Sunday, June 29, 2008
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Friday, June 27, 2008
Thursday, June 26, 2008
I have to agree with her! It was HOT and HUMID. Alabama always is!
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
It was a 10 minute easy jog, was supposed to be faster, but that was his pace, and he just kept looking at me the whole time, running right by my side, loose leash. I just imagined him saying 'hey mom, this is so cool. Just me and you and no Daisy. I like this!' He's soooooo cute.
On another happy note, I bit the bullet and went to promptcare this morning and got some prednisone for my poison ivy. I should have gone sooner, but who would have thought it would continue to spread up my legs after 5 days!
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
5 days until US Swimming Olympic Trials.
11 days until the TDF.
Sunday, June 22, 2008
In the afternoon I actually put a computer onto my bike. I haven't ridden with one in years. This one has an alitmeter, I thought it would be fun to track climbing, in prep for a potential attempt at Silverman in November (9000ft of climbing in 112 miles!). Then I cleared weeds, and got into poison ivy, and now have the itchies on my arms and legs. Why I never learn to wear long sleeves and pants when I do this is beyond me!
Then Sunday morning rolls around, with a shorter 2.5 hr ride, with a little less hard riding than yesterday, but still some upper zone riding. I decide to pick a hilly route, and the first hill I was wondering if that was such a good idea - my legs were hurting from yesterday. I suffered up the hills, managed about 2000 ft of climbing in 2:15 (I bagged the last 15 minutes), and even skipped the transition run! I'm such a wussy girl. Now I'm drinking a milkshake from Sonic - they have the best drinks ever! Especially their fruit slushes - but today was a good day for ice cream since I hadn't had any this week.
I'm anxiously awaiting the US Olympic swimming trails which start 6/29. I'm a hopeless swim fanatic. Should be very exciting to watch Michael Pehlps, Ryan Lochte, Dara Torres (my idol - she is my age!) Natalie Coughlin (just broke the AMerican record in the 200im in only her second time swimming the even in 5 years!), Katie Hoff, and all the others. Then the Tour de France is up in July, then the Olympics. It wil be a good summer for following my favorite athletes!
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Monday, June 16, 2008
Yesterday I did xterra richmond and I lost count of thenumber of times I said this to myself. Let's start at the beginning. The swim is in the James river, light current, shallow water - 1-6 feet deep. Check out the link above to see photos of the boulders that are strewn throughout the river (and hence the swim course), and even the 'Mayan' ruin like thing we had to climb on the run. Anyways, the swim was wave starts, which was awful for me! Pros first, 2 minutes later were men 15-35, 2 minutes later were men above 35, 2 minutes later were women and relays. So, not only did I have the pleasure of trying to navigate lots of slower men who had a head start, since I couldn't take decent lines, I was swimming into boulders all the time. Most of them would just brush right under me, one I swam right up onto. The orange cone sitting on it was not supposed to be a magnet attracting me to it, but rather a warning to stay away from it. But my mind was not thinking except to get around the men, and I beached myself on it. The kayakers must have had a good laugh at that! WAY TO GO GRACE! I finished the swim with lots of abrasions on my arms chest. Not pretty. Then the run to T1 was .25-.5 miles long. No big deal except for the rocks you have to run over. ANd I mean a good solid 50 feet of those big chunky 2inch gravel pieces laid down for pavement. Many people stashed shoes at the swim to wear, but not me. Oh no, I had to do it barefoot - WAY TO GO GRACE! Then onto my sweet little mountain bike for a pretty technical 18+ mile course. The biggest problem was since the men had a head start on the swim I had even less of a lead on them so the first hour of the bike was jam packed with people. I stopped counting the number of crashes I had. One time I wiped out, got up and thought my handlebars seemed weird, and the front wheel and bars were completely turned around and I was sitting on my bike with them backwards! WAY