Saturday, May 31, 2008

Where's Waldo?

If anyone's wondered if perhaps I've fallen off the face of the earth, the answer is no. I've been out of town. Right now I happened to have hopped on a computer in the business center to check in and get boarding passes for our return flights. Had enough time to leave just a few of you some comments. I'm looking forward to catching up with everyone's blogs later tomorrow.

For my own record keeping - I ran intervals on the treadmill yesterday and an easy 2.5 miles this morning.

Everyone have great races, runs, bike rides, swims and/or whatever else you have planned this weekend. Catch you on the flip side.

Monday, May 26, 2008


I got the "all clear" from Husband to start exercising again. Yay! We decided to go for a bike ride today. I had originally wanted to get in a ride of 55 miles but since this is my first time back on my feet in a week, we opted to target 40-45 miles instead.

The weather forcast was promising, and I was very excited to test out some recent changes:

1) A few weeks ago, I removed my aerobars. The fact is, I was simply never comfortable riding with them. They made my right shoulder hurt and I didn't like being away from the brakes and shifters. They don't do much good when you don't use them. I'm fairly certain that removing them was a good idea, my bike handles better and I think I've picked up some speed. There is a downside, though. I lost the capacity for a third bottle, my aerobottle up front. Which leads to the next item.

2) When I was feeling miserable on Friday, I went to the local Performance bike shop and picked up a Profile Aqua Rack. I learned about these by riding with Cindy, this is the rear bottle holder contraption that she keeps hitting her leg on. I wasn't sure how it would fare for me, I have a much larger underseat bag than she does. I had to mount it quite a bit lower and it barely fits, but it does seem to solve my hydration problem for now. Yay.

3) Speaking of seats, I switched the seats between my two bikes last fall, putting the comfy women's specific gel seat on my carbon bike and the less comfy women's specific seat on my commuter. Since then, I've noticed that the seat height was a tad high on my carbon bike and a tad low on my commuter bike. I always forget when I'm at home, but quickly remember when I'm riding. Anyway, the aqua rack mounts to the seat post, so I had to take the seat post all the way out and put it back in, so I figured that was a good time to bring the seat height down a bit. I think it's perfect now!

4) I've not been happy with cycling shorts. The pads have enerally caused more problems than they solve. And none of them seem to fit me very well; they are uncomfortable all over. So I pretty much ride in tri shorts. This is okay for shorter rides, but for longer rides, tri shorts don't seem to be cutting it. I tried on at all kinds of shorts this weekend at REI and Performance, and decided to buy a pair of Novara Mia Gel Road . They are different. First, they are made of a microfiber material, not the typical spandex material. Also, the front part of the waiste band does not have elastic; it has a crossover stretch fabric instead. For someone like me, who has a "hip-challenged and tummy flab rich" body shape, this is incredibly comfortable. Finally, the padding was narrow enough that it didn't seem to rub in a bad way. They passed my first riding test well enough that I think I might buy their Mezzo shorts (same design, but a 'pro chamois' instead of the 'recreational gel' and a little more $$).

5) After hitting the wall last time, I decided to modify my nutrition and rest stop strategy. I packed some whole wheat tortilla peanut butter rolls in my bento box along with a broken up luna bar. I carried 3 bottles accelerade and one bottle water. Rest stops were planned every 10 miles or so. What a difference! I never hit the wall today and was still going strong all the way to the end of the ride.

Our ride ended up just short of 44 miles in about 3hrs riding time. We passed lots of other cyclists frequently found ourselves clipping along at about 17-18mph. For me, that's pretty darn fast. Our average was much slower with the rest stops, but I felt strong and am happy with all the changes that were implemented. Best of all, I've regained confidence about the 65mile ride on June 7.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Aye Carumba!

I'm begrudgedly following the whole "if it's below the neck stop exercising" thing. The fact that Husband threatened to take my front bike wheel, running shoes, and goggles away if I wouldn't promise to rest may have influenced me slightly

Anyway, I'm a little freaked out about the upcoming metric century in two weeks. It doesn't help that I'll be out of town Wed-Sun. When I get back it will be only 6 short days before the cycle tour.

Husband says not to worry. All I have to do is start at the beginning and keep going until I get to the end. And it's not a race, its a tour. Just go have fun. Piece of Cake. Sounds good on paper, but despite his well-intentioned words, I can't help feeling under-prepared. gets better.

