30 August 2010

Admitting De"Feet"

Ok, I'm issuing a serious plea of help here.  I truly do love this cycling lark and at times I'm even not too shabby at it but I'm having a major problem with my feet.  I will have a cramp like sensation start on the outside bottom of my feet--it's not always start with the same foot and it does not always start on both  simultaneously.  These do usually eventually become hot spots but definitely don't start that way.

I've changed brand of shoe, went to a larger size, loosened various straps, changed out insoles, shifted cleat positions and nothing seems to ease the pain.  Doing all the above did extend out the time period before the cramps kicked in.

Literally, on any ride over 50 miles I'm spending it in serious foot pain.....so my next move is to switch out pedals, I love my speedplay lightactions but the next move according to my research is to find a pedal with a larger surface area on the foot.  

Any suggestions on type would be VERY appreciated!  Also should I consider switching to a mountain bike style of shoe since the stiff road shoes aren't working too well for me?

29 August 2010

The Big Day Part II--Hotter 'n Hell 100

The ride

Fortunately the morning started off fairly cool and the breeze had died down so that was a good beginning.  Of course the first 10 miles was spent dodging people and jockeying for position. Lots of near misses with that many people massed up.  Oh, that reminds me, there were several people that fell over in the start line while we were lined up. A guy in a group directly behind me went over taking a total of 3 bikes with him, ouch.

I skipped the first rest stop (rest stops were approximately every 10 miles) due to the crowding, skipped the 2nd one for the same reason, just took a gel and a couple of endurolytes on the roll.

Early on, there was a major accident going up a hill. We were brought to a complete stop and had to walk the bikes up the hill.  I didn't look over at the guy, moved over as far as possible when passing by, I try not to be a looky-lou with this stuff. Others were saying that there was blood all over the road and I found out later they closed the road down and had to airlift him out.

Get to moving again for a little bit anyways....we get stopped by a train, lol....this was all in the first 30 miles.  When I'm rolling I'm keeping between 19-22 mph, even hitting 25 mph whenever I can catch a draft.  It's going great although the previous 2 stops have eaten up time during the cooler & relatively windless part of the day.

I stop at the 3rd rest stop at 0920, gotta pee & get the water bottles topped off.  The lines for the porta-potties were endless    and the food lines weren't much better.   Since this was my 1st Hotter 'n Hell, I had no clue that the rest stop lines were just going to get longer.  On the road again and things are peachy-keen although the breeze is starting to pick up (day is warming) right up until mile 35ish and we make a turn right into the wind...still good but no more 20+ mph :-(.  It's also thru here that my sinuses which have been dripping steadily since the day before decides to turn into a full blown flow. Ugh.  Every time I stop I'm blowing my nose and it's just not slowing. At one point I start to spit out what's dripping into the back of my throat while pedaling  and it doesn't quite go where it's supposed to, ewwwwwww.

Next rest stop, ate 1/2 a hotdog, water fill, shoes off, my feet are killing me.  Actually the feet were my only body issues...if it wasn't for them I'd have been feeling great despite the increasing winds & heat.

I skipped the rest stop just before Hells Gate, stopped to take a picture of the Hells Gate is open but skipped the actual gate itself too.  Made it with 47 minutes to spare despite the earlier delays.

We cycled thru one town where I swear 1/2 the residents were out cheering, kids were giving high fives, and one guy was spraying residents down with water if they wanted. Yes, I wanted that!  Awesome, awesome stuff...too bad we turned and headed out into the middle of nowhere with no trees and stuff immediately after.

After this though things start getting rough, heat & wind, blah, blah, blah.   Lines at the rest stops are getting longer, everybody's getting slower. Sag wagons are getting FULL.  I had a crosswind catch me at one point, knocked me sideways, it didn't hit the guys in front of me nor the guy behind me. Guess I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time to catch it, that's a scary feeling.

Basically, I'm just following a friend's advice about just keep moving, ride my own ride, etc at this point. Thanks, by the way :-))), I think it was the only thing that kept me going when my feet were cramping so much and the hotspots were starting in.

After the rest stop around mile 75, I passed a guy walking his bike up the hill (incline IMO, lol). I paused and asked if he was ok, thinking it might be cramps or something. Turned out it was a low tire, he'd already used his co2 cartridge and we tried to get my system to work but neither of us could figure it out, grrr. Gonna buy something different this week to replace it.  Anyway that killed 10 minutes or so there.

At the mile 70ish rest stop, I'd picked up some mud in my cleats and for the remainder of the time had a helluva time getting clipped in & out despite me rinsing them out. I'll lube & clean them when I get back home.

