Sunday, December 29, 2013

HBBC Week 6 + Christmas 5Ks

We are closing in on the final week of the Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge.  It is looking like I'll be lucky to have maintained my weight through this crazy time.  I have kept my workout streak alive since Thanksgiving which has been a big deal for me.  Exercise consistency has always been a struggle for me so I'm ultra proud of that.  I also participated in Kiley at Daily Vitamin F's holiday 5Ks.  So here is the round up of HBBC Week 6:

Sunday 12/22 - Bike trainer time (9.5 miles) = 3.2 points

Monday 12/23 - Walk with my husband (2 miles) + FB = 3 points

Tuesday 12/24 - The day was sunny and the recent freezing rain had coated the trees with ice so that they shimmered like glass sculptures.  I don't think the pics can show how pretty everything looked even though it was a pretty cold run though I tried.  Christmas Eve 5K (well, 3.2 miles) + FB = 4.2 points

 Wednesday 12/25 - Wore my new running shirt and the holiday socks that I got from Kiley in the sock swap for my Christmas Day 5K (lovely weather and need to take a break from my inlaws made for actually getting 3.65 miles) + FB = 4.7 points

Thursday 12/26 -  Early in the day I had stopped by my neighbor's house to drop something off and her kids wanted me and my daughter to stay and play Just Dance.  I slayed them all and got in some bonus cardio.  We joined a new gym (Sam B. Cook Healthplex) this week and Thursday we had our health assessments. There was some weight lifting and some cardio time while they were checking things and then we stayed a little after to do some more laps on the track (1/18 of a mile - painful to do all those laps, but my girl kept me motivated).  My daughter was disappointed that she can't use most of the equipment so we did a bunch of lunges, squats, situps, planks, etc so she felt like she got a good workout.  In the end we knocked out a couple miles plus all the strength work.  Later my husband wanted to go on a walk to discuss some things on our minds so we got in another couple of miles. + FB = 6 points
This was the only time I wasn't winning (as I wasn't playing) LOL
Friday 12/27 - Got up early and rode in a car for nearly 3 hours to spend time with my extended family (very small that it is) at my aunt's house.  It was great to visit, but the day was pretty shot by the time we spent nearly another 3 hours in the car on the way home.  Thankfully, the bike trainer is darn handy and not out in the cold.  Set up my Netflix and knocked out 10.2 miles before cleaning up and heading off to bed.  I also managed to pass on soda at my aunt's house and drink water nearly all day for one additional point + FB = 5.4
My aunt and cousin - the extent of my blood relatives besides my sister/2 nephews/2 kids
Saturday 12/28 - Back to the gym to meet with one of the "Exercise Specialists".  I wasn't all that impressed with the workout plan that they set up for us.  I'll probably hire a trainer to come up with something better, but it was an introduction to several of the machines so not a big deal.  We did more reps for a more well rounded strength workout.  After we finished the kids and I jumped on some cardio equipment and got a couple more miles.  We were at the gym for about two hours.  There was some standing around as we were shown how to execute the exercises properly.  + FB = 6 points.

Week 6 Total = 32.5 points

Wrapping up this year and this challenge.  Going to go bundle up for another walk with my husband. 

Saturday, December 21, 2013

HBBC Weeks 4/5 + Jingle Bell Hell Part Deux

The workout streak is alive and well (22 days!).  But with the craziness of the holidays, my eating/drinking hasn't been as stellar as I'd like.  I guess that isn't really a surprise.  On top of it, I had a few days this week of feeling a little puny with a throat feeling like sandpaper.  But at a minimum every day (even on days I really didn't feel like it), I got out for a brisk walk with my tall husband (thus super fast paced because of his crazy long legs).  But for a bit of an update on my Bootie Busting progress:

Week 4:

Sunday 12/8: 13 miles on bike trainer - 4.3 pts + FB = 5.3

Monday 12/9: 8.76 miles on bike trainer (a win after a long night of shopping had me wanting to just bag this workout) + FB = 3.9

Tuesday 12/10: Ran before (and partly during) my daughter's piano lesson for 4.1 miles + FB = 5.1

