Podium ( minus Spenser P... who was at the hospital getting stitches in his hand). Sara/Rebecca/Melanie/Shonny/ Me. Will/Spenser/ Cody ... wheres Cody?/Brandon/Brian)
When Melanie McQuaid and ShonnyVanlandingham along with other stellar Pro women sign up you are going to have a Race. Add that its our 'hometown' event and I was fully experiencing nerves going into Sunday mornings event. Truth be told the nerves started on Saturday.
The course was in EXCELLENT shape. The recent rain buffing out the trails "perfect' so I decided to run the Bontrager Jones XR 2.0 team tires - cause they are light and fast!
Off we went in the swim. Man... swimming at 9000ft is HARD. I had the usual anxiety attack around the first buoy. So unpleasant much like a asthma attack. But as always it didn't actually kill me... so I improved and came out 3rd Pro women in the swim... go me! I moved into 1st pro woman when I passed Melanie at the top of the strand hill climb, with Shonny visibly hot of my tail. I pushed the rest of the bike course hard. Entered the run in first and held on to Win... Right on. Shonny was 2nd not very far behind, and Melanie was 3rd. Local Cross country skiing Olympian and all round phenom RebeccaDassault 4th and Sara Tarkington 5th.
Brian smoked the course, Okay swim, fast bike and stellar run and won too!!!! He was 2nd off the bike and punched the run to win comfortably. He'll have to tell you details... how it went... He and Parker are fishing in the Gunni river right now and Max and I are about to soak in the river.
My girlfriend Kristi and I used to banter this question between us mountain biking. Its kind of like the 'foot down' game and it extends to solid/smart racing decisions as well. Especially at Snowshoe, WV ( where Kristi lives and sort of where Sue hails from). We meant it as the highest form of a compliment because she's a fantastic rider and one of the best people. Sue put a 'foot down' in the wrong place last weekend in Mt Snow. It happens. Bummer! I would have been off the computer half an hour ago but I checked in: http://www.susanhaywood.blogspot.com/ and nosied at all the good wishes on her blog page. Visit there too and send your love.
Along the same vein (unfortunately) Kathy Sherwin had really shitty luck for the second time this season. And broke her hand at Wyndham, NY the week before. http://www.kathysherwin.blogspot.com/ . Send her some love too!
For the past few weeks we have been doing a lake swim at the Bay of Chickens. They are all great. Today was the best, we had a group of 7 meet and swam about a mile and a half. Its pretty awesome out there at this time, calm and cool and beautiful. If you want to join us we meet at the white water park /parking lot ( just off highway 50) at 7am and car pool out. We try to be back by 9. Jon from CB put us to shame today as he drove down early from CB, then rode his bike out there, swam, rode in again... we in turn grovelled out of bed and made coffee! Chris swam wetsuit free so a wetsuit is optional. cheers Jen
Boulder Peak Tri B'man and I just rode the CB XTERRA bike course and it Rocks! The rain has made it in Primo condition... Untill we got thunder/lightning/ poured and hailed on. Of course being 'local yokel' didn't have any warm clothes or towels in the car!
Brian and I where aqua jogging a few laps after our swim today talking when we realised we both checked in on Jamie through her blog this morning. A weird coincidence. Let me tell you she is completely inspiring! From where I sit it seems like she is having an extremely traumatic time and her positive attitude is amazing. Again her blog is: http://www.jamiewhitmore.com/ .
The Boulder Peak tri on Sunday was challenging. Really fast swim, so I got dropped very early on (100m in!) and time trialed my way though the swim and the race. It was very stimulating and therefore a big learning curve. The bike was a bit out of context really, I wasn't fast in the time trial bars, and it felt very power based. ( made my legs hurt more than my lungs!) However swim and run practise and putting myself in an unfamiliar environment was worth it.
Boulder was sweet, felt like a vacation, other than it was too bloody hot! Great to see Tressa/Ray again, catch up with Nick and Tracy, eat good food with friends. Be Boulder weird with my compression socks, I commented eating lunch at Whole Foods how I knew I looked dorky in knee high socks and shorts, only to be told it was okay it is Boulder and then people watch all the others weirder than I.
Today a welcome twist... just when I feel super frustrated about banging my head against a brick wall SWIMMING ... I had a breakthrough session with the Tuesday lunch time crew in the pool. Swam two of my fastest 100's at the end of a big workout. YIPPEE YEEHAA there is hope! One of these days my swim will get better and show!
