Sunday, March 24, 2013

Its All Good

Friday afternoon I burned rubber in the parking lot at work and set my compass south.  BETHESDA BOUND!  I made record time and met Badger and Choppah for some quality time in Maryland.  We decided to start out our evening with a relaxing, beginner-level Power Yoga class.  Power - definitely.  Relaxing - not so much :)  Kudos to Choppah for being able to hold "Tree" pose with her eyes closed -without putting a foot down.

Sore from all of the Planks and Chaturangas, we set out on Saturday for some miles on the road.  Nothing like quality time with a group of awesome women.  I was so excited to meet and ride with two amazing ladies who have deep roots with the CAWES team: Sara Zeigler and Leslie Jennings.  After the ride, Leslie, with her new baby in her arms, even hosted us for a yummy lunch.  Amazing conversation and lots of laughter ensued :)

Today was the last of the South Jersey Spring Series races...and the second race of my 2013 season.  Like last week, the ladies were racing with the Men's Masters 45+ field today.  I was honored to be in the race with a bunch of other female racers, especially many ladies from the EPS/CSS/Riptide Cycling team.  Last week I couldn't quite hang in with the field after the first few laps;  therefore, my primary goal today was to finish the race with the main group.  Luckily, I was able to snag a few goodies from Badger.  So, I was rocking my new CeraSport bottle and was able to hydrate using this awesome product.  I'm new to the team and have never before used this awesome drink mix.  What a great product - good flavor without being sticky or overly sweet.

I had plenty of time to do my full warm-up, so I was feeling great at the start line.  Lap-after-lap, there I was...with the main group.  I felt confident and strong, gaining positions on the one hill of the course and not giving up anything in the corners!  Although I did gap on the hill at the bell lap, I still met my goal.  I finished with the main group!  I am so happy that these Spring Series races were available for me to get my legs and my mind in order.

After the race, I came home and refueled with yummy snacks from Teaism.   Enjoying a salty oatmeal cookie and some Star of Africa Rooibos tea in my new Brew Mug was a perfect way to recover.  Even Leo approves!

All in all - it has been a FABULOUS weekend.  Friends, yoga, food, and bikes.  Its all good!  HULK SMASH!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Now, That's a Happy Tummy!

So, I had a little incident recently.  Don't worry, this post won't go to the limits of TMI, but let's just say that I tested out a sports drink sample that I was given and it wasn't good.

Now, those that know me know that I have a stomach of lead.  I can (and do) eat just about anything.  Hence my adorable nickname.

But, this stuff (which will remain unnamed, as I'm sure it's great for someone else) wreaked utter havoc on my stomach.  This has never happened to me before.  And, it definitely wasn't something else that I ate.  I'm sure you all are wondering why I am sharing this on the team blog rather than pouring my guts out (haha... get it... guts...out!  Ha.  I kill me.) on my own blog.  Well, because I was saved by a sponsor, that's why!!

I ended up not only severely dehydrated after my post-sample-tasting, but also remembering why I am a solid Cerasport user!  Not only is this stuff absolutely yummy (every flavor is good, although my personal faves are the orange and pomegranate-Acai-blueberry EX1!), but it's so good in my belly!!

With rice syrup as a sweetener, I've found that Cerasport sits better on a racing stomach (which is often inhabited by an odd combination of gu packs, peanut butter, and bananas) and doesn't have the crash of sugar.

The fantastic combo of hydrating super powers and belly friendliness makes Cerasport one of the best things in my cycling pantry!

Thanks to the team at Cera Products for being dedicated sponsors of Team CAWES and the Choppah's happy racing belly!!!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Being Green on St. Paddy's Day

It's so EASY being green on St. Paddy's Day (and yes, this particular Wasabi Warrior spells it with d's, not t's)!

Borda, BChan and Porkchop spent their morning drinking beer.  No, no wait... that's a different post.

Borda, BChan and Porkchop spent their morning racing bikes!  Yep, that the post I was looking for!

The three warriors hit the South Jersey Spring Series Moon'e Crit on a brisk Irish morn.  And, boy, was it brisk!  The headwind coming up the one small hill on the course, through the finish and up the one even smaller hill on the course was enough to make it a bit of a tough day.  Combine that with a first lap prime, and you have a fast-from-the-gun-a-bunch-of-boys-and-us kinda day!  Us includes Betty Tyrell of Somerset!  <3  We love her!!

