25 July 2010

Getting dropped

Today's lesson:  I can't just take 2 weeks easy on the bike then expect to keep up with the fast guys on a hilly sufferfest of a ride (not that I can keep up with them anyways, lol).........that also happens to be on a hellaciously hot morning.  By the time I was back at the local bike shop it was 92.3F with a heat index of 102F.  Ewwww.

So how'd it go? I had no legs for the hills and kept getting dropped again.  And again.  And again....Actually I spent most of today's ride cycling by myself.  Couldn't keep the big boys in sight and while there were a couple of people slower than me, one ended up cramping and heading back home less than an hour into the ride and I wanted to get today over with so didn't hang back with the other.  Oh and I was the only girl in the group :-(.  By the time I made it to Beebe I decided that I didn't want to take a long break so just paused long enough to get some fluids in me, confirm the route, and let them know that I was heading on out.  Couldn't eat because the heat was making me nauseated, the Hammer Nutrition Perpetuem was a huge lifesave in keeping in enough calories in me to keep going. 

Ended up with 53.40 miles in 3:25:22 and it proved to me that I can survive riding a little bit of distance solo.  Bit of other news.......the new shoes & insoles aren't helping much with the foot issues.  The outside of both my feet start cramping up & developing hots spots whenever I ride longer than 15-20 miles.  Back to the drawing board & researching even more.  It's not the pedals, I had spd-sls before the speedplay lightactions and had the same issues, sigh......  Any suggestions very much welcomed please!!!!!!!!

On the up side, I did receive a kickass compliment from somebody who I very much admire today.  There's a guy that rides with the later Saturday morning group who is paralyzed from the waist down.  He's done marathons & participated in various triathlons and is just strong mentally & physically.  Well, he was questioning James about my cycling & running and was commenting about my willingness to go train with the guys who are faster & so much better than I am and he called me tough!  That is a HUGE compliment :-))).

Other news--this week was a day behind again and I've been suffering with a bit of an eye infection that's been making driving absolutely fucking miserable.  Part of it is the vent system on these International Prostars.  Even when you close the vent it still blows directly into your face around the sides, grrr.  I was past due on my eye exam anyway so had my eyes checked, new glasses ordered, and a trial pair of new contacts on the way.  $375 poorer so far, the contacts will add at least another $200 to that (they have to be custom made, ooh couture eyewear, lol).

Monday:  Brick workout (hey I actually did one!!!!!!!!)
13.8 miles cycling in 50:31--slow because of traffic, mowers, etc.
3.02 miles in 26:47.  Immediately racked the bike, switched shoes and took off.

Tuesday:  Rest

Wednesday: 6.03 miles in 57:25. Nice run in Mt. Vernon, TX.  Well except for the cobwebs I ran into, lol.  Had a deer cross my path twice then 2 ducks fussed at me for interrupting their walk. So cute :-)

Thursday:  5.05 miles in 47:15.  Supposed to have been a speed workout with 2x1600s at an 8:05 pace.  Didn't hit the mark because of gi issues that forced me to stop at a warehouse and ask them if they had a restroom that I could use. Ugh.....So just compromised & did what I could.  Time includes several walk breaks.

Friday:  Rest day, sorta. Spent the day in N. Little Rock getting my DOT physical for work done and the aforementioned eye exam stuff.  Passed the physical with flying colors. Sugar was good, blood pressure excellent, doctor checked my breathing & had me do one situp.  That was it.

Saturday:  Well y'all already know how today went.........

Tomorrow I have 12 miles on the schedule so it's looking like an 0330 alarm because it's supposed to be another 100F+ day. Blech........

18 July 2010

What a difference

I posted these pics last year of the creek at Salado when it flooded.  Contrast it with these pics of what it normally looks like that I took last Thursday.

The last 2 pictures were taken from in town, the tallest bridge/road is the interstate where the first 3 photos were shot.  The road I was on and the shorter bridge next to the interstate were completely underwater last September during the flooding.

