Thursday, July 31, 2008

I Haz a Power Meter. What Doez I Do Wif It?

Yes, after all the dreaming, debating, motivating, and demotivating, I have a power meter. I wanted to get myself a gift to celebrate the end of class and my return to training and since I was able to purchase a used basic model (not wireless) from an anquaintance for $350, it seemed like a reasonable thing to do. It's roughly a third of what I expectly to spend on a new top-of-the-line model, but this one will do everything I need it do. The wireless thing wouldn't have really helped that much anyway, because I don't have multiple bikes to switch it around on.

My first field test is Saturday. I don't expect much since I'm horribly out of shape at the moment, but it will give me a baseline to work with and make me feel really good after the huge improvement I will inevitable have on my second test in a few weeks. Other than a slight fear that my FTP will be 98 watts or something, I'm excited. Hopefully it will turn out to be the priceless investment that I've been dreaming of for over a year now. If not, at least I got a good deal.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

New Stuff

To go along with my odd feeling that the 2008 season never REALLY started, my 2008 team kit just arrived in the mail today. It's very, um, black. In addition to the normal bibs and jersey, I also got a thermal jacket and short-sleeved skinsuit for early season 'cross races. It may be weird, but I really love wearing skinsuits. The long sleeve one I got last year was my favorite thing ever, but I'm a little worried because I discovered that the new one has a man-chamois instead of the pretty pink women's one like last year. It's very thick and weird feeling.

Since Campbell was laying on the bed during the photo shoot, I decided to contrast him with the black cat on the shorts. However, the light in our bedroom is weird and the picture didn't turn out too well.

In other news, I rode my bike TWO DAYS IN A ROW. It shouldn't be big news, but it kind of is right now. I'm slowly getting back on the right track.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Lindsay Rodkey Reunion Tour: Coming to a Town Near You (If you live in any of the towns listed below).

The reunion being between me and my bike(s), of course. I have more or less disposed of my classwork and only the final paper remains. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and I have taken Thursday and Friday off work to ensure that I can spend a long weekend riding, writing, and relaxing and still have my sanity intact on Monday. More importantly, this weekend marks the transition between the sucktastic season that never really got off it's feet, and the remaining months of racing that I hope enjoy before packing it in for another long winter. So starting with an easy spin tonight, the following is a list planned stops in the Lindsay Rodkey Reunion Tour:

August 17: DINO Logansport, IN. The site of the greatest sport race of my career. It rained, people crashed, it was awesome.

September 14: Town Run Park, Indianapolis, IN. The DINO finale on the "7-mile BMX track". I may or may not do well, but it will be fun.

September 28: Warsaw, IN. 12 of the 24 Hours of DINO and my last shot at endurance racing for 2008. Just pedal (but not too slow because the course is rolly and maintaining speed is important).

October 10-12: OVCX's Cincinnati Area Three-Day International Cyclocross Weekend. Pretty lofty title to kick off my 'cross season. The Sunday race at Harbin Park is my favorite 'cross race, so I won't miss that, but it's too soon to say if I will be attending the Friday and/or Saturday races.

October 25-26: USGP Louisville. The biggest race in the Midwest, but I have to remember to wear my Velo Bella Hallow-flair this year.

Undecided Interim 'cross race sometime in November.

November 30: Storm the Greens, Louisville, KY. I've never been to this one, but I hear it's good.

December 7: Brookside Park, Indianapolis, IN. The state championship and the only "real" 'cross race on Indiana soil. This course is also a favorite of mine.

The festivities may or may not conclude with the Lindsay Rodkey Big Fat Cycling Vacation in December. I've been contemplating this for a while, but it's still too soon to decide. On our third Christmas as married people, Adam finally agreed to come spend the holiday with my crazy family in Oklahoma last year. In return, I'm planning to spend the actual day of Christmas with his family this year, but I will be making a trip home some time in December. So I've been contemplating a) jumping into the women's 3-4 race at 'cross nationals in Kansas City b) stopping to visit the rocks in Arkansas c) all of the above.