I'm getting some of this slightly out of sequence but to be honest a lot of this was starting to run together thru here.   I skipped the mile 90ish rest stop (lines) and stopped at a much less crowded one 3 miles up to get another cold rag & fill up my water bottles..

In the last 15 miles there were another couple of serious accidents with a rider laid out on the shoulder and ambulances being sent out for both.

I had planned on stopping at the free beer rest stop just to say I did but after seeing the accidents I just wanted to get done...after that stop I knew I was close so managed to find an extra burst of energy.  I started cruising in at around 17-19mph even hit 20 for a moment or two, well except for the interstate overpass--I dropped down to 13-15 mph coming up it :-(.  But I did roll in strong so happy about that.

I lost just under 2 miles on my bike computer (the 100 mile route is actually aprox 103 miles according to everybody who has rode it before. Saddle time was 101.14 miles in 6:45:03. Gun time was 8:30:19, chip time was 8:11:10.  Yes I paid the extra $5 for the timing chip.

My thoughts about the Hotter'n Hell....it's not a pr ride unless you manage to get in the very front to avoid the LONG lines at the rest stops. Way too many cyclists won't move over to the right when they're going slow and most won't give room to those who are looking to get out from behind slower cyclists.  I guess i'm spoiled to the Arkansas tours where everybody is much more friendly. The rest stop volunteers were FANTASTIC.  Pickle juice sport drink rocks big time. Cold wet towels are absolute nirvana.  Getting sprayed down with water is up there on the good things list. Way too many cyclists throw their empty gel packs on the road instead of stuffing them back in their jersey pocket to throw away in the trash at next stop.   The local goodwill (or whatever charity they choose) is gonna be full of lost water bottles on Monday.

So how do I feel today? My feet hurt, I have to find an alternative pedal I suppose. These aren't working for me on rides longer than 40-50 miles. Legs are sore but just a good workout sore, nothing unusual. My head is stopped up, throat sore, & I'm spitting out some nasty looking stuff :-(.  I need to start doing core work more regularly, my shoulders were beginning to ache more than usual towards the end due to the winds.

Next up...the Tupelo 14.2 miler next Sunday and the Big Dam Bridge tour (another century) at the end of September.

The Big Day Part I

The big day....

Is it any surprise that I didn't sleep well? Nerves, noise from traffic and trains, Elsie being restless, and an 0230 walk to the bathrooms (hydrate baby!)  all led to a fitful night.

It was kinda neat listening to everybody's alarms going off right around 0500.  A quick breakfast of 1/2 bagel, banana, & coffee then finishing up bike prep, etc..  What was VERY nice was the fact that the women's restroom lines were much shorter than the guys. It's usually the exact opposite, lol.

The only thing I almost forgot was the sunscreen....after putting in my contacts, brushing my teeth, changing clothes, I told myself to put it on back at the tent....then got breakfast, told myself to put on sunscreen again.  2nd bathroom stop same thing....I was enroute to the start line when I remembered again, had to turn back and go to the car again, sigh....

Lining up was kinda odd since I knew absolutely no one around me.  Most everybody else was with friends and were chatting away.  Since my nerves had kicked in full force I was shyer than normal so just stood there and waited....& waited.....& waited.  It was a few minutes after 0700 before the flyover.

The flyover....oh it's awesome!! Love watching the fighter jets anyway but to have them do a flyover just for you....wow :-).

It took over 15 minutes just to reach the start line, James said it took over 45 minutes for everybody to clear it. That was a long time to walk the bike up :-(. I clipped in with my right foot and just scooted along with the left.  It was such a relief just to be able to get in the saddle and start pedaling.

Friday and the Too Hot to Trot 5k


The La Quinta I mentioned in previous post....yeah, not a great place.  The plug for the bathroom sink was broken and one towel!! None of this we discovered until the next morning when trying to shower before leaving out, grrr. If it had been a $30 room, it would have been understandable but this was over twice that.


Today was also the first annual Too Hot to Trot 5k at the Dallas GATS show for truckdrivers and other people involved in the trucking industry...it was quite nice. I finally got to meet Jeff Clark in person and several others that I have communicated with online.


Since we had Elsie with us, I'd emailed to ask if she could run with us, leashed of course. No problem, was just asked to start in the back of the pack so as not to trip anyone up.  I had no problem with that because I didn't need to race this 5k.

First 1/3 of the 5k Elsie was great....right up until we passed a guy on a riding lawnmower....that scared her & I had to pick her up and carry her past it :-(. She never quite recovered from being scared of it.

Right at the 1/2 point I handed Elsie off to James then took off at a faster pace...I finished in 28:09, which I think is my 2nd slowest 5k time ever. The guy announcing the finishers called me out as 3rd place female finisher but I was actually 4th, lol.

