27 April 2008

Officially a duathlete!!!!!

Gary called me a duathlete yesterday morning but I told him not yet. Now I'm officially a duathlete-YAY!!! I had so much fun and I wasn't anywhere near last place (was expecting to be though). Official times have not been posted but I finished in the 1:20:40 range, I'm not sure if they cut the time off when I when by the timer or when they took the race number. Will post the time and placement when they post them.

Showing the love for my local bike shop!!

Bike transition area

The start

At the back of the pack ;-)

Looking serious afterwards

That's more indicative of how I was feeling!! Not sure what was going on in the other pic

My Marin afterwards with the race number still attached

As you can see from the pictures it was overcast with periods of rain this morning. Thankfully there was only a little bit of mist while I was running. A nice mix of people competing this morning, you had the professionals, the semi-pros, age-groupers, first-timers, high-end bikes, low-end bikes, and mountain bikes.

There was a guy before the race that was hollering "Hey Memphis, Shelby County", it turned out that he was yelling at James and me. He thought we were this couple he'd met in TN, said we looked just like them and he also thought my t-shirt was from a lbs in the Memphis area. He turned out to be super nice and was explaining the bike route to me and yelled out "Go Searcy" whenever he met me on the course this morning. Got to tell you, that is a boost when you have somebody yelling encouragement for you.

First portion was a 2.2 mile run. I started in the back but James said he thought I finished it in the top 25-30% of everybody. Since running is my strong point right now, my intention was to get the first run in as quick as possible without totally tiring my legs out.

Second part was a 10 mile bike ride. The course had been modified from a 12 mile route because of the flooding we've been having. We had 3 loops of the same route and it was done on the honor system of you counting your own laps. There was one short but very steep hill on the first part. I made it up on the bike on the first lap, but had to walk it up the next two laps. Bicycling is my weak link, esp. on the hills. I wasn't the only one walking it up so didn't feel too bad, I even beat a couple of guys by walking it up when they pedaled up.

A little later on the bike route there was a downhill portion that curved to the left. I had one of the leaders that was on his third lap wipeout in front of me in that curve. Wasn't sure of the protocol as everybody directly behind him kept going but I slowed and asked if he was ok. I rec'd a very curt "no" and no reply when I asked if he needed anything. It's not like I was in any danger of winning the race but I ended up losing 7-8 spots and a few minutes. I guess I shouldn't have checked on him because I got the very distinct impression that he didn't like a lowly age grouper asking if he was ok. Oh well, maybe he was just frustrated because of wiping out and I would've felt terrible if I hadn't checked on him.

Second and third laps were ok but I was beginning to slow on my third lap. Third time up the steep hill, I told the guy next to me that I was glad that was the last time. Ended up passing him just after that but he later passed me on the final run portion. One of the sharp turns was manned by a NLR police officer that was great about giving encouragement and when I was coming up to him on the last lap I was smiling at what him and the other volunteers were saying. I yelled back at them that I was glad it was the final time and he said it couldn't be that bad, I was still able to laugh. At that point it was either smile or cry though and I didn't want to be caught crying. I had two women pass me on the final 1/2 mile before the transition area and we ended up giving each other atta-girls while racking the bikes.

I was glad to get off the bicycle but my legs felt sooo rubbery. A quick sip of accelarade and I was running again. I had a quick conversation with one of the women that had passed me on the bike and another guy about duathlons. I explained that it was my first and she said that she had done the BDB du last year. Got into a rhythm finally and passed a few people and met the people that had passed me on the bike portion when I slowed down to check on the cyclist that had fell. I think they ended up being a mile ahead of me.

I had a great time and ended up doing much better than I expected. Can't wait for the next one, but I need to work on cycling up hills and do more bricks beforehand.

