Saturday, September 26, 2009


Yup... $70 bucks was laid out for Ironcross. Guess that means I'm doing it. I like my Team this year -- Seymour Bunz. teehheee. The Ironcross is one of those races that you never know if you're ready for it until you're done with it. I guess a true roadie who puts in about 500 miles a week might be truly ready; but weekend warrior Chili who's down to 3 days a week of riding will just have to take a wait-and-see attitude and ride it for the challenge of it. One thing is for sure -- it'll likely be a beautiful, crisp fall day - it was the last 3 times I rode it. I'm not sure why, but I actually like riding fire road. Not in Weiser State Forest though. There's just not enough of it. I did a pre-Ironcross training ride on Friday in Weiser and I got real tired of riding the same two fire roads a couple times. Actually, I stuck in the Lykens hardtop climb to Lukes trails which is fire road for the most part. But I still could only endure 37 miles of the same scenery. When I was about to climb Lykens hardtop for 3rd time, I hung it up and went home. Sunday was a 2nd longish ride and I felt good doing it and felt satisfied I'll be as ready as I can be for Ironcross. (But now my back is killing me. I guess that 20 wheelbarrow loads of horse shit on Satruday between long rides didn't do me much justice, huh?) Bike selection is always a challenge for the Ironcross. You see all kinds - many are customized just for this race. My first year I rode a full suspension mountain bike which was a mistake (too heavy to carry up the run up AND it was slow on the fire road). The 2nd year I rode a hard tail, lightweight mountain bike. That was ok, but still slow. The third time I did it on a true cross bike. It was definitley the bike of choice for speed, but I couldn't ride it on singletrack AND I couldn't ride the last couple hills with no 3rd ring. This year, I'm riding a niner mountain bike with 700 x 45 cm tires. It still won't have the speed of the cross bikes, but I'll love that front suspension on Lippencote Trail and certainly will cherish my granny! Bring on the Ironcross!

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Happy Team - Cap City 2nd Place Girlies 2009

The happy trio with their 2nd place. Donna wants to do it again next year -- same team, same race. I better start getting in shape now! :)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Challenge of the Cap City Challenge

It's such a fun race... hard as hell, but fun. This was the 9th year for the race, my 3rd; Donna's 4th, and Steph's 2nd. Steph had her first experience at podium -- we were 2nd female overall, 2nd female masters. (Yup, the Master's women rocked the course). There were 4 Master women teams and 4 female teams. In my 3 years racing this, it amazes me how they come up with different challenges all the time -- its the challenges that make this race really tough. We rode mountain bike for 23.5 miles (a lot of road), ran maybe 4 miles (?), and canoed maybe 3 miles -- but the challenges were definitely the hardest part of the race. 4 of the challenges were at the Wildwood Fire and Rescue training center. We first crawled through a dark tunnel, then rappelled (easiest challenge for all of us). Next was one of the hard parts; we had to push one of our team mates in a wheel barrow around maybe a dozen cones. One team mate had one handle and the other had the other handle. Steph, being the lightest of us, had the honors of the sitting in the wheel barrow. It was tippy, and it took us a few seconds to figure out how to balance her. Carrying Steph in the barrow was really killing me and Donna's back, but we managed to finish. Then we had to flip/flop a tractor tire for maybe 25 years, then carry the stinking thing (it was heavy) for another 25 or so yards, then roll it back to the start. Hard! The next challenge was swimming with the canoe into the river to a buoy, then get in the canoe in 8 feet of water. Not too bad except Donna was cramping - ouch! After the canoe, we were told to start a fire with flint, magnesium, a knife, and a little pile of shredded paper. No-can-do; the teams before us had the flints wore down to nothing so we all were left go after the mandatory 10 minutes. None of the teams that were there with us succeeded in starting a fire. Finally, the last 2 challenges on river front. The first was these 8 ft long 4x4 boards with pegs on the sides, suspended with ropes down the middle of them between two trees (sorry I can't explain it better). Suffice it to say it was the hardest of them all. We had to crawl across this thing (it would flip over from time to time if you weren't completely balanced in the center of a 4 inch board? wah!?) from one end to the other. Poor Donna cramped in the middle of it! She screams quite well. What made this one even more challenging is that the 3rd place Master female team was on our tails (they actually passed us in the canoe) and were doing the challenge at the same time. So we felt kinda pressured. DONE! at last. The final challenge was a rope net we had to climb up and over from underneath. Skinny girls on the team just crawled up and over -- fat ass struggled a little and with a little adrenalin and a really loud scream, I got over the top. Finally -- the finish in about 5 hours and 10 minutes. We were absolutely thrilled to be 2nd female team in. It was a fun but hard, beautiful day and my team mates were awesome. thank you girls! I had a blast. This race was truly, a "challenge," but I loved it.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Twit Tweet and Faces in Books

I guess I'm just behind the times, but I tried get some updates on the Transylvania Epic and it looks like all the updates are in that Tweet thingy... I don't wanna twit or tweet or put on a face. I just wanna blog and peruse other people's blog. So are blogs old technology now and twitting and tweeting (or whatever the heck it is) and facebook the way to go these days? If so - crap. I guess I'll just be behind the times. There are already way too many passwords out there that I can't possibly remember -- there's no room for anymore in the few brain cells I have left.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Getting My Mind Off That Dreaded Birthday

