Monday, April 28, 2008

Big Weekend and Lessons For Grandma J

Last week's training was pretty typical, except that I had to miss yoga due to a board meeting. Monday was a 20 mile bike ride, Tuesday was a 3 mile run, Wednesday was hill repeats (3), Thursday was a 15 mile bike ride and Friday was a 4 mile run. And thanks to the ride I did Saturday morning, I had my first ever week of over 100 miles on the bike!

Saturday morning I did a pay ride in a little town just north of me. They had several options of mileage, but I chose to do the longest one at 62 miles. The team had the option to do a buddy ride or to do the pay ride, so I wasn't sure how many teammates would show up. I was pleasantly surprised at the number that did. We started off all together, but lost one of our slower riders right off the bat. Then we lost a couple more. We skipped the first aid station, but stopped at the second one and lost another rider there. So from about mile 12 to about mile 50, we had a 6 person pace group and we did really well. We kept a good pace going and kept rotating so that everyone got a chance to rest. It really is amazing how much easier it is to go fast when you are at the back of the pack. At 50, we lost 2 more and then at 55, one took off ahead of us to finish strong. It took right at 4 hours to travel that distance, but I felt really good when I got off the bike. Now I just have to add 40 something more miles to that and Tahoe will be a piece of cake! Ha!

And for Grandma J, I did this ride on my road bike. Grandma J has asked why I have two bikes. I have a road bike and I have a tri bike.

Road Bike (I know it's not a great picture, but I don't have time to take another one right now.)

When you ride in pace groups, you really need to be on a road bike. I can't do the fancy graphics like Grandma J, but when you ride a road bike, your hands are usually on top of the handle bars so that they are close to the shifters and brakes. Brakes are important in a pace group because you are really close to the riders around you and if a rider brakes or falls, you need to be able to stop. And even though riding in pace groups allows you to draft off each other and go faster than you would by yourself, pay rides like I did Saturday are just that - rides. They aren't races. People stop at the aid stations to use the restroom and grab food. You don't want to hang around for half an hour or anything, but you're not usually trying to speed through.

I have a tri bike for triathlons. In triathlons, you ARE racing and speed IS important. Most triathletes don't stop at the aid stations; they just grab a bottle as they ride by. In order to be more aerodynamic and go faster, it's best to ride in the aero position with your arms resting on the aero pads.
In order to be able to stay in this position for long periods of time, the shifters are at the end of the aerobars. The brakes, however, are on the the other bars on the outside (I can't remember what they are called). Therefore, if you are in aero position, your hands aren't anywhere near the brakes. It's illegal to draft off another rider in a triathlon, so you are not as likely to need your brakes as quickly in a triathlon as you would in a group ride. The tri bikes also have a different geometry so that when you are done with the bike portion, your legs are "fresher" for the run.

Hope that helped! If not, I'll show you in person when you come visit.

After that long ride, I headed home for a shower because we had things to do. We hit the grocery store and bought tons of food because we had family coming in. My family (mom, dad, brother and his family) live in the same town as we do. My husband's family all live about an hour and a half away. They were coming in for my daughter's confirmation at church on Sunday.

After the grocery store we went home and I finished the laundry and tried to rest for a little bit before they arrived. When they got here we went to eat. Then we came home and watched the weather because another storm was headed our way.

We woke up Sunday morning to thunder, rain and colder weather. But that didn't keep us from celebrating. We are Methodist, so my daughter was baptized as an infant. However, at her age kids go through confirmation and decide for themselves to live a Christian life and follow Jesus. This is what she did. So Sunday, she was confirmed and became a full member of the church.

After church we headed home to fix fajitas for everyone. We had a big, yummy lunch. After everyone left, we tried to relax before it was time to head back to the church for youth. The weekend was so full of activities, it just flew by.

Today was back to work. One of my teammates emailed me to see if I was planning to ride today. We ended up meeting out at the lake and riding out in the countryside. I took my tri bike today so I could get it out on the open roads (as opposed to riding it around the neighborhood). It felt great and we were doing 18-20mph. But the roads are country roads and they have potholes. And I hit one. And got a flat. In the middle of nowhere. Ugh. I hate flats. Luckily it was on the front tire, which in my opinion is easier to change. I got the tire off, pulled the old tube out, put the new one in, got the tire back on and aired the tire up. It took a while, but I did it. Thank goodness. Did I mention we were in the middle of nowhere? The tire held up the rest of the way back and we ended up with around 19 miles.

Monday, April 21, 2008

I hate wind and humidity!

Last week was busy and unfortunately my training suffered some. It was also windy and it just makes it hard to get out and get things done. I made myself ride on Monday, but only got in 11 miles before calling it quits. (I was also extremely tired because I had stayed up Sunday night until midnight, which is WAY past my bedtime, watching Ironman Arizona). I felt like I could crash at 8:00 and sleep all night.

Tuesday was much needed yoga. Wednesday was hill repeats - only I was the only one who showed up. Since I had taken the time to load my bike and drive to where the repeats are, I figured I'd go ahead and do them by myself. But I don't really remember the loop we do after the hill to recover, so I basically went up and down 3 times right in a row without much recovery. I started in on a 4th hill, but just a little way up told myself I didn't need to kill myself. So I went home. And then I looked at the mileage and I had only done a little over 5 miles on the bike. I couldn't let that be all for the day even though hills are tough, so I hopped on the treadmill for a 3 mile run. I ended up running Thursday as well.

