Transcendence

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...

Aug 30, 2013

Weathering the Crash - 2013 24 Hours in the Sage

Our fifth year racing at 24 Hours in the Sage and once again it did not disappoint. The Gunnison KOA and KOA Dave are in their second year managing the event after taking the reins from reigning 24 Hour Townie World Champ Mitch Fedak and his wife Traci. Dave and Michael have made the best mountain bike race at a party even better. From the delicious pizza (and they offered Gluten free for Nick!) at packet pickup, the racer friendly food that was served up all night and the family friendly atmosphere surrounding the KOA, it's clear they love the race and want us to have as much fun as we can during the race weekend. I also heard rumors of golf carts jumping fire booters and other shenanigans, but.... For those of you who haven't raced at Sage, but want to try a 24 hour race, what are you waiting for? All you need is your bike, a place to sleep, some race fuel and some lights to have a good time pedaling. If 24 hours is too long, the 12 hour option allows for more party time during the ride. Still the same great course and amenities, just less pedaling. It's also unusual as a noon to midnight 12 hour race, so there's the chance to experience Hartman Rocks at night. A huge thank you to all the sponsors and volunteers that make this race so much fun and the successful event it is. Nick and I have made this an annual event and its the best way we can think of to celebrate our Anniversary. Riding our bikes and hanging out with friends!

Aug 23, 2013

A whole new Sage

Same great venue at the Gunnison KOA, but the course has some major changes compared to the last few years. More single track, a new trail and a completely rebuilt trail. The times from last year won't compare to this year because of the differences. The start is the same - head out on the pavement for Hartman Rocks. Up Jacks as usual - a nice steady climb with a few rocks. After the climb, the course pops out onto the road for a short bit. Then there's a choice - the shorter, faster but harder "punchbowl" line. Or the steady but longer road climb up to Behind the Rocks. It's all the same from there as its been - up and down Alonzo's, up to Luge.

Not cranky - just focused

The descent off Alonzos, huges views that we couldn't pay attention to
Instead of the road through the Cottonwoods, the course routes through Luge Connector. I'm not sure about that change - it's further away from medic tent at Cottonwood and make cutting the course easier. I hate to think like that, but if you miss the arrow directing you to Broken Shovel, you'll be right on Rocky Ridge - cutting about 15 minutes off the course. Like I said, I hate to be so skeptical of people but... Broken Shovel hasn't changed much - it's a little wider and a little smoother but the same steady climb. Halfway up comes the "whoa" moment. Turning onto a new trail - Lost Dog, eliminating that section of road. It wasn't bad, pretty fun with decent passing. But it will be an easy turn to miss, especially if you've done the race a few times and get complacent. The other huge change it the complete rework of Sea of Sage. I'm not sure why, but gone is the super fun, fast and flowing trail slicing through the sage. The new trail is cool, but it's so new, the lines aren't defined yet and the flow is gone. It's a little more work to, instead of the coasting recovery from the climbing. It's also a little longer and definitely not as fast. Once off Sea of Sage, it's all the same. Up Rocky Ridge (which I was not clean on at all on the pre ride), then down Becks and across the street into the Notch. The Notch has been cleaned up a little, with the narrow step ups filled in and ramped a little. Oh well - it's still a challenge and fun. Just a little easier. Drop the backside of the notch and back to the pavement. One last push home to the KOA. It will be a fun race - lap times will be a little slower then last year, but everyone's riding the same thing. And you can't beat the atmosphere at the KOA.

Coming down off the Notch - thinking about launching that rock...

Aug 18, 2013

Chocolate cake - aka Race Fuel

With Nick's dietary issues, we've had to make some major changes in our food for 24 hour races. Gone are the cheap, but ohh so yummy Little Debbie cakes and other wheat filed treats that we used to get. Even I have cut back on the wheat cookies and cakes for the races - more out of convince then anything else. I don't have any dietary constraints, but we also don't want to risk contamination with Nick's food. So when I figured out how to make this chocolate cake gluten free, it was perfect. Replacing the junk food that Nick couldn't have with some high calorie, high fat rocket fuel. Chocolate cake, mmm...

Or if 24 hour racing isn't your thing, this cake works great for entertaining. It's simple to start with, but can be dressed up in so many different ways. I have some ideas following the basic recipe that work for both racing and entertaining. 

