Archive for January, 2012
Tuesday, January 31st, 2012
Ok, so my little gym post might have shocked some of you. Yes, I like to inspire and I’m normally a sweet girl…but I do have a crude, sarcastic, sometimes cruel side. I normally keep it to myself online, but there’s a glimpse. Plus, I thought it was pretty hilarious as did most of you, thanks! To those of you with your panties in a jumble, I was NOT criticizing the act of working out in a gym. I like working out at the gym. I was simply creating a satire on the meat market dynamic at the gym which is undeniably obvious to a fit woman working out at the gym. I was actually a gym person BEFORE I was a cyclist, believe it or not!
I didn’t climb as much as I did last week. I am still doing my gym workouts and had to throw in some sprints this week. Gosh! I haven’t done a sprint in….ever. I don’t think I’ve ever done a specific sprint workout till a week ago. Those are HARD!!!!! It’s so violent and evil! Mucho respect for the trackies.
I hit up my weekly suffer loop on Sunday which consists of going up Magnolia Road to Peak to Peak to Gold Hill and add more if the mood strikes. I’ve done it the last 3 weekends. Minimum, the route is 6200′ of elevation gain and it is hard every time!
Ride in photos:
It has been a very dry, mild winter… but at a price. It has been extremely windy for about 2 weeks…. so add a headwind going up Magnolia and there are some groans. I had to tell myself to shut up and stop complaining. Complaining makes things so much worse. As long as I’m not physically fatigued, I have been teaching myself to shut it down when I start complaining about conditions. Honey badger mantra, “Don’t give a shit!”
I can’t believe I leave for Nepal in one month. I have my training preparation set… now to start figuring out what I can take. We are allowed 22 lbs of stuff in the race because a sherpa carries it! I guess I’ll have to leave my curlers, hair products, and my Gucci platform boots home for this trip.
Week in review
Monday, January 30th, 2012It was really warm early in the week. Temps near 65F! Not sure if this is ideal for the Yak-Attack in general, but I will take it!
Mid week, the vest unzipped doing intervals up to Estes Park and dodging the local wildlife.
An easy ride on the 'dams' on Friday after we got about 1/2 inch of snow in the AM....then it all melted away by 2 PM.
Tom Danielson showed up for the Oval Ride on Saturday. Us non-climbing types paid dearly! Ouch! I popped on Carter Lake. BOOM!
Sunday was a 4 hr tempo climbing day with recent IA to CO transplant, Carson Christen.
Quick bottle refill at the natural spring just below Ward, CO....en route to putting in a 7k climbing day.
Finished up the day in proper Boulder style: dirt roads, switchbacks, and steep.
Lanzarote 4 day stage race: Stage 3. 25km uphill time trial
Monday, January 30th, 2012Stage 3 Lanzarote 4 day stage race: 25km uphill Time Trial. 1. Sally Bigham 1:06:05 2. Adelheid Morath 1:07:39 3. Annika Langvad 1:07:53 I like time trials; a head to head race for the women without the influence of the men :)
Tight Hips: 9 yoga poses to release the hips
Monday, January 30th, 2012
I posted this on my Elevation Outdoors blog, but I wanted to post it here too because it was a lot of work and I think is very informative!
Yoga, stretching – everywhere you go people are talking about it. Maybe you don’t want to pay the money and sweat little puddles next to your 40 closest best friends, but you would like to benefit from the stretching aspect of yoga. There are many, many asanas(poses) in yoga with multiple intentions. My favorites are backbends and hip openers. As a professional ultra endurance mountain bike racer, I spend a lot of time pedaling a bike and am constantly looking for ways to take care of myself.
If you hike, ski, run, bike, walk, and/or sit at a desk, chances are that you have tight hip flexors. Hip flexors allow for forward movement and the ability to lift the leg up. They are made of three different muscles – psoas major, illiacus, and rectus femoris(part of the quads). At the end of the day, stretching is probably the last thing on your mind, but spending a few minutes in a couple of these poses will prevent injury and even boost your performance and make you feel more comfortable in your daily life.
In yoga, hip openers often coincide with emotional release. The hips stabilize us in our daily life and are said to store strong emotions of anxiety, sadness, depression, and being guarded. Whether the mind-body connection is apparent to you or not, you may be caught off guard with emotional release from time to time during and after several hip openers.
Some of the following asanas are restful and I don’t want to ever move out of the pose. Others are a little more intense, my breathing rate increases, I start to fidget, and all I want to do is move out of it.
It is absolutely okay to modify these poses. If you are too stubborn to modify, try to remember the reason of doing the pose to begin with: injury prevention and release. By brutally forcing yourself into one of these asanas when the body is not ready to go there, it can and will eventually lead to injury. It is NOT a competition.
