Wednesday, June 30, 2010


A quick thought on my recent training...

So this week I'm doing well with training. I'm pushing since next week I'll have to taper a little for the duathlon. It's made me think about how hard I train/work in general. In the past, it just hasn't been very hard at all. I think that I thought I was doing what I should, but I have gotten to know my body a little better and have discovered that's not quite true. I've also discovered (not really a new discovery, more a reminder) that it's so much easier to push myself with other people around. It would have been difficult to push the way we did on the bikes Monday night, probably mostly because I would have just been a little bored. Same goes for running. Motivation is priceless. 

I hope after the du to keep this level up and see what can happen.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

40 miles!

Monday's group ride was awesome. I laughed, I cried, I sang. OK not really. I did laugh a bunch and smiled nearly the entire time. Glen and Rich are great. They are entertaining, easy-going, laid back people, at least on these rides. The time with them is both challenging and comfortable at the same time.

I rode my bike from the studio so I didn't have to load it onto my car again, 3 miles on Riverside to the shop. I went in the store and Rich hooked me up with some chews. I had a gel with me, but the chews sounded great. After Glen got there, we went out to the main road, full of rush-hour drivers, to get to the trail. It was a fun game of sprinting and playing in traffic as usual. We rode pretty easy up to South Lebanon and then got on the roads. Glen lead us at about 21 mph in a windy pace line that was awesome. Then, instead of getting back on the trail at Morgan's Canoe Livery, we took a different road that was quick rolling hills, or moguls as Glen likes to call them. Then we got back to the trail, and after a quick break headed south. I followed behind the two of them as they chatted. After refilling water bottles in Morrow, I decided I was going to get in front of them. They could chat behind me and I wouldn't have all of the debris kicked up on me. The trail was a mess from the previous night's storms. We were constantly running over twigs, branches, lumps of debris...and most of it was being kicked up in my direction. Rich came up beside me, leaving Glen in the rear. But it wasn't long before he came up on Rich's left and made a comment about how I must have had enough of the debris in my face. So we actually rode 3 abreast for a few miles which was fun. After another stop sign, we regrouped and Glen lead us again around 20 mph in a pace line. I was struggling to hang on at this point - over 30 miles done...I was feeling it. Soon after that, we came into Loveland and I left them at Riverside going back to my car at my studio. I spun through the neighborhood to try to flush my legs a little bit. After getting off my bike I walked a little too. My legs hurt as soon as I stop. They hurt so bad by the time I got home. I rubbed them and downed 3 advil. By the time I was done showering, they had stopped hurting. But wow-- they ache soooo badly when I stop. This happens each time. Not sure if maybe I just need to get used to it or if I can cool down better to help alleviate.

Anyway, it was 40 miles total!!  :)  This is the farthest I've ridden. And it had a good amount of speedy pickups in it too. Caesar Creek is hilly...I would like to get some hill work in prior to that race. Looking to spinning class to help with that on Friday.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Weekend Fun

Saturday was the Hyde Park Blast which is some sort of festival that has all kinds of fun stuff: a 5K, cycling criterium, elite running race, bands and food. I have always wanted to see the criterium after seeing one many years ago in Loveland. The Blast is pretty big and seems to draw a big group of riders. It is part of a series that was the entire weekend: Friday was a crit in Madeira, Saturday was the Blast and Sunday was the Tour of Grandview.

The women raced at 6:55 p.m. - Cat 1/2/3/4. We came in on the end of the Cat 3 men's race. It was pretty exciting. The women's race was awesome. We were positioned in one of the turns so we got to see them all brake and lean into the turns and get through it as a pack. Here was the first person at the first turn where we stood, and then more riders. You can see the start/finish red blow-up thingy in the background.

It would have also been interesting to see the straightaways and how positions changed. Every time the pack came into the turn there was a new leader, so there must have been a lot of shifting going on. It was just so cool to watch. I would love to be able to do this some day. I don't know if I would ever be fast enough. It would take a lot of work to get to this caliber, but it just looks so incredibly fun!!!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Coon Dogs

Last night the dogs were going crazy in the back yard, barking barking barking. They do this when they meet the neighbor dog through the fence. I imagine the conversation usually goes something like this:

Harley: "Oh high, fuzzball, how's your tiny little yard doing? You poop on top of your poop yet?"
Neighbor dog: "Whatever, Miss Hair's-So-Long-You-Can't-See. Why don't you go try to catch a ball...and fail...because you can't see!"
Dexter: "Hi!!!!!!!"