Chocolate cake:
Separate 5 eggs, placing whites in large mixing bowl and 4 yolks in dish.
Preheat oven to 325
Grease 2 loaf pans

Combine in sauce pan and melt over low heat
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
(Optional) 1 tbsp cinnamon

Add to chocolate mix and stir until smooth
- 1/2 cup flour (I use Bob's Red Mill gluten free flour)
- 1/4 tsp xanthum gum if making gluten free (I use more then normal to ensure a light texture)
- 4 egg yolks

While chocolate is melting, whip 5 egg whites until soft peaks form. 
Gradually add 1/2 cup sugar to while beating.

Fold chocolate mixture together with egg whites. 

Spread into pans and bake for 30 min - or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, finish cooling on wire rack. When cake cools completely, decorate as desired.

Pre-icing stage - the one on the left has some blackberry jam under the icing

Topping ideas
Vanilla icing - I'm horrible making icing. It's either too soft or too firm, so I'm the wrong one to give instructions on how to make it. I combine powdered sugar, 2 tbs of melted butter and milk until I get the consistency I want. Sometimes that means a lot more icing then I planned!

Berry jam - I frequently spread some raspberry or blackberry jam on top of one cake before icing. Gives each slice and sweet but tart kick. 

Chocolate glaze
Melt 1/2 cup chocolate chips.
Combine with:
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract or 1 tsp strong coffee
- 1/4 cup cream
- 1 tsp butter.
Stir until smooth - do not over heat. Pour over top of cakes, allowing it to drizzle down sides. If desired, when glaze cools, ice cakes.

Fruit compote:
Combine in large sealable bowl:
- 1/2 cup Tuaca or Amaretto
- 1/4 balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 brown sugar
- Ground pepper to taste (trust me)
Add to marinade -
- 1 cup sliced strawberries
- 1 cup raspberries
- 1 cup chunked peaches
Let fruit rest in marinade for at least an hour before serving. 

Aug 15, 2013

Six years....

What were we getting into? 


Normally, we're at 24 Hours in the Sage this weekend, hanging out with KOA Dave and the rest of the crowd that makes this event so much fun. Not this year - Sage is next weekend and for the first time in a few years, we're home with "nothing" to do. Why would that be unusual? What's the deal with staying home this weekend? Well, since 2008 (except 2009 - skipped that year for some reason) Nick and I have been celebrating our anniversary in a rather strange way. Instead of dinner, flowers and pricey gifts, we have treated each other to hours of pedaling, spectacular single track and awesome sunrises and sunsets. We've enjoyed KOA Dave's gourmet cooking, night time riding and camping in the Turtle. It just happens that our anniversary is August 17th - the same weekend as 24 Hours in the Sage. So we've had some silly team names, like Honeymoon and Marriage Counseling - to reflect the timing of the race and how cool it was that we were able to do something we both loved on that special day. This year, we're Bac 4 Mor - always looking for more fun and epic rides.
2010 - after wrecking in the Notch, I'm still willing to ride my bike!

2011 - Nick making the Notch look easy
Photo - About the Shot

2011 - Like all endurances events, we've had our share of stormy weather
Photo - About the Shot
With Sage moving back one weekend because of a conflict with the Steamboat Stinger, it gave me a chance to sit down and reflect on the last six years. How much we've changed. How we've grown together (despite some big fights...) How we've adapted to make things flow. And how it's so cool that I've been able to learn how to mountain bike from my partner. Not many women have that chance. It's usually not recommended to attempt to teach your significant other how to mountain bike, but Nick has been the best. He's tailored the rides to my strengths, gradually increasing the difficulty and technical levels as I grew stronger. I can honestly say that I wouldn't be mountain biking if I hadn't met him. Now it's a lifestyle, providing us with the chance to explore ourselves, our relationship and the great trails of my home state. I've seen and done so many things I never imagined doing - just because Nick said I should give mountain biking a try. Races like 24 Hours in the Sage are just the start. I helped him and a friend in 2006 when we were dating and couldn't see myself ever riding my bike at night - let alone on singletrack, at speed. Then came 2008 and we celebrated our first anniversary by trying a 24 hour race together. We've gone on bikepacking trips (not enough if you ask him!) We've come home on a Friday and hit the road for some different riding over the weekend. It's been awesome.