Quite fun visiting with everybody, my only complaint was the lack of portapotties available before race start. We finally discovered some in a separate area thankfully.

Oh, James & I were interviewed for an industry mag...where I turned into a blithering idiot because of the video camera...what is it with cameras & phones that flusters me so much?  Geez, I come across as relatively normal in person but throw those in & you'd swear it was a miracle I can manage to dress myself in the morning.

After the 5k and a shower it was time to fill up the rental vehicle with gas and head for Wichita Falls.....this is where we hit a huge snag. Fords now have a capless gas tank and the one on the Explorer was faulty....should be able to push in the nozzle & twist, simple, huh?  Not this one...found the closest enterprise location where the agent inspected it and part of the system came off in his hand!!!!  He then sends us to an Enterprise located at a Ford dealer, where everything gets inspected yet again...yep, it's broken.  They ended up giving us a replacement rental but we had to wait for one to be brought in from yet another location.

Several hours killed with this :-(.  Fortunately the expo would be open until 2200 so no rush there, our hurry was due to getting to the kennels to drop off Elsie....turns out we shouldn't have bothered, we found the place and it was geared for larger dogs.  Turns out that it was mostly a guard dog training place, not leaving a 13 pound miniature schnauzer at a place like that.

The expo....omg!!! I didn't get to go thru everything but it was amazing, wow!!  I splurged and bought the event jersey ($80), found some endurolytes, wondered around for a bit then headed back to the campsite to make sure my bike had survived the trip and get everything laid out.

The camping area was actually very nice, bathrooms were well stocked & clean...the showers were a bit of a different story. There was a tent set up with livestock style cold showers or you could use the shower inside of the bathrooms if you wanted a hot shower but people were leaving their trash behind instead of carrying it to the trashcans.  I ended up going to the Flying J & showering (awesome customer service there by the way, very impressed with them).

The camping was quite nice, there was a nice breeze going (it IS Wichita Falls) but all I could think was this is gonna be killer tomorrow.....

Hotter 'n Hell recap...eventually

So I managed to survive the Hotter 'n Hell 100 century....it's been a rocky weekend, rental car issues, testy people, etc etc 

Oh shoot, I hardly have any clue as to where to start, so much to cram in...ok just start.


We literally had nothing packed, James had been searching the house, storage buildings, everywhere for our camping gear that we haven't used since oh, 2003-2004...nowhere to be found.  I finally remembered that we had a rental storage unit that had been broken into in 2007 and that's the last place we had seen our tent & sleeping bags. Yep, that was part of the stuff that had been stolen, so a word to the wise, keep an EXTENSIVE & DETAILED inventory of everything that you store offsite.

While I knew everything that I needed to take for the weekend, the having to repurchase of most of the camping gear had me far more rushed than I like--think being bounced around like a steel ball in a pinball machine, lol.

I'm fairly surprised that the only thing I managed to forget though was a stop to pick up some Endurolyte caps.  A running club friend reassured me that I would be able to pick some up at the Hotter 'n Hell expo :-).

Since we drive a gas guzzling, regular cab pickup I thought it would behoove us to get a rental car, at first I thought minivan then discovered that would cost almost $100 more than a small suv. Shoulda stuck with the minivan though, we're crammed to the gills with the gear & such but at least we didn't have to worry about unloading everything whenever we stopped for the night.

Finally, we're on our way!!! First stop is an overnight stay at a La Quinta in Garland, TX (thoroughly unimpressed with!).

20 August 2010

Shall We Update?

This week finds me utterly & completely exhausted, just so glad to finally be home.  Yesterday morning (Wednesday) found me at Laredo just dragging.  I just felt like my brain was moving in slow motion :-(.  So I mention this to a friend, who suggests (rather gently for them at that) that I need to take 3-4 days off from working out.  Yep, that went over very well......it's only after finding myself strenuously objecting and literally ending up crying over the thought of taking that many days off that I realize they were right.......Just the weepiness alone mortifies me and was enough to drive home the fact that I have almost pushed myself entirely too far. And yes, again......they were correct, grrrrrr.

Soooo, that brings me to another issue, I'd already reached the conclusion earlier in the week that the marathon training was making me HATE running this year.  I was ok with short runs but anything over 10 miles was just very much making me a grumpy bear.  Even the run Sunday at Little Rock with friends couldn't bring back the joy that I had last year while training for the MidSouth Marathon.  As such, I've decided to postpone doing the Marine Corps Marathon until next year, they will allow you to defer your entry for $30.  I'm still doing the Tupelo 14.2 miler Labor Day Weekend and plan on staying in 1/2 marathon shape but an early fall mary is not in the cards for me this year.

