Most people do crazy stuff when they turn 40 - the classic midlife crisis type affair. There's buying a snazzy new car (does a 4WD Merce...

Oct 28, 2010

Vampire trainers

After the last two days I really feel like the energy has been drained from me. Onr of those "this seemed like a good idea when Adam and I talked about it" combo days. Tuesday was 3 hours on the bike followed by a two mile transition run. Wedesday was masters swim then two hours on the bike. A good solid set and the last hard workouts before Silverman. The only issue? It was all done on the trainer, inside. By the time I was done on Wendesday I was completly brain numb.

Tuesday I was spinning away by 6:00 on the IMLP course. CTS had a group workout going on next to me so the first hour wasn't too bad. Music was playing and I was able to settle into the rhythm of the drainer pretty easily (Freuidian slip I meant Trainer). Then I was on my own for the next two hours. Which was fine. I had plenty of water and electrolyte drink and a bell to summon help if I needed it.I was also able to watch the coaches trickling in, most of them by bike. The IMLP course was challenging with several short and steep climbs. It was a good choice for the ride, at least until the last half hour. Then things got really hard. Somehow an 1ercent grade seems easier outside then on the trainer. After the ride I hopped on the treadmill for the run. I thought about going outside but with the wind and my achilles I decided to stay inside. That way I could stop anytime if I need. Wendesday I swam with master group as usual. Had a so-so swim but finished the workout. Just was not in the mood for a hard long workout. After the swim, I dashed back over to CTS for the second ride. Another two hours on the trainer, this time on the Wildflower course. This ride just sucked. I never really got comfortable on the bike and was just going stir crazy pedaling to nowhere. And there was nothing to look at besides the walls. So I was struggling a little. Speed, power and heart rate were fine. I was just bored out of my mind.

Despite the mental drain, was a good two days. I rode inside because of the wind and the weather. I also wanted to get the workouts done before work and I am not riding the Cervelo outside in the dark and with driving to work crazies. So inside I went, letting the vampire trainer suck the energy out of me.

Oct 24, 2010

Hanover long ride

After Saturdays wind storm and generally crappy weather, I was a little concerned that last longish ride would be in simmilar conditions. Well, it was windy out on the Hanover loop but its always windy there. The air was brisk and the sun warm leading to perfect riding conditions. Like always, I had a head wind from multiple directions and one real bad cross wind. I had no issues with the cross wind this time, although there were a few gusts that blew me a few feet across the road. All in all it was a really good ride. It felt good to get out on the tri bike and actually be able to settle into aero without worrying about trafffic. It was also a good confidence builder for Silverman. My biggest concern has been if I will be able to hold aero for at least most of the race because none of my long rides have been on the Cervelo. Since I had no back issues and didn't feel like I was loosing any power in aero, I would say I am ready. Or as ready as I can be for this race.

The only mix up with the ride was my computer. Before the marathon trip the computer on my bike was working just fine. Well not so much today. I tried a new battery in the sensor. No luck. Still not reading anything. I tried a new magnent and repositioned the magnent. Still nada. Finally I just said heck with it and headed out sans computer. I know how far that loop is. I had my heart rate monitor and was timing. But I did not have my speed staring me in the face. It was actually really nice. I just rode based on how I felt and the effort I was looking for. And when I got home and looked at my watch I had set my fasest time for the loop. By a lot. So now the question is if I should get a new computer or just ride blind at Silverman.

Oct 23, 2010

Winter is coming

Winter is definetly on the way. There was a thick cloud hanging over Pikes Peak on Friday and a damp, heavy chill to the air. The snow that was on the mountain also hasn't melted yet. Then this morning the moon and clouds were casting erie shadows over the mountains. I wanted to take a picture, but it would not have come out. It was just really pretty with the silvery light of the full moon reflecting off the clouds and the light snow in the mountains. Perfect for halloween, but a reminder of what is coming. The forecast is for cold and windy tommorow, like today. It was not really a day where I wanted to be outside that much - at least in the morning. I am hoping that the weather people erred at least a little. I need to get outside and get a decent long ride in on the cervelo. And I don't really want to start bundeling up that much. Not yet at least.