2012 - Riding things I never imagined thanks to Nick
Photo - About the Shot
So this year, with a weekend to ourselves before the big event, we'll probably celebrate the way we always do. Riding our bikes. Maybe together, maybe not. That's the beauty and strength of our relationship. He's confident enough in my skills to let me galevant around the canyon on my own while he's off riding with the guys. And I know that I'm too slow for some the big days so don't bat an eye when he's got epic rides planned and I'm not invited. I support him at his races and he supports me during mine. We both get the chance to push ourselves and grow, then take the time to recover. Which kinda describes the relationship as well! Pushing, growing and realizing what we have.


2012 - Celebrating. And hopefully we'll be celebrating many more years!
Photo Justine Gehrett



Aug 14, 2013

Crossing the Divide

My great ideas sometimes look brilliant on the map, but not so brilliant in reality. With a planned six-seven hour day looming, I spent plenty of time studying the Salida map, plotting out the ride. Nick wanted to do Canyon Creek - which he said would take about 3.5 hours total. That left three more hours of pedaling to find. Thinking a few years in the future, I decided that we would add a few more mountain passes and check out a chunk of the Vapor Trail course. On the map, it looked good. Start out like we were riding just Canyon Creek, - up Tomichi pass road. But instead of turning just below the summit for the Canyon Creek singletrack, we would continue climbing up to the pass. Then down the other side to Hancock Pass road and take a right to ascend Hancock Pass. A short downhill, then we would join the Vapor Trail course at the Alpine Tunnel Trailhead. From there, up and over the divide above the alpine tunnel, down the road back to Tomichi Pass. Another climb up Tomichi, then finally onto Canyon Creek. Like I said - it looked great on the map, a fun ride with new trails and some road.

From the top of Tomichi Pass - with Hancock Pass in the center of the photo. It's a steep as it looks
Well, it was a fun ride - the trails we rode were fun, but there was a lot more road then I had anticipated. We didn't get as early a start as I wanted because of rain the night before and finally rolled out of Snowblind about 9:30. There were plenty of other riders on the road heading up Tomichi pass. With a long day planned, I kept the HR down and the effort reasonable on the flatter section. There was plenty of time to be burning matches later in the day. The gradual climb quickly steepened as we crisscrossed Tomichi creek. I could see the road above us, meandering through the trees and reaching for the sky. Yikes. Lots of feet left to climb. The road kicked up in a few spots with steep and rocky terrain. I kept my wits about me, with even pedaling and power. Ride smart and smooth - find the best lines on the road. I was constantly getting distracted by the views. Huge mountains on either side, frames by bluebird skies. We climbed higher towards tree line, the road becoming clearer without the trees. After passing the turn to Canyon Creek, we kept climbing to the top of Tomichi Pass.

Nick getting ready to head downhill for a bit - at the top of Tomichi Pass

Pushing the bike up Hancock Pass Road

Still pushing, looking up at the top! It's a long ways to go!

At the top, we were greeted with a brisk wind and expansive views. I could see our next pass across the valley - and the road looked scary. We had to climb up that? Without the benefit of a motor like all the other trail users? Yikes! And speaking of motors, I was amazed at the number of atvs, motos and jeeps. I hadn't anticipated that when studying the map. As we changed into rain jackets for the descent one of the jeeps came chugging up the pass. They parked, got out and did the usual "you rode your bikes up here?" then stared as we rolled away down the way they had come.The road was loose and rocky - I was already not looking forward to the climb back up in a few hours! As we descended back into the trees, we hit a group of ATVs and followed them through some deep mud puddles. Well, they went through, we went around! A little hike-a-bike to get warmed up for the next climb. Then we were at the base of Hancock Pass. Time to take a right and start pushing. I rode as much as I could, but was off and walking the really steep start of the road. After a few minutes, the grade leveled out and I was able to starting riding again. The road was pretty busy, so it was heads up, pay attention to the tourists on rented atvs the whole time. A few of them looked way out of thier element driving down the pass! A few more switchbacks and the summit was in sight. Just had to get around the jeeps, the motos and another group of ATVs... All of the motorized riders were really polite to us all day. I think they were in awe of us riding our bike, without motors up there. We didn't take long at the top of Hancock Pass. There was still plenty of riding left to be done and I wanted to keep moving. A fast descent down to Hancock townsite and the Alpine tunnel trailhead, then it was onto the Vapor course proper.

