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Cat 4 Kernals
 Moderated by: velobella, EmilyKurze  

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marian
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 Posted: Tue May 22nd, 2007 06:17 pm

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I'm going to break down Kern into its separate parts.

The TT

Denise and I showed up to the course, park the RV, and start prepping. Denise was able to borrow a friend's TT bike and we were going to see if Hernando's TT bike would work for me.

I'm feeling a little out of it because everyone looks so pro and Hernando and Jeff and Tyler are working on the bike and asking me if it feels ok. I don't really know what it's supposed to feel like so I say "sure, feels fine."

Off I go to actually ride it and I spend about 2 or 3 miles wondering if maybe I wouldn't be better off riding my road bike. Strung out along the top of the bike, face right there next to the ground, the ground zooming past me at seemingly high speeds, and all I can think of is what I would look like if I ate it at this speed.
"Don't think about bacon. Don't think about bacon. Don't think about bacon."

Finally, I settled into the bike and I guess I figured it out. TT bikes are pretty fun up until you have to climb a hill, but any hill and it's suck central.
TT bikes climb marginally better than I expect a slice of dog turd would climb.
But, TTs aren't really about climbing, are they?

Back at the tent, I asked about the best way to take on the turn. Hernando started giving my the dirt only to be interrupted by Monica.

Monica: Do you want to hear what Laura said about how to take the turn?
Me: Oh, yes.
Monica: "In slow and out fast. Like sex."
Me (and others at the tent): Ah ha ha ha ha ha.
The time trial itself is pretty boring. Go out there, ride hard, and hope you were able to pull out more than your competition.  I won't waste your time*.
The lowlight:  I was a little irriatated that my heart rate moniter zonked out before I even started. 
The highlight:  My little snicker through the turn as I thought about Laura's wisdom. 

I think Denise really surprised herself by rocking the TT.  I didn't get to chat with Julie much after the race, but I hear she did well.  With a cold too!

Big thanks to Jeff, Tyler, and Hernando for helping me set the bike up. Thanks to Hernando for loaning me his bike. Thanks to Miss Mary for all of her hard work setting up the tent and getting food for us. Thanks to Sabine for the wonderful team.

*But, in case you care, I did win the TT.
But not by much.

Last edited on Tue May 22nd, 2007 06:20 pm by marian

michael
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 Posted: Tue May 22nd, 2007 10:04 pm

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and here she is on the borrowed hoopTTie bike:

http://www.pbase.com/vanderpoop/image/79208874


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 Posted: Wed May 23rd, 2007 01:45 am

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It looks fast.

Love the caption.

Don't think about bacon.  Ha!


marian
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 Posted: Wed May 23rd, 2007 06:56 am

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Day numero dos.
It's a twofer: A flatish circuit race in the morn and a nasty little hill climb 6 hours later.

Circuit Race:

Chad had told me before Kern that I should use the circuit race as an exercise in sitting in and watching a race happen because the real time to be had would be in the hill climb later on that day. And Friday night, over dinner, I was given the same advice by almost everyone: Hernando, Jeff, Soni, Denise, and Stella.

There were of course possible complications because there were time bonuses to be had at the start/finish line on all four of the laps. And not insignificant time bonuses either: 20/10/5seconds for the first 3 laps and 30/20/10seconds for the final lap and those Minty girls might try to rally for the time bonuses. And so Jeff and Soni talked to Julie and Denise about trying to counter any of the potential Minty attacks.

So, the game plan was to sit in and to watch it all happen in front of me.
And that's what I did.
I did get a little help from Dr. Kim because she went ahead and took the win on the stage (and moved up in the GC), and kept those Minties from eating up the last of the time bonuses.
Thanks Kim!

The Hillclimb:
I believed them when they said I wouldn't need a real warm-up.
They said "just spin on the trainer, easy, for 20 minutes."
So I did.
But they were WRONG!

The hill climb started off reasonably polite and contained. Chatting, Simpsons quotes, "Who are you and what do you do and where do you ride." Playing all nicey-nice and keeping the pack together.

But then, we take a right, ride over the cattle guard, the hill kicked up, and my legs didn't like it one bit. A chunk of women broke off the front, maybe about 7 or so of us. A Femme Fatal woman was just drilling it at the front and people were dropping off quickly.
And then there were three.

