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Tag Archives: cycling

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.

Patriot packet

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!

 

 


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 Escape the Cape 2015in 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 Marlboroughduck buoy, 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!


SWIM  Throughout the Fall, I was psyching myself up to do the New England Masters Short Course Yards Championship.  I was making it to practice regularly, feeling stronger, swimming faster, almost ready to fill in the entry form and BLAM.

1st storm

Let the shoveling begin!

Winter – like 3-feet-of-snow-winter – smacked me upside the head:  practices were canceled, my mom fell and I wanted to visit her more often (can’t blame winter but it caused a change to my workout schedule nonetheless).  Missed practices, stress, worry, vacation (well that was a good thing – I got to do an open water swim with a group in Barbados!).  Sure I still could have signed up for the meet and just done whatever I could, but competing is always a big deal for me.  It’s stressful enough – I don’t like feeling defeated before I even start.  So now I’m getting my swims in when I can and looking forward to the day when the ice melts and the snow goes away.  It’s officially Spring, and perhaps it will eventually feel like winter is over.  And thankfully, my mom is doing better!

Open Water Swim, Barbados

Carlisle Bay, in front of the Barbados Yacht Club

BIKE  Other than commuting and spin classes, not much going on in the bike department.  I went to the basement and visited my road bike the other day.  Actually touched it!  Even thought about pumping up the tires, but really, why bother?  They’ll be flat again by the time it’s warm enough to ride.  Soon?  Last year I got out in early April.  We’ll see.

[RUN – I don’t usually post a “RUN” section   I’m running again!  After taking a long time off (a year?), I’m giving it another try.  I’m hoping the exercises my chiropractor gave me will help my disc stays where it’s supposed to.  Could there be a sprint tri in my future?  Stranger things have happened.]

READ  I’ve read a bunch since I last posted.  The most recent memorable ones are  All the Light We Cannot See,  by Anthony Doerr, and Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel.  Two VERY different books.  Both really well-done.

and EAT!  Lots of that going on, but nothing noteworthy, unfortunately.


michelin-tire guy

how I feel on my commute

A friend of mine has a cut-off temperature for outside biking.  At one point it was 60 degrees, although she has been out in lower temps since she told me that.  I think she might have dropped the threshold a few points as she became a more experienced rider.  What’s my cut-off?  I’m not exactly sure, but I think we’re there!  I know I’m not happy riding in the 40s, and it snowed (ok, flurried) over the weekend.  Sure, I’ll continue to commute my 3-4 miles each way to work and swim, bundled up like the Michelin tire guy – unless it’s icy – but I am by no means hard-core enough to road ride through the winter.  Do you have a temperature range?

I did the Rapha Women’s metric century ride over the summer.  FUN!  There’s another one in December.  The Rapha Women’s Braver than the Elements Ride.  NOT SO FUN!  I won’t be doing that one – I’m really not braver than the elements.  I get cranky when my hands and feet go numb and turn funny colors.

So…

SWIM!  My last Walden Pond swim was on September 23rd.  It wasn’t awful in terms of being cold, but I could tell I was done.  I rejoined Cambridge Masters Swim Club and am happily (?) getting my ass kicked in the pool 3-4 times/week.  I need a push every few years – I was due.  I’m curious to see if my shoulders get bigger with the increased yardage and effort.  I’ll keep you informed.  I might even do a pool meet in the Spring.  Oh shoot, now that I’ve said that, I might actually have to do it.  Something I found out:  stroke workout right after spin class doesn’t work so well for me.  Swim fail!

BIKE!  See above.  No more outside riding for me.  I finished the season by joining some friends to do another metric century:  The Calhoun Cancer Challenge Ride and Walk on October 5th (early and chilly!).  It was my first benefit ride, and I hope to do it again next year.

Calhoun Cancer Challenge

first snack stop

It was a very well-supported ride through a scenic part of CT.  I got out for a few more rides after that, and now I’m adjusting to ~3-4 spin classes/week.  It might be time to put a crappy tire on my bike and set up my trainer, though.  There’s only so much “Maniac” and “Eye of the Tiger” that this former Deadhead can take.  I get gym class music stuck in my head and it stays there for days.  That can’t be healthy.

READ!  The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern.  Suspend disbelief and let yourself be taken away.  A Nation in Pain:  Healing Our Biggest Health Problem, by Judy Foreman (friend from Cambridge Masters).  This book explores chronic pain and how it is misunderstood and mistreated and a HUGE problem. It is accessible but still not a super easy read.  I might be working on this one for a while.  Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal, by Mary Roach.  I just started it.

and EAT!  Fig and Pear Crumbles by Frugal Feeding.  Wow!  Next up:  something with apples since we just bought 3 bags of them at Clarkdale Fruit Farms while in Western MA for Cider Days in Franklin County.

