Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Busy, busy weekend!

Well for a long weekend, it sure did go by fast!!

I had taken off Friday afternoon thinking I could get some training and cleaning in. However, given the rain my husband was off work so my plans changed. When I got home we went out to lunch, went to see Xmen 3 (yeah, I am one of those chicks that just really like the Xmen movies for some reason), and did quite a bit of shopping in preparation for Sunday's BBQ.

Saturday morning I woke up early to get in a 8 mile run. 5 & 1/2 miles in I started to regret eating McDonald's the night before. I never eat McDonald's but while we were out and about, given I had not had it for a several months, it just seemed like a good idea...NOT! So I slowed down a bit hoping my insides would quit the spin cycle which had started. That worked for a little while before the misery kicked in and then I had to walk for a minute to try to get things to stop moving. I started off running because I just knew I needed to get home to a bathroom ASAP. So it was an agonizing final 2 & 1/4 miles until the port-o-potty 1/4 mile from my home that I finally made it to. I just could not wait that last 1/4 mile. Oh well, the last quarter mile felt much better!!!! I really need to work on eating better the evening before my workouts as my insides just can not deal with eating crap! I am good on McDonalds's for at least another four to five months again!!

Saturday was a great day. It was gorgeous out and we met some friends at the motorcycle dealer to go riding for the day. After talking to some pals at the shop we rode motorcycles out to a little bar grill called Gasoline Alley for some lunch. It was my first time there and the place was really cool inside...needless to say I made sure not to eat anything greasy there after my rough morning!! We rode all day through the Cuyahoga Valley where there are many twisty roads, hills, and fabulous scenery. We headed home to grab the car and the fruit salad and then it was off to my high school friend's pad for a BBQ and a few beers!

Sunday, I woke up early to start getting ready for our BBQ. It was one busy morning of mopping, cleaning bathrooms, yard work, planting pots, food prep, on and on. Noon rolled around and I was hot and hungry. However if I was going to meet Jodi's group for the 40 mile ride I had to get moving. I changed and loaded up my bike and was off for my ride. There was four of us that started on a 40 mile ride at 1PM on a sunny 85 degree day. I brought one small bottle of Berry Propel (my fav) and figured I would just get some water at a gas station on the way. When we got on our way I knew this ride was going to be rough. Matt and Adam were blazing down the road and I was pedaling like mad trying to keep up. Luckily about 8 miles in, it was nice to slow down a bit and chat with Jodi. Finally we get to the gas station in Middlefield and I was ready for some water...but it was closed. Not good, my 15 ounces of Propel is pretty much gone and disgustingly warm already. Not only that I had such a busy morning, that the only thing I had ate was a 90 calories special K bar. Oh well, time to suck it up. From there on we still had over 20 miles of rolling hills to go. I just tried to keep a good pace and things went pretty smoothly despite the fact that I was thirsty as all get out... We finally stopped 1/4 mile before the end at an open gas station and I drank cold water so fast it made my head hurt.

I had to rush like mad to get propane, ice, a shower, and start the food for my BBQ at home. I had not noticed but the back of my shoulders had got quite red on the bike and caught quite a bit of laughs from the guests. I ended up with 25-30 guests and all was good. The beer can chickens and sirloin were awesome as usual and a new treat for some of our guests! One of my high school girlfriends was in town from Ontario and I just got some laughs out of listening to her Canadian husband's colorful stories! It was awesome to just kick back for the evening.

Monday was my rest day. Pretty much spent the morning cleaning up, made breakfast, and a dessert for the afternoon BBQ at my hubby's family. We rode motorcyles for awhile and then went hit the BBQ. Finally around 7:30 we made our way home and I rested on the couch with my animals exhausted from the busy weekend! Thank goodness it will be a short week!

Friday, May 26, 2006

Stupid Monkey!

A man walks into a bar with his monkey. He orders a beer and sits to drink it. While he is sitting at the bar, his monkey is out of control. It jumps up on the pool table and eats the cue ball.
The bartender runs up to the man and says, "Did you just see what your stupid monkey just did?"
"No, what did that stupid monkey do this time?"
"He just ate the cue ball!"
"I hope it kills the moron," says the man.
About two weeks later, the man comes back to the bar with his monkey. While he is drinking at the bar, his monkey is again out of control. The monkey finds a grape at the bar, picks it up, sticks it up his ass, and eats it.
The bartender, having seen this, asks the man, "Did you just see what your sick monkey just did?"
"No," says the man.
"He just stuck a grape up his ass and ate it."
"What do you expect, he measures everything first, after that pool ball."

Heehee, feeling jovial today with the arrival of the long memorial day weekend and a fantastic weather forecast! I have one fun weekend on tap! Saturday long motorcycle ride planned & cookout #1 at my high school friend's house, Sunday cookout #2 and bonfire at my pad, Monday cookout #3 at my hubbies family. Hopefully I can manage to squeeze in a few quality workouts and try to not go to overboard on the calorie intake with all these gatherings! Looking forward to enjoying a few beers, some beer can chicken, and time with friends and family!!!

This week to date has been pretty much right on with my workout plan. I missed a bike session which I think I will make up Sunday. I am thinking with everything going on that perhaps I will switch my day off this week to Monday! So excited about the arrival of summer!!!!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

First track workout since 9th grade!

