Friday, May 30, 2008

why would you go anywhere else?

Gunnison has turned NICE. Yehaa, Yahoo! SPRING!

Last night we had race two in the Gunnison Growler series. Another awesome course set by Jeff Irwin. For those of you familiar with heartmans rocks area, we raced the first half of the 24 hours course ( up broken shovel) and then threw in Josh O's, Rattlesnake, and Becks. It was fun. I raced the new Bontrager team issue 2.0 XR tires (same ones Lea used to win Sea Otter STXC and we all raced in the past Norba). They are so fast its ridiculous. A little sketchy in corners which was evident as I wiped out right in front of Wick ( although it could also be called rider error) but worth it as the rolling speed is awesome! More good Pizza from Pizones, and More free beer from Dales Pale Ale!

If you are at a loose end next weekend (June 7/8) come to Gunnison for the Gunnison Growler race. With a predominantly single track course the event consists of two options, The half growler a 32 mile loop and the full Growler 64 miles: two loops. $25 dollar, with plenty of neutral feeding a bargain.. The lap took designer and race organiser Dave Weins 3 1/2 hours to pre ride, so it will be a fun day out!


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Foot Down, Angel Fire and Pizza Outback

The boys on the Trek/ VW Colorado team introduced us to a new Game this weekend called Foot Down. It keeps Kelly and Josh entertained for hours. I think it is why they are such good technical climbers. We played yesterday on the Taos section of the Angel fire to Taos trail. In teams of two - Brian and I were Team Smith. Every time we dabbed it counted as one foot down and obviously the idea is to dab as little as possible. When I got to more than 10 foot downs - It was a bit sad. Brian I think was at about 7. Kelly and Josh won with a combined total of about 11.

The Angel Fire race this past weekend was hard. I'd say it was fun but I think it was too hard to be much fun. The descent was allot of fun however and very long. About 20 minutes worth of each lap. The women's field was very strong which is so good to see. With Kelli Emmett, Katie Compton, Gretchen Reeves and another 20 Colorado strong pros we knew it was going to be a fast race. I basically dangled a few seconds behind Katie for most of the race. I had a lucky break once when she dropped her chain but that's not how you win a race and she caught right back up. At the top of the last climb I was exiting the rock garden as she was dropping into the downhill about 5-7 seconds ahead. That was the last I saw of her. I descended well but not as well as Katie and at the end I was a minute 7 back in second.

The men's race was also heavily stacked. With 4 Trek/VW men as well as Jay Henry, Brian Fuentes and 40 other pros. Brian rode a smart race, hanging back a bit at the fast start and moving steadily up throughout the race to finish a very solid 4th behind, Jay, Ross and Brian F.

We ate much Pizza this past weekend. Taos has our favorite Pizza 'in the world'. Pizza Outback. With huge slices of quality combinations, ( Portabella, red onion and blue cheese for example)excellent Beer and a pesto garlic salad dressing to die for. We ate there on Friday night and again yesterday. We also ate free Pizza at our local race on Thursday night and for a serious lack of other options in Angel Fire ate Pizza there with the crew on Saturday night too. Seems to be agreeing with us?! Training and racing have been great.

Tonight... I'll go heavy on the Vege's all the same.


Thursday, May 22, 2008

Stealing from Sue

I have to give huge props to Sue Haywood as I poach her website pictures for the 2nd time this week. This one is worth sharing forward. Trek win the party game at last weeks national. It was Lea's birthday so it was justified!

5000 CFS

The Gunni river is running HIGH. Recent warmer weather has caused massive melt off with barely any room under the bridges. East river which runs down from Crested Butte is very full and breaking its banks north of town in Almont.
Today marked the first race in our local Hartmans Rocks Spring races. $15 with free beer and Pizza after. Does it really get any better than that?!
It was a really crusty afternoon with thunder and hail, but the weather broke in time for the 5.45 start and while it was a bit cool (45 degrees) all the hard core locals turned out. ( At least 40 people for the first one) Hartmans post rain was in primo shape. Jeff Irwin had devised a great course. Brian won ( but only just from Jeff). I was 6th and it was a very good mid week workout.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

New Website

Shuttlepak are hosting a website on our behalf. Owner Mike Latham is in the process of developing a template to be used by his athletes. Anyway its cool and fun and I can use it! All good things!

Its a work in progress as I learn how to use the site and we improve some things that are coming up along the way.

Check it out and let me know what you think... any good ideas for improvements / etc... would be great too!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Into the Frying Pan.

Wow California can be hot! 100's + at the Santa Ynez national MTB race and Temecula Xterra Us Opener.
Its crazy to race in such conditions and is such a mental and physical challenge. You have to continuously monitor your body... how much is too much or not enough.

I joined the Trek VW team at Santa Ynez... I was 4th in the cross country race. It was a great day for the Trek women taking 3 podium spots in the cross country. Lea Davison 3rd, and Mical Dyck 5th. Fresh off the plane from Europe Sue Haywood ramped up a top ten XC finish with a Super D win. We earned a very nice team dinner on Sunday night.
Thanks Dusty, Zack and Laura for all the help in the heat.

MEANWHILE in Temecula. Brian threw off a rough swim to post a good bike and a stellar run to move into 3rd in the Xterra there. Yeah Brian! fastest run of the day by over 2 minutes and 1st American to boot. ( if it wasn't for the World champion and South African boys ....) has the full scoop

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Down by the river

Brian and Sully have bought back the Gunnison river soak. Aka: Ice bath. Its not as bad as you think. Are you crazy?!!

With Snow melting at a rapid rate and Gunnison being just below the snow melt, the current river soak involves both water that was hours ago frozen and a steady amount of balance.

