October 16, 2010

Vote for Insulindependence in San Diego's Stay Classy Awards

This group is very special to me and has become a huge part of my life. A preview of my work with them this summer can be seen and read at www.TriabetesMediaProject.org Please help them get the recognition they deserve.
Cast your vote for Insulindependence--San Diego Charity of the Year!

September 30, 2010

Article for USA Cycling coach Alex Matteucci

When I was in NYC with Jennifer Davino, another Triabetes club member, we rode from her local bike shop on Saturday morning. I met coach Matteucci then and he was interested in the physiology behind racing bikes with Type 1 diabetes and asked me to follow up our conversation with an article. 
Check out Pure Bicycle Passion to read it.

July 12, 2010

Ojai Valley Loop

I was fighting low bloodsugars the first half of the ride, the part with all the climbing...so when we reached The Summit (the little restaurant at the top of the climb where I swear I've purchased horchata before) I asked for the wonderful cinnamon rice milk drink, planning to put it in my bottle and continue. I was told they didn't sell it. There was a line of bottled drinks in the window and I settled for a $3.02 Gatorade. I took the first sip and knew I'd made a mistake - Gatorade LOW CALORIE: 5g carbohydrate per serving. I didn't even know they made such a drink.

Apparently Gatorade listened to Mitch: 
By the way, you don't have to be sweaty and holding a basketball to enjoy a Gatorade. You could just be a thirsty dude. Gatorade forgets about this demographic. I'm thirsty for absolutely no reason. Other than the fact that liquid has not touched my lips for some time. Can I have a Gatorade too, or does that lightning bolt mean "No"? -Mitch Headberg
I say, drink water then.

We've known each other since we were 4 years old!

July 08, 2010

July 07, 2010

Blue Trolley Crit, San Diego

Before I left Oregon, Will told me I should try to race in all the states I'm visiting this trip. California down.
I got to race with Sarah Kavaler, my teammate on the UCSD Triathlon team in 2008. Wish we could race together more.

Tammy winning the Pro race

July 06, 2010

June 25, 2010

Travel Files: NWCCC Championships

Yes, I realize this video is longer than the attention span most have for things like this. Long clips of banter are intentionally left whole. Some people have liked it anyway. Maybe you will too. Rated PG-13 for strong language and implied nudity.

May 28, 2010

Depoe Bay

Coach Tokar's old rule: never travel anywhere without your running shoes. You never know where you will be able to fit a run in. 
I ran north from the Payne's condo to Boiler's Bay where I ran out of shoulder on the highway. I stood on a picnic table and took in the view before turning around and running back through the little town of Depoe Bay. It's damn cute here, that's for sure. Half of me wants to live in a tiny little coast town like this. The other half doesn't know. I'd get really fat on taffy and chowder.

Life's tough when your day starts here.

May 09, 2010

May 07, 2010


In high school Coach Tokar told me that what I needed to be on the starting line for a cross country race was: excited; not nervous. There was a difference he said, and it would make all the difference. I imagined what that felt, tried to relax and motivate myself positively, but I never really achieved any feeling of eagerness. At high school and collegiate races, more often than not, I stood on the line and thought, "why do I do this to myself?"
Collegiate cycling has been different. I had a revelation about this. More often than not I was excited on the starting line. It really does make all the difference.

One of my best friends, Tammy Wildgoose, is racing at collegiate cycling nationals today and the rest of this weekend. I was in Barnes & Noble yesterday listening to author Laurie Notaro read some pieces from her hilarious books. I got a text. Tammy had posted on Twitter. "At the Madison Concourse getting ready for bed...kinda nervous for the road race tomorrow. AAHHH!"

Now, I must point out that Tammy is a much better cyclist than I am and has more riding on the results of her racing: qualification for other races, product sponsors and invitations to professional teams. I responded to her, "Just be EXCITED!" She said she was super excited and proceeded to tell me about the 6000 ft of climbing over 55 miles and a 1.5 mile hill with a grade of 10%...

