Monday, April 27, 2009

Heat Exhaustion Recovery Week & US West Cup #5

Monday - Felt horrible didn't do anything. Tuesday - Had to move the "house" to Los Olivos, CA. Got sick when I went outside to put water bottles away, was worthless, especially outside (in the sun or heat). Todd created the video which got ~400 blog hits. Wednesday - AM: Started to worry that I would never recover from the heat exhaustion episode. PM: The temperature dropped, I tried a one hour road ride with Todd and felt great, still a headache, but no dizziness or nausea and legs felt great. Thursday - Felt good, visited Pedal Power to work on the bike (best shop in the area!!!), put on new Red and White Magura Mag Brakes and White Ergon Grips & Bar Ends. (pictures and review in next post) Friday - Pre-rode the course once. Saturday - Felt good, first day without a headache, washed all the cow poo off the bike and got ready to race, although still worried that I would have to pull out. Sunday - Raced, felt good. All the plans to get enough hydration, calories and electrolytes went out the window when I only finished a half bottle on the first lap and my 2nd lap bottle (with gel) bounced out right after the feedzone and I didn't notice. Chad told Todd who freaked out and forgot to feed Joy (again). When I went for a drink and realized what had happened, I thought, "no way, you have to be kidding" I was not going to repeat last weekend and just slowed up a bit. At the top of the first climb I was hot, I had goosebumps and decided to quit. I found a couple swallows in a discarded Gatorade bottle nearby and after ~ 30 seconds I had cooled off, felt good and realized I had only lost one spot so decided to keep going. It worked out well I got that spot back and finished in 4th ~ 2:13, ~5 minutes off Amanda (1st). Amanda had a great race!

US West Cup #5 Podium: left to right: Krista, Kathy, Amanda, Allison, Natasha

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I was very happy after the race because I knew I had recovered, I was able to race and even race without enough water. I am sure the only reason I was able to race and race well today was because of the ice bath I got at the Sea Otter finish line. The doctors told me that the ice shoved in my jersey and dumped all over me got my core body temperature down quickly enough that it didn't do much damage. The Dr.s base this on the heatstroke symptoms I was getting followed by the blood test results which showed no organ damage. So if someone has heat exhaustion or heatstroke symptoms, get the core body temp down ASAP.
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The cross over from heat exhaustion to heat stoke seems to be the internal damage.
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heat exhaustion symptoms
heavy sweating
dizziness
nausea
pale, clammy skin
sometimes vomiting
sometimes headache
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heatstroke symptoms
very high body temperature (above 103degrees by mouth)
red, hot, dry skin (no sweating)
rapid, strong pulse
throbbing headache
dizziness
nausea
confusion
unconsciousness

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Sea Otter Classic 2009, Rolling Out

Remember my words "I am not sure how we will ever get out, but I was tired of trying to figure things out and just wanted my house back" from the Life on the Road post below? ("house" as in put the slideouts out and plug into 50Amps, not as in wanting a non-movable home.) Well, here is the video:

video

Monday, April 20, 2009

Sea Otter XC

Heat exhaustion? But I was preparing for heat, heat was going to be my friend! Somehow I ended up at the hospital and received 3 liters if IV fluids. See cyclingnews note. OK so it was hot, hotter than expected. 93 degrees was one reading, I swear it was even hotter than that. Standing at the starting line on the black pavement was hot, at the start line they cut our race in half (one lap instead of two). About 10 minutes into the race I saw Wendy Simms pull over and throw up. I started the race with a small drink mix and 30 minutes into the race took a large drink mix and a water at the feedzone. My skin was so hot I poured the water all over myself, 30 minutes later I finished off my drink mix, sometime in the next 10 minutes I quit sweating and what leg power I had disappeared. I remember really, really wanting to crawl into a little bush and take a nap in the little bit of shade it provided. Apparently someone behind me did just that and Joy D stopped to help, like the incredible person she is. It was my mistake in not getting enough to drink in the feedzone and I suffered for it, dropping ~10 positions and landing in the ER, lesson learned. The only frustrating thing was watching other racers take handups at the start of the last climb out, the rules say you are not allowed handups anywhere else on the course but due to the extreme heat not all racers stuck to the rules. Can't really say I blame them... The best perks of being a pro cyclist is meeting great people! I am VERY grateful to our friends Brian and Bri, Nick and Cass and Chris Magerl (Kenda team Mechanic) for all the help when I was a little out of it! Todd really appreciated the help, I was a little less aware at the time. But I heard what everyone did for us last night as Bri cooked us dinner (twice, their BBQ cooks quickly). Thank you so much! Today I slept for 12 hours and am still sluggish with a headache and don't feel like eating much, but my legs feel good and that's what is important, right? Check out Kathy's description of the race/heat. Way to race Kathy!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Getting Ready for Sea Otter XC

