Monday, August 29, 2011

The bicycle is a curious vehicle. Its passenger is its engine. ~John Howard

What a fun day of watching cycling!!!!! After a week of watching/listening to the USA Pro Cycling Challenge it all ended Sunday right here in Denver. The stage started in Golden. You may remember Golden from a post I did here when I rode on some of the very same roads that these famous riders such as Levi, Frank, Andy, George, Cadel and Christian were about to ride. And then the climb up Lookout Mountain* that you may remember from the post when Jill and I conquered it for the first time. They then headed back through Golden and into Denver.

I had a plan...I really wanted to be able to see them climb Lookout so I decided that I would watch it live on the Shack Tracker and then, since they would be passing only miles from my house I would then hop in the car and go down to watch them pass and If all went well I could then be home to watch a couple laps in Denver and see the finish! It worked perfect! Here are a few shots I took as they passed. It goes so fast that trying to figure out who is who is almost impossible! It was nice though that they were broken up a bit when they passed. First there was a lead group of just a few riders, and then one chaser...I didn't get good photos of these guys and soon came the first half of the peloton being led by Team Radio Shack.

As you can tell we were on a little bit of an incline here, not that it seemed to slow them down any!

Here comes team Liquigas heading up the second 1/2 of the peloton. Do you call it a peloton when it's broken that one or 2 pelotons? As you can tell I'm still pretty new to this whole bike racing thing.

Wow!!!! A seriously great day for Me, Denver and all of Colorado as they are saying that this race seems to have drawn crowds larger then any other race in the states! And it will be BACK! And next year I will be making plans to experience a little more of this race.

*Just a little side note about Lookout 15 year old son has just taken a driving class which included 6 hours of driving time with an instructor. Zach had spend little to no time behind the wheel of car prior to his first drive with the instructor, which as you may have guessed by now had him driving up Lookout Mountain!!!! Makes me just a little more nervous about going up that hill again! :) But it's funny...things haven't changed much over the years as when I was learning to drive (more years ago then I want to count) I too had drive up Lookout Mountain.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Rugged Maniac

Your friends think you’re crazy and your loved ones are concerned for your safety, but something restless stirs deep down inside - you won’t be constrained by temperate society. You’d rather break than passively watch life pass you by and you ask, “How can I know myself without knowing my limits? Most shake their heads, content with vicarious existence, ignorant perhaps. Still, some hear you, and together you will gather. Your day draws near, glory impatiently waits.Soon you will have the right to declare,

“I am a Rugged Maniac!”

Oh, how excited we are for our event at Thunder Valley Motocross Park on October 15, and we know you are too! This course is going to be downright awesome. For starters, the track, in all of its rugged beauty, is home to innumerable natural obstacles: steeps, ponds, downed trees, rivers, ravines and some gnarly hills that will leave you gasping for air and begging for mercy. Then, of course, we’re adding obstacles, for which some of you will curse us and some of you will sing us sweet praise. The cursers will thank us in the end, because “Where can glory be found if not amidst cargo climbs and walls and barbed wire and fire?” Nowhere, that’s where!

This is from an email I got the other day. I'm so excited and as usual just a little nervous about it.It's October 15th. Come and join me.... Use this code “onlytherugged". It’s good for an $8 discount.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Have you seen this?

It pretty much says it all.I saw this over at Karen's blog Working it out. It comes from Trifuel.

Fact: you will not become efficient at swimming, biking or running over night. Sorry to burst your bubble. This is NOT an easy sport.

Check your ego at the door because chances are someone fifty pounds heavier than you will lap you in the pool. Not to mention she will be ten or fifteen years older than you.