After a fast start, the race got... well, a bit faster.  By the third or fourth lap, the heavy headwind began to tear the field to bits.  Porkchop made her way up to a chasing group, while a lead group of 6 got away.  After a long 40 minutes, she finished the race happily and safely (and without any feeling in her toes) in 13th.

BChan and Borda found their rhythm and made sure to make a few of the 45+ men bow down to the power of Wasabi as they cruised around the course!  BChan was so tough that she also hopped in the Men's 3/4 race, claiming that both the headwind and a few more men needed to be exposed to the power of the 1/2 Irish lassie on the team (in case you were unaware, she's Irish on her Mother's side!).

Thanks to Team Independence and Matt Warner for putting on a great series of races - we are happy that we could be a part of this one!  And, a huge shout out to the awesome guys of South Jersey, PA, and beyond who came out to make racing today fun, tough, and awesome!

Photos courtesy of Gina Mooney!  Thanks!!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Darth Vader and Team Training

Oh Borda . . . 
Kat Fite and Lemming becoming closer.
Despite this being my second year on the team, this was my first training session - as well as the three newbies': Borda, Dierdre, and Kat-Fite. We joined the Grizzly, Beercan, and Choppah for a day of fun in the (thankfully sunny) beautiful farmland of Maryland.  Darth Vader (aka the wonderful Mike Birner) kicked our asses for almost 4 hours, and I'm sure I don't speak only for myself when I say we loved EVERY minute of it.

We couldn't have asked for a better day - the weather was incredible, and we were ecstatic that the day was in our favor.  We started our ride rolling on roads surrounded by farm-land - up and down rolling hills.  Mike [Birner] took us to a field behind a school and we ran some technique drills.  Leaning drills, bottle pick-ups (which I SUCK at, btw), wheel taps, bunny hops, all of it to prepare us for extreme race situations.  Watching Borda head-butt Birner made us all laugh hysterically, and I have to say that all those drills really did help me feel comfortable riding so close.   There is nothing like a little rear tire-bumping and [attempting to ] push someone off their line across a bumpy field to make you feel closer to your teammates!

Borda head-butting Birner

It's funny. I've done these drills before; in fact, the Choppah and I rode around goose-poo covered Fairmount park a couple times doing these same drills. However, it was awesome doing the drills with these girls in particular.   
BChan face.

Post-field torture, we went on a "real" ride, practicing our pace-lining, and putting in a little effort, followed by some more torture on a nice hilly loop. Feeling the sun beating down on us and riding together in a group was just so awesome.
BChan and Deirdre looking fabulous.
Following our ride, we spent a little time eating gluten-free cookies and homemade bars (thanks D!) and then watched Darth Vader fight a Grizzly.  It was pretty awesome.

Grizzly VS. Darth Vader

I look forward to doing it all again.  Race season is  upon us, which means I will see these awesome ladies almost every weekend.  I can't WAIT!

Birner showing off his mad track-stand skillz.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Century Sunday!

Greetings, Internet!

Well, it seems that winter is nearly over, and the racing season is upon us.  Though this blog has been a little quiet lately, the ladies of CAWES have been busy preparing for the racing season.  Though we were looking forward to the first team clinic of the year two weekends ago, inclement weather forced us to cancel.  Nevertheless, the New Jersey contingent packed it up and came down to Charm City for a morning of trainer riding while watching Omloop, and a quick trip to Twenty20.

The next Sunday, while Porkchop was busy composing songs, BCHAN and DRibb hit the road for one last long day of base miles.  I always seem to get into trouble when I ride with cross riders, and that day was no exception, as we ended up doing a Century Sunday!  Our journey took us north, past the respective ostrich, poultry, and alpaca farms, through horse country and into PA, across the Mason-Dixon line, past a mini waterfall, and through the Pretty Boy Dam area.  We rode through a couple miles of gravel, made a pit stop in the town of Stewartstown, where an incredulous gas station patron could not believe we had ridden pedalin' bicycles all the way up there.  

DRibb @ the Mason-Dixon Line.

We got lost trying to get out of Stewartstown, and though it was a sunny day it was really windy.  I, admittedly, cracked at one point about 2/3s of the way through the ride.  Fortunately I had Little D, who is quite the climber, at my side talking me down (or up?) off the edge of bonk-town.  In the end, thanks to two valuable miles gained while we were lost, we made it a full 100 miles-- DRibb’s first century, which she finished in style, and definitely my first century in a long long time.  Good stuff.

This weekend, thanks to the Snow Storm that never was, the Wasabi Warriors will be hitting the road for a training clinic.  Look for updates on that soon, and keep an eye out for the squad a race near you.