Sea Otter Weather, forecast keeps climbing...
Latest start list for Sunday's XC race, not a huge field but a lot of super fast racers. Notice only 2 USA racers will be called up in the top 10, 10 USA racers in the top 20 (I am 19th).
Sea Otter is so much fun, I love seeing friends and visiting the booths. Last year I was just trying to get my bike to work (I had brake, shifting and fork issues), this year my bike is flawless and I am booth hopping in search of extra bike bling. My best find yesterday: White Ergon grips with carbon bar ends!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Race Weather Trend

Sea Otter forecast: I am happy to say it looks like the rain is staying away again this year! I rode in the high 40s a couple days ago, 50s yesterday and look at the forecast for this weekend, crazy. I have all my winter gear out but am preparing to race in 80 degree weather (and we haven't moved). This is how it went for most of the races last year and the same thing seems to be happening this year.
Our idea of following 72 degrees around isn't working quite right, for some reason it is either in the 50s or 80s.
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Luckily it looks like the wind speeds will be returning to normal now. The wind the last two days was pretty bad, the road to Sea Otter was even closed due to a huge downed tree that landed on a car. News article. We visited the venue yesterday, the wind was brutal so the vendors really couldn't do much more than drop off their trailers, some were trying to set up and it wasn't going well. But it looks like good weather for the next few days.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Life on the road

This week we left SoCal and headed up to Sea Otter (Monterey, CA area). I drove the RV and pulled the pickup; Todd drove the van and scouted out spots where I could go without getting stuck. The RV cannot backup when the truck is attached because the tow bar or truck mount will be damaged. So, I am as big as a semi and cannot back up. Todd crashed in Oceanside while I got a late night start so I could avoid all traffic in LA, that backfired as they decided to close I-5 in the middle of the night and re-route traffic on side streets; I was so afraid I was going to make a wrong turn and get stuck. After getting through that there was a typical LA car chase and I ended up being in the front row of the slow rolling LA style road block (a police officer goes back and forth cross all interstate lanes doing ~ 15mph, so traffic doesn't stop but stays out of the way). I finally got through LA and stopped at the last good spot I knew of~ 3:00am, I slept in and Todd caught up with me in the morning. We always run into problems when we head to Sea Otter, the area is NOT big-rig friendly. We cannot find a place to park anywhere overnight while traveling, we are way too big for the campgrounds and the old-school RV "resort" spaces are too narrow and tight to get into for just a night. This time we figured we would make life easy while traveling to Sea Otter, forget the impossible campgrounds and just pull into a rest area or Wal-Mart overnight. Well, all the rest areas on 101 are still closed down, Wal-Mart kicked us out and sent us to the Pilot truck stop. It was the tiniest truck stop I’ve been to, no pull-through spots and what few back-in spots they had were full. I parked on the side of the road while Todd scouted for anything; usually we can find empty parking lots where the tuckers park overnight, but all we found were “no overnight parking” signs. Todd finally found a motel with a big parking lot, he went in to ask if we could park there for the night (it was already ~11:00pm) they said not unless we had a motel room. We paid for a motel room. It is amazing that there is no place for the tired traveler to pull over if they need some rest. We made sure to leave the motel at "checkout" so we wouldn't be charged another night. Once we get to the Sea Otter area, things don’t really improve. Last year we stayed at an RV resort that was crazy to get to. We had to disconnect the truck a few miles away then climb a steep narrow winding road complete with a bridge ~ 4 inches wider than our rig, and rated much lower than our 32,000 lbs, I am not sure how many low hanging trees we hit, but any on-coming traffic had to backup to the nearest driveway. Once we got there it took a few K turns to back into the spot with long term residents close on either side, we had inches to spare when we extended our slide-outs which means the doors to our storage areas could not be opened, either the hookups or trees were in the way. For this we paid the cheap rate of $60/night (full-hookup, only 30amp and no amenities). Needless to say we looked for other arrangements this year. The Sea Otter Venue is not an option as they charge $90/night (3 night minimum) to park in the paved parking lot with no electricity, water or sewer and dogs are not allowed. This year Todd found a Craig’s list advertisement, someone who had space next to their home and wanted to make a few bucks by renting it out at a very affordable rate. While this is working out well, they are very cool people, it was another steep drive up a narrow road and a very tight fit to get it. I am not sure how we will ever get out, but I was tired of trying to figure things out and just wanted my house back. Now that we are in the spot, it is great; a private, nice backyard and view. When we first arrived only 20amps was available, this is like running everything in your house, microwave, coffee maker, air conditioner, hot water heater, vacuum, washer/dryer, dishwasher, TVs, computers, etc. off of one plug. The fridge and hot water heater can also run off of propane and the stove is propane so that helps. We can run the generator and have all the power we need (50 amps), although it is really quiet we only do that when we are using an appliance and not when/where it will bother someone. Today the owner pulled a 30amp line, with our cheater box we can connect the 20 and 30 (different phases) together to get a 240V 50amp connection. For most of the day we hardly use any power but it is really nice to have it. And for those of you who don’t like the idea of running off of the diesel generator: It is much more efficient and cleaner for the environment to run the high standard generator than it is to be plugged in to shore power. The RV transmission lines are ~20 feet long and come from a high-efficiency generator that meets all kinds of emission standards. The typical home is receiving power from an out-dated, air polluting (does not meet current emission standards) coal plant located hundreds of miles away, which is neither clean nor efficient. Besides everything in the RV was designed to be small and super efficient, so we are using far less power (and water) than any home, even if you count driving the diesel rig around. just in case you wanted to know that... Not much bike stuff happening yet, things should start getting exciting on Wednesday as everyone starts arriving. Luckily we didn’t have to wait to Wednesday to see friends; we now have friends in the area. We were lucky to meet Bri and Brian at Sea Otter last year; they have given us a lot of local info. It is really nice to meet locals wherever we go and these two are awesome. Todd has already joined them for a “race”, we are using their house as our mail stop and they taught us how to play a Wii dance game. Invaluable, thanks guys!