However, last night it wasn't a conversation between them and the neighbor dog. I couldn't get them to stop barking from the dining room window, so I went outside to yell at them. As I approached, I heard another noise - that of a raccoon snarling - and realized what was going on. The dogs were between the fence and a pile of large branches (where the raccoon was hiding) completely oblivious to me and my cries for them to stop. I was barefoot and tried to start making my way across the wood, trying to find a stick to pick up and whap them with to get their attention. But I wasn't fast enough. The raccoon became in reach and it was over pretty quick. Dexter had the back and Harley had the front - so cute, like they had a stuffed animal! Not really. It was disgusting. The barking stopped as each dogs mouth was around the raccoon. I think Harley did the largest damage with the head/neck. She viciously shook it. Finally they dropped it. Dexter's face was changed. Harley kept circling around trying to get at it again, but I finally got them both into the house.

When they came in the house, they were absolutely exhausted but wagging their tails. Both collapsed on the kitchen floor, completely satisfied. I've never seen Dexter look so utterly satisfied. It made his day! 

Clean up consisted of Greg getting underneath the little guy with a hoe and shoving it up onto my shovel. Then I carried it back to the way back near the creek, our critter graveyard. Poor little thing was kind of cute. 

So now Harley has added a critter to her kill list: Birds, mole, rabbit, snake and now raccoon. I give Dexter the assist.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

My Calves Have Rocks in Them

I was wondering what part of my legs would be sore from the stair workout Tuesday. Um, it's my calves, and it's ridiculous. I am having a hard time walking and going down stairs involves a funny side-stepping quick hop down to each step.

Christen and I walked to lunch today, which I'm sure helped the soreness. They felt good by the time we got there. It is .8 of a mile to walk to El Picante. We are devising a way to make it an even mile. This may be accomplished by walking in the opposite direction down the side street our office butts up to and then heading there down another side street...or we could do a bunch of laps around the building to get those two tenths in. Tee-hee.

I will be using the evil foam roller tonight. Yay.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Track Tuesday - Stairs!

Something I haven't done since college: run stadium stairs.

Greg, Roman and I warmed up on the track for about a mile. Then, Greg suggested we do the stairs. It was kind of mentioned last week as something we should try some time. It was a nice change from running around and around and around - and especially since I still don't have a sport watch yet.

Going up...

Coming down...

We did each staircase on the concrete side twice. Took us about 14 minutes. Then we ran another lap, and Greg pooped out on doing any more. Overall it was short workout, but I think I'm beginning to feel it in my calves...

Monday, June 21, 2010


I probably do this too much on this blog, but I'm again trying to think out loud about what I want to do this season. Now back from vacation and with one duathlon done, it's time for some evaluation and training commitment. I think I've come to the decision that I don't want to do a fall marathon as I originally had planned. I think. Though I just had a conversation with Christen about Shaun's race this past weekend which made me want to do it again - argh! But I'm really having fun getting faster and thinking in a "sprint" mindset - be it 5Ks or duathlons. If I was going to do Columbus again this year, I would need to start training now. But I don't want to just focus on chugging though long distances right now. I could definitely see doing the Pig next spring though; train through the winter, take my time at is (because it is going to be a lot harder than flatsville Columbus).

Ok yes, this conversation with myself seems to be working... you're such a good listener, Blog.

So the next question is, do I want to try a triathlon? That means I'd have to join up at the community center and start trying to swim again. I've been wanting to do spinning again anyway, so that would be another reason to get a few more months in at the gym. Hmmm...

Some duathlons or triathlons  I could do:
July 11th - Caesar's Creek
July 18th - Fit to Fight (in my backyard practically)
July 25th - downtown Cincinnati
Aug 2nd - East Fork

I need redemption for Caesar's Creek. Last time I was there it was DNF. The Fit to Fight is really close to home. The Cincinnati one sounds fun and is downtown which is always fun. East Fork? Well it's beautiful out there...