Wednesday 12/11: 15.5 miles on bike trainer = 5.1

Thursday 12/12: 4.2 miles with Susan on the Greenway + FB (plus a win when I chose to eat a healthy breakfast of fruit/oatmeal instead of a coke at McDs) = 5.2
We were smiling even though it was 20 degrees -
annoying that it got up into the 40's later in the afternoon
Friday 12/13: 10 miles on bike trainer while I was accidentally scorching the chili I had on the stove for our neighborhood party (oops) = 3.3 (but ate way too much along with a couple of margaritas at the party - no clean eating bonus points here)

Saturday 12/14: Was supposed to Jingle Bell Run in Columbia with my daughter, but the event was canceled at 5:50 AM (before 8 AM race) due to ice and snow; snuggled back into bed and then late in the afternoon headed out for a very cold and slightly slushy 2 mile walk with husband + FB = 3

Week 4 Total = 30.9

Week 5:

Sunday 12/15: Bike trainer workout in the evening for 10 miles while husband supervised both kids at archery team practice + FB = 4.3

Monday 12/16: Neighborhood run in lovely weather (balmy 32 degrees) for 3.2 miles + FB = 4.2

Tuesday 12/17: Feeling kind of puny - Just a brisk walk for 2 miles (though honestly I felt a little better after going - maybe I should have tried to do it earlier in the day) + FB = 3

Wednesday 12/18: Hair appointment, shopping ALL day, picked up kids and only was up for a 2 mile walk with husband + FB = 3

Thursday 12/19: Fantastic run in 50ish degree weather on the Greenway with Susan for 6 miles and later conceded to walking with husband for another 2 miles - banner workout day!  FB for 9 points total.
I really love how much fun you can see we were having here -
about half way through our run in front of County Park Lake which still has a skim of ice across it

Friday 12/20:  Busy day doing some last minute shopping.  Cold walk with husband in the late afternoon on a dreary cloudy day for 2 miles.

Saturday 12/21: Jingle Bell Hell (Part Deux) - I got the weekend dates wrong so I recently tweeted to XLMIC that I would be doing a Part Deux (which she loved) and on the day of her in person (with donuts) run.  But there were no donuts for me.  Nor California sunshine.  Instead, the day dawned with freezing rain and temps hovering right about freezing.  I thought that sounded hellish enough, but my husband suggested some hill repeats for good measure.  I'm not a big fan of those so I thought it was perfect.  He prescribed that I go to the bottom of the steep hill, back up to the top of a cul-de-sac (which is back over my shoulder in the pic below) and then back down to the bottom and repeat 2x.  Turned out that was going to be a little short distance wise so I added a length down to the Wavco driveway on the last leg and then added the short hill that I live on for a solid 3.5 miles!  FB'd about my run for the extra point = 4.5 pts
Why am I smiling for hill repeats in freezing rain?

Maybe it was imaging what people thought of my elf-like socks and my husband's oversized sweatshirt so that I "matched"

Week 5 Total: 30 points!  Now if only I could clean up my eating!  Scale has been a bit all over the place hovering around 165.  It's dipped down a little and jumped up a little, but seems relatively settled which I call good for the holiday season.  Now if I only get extra points for all the wrapping I need to do.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Streaking! HBBC Wk 3, Jingle Bell Hell, Etc.

The streak is alive!  I'm so excited that I have managed to commit to at least some kind of exercise everyday (started Thanksgiving Day).  It is a renewed commitment to getting in a workout that finds me often squeezing something in at the end of the day when I would normally curl up under the flannel sheets and call it a night.  I think my new motto might be "better late in the day than not at all".  Not always good for getting a good night's sleep, but I can usually catch up at some point.