Well yesterday was a solid day of training! The day started off with one frosty (not kidding) motorcyle ride to the gym around 6AM. Though I was not planning to run, I did a quick mile on the treadmill to help me defrost! Then it was on to some ab work and an easy 30 minutes in the pool. After shower #1 of the day it was off to work. As the lunch break rolled in, given the gorgeous weather, I just had to go for a quick run. A strong 4.5 miles later, I returned to the office for shower #2. Half a day more of work and it was off to my first track workout since I ran track my freshman year of high school.

Stolen from Elizabeth since she had already detailed it....Track workout consisted of: About 1.5 mile warm up, 1200/1000/800/600/400/200 long rest, all out 800, 400 recovery up till 600, then 200 recovery, each one supposedly faster as distance drops, and then a mile cool down. All in all about 6.8 miles at the track workout.

I did not get my splits as I was concentrating on getting through the workout. I was not dead last in all of the distances, but most of them. First time out, what could I expect! Dang, there are some speedsters out there!!!

I am not used to pushing so hard and I could feel the tightness in my chest. Perhaps if I can stick to some sort of regular speedwork, I too could get a little faster!!

And then I went home for shower #3, some grub, and collapsed in my bed!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Breaking the law, breaking the law!

So I have really tried to slow down recently for two reasons.

A) I got my first speeding ticket in a long time in March coming back from Cincinati. It was overdue as I guess I am a little speed racer behind the wheel. I am so used to speeding along in rush hour that I guess I do it all too often and it finally caught up with me. My husband, who does not speed as often or as bad as me, who has more tickets, thinks all is right with the world now that I got caught.

B) I get so mad at cars that blow by me on the side of the road biking or running and I look at them and think 'Is it really nescessary to drive that darn fast down this road?' Sometimes I think everyone should ride a bicycle on the side of the road to get a new perspective on their driving.

So I am consciously trying to slow down. I still don't maintain the proper speed limit all the time but I am trying to not be quite so abnoxious.


Last night I headed out for my second biking session of the day (after a nice 40 minute rolling ride on my lunch break). As usual after work I was hungry and tired but changed the second I got home and took off before I had the chance to change my mind. I started down this country road. I was happy to be wearing pants (unlike earlier in the day when I was cold wearing shorts) and I pedaled south towards Garrettsville. I had a new variation on a standard route that I always especially enjoy because it takes me through the neighborhood where I grew up and it just feels familiar. The wind is at my back heading out and although I am cruising along good now, I know I can not head south forever! Bummer! I head through the little town, stopping at the only stop light in town glancing around to see if there is anyone I know. The good thing is since I am all covered with glasses and helmet, no one will probably recognize me as I still feel a little goofy in this get-up!

On down the road to the bike lane which leads to Hiram and finally I encounter the big hill I have been thinking about riding down. Sweet! I chance a lookdown -35, 36-and quickly back up again. I get so nervous to look down still as if I may miss a crack in the road and get myself in to trouble. Now it is back uphill again against the wind. I am pedaling along rather miserable now because I cannot breathe through my nose as a major amount of snot which has been bugging me for some time now has become unbearable. I tell myself I will stop once I get to Hiram to blow my nose. (Yup, I still have not tried the whole snot rocket thing and just am not ready to try it for the first time on my bicycle.)

And then up I ahead I see that car that sticks out like a sore thumb. Hey, it's my dad! Spirits automatically lifted and now I am pedaling and waving. Of course he recognizes me as he knows there are not many other crazy people out riding in this area. We are waving away and yet as fast as I am pedaling trying to keep up with him, he pulls away. As I ride past the college I stop to blow my nose. SWEET SWEET RELIEF! Now it is on to the next down hill. Speed limit 25 changing to 35 there in town. As I cruise down the hill I look down, oh yeah, 36,37. I AM SPEEDING on my bicycle!!

I pedal the rest of the way home. It was one heck of a windy ride yet I just maintained a good turnover rate and a decent pace the whole way. After enjoying the new route I finally made it back home 72 minutes later. I felt re-energized by my ride and told my husband about it. He said, "you know you can get a speeding ticket on your bicycle?" I looked at him and smiled and said, "But that one I would be proud of!"

Monday, May 22, 2006

Goofing around Saturday morning for Liz's camera!

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Working weekend!

It was not a big race weekend for me like many of the Cleveland area peeps out there like Lou (with a 6:02 half marathon pace), Su, Buckeye Runner, TriSaraTops (paced a group like a champ) and many others who all raced in the less than perfect conditions at the big Cleveland Rite Aid Marathon-Half-10K. Awesome job to all of you on some impressive performances and a special shout-out to the wonderful cheerleaders, Alan & Elizabeth, who were all over the place apparently!

This weekend for me was catch-up weekend which was not nescessarily that exciting! I managed to get my motorcycle cleaned and ready for the upcoming gorgeous weather we have coming. I visited some family and got rid of some crap at Garrettsville's garage sale weekend. Matches, my golden retriever, went with me to the garage sale and had one good day sucking up all the attention of the people coming through!

My husband and I also managed to clean out the garage & our barn (both huge projects!) We purchased the place in July of 2004 and had never cleaned out the barn since we owned it. We had the biggest fire burning with all the junk left behind from the prior owner and all the old animal stables that we tore out. It is amazing the difference of the amount of space in there we now have!

My highlight of the weekend was my Saturday morning brick with TriSaraTops, Elizabeth, and Iron Johny. Time sure flies when you're having fun. I awoke around 6AM to some bird making a nest in the window which was so loud. I decided I might as well get up and get ready. The sun was shining so I was automatically in a good mood and I hopped in my car. It was one of those days when I just was in a great mood and was already rocking out by myself in the car to a new CD before 8AM.

