Friday, June 14, 2013

Here we go!

Well, this race starts tomorrow. Tomorrow. Not next month. Not next week. Tomorrow.

I have done everything I could do. Dani has done everything she could do. We are ready.

The crew arrived here in Oceanside, and we have had some intense preparations.

Dani and I participated in a press conference:

Afterwards, we were interviewed on the beach. That was pretty fabulous. You can watch this interview here:
Then, Dani and I were forced to stay in our hotel rooms and rest while the crew worked.
Today, we ate some food, and then went through our bike and car inspections. The inspectors were impressed, which meant that it went smoothly!
Embedded image permalink
Then, we had our official race pictures. He were are looking all serious and real:
Embedded image permalink

 And our whole crew:

Embedded image permalink
We are thankfrul for this group!
And then it got silly.
Embedded image permalink
After all this fun, we were relegated to our hotel rooms for the afternoon. Then, we were allowed out to go to the mandatory meeting.
We wrapped up the day with a team dinner, which was a great and comfortable time to spend together.
In the morning, we start this adventure. I love all of the support. Really, when I get in the car after a tough turn on the bike, George hands me my phone. I look at every like, every text, every comment. I appreciate every thought and bit of encouragement.
Man, I am lucky to have Dani as my race partner. She has worked incredibly hard, brought fantastic members to the team. She also keeps it light and fun. I hope that when she is feeling down that I can bring her some joy and fun.
This morning, I woke up nervous. I looked at George, and fully thinking that I am WAY out of my leauge and said, "Who do I think I am?" Well, I have spent time thinking about it.
I am someone that dreams big.
I am someone that works very hard.
I am someone who is willing to put my pride on the line.
I am someone who is surrounded by love and support.
I am someone who doens't take no for an answer.
I am someone who is prepared.  

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Our Mini Vacation in California!

So Dani wrote a fansatic, moving, and simply beautiful blog post about her pre-RAAM thoughts. You should read it here.

I am not quite ready to write my version of that blog post yet. Instead, I am writing about my little vacation in Southern California.  At this moment, I am sitting in the hotel room with the instructions to "keep my feet up and drink lots of water," from my crew chief Anne while she and George start picking people up from the airport. Those instructions mark the official end of my play time and the start of actual RAAM prep in California. But, man, we have had some FUN in the last couple of days!

I left off this blog with my nice ride down bike path that makes up the first 8 miles of RAAM. Once I got back from the ride and George from his run, we headed out to this awesome place to eat. I told George I wanted fish tacos, and he delievered:

Fish is the only kind of  meat that I eat, and I really do enjoy some at the beach. We also tend to eat family style when Anne, George, and I eat together. Because of that, I ordered an octopus taco so everyone would try it! Suprising delicous!

After dinner, we went to the beach and watched the sun set over the ocean. I think that a watery sunset might be one of the best parts about being on the West Coast.

The next morning, I got up earlier than Anne and George, walked down the street to Jitters (my favorite coffee shop here!), and spent a few hours reading and sipping a latte. I showed the woman the picture of the chocolate chip muffin with almonds that I had before the start of last year's RAAM, and she promised to make it for me again this year! You better bet I'll be back there to get my muffin!

We went to rent George a bike so that he could ride with me, and we ended up buying the Go Pro we have been talking about for a couple of months. So, I am going to finish RAAM with better pictures then just my phone! I am really excited about it (and calling it my birthday present). I don't really like cameras, but I think it's going to be awesome to film some of my night time decents from the perspective of my handlebars!

Then, mid-morning, the three of us went to go get some omlettes. Then, Anne had a million errands to run, and George and I went to the start of the solo racers. Though our start is not until Saturday, the people who are attempting this race alone (from all over the world) already started.

Embedded image permalink

There are only 5 women attempting RAAM solo this year. By the time I got to cheering for them, I was so nervous that I could not even stand up anymore. They take a minute to talk to and interview each rider before they start. Watching them, you could FEEL the engery, the nerves, anticipation, and excitement. I actually thought I might throw up by the end of it. What courage they have.

I went over to the expo and bout a couple of souveniers, including this gem of a sticker for my car!

After the exciting start, it was time for some relaxing. My back and legs still felt icky from the drive, so I got a massage at Apothoque spa. Part of my relaxing afternoon also included a haircut with some pink hair dye, and "hair tinsel," which just adds so much to my ponytail!

Embedded image permalink

Or maybe I just want to look more like Jem. I loved that show when I was a kid. I think this IS my Jem moment!

Now, if I can just find some light up pink earrings.

I DID get my nails painted glittery pink and purple! I told the awesome nail lady that today was not the day for being subtle. This was going to be the little piece of me that was pretty and sparkling when I do not feel that way! I really like having pretty nails when I am racing.

Embedded image permalink

All in all, it was just an awesome afternoon with Anne! I left that nice salon feeling fresh, clean, and relaxed.

Then, George and I went on a ride together. He had rented a bike from a local bike shop, but it is not really all that great. We decided to do about 9 miles har and then easy 9 miles back. It was really fun and helped me shake out some nerves.

After the ride, we went and got some Thai and Sushi. Yum.

This morning, George and I rode down the Coast Highway nice and easy and had a great ride. Then, we went to lunch and had some fresh juice and a great meal.

After that, I was told to go to my room and spend the afternoon resting. Dani is at the airport and I can't wait for her to get here! Ponytails unite!

Photo: Ready to get to Oceanside and be reunited with my ponytail!
We start Saturday at noon!Tonight, most of the crew flies in, and they start some serious race prep! Dani and I will be intervied tomorrow at a press conference! You can watch us here:
Don't forget to follow our team's social media!
Twitter: @powerponytails

Monday, June 10, 2013

Made it to California!

As it turns out, training for 2-person RAAM takes a lot of time and hard work. Thus, very little blogging.

But I am here now, I am tapering, and my race doesn't start until Saturday at noon!

Friday was packing day. We rented two of the three vans, Jason installed hitches and racks, and we loaded all of the gear. 

George, Anne, and I hopped in the cars and drove for a couple of hours. We got up Saturday, and drove to New Mexico. Then, we finished the drive on Sunday. I do love a good road trip.
And this one had some incredible scenery.

Photo: America, you are beautiful. Stuns me every time I travel across this country.

But by the end, the three of us were very read to see this sign!

Embedded image permalink 

Friday was packing day. We rented two of the three vans, Jason installed hitches and racks, and we loaded all of the gear. 

George, Anne, and I hopped in the cars and drove for a couple of hours. We got up Saturday, and drove to New Mexico. Then, we finished the drive on Sunday.

Now, it's Monday, and my body feels pretty wrecked from the journey. I know I have a few days to rest, ride my bike, get massage, and generally get to feeling my very best for saturday.

Right now, it is time for some relaxing. Today, we went for a walk on the beach.

Embedded image permalink 

I very much feel like this is my chance to relax, and also to get excited about the incredible journey ahead! After our amazing breakfast and beach walk, we headed over to the RAAM start. It was exciting to see some of the solo racers and wish them luck. I have to consider what swag I want to buy at the store still. This town is buzzing with excitement! Even the housekeeper at the hotel wanted to hear all about our team!

Embedded image permalink

Then, today, I finally got to get back on my bike! My legs felt icky, but that is to be expected right now. I did just do over 33 hours in the car. Ugh.  But, man I was happy to be on my bicycle!

Embedded image permalink 

So now that I am mostly stuck resting in a hotel room (except for excursions to ride, do race related things, and ride my bike), I hope to be able to do some actual posts about the lead up to this incredible race!

Don't forget to follow my team!
Twitter: @powerponytails