How long should you stay in a pose? Some practices have you in the poses for minutes while others are just a few breaths. To start, aim for a minimum of 7 full breaths. Breathe in to a count of 3 and out to a count of 3. Breathe through your nose and fill your lungs all the way to the bottom and exhale all the air out through the nose at the same rate you inhaled. Breathe into the areas of tension. Conscious breaths will help the body release. Work up to staying in the poses for longer. If you have a hard time sitting still, turn on some music you like or do it with a friend or spouse.
One of my favorite yoga instructors, Tunde Borrego, agreed to be my model for the poses. I take her classes at CorePower and what shines about her classes is her bubbly energy, her happiness that brightens the room, and her ability to keep it fun. Plus, she is a handstand master and is gorgeous!
Supta Badda Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)
Lay down on your mat or towel. Grab your butt and pull it closer to your heels to flatten the sacrum. Push the soles of the feet together and arms out by the sides. There’s a lot you can do with your hands if you don’t want them by your sides – put one hand on the heart and one of the belly; you can place the arms overhead and push my palms together(one of my favorites), or you can even put your hands on your inner and gently encourage them to externally rotate. Your knees will be elevated off the ground and with each breath, the hips will start to release and the knees will get closer to the floor. Do not push the knees toward the floor. They are in the air because the groins are tight and forcing them down will not have a positive effect. To get out of the pose, you can bring your legs together using your leg muscles and put your feet flat on the floor. I like to use my hands to help bring my legs back together because the hip stretch is intense for me.
If the groins are so tight that this pose becomes too intense, yoga blocks can be placed under the knees. Folded blankets can also be used if yoga blocks are not available.
(Eka Pada Utkatasana) Figure Four
This pose involves balance and is not as restful as some of the other hip openers, but it feels great and it’s fun. Start from a standing position. Bend both knees like you are sitting back into a chair (utkatasana). Cross one of your ankles just above the opposite knee and flex the foot. Look at a point on the floor in front of you for balance and keep your gaze there. Your hands can be at the heart, or on the hips. Keep the weight in the standing heel and keep the hips level as you slowly hinge further to about 90 degrees at the standing knee. Shift the torso and chest forward. The goal is to ease the elbows to rest on the fronts of the shin where your flexed foot can almost grab your tricep and your other elbow is in front of the patella.
Repeat with the other leg.
One of my favorite teachers suggests gently pushing the palm of the hand into the bottom of the foot for a better connection and the other hand on the knee. It feels great.
Floor Figure Four or Eye of the Needle
If standing and trying to balance is too much, you can take it to the floor for a more restorative pose. Trying to balance on one leg can make the soleus muscle in the lower calf burn after standing for awhile.
Lay down on the ground with soles of the feet on the floor. Take the left ankle and rest it on top of the right knee. Flex the left foot. Bring the knees in towards the chest and lay flat on your back. Thread your left arm through the gap between the legs and bring the other hand to meet it. Clasp hands behind the right hamstring. If your hands cannot grab the leg without keeping the back flat, use a yoga strap, belt, or hand towel. Lengthen the tail bone to keep a very slight curve in the low back to also stretch the spine. Try to keep your upper spine and sacrum grounded. Breathe…
Release and do the other side.
Half Pigeon (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana)
For me, this one is the most intense. It’s also a huge emotional release for me. I’ve trembled and been confused why tears were rolling down my face a few times in this pose.
Start in downward facing dog. Lift your right leg off the ground, bend the knee and start bringing it foward toward your the back of your right wrist. When you can’t bring it any further forward, set the leg down. The right knee should be somewhere near the back of the right wrist. Keep the right foot flexed to protect the knee -very important. Slowly slide the left leg back and keep it straight. You can keep the toes flexed or point them on the straight leg. I prefer to keep my foot flexed.
Next puff up and sit tall to level the hips before descending down to the floor. Again, flex your foot to protect the knee. If there is any knee pain at all, modify and do floor figure four. Start to reach the arms forward with palms on the floor and lower the torso. Lower down as far as you can without pain. The forearms is a good place to start.
As you breathe into your hips and the groins start to release, you can walk your hands out further so the arms are straight and eventually rest the head on the ground. To come out, lift back up the way you came in, SLOWLY, and push back into down dog.
Do the other side.
There is only one way to describe this pose. INTENSE. There will be no doubt when you are in it.
Half Floor Frog
This is one of the more restful poses. I never want to move once I’m in it! Lay on your stomach. Take your right arm and extend it so the right wrist is in line with the right hip. Bend the right knee and bring it up to the height of the wrist. Turn head to the right and extend right arm back to shoulder height. Bend at the right elbow if desired.
