Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Family Thanksgiving & Jingle Cross Fun

What an amazing and fun weekend! So much fun and adventure, I am just now getting to blog about it.

Jay and I jumped in the cruck after work on Wednesday and headed south for the Henderson Hacienda for our first Thanksgiving together! (usually I'd be up in MN w/ my fam & he in Iowa with his). Bob and Dorothy put us up for the long weekend and kept our bellies and hearts full of warmth and goodness. We got in late and headed to bed after some short visiting and a solo request: Don't wake us up before noon! And sure enough, we got to sleep for hours! Before this, I think it had been months since the last time we slept in on vacation or the weekend, and it was splendid. I felt so very rejuvenated that I couldn't help but beam with joy.

We went for a short ride in the cold before dinner. It really makes me think of what I really love about my bike....riding with Jay. Even though we may go some number of minutes or miles without saying a word, just being with him is bliss. After a good hour or so of riding and practicing our cross skills, we headed back for a warm shower and some hot food.

Thanksgiving dinner was delicious! We had a table full of ham, potatoes, fresh baked breads, and a great Bob-made pumpkin pie. Jay and I got to spend so much time with his parents, it was wonderful. We laid low all day and night, getting some R&R near the end of the racing season. On Friday morning, Jay and I grabbed some breakfast at our fav spot (Hyvee), test "rode" some buckets and wheel barrels for some post-wedding-ceremony excitement, and got another great ride in. We laid low by the house, waiting for the rest of the 612 Crew to arrive. Jay took Zach and I out to the home of CSC's newest acquisition, Jason McCartney, for some great company and stories. After a few glasses of wine, we wished Jason the best of luck in his upcoming training, and he wished us the same for the weekend's endeavors. After we parted, we met up with Leslie & LaLa, Margo and HardDog, and the Grumpy's clan to tear it up at the local pool hall.

Come Saturday, we were all in race mode, even though the temps were below freezing and snow decorated the course...quite a change from the 60-degree temps of last year. Zach & I did the beginner race along w/ a great number of my fav MN racers - Dana, Lynn, Jordan, and Kris B. were all with us, representin' MN well. The race was great and somehow I felt AMAZING! My bike felt so familiar beneath me as I navigated it over obstacles and through the twists and turns. My body mysteriously felt wonderful as well, giving little to no resistance to anything I asked. I don't know if it was the 2 days of riding with Jay, or the extra hours of sleep, but something was perfectly lined up for me to ride a fabulous race and finish in 5th place of 21!!! This was my first Cross race of the year that I've finished in the top 25%! All year I've focused on trying to get into the top 50%, and this blew the rest away.

Jay at the top of Mt. Krumpet

The rest of the crew did great too! Zach finished right around 20th on Saturday, Jay was hurting too much after the Single Speed race to take on the 35+, but he raced so well, none the less. Kris Brazil took 2nd place in the W-Beginner race, Dana Budenbaum 11th, and Lynn Boirsky 12th. Margo Herman looked amazing, representing the Black n White in the Elite Women's race, taking 14th. Aric Hareland kicked some great mid-western tail in the Men's Elite race, taking 13th.

Against Jay's will, we laid low Saturday night, still cold from the day's temps and worn out from some hard races. On Sunday, though, we were rested and ready to go. Having done so well on Saturday, I figured I'd completely blown my load and had nothing left to give. So, to keep my wits about me, I just focused on finishing my last race of the year. Come the start of the race, though, I was blown away to see myself behind Kris, Dana, and Lynn off the front of the pack!! There we were, all 4 MN gals, tearing off the front of the group, setting the pace for the race ahead. The course was reversed and the morning's frost was starting to thaw, making the turns and hills hard and slick. I took a couple diggers due to a simple lack of experience, but I was having a blast. (Thanks to Jay, Leslie, Jimmer, and the rest for cheering so much! I absolutely loved it!).

