Monday, June 22, 2009

Playmobil Hates Cyclists

My hubby & I spent the past weekend in Iowa visiting family. Imagine our surprise as we casually walked into the mall toy store after our AM coffee, to find a viscous scene...

As we meandered through the toys and stuffed animals, Jay came across a Playmobil set that said it all. See for yourself:
The poor cyclist, mowed down on their cute little yellow bike.... the EMT who moonlights at the Velvet Room....and zoom in and check out the doors on the ambulance... All you can read is "lance".....what are they trying to say?

Cyclist, beware - there maybe little plastic figurines out there ready to mow you down in the middle of your leisurely ride!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Perfect Black Dog

Last night was a quite unbelievable Black Dog, with all the planets (and cars) aligning perfectly enough to allow El Gato to lead me to a new PR! The wind was minimal, the air was thick with humidity but not bugs, and the cars were scarce. For the first time this year, I was able to do the entire 7 miles without a car or a rider forcing me to stop in any way, shape, or form....and I capitalized on every inch of it.

Playing around w/ my Garmin, I set it so it would beep at me every time I got below my goal mph to keep myself from stressing about my speed. I flew down the beginning stretch, even w/o being able to find my 30-second guy. HWooD, starting 1 minute behind me, and Ronny at 30-seconds back didn't catch me til the turn around!!! Unbelievable - I've never been able to stay away so long.

With a song blaring in my head and a couple new rabbits to chase, I headed towards the finish into the headwind. Somehow, as I focused on my form and aero-ness, the wind didn't seem to phase me until I hit the factory on the return. After that, I was toast, fighting desperately to keep my speed up and shut the Garmin up in one fair effort.

As I came out of the schicane under the bridge near the finish, I looked at my time for the first time all race and saw 16:56 on the read out..WTF??? I was still under 17 minutes??? I dug as deep as I could as I battled the disbelief and managed to cross the line at 24 mph. When I stopped the clock on my bike, it read 17:17, and wicked fast time that blew my old PR from last year out of the water by more than 30 seconds! Once the results were finally posted, I saw I had cranked out a 17:14!!! (I start the timer 3 seconds early each time).

I couldn't believe it (nor do I really know if I believe it now, either). I hopped back on the trainer when I was done and just relived the race again as I cooled down, trying to figure out when I tapped into that well. But it dawned on me - it was my perfect race. As I went back to my Garmin today to check out the stats, I know it was my first leg that got me there - riding the first 1/2 in only 7:46! Hot damn! But, that also means I was 2+ minutes slower on the return. Now, only if I could figure out how to pull times like that on both sides of the turn around, I'd be set.

When you break it down, though, I've got the racing bug bad. After watching all the amazing women at NVGP, all I want to do is go fast.

Ridin' cloud 9,
Kristy Kreme

Nature Valley Grand Prix Fun

This year's NVGP was a great time - so many fast racers, the local hometown heroes and heroines that didn't disappoint, and all the partyin made it well worth the running around and stayin' up til all hours of the night.
The St. Paul Crit is always a fave, gettin together with my favorite race-lovin friends and checkin out all the action. But, even better this year, was the Uptown Crit! Sure, we weren't able to scream off the top of Brits Pub this year, but we were able to hoof it to the race and return home for a killer backyard rager afterwards. Even some of the racers took time away from resting to dine on some tasty vittles and party with us in the backyard!

Caveman rocked the grill!
A few local yokels
MeanDog enjoyin the grub ------- Kaity & Me

After washin' down some 110 pieces of meat with 100+ beers, we closed out the night with a midnight mosh pit and stumbled off to bed without incident or mess. We cleaned up so well before the party closed that there was nothin to pick up come sunrise. It was awesome.

The only bummer was waking up with a killer hangover. Everytime I tried to stand, I broke into a sweat....and I had a race to get ready for. Ick. Somehow, after some coffee and gingerly eaten toast, my system began to recover and I was able to suit up for the afternoon criterium. The sun was high and hot but the race was amazing. The zig-zag course was AWESOME and I got a sweet jump at the beginning of the race, coming through the first lap in first. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to hold on to it as Heidi Dahlman passed me just a couple laps into the race, and at such a pace I just couldn't jump on.
Madone and Swigs caught up to me soon and we TT'd it to the finish as a team, sealing 2nd, 3rd, and 4th!!! Since Swigs took 2nd, me in 3rd, and Madone in 4th, we pooled the cash prizes and split it evenly. It was great teamwork and a ton of fun. Thanks, Mankato! Hope you have the same course next year!!!

Kristy Kreme

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

I'll take the rain, but not the cold

Saturday was the most miserable way to TT on my fave course....well, in all honestly snow would have made it MUCH worse, but still.... it sucked. At the St. Peter TT this weekend, it was cold, rainy and windy. Not very adventageous to my goal time of 1:05:00. :(

But, the terminal optimist in me shivered my lil butt over to the start line anyway to give it a good ole college try. The first couple minutes was simply battling my own brain as it screamed "WTF???" and the rain soaked my skinsuit. Once adrenaline took over, though, it was just me and the near silence of my crank arms turning over and over.

