Friday, June 29, 2007

Eating is good...

So on Wednesday my schedule called for 30 miles of biking and 2000 yards of swimming. However, the only thing I managed was 12 miles on the recumbent bike that morning. Not only that, but also Wednesday night I has devoured dinner like nothing and had to have my icecream (hence what brought on the lastest vow yesterday)! Let's talk about some guilt.

So Thursday I wake up resolute in my decision to get it together. My schedule for Thursday was a 7 mile run. In my mind I was going to do my 8 mile route option as it would be perfect for my morning run and then make up for yesterday later in the day. However 3 miles in the stomach started hurting (darn icecream) and I cut my run short to 6 very miserable (bad stomach) miles.

I went to work and had a mini whole wheat bagel for breakfast. Mid morning, I had some cottage cheese and an apple. Lunch time I went for a swim on my lunch break. I timed my 1000 yards for the first time ever, every 200 yards. No laughing at my slowness, but this can serve as a starting point.

200-1: 4:04
200-2: 4:18
200-3: 4:24
200-4: 4:22
200-5: 4:21
Total time for 1000 -21:31 Now it is time to improve on this.

Came back to work and had some turkey burger sloppy joe sandwich and some carrots for lunch.

Upon leaving work I headed up to North Chagrin to meet the Cleveland Touring Group for a ride. I munched on a 90 calorie Special K bar and drank a Monster Energy drink (20 cal,6 carbs, bunch of caffeine and stuff).

I had time to kill so I ran for a half hour. I felt great this run and let myself just run with the brisk pace. Approximately another 3.5+ miles

Upon my return to the car I wiped the sweat and went to put my bike together for the ride. Crap, rear tire is flat. Attempted to change it (very slowly) and had some help. Even with all the extra time I was now pressed to get everything together before the ride. This sort of thing is classic Janet for the first time I meet up with a new group!! Not cool!

Tossing a bottle into the holders without time to fill my aerobar unit I was off. I was working to hang with the lead group. 15 miles in or so I could no longer hang on up one of the hills. I was tiring. I settled back and soon they were out of my sight. At a stop sign I waited for the next group to catch up. Even though I had a map I figured I would just get a drink and fall in with the next group. I kept sipping from my 20 oz bottle of propel. I realized I forgot my water bottle so I was on limited fluids the whole ride...not good!

The hills kept coming and being a cloudy day, it seemed night time was coming fast. I had many moments where I sailed to the front and others that I thought my legs were just wiped out and I was dying going up the hills. Finally as the sun set, we pulled back into the park about 41.5 miles later. I was tired but happy I had put in such a solid training day.

1000 yards swam, 41.5 biked, 9.5 ran

I searched forever to find my keys that I could not find in my mad dash before leaving and 20 minutes later I found them. By the time I got on the road it was 9:30 and I still had a 45 minute drive home. My husband called to see if I wanted him to pick me up something for dinner. I had no appetite but asked him to just grab me a side salad and baked potato at Wendy's. As I drove down the road, I had intended to eat another Special K bar but I could not find it from all the routing for my keys.

I was just happy to have something to drink. However 15 minutes down the road I felt like I could peuk and felt light headed. I pressed to continue on my way but thought I may have to pull over to get sick. I ended on making it...felt like such a long drive! I was shakey like I have never been and sat down and stole 6 of my husbands fries as I entered the room. I felt awful. I needed food right then. I sat down and ate my Wendy's and felt better right away. Thank goodness he had got me food!!! Fueling the body must not be forgotten!! Lesson learned.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Must focus!!!

Battle of Ohio Event One is out of the way and number 2 will be coming up July 22. I am so psyched to see that I have three whole weekends in a row with no races! This is long overdue!! Time for some nice long training sessions!!!

It seems as though I have been having a hard time finding my groove since the marathon. Training seems all over the place where there are some really good long days and several days that are blown off. At the moment I am trying to refocus and try to figure out how to best strategize my time ahead.

I know things will be a little out of sorts with starting a new job Monday!!!! However I can not use this as an excuse, but perhaps an opportunity to embrace a new schedule. At some point I will be joining a new gym downtown Cleveland and joining a new place always seems to re-energize my workouts.

I have started to really fixate on the big event looming, the half iron coming up on August 12. I am 100% confident I can make it. I am bothered that my swimming is going to put me so far behind and exert so much energy as I just plain stink at it. So my choices are -
a) Just keep what I am doing and make sure I at least get in a minimum of 3 swims per week. Just get through it knowing it will be crappy but it is my only swim for the 2007 season.
b) Take some private leassons to see if there are a few things that could make a difference. Our CTC club has one listed I could get 3-30 minute sessions for $90...perhaps it would be worth it??
c) Join a masters group next week and target two masters swims a week plus one on my own

I am 7 weeks out and this really is my only concern. I have no doubt I can swim it, it just may not be pretty!! So any feedback on the choices?

