Sunday, November 15, 2009

Drop a Gear and "HOPE" to Disappear

This weekend I did my first 12 hour mountain bike race in temecula and loved every minute of it! I want to say thanks for the awesome support from my friends from Team Sole and Intense. Thanks also to Luke for helping me with my lights and to my cheerleaders the mann clan.

We couldn't have asked for better weather with the fall colors on some of the trees down by the lake.. it was beautiful. Slater was out of town for a training camp and I had a bunch of friends going out to race the 12 hours and I wanted to get a long bike ride in so I decided to race also. My goal was to ride the full 12 hours! I didn't even bring a chair to tempt me to want to sit down. Just a day of fun on my bike with 600 other of friends who also love to ride. My first 4 laps were awesome I couldn't stop smiling, I was having a blast and I guess others noticed because people kept telling me that it looked like I was having fun? weren't they?

On my 5th lap I crashed up on the rock garden and busted my back break by the lever, and scraped my arm... shoot...

I was kinda shocked and just started walking, your mind does funny things for some reason I kept thinking how am I going to get back? My friend chuck came up from behind and made sure i was ok and said that I can still get back! That kinda snapped me out of it and I hopped back on my bike and rode the rest of the course with only a front brake... it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be and when I finished everyone was stoked to see that I was ok. I guess chuck spread the word through friends on the course like the "telephone game" and they thought i would be bleeding to death and barley walking and maybe lost a leg j/k but word spreads like fire whether its true or not.. funny ..

While everyone was surveying my bike and I went and washed my face, added more sunscreen and loaded my pockets and bottle for the next lap. The pit crew from intense were going to try to switch out my brake but they only had shimano on their demo bikes but I had all SRAM gear. So there was an Intense Medium Tracer 29er that was itching to be ridden.. it may have been a couple sizes too big but the pedals were switched, seat was moved forward, and I was ready to roll on my green moto machine : )

That bike was a beast. The hardest part about riding this bike was the super steep sandy uphill sections. When I would have to get off to push I would lose my footing and find myself laying down with the bike on top of me sliding backwards on the hill. Pretty funny! Super heavy bike! I was able to ride my last 3 laps on the green moto machine. I was stoked that I was able to finish with a ride time of 11 hrs 42mins and ended up with a third place finish in the Expert/Pro class with a total of 8 laps.

My nutrition consisted of 4 vitargo, 2 perpetum, 1bottle 1/2 vitargo and nuun, 1bottle water, 1/2 chocolate power bar, a couple bites of a turkey sandwich, 1 bag of GU chews, one Hammer GU w/caffine in the evening, DK last lap, apples, bananas, blueberries and grapes.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

My kind of Maui!!

I loved the Xterra World Championship Course. During the race I kept thinking to myself how much I love this crazy, loose and scary dirty volcanic rock roads. It was like Vision Quest an Adventure Race and an Xterra all smashed into one. It even went through a dozen of ecosystems from super dry cactus sections to beautiful sandy beaches. The day was beautiful and kept it's cool with the layer of clouds above.

The swim was the most awesome ever with its clear waters and coral below. I was swimming and I looked down and totally jumped when I saw something black below, it was a scuba diver camera man. On my second lap there was this black stuff the was twirling beneath me which I finally figured out was a school of little black fish. It was beautiful : ) Also super stoked that I was able to draft some guy on the the first lap and was able to find him again on the second lap. The three months of master swimming is working because before i was just struggling to make it out of the water let alone having the ability to draft someone!

Out on the bike course i'm always checking the sidelines to see who is off stranded for a tire repair or etc... it looked like a war scene with people everywhere, from far away a couple of the guys looked like slater but as I got close I was wrong. As I was coming down one of the worst sections of the race I saw this guy limping up the steep hill that I was flying down.. "is that slater" it couldn't be, but it was... i yelled "are you ok" and he yelled back "just finish the race!" I kept on going thinking did he break a leg, an ankle???? what happened??? well i figured if he could answer me then he was going to live : ) so i kept on going.