3 strikes

Today marks the 3rd long run in the past 4 weeks(last Sunday was a race so skipped that weeks) that has been absolute crap.......between those & my race frame of mind last weekend I'm on the verge of becoming extremely frustrated.  Just not seeing any improvements or rather the sort that I'd like to be seeing.  Ah, fuck....let's just face it, I'm tired from last week still and also just feeling like I'm not measuring up to what some people expect in most aspects of my life.  I hate being a whiny bitch but here I am filling the screen with it :-(.  The blog may become even more erratic than what it's been lately with the updates because 1)nobody wants to hear this stuff ALL the time and 2)I'm just not a creative enough writer to make it amusing and 3) this is starting to feel like a chore rather than a way to just chat about whatever I want.

16 July 2010

Historic Salado College pics

Salado pics part 2

Exploring Salado

Yesterday I finally did something that I've been planning to do for the past couple of years and that was run through Salado, TX.  What you can see from the interstate is just adorable but the town itself is much more awesome than what I ever dreamed.  I haven't ran here before because the closest place to park a truck is at the Valero off of exit 282 and I wasn't sure how narrow the road into town would get.  There are a couple of narrow spots but traffic was light and it wasn't too much of a problem finding a level enough area on the grass to run when needed.  It was approximately 1.3 miles from the fuel stop to the edge of town.  If you ever get a chance to explore here I highly recommend it.

So much for relaxation

I mentioned in the previous post that my week was a bit on the horrid side....I was wishing I'd gone for 2 weeks off instead of just the one.  First off, I started out tired because of the race earlier.  I may have to start rethinking the Sunday races, that or ask for Tuesday appointments in Tennessee.  I just don't like doing the Tuesday option because it messes up the training for the week, especially the cycling.

I arrived at our yard to discover Lola the truck had a dead battery.  The person who'd picked it up at the International dealership had left the interior floor lights on.  Don't ask me why they even had them on in the first place, guess the wrong button was pushed accidentally.  Finally get the truck going and within 6 miles of leaving our yard I wind up in a major storm complete with tornado warning.  Traffic in the hammer lane was going 25 mph!!!!!!!  Cars and trucks were almost bumper to bumper parked on the shoulder which if you don't feel capable of driving in that kind of weather is the best place to be, so not complaining.

Monday morning however is when everything when to hell in the proverbial handbasket.......I was to drop my trailer at Mt. Juliet and get an empty to reload at Glasgow, KY later that afternoon, ugh.  At this particular place you can't just get any trailer you have to take out whatever they assign you.  Ended up with a trailer with a completely flat tire and a broken door safety latch.  Now I probably could have sweet talked the office clerks into giving me a different trailer but still would've needed to call the trailer in for the repairs and our road rescue dept would have still made me take the damn thing for repairs.  I suppose I could've done like the other drivers and just left it for the next person to deal with but my conscience wouldn't allow it.  Darn inconvenient, that conscience thing.

Anyhoo, get sent to TA at Antioch, TN and thats where it started getting really fun.......see these repairs were major issues but still something that should've only taken 2 hours max including the paperwork.  Very simple to do.  The tire guy gets the tire that had been flat (auto air system on the trailers, once I started rolling it came back up, but was hissing air out of a nail hole) off and finds a fist sized bulge on a tire on the front tandem.  So picture is taken and emailed to our RR for approval to be replaced.  And I wait. And wait. And wait some more.  Mind you, the tire that was flat could have been repaired and replaced during this time as well as the safety latch replaced but nooooooooooo.  All work comes to a screeching halt.  Each time I walked up and asked were they going to have the part for the latch I was told the girls up front would have to get approval.  Thing is, it WAS approved!  The girls at the service desk were all "It's in the comments but the mechanics don't read them".  Sigh...........I was there and in a bay by 10:30 am and didn't get out of there until 1630.  My appointment in Glasgow was at 1600.  Oh and they didn't have the part for the latch repair.  Yep.

So rush hour in Nashville is battled, make it to Glasgow at 1854 and my LOAD IS NOT READY!!!!!!  Good news is once they got around it was only a partial load so much lighter than normal.  Next day I call our NLR shop explain the latch issue and spend 3 hours there while they replace another tire, all the brakes, the safety latch, and a turn signal light that was full of water because of the rain I'd drove through that morning.

