It’s official. I completed my first century ride on October 1st: the CRW Cranberry Century. 101 miles to be exact. Don’t forget that ‘1’ – the last mile is always a killer!
It was a beautiful ride in Southeastern Massachusetts. We cruised the rolling hills of Miles Standish State Forest, saw cranberry bogs, and had our 73-mile stop at the very picturesque Mattapoisett Harbor.
It was about 45 degrees when we started out (brr!), but warmed up into the very comfortable mid-60s.
Charles River Wheelers (CRW) puts on a great ride. Plenty of snacks at the well-placed aid stations – it was like doing 4 x +/-25-mile rides. I found it really helpful to think of the day in segments. And there was pie – Petsi’s pies – Petsi’s bourbon chocolate pecan pie – at the end. I think I’m in love.
Huge thanks to my two riding partners, Michelle and Melaney, for making sure I didn’t bail out in favor of the 66-mile ride (I admit, I was tempted), and for making the ride so pleasant.
Will I do it again? Sure! Or some other one. Now that I’ve done it, I think I can do it again!
Riding home afterward, the conversation turned to food, as it often does. Michelle mentioned stuffed peppers. So I made a couple. Yellow peppers stuffed w/a brown rice mixture of onions, garlic, mushrooms, peppers, edamame, cheese, various spices, salsa, random other stuff… More cheese (can never have too much cheese). See for yourself!
(photos, other than the peppers, thanks to Michelle)
I’m done. I was actually supposed to be done after the Patriot half aquabike in June, but then, silly me, I signed up to do the Cranberry Oly aquabike. And in between those two events was a 2-mile swim, and after Cranberry there was a 3-mile swim. That’s WAY more competing than I usually do. The weird thing is, I didn’t hate it. I (dare I say?) kind of enjoyed it! My self-talk has me saying that I don’t like to compete, that I get too stressed and crazy so it’s not worth it. Maybe that’s not as true anymore. Maybe it was a defense mechanism that I don’t need anymore. Granted, I’m not keen on the 4am wake-up that goes along with a lot of races…
SWIM: My last event was the 3-mile Quassapaug Open Water Swim Challenge in Middlebury, CT. Beautiful location. I hope the air will be warmer than 48 degrees the next time I do it, though!
Luckily the water was 70. If I actually train for distance next summer, I might even attempt doing all 3 swims to total 5 miles.
I’m probably done with OW swimming now, so it’s back to the pool.
BIKE: I was really happy (and a bit surprised) to average 19.3 for 26 miles at the Cranberry Oly! Now I can relax. Phew.
I’m working up to doing a century on October 1st: CRW’s Cranberry Harvest Century. It should be pretty. If it rains, though, I’m out!
and… EAT! Nothing very inspiring, although I made a great banana bread recently. Oh, I borrowed a dehydrator from my local library and dried tomatoes from our garden. Who knew you could borrow such a thing?! I’m eating dried tomatoes like candy.
On to “off” season. I get to do more gym classes and computrainer now! Fun!
My first (and only?) half IM aquabike is done, and I’m pretty pleased with how I did.
It was drizzly on race day. Not ideal for biking, but I only *almost* wiped out once. Go me! I call that a success. I might write up a race report. I might not…
More pictures through the Capstone Photography site. For some reason I look happy. Must have been the endorphins!
Tomorrow! I guess this 1/2 IM aquabike thing is really going to happen. June 17th had to come around sometime, after all. Am I ready? Eh. We’ll see. Shady and I are going to see the Wonder Woman movie today – maybe I can channel WW’s awesomeness during the race. After race reward planned? You bet! We’re going to see Dead & Co. Sunday night.
Wish me luck (I’ll just wish myself luck, since I don’t think anybody reads this anyway)!
In the throes of an endorphin-filled haze, I signed up for an event. Not just any event, but one of the bigger, more competitive races in my area: The Patriot Half IM. I’m not completely crazy – I’m doing the aquabike (since I don’t really run), but still: 1.2-mile swim + 56-mile bike is pretty ambitious for me! If you’ve read some of my earlier posts, you may recall that I run hot and cold about racing. Usually cold, unless it’s a swim-only event.
So how did this crazy lapse in judgement occur? COMPUTRAINER! Evil. Painful. And that glorious feeling of being capable of doing anything when the session was over. That feeling apparently lasted until I got home and whipped out my credit card to register. That was in mid-December. The race has been on my mind ever since. Now it’s a month away. Yikes! Am I ready? We’ll see!
So what else is new? In addition to the tried and true swim/bike/(hobble)run, I’m trying to do more regular weight-training. It’s not as bad as I feared! I had a few sessions with a personal trainer (LOVE my trainer!), and I take some circuit-training type gym classes. It’s really helpful having someone tell me what to do.
Swim: My usual pool routine, but now that it’s (finally) getting warmer, I’ll be wriggling into my wetsuit (and 2 caps, and booties – it’s not THAT warm yet) and heading out to Walden Pond and Mystic Lake for some OWS.