This is helping with the HBBC 2013 points too!  Especially because I can't seem to get my freggie point (curse that point!) and my water is still pretty hit or miss (mostly miss).  So without further ado:

Sunday (12/1): 3.25 mi run to Walmart and back, actually ate veggies/fruit, Facebook'd the group = 5.25 pts

Monday (12/2): 3.5 mi run with Stacy in evening, FB'd - 4.5 pts

Tuesday (12/3): 3.2 mi run with Stacy in evening, FB'd - 4.2 pts

Wednesday (12/4): 6.0 mi on bike trainer while watching Netflix, Salad w/ dinner loaded with veggies, fruit for breakfast (calling it half point), FB'd - 3.5 pts

Thursday (12/5): 10 mi on bike trainer, FB = 4.3 pts

Friday (12/6): 1850 yds in pool in about 45 min, 2 mi walk with husband, FB = 6 pts
Pool was dead on a super cold Friday afternoon.  Lap lanes behind me.
Saturday (12/7): Jingle Bell Hell virtual race with XLMIC for 3.1 miles = 3.1 pts

HBBC Week #3 = 30.85!!

MMNW - 167.2 down a little, but progress slow.

Jingle Bell Hell Race Report:  I bailed on my usual Thursday run with Susan when the day dawned in single digit wind chills.  But I was hoping to get out for a run to the bank on Saturday and thought I'd just try to dress for the cold and make the best of it since there wasn't any snow or ice (which there has been since then).  I waited until the afternoon when it warmed up to all of 23 degrees (*first point of "hell").  I put on my new thermal tights and yoga pants, running shirt and warm cycling jacket, Buff, ear warmer, gloves and socks/shoes.  I needed one more layer on top as I was cold until I got to the bank (where I sweated while waiting on my bank business - ugh! - *2nd point of "hell").  Headed back home only to be faced with a GPS watch stating that I'd only gone 2.9 miles when I reached the street in front of my house (*3rd point of hell).  I "laughed" (requirement) a little and kept on going to the end of our property where my watch buzzed 3 miles and I turned around to come home for the final 0.1.  I tried to take a festive shot of myself with one of the Christmas decorations, but Murphy and his damn law - a shadow from my phone.  Came inside and realized that some comibination of my shirt, sweat, etc had caused me to break out in some kind of hives (final point of hell).  Thankfully it went away pretty quickly.  Oh well - Happy Jingle Bell Hell to all!


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

HBBC 2013 - Weeks 1 & 2 + MMNW

I've had a rough start to the Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge 2013.  The good news was that it caught the tail end of my relatively active Phoenix vacation.  I did some playing around with MapMyRide and managed to get some mileage estimates for a couple of my outings in Tempe and Phoenix.  So the summary of Week 1 (which I finally got the points in the spreadsheet TODAY - doh):


Sunday: Hiked 0.2 mi to the Hole in the Rock overlook plus walked 5.3 miles with all the trekking around IMAZ spectating.  We also did a fair amount of walking at the Botanical Gardens, but it was very slow with lots of stopping to looky-loo so I'm not counting it.  Fairly certain the only fruit I had was a slice of lime in my margarita and I'm pretty sure spinach dip doesn't count in the Freggie dept.  Drank lots of water while in the dry air so I'll give myself a point there. = 6.5 points

Monday: Hiked 3.7 miles to top of Sunrise Mountain in Peoria, AZ.  Again a freggie fail.  Three 16 oz waters, so just short of a water point (especially since I also had a margarita and a soda). = 3.7 points

See my water cup?
Tuesday: I don't think I did anything even resembling being on a diet as I stressed to play catchup from being gone for the better part of a week.

Wednesday: Freggie/water fail.  HBBC guilt sent me out the door for 2.9 miles in my neighborhood.  = 2.9 points

Thursday: Walked with husband 2.0 miles = 2.0 points

Friday: Fail again. 

Saturday: Fail. Walked with husband 2.0 miles = 2.0 points

Facebook group points - I'm pretty sure I posted in the group at least once. 