Aside from my beliefs, I felt amazing yet again. Jay has been working all season to get me to spin it out in a harder gear and now I see why. I finally listened and found myself tearing down the straight-aways, and popping out of the corners with ease. (thanks for being such a great teacher, Sweetheart!). I was duking it out with 4th for quite sometime, losing the place to a gal on the last lap when I went down on an off camber downhill. I caught up to her on Mt. Krumpet, only to get gapped off when she bombed the downhill that followed. I kept close on her tail, but never got by her. I finished proudly in 5th again and loved every moment of it! It even got me my first coverage on BikeThrow!Kris Brazil won the W-Beginners, Dana (9th) and Lynn (12th) had great finishes as well! Zach kicked some major butt, taking 11th in his field w/ a pulled muscle! Nice job, Kid! Jordan Cullen got back to back 4th place finishes. Jay got out and rocked a back2back Single Speed/Master's combo! For a man that never gets to train, I am blown away all the time by the things he can do (he took 6th in the SS, and 22nd in the 35+). Way to go, Baby!! Margot rocked another great race, taking 12th in the Women's Elite race. Bella Maria did great, too, finishing within the top ten both days, and Linda Sone rocked everyone's socks off when she went from 9th to 4th in Rock 2! Aric Hareland made the B&W proud, finishing 16th of the Men's Elite.

Me cheering on Margo

Linda Sone

It was another amazing weekend adventure for Jay and I! We got to eat some great food, spend some quality time with Jay and his parents, and of course, we got to get our bike on in some wicked fun races. Jay, I don't know what my life would be like without you...thank you for every day's adventure! D&B, thanks for a great weekend!

Jingle-Crossed out,
Kristy Kreme

Monday, November 19, 2007

State Championships CX 2007

Saturday was a fabulous time at the Cross State Championships at Basset Creek. Jay busted his butt to make it great, and he aced all that he set out to do. The hardest part was that he had to spend so much time cranking out a (dare I say) "epic" race, that he was left with little emotional reserves to help me get through a pretty rough week.

With little to no sleep under my belt for 5 days, my back re-injured, and my health in question, I felt like a walking zombie when I awoke at 6:00 that morning. While Jay headed to the course for the final preparations, I met my Dad and step-mom at the Earle Brown Heritage Center for some reception hall scoping. Yes, it was pretty crazy to schedule it then, but it was either that or December. So, we did the tour, asked what ever questions we could think of (Where should people lock up their bikes? Do you frown on Derbies??....you know, the important stuff!). When 9:15 rolled around, I started getting antsy and had to jet.

Tired and ready for a nap, I got dressed up in every ounce of clothing I brought and rode over to the course. I got a good lap and a half in when they called us to the start. When they had us go, I knew I was in trouble.... I made it down the dirt road pretty quickly and well placed in the pack, but instantly I cracked. My legs were thick with blood and didn't want to move. My lungs didn't want to expand. My mind was everywhere but there.
Photo from Skinnyski

I trudged through quite reluctantly, against my body's will. Man, I wanted to quit over and over, but having people like Lynn cheering me on over and over, and having Jay riding all over the course to give me praise kept my slow legs turning. I truly wish I could have had a better finish to the MN season than I did, but for how I was feeling I am truly happy that I finished at all. My goal all year has been to finish each race I start, and so far I'm 45 for 45 (knock on Hwood). I don't think I could be much prouder than that for myself!

Jay and Zach did a great job in the B Race. Jay was on fire, taking the State Single Speed Championships, and finishing 2nd overall! I am so proud of you baby! Zach rode great too, looking super pro on his bike as he attacked lap after lap. Man, if only I had that kind of energy again. Way to go kid! I can't wait to see how you do at Jingle Cross.
Pic from Mrs. & Lunatic

Great shot from Lunatic

Linda Sone rode an amazing race, taking 1st in the Women's open. I hope I can make it look that effortless someday. You're great, chica, keep it up! Doug Swanson was also pretty stellar, taking the Men's elite Championship by storm. Aric Hareland made us Silver Cyclists proud, riding fast, and taking fourth in the Men's Elite. Great job, everyone! Hope to see you in Iowa!
Single Speed Champ Jay, Women's Champ Linda Sone, and Men's Champ Doug Swanson
with Trophy creator the original, Ron Gallas!

Party On,

Milaca CX Race

Sure, this is more than a week late, but the theme of this blog has always, and will continue to be, nothing but fun, adventures and happiness. Last week was one I surely would like to forget...between the most stress I have even gone through in 3 years at my work, pressures to get our reception planned, racing, a major decline in my back injury recovery, and a migraine that wouldn't go away, I couldn't find the joy to write a happy blog.

