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!
Landshark ½, 1, & 2-mile swim, Saturday, June 4, 2016, Lake Gardner, Amesbury, MA
I’m a fair-weather racer, so I waited, waited, waited, and checked the weather obsessively through the week. I’d been planning to swim this event for months, and was hoping for optimal conditions. I was willing to pay the extra $5 to sign up on race day rather than take the chance of crappy weather. Unlike triathlons, swim events rarely sell out!
Race day promised to be beautiful, and it was. The early morning clouds cleared off and the sun came out. The water was reported to be 68 degrees – I was perfectly comfortable in my shorty wetsuit. Most participants, but by no means all, opted for wetsuits.
The course was a ½ -mile loop, so the ½-milers did 1 lap, the 1-milers did 2, and the 2-milers did 4 laps.
19 half-mile racers went off at 10am, followed by 71 two-milers at 10:05am, and 49 one-mile swimmers at 10:10am. The participants’ ages ranged from 11-72.
I did the 2-mile swim. The first lap was pretty crowded (in other words, I got kicked, pawed, bumped, and probably did my fair share of kicking, pawing, and bumping – unintentionally, of course!) but we spread out by the second lap, and spread out even more on the third and fourth ones. We were instructed to yell out our numbers as we swam around the last buoy before going off on the next lap. That wasn’t nearly as disruptive or disorienting as in races where you have to run out and back in the water. I have such a hard time recovering from standing up, running and flopping back down.
54:24 and done. Good enough for 1st in my age group – aging up has its benefits!
This is a nice, fairly small, local race through B&S Event Management. I’ve done some of their other races (runs and swims) and they run a good event. Keep ‘em in mind!
Actually, I’d spread SwimVacation love even without swag, but I’m not going to pass up a cool t-shirt!
Hopper, the owner of SwimVacation sent out an email asking for “ambassadors” to wear SV gear, pass out SV caps, and basically talk about the awesomeness of SwimVacation while at swim-related events. It just so happened that I was due to represent my tri team at the yearly expo, Tri-Mania Boston, around the time his email went out. Score! I could do double-duty while working my hour at the Team EnVision booth.
So… if you have any interest in swimming in amazing places, check out SwimVacation. The trips are small, so every swimmer can swim as much or as little as s/he wants. Sign up for a trip you won’t forget or regret. My husband and I went to the British Virgin Islands, but there are also trips to Hawaii and Turkey (new in 2016).
Every trip has it’s own feel depending on the makeup of the group, of course, but you can look at the SwimVacation Blogs to see what generally happens on a week in swimming paradise.
Next opportunity to pass out caps? Hmm, there are some 5k swims I might do this summer. That’s just the population I need.
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.
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.
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.