Today I am vowing to do 3 big things. 1. I am ordering a yoga DVD (based on Bbop's reccomendation) and vow to do yoga twice a week and stretch everyday. I must break this nonchalent attitude I have in this area as the problems keep cropping up due to my ways. 2. I am going to give up ice cream until after my half iron. Did I just really say that of my most beloved stuff? Yes, I had my favorite ice cream last night and another horribly uncomfortable run due to my body not seeming to like dairy products. 3. Drop some weight- I have added back a few pounds and they are not going to help me to carry around over the half so I have a target and certain amount I want to lose each week to get to my goal by August 12.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Battle of Ohio Series Race #1 of 3

After a long night Friday, I awoke early with a slight hangover Saturday morning to carry furniture for the majority of the day for my cousin's big move into their new place. Then I headed home for a quick shower before getting on the road for my 2.5 hour drive to Columbus to spend an evening with my old college roommate, Liz, who had offered me a place to stay before my Columbus event the next morning.

After dinner and falling asleep during a movie, I made my way to bed. I was exhausted!!! However then I could not fall asleep and even when I did manage to finally fall asleep, I awoke to the heavy rain. I was not sure if the bed was harder than what I was used to or if my nerves thinking about the race were just making it difficult to sleep.

Finally just before 5 AM it was time to get up and drive to the event. I was a little nervous as I got there and there were so many people there. It seemed like such a process to get our packet, then our chip, then the bodymarking. Lines were sort of long and everything took longer than I had anticipated. I chomped on a 90 calorie Special K bar as I waited. I was also nervous that I was not able to go to the bathroom that morning as it was a long event and the food I ate the night before was probably not the best.

I ended up with very little extra time so I really did not get my typical warm-up in which was probably not good.

As we lined up for the start (the International Du was the first to go off), I noticed that with all the people there, not many were doing this event. The triathlons were definitly the big draw. With all the rain overnight everything was wet and slick and it was sprinkling on and off throughout the morning. The temperature felt plenty warm.

With the 7 AM start, I was off. I was towards the front of the little pack and fell in behind a bunch of guys. We headed down the sidewalk and then made a left onto a grassy path. This stretch was about 1/2 mile long and had some rollers which seemed mainly just uphill. I was trying to be careful of my footing and thankfully they seemed to have slippery roots and holes spray painted well. As we hopped onto the road I was feeling pretty good but wanted to be somewhat conservative with my pace as I knew it would be a long race. At the turnaround I saw the nearest female and she was about 20-30 seconds back. I kept with the pace and felt OK and as we came back through the park, my thoughts were shifting to what was ahead.

They announced the first female triathlete is now crossing the mat just as they announced me as the first female duathlete right behind her. 5K Run one- 21:03 (6:46 pace) I made my way out of transition (1:06) and for some reason I had the ugliest bike mount ever, which I think drew a couple chuckles. It was one of those in which you don't have the pedals where you want them you just kind of sit and try to get going.

Anyways...! My breathing and legs were all getting into a groove when about 4 miles in I got passed by the female duathlete who had been a little back in the run. She passed me with authority and while I tried to keep her in my view, it was not happening. The course was basically a big square and was wet. I was definitely being very conservative on the corners as I just did not want to have any trouble. I was trying to keep one of the males that passed me in my sights and that seemed to help me stay focused and push a little harder. I think 3 other female triathletes also passed me on the bike and with each lady, I resolved that I must spend more time to get stronger on the bike.

About 10 miles into the 24.4 mile course, my back was killing. Perhaps it was the furniture moving or the hard bed, but in any event, I was uncomfortable. I started shifting around in my seat and trying to stretch it out periodically. I was taking in water from my Profile design bottle in my aerobars which was so refreshing with every sip as I was so thirsty!

The 2 loop, 12.2 mile course was pretty flat with only one .25 mile, grade 6 climb which was back to Alum Creek State Park, which we did twice. By the end of the bike, my adductor (groin) muscles start to ache horribily. I cannot figure out why I had a pain there. The only thing I can think of was that perhaps in my shifting around, I had started started to bring my knees inward and was pushing outward with my feet. Who knows!! In any case when my feet hit the ground, it felt like both sides were about to seize completely. Oh the pain! Bike time 1:13:18 (19.8 mph)

With every step into transition I was whincing with pain. I took the extra seconds to stretch a little before pressing on. T2 time 1:24 I grabbed my last drink of race, a couple sips of gatorade before heading out.