We met out at the Rocky River reservation and did a 33 mile bike ride. We only had one abnoxius driver yell at us and several others who just honked at us in anger. (I just don't get this out where I ride...I find it surprising that this apparently occurs more often when you are on a park system road!)

We goofed around a bit while changing shoes & racking the bikes and then were off for a 30 minute run. My 30 minute run was slightly miserable for the last half as I was dealing with major issues from all the food from Friday night's dinner. Enough said on that....needless to say I was happy to return from that run! Us ladies decided to re-fuel at the bagel shop down the road over some more conversation! It just felt like a fantastic way to spend a sunny, Saturday morning!

Friday, May 19, 2006

The aftermath of my Wed. workout...and other tidbit

Wednesday night after the hill workout I got home around 9. Like I said, I was exhausted and just ready for bed. I grab a much-needed shower and my husband asks what we are having for dinner. I tell him I am too tired to care so he asks if Wendy's is alright, to which I agree. See Wendy's is always our easy meal compromise. We can go there and he can eat a burger and fries if he likes and I can opt for the healthy menu with a chicken grill and side salad.

We get in the car but I tell him to drive b/c my back is hurting.

After ordering the husband goes to grab his biggie sized Hi-C fruit punch. I am not sure if the lid was not on right or if he grabbed it wrong but it went everywhere inside the car and on him. Thank goodness I was tired because at this point I did not even care. He wiped what he could down with a few napkins and complained about being clean and now everything on him being soaked. I said don't worry about it, I needed to clean the car anyway, even though I knew I may be slightly frustrated in the morning driving a sticky car. Oh well, I was tired and happy to get back home to eat my food, pet my animals and fall asleep on the couch watching tv.

At 12:30 I wake up and look at my husband and tell him I am heading to bed. He goes to let the dog out before joining me. He comes up a bit later and wakes me up to tell me my car lights did not go off. What? I never even turn them on since they are automatic. Knowing my car battery would die I drag my butt out of bed. I am so tired. I have no idea what the problem is. Now I am beginning to get aggravated. It is just my low beam front headlights on, not the rear lights. After trying everything I have no idea of what to do. My husband thinks to pull the fuses out for them and tells me that we will have to take it to the shop in the morning. Morning gym session is out as I have no headlights now....but at least the battery won't die.

I lay back down in bed. Now I can't sleep. Just great, what about work? I am so frustrated that it takes me forever to go back to sleep.

I get up early after a restless night to start cleaning my car and call the office to take the morning off. It is such a peeve of mine to waste time off work if I am not enjoying it, so this annoys me. After cleaning up the fruit punch I wake up my husband and tell him that he needs to follow-me to the dealership. He rechecked the fuses but nothing has changed. We head to the shop and stop by his parents to borrow a car. Thankfully I had a little time before I had to get to work so I tried to get rid of some of my frustration with a run. I needed that! I showered and finally headed to work in his mom's ride. The shop called and said that it appeared there was a short in the switch and they were not sure why....I WONDER, could it be Hi-C fruit punch???? Oh well, I am just thankful this is my major complaint of the day! It will all be fixed today and I guess the series of events is all just kind of wacky, but that is just par for the course for the way things typically go for me.

This one is for you Eric....I suppose I should mention that I was lucky enough to have won a really great prize this week. Our Cleveland Triathlon Club put on 2 duathlon races this spring which I participated in. They awarded the top male and top female a full season pass to all races put on by Fat Rabbit Racing http://www.fatrabbitracing.com/. Somehow the lucky female recipient just so happened to be me. It is hard to believe and I am extremely grateful. So this made my day Monday when I found out. This week I have been giving some thought to revising my schedule and races that I intend to do. So I am sure changes will be coming! Very cool prize! Again I am so thankful to the du volunteers, Fat Rabbit Racing and this wonderful Cleveland Tri club that I am a part of!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Turned tired eyes and threatening skies into an awesome evening!!

I was tired, hungry and driving through rain on my way down to my second Wednesday night of bike training. I stopped on the way and got a Special K blueberry bar and a Gatorade Endurance drink which I figured would get me through the night. As I rushed to get there the sky seemed to clear up and the sun was out. Nice!

I ran to change from my work clothes and grabbed my gear and was ready just as the session was ready to start. We were told that tonight we were doing hills. There were some moans and groans and I knew right away that this was not going to be easy.

The good thing about being the new person who is unfamiliar with the sessions, is I have no idea what I am getting into so I just go with it without getting too worked up about it.

We split into two groups which basically was the A group (mostly roadies) and the B group (primarily multisport peeps). I went with the B group. We were planning on riding up 5 hills...if that is what you want to call these monsters that climb up for 2 miles. After a nice warm-up loop we came to the start of the first hill. Never to be one to admit I cannot do something I start the climb. It was so hard. I thought about all the hills I had rode so far this year which I thought were big, which did not begin to compare. I started to wonder when this climbing would end. I was out of the seat forever and breathing hard. Finally I made it to the top of hill one. Woohoo! Only 4 more to go!

I had started up the hill near the front and never looked back. I did not end near the front but that was OK because I was just trying to keep with the group. It was my second time out there and I knew many of these other riders were quite experienced. I do know that some people must have not attempted it or turned around on the way up.