I felt like death.
I kept looking down at my heart rate to quantify my suffering and then back up at the hill and that Femme Fatal just putting the hurt on Julie (one of those Minties) and myself.

I was imagining all the things I could have done with my $65 entry fee.
A new dress, some stuff for my computer, half of a new tent I need for my next adventure, a whole mess of drinks at dive bars with my friends, anything, anything, anything but this.
Oh God, make it stop.

We rolled through the Bag Boy feedzone and Hernando and Tyler (or was it Jeff?) tried to convince me that I was a stud.
Little did they know I just wanted to cry.
Oh God, make it stop.

Finally I just flipped my heart rate monitor around so I couldn't see it and I started telling myself all those little lies:
"All I need to do is to hold on until the next switchback."
"Maybe it gets easier around that turn."
"I just need to hold on for another minute."
But then, after telling myself enough of those lies, I didn't feel so close to death.
In fact, I felt better at mile 6 than I felt at mile 3.
And then, the Femme Fatal, who had inflicted so much pain on me, pops off of the back of Julie and I.
And I think "Hmm. Maybe this won't end badly for me. Maybe, maybe, this will work out."

Although I kept looking down and back and I could see Dr. Kim, slowly but surely, closing on us and I could only hope and pray that I would find the finish line before she found me. But I've got a new outlook on life and I know that the finish is coming. Man though am I parched. I know there's one more feed before the finish.

"Oh, look. There's the Velo Promo up at the switchback. I sure could use some water."
We roll through the switchback and Velo Bob's playing his saxophone (or whatever).
"Where's the feed? Were those bottles that were put out on the top of those two milk crates the feed? Wait, did I just miss the feed?
I didn't know it was going to be self-serve!
Ugh, dammit, dammit, dammit.
Oh, but at least that sign says there's only one more mile."


Monica, racing in one of the master's categories zooms past us and I wonder what she had to eat between races. She started at least 4 minutes after us and she rides on by us like it ain't no thang.
How do you do that?
What is your secret?
How do you make it look so easy?

A mile later, I'm disappointed to find out that the "One mile to go" sign was not indicating one mile to go to the finish, but one mile to go to some point that is itself still about a mile to the finish.
Ugh.
I've had it.
I'm done climbing.
Let's finish this shit.

Thankfully, though, it's only Julie and I left for the finish.
She was able to pull a little bit more out of her suitcase of courage than I was and she took the win.
I was darn happy with second place given that I was seeing Jesus at mile 4.

Last edited on Wed May 23rd, 2007 06:58 am by marian

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 Posted: Wed May 23rd, 2007 06:33 pm

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Marian you have such fun race reports!  Great job out there :D

jeninsb
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 Posted: Wed May 23rd, 2007 09:48 pm

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Climbing is all about the little lies.

Good stuff.  :D

marian
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 Posted: Thu May 24th, 2007 12:11 am

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Well I'm glad people enjoy my long-winded race reports.  I get a little self-consicious about it because they're all me, all the time, and self-absorbed to say the least, but people say they read them and they laugh.  And laughing is good. 

The final Kern chapter:
Saturday night after dinner, Soni, Jeff, Monica, Andi, and I go check out the results at Velo Bob's hotel. Through the sliding glass windows we can see him toiling away, meticulously gluing together the trophies.
(Soni took a picture of it and I'm sure we'll all know when it surfaces.)

The results were pretty interesting:
In the masters' categories, Erika and Monica held commanding leads going into the final road race.
In the 3s and the Pro/1/2 fields, it looked as if Ann, Ryan, Tracie, and Stella were holding their own in highly competitive fields*.
In the 4s, I was holding the lead by 44 seconds. A considerable amount of time, but given that there was a Minty at 44 seconds back and another Minty at 55 seconds back, it didn't feel like nearly enough.
I was immediately worried that during the race they would try to ask me all sorts of questions that my legs might not have been able to answer.

Oh, but look who's in 4th! And she's only 27 seconds off of 3rd.
Thinking, thinking, scheming, scheming.