As I got going I knew I still had a 10K to go and while the groin pain was easing slightly, it was ever present. I was taking things very conservatively and as we neared the turnaround I saw the girl I thought was in the lead a good ways in front and thought she was too far ahead to catch, so I might as well take it easy. However then I saw another girl that was not that far ahead of me with the same jersey and I thought she might be the duathlete lead woman so I picked up my pace slightly. I was gaining ground and was only about 100 yards back at the 5K mark.

On the second loop of the cross country course, it felt even harder than the first. As my legs were hurting (primarily I could feel tight groin, hamstrings and piriformis /sciatic nerve) I actually thought about Jodi and if she could go an ironman distance, the least I could do was to suck it up a little longer. As I was finally able to read the lady's leg in front of me I saw she was in the tri, so I just fell in behind her and eased off the pace slightly. My stomach was also beginning to twist. Not good! I definitely knew I could have pushed harder but since I knew I was not going to catch number 1, I just took it easy as my groin was not my friend either. I coasted into the finish line with a time of 48:44 (7:50 pace) which was well off what my pace should/ could have been. I finished with a time of 2:25:35 nearly 7 minutes behind the lead female.

Overall I am happy anytime I place in the top three so I was pleased even if it was a tiny field that ran the du. My take aways are that I am not stretching nearly enough and really need to start spending some time on it. My piriformis /sciatic nerve has been bothering me for awile, nothing serious but always there. Also more bike time is nescessary because I really don't care to get passed on the bike by other females.

Overall I wanted to be under 2:30, so at least I accomplished that. However, I am definitely intent on putting up a stronger performance next time around on 7/22!

After the race I enjoyed catching up with a Team ER teammate who tied for second overall male in the sprint tri and talking with ALW. After watching the awards and treating myself to a cheeseburger I was back in the car for the drive home.

Monday I rested and moved around some more furniture, this time at my own house for a change!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Congratulations Dr. Jodi!!

Serious congratulations are in order for one of my favorite training partners, Dr. Jodi!!

She smashed the ironman cda course with a time of 12:37! FANTASTIC!!! The most amazing feat though, had to be the 4:35 run on 5 miles of actual outside running over the last 8 weeks. It must have been sheer will power to get through this day with your smile on!!!

Congratulations woman!!!!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Ready for the weekend!

Another chaotic week is almost through and I am already thinking about the weekend. Time for another busy weekend!

Tonight I will rush to shop and clean house after work for friends who will be coming over for dinner around 8.

Tomorrow I will wake up early to help my cousin move as her and her boyfriend just bought a home out close to me!!! I am excited about this move as I can't wait to have her and her boyfriend closer. You see shortly after my husband Joey and I met, my cousin Michelle and I had decided to live together. And instead of the two of us in one apartment, it ended up being the four of us which included our men. That one year the four of us had an absolute blast and lived the crazy life and will forever treasure some of the funnest memmories and best stories!

Then after the move, I will head to Columbus to see an old college roommate to visit and who also graciously is providing me a place to stay the night before Sunday's first big event of Fat Rabbit Racing's Battle of Ohio Series for me which will be an international du. I will be ranked based upon my performance in three key events for this series. Time to step it up...hopefully!!!

Why is it all big events this year are falling the day after helping people move though??? Please no one move July 21 or Sept 29!

Then I will drive the 2.5 hours home and hopefully be showered up in time to attend a birthday party Sunday night!

Bring on the busy weekend already!!!

PS--got my stuff back from the gym!!
PSS--Have enjoyed some gorgeous morning training sessions this week!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

I swear this sort of thing could only happen to me!

I guess I will start from the top.

Monday night I embarked on my first Lake Erie swi of the year which confirmed again that painful fact that I already know. Janet=crappy swimmer

No real surprise there but I made it through the session and it reinforced the fact that I better get my butt swimming more before the half iron coming up in August. At least I got a reward at TriSaraTops after the swim with food and conversation!

Tuesday I awoke tired and drove to the gym. Speed workout on tap. I was not feeling it at all. My body was aching from my Monday lower body workout. I could also just feel the blisters in my shoes from the weekend racing in my other shoes. Paces and distances were not at all where they should have been but after 52 minutes and several intervals, I called it a day when I hit the 6 mile mark. I took off my shoes and saw something like out horror movie on my zombie-like feet. Not only do I still have bad blisters, they are green and brown. EWWW! No not an infection! Darn dirty lake Erie!

I had no time to do anything about it at the gym so upon getting to work I found the first aid kit and decided I was opening these suckers up to disinfect. It turned out that my blisters were not infected but contained a bunch of sand. So I cleaned them out and hopefully now all will be well.

Then upon my return to the gym at 12:30 on my lunch hour for an upper body weight session, things started to get really crazy.

