Thursday, September 4, 2008


Sorry for the delay ….it’s been a hectic week!

As it happens, the SM100 fell on my 29th birthday. Yup, the last birthday in my 20s …and I still don’t feel like a grown-up. In addition to being my birthday, it was also my first experience with the illustrious 100 miler. And so …this is how I spent my birthday ….a day comprised of a generous supply of both climbing and cake.

I should begin my race report by describing the ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL birthday cake that Jeff made for me. What that man does with icing is almost as amazing as what he can do on a bike. You might notice the outline of Maryland located in the center of the cake with a flower placed strategically over the location of Frederick (aka our soon to be hometown!!!!! Yay!!!! Housewarming party details soon to follow.) (photo: Jeff's shoulder recovery regime)

Alright, so we lined up 500 racers deep and set off roughly somewhere around 6:30am. Our spirits were lifted by the loud IF guy who relentlessly belted out Led Zeppelin tunes into the chill morning air. Mayhem ensued as we were all funneled onto a narrow gravel road careful to make our way around the stalled lead moto.

Maybe about 30 minutes later I noticed my saddle felt a bit strange …a little crooked …like it had moved a considerable amount? As it happens, I snapped one of the rails on my saddle. Wow, this makes for the third time I have broken a saddle/seat post clamp …must be all that badunkadunk.

At aid station #1 I inquired about a possible spare saddle ….but to not avail. I rode on, perched lightly on my saddle in effort to avoid adding further stress to the one rail that remained. Arriving at aid station #2 volunteers swarmed each rider as they approached. The race support really was amazing. Thanks again! It was here that I met Will of the Charlottesville Area Mountain Bike Club. It was he who kindly lent me both his seat post and saddle, allowing me to safely continue with the remaining 75 miles without fear of impalement. Thanks again Will for your selfless generosity!!!!

I have yet to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, but I can now say that I have ridden roughly 75 miles on someone else’s saddle ….a saddle that may have been more appropriate for a male rider. I have always been appreciative of women’s specific equipment; however, the pain I endured throughout the hills of the Shenandoahs brought this appreciation to an entirely different level.

Aside from the saddle issue (which I was happy to share with anyone who was willing to listen) and a few other small mechanicals ….it was a pretty good day. My legs actually felt pretty good …although other parts of my body were not so good. I rolled across the line somewhere around 11:30 …not exactly the time I was hoping for …but all in all I was pleased with the day. My only regret really is that I didn’t take nearly enough photos.

Oh, and many thanks to Gwadzilla for always being a friend and for his willingness to listen to my endless rants on life, love, and the pursuit of happiness.

In other news, Jeff landed himself on the podium in third place behind Chris and Sam. A recent shoulder injury made for tricky bike handling in some of the more technical sections of the course. Many thanks to Goat for showing me her tricks with the Kinesio tape! Also, congrats to Cheryl for her victory in the women’s field! Nice racing!

That night Jeff and I made our way home with only one thought on our mind ….birthday cake.


gwadzilla said...

that cake is cool...

you said flowers...

The Maryland State Flower!

great job out there!

thanks again for the pep talk
it makes a much better example to the kids to finish than to quit

Big Daddy Mike said...

Congrats. Nice work!


Ikon O. Klasst said...

Wow, I was going to ask (sarcastically, of course) if you had eloped...close enough.

The hometown switch; I would complain that there goes my occasional DC chaperone, but that's such cool news that I just have to say "congrats!" Plenty of great dirt riding where you're heading, as you know. You'll will have to hook up with the Outlaw every now and then for some epics.

Oh, and congrats on your first SM100...nice work!

(Ice pops and Arizona Iced that's the secrect! much for burritos and India Pale Ales, ha.)

Ikon O. Klasst said...

Oops, HFB, too! ;)

Anonymous said...

I read about Jeff in the Spokes magazine, seems like a very cool guy and hooking up with another cyclist is very smart! Only cyclists understand cyclists. Hope things go well!

Anna said...

Thanks for all the props everybody. Let me know if you ever wanna ride in the shed! It will be so nice to live in a town where you don't have to drive to ride!

Tom Vaughn said...

I lived in Fredneck about 10 years ago. Let me know if you want some hometown beta, albeit old. Lynne and I ride in the Shed often. We'll let you know next time we go.

Anonymous said...

anna happy b.d. 2 U!!
I hope you'll have a great year, and I'm sure you will discover things get exponentially better as you cruise through life..
I have photographic proof that old age is ...not unseemly:

Anna said...

Wow! Nice photos!

mikejoos said...

Congratulations finishing the 100 miler, do it again?

Enjoy your New place!!

Anna said...

Hmmm ...maybe next year for my 30th birthday. My upgrade points o' meter is still looking a bit sickly, so I think I'll probably focus on that more than anything.

You should come down for the SM100 next year! You would love it! Lots of gravel road climbing! I think I even saw a unicorn at the top!

Anonymous said...

Yeah.. way to rock out the SM100 in 11:35:31!!! You did it! Overcoming adversity along the way! Congrats on the Fredrick Domicile as well.. Im close to closing on a place in C-Heights.. SC-PA.

Anna said...

Congrats! Come over for a visit in Mt. Pleasant before I move!

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah Happy Birthday and time to change your pick to the one of you finishing the SM100!!!! Its a good one!

IF Chicks said...

anna, happy b-day and congrats on your race ! The loud IF guy is my beloved teammate Mike Ramponi who I drove down from Boston with:

Anna said...

Thanks Kerry! Good to see you! Oh, and thank Mike for his morning morale booster!

Hope to see you at Michaux!?

K-country said...

Happy Belated! And welcome to Fredneck! You're going to love it...Look us up