Running on Mckenna beach was beautiful and I love the maui sand, eventhough at that point of the race I wish I was laying on the beach in my bikini soaking in the scenery instead of running my sandy death march! I made it to the finish line and was stoked to see slater hobbling towards me! I was bummed that he wasn't able to finish the race but thanked God he had no broken bones!

After the race we had a couple of days to relax and sight see. We ended up biking up Haleakala from sea level to over 10,000 feet of climbing... I could not have made it without slater towing me up the mountain. We had a fun trip but I always wish we had a couple more days to just lay on the beach and do nothing : )

Monday, September 28, 2009

Monday, August 24, 2009

Santa Barbara Bash

I love Santa Barbara!! We had such a wonderful weekend with an awesome group of friends. Chuck was our host and he did a great job of showing us around town. It was nice to have a whole weekend of no driving. Chuck lives a couple of blocks from state street and about a mile from the race start so we had no need to jump in our automated wheels. Life is good. Racing, Eating, Cruz'in the beach cruiser, Eating again and Cheering on friends!

cruz'in around town

Saturday we woke up around 4:30am for the Santa Barbara Triathlon. Our group doing the race this year was chuck, tiffany, wes, slater, sean, lisa, paul and me. Everyone did awesome and it was super cool to see friends out there on the course!

cutie pie

I was able to use slates power tap so I can start gathering info, i guess... : ) I still don't get all that confusing graphs and crap, oh well at least he does... my results were:

1st hour - 138norm watts / 335max / 131avg
2nd hour - 130norm watts / 330max / 119avg

i also shaved about 30min off my time from last year.

More eating sat. night : )

Paul's girlfriend Lisa and her roomie Doreen did the women's only race on sunday, it was both their very first tri and we were all super stoked to be their fan club. We headed out early on the bikes and got coffee then headed over to watch them kill it! Lisa ended up having the 10th fastest bike split overall and it was doreen's first time on a road bike and loved it! They did awesome and are ready for their next race!

Lisa getting yelled at by Ellen because she forgot to put on her lip gloss before the run : )

The Santa Barbara Bash is definitely on the agenda every year!
See ya next time!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Lovely Luge

It was sooo nice to stay in town this weekend! Slater was off to Palomar for the sufferfest and I was off to my friend Jamie's house for her baby shower on Saturday. It was nice to meet some of her friends and get dressed up for the day! "Tis the season" for boys also, I know about five ladies that are all having boys within the next couple of months.. crazy how it "cycles"!

On sunday we did some exciting errands including our favorite coffee break, barnes visit and lunch. Later that day we headed out to the "LUGE" for a nice little singletrack dose! I was excited to wear my new "Team Duke" kit and was laughing when slate came downstairs in his same kit! He enjoys being twins, and when we get dressed separately somehow we always end up wearing something alike.. I guess the longer your married the more you start to dress alike! I can't wait till were eighty and we can go walking in the morning with our same track suits on! HA ! It was super hot but so nice to be out on the trail! Afterwards slate went for a transition run and i walked down to the corner of cooks to check out all the bikes with motors! There were tons of bikes out with fun & interesting people watching to pass the time until slate got back!
Dinner and home!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

San Juan Trail

Surf Monkey was on the list this weekend where slater and sean did the 1 mile ocean swim down in oceanside. It was so nice to be home for the weekend so we could attend a local event, ok, local to us is anything less than 2 hours away. Slate did awesome and he said there were tons of rip tides and swells, good thing i decided to watch : )

On sunday we met up with sean, lisa and luke for a ride up san juan! The last time I did san juan was about a year ago and it took about 6 hours. This time it took 4, so i was stoked! Also I didn't roll off the side of the mountain riding up like i did last time, who falls off riding up hill anyways? except me! HA... it was super hot, but luke was loving the cool weather.

View of the switchbacks and the lovely smog! I can't wait to go back and ride it again.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Mammoth Madness

We were off to our yearly mammoth trip and i was super excited to be spending the next four days up in the mountains. I love being up in mammoth and i was happy to be spending some time with some old "funny" friends. On the way up slater said he would shuttle luke and me on rock creek because his foot was still bothering him, so we pulled off the hwy and loaded on our gear... i have never done rock creek and i have heard lots of rocks, swooping trails, creek crossings etc. I was excited but a little worried when i looked over and saw that luke had turned into a storm trooper and i had my usual riding gear on! HA "Oh well" i thought "this should be interesting"..

luke took off as i was getting my stuff together and we were all going to meet at the bottom. I was off on the trail and it was a little weird riding by myself... it was so beautiful and i loved rock creek... anything techy "BRING IT ON"! love it! Its tempting to ride downhill'in, but i'm afraid I would never go back!