Storms hit and the power went out. Definitely different lifting weights in the dark by only emergency lights. However power quickly came back on and it was time for me to go (1:15)

I get to my locker and my lock is gone and so is the stuff in it. What the heck? My oversized gym bag is still on top so I am certain this is the place as I always use the same locker. I head out to the fitness desk to ask "Did someone cut the lock off a locker for some random reason?"

Cue to employee with panic face "Oh my goodness, we must have opened the wrong locker."

So some older lady had taken a fall in the pool/ locker room area. EMS was called and transported her to the hospital. She had mentioned her stuff so the staff went to retrieve it and when it was not where she specified, they tried my locker with her combination on my lock and it opened so they assumed they had the right stuff. However I have been having trouble with my lock and apparently it will open for anyone. So my stuff was bagged and sent to hospital with ladies husband.

Cue to Janet and the Oh crap, what do I do now look. I have no car keys and I am in my workout clothes.

They said they would send an employee to switch stuff. The hospital is only 10-15 minutes away so I figure this will delay me 30-45 minutes or so. No big deal. So I hopped on the stationary bike. I am trying not to get sweaty as I need to go back to work. After 20 minutes I was starting to work up a good sweat at my conservative pace so I went for abs. After this I hopped on the recumbent bike for 20 minutes. Then I checked at the desk as it had been an hour. (2:15) No word yet. Crap, this is all I need with work as I already am feeling guilty about leaving.

So I head back to fitness center to kill more time. I set recumbent bike for another 20 minutes and then another and another. My patience is leaving and I am totally stressed about work. Feeling like a jerk, I called the office to explain this saga of me being held hostage at th gym. (3:15)

Director comes to see me at 3:30 to explain employee could not find people right away and by the time they did they had already left. Everyone very apologetic and they are upgrading my membership to include Club J which has some nice perks. I am not mad at them. I worked at a rec center for a long time and could see how this crazy thing happened, but that is not helping me at the moment.

So I call my husband. Wouldn't you know this would be a time I could not reach him? I leave messages but don't even have my cell phone which is locked in my car so I have no idea what is going on. Finally I call my sis to come rescue me. She says she will come get my pathetic self. While I waited I took a shower in Club J as it has complimentary towels, shampoo & conditioner, razors, etc. and put on the extra set of clean workout clothes that I kept in my bag. My husband finally called and was going to come with my keys. I told him to call sis off but they were having trouble connecting for some reason. So frustrating. She picked me up at 4:30 and took me to him where we met at 4:45 to drive back to get my car just after 5.

So then I ended up having to take the afternoon off from work and still have not heard anymore about my stuff.

Let me tell ya how good beer tasted at the end of that pathetic afternoon. Oh well, guess I burned off a few extra calories over the day!

Monday, June 18, 2007

The word is out

Friday I put in my two weeks notice at my job. It was a tough day as I had been stressed about it since I made my decision as the firm has been good to me and I had only been there 9 months. I was feeling guilty in that there seemed there was so much more I had hoped to have accomplished for them which is left undone. I am certain they were less than thrilled and caught off guard by the announcement However another opportunity (which I am very excited about) had landed on my lap which I could not pass up. Somehow even when change is good, it does not mean it is easy.

Afer that uncomfortable day, I was ever so ready for the weekend! Northeast Ohio continues to smile upon us with this fantasic weather we have had the last couple weeks so I enjoyed yet another beautiful weekend outside!

Saturday I ran the Jim Klett 10 K down in Cuyahoga Falls. I had an ice cream bet going with a friend so several us met up and watched the kids race as we prepared for our own.

Per Janet style, I went blazing out way too fast for a 10 K and then between the heat, hills and slightly off stomach I had to slow down.

Mile 1 - 6:12 --Heck ya I am feeling good! Hit the split and think 10K not 5K, slow down!

Mile 2 - 6:51-Still feeling good
Miles 3 & 4 -14:57- Realization of length left is sitting in and I am slowing down. I get passed here. The shade felt good but as I turned the one corner into the hot sun I started to wish for the shade again.

About 4.5 in the huge hill started coming. This hill seemed so much longer and steeper than I remembered. Angry mexican in stomach started to yell that he does not like me anymore.

Mile 5 - 7:25- Relieved the big hill was over but nice roller jumped in my view to anger mexican again.

Mile 6 -7:28-No one close enough to reel in so I just decided to maintain position. I was so ready for the end!

.2 - 1:20--Managed to smile and wave to cheering friends at the line!

Finished 2nd overall female at 44:14 with a 7:07 pace and some more very blistered feet. They are out of control at the moment. Apparently my new Nike super light weight shoes are ripping my feet all up which are not recovered from the maraton blister breakdown. My oh so cute feet are not at all cute anymore!