TO GO GRACE! So, like I said, many crashes, none of them bad. Lots of dabbing, and several places I had to get off the bike and walk - a couple of steep switchbacks I didn't make it down, 3 short steep uphills that were littered with people - many times it was people in front of you that prevented you from riding something, and unfortunately I probably kept a few people from riding things - but that's mountain biking - crazy, fun, stressful, tiring - just so different from riding on the road. I should also mention that there werethese small bridges that cross the river so people can ride and walk across. And they all had these ridiculous stairs to climb. So around mile 3 we climbed the first, carrying our bikes, up 10 flights of 10 stairs each. Then ride singletrack, techincal sections, fun sections, crowded sections. This trail had everything you can imagine - and its right in the middle of a city. I wish our trails around here offered more variety. The more I get to ride other trails, I see more things I'd like to see on our local trails. Oh well, we did get to carry our bikes down the stairs next. Then more riding, and back up one more time - yep! That was F.U.N. FInally into t2, and I saw a gal who I met form Purdue, she cheered me along. I fumbled with my race belt for some reason, and my socks were full of sand and I tried to decide if I should empty them or just run. I opted for just run, and have a few blisters to show for that. But the run was pretty flat, except for more climbing up stairs to cross a foot bridge. A climb up the mayan ruin like structure, which was a hand and foot climb up a 75 foot steep hill with railroad ties every three feet to grab onto. One very cool section of the huge boulders that you scamper across, then climb up a ladder bolted into a wall. Then some trails, one long climb on the trails, back up to the footbridge and the finish. I was 3rd in my AG. I won't do this race next year. The swim is too short, and its too far to drive, and it was way to difficult to do two A races two weekends in a row (Pelham then Richmond). Difficult to recover from Pelham, and then figure how to train for Richmond. Too bad, because the Richmond bike course has tons of room for improvement for me!
My running is pretty slow now. I'll be adding some speedwork next because I was just plodding along. My overall pace was 9min miles, which probably meant I was running 8:30 pace when I could actually run, and that just won't cut it.
And my swimming sucks too. So, I have to bump the swimming up starting NOW.
I'm happy to be home.
Saturday, June 14, 2008
Friday, June 13, 2008
Then there was a swim clinic today where the swim course designers swam us through the course. All I can say is what a freaky crazy weird swim course. Its in a river, so you have current to deal with. But the river varies from only 1 foot deep to 6 feet deep. Many times there are rocks shallow enough that they brush against your stomach, and your hands grab them as you pull underwater. This is just one very bizarre swim.
No run report as I'll just wait until race day to see that one.
I had tiramisu tonight for dessert - uh-oh! I also had my first hoho of the trip today - double uh-oh! Just getting ready for the race ;-)
Thursday, June 12, 2008
A few bad things for the week - I've had ice cream 3 times so far! Its been ridiculously hot (except for one day). I've probably done a little too much shopping! I really miss home (I'm a hopeless homebody). And its not easy to get in good training while travelling - especially swimming. I'll be happy to get home. Tomorrow we make the quick trip over to Richmond, and I'll get in a pre-ride and/or a pre-swim. Should be an interesting course to report back on!
ok, its almost 8pm and I've put off a run all day so I think I'm going to head out for a short one before bed. good night all.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Monday, June 9, 2008
After the race, we drove north of Atlanta, and this morning headed toward Asheville, NC. On the way we stopped at Chimney Rock, and I did a walk to the falls that were used in filming the movie Last of the Mohicans.
Now we are in Asheville. I hit a local bike shop today, found where I can ride my mtb, trail run and swim. So, I'll do some of that plus we will hit the Biltmore house, gardens, and some shops while we are here. Then up to Virginia.
...more to come.
