Monday, June 28, 2010

C'ville Sprint Tri

What a great day to get back into the sport. The weather was great and no flat tires!

0.3 mi swim, 16 mi bike, 3 mi run

I slept only 4 hours before the race, but arrived with plenty of time to set up my bike and transition stuff. Then I asked the nice guys from C'ville Bike and Tri to double check the air pressure in my tires. Amy and Mattie raced too, and Liz was there to cheer us on.

The weather was great. No rain, low humidity, and only a little hot on the run, but we were under the tree cover so that helped a lot.

I ate 1.5-2 hours before the race, but my stomach was very upset by the middle of the swim. Then I threw up as I was leaving the water, but I worked through it and finished with a decent swim time. I just hope the photographer does not post it.

The bike portion was great. I felt confident from all of my bike training for the MS150, and familiar with the route. I knew when the hills were coming and I could mentally prepare myself for them, and I powered through the down-hills. Passing people felt great too, even though most of them were over 40 or under 20 (ages are written on athletes' legs). My stomach calmed down a little, but I could not tolerate the Gatorade more than a small sip at a time.

The run was hard. My stomach was really upset again, but I was not thinking about my legs, which usually feel like lead weights after the bike. Things calmed down by the first mile (thanks to the mile markers on the trail). My asthma kicked in and I used my inhaler at least 4 times. But I felt great being on the trail in the woods and I was transformed back to hiking NZ in my mind. I fell only once, and surprised myself with a great karate spin-side fall, and with nothing hurt, I jumped up and kept running.

I competed in the Athena group, for women over 150 lbs, all ages. Several in my group beat me by only a few minutes which was frustrating. But looking back on my race, I gave it my all, and had a great time.

Word of the day: Don't try anything new for a race until it is tested in
training. Down to the smallest detail.

Swim: 61 00:12:51
T1: 54 00:02:07
Bike: 71 01:08:02
T2: 72 00:01:24
Run: 86 00:36:50
Overall time: 02:01:12
Overall rank: 77/112 women

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Cville Sprint Tri

Tomorrow I am racing my first triathlon in almost two years (and since my back injury). The last time I raced this course, the Cville Sprint Tri, was in 2006, my first race ever. I blew my tire and had all the tools to repair it, but could not get the tire off (it was the very stiff Armadillo style tire). It had rained heavily that morning and there was a lot of debris on the road, and I might have under-inflated my tire, causing a pinch-flat. A race volunteer drove me back and I finished the run portion.

From Hampton Triathlon

So now I have a chance to redeem myself, and hopefully improve my times. I am better prepared physically because I have a lot of practice biking on the hills.

This race is special because the run is all on trails at Walnut Creek Park, mostly flat and well covered with trees. The soft ground is easier on the joints and the shade is nice in the heat. But the trail can be uneven and requires you to pick up your feet more than on the road. But this time I promise not to hold anything back on the bike portion, and let whatever happen on the run.
From MS 150 Rides

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Hast du Fernweh?

Have you been bitten by the travel bug? Why yes, yes I have. I just finished reserving campsites in North Cascades, Mt Rainier, and Olympic National Parks, for a 12-day hiking tour of the Pacific Northwest. Tom already booked the plane tickets and hotel in Seattle. Now all that's left is picking the rest of the hikes. I am using a wonderful book called 100 Classic Hikes in Washington: North Cascades, Olympics, Mount Rainer & South Cascades, Alpine Lakes, Glacier Peak The book is worth getting for the pictures alone! I am also using the Lonely Planet guide to Washington, Oregon and the Pacific Northwest.

Our new rule is no less than two nights per location after our whirlwind through New Zealand.

Just me and Tom for this one. Sorry friends.

Thunder Ridge Backpacking

I am feeling lazy for this blog entry, so here is Jere's eloquent OASC trip description:
With numerous peaks rising above 4000’, the Central Virginia Blue Ridge mountain range just south of Charlottesville is typically much higher in elevation than the section of the Blue Ridge that runs through Shenandoah National Park (SNP). And the footpaths south of SNP are significantly less crowded, are more remote, and provide one with a greater sense of being in a wilderness environment.

