greats that hump on the upper back, one you may see a Grandma with. A lot of us tend to develop this curve of the back due to the relaxed upper body posture while in the saddle.

The cross section to the left is normal, the right has Lordosis, and is pretty much exactly what mine looked like! That's a lot of pressure on the lower spine!

After four weeks of intensive work, i am WAY better! Perhaps i will post some before and after pictures!!!

My suggestion to you is this: Before you go buy the newest energy drink, recovery potion, light bike part or what have you, figure out how to take care of the one part of your equipment you can not replace: YOUR BODY!!!!!!!!!!!!! Love IT!

And my female cycling friends - read this and the link she has. Especially during base mile time, THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!!

Tuesday, February 17

Repetition is getting redundant

Although we didn't have to leave town Friday night this time, roll call came before the sun was up Saturday. We even finished the race day with our usual of Breakfast, but this time, I was able to make it at home!

Since I am following the road races like a hail storm, the activity of the day would mean a trip to the High Desert, near Big Pine past the large cactus on the left...pretty much nowhere. For the UCLA road race. Weird.

At the race one agro-racer was heard saying "why can't we race near civilization?" Mr. Freeman responded with "Well, that would mean it was a crit....pffff...."

After almost loosing my digits near Mexico, I visited the shop and bought some killer booties and gloves. AMAZING!!

The race start boasted temperatures in the 20's, snow covered cacti and ground, and a piercing blue sky. But i was warm and toasty in my new amenities and NOTHING rivaled the pain of uncontrollable shivering at BLVD the week prior. Oh, and i only had shorts on. That's right. Brilliant!! Lotion with Hot Stuff then a layer or vasaline....genious!! Plus the produce bag on the chest - it all worked!

Here's the deal. If you get to race Punchbowl or UCLA or whatever they decide to call the race, be ready to suffer. The combo of altitude and elevation gain can destroy you. Chew on this fact. The race was 9 miles shorter than BLVD. I had the the minute, same race time. Brutal.

Tricia had an AWESOME race! She hasn't raced since before her accident in September and has not had a lot of time in the saddle since! But she made the break, taught me a thing or two about roadie tactics, pushed and pulled me back into striking distance, and held onto her 4th place for the finish!

It came down to the same three on the break as the last three races...we just keep passing the baton around. Lisa, Abigail and me...Lisa introduced me to her husband as "the tall one i was telling you about." I did't get it until i saw this picture. But then again I did call her Polly Pocket.

On the holiday i bought some pants, but I could have been better off checking out the Tour of California In Angwin. That bad boy rolled right through my "hometown" of childhood and college. The town has one stop sign, I hope they had a CHP there. But we got wind of some footage of some boys i have known for oh, about 18 years who actually live down here now.

They did the town proud, cheering on Lance and Horner. Check it out. It will not be a waste of your time. You will have to scroll through to the 13th picture. Sorry girls, they are all taken.

Monday, February 9

"I think we can see Mexico from here..."

Some people are cranky-pants in the morning. I am not!!

Pictured here to the left is me (and Cynthia's husband...) getting ready for some racing action.

Now I truly hate doing race updates, so I will stick to vital facts.

Time: 7:00am
Place: So close to Mexico we all got texts from our carriers that we were being charged International rates.
Otherwise known as Boulevard...
Temp: 36 degrees
Conditions: Steady heavy rain with standing water and strong winds.

I have a tendency to over heat on the bike, so i opted for base layer, bibs, jersey, arm and leg warmers and wool socks. Oh, and a produce bag. Its not weird at all...Thanks to Brian M, this thing saved my vital organs.

Serious! The items that i thought i would lose were my feet, hands, and face. No biggies there...

Really though, there were times my whole body was shaking uncontrollably with cold. Maybe that's how my Garmin calculated the 2,800 calories burned.

My face hurt soooo bad because it was being pelted with ice cold rain. I looked at the girls with long sopping wet pony tails and actually thought i had the better end of the deal.

My nose was running uncontrollably and my eyes probably looked like I had been balling. That's hot, I know. But simply breathing hard wreaked havoc on the respiratory system.

Everyone finished safe, barring a few near-death encounters with the front grill of the Border Patrol trucks - LAME-O...

For the first time ever I had a very calculated plan and well, it worked.

Sometimes we set goals. And then we forget about them because they are so far-fetched or take so dang long to come to fruition. Well, four years ago when I got shelled off the back at BLVD, I vowed to win the dang thing. And although I did not remember that pact until I crossed the line, I realize this is something that has pushed me on many levels.

High light of the DAY, better than winning, was having brother Jeremy out on the course with teammate/hommie Tricia. They were giving us splits, encouragement, and cheers. At one point, we had up to 3+ minutes on the field!

