Monday, April 25, 2011

Wind and Wine in Walla Walla

I did my first stage race of 2011 this past weekend, the Tour of Walla Walla.  One of the biggest regional races, this show has usually drawn a very competitive field across all categories.  This year was no exception for the Women Cat 4 field- most of the top ladies from the local races were there, along with some really fast ladies from Eastern Washington and Canada. 

Our races included a Saturday morning 9.3 mile time trial, a 25 minute criterium or "crit" in the afternoon, and the rather hilly Kellogg Hollow Road Race Sunday morning (37 miles, five moderate climbs for about 1900 feet of climbing total). I've been loosely following a training plan which has me peaking in time for July's criterium races, so I came into this race planning on using it mostly as training.

Here's a stage-by-stage account...

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Grit and Gloom- Olympic View from the back

It was 42 degrees and raining.  I was soaking wet and covered in road grime, my feet were blocks of ice, and the sunblock I'd put on my face that morning had been streaming into my eyes for the better part of two hours, adding a nice sting to my already itchy eyes, inflamed from some serious seasonal allergies which had kept me up most of the night. I was running on roughly three hours of sleep, a bowl of oatmeal, a peanut butter clif bar, and enough ibuprofin to keep the menstrual cramps at bay.  As I grunted and struggled to turn my pedals over a few more times to get to the top of the hill, the other two ladies I was chasing - Susanne from Blue Rooster and Jackie from Bikesale, both 15 years senior to me- looked over their shoulders at me from the top of the hill. 

"Meghan, let's make a pact right now.  We will wait for you, but you can't come around us at the finish and sprint to beat us, ok?  We don't want to see any front-of-the-pack tactics..."