You will be passed on the bike many times and you will never be the fastest runner in your town.
You will have early morning workouts. Really early.
You will plan your weekends around your swim, bike and run.
You are up while others are sleeping.
You are training while others are sitting.
You will discover others who also follow this blood, sweat and tears cult.
You will eventually get a flat tire... and have to change it all by yourself.
No matter what you hear, triathlon is NOT an inexpensive sport.
Warning, it is extremely addictive, hence the impulse spending on wetsuits, bikes, running shoes, aero bars, aero helmets, speed suits, power meters, GPS heart-rate monitors and many other ‘gotta have items.’
You will hate swimming more times than you like it for the first year.
You will suffer through road trips with whiny fellow triathletes.
You will suffer set backs.
You may experience an injury.
You will develop a love/hate relationship with a foam roller and ice baths.
You will at some point realize you need a coach.
You will hate swimming for the first year.
You will wear tight clothing.
You will not like how this tight clothing fits or looks.
Your age will take on a whole new meaning.
You will discover a whole new meaning for tan lines.
Food will become an extremely important part of your life.
You will learn new words such as GU, cadence and brick.
You will hate swimming for the first year.
You will spend more time on your bike than on your couch.
You may lose a friend or two because you spend too much time swimming, biking and running, and they could careless about your heart rate training, foam rolling pain or 20 mile bike ride.
You will learn patience.
You will be humbled.
You will start to realize you are paying money to put yourself through pain and suffering, but for some odd reason, you LOVE it.

This sport called Triathlon, becomes a part of you. You start to plan your entire year around sprint, international, half-iron or full-iron distance races. Your vacations become racing, and you start to realize that this sport called triathlon could become a life-long adventure.
Many people settle for things in life. They settle for a crappy job, marriage, friends, food, place to live and overall fitness and health.

Those who desire more or those who want more out of life than a drive-thru window and boring sitcom, will choose triathlon or an activity that makes them happy. An activity that will change their life. Triathlon will change your outlook on life, your career, your marriage, your goals, your friends and many other things you thought you had figured out. It’s not just crossing a finish line or a boring finisher medal. It’s the countless hours that got you to that point. A moment in time that you will NEVER forget. A moment that you will discuss with your family and friends for hours if not days after the event. These discussions will most likely be about how you could have done better. At what point could you have swam faster, biked harder or ran more efficient? This is what will go through your head everyday until you get the opportunity to suffer again.

So you wanna be a Triathlete? Enjoy the ride and train hard!

Nick Clark, Clark Endurance Training

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Three thing Thursday.....Randomness

1. Why would they take away the porta-potty that I planned to stop at on my morning run??? This not really a good thing.... you should be able to count on your potty stops.......

2. Completely enjoying the USA Pro Cycling Challenge. Even though I'm not able to watch much since I'm at work I've been listening to it on line. So fun to hear about these riders right here in your own state! They were riding through Buena Vista today, which is where I just was rafting. I'm up in the air as to how I'm going to handle them being here in town. I really want to go somewhere and watch, but on the other hand I would love to see the whole thing on TV. I really want to see them ride up Lookout Mtn and see just how much faster the do it then I do! It's cool to know that all of these great riders will be riding on the same streets that I have! If I go to watch with the exception of a couple of places they will pass more then once, they will go by so fast it will hardly be worth it....decisions, decisions...

3. Banana soft serve...this stuff is sooooo good and pretty good for you! I made it with some Silk Light Chocolate Soymilk, a little peanut butter and just a tiny bit of chocolate syrup...I think this could take the place of ice cream...well most of the time..

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Taking Control and making changes...

Ok as I'm sure you are all done reading about my whining I'm done with it too! Time to move on and take control. I'm feeling better about things this weekend. I've still not really made any concrete decisions about what I'm doing. I have a little bit of time before I decide on the tri for sure. I am however almost positive that I'm going to sign up for the November 1/2 marathon.

So on to the weekend... now considering I just said that I was probably going to train for a 1/2 marathon I didn't run at all...I did however ride... both days. And loved it...well most of it.