At this point, things are looking up.  I'm thinking hey, I've practically got a brand new trailer and I've got just enough time to get to Laredo.........fast forward to 3 am, I'm sound asleep in a very quiet, safe fuel stop at Kerens, TX and BAM, BAM, BAM!!!!!!!!!  Somebody's banging on the side of my sleeper so hard I swear they're gonna knock the paint off.  Turns out to be some bum claiming to be a preacher from Corsicana whose wife's father was dying in Athens, TX and they desperately needed gas money to get there.  I'm just looking at the guy and he's literally wailing I'm so sorry to wake you, praise Jesus, thank you God and it's a first rate performance.  If I hadn't been so peeved about being woken from a desperately needed sleep I might have even been entertained.  This spiel was so completely rehearsed and he went down the line of trucks doing it to every single one of us.  I ended up giving the jerk money but only because I didn't want my truck screwed with because he was wanting to get even, sigh........After that couldn't get back to sleep so just got up and headed towards Laredo.

There you go.......that was most of my work week.  Next one should be better seeing as I'll be back on the Lewisburg. Cross your fingers everybody!

another day, another du

So how's about a belated race report from last Sunday's duathlon?  Since I had to return to work later that day after a lovely but way too short week of vacation there was no time to get it done then.  Plus I had an absolutely horrid back to work experience but that's for another post.

Hmmm, what to say........it was very, very, very hot and humid and I had a miserable time.  I'd posted earlier in the week that I just wasn't feeling confident about it and that carried on over into the race itself.  Tossed & turned Saturday night from race nerves and the 0400 alarm sounded entirely too soon.  I'd already had everything laid out and mostly packed so for once we were early.......and when I say we it was actually both of us racing, Vicki had talked James and Kelly (another Cruiser) into teaming up for the duathlon.  James ran and Kelly cycled.  I'm starting to think that is the way to go, lol. 1/2 the work and no dead-ass legs for the 2nd run portion.

Despite being early I only managed to do a spin on the bike to make sure everything was working ok, couldn't get motivated to do a warmup run..........I just got all my gear ready in transition then stood around talking.

Run 1--WTF? The 1.25 miles to the turnaround point didn't seem this long on the bicycle......Probably pushed too hard here but just wanted to get it over with.  19:30 for the 2.5 miles, a 7:48 pace, 30th into transition overall, 2nd female.  Did I mention the heat?

T1--55.2 seconds. Helmet, glasses, shoes! I have new road cycling shoes and these have a latch system instead of all velcro like my last pair, so a bit slower getting in & out of them.

Bike--I completely fell apart here......based on my recent training and last duathlon I should have done so much better.  Just. Couldn't. Go. Fast.  Oh and there's a short but wicked steep hill that we have to go up twice, first time up is right after you start cycling and there are 2 paths that you can take. One is shorter but much steeper and the other, well just isn't as much so, lol.  1st time up I took the shorter route & hadn't shifted down up front, made it up but just barely. It was a stand up & power through kinda thing. 2nd time I shifted down into the small ring & took the longer way up.  Rest of the course is rolling hills which I should have killed but didn't......Absolutely no energy or power. 

I was getting passed by people that shouldn't have been able to.  Finally with 3 miles left I managed to get up enough oomph to speed up and passed a couple of them back.  Got back into transition area and told James that I just didn't have it in me, the cycle was horrible and one of the guys that came in with me said that I looked plenty strong to him.  Nice to hear but just wasn't the case.  12.5 miles in 41:18.2, a 17.9 mph average, 44th overall, 3rd female in.  Not what I should have done.

T2--56.1 seconds.....the shoes slowed me up plus I haven't put speed laces on my racing shoes.  The transition area was also in a gravel area with leaves everywhere so had to pull one of my shoes off then back on to get the debris off my sock.