The Hotter 'n Hell 100 is next weekend!!!!!!!!!!!  I'm so stoked to be doing this, however my lack of cycling for past 2 weeks is very much worrying me.  Since I'm taking this weekend as a rest I will be helping out with sag wagon duties for my training group on Saturday's 95 miler.  Hmmm, will that garner good karma & good will? 

Today was get my hair did day :-)).  Decided that the Natural Instincts wasn't covering the gray quite enough so had my stylist color it......LOVE it!!!  Darker brown with chestnut undertones, I also had her straighten it after a quick trim.  Had a couple of friends not recognize me afterwards, lol.

There are a few other things but I'm winding down so will update more later this weekend.

13 August 2010

When things get hot

My return to work has not been the smoothest of roads this week.  Started out Tuesday morning with an awesome run on a favorite route, hilly & on a tree covered dirt road. First one in a while that I didn't have to take a walk break.  My thought afterwards was how can it be a bad day with it kicking off so well?

Yeah, jinxed myself there...I get to Mt. Juliet with the Arlington load that I'd picked up off the N. Little Rock yard--unsealed by the way, which is a huge nono for there now--and I don't have the appropriate paperwork...  Get on the phone with my dispatcher who transfers me to the dispatcher that handles the Arlington GM loads...this guy is an ARSE!! He gives me a number to call saying tell whoever answers that they need to fax the paperwork.  The woman who answers is very nice, tells me that the driver probably kept it and to call 'Bill' back and have the driver fax it.  Bill then proceeds to yell at me over the phone telling me that his driver had been on his board for years and was a very hard worker, blah, blah, blah.  I'm stunned since I didn't say anything to the contrary, just calmly ask him again how do I get the proper papers. Again yelling at me about how I'm just gonna have to sit there all day...sigh....I'm past frustrated but still calmly asked him where does this leave the load because the Tennessee place is NOT going to accept it.  That's when he starts saying well I'll call them but they aren't going to like it....I don't care if they like it or not, I'm just trying to do my job here in a much more professional manner than he is.

This had me so flustered that I ended up crying out of frustration about an hour after the fact...I'm not a fan of being yelled at :-(.  And it does reinforce the fact that I have an awesome dispatcher (odd, eh?).  Immediately after being yelled at I sent him a message telling him thanks & that I very much appreciate having him as my dispatcher.  

Wednesday goes well, get to Laredo before dark, make it through the queues at our yard and Penske in record time only to find the drop yard packed full...3 laps around and I can find no open spot that can be backed into with a conventional tractor and I'm dodging other trucks left and right. Fortunately one of the yard drivers takes pity on me and let's me drop it to the side so that he can move it for me.  Pays off being a somewhat cute female in these instances, lol.  Next trailer is one I had 3 weeks prior so everything worked on it and I'm off to Pearsall in near record time.

Thursday again starts off with a nice run around town with no walk breaks again (2 in a row, yay). Get showered, acquire some yummy coffee & egg & potato breakfast tacos, and manage to bang my knee with my hammer while doing my walkaround, lol.  Yes I am a klutz....I was looking at getting to my home terminal by 2030 where my truck was going immediately into the shop so that the clutch could be replaced....best laid plans & all.

My day starts going to hell again after a stop at the Schertz rest area. Start to leave out, hit 5th gear and the truck won't shift up or down. The 5 is flashing & warning buzzers galore.  Pull over to shut the truck down so the clutch can cool off and make the call to road rescue to let them know what's up.  Clutch cools down, truck starts (oh yeah, once you shut the engine down it won't restart until the clutch cools) and off to the races again.  

Then there comes Waco....I have to slow down for traffic and the transmission hits 8th gear & the trouble starts all over again...8th is flashing but truck shifts to 9th, then 10th, each number flashing & warning buzzers...If you're familiar with Waco then you know there are very few safe places to pull over, I manage to get off exit 339 where I know once I get off the frontage road I can pull over on a wide shoulder.  Coast to a stop, shift to neutral, set brakes, shut engine off.  No problem, let it cool then we're off again right?

WRONG!!! first off it's over 100f and my apu is not working because when shop replaced the 2 batteries fried by International (the mechanic left radio & overhead lights on and when they came out with the charger they got in a hurry & turned the power up too high. Batteries aren't supposed to smoke by the way) they forgot to hook the apu power cable back up. So truck won't start and nonworking APU = no air conditioning.  Temperature out there on the asphalt got up to 114f.  