Total Points for Week #1: 18.1

11/24 - 11/30

Sunday: Fail - plus gorged myself at charity breakfast

Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday: Fail

Thursday (Thanksgiving): Thanksgiving Pie Run (aka Turkey Trot) 5K with my sister; freggie fail (I won't count veggies coated in cheese or in rice casseroles; ate enough mashed potatoes that I should have skipped dessert) = 3.2 points (race a little long)

Friday: Spent time with extended family.  Went out to dinner and had a salad, but also a burger.  Not enough freggies as usual.  Walked with my husband - 2.0 miles. = 2 points

Saturday:  Took daughter and niece to pool.  Knocked out 2000 yards with lots of resting - 1 hour plus some play time with the kiddos.  Calling it 4 points (1 pt/15 min of laps).  Drank a bottled water at the pool concession.  Drank coke most of the rest of the day.  Nutrition fail.  = 4 points

Posted in FB group at least once = 1 point

Total points for Week #2: 10.2

12/1 - Sunday: Didn't overindulge in pancakes after mass; drank water most of the day (only one 12 oz coke); ate entire broccoli crown plus half cucumber with dinner plus a banana for finally getting one freggie point; ran 3.25 miles at dusk. FB group post = 6.25 points
Stormwater geeks run to detention basins and back (Walmart's specifically)

12/2 - Monday: Overindulged both breakfast and dinner (though sadly I don't think lettuce and tomato on my burger count much as a freggie point); only a little water and mostly after my 3.5 mile run with Stacy (which felt much better than most of my runs - huh, imagine that!). = 3.5 points

Kind of feeling like trying a "streak" of some kind.  Mostly because the numbers on the scale have slowly been creeping up on me.  MMNW was 168.4.  I had been solidly in the low 160s with even seeing the rare 159 only a few months ago.  I know the nutrition has been a big fail.  So has the soda drinking.  And I haven't been as consistent with working out.  So I think my "streak" will to just do SOMETHING every day.   My husband got my bike all set up on the trainer (even installing my new cadence/speed sensor so I can get a "distance" - belated Happy Birthday to me!).  So that is my new goal for December.  Will probably run tonight since it is supposed to be our last warmish evening for a while.  Fingers crossed I can stick with it!  I'd really like to see the scale move back down during this crazy holiday season!  It's been done in the past (HBBC 2011) so let's just see!

Definitely thankful for Amanda and her HBBC 2013!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving Pie Run 2013

Busy week, but I managed to go on a couple of brisk walks with my husband to knock out a handful of HBBC 2013 points.  But have to admit that running in single digit temps in the mornings just hasn't been appealing.  I know you just wear the right gear and suck it up, but I found every excuse in the book not to.  Thankfully, my sister had mentioned doing the Thanksgiving Day race that is fairly popular here in Jeff City.  So I took the race entries over last night and pre-registered (in record time - no line, no crowd SO AWESOME of JCRRC).  Then this morning we got up and got going (after a minor hiccup with her leaving her running shoes at home in WI - thankfully mine are only a half size smaller and she said she could make them work for a 5K).

We got to the race, parked and stood in line for the portopots.  Before we knew it the 10K folks were off and we moved toward the start line and then we were off.  Sis wanted to know how much I could run and not walk.   My first goal was the first mile.  After a half mile, we played a game counting the folks we passed.  We tried not to be rude and count out loud.  And a few repassed us and we took them out of our count.  This is a big race with a lot of folks that aren't necessarily "regular" runners so you always have some people that go out too fast (plus all the kids that do the sprint at the start and peter out a half mile in).

We hit the first mile in about 11:45.  Not a bad pace and generally sustainable.  But there was some superelevation on a curve that was making my legs scream (slope on the road).  Then, my legs (shins, ankles, knees, butt) never really stopped talking to me.  I was never particularly out of breath.  We chatted about exercise physiology stuff (sis is PhD) and what research says about training and so on.  I carried on a conversation the whole time.  I just felt like I couldn't make my legs go any faster.  But I kept running.

Second mile was slower - 12:27.  But I was still feeling like I could keep "running" (and yes, I realize this is a relative term at that pace).  So I kept pushing on.  As we closed in on three miles, I felt myself picking up the pace ever so slightly as I just wanted to be done.  I don't really have a finish "kick", but I did the best I could once we hit the last straight away.  Last full mile was 12:13 and then the 0.16 mi was 10:22.  So not overall awful paces, but not great either.  We did pass 50 people in our game though.