Run2--ugh, ugh, ugh.........I HATE this part! Can't get your breathing under control and the legs are just completely, freaking DEAD.  My only thought was to just keep moving.....literally that's what I was chanting to myself.  I noticed that one of the guys who always finishes ahead of me was struggling too.  He ended up doing a run/walk and I passed him fully expecting him to regain his legs and zoom past me at any moment.  It never happened though......I managed to not have to walk but oh was it tempting.  21:51.1 for 2.5 miles, 8:44 pace.  Finished this section 40th overall so regained some of the position I lost on the bike.

Final time was 1:24:30.8.  32nd overall and...........3rd place female!!!!!!!!!  Not age group, not masters, but 3rd female overall.  Absolutely miserable race for me but decent finish :-))

I should note that the duathlon itself, the management of it, the Teen Challenge volunteers, etc. was all top notch.  Anything I've said about having a miserable time was all about how I felt and my performance.  Actually the Teen Challenge guys are awesome.  Very enthusiastic and polite, I love how these guys are trying to make an effort with interacting with the racers :-)))).

08 July 2010

It might be Thursday

And I might be one more day closer to having to go back to work :-(.  Really need to think about playing the lottery on the very off chance that I might become a multi-millionaire, lol.  This work business is for the birds.....oh wait, I am a bird of sorts......sigh......well there you go then, I'm doomed to work, blech.

This morning saw me getting up at 0445 in order to meet part of Vicki's work crew down at Willow Beach to mark the roads for her upcoming Dog Days of Summer Ride.  This is normally up to a 100 mile ride but since the second store has closed down, Vicki decided she couldn't in good conscience sponsor the full 100 miles so for this year it will be a 50 mile ride.  Non-supported, the only sag wagons available are those who do a shorter (but no less grueling! heat, humidity, winds, & mosquitos anyone?) distance and decide to drive back to check on everybody but totally awesome ride.  Usually has a great turnout.  Back to the work part, only one of us actually did the work of painting the arrows (Kelly!) but 7 of us were there to ride.  A little bit of wind and a helluva lot of mosquitos but 50 miles are now in the training bank.

Afterwards we drove to Cotham's in Scott, AR to eat lunch.......I've never eaten there before but this place is famous especially for its Hubcap Burger......This thing is huge.......and YUMMY!!!!!!! 

On a Thursday the parking lot was packed and there were people waiting in line to get seats.  And yes, it was that good.  I was busy talking instead of looking at the menu so after the last person ordered I said that sounds good, I'll have the same, not realizing it WAS the Hubcap Burger.  I did manage to eat 3/4 of it plus all of my fries, I've already mentioned the yummy :-)))).  Completely replenished my calories from the 50 mile ride and then some with this baby, lol.

Outside of the store. There was a van to the left and people standing around so didn't get the full image.  Doesn't look like much at all but don't let the appearance fool you, this place gets written up in all kinds of travel articles.

So I have this sprint duathlon coming up Sunday that I feel completely unprepared for.  Not the cycling, I'm still getting stronger there, but I haven't done as much running as what I would have liked.  Oh well, I'm signed up and I will be there, just not feeling confident.  Don't get me wrong, I ALWAYS get race nerves but this is just a different kind of unease about my preparation (yeah, no bricks again, grrrr).

Y'all are gonna get sick of me being on vacation and posting so much :-))))

07 July 2010

slowly decompressing

It's Wednesday and I just got off the phone with the dispatcher who was wanting to confirm what Tennessee load I would be doing next week.  Sigh........not even ready to think about going back to work.  This week has simply been for the most part relaxing.  Yesterday, we got up and drove to Heber Springs to run on an easy trail up there just for a change of scenery :-).  Today was a bicycle ride with friends to our town's farmer's market where I loaded up on yummy pear tomatoes.  I'd never even heard of these before last Saturday but oh my gosh I'm now spoiled to any other variety now.  Biting into these is like eating a delicious piece of fruit--and yes I know tomatoes are actually a fruit but most are fairly tasteless anymore.