Of course, while Kansas and Arkansas both border Oklahoma, neither is actually on the way to or from my parents' house. However, I figure if I'm driving west of the Mississippi it's worth it to detour for recreational purposes. It will just depend on weather, fitness, and finances when the time rolls around.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Well, after a couple of near-misses in the job world this summer, I was promoted to Senior Assistant Director in my current job. For comparison purposes, it's the equivalent of getting your expert license. Let just hope my first expert "season" goes better at work than it has in mountain biking.

So far it is. Now that the promotion stress is over, I took account today and we are doing way better than this time last year, so that's one less thing to worry about. At least that one less thing to get bogged down about. Or maybe I just learned my lesson about work stress last year.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Oh Man

Despite the fact we're still in the middle of the Tour, the fact is that road racing season's basically over anyway. The astute rider has already written it off and begun focussing his or her attention on cyclocross. The key to a successful racing season is to always live a minimum of four months in the future, mentally-speaking. That way you can dismiss your poor performances as simple preparation. Sure, you may not get anywhere near the front of the pack in a road race this summer, but you're just trying to get some intense mileage in so you'll be ready for cyclocross season. Poor mountain bike racing is even easier to rationalize--you're just doing that to improve your bike-handling. And of course once 'cross season does begin, you're still under no pressure to get results because, really, you're just doing it to maintain your form during the off-season. With the right attitude, you can surf an entire year of racing like a great big wave of mediocrity. Winning is for dopers and sandbaggers. - BikeSnob NYC

Dude, I think he's been reading my mind. I'm actually still living 2.5 weeks in the future for the day that my class is over, but I won't lie and say that the cyclocross isn't already worming its way into my mind. I just have to keep reminding myself I'm really, really, bad at it. :)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


The decision handed down to me: I didn't get the job. I'll refrain from comment there.

The decision I made: I'm not taking another class for the fall semester. The amount of misery that my current class has caused me this summer is not something I want to repeat and it's just not worth it at this point in my life. Lesson learned. So I have three and a half weeks of sucking it up and getting through the remainder of my current course.

You can expect a new-and-improved me on August 8th. Not that I won't post before then, but we'll see.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Small Breakthrough

The other day I got so busy talking about job drama (still waiting to hear) and the big breakthrough it will be if I make it through this week of training as planned that I forgot to mention the small breakthrough that I had last week. After nearly five years of riding road bikes in some capacity or another, I got my first "while I was riding" flat. I've had a few leaks that resulted in post-ride flats, but I've never actually had to change in tire myself on the road.

Well, I'd never actually successfully changed a tire period, since I'm a prissy butt and make Adam do it for me whenever possible. I'm satisfied that I KNOW how to, and don't want to muss my manicure unnecessarily. However, last Thursday I had to (luckily no fresh manicure was mussed) and was surprisingly successful. My previous attempts have all been on mountain bike tires and apparently they are a lot harder. I've never been able to roll them all the way back on the rim, but with the road tire I was able to do it fairly easily. Best of all, it actually held air for the rest of my ride. So I didn't do much to get faster last week, but at least I had one breakthrough.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Craziness Explained (or Not)

I expected to have some resolution to my last cryptic post by now or I would not have been so cryptic. Actually, I probably would not have brought it up at all, as it was just more job interview stuff. Believe me, I, more than anyone, know how crazy I sound with the whole, "So I'm interviewing for a really great new job this week" only to, once again, find out a few days later that I didn't get it. And of course there is the week of lost training, sanity, and general human functioning that accompany each missed opportunity. Yet I still fall into the trap over and over because I somehow become convinced it is The Last Time and when it's all over I will have a level financial and career satisfaction that will allow me to better focus on my cycling for the next few years. However, it just doesn't work out that way.