Oh, I mentioned the bicycle part was done on the honor system with counting your own laps. Evidently there were a couple of women that finished very close behind the lead guys and it was fairly obvious that they hadn't completed all three laps. James was videoing the leaders coming in and you can hear a couple of the race officials talking about it and then saying oh well, what can you do. I think they need to switch to chip timing next year or something that would keep better track of it.


Okay, after I posted Thursday, dispatch called James and told him that he was getting a Cullman load again and I was to grab an empty to reload at Pulaski on Tues. Great to get going again but it's a pain that James and I will be a day apart this coming week. Found a great place to run Thursday evening at San Marcos. We parked on a dirt lot across from the outlet malls and I headed west then north on 2439. Nice wide shoulders and enough traffic so you don't feel isolated, earlier in the day there may be too much but at 7:30 pm it was just right. Ended up with 3.34 miles, wanted more but it was getting dark and looking stormy plus it seemed like I might have tummy problems. Didn't want to take any chances with not knowing where the next convenience store was.

Friday ended up being a rest day because we didn't get home before the health club closed. It's aggravating that they close at 7 pm on Fridays. Would have ran outside but it was storming again. Saturday was absolutely gorgeous, went on the Sat. morning bike city fun ride. Left my bicycle there afterwards for them to make sure everything was ok for Sunday morning. Bought a cool pink and silver helmet and drooled over a black and pink Specialized Dolce. I will be test riding that one in the near future :-). Found out from Gary that Petra was planning on us riding the 30 mile portion of the Tour de Rock in June so had to go find out from her all the details.

Toad Suck Days is next weekend. This was my first race ever last year so signed up for the 5k again. I thought about signing up for the 10k this year but decided to go with the 5k again to have an official time showing how far I came in a year. My goal last year was simply to finish without having to stop and walk (I did accomplish that!!) and I ended up with a chip time of 29:33. Hopefully will do much better this year.

24 April 2008


Laid over in Laredo since Tues. evening, soooo exciting.......We did have an excellent meal at Carino's yesterday, shared the lemon chicken with angelhair pasta. Otherwise, it's just been boring--cleaned my truck, napped, played on the computer, catching up on the local Sunday papers from the previous 2 weeks. Dreading the run I'm going to have to do on the treadmill later today.

Monday was an easy 4.15 mile on the Crescent View route, excellent weather, legs felt great. I started back on the core exercises that morning too. The longer bicycle rides have made it glaringly obvious that I'd been neglecting those workouts the past couple of months. Pushups in particular have to be kept up with, it always amazes me how quickly you can lose the ability to do a pushup in good form if they're not done on a weekly basis.

Tuesday was a pathetic attempt at intervals at the Mt. Vernon, TX rest area loop. Yep, speed work also needs to be done on a more regular schedule. I also need to learn how to program my 201 for the intervals, would make it much easier. Total was 4.01 miles and boy was I watching the display wishing the four miles would hurry up and be over with. Obviously not as enjoyable as Monday's run. 1 mile easy, two and three-quarter 1/4 mile intervals with 1/2 mile recoveries, the rest was just trying to keep moving to finish out the 4 miles.

Wed. was a rest day, did the core workout again and walked around Target for over an hour--I can spend way too much time and money in there. I noticed that they're starting to carry x-smalls in the workout wear now, yay! The workout wear is great but it's definitely vanity-sized, the last few smalls in the shorts/running skirts I've tried on were too big and I'm most assuredly NOT an extra-small.

If I get out of here by tomorrow afternoon, I can make the BDB duathlon on Sunday with enough rest to do ok (notice I didn't say great, the bike portion is going to hurt my time).

Neat thing I saw this week
--Hwy 64 is being widened out east of Waynesboro, TN and they're using draft horses to pull the logs out where they're clearing out trees. It is the coolest thing to drive by and watch the horses. I would love to stop and video this sometime.

20 April 2008

Do I really have to go to work?

It can't be Sunday already, I'm not ready for it yet. The past 3 nights I've been in bed by 9 pm, 8pm last night--had a sleep deficit going this week. My dvr list is growing because I've been working out, sleeping, doing laundry, or trying to catch up with things internet related. No time for tv ;-).

