Time Flies!

Not much time to post lately, but I’ve been keeping up with my jogging and my cycling. We rode 55 miles this Saturday. The first 17 went fairly quickly and were a really pretty ride. We spent about 10 minutes at the first rest stop, and I downed a hammer gel and half a banana. That seems to be all my stomach tolerates at the stops – unless I’m fortunate enough to find vanilla wafers. (no wonder Nicholas is such a fiend for them! He gets it from his mom!!)

Anyway, feeling good after the first break, despite knowing we’d likely be facing a headwind the entire way back, and we decided to take the longer route – 55 miles v. 41 miles. To date, my longest ride had been that walk through hell called 44.5 miles in Cat Springs. I was not looking forward to a repeat, but considering that the actual 2-day, 160 mile ride is quickly approaching, my mileage needed to go up. So, off we go!

I suppose this is where I admit a bit of an ego stroke in even being able to tackle the longer ride. We’re still seeing people being brought in on SAG vehicles during each of these rides, and even as out of shape as I am, I’ve managed to complete each ride, stand up afterwards (ok, it was TOUGH after Cat Springs), and maneuver myself up and down our stairs the next day with no lingering soreness. The scenery was nice, even the section where we had to cross some rather funky streets with loads of traffic and a stoplight where drivers varied between wanting to let us turn left across the street on a green light rather than waiting on our green arrow. Little did they know, they only pissed off other drivers who were stuck waiting behing them when we wouldn’t venture out into the intersection and the very same drivers remained stuck at the light when we did get our green arrow. ouch! BIG trucks, small shoulders, pissed off folks – it could have made for difficulties, but instead, the people of the town were really cordial and quite accommodating. I think we were in Bellville, but I usually end up so out of it that I don’t know where I am unless I’m looking at a map or a street sign. At any rate, yay for the locals who didn’t run us over! 🙂

The second half of the second leg was the absolute worst stretch of road I’ve ever cycled on. Imagine being in your car and riding directly down the drunk-bumps. bump bump bump bump bump bump bump bump bump bump bump

Holy cow – my quads were screaming by mile 33! Consequently, the second rest-stop wasn’t until mile 39, so I had more screaming quads to live through. My legs cramped, and we spent what was probably too long at the stop, but within .5 mile of getting back on the road, it was finally smooth again. I so badly wanted to scream – yahoo! – upon reaching the 50 mile mark (after all, this was my first time!), but when I hit it, all I could think was, “5 more miles.. c’mon, you can do it!” There was one final climb at the end of the last leg. Approaching a stop sign, climbing up a slight incline, seeing the odometer read 55.4 and thinking, “will this EVER end??” and finally, turning right at the stop sign – THERE IT WAS! The high school where we’d parked our cars that morning.

Thank God! I lived through it!

Hope you’re all doing well – keep running, spinning, or whatever it is that you do!
Seek the joy! !

Cool Stuff!

Sunday I spent an hour on the trainer doing the Spinervals Recharge workout. It’s designed to get the legs spinning after a tough day on the bike. Saturday more than qualified as TOUGH! This particular workout felt good, even if it did have me sweating bullets! Oh wait.. I must have been glowing, of course!

Monday, I planned to take a spin / trainer class at Acme Bicycle Co. Unfortunately, due to their rough training in LaGrange this weekend and an unexpected personal obligation for the trainer, the class was canceled. No worries; my legs were thanking them for the rest. Moving right along and tonight I was able to attend the class. WOW! Carl is the Wednesday night instructor, and he was great. The class is relatively small. Most of us bring our bikes, with a few also lugging their trainers along. The convenient thing about Acme is that they have quite a few trainers available (for only $5 per session) for use, if needed. Today’s workout was focused on pushing the lactate threshold. I think the Spinerval workouts have benefitted me because I did much better than I expected. It’s about time, right?

So, I first heard of these classes from a co-worker who’s a member of Team Acme. I joined the team, and once the ConocoPhillips training rides have ended, I’ll now have a team to ride with. Yay! I met some really nice people and can’t wait until Monday night when we train again.

Hope everyone out there is doing well!

Everyone feels like Lance [with a tailwind]…

This Saturday’s ride was 44.5 miles, starting at Cat Springs. It led us along some beautiful country roads with some nice rolling hills. We started at a bit chillier temp than one would have liked, but in August we’ll all miss the few days of cooler weather we’re experiencing now.

We also began the ride with a tailwind. That’s the way to enjoy a ride! You should have seen the folks out there just bearing down and pushing to max speeds they usually see only on downhills. Okay, I admit I was one of them. What can I say – it was fun!

I anticipated a couple of pretty significant downhill bits on the ride; however, if we encountered them, they were completely beyond my notice. I spent so much time focused on the awareness of the hill profile that I consciously chose to cycle slower than normal because I didn’t want to end up going much too fast downhill. This led to a realization.

I’m timid. I’ve always been timid. People who know me say I’m a risk taker. They’re wrong. People who know me well know that I’m timid. Or maybe I just am riskier in some areas than others. At any rate, I have a new mantra.

Be Bold.

Timid sucks. It’s not fun. It feels old. And I’m not old yet!

First Training Ride for BP MS150

My cold of the past few weeks turned into something more closely resembling a bronchial and/or upper respiratory infection, resulting in my having to work from home 3 out of 5 days of the week leading up to the Rockets Run. In the spirit of not making myself worse since the weather was still cold & wet, I stayed home and slept all day instead of running. I was able to return to work last week, and yesterday, I rode in my first training ride for the BP MS150.

It was so cold outside. Standing around waiting for the start, I had about 30 minutes of questioning whether or not I should even be there. Joel had picked up some leggings and shoe covers/warmers for me in San Francisco, and I’m so thankful he did! Now I just need to find one of those funky bright windbreakers. Maybe a scarf/neckwarmer of sorts too… or maybe I need to just suck it up and ride.

The ride itself was great. Standing around waiting to begin was not so great, but that’s to be expected when you have 100+ folks going out of the same location. It wouldn’t have been so bad if it wasn’t so cold, I think. The cold, combined with the fact that I was terrified I wouldn’t be able to finish because I’m so out of shape, made it all seem worse than it really was.

We started shortly after 8:00 a.m. with the “slow” group, and that was fine except for getting behind a couple of very unsure/unsteady riders. There seemed to be little reason to the slowing/stopping and even less communication of the fact that they were going to do it. On a few occasions, it was almost as though they didn’t realize there were people behind them. We were able to pass them and got on a stretch of road where we could ride at our own pace, which was still, admittedly, very slow.

At one point, Joel took off ahead of me and I was left to ride by myself. This wasn’t a bad thing, though. I was pedaling along and had time to think about my fear before starting the ride, my hesitance to even do it (remember how I procrastinate and avoid things since I know I can’t be perfect? perfect example here!), and my crummy attitude working up to the ride because of all of the above. What I realized as I kept spinning was that I was enjoying the ride, my body felt good doing it, and I have still been allowing my fears to keep me from doing things that are good for me, as well as fun. It was time to make a decision that was long overdue.

I decided to quit being a quitter.

It felt good.

Yesterday’s ride was just at 26 miles.

Next weekend we have the option to ride 29.5 or 41 miles. I’m planning to continue doing the shorter rides. I’m told what I should do is to spin at relatively high rpm’s to build my cardio-endurance, with a balance of resistance training to build muscle.

Looking forward to next week!

Today’s workout
30 minutes Pilates
30 minutes Core Training/Stretching