I hanging out with a bunch of others after the race...perhaps I will have to post some additional photos later of some of the fun we enjoyed!
Oh and the ice cream bet was so close we called it a draw...but of course all of us went for icecream anyways after the race!

Sunday on account of my feet, I opted for a nice bike ride with a few CTC folks on the GCT course. There were 3 fast boys and one other chick out with the group. I had to work my butt off to keep up on their "comfortably paced" ride! Very fun ride though!!!!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Since my chest did not explode...

on Tuesday at the track, I decided to push it again on Wednesday night.

I finally made it out to New Vision Cycling after a hiatus which was altogether too long due to scheduling issues, marathon taper & recovery, etc.

On tap, 2 sets of 5 one mile repeats in Zone 5.

After fighting with the traffic and hoping I might actually get there with a little time to spare, I made it. As I opened the trunk I knew right away we had a problem. No front skewer. I knew exactly where I had set it in my garage and that I had not grabbed it in my mad dash of packing crap up that morning.

I was packing things back in, totally bummed that I had drove all the way out there only to forget such a critical part. The guy next to me saw me packing it in and asked what was wrong and I explained. He told me to hold on and proceeded to ask around if anyone had an extra.

My lifesaver found me another lifesaver who I will award the prepared cyclist award. He had a tool box with at least 3 extra skewers and all sorts of random other bicycle parts you could ever want. Hmmm...I should learn from this guy! I will at least learn to take the couple extra seconds to throw my skewer back in my wheel everytime so this never happens again which was what I usually do but have been neglecting this step lately for no good reason.

So tragedy averted and I headed out for the warm-up.

As we started into the mile repeats, the first observation was that it was not a flat course. Each direction presented some very modest uphill and subsequent downhill at different points. Sometimes I powered up the hill and passed a rider only to have him pass me a few moments later. There was definitely different approaches that could be tested to see what was the most efficient use of riding the course the fastest overall.

Each mile I pushed as hard as I could muster and was wheezing hard with a tight chest at the end of each one. Then as soon as it would end another one would start again. We seemed to start and end at slightly different points (even though they were close) so I did not bother recording splits. 10 mile repeats later with a soft pedal break in the middle, I started into a short cooldown. It was good to see some familiar faces before I loaded up the car an headed my sweaty butt home for some food and sleep. Then popped up this AM for another fun-filled 6 mile tempo run outside this fine morning!!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Back to the track!

Tuesday I was pysched to head out to the track for the first time in probably 2 months. My new goal is to alternate cycling and track weeks so I can at least hit the track every other week.

The evening was warm, yet gorgeous and I was looking forward to pushing myself a bit. I arrived early so I had plenty of time to warm up. I started running circles just around 5:40. New arrivals kept popping in so I did warm-ups with several ladies and finally around 6:30 it was time to start into the real sets.

I was running 8- 400's with 200 recoveries and my goal was to stay under 1:30 for each of them.

400 #1 - 1:21:45 Wow, my lungs feel tight! It is hot tonight! After walking a few seconds, MT and I jogged to the other side. My breathing was still labored as I started into the next 400.

#2 - 1:25:51 -Ouch, tight chest! At this point I decided I was walking the recoveries as I needed it. I grabbed some water.

#3 - 1:22:86 - Better, walking helped!

#4 - 1:25:13

#5 - 1:25:63 - Stomach feeling off...made quick beeline for bathroom break

#6 - 1:25:92 - At least I was consistent!

#7 - 1:25:51 - This lap and final lap had to move over a bit for boys training in lanes 1&2 on the one side

#8 - 1:21:21 - Had hoped to get under 1:20, oh well!

Then did a 800 meter cool down before heading home. It was definitely good to be out on a track!

All my normal speed workouts have been on a treadmill and for the most part I just set whatever the speed is supposed to be which is good and bad I suppose. I always force myself to hit the paces, yet I never try for more.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Random thoughts from the gym!

You can tell school is out and summer is here. My gym is just slammed. The Subway line is filled with teenagers. The parking lot is full of people there to swim in the outdoor pool and my normal weight room is packed with teenage boys during the lunch hour.

Yet my workouts go on the same.

Today was one of those days where I did not really feel like heading over to the gym but went anyways!

The door guys know me well and upon entering the security guard asked if I wanted to leave my motorcyle helmet up with them. AWESOME, sure!!! The helmet won't fit in a locker and it is a pain to lift up my seat to strap it to the bike so I usually carry it in and try to trap the neck strap in a locker. It works but I like this idea way better!