This morning was a 2.7 mile run, 8.28 mile bike ride, and a 1.7 mile walk (supposed to have been a run/walk with James and Elsie but they were giving out on me). Started out sunny but it's overcast now. Still warm though which is a very nice change from last weekend. I sunburned a little on my shoulders during the afternoon ride with Gary. Yesterday was the first time that I felt like I was getting back into the swing of bicycling--still had that walk up the hill, need to work on my strength and shifting gears. Today my legs felt tired on the run and bicycle but I can tell that my endurance is building. I think today's ave. biking speed was 14.19 mph, that's definitely improving.

Started listening to the For Whatever Reason podcast based on Charles' (Cew Tew) recommendation. OH MY GOSH, they make me so hungry!!!! They are awesome but don't listen if you're starving like I was during the first podcast I listened to. It was depressing to have to eat my subway sandwich after that. Speaking of food, James fired up the grill last night. We had steak strip spinach salad, grilled asparagus, and organic pasta salad, yummy!! If you didn't already know, James is the cook in the family. I don't tend to cook anything besides steel cut oats. Works out well though, James doesn't like to clean and I don't like to cook so there's no fighting over who's going to do what. Oh, and we had peanut butter cup cookies for dessert, so it wasn't totally healthy.

19 April 2008

Stress management?

Yeah, I need some stress management pointers. My mood has been all over the place this week but mostly very ill-tempered. I dropped and hooked in the Nashville area Tuesday morning and the trailer I picked up had warped doors, an air leak, 2 broke hinges and had not been serviced in 404 days. That is totally unacceptable especially considering that it had been in and out of Laredo at least once this past month. There are 3 shops enroute that somebody could have stopped at and had the trailer worked on, one of which you can usually be in and out of with the trailer in an hour's time. The American Axle strike is still ongoing but as of right now James and I are still able to pick up product for our runs albeit at different locations than normal (James got the Cullman run this week).

Anyway I missed my Tues. run because of having to get the trailer repaired and that didn't help my mood at all. That put me behind for the week. Wed. was a 4.11 miler at Robinson, TX. Uneven road surface and windy, ended up with my right leg/hip sore for a couple of days. Thurs. was 3.25 miles at Pearsall, TX--didn't have to take a walk break this time, I was seriously starting to think that place was jinxing me. I did start to get the stitch again but was able to slow enough to work through it this time. On Friday I had James drop me off at Berryhill Park so I could run home and get my 7.3 mile long run in. It was raining and nasty looking but 15 minutes after I got home the sun came out. The great thing about running the bike trail when it's raining is that nobody else is out so you can hide behind bushes and pee without worrying about anybody coming up on you! Guys have it so easy when it comes to that. I don't usually do the nature thing but the rain and the noisy creek 5 feet from me was making things unbearable and I was 3/4-1 mile from the nearest restroom.
Today is absolutely beautiful, rode with the Bike City group this morning for 12.6 miles then arranged to meet Gary later in the afternoon for a longer more challenging ride. He added a loop with some hills--that is my weak point. The first (and steepest) one we got to I only made it halfway up--had to walk it on up, my legs felt like spaghetti!! I made it up the rest of the hills pedaling but it was slow going at times. We did get the fun part of going down one hill really fast (at least fast for me). I hit 33.2 mph on that one, woo-hoo!!!!!!! If I remember correctly, we did 19.06 miles in 1:18:09. It's currently 75 F and it was great to be able to bicycle with shorts and a tank. No pesky layering today.

13 April 2008

20 miles

Finally hit 20 miles running this week, first time since before the 1/2, yay!! Chilly again today, parts of central TN is expecting rain/snow showers tonight and tomorrow a.m. We're under a freeze warning tonight ourselves. It's the middle of April, enough already.

