Custom Countdowns & MySpace Layouts

Custom Countdowns & MySpace Layouts

Thursday, December 18, 2008


I'm going to Lexington to pick up my new bike tomorrow! I ordered it for my bday back in August so it seems like I've been waiting for absolutely ever! I had to order it from Pedal the Planet in Lexington since nobody in Louisville carries this line of Specialized bikes. They have been so patient with me since I've called a ton of times since August....I may have bugged them just a little:) Anyway, they sent me this "teaser" pic today. Can you say, "Excited?" I'm sure it must be the most beautiful bike in the world and we all know it's all about how you look!

Sunday, December 14, 2008


In preparation for the 2009 Ironmen - I was reviewing this past seasons' log (just to remind myself of what's in store). This is a summary of the past years' numbers...

Month's trained - 12
Total Hours - 723
Bike Miles - 4,924
Run Miles - 963
Swim Miles - 172
Centuries - 16

Some more numbers...

According to calculations, all that biking, running & swimming added up to approximately 288,177 calories burned. Now, assuming that I maintained my pre-training caloric intak
e, I would have lost about 82 pounds with all that training. However, I only lost 15 pounds:( That only accounts for 52,500 calories. Therefore, somehow, I ate an extra 235,677 calories over the course of the last year. Hmmmmm...that's an extra 645 calories per day. Since I needed about 2000 calories per day to maintain my weight with moderate exercise, I guess I must have eaten around 2700 calories per day during my training....I'm apparently not working hard enough since Michael Phelps gets to eat 8,000...

If you're wondering how a girl eats all those calories...I ate about 35 40oz jars
of Jif Smooth peanut butter - that counted for 230,533 calories. I think I single handedly kept the peanut farmers in business last year. All those jars of peanut butter cost about $260. Also, with all that peanut butter I ate about 1,200 mini whole-wheat bagels for a whopping 120,000 calories. If I'm starting to look round, with a whole in the middle - you know why. I also used about 500 lemons for my hot tea that I had several times a day & went through about 1000 bags of Earl Grey Tea.
I'm hoping to add maybe another food group to my menu this year - we'll see...Actually, I did have one other food group that I ate last year - GU - I think it's kind of like the athlete's version of Spam. Nobody really knows what's in it but it somehow gets the job done. I have absolutely no idea how my GU's I ate but if you assume I ate nothing but peanut butter, bagels, & GU - I would have eaten about 6,400 of them. I'm pretty sure that I didn't eat that many, so somehow, I must have squeezed something else in...I just don't remember what it was.

Anyway, enough of my random musings about calories, miles & food....I think I'll go eat some more peanut butter with bagels.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Muncie Endurathon

Muncie was another half that I really didn't want to do. Although I had signed up early, as the race approached I was beginning to feel like all I did was taper for races, compete in races & recover from races. Panic was beginning to set in as I was worried that I might not be appropriately prepared for the full IM in August. After expressing my concerns to Coach Monica, she agreed to exclude the taper/recover period from this race gyration & just put it on my schedule as another workout. With my worries relieved, I soon found myself on my way to Muncie.

This trip started out with a fight with my husband. He & I had agreed upon what time I would leave Friday but as the time approached, he kept finding all these things he had to do that prevented me from leaving. We both kept pushing & when I finally walked out the door, totally stressed out, it wasn't on the best of terms. Wh
at a great start to the weekend! Once in the car, I started to unwind listening to some of my favorite tunes on my Ipod & the trip passed quickly. I had never been to Muncie & driving into town I was beginning to wonder where the hell I was. After passing tons of corn & bean fields, I made it into the outskirts of Muncie that seemed rundown & depressed. Pushing onward, I wound up at the convention center in the middle of a very small downtown. Packet pickup went smoothly and I waited for the athlete briefing while reading a magazine. The briefing was a little intense & the head ref was very serious & to the point. I was wondering if anyone ever made it through this race without penalties. It seemed like anything would get you one, including have a messy transition area.