Bike: Ramping up mileage so the 56-mile Patriot course won’t completely destroy me (it WILL destroy me, but I’ll pretend it won’t for the sake of saving face). I’m riding with my friends again! It’s wonderful to be outside rather than stuck in spin class. Computrainer is a whole ‘nother beast from spin. I went to quite a few computrainer classes at Grace Bicycles over the winter, and I’m pretty sure my masochism has paid off in at least a little extra speed. That’s the hope, anyway.
Read: I read everything by Anita Shreve and Jodi Picoult, and lucky me, they both came out with new books recently. The Stars are Fire, by Anita Shreve, and Small Great Things, by Jodi Picoult. Both are really good. I’m not going to give anything away. Get them. Read them. I also read a lot of crap, which I definitely won’t recommend.
Happy Spring! Happy Training!
SWIM I get this email in early October: SwimVacation needs to fill their December trip to the British Virgin Islands and they’re offering a discount to alums as incentive. My husband and I went on a short SwimVacation trip to a lake in Maine a few years back (see old blog post) thus the email in my in-box. Lucky us! We had been talking about doing SwimVacation BVI someday, but the trip isn’t cheap so we were dragging our feet and saving some money. On a lark, I brought up the possibility of signing up – hey, discount! To my surprise and glee, he said “sure, let’s go”. So we did. And here are some pictures to prove it.
SwimVacation BVI in a nutshell: get to Village Cay Marina at the designated meeting time, dinghy ride to the Promenade (our trimaran home for the week), stow shoes – barefoot for a whole week ! – settle in, swim at least twice a day *every day* in beautiful places among the islands, eat (and drink, if so inclined), make new swimmy friends… As their logo says, “Swim. Relax. Repeat.” Sun and 80 degree Caribbean water? In December? Yes, please.
Check out the SV blog to see how it looks and book your next trip to BVI! Or Hawaii. Or Turkey (new trip). I might write more specifics about the trip in a future blog, but if you want details before then, feel free to ask in a comment.
BIKE nothing to report. I haven’t been on my road bike for a while now – just spin classes (). I plan to try out a computrainer class in January. I’m scared. And we’re doing a run afterward. It just might kill me. Wish me luck.
RUN this is starting to be a more common category for me: I’ve been doing more of it (stupid peer pressure). I did a 5k fun run on Thanksgiving and broke a 9 min/mile pace! Nothing like the fear of getting lost to make me go faster – I had to keep the people ahead of me in sight. Cuteness overload warning: mini pig in a santa suit at the end of the run.
READ I went through a brief period of bad books, but seem to have come out the other side. Phew! I just ready Jojo Moyes’ The Ship of Brides and loved it. I really like her books. Now I’m diving into The Art of Hearing Heartbeats, by Jan-Philip Sendker.
and… EAT! SwimVacation meant I didn’t cook or bake for a week (the food was great, by the way), but I couldn’t resist making a chocolate whiskey cake when we got home.
I’ll blame our birthdays (mine and my husband’s). Can’t have birthdays without cake. I think it’s illegal.
And then this happened, too, ’cause, why not?!
Sprint triathlon on Saturday, 2-mile swim race on Sunday? Sure!
A couple months ago I started thinking that maybe it was time to do another triathlon. SPRINT triathlon, that is, nothing too crazy. Heck, it had been a couple years since I did the whole 3-event thing on my own. Last year I stayed in my swimming rut and only did relays. In, out, done, hang out and cheer. I really like swimming on tri relays!
What changed? Why now? Well, I AM on a tri team after all… I guess I decided a tri was possible since I started running again a few months ago. Not much and not fast, but enough to make it through a 5k. How bad could it be? As I often tell people who balk at running, you can always walk if necessary! Would I walk? No (although it probably looks like I’m walking and not running sometimes), but it’s nice to know the option exists.
The tri: Escape the Cape put on by Max Performance on June 13th. LOVE Max Performance races. Really well run. This one took place in Onset Beach, MA, right at the beginning of Cape Cod. Point-to-point 1/3 mile swim, 10 mile bike, 5k run. Other than a short hill on the run, both the bike and run courses were flat, flat, flat. It was a little windy this year, but not too bad (oh right, blame the wind).
I did this race 3 years ago so I could compare that race to this one. I expected to be a little slower, and I was, but only by about 2 minutes. I can live with that.
The swim: The next day was sunny and beautiful. I signed up to do a 2-mile race at Lake Terramuggus in Marlborough, CT. I swam this event last year without a wetsuit, but it was a month earlier this time around, so I decided to wear my shorty. I was kind of sick – or maybe it was allergies – and just wanted to cruise the course as a recovery swim from the tri the day before. Best laid plans… First loop, nice and smooth and strong, passing people here and there. And then. AND THEN! I noticed I was pretty even with another woman for most of the first loop. Well! That just wouldn’t do. So much for not racing, I HAD to stay ahead of her. Damn competitive tendencies! Granted I was wearing a wetsuit, and who knows if the course was exactly the same, but I was about 7 minutes faster this year! Where did that come from?!
So what’s next? I’m thinking of doing another swim event next month – Pig Iron Swim in Vernon, CT. Maybe more than just the 2-miler. We’ll see. And there are a couple bike rides coming up – the Rapha Women’s 100, and a century in the Fall, so I need to start doing longer rides. Sounds like a fun summer to me. Happy Solstice!