I was annoyed that I finished what I think is damn near my slowest 5K in a couple of years having "run" the whole way and not walked.  Garmin says it was 38:03.  I guess I am better at my usual approach - run until my lungs hurt and then walk until I catch my breath - because I ran this almost 4 min slower than last year.  Boo.  But I did enjoy the time with my sister.  We shared half a donut and got some water bottles and then sat in the car for a bit because the finish line was between us and the exit (no wonder no one parks over there).

Came home and took a couple pictures.  One of the two of us for Facebook and one with the Daily Vitamin F Thanksgiving Virtual Run bib. Now for turkey time!

Me and my sis post Pie Run

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Phoenix Trip

Apparently I got busy before, during and after my trip to Phoenix as I just looked back and it has been over 3 weeks since I blogged.  Work has been relatively crazy plus I had all the last minute logistics and packing to do.  And I haven't been as diligent as I would like on the workout front so here we are.

All that I have on my Garmin was a run to the bank (3 miles) on 11/2.  I know I went on a walk with my husband a couple of times in there, but maybe I didn't actually "run" again until last night.  Wow!  Good news is that I had a VERY active vacation (even if all of that activity was offset by all the wonderful food and multiple margaritas). 

Last Wednesday (11/13), I had a haircut in the morning, packed and drove to KC for a meeting with a client before my 5:00 flight to Phoenix.  Yes, I love that I can now deduct my mileage to and from KC.   I landed a little early and my friend Lori was waiting for me and we headed to her house.  Getting there fairly late left just enough time to see her kids off to bed and visit for a bit and get myself settled.  After a neighbor's dog barked half the night, I was up before the sun and checking on my kids getting ready for school completely unsupervised (which went way smoother than I had imagined it would - praise the Lord!)  After her kids were off to school, we headed to the Heard Museum, had lunch at a great hole in the wall cheesesteak place and then went on to hike Piestewa Peak (aka Squaw Peak).

The stuff I found online indicated a hike of about 1.2 miles to the summit.  I failed to note it was a 1200'+ elevation gain.  So in my mind, this was going to be a fairly short and easy hike.  Lori had done it once before and said it was hard, but also said it had been pretty hot when she had done it.  I should have taken note because this was not the little crushed gravel trails I'm used to.  This was super rocky and damned near straight up.  I really wasn't sure Lori was up for it.  But a few times I kidded and said "Suck it up" and a few times I gave her the option to let me go on alone to the top.  I wasn't going to let this thing beat me, but I was huffing and puffing along too.  We stopped every so often to catch our breaths and kick ourselves for taking water bottles in hand instead of a camelback.  Note to self for future hikes made.
Lori managed to smile after she caught her breath

Enjoying the view of the valley of the sun from the top of Squaw Peak

Taken by some folks who didn't like being told "only a little further"

Kicking back my feet while checking out the view below

After about an hour, we made it to the top and the views were a nice payoff for all the hard work.  My legs felt a little like jello, but I knew it was a great workout.  Unfortunately, we still had to go back down.  This is when I realized I have a little fear of heights and as the trail is rougher up higher, I was a bit nervous coming back down on my shakey legs.  But we powered through and made it back to the car as the sun started to set.

After showers, we headed out for drinks with another friend of mine.  Lori and I split some appetizers (still way too much food - geez my guts hurt from all this eating). 


Me and my friend Janine

Another poor night of sleep, but Lori had invited me to go with her to spend 30 min with her personal trainer to do a mostly upper body workout at 8 AM.  I wasn't sure what to think, but soon enough we were doing all sorts of things with the weakest muscles of my body.  OUCH!!  My arms were limp noodles and I just thanked God it was only 30 minutes.  In the shower back at Lori's house, I could barely raise my arms to shampoo my hair! 