Oct 20, 2010

Home at last

Wow. That was a long trip and a lot of sitting int the car. It took us nearly three days to drive home from Vermont and that was with taking the ferry across Lake Champlain. But as with all long trips there was plenty of random stuff, both in the air and on the ground.

Musings from the plane:
-Do they xray the water from the water fountains or is it the same tap water I had at home? -Why do the guys always take the armrest on the plane? Did not matter which flight. I was there first but never had the arm rest.
-Take all gate info from the flight attendents with a grain of salt.
-Lake Michigan does look like the ocean and not just if you are 7 years old.
-Marathoners are easy to spot in a crowd of travelers, Something about race shirts, race jackets and running shoes.

Observations on the road:
-Talk about going green. I saw a bike powered lawnmower while driving in Maine. Push mower attached to the front fork and he was off and mowing. Did not look to efficient though....
-It is all in perspective. I saw the Nor'Easter as a minor incovenine that would make driving a challenge. The other couple at the hotel on Mt Desert Island were looking forward to living through a real New England Nor'easter as "one of the most exciting things!"
-Where do the Trucks vanish to? Hit the Kansas border on I70 and there are no more trucks. Same thing happened in Illinois. All the trucks went poof.

I am sure there were more. But that is all I can remember and I have plenty of unpacking to do..

Oct 17, 2010

Run and done!

It's a good thing that there are no style points in finishing marathons. While I successfully finished the Green Mountain Marathon, and achived my goal of running a marathon in all 50 states plus DC, this race was far from pretty. In fact it was rather ugly. My race - not the course. The implosion started early. Mile 3 in fact. Things just went downhill from there, despite my attempts to ignore the not so sublte messages from my achilles. The pace went from decent to okay to bad to shuffling and walking. But I still finished. Full race report later. If I feel like reliving it!

Oct 16, 2010

Muddy day ahead

I think the rain might have finally stopped. It just took all day for the Nor'easter to blow out to sea. We drove through rain and wind and more rain yeasterday to get to South Hero (Burlington) Vermont. And the clouds did not start lifting untill late tonight. The good news is the course will be really pretty. It runs along the west shore the Grand Ise in Lake Champlain and the fall folieage is at peak right now. We drove part of the course today and it looks good. The bad news is the most of the course is on a dirt road. And thanks to the rain that dirt road is now a slimy and sticky mud road. With the sun setting before the clouds lifted there is little chance that the road till dry by tommorow morning. So I am wearing older shoes and preparing to get dirty.

Oct 15, 2010

Mount Desert Island adventures

Since it was one of the places Mom has always wanted to visit and the location of the marathon she wanted to do in Maine, we spent a few days at MDI. Worth the time and we got to do a lot of different things. And we only saw half the island! There is a whole other side of MDI - the quiet side. Very true as cruise ships dock in Bar Harbor on a regular basis and unload 100s of passengers. Our timing was perfect as a true New England Nor'easter blew in last night. We arrived wed mid morning. First stop was Acadia National Park for information. We decided to eat lunch before riding and headed into Bar Harbor for a yummy seafood meal. After luch time to explore the downtown shops - mostly stuff geared towards the cruise ship passengers. Then back to the park to ride the loop road. Wow. Very challenging and hilly. The views were amazing between the rugged coastline and the fall folieage. After finishing the loop I decided to ride to the top of Cadillac Mountain, the highest point on the Alantic seaboard. It was a decent climb to 1532 feet and I was happy I had warm clothes for the descent! But the view from the top was worth the ride. Thursday was more a tourist day. We were planning on visiting the other towns on the island. We got up early and drove to the top of the mountain so Mom could see the view. She had not wanted to make the climb on her bike. Then we drove the park road. Along the road there was a trail called "Prepetice." Sounded interesting so we decided to go for a hike instead of running on the carrige roads. The warning signs said it right. It was not a hiking trail but a non technical scramble. There were plenty of times that there was nothing but an old metal ladder and a few trees seperating you from needing ropes. And there were a few times I was wishing for climbing shoes! Neadless to say we found another way down. Then it was onto the Jordan Pond House for lunch. Seafood chowder and warm popovers. I love popovers so this was a huge treat. And the Jordan Pond House popovers were every bit as good as advertised. Then it was back into town for a swim and doing laundry. There weathere was already starting to change so it was no surprise to wake up to driving rain and howling winds. Just happy we had good weather for our adventures. No its on to Vermont for the Green Mountain Marathon and finishing up the 50 States.

