Monday, December 17, 2012

Thanks Schwalbe for your support...

Thanks Schwalbe for your support...

Saturday, December 15, 2012

6 Hrs Markham - 2nd Place - 67.5 Miles Offroad...

I didn’t race in Markham Park for a long time despite it being my favorite park for quite a while now.
The news about the 12 Hour race here came out of the blue when I was completely ready after going for whole year straight from previous biking season to Xterra season to current biking season and finishing the journey last week in Santos with the final race.
Besides my already low energy levels and this race bing third week now in a row I decidet to give it a try. Just one more race before the holidays and the end of the year... 

Since our plan of putting an awesome girl team for a 12 hour Team Race didn’t fall through I decided to give it a go in 6 Hours Solo. I knew it was going to be a bumpy ride. Recently I am never home; or I’m at work putting in a million hours to make up lost time for my races every week, or I’m traveling to another race, pre-riding the race course or racing it and then driving back home and going straight back to work. It has been tough. But on the other side I was looking forward being able to compete in a local race and support local trails, so this was my opportunity.
I didn’t get a chance to pre-ride the course as I usually do and I knew that first lap will be all about taking my time and learning the track. I didn’t bike here for quite a while now and some things would pop out on me out of nowhere.
Through the woods I go
Girls doing 6 hours solo took off from the start like little speeding bullets. I had no desire to even try to stay with them. I knew I was here for the long haul. Riding first lap was very interesting and I got surprised by the course on numerous occasions and especially on my least favorite Route 66 which was muddy, slippery and had some obstacles that didn’t go well with me. I lost tons of time there. Rest of the course was really sweet however and I enjoyed the interesting layout and the new smoother image of the park. My first lap was 46 minutes long and after that I was able to speed up some. I lost at least 3 minutes to the two girls in front. There was one more girl right in front of me and I was able to make a nice pass on the second lap. Third lap happened to be my fastest and I had a great group of riders that I just passed on my back. This was a motivation to step up a little and have a great lap. One guy sat on my wheel for quite a while and after time we started to chat, I asked him a million times if he wanted to pass me and he asked me if he was bothering me. Lol. He was not; I just wanted to make sure I was not interfering with his race. His response was, “no worries, I think it will be my fastest lap”. Ha. We were all good than. After that I kept slowing down and then remember starting to get more and more tired. There were less people on the trails on each passing lap and I wondered if everyone just stopped racing. It was great to see once in a while another soul out there.
At the end after 67.5 Miles
At some point coming out of the forest I looked at the time and I was at 4 hours and 30 min and told myself “Great, maybe I will just finish this lap and I will be done”. I must have been quite tired already since I was completely sure that in 30 minutes my race will be over. There was Wally waiting for me with my husband both telling me that I’m doing great and have some 2 more laps to go. I was like “two laps!”, looked down on my gps and realized my mistake, “shoot, this is 6 hour race”, I still had long way to go.  After much biking, everything in your body starts to hurt, your knees, your hands, arms, butt, and neck. I started to feel very sleepy and kept on spinning in a half awake state. What was weird about it is that I handled the terrain perfectly fine despite being really fatigued and I had better balance on than off the bike... I had a feeling that most of the girls already stopped biking since when crossing lap 6 one of the girls that was a head to head with me still on the beginning of lap two now was already in the tent just cheering me on. Little later on the Gunrange trail I passed a lady who apparently I was lapping and ended up being fourth for the day. When going to the last lap I saw a girl that had been on the second position for whole race also on the sideline sending cheers my way. All I had to do now was just to keep on going and finish the final lap, which is easy to say but not so easy to do when you are already biking for six hours nonstop and your body keeps on telling you how much it doesn’t like bikes! :)
I am just a little tired...

I took my time and finished second with 8 laps completed. Lead rider was so far ahead that she was able to start her 9th lap before the cutoff time. All I can say is that some people are made of steel and I can only applause them. When I crossed the finish line I walked a few feet away, looked down at a chosen spot and just collapsed. I couldn’t and didn’t want to move even by an inch for quite a while. It was such a relief not to have to bike anymore, and just rest.  Next thing on my mind of course was the food, which was thankfully right there within reach. Race crew did an awesome job organizing the event, bike shops put an extra effort and set up awesome big projection screen where a very cool mountain biking movie was played. Bunch of great people getting together, riding bikes, having fun and doing the right thing at the same time summarizes the perfect Saturday one could wish for.
Now is time to heal however…

2nd Place

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Thanks Salomon for the new Trail Shoes

Thanks Josh and Salomon for the new S-LAB Sense Trail shoes.
I can't wait to take them out for a run...
Since I can remember I always loved Salomon shoes. My trusted favorites are: XA Pro 3D and Speedcross 2 and 3.
I know by now that no other brand can guarantee me this perfect fit, no matter what shoe model it is, they all work. And since I always used and loved the Speedcrosses I secretly dreamed and designed new updated version of them just in my head while out there on the trail... I though what could be redesigned to make it just perfect...
But when I found out that Salomon had decided to take actually create this ultimate ultra-light, breathable and foot hugging racing shoe that I was hoping for quite a while now; I could not express my happiness. I had to have them! :-)
And now after all those years of being so loyal to the brand I could not be more happy to have Salomon’s support!
Happy running everyone!

Salomon Sense

Salomon Sense

Only 151 Grams !!!

Misty had to get a picture with the new Salomon's

And this is my Salomon Collection...