I had a 2.64 mile walk with James (and Elsie) this morning followed by a 2 mile recovery run. Legs still felt tired but not as bad as yesterday. Just finished up with a 12.27 mile bicycle ride, very windy, my legs feel rubbery and my fingers are half frozen. I'm going to be way outclassed in the duathlon at the end of the month, will probably be my first DFL. Oh well, gotta start somewhere and hopefully this will be lots of fun.

This week we will be running a day behind again, Columbia and Pulaski are not shipping out tomorrow, so we will deliver in the afternoon and reload in the Nashville area Tues. morning. Fun, fun, fun.

12 April 2008

MADD Dash 10k

Today was the MADD Dash 10k, 5k, and 1/2 mile fun run

Crowd gathering for the instructions before the race

Me freezing--where is spring?

10k lineup

I'm ready for this to be over with!!

Ok, this was a spur of the moment decision, had no plans to run in a race. I'm still trying to build up my base from being sick and I had a tough day yesterday workout wise so I was pretty sure this would not be one of my better efforts. During warmup my legs felt dead and heavy, now I KNEW this wouldn't be a good race for me. The course is described as challenging, the first 3.5 miles are hills. Did ok the first 3 hills but ended up having to take 4 short walk breaks (one was at the water station) after that. DEAD legs!!! Once I got past the hill after the water stop I didn't have to take anymore walk breaks but it was definitely a mental game of picking landmarks to reach. Knew in the beginning there was no chance of an age group award, way too many women in my age range that were too far in front of me from the start. At just before the 1/2 way point there was an older man in front of me and a few people behind me and that's how it stayed until the end. The guy ahead of me finished approx. 45 seconds before me.

My time was around the 57:40 mark. Not a great time but I put in the best I could so I'm satisfied with it. I had nothing left at the end. Gary and Mr. Tom stopped in after the race to say hi while on their bicycle ride this morning, it was nice getting to see them for a few minutes.

James thought I should've done the 5k, but I was needing a long run anyway and I thought this would be a good experience to have a longer race after having a hard workout the day before. The what doesn't kill you makes you stronger school of thought (wow, how many cliches can I get in one sentence?!). Oh, besides the hills, there was also a strong wind again--not as bad as yesterday, but bad enough.

Rant of the day: The only organized running group I can find around Searcy is associated with the health club and I don't much care for the way they act. They have come off very rude at every race I've been at with them. They don't clap for other people finishing, winning awards, and act pissed off if one of them doesn't place. If this is the group that was part of the Ark RRCA I can see why they no longer field a team, they're totally outclassed by the other running clubs in the central AR area and I'm not just talking about their speeds. The White River Roadrunners and the Cabot Country Cruisers are two clubs that are just awesome with their attitudes, nearly everybody in both those groups are super friendly with everyone not just their friends. I am sooooo envious that there isn't a group like those here, maybe I need to try to start another running group in Searcy?

Friday recap

Weight workout and bicycle ride Friday. I limited the weights to an upper body workout (except for the stiff-legged deadlifts) because I had planned on taking a long for me bicycle ride afterwards with James. I didn't think that I'd went too heavy on weights but last night and today is saying something different, I am achy right now.

The bicycle ride was the route that Gary had tortured me with last weekend but at a slower pace. James kept sprinting ahead of me on his road bike while I'm nagging at him to slow down because we were going to have a tough ride. People with fast twitch muscles are way too used to sprinting ahead of us slow twitchers but we have our revenge if it's anything over 5-6 miles because while their muscles are screaming and are gasping for air we're just getting warmed up. It was a tough ride yesterday because of the wind, I think it was 20-25 mph gusts. I was literally getting blown sideways a few times. The only way I could muscle through it was to get in the drop and make myself as small of a target as possible. It's at this point that James is flagging and starting to get a little cranky. Hon, remember all those times when I was first learning and you kept killing me with the hills, yeah, revenge can be sweet!! We ended up with 16.87 miles.