There's this little 10K the day after the bike tour that I had wanted to do. Wanted. Past tense. That was before signing up for the metric century.

Husband is perplexed as to why I might not want to do both in the same weekend. His argument is that I've done stuff like this all in one day before, so what's the worry? Of course, that's not quite true. The longest was oly tri distance. This particular bike ride is 2.5 times that distance!! Not quite apples-to-apples.

Long story short, the 10K is now on my calendar as well. Good thing they have a fitness center at the hotel. I surely wouldn't want to be under-prepared for *two* events in the same weekend.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

We interrupt this program...

for BRONCHITIS?!?!?!

Aye carumba. I really do not have time for this.

Okay, so I'm actually on day 3 of meds and feeling much better than I did on Tuesday when I finally drug (dragged? what tense to I use here?) my carcass over to urgent care, but I've pretty much had to throw my plans for the week straight out the window.

There's a bright side, well, at least I know there MUST be. I just don't know what it is right at this moment. Sigh.

[updated: so the bright side might be that without my bike ride tomorrow, I will have time to set up my indoor "garden of eatin" [strawberries and tomatoes] and might even be able to head to performance to pick up one of those snazzy profile aqua racks that Cindy has. Honestly, I'm aware that this doesn't counter-balances the missing bike ride, but I simply have to work within my limits at the moment]

Monday, May 19, 2008

Matching Game Monday

Here's how it works. Answer each question with a whole number from 0-5 inclusive. No number is used more than once. Today's questions are from the category "Lisa's Cycle Commute"

A) the number of times I had to stop on my way up the hill today

B) the number of time I had to stop on my way home to adjust my pannier rack

C) the number of times I plan to cycle to work this week

D) the approximate speed I maintained at the steepest part of the hill

Imagine Jeopardy music playing while you think about it. Answers are below


A) The correct answer is 0! That, my friends, is a huge milestone. :)

B) The correct answer is 2. Grrrrrrrr. It is user error. I put my new rack on this weekend and gave Husband his back. But I didn't tighten things down enough which caused problems on my ride home. He has since tightened everything for me and I'm sure it will be fine next time.

C) The correct answer is 3. I rode my bike to work today and plan to ride again on both Wed and Thurs. I hope I can keep to the plan!

D) Since the real answer is 4.5, I'll give credit for either 4 or 5. I seriously wonder if it would have been faster to hop off and walk. LOL. In any event, I'll worry about speed later, right now I'm just thrilled that I made it up to the top without having to stop and take a break.

So....How'd you do??

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Catching up

On Wednesday, I tried intervals on the treadmill again. It was a tough workout, as always, and probably a big mistake. My right leg was screaming at me afterwards. Drat.

Thursday was supposed to be a swim/upper body strength day before work. However, I really hadn't slept well that night and didn't feel like getting up at 5:15. So I slept in instead. I didn't want to totally blow off my workout, so I took my swim stuff with me hoping to try swimming at lunch time. It's okay as a plan B. I got in a 1200 yd swim. I returned to work with wet hair and still smelling like chlorine (no time for a shower or drying my hair). Luckily, I didn't have to work *with* anyone in the afternoon so it was all good.

Friday was my cycle day with Cindy. We met up at the trailhead at lunch time. The weather was beautiful. We shared lots of laughter along the way. Time sure flies when you're having fun. When it was all said and done, I had a little over 43 miles on my bike computer. Other than hitting the 'wall' at about mile 35, it was a perfect cycle day for me. But those last 8 miles were a real struggle. I've got three short weeks to figure out how to get from 43 to 65. I think that taking more frequent rest/stretch breaks will probably go a long way toward getting me there.

My schedule says that today is a long run day, but I think I'm going to skip it or possibly try a short run. I really need to let my right leg heal up.

Tomorrow I plan on showing up at the gym right when they open so that I can swim before church. We've got plans all afternoon, so if I don't get the swim in, it will probably be nada for me. Oh, and I'll also be tracking Wes while he's doing his first 70.3 in Orlando as well as checking Javamom's blog for an update on how her first Oly went.

Whatever you're doing this weekend, enjoy it!!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Your Mission should you choose to accept it...

Back in April, the kind people from Mission Skin Care offered to send me some samples of their new products to test out and write about. I received the samples promptly and have been testing them out on the run/bike. Last weekend, I noticed that they have them for sale now at Performance Bike store.