On friday we rode with the gang and had a blast on the mammoth trails! The weather was perfect with clouds, thunderstorms and rain! It was awesome to go back and ride those trails and too see how much i have progressed, i have had many "over the bars" on that loose dirt and sharp turns and i was stoked i didn't fall once.... we will have to do another trip before the winter comes.

tiffie and me

the gang

the gang bang

We had such a blast hanging out with everyone, I can't wait till next year when we all get together again! fun stuff : )

Friday, July 10, 2009

Peters Canyon Trail Run

since big bear was a solid chuck of training.. 15 hours in three days.. consisting of paddling, swimming, mt biking and bad ass billy's core workout - wow.. am i beat!  this week i have been sleeping at least 8 -12 hours a night and i had a nice nap yesterday with my nephew... he looks like a little doll when he is sleeping..  my total hours this week have been 45 minutes total of which consisted of two runs, one 3omin and the other 15.. i just couldn't get motivated to do anything... drained!

Last night was the peters canyon 2nd event of their trail run series.  i did the last one but decided to be a spectator this time around, still beat down.  stoked, my sister and her hubby came out for the festivities and it was such a nice evening.  slate did awesome coming in sixth overall, damn i can't believe how fast that boy is getting... and my bro in law came in 26th overall with a 7:15 pace for his first running race ever!  how did he get so fast also?  while the boys were hitting the trails my sister and i hung out with her new little boy kadin and we had a blast watching him laugh and we couldn't resist having a photo shoot  :) 

today i decided to get my lazy, unmotivated butt out the door.  i put my bike clothes on and stashed a bunch of food in my jersey and headed out for a ride... not sure where or how far i was going to go?  oh, where will the day take me? : )  i headed for the beach and ended up cruis'in south to the back bay and back home...

some friends came out from santa cruz and santa barbara around lunch time and were all dressed up for a spin... so i got my bike clothes back on and headed back out the door for my second ride of the day...  my legs were turning into jello, and we had a major head wind! man, what was i thinking...  i tucked behind keevin and held his wheel for the 33 miles... with some struggle..   : )  what a good time!  stoked to have put in 63 miles for the day! 

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Big Bear Shootout!

Big Bear Shootout was my second mt bike race that i have competed in.  It was a fun day with lots of hills  : )  It was part of the conquer the bear series which also includes the big bear multisport race, paddle race and marathon.  The course had super fun singletrack with lots of sand.  These races have some super strong ladies competing and it was fun seeing them attack the mountain.  I raced in cat. 2 and came out in 4th place.  I really need to work on my sprinting legs... fun day and perfect weather!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Monday Madness

It was memorial monday and we were now off to ride some more with a group of friends.  We decided on the 3 park ride from aliso to laguna woods to el moro and back!  We couldn't have asked for a better day with such beautiful weather.  

Slate just flew home from alabama the day before and his bike must have enjoyed being out  of california so it took a trip up to washington, phoenix and then back home in time for our early morning ride.  We picked it up on the way and were off to meet up with the crew.... below is a pic of slate putting his moots back together from its trip right before our ride : )

Above is the crew headed back up to top of the world.  After the ride it was back to the pad for some Food and Fun!  

Sunday, May 24, 2009

group rides

It was early sunday morning and with Slate in "ala'bama" for the Xterra Cup Race, I decided to venture out on my own group ride. It was hard getting out the door, I was tired from my girls mountain bike ride yesterday with the sexy lady "my singlespeed" sarah and tiffany out in aliso woods.