Last night at 10pm in 33 degrees F. Brian put on his down coat and biked down to the river to soak his legs.
When he got home and showered and his legs where still cold. I asked how it was. Apparently neither too bad and funnily enough not too crowded down there either!

Want to know more about Sully before trying his idea of fun at the river.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Time for a change.

Brian ran a 5000m on the track yesterday. It was a Western State last chance meet. For athletes to qualify for NCAA nationals. Ian a Western distance runner couldn't quite believe Brian would choose to do this for a workout. Ian was running purely to qualify for nationals. He did. Brian ran 15.35. It had been 14 years since he's run a track race. I guess you'll never know what you will or won't do again.

I ran today. My achilles was sound throughout. I even ran several hills. I am very very excited. I was running and the dog was going nuts over the irrigation creek, getting wet then shaking dirt all over me. He was so happy and I was reminded how lucky we are. Gunnison is a great place to run.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Opening day

Hartman's rock's recreation area opened today. yeah! Brian and I met Laura Anderson and Jeff Irwin at the top of Jacks trail for a ride. The mornings snow had made the trails tacky and pretty great. Even with the really cold wind, Jeff breaking a chain, and Brian flatting it was a very good start to our 'Official Gunnison Valley' MTB season.
Much afterward B and I went to the college to run. He is joining in a track meet tomorrow for some pre-Temecula leg speed, and I was testing out my achilles with my first post injury, post riding run.
I was very pleasantly surprised with the progress my tendon has made since the needle session on Wed. Thursday had me anxious as it was very sore and I was thinking oh boy... what have we done? But since it has really settled, fingers crossed. Moving forward.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

This morning it rained.

So what you say. It very rarely rains in Gunnison and even more rarely in the morning. It was nice. It made you want to curl up, drink coffee and read a book.
That didn't happen as I had a 7.30 am client. I'm making up for it now at 2pm when I know I need to get to the pool.
I've had a sore achilles for a few months now, and am fully into rehab with it. Its being super stubborn but slowly getting there... so looking on the bright side I am moving in the right direction again.
To hurry it along. My PT needled it yesterday. It aggrivates the site and causes a healing response. It aggrivated the site alright. It was one of the more painful experiences I've had lately. Its super aggitated today. Although I beleive it is a normal part of the plan.
My achilles has seen me cancelling some early Xterra racing. I opted out of the Temecula championship event next weekend. The hilly nature of the run there is too risky for the progression I've made. Temecula is basically the hardest run on the circuit.
Brian is going and super excited. Kristi is keeping Brian company, they'll be fun travel companions. Kristi is going to fly the flag on my behalf. She'll surprise a few people there.
I'm going to race the MTB national in Santa Ynez. A rather nice plan B. I'm excited.
Right.. swimming.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Mountain states cup, Nathrop, CO

Realising it isn't possible to be in two places at one time, I forwent my favorite MTB race "the Idyllwild classic" in California for the Mountain States cup #2 in Nathrop, CO.
Nathrop is a whole 75 odd miles from home so Brian and I where excited to get away for the weekend without going too far.
It promised to be a good weekend of MTB racing too with a XC on Saturday and a STXC on Sunday.
I wouldn't say the crosscountry is a whole lot of fun there as its always windy (as hell) basically either rough as Gus (rocky) or very loose and sandy. But it has some redeeming features the sweet single track alongside chalk creek and.... well that's the redeeming feature. Oh its always good training too as it offers zero to zilch recovery. Pedal pedal pedal.
I was excited to see how my form was as I've been feeling recovered from the Epic in the past 10 days or so and nice and strong. I felt good racing and took the lead during the first lap. It was kept honest by being pretty sure I could see Kelli around the end fence line of each lap. At the finish line. I was 1st, Kelli Emmett was 2nd and my teamate Caitlyn Tuel was 3rd. It was a strong race for Caitlyn who showed some very promising form and gritty determination.
Brian was 3rd in the men's race. He led for 2 laps feeling awesome and faded at the end as his breakfast 7 hours earlier and non -lunch/1 gel plan caught up. Hard. The race was postponed a full hour and that coupled with our casualness of hopping in the car and heading out to the race, meant we didn't have any food or xtra water. How pro????

Today - Short track, a fun course including a mountain cross segment of fairly steep bumps. Kelli and I got a good gap and switched up the lead. I took the lead on the last lap and won. A short track win is great for me, so I'll happily enjoy it.
The men's short track was very hotly contested... the usual heavy hitters and a bunch of young fast guns coming through. Watch the CO scene closely, there are some fast youngsters coming up. Jay Henry rode a fast brutal pace on the front to take a deserved win. Brian really fought it out with about 8 others for 4th place.

On the way home we stopped at Amicos wood fired pizza in Salida, CO. Exceptional pizza and beer. If you're in the area make a point to stop. Great food and brewery, really good prices. We sampled a Phil's British style Ale. Too bad we had Monarch to drive over as we would have enjoyed some more beer if we could have.


Megaavalanche event

Mike and Ann West went to Peru recently for this downhill event. Mike was 2nd overall. Ann was 5th in the Women's event and more importantly finished with all her body parts intact. Mike said he's never seen Anne so beaten up and bruised in her life. The overall being the best of 2 different races on 2 courses.
It looks insane.

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Thursday, May 1, 2008

Camp Suit in Action

Brian ski's Whetstone Mountain, Crested Butte. (4/23/08)
Photo: Xavier Fane

Give what you've got

The B'man /Cabin showdown.

EX of techie features. ( Skins pockets) Who would have thunk.