Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Girding my loins

Preparing for battle. Putting my game face on. Settling in for the seige.

I have printed out the IMAZ 2010 periodization schedule and official training starts May 24. I had a little heart attack when I read the first date listed was April 26, but they have 4 weeks of "Pre endurance training" as optional. That's more for people starting from scratch. My original plan from Coach Chrissie back in December called for a month off serious training in May after the Galveston half, but I'm finding that difficult. And already I'm negotiating with myself. "I am taking off 2 weeks for the Tasmania trip in June, so I should go ahead and start training" vs "I don't want to burn out" vs "there are still a bunch of things on my to-do list for May I haven't done" vs "my mental health needs more exercise!"

I did read fellow T3er Jane's blog post about preparing- it's actually a facebook post and not on her blog, but I've cut and pasted it below. So I've got a lot of stuff already up and running: Diet Gourmet meals delivered, bills on auto pay. I did go to Sam's and stocked up on toilet paper, granola bars, fruit cups, soap, and tampons. I've done all the gardening I'm going to do aside from mowing. I've done all the home improvements I'm going to do for now. I've visited the family and warned everyone I'm not going to be available like I have been on weekends. All that's left to do is actually start training!

From Jane:
This isn't about training; it's about how to prepare to organize your life to accomodate Ironman training. Having done 2 Ironmans, and having my life become total chaos (I've had my electricity turned off, didn't mop my floor for 6 months, etc), I've learned some things!

1. Put everything on automatic bill pay. Most people already have this, but I didn't so...yeah - thus why my electricity was cut off (also, I'm kinda disorganized about bills anyway, sigh)

2. Get all your routine appointments out of the way: annual medical appointments, dentist, take your dog to see the vet, car inspected. It's going to be hard to find time during training.

3. If you take prescription medications, ask your doctor for a 90 day supply. Saves on pharmacy trips.

4. Get a maid. Or have a nice roommate/spouse to clean for you. Or accept a messy house. Seriously, after a 100 mile bike ride on Saturday and 18 mile run on Sunday, you are not going to want to vacuum.

5. Get 2 or 3 of everything and put extra stuff in your car and at work: gatorade, gus, helmet, sunscreen, tubes, bike shoes, towels, running shoes, chamois butter, etc. Nothing is worse than driving out to a ride and realizing you don't have bike shoes. For work, it's nice to have extra clothes, makeup in your office, especially if you shower there or at the pool. I have a hair dryer and extra set of makeup in my office.

6. Go to Sam's, Walmart, Costco, whatever and buy all nonperishables in huge amounts: toilet paper, laundry detergent, household items, etc.

7. Food - this is a tricky one. You are going to eat a lot. You will always be hungry. But you want to eat fairly healthy. Ideally you can cook yourself, but that takes time (not really the cooking, but shopping and cleanup.) You can eat at Wholefoods all the time (I did this the first year), but it gets kinda expensive. Decide how you are going to eat the next 6 months. If all else fails, you can always have PB&J for dinner.

8. Social life - uh, not sure what the best advice for this, since I have no kids, no husband and a low maintenance dog. And most of my friends are triathletes and "get it." Hmmm, I know Shawnda made it a specific effort to always spend time with her husband while she was training. Ask the married folks on this one. Personally, I found dating near impossible, especially a new person, unless they are training as well. But then again, is 16 mile training run really a "date"?

Okay, hope this helps. Let's see if I can keep my electricity on this season.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Slaughter Creek Trail

On my list of things to do in May was go hiking. The Slaughter Creek Trail is not far from my house and has been on my radar for a couple of months now. So I finally got out there and it's great.

I think the most interesting thing is the attitude change here. At most older parks, it's a "welcome to your park" feeling. Here it is more "watch yourself, this is our park, don't fuck it up!" There are tons of signs about rules, where not to park (though no signs saying park here, which I found confusing), if there is not parking available, please leave and come back later as the park is at capacity. No dogs. No water available. Don't let the gate lock you in as it's on an automatic timer. Trail is closed when wet. Don't leave the trail. And all the rest about leave no trace.

