Month: July 2013

I am getting old (er)

My 20th High School reunion is this weekend.  I am not going.  Things are busy because we are getting ready for 2 weeks of much deserved vacation.  Also I just didn’t feel like paying to go to a  reunion when I can see what is going on with most through Facebook.  But I have to admit, I am kind of sad not to be going.  I was not the popular kid in high school but I got along with everybody.  The people I was close with I still keep in touch with.

A lot has changed for me since the 10 year reunion (which I did attend).  I have had a second child; I have found a love for endurance sports; I have gone through a divorce; and I have met the person I don’t ever want to be without.  I am happier now than I have ever been.  I don’t want to go this weekend to explain that over and over again to people I probably wont see for another 10 years.

I am sure everybody will have a great time and I hope they do!

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A bike in your garage is worth two in the bike shop.

Around  a year ago I sold my first bike.  It wasn’t a super awesome bike.  It was an entry level Scott Speedster but it was a decent road bike.  It served me well in my first two 70.3s.  When I sold it,  I was only riding my Tri Bike at the time and I needed the money.  So I sold it on Craig’s list for around $500.

This picture doesn't do the course justice. It was so beautiful!

This picture doesn’t do the course justice. It was so beautiful!

Now I finally want a road bike again and getting a new one just isn’t in the cards.  Luckily I am pretty happy on  my Tri Bike and have no problems spending hours and hours on it so I will make do with what I have.  Now, I don’t want to suggest that you should hoard bikes and equipment but if you are in the same boat I was in, think twice before you sell your extra stuff.  You just may find you really wish you had it some day in the not to distant future…

I Climbed a Mountain!

GMR elevation profile by distance

In preparation for the Tour de Big Bear we needed to get more climbing in.  We have a fair amount of hills available to us in the Santa Monica Mountains but we were looking for a change of scenery and a bit of a longer climb. So we decided to go ride up to Mount Baldy Village.

The night before the ride we were invited to see a friend, Louis Lotorto, to see a production of The 39 Steps that he was in.  It was a great show and we enjoyed it a ton.   If you are in the LA area I would highly suggest you catch it in the next couple weeks before it is gone. After the show we all grabbed a bite to eat and a yummy martini and then it was off to bed.

In our usual fashion we were a little slow to get up and get moving but we made it to the base of Glendora Mountain Road a little after 9:00 and we were rubber down just before 9:30.

Best riding food! Hawaiian rolls with PB&J

Best riding food! Hawaiian rolls with PB&J

It was a tough climb that was broken into three sections; climb for 9 miles, roll on the ridge for 5 miles, then climb for 7 more. See elevation profile above.

Happy rider at this point!

Happy rider at this point!

It was am amazing climb! The road was not super busy (but, I almost got creamed by a motorcycle a little too far on my side of the road). The views were amazing! And as always the company was fantastic!

Following Quadrathon along the ridge road.

Following Quadrathon along the ridge road.

The first two sections were not too bad but about halfway through the last one (around mile 16) I was getting a little tired of going up!.

Please make the climbing stop!

Please make the climbing stop!

At the top we stopped near a house that had the sweetest dog who came a greeted us through the fence.

photo 4 After a quick break to take some silly pictures and videos we turned around and headed back.  As I am sure you can imagine, it took MUCH less time to go down then it did to go up.  (see below)

Elevation profile by TIME

Elevation profile by TIME

Overall it was a great day (shocker).  Click here for the Garmin details of the ride.  I feel pretty good about how the Tour will go in two weeks.  The only unknown is how we do with the altitude!

#seenonourride

#seenonourride

One Segment At a Time

RoyalLoop

I wrote last week about how much I enjoying cycling now that I am uploading my data to Strava.  The ability to compare segments has made the rides much more enjoyable.  So this morning I went out for the ride we call the Royal Loop.  I have become familiar with where many of the segments are on this loop and I am always trying to better myself.  Since I can’t ride every segment better every time I ride the loop I decided to work on one in particular.  It is a straight 1 mile piece on a slightly busy road.  I hammered it (as best I can) and then came home to check the data.  I got QOM!!! The fastest woman to ride that segment so far.

Pretty cool huh?  But then it gets better. My BF posted this on Facebook…

segmentI beat him as well!  I am sure he will try to beat my time soon.  He even said he was gonna go ride the loop tonight.

Regardless, I am loving the bike and happy as can be!

Data; It Does a Body Good!

Strava made me dope

Strava hasn’t actually made me dope (yet) but it is having interesting effects on my bike training.  Before when I was riding my bike it was really just about time in the saddle and miles on the road.  My routes were never exactly the same so it was very hard to compare one ride to another; so I never did.  Strava has segments that allow you to compare small sections of your ride to your past efforts and the efforts of others.  Because I have this level of comparison available to me, I have found myself pushing myself on my rides more than I ever did before.

stravaseg1

Look at all those PRs!

I liken this new passion and increased effort to what happened when I got a Garmin 910XT as a very early Christmas gift (I got it in August J) .  Before I had my 910 XT I would just swim and only really pay attention to the overall distance and time.  I never really paid attention to my splits or average time per 100 yards.  The 910XT gives you the ability to see your split times easily and even see you time per lap when swimming.  The use of that watch made me work harder in the pool than I had since high school.

swimspeedgraph

Swim data from my Garmin 910 XT

So I guess what I am saying is that more data makes ME better.  I have heard arguments from some that using Garmins and other devices or websites like Strava is distracting and takes away from the pure enjoyment of running/biking/swimming.  If that is why you run/bike/swim then don’t use those tools.  But don’t complain when you don’t do better in your next race.  I do enjoy all of it but I would be lying if I said I didn’t want to get better.  And the only way to get better is to see where you are and measure your efforts over time.

I am a Nuun Winner!

NUUN GIveaway

One of the fun things about being involved in social media is the opportunity to enter giveaways.  I generally enter but seldom win (I think this is my second win).  Entering this giveaway was a no brainier because I really love the product!

I will let you read all about the product on Run Wiki’s blg but let me tell you it is a product I have been using for several years and I really like it!  Truth be told I had just picked up a few more tubes at a local bike shop two days before I found out I won!  I am doing some long bike rides this summer so I have no fear I will use it all up!

Anyway, I’ll take the straight up Grape! Thanks Lisa!

 

Train the Terrain

TOurdebigberapng

Someone very wise and dear to me once told me to “train the terrain”, as in train for the type of race you have coming up.  If you are doing a trail run, train on the trail or any trails for that matter.  My next big even is the Tour De Big Bear on August 3.   Now I can’t get to Big Bear before the ride but I will be focusing mainly on riding my bike for the next 4 weeks.  And riding hills as well 😦

The bike is my nemesis; my Achilles heel of sorts. I find it time consuming and hard to fit in.  So I have made a pledge to myself to stop running in the meantime so I can focus on the bike.  I am also doing this because the pain in my left knee just doesn’t go away so I am hoping a month away from running will help it get better.