Those jeeps were pretty nice - Tomichi Pass road is on the left of the picture

Almost at the top! Hancock Pass
Alpine tunnel trail
Alpine Tunnel Trail was a gentle grade, a reclaimed railroad bed. More expansive views greeted us as we started climbing again. No motors this time, but plenty of hikers - ranging from annoyed we were there to super excited to talk about riding. I once again tried to ride steady and keep the effort level where I thought I could sustain for the entire ride, but with the building fatigue and the altitude, it was getting harder. At the collapsed tunnel, we stopped for a few minutes to purify water. That was our only long break of the day. While Nick was dealing with the water, I read the placard about the tunnel and the historic railroad. I'll be honest, I never realized there was a railroad behind Mount Princeton and above St Elmo! Makes me wonder what other bits of Colorado history I'm missing. Then more hike-a-bike as we pushed our bikes for the first section of singletrack. The descent down to the west portal of the Alpine tunnel was tight - the trail was very lightly used and the tundra was overgrowing it in spots. It was also a perfect place to make use of the new dropper post. And use it I did, to much success with my descending.
Another view from Alpine Tunnel Trail - huge views on this ride

The turn table on the west side of the tunnel


Nick on the tracks leading to the turn table. The collapsed tunnel is behind him
One more stretch of road descending and then the climb back up to Tomichi pass. I found the smooth line, my easiest gear and just pedaled. Focusing on spinning, keeping the effort steady and just riding. I tried not to look up, to keep my eyes on where I was and stay in that moment in time. It wasn't as bad a climb as I thought it was going to be, but I also knew there was more coming. Canyon Creek. Before the descent, which Nick had promised would be about 90 minutes of fun, there was 45 minutes of hiking. As we were talking to some Moto riders at the top of Tomichi, I saw the silhouette of riders pushing their bikes on the ridge of the mountain above us. Holy shit. We were going up there, pushing our bikes all the way up that!?! Yep. That's where we were headed. Time for some solid hiking. I did some pushing, some carrying of my bike. But kept moving forward, focused on one foot in front of the other, deliberate steps to avoid twisting an ankle on the loose, rocky trail. Each switchback took us higher into the sky, closer to the summit. I was actually having a good time, feeling pretty solid with the hiking. Just another reason to add some more running to my schedule, I think! We didn't stop for very long at the top - there was another group up there and they started scrambling to get ready when they saw me. Didn't want to get chicked on the downhill, I think! Too bad for them. Nick gave me some pointers - eyes on the trail, focus on the lines and don't look around. It's deceptively steep and dizzying up there. Then we were off.


Carrying my bike up Canyon Creek!

More pushing and hike-a-bike. Gotta earn the fun!

Ahh. The Canyon Creek Descent. I took Nick's advice and took my time on the initial alpine descent. The mountain edge felt like it was dropping away from the side of the trail, plummeting down into valleys 1000s of feet below. Keep my eyes on the trail. Nick stopped and waited in a few spots, but never let me catch my breath. I had the dropper post slammed and was so happy it was on my bike. But at the same time, there was a learning curve for the new mechanics of moving my bike. That was hard. Finally, into the trees and Nick took off. I was at my limit trying to keep up with him - so much to think about. Shifting, what gear am I in. Spotting a trail I'd never ridden before - what's coming up around that next corner? And add in the seat post - where is my seat post, do I need it higher or lower? Brain overload! I was working so hard on that descent I honestly don't even remember much. There was alpine riding, then we dropped into the trees. The trail was smooth but loose in places from the motos, and super fast. I know we crossed a river about halfway down, then the trail became more rolling. And I was having more brain overload issues. It wasn't just downhill anymore - I really had to think and focus on what I was doing. Nick kept pushing me, forcing the pace and keeping me going. The trail had really good flow, but it was so much more then I was used to. I was physically tired and mental exhausted by the time we returned to the campsite. But looking forward to more long rides and another chance to try my dropper post!

Aug 11, 2013

Waiting

Another weekend, another adventure. With an epic long day planned for Saturday, Nick and I decided to head over Monarch Pass and do some exploring. But first, some Friday fun for Nick. I dropped him off at the top of the pass so he could ride. He was planning on riding out the Crest to Agate Creek, then descending Agate Creek and meeting me at the bottom. Another chance for me to drive the van! I'm getting better at that...
I did not end up like this car when I was driving down the pass!