I did, however, absolutely love the Milaca CX race, and I don't want that to go unappreciated! Thanks to everyone who put it on - I had so much fun!
I felt great on my bike and loved the course (I love barriers!). The bridge kinda freaked me out for the first couple laps, but I got over once the Tiger's eye was doing the sight-seeing. I did a pretty good job keeping an eye on Marilyn Laliberte for the whole race, dropping off her trail on the long double track, but reeling her in on the single track and closing fast at the barriers.

Coming to the finish, she had a good 20 yards on me, but I charged with every last bit of energy. It was my first CX sprint finish of the year, and I loved every millisecond of it! I didn't end up catching her, but I closed those 20yds down to a mere bike length. Man, it felt great!

I finished proudly in 6th! My kid bro had another great race, too. It's hard to believe he's so new to the sport. Unfortunately, my camera broke at Homey Fest this year, so I've been able to take little to no pictures for myself. I did enjoy cheering my brains out as Jay rocked and rolled on the course - finishing great and having a wonderful time.

HardDog was the super-man of the day, though. Flatting in the 1st or 2nd lap while in the top 3, then changing out his wheel, then chasing on like a rabid dog to go from 6th to 2nd! Way to go, Aric, you da man! ;O)

Thanks again for the great time, everyone!
Kristy Kreme

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Who'da thought it takes so much planning....

Jay and I got up before seven today - yep, on Saturday! And there wasn't even a race. We got up to scope out some wedding reception locations! Yes, to anyone not into the slightly girly stuff, feel free to scroll down to the tree pics - it gets back to racing there. hehehe

Really, I've considered starting up a second blog just for the wedding, but that requires even more attention that I rarely can spare. Maybe once the racing season has ended. Until then, this wedding's an adventure so it easily fits in with the theme of this blog, right? At least it has been so far. Oi, I never knew there were so many details one had to attend to.

We hit Isanti at 8:30 this morning to check out a barn for a possible "barn-bash" style wedding. Quickly summarized: it sounded better than it turned out to be. Super cute and a fun idea, but when it comes down to it, I'm not peeing in a port-a-potty in my wedding dress. I don't think indoor plumbing is really too much to ask. Next!

Jay had a 1:00 appointment at Basset Creek to finish planning the State Cross race course, so we headed back to the cities. On the way, we were discussing ideas and Jay said he "had something up his sleeve", navigating me around until we found the parking lot he was looking for. We pulled up to the Theodore Wirth Golf Club and took a look around - maybe a future ceremony site?? Who knows?

Then, we took the parkway over to the Metropolitan. I'd never seen it before, but I am assuming some of you may recognize it from a former MCF banquet....
To make a long story short, some of my family members have been pretty anxious about us not having the reception hall booked and the date picked - it's been quite stressful. So much so, that I've barely gotten in to the reception site touring....Until now. Oh, I was so blown away by this place! I felt giddy and silly and my mind raced with ideas! So, now we just have to see if we can do it. Heck, the MCF partied there, we should surely be able to pull it off, eh?

So, after Jay dragged me out of there against my will, we headed out to get the race course laid out. We grabbed Timmer and met up with Harddog, Margot, Scotty Rob, and Roundtree on top of the hill to see what they could come up with. I wasn't part of the planning crew - I was just supposed to ride my bike on it. I guess if if a noob like me can do it, it must be safe enough for everyone. But I was too hopped up on the Metro and too freakin' numb from the cold to get into my lycra, so I just hung out and watched the spectacle.

Surprisingly, it didn't take as long as it seemed it would. At the start, it was like a bunch of kids were trying to figure out if GI Joe's base camp would be better under the slide or in the wood pile. Luckily though, after some riding, testing, and plotting, GI Joe gets to storm through paths like this.....
The final product still has a week before being revealed, but you know it wouldn't be Basset Creek without a little bit of this....
I expect to see a lot of hecklers up there with primes for the C race! Where's the love?!