Here is what I received:

MISSION Sunscreen SPF 30 is designed to guard against environmental and sun damage. It boasts anti-sting technology to protect a sweating athlete’s eyes, is completely greaseless and oil-free, absorbs quickly, and provides long-lasting UVA and UVB protection while nourishing the skin with vitamin E.

MISSION Lip Protector SPF 20 is designed to protect an athlete’s lips from environmental and sun damage. It prevents moisture loss, and provides long-lasting UVA and UVB protection while nourishing the lips with powerful antioxidants.

MISSION Anti-Friction Cream possesses superior anti-chafing properties, and helps prevent discomfort, pain, irritation and inflammation due to skin-to-skin and skin-to-gear contact. Fortified with an antibacterial formula, it instantly heals, cools and moisturizes while helping to prevent irritation and infection in friction-prone areas. Mission Anti-Friction Cream is engineered to stay dry and cool through extended activity, and is compatible with all fabrics.

MISSION Foot Gel is engineered to relieve and rejuvenate hot, tired feet following strenuous activity. Fortified with vitamins A and E, It targets dry, cracked and inflamed skin, and delivers cooling, soothing, hydrating and revitalizing nourishment while helping to stimulate circulation.

MISSION Revive Gel is designed as a super-charged aloe gel for reviving skin after sunburn and windburn. Used by all types of athletes after sun and wind exposure, this miracle gel is used to hydrate, nourish and replenish damaged skin. This lightweight, scentless, clear gel is fortified with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. The gel also works as a high performance vitamin moisturizer after a workout and even a vitamin shave gel and restores the skin’s natural pH balance.

I'll share my thoughts, but first I need to mention that I have very sensitive skin.

Sunscreen - Generally, before I apply anything to my face, I search for the words "non-comedogenc" on the label. That means that it's unlikely to cause my face to break out in a rash. Instead I saw "Stop use and ask a doctor if rash or irritation develops and lasts." Yikes. I tried it only on my legs. I didn't like the format, this is like a giant chapstick that you rub on your body for sunscreen and am afraid to try it on my face. No thank you.

Lip Protector - It has a pleasant scent, includes sunscreen, and works well. No sunburned or chapped lips and it seemed to have some staying power. I liked it.

Anti-Friction Cream - By far the best product of the bunch. I really like that it's a gel/cream and not a stick. And it works great. Very nice. I'll use this in the future.

Foot Gel - I like how my feel after using this. Admittedly, I'm thinking more along the lines of pedicure than athlete product, but I like it.

Revive Gel - I wanted to like this. But it made some of my rashy areas (remember, I have sensitive skin) worse and left the other areas of my skin sticky. No thank you.

In summary: Love the anti-friction cream. It would rock if they would send me more (hint hint). If not, I guess its good that I now know where I can buy some. I liked the lip protector and foot gel; will have to think about whether or not I'd buy them though. Didn't care for the sunscreen or revive gel.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Just signed up for an event in June

a metric Century (with Husband)

Looking at the calendar

It's only 3.5 short weeks away.

Sounds fun, but ummm.

My longest ride EVER was 48miles.

That was after riding several times a week month on month.

This season is different.

I really just started riding again a few weeks ago.

Oh yeah, and one more thing.

I'll be out of town Memorial Day week.

Makes me wonder; maybe YOU have some idea??

Just what exactly *WAS* I thinking when I hit that "Enter" key??

Monday, May 12, 2008

Just doin' my part

Husband & I made and effort to stimulate the economy this weekend (that's my new way of making a shopping spree sound righteous).

First stop was REI where I scored a pannier bag that was on sale that seems to be just what I was looking for...bigger than my old bag, but smaller and lighter than Husband's bag. I also picked up a new rack to use with it. Next we stopped at Performance where I picked up a new sleeveless orange jersey and he bought another pair of cycling shorts.

I am happy with the pannier bag, but quickly discovered that while it works nicely with Husband's rack and the rack I bought that day, the new rack would not work with my bike. So I returned the new rack and have one similar to his on order. Meanwhile, I'm borrowing his.

I rode into work with the new set-up today. I thought it might be weird to have all the weight on one side, but it was fine. I'm thrilled with the bag; everything fit inside perfectly. And best of all, I only had to stop once on the hill.

I wore the new jersey today too. I like it enough that I think I'll stimulate the economy just a little more and buy another one in a different color.