From my house to Main St. where I hit PCH is about 5 miles which is a great warmup. Once I hit PCH I was scanning the roads for a group to test my limits... There was no one so I peddled through the lonely wind tunnel. Sunday morning was a ghost town, I kept looking around for other bikers and they were all heading west on pch. I hit newport and finally a group of guys cruised by, stoked group ride #1, keeping up with man in white, man in red and two old dudes. Group #1 - man in red kept trying to stay up ahead and didn't want anyone to grab his wheel, man in white nice enough to give hand signs once he realized i was hanging on. old dudes on my wheel. 20mph. Hit Back Bay and was alone again for my bb loop.

Group #2 - slow dude and old lady on tri bikes heading back home. wasn't having much fun in that group. A couple lights down the road we caught up to group #3. So I ditched boring #2 and hammered with my next group. It was a group of 5 guys and 1 girl. Not that friendly of a group, they were probably wondering who this chick was changing positions within the mix of their cool group ride, all in their fancy kits.

I needed more of a challenge so i peered ahead and caught sight of my #4 group the one man band... It consisted of one guy on a tri bike right up ahead of #3. So we hit a hill and I hammered past group #3 and caught up to my #4 one man band. His pace was 25mph so I got up on him and hammered.. anther guy pulled up behind me and we were now the three stooges - a guy on a yellow tri bike, me on my cross bike w/mt bike shoes, and an old dude with a sweat shirt on. HAha pretty funny.. we all stayed together for a couple of miles and then I just couldn't hold on much longer... so i drifted off and cruised the rest of my ride down to sunset beach and back home. What a great day! I love group rides!

Life is good, and I had such a fun day riding along the ocean! I'm addicted and ready to be a regular weekend groupie, as long as I don't have to chose one group : )
So if you feel some random person riding on your butt... it's prob another groupie like me!

Monday, May 18, 2009


So this week after the Del Valle Xterra, was my first time doing intense work in my training schedule. Even though my schedule is "do whatever i feel like for the day" as long as I get some hours in : ) My workouts consisted of an el moro ride with slater & ryan, hill repeats in aliso, an off road track workout, a 40mile ride where i was able to grab the wheel of some guys and hold on down pch till i hit my back bay turn off "thanks guys" and an ocean swim pushing my pace.

For my first time i'm planning on trying to stick to a training schedule for the Xterra Tahoe City which is in June. Im super excited to train "specific" for a race and see the results. I am "finally" at the point where I can go the distance and now its time to drop the Hammer! Slate is going to help me put together a little som'tin som'tin and i'm counting down five weeks until the race!  

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Xterra Del Valle

Well if I were a mother this would have been how I would want to spend my Mothers Day! Racing hard with my husband and enjoying mother nature! Lake Del Valle up in Livermore is a awesome place to be. I couldn't believe all the different birds up there, and all the deer that we saw. The single track along the waters edge was a nice change, compared to the dirt that surrounds our single track in the OC. The water was crystal green and I just wanted to jump i and view the mountains from below...

The Xterra Del Valle was the 2009 inaugural race that was put on by the Big Blue Adventure Series. The race consisted of two 600yrd loops with a run in the middle... I was not able to warm up before the race because I was running late so my swim started off good and then went bad... before I race I need at least a 30 min wu and so without it I choked on the swim. I'm also super slow at swimming and I just enjoyed my time out in the water and tried to breath bilateral with every other stroke (usually i stick to one side for a while and then switch). I think I was one of the last 10 people to finish : ) I need to spend a lot more time doing swim workouts instead of floating in the pool! HA