As for tonight, it's warmth and relaxation to ready ourselves for Milaca tomorrow. It should be a blast!
Kristy Kreme

Monday, November 5, 2007

Lemond's view on hunting.....

To finally complete the tale of Interbike '07, here's Greg Lemond's insight on hunting as we hung out and watched the Pro's crit.....

Grumpy's CX

Sunday was so beautiful when Jay and I got up for yet another cyclocross race. The temps weren't much warmer than Saturday, but the sun was full of heat and energy. The leg warmers and base layers that got me through Saturday never made it out of the bag....and yet I still managed to find a reason to unzip the skin suit. I don't know what it is - I'm usually a complete freeze baby - until I mount that bike.

My lil bro Zach made it out for another race, even though he was coming down with a slight cold. Hopefully he's getting some rest now since State is coming up! The Grumpy's CX course was a riot! Tons of turns, barriers, and hillsides to make it interesting, muddy, and silly fun. I'm still a big kid - giggling the entire time as mud flies up in my face. What can I say? I love this sport!

The day I'm out there without this look on my face, I insist someone take my bike away!
Thanks for cheering, Jimmer!

So, working on the Crit idea again today, I lined up at the front row for the start of the race and sprinted with everything I had when they yelled Go! I got in and out of the Velodrome in 1st (a personal best for me), and set a great pace for myself for the race. June was right on me and quickly passed me up - she's so rad! I'm happy to even finish when I'm racing against her. Not only is she good, but she's such a sweet gal! (Way to go, June!). I rode as fast as I could for the entire race and loved every minute of it. I even mastered my goal of only 2 drinks, too! (I might just get the hang of it yet.)

The course was surprisingly muddy and soft even though it hadn't rained in over a week, which made for some silly, or should I say sloppy, good fun! I love ya bro, but I still had to include this one..... (don't worry Ma, he's fine! It was squishy)

photo from Skinnyski.com

Jay, unfortunately, had re-injured his leg and had to drop out in the first lap of his single speed race. The man can be pretty intense during a race, but this look was obviously pain....
photo from Mrs. (thanks for Cheering!)

Jay hit the sidelines and cheered hard, keeping me going lap after lap. He's such a super fiancee!
The mud was so much fun, and I loved all the barriers!

photo thanks to Skinnyski, the greatest sports photographers around!

Wow, I felt great and think I rode pretty awesome too, battling it out for the last couple laps with Lotsa-Speed Lori and having fun while doing it. She capitalized when I slowed up the last time through the muddy ditch pulling out in front for the final time. I, however, saw Bruce just feet in front of me, and made it my goal to eek past him with my last bit of effort. I saw his bike slow behind another rider as he was working out of the ditch. I took the high line up left on the hill, diving straight in and back out of the ditch as fast as I could, giving me the advantage coming into the home stretch. Jay was on the sidelines screaming as I sprinted with everything I had left, coming in right behind Lori, and just before Bruce. Man, it felt great!

Silver Cyclists did great overall! Margot Herman looked AMAZING on her Javelin, finishing 3rd in the elite Women's race to Linda Cooper in 2nd, and Linda Sone in 1st. Aric Hareland rocked a super-fast 2nd place in the A-1s! I just hope I can make it look so effortless some day.

Aric Hareland, photo from Skinnyski

More A Results:
Jimmer - 7th A3
Matt Muyers - 12th A3
Andy Kruse - 9th A1
Marc Wiken 10th A2

More B Results:
Matt Stein - 13th B1


More C Results:
Kaveh Rahimi - 5th Single Speed
Zach Attack Gast - 32nd C1
All the Way Ray - 40th C1
Jordan - 1st C4
Dana Bidenbaum - 10th C2
June Sayers - 2nd C2
Barb Harrik - 8th C2
Manda Lo- 6th C2
Lynn Biorsky - 13th C2

Thanks to everyone for Cheering! I love it! Thanks to Grumpy's and the Crew for putting on a fun race. And a special thanks to the officials for somehow keeping track of us all!

Cross'n and lovin' it!
Kristy Kreme

Ham Lake CX

Saturday was the Ham Lake CX. Or maybe it was a crit in the woods - I'm not really sure. All I know is that it was FAST!