I figured it alllll out... if I commit to something long and hard (!?!), I can keep my mind OFF the birthday coming up and ON that long and hard thing. The IRONCROSS on October 11 is the answer. It will keep me preoccupied with prepping for the race rather than dwelling on the birthday. Soooo.... I'm about to register for my 4th Ironcross. I wanna wait until I get through this weekend with Cap City on Saturday, and a nice, long, easy ride on Sunday for about 3.5 hours. If I feel pretty good after two days in a row of long events, I'm signing up for IC VII. Screw the birthday -- give me IRONCROSS! Oh, and I'm riding with lots of friends in Michaux on the dreaded day. Maybe I'll just ride for the full 24 hours to totally forget about it! Oh, and I'm repeatedly telling myself I'm turning 40 -- that seems to help too. Yeh, 40! Good age.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

2009 Cap City Challenge

My 3rd Cap City Challenge is about to unfold. On Saturday, Donna Weiser, myself, and Steph Mader will challenge other Master Women teams at canoeing, mountain biking, running, and special tests for a podium spot. Two years ago Donna, me and Lynne Fickes were 2nd out of 7 other teams in our division. It was really nice to see so many women’s teams that year. Cap city is fun -- even though its an “urban” adventure race on a marked course. The mountain bike portion, I understand, is true-blue mountain biking this time around (as opposed to the Harrisburg greenbelt which is fairly flat with no obstacles other than cars!) complete with rocks, climbing, and log hopping. And I’m always ready for a good paddle – even if it IS in a canoe and not a kayak. And the run? Well…. what can I say – it’s running (blah!). The really fun part of Cap City are the challenges. The challenges are what give you your podium spot - or not. You can hammer through them in no time flat, or some will stall the team and put you behind maybe ½ to an hour. You never know what the challenge will be. From climbing rock walls to wading in the river to attempting to climb a slippy log to brain tests – they all make the “challenge” part in Cap City real. It’s a fun day, and the weather will be perfect. Can’t wait!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Birthday Blues - A Month In Advance

We had an interesting discussion at work on "big" birthdays -- the decade celebrations -- and our feelings at different milestones. Guys don't count in this discussion because they just don't have the emotional volatility women have! Most of us hated 30, one gal hated 40, and only one hit 50 (and 60) and she was thrilled with both. The 20-somethings didn't even join in on the conversation (bitches). I'm absolutely dreading 50. I just can't grasp it. I'm totally content with everything in my life and have no reason whatsoever to be "down", yet 50 is sucking the big one. Hubby keeps saying, "you have issues if its bothering you." So what are they? Could it have something to do with my mountain biking? I get frustrated all the time at the lack of categories for Master women in endurance mountain bike events -- now it will be worse turning 50. Guess what Mr. Race Promoter guys, we're all getting older and you're gonna need to think about categories for aging girls. I keep thinking I need to do something really big now that I'm 50. Like maybe start training for the Transylvania Epic in 2010. Just the thought of something really big like that ignites the enthusiasm which fights off the "dread" of the age thing. Maybe I should stick with the promise I made myself a couple years ago which was to do the Wilderness 101 when I turn 50. 2010 would be the year to do it. One thing is for sure - I have no plans to slow down none. Sooo... how do I combat the 50 Blues? Barf.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day Weekend Wrap up.

No rain! Paddled the Lehigh River on Saturday. Tried to go for a bike ride yesterday in Weiser and my crank arm fell off (ha!) at about an hour into the ride so I ended up running for about 1/2 hour. Went back out on Labor Day to get that stinking ride in and had success. Long run tomorrow (1 hour), weights on Wednesday (I think 'cause we can't get out paddling because of the BASH prep), ride on Thursday, Off on Friday 'cause I'll be planted at the registration table at the BASH, ride saturday, run Sunday morning. All this in prep for my final race of the season -- the Cap City Challenge on the 19th of September. I've been thinking about what I might want to do for my 50th birthday celebration on Oct 17, and I think I'll just R.E.L.A.X. for a change. Wouldnt' that be a switch?!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

It's BASH Season!!

And the BASH will consume me and hubby's non-work life for the next 10 days.

It’s that glorious time of the year again – the annual trek to Camp Muckleratz near Halifax/Lykens/Elizabethville, PA for 4 days of mountain biking heaven in Weiser State Forest with 200 or so of our like-minded friends. This year is special. It’s the 10th year since RCST is putting this thing on. This will be my 7th straight year (I think -- I can't recall exactly! It might be my 8th) and I’ve watched it grow from 2 days and 50 folks that first year I attended, to this year’s record near 200 for almost 4 days. There are a handful of folks that share in the many, many years of fun. Keith Whitcomb, of course, is the brain child of the event and has been there for all 10. Don Andrews was there for 9 of them – we haven’t heard a peep from him this year yet (but likely will the night before). I believe Jane and Dave Grant have been there for at least 9 of them if not all 10. Birdman (Robin Reinhart) may be one of the few that have been there for near all of them too. Others share my 7-year record or close to it. My hubby Ricky is a six year veteran. I believe Donna and Brett Weiser are also 6 years. Steve Tuck might be 8 or 9 years along with Dean the Bikeman (Dean Hower). And other frequent riders are Rick Begley, Emory Ehrenfeld, Rick Michael, Joe Daversa, Teresa Spitler! and I'm sorry if I didn't mention you but I know there are more. Why the excitement??? Keith said it best; "it's like a family reunion man..." Not to mention it’s private property so we can DRINK! Hubby and I are the oddballs of the mountain bike community and don’t drink – but we enjoy watching everyone else make fools of themselves. And the Camp and atmosphere is VERY laid back and relaxing. No special rules, no guidelines, no cell phone reception (true!) and you can simply de-stress for a couple days and drink, and ride, and drink, and ride. We also purposely kept it small all these years but that may be tough to continue to do as long as the popularity of the BASH grows. My perspective has been from the registration table and helping to organize the event for the past 6 years. Our job is to make sure everyone else has a good time – and we do our darndest to make that happen. So here’s to another great year. RIDE!!!