Sunday, June 21, 2009

I really dont have much of a bump yet so we pulled out the fish eye lense to make it look more dramatic.
photo by Norm Thibault


So I am technically not supposed to race anymore. My doctor said its too risky with the elevated heart rate and dehydration issues. But he did say I was still allowed to train, just at a lower heart rate. So I have been riding and running and swimming and paddling and gestating nice and easy like, just going off of perceived effort. Its actually been pretty enjoyable. But I am not gonna lie, occaisionally I have strayed on the high side of effort. But its interesting how your body shuts you down when you are pushing it too far. Its like I can feel every ounce of energy being shuttled from my arms, legs and head straight to my core to provide for the wee one. You start to feel like ass and you pretty much get the hint. Back off!

This weekend was Test of Metal, probably the biggest mountain bike race in Canada. Definitely the most fun. Last year I won it and smashed the course record and walked away with $1100. A year later I am getting winded taking the compost out...All for a good cause but it doesnt make it any less of a blow to the ego.

A big group from Nanaimo was going over to race Test of Metal and Norm was racing so I had a few options:
1. Stay at home and sulk
2. Go to the race and play Suzie-Support-Crew all day but probably be bitter for not getting to ride the sweet trails or
3. Start the race with the understanding it was just a fun ride and pull out when I felt tired

I went with option 3. I really wanted to see everyone, ride a bit and help out Norm. This was my option to do all 3. I would start the race, ride to the first aid station and then pull out and help feed the Nanaimo crew. My body seems to shut down at 2 hrs these days anyway, so it should be a perfect length for me.

I saw a whole whack of faces I havent seen in a long time. It was good to catch up with people. Word had spread pretty quick that I was pregnant but I am notreally showing yet. I am in that in between state where you could be packing on the pounds or pregnant but its too rude to ask. More than once I recognized the surprised understanding of a few as they said "Ohhhh, I THOUGHT you looked a little fff (as in fat) or thhhh (as in thick) or chhh (as in chunky)." They always managed to cut themselves off as they realized that might me taken so well but it hung on the tips of tongues.

In my head I was a little worried about starting the race as its pretty hard to turn off that circuitry in your brain. For the past few years I have taught myself to push through the pain and fatigue so now I just felt like a wuss if I stop at the first sign. I had read somewhere that you should keep your heart rate below 140bpm but I personally dont think I would get out of bed for that "workout" and I am sure it was set up for chicks that shop for exercise, so I went with the 150 rule. I even strapped on a heart rate monitor to keep me under tight reins. Unfortuantely there are quite a few major climbs that dont fit the 150 rule so I dutifully pulled over and waited for my heart rate to drop after a few climbs. I caught myself punching it to pass horrificly slow technical riders. I caught myself scrambling to hold the wheels of the 6'5 guys that could block a tornoado. And I caught myself hammering through the fun trails. I didn't stay below 150 the whole race but my head didnt explode, I had a great time and I confirmed that I am definitely in no shape to race. I am not even sure I could have finished the full course. Catharine Pendrel won it and shattered my record. BuT I am pretty sure I won first prego to the feed zone. Small victories...

Me and a small bump. photo by Norm Thibault

Super supportcrew Rollin (he was in charge of feeding 12 riders) me and Norm. photo by Matt Dawes

Norm was third in his category but they only did awards for Elite - LAME. So he went up to the step afterwards for his glory. photo by me.

Monday, June 15, 2009


Its funny what you hear about yourself when you sit back and listen. I haven't been on the race circuit for a couple of months for totally preplanned legitimate reasons yet I started hearing some great rumours as to why I havent been on the US Cup and/or World Cup circuit. I probably should have set the record straight sooner but its pretty funny hearing what I have been up to.

Rumour: I went back to work and quit racing.
Not true. I went back to work in March with plans to have a late MTB season start, race closer to home and focus on mostly multi-day stage races, the first of which is in 2 weeks so by the book I am right on track.

Rumour: I stopped training and got slow.
True. Sort of. I did take a big break off the bike after CX worlds. I went on a holiday, ate poutine and drank milkshakes and it was divine. But as always, the bike calls and I was back to training within a few weeks.

Rumour: I bought a new car and quit training.
True. Partially. I did buy a new car. Sweet little Mini Cooper S. My dream car and it is a blast to drive so I admit I didnt commute to work by bike for a full week. But the guilt caught up and I am back on the bike.

Rumour: I was in Belize for a month doing some underground training.
Not true. I was in Belize but it was for work. I help put on a Biology field school and was there for a month hiking and canoeing with a few trail runs but no bike. Check out the cool critters.

Dying leaf mimic katydid

Red eyed tree frog

Spider monkey

Green iguana

Mayan ruins

Red rumped tarantula

Jaguar (Ok... from the Belize zoo)

Rumour: I am bulemic/anorexic and that is why I was sick at Sea Otter
Not true. At the time, I thought it was something I ate. I later found out it was my belly but not so much food related.

Rumour: I got a boob job
Not true. Sure my boobs are bigger but no silicone

Rumour: I got slow
Getting truer.....

Rumour: I got fat
Getting truer...

Rumour: I have an alien growing inside of me

So if you are expecting race reports you can tune out now as there wont be any for the summer but I will still be posting blog reports of my perspective on races (I will still be at races but as a pro spectator and supporteure) and other cycling related issues if you are interested. Hell, maybe I will toss out the cycling part who knows. Tune in if you are bored.