My workout bag won't really fit into a locker well either so I lock up the important things and set my bag on top generally. If I could dream of my perfect gym it would definitely have oversized lockers to accomodate my big bag and my helmet. Also I could rent it so that I could keep stuff in there that I used daily so I would not have to lug so much back and forth all the time!

There is a gray haired, heavy set man who I see during my lunch hour sessions on a regular basis. While perhaps he may have good intentions, he always has comments for me. The one time I was using the hip machine and I pulled the knob out only to have it go flying across the room. He told me I was not supposed to twist it, I had to pull it out(Yeah, thanks for the input but someone else had loosened it just enough for me to set it off). Then another time I was doing lunges and he said that he thinks doing lunges is what ruined his knees. I smiled politely trying to muster a polite response as I went on to do several more sets. Then today I set down a the 20 pound weights and one was not perfectly down and he said I had to be careful because if one landed on my foot I would have to do an Irish jig. This comment made me chuckle, but again I swear this man just likes to critique me!

The boys were all polite and seemed to accomodate the lone chick in their free weight room.

Then I went into the other room to use the floor for some shoulder exercises while on the upside down bosu ball. Before I could do anything I picked up 2 exercise balls and 3 mats and returned them to their homes. It drives me crazy when no one picks up after themselves at the gym! As I went through my reps, my stress seemed to disappear temporarily and in turn I was getting in a solid weight training session. Typically I do not get too sweaty on weight training workouts, but on this day things were clicking and as I worked, the sweat started to build. Oops, thank goodness I sit in my little cube all alone all afternoon!

As I started on my barbell bench presses on the exercise ball this older lady came over to ask if those were 20's I had and I said yes. I had to laugh as she said "Wow, you're really strong!" as I was on my warm-up set with my light weights. I kept thinking that although dumbbells are a little more challenging, my 2 20's do not even weigh as much as lifting an empty bar and most people would not tell someone they were strong if they were just lifting an empty bar.

So many different perspectives from everyone at the gym!

Monday, June 11, 2007

The best Sunday in June!

Sunday was the Sunday in June Ride put on by Cleveland Touring Club.

As it is one of the only events that are actually out in the boonies of my house, I had volunteered with the director of the Cleveland Touring Club to help out. Being that I lived out in the area, I helped out by checking out the course and making some route suggestions. You really realize the amount of planning that goes into these events when you help out...even as I only helped out on this one little piece of all the many other items that went in to this great event. Major props to Bill and Cleveland Touring Club for such a wonderfully run event!!!

Many of the roads had potholes or were gravel or currently under construction. So one evening my husband borrowed his dad's Harley to ride about 100 miles through the country roads. I sat on back with a map of tenative roads making notes and suggestions for the event coordinator. Now this ride is also known by its incognito name the “Horseshit Ramble”, so I was trying to carefully make sure I was keeping in theme with our ride characteristics all through Amish country! Then after the event coordinator nailed down the course I was to check out the 50 mile course and make sure everything was marked and looked good. So my hubby and I once again hoppped on our motorcycles and rode the 50 mile course. All looked good!

Sunday I awoke to 50 degree gorgeous morning. I thought about throwing on my arm warmers but figured I would warm up soon enough. A few of us from Cleveland Tri Club and a decent sized group from Shaker Cycling took off just before 7:30 AM. The first downhill was chilly!!

To back up, I have been so focused on running this year that I have not done much in the way of long rides. I did some inside on the trainer over the winter but my longest ride outside this year has probably only been around 30 miles. JT was in a strict taper so I was content to ride with her and catch up while we enjoyed the scenery.

The sun was quickly warming things up for this most beautiful day. I was excited to be back outside pedaling with friends! Just before 40 we stopped at a rest stop and I refilled my water bottle in my aerobars and grabbed a nutrigrain bar. YUM! They had lots of cookies but I refrained somehow! After regrouping we continued on. However after a bump and subsequent bottle launch, Jodi and I again dropped back behind the main group. We had looped around back to where some of the shorter routes were also riding and passed many people with ease. We regrouped as we made the final 10 mile push toward the end at a decent pace with the wind to our backs and made the final climb to the finish.

However the day was not over. JT needed a 4 hour day so we headed back out for another 35-40 minutes to finish with ~70+ miles on the day. Fortunately I had my running shoes, as she also needed to get in a 10 minute run outside afterwards, so I got the priviledge of running with her for her first outside run in some time!!! This dedicated chick is going to rock her ironman in two weeks and is just such an inspiration and great fun to train with!

For someone who has not rode more than 30 miles outside this year so far, this day went amazingly well. Perhaps it was the gorgeous day, the wonderful company or just the excitement of getting back out there for a long ride, but I felt fantastic the entire time. The only trouble area was in the girly seat area which training really cannot seem to help much with!!! So I am feeling totally re-energized with such a terrific ride!