The heat brings on another issue, I'm parked on a tilt and the engine water temp sensor thinks it's outta coolant. Pop the hood so the engine can cool....it cools down...eventually....but truck still doesn't start....clutch has given up the ghost completely.

Next step, get road rescue to send a wrecker out, the driver of which is as a big an ass as 'Bill' the dispatcher.  The guy assumes I'm a new driver, starts badmouthing me, the automatic transmission, and my company.  Sigh....I tell him that I'm sure he's having a bad day but it surely isn't as bad as mine at the moment. Whereupon I get told that he could just leave me sitting there on the side of the road.  Yeah...lovely.  I'm polite but tell him that's his choice but he was coming off a bit rude.  He chills out after that...then during the ride down south to Temple he finds out that no, I didn't just start driving in the past year and mellows out even more.  Ugh, that shouldn't matter anyway, no need to immediately jump to conclusions and treat people less than respectfully with no reason.

I spent last night in a hotel room and upon arrival found that the USB cable for my phone had screwed the pooch with less than 50% charge.  Yikes!!! I changed into my running gear & did a run/walk to find a store where I could buy a wall charger....that served 2 purposes, got to sweat out my frustrations, lol.  I did call a taxi back to the hotel--it was getting dark & I had come through some very rough neighborhoods.  White kids that like to pretend their gangster make me a tad nervous. They think they've got something to prove & I would be an easy mark at that time of day.

Today? Well I'm currently sitting in the very sparse lounge of the Temple International shop....betting tonight will be another hotel stay.  This is frustrating because while I can run anywhere, my last long training ride for the Hotter 'n Hell was scheduled for tomorrow.

09 August 2010

Gear & Nutrition

AKA the stuff that keeps me going :-))).  This is a bit of a post that I've been meaning to do for a while, basically going to be a listing of the stuff I use, wear, & consume while cycling and running, maybe a listing of a couple of the stores I like best.

Brooks Running  Yes I am a Brooks Inspire Daily member but I truly do think they have some of the best gear out there.  The Brooks Launch is my goto racing shoe and besides how can you not love a company that sponsors ALL athletes and not just a handful of elites :-))).  But speaking of elites, they do sponsor Chrissie Wellington so that's a HUGE plus in my opinion.

Jamis Bikes  My main training and duathlon bicycle is a Jamis Xenith Comp Femme, it's the one in my header picture and even though it's a stock bike, I feel like it was made for me.  C'mon, flat black and pink? Yep, that's my baby aka Buffy.  I also have a Jamis Durango mountain bike (Willow) who has been sadly neglected this year in favor of the roadie, sorry baby.

Amphipod  After going through way too many other handheld & belt hydration systems, I've found that Amphipod makes the only kind that works for me.  I carry one of the handheld bottles for anything up to 12-13 miles then add in the fuel belt system for anything longer.  The handhelds are very nicely contoured to fit your hand and you can buy one that has a pocket on the carrying strap that's large enough for a gel & key.

Hammer Nutrition  I looove the HEED (light tasting & not overly high in calories) and the Perpetuem.  The gels are quite nice too.  If you're feeling generous and decide to place an order, please feel free to use my client number 136328.  Not a have to thing, but I do get a bit of a bonus if you decide to :-)).

Accel Sport Nutrition--I also love the Accelerade & Accel gels, these are quite nice because of the carb:protein ratio.  The key lime flavor is to die for!!!

Skirt Sports  I adore their tri shorts and do have a couple of the cycling skirts that are fun.  Guys for some reason really don't like it if you can outclimb 'em while wearing one of these, lol.

Marin Bikes  Shhhh, but I own four bicycles.....The Marin Portofina was my first road bike and I still have it although Cordelia has permanent residence on the turbo trainer now.  I did my first century on this bike so doubt if I will ever get rid of her but she may become a cyclocross bike in the future.  My last bike purchased was a Marin Urban Commuter named Giles that I use for running errands and stuff.  It's set up with a rear rack and a basket to haul stuff in.  Oh and have y'all caught the theme of my bicycles' names?

Rage Cycling  I'm a very new fan of theirs. The Suffer jersey I'm wearing in a pic from a couple of posts back?  That's from them........Amazingly fast shipping and just good people :-)))


Bike City  Yep, my local bike shop.  The one that keeps me sorted out and going :-)))))).  They're more my family than most of my family is (sister & hers excepted of course).

The Sporty Runner  If they don't have it, they can get it or it hasn't been invented

Go! Running A newer running shop in central Arkansas that I finally got around to visiting last week, VERY impressed. Nice people and very attractive store with all kinds of neat goodies in it.

So very you go........shameless plugging of stuff that I like.  I'm sure more will be added but this is quite a nice start I think.