Saturday I rode with a group from Bicycle Village a no drop ride they do every Saturday. I went for the first time last week and thought it was ok although I was less then thrilled with the route we took. I was determined to try it a few more times before I made a real decision. So off I went this week. The ride was to Boulder this week which was much nicer. Also instead of the speedy guys racing off hardly to be seen this group waited a little more often. Also this week instead of getting stuck back with the slower group there was kind of a middle group that I could hang with and feel like I was pushing myself but not killing myself. Very nice ride with a stop 1/2 way for coffee and pastries. I will go again.

Sunday I went to ride with Kathleen as she had a 4 1/2 hour training ride for IMAZ that she had to complete. We met out east to ride an upcoming 70.3 bike course. The first 10 miles were beautiful smooth road nice chatting little traffic and very quite. Then we turned and hit a gradual uphill and the wind, lots of wind, and the next 10 miles were pretty slow and torturous for me. Poor Kathleen was kind enough to wait for me. The next 10 miles were more rollers and though my legs were tired it was nice to have the downhills to recover.

As we were climbing into the reservoir Kathleen stopped to wait for me. We made a call to see if a friend who had raced there that morning was still around. We took off and almost immediately I said "I have a flat" We stop and Kathleen says "me too" so we walk back to the area we just left (a turn off) to get off the street and proceed to each change our flat rear tires.
Thanks Kathleen for the photos!
That doesn't go to bad, between the two of us we get it taken care and as we are almost ready to leave Kathleen looks at my bike and says..."your front is flat." CRAP! (and a few other choice words I think) So I take out my last tube and change the front. At that point we just headed up to the race track for water (which I was totally out of and it was about 90 deg) and a bathroom. It was great that the facilities were so close. I've no idea how long that whole episode took us but then we got back on the bikes and finished up hoping and praying that there would be no more flats as we were out of tubes and C02 cartridges. Luckily it was a pretty easy uneventful ride back.

All in all a good weekend! How was yours?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Three thing Thursday- Whiney Wednesday continues....

1. Thanks for all the encouragement and the ideas on how to beat PRD. I’m still thinking about my options and trying to figure out what I want to do. I think in the end there is a good chance I will train for a November ½ marathon, also possibly one more tri. It's comforting to know that so many you have experienced the same thing.

2. The Lazy Song...

3. Since the 70.3 I have
Swam – 0 times
Biked – 1 time
Ran – 3 times

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Whiney Wednesday...or PRD

Otherwise known as Post Race Depression.....I'm wandering around a little lost here...I don't know where I'm going or what I'm doing. I don't have a plan. I don't really have a race. I am of course doing the Skirt Chaser 5k October 1st , and my oldest son and I will be doing the Rugged Maniac October 15th. While I'm looking forward to both of these, neither will be a "race" exactly so I've got no training plan. I'm really sad at the thought of not doing another tri this year but not sure that it will fit into the finances, allthough I haven't ruled it out completely yet. I don't function very well with out a training plan. If I don't know what I have to do for the week (even if I miss some) I end up not doing anything. I know that I want to really work on my running in the next year but other then that I've no ideas...I need a plan! Help! I'm sure that I'm not the only one to suffer from PRD. How did you handle it? What kind of plan should I come up with? Any ideas?

Friday, August 12, 2011


I have mentioned a couple of times that I was picked to be a personal motivator for the Skirt Sport Kick Start Program.(See an article and photos here.) Skirt Sports started this program last year to go along with their Skirt Chaser 5k. Which is a fun race where the women start 3 minutes ahead of the men and as the name would suggest, chase them. Skirt Chaser chose 20 racer and 20 personal motivators to participate in this year’s race. I feel very privileged to have been chosen to help motivate someone to start to incorporate exercise into their life either by walking, running.

We had our first meeting last Saturday. It was both heart breaking and uplifting at the same time. The racers are for the most part are having some kind of struggle in their life right now. They are of all ages and come from different backgrounds. Many times I heard some say the phrase. “I just need to get control”. The motivators are as diverse as the racers. Some have been running all their lives others like myself are newer to the whole thing and two of them were racers last year.