Aside from those, I'd like to sprinkle some fun 5Ks in there and see about lowering my time! :) Those don't take too much planning thankfully.

Arrgh decisions! One thing I do know is I need to start tracking everything again. I need consistency.

Saturday, June 19, 2010


This morning's run is brought to you by the letter S.
Soggy, sopping, soaking, steady, squishy...

(and thanks, Sesame Street, for that whole "brought to you by the letter..." thing)

There is just something fun about running in the rain. Maybe it's because you usually try to stay out of the rain, but then when you do surrender to it, you realize it's fine and maybe even a little freeing. My run this morning was 4 miles in a wonderful little storm. When I started out it was just a light rain. By the time I was at the end of the street, I was soaked. I batted water out of my eyes as I enjoyed the thunder rumbles. It was cool and invigorating. I ran through Landen and did my best to avoid puddles. Sometimes they spanned the entire path, so I just ran through them. My shoes were soon squishy.

I felt really good in the beginning of the run, but lost steam towards the end. :(  After I finished, I brought my soggy body into the house, getting water everywhere. I left my sopping clothes in the laundry room and then got into more water in the shower.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


Easing my way into the days in muggy and not-near-the-ocean Cincinnati has been a bit challenging. The first night I awoke confused that I was hearing rain and not the ocean hitting the beach rocks. Each morning I have woken up at 4 or 5 a.m. wide awake, which is fine by me. But regretfully, I didn't get to then stroll out of my room to watch a beach sunrise. I also miss the surprisingly intimate confines of being on an island large enough to allow for a fun trip across it on scooter, but small enough to feel like I could have gotten to know the piece of land well after another week.

I have been eager to run again, as a comfort to my end-of-vacation woes. Monday I rested. It was difficult just to make it through half a day of work. Tuesday night we rebooted our Track Nights. Greg, Roman and I met at 6 in 90ยบ heat. I warmed up slowly for a mile, then began running 200 repeats at about 50 seconds each. I was pretty tired after 3, but managed to do the next 3 at the same pace. My cool down mile was slow. I could have gone to bed right then. Wednesday morning I was wide awake for a nice, early morning 3.5 mile run in cool but sticky air. It definitely helped me feel happy to be back to my running life that I love.

This weekend I might try to get to Rowe Woods and see about running on trails there.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Back in Ohio

Where I've been for the past week:

Greece. Santorini, specifically. More photos and updates to come. For now I'm trying to get settled back into the days here. It's been quite abrupt, honestly. I'm still wanting to wake up to the sound of the sea, feel the compelling breeze that kept my hair in constant disarray, and spend morning to night with great friends.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Next for the Summer

Since the duathlon is over and I feel like I've been able to assess a little bit of my fitness, I thought I'd jot down some ideas for what is next. The summer soon approaches. It has been a fantastic spring. I've seen speeds running and on the bike that I've never seen. It may not be fast yet, but it is a huge improvement for me, which makes everything a lot more enjoyable.

I plan to do more sprint duathlons becuase I love them. I'm still trying to decide if I'd like to pay the money for the pool and try a tri as well. There is a good one in July that would be a great first-timer race. Not sure what my decision is yet though. I would also like to do more 5Ks...because I really need a redeeming race after Idlewild (note: next one should be not so hilly). And they're fun, especially when friends do them too.

What I want to Focus On:

I've put it off long enough. Time to get stronger and fix the spaghetti arms and weakness that is my upper body.

Continue to trim down and eat better.

Continue to get faster!

I think I'm going to have to make some kind of loose calendar/schedule. I need to track the weights stuff because if I don't I just don't think I'll do it. I'm not good at following training plans. It brings out the 5 year old in me that doesn't wanna just because I'm told to. But when I look at what I am doing throughout the week, there really is a schedule there already (shhh don't tell my 5 year old self!). I have 1 scheduled group ride and am planning/hoping to add another. I have 2 scheduled runs. There's 4 days. I need to schedule another longer run on the weekend when there is more time for endurance. There's 5 days. So it looks like I just have a couple other days to figure out what to do or rest and bam! my schedule is done.