I was ready to get on the bike but I was worried because my legs have been super heavy the last couple of rides before my race, and I knew the 17 mile bike course had tons of steep climbs. I hit the first long climb on the bike and I saw a couple of people up ahead pushing their bikes so I just kept telling myself to stay on my bike. I was gaining on the pushers and noticed one was in my age group, so I peddled even harder to the top of the climb, 1 down. On the single track down hill I was able to pass another AG, 2 down. I was stoked to have been passing people this race, because I'm usually the one being passed. Next was a long downhill fire road, 3 down. I couldn't believe all the hills on the course and I was glad that I was able to pre-ride some of it.
The run was a super fun 6 mile run, trek and swim. It started off on a dirt road and then down into the creek. I felt like I was in an adventure race, I loved it. The water felt so good and in one part I was up to my waist so I laid back and floated for a second. It was just what I needed and it took my breath away. It was a refresher and ice bath all at once. I was ready to continue on and finish strong.
Below are the race stats for my AG:
I need lots of work on my swim : )
30 - 34              ======= 
1  Monique Fletcher #1030           :32:24  02:16:34  01:15:42    4:04:40      
2  Dana Katz #1033                  :25:36  02:40:02  01:08:19    4:13:57      
3  Elaine Seasly #1032              :28:22  02:34:40  01:21:57    4:24:59      
4  Melissa Popkin #1031             :27:55  02:53:11  01:35:57    4:57:03 
In the end I finished first in my AG. Super Stoked! Slate finished 2nd in his AG and 9th place OV, he did awesome. We had a great time and can't wait till the race in Tahoe!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Kadin Daniel B Hardy

On April 11, 2009 at 6:09 we welcomed my nephew Kadin Daniel B Hardy to the world!  He was 8.2 lbs and 20 inches long.  We all couldn't believe that my 80 lb sister could have such a big baby...  I think without the weight of the baby Dez only gained 10lbs ... crazy.. I hope I am as lucky as her when I have kids : )  My sister went in on thursday at midnight and had her precious baby boy yesterday morning.  I felt like I was in the twilight zone, not sleeping for two nights waiting for the arrival of Kadin.  It was also strange not to do any training at all for a couple of days but today I was able to get outside into the world for a mountain bike ride with M & M at El Moro.  What a beautiful day it was on this Easter Sunday.  It was nice to get out but I was already missing the little easter bunny that was back at the hospital.

proud uncle

We are counting down the days till we can get this little guy on a bike!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

California 70.3 Ironman

The 70.3 Ironman California was super fun!!!  Two days before the race we realized that we didn't want to drive back and forth to Oceanside to pickup our race packets before the big event, so we decided that to find somewhere to sleep in our trucks friday night before the race!  Yes, we are last minute kinda pep's.  I was worried about the race because i've been fighting a cold a couple days before but race day i felt pretty good, so stoked!  

Friday we pickuped up our packets, ate an awesome pasta dinner and headed to WALMART (keevin and i heard you can camp out in any WALMART parking lot)  well its not true.  I decided to ask the security guy so he wouldn't wake us up mid dreaming and have us move...  so we headed to starbucks so i could brush my teeth and wash my face!  We found a nice neighborhood and passed out.  

My swim:
My first time swimming up to a starting buoy.  i loved  the carpet in the water and being pulled out of the water and tossed up to the ramp... awesome!  
I swam... slow but steady... and survived : )

My Bike:
It was such a beautiful bike course it got prettier around each corner!  i made a couple of friends and enjoyed the company.. at mile 30 i just wanted to BRUSH my TEETH soooo bad!
next time i might put one of those mini camping tooth brushes in my bento box : )  HA... oh, and it was fun passing girls on tri bikes with my cross bike, dang i need to get myself one of those fancy rides.... i was on a rolling bike show with all the tricked out rides today...  The last 10 miles on the bike felt FOREVER, plus i was going through a wind tunnel... i was ready to get off the bike and run.
My Run:
Was super fun, I didn't know if i was going to be able to move my legs, but they were there! yippy...  the group of girls at mile 1.5 aide station were super funny.. there was one girl with a cup of water on her head, hands out, dancing... I wonder what went through their minds during the race??  funny kids!  
I was stoked with my time... i forecasted a 7hour race and i finished at 6:52:01!
We all had such a fun day!  

Monday, March 30, 2009

The REAL Deal

Folsom Xterra REAL :
was my first "REAL" triathlon race of the season for me.  I was super excited to jump back in and have a refresher for my half ironman next weekend (i'm sooo not ready for, oh well good training right?)  We have been going up to folsom the last three years and i can't tell you how beautiful it is there this time of the year!  It was such a nice weekend to head out of town and enjoy some time with my hubby.  Between racing, training, work, etc.. life gets busy and its nice to step away from the norm every once in awhile (eventhough it was for a race : )  I was also super excited to ride my new 29 on some fast singletrack...