I managed to replenish some of my calories burned over the rest of the day before hitting the hay crazy early from my tiring, yet fantastic weekend! Oh well, unfortunately I apparently did not miss much as I slept through the CAVS game. :-(

Bluto: Over? Did you say "over"? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!
Otter: Germans?
Boon: Forget it, he's rolling.
Bluto: And it ain't over now. 'Cause when the goin' gets tough...
[thinks hard]
Bluto: the tough get goin'! Who's with me? Let's go CAVS!

The girls!!!

Auntie Jan has not posted any pics for a bit, so it is time for some pics of my sweetie pies at 9 months!

Uncle Joey with double trouble!

The HAWT chicks!

"Can I get any help from up there?"

"You know you can have anything you want because you two are so cute!"

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Irish Festival 5K

Beautiful day, good tunes, old friends faces...aghh the running gods were smiling on me today!

I headed out with to Cuyahoga Falls this morning for my 5K race. Legs still aching quite a bit from Wednesday lower body workout. I stopped on the way for some delicious Rockstar but only drank about 8 ounces before the race as I was nervous to have too much of something new before running. I was also wearing my new super light and cute Nike Zoom Air which I was stoked to try.

MT and I did a nice little warm up and then I tried to stretch out my tight legs. As I was stretching I was stoked to see an old high school girlfriend (who incidentally has always been one heck of a runner) and a few other people from my hometown. Always exciting to see some old faces, so we caught up a bit before the start. Since it was a new race, the field was very small...only about 100 people.

MT and I lined up near the front and with the start we were off! Mile one was uphill a bit. I turned up my Ipod and settled in behind bunch of guys. There was one girl in front for the first .5 mile but I passed her after she settled in. Mile one 6:36. Not bad. I was nervous given my lackluster training that I might not be ready for running too hard so I was just going to check out the paces. I planned to not beat myself up over them if something was not where I usually expected of myself.

Mile 2 also was rolling, nothing big but you definitely noticed it. Course was nice through neighborhood streets and I was excited when we went around th block as we started to make our return for the out and back course. Mile 2-7:02.

Mile 3, we were told had a little downhill, again nothing too drastic, but every bit helps. A couple guys passed me and with everyone I would get nervous that some chick would pass me. I definitely was pushing outside of the comfort zone but just wanted to hold the pace. As I came into the finish area I gave it one final kick and finished the last 1.1 miles at 7:02.

Total time 20:40 (6:39 pace) which was good enough for first female!!! The time was only 12 seconds off my PR so I guess I have not really lost much especially just taking into account some course differences. Now I feel much better as I was quite concerned!!!!

I believe my highschool girlfriend took 2nd female and MT took third. It is awesome to see your buds all up at the front!!! So we stood around in the sunshine and grabbed our awards! Aghhh, such a great way to start the day!

Friday, June 08, 2007

Back in the saddle again

So there was taper week.

Then there was recovery week.

Then there was vacation week.

And the theme throughout these 3 weeks has been very light workouts and sleeping in!

My rhythm is off.

Waking up hurts bad!

This week I jumped back in.

Monday I did a 20 mile bike, an upper body workout and spent my evening sweating as I was cleaning my very dirty house. Oh the cold beers while I worked tasted good...but then I had get up up Tuesday morning for a speed workout.

OUCH...not sure if it was the time off or the beers, but this workout was punishing. My paces were off and I did not even care. I got through it. Then I forced myself back to the gym on my lunch hour for a 1000 yard swim. This was rough too as my arms ached from the prior days upper body workout.

Wednesday I slept in as I had planned to go to New Vision Cycling in the evening. I hit the gym on my lunch break and managed a very solid lower body workout. Evening plans got changed and I ended up missing cycling. :-(

Thursday I woke up all kinds of sore. Lower body workouts totally kill me. Everything south of my waistline screamed with every step and let's not even try to talk about sitting down. I made myself get outside to go for my tempo run. I was soooo tired and sore. It took so much effort just to get dressed and outside but as I started I saw the neighbor out and I did not want to let on as to how miserable I was feeling so I put on my happy face and the running followed. The run surprisingly was going well until the prior evening's Mexican decided to kick me while I was down and make for a very miserable return trip home.

Friday, I awoke even more sore than Thursday. I thought about a day off since I had a big weekend in store. However I decided perhaps I would try to loosen things up a bit. I did a 20 minute easy spin and spent some time stretching. Yeah, slacking a bit on the day but I think it was the right thing to do!

So why take it easy today besides the legs are still angry at me?

Tomorrow I will see my running gals as we run the new Irish Festival 5K down in Cuyahoga Falls which should be fun. It will be interesting to see if my fitness level for 5K performance is slacking too or if I have not lost much ground.