The neighbor's son and a friend came over to visit me after the ride when I was cleaning my bike. Boys can be so funny with their machismo!! They were asking about my bike, the speedometer, races, etc.. While I was explaining that I'd never raced the bicycle before but would be participating in a duathlon at the end of the month (and explaining what a duathlon was) the neighbor's kid asked how fast I would be going. When I told him that I would probably do between 15-20 mph (yes, I'm a slow bicyclist) he told me that he could go faster than that on his trick bike (he's 9-10 yrs. old). I just smiled and told him yes, he probably could.

Marc, I got your text but it was while I was driving and then forgot to reply later. Glad everything is still ok, but was there more flooding because of Thursday's rains? I don't have your email on this computer and I'm having issues with the desktop right now.

10 April 2008

Border check

Ok, every week when leaving out of Laredo I have to stop at a border check station. Normally everything goes quick. Drug dog sniffs the truck/trailer, border patrol officer asks if I'm an U.S. citizen, sometimes asks what I'm hauling. No problem as a rule. Well last month I had a different experience

Border patrol officer "Are you an U.S. citizen?"

Me "yes, I am"

bpo "What are you hauling?"

me "auto parts racks"

bpo "where are you going"

me "Pulaski, TN" all is normal so far

bpo "Anybody in the truck with you?"

me "no" again, normal

bpo "Who are you with?"

me "company name" (looking very confused because the company name is on the truck door even with his face)

bpo "No, I want to know who you drive with, who your co-driver is"

at this point I'm starting to get peeved because 1) he's a lot ruder than most officers are and 2) that is a very sexist remark to make 3) my truck sleeper curtains are open so it should be obvious that there's nobody else in the truck with me 4) the dog is not making a hit on my truck indicating that I have people or drugs in the truck/trailer

He then goes on to ask twice how long I'd been in Laredo and then wanted to look in the sleeper because he didn't believe that I can drive that great big truck all by myself. I understand that sometimes there will be more questions than usual but his entire attitude was so unbelievably hostile and it all seemed to stem from the fact that I was a solo woman driver.

Monday thru Wednesday

Just couldn't make myself get up early enough Monday morning to run before picking up at Columbia, so did the Malvern Wal-Mart loop again in the evening. Humid but it's so nice not having to bundle up to run, just a tee and shorts and I'm good to go (well, shoes too, I'm not a barefoot runner.) I did have a weird experience though, a couple of guys in a white pickup kept passing me and then pulling over in an area that I would have to pass. They never said anything but I was getting nervous the second time, and pissed off the third time. Ended up running on a new road that is being put in to access the wal-mart and doing loops on gravel. My shins and back were sore the next two days after that. I had misplaced my pepper spray and had left the phone in the truck, won't be going without one or the other again after this.

Wed. was a Pearsall run again, my load had turned hot so didn't have time to run Tues. and as a result didn't eat or drink properly during the day. Big mistake!! Miserable 3.25 run with two short walk breaks because of a stupid stitch on my right side. Windy, humid, under-hydrated--not a good combination. I'm repeatedly doing this on tues/wed and I have to stop (underfueled and dehydrated). That is not a good habit to be in.

Heavy rains/thunderstorms are moving through what seems like every 15 minutes today so going to the gym later torture myself on the dreadmill.

James has started back on his running. He did a 3 mile walk/run on the treadmill Monday. 15 minutes of it was running with no break. Yay!!!!!!!!!!! He also stopped at Pearsall this morning to run/walk but was discouraged because he only did 2 miles total with 10 minutes of running. He shouldn't be down though because Pearsall is so humid and windy that it's tough to run there. I think he did good even if he doesn't think so.

