Coyote Classic 2014

The Coyote Classic is the first race of the NMORS season and it is always a good welcome to the mountain bike race series.  Luckily this year we had a little bit of cooler weather.  It took place on March 30, 2014.  Because I am such a slacker with blogging and I’m writing this in July, I will try to recap as much as possible!

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Normally Mike and I both would have raced this race, but after doing the 12 Hours of El Paso, I realized I definitely was not ready for the sport course of the race.  Sometimes I wish I could go back to the beginner days just to build up my stamina.

Here is a pic of Mike and Eric Sortemme, a good biking buddy of his.  This was Eric’s first race and he placed fifth out of a lot of people.  Awesome!

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Olivia came along for the show and was pretty excited to watch all of the mountain bikes.  She is all about anything with wheels!

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During the race, the bikers make a loop through the start line and then go out for another smaller lap.  It was cool to see Mike come in so soon. I knew he would podium after I saw him come in on the first lap.  And he did!  He got third place in his large 30-39 category!

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Mike pre-riding before the race!

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The crowd that showed up.  It is always a big race!

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Right before the starting whistle for all of the categories!

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Overall, it was a success.  It is really competitive to get a podium in this race, so it was awesome to see Mike get a plaque!

12 Hours In The Old El Paso 2014

Holy cow! It has been three months since we did this race, but I am going to try to recap what we did. So yes, one of our long-term goals this year was the return of Lady Cluck and the Boys.

Mike, Brent, Jared (and Brad), and I signed up for 4 man co-ed race for the 12 Hours In the El Paso race on February 1, 2014..  It started out with me on the first lap.  I have never started a twelve-hour race.  In case you don’t know, you have to run to your bike in your bike shoes to start the race.  (That was very interesting!!) The other factor I didn’t think about was how we were ALL starting at the same time! It was really hard for me to keep up with the fast people and then I would get stuck behind slow people.  I ended up averaging about a 1 hour and 15 minute lap!

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Not to jump the gun or anything…but did I tell you that we got first place??? 🙂

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Every single person on our team ended up riding two laps and it worked out perfectly.  The timing for me was impeccable because the baby took her nap when i went out on my second lap.  The boys kind of got jipped because each of them had to do a night lap. I was the last person to go at sunset….so lucky! I am a terrible night rider!

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If you look closely, yes I am holding a baby on the podium! Haha.  She lasted the whole day!

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This is Brent going out on his night lap.  The first part of the race is pretty fun because you are doing a section called Lazy Cow that is super windy.  Then you hit an uphill climb for a huge portion of the race and then it is all downhill from there…until you head back to camp. This year they added a little more miles to the race and had you come into camp and take off on some more treacherous trail. I hated it! It was pretty hard and mentally hard on me.

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We had some friends and family to come out and support us!  That was fun!

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This last part of the trail is a jeep road that is downhill. It feels awesome to fly down it and hit the finish line!

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We did it! We got first place!  Lady Cluck and the Boys did not disappoint!

Trifecta Omnium 2014

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I love the Trifecta Omnium because it is a local race in Las Cruces, New Mexico.  Zia Velo (our team) hosts it and does a great job making it eventful.  I really like how they do the TT and Crit in one day.  Usually on an Omnium event, it takes three days to do all of the events, but it makes it so much better when you can do it in two days.

As you can see, the weather was a little gloomy and of course it was windy.  Let me just tell you it was beautiful and sunny the whole week before.  It always happens!  As if the bike gods know that a race is coming up, they will make sure the weather plays a role.  Mike prefers it to be windy though, because he considers it as an advantage.  Yes, I just shared a tactic by my husband. 🙂

This picture above is Mike coming back in from his TT.  He placed 5th place in the Category 4 group.  The top people were all ten seconds apart.  It was crazy how fast they all were!

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Olivia managed to come and behave herself, except when it was time for me to volunteer for the Crit.  Then she decided to have a blowout and meltdown at the same time.  Thank goodness after Mike’s race, he was willing to take over.

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The crit was actually really fun to watch.  I was a volunteer and had to stand in the median as they passed me on the laps.  I was holding an orange flag and making sure they didn’t hit me.  Unfortunately, I had to witness a pretty gnarly fall from the Cat 1-2-3 group.  I saw a guy hit a cement barrier and go rolling across the pavement. It was intense!  I love this shot of Mike.

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If you look closely in the background, you can see the ambulance.  Here is Mike pre-riding.  Can I tell you that he gives me a heart attack every time because he waits until the last second to get to the starting line!

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On the second day, the cross-country race takes place in a tiny town north of Las Cruces called Hillsboro.  I rode it a few years back and loved it!  The roads are smooth and they have an awesome climb that starts in the town and then climbs up towards the next little town.  Yes, there is a lot of climbing!

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More action shots of the Cat 4 guys on the crit.

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Mike’s last-minute prepping.  I like how they have these races out by the Las Cruces airport.  The roads have less traffic and there is a lot more room to park.

Overall, the weekend was a success!

I LOVE Strava!

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A friend of mine is training for a 5k in February and she texted me the other day to ask me what I used to keep me motivated to run. I know most people like to use Map My Run, which I have nothing against, but I really found an awesome app to use.  I immediately told her to download Strava Run (and for you bikers out there, Strava Bike). My husband and I are very competitive people and like to have goals to achieve whether it is going against other people or even ourselves.  Mike was the one to show me this app and now I am hooked!

The best thing about Strava Run is that it pretty much is going against yourself (unless you find a course that someone else has run and documented).  In my case, my neighborhood has a perfect loop that you can run a perfect 5k.  I run this about once or twice a week and it will tell me whether I beat any previous records I set. Mike likes to run a loop at NMSU where other runners have recorded their times, so he can see his records along with others.