I love the idea of this program. Women helping women. We women tend to be much more self conscious then men and it’s often hard for us to try something that is so far out of our comfort zones. Having the support of other women who have been there can make all the difference in the world. If I can motivate one woman and she in turn does the same. What a huge difference we can make.

Go out and motivate someone!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Thursday Three - Reflections

1. Photos....
This one is actually a better shot of Beth I'm to the left and she is right in the center
Leading the pack or being passed?
Walking and darn happy about it!
Trying to look strong at the finish!
My partner from the last 3 miles on the left.

Oh yea.....


2. I'm surprised and shocked by both how hard and how easy this race felt at different times.

3. I'm amazed by the things that can happen if you just step outside of your comfort zone.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Ironman Boulder 70.3 race report

Wow what an experience! First off let me just say thanks for all the congrats and good wishes you guys sent my way. It's amazing how much of a difference it makes when you are out on that course and think about all the people who are cheering you on in some way. Now be prepared as usual my race report is as long as the race.

So I guess let's start at the beginning...the night before. I had a meeting of the Skirt Sports Kick Start Program (more to come about that later) it went from 4-6:30. It was in an area that I'm not all that familiar with...Cherry know where this is going right? I had a hard time finding the place so of course I was running late. When I finally found a parking place on some side street I hurried to find the store which I had not actually found yet just the general area. Finally I arrived 10 minutes late. The meeting was fantastic including a short run/walk. Very inspiring. So the meeting is over and I'm really not sure where I parked...great just what I want to do is walk around looking for my car...yep about 20 minutes. Finally found it and headed home so I could get some dinner make last minute preps and get in bed! I slept FANTASTIC! I woke on my own at about 4 and laid there for about 15 minutes thinking about what was to come and getting nervous. I got up and had my pre race breakfast of a bagel thin, peanut butter and banana. Packed up the car and headed out just before 5. The drive was quick and I arrived at the rez in no time. Put a little air in the tires and headed to transition made one of the best decisions of they day when I stopped at a port-a-potty on the way THERE WAS NO ONE THERE!!! Set up, chatted with Kathleen who was again racked right by me. By now I've calmed down and am just ready to get started.
Transition area

Me and Kathleen

Borrowed :) this photo from the Boulder Tri series Facebook page.

Swim wave 4 at 6:45.
How nice that was! No waiting around, lets just get to it! Kathleen and I kept to the back and who should be right beside me beside Beth! Yea! I finally got to say hi! We had a little time to chat as they gave the wave before us a little more time. And we're off! A lot of contact at the start but nothing major, just a lot of touching, nothing painful. I just kept a steady pace and kept going. My sighting on the way out was not so good. I was off in the distance a bit...on the other hand I'm actually ok with that as when the young studs from the next wave came through I was well out of their way. :) I had joked with Kathleen and Beth that the reason I never had a problem with contact was because I was usually so far of base that any good swimmer would never come near me. I got a little better after the first turn. The course was kind of a triangle that they had designed to keep us from having to swim straight into the sun which was great! I felt pretty good through almost all of the swim. No leaky goggles, just keep swimming. After the last turn it seemed to take forever to get in. It never looked like the beach was getting closer at one point I did look up though and have my face right in some guys armpit... eventually I finished and was thrilled to get out of the water and see 45 minutes on the watch! That is exactly what I planned for!
Swim 45:52

T1 4:37. Nothing to much happened here. I haven't gotten any faster. :) Everything went fine, I was close to the bike out and bike in so that was pretty nice.