Start of my run - end of Nick's ride
Even though it wasn't on the schedule, I decided to do a short run so I could explore a little as well. I put my bike inside the van and headed down the trail. It was a no agenda, get out and have some fun run that made for some cool photo ops. Yes, it was such a chill run that I brought the camera with me! I was playing with being artistic, trying to get some neat angles and views. I also wanted to get a picture of the fish in Agate Creek - Amazing, fish and motor bikes, coexisting in a drainage with out bridges or any erosion control! And the fish were pretty darn big as well. But anyway - that didn't work so well. I ended up with some really cool reflections instead!

Beaver pond turned reflecting pool off Agate Creek

Another chance to get a fish photo turned into another creek reflection photo

Reflection on the creek - didn't quite come out like I wanted
It was the perfect run for the day. I ran when I wanted, walked when I wanted, stopped and enjoyed the scenery and the quiet. I was well below US 50, but a world away from the bustle of the highway. It was just me, the creek and the aspens rustling in the wind. When I was finished with my run, I read until Nick showed up, muddy, wet and grinning. Then it was off to find a home for the night and our basecamp for Saturday.


Company at the campground - his web hung over a little creek right near the site

Perfect place for some contemplation and peace

Aug 6, 2013

Bike changing

I've had my Era for over two years now and have been having a grand time. It's a race bike at heart, with only 100mm travel front and rear, as well as a brain on the rear suspension. But that hasn't prevented me from trying to ride it like a trail bike and getting faster and smoother with my descending skills. Since I've gotten my Fate, the Era has really become my fun bike. Big ride? Take the Era. Long day on new trails? The Era is ready to go. I've had so much fun riding that bike. But it still thrives as a race bike. Long and techical race? I'm going to take the Era. I might take a bit of weigh penalty with that choice, but its gonna be a lot more fun. I'm actually on my second Era - so it's easy to tell how much I love that bike. Handles like a dream - quick, snappy and responsive. I have had such a great time on the Era, it's been hard thinking about abandoning her for a trail bike. I want to keep having fun on the Era - hopefully long enough for a race-worthy women's full suspension in 29er. Why do I want to make the switch to 29er? One simple reason - all the other bikes in the house are 29 and having a complete wheel set and spare tires for one bike that aren't transferable to another bike seems to be a waste. The poor Era is the only 26er left in the stable. And since I'm super fussy about my bikes, I think it's going to remain my big day and techy race bike until I find something perfect. So how to resolve this issue?

It was simpler then I thought it would be. Nick's had his trail bike since February, complete with dropper post. And many a time, I've watched him ride away, seat low, while I'm getting bruises from my saddle. Or I get way behind my saddle for a sketchy downhill, then end up bailing halfway thru because I can't get back up to make an obstacle. Continuing with the skills and such is helping, but... Enter in my birthday present this year. Nick has gotten me plenty of bike related presents and this was no different. A Specialized Command Post for the Era. Awesome! Talk about making my full suspension race bike into a trail bike. I've only gotten two rides in with the dropper in place, but it was awesome. I could get the seat out of the way, move the bike around a lot better underneath me and had a lot more control. Even on switchback, just lowering the saddle a little made a huge difference. I'm looking forward to some big rides where I can really test out my new toy. Until then, getting used to the lever and the changes in body mechanics on local trails will have to do.

So now I really have hard choices when picking my bike. Fast and fun with lots of data after the ride or super fun with grins and giggles during the ride. Ahh - spoiled!

Aug 5, 2013

Doggone rude

This is a bit of a rant, so consider yourself warned. I've never been much of a dog person - being bitten a few times will cause that. But after a recent ride, I'm starting to realize it isn't usually the dogs that are the problem. Dogs simply become a reflection of their owner's curtesy - or lack there of. Which is completely inappropriate because it puts the dogs at risk because the owner wants to make a statement. The white dogs barreling out of the woods when their owner calls is one thing. They had so much energy and exuberance "we got to go in the pond!" excitement that I couldn't help but laugh. Besides it made for a good excercise in balance. I did hit one of them with my front wheel - apologized right away - but it was more of a tap. 