 

bethel maine happy


Last I posted, I had just completed a 3-mile swim at the end of June. My first! Now it’s the end of August and I can check a couple more things off my Summer to-do list.
SWIM! I swam a 2-mile race in CT in July. It was an interesting event: one could swim 1, 2, or 3-miles, or any combination of 1, 2, and 3 miles! I opted for doing only the 2-miler due to time constraints. I was happy with my time – just under 53 minutes – which was good enough for a 3rd place finish overall AND in my age group (40-59).  The water was perfect:  no need for a wetsuit.  Ahhh!  Maybe next year I’ll do a couple of the swims.  Or all 3!  We’ll see how my shoulders are doing before I commit to that.  Oh, the best part?  The buoys were big yellow rubber duckies!  How cool is that?!  ALL races should have such fun buoys.  I wish I had a picture.

Cathy and me w/o our runner

Cathy and me without our runner, Diane

After that, I took a break from distance and swam 1/2 mile in a triathlon relay with my sister (on bike), and another Team EnVision member (for the run). We won! The award was a pint glass. Can’t have too many pint glasses, right?
And finally, the swim that got me thinking about competing in open water races in the first place! This past weekend, August 23rd, was the Race for Swim and Fin in Salem (MA) harbor.

Race for Swim & Fin start

Race for Swim & Fin start

I was worried it would be too cold. It wasn’t – I was comfortable in my wetsuit. I was worried it would be really rough. It was pretty choppy, but not awful.

What was tough was the sighting. The buoys were far apart, so it was too easy to sight on the wrong buoy, which I did for a little bit but figured it out before it was too late. Phew.  There was another small mishap, but I still managed a 1st place

Showing off our medals!

Showing off our swim and fin medals!

finish for women 50-54 (w/wetsuit). I can live with that.

Rapha 100 pic 2014

Some of our Rapha 100 group

BIKE!  In July, some friends and I took part in the Rapha Women’s 100, a worldwide event promoting women and cycling.  Our event was hosted by The Ride Studio Cafe.  We had a choice of distances – 100km or 100 miles – and speed.  We did the 100km at a leisurely pace.  It was a great day of riding with friends.  Next up?  The Honey 100 in mid-September:  100km on cross bikes! It’s an off- and on-road adventure, thanks, again, to Ride Studio!  I heard such good things about this ride last year, I decided I HAD to do it.  And it was a good (?) excuse to buy a new bike!  

Giant Invite 2

Giant Invite 2

After that, I’m joining some friends from high school for a charity ride in CT.  The Calhoun Cancer Challenge Ride and Walk  takes place on October 5th.  Some of us are doing the metric century (that would include me) and some team members are opting for the 1/2 metric.  90% of the money raised goes to the cause, so I feel good about taking part. I don’t usually do charity rides because I don’t like fundraising, but the obligation for this one is very manageable.  Thanks to everyone who helped me reach my goal!

READ!  I’ve read a lot this summer.  LOVED Chris Bohjalian’s newest:  Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands.  But then again, I love everything he writes!  I’m currently reading Sally Ride, by Lynn Sherr, and Love Letters to the Dead, by Ava Dellaira.  Both are great.

and EAT!  Unfortunately, I have discovered Ben & Jerry’s Salted Caramel Core ice cream.


SWIM!  I’m hoping to do a 5k swim “race”, maybe 2 of them, over the summer.  The first opportunity is on June 21st (Mashpee Super Swim), the second is in August (Race for Swim & Fin).  We’ll see.  I got a 2-mile swim in yesterday, so doing 3 miles in another week could happen…  I’m a little nervous, not so much because of the distance, but that it could be choppy, and the water might still be a little chilly.  I wore a shorty wetsuit yesterday and was shivering for quite a while after being in the water for an hour.

Yes, I’m a bit of a cold wimp – I think the water temp was around 73F

I figure the 3 miles (3 x 1-mile loops) will take me a about an hour and a half.  I just want to settle into a forever pace and not blow out my shoulder (thus the quotation marks around race).

BIKE!  I signed up to do the Rapha Women’s 100 on July 20th.  I’ll be doing the 101km ride through Ride Studio Cafe with some friends (unless it’s raining).  It’s my anniversary, so that’s my husband’s present to me:  I get to ride all day.  I’ve got the best husband ever!

READ!  Me Before You, by Jojo Moyes.  One of the best books I’ve read in a while.

and Eat!  nothing too exciting in the eating department, but we have greens coming up in our garden and it’s grilling season!

I LOVE SUMMER



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