I like Boulder. For a city... it'd be a good place to live. Brian says 'well yeah' thats why so many people we know choose to live there! Its a bit hot though.... expensive.....and the Mtbing?/ The bike path system is great. The other day Ryan Ignatz ( Colorado Multisport) fitted my road bike. We've been fit to our Mtb's and had transferred that somewhat to our road bikes. Its not the same. Small adjustments make a huge difference. For me, it was shifting my bars a cm shorter and 2 cm higher. ... Its now significantly more comfortable. cheers Jenny
First up: Now that I'm back into training I am so psyched and glad I took a break last week. Bri and I had an invite to join the Stingrays Swim team for an open water jaunt across the Blue Mesa this morning. They started at Old Stevens on the North side and swam to the Iola Boat ramp on the South. Round trip was probably about a mile and a half. I joined along with about 20 kids clad in swimming togs and goggles set to go. Older Siblings and parents bought along 3 different boats and life jackets. I was the oldest swimmer by oh about 14 years or so... one of two in a wetsuit. ( Want to feel PRO?... swim ( or should I say be outswum) with a 10 year old 3x smaller than you in swimming togs). It was great.... Check out the girls in the front! Hard core! Last week an email was forwarded my way inviting elite women to the upcoming (Sunday 20) Boulder Peak Triathlon. Currently the prize purse is equal with the men and is in jeopardy of changing without a good showing this year. Slight interest to Brian very quickly became a phone call to the organisers. My 4th place at Xterra Worlds qualified me into the Elite field and just like that I have a comped Entry. Brian's enthusiasm is catchy. Two days later my road bike is kitted with extremely fancy wheels from Dan Crean ( thanks Dan... hope I prove worthy) and Aero bars from Sully. Toys are stimulating I have to say and Aero bars are surprisingly okay... Haven't killed myself yet. The Clincher about the event. Is the training/racing my weaknesses. A roadie triathlon Pro field swim is daunting and therefore will be very beneficial to me, and the run is 10km mostly on flat fast dirt around the Boulder Reservior... great for Leg speed and again amongst stellar competition. 'Never say Never ' I am about to try my first Road Tri!
The Wildflowers are something else in CB right now. Its beautiful. I'm having a very lazy hazy weekend of mid season break. Lazy as I exersize lightly, Fun too. I joined Dan/Cathy/Wickenhausers for a Friday evening dinner and ride and yesterday joined Jen and her athletes for a Crested Butte run and swim in Long Lake. Dinner was great. We tried D'Jangos a new Tapas style place on CB mountain. The atmosphere was neat, thin shimmery curtains, modern and a metropolitan feel. Was nice to ride, change in the car and then feel inside the restaurant transported. Their wine was served in 250ml beakers, novel, and their food was exceptional, Date with a pig ( my favorite -a Lemon soaked Medjool date wrapped in bacon) Hazy.... cause of the skies, Filled with Smoke from the Big Sur and Northern Cali fires, several thousand miles to the West.
The light activity is driving me a bit crazy.......but I'm trying to resist. Tomorrow won't be a break any longer.
Ladies Mountain Bike Technical Clinic Wednesday, July 9, 2008 : 8:49 am From: Mary B In channel: Health, Outdoors, Sports A fun night was had by all with minimal injuries! Gunnison Valley women really know how to ride! After recruiting some unsuspecting women in the parking lot, one of them being former resident Shasta who just came in from Vancouver-we started with 23 women working on skills in the parking lot with a course set up by Jenny Smith.We split in to two groups, headed up the hill to stop and work on the top technical climb on Jack's. One group headed up Becks to Rocky Ridge and worked on uphills and downhills with Jenny Smith and Susan DeMattei. Many "first times" where made and I thank Leora for letting me wear her lovely fishnet and pink kneepads. They saved me twice. Pads are a good thing I discovered!The other group, headed to rattlesnake with Leora Wallace and Stephanie Hatalsky. They showed lines that I did not know existed in my 20 years of riding Hartmans. Colie Campbell Talbert startled me with an incredibly technical drop off a rock on rattlesnake. I had no idea she could do that, and in a skirt even! Leora and Stephanie expertly showed moves that many of the women tried and successfully did. In all, it was fantastic. How lucky we are to have these women- world class athletes, so willing to help out. It was especially great to see all the ladies from Crested Butte come down! Lets do something at the North end of the Valley next time? There will be a next time- we stayed late and did not get to work on all we wanted, so, plan for the Fall. Thanks to Dave Wiens, the pizza delivery boy, The Tuneup and Matt Burt for helping out. Happy Trails!