08 August 2010

Too much to say....

about a whole lot of nothing, lol.  Forgot a couple of things I wanted to mention in the previous post.  First off, today's run.......I found myself literally crying around mile 4.5.  I feel like I've lost my running mojo, the joy, the want to get out there and play.  I realize it's the stupid heat and humidity and last year's mild summer very much spoiled me but this is no fun right now :-(.  I'm trying to do the bare minimum that I can in order to survive the upcoming marathon and hopefully once we start getting some cool mornings, the fun will return.  As for now.......it's just a slogfest and I feel like I'm going in slow motion, ugh.

Next, there's a duathlon next weekend that I seriously need to decide asap on whether to race it or just go for another long ride Saturday morning.  I'm also feeling very guilty about not helping my running club's Grand Prix team on the races very much this year.  Granted I'm not super fast but every little bit does help and I just feel like I'm not pulling my weight this time around :-(.

My feet........I can't get my hotspot issue dialed in while cycling, grrrrrrrrrrrrr.  New shoes, new insoles, currently adjusting the cleat position with every ride.  One more adjustment there and I suppose the next step is to start trying some different clipless pedals.  I love my Speedplay Light Actions though, zero leg pain other than the feet with them and I don't really believe they're the problem.

Last week's stats
19.12 miles running (fall back week, I was .88 miles shy of the 20 on schedule)
112.5 miles cycling (woo-hoo!!!!!!!!) only one ride was sorta flat.

3 weeks until the Hotter than Hell century!!!!!! Nervous but excited about it.  Then Labor Day Weekend is the Tupelo 14.2 miler :-))).  I also need to decide on the Big Dam Bridge 100 for September.


So the clutch in my truck wasn't replaced.......Eaton refused to authorize the warranty work because they claimed the CA (clutch abuse) code wasn't an indication that it was burning out.  The guys at International finally admitted that it was plain as day that the clutch needs replacing but they and my company I'm employed by won't do it because it's under warranty.........sigh........as one of the mechanics in our company shop put it, how can I be abusing the clutch when there's not a clutch pedal in the truck (automatic with an internal clutch)?  It's a common problem but Eaton is just not gonna ok the replacement until it goes all the way out.  My new plan of action--every time it overheats I'm calling and qualcomming Road Rescue so that there's more of a papertrail for evidence when I do have to get towed showing that I had been trying to get the issue resolved from the beginning.

Other stuff.......Well Tuesday I had a touch of food poisoning so spent most of the day in the bathroom.  Instead of doing the common sense thing by laying off my workouts I still went out for a 5.72 mile run that morning.......yeah, yeah I know :-(.  I did skip riding the bicycle though, lol.

Wednesday--an easy 18.04 mile cycle ride on the airport loop.

Thursday--met 3 of the guys at 0530 (before dawn!) for 25.06 miles on the Peanut Ridge loop, beat all 'em up the ridge by the way, lol.  Followed that up with a 2.59 mile run for a proper brick workout.  Came home, made myself pancakes and took a lovely nap :-))).  That night went out with Elsie & James for a 3.79 mile run/walk.  I really do enjoy running at night, should try to do that more often.

Friday--rest day.  I did go and pick up my Tour de Rock jersey, very glad I ordered the women's medium because it's cut very small.  My Rage Cycling jersey also arrived in the mail, LOVE!!!!!!!!!

Saturday--long ride day with entirely too many hills......the fast guys decided to show up and leave with the slower group (my group) which totally defeated the purpose.....They were also grumbly about having to wait so long at the rest stops for us slow people to catch up, sigh........the sensor for the computer kept getting knocked out of place so I lost approximately 6 miles on the totals for the day.  Went by the guy's computer who lives closest to me for a guesstimate on the mileage so 69.4 miles in 4 hours 25 minutes.  It was a bit of a struggle once the sun came out but it was for everybody.  One frustrating thing, on some of the hills I would start to gain on the slower ones of the fast pack but the downhills would give them the advantage again.  That Newton's law of gravity business, lol.  For those familiar with the central Arkansas area, our route took us out west on Hwy 36 up to Rosebud, then 5 to Romance, well here's the link if you want to check it out.  I'm also having allergy problems right now and I swear I spit out 1/2 my body weight in mucus while cycling yesterday.  Kept getting a stitch because of the inability to get a proper breath, ugh.....