Friday was an off day. Two other participants and myself were having a fundraising night at the comeday club so I needed to get to that. It was really fun and the comedians were good (and not too raunchy). I just wish we could have gotten more people there. We did pretty well though, so that was good.
Saturday was another long group ride. We rode out in the country and ended up riding not too far from my house on some roads that I've ridden on many times before. Again, I ended up in the front group with the guys. We did great on the way out. And then when we hit mile 25-30, we turned into a headwind. Why does it always seem - no matter where you start or which way you go first - that there is always a headwind on the way back?????? I hung with them until mile 40 and then told them to go on. There was another group not too far behind, so I slowed down and waited for them and then rode the last 10 miles with them.

Then, as usual, it was off to soccer. And it was hot. I found me some shade and camped out. And I'm glad I did because there was a girls team who wanted to play a friendly game after my son's real game, so he played two games back to back. The boy loves soccer.

And he loves to do headers!!

Sunday was another really busy day as well with lots of church stuff and meetings. I'm ready for things to slow down and I'm ready for a vacation. At least I finally got the family to decide on what were doing and have things booked. Now I have something to look forward to this summer.

Today was a hot and humid day. I got out on my tri bike and did 20 miles. So far this year, I've already ridden more than I did all of last year. I'll be interested to see the totals at the end of the year.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Fun Ride This Weekend

Where did the week go? It's getting harder and harder to get an update done during the week. Wednesday I ran, Thursday I biked. And it seemed like everywhere I went on the bike there was a cop. I almost felt like they were following me, trying to catch me running a stop sign or breaking some kind of law. I really think I was passed by about 8-10 cops during an hour and 15 minute ride. I have no idea what was going on. Friday was a rest day.

Saturday we did a group ride way down south. I needed to get done and back way up north for a 1:00 soccer game, so when the first folks headed out, I was right there with them. I thought the whole group would be right behind us. And for a while, they were. We had a big group. But slowly the group started breaking up. And all along I kept waiting for the fast guys to pass. They never did. And that's when I realized I was in the fast group. Oh my. But we had the wind at our backs and we had a nice pace line going. For a good bit, we had a constantly revolving pace line going. It was great. We were doing 20-23 mph and it didn't feel hard at all.

At our first rest stop, we grabbed some food, refilled our drink bottles and took off again. By this time there were about 10 of us in the group. But shortly after that, we lost four of them, which left six of us in the front. I was the only female up there. I wasn't sure how far the group behind us was, so I did everything in my power to keep up. And we were straight into a headwind. It was rough. At one point there was a crosswind, so two of the bigger guys had me ride on the side of them so they could block the wind. Let me tell you, we have some awesome guys on our team. They really take care of us females.

After our second rest stop, there were only four of us who took of in the first group. I stayed with them for a while, but the wind was too brutal. One of the other guys and myself dropped back and rode in together.

Other than the wind, it was a beautiful day and a great ride. And I finished in time to make it to my son's game. And they dominated. They played beautifully. They had several goals scored off of headers. And at their age, that's awesome.

This morning our church had one combined service and then lunch afterward. We usually go to early service, so it was weird going later. Since we had to go later, I checked out the new service. It was great, but I just don't like getting out of church that late. After the lunch, I came home to check on the beginnertriathlete forumites who are doing Ironman Arizona today. From what I'm seeing it's extremely hot there and the wind is brutal for them today. A couple of beginnertriathlete people have had to drop out, which is sad. One had an asthma attack. I feel for them. When you put that much time and energy into training and you can't compete - wow.

I've just gotten off the treadmill and will be in front of the computer for most of the day watching the Ironman online. One of these days I hope to be there in person - first as a volunteer, and then maybe one day as an athlete. If you haven't watched an Ironman, you should. It's very inspiring.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Hot, Hot, Hot!!!

I'm not sure we are getting a spring this year. After the rainy, humid race last weekend, the week just seemed to get and stay warm. I ran Monday, did yoga Tuesday, had my date with the hill Wednesday and got in a bike ride on Thursday. Friday morning it rained. It rained until the afternoon and then cleared out and turned into a beautiful day.

Saturday morning when I went to cycle practice, it was in the 40s. What's up with that? It's April. And I had not planned very well. Good thing I had arm warmers in my bag. We did some tempo work and a time trial on Saturday. It was a shorter workout mileage wise, but a harder workout because of the speed we were trying to maintain.

I got home, took my shower and headed to my son's soccer game. And it got HOT! Or at least it felt really hot. When I looked at the temperature, it was only in the low 70s, but the sun was out full force. I am not ready for summer.

Sunday was just as nice. After church I got in another bike ride. And I can tell the sun was out. I was on my tri bike and my tri top rode up a little in the back. I have a nice, awkward little tan back there. Guess I need to remember that in the future and put the sunscreen there, too. After the ride I took a shower and then sat outside on the back porch until it was time to go to my daughter's district wide confirmation celebration. She will actually be confirmed on April 27th, but this was a gathering of all the kids in the district going through confirmation.

Yesterday was hot, too, so I ran on the treadmill. And today seems even hotter. Close to 90 degrees I think. Good thing it's a yoga night. But man, I'm dreading the summer heat. Where did spring go?

March Totals

For March, here are my totals:

Bike: 305.61 miles in 22 hours 14 minutes 20 seconds
Run: 44.2 miles in 8 hours 14 minutes 28 seconds
Strength Training: 3 hours 40 minutes
Yoga: 3 hours