Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Catoctin Challenge Bike Ride Report

It was a gorgeous day for the Catoctin Challenge! We started at the Frederick Community College in Frederick, MD. We signed up for the 65 mile route (the "Chicks Dig Fil" Metric). This is me and my ride partner and friend, Kelly, at the first rest stop in Thurmont. I'm in the orange and blue jersey. Riding through the country side of Frederick, Maryland we went through several covered bridges. I am not a master of taking pictures while riding, thus no covered bridge photos. Next time! They were lovely though. It was nice to ride in very low traffic areas. Even though there were many other riders on the road, most of the time it was just me and Kelly. It was a good time to catch up on all that has been going on in our lives.

This was the second rest stop on Mason-Dixon Road! We were headed North! All of the volunteers for this event were super!

Then we road into the Gettysburg Battlefield

Self portrait. I should have smiled!

Lunch was at the Land of Little Horses! We made new, furry friends.

After lunch, Kelly was chased by a crazy dog. The owner was finally able to get control of him and no one was hurt! We climbed through the farm land little ups and downs here and there. Past some lovely, bubbling creeks and remote houses. So quiet and peaceful!

Kelly and the "Ride Genius" Phil - creator of the Catoctin Challenge. This was at the final rest stop at Ski Liberty in Pennsylvania. Up to now the climbing wasn't so bad. The down hill into this rest stop was awesome. I think it was when I hit 41 miles per hour. Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!

See that hill? Somewhere over there is the two mile climb. Last year so many people, including moi, walked up the hill. It was hot, it is a long, slow climb. This year...... I peddled the whole way. My bike is not triple ring..... I may have only been going about 4 miles per hour, but I road the whole thing! Woot! Several of us were cussing Phil for the hill the whole way. He even had spray painted, FU FIL on the road! He knows! Phil also likes to spray on the road, "This is the last hill".... it never is......He is a silly man. He enjoys torturing those that do his rides.

Here we are at the end - the Lodge a Blue Ridge Summit! Still smiling. I was glad to be done and I was thinking - SHOWER! BEER! FOOD!
We calculated that we did about 68 rather than 65 miles. Nothing stellar on the speed, but we weren't racing. It was a great ride!
My sitz bones were sore. Muscles a little tight. I stretched and then took advantage of the $1 per minute massages that were being offered. 20 minutes of leg and shoulder work and I felt great... that and a few beers too!
Sunday we took the short cut route back to Frederick (35 miles or so), which only saved us about 5 miles, but it did take out one of the two killer climbs. Each of them are the short but steep hills. Once back to Frederick, we got our junk from the truck and went to eat at Cracker Barrel! An Awesome Weekend!
Thank you to those that donated too!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

This Weekend's Activities

On Saturday, I will be off on a charity bike ride to benefit Habitat for Humanity of Frederick County, Maryland.
If you wish to sponsor me click here: Sponsor Maryland Girl
We start in Frederick, Maryland and ride up to the Lodge at Blue Ridge Summit in Pennsylvania. The ride has three options for Saturday - 50, 65 and 99.9 miles. My friend Kelly and I have decided to tackle the 65 mile option. It is hilly too! We ride through part of the Gettysburg Battle Field and have great rest stops along the way. Once at the lodge, you set up camp, shower, eat (donated by Outback! Yum!), drink beer, listen to the bands... Its a party! It is a well put together event. Sunday's ride is lots of fun as it is mostly down hill back into Frederick. Zoooommmmm!!
I did this ride last year, the 50 mile option, on my hybrid bike (affectionately named big red..it is a tank!) , three weeks post surgery for ovarian cysts, and I had been out on the bike once! Crazy, yes, but I survived and had fun. Going into to this year, I think it will be pretty good. I now have a MUCH, MUCH lighter bike - the tangerine dream! :) - and I've been consistently training on the bike. Last year it was blazing hot and humid. It looks like this year it will be a little bit better. I hope the humidity stays down. I will try to be a good blogger and take lots of pictures along the way.

I wish all those racing and such this weekend the best of luck! I look forward to catching up on the blogs next week!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Dextro Energy Triathlon Race Report

So here is my rambling race report! I apologize now for any grammatical errors! Here are the silly pictures.

Born Not To Run and I looking tough! Ha ha. Check out my guns! Jeanne is a great cheerleader! Thanks Jeanne!

I seriously need to do my hair color! Ha!

They put your age on your calf!

It was still dark when I arrived in transition!

The swim dock. This was taken on Saturday. The Potomac was VERY choppy on Saturday. Not so choppy on Sunday but the current was strong! It looks so angry in this photo!