Oct 12, 2010

Cape Cod By Bike

We went for an easy ride on the Cape Cod Nat. Seashore, figurimg it would be a nice and flat ride with good views of the sea shore. Well, the ride was pretty with the fall foliage and the Cap Code houses but it was not along the sea and not flat! The road was built along the spine of Cape Cod where the trees have stabilized the sand. There were also some really big hills on the main road, which made the ride a little harder then I wanted. We did an hour out and turned around for two hours total. Did not make it all the way to Provinetown, which was my goal. But after driving up to the northern tip and exploring Provincetown I was happy we had turn when we did. Now it's time to head to Freeport Maine - the home of LLBean!

Oct 11, 2010

ING Hartford Marathon

So much for taking it easy and just chilling out at this marathon. I had applied for elite status way back when, before the achillies issues cropped up. When I found out I didn't get elite, I was happy. That meant I would be able to run a low pressure race. And while I stil was righ on the starting line, I was planning on an easy race. When the race started and thhings felt pretty good. No pain at all in my achilles . So I decided to make my comfortable pace a little faster. The first mile was 7:00 and it felt like the entire race was passing me. I decided that I needed to slow down a little more only to run the next mile in 6:59. But there was a little down hill as the course made its way out of the down town Hartford area so I was not to worried. At just about mile 3, I met up with a guy trying to qualify for Boston. He needed to run 3:10 and had missed it at his first two attempts. I decided to run with him and see if we could work together to run his BQ time. We chatted for a while and then settled into a steady 7:00 to 7:10 pace. It was a perfect pairing. He knew that I could run the time he needed. Me having him next to me kept me from getting ansy when other women passed me.

The courde wound through downtown Hartford, along the river, back into downtown, over the river and back along the river. Then it was time for a long out and back to mile 18. It was prettu flat with only a few rolling hills. That made keeping even splts easy. We were both tracking at each mile and we were models of consistancy. Regardless of what the other runners were doing, we stayed right between 7:00 and 7:10. So there was a bit of yoyoing but we stuck to the plan and stayed on pace.

At mile 10 we did a body check. He was feeling good and was looking forward to the next 10 miles. I was handling the distance and pace better then at the ADTM but my calves were a little tight. But things were going well and the pace felt good. Time to takle the middle miles. We were on the out and back section of the course and looking forward to seeing the race heading in the other direction. And the leaders were moving. Finally it was our turn to head downhill and start the major count down to the finish. We were also still hitting the consistant pace with only a few bobbles.

At mile 20 it was time for another check in. He was still doing great and was ridding the was of excitment of reaching his goal. I was starting to feel the efforts of the prior miles and knew I would need to slow down a little before the finish. So I told him if he was feeling good and I started falling off the pace to just go. Do not wait for me. Sure enough at mile 23 it was time to slow down. I went from 7 min miles to 830s so I would not completly destroy my legs.

I cruised across the finish in 30956. I was the last person to run sub 310 from the gun. And while i was a long way from the winning time of 241 I still placed third in my age group and made it to the top 15. Not bad for another example of how not to train for a marathon. In all serousness Hartford was a great race. It was well organized. The course while a little twisty was well marked. I also felt like there were plenty of aide stations and plenty of enthusiastic volunteers. I would recommend this marathon to anyone. Senic with both big city ammenites and rural charm. There were also lots of spectators all over the course. I am really happy that we did Hartford for our CT marathon.

Oct 9, 2010

49 down, 1 to go

Hartford is finished in 3:10. Conneticet is done and only state is left! Full report coming later.