For this weekend point-to-point backpacking trip, our journey will take us along a beautiful 13-mile stretch of the Appalachian Trail, where we will be trekking through two US Congress designated “wilderness areas”, experience some breath-taking panoramic scenery from rocky-outcroppings, be witness to a constant kaleidoscope of late-spring colors, and camp in a healthy, diversified hardwood forest alongside a picturesque mountain stream.

This trip reminded me of why I usually hike and camp in the fall/winter/spring. It was HOT. The bugs were not too bad while hiking, but they did bite some while camping. But the rewards were great - wild flowers, butterflies, birds. The campsite was nice, right next to an AT shelter and creek, lots of wildlife (frogs, toads, snakes, turtles, and more birds). The privy was brand new, still smelled like pine.

The first day of hiking was very long, even for me and Tom - 11 miles. Our packs were much heavier than what we carried on the Milford Track in NZ. The second day of hiking was very short and flat, with grand views of the James River Face, a water gap in the Shenandoah Mountains.

We followed up our trip with a buffet lunch at Peaks of Otter. The food was good, but everything tastes good after along weekend of backpacking.
Thunder Ridge
Thanks again Jere for another great walk in the woods.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Tour de Vine, Day 2

100 miles in two days. I only rode 25 miles on the second day. I am trying not to be too hard on myself, because the goal was 150, and I hope that I did not let down my supporters. But several things led to my decision to do only 25 miles, and I will try not to make them sound like excuses. I did not get enough sleep, it was already very hot and humid by the decision time (first rest top at 12 miles), and my asthma was acting up (despite being on therapy for two weeks). IT band issues were popping back up, this time in both legs. My seat really hurt, and my arms had issues.

On Saturday the hardest part was the last 15 miles, not because of the heat, but my arms. They went from achy to excruciating in minutes. Not in the joints, but the triceps. I could barely hold on to my handle bars. At the last rest stop, with only 10 miles to go, I was not sure I could finish. A very nice medic gave me some Advil and rubbed some Icy-Hot into my arms and it help A LOT.

On Sunday, after only 12 miles of riding, my arms were acting up again, especially because the Walnut Creek area is very hilly and you have to push with your arms to get up hills. So I did not want a repeat of the previous day with a possibility of getting driven back because of my arms.

After 25 miles, I felt great back at the finish line. And after a shower and nap I even got some house work done. Injury free, that is the important part. Knowing your boundaries. And biking for a good cause.
From MS 150 Rides

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Tour de Vine, Day 1

From MS 150 Rides
WOW! what and awesome day of riding.  Great people, great support, great team, great friends.  Liz was a huge help, pacing, encouragement, drafting.  We stopped at most of the rest stops, and Liz kept us on schedule (10 minutes per stop) so we did not cool down tool much.  Started at 7am, ended at 2:30pm, that's 7.5 hours of riding!  Our moving average was 13 mph.  It only felt really hot in the last 2 hours.  Got back before the big thunderstorm, but it cut our after party short.
From MS 150 Rides
Afterward I got a 50-min massage, which was so worth it.  Then off to Amy's post ride pool party which was a lot of fun.

A big thanks to Jenny and Jere and Tom who manned our team tent at the event.  Thank you to Liz who rode with me all day.  Thank you to the team for pitching in for Amy's gift.  Thank you to Amy for leading such a great team!

Good night and ready to do more tomorrow.  Probably will only do 25 or 50 miles, we will see how I feel in the morning.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Another Beautiful Sunset

This is Millington Road, along the Free Union loop I have done four times (different variations), the last two after work with my new friend and team mate Liz.  We are about the same ability and we are planning on riding the tour together.  I am glad to know that I will have a constant companion on the long ride, and we can encourage each other and draft too.

Only four days to go.  I am very excited.  My total mileage for the season is 330.  I read in the tour handbook that you should get up to 500 miles before the date, but I feel ready.  The plan is 75 miles on the first day, and then wait and see how I feel on the second day, but at least 25 or 50.