So after some recovery riding it was on to hill 2. I don't know if it was easier or I was just better prepared for what I was about to do. Tiring, but not so bad. I am not sure if it was Hill 3 or Hill 4 but one had some serious uphill at the beginning. It hurt a lot. We were all climbing very slow standing up, moving back and forth trying to keep going forward. After that, even though hill 5 was said to be the toughest, it did not phase me like this steep one. As we rode back to the parking lot I felt very good about my training session. It was extremely tiring at times and I was happy to get through it and not hold anyone up. I think this session really will help me next time I look at hills that I once thought were big.

I was exhausted by 9 when I got home. I had completed an early morning upper body workout, a 40 minute swim, a 12 mile gorgeous lunchtime bike ride, and a grueling 26 mile hill workout in the evening.

Reflecting back, I felt really good about the day. It was good to actually see sun. I was glad I went even though I was tired. I happy to have had the oppportunity to talk with some really good people and push myself way harder than I would have on my own.

Lastly I wanted to say thanks to Mojo, who I thought about last night & how she toughs it out on her bike workouts with the big boys!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Inaugural Silver Springs Duathlon Update

Sunday May 14, 2006, 8:15AM start, approximately 55 degrees under mostly cloudy skies.

6:20 AM woke up to gray skies and still tired. I think the lack of sun was getting to me. Went through the morning routine, loaded up the bike, and headed on my way. Although I had lived in Stow for two years, it was my first time at Silver Springs Park. The park was nice with decent bathrooms. The closed lake looked lonely and I thought about what a waste it was that the lake was going to close. I should have used the park when I lived in the area.

The turnout was very small for the event. I expected it to be small, but not this small. I racked my bike on the third row, grabbed my number & shirt, and headed off on a short warm up to the restroom. I still felt sluggish on my warm up.

I had really struggled with what to wear in these temperatures and I ended up wearing my full under armor with bike shorts and tank over top. Of course, later I found out that I had I overdressed as usual.

The event director went through the course and got the race going right on time. 28 of us lined up, so everyone was close to the front and we were off. I started out with the front group and decided I needed to slow down as I had a ways to go. The lady I wished luck at the start was pulling ahead and it did not take long to realize she was going to dust me. As we headed up a long up-hill grade on the second street I started looking for the mile marker. I glanced at my watch 7:20, no marker...7:58, no marker....what the heck?...8:58, I pass the mile marker. Frustrated I keep on. Two guys pass me and are talking. The marker had to be off one says to the other. "That nine minute mile felt more like a 7:30." I look over and say that I am glad it was not just me thinking that. Mile marker 2, 6:45, feeling much better knowing that the first marker just must have been off. Now the last mile is all on the trail. I am sweating good and the guy beside me is shedding clothes. No such luck for me, as I did not layer so that I could remove any more of my clothes. Darn. I come into the transition area at 23.50, so it was a 7:41 pace.

Now the trouble starts. I am really sweating. I had ran with my little underarmor running gloves on and in trying to put my bike helmet on, the gloves just keep getting in the way. This is taking forever and finally I get it snapped. I had racked my bike a different way this event than normal with the brakes over the beam. I lift it up to finally get on my way.

The bike rack is held up by two saw horses. Well apparently I had lifted the entire rack up a bit when I lifted up my bike and the saw horses on one end just closed and the rack was going down. I am trying to keep it up , and do something about my bike and the other bike next to it up. This is not going well and my frustration continues to increase. One wonderful samaritan came over and helped me and finally I left out on the bike. I knew I had lost quite a bit of time in that transition, not sure exactly how much. I was so sweaty my glasses were a foggy mess and driving me crazy. Although some others may have felt differently, I thought they had the course marked well and plenty of personnel out there. I started to settle down probably too much so. With so few people on the 10 mile bike course, I was by myself and just riding along, probably not really pushing to my potential. Marc, this man I had met at Wednesday's bike session passed me. It was the best thing which could have happened. The last 6 miles I worked hard to keep him in my sights and found it really helped me to stay on task. I could tell how much faster I went the last 6, yet I still felt pretty good. For about five to 10 minutes during the bike there was a light mist/ drizzle. I came in to the second transition in 35.49. This included my horrible first transition and averaging out the entire thing comes to 16.9 mph. If only my transition would have been better!

Second transition went much smoother. I started the run. The legs felt a little tired but not too bad. I could tell I was gaining on people during the run and finished the second run including the second transition in 25:00, which including the transition, approximately an 8:04 min mile. My total time was 1:24:39. Again I crossed the finish line and thought I could have still picked it up more, especially in that last run. I was the second female in and 15th of 28 overall. The first female who was 42 had really dusted me. Her times were 20.03 5k Run 1, 34.13 10M Bike, 21.34 5K Run 2. Overall she finished in 1:15:50---dang, she is fast!!! Hopefully I get better with age (& some more practice!!).

Overall I was OK with the race. I was definitely frustrated with the transition. I guess my splits were OK, yet I still feel like I did not push myself to my potential that morning. Definitely room for improvement. Mental note, next time dress cooler! I still need to drink more liquids. I tried out my first Clif bar before the race. It was the Oatmeal, Raisin, Walnut one and I thought it tasted pretty good. My stomach felt kind of off the rest of the day though. Not good, but this is not uncommon for me on events where I feel like I exert myself for much over an hour. Not sure why???

Talked to a few other racers out there and packed it in. Overall I felt lucky that the threatening skies had held off that morning. I was glad I had participated in the inaugural event and I left happyt to have more hardware to add to the collection!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Gramps is 80 with my dad, the soon to be gramps!!!