There is only one big loop of a trail and it's about 5 miles. It is really well maintained, well marked, and there are 10+ markers with little snippets of information. Most of them are about how the land was ill used previously- the ranchers' dump, damage to the soil, water use, natural gas pipelines. There were only 2 with references to actual animals or plants, which is what I would have liked to have seen more of. There was a time when I was working at the YO that I knew the names and habits of a lot of plants, animals, and birds. A lot of that information has leaked out of my brain, but I still enjoy learning new things about nature and our environment.

The trail, again, was great. It was a good morning for a walk, and only 2 other people out on the trail the whole time I was there. Lots of wildflowers, birds chirping, and good time to enjoy being outside before the summer hits. It did back up to some subdivisions of Circle C and you could hear the road, construction noises, and some kids yelling. There was one section that was bypassed, so I didn't do the entire 5 miles, but it was a nice 1.5 hour walk. I do really enjoy hiking. And checking this trail off the list makes me want to go to the Greenbelt- all 12 or so miles of it. Of course, the Greenbelt seems like a crowded mall compared to this trail! But it is really nice to have nature so close to urban areas, and people who live in Austin often move here just for parks like this, so it isn't any wonder that they're crowded. I guess I just need to try to go on weekdays and the less popular trail heads to avoid the majority of the crowd. So when can I get in a full day hike in the next two weeks?

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Longest ride of May 2008 is recovery ride for May 2010

In preparation for CapTex 2008 with Team in Training, I rode the Old San Antonio road route out to the Valero in Kyle. It took me about 3 hours total, and I was spent, having to nap to recover afterwards. It felt really hard and was a huge accomplishment.

Saturday, trying out the new bike (more to come on that) rode the same route, able to keep up with other T3ers, in about 2 hours, averaging 14.7 mph, even with a strong head wind on the way back. A recovery ride. And it felt good. Not easy, but comfortable. What a difference!

Friday, April 30, 2010

A PR in Galveston, but that was brutal

It has taken me almost a week to write this race report because my feelings about it have changed as time has passed. During and right after the race, I was very negative about the whole thing, questioning why do I put myself through this. And after processing, thinking, and talking with other racers, I've put it in a little more perspective. But that's getting ahead of myself.

I drove in Saturday morning to see C race the Olympic. Turns out, the bad weather came through Friday night, and there were still high winds that apparently turned over and sank a police boat! So the swim was cancelled and they did a bike/ run race with a time trial start. C did great. And the winds died down as the day went on. It was a little tough because she was done and celebrating, and I was preparing. And I did not take the day before preparation seriously enough. I didn't manage my food intake and wound up eating some heavier things that did not settle well. And I was starting to get nervous. For Longhorn, I did all my worrying before, and was calm before. This time, I've been much more relaxed, and then started panicking a little.

Sunday morning, did my regular preparations, missed the group picture, but found the other 35-59 T3ers lounging in the beach chairs for the hour before our start. And then we were swimming. Very choppy- the wind had picked up as the morning progressed. I am a pretty calm swimmer, and this was the worst I've ever been in, drinking a lot of salt water and air as the waves slapped my face. Many swimmers were being rescued by the lifeguards on waverunners. And the salt water took off my body glide and I was getting pretty chafed on my arms. And it seemed really long.

But finally done, up the ramp and on to the bike. After some strong rides in training, I was feeling good. There was a cross/ head wind on the way out, so I talked to myself about being steady out, pushing on the way back, aiming for 2 hours out, 1.5 hours back. And it seemed to be passing quickly. My stomach did not settle as it normally does, and seemed bloated. I waited but then had to start my nutrition. Finally get to the turnaround, and there's a cross/ head wind. No tailwind at all! What a let down. But I was still maintaining 16 mph, so at least it was flat. I did have to take a bathroom break at mile 45, where Sparkle passed me- which is amazing that it took her so long! And then into the real head wind back to transition.

My stomach was still unhappy, but at least better to be upright. Shuffled the first lap, and then started feeling pretty good. I was making 14:30s and moving right along. Water and gatorade and ice at every station. But it was hot, and windy, and no shade. But I was getting close and I was on track to break 8 hours total, if I could just keep doing what I was doing.