We headed over towards Scottsdale and took a wonderful tour of Taliesan West (Frank Lloyd Wright famed campus).  I wanted to be an architect when I was younger only to realize I had no artistic ability whatsoever so I went into engineering.  However, I am still totally enamored by beautiful structures that other genius minds  create and while the tour was kind of pricey, it was fantastic and lasted nearly 2 hours!  We ate a late lunch and then Lori dropped me off with my friend Anne Marie so Lori could head back to Peoria to spend the afternoon/evening with her daughter who turned 9 that day.

Anne Marie and I changed into hiking clothes and headed over to Pinnacle Peak.  We did a lovely out and back trail that totaled about 3.5 miles with some up, down, up, and down mixed in with lovely views.  You never actually make it to the summit, but you still see lots.  We cleaned up back at her house and went for dinner (another margarita for me and a beer for Anne Marie).  Then we strolled around Old Scottsdale peaking in all the gallery windows and such before she took me home.

Anne Marie and I on the front side of Pinnacle Peak

My favorite shot from the Pinnacle Peak hike

Saturday, Lori and I headed to Sedona for the day.  It was interesting to see the landscape changed as you headed up in elevation.  And it was much cooler there (so I was thankful I took a jacket along - though the weather was amazing the whole trip, it was fairly overcast and had just rained in Sedona).  We mostly followed a self-guided driving tour I had found online to see several notable rock formations, etc and get some great pictures (which was easy there).  We stopped and shopped for a bit and had lunch with a gorgeous view. 

At airport overlook in Sedona
After the sun went down, we walked through an area with a bunch of galleries and then grabbed some dinner (where I had another margarita that was very strong and got a little silly suggesting that the older gentleman at the next table would get lucky if his wife finished her margarita - I really though I didn't say that out loud, but Lori assured me I had - oops).  We did a nice little hike - probably 2 miles total with a little elevation gain to get up to a lookout.  But this was mostly a day in the car with a fairly late drive back to Phoenix.  I could definitely spend a few more days exploring other hiking areas in Sedona.  So pretty!

Toasting a wonderful day

Sunday, we headed to the Desert Botanical Garden which was featuring an installation of this artist that works in glass sculpture.  It was cool to see the added color since most of the plants weren't blooming.  We learned about a lot of the plants in and around the Sonoran Desert area and answered a few questions Lori had since she has only lived out there a year.  We had lunch there and walked around a little more before heading over to Hole in the Rock.  This actually was a short/easy hike, but still provided some nice views. 

But before it got too late on us, I wanted to do some IMAZ spectating!  So we found a place to park along the run course and walked toward the finish.  We saw a few cyclists coming back to transition and cheered them on.  We saw a handful of the fast folks finish (about the 9.5-10 hour mark).  The transition area was a site in itself to behold.  But soon, Lori was worried about getting back to the car in the dark and was sure we could park closer.  So we headed back, cheering runners along the way.  I loved some of the signs along the route and was continuously inspired by all competing.  We had dinner (more margaritas) and went back to the finish for the folks finishing in the 13-14 hour range.  Even watched a guy bend down on one knee and propose in the finish chute.  Is it terrible that I was thinking "Hey dude!  This is a race!  Finish before you do that!"  But I got some high 5's from folks that were enjoying their finish experience and cheered on those that looked like they were struggling a bit more.  So very inspirational.  I tweeted that and was asked if I signed up for next year - the answer was "no", but I have to admit it was tempting.  I definitely will sign up for some kind of new triathlon challenge - just probably not IM yet.

We headed home about 9.  I sort of wished I could stay until midnight, but I was wearing out my hostess and it was a ways to get back to her house and cleaned up for bed.  Exhaustion got the better of us.  Got up in the morning and hugged her kids goodbye as they headed off to school and we headed off to hike Sunrise Mountain that is literally a stone's throw from Lori's house.  To some, it may not be so much of a mountain as a big hill, but it was a perfect little hike to end the trip with.  We sat enjoying the morning breeze at the summit and took a few pics before going back to shower and pack up. 

We grabbed lunch after a quick stop through Bed, Bath and Beyond (I got a cute Tervis cup with little lizards to remind me of my trip and how much I had to drink water constantly on it).  I squeezed in one more margarita for the road and then we went to the airport.  It was 79 degrees when I got on the airplane in Phoenix and 43 degrees when I got off in KC and down into the 30's by the time I drove back home.  Back to reality.