Hopefully Tricia's shoulder will be fully healed SOON so i can have a teammate in the pack!!

Oh, my cute outfit for the road sports my FAVORITE coffee shop and local hot spot STELL and the best ever bike shop which i can walk to from work! Redlands Cyclery USA! And a lot of great riders and friends!

Dang, I totally lied about this being short, but I am still refusing to dish on the race itself!!

With 12 minutes to warm-up I realized i had broken my helmet in the car. AWESOME!! That is SOOO pro!! Tricia quickly coughed up hers, because she knew the rain water would wash my sweat out. It worked like a charm!

Also, the kits aren't in yet, so I made a pit stop at Christie's house Thursday night and she ponied up some goods! This is the first bib i have worn and i think i am hooked! It is a size smaller than I usually wear, so i was a bit self-conscious that the side panel no longer said Redlands, but yelled REDLANDS!! Who can really tell at race pace though...

Thank you girls for sharing!!

Tuesday, February 3

I am OBSESSED with FOOD!!!

And to deal with this, i started another blog!
I have been asked A LOT of questions about food lately and I have also been doing a fair amount of research and experiments in this area.

But I do not want to clog this blog with all that food stuff, so here is a taste of what you can find on Food On Bike!!

Tomorrow I will have add a Mobile Upload of a dessert Sushi roll i had last night. Devine...

But for now...
I really like food. I am consumed with finding ways to make edible and desirable food that doesn't make me squishy, that gives me the highest caloric bang for the buck, and is healthy.


That day i spent sitting in the Looney Bean Coffee shop in Mammoth, where i was supposed to be reading, but instead was double-fisting a Grande Coffee and a Grande Chai, not to mention the small coffee on the window sill i got for buying a bag of beans...I met this chap named Brian.

He told me about this!

All natural ingredients


Raw Almonds

Med Jule Dates (don't forget to take the pits out)

Put them in a food processor until they are pretty fine

Put into pie pan like you would a graham cracker crust

Chill over night

Next time, i may try baking it for 10 minutes

The Insides:

Raw cashews - soak in water AT LEAST 8 hours or MORE. Drain



Put it all into a food processor

I added a little agave nectar

Put into crust

Chill for a few hours

I put a garnish of strawberries because bananas change color!!

SUPER good!! i may try apricot in the crust next time, or silken tofu instead of cashews in the middle. Definately try it! It has a huge anti-oxidant punch!!

Its a little on the raw side, but if you are really cutting back on the sugars, this is a great option. Dates are a great option, but PRICEY! Dang!

While you eagerly await my next food post, which is already started, check out these blogs.

These folks seem to have a handle on healthy eating for athletes, with stellar recipes, ideas, and photos!

Check them out!!
VO2 Maxxed
Primal Fusion

Sunday, February 1

While searching the Net for race results that probably will not be posted until next week, when i will find out I got DQ'd...i found other things

How's that for a blog post title!? Like it!

So no, I did not get Disqualified from a race, although i did get a muffled "center line warning" from a Large man on a motorcycle at the Poor Kids College race the other day. Its not my fault these chicas are more skittish than the men that crowd the Saturday ride.

Since I am coming up short on results, i am listening to my iPhone/iPod upstairs while others celebrate this Super bowl thing, wondering why the PE teacher doesn't care. I just don't want the youth of the nation to get fat. A lot of football players are in fact, fat.

Oh yes, I am also Facebooking.

I have 580 friends. It could be 581. Would you like to be 582? i deny no one.
I was asked if i actually know everyone on my list. Yes, i do. In same form or another, i know them by at least name.

Between 4th and 12th grade, i went to 8 educational institutions. (none of them court mandated, i know it looks suspicious) Thats a total of 15 extracurricular "teams" ie basketball, softball, orchestra, and band. Thats a lot of peeps. I also race bikes (if you didn't know that by now, please never read my blog again) and I talk a little bit. Ok, I talk a TON. So yes, I know everyone on my list.

Second issue i have with facebook at this precise moment are photos. My sister, who i thought was busy rearing children and working, is in fact busy copying photos from our youth and sharing them. With the world. Solid. you could have at least left out the ones where i was not at "my ideal fighting weight." People have commented that they would not have recongnized me had she not put that box around my head that lit up with my name. I pointed to the little plastic surgery issue...

What else....

I was reading a blog and i laughed out loud. But Mark, you forgot to mention Zeus, the Tap-Out boys, and Billy Idol. And in your defense, i don't think your posterior has grown. But the size of those biceps...yikes.

So yes, i did dust off my roadie shoes where i covered every...single....break. i thought it was interval work. But they were just trying to work me. Jokes on them. I got third. They got, well, not better than third.

I have some surfing to do...