No, this rant is about the hiker on St Mary's and him using his dogs as road blocks for everyone else on the trail. I saw him hiking down the trail and said hello. He looked back, met my eye and kept walking down the center of the trail - passing two wide sections where there was plenty of room to let us around. I understand that mountain bikers are supposed to yield - but at what point does common sense kick in? We've slowed to walking speed and its actually easier to pass when we are still on our bikes. We take up less room on the trails when riding our bikes then walking along side. Then after we'd gotten around him,  we meet up with a group heading up. I knew to expect the little dog - he'd been strutting along in front of this group on the road. But it was the two big dogs that started sniff and introduce themselves that were blocking the trail. So we stopped and waited - as did the hikers. One of them even asked "did you want us to go around you?" To whit I responded "Just waiting for the dogs." And who's dogs were they? The hiker we'd just passed - who proceeded to walk around all of us and send his dogs further down the trail. So now we have to pass him and the dogs all over again. He pulls the same stunt, walking in the middle of the trail for a while, then finally stepping aside in a narrow section. As for the dogs - he let them continue running all over, in the middle of the trails, yards ahead of him. So polite. And so bad for the animals - using them as road blocks because you don't like other trail users is the height of arrogance.

I understand that some mountain bikers are fast, occasionally out of control. I also understand that to some hikers, our presence isn't welcome. But using your animals to enforce what you perceive to be appropriate isn't cool. Especially when it affects more trail users then just the mountain bikers your trying to aggravate. And why would you pull your dogs away from the other hikers, then just get back in front of us? We are going to have to pass you again - and if you don't like mountain bikers, wouldn't just letting us to first down the trail make for a better day all around? Now, it's not good to get upset on the trail - smile and nod, kill 'em with kindness - but really? To me, it seemed like you wanted us to get mad and give you the chance to lecture us on trail etiquette - and to prove that all mountain bikers are jackasses. Fine by me - I'm not gonna bite though. But putting the dogs at risk, that's different. That's completely inappropriate, regardless of the behavior of the other trail users. 

I also wonder - how would he have reacted if we had be trail runners, decked out in al the modern trail running gear - not the staid, old fashioned hiking gear you were sporting? Would you have been polite or would the reaction had been the same? And if you had been polite, that says more about you the. Anything. I'll share the trail, just not with mountain bikers - and I'm willing to put my dogs at risk to make my point. 

Aug 4, 2013

Finished for another year - Ascent Cycling Finale

Hard to believe that it's August already. The finale of the Ascent Cycling Series is in the books, with great racing all around. Before the race, I reflected on the amount of work going into the series. There's a lot of planning and organizing that we as racers never see. So that means there's a lot to say thanks about - to the volunteers, the race officials and the sponsors that help make the events happen.
Saying Thanks

After the race, I really had nothing new to say. I rode smart and hard, meeting one of my goals during the event. Was still lapped by JJ Clark, but that's a goal for another year! So I looked at the series as a whole in some of the other classes, at the things that have to come together for the series wins.
This is only the Beginning

Even cooler was the coverage both Nick and I got - from Pikes Peak Sports and the Gazette!

I don't have any really good photos from this race - If I get any, I'll post them up

Aug 1, 2013

Learning from the run

After years of being a multisport athlete and training in swimming, cycling and running, I've become a single sport fan. Not even signed up for a multi sport event this year! And it shows, looking back at my Training Peaks account and training log. There are plenty of 10+ hour weeks of riding, but the swimming and running has greatly decreased. I'm lucky to hit 4000 yds total for the week in the pool - which uses to be a nice daily total a few years ago. As for running, I've had a few weeks where I didn't even lace up my shoes. Coming from someone who used to run 70 plus miles a week, it's been a bit of transition! I also didn't realize how much the cross training through the multisport focus help keep me healthy and uninjured. Even when I was mostly just running, I was still in the pool a few times a week. I also made an effort to get in the bike a few times. But lately, I haven't been good about running as much as I should - or swimming. I was happy the last two weeks to run three times - even if it was super short. This week? So far just twice - and with the weekend rides, I might not get a thirs run in. Swimmings been okay - but not that many yards. I need to made a greater effort to run and swim in the next few months. Why? 

I could feel it on my last run. How tight and stiff my hips were and how hard it was to get a nice long turnover going. My once fluid and smooth stride was shirt and choppy. I was stiff and awkward without any flow. I could tell I hadn't been running hardly at all - every time I tried to increase the turnover I was struggling. Ouch. For a former runner, it was a little disconcerting. And a solid reminder that all the cross training I did as a runner , I need to keep doing as a cyclist. All the stretching, lifting and such - all kept me healthy while running. The swimming helps with flushing the stiffness from all my workouts. And as I noticed while running, even a few short jaunts around the neighborhood will keep my hips and back stronger. So with that observation in mind, I'm really going to try to work I my run a little more. Staying strong means more then hours on the bike.  I might not be able to recover for a half marathon in December this year, but I have my eyes on the Rescue Run!