No need to thank me, I'm here to help.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Virtual 10K on the 10th

Where to begin. Today was my first attempt at running since I smashed my 10K PR last Sunday at Run for the Zoo. I've been nursing a mild injury all week. I thought about claiming last week's run as my virtual 10K and not attempting to run today at all. But I figured that was cheating. Mostly cheating myself out of the opportunity to get outside and move my body.

It was just about three years ago today that I got the crazy idea that maybe I could do a sprint triathlon if I trained for it. It took me a full three months after the idea popped into my head before I bought running shoes and got myself out the door for the first time. I couldn't make it a half mile without feeling fully out of breath. I wondered how I would ever run 3.1 miles, much less afer a 400m swim and 12.5 mile bike. I thought maybe the bike would be easier, but my first attempt yielded 6 slow miles and completely wore me out. It would be another 6 months before I got serious about swimming and took lessons. And it took a full month of lessons before I could swim one length of the pool and back.

My lifestyle has changed sooo much since then. I rode my bike to work twice last week. I often wake up a few hours early, eager to get to the pool or the gym. I had an awesome 27 mile ride with Cindy on Friday. Husband & I now regularly run races together (5K, 10K,Half-Mary). I've done a handful of triathlons including a couple Oly distance.

The truth is, I've come too far to let a poor performance keep me from going outside and doing what I love.

So the plan for today was as follows: Go easy. Leave the pride at the door. Take as many walk breaks as needed. Try to cover the distance. Do NOT make the injury worse. It's a beautiful day; enjoy the moment.

I knew in the first half mile that my leg wasn't fully recovered and that I was going to do a lot of walking. I stuck to the plan. I went out easy. I left my pride at the door. I took as many walk breaks as needed (including one that was 2 miles long - ha!). I covered the distance. I don't think I made the injury worse. It was a beautiful day; I enjoyed the moment.

And with that, I proudly submit my PW (personal worse) 10K time of 1:27:54 for the 10K on the 10th Virtual Club Run. It may have been painfully slow, but it sure beats sitting on the couch...and for that I am grateful.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

That was better

That which doesn't kill us makes us stronger, right? So today I was determined to commute by bike once again.

This time I borrowed Husband's bag/rack combo. First impression, his bag is plenty big enough for all my stuff. Too big, actually. Also, it slides on and off the rack easily and the pannier sides secure to the pannier rack nicely. The whole contraption is quite a bit heavier, though, and probably too heavy for me. It would be ideal to find something bigger than mine and smaller (and lighter) than his.

Had to stop 3 times going up the hill. How pathetic is that? I don't think I've ever had that much trouble before. I've decided to blame it on the extra weight from his bag/rack combo. Yeah, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

It was quite windy on the way home. Made it down the hill without much problem and then noticed I was really cruising (20-21mph) without much effort on the flat stretch going toward home. I'm attributing that to 'wind-assist.' I also experienced a considerable slow down (9-11mph) after turning *into* the wind at the very end.

No flat today. That was a huge plus. But something isn't quite right with my front wheel, so I need to take a look at it before I take the Giant out again.

All-in-all, a much better experience than Tuesday.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Should have listened to the leg...

Didn't do much yesterday, I have a minor injury to the back of my right leg. I believe I may have pulled my hamstring. It's definately not the good sore you get from a hard workout, it's the bad sore you get from an injury. This morning I wanted to commute by bike to work. As it turns out, this didn't go so well. I'm convinced now that I should have listened to the leg...

Problem number one. I spent about 20mins trying to cram things into my trunk bag and then get it to attach to the rack on my bike. I could not for the life of me get it fully zipped up or attached to the rack correctly. I ended up bungeeing it. Husband has a bigger bag and pannier racks. Next time I will try his out. If that works for me I'll get one of those and sell mine on ebay.
I was a little behind schedule when I took off toward work. About a half mile in, I realized that I forgot my badge. This is not good. I need to scan the badge to get into the fitness center (to shower and change). I also keep my bike lock key and my desk keys on my badge. So I had to turn around to pick up my badge. Drat.

Second time out, things were going pretty well until I got to the hill. There is a parking lot about half way up, just after the steepest part. I turn into to sometimes to take a water break. Today I couldn't make it that far before taking a rest. I know I can do it when I get back into the commuting habit, but not today.