True testament to what a noob I still am, it was news to me when Jay recommended that I treat CX races like criteriums. Honestly, I had never really thought about it in that format. Heck, I've never even thought of drafting in cross races, so you can imagine the silent moments that followed such statements on the drive up.

Jay's great about not pushing any training regimens or theories on me. He'll just throw out ideas until I start digging into his brain for more. Me, I typically drink each lap and run it sub-max. I never thought to do otherwise. With the Crit idea in mind, I made a challenge to myself to drink only every other lap. Heck, you don't drink in crits, right? Or did I? I don't remember - it's been a LONG season.

I got a great start position and tried my hardest to sneak into the trail as far up in the pack as I could. The pace was insane from the get go and I rode the wave, attempting to get ahead of as many people as I could as soon as possible. When we hit the road, I jumped on a wheel and held tight. I was riding great, coursing through the wooded trails, over and around obstacles....trying only to survive, not think.

Other than focusing on my barrier skills (which is what I focus on each race, and b/c it's my favorite part of cyclocross), I completely impressed the heck out of myself by only drinking twice. The lazy night home the night before my have helped me be more hydrated, but not letting my mind beat me was even better!

With 2 laps to go, Becky got on my wheel and rode it. She rode it so gracefully, she even coasted when I sat up to rest. I tried to lose her on the trail during the last lap, but couldn't finish it off solo. I still don't have the endurance yet. Me, I come from a hockey & rugby background, where all I needed was a solid minute or two of intense effort, then 5 minutes of rest, repeat. Never before have I done anything like bike racing requires, so I still need to teach my little lungs and heart a thing or two.

With a quarter lap to go, Becky came around me. She didn't get far, though, as I jumped on her wheel and rode to the finish after her. With little energy left, I couldn't out sprint her, but was happy to finish behind her after the fight I had put up. I think that was the hardest I'd ridden a Cross race all year - how could I be disappointed?

Well, honestly, I did get a little teary afterwards, knowing that I hadn't finished top 3. Yes, I know I am not there as a rider yet, but a little gal like me can dream, right? I want so badly to get a fab finish like that just to impress Jay (and myself), even though I know he's proud of me just for being out there. Someday.... until then, I'm still so happy to just finish!
I got 7th place of 13 great women! I am quite proud of myself indeed.
Jay did great, aside from a kickball injury earlier in the week, taking 12th in the A1's.
More Hollywood/Silver Cycling & Friends Results:
Aric Harlan - 3rd
Jay - 12th
Super Todd - 5th
Snides - 5th
Jimmer - 8th
Matt Muyers - 12th
Greg 'Stick' Lavick - 15th (Lavick tripled up again, taking 17th in the B1's, and 5th in C1's)
Matt Healy - 31st (Matt doubled up, taking 18th in C1's, too)
Dave Herbert - 4th
Linda Sone - 1st
Margot Herman - 4th
Lunatic Biker - 46th
June Sayers - 3rd
Lynn - 9th
Jordan Cullen - 1st

Great job everyone! Thanks to the SPBRC & Peacock Groove for putting on a great race!
Kristy Kreme

Rocky Horror Picture Show

On Friday night, my friend Aleshia and I dolled up and hit the Ordway to check out the fun and follies of the Rocky Horror Picture Show!
Somehow, we missed the memo that it was Sr. night at the Ordway, showing up as 2 of the 1/2 dozen that showed up in full Time Warp garb. The rest of the crowd was wearing leisure suits and pearls....but hey, who doesn't like a little fish-net stocking and black eye shadow every now and then??

The show was amazing! Not only did it come with the Audience Participation Pack so we could make noise and throw confetti along with the story, but the performers blew us away. The gentleman playing Dr. Frank-N-Furter (Monte Wheeler) could not have been better cast. From the moment he stepped into the spotlight, the Doc sounded exactly like Tim Curry. I've never had so much fun watching Rocky Horror in all my life! It was hysterical - especially since they encouraged the audience to heckle and interact with what was going on. Something this little crosser gets a major kick out of. (No cross-dressing pun intended). ;O)

I can't wait until next year to go see it again! If you're still looking for a fun night out, though, it's still playing through Nov. 25th. I strongly urge you to check it out!

Time Warpin' into the night,
Kristy Kreme