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A Wet Dog!

Thank goodness that it is a taper week as getting in the workouts through this rain is taking extra motivation on my behalf!

Lunch time rolls around and it is running time! The receptionist walks in the office from her lunch to tell me it is really crappy out there. She goes on to say it is cold, windy, and really wet. I shake my head as I say "bummer!....I am still running though!" She looks at me in disbelief and tells me I am crazy.

Oh well, not the first time I have heard that around the office about my lunch time runs!

So I decide I will wear the warmer clothing options that I have today and my trail shoes since I don't feel like soaking my good ones. I put on my Honda hat (feeling like a traitor to my Ducati) and head out the door.

It is low 50's and a light rain, not too bad! I start on the sidewalk and feel like I had the appropriate amount of clothes on...for the first 5 minutes anyway. My Hermes Road Race Series windbreaker I was wearing does not breathe at all like the clothing I typically wear and I start to really sweat. I leap off the sidewalk where it ends and bounce through the muddy grass down the side of the road. My trail shoes are squishing and feel extremely heavy. I don't even try to avoid the puddles as I sweat my way through this run. Before long I am back to my office and I walk back into the office.

The receptionist looks at me and laughs. Cold out there, huh? And I look at her and shake my head to say, "I am sweating my butt off!" before heading to my much needed shower! Another good training run in for week!

Highlight of Monday!
Celebrating my grandpa's 80th birthday out to dinner with the family. His favorite line he always would tell my sis and I, "You're goofy and I'm OK!" Even after 80 years he still knows how to bring a smile to all our faces and I am so fortunate to have such a wonderful grandpa! Before long this grandpa will be a great grandpa for the first time!!!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Weekend in Review

On Friday, I did it, sorta! Upon getting home from work I hopped on my bicycle before I had a chance to change my mind. I am totally not feeling it, but I figure once I get going it may not be so bad.

It is raining and as soon as I feel the wind I start to get cold. I pass the neighbors and figure that they must think I am crazy. Rear tire already has my backside soaked.

A mile later..."I can still just turn around...no...it is bound to get better soon."
Two miles in..."When will this get better?"
Three miles in, on the empty road, a van drives right next to me and drenches my wet self with even more water. JERK!
Five miles in...OK one road down, we will get this done.
Ten miles in...big hill...not enjoying this ride at all!
Twelve miles in...my feet are squishing in my shoes and I am getting colder. "I can turn and drive the three miles home or keep going to finish the other 18." Yeah right, I turn to head home.
Last three miles were crappy. I was cold and wet. I was happy I had sucked it up enough to get in a ride in that crappy weather but disappointed it would be short. By the time I got home I was happy with my decision to turn towards home.

I could barely walk due to the numbness in my toes and was shivering. I took off my wet clothes and tried to put my slippers with no luck as I could not get my feet to work to get them on! So definitely not the greatest ride, but glad I did it and glad I chose not to go any longer!

Saturday was rest day. I went to the Cleveland Tri Club picnic. I felt really guilty not working out that day as there was so much good food there I really should have burned off some of the calories I took in! It was a bit cold but a good time. I had the opportunity to chat with new tri friends, put some faces to internet names, and learn a few pointers for training and reference. Fun stuff!

Sunday's race report from the du at a later time. Sunday, enjoyed spending Mother's Day with my parents and my grandparents. (Mom & Grandma pictured with me above--yeah, I don't really resemble this side of the family!) It was nice to have several hours to just chill with them in a small relaxing setting as my mom made lunch at home.

Is it really Monday already?

Friday, May 12, 2006

Rain rain go away!!!!!!!

I need to change this training schedule of mine. The one I keep trying to follow has my long day on Friday, yet Fridays always seem to be the day I have the least amount of time. They are the day that I relax a bit generally as I gear up for my weekends. Typically I get my swim in and put off the biking until Saturday.

Training schedule calls for 128 M on the bike today. My AM swim was not quite the length it should have been but at least I managed to get my session in. Stupid snooze bar got me again! Tonight I am actually happy my husband has a shooting match so I will have a couple hours to myself to actually get my biking in on Friday for once...although it would be much more enjoyable if it was not pouring when that time came. I keep telling myself I will do my entire biking session tonight even if it does rain. I figure the rain is in the forecast through early next week and I may just have to race in it on Sunday so I might as well just get used to dealing with it. I am just not sure I am really going to enjoy my ride so much in the rain.

Today I also have my first appointment with Cleveland Spine & Performance Health and Dr. Keyes, who is an ART-certified provider for Ironman USA - Lake Placid. I continue to have pain in my left leg which I think is my hip flexor causing pain that runs down into my inner knee cap. It seems to come and go in terms of how much it bothers me and I figure since this has been going on for months, I should probably get it checked out to see if I can do something about it. About time, I know!

This weekend I have a couple things planned which include the Cleveland Tri Club Picnic Saturday and the Stow Duathlon Sunday...both of which I am looking forward to!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Bicycle Tidbits!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A Nerd, A Nude and a Bike

A nerd was walking on campus one day when his friend, another nerd, rode up on an incredible shiny new bicycle. The first nerd was stunned and asked, "Where did you get such a nice bike?" The second nerd replied, "Well, yesterday I was walking home minding my own business when a beautiful woman rode up to me on this bike. She threw the bike to the ground, took off all her clothes and said, 'Take what you want!'"