My friend Tressa and Ray where camping in Crested Butte for the weekend so I drove up this morning for a Sunday run. I met Tressa when I moved to Gunnison in 1999, Coach V set me up to run with her as she was passing through town during her 6 week out west trip at the time and he wanted her to run for us at Western that Fall. She did transferring from William and Mary in VA. She lives in Boulder now, and her wild and wicked ways are tamed a little these days as she manages her running, her Chrons disease and her Academic prowess. Only a little though- she has already lived through a colon removal, is a massage therapist, Phd student, starting Acupuncture school in the fall and you know about to pace a friend for 12 hours in the hardrock one Hundred in a week or so. INSPIRED LIVING! Tressa's new dog ( Aster her other one is 15 now and retired from running) Flicka ran circles around us and made Max seem a mellow old man. She came discounted from the pound ... $25 for all her energetic ways. A perfect match!
One of my goals lately has been to use up things we have. We came home from Breckenridge and unpacking the cooler to look in the fridge I see a packet of corn tortillas that definitely needed using. The resulting enchiladalasagna: Buffalo/kidney bean/carrot/celery w: thaichilli sauce and lime juice. Layered with Corn/Greek yoghurt/ cherry tomato/ lime and cheese topping. Turned out great: Entirely from the depleted fridge/cupboard!
Wow... so the Breckenridge Firecracker 50 race was yesterday. Me? I am right now officially fried! Realising this somewhat before the event on Friday morning and confirming it about 5 mins up Boreas pass: It hit hard and went somewhat along the lines of: my legs feel flat, I feel really hot, man everyone is riding superfast today, is that a headwind. I need to change down a gear, oh oh 10800 feet of climbing to go? phew its going to be a long 5 hours!
But: you know what even an uncomfortable 5 hours on a bike is really still a pretty great situation. What else would you want to do? (Other than - Lie in the creek alongside the trail... it was making me salivate all that cool crisp sparkling running water...)
Congrats to a strong and deep women's field! Sari Chalk for ripping it, Gretchen Reeves too and Jennifer Gerbasch for a performance that's been building.
The men's race was crazy! crashes, mechanical, drama.... Brian was crashed out at 15 Min's but pulled off a lap getting into 4th - prior to flatting and being unable to re-air his tire. More drama ensued and at the end of the day Jeremiah Bishop pulled through to a win... even he didn't know he had. Crazy!
Womenʼs technical riding clinic to benefit Gunnison Trails. Come learn and practice skills with the best! Downhiller extraordinaire; Leora Wallace, Mountain Bike Olympian Susan DeMattei, Pro Downhiller Stephanie Hatalsky and I will be on hand to help, demonstrate and inspire.
Tuesday July 8, meet at the Hartman Rocks base area at 5:30 pm, bring money to donate($5 minimum), a helmet, jacket, water. If you have knee or elbow pads- bring those too. This is for all levels- there is plenty out at Hartmans to practice on and we are so lucky to have world class athletes to help us while donating 100% of the proceeds to Gunnison Trails. GT has done amazing trail work all over the Valley as well as sponsoring fun events like the local race series and the Gunnison Growler. These ladies are some of the best and the most humble people I know, so don't be shy and come out and have some fun! We are thinking of ordering pizza and socializing a bit afterward at the base area so bring money to contribute. Also- please note- Ladies rides are moving from Mondays to Tuesdays for the rest of the summer beginning with this clinic. Happy Trails!
I left the Deer Valley National Mountain bike race weekend feeling a bit frustrated. Saturdays cross country was a style of racing I really enjoy. Altitude climbs and fast flowing descents. I rode as hard as I could up the initial climb for the single track and got into it in about 7th place, the effort cost me severely though so I was sitting in about 11th doing the climbs tough and the descents patient for the next lap and a bit.Fortunately at about half way through the race I came around and got much stronger so moved myself up into 6th during the last lap.
My slow start in this race was a good sharp reminder about life in the Comfort Zone and the natural tendency to seek more of the same... the things we like to do. Hindsight is so clarifying...shoulda/woulda/coulda!
Whats my lesson? Specificity.
The short track xc was frankly a disaster. My bike was taken out in the first corner by a rider right in front of me. Not too much of a big deal except when I went to get on my bike aagghh it wouldn't ride, chain was off, aagh, get off again put chain on, get going on steep loose first corner... and attempt to make up ground from vantage position of 30 feet off the back of the entire field. $25 dollars for 20 seconds of racing is quite an expensive fee!
I went for a run for a renewed perspective.
Meanwhile... back at home... Brian deserved mad props for his efforts to add Comfort to our lives. He purchased a new washing machine ( our old one broke last week) and took care of exchanging the machines. He also scored a brand new couch donated to Six points. For $100 we now have a huge, comfortable, new couch. Its so awesome! Max thinks so too!
I'm Jenny. Professional cyclist, Xterra triathlete, and owner of Jenny Smith Coaching. www.jennysmithcoaching.com specializes in personalized coaching for cycling, triathlon and running. A West Coaster from New Zealand I now call Gunnison, Colorado home. My husband Brian and I live with our dog Max.