Thursday, January 26, 2012

Fully Rested

Sometimes you just have to listen to your body. Sounds easy? It's not always just that easy.

Here are the facts: 1) I have one of the best coaches in the country and, like a blind sheep, I follow that plan exactly, 2) At times I am supposed to be tired, 3) It does hurt. It should hurt, and 4) Most importantly, I am the only one who knows how I really feel.

Elite athletes are not always good at putting the facts together and making a good judgement call. I have failed that test several times but I have also learned from those lessons. Now I know what to look for when I am under rested.

Am I sleeping well? What's my mood? Do normal little things (i.e. making the bed) seem like monstrous activities? These are my big signs that I am TIRED.

So, last week after calling the coach (for the first time EVER) and explaining that I am just too tired and I can't even seem to get on my bike that particular day. He followed with, "Is Greg working this weekend? You need to go to the mountains. Go have fun. No bike." Um, ok!

And those couple days spent in Vail with our good friends was just what the doctor ordered. I didn't leave the condo much... who needs to when you are staying at The Ritz? (Thanks Nick and Megan!) So, I really don't have many pictures. Here's all I have...

A BIG powder day on Sunday had all the adults, minus me, drooling to get on the slopes. In order to help accommodate that, I offered to hang with my little friends for a couple hours. These little two year olds couldn't help but stare out the window during picture time. Seems like they were itching to make some turns too!
The biggest bonus of the weekend was my bestie from Atlanta coming out for vacation. Perfect timing. Mande flew out Sunday morning with her husband Joe and friends Steph and Greg. It's been way too long since I have seen Mande and was the perfect reason to leave the condo. :) Literally, this was the only time I left The Ritz all weekend. Thanks Mandooooie!

Oh, and then guess what... I couldn't wait to attack this week of workouts. Mentally and physically I was rested.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Windy City?

Anybody who's ever lived in Boulder over the winter questions why we are call the Windy City. Gusts up to 95 mph overnight. Rooftops shredded, sheds in pieces, trees down... and it barely makes local news. If they had these same winds in Florida, they would call it a hurricane. If they had these same winds in Oklahoma, someone who "see" a funnel cloud and call it a tornado. If they had these same winds in Kansa, they would call it Kansas.

Anyway... I ran into a friend today who had a funny memory. When Jill and I both were new to bikes, we rode together. In a naive moment, we were lured to our bikes one January because of the 60+ degree sunny skies. This is how Mother Nature continues to trick us here in Boulder... "Come here little cyclists, I give you sun... and wind! Bwahhahhhahahha!" Well, a couple hours into our ride together, we had a MAYDAY moment. The winds became so out of control that riding was not an option for the real threat of being blown over. Standing holding our bikes was not an option because they were blowing parallel to the ground. We took cover in the ditch with our bikes until a nice driver saw us and stopped to offer us a ride home. The driver was clearly doing rounds picking up runners who were also abandoning their workouts. The car was pretty full. Jill jumps in with no hesitation and I claim that I'll just ride home. There wasn't room in the car and it was no big deal. Her statement today: "I should have known you would make it to this level in the sport being that competitive and driven."

Thanks for the memory Jill and thanks for the compliment! One day our bikes... or running shoes... or skis... or wine glasses...or dogs (hurry up and get one!)... will meet again. Soon.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

All Pumps are Back Together

For the past several months, Greg has constantly been asking questions like, "Hey, have you seen the Specialized bike pump?" "Do you know where my yoga mat is?" Illusively, I never fully answered his questions.

But, last night, I pulled the car back into the driveway here in Boulder. All my belongings (and Greg's) are happily residing in one city. The bike pump, his yoga mat, all my bikes, all my skinsuits, all my toiletries, all my wheels, etc... all back in Boulder where they belong. It's not the stuff or the things that matter. It's the feeling on being settled.

It's the same as last winter, I left my car in LA for the season. As you might know, it is impossible to live in LA without a car. Granted, when traveling with the National Team our primary transportation is taken care of but having my own car means I have a little freedom and go somewhere besides the velodrome and Trader Joe's. But, since I won't be living in LA anymore this winter, it was time to bring it all back. Not to say I won't be back but it won't be for weeks/months on end.

The wagon was packed literally to the ceiling and the drive was as long as I remembered it from October. Listening to the "Hunger Games" made it tolerable and, once again, the second I saw the Rockies I fell in love all over.

It's almost the same routine every time I come home after a long trip: the next morning I wake up and start cleaning (it's no reflection on Greg but it's just how I 'nest'), I visit the post office (and that is a reflection of something Greg doesn't do), I go grocery shopping (no matter how long I'm gone, Greg doesn't go), and then... I go get my massage.

All the routine things that make me so happy to be home... in Boulder... with Greg... with Elke. Back to wearing fleece jackets even to the nicest of restaurants. Back to wondering what the manic weather is going to do, not tomorrow but in the next 30 minutes. Back to trying to fit a full social life into the handful of days I'm home and limited energy my body gives.

Oh, one random thing I learned this morning while cleaning and nesting. You CAN opt out of receiving yellow pages! Wow, big news I know. But, this has seriously bugged me for years. What a waste of resources- paper, human, etc.

Listening to a little Crosby, Stills, and Nash on Greg's new record player. How could I not be a good mood this morning?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Exergy TWENTY12

There's a glimpse of the squad for this season. Here's a glimpse of me and Lauren (and other National Team members) hard at work at the velodrome. For those who don't know anything about Team Pursuit or track in general, watch this video.

USA Team Pursuit Camp feat. Exergy TWENTY12 Riders from Exergy TWENTY12 on Vimeo.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Kicking off 2012!

What better way to do it but with a training camp in LA?!? If it sounds like I do this a lot... well, I do.

This particular LA camp was more of the same.... and slightly different for a couple reasons.

One treat was getting to see one of my favorite people- DeNelle or DeNeNe. College teammate, exercise nut, nutritional no-it-all, corporate smartie pants, true blond, and best friend who is always good for a full body laugh or two.
I got to watch my team- University of Alabama win a National Championship! You can tell my teammates were WAY into the game too. ha! Definitely not the same as watching with football fans but at least I got to watch it.
Under peer pressure, I got my nails painted. But not just classy painted nails... I went ghetto. Ghetto mixed with a little patriotic spirit. This was a trial run for some big races coming up!
Some things don't change... Vigo and his leg rubs.
Beautiful sunsets I get to see on my recovery rides. Let's hear it for 70 degree days in January!
On this particular ride and about 2 hours after this picture was taken, I was saved by that banana in Max's pocket.

Whenever I pack for a training camp, I am optimistic with all that I can accomplish in my downtime. I bring multiple books, plan iPhoto projects, think about all my friends in the LA area I would like to see (Garrett, Sarah, Suzanne, Uncle Jim, etc.), and plan for at least one day lying on the beach. The reality is completely opposite of the plan. I am brain dead, have no energy to be social, and, in general, not much free time for anything outside of recovering. But, that is what hard work requires... hard rest. I have gotten my graduate degree in recovery... still working on that PhD.

In a couple hours, I go back to the track for our last session of this 2 week camp. Rally cap! Tomorrow morning I will sleep in and, after LA traffic, start the journey home to Colorado. I will be brining my car back and I can't wait to see the Rockies!