The second nerd nodded approvingly, "Good choice. The clothes probably wouldn't have fit."

This week's workouts have been going well. I have felt guilty about my missed biking session on Monday due to the field of a yard we had going on at our house that we finally decided to take care of!

So Wednesday despite the threat of showers I loaded the bike up with me when I left for the gym before work. At work, I mapped out a course that I felt I could squeeze in during my lunch hour. (It was a little long but we will keep that on the down low!) Around noon I strolled out to my car and hopped on the bicyle. It was a rather humid and still sunny ride with more stopping than I am accustomed to on my typical rides out in the boonies. Before long I learned I had mapped out a course with some decent sized hills in it. And I thought this lunch time exercise session might feel easier than my normal lunch time runs....wrong! It was challenging, yet in a good way! After a quick shower, it was back to work.

At 5, I changed and rushed out the door for one of the bicycle training sessions put on by New Vision hosted by Pete Gladden. This session was held down in the beautiful Cuyahoga Valley. Each week they conduct different workouts including hill repeats, time trial or sprints. I was not real sure what I was getting into but I figured some new perspective could help on some bicycling techniques.

As I pulled into the parking lot I was happy to finally meet Qcmier . He introduced me to some other club members out there. There was a group of about 25 people who showed up even with the clouds rolling in. It was still humid. We started off with a warm-up loop and then proceeded up the road for one mile all out sprints with timed heart recovery periods. So we line up at a cone and every 10 seconds one person takes off to go as hard as they could to the 1 mile mark. I think we did this 6 times. My times were (missed the first one), 3:20, 3:22, 3:26, 3:17, 3:15. So definitely room for improvement but that at least gave me a point of reference to start from. It was a bit challenging to just take off, clip in right away, and get going strong fast. My legs got a good burn each time and I really enjoyed doing a workout in this group format. After the session I did a cool down loop with another rider who was also enjoying his first Wednesday workout. By this time it had started to rain rather steadily on us, but I must admit at that point it actually felt good. Definitely plan to attend more of these sessions!!

Another good workout day...followed up by pizza (good thing I worked so hard burning off calories)! I was so exhausted and hungry driving home I just wanted no part of cooking!

Monday, May 08, 2006

Saturday's Duathlon Update

(Pic from first Club Du)

Saturday morning before the du, I awoke before my alarm clock as the gorgeous sunshine peered in through the window. I let the dog outside and realized that it is pretty darn cold outside as I could see my breath. To self, "Why in the world did I think I would be wearing shorts?" Darn Northeast Ohio 30 degree temperature changes in the spring. So after some thought I decided on bike shorts & tri tank top over full under armor, and my wicking coat. I went with my under armor running gloves and my dirt bike gloves (now my bicycle gloves!) and two pairs of socks. If you recall, I am just not at all into being cold!

Ate my normal maple syrup and brown sugar oatmeal packet, loaded up the car with all my stuff and made it out to the area with plenty of time to spare. As I set up my transition area, I was still a little unsure of my attire and if I would be too hot, but figured I would rather wear a little extra as that is a long time to be on the bike and be cold. It was somewhere around 45 degrees outside by about this time.

Eighteen racers from the Cleveland tri club came out to participate in the event in which they were planning to hold a long (4M Run, 26M Bike, 4 M Run) and short course (2M Run, 13M Bike, 2M Run). Prior to the race I chatted with another new Cleveland Tri member named Betty and I was happy to hear she was also planning to do the long course du. As it turned out there were only three of us planning to do the long course, the two of us females and another guy, Dave.

With the start I was off on my run. As normal, excitement sets in a bit and I go out a little fast. The run course was a mile out on the towpath to the cone and back, twice for us long course folk. At the first mile turn I was in third overall. I ease off a bit as I remind myself that this is the longest race I have done in this format by quite a bit.

To self, "I am really hot and sweaty...this coat has got to go" A few people start to pass me between mile 1 and 2. At 2 mile checkpoint my time is 16:20. I try to keep in mind that they are heading to the bike after mile 2 and I still have another 2 before my bike.

"16:20? Darn, it felt faster, I hope this is not a bad sign". I make the turn for my second loop and enjoy seeing all the other racers heading back. I settle in for the third mile taking in some scenery and my second loop at the corner to head back to mile 4. Dave, the other guy doing the long course, passed me between miles 3 and 4. So at least I knew I was not alone even though the course had become much emptier the last half. 33:56 4 mile run split time. I felt very hot and was zipping my coat off as I reached the transition, not at all worried about being cold.
(After the race, I learned that they moved the cone after my 4 mile run. It had actually been out 1.25 miles instead of one…so now I don’t feel bad about my run time!)

The bike course was 4 loops, approximately 6.5 miles each. The transition was not super fast but not horrible and I was off on the bike, just behind Dave. He really took off. I saw him around the first turn and the second and then he disappeared in front of me. And then it was just me. I felt pretty good on my bike and used the hills as a chance to stretch out my back & neck and just kept pedaling. My boredom had already started on the run and it really started by the second lap of my bike. I really was missing my Ipod and so I just started singing my own little version of No Particular Place to Go, which went as so......

"Riding along on my bicycle
The demon inside me at the wheel
I stole a stretch at the turn of a mile
my little pedals spinning wild
singing and wishing I had a radio
with no particular place to go"

Wind seemed to be coming out of the Northwest pretty good and by the third lap it seemed as though it had really picked up. OK, another mistake I had was that I have never drank while on my bicycle before this du. I figured it being a long course that I would make sure I remembered something to drink since I would probably be thirsty today given the amount of time I was putting in. However, my new bottle of Propel with its sports cap would not let me get anything out of it. Crap, I give up as I put it away before I lose more time fighting with it. (Later I learned there is a tab you must pull first, whoops!)