It was a potentially dangerous situation because I was worried that the two of them might just start tag teaming me. But, with Kim at 27 seconds back on 3rd and with a 20 second finishing bonus for first in today's stage, there might be some help to be had. So, before the race started, I had myself a little chat with Kim.

Me: Hey, Kim, how you feeling?
Kim: Good. A little tired but good.
Me: Nice. So you know you're only 27 seconds back on 3rd, right?
Kim: Is that all?
Me: Yeah. And you know there's a 20 second time bonus for the win, right?
Kim: Oh?
Me: You know if you won, you could potentially move up in the GC.
Kim: Hmmm.
Me (trying my hardest not to get all beady-eyed and pushy): And I would like to keep my spot on the GC but those two Minty girls between you and me might try to isolate me and hang me out to dry. So, what say we work together? We can cover any of the Minty attacks and maybe get you a stage win.
Kim: Yeah that sounds great!
So I was still scared but at least I had a buddy.

Kim's got a great account of the race here so I'll just top it off with my account of the last 2 miles:
Going into the last two miles, the nice small talk ceased and I knew that this was where it was going to get interesting. The two Minty girls pulled themselves up to the front and started driving. I sat on and hoped that Kim and others would be able to stick as well.
Unfortunately, when I look back, Kim had been dropped and I'm sorry that we won't be able to get her a stage win but I'm happy that it looks like I'll be able to stick with the Minties.

One (Julie) of the Minties pulled off and looked back.
Yes, I'm still here.
But it's just us three now.
The other Minty (Sarah) pulls through and keeps the pace high. She keeps check back to see if I'm still there and maybe to see if I'll pull through.
Ha. Me? Pull through? I don't count so good, but from what I see here, there's 2 of you and one of me and pulling through now, in the last mile of the race, would be so stupid.

We can all smell the line now. Sarah drops back, Julie pulls through and picks up the pace. Sarah gets gapped and it's just Julie and I.
Finally, it's just me and only one of those Minties.
We see the line, I pull around, we sprint, I feel her breathing down my neck, but I'm able to hold her off.

And I was able to keep my GC standing. Whew!


*Dude. Maybe you remember me blathering on about that woman who just kept riding off of the front of the gruppetto in the Cat 4 race at Sea Otter. You know, that super tall, lean woman riding the chain dropping De Rosa? You know, the woman who sat up, midpack, in a Cat 4 field, did a full on vest strip, roll and tuck, dropped her chain a zillion times, and still won the race by some ridiculous time gap?
Yeah, she won the Cat 3s at Kern.
It makes me feel a little better that she rides off of the front of every pack not just the ones that I'm riding in.

Last edited on Thu May 24th, 2007 12:29 am by marian

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 Posted: Thu May 24th, 2007 02:07 am

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nice job Marian!

Janeen, the uber-strong lady you mention with the *, is crazy strong, I think she used to be a runner or triathlete or something? Anyway this weekend I learned she has FOUR kids (four!) and will be upgrading to cat 2 now so she can put the spank on us in the 1/2 field.

Ouch.

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 Posted: Thu May 24th, 2007 02:10 am

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I think one kid is in college...

tkloper
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 Posted: Thu May 24th, 2007 05:03 am

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She did the same "take off the vest, while eating a cliff bar, while leading the pack up a hill" at Pine Flat this year.  She would have won the race if the other kick-ass triathalete (Alexis?) wasn't there.

Anyway, great job Marian and all the Bellas!  It's been fun reading all the race reports.

Tracy

velobella
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 Posted: Fri May 25th, 2007 03:11 am

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oh

is it over?

marian
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 Posted: Fri May 25th, 2007 08:22 pm

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velobella wrote: oh

is it over?
I do have the tendency to go on.  And on.  And on.

Last things:  Julie put in some great work at Kern, especially considering she was valiantly battling a cold.
I think Denise might have surprised herself with how well she did.  She did a couple of miles of the hill climb on a flattening tire and said that she still felt strong on Sunday. 

Whoo hoo!

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 Posted: Fri May 25th, 2007 10:25 pm

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I JUST returned from the Grand Canyon. We left Monday morning at the crack of dawn on the motorcycle for a 1,500 mile excursion.....my quads did not appreciate all of the sitting time after Kern.

Kern rocked.  I cannot beleive how much fun pain can be.  Hmmmmm

D


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