Swim time:
Ok, so 58 degrees was pretty cold, i got in the water about 20 minutes before the race to really warm up ....  the gun went off and the mass of people went flopping in the water.... i tried to swim along someone about the same speed, so i could watch them instead of spotting the buoy in the sun... people were either too fast or too slow... so i picked out a tree in the water and aimed for that... i found myself in a mist of really tall guys, i got kicked in the stomach by a zig zagging man and then another guy came across and slapped me in the face and hit my goggles off...  i guess you have to expect that when there is one mass start of 200+ racers...

After swimming i was ready to get on my new rocket...  having a new bike with the 29 wheels was awesome... floating through the singletrack and enjoying the beautiful scenery was my type of race : ) my thumbs were still frozen so i had to shift with the palm of my hand, i had some practice from last years folsom xterra so i was expecting it to happen again.....  on the first lap i was behind a couple of racers that were not comfortable with the technical sections so it slowed me down a little..  also my back skewer opened so i had to stop and fix it...  i jumped back on my bike and was instantly enjoying the speed again.

When transitioning to the run i heard slater yelling "good job monique" and all i was thinking was dang he is already done, and i was curious to see how he did!  i grabbed my race belt, gu and visor and took off on the run... i enjoyed the awesome run, i was hopping back and forth with the same guy as on the bike, it always nice to have someone to suffer with...  i just kept thinking fast turnover...  i made it up the hills i walked last year so i was super stoked!  Towards the end of the run slater was stretching in the grass waiting to catch some snaps of me...

The race was over and i was almost sad how fast it went by... i finished 5th in my AG and was stoked to collect some series points!  

I was super excited to see Jamie Whitmore passing out the awards, she is a fighter and i pray that she can race again soon!  slater had an awesome race and finished 7th overall!  i'm so proud...we had a wonderful weekend and i can't wait till next year to experience folsom all over again!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

My Quest for the Vision

I decided not to use my music the first half of the race so i had to entertain myself, to keep me moving forward..
song's/moto's that stuck from blackstar to motorway:
"keep on keep on keep on moving and dancing all through the night"
to the rock, to the rock, to the rock
to the bush, to the bush, to the bush, anything that i could pick out ....  

remembered slaters encouraging words while pushing the climbs:
i have done key training sessions for this
i know how to keep up on my nutrition
i knew how hard he was pushing, so i could push hard also

fell a couple of times in the snow, more like ice
rolled down a boulder on a sharp left turn on lower holy jim...
fell in the stream also at the bottom of holy jim, left glove and shorts drenched!

15 bruises mostly on right calf (mainly from the hike o'bike section) 
5 bruises on left leg/hip

Started music beginning of Maple Springs, had new GOOD music from "bro in' law"!

2 amino vitals
Apple (20 minutes from race start)
4 Gu's
1 bottle virtargo
2 bottles virtargo & perpetum mixed
3 bottles water
1 bottle creamy chicken broth HIT the SPOT
1 bag on honey stinger fruit punch chews
1 bag powerbar lemon chews
1 very large homemade rice krispie treat YUM
2 banana halves
Half a bag of ritz crackers with cheese
2 bites of orange
6 electrolite pills
9 advils

Pocket Placement:  
Left - virtargo/perpetum mix (enough for two water bottles), sun glasses
Middle - water bottle
Right - rice krispie treat, ipod

Bento Box for the rest of my fuel!

made cutoff by 15 minutes, super stoked, smiled the whole way down upper/lower holy jim!

right knee killed the whole day, hopefully i didn't do any permanent damage

the walker family and jeff smith cheering section on maple was instant energy boost...

mandy near the top of maple (thanks for the broth, yummy)

marius and mandy waiting for me at bottom of trabucco and we all rode together to the finish!

saw dave ruby at top of west horse thief with arm in a sling

took heather's advice and did NOT eat a cheeseburger : )

gave out advice.... lots of "good jobs" and "keep on moving" super stoked to motivate others along the way!

ended up with poison oak: neck, wrist, and both legs

I had such a fun time at the VQ, can't wait to get on my bike again.. well maybe i can wait a little while (not sure if i can sit on my seat)