Sunday, May 30, 2010

Finally some one on one time with my tri bike

I have spent very little outdoor time with my tri bike. Seems crazy doesn't it?   Between the weather and group rides that won't allow tri bikes or road bikes with aero bars, my time has been limited. This past week I changed that.
I went to one of the local parks a few days ago to get some ride time in without all the cars and traffic.
It was windy which made for some challenging moments as my bike and I were blown sideways a bit but it was nice to get out.

Today I summed up my courage and went for a ride on the open road. There were some good climbs and some great downhills. I spent most of my time in the aerobars with the exception of some of the downhill parts and some rough spots in the road. I am very glad that I have had aerobars on my road bike for the past 1.75 years as it has made the learning curve much smaller then it would have been otherwise. I didn't break any speed records today but being outdoors, time on the tri bike and exploring some new places to ride made for a very good day.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Lesson Learned

As you can see from the little ticker at the top right hand side of my blog there are 2 months and 2 weeks before Boulder 70.3.  That is not very far away!  While I have been training all winter and spring (if you can call the weather we have had "spring like") I haven't been very good about following my training plan. That is until last week. Of course last week happened to be a big volume week but so be it.  The biggest additions to my training have been my long bike rides in the mountains. I  have joined my friend and her cycling club for these outings which has definitely helped motivate me to take on these new adventures. While the climbing and hours in the saddle are challenging, I think that the most painful part is descending from anywhere from 7000-9000+ feet. I freeze when I do this!  You would have thought I would have learned from the first time a couple of weeks ago when we were in snow at 9000 feet and I was so cold that my teeth were chattering but apparently I need to learn the hard way. This past Sunday while climbing I had on a sleeveless cycling shirt and a vest (I had taken the sleeves off the vest).  It was very sunny and mild and with me being someone who sweats more then the average person, my head was soaked and drops of sweat from my hair had saturated the collar of my vest by the time we had reached the top of the climb ( sorry for the graphic description but I want to paint an accurate picture). Regrouping at the top of the climb, I put the sleeves back on my vest and was wishing I had brought my long sleeve shirt that I had decided to leave behind because it was warm (at the bottom).  A hat or bandanna would have helped as well.  I can only describe the decent as brutal.  Between the altitude, wind and speed, I was so cold that I actually thought to stop for a moment to try and get my body to stop shaking. If someone had offered me a ride down I very well might have accepted.  I finally went into my drops to help cut some of the wind which helped a bit and needless to say I was more then happy when we were at the bottom.  It is like being stuck on a boat while sea sick. You would give your right (or left) arm to just make it back to land.  So, I think I have learned my lesson this time and will pack accordingly for the next time. Now if I can just figure out how to store a small suitcase on my bike :)
Have a great week!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Quite a Day!

Quite the day today!  We started out in sunshine and warmish weather and by the time we came to the top of the first long climb we were surrounded by snow. Not unexpected at 9350 feet.


The decent was fast and VERY cold. my teeth were actually chattering for a good part of it. We had some other small climbs in the middle of the ride along with a few miles on some dirt roads. Our final climb before the finish topped off at 13%.

I held my own and was extremely grateful for the 12-27 cassette. Parts of that ride would have been miserable without it. I tried not to use the easiest gear for much of it but for the really big stuff I needed it. We did about 43 miles. A long day starting with a wake-up call at 5:30 in order to meet my friends for the ride to Boulder at 7:00AM. Actual ride started a bit after 9:00am. My longest time in the saddle to date.
Above is a pic of the 13% climb.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Tomorrow is a big day for me.

I have my first "real" ride tomorrow and I am a bit nervous.  I am riding with a cycling group (never have done that before) that my friend is a part of. I have joined their team for the MS 150. From all I know they are a very friendly group and welcome people of all levels. The one thing that I had to do which I really didn't want to do was remove my aerobars from my road bike.(I am not ready to take my tri bike out on such a venture). We are riding in Boulder tomorrow and apparently doing some major climbing. I have never ridden in Boulder before and between not knowing the route, not knowing 99.9 % of the people and this being probably my most challenging and longest ride to date, to say I am a bit nervous is an understatement. I did however just put 12-27 cassette on my bike to help with the climbing. I am sure I will be fine (I am a much stronger cyclist then a runner) but I haven't ridden near as much this winter as last winter and not knowing what I am getting myself into is very unsettling. There is always a first time for everything right?
Happy Training!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

May 12th!

There is a tri taking place here in two weeks. I can't even imagine getting into the water for at least another month.  I know it is warm and sunny somewhere!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

I finally got to take my new bike out for a spin.

When I think of May, I think of warm temps, blue skies and short sleeve shirts. Apparently Colorado has another idea of what May should look like. Between work and crappy weather, it has taken me until today to get out for my first ride of the season. It wasn't a long ride but it was nice to get out and test out the new ride.We rode in Cherry Creek State Park. This is where numerous tris and other races take place.

In other news, I have signed up for the MS 150. If that isn't motivation to get out on the bike then nothing is.
My friends overwhelmed me with donating over $400.00 within hours of my registration. I was very touched.

The weather report calls for rain and possible SNOW for Tuesday through Friday. Oh, and the OWS areas are open. Yikes! 

Sunday, May 2, 2010

What a Week!

This past week has been a bit crazy for me.  Our company moved offices this past weekend and the packing and stress leading up to is has been building. Fortunately the worst is over and we are in our new digs as of tomorrow.
Three out of five evenings were spent "out".  I joined a triathlon club(haven't attended one work out yet)  and we had our monthly meeting on Monday and a happy hour on Thursday. On Tuesday afternoon I ended up back at the bike store for my bike fit. That took a few hours and I ended up leaving my bike there for a couple of days so they could rewire the shifters to  bring the aerobars in closer.  All of this has not only cut into training time but has tapped into any reserves that I had for socializing, writing e-mails and blogging. You see, I work with people who have disabilities and all day long I deal with people and their issues (let me tell you, there are A LOT of them). By the end of the day my ability to be social, supportive..blah blah blah.. is maxed out. So, having all this extra activity in the evening has pretty much taken the place of my "down time".  I am not complaining mind you but wow.. all this extra time of having to "be on" is wearing! :)   Oh, I almost forgot, I also met with a sports nutritionist this week to figure out what I can do to gain more energy and maybe prevent the nausea problems I have after running.  Basically what I need to do is eat more protein and healthy fats and not so many carbs. Oh, and not worry so much about calories. For someone who was heavy for the first 20+ years of her life, the idea of not worrying so much about calories and eating fat is enough to put me over the edge :)
In other news.... I watched a good part of Ironman St. George on line yesterday. I was actually tracking a person who I "met" through a mentor group on BT.  I always enjoy watching the late finishers cross the finish line. These people amaze me.

The weather has not been great in CO for the past few days but I hope to actually get out on my new bike sometime this coming week even if I have to play hooky.  I rode it on the trainer the other day and realized the derailleur needed adjusting so back to the bike shop it went. All part of the new bike process.
OK, enough of my rambling.  I just basically wanted to check in and say hi.