While at the farmer's market one of the vendors there was telling us that approximately 50% of heirloom varieties of fruits and vegetables are extinct.  I just googled this and according to Sustainable Table it's more like 96% of what was available in 1903.  That's such a sad and scary thought.

Back to more pleasant thoughts......Operation Get Rid of Crap has been completed on one room and I was getting so irritable that I've stopped there for a couple of days but it will resume shortly.  Soooo nice purging stuff and opening up space.

Napping--I've taken a nap every single day and LOVE it!!!!!!!!!!!  Also spending a fair amount of time on the couch watching the Tour de France with Elsie curled up next to me.

While watching the Tour de France, I've actually seen some commercials.....lol, love my dvr and usually skip over them.  Standing out are the Jeep Grand Cherokee ads. Loooooooooove these! 

05 July 2010

Whose idea was this?

So last Thursday in what can only be called a lapse of judgement because of endorphins, I suggested a Monday ride since quite a few people were gonna have the day off........Yep, I was regretting that this morning when my alarm clock went off at 0545 after getting in close to midnight last night :-).  Couldn't seem to get my act together so ended up having to drive over to the bike shop because of being late, which meant no warm-up before the hammerfest started.  Fortuitiously it seemed like most of the crew were ok with going slower......

It turned out to be a great morning!! Temperature was fairly temperate compared to what it's been the previous few weeks, a bit windy but occasionally we did get the benefit of a tail wind.  The only big problem was that one of the guys was having g.i. issues so we had to slow down for that a little bit until he was able to find a place to take care of it.  Thank gawd it wasn't me!!! So far the only time I have gi distress is while running, cycling doesn't seem to be a problem.  We do need to get our erstwhile leader to give another lecture on how the paceline works though......I don't wanna do it 'cause I don't want to be the one that's grumbled about, lol. 

40.79 miles for me in 2:30:03 on the Georgetown route, a bit slower than what I would've like today but there have been plenty of times when I was the back of the pack so not whinging.  Who knows what condition I'll be in on the next ride...

Hmm, I think a nap may be in my very near future, kinda liking this staycation business.

04 July 2010

Happy Independence Day!!!!!!

Today will mark my first real day of vacation since I normally leave out on Sundays to start my trek to Tennessee back to Laredo.....Yay!!  It was so awesome realizing that I didn't have to rush around getting packed up after my run this morning :-)))). 

What I do wish is that I would've gotten up at 0400 and driven the hour+ to Little Rock to run with the group, I had a CRUDDY training run this morning.  Lonely, boring, kinda warm (although cooler than usual), and stomach issues.  Managed to get in 11.1 miles in 1:52:18, ugh....5 or so walk breaks, ugh, ugh, ugh.  The thing is I'm trying to save money, that's why I opted out of the Firecracker Fast 5k yesterday--it was gonna be $60 for the two of us and I already had spent $59.60 registering for the Riverside Duathlon on the 11th.  It's ok, I had a great time riding a shorter distance with the group yesterday morning and was even able to keep up with some, keep other guys within sight, and even pass some that were all on road bikes while I was on my heavier, knobby-tired mountain bike.  18-20 mph is easy on a skinny tire bike but doing it on a mountain bike--now that's a workout, lol.

Other news, Operation Get Rid of Crap is proceeding in our house.  I have the computer room sorted out with boxes of stuff to be e-cycled on Tuesday, other boxes for a yard-sale, 1 box for ebay stuff when I get motivated to photograph and list it, and 6 bags of trash.  Whew.....I AM gonna be as clutter-free as possible before this month is over.

Lol, was taking a quiz over at Madewell, JCrew's newest acquisition (?) and the quiz result was understated elegance.  Yeah, right. Only in my dreams........time to finish this up and get ready for fireworks tonight, I think we're gonna head down for the Pops on The River since it doesn't appear that our local town is having any festivities tonight.  Have fun & be safe everybody!

02 July 2010

still about part II

The other post was getting too long so breaking it up......