Have spent the last few days catching up on hugs from my kids and some loving from my husband.  Nothing like absence to make us appreciate each other more.  Of course, I've also had the usual mom duties of piano, basketball, grocery shopping, etc. My daughter got to tell me all about shooting her first deer (a doe on opening morning of the regular firearms season).  But I also realized that the Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge started this week.  So last night, after dinner and even though it had gotten dark, I drug my butt out the door for a little run around the neighborhood.  It was about 40 degrees, but I was a little overheated when I was done.  I hate that about this time of year that you always start out cold and then are overdressed after fully warmed up.  I never get that right.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Goal Review + 2 Runs

I re-read my goals from January and feel kind of disappointed in myself.  I know many were kind of pie in the sky, but many were achievable had I just committed more fully to them.  Nothing that is news to anyone who likes to set the bar high for themselves. 

I sat down and updated my mileage.  I did pass my bike goal (not a big surprise with two century attempts - though I was slightly surprised not to have surpassed it by more).  My swimming and running mileage definitely suffered from all my time on the bike (and some general laziness mixed in).  My non-training goals weren't a lot better. 

I went for a short run Sunday after I dropped my daughter off for basketball practice.  I went around Memorial Park a couple times and then down to my dad's cemetery and back.  I had to cut it short because I needed to use the bathroom.  Nothing major, but better than nothing.  My legs felt pretty heavy - like they did on Thursday.  Not sure if it would've felt better had I gone a little longer.  It was a very pretty day - lots of fall color and a bright blue sky.  Pretty way to pass 2.9 miles.

Bright sunshine, cool fall color
Stacy cajoled me into a late night run in the nice 50° temps last night (Monday).  I really didn't want to go, but I try to say "yes" when I can get in a few miles with a friend.  Wasn't fast - struggled to keep going, but we got 3.5 miles in before bedtime.

Two more months left in 2013.  Cooler temps and less daylight present some challenges, but I know I can get some training in if I put my mind to it.  I am once again participating in the Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge with Run to the Finish.  Hope to rack up some points and maybe a prize or two plus keep off the holiday scale creep.  

Also getting ready to go to Phoenix to visit a couple of friends in a few weeks.  I goofed off a bunch yesterday surfing all kinds of web sites for fun places to hike and cool museums to hit.  I'm sure my wish list is longer than I can squeeze in 4.5 days - especially with hopes of hitting Sedona for one day.  It is a total "me" trip - kids staying at home with their dad for opening weekend of deer season.  Still have to completely figure out some logistics of getting them to school, but I think they'll be ok.  Looking forward to the time "off".

Swimming = 10.25 mi
Biking = 1262.2 miles
Running = 227.9 miles

Friday, October 25, 2013

Ride the Rivers Century 2013

I finally did it!  I finished my first bike century!  This last Sunday I participated in Trailnet's Ride the Rivers Century along with 608 other crazy bike folks.  The weather was beautiful even if a little cold at the start and windy all day.
I rolled out with a few of the guys from Team TOG, but was dropped in the first few miles.   No worries as I thought I'd see them at a rest stop. They passed me once when they had to relieve the coffee I didn't drink but otherwise I was once again alone a lot.  While I understood their desire to ride faster, I wished for company.  I think finding someone to ride my speed will be key to ever choosing to do this again (if I do it again).
I felt pretty good as I rolled into the first rest stop at the history museum.   I grabbed a little food and headed back out pretty quickly.  I had to walk one hill when I got caught at a mid hill stoplight.  I also stopped and caught my breath on one hill but pedaled up the rest of it.
I was getting warm from having over dressed.  I enjoyed looking at the old buildings as we rolled through downtown St. Louis.  I wished that I had had more time to stop for pics.   Those prayers backfired and I caught nearly every red light.  Fellow riders even started to joke about it.  Once we got over on the river trail there were a few places where folks seemed to be flatting a lot.  I walked over some gravel to avoid it.  I knew that a flat tire might be the end of my ride - killing my spirit and taking time I knew would be in short supply now that it gets darker much earlier and quicker.
But soon I was at the rest stop at the Old Chain of Rocks bridge over the Mississippi River.  Grabbed some more water and hit the portopotty. Knowing the next stop was lunch made it slightly easier to get going again.   The view from the bridge was of downtown St. Louis in the distance, but having just gotten going, I didn't want to stop for a pic.  Too bad as there were a lot of neat Route 66 signs and memorabilia.
42 miles in - ready to cross the Mississippi River