The first part of the bike is so hard for me. Trying to get warmed up and there is this hill right at the fact the first 6 miles are a gradual uphill but after the first couple I was feeling pretty good, although I have to say that it did seem like it was taking forever. Lot's of passing...people passing me that is. :) I passed some too but since all of the younguns were after us on the swim they all pass me on the bike. I passed a girl crying on the side of the road early on. I asked if she was ok, she said "no" I said can I help and she said "no". It was so sad to see her there so early on in the race. I then passed a sign that said "Don't burn up your legs save some for the fun I laughed and then realized that it really did say run. I believe it was around mile 15 when the pro's flew by are they fast! Even though it seemed like this first lap was taking along time it was going well. I was doing well on my nutrition and getting my water in. My shoulders seemed to be really stiff, I think I must have been pretty tense but other then that I felt pretty good entering the 2nd lap and I was averaging just over 17 mph and was right on target. The initial climb went much easier this time around and before I knew it I was heading downhill YEA!! I passed aid station around 43 miles and took a water, debated about stopping at the bathroom and decided I didn't really need to. It wasn't long after that, like a mile that I realized I was having to work really hard and I was still on a bit of downhill. I stopped and sure enough..flat rear tire...oh great. So I proceed to start on changing it. I had the new tube in and was working on getting the tire back on when one of the motorcycle angles stopped. He asked if I wanted help and I said sure, as I had both a pump and the CO2 cartridges but had never used them (the CO2). He pumped them and when he finished I remember that I had not checked for what gave me the flat. So nice man that he was he let the air out and looked for problem...sure enough he dug some rather large pieces of glass out of my tire that I'm sure had come from an earlier training ride. He pumped it back up and he took a look at the front. All seemed well so off I went although it seemed longer this little adventure took about 15 minutes. I kept a positive attitude but knew that my chances of making it around 7 hours was gone. Shortly after that I saw up ahead an ambulance and as I passed I saw a rider standing there but still on this bike. By the time I realized it was Duane I was pretty far passed. I knew that he must be ok since he was standing there and the paramedics were not even near him at the time. I've not yet met Duane but I've followed his blog and he has an incredible story. The fact that he got out and started this race speaks volumes about his determination. Not to long after that Paul a friend that has done the whole Boulder series also and is obviously much faster than I passed me, it was nice to hear someone shout out your name. I finished the ride feeling good with my bike computer showing an average of 17. Of course it stops when I do so that didn't include the stop but I still felt good knowing that I had managed to do what I set out to do and keep a 17 mph average.
Bike 3:34:20 15:68 mph

T2 4:22 I finally hit up the port-a-potty before I left transitions, but again, nothing very exciting happened. This time I was able to find my area, right next to the fence very easily. The only problem was that our bike racks were on one end and then back to the other end for the potty and then back to the other side for the there was a bit of wasted time there.

Run (I use the term very loosely)

I started out with a little bit of running a little bit of walking the first couple miles were not to bad even though there was a pretty good uphill or two...But it wasn't long before there was way more walking then running. And thoughts of how I would possibly be able to do one more loop. I was convinced at this point that I would never make it. But how did one go about quitting? How did one tell everyone that you quit? At each aid station I would take a water, fill my bottle with ice and or water, drink a Gatorade put some ice down my shirt and grabbed a sponge or two to keep cool. My feet were killing me. The Mortons Neroma was sending some shooting pains through my foot on a regular basis. Thus making walking all the time easier as the impact on it wasn't near as bad. The volunteers on the course were fantastic. Willing to do whatever you asked of them. Even sharing their own sunscreen. At one part of the course here there is a little out and back section and I saw Beth on the other side. I knew she would soon be passing me so I cheered her on as she sped by. The wind really kicked up during the first loop especially when we got onto the dam on the other side of the lake. I had to take my hat off as it kept wanting to blow off. The dirt was blowing everywhere! Between the dirt, the sweat and the water I was beginning to feel pretty nasty. By the time I reached the start of the second know the one where you go right by the finish line? I was feeling better about things. I was still walking but the pain in neroma was not flairing up and although my feet hurt I didn't feel that bad overall. Funny the 2nd lap seemed to go faster. I just kept moving forward and chatting a little with some folks all though most were not in the talking I'm a chatter.. Stuck to the same routine through in some pretzels about mile 8 they were pretty good and think they helped a bunch more then the coke I drank at mile 10. About that time I came upon a guy who was walking and started chatting with him. He had just done the Denver Tri so we talked about that and his family and the Chicago tri (he had recently moved from there) and the last 3 miles just flew by! I was so thankful to have him help me get to the finish...this was also his first 70.3 so when I will you do it again?...he looked at me and we both just kind of chuckled...yea now is not such a good time to ask. At about this time I passed Kathleen and Steve (from BT) on the sidelines and they cheered as we passed and told us to run it in...I said I'm waiting till I get we got to the finishers shoot we started running and I think I finished with a smile on my face. I saw my Mom and smiled got my chip removed and had the finishers photos taken. And then I got choked up. The tears welled up in my eyes and I hugged my mom and tried to get a grip on myself. I felt very emotional at that point that I had actually managed to finish up what I had started. And while I didn't finish in the time I hoped or as strong as I hoped I did finish.
Run 3:15:25 14:55 pace
TOTAL TIME 7:44:36