06 April 2008

Long bicycle ride today

ow, ow, ow. It's hard on a girl to go from only doing 12-13 miles to 28.98. I only thought that I was used to being on the bicycle. The first 12.66 were slow as we were doing a group ride with a couple of young kids but the remainder of the mileage I went out with Gary. Boy, was he kicking my butt and he had slowed down the pace for me. One of James' friends (also named Gary) said that I just wasn't right. It was one thing to try to exercise but I was going overboard at this point--can't tell he's also a truckdriver can you :-). This is just the bare minimum of what I need to be doing if I'm going to attempt a longer organized group ride later this summer.

Ran 2.76 miles this evening and it was tough to get going and stay going after last night's run and this morning's ride. Bet I'll sleep good tonight!!

05 April 2008

I conquered cardiac ridge

Yay!!! Made it up cardiac ridge without walking tonight and then ran another 3.7 miles for a total of 7.2 tonight. I'd only planned on running 4 but was psyched up after running all the way up the hill that I decided I would go ahead and do my long run. Now if everything will work right I will have a bike ride tomorrow + 3 mile run and weights Sun. + 3 mile run.

I'm hoping the am. axle strike will get settled otherwise we are looking at the possibility of having to go over the road. Really, really do not want to do that. I like my routine. I do not like having oddball appointment times and dealing with bad directions and not knowing where I'm going the next day.

04 April 2008

Go away rain

Wet, soggy, yucky, gloomy. I am ready for some sunshine..............should get some tomorrow but only a high of 68 F. Laredo was almost a 100 F Tuesday, I was about ready to get a motel room and hang out by the pool

I forgot to post this week's workouts yesterday. Monday was 3.25 miles at Malvern, AR. Didn't do anything except work Tues and Wed (should have ran Wed. morning). Last night was a weight workout followed by 4 miles on the treadmill. Was initially dreading the workout but felt great once I got started. Still not back up to 300 lbs on the leg press machine though--grrr.

Very sleepy right now, we were having severe storms move through last night so didn't get much sleep because of listening for the sirens and then huddling in the bathtub once they started. Need to get out and run 3.5-4 miles this evening sometime.

03 April 2008

Kielbasa and shower gel

Now what could those two things have in common?

Bloated and retaining water this week, I would imagine that is how it feels to be a kielbasa sausage--if kielbasas could feel anything that is. Blech, that explains the moodiness (bitchiness) last week. James has a friend that claims he doesn't believe in pms, says it's just an excuse for women to be cranky. When I told him I would be more than happy to change places with him for one month, he told me that he didn't doubt that we (women) didn't feel bad during/before our periods, it's just that we were using it as a way to act bitchy to men. Oookay, like I need to feel like a stuffed sausage to be cranky. I can do perfectly fine without a week of feeling like my head is going to start twisting all the way around.

I miss shower gels. It's not that they've gone away or anything but I decided last summer to try to limit my use of plastics and shower gel is not necessary when there is perfectly good bar soap that is not packaged in bottles. I had a large stash of gels and scrubs so I didn't feel deprived until I ran out just after the first of the year (Hi, my name is Gabrielle and I'm addicted to Bath and Body Works). Well, last weekend I found a small bottle of gel hidden under the sink and I was so incredibly happy. That is ridiculous, I should not be almost jumping for joy over a bottle of liquid soap, even if it is buttercream frosting scented. I need to go check out Lush and see what they have for gel alternatives. I want lots of food-scented suds not some hard brick!!!!!!!!!

Home early this week, our pay period cuts off at midnight Tuesdays so James and I both had been scheduling our deliveries so that we would have one trip each held back for the next week. It keeps our paychecks steady but it means that we get home Thurs. night instead of Wed. when we do this. Well, this week James' load needed to be at the plant asap so we both went ahead and delivered early. I will get an extra day off but our dispatcher wanted James to do an extra run so he's having to leave out this evening, yuck. The extra pay will be nice but I'd rather have him home with me.

The American Axle strike is starting to affect our plant, as of right now tomorrow will be the last load for James' plant. He will be able to switch to picking up at my plant but it will probably quit shipping in a week or two also unless the strike is resolved.