Switch and do the other side.
From standing, squat down slowly as the knees point to opposite ends of the room. Put hands in prayer position at the heart and squat down until your elbows connect with your inner knees. For a more intense stretch, gently push elbows into knees. Drop shoulders down the back and hollow out the armpits.
Crescent Lunge (Anjaneyasana)
This one gets into the legs a little more, but feels great in a different part of the hip than some of the other poses. Start with hands on the hips from a standing position, feet hip width apart. Step the right foot forward and bend the front knee to 90 degrees. Keep the left leg straight, but lift the heel off the floor so you’re on the ball of your foot. Keep the hips square. If they are not square, you may need to step your right leg out a little more. Put a bend in the left knee and focus on pushing the left hip forward to the front of the room, tucking your tailbone. Lift arms overhead, fingers bright, and drop the shoulders down the back. Draw lower ribs in. Breathe… If this is too much for your legs, you may drop the back knee to the floor. You may also go into low lunge by hinging the torso forward and resting the hands on the ground and chest just above the bent knee.
Switch and do the other side.
Notice she has her legs hip width apart.
Happy Baby (Ananda Balasana)
Lie down on your back. Bend knees and bring them up towards your armpits. The goal is to try to keep the sacrum and back flat on the floor. The grip you choose will help. Either grab your feet from the outside, grab from the inside (as pictured) or take your index and middle finger(peace fingers) and grab your big toes with wrists facing one another. Pull down gently drawing the knees toward the floor for more stretch. Grabbing the big toes with the peace fingers is the easiest for me. You can gently sway side to side if that’s comfortable.
This one can be intense in the outer hips. Get on your hands and knees(tabletop position) Cross right knee in front of the left knee. Try to sit back so your butt touches the ground, hands on the feet or ankles.
A good modification for this pose, particularly if you have tight hips is to use a blanket, towel, or block under your butt so your butt rests on the prop if you can’t make it to the floor.
Alright! That’s a lot of info for you. Start with trying one new pose a day, and maybe work into doing 3 poses a day and start reaping the benefits of more flexible hips!!
If you’re interested in yoga and cycling, see my piece from the Sept/Oct 2011 Elevation Outdoors about yoga and cycling.
Or for more fun, follow me on twitter.
How to impress chicks at the gym
Monday, January 30th, 2012
1. Dress to impress. Wear a tshirt but cut out HUGE armholes. Make sure the tshirt is hanging by a tiny thread at your hip. She can’t wait to see your obliques and pecs. Don’t forget to get a fake, orange tan though. You don’t want to look like a big, white douchebag.
2. Let her know you’re there. Scream really loud when you bench. That way she knows you are a primal man and can stand up to any competition. This bull’s got horns.
3. Carry a gallon jug of water around with you. She wants to know that she won’t ever be thirsty, nor will you be making several trips to the drinking fountain to check out that other girl’s ass bent over doing tricep kickbacks on the bench.
4. Comment on how much weight she is lifting. Ask her if she’s sure she should be doing that much and show you are concerned she will hurt herself. Make sure to give her tips. After all, she can’t do more than you! Women want a man who is thoughtful and caring. Oh, and definitely offer to spot her.
5. Stare, but be direct…but none of this pussy out of the corner of the eye bull shit. Make sure she can you see watching her in every mirror. Stare so much that she keeps looking back at you. If she didn’t hear your primal bellow from the bench, she knows you are there. Then you should wink and go into a shadowboxing routine in the mirror to show her that you can fight and protect her at any given moment….and kick Chick Norris’ ass. Bonus points for adding a “key eye” with each punch.
6. Flex in the mirror and make sure she’s watching. How will she know how totally ripped you are?! You’re the man. You worked hard on those delts, brah.
7. Stay away from the leg press. For one, you’ll scare her off with your disgusting farts that are so thick you can taste them. Too much whey protein, son. Two, you’ll look like a pussy because your toothpick legs are too weak. Make sure you wear longer shorts so she doesn’t see that your biceps are bigger than your thighs. It’s a wonder that you can even stand up.
8. Ladies like a man who has a sense of style. Make sure to wear your Vibram 5 Finger shoes in the gym while lifting. Plus, it shows you are cultured. Flip flops are also a good choice, it shows you are laid back.
9. Wear a beanie too. It’s really cold in the gym, and it makes you look really mysterious and sexy.
10. Do NOT wear deodorant. You want your musk to be strong. It’s all about the pheromones. If she can’t smell you from across the gym, at least she can taste you.