I was pumped on Sunday morning. My heart rate was up before we even jumped in the water. I jumped in and felt fine in the wetsuit and the water. Once we were given the go I had trouble getting going. My chest felt tight, I couldn't catch a good breath. The current was tough. The water was murky. I just doggy paddled/breast stroked until I felt better. I even felt like I might not be able to do it, but I talked myself out of that notion. I think of myself as a strong swimmer. I have snorkeled in the ocean, no land in site, why can't I do this! Once I got around the first buoy I felt a little more in sync. I did keep veering right away from where I should have been going, but the helpful men in the kayaks made sure I didn't get too far off course. Now I know I need to work on my open water swim and starting from a floating position.

I tried to run from the swim to the transition area, but I did have to walk some of it. I think I did pretty good getting out of the wetsuit, but I'm not sure what else I was doing for over 5 minutes. Contemplating Life??? Once I got on the bike I was feeling in the groove. The bike course was awesome. It was great to ride on the roads I have driven on so many times and to have nothing but other cyclist around you. I felt strong on the bike. T2 wasn't as long as T1, but still! I got running and it didn't take too long for my legs to feel okay. Those brick workouts have been helpful! I felt good during the run. I may have been able to push myself a bit more, but I think overall it was a good run. I meant to grab my camera for the run, so I could take pictures as I went past the Jefferson Memorial, the Washington Monument and then as I was coming down the finish line with the Capital behind me, but I forgot!

It was a fun race! I am so happy I decided to throw this one into my line up. I was awesome to see the pros racing in the ITU Championship! They were so fast! I was also inspired by the older women that were doing the age group race. There were a handful that were over 60. Many former iron man distance competitors. Post race I walked back to my car (several blocks away from transition) with Mary who is 68. She is amazing. She was coming back to triathlon after nearly a 2 year break due to illness. I hope that I am still doing triathlons at 68. She said she used to do mostly iron man and half iron man distances, but that she really enjoyed doing this sprint distance.

I will say all of the women that I have met thus far in connection to triathlon have been super!
When I get my official race photos I'll post them too.

Here are my stats for the Dextro Energy Triathlon
  • Overall time: 1:46:55
  • Division: 14 out of 17
  • Gender: 142 out of 169
  • Overall place: 425 out of 477
  • Swim (750m): 23:27 (3.08 per 100m)
  • T1: 5:18!!
  • Bike (20k): 41:13 (18.1 mph)
  • T2: 2:44
  • Run (5K): 34:15 (11:03 per mile)
I was penalty free! Now I have a PR for a Sprint Distance. I came into this event without any expectations in terms of time. I just did it for the experience, but I am pretty happy with it overall! I really liked this distance. I didn't feel all beat up when it was over, which is good!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Its official!

I did it! My first sprint distance triathlon is on the books. Race report to follow. I'm tired mostly from getting up at 3 am to get to transition! I'm so hooked on this sport! I will post all the details and a few photos tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Crappy Weather!

Well the temperature is not awful, not June like for Maryland, but not awful. I am so tired of rain though! I have a triathlon this weekend. Will the swim portion happen? What will the water tests show? Hmmmmm better yet, will I be able to get into the wetsuit without totally embarrassing myself? Weather and wetsuits aside, I am excited and looking forward to the event! I hope I'm ready!

In other news...... dead, dull and boring....Work has had me very busy. I haven't even been winked at on Match in a while. Oh the horrors! (NOT!) I think I need to rewrite my profile and add some new photos. I signed up to Match in order to actually try to find some dates rather than just complain that I haven't had a date, when I haven't been actively searching. As a social scientist I find the online dating thing rather fascinating, but on a personal level it is frustrating. Girl winks or emails guys, get no response most of the time. A few guys wink or email, girl responds... maybe even a few emails back and forth and then they vanish into the unknown...... I don't know about it all.. I am not going to take it personally! In my various activities I meet new people all the time. So far no dating material, but I keep thinking that the activities will be a great place to meet a compatible, single male. One day....
It is a good thing that I know how to entertain myself and that I am actually enjoying my life as it is right now, or this would be truly depressing!

Oh wait!! I did have excitement the other day... I went to see No Doubt in concert. AWESOME! I took my daughter and one of her friends. We all had a blast. Gwen and the guys were GREAT! The opening bands Paramore and The Sounds were good too. Gotta love a great concert!