Then Sunday I am doing the metric century ride for the very scenic, Sunday in June ride out in my area with my gal, Jodi and other CTC teammates!!! Weather looks great for the weekend and I am just stoked to be back at it!!!!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Dog Rant

First off, I love dogs...especially my golden retriever, Matches and my parents little Shiba Inu, Dakota.

However every year I take this trip I have so much anxiety about going out to do my runs and bike rides because of dogs.

In the area I stayed in AL, I would assume 2/3 of the people just let their dogs roam free. Many of the other people just have them in cages outside the home who just alert all the other area dogs that I am on my way.

As we drove in I watched as one dog chased the trailer and I already started to get nervous about what was in store for me. However aimed with my Halt I was ready to take my chances.

Run one, nothing too terrible. Two owners yelled at their dogs to back down. A few other dogs met me on the road but seemed pretty harmless. No real slow downs to speak of.

Bike ride- Several dogs made it to the edge of the property as I nearly escaped as I really can pedal fast when barking dogs are approaching. One had me a bit on edge as he showed his teeth. Later as we drove by safely in the car, again my evil friend came out to chase that vehicle too and my husband took one look as I pointed him out and could not believe the people let that aggressive pit bull roam free.

He was the brown tiger color as well and really did not like me or my bicycle. His other two dog friends of other breeds also seemed to think I would make for some good lunch. After my first pass I started to dread coming back through another time for my return home but there was no other option. Let's just say these two passes had to be some of my fastest paces hit on the ride!

Run 2- I had a few more visitors on the road, 9 in total in that 2.3 mile stretch. One I had not heard approaching and I felt something on my leg. Nervously I jerked around to see a little black terrier that kept pouncing on my leg as if to say "Pet me, pet me". I decided I was not going to encourage it as I was still planning to repeat the circle 2 more times, so he proceeded to accompany me another .25 mile before giving up.

This dog problem definitely unnerves me when I train there. I kept thinking why can't they keep their dogs confined to their property. Why can't more people have friendly goldens instead of mean pit bulls? I really like cats that are scared and just run away as I approach. Then I start thinking that my halt may not save me, should I carry something else? Are their owners inside laughing as they watch their dogs scare exercise lady? At least one man called them off me two different occasions, but seriously his dogs should not be running people down in the road to begin with. People really need to learn to be more responsible with their dogs, bottom line!

Thank goodness I made it out of there with no bites or major issues!!!! If I lived there, I would seriously have to figure out a better solution to this problem.

Then back at home, pet my little golden Matches a good long time who must have missed me and my kitty Zippo who could not have been more excited!

Monday, June 04, 2007


How does time go by so fast???

We left Friday after work and drove the 700 miles down in the van. We were such zombies by the time we got there but thankfully I made the most tasty discovery on the way which woke me right up to keep Joey company on the drive.

Yeah, the blue Rockstar totally rules and is caffeine-filled, wildberry deliciousness!

After arriving we slept a few hours and then hopped on our motorcyles to ride up to Tennesee and the Great Smoky mountains. Our aunt and cousins had already rented out a cabin so we just slept on the futon of this cute little place.

His aunt and uncle rode horses duing the day. I was glad I was not with them the day his uncle was riding up there in TN and came across this rattlesnake. I still cannot believe his uncle handled this!!! (As a side note I am petrified of snakes. Between this pic and seeing a black snake at his aunt's house I even had a nightmare one night about snakes!)

In the evenings we relaxed by the hottub!

And then in the days we rode our motorcyles through the mountains and took in the gorgeous views.

And we visited the Deals Gap Motorcycle Resort which is located at the south end of the famous Dragon, home to 318 turns in 11 miles of scenic and twisty US 129. With no distractions, the Dragon winds its way up and over the mountains of Tennessee into North Carolina.

We rode back to Alabama late Monday for some R&R playing by the lake. Joey and I relaxed in our two person raft, took in some sun and swam around in the lake.

I even caught some fish!!!

Wednesday, Joey and I drove down to Barber Motorsports Park, a world-class road racing facility located in Birmingham, Alabama. We visited the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum, a 144,000-square foot, four-story museum which includes the world's largest collection of vintage and modern day motorcycles (1000+) and the largest collection of Lotus race cars. This place is just amazing. It has motorcycles back to the 1890's which look like ordinary bicycles with a motor to the modern day superbikes.

The layout of this place is just fantastic!!!

Aghh, was it really already time to come back home and go back to work and the real world???

I did manage to get in a couple runs, a bicycle ride and some swimming. However training was pretty light and country food was quite the opposite. Time to jump back in now that I am home and fully rested! 10 weeks to the half ironman!