And almost immediately after thinking I could actually break 8 hours, at about mile 9- I hit the wall. All of a sudden, I was light headed, and nauseous. I started walking and felt even worse. The next aid station I tried to take in even more liquid, but that did not go well. I never puked, but I dry heaved a little. I cried passing the T3 tent- I just wanted to quit and go lie down in the shade. K joined me for the last lap and that made me sad as well. I was on track, I was about to break through, I had done the training, I had lost weight, and yet the outcome was the same- the last T3er having to be helped in to the finish. And I was in a dark place- thinking this is masochism- we are hurting ourselves doing these long distances. This is not fun. I might as well go sit in a bathroom and cut myself- that's the equivalent to this punishment.

But I did keep going at a shuffle, K tried to talk me through it, and I tried the coke at the last aid station. The caffeine and the bubbles settled my stomach a little. And also knowing the finish was so close, I picked it up. I had a great finish- a bunch of T3ers and the last of the spectators were lining the finish chute and I was slapping hands and moving quickly, Logan announcing. And I did have a 15 minute PR from Longhorn! And immediately after finishing, directly to the medical tent. IV fluids, Zofran injection for nausea, and lying down in the shade. I felt immensely better. A number of T3ers came by to check on me, then saw C off before going to CK's hotel room to borrow her shower. Then driving back. The drive back was actually very pleasant- drinking coke, and talking on the phone the whole way back, and sitting. It was great!

So after talking to a number of teammates, pretty much everybody had a rough race. The heat and wind affected everyone. That is really reassuring, that it isn't just me. And lots of people had problems with the swim, with the crosswinds on the bike, and with the heat on the run.

And the bonk- I've never hit that before, and the stomach problems were leading directly to it. It was a scary place. And physical, systemic discomfort. I do not want to go there again. But at the same time, I've been through it now, so I can handle it if/ when it comes again. My legs actually felt good throughout. And I wasn't really any more sore afterwards than any of the training weekends.

So, lessons learned in Galveston:
1. T3 is great! Teammates are there for you even when you think you don't want them to be.
2. Salt water and waves = nausea.
3. Cross wind means you're fighting the wind the entire way.
4. Manage nutrition very strictly the day before the race.
5. Have back up nutrition to try different things if your primary is not working.
6. Pepto.
7. More sunscreen!
8. Salt supplement? More research needed.
9. Adjust goals to the conditions.
10. Ups and downs happen, just ride them along.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Last chance workout

I had my last big workout before Lonestar and it felt good. Core and then spin, both a little shorter and less intense than usual. And I am feeling pretty good. This round of training for the half iron has been much calmer and I've had less anxiety. I have done the training, been consistent, and have built on the foundation from Longhorn. I am hoping for good things in Galveston!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Swimming with Brendan Hansen, for real this time

The second edition of the T3 Open Water Swim Clinic actually went off today, luckily the rain held off. C came up from San Antonio again, and we did a loop of the bike of Practiceman, but skipped the rest. Then we actually got in the water and went swimming. And Brendan Hansen is disgustingly fast. He creates a wake when he swims. Really, the water essentially moves around him and bends to his will. I tried to duplicate it, and no luck.

Good practice and good tips, but swimming is my least weak sport of triathlon. I'm steady and relaxed, just not very fast. But I did get some ideas to work on in the future: make the second half of the pull faster and extending more in the reach.

And so far, still moving right along for Lonestar. Tapering pretty well, only getting the crazies a little bit. It's funny that it feels weird not to work out now. But I am looking forward to the month off in May. Though what I'm looking forward to is kayaking, and camping, and gym classes, and dance lessons, and ...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

T3 camping trip

Last year I missed the T3 camping trip to Bastrop due to work, so I was determined to go this year. I reserved a campsite as soon as the date was announced and cancelled any race plans. It turns out, I reserved in the wrong area. It is always funny and sad to me that no matter what group of people, there are cliques.

But anyway, I drove up Saturday morning and we did the same route as Pedal through the Pines that I did a month ago. If you remember, I had to walk my bike up the 7-8 big hills and it totally kicked my ass. Well, this time around, I rode together with J and that worked out nicely. She dropped me on the hills, but I passed her on downhills, and on the flats, she drafted off me because she was on a road bike. I still have not quite figured out how to draft without feeling anxious about being so close.