Oct 7, 2010

On the Way To Hartford

Wow. even at 4:30 in the morning the Colorado Springs Airport was hopping. When I flew to Bend I did't wait on a single line. Today not so much. I could not print my boarding pass out, so I had to check in at the counter. There was only one carry on only line open. And there must have been something going on with fort carson. About half the people in line were army and they each had about four bags. One of which had to have a weapon. But the lines all moved pretty quickly and I am now sitting at the gate waiting.

Why am I going to Hartford CT? Because I have only two marathons left to run to finish the circit of the 50 states. Conneticet and Vermont. One is this Saturday and the other a week from Sunday. I do not feel ready for this. My achilles are better but not ready for one, let alone two marathons. So no time goals. No fancy plans. Just finish the two marathon. That is the hope. Finish in one peice.

Oct 3, 2010

Tri Bike Time!

I have officially ridden my Cervelo more times in October then any other month this season! After doing the annual drive-train swap from the older, trainer used parts to the new, race ready components I have gotten two good rides in. Yesterday, an easy cruise around the neighborhood just to shake things out and make sure the shifting was dialed. And it was good - Nick helped with (did a lot of) the deraillur adjustments for the new cassette and I had no issues. Good power up the hills, with crisp shifting from the 53 to the 39, even under a little strain. A few things needed tightening - still haven't gotten the wrench skills down to get things tight enough. But other then that...

So today, I went for a longer, harder and hillier ride. I am a little concerned that not riding the tri bike all year will affect the race at Silverman, espcially with my ability to stay in aero for most of the ride. There might be big, steep and long hills at Silverman, but there is also plenty of time where riding in aero will buy time. That is going to be my challenge in the next 35 days - making sure that my back will tolerate five hours on the tri bike. I only did 2.25 hours today, hit a lot of the hills on the west side of Colorado Springs, but had no issues. Back was fine, power was good both in aero and on the cowhorns. Granted, with the climbing and the traffic, I wasn't in the aerobars for as long as I would have been in a race situation. I still think that's a good sign. But I won't have too many more oppertunities for a long ride - leaving this week to finish the marathon quest!

Oct 2, 2010

Ogden Recap

It was a great day for racing at Snow Basin on Saturday and the competion both in the Xterra USA Championship Race and the USA Series was fierce. Melanie won Xterra USA in 2:49:57, holding off a flying Lesley Paterson (2:50:39). Shonny finished third in 2:53:29, Jenny fourth in 2:57:23 and Christine holding onto fifth after leading out of the water in 2:58:00. I finished well back in the pack in 12th, with a 3:12:27.  In the Xterra USA Series, Shonny won, followed by Melanie, Renata, Emma and Christine. I held onto my sixth place postion by one point!

Despite not meeting my goal of a top ten finish, I am still pleased with the race and how I handled the conditions on the course. I managed to keep the rubber side down the whole race (except once - and that was due to a collision with another racer). I had a strong swim, coming out right in the mix of things, really worked hard on bike and actually rode faster this year despite a longer, harder bike course, and a decent run. Now comes time to settle down and figure out what changes to make for next year so I can continue developing on the bike and bring my run back down to acceptable (in my mind) speeds.

Oct 1, 2010

Time to think about Silverman

After a decent mountain bike and Xterra season, it is time to focus on my one road triathlon of the year. Silverman Full Distance Triathlon. With a new swim venue and a slight change to the bike course, my annual long course event looks to be fun. Maybe this year I will conquer the hills instead of the other way around! Seriously I am looking forward to seeing everyone in the Silverman family again. There are not that many five time finishers and it is always fun to hang out with other crazy people like me.

Before I can really focus on Silverman I need to get the cervelo ready to roll. I have an 11-26 cassette for the race but I don't run it with my older chain and chain rings. So last night I swapped out the entire drive train. New chain and chain rings and my new cassette. I tried getting Nick to do it for me. He just laughed and said I knew how to do all of it and to go for it. So that's what I did. Got greasy and got the cervelo ready to roll. Now I just need to ride the bike! Silverman will be interesting if only because I have only riden my tri bike once since April!