Sunday--for some stupid reason I skipped the ice bath after yesterday's ride and did I ever pay for it today...My legs were DEAD, DEAD, DEAD.  Oh and the allergy issue? Still got it :-(. Humidity plus that kept me gasping for breath despite a slow pace and many walk breaks.  And my GI issues are making a comeback, ugh.  Time to start eating cleaner as well as trying to consume more calories.  I'm not eating enough right now for the amount of training I'm doing......in spite of that I'm not losing any weight.  So since I was having a cruddy run anyway I took the time to bend and break the briar branches back that have been encroaching over the trail.  The briars have been sticking out as much as 2 feet over so a definite owie if somebody catches them.  7.02 miles 1:13:59.  I did soak my legs in a bucket of ice after the run so they feel much better, now if I could just breath properly.

A bit of good news--James' ticket for following too close that he received back in the spring?  Well the court date was Thursday and it was completely dismissed!  His lawyer complimented us on our letters detailing what happened, said he wished all his clients were so concise and thorough on the accounts & details.  It didn't even go before the judge, he presented our letters to the prosecuting attorney and told him he truly believed that this was a case of the cop observing something for 10 seconds and making the wrong call. PA agreed with him and voila! Ticket dismissed :-).

03 August 2010

did I say back to normal?

Well, I spoke too soon then.......Sunday night enroute to the customer in Tennessee Lola had another "episode" of the clutch overheating.  I'm moving right along on Hwy 64 through Bolivar, TN when the transmission gets hung up in 8th gear.  Fortunately I was able to coast into a vacant lot where I could shut down the engine and allow the clutch to cooldown.  Without that my only other option would've been to shutdown in the turn lane with flashers going dead in the water.  This time though instead of just the usual warn engine amber light a 'CA' code started flashing.  Bingo!!!!!!!!  International refused to replace the clutch before because they couldn't replicate the problem and there were no engine fault codes indicating there was a problem.

So what does 'CA' stand for?  Well according to the guy with Road Rescue it stands for clutch abuse, lol!!!  No clue if it does or not but I'm just glad the code finally popped up because that means it will actually get fixed now.  Between Sunday night and the incident on Mines Road last week in Laredo this was turning into more than a nuisance, it was starting to become dangerous.  I REALLY do not want this to occur in rush hour traffic on a freeway (Austin, anyone?) and not be able to move over to the shoulder in time. 

Monday morning after getting backed into the dunnage dock I sent a message to my dispatcher telling him that we would need to relay this load out at N. Little Rock, my home terminal.  Got that okayed and made it back to the terminal in time to get one of the mechanics to follow me over to the dealership (this is all under warranty by the way) in order to shuttle me back to my pickup.  I did have one other glitch in trying to get a different person with road rescue to call International and ok me dropping it off.  He kept asking did I do a reset on the truck, which would've cleared out the code!!!!!!!!!  It's not a software problem here, it's a mechanical issue, the clutch itself needs replacing!!!!!  He then asked why couldn't we do it at the company shop--errr, under warranty.  Oh there were several other things and I just had to keep repeating that this was a recurring issue, the shop foreman had already said it was the clutch, and the guy the night before on RR had confirmed that it needed to go.  Finally got him convinced but not before I was thoroughly peeved.

This leaves me at home this week, just me & Elsie :-))).  While I don't like taking the unplanned time off I am looking forward to me time and some good cycle training.  It's only 3.5 weeks to the Hotter than Hell 100 and I'm getting nervous.

01 August 2010

Back to normal

Or at least as normal as I get :-))).  Work schedule has at least for last week & this week resumed to something resembling normalcy.  Nothing out of the ordinary to write about there except Lola the truck had another episode of the internal clutch overheating & me having to fight my way across 3 lanes of Mines Road in Laredo with the truck surging & the transmission jumping from 3rd to 5th gears the entire way.  Y'know the problem that International couldn't replicate & won't be able to replicate because the damn thing is in the beginning stages of wearing out.  Excuse me for trying to get problems solved as soon as they occur rather than waiting for a tow truck on the side of the road.  Sigh, the problem is not with our shop, the guy in charge is the one who diagnosed what the issue is and actually listens to me when I say there's a problem.  The issue is that Lola is still under warranty & has to be sent to the dealer for the repairs--WHERE they don't listen to me, grrrrr.

All right, now to the fun stuff.  Or sometimes it's fun stuff, right now working out is feeling like a chore because of training for the Marine Corps Marathon in the midst of the dog days of summer.  And has it ever been HOT........My long runs are absolutely miserable right now, I'm not enjoying them and getting very ill-tempered the day before and of.  Sigh, why did I ever sign up for things that would require a regimented schedule throughout the hottest time of the year?

Sunday--Couldn't bear to wake up at 0330 like I was supposed to so postponed it an hour.  Got out the door at 0450. 12 miles 2:10:17.  Not fun but better than last week, took liberal walk breaks without beating myself up about it, it's just too hot to stress over it.