When we hit the first big hill, I joked "should I try it or just get off and walk now" and she said, "just try it." So as a challenge, I did. And I got up! In the lowest gear and standing, and panting, but I got up. And the next one too. And then the next. And by that time, I was so stoked that I had gotten up the first ones, I decided I would have to climb the rest too. And so then it was a challenge to finish the ride without having to walk any of the hills. And once out of the park, it was back to reasonably flat. And wanting to stay with J, I was pushing a lot harder than I would have on my own. But it was okay. We finished the 60 miles, with 2 pit stops, and then on to the campsite for an ice bath in the kiddie pool. And good timing, because about 15 minutes after I got out of the ice bath, the park ranger came by to enforce the rules: no beer outside of your tent (really, that seems ridiculous), no parking on the grass, and no kiddie pools.

After a nap, and dinner at the Roadhouse- okay, not great food. Then smores around the campfire before crashing in the tent. Sunday morning, I was worried my legs wouldn't hold up for the run, but they were pretty good. One 4 mile loop on the road, then off on to the trails- very nice, wide, pine needle covered trails. So 2 hours total, but probably not quite 8 miles. Then back home for a shower and 3 hour nap. A good weekend, and it makes me excited to go camping again soon, especially because my month off of training in May is coming up!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

400s on the track

After months of asking for morning run workouts, T3 has finally done it. They have a new coach Lesley, that is doing Tuesdays at the trail and Thursdays on the track. So far it's been 4-10 people only, but it's only been a week. So I was surprised on Thursday: I had a personal coach for track practice- everyone else slept in! Coach Charles was subbing for Lesley and he had a lot of good suggestions for me, and it was a really good to get feedback since I haven't done much speedwork.

And it turns out I can run faster than I think I can! Based on my mile times, I was supposed to do 3:30 per 400, and my first one I did 2:30. And after working on breathing steadily, being even throughout the lap, and pacing, I was consistently going 2:45. I did 7 of them with resting 2 minutes between, and it was great.

Of course, my legs were trashed for the next 2 days, but it was worth it!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

First training injury

So I've been dealing with my first real injury from training, and it's my wrist. Of all the body parts stressed with triathlon training, you'd think my legs or back would be most vulnerable. Of course, that may be part of it- I expect that and baby my legs and back.

I have been getting stronger with all the core training, and have been able to do more of the exercises including pushups, pike ups on the ball, mountain climbers, etc. And all of those include supporting my body weight on my hands. So I would feel some tenderness after a core class, but no big deal, just rest it right? Well, after a week of that, it was more painful, so I went to Performance Wellness and got adjusted and treatment for it. And 3 weeks later, still painful, so I went to my physician and got a steroid injection. De Quervain's Tenosynovitis is the final diagnosis- where the thumb tendons run across the inside of the wrist inside a tendon sheath get inflamed.

So now I'm a week out from the injection and brace, and it feels great. I will slowly incorporate biking outdoors and swimming back into the schedule, but no pushups! I'm also going to change my aerobars to be a more neutral position.

The injury has affected my training a little, but also going out of town for Easter. I think I'm in a pretty good place for Lonestar, but still could use a couple more long rides and outdoor swims. I have been able to keep up with the long runs for the most part, so that's good. And overall, there is less stress about the race, and I think it's because I've already done it once. The confidence from finishing Longhorn is a big part, plus knowing the Lonestar course is flatter and easier, and the time limit is longer. I think it's going to be a good time in Galveston!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Swimming in the rain > sitting in traffic

I joined Pure Austin so I could swim at the Quarry and use their treadmills. I've found it useful for other purposes too, but I think the most useful is to have an option besides sitting in traffic. The north gym location is only about 5 miles from my work, and as I was leaving, I heard the traffic report where the speeds going south were less than 15 miles an hour. So, even though I was tired and not particularly motivated for a workout, I went to swim.