I headed to the bookstore's card section to look for a card for my Mum. I found this saying on one:
"I have a lot of excitement in my life. I used to call it tension, but I feel much better now that I call it excitement." - Madeleine Costigan.
These last two weeks - of deadlines, projects, meetings to discuss my sloppily written pieces, late nights and early mornings - were; well, exciting.

May 05, 2010

NWCCC Championships - Moscow, Idaho

Update to follow (when I'm caught up on neglected grad school projects...):

Just missing a win in the women's B category criterium. Love the Oregon crowd on the hill. Thanks guys!

Road Race:


all photos HERE

April 26, 2010

April 22, 2010

Wide Open Spaces

Shutting the door to my room on Friday morning was physically painful. It was dark and would be for at least an hour. I'd put clean flannel sheets on my bed the evening before and was driving 14 hours from them to spend two nights in a sleeping bag on my twin air mattress in Montana - all in the name of bike racing. 

I met my three teammates on campus and we loaded the Oregon state motorpool's Taurus sedan with four people and four bikes. Two front wheels, upright in the back seat formed a fence between the passengers. Ted passed me Oreos through the spokes somewhere in Idaho. 

"Last night I decided this was probably quite irresponsible," Ted said, regarding the time this trip would take away from school.  
The North West Collegiate Cycling Conference has a great system. Student athletes house other teams that travel to compete in the race they're hosting. We arrived at the house in Bozeman in the middle of a lively game of beer pong hosted by the non-cyclist roommates of the contact we were given. Although it made the night a bit later - we had to wait for them to evacuate the living room which was our bedroom for the night - we had some nice conversations. When local guests had gone home our hosts carried in three twin mattresses! We had real beds for the night which made such a difference.

The drive to the race course in the morning was smooth. While drinking my espresso double-shot and eating a banana, I DJed some music. The car sang Kanye, Akon, Tubtumping and Lady Gaga louder than usually appropriate at 7:00 in the morning. On the way to the Lewis and Clark Caverns we saw deer and a bald eagle almost flew into our car. You don't see that in Southern California.

The guys dropped me off at my start area. There, I finally understood the term 'big sky.'

The race went pretty well. Race organizers combined the As and Bs, changing the dynamics of the race. With about 6 or 7 miles to go I tried an attack. Kellie from the University of Montana came with me and Devon from Washington bridged shortly after. The three of us stayed away until the 5k climb to the finish where one person caught me. Whitney from Western and I worked together on the way up to 6,000 feet and had a fun little sprint to the finish that gave Bill, the Conference director something to chuckle about.
After the race I learned Ted was blown off the road during warmup while descending at 30mph. He still raced and finished, but has some gnarly battle wounds that he cleaned in the car with 68.9% alcohol wipes. 
My friend Dana lives in Bozeman. Horses brought us together when I was eight. We've never gone to the same school, nor lived in the same town, but to use the Grey's Anatomy concept, she's one of my people. I made the trip to this race partly as an excuse to see her. It didn't work out for me to stay with her overnight, but she made it out to the course for a couple hours between the road race and the TTT. It was so great to catch up with her and of course hug her. We need to live closer to each other.
I did the TTT with the guys, completing a Men's C team. On the starting line Bill told me not to hurt them to much.  Ha! I tried to hang on, but they dropped me on a little climb at about mile 6 of 16. I still tried to ride back hard and wasn't caught by any other teams, but the second half felt much longer than the way out...

Somewhere out there I reminded myself that Peter was running farther that day than I was riding in both races and warm up combined at his Desert Rats 50 mile trail run in Fruita, Colorado.
After finishing the TTT we rode around the area for about 30 minutes enjoying the scenery and sun before packing the car up to drive the 160 miles to Missoula.

That night we stayed at the house of two super-nice cyclists/triathletes from the University of Montana. For dinner we went to the restaurant that they recommended. The waitress was worried about us - we didn't order drinks and Yang almost fell asleep - she brought him coffee and didn't charge him for it. She said she'd hate to see him fall asleep in their restaurant.