Monday, April 6, 2009

US West Cup #3

See MTBRaceNews.com for write up and results. While this was not an important race for me I did expect to be a lot faster. I was not feeling it for sure, come around legs, come around by SeaOtter please. I had a good workout and the downhills were a blast.

Friday, April 3, 2009

more Racing and Clinics

Another big week of pre-riding, racing, traveling and clinics. The US Pro Tour Race #1 was held in Fontana, CA. It was great to see friends I hadn't seen since last year, I spent all three days at the venue and had a great time.
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Saturday's race clinic was good with about 15 people, lots of questions about racing and preparing for races.
Saturday's Fontana Race Clinic
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Sunday's race was hard, visit Brian's blog or Amanda's for descriptions of the race and course. Videos here: http://www.cyclingdirt.org/. For whatever reason my legs weren't all there, I placed 14th, not my best race and not my worst. Great race to a lot of the girls: Amanda, Chloe, Kathy, Melanie and Allison!
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Monday we moved to Alpine, CA for the US West Cup #3 race.
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Tuesday I drove back up to the LA area for some skills clinics. Both of the 4-hour skills clinics were a blast, nothing like meeting new girls, riding new trails, sharing and practicing skills and techniques! There were no crashes on the technical stuff, but I still managed to cause a wreck or two. For example after watching a few death grips I talked about a relaxed grip, one rider took it a bit too far and said the bars slipped right out of her hands. I'll clarify a bit better next time. :)
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Tuesday's Women's Skills Clinic #1
Tuesday's Women's Skills Clinic #2
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Wednesday was a pre-ride of what I hope is something close to the course. More hike-a-bike sections, hope my hike-a-bike muscles are recovered by Sunday.
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Thursday was a birthday party in San Diego for Pete Masiel, whom I haven't seen since before I turned pro. He is one of those guys who helps out anyone (on a ride or otherwise). I still remember him letting us (Todd, my brother Mikah and myself) crash his hotel suite when the weather turned horribly cold and rainy at a race in Texas. I was racing Expert, it was both Mikah's and my first race back after our broken collarbones (poor Todd had to drive from GA to TX and back while we slept on the bed the whole time). If you haven't heard the story we broke our c'bones on the same Tennessee 4x track a few weeks apart from each other. Anyway with no muscles in my right arm I felt horrible during the super crazy cold and muddy race, Pete was on course and cheered me on to a first place finish in my age group, after that a hotel room never felt sooo nice.
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This weekend US West Cup #3 in Alpine, then we are headed up to Sea Otter. We'll make a few stops along the way to visit Todd's Mom who is vacationing in CA and then to get some automotive maintenance taken care of. I should have some new toys waiting for me when I get there. A Magura Durin fork for the singlespeed, a Raxter rack and hopefully a set of white and red Magura Mag brakes for the race bike! The red SLs are amazing and will be part of my super sweet Singlespeed setup as well as the full suspension, but I need the white and red ones to match my race bike. How cool is it that Magura understands this? I have the best sponsors!