And it turned out to be a pretty good swim. It was drizzling and overcast, and the pool is partially covered and heated, so I was plenty warm, but I could feel the difference when I was out from under the roof. I practiced the alligator sighting technique, and had a pretty good time, even though I know I don't swim as hard on my own as I do at the coached swim practices. And after that I had some dinner at Boston Market, which was pretty tasty. And finally, I drove home and there was zero traffic. Fantastic!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Swimming with Brendan Hansen

Well, technically, he was swimming and I was watching. Sunday, T3 had planned their Practiceman- a mini triathlon to work on transitions and fine tuning to warm up for the triathlon season. The only problem was the cold front that blew in Saturday morning, causing the cancellation of the Spokes and Spurs charity ride. So it was about 40 degrees, with winds 20-30 mph. That is just no good for triathlon.

Ceci, who had driven up from San Antonio for the weekend of training was determined to get something in, and I was game, so we drove up to Pflugerville for the Practiceman, already thinking about how we would not do the whole thing. There were more people there than we had originally expected, with a total of about 25 triathletes. After the bikes were blown over on the practice racks, we put those away and went to Starbucks to kill some time before Brendan Hansen showed up for the Open Water Swim Clinic at 10 am.

So back at Lake Pflugerville at 10, the Zoot wetsuit guy was out there to allow people to try out wetsuits. Brendan talked about techniques in the windblock of the bathrooms, though his advice was more suited for really fast people like himself, not the average T3er. Like start in the front, sprint at the start to shake people who want to draft off you (which should be done at the hip of the front swimmer, not behind), and finally sight separately from breathing, like an alligator. That last one might be more helpful to me, and I'm looking forward to trying them out.

And then 4 triathletes and Brendan got in the water for a total of about 4 minutes. It was that cold, even in wetsuits! And then they all got out and we all left. I was just fine not swimming with Brendan Hansen this time. He's going to be putting on another clinic in a couple of weeks, and I'll swim with him then!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Good run before the rains

After going to bed at 7 pm last night, I was up at 5 am. That was about 9 hours of real sleep, if you consider reading before I actually went to sleep, and then lazing about before actually getting up. Fantastic!

Not particularly sore, just more overall tired. I waited for daylight before going out for a long run. I had wanted 10, but wound up with 9 before it started raining and decided that was good enough. I have a new route that goes out to Westgate, but I haven't figured out the connections over to Stassney- most of the neighborhoods are all just big interconnected cul de sacs. But it's nice to explore new areas, and there are good rest stops- Starbucks, Newflower, and gas stations every 2-3 miles at least.

So a big training weekend, and I feel good. I think that might be part of the improvement as well. I can do the big stuff and it doesn't kill me like it used to. Now I don't think I'll be doing my long runs before work any time soon (like fellow T3er Sparkle) but I can do them in the morning and still have time to run errands and do stuff around the house.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Pedal through the Pines

I did the charity ride, Pedal through the Pines, this morning and it was great. It was in Bastrop, going from the high school, through Bastrop and Buescher state parks, then out to Serbin, then back to Bastrop. It was A LOT hillier than I expected. I mean, west of Austin is hilly, east of Austin should be flat, right. Not quite. There were about 7 steep grades I had to get off and walk, along with 75% of the cyclists out there. They were steep! Plus a lot of rollers.

The rest stops were well stocked, and the weather was good- about 65 degrees and overcast, but it was a little windy. Luckily it was a headwind out, so it was nice to fly on the way back. Though I did have an annoying situation- a woman was going slower than me, so I passed her. She immediately passes me back and then slows down. Instead of leapfrogging again, I just sat on her wheel and tried to draft, and it worked. I could feel it was easier with her blocking the wind for me. I think I pissed her off, but she couldn't (or wouldn't) go faster. And she had a little helmet mirror, so she could see where I was. And I wasn't going to pass her again until I knew I could stay ahead, which didn't come for another 10 miles on a long downhill where I could get into aero. Good practice drafting for me. The few times people have tried to draft off me, I will slow down and make them pass. But sometimes overly competitive people can be so silly, causing themselves more trouble.