Afterwards Ted and I wanted ice cream, but weren't willing to walk or drive that far to find it. We were walking down the street outside the restaurant looking unsuccessfully. Then I saw an old, squished ice cream cone on the street.

"LOOK!" I screamed and pulled Ted over.

He squatted over it, with his hands on his knees, "WHERE DID YOU COME FROM?!" he yelled at it. 

I was laughing so hard I was phlegmy and had to clear my throat for the rest of the evening. Gotta love when someone can play along with your exhausted, cold-induced deliriousness. 

We never found any fresh ice cream. 


...was one of those mornings that no matter how much positive thinking you put into it, you know things aren't going to be easy, maybe not even do-able and that is just the reality.

My race was pushed back an hour. During the morning I felt like my BG was low, but testing revealed it was just my cold symptoms. Before warm up I actually was low: 52. Damn. Had to eat a bunch. Blah.

I was 5th and the field was really spread out. Two of the B ladies were able to stay with the As, the race got fast quickly. I was just wiped from the weekend and the climbs killed me. I was by myself most of the time with no wheel to hang on and work with.
Don't get me wrong, the trip was good, but this is a pretty spot on description of laps 4-7 of the circuit race.

April 19, 2010

Whitman Omnium

Our sixth weekend of collegiate racing was in Walla Walla, Washington, another long drive. My selfish plan - racing bikes to give my parent's an excuse to come up to visit me up here in the Pacific Northwest- worked. My Dad flew up to watch me race in my first omnium in the B category. It was SO wonderful to have him there.

Friday travel day:
photo by Ted Sweeney

Alpenrose Velodrome stop to pick up some OBRA stuff for Whitman

Saturday (Road Race and Team Time Trial):

Fasting: 155
Pre Warm Up: 183 (drank 4 oz Gatorade)
Pre Race: 259

The race organizers combined the Bs and Cs, so we had a nice big field of 52 riders. I planned to ride defensively, stay off the front and see if I could be in a good position near the finish. There were plenty of people who seemed happy to do work at the front. They'd pull off and expect to be let back in. I happily let them while keeping an eye up. I used corners to move up through the field on the outside. There were two single person crashes - not sure what happened there.

With a couple miles to go I worked my way up. The last 1000m was a mess, with people falling off the front trickling back through the middle as the rest of us were moving up. About 300m out there was a slight parting of the Whitman/Washington sea and I was able to squeeze through and accelerate to the finish line.

photos by Dean Ryan
My heart rate was never high until the finish and I wasn't on the front for even a second before the finishing sprint. Like I said, there were plenty of people eager to work upfront, and I didn't have any teammates.

I didn't get off that easily on Sunday...
photo by Ted Sweeney

Post Road Race: 317
Between races pre lunch: 375
Between races post lunch: 168
Pre Warm Up: 68 (ate 60grams of crap (snickers, fruit snacks) and suspended pump)
Post 28 min TTT Race: 230

teammate Galen Mittermann winning the Men's A Road Race
photo by Blair Ryan

photo by Dean Ryan

Sunday (Circuit Race):

Bedtime: 119
Fasting: 114
Pre Warm Up:159 (drank 8oz Gatorade on the trainer)
Pre Race: 149 (Drank 4oz Gatorade)
Post Race: 277

There was a ton of climbing and I wasn't looking forward to it. I'd never done a race like this and didn't really know what to expect. Prime laps of 3 miles? But, I was surprised when my body cooperated. I was able to accelerate over the top of the hill and pass people for prime points. My regrets were mental decisions and not because of physical restrictions.

The girls made me work. Payback for sitting back and winning the day before maybe?

photos by Ted Sweeney

I had to say goodbye to my Dad an hour after my race. He had a 3 hour drive to the airport in Spokane ahead of him. Will won the A's circuit race in a sprint finish up the hill to edge out his breakaway partner, then we packed up the vans and headed back home.
getting a lot of writing and BioChem done

more of my photos HERE