So, this year, I was sporting a new race kit - the team I race for - Get A Grip Offroad racing team - suplied me with shorts and tri-top. The top had pockets in back, which is a big no-no for me in a swim. So I broke down and bought a Desoto speedsuit, hoping the speedsuit might help compensate for my absolutely dismal swim training this year, plus eliminate the drag from the pockets. My swim was still a little off last year, but it serves me right. I have been swimming 30 minutes twice a week at absolutely pathetic paces. Its time to get back to normal swim workouts when I get home. Oh yeah, the water was a way too balmy 82 degrees. I swam the whole swim next to Melanie McQuaid, 3-time xterra world champion, but of course she blew me away in T1 and everywhere else! In T1, there was one other age grouper just ahead of me. I started the bike knowing I should hydrate a lot, and I tried to ride smoothly. In the first 10 minutes, tons of pro men, women and fast men age groupers need to get by. Its stressful, because its all singletrack for the stretch, so I have to try to slow down, make room, its just not fun. One corner I tried to go too tight to give them room, and washed out. Lots of trail rash on the right leg (hard to see in the photo, but its really pretty!) , and I held up several people as I tried to pull my bike off the trail. Once I was going again, things were uneventful, the first AG woman passed me at the single track just before the doubletrack long uphill. SHe didn't pull away until I let some other guy go by near the top of the long hill, and I lost contact, because there's just inches of decent trail to ride on just on the side of the double track- the rest is rocks, gravel, and on the uphill its too easy to loose traction and then you can't get going again. SO I had to let her go. One more AG woman passed me just before blood rock, and the woman who was first in t1, was fixing a flat and I passed her. Of these 3, one was world champion last year, one was second at world championships last year (to a now first year pro), the other was just plain fast (20-24 ag, likely to be pro soon). SO I was not feeling too bad. I got to blood rock, rode half, then hopped off. Lots of people stand there to cheer and watch people crash. I told them I was walking, and they cheered me anyways - all are so supportive. Its a nasty stretch of rocky trail. No more passes to the end of the bike. My bike plus t2 was also a few minutes slower than last year. I'mnot sure where Ilost the time, maybe just overall heat fatigue, and the little wipeout at the start. The run scared me, as it is a beast. The first mile or two are relatively flat, and I ran the whole thing, moderately paced, taking gatorade and water twice. Then the run goes vertical on trail that is often loose, debris covered, and steep. ANd I mean steep. There is no hill in Bloomington that I can think of that compares - maybe that gravel road that Ange and I rode in January. Then back down. And the downs are steep, quad busting steep. I am slow on the steeps - down or up, doesn't matter. I had to walk a lot of the ups. I'd bargain with myself to run 40 more steps when I was ready to walk because my heart was ready to bust out of my chest. There are 5 or so big hills like this in 4 miles. It is an absolute beast. Did I mention its a beast? Well, it is. My run was 5 minutes slower than last year. The woman who I passed fixing her flat, passed me running, looking so strong. Then one more woman passed me on the run (she was world champ last year, and at this race I beat her by 10 seconds, this year, she beat me by about the same).
I hit the misting tent, which is just the most awesome thing at the end of a hot race. I need to set one of these up for my dogs.
I finished 1st in my AG (there were only two of us), and I was 5th amateur woman overall.
If you read my previous entry, you know I got to meet Conrad Stoltz after the race. That was very cool.
Now I'm in Asheville... next post coming soon.
Sunday, June 8, 2008
Saturday, June 7, 2008
Its Saturday morning now, and today is just rest, checkin for the race. We may go to the Birmingham Botanical gardens. Now its time for Cheerios - breakfast of champions.
Send positive thoughts to me for tomorrow - and that the weather cools down!
Thursday, June 5, 2008
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
My left shoulder feels funny today. I don't know what I did, hopefully it shakes itself out today so it doesn't bother me swimming tonight. If not, at least I have an ART appointment tomorrow, so I can have Brian work on it if necessary.
now, back to another fun filled day at work...
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
But tonight will likely be a washout as we are in the midst of some pretty severe weather.It may fall to a ride on the trainer. I borrowed a new specialized saddle from a friend to tryout on my new Guru. The Arione that came on the bike is AWFUL! Did I say AWFUL!? Well, I finished a 3.5 hour ride on Saturday and my bottom side felt soooooo sore. So, I'm on a mission for a newsaddle. We'll see how the specialized one works out for tonights ride.
Friday I leave for Pelham, and my first attempt of the year to qualify for the Xterra World Champs in Maui. I have to finish first or second in my AG. Last year I finished second here. This year, I'm racing two qualifiers - at Pelham and Richmond. I thought Richmond would be a fun one to try. I'll post updates as I travel the week with my mom. First stop Pelham. Then Charleston, SC, Asheville, NC, then Richmond, VA, before heading back home to Todd, and Sam and Daisy (my dogs), and Junior and Peanut(my cats). Just in time for Todd to turn around and head out of town for work - to Virginia - where I will have just returned from!