11. Do your bicep curls in the walkway and make sure she can’t get by. Then she might “accidentally” touch you as she tries to get around your massive body- a perfect chance to ask her if she got tickets to the gun show. You are mighty. Grrr baby, grrr.
12. Don’t even THINK about wiping off the equipment. If she can’t deal with your sweat soaking up her tshirt, how will she do when you come upstairs after a date and you make it rain?
13. Shave. Everything.
If none of these tips work, maybe your sorry ass should go feed your ego at cross fit. Now sack up!
And watch out for these guns (video clip) (thanks Josh)
Skilanglauf im Engadin-Silvaplana
Monday, January 30th, 2012
Im Januar war ich mit meiner Freundin Vera beim Skilanglauf Training im Engadin. Wir haben es sehr gut gehabt zusammen und auch das Training war gut.
In Silvaplana,1815 Meter über Meer,im Hotel Albana wir waren gut bedient. Das gemütliche Hotel Albana liegt in guter Lage mit verschiedenen Blicken,zum See,zu den Bergen Richtung Maloja und auch einem schönen Blick Richtung St.Moritz,einfach wunderschön auch jetzt im Winter beim meterhohem Schnee! Im Hotel Albana gibt es verschiedene Küche,Regional und Thailändisch,Sie nennen es Thailando.
Im Engadin im Winter immer etwas was los. Es gibt verschiedene Wettkämpfe ,entweder Alpin Abfahrt,Eishockey,Pferderennen,Wintergolf,Skimarathon und so weiter. Für mich ist das Engadin das Ski Paradies,es gibt so viele verschiedene Ski Loipen,Klassisch oder Skating. Jeder kann wählen,was er fahren will.
Beim Skilanglauf habe ich Klassisch und Skating Tag für Tag abgewechselt. So wird man mental nicht müde. Im Winter ich mache ein abwechslungsreiches Training,entweder Joggen,Fitness oder auf der Rolle,doch meist Skilangläufen.
Unsere erste und zweite Trainingswoche war für uns erfolgreich. Da haben wir bei Sonnigem jedoch kaltem Wetter sehr gut trainiert. Jeden Tag nach dem harten Training massierte uns Werner Faust. Er ist der Masseur vom Team Topeak Ergon. So konnten wir entspannt und erholt jeden Tag wieder Vollgas Ski fahren. Sonnst währe es schwierig den Trainingsplan von meinem Trainer Kuno Hottenrott zu erfüllen. Ich arbeite mit Kuno schon seit 2007 zusammen und wir verstehen uns sehr gut.
Nach 4-5h Skitraining gab es am Abend immer gutes Essen. Oft haben wir Thailändisch gegessen. Das ist sehr gesund, viel Gemüse,Reis,Fisch und gutes Rindfleisch braucht der Körper für die Regeneration. Zum Dessert haben wir 10 mini Kugeln von verschiedene Eissorten oder frische Thailändische Früchte gegessen. Mit gutem Essen konnte unsere Training jeden Tag wieder weiter los gehen.
Während des Trainingslager in Silvaplana im Hotel Albana hat sogar unser russischer Nationaltrainer Ustinovich besucht. Er war sehr begeistert als er uns beim Skifahren gesehen hat. Er hat nicht gedacht, dass ich und Vera so gut Langlaufen können. Er hat Freude gehabt wie wir trainieren. Für Olympia hat er für uns ambitiöse Zielsetzungen,die er uns auch zutraut zu erreichen.
Meine Freundin Vera ist von meinem Team Chef von Topeak Ergon,Franc Arnold,die letzte zwei Jahre mit dem Bike unterstützt worden und auch bei den World Cup Rennen hilft unser Team Mechaniker Lars Hartwich. Vera ist russische Meisterin von 2011 und letztes Jahr auch mit Hilfe von Team sehr gut gefahren. Bei der Weltmeisterschaft in Champery hat sie den 16.Platz herausgefahren.
Bis zum ende des Trainingslager bleibt nur noch zwei Tage. Wir haben sehr gut Trainiert und waren mit allem sehr zufrieden im Albana Hotel.
Vielen Dank an Hotel Besitzer Daniel und seine Frau Malvika und alle Mitarbeiter für alles!
Im Februar in Zypern geht es dann auf dem Rad los. Ich freue mich sehr auf mein neues Canyon Bike. Ich werde in Zypern an zwei Rennen teilnehmen um zu sehen wie meine Form ist. Ich freue mich riesig,dass es mit den Rennen endlich los geht!
Meine Fans,liebe Leserinnen und Leser, ich freue mich weiter Euch über meine Ergebnisse von den Rennen zu berichten.
Bis bald,Eure Ira!