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I like how it shows how my pace was (I was running with the stroller this day) and how I started off faster and then got slower with my pace.  That tells me that I need to pick up the pace at mile 2 and 3.

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When you finish a run, it will show your overall pace, calorie burn, elevation gain, and moving time.  The moving time is especially good for those times you are standing at the beginning trying to get the music started on your headphones.

Here’s where the competitive part comes in.  On this particular bike ride, I noticed I had a Queen of the Mountain when I was done.  This means that the people who rode before me had a slower time.

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You then click on the trophy and it will tell you the time you did it in and the other times of the other riders.  You can add friends (and enemies..hehe) and see an activity feed of their rides.  I love looking at what other people did to keep me motivated!

You should try it out!  It’s really a great app!

Aguirre Springs Ride

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Since the weather has been completely awesome here (I apologize to the people back East), Mike and I have been out riding as much as possible.  We took off to Aguirre Springs on Saturday for some major hill climbing.

We like to park on the opposite side of the Organ Mountains and then bike up the pass over into the Aguirre Spring campground area.

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I always forget how terrible I am at downhill biking.  You never really think about that, but when there are major hills I clam up and think about the fact that I am going really fast and could be part of the asphalt if I don’t play it right.  I had to keep stopping because I was developing the “crab claw”, which is from holding your brakes so tight that you can’t let go.  I hate to say it but I’ve had the “crab claw” before during races too.

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I don’t think you can tell in this picture, but this downhill is intense once you make it to the highest point of the loop.  The whole loop from where we parked on the other side of the mountain is about 15 miles.  The inner loop, which is very steep, is about 4 miles.

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If you look closely in this picture, on the left hand side towards the top, you can see your destination.  Just take my word for it, it is a big climb.  My Strava totalled about 2600 feet in climbing.

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This guy came along with me and decided to show me up and do three loops around the hard part of the course.

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It’s a good thing I like him 🙂

On the climb back to where I was picked up, I felt pretty great because the climbing is very gradual.  I even made a Queen of the Mountain on the final ascent!

I totally recommend this ride for strengthening hill climbing skills.  I did this ride right before my first road race in 2011 and it definitely prepared me for it.

Back In The MTB Saddle Again

The New Mexico Off Road Series is looming in the future (March 2014) and I am currently trying to get back on the mountain bike to race.  The last time I raced big time was in 2011.  I’ve been riding since four weeks postpartum, but I will be honest and say that it took about six months to feel normal and even now, I still don’t feel completely 100 percent.

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I think my saving grace right now is the road bike, believe it or not.  There was a time that my husband would have laughed out loud at the thought, but I am a true believer (and he is too) that if you want to be a great mountain biker than you get in some miles on a road bike too.  I have seen it happen to my husband and I can see it happening to me now. It’s funny how 15 miles on a road bike is so little, but on a mountain bike that is a Cat 2 mountain bike race!

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I can’t go riding without my lucky charm.  I’ve had this Hen in my Camelbak since my first race in August 2009.

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UPCOMING RACES

Here is a list of Southern New Mexico races in the next month or so (road and mountain) to help with training:

January 26    El Paso Puzzler (El Paso, TX)

February 1   12 Hours of Old El Paso (El Paso, TX)

February 1 Missile Man Duathlon (White Sands, NM)

February 21-23 Valley of the Sun RR Series (Phoenix, AZ)

And here are some running events too:

January 20 MLK 5k Run (White Sands, NM)

January 26  The Biggest Loser 5k/Half Marathon (Las Cruces, NM)

February 8 Cupid’s Chase 5k (Las Cruces, NM)

We All Can’t Be Good At Being Antisocial, Right?

Today was definitely one of those days that I needed.  I’ve had something to do every day this week and found I needed a little “me” time, which meant I actually had time to read a book (which I haven’t done in YEARS) and take the dog and kid to the park. I woke up around 6 with LO, made some breakfast, and then started gutting the garage to fit all of our Christmas stuff that magically doubled this year.

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I came across this little gem today while I was scrolling through Facebook during my “me” time.  I was cracking up about the whole “Antisocial” thing for New Mexico because I was totally feeling like that this week.  I thought it was some kind of joke!  Really though. Ever since I’ve had Olivia, I’ve become MAJORLY antisocial. Sometimes it’s just easier to not make plans than to make plans and cancel them because your kid is being fussy right? Plus, I hate to say it, there aren’t a lot of things to do here in Las Cruces, especially in the winter time.

CHECK THIS OUT

So I LOVE the blog www.pbfingers.com and read it almost every day.  I came across it a few years ago when I was trying out some quick, healthy recipe that I wanted to make.  She is my hero for a few reasons: she quit her job to work from home, she loves Les Mills’ BODY PUMP just as much as I do, she lives in Florida (my dream), she certified to be a fitness instructor, and also has some really good workouts listed on her blog.

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Thursdays are my gym days so I did one of her Treadmill Workouts, which was titled “No Joke Walking Workout“.  It seriously was no joke!  Mind you that a pace of 4 seems like nothing, but it actually is a brisk walk. When you start to max out the incline, you feel like you are going to fall off!  I saw a friend of mine at the gym and wanted to say hello while I was doing the workout, but I had to focus so much I couldn’t even give a smile. Again, going with the whole antisocial vibe…

TRAINING

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Since I always need something to train for to keep me on track, I thought I would let you guys know that I am coming back to the mountain bike world.  On February 1st, I will be racing the 12 Hours Of Old El Paso with Mike and his brothers on a co-ed team.  I am super excited because it has been almost two years since I have done a 12 hour race. This course is super windy and has some great hill climbs.  The people who put it on are super organized and lot of fun.

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It feels good to be back in the saddle again.  I’ve missed you mountain bike world.