The wind was soon at my back, but the pedaling didn't feel that much better.  In fact, I was getting pretty warm in the sun now that the wind wasn't in my face.  Then there were these stupid road crossings that had gates that made you ride down a steep grade, dismount, walk across and then go straight up again (where I mostly hiked).  There was also some construction I didn't feel comfortable riding around in the grass so I walked around.
The canopy at the amphitheater at Alton seemed visible for a long time that it didn't seem to be getting closer.   I really wanted off my bike.  I finally got there.  I pulled off my jacket and helmet and laid in the grass.  I wolfed down my turkey sandwich, chips and cookie.  Then I tried to psych myself up to get going again.  I set a deadline and only missed it by a few minutes checking my jacket and refilling my bottles.
I had hopes that the long stretch of relatively flat River Road would provide some relief and maybe a tailwind.  While I did feel a bit better having eaten and cooled off, I was in a pretty dark mental place.  I started daydreaming about chucking my bike into the river and calling the Sag.  I caught a woman and sucked myself to her wheel.  It was bad manners, but I just couldn't find the strength to pass her.  I hung on until the Grafton rest stop.
My stomach didn't feel like eating, but I snacked a little and refilled my bottles again.  It was nice to hit a real toilet at the visitor center.  I was really hurting, but I had to go on.  Saw a guy sitting on a wheel stop trying to get the nerve to get back on his bike.  I felt the same, but chose to swing my leg over and headed out.
Shortly after I left, I hooked up with a guy from O'Fallon that was riding about my speed.   Sharing those miles to the next stop (the first ferry) completely changed my mental outlook.  I could more fully appreciate the beautiful day.  I didn't even hate the hills as much.   There weren't that many, but sharing the pain made them so much easier.  I even started humming a tune that was stuck in my head.
We made it to the first ferry.  We got a break from the bike seat as we watched some poor lady blow her transmission trying to offload.  Then we rode across and fought the wind and hills to get to the Golden Eagle ferry.   Another crossing and we were welcomed at the last rest stop by super sweet cheering volunteers.   Still not really hungry, I did have half a sprite.   We took a couple pics and headed out for the final miles.

92 miles in - last rest stop
It was mostly flat and only a little into the wind.   I was wanting to push the pace a little but eased up whenever needed to stay with my bike angel.  I just wanted to be done and the sun was starting to drop pretty low in the sky.  Then there was my car and I was so thankful.  We snapped a couple more shots and thanked each other for sticking it out. 
Just finished 102 miles!  Yay!!

David from Team TOG called and said they were cleaning up the finish party.  I remembered that I needed to go get my jacket.  I visited with David for just a bit and then loaded up and headed out.  I stopped in Kingdom City for a late dinner and much deserved coke.  
Muscles were pretty sore but my butt was very sore.  Hard chairs were not my friend the early part of this week.  I took it super easy on Monday, walked around a job site a little on Tuesday plus took a family walk as part of my daughter's Girl Scout Staying Fit badge, and took it easy again on Wednesday (busy with work). 
Thursday dawned very cool again and I met Susan for a shake out run on the greenway.  I wasn't really feeling it, but was kind of grumpy and stiff at the start.  I felt so much better after our 4.1 miles and Starbucks together.  Tonight I took a walk with my husband. 
Now I have completed one of my big hairy ass goals for this year.  I'll need to go back and do some adding up of some of my recent mileage, review my goals list and see what my goals for November and December are going to be.  But for now, I am ecstatic with completing 100 miles in one day!