I chatted with my mom and she soon left. I went to find Kathleen and Paul and wait for Sarah to finish up. I went for food but there was nothing but really hard bagels and orange slices. They said more pizza was on the way. It wasn't long before Sarah came in. We all sat around chatted for quite some time before we decided it was time to head out. I so appreciated doing this whole tri series with these guys this year. It was so nice to know that someone you knew was out on the course with you and that they would be there at the finish line when you got there.
Me, Paul, Sarah, Kathleen

Things I learned...
1. Must learn how to sight better
2. Must learn more about bike maintiance. Check those tires better!!!
3. Volunteers are the best. I will be picking at least one to volunteer at before the year is over! If you have never done it...Do it NOW!
4. I need new shoes.
and many more things but this is just off the top of my head.

So once again I want to give a shout out to all that raced this weekend. I think I got to see many of you but not all. I'm loving getting to know so many in this community of triathletes and I really appreciate that those that are lighting fast are so happy for and encouraging to those of us that are not quite so fast. So Congrats on a great day to Beth, Bill, Duane, Kathleen, Nora, Sarah, Steve and Paul.

And to answer the question above....chances are good I'm going to have to see if I can do a better job next year. :)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Well it wasn't pretty.....

But it is done. More to come later.....

Friday, August 5, 2011

My Boulder Peeps....

My desk calendar from yesterday had some great advice!
"The message here is "Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!"

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Three thing Thursday.....Is it enough

Images from Boulder Tri Series FB page taken at Boulder Peak

1. So my totals for last two months, small compared to many and as with most people I look at them and compare and can't help but wonder...Is it enough? Will this get me through the race on Sunday. I sure hope so. Do I have a goal? No not really. I would like it to be under 7 hours, which is slow I know but that's how I roll. :) If it's over 7 hours I'm not going to worry about that either. Cross the finish line upright that is my goal.
July's totals:
Bike:14h 18m 53s - 206.5 Mi
Run:13h 10m 04s - 58.76 Mi
Swim:4h 07m 33s - 10172 Yd

June's totals:
Bike:15h 52m 57s - 220.11 Mi
Run:10h 25m 27s - 51.95 Mi

4h 39m 30s - 11225 Yd

2. Good luck to everyone I know that is racing up in Boulder this weekend including my pals from the rest of the series Paul, Sarah and Kathleen friends from BT Steve and Gaye and fellow bloggers Beth, Nora, Tea, Duane and Bill. I feel like I'm missing someone and if it's you please don't be offended my brain is just dead right now. Good Luck All! Have a safe and FUN race!

3. And last but certianly not least I just want to give a shout out to JohnP at Lord of the Chainring. He’s just posted his race report from IMLP and although it was verrryyy long it was one of the most entertaining race reports I've ever read. . It’s got a little of everything in it, humor, competitiveness, deep thoughts, dark places and romance..yes romance in a race report. Take some time to go read it! And way to go John!

3 more days!