I noticed between laps 3 and 4 that most of the other racers had already finished their short course and were leaving. Yet, I just kept going and really actually felt pretty good through all 26 miles. As I pulled into transition, I slowed to drink half a glass of Gatorade by Brooks, who had volunteered. And let me tell you that Gatorade tasted good as I was so thirsty!!!!!!!

Out for my last run and I don't feel as bad as the last short course du I completed. Maybe it was that slower transition or the Gatorade, but my legs were not quite as heavy even though I could tell they were tired. I was happy to see Dave at about a 1/2 mile in and wondered what lap he was on. I saw a couple other club members out on the trail who cheered me on...which really lifted my spirits! Heading back by mile 2, saw Dave again and then Betty and knew we were all almost done. I made the turn at the 2 mile point and went back out. I am still really missing my Ipod and think these people that I keep passing on the towpath must wonder what is up with this sweaty girl going in circles. I was tired but really did not feel too bad and even had a little left at the end for my finish. Total time 2:48. Finished 2nd of the 3 of us!

What I learned...
1. I can do it.
2. Test that liquids work before putting them on bicycle.
3. Still falling behind on the bike and want to train more on it, especially because I am enjoying it...perhaps start attending the club's Wednesday night bike sessions.
3. I am ready for next Sunday’s Silver Springs Duathlon in Stow (3 Mile Run-10 Mile Bike, 3 Mile Run)!!

Items pondering after race...
Many of the other people doing the short course used the power gels. Should I be taking in more on races of this distance? I felt fine and I did sweat a lot, but it was not hot. After the race I drank another glass of Gatorade and my entire Propel shortly after the finish.

Afterwards I celebrated Seis de Mayo with my old man with a jumbo Strawberry Daiquiri and Fajitas at Bachos Restaurant. Now that is one tasty reward. Then it was back to the real world of cleaning house....

P.S.-Skipped my 5 K race on Sunday as I just did not feel like being gone all morning at a race on the other side of town. My legs felt fine so I went for an 8 mile run by my place. Heck it was 5 miles more than I had planned on...I will get my Hermes Road Race points next time!

Friday, May 05, 2006

Stop the chafing!

This last week I have been ramping up my efforts. As much fun as this has been (and I mean it, I have really enjoyed it), this has led to all kinds of chafing.

Last year I did a half marathon one Sunday which went so well that I decided I would go ahead and do one the following Sunday. However I debated awhile due to the horrible chafing I had from my sports bra. One smart friend of mine introduced me to the wonderful product known as Body Glide. This stuff kicked butt. However like a dummy, I never think to put it on until I am already chafed!

So my chafing started on Sunday which I think was do my sweaty bike shorts during the run that followed the bike. I will just say I was quite uncomfortable.

Monday, I had the afternoon free and wanted to get in a long training session. Although I planned to bike, I had no intention of wearing bike shorts. I figured my butt could handle any pain more than I could handle further chafing. So I just wore some under armor shorts which worked out better yet I still had chafing in another area. Thankfully it was not that bad. What was bad was the chafing under my arm where my Ipod strap rubbed me a good one. What gives? I know I sweat a lot but this is getting ridiculous.

So tomorrow I am doing another duathlon "race" with the Cleveland Tri Club. If there is enough people the Club plans to run a long course and short course and I will attempt the long, which is 4 Mile Run, 26.2 Mile Bike, 4 Mile Run. As I have been somewhat concerned about potential chafing, I went out and bought a pair of tri shorts today! Woohoo! I am hoping the padding on these may not give me the trouble the thick padding did and give me a little padding at the same time! And just to be on the safe side, I am going to also apply some body glide in trouble spots...so hopefully I don't have any! So maybe between the new shorts and body glide I will be OK...maybe????

I hear some people don't wear underwear with bike shorts...what is the general consensus on this from more experienced folk? What about tri shorts?

I compete in the Hermes Road Race Series here in Northeast Ohio in which they take points accumulated from your best 7 of 15 designated races. One of them is Sunday, just a 5K. I debated a bit about whether or not to do the du on Saturday as it may tire my legs out too much to do well on Sunday. However, I figure if I skip Sunday's race, it is not a big deal and Saturday's du would probably be much more beneficial. So we'll play that one by ear depending on how I feel.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Meet OJ...not!

TriSaraTops made me laugh a while back when she referred to me as Olympic Janet or OJ in short. She was making a reference to Janet Beth Evans (born August 28, 1971), the record-breaking American competitive swimmer. My maiden name is Janet Sue Evans, which was quite the joke when I applied for a lifeguarding position at Geauga Lake and many people over the years have commented upon hearing my name.

However, the successful swimmer Janet Evans, I am not. While Janet Beth Evans broke the world records in the 400-, 800- and 1,500-meter freestyle events, this Janet Evans has struggled this year to simply swim and breathe while trying to keep my head in the water.

So today started like so...

Blaring alarm, snooze
Blaring alarm, snooze
Blaring alarm, snooze
Blaring alarm, snooze
Blaring alarm, "janet, you are already late, you better hurry up or you will not get any swimming in."

Gym arrival...........
To self, "must get some swimming in, so much for that hip workout you had planned..."