I wound up with a total of 63, so I can check off the metric century off my list. I felt really good at the end too, though I didn't have my running shoes to do a brick like a couple of the other T3ers out there. A 10 mile run planned for tomorrow, depending on the weather. I guess I could do it inside at the gym (ugh!) Hopefully it will be clear!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Rest is a wonderful thing

I've been back on track with my workouts this week, and am trying to get double workouts at least 3 days a week. And since I've joined Pure Austin and can get a run or swim in the evenings after work (and miss traffic- yay!) it's been really good. Another benefit of doubling up some days, is I can sleep in on Thursday mornings. That extra 1.5-2 hours of sleep is FANTASTIC! And while I can justify the need for allowing my muscles to recover and therefore perform better at another workout later, it just feels really good to sleep in.

Monday, March 1, 2010

1:58/ 100 swim!

I broke 2 minutes for a 100 m swim! I'm hoping the Pure Austin pool isn't short, because it felt pretty good! I had been getting closer in practice, but on my own, I could go all out, and then quit. A good time!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Missing out

It has been really easy for me to get into a negative frame of mind recently. And it's been easy to add up events and turn them into patterns. And it has been hard to try to tease out the difference between real problems and invented problems, and how to respond in an appropriate manner. This has been true across different areas in my life.

In particular in the area of triathlon training, I feel like I miss out on the longest rides. I felt like this when training for Longhorn. There were three 55+ mile rides in the training, and I missed them all. Missed one for work I couldn't get out of, and the other two were rained out. I survived Longhorn, but I bet those long rides would have been helpful. And it's just not the same on a trainer. Even three hour trainer rides don't push you like riding outside.

So far this year in training for Lonestar, we've been rained out, frozen out, and the one weekend I was out of town on a long ride weekend, perfect weather for a 70 mile ride and everyone is gushing how great it was. So is it appropriate to feel like there's some force that doesn't want me to ride long? That there's something wrong here? Or am I just being a whiner? One T3er told me she did 112 miles on the South Mopac loop. That would be 14 laps, 8 miles each. Which sounds a little excruciating, but it got the job done. And that road is safe pretty much all day, except for the worst of rush hour traffic. So really, I could do that, except I already have a 1pm appointment on Tuesday I can't miss. So I will have to ride in rush hour if to get a 5 hour ride in. Maybe two shorter rides on Tuesday?

So then I just say, fine, there's no sense in forcing it, just ride long this coming Saturday. No problem. Except they're already predicting a big rainy front coming in for the weekend. Really.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Olympic Fever

I love the Olympics. I love all sorts of random sports, and the Olympics, both winter and summer, are full of random sports. And having been skiing just a couple of weeks ago, I feel an even closer bond to the skiiers. Of course, I can barely ski, compared to what they are doing.

And add to the that all the exotic names:
Armin Zoggeler
Jason Lamy Chappuis
Felix Loch
Ole Einar Bjoerndalen
Magdalena Neuner

And I have been helping name some of the new intakes at the shelter recently, so I foresee a slew of Olympic inspired names coming up. If you're interested, take a look at our new website: http://www.austinhumanesociety.org and keep an eye out for new Olympic animals up for adoption in the future.

And one other thing, if you believe FAQs should not include an apostrophe, contact them! They seem to think it should, and I disagree!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

37 degrees and fog

The route for the ride this morning was from Lost Creek, up 360 to Jollyville to Duvall to Parmer. I had done sections of the route previously, but not the whole part. 360 is really hilly, and in talking with other members of Team Turtle, apparently it induces quite a bit of crying. Great, the longest ride of 2010, plus the hilliest. And then add in cold weather- 37 degrees and foggy, though the forecast was for the fog to clear off and sun to come out and warm up into the 50s. But fog and cycling is not a good combination and I was concerned no one would show up.

I was wrong. 40+ T3ers showed up, plus some Olympic team members- never did figure out who they were. JK wasn't training for anything yet, and said she would ride with me, and without K to organize, the other members of Team Turtle took off and we never saw them again the rest of the day. But JK was great to ride with, and due to the cold weather, and concerns about the hills coming back on 360, we decided to turn around for the 40 mile route, and that was a smart decision. So we stopped for a bathroom break and some hot chocolate to warm up.