Eventually made it in, showered & changed, rode the bike another mile or so from the fitness center to my parking spot (in street clothes now). I was a bit late getting into the office, but all was well.

That is, until the end of the day when I realized that I had a flat. The flat had been caused by a goat head (grrrrrr) and even though I had goo tubes in, it just wouldn't hold air so I needed to change the tube. No problem, except that I could not for the life of me find my tire irons (you may call them tire levers). How the heck do you get a tire on/off without them? I guess you don't. Time for plan B.

I called Son who just got his provisional license on Saturday. He was happy to get a chance to drive on his own to come rescue me. We got the bike loaded up in the SUV and then stopped to pick up extra set of tire irons on the way home. Of course, I found mine in my bag later. Go figure,. I guess it never hurts to have extras.

While fixing the flat in the comfort of my own home - which is much nicer than doing it on the side of the road - my cross necklace caught on my something on the bike and the chain broke. GASP!! Anyone who knows me well knows that I *ALWAYS* wear my cross. I never take it off. I just don't. And now the chain is broken. Sigh. It's a rather dainty chain and I neither Husband or I can fix it ourselves so I need to get it repaired at a jeweler and/or replace the chain. That was about enough to put me in tears.

Yeah. Pretty much a crappy day. And to think I did this to myself by deciding to commute by bike to work. Should have listened to the leg!!

I'd be out of character if I didn't at least try to find the positives in the situation. So here we go:

1) I got 8.1 miles of riding in today.
2) Son had the opportunity to put his new license to good use.
3) I now have extra tire irons.
4) Put a brand new goo tube in the front tire of my Giant. Should be good to go next time.
5) Had another chance to practice changing a tube. Apparently I need practice, because it took a long time.
6) I don't have to go a without my cross (whew!); I found a cheap chain in my jewelry box that I can use until I get the other one repaired or replaced.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Run for the Zoo Race Report

This morning, Husband & I awoke early New Mexico Run for the Zoo 10K. The weather looked nice. It was about 45deg and sunny. I opted to run in a skirt with a long sleeve shirt over a tank top. Brought the hydration belt with 2 bottles accelerade. Also brought my shuffle and headphones. And of course, I wore one of my headsweats hats.

This is a popular local event. It draws thousands of participants for the various races (10K, a 5K run, a 5K walk, and a 1 mile fun run). Many of the participants stay to visit the zoo afterwards. We tried to arrive early to secure decent parking, but still ended up walking quite a ways to the start area and standing in a very long line to get our chips. Not to worry though, we had sufficient time and weren't rushed before the race began.

We decided to line up somewhere between the 9min and 10min pace signs. I was hoping for a PR today with my sights set on a finish time in the 01:03:00-01:05:00 range. Husband looked over at me at the start and said "You're on your own this morning." I nodded, knowing that he had intended to run his own race today.

This race doesn't have a start mat, so I started my Garmin when the gun went off. We were off like a herd of stampeeding turdles. It took about 25sec to hit the start line, and then I was able to find space to run.

I'm not feeling particularly bloggy at the moment, but I annotated my splits graph to give you some idea how the race went down for me.

Long story short, we both PRd! My finish time was 01:02:19, a 10:01 min/mi pace. Husband's finish time was 00:55:48, an 8:58min/mi pace. [Now updated with official results!!]

I'm quite pleased about my 10K PR, but not so happy about how my right leg is feeling at the moment. More on that later...

Next weekend is the Virtual 10K on the 10th. I'm participating, but will not be trying to better my PR. I need to give my legs (particularly the right one) a chance to recover.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Back on the saddle

This is going to be a shocker, but I actually rode my bike. Can you believe it?!? In fact, my bike computer says that I went 26.2 miles today. Not too shabby, eh?

Most of the credit goes to Cindy who invited me to meet up with her on the bike path this morning. That's all it took to get me off my rear and onto my bike. I was a little apprehensive on the way to our designated meeting spot when I realized how windy it was. However, I rather enjoyed the whole experience and hope we can do this more often.

After arriving home, it became obvious that today's ride totally wore me out. I didn't feel like doing much more than sitting on the couch. I guess that's what happens when you take a long break from cycling and decide to pick it back up on a windy day with a nice little 25+ mile ride.

Oh, and I must have been too tired to think straight this afternoon, because I went ahead and registered for Elephant Man. Yikes! Guess it's time to get serious now...