After the Pigout 5k was the Tour de Oink, a 14 or 40 mile cycle ride.  I went for the 40 miler but it only took me 10 miles to think that I might should've just done the 14 mile option, lol.  My legs were shot from the 5k and this is not a flat route.  Fortunately one of the guys I train with occasionally on Thursdays was there so I had somebody I knew that would be around my pace to ride with.  Good thing Steve was there too because in one of my way too often dumbassery moments I'd left my cash in the pickup and ended up having to bum some money off of him to buy some powerade.

I'm not feeling like writing as long of a post as my previous one so just gonna summarize.  We ended up doing the 40 miles in 2 hours and 23 minutes with only 2 stops.  Quite pleased with that considering that my legs were shot from the 5k, the hills, and the heat.  D'uh, the heat...it is summer in Arkansas, lol.

June workout totals
Running--81.85 miles
Cycling--275.99 miles

These 3 pics are from the 6/19 training ride.  I look positively tiny in the first pic, lol.

still about

Yes, I'm still about.....just haven't seemed to have the time to sit down and write out a blog post lately. So where to start???? Too much, yet very little has happened since the middle of June. Guess I'll just do last weekend's race recap.

I had a choice of 2 races last Saturday, a grand prix 5k (Brickfest at Malvern) or a 5k/cycle tour combo at Morrilton. Since my niece's birthday party was later that afternoon in Russellville and I needed to get time in the saddle, I opted for the Pig Out festivities at Morrilton. This was my first year doing this and I was unfamiliar with the 5k course and didn't bother looking or asking anybody about it.......I thought since it was a smaller race that it wouldn't be that difficult of a course......yeah, that bit me in the ass, lol. It was also the first time for me to wear my Brooks Running ID race kit, not very comfortable with the top at all. The shorts I love, but the singlet......gives you absolutely no breathing room. It's not made for those of us who are carrying a bit of weight around the middle.

Don't laugh too much, I was laughing because of trying too suck in the gut so that I didn't have too much fat rolling occuring, lol.  And of course I think James waited 'til I was making the weirdest face ever before snapping the picture.

Several of my Cabot friends were also participating in the Pigout race/tour so it was nice getting to catch up with a couple of them I hadn't seen in quite a while.  Russ even told me that I looked fast in the Brooks uniform!!! What a nice compliment, if only it were true :-).

The 5k itself......I would describe this as a challenging course.  Rolling hills, with a couple of significant ascents, one as I mentioned before right before the finish line.  If I could only figure out how to save the graph from the Garmin Training Center I would post a pic of the course.  Took off fast, first mile was 7:25 which actually felt comfortable but yeah, not good for what awaited me.  around mile 1.5 I caught up to a teenage girl that didn't want me to pass but I could tell from her breathing that she wasn't gonna be able to sustain what was now a slower pace for me (started hitting the uphills) so we just ran side by side for 1/3 of a mile before she ended up having to back way off.  I slowed to a 7:47 pace on mile 2 and was passed by a woman who ended up winning, she obviously was more familiar with the course than I was, LOL!!!  I'm starting to struggle, we turn a corner and there's a huge-ass hill staring at me.  That's such a mean thing to do in a 5k that close to the end!!  Ended up passing a handful of guys on this section but couldn't enjoy it, I was struggling to keep moving forward without having to walk.  Mile 3 was a slowwww 8:20, didn't think that stupid ascent was ever gonna end :-(.  It was awesome to crest the hill and see the finish line in sight though, had a little bit of kick left and did the last .13 at a 6:38 pace. 

Garmin time was 24:25 but I didn't shut it off right away, gun time on results was 24:24, still a minute slower than last year's pr.  James came up to me while I was in line waiting to get my card (17th overall male & female) and said that I was 3rd place female, I was ecstatic! While I've placed 3rd in a duathlon, that's the highest I've finished in a 5k :-)).  So this is where my grumble comes in.......at the awards ceremony when they were announcing the female overall winners, another woman was called out as the 3rd place finisher and I was given the 1st place master's.......grrrr.  Evidently they didn't understand that the first 3 are not given the awards based on age.  Results are here so y'all can see I'm not making this up, lol.  Might seem petty and childish to some but who knows if I'll ever place this high again :-))).