From S-Labs Sense's to Ultra's to Mantra's to Speedcross's (2 and 3) to XA Pro 3d's to Advanced Skin S-Lab Belts and Flasks

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Florida State Series Race Points Sport Women Champion

If not competing in the World Championships of Xterra in Maui on Oct 28th (Where I came in 9th in the World in my age group), the same day as FSC #6 (My Home Track) where they gave away 15 FREE points just for showing up (had nothing to do with riding a bike), I would have placed First in the Florida State Series Overall with 222 points.
Instead I took 4th but am proud of how I did in the first year of Sport. Next Year I will be moving up to Pro/Expert where things will get interesting...

Me, June, Kathy, Candace, Jane...

Big congratulations to all the fast girls of Florida! You are all incredibly strong, stubborn and skilled. Wish this podium could hold you all! Thank you for the amazing series, awesome competition and truly unforgettable experiences. You all rock and I'm happy to be part of it!
Also big thanks to Berger Family from GoneRiding (Dave, Terry and Austin) which makes all of it possible, gives us reasons to get out and bike even more that we sometimes wish and allows us to meet tons of great and happy people. Until next season!

FSC #9 - Santos - 2nd Place

It was great to come back to the Santos Trails and race here for a second time.

Last year in the base class the fight was fierce and all five girls got to the finish line within 15 seconds, it was so close. This year in the new class things were very different.

First of all the weather was great, nice and cool. Beautiful fall leaves were covering most of the track; weak morning sun would pick through the branches of half leafed trees and light gently the trails.

My husband and I did spend some quiet quality time on the trails here. Took our time and enjoyed the scenery and challenge. The course was little different than last year and two technical trails were ran in the opposite direction. Also a new fast and rocky section was added.

It was a very good layout I must say. From the start you went to the fast 1.5 miles of the course, which turned to 1.5 miles of very tough and demanding Tom Brown trail running backwards to switch back once again to another fast 1.5 miles of snake like and highly flyable single track.  After that was a mix of challenging rocky trails, faster sections and a very bumpy rooty and rocky covered tight trail right before the finish of the lap.

It was a constant challenge but also you had an opportunity to recover from the most energy consuming parts. I really liked this course, since it had a bit of everything. Power climbs, fast sections and technical tight single-track and of course great weather. I loved it.

On the start line there was not that many of us girls; I assume only ones that were in contention for overall standings showed up. Either way it was a strong set.

The start was hard, with all of us circling the invisible pond on the sloping tall grass. This took out a lot out of the legs right from the beginning. Then, we went through the shoot and into the single-tracks.


I was in 5th at this time and coming to the first sharp right turn where I saw Candace which was somewhere close to the front just washed out on the loose sand. I saw girls going around her and her picking her bike up and trying to go… When I went around her she said “damn it!” since her chain come undone.
I sprinted after the leaders and in no time I was on their wheels. I felt fast, the course felt fast, I knew I could accomplish a lot today with such a great feel. We approached some rocky parts and I was right there trying to pass what I call “The June and Jane train” and asked for cooperation again and again. It didn’t happen, I kept hitting my brakes and kept backing away seeing that pass is not happening. I got a response “not in the final” and things were left at that. I handled the first lap with no problems and stayed within distance on the technical parts. We shot to the second lap and things were the same.

The train was still in front and I just wanted to go faster. Finally on the path crossing a nice opening I was able to speed up and get by June, sped up some more and ended up on Jane’s wheel. After a while of trying to get something worked out I was told that “there is no red carpet here” and no one will be making any special arrangements for my pass. Wonder how pro/expert guys go about this situation? Hmm… I tried left and right on all those sandy turns and it was tough to pass. Wasted a lot of energy for no reason but Jane kept speeding up more and more making us both get faster and those were all good news.  She kept looking back however to check on June and had to realize at some point it can’t go like this forever. At one point I was so close that our wheels touched and the loud rubber grinding noise come out from our tires. We went through the most technical part of the course once again and after that finally Jane decided to cooperate and gave me space on the trail for the safe pass. I thanked here and took off. I wish it happened earlier however since I already wasted half of the race.

I biked fast and was making great time to see in the final mile of the second lap leader Kathy right there just what seemed like one switchback ahead. Another turn and I saw her once more and she looked back at me. I was sure it was matter of little time and we will be next to each other, but for some reasons I did not see her again. She had to use some “secret boost canister” and take off very fast.

I had good third lap clearing the whole course once again flawlessly, however I could feel my energy starting to run low. It was a very long (22.5 miles/almost 2 hours) and very technical race. From 15-20 seconds to the lead I somehow finished little over a minute behind. Rest of the girls were four minutes back and more. I was expecting local Robin to do awesome on her home course but seems like something happened to her bike since I saw her walking on the trail at one point of the race. Also Candace that was currently in the first place for the series unfortunately lost her shot for victory after the bad start of this race. June was now in contention for first but by arranging the race the way she did and not allowing me to go early in the race and putting me on the end in between herself and Kathy, she allowed Kathy to collect 3 extra points and take the series title instead. If I had won this race things would stay in the undisturbed order, but in the race environment like we all learned already anything can happen at any time and cards can turn very quickly.

After all I’m still very happy with my performance and I feel that I have raced a very good race. I had a blast catching up to the guys and having a great ride with few of the racers on the last part of the course where everyone was already so exhausted and just happy to be heading toward the finish and also be part of the whole experience...