And then, the honk. I'll set the scene. There was a 25 yard section from the driveway of the 7-11 up to the light. The right hand lane was a right turn only lane, and there were two other lanes going straight. There was a marked off island at the light. So I wait in the driveway for a clear lane, and when there is no one in sight in the right hand turn lane, then go the 25 yards to the island, thinking JK is right behind me, turns out she's fixing something on her bike. That's when a gray Audi sedan honks repeatedly and guns up to the right turn, and a middle aged brown haired woman has rolled down her window and she shouts: "Hey fat ass, get out of the road!" There is another woman in the passenger seat. And then they speed away. After a second to comprehend what happened, I waved at them. I've learned that giving drivers the finger when I'm on my bike is not a good idea. I think she must have come out of the Sonic next to the 7-11.

So what did I learn from this experience? I was totally not at fault here. There are angry people everywhere and they are going to be angry no matter what you do. And it's not my fault that this woman lives such a miserable, worthless life she feels the need to take the time and energy to yell at cyclists. Really, she is pitiful.

Then the rest of the ride was good. The sun finally came out, and there were a lot of cyclists out on the roads, which is always good to see. JK got a flat, but she changed it quickly and easily. And then the 360 hills going southbound- they are as difficult as they said, but no tears. Just a pain in the ass, literally. It's tiring to sit and grind the small gears for so long. And add the squeaky creaky seat post, just irritating. But luckily no return of the saddle sore from last week. And then finally, we're done. We finish at the same time as some of the longer distance T3ers so I get a chance to chat and stretch. Then home for shower, sandwich, and a nap. And the Olympics are on! But another post on that...

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Bee Caves Loop- Great Ride!

A good ride this morning! Team Turtle was out in force, with C as the ride leader and enforcer of the No Drop Rule. Yes, really. A T3 ride that was No Drop. I must say, most of the time I am dropped within the first mile, so a ride where I wouldn't be out on the road on my own! Fantastic!

And it was a beautiful day- the sun was out, and it warmed up to about 50 by noon. There were a ton of cyclists out enjoying the day too, so that was pretty cool. There was a group of five of us that stuck together, and even though I still was the caboose, they would stop at regular intervals to regroup. So that was nice, but it did add a lot more time. It was 32 miles in about 3.5 hours. So that sounds really slow, but I felt really strong. The hills were a little tough, William Cannon, 71, and Southwest Parkway all have long hills. And really, it's the long, gradual hill that kills me. Short hills are usually part of rollers, and the downhill can really help me get up the uphill. But false flats, which are just really really gradual hills, are awful. You think you should be able to make some progress, but you can't.

All in all, a beautiful day for a bike ride!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Please excuse the puddle of drool under my bike

Tonight's spin class was the biggest one I've ever seen- I counted 40 people! Normally, morning spins are 5-10 people, and 20-25 on Tuesday evenings. The spring training season has really started! Though of all the 40 people, I got lucky and set up my bike behind a really hot guy, none other than Brendan Hansen! I've heard he's doing more training with T3, creating wakes in the pool, and generally looking like the former Olympian he is. I'm just amazed I didn't fall off my bike!

And getting the opportunity to examine such a fine specimen up close and unobserved was fantastic. First off, he looks like a scruffy laid back guy, which is exactly my type! But a really fit one, with super broad shoulders, really wide lats, tapering to a small waist and narrow hips, though slightly abnormally long arms. And then his legs! If you took a cross section of a regular person's thigh, it would be round. His are trapezoidal, with the quads extending laterally and the hamstrings more medial. I mean, that's just extraordinary, and I really had to resist the urge to go touch them! I didn't get the nerve to talk to him, because it would have been a stuttering mess of a conversation. But looking at him was much better than focusing on the "dew" forming on the floor from the 40 people sweating inside a warehouse, though that, of course, includes my drool.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Happy Birthday Dad!

Today is my Dad's birthday! I hope you have a great day Dad!

I am alive. It's been a while since I've posted, and I took some time off for the new year. Then a week being sick. And last week was a great time skiing in Jackson Hole. I'm hoping to get the pictures posted soon.

So back on the training schedule and I'm figuring out the new schedule due to some changes, but I think it will be a good change. And I'm looking forward to having some good weeks!