For those reading, thanks! Enjoy your runs, swims, bike rides or whatever it is that you enjoy doing! Have a GREAT DAY!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Just humming along

Not too much going on.... The rain stopped in time for weekend bike rides!!
Saturday was another brick workout. I think I did pretty good. I had a good 23.5 mile ride and a fairly smooth 2.5 mile run. I felt pretty good about it all! I am noticing that I am getting a bit more consistent on my cadence during my ride. I had a good pacer riding with me on Saturday which I think helped at ton. Sunday, I road with Jeanne in the morning. We did about 15 miles with some nice rolling hills. It was a good ride! Sunday afternoon I proceeded to get a sunburn while hanging out at the pool. I swear I had put on enough sunscreen!! Only in a few spots, but they are red and hurt! OUCH! I hate getting sunburn!

This morning I did my gym rat thing. I ran a 5K on the treadmill and then did some strength work. I felt good running. I got into the zone with my ipod. Although I do need to add some new tunes to the rotation. Anyone got a favorite running song??? I also need to get outside for more pavement and weather condition running.

Tonight is a swim night! It is a hot and humid day here in Maryland. Currently at 87 degrees. Hopefully any pop up thunderstorms will wait until I have gotten in my workout! The cool water will feel good on my burnt parts!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Thunderstorms, goofy dogs and flip turns....

We've been having some crazy thunderstorms here lately. My dog, Sampson, doesn't like thunderstorms. It has gotten worse with age. He is 10 years old, which is ancient for a Great Dane. This is where I usually find him during a thunderstorm:

In my bathroom, sitting on the toilet. Notice one hind foot is off the ground.
He has also started sitting on the edge of the tub. I haven't photographed that yet! I am afraid he is going to fall into the tub and then I will have to wrestle all 150lbs of him out of the tub! At any rate, with the storms happening at night ( I know, I asked for it earlier this week!) Sampson's pacing, panting and banging around in my bathroom is keeping me up at night! I love my dog, but dragon breath panting right on my face while I'm sleeping is REALLY unpleasant.

Yesterday was National Run Day. I didn't run.... I am behind on runs.... Need to start getting some mileage going!!! Or even a 5k will kick my butt! I did swim yesterday. My full workout too! I got it in before the thunderstorms started. Pool was nearly empty again. My daughter joined me, but just sat on a lounge chair reading her book and asking me every now again, "How much more do you have to do?" with a really pained look on her face. The joy of a preteens and teens! She's been having a rather dramatic week. Must have been all those performances last weekend. She needs to step back into the real world now! On a swim note... While I know I don't need flip turning ability during a triathlon, I am flummoxed that I cannot remember how to execute one correctly! I have nearly drown myself trying recently. I learned swim very young, joined swim team as soon as they let me, was a hot shot swimmer girl by age 10, swam, swam, swam. Flip turns no problem. Why doesn't my brain and body remember how to execute them! It would make all those endless laps back and forth a little smoother I think. Anybody got any tips or hints to flip turns??
Thursday night is usually bike ride night, but tonight is my daughter's Cast party. So that is where I will be. I'm sure it will be fun and all, but I will really miss my bike ride. I did spin class this morning at the gym, but it is just not the same!
Have a great day!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Me Post Swim

Photo for blog.... This is me in my kitchen after I got home from a great swim! Note the lovely hair do... Perhaps I should post this one on match. HA!!!!!!!!!!! The water wasn't nearly as cold as I thought it would be. The pool was practically empty, so no little kids poking through the lap lanes. Tonight I need to get a run. I didn't make it to the gym this morning and now it is 88 degrees and quite humid out.. ugh.... At least it is only a 3o min run on the schedule.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Swimming anyone???

Tonight I will brave the cold waters of the recently opened neighborhood outdoor pool in order to get a swim workout on the books. Just thinking about it gives me the chills! Once I get swimming though, I will forget about how cold the water is........I hope!

This weekend was busy, busy, busy. My parents were in town to come watch my lovely daughter perform all weekend long. She has been in a theater ensemble since September. This is a group of 22 kids (9-12 years of age) who worked along with a director, composer and writer to create an original musical. They finished it up with 4 shows, 3 of which were sold out, this weekend. The kids did great! I am a proud Mom! Despite having family in the house, I did get my training brick in on Saturday morning. I averaged just over 15 mph on the 23.5 mile bike ride and then we did a short run ~2 miles or so afterwards. I was a slow-poke on the run, but I got it done! And all felt good!

20 days to my first real triathlon! 26 days to the 65 hilly miles ride! June will be over before you know it!

While today is an awesome day in terms of weather, I do have one request for Mother Nature. Please do your Rain thing while I am sleeping or while I am at work. I really need to get my workouts in!! Thank you!