(thanks Seth!)

I didn't have any rabbits to chase but I still felt like I was flying. Have I mentioned how much I love my new position? At the turn around, I got a big ole slap in the face when I turned into the head wind. Where the heck had that come from??? It was agonizing fighting my way through it, and it made me realize that the people I had seen going in the opposite direction as I got to the turn around weren't slower than me cuz I was THAT FAST..... it was the damn headwind! So I tucked into my sleeper position and held onto whatever semblance of aero I could.

With three miles to go the adrenaline was wearing thin and my awareness once again reached my skin. I no longer had feeling in my right leg at all, and it was hard to tell if it was putting out any power at all or just along for the ride. My seat was screaming at me and my hands would no longer open. I turned it up another notch knowing, not only did I want a fast time, but maybe I should hurry up and finish for my own health. So I barrelled through the finish line with numb limbs and headed straight to the car. Once I dislodged my frozen body from by bike, my legs gave way and I sat in the rain in the parking lot. I couldn't stand back up until Jay grabbed hold of me and tossed me into the car. The pain was incredible and I could barely maintain control of myself as I attempted to undress and warm up.

It was until about 45 min. and a huge cup of coffee later that my teeth quit chattering and I regained the dexterity of my hands enough to handle common tasks. Unfortunately, after all the suffering and sacrifice, I didn't meet my goal. The highlight, though, was that I was still only 7 seconds slower than last year's perfect condition TT. And, since it sounded like a lot of people had slower times due to the wind and cold, it works for me. To top it all off, I ended up taking 3rd in the women's 4's!!! Now THAT was rad!!!

Hwood and I joined Timmer, Stick, and Madone for some post-race pizza and headed home for sweatpants and nap time. We didn't rise again until 9:00PM! But we needed it. I was so spent from the hard effort, I stayed in my jammies all afternoon and night. But it's nice to have that recovered feeling already. I can honestly say, though, that I could definitely use some sunshine and warmth this week!

Thawin' out,
Kristy Kreme

Thursday, June 4, 2009

My name is Kristy, and I'm a TT-aholic

This was the Duluth TT in Wrenshall, MN - it's uphill w/ a head wind until 2:00 min into the video. I cut almost 2 minutes off my time from the year before with my new position!!

If you're a fan of the TT, and you haven't invested in a proper fit, you're missing out! Want a recommendation? Check out Hollywood's mad skillz!

Partyin' on and ridin' strong


Hellians Unleashed

Saturday was a perfect day for racing, and the Black n' White didn't hesitate to take Mother Nature up on it. Hwood and I headed out early for the East Union Circuit Race, a short, fast, and relatively flat race with a lot of sun and wind.

In the AM race, Hwood through down some major effort in the middle of a NVGP-hungry pelaton. As a qualifying race, it amped up the energy and intensity BIG time. Though I missed the finish on account of readying myself for my own race, my super-fast hubby rocked an amazing 12th place finish!!! I'm so proud of you baby!! Now, with only one more qualifier to go, Hwood's sittin cool in the top 8 for the composite team....

As for our race, the ladies had a great time rockin' out some team tactics with near-textbook precision for the first time. With only 18+ miles to race, we knew we had to be smart, especially when dealing w/ some intense winds and a fast tail-wind finish. Nearing the end of the first of two laps, two Hellians (Swigs & OC) got off the front w/ the fabulous Theresa Moriarty. As I saw it unfold, I sat up instantly and made sure Points and Madone did the same.

Being in a group full of individuals, there was little chasing going on since few people wanted to take a pull at the front. We watched as our girls kept gettting farther and farther away, sitting comfortable in the Pelaton and readied ourselves for the finish.

At our final approach to the finish, a AUC rider attached on a small roller and I made myself her shadow. When she began to fade, June came up on me and I matched her speed until she began to slow. Knowing they were both slowing and that the crest was right in front of me, I launched my attack! I conquered the hill, loving the descent, and laughing at the cross wind....until I saw the climb I was SUPPOSED TO attack on. There was no turning back. I dug deep into every last ounce of energy and determination I could grab hold to and took off.

I got a gap of 9 seconds on the field while in the cross wind and never looked back. Even as I made the final turn into the tail wind, I didn't dare look over my shoulder. I kept digging, looking between my legs for any approaching shadows and I looked straight down, as tucked in as I could be.

Though they gained 3 seconds on me in the tail wind, I finished in third solo, with my hubby, friends and teammates screaming for me at the line. It was one of my favorite finishes ever - and the first time I'd ever rode off the front like that!!! It was so amazing. I'm still super jazzed about it, and can only hope the season keeps improving like that!

Thanks to Points & Madone for watching the field, and for OC, Swigs, Stick, Cave, Theresa, Tara, and my super duper husband Jay for screaming for me to the finish!!! You guys rock! Hellians took 1st, 2nd and third. Yowza!

Ready to take on the world,
Kristy Kreme