In locker room getting undressed.........
"CRAP, the work clothes are still hanging on the doorway at home...good thing I have some less than stellar looking clothes that I can get by in at the office, but your shoes are totally not going to match...oh well"

On my way back out to the car for backup clothes...
"This day is not starting off good"

I had been contemplating on what to do for today's workout. One tri I had been contemplating you were supposed to estimate your 400 time. OK to be honest I have not done 400 free (BTW, my swim terminology could be off) without at least one lap on my back because I get too winded generally. However today I decided I just had to know. So I pushed myself to get through all the laps with no back stroke. It actually went alright. After a short break repeated two more times. It was by far the fastest 1200 I have swam and all freestyle which was a first. Heck, this was a small accomplishment for me and I felt like the morning was redeemed.

So never will I be the swimmer the great Janet Evans was, but perhaps this Janet Evans now Edwards will continue to improve her swim....!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

New discovery that has been right under my nose for years!

Lately my highlight has been new scenery. I have spent time planning out new routes and it rocks.

Another thing I am working on (after my great 10 mile trail run that felt short) is running on more forgiving surfaces. I have been plagued with recurring hip and knee pain which has (knock, knock) been on the downlow lately. And this week I have started ramping up some of my efforts but I have been running primarily on trails and in the grass. Subsequently my legs have been feeling amazingly good.

On Tuesday I climbed my butt out of bed to get to the pool and splashed through 1500 yards in my 15 yard pool. Yeah, that may not sound like a lot but it is 50 laps which seems like enough turning around for one morning. Not to mention, my less than stellar swimming technique!

Then on my lunch break I journeyed outside for a new loop from my office. As often as possible I ran the grass which worked out pretty well. This loop is definitely longer than my normal one and since when were these roads so hilly, I kept thinking. Total ran 4.5 miles on lunch and proceeded to rush off for my quick shower.

Quick walk jog with Matches in the evening. My husband's mom who breeds & shows golden retrievers said he needs to lose some weight. So now I will try to incorporate a mile or two of exercise for him daily as well. On a side note, Matches' mom was having puppies last night which was exciting to see!

Wednesday morning, totally mad at myself for skipping my morning workout as I was tired. I just feel sluggish all morning when I skip my early workouts. Lunch time run I decided to do the same course in reverse, thinking this way might feel like less uphill. No such luck. This direction felt much more tiring. However as I expended a ton of energy trying to get up what seemed like the never ending hill, something caught my eye.

Is that a track right there? Must go run over there and see if my eyes are tricking me. So I cross the four lane road and inspect. Holy crap, 6 years working in the same office location and all this time I have trained outside and never noticed this track less than a mile away. Well I suppose I always went the opposite direction, but still. This is awesome. Now I can incorporate some track work into my lunch time training...SWEET! So yeah, pretty excited about my new discovery.

Tonight I have a long biking session on the itinerary and my mile or two with Matches. I am attempting to spoil him a bit at the moment since he is getting a few less pats at the moment with little Zipo getting used to things.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Now it is three boys and me!

Guess who got the cutest anniversary gift ever?

If you haven't guessed...it is me!

Yes, now it is my man, my male golden retriever & my little cute male kitten.

Our golden retriever is named Matches...which came about as the idea of playing with Matches just seemed kind of funny. So in keeping with his name we name our new little kitten, Zippo. I am not sure yet who is more scared of each other, the cat or the dog.

Even after scheduling myself an extra day off, the weekend still flew by. The Cleveland Triathlon Club that I joined this year is running a 10 day virtual training camp where we are tracking our points which we accumulate on swims, bike rides, and runs. So this has been a good incentive to get outside and enjoy the weather while getting in some training.

Saturday left the house for a 15 mile loop from Parkman to Garrettsville. This was a scenic route and on two separate accounts I had to wait for deer to get out of the roads. I was also passed by the most gigantic piece of farm equipment which took up 3/4 of the road which was extremely intimidating. Sunday morning I met up with two other Clev Tri members and we did a 25 mile bike loop and a 4 mile run starting from the South Chagrin Reservation. It was my first time that I had trained out in that area and it is gorgeous. One of the best things about it was the amount of other people in the area riding and running...so at least all the local traffic is fairly used to sharing the road.

Monday afternoon I had planned a nice long afternoon workout. I started out at my gym in Garrrettsville, which is my familiar stomping ground from my elem, middle, & high school days. I ran 1.5 miles to a trail where they took the railroad out and I ran out another 3.5 miles which absolutely flew by! Then I turned around for a total of 10 miles. The trail is marked off with mileage, offers nice scenery, and the trail surface is so much better than the road. Once back to my car I grabbed a quick drink and was off on my bike. I had planned a 14 mile loop which would take me past my parent's house. The road surfaces were rather crappy the trip out to my parents and I thought my ankle was sure to be a goner to some growling dog that caught me off guard. I had attached mase to my bicycle bars in case of such a predicament (after my last dog incident about a month ago) but I am going to have to react a little quicker. At any rate, I pedaled hard a couple revolutions and the dog reversed course and I was relieved. I totally freiked out at snake in the road, even though I could tell it was already dead. I stopped at my folks for water and to give their dog some loving. It is so hard to start again after stopping. I decided to brave the traffic and take the main road back to Garrettsville, which worked out fine. It had a decent berm and a nice smooth surface. I thought about swimming and doing a total reverse tri, but I was pretty tired...so I called it a day!