Anyway, I guess the thing that prompted me to even prematurely mention this to the blog world (which I swore I would never do again) was the crazy circumstances surrounding this particular interview. It took me a while to even apply for this job. Things are looking up at my current job and there's an extremely good chance I will be promoted soon, so I'm not really compelled to apply for anything outside my office unless it is a very big step up and I have a reasonably good chance of getting it. However, after a couple of weeks of contemplation and research, I decided that I should give this one a shot.

My application went in the week of the 4th of July, so I didn't hear anything for a week, but I didn't really expect to so near a holiday. Then Monday morning I got a call asking me to interview Monday afternoon. It was strange, but I took it as a complement that they wanted to see me so quickly. The interview went fine and by the time I went to send a thank you email that evening, I already had an invitation for a second interview in my inbox. The second interview went well and then we reach the part where I start to doubt my hearing/sanity. I believe that the person in charge told me that they would have a decision by the next day. That sounded like a really fast timeline, but we had already been working fast so it wasn't too surprising. However, when the next couple of days passed with no word I got a little panicked. Finally, I called them yesterday and it turns out that the director had been out of town most of the week following my interview. The person I talked to said he was fairly certain that a decision was not made yet.

So I really don't have a final resolution to this tale, but I thought I would give a little more detail about what was going on, in case anyone was wondering.

The good news is that after typing all that, I am feeling energized enough to go ride my bike. Due to the many and varied extenuating circumstances of late, I've reached a point where pulling on my bibs for a 1 hour easy ride feels like a herculean task. I'm really trying to get myself going again ASAP, regardless of this job thing pans out.

So here's the deal: I HAVE to maintain my planned workout schedule for next week whether I find out I got the job, didn't get the job, or still don't find out anything. If can do that it, it will be a huge breakthrough in the whole "emotional maturity" aspect of my training that I desperately need. So expect regular report of how that goes.

Monday, July 7, 2008


I can't go into much detail about my weekend. Let's just say it was crap cycling-wise. I am not the Indiana state downhill champion, as I ended up not going to the Saturday races. It's just as well, as it was quite possibly the most scary, mud-drench mess ever and I would have killed myself. No hub-deep gunk like the Lumberjack, but tons of slick clay smeared over jagged rocks and roots. Fun. I was thinking of last year's perfectly tacky conditions when I said I could do the downhill without breaking anything.

Anyway, today has been unbelievably crazy with more craziness in store. Details will be provided when it's all over.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Worst 4th of July Ever!!!

Why? Because I've spent the entire day working on what I truly believe to be the hardest paper I've ever written, even counting the "mini-thesis" I did for my master's program. At least I had a whole semester to finish that. As it is, I'm already five days overdo (and still not finished) due to the good grace of my professor, but I absolutely have to finish it tonight. I really hope this certificate pays off in the long run, because right now it's just sucking the life out me.

I really hope that I can learn to balance things better soon. By taking classes, I've made something that was already hard (training and working full-time) a lot harder. The upside of it is that when it's all over I will still be under 30 (plenty of good cycling years left) and I will certainly have a new appreciation for how "easy" I have it. I would really just rather not have the next year (57 weeks to be exact) of cycling messed up by what may or may not turn out to be a profitable career investment.


The good news is that I have two days of racing ahead of me. I don't expect much after all the life-sucking homework and viruses of the last couple of weeks, but it should be fun at least. It is the DINO AMBC weekend with shortrack and "downhill" tomorrow and XC on Sunday. I'm going to try the "downhill" for the first time in my career tomorrow and I'm sort of hoping to bring home a state championship. That's mostly because I expect to be the only woman who tries it. If that turns out to be the case, I just have to make it to the bottom without breaking anything and I get 10 bonus points for the series. That seems like it would be reasonable on a course that reasonably skilled men have completed on hardtails and where winning times are in the 20-second range. Of course, I'm not a reasonably skilled man, but maybe my 3.5 inches of travel will help me out a bit.