Lucky in Life
Anna bought me this "Good Luck Bear" for my birthday last week. What a perfect gift! I could really use some luck. Also, since the Olympics started on 08/08/08, the same date as my 28th birthday, I'd heard a lot about how the Chinese regard 8 as such a lucky number. Good for me because I am entirely composed of eights:
-born on 8/8/80, at 8:08 a.m. (honestly, it says this on my birth certificate, even if it isn't true) and actually weighed 8 lbs 8 ounces
- I have 8 people in my family
- turned 8 on 8/8/88
-turned 28 on 08/08/08 (sorry to everyone who has heard this a million times. I take pride in some things that really have no significance whatsoever.)

Unfortunately, all that birthday luck made like a tree (and leaved? left?) for the road race nationals in CA the next day; I was hugely disappointed to get a FLAT TIRE - UGH in the final lap of the race. After SRAM changed the wheel, I was so shaky and anxious that I seriously could not get back on the bike. Fumbled all over like a drunk. It probably took me longer to get back into my pedals than it took to change the wheel. Totally ridiculous and wasted so much time. I put in a monster effort and luckily caught back on to the peloton at one of the last moments that it would have been even possible. Soon after I latched back on to the back of the field, exhausted, those up front started duking it out and drilling it. Of course gaps formed and I was still too far back. I worked my way up and ended up in a group of 5 who worked together to chase back up to the lead field - another huge effort that also somehow worked out and we latched on about a mile or two before the finish. However, two things were unfortunate to me at this point:
- a group of about a dozen had broken away
- I was totally spent from chasing back on twice and had nothing left to finish strong anyway.
I was bummed because this race was in my hometown of Orange County, CA and so I was stoked and have been looking forward to it all year. But flats, crashes, mechanicals, and mistakes - that is road racing. It gets old to have a month of racing filled with nothing but that, but that's life. I finished 52nd out of 100-something. The next day I was watching the Olympics women's road race and saw that Kristen Armstrong got taken down in a pile up crash and Amber Neben dropped her chain at a crucial point. Talk about disappointing! In the Olympics! Man. For some reason I am amazed that they are not immune to such mishaps.
It's not too hard to get past that though when I just remember how "lucky" I am in life. Perhaps my good luck bear did me some good in other ways (thanks Anna!).
-Anna threw, like, a totally radical eighties b-day party - complete with a rubix cube cake and a simon cake, eighties attire, eighties music, eighties themed pictionary, and even an 80's gift (Good Luck Care Bear and an Atari t-shirt)
-Susan Hefler and Spokes Etc. went totally out of their way for me and helped me get a new bike overnighted and built up just in the nick of time (midnight) before traveling to CA for nationals. After all the crashes and broken bikes, it's so great to find that there are people in your life who are there to help you back up. Friends offered help too. So nice. What a great cycling community out here.
-My new bike (Spanky 2.0) is SWEEEEEEEET! (the new '09 specialized tarmac sl2)
-I was surprised/happy/laughing during the nationals road race to find huge messages written on the street for me from all my adoring fans (a.k.a. Rob):
"Go Fru!!! Go Fru!!! Go Fru!!!" (fru = wife in Swedish)
"Go Lorena, Allez Allez Allez!"
"If you can read this you are going too slow"
-My sister Rachelle and her family came out to cheer for me at the race and were nice enough to act impressed anyway and take us out for Mexican food (the best!)
-One of my bff's from high school was awesome enough to have her wedding on the same weekend as the road race nationals (or vice versa) and it was great to celebrate her marriage with her and some old good friends
-Our good friends Ryan and Becca are awesome enough to live across the street from seal beach, making it all the sweeter to go stay with them. Rachel and Andrew made a long drive out to come hang out also.

This last picture is random, but so many people I saw in the last several days were openly disappointed because they were expecting to see more wounds and gore on me. I get it. I'm a little carnal too, that's why I snapped this picture of some wounds from the most recent crash before they disappeared. There. Satisfied?

Andrea J  – (11:52 AM)  

happy bday! i've seen you in your 80s garb, you rock it!

Mrs. Anderson  – (12:02 PM)  

hahaha ok that last picture is awesome - seriously insane. And your 80's birthday, LOVE IT, you so look the part. You guys are amazing and your life of 8's is crazy!!! I am glad you had fun but such a bummer about the race! Till next time!

bonny with a Y  – (10:55 PM)  

happy birthday - and what an awesome birthday to have - i would totally tell everyone about it too!

Joshua and Joy  – (12:15 PM)  

Happy Birthday Lorena!

Maren  – (4:26 PM)  

Happy Birthday Lorena!!! Our boys asked me if you are going to race in the Olympics. I told them not this year, but maybe next time:) You are the best, and we love you to pieces!

chris  – (5:38 PM)  

lor it was great seeing you and catching up. love the 8s story too btw. i'm somehow a little disappointed you didn't show up to the wedding all bus like the pictures below this blog! that would've been great! :) move closer to the pacific, not across the atlantic!

d  – (7:53 AM)  

happy birthday, your scars are superb!

Lenore  – (3:57 PM)  

Hey Lorena! Nice to meet you this weekend. Good job at Millersburg!!

Ashlee  – (11:09 PM)  

I almost didn't comment because I didn't want to ruin your 8 comments. That is really cool. OOOOUCH!

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