Monday--James woke me up in Tennessee on what was supposed to be my rest day, asking me to go run with him.....I decided that we would do some nice hills then, lol.  These hills are fairly short but very steep, so yeah I was being kinda mean.  3.35 miles in 44:01.  Lot of walk breaks again.

Tuesday--rest day that was postponed

Wednesday--I ended up having to wait at Laredo overnight for a trailer so went down to the Mall del Norte before sunrise & ran circles around it.  5 miles in 51:58, first 3.something miles were with Elsie so slow again.

Thursday--here's where I decided to do something different this week.  I'm also training for the Hotter than Hell 100 tour and I've been doing a hard cycle on Saturday then a long run on Sunday.  Makes for very tired legs so this week I thought I would do my long run while out on the road.  On Thursday mornings I'm usually always almost home so that's actually a great day to take my time driving back.  I had 14 miles scheduled and picked Prescott, AR to run them at. 

Well, I almost got 14 miles!  ended up with 13.47 in 2:17:19.  Yep, that would be a faster pace than Sunday's run :-))).  As a matter of fact I had negative splits for the last 7.47 miles, all but 1 of them at sub 10 minute per mile pace.  As for why I didn't get the last .53 mile in, well my last 4 miles were in full sun & I started feeling dizzy right at 13.25 miles.  That 1/2 mile isn't gonna make or break me so I did the sensible thing & walked back to my truck.  Prescott proper by the way has some very beautiful older homes so if you ever get a chance to run there I highly recommend it.

Thursday afternoon--yep there were two workouts that day.  Due to the screwed up schedule I'd been missing the Thursday afternoon rides and it was very much affecting my performance on Saturdays.  Only 2 of us braved the 99F (100+ heat index) but we ended up having a great much better time than I expected.  I forgot to write down my mileage & time before clearing out my computer so I only know the mileage because of a text message.  24.17 miles in ????.  There was one 3 mile stretch that we were able to keep a 20-21mph average with no drafting. I'm kinda impressed with that, lol.

Friday--rest day!!!  Slept in until 0630, woke up but stayed in bed.  Dozed, read, dozed, read until around 1030 am, BLISS........

Saturday--We'd been invited to go kayaking up at Greer's Ferry Lake so I wasn't able to ride the full 60 miles that morning.  A couple of the slower riders (as in my slow speed) decided to start at 0600 & make the faster riders play fox & hound, LOL!!!  Worked out perfectly for me.  Looked over the route & decided that at the Hwy 16 intersection I could turn back east & be back home by approximately 0830.  The only issue is that's an 8 mile stretch of highly traveled road with most of it having no shoulder.  We rarely have any flat routes and this was no exception.  First part had us cycling west on Hwy 36 up Joy Mountain, I was down to 7.4 mph going up that sucker, no shoulders and all the gas drillers heading out to work in their diesel pickups, FUN........or perhaps not, lol.  Granted this is not the 9% climb of Dugout Mtn but the 5% lasts almost 3x as long (little over 1.5 miles).  After that was mainly rolling hills on Hwy 310 but there is one decline that has a 30mph rated left curve on it....umm, I might could've received a speeding ticket here ;-).  Now back to the Hwy 16 intersection, this part heading back into Searcy is almost uphill the entire way, not huge climbs but steady and there is no letup.  I was struggling to keep a 13-14 mph average through here, didn't think it was ever gonna end!  Burning quads.........owie.  I did time it out perfectly, got back to my house at 0828!  40.73 miles in 2:28:52.

The rest of the day we spent at the lake, ended up kayaking approximately 5 miles according to the guy who invited us........It's been darn near 2 years since I did any paddling solo so I was sloooow.  The guys kept having to stop and wait on me to catch up.  Oh yeah, I forgot to re-apply sunscreen so my knees, chest, shoulders and stomach are bright red today.  Yes, I wore a life vest while paddling but took it off when we were tied up watching the cardboard boat races. 

I had planned on running the Dam Night 5k last night at Arkadelphia but we didn't get out of Heber with enough time to make it :-((((.  I was gonna use that as my speed work for the week.

Sunday--didn't set an alarm so ended up waking a bit late to get my 5 miles in comfortably.  There was supposed to have been a 3 mile tempo run at 8:33 pace in the middle but had stomach issues & couldn't start the faster pace until 1.78 miles in (and a visit to a bathroom, ugh).  Needless to say I didn't hit the pace marks (8:41, 8:44, and 9:11, last mile was uphill) but considering the heat (89F, heat index of over 100) and my sunburn, I'll take it.