After the meeting, I checked into my hotel, got all my stuff to my room & had a
nice dinner at IHOP. This was beginning to become a bit of an out of town tradition as I had chowed on their yummy chocolate pancakes at the Marine Corps Marathon, at the Kansas Half & now in Muncie. After dinner I went back to my room, read a bit & hit the sack. The standard 3 am alarm seemed as early as always the next morning.

After I was up, I had my requisite bagels with peanut butter & hot tea, got dressed, grabbed my "stuff" and headed out to my car to go - or not go. My car wouldn't start. WTF???? I tried repeatedly & actually got it to start once but it turned itself right back off. I clearly wouldn't be getting to the park (30 mins away) with this car. I called Kelly but she & Ben were both racing & didn't ha
ve room in their car for me & my bike. I called Monica but she didn't answer. I was beginning to panic when I got a hold of Monica. Saved!!! She totally saved my butt when she & her brother picked me up & got all of us to the race on time.

As you can imagine, I was a bit out of sorts by the time we got to the race start. We got there later than I usually do & there were lots of people & cars. All worked out okay, though, & I got my bike racked, my transition set up & actually had a bit of time to socialize. I even put in a call to my husband where he promised to take care of my car while I was racing.

Once I was ready to head to the start, a huge storm cloud (previously predicted to hit much later in the day) was heading our way. The race officials were moving up all the swim starts in an effort to get us all into & out of the water before the storm hit. They also let us know that, although they would not cancel the race due to weather, if the storm hit we went forward under our own risk. Next thing I knew, my wave w
as in the water & we were off. This was to be my first non-wetsuit race & I had decided to swim the entire way breastroke. The water was pretty choppy as the wind was picking up but I was holding my own. The course was a big horseshoe shape & on the bottom side, we got this great current pushing us along. Finally I hit the last leg of the swim & as I looked up the huge black clouds were right on top of us. I was pushing it as fast as I could but it was tough with the chop hitting me right in the face. About half way down the final stretch, the clouds opened up and the rain just poured down. Every time I came up for a breath it was stinging my face & making it impossible to see. Shortly after the rain started, I saw a huge bolt of lightning hit down right near us. Another bolt hit quickly after & of course the thunder was ear-shattering. It was really scary & I'm sure it contributed to my best ever swim time as I struggled to make the shore. I was so glad to be out of the water as I ran up to the transition area to grab my bike.

Several people decided to drop out after the swim but I decided to push on despite the pouring down rain. The bike times were a little slower than usual but as the course is straight and flat, navigation wasn't that big of a problem. The rain continued to pour down pretty much the entire bike but after the first hour or so, the lighting moved off into the distance. Needless to say, we were all soaked & there were virtually no fans out on the course. Despite all this, I had a great time out on the bike & I was silently thanking Ian S, the first person to ride with me in the rain. The bike seemed to fly by & before I knew it I was at the dismount line.

After I got off my bike, I had to take off my bike shoes since the transition area was so muddy & knew I wouldn't be able to run in my cleats. I somehow made my way through the quagmire & cleaned off my feet the best I could before putting on my wet shoes & he
ading out onto the run. Just as I was leaving transition, the rain was ending & the sun was coming out. Who would have thought it?

The run course in Muncie was the hilliest of the three halves I did this year. It was constantly moving up or
down & as soon as the sun came out, the air around us heated up. With the heat & humidity the run was definitely not fun. I pretty much kept to running on the few flats & all the downhills & I walked on all the uphills. The way out to the turnaround seemed to take forever, but once I was on the final stretch the rest of the race passed quickly. There were a couple of hills right before the finish line & then I was done! My best time so far...Swim 39:20, T1 4:11, Bike 2:53:20, T2 4:23, Run 2:13:46, Total 5:55:03. This was a great day & despite my initial impressions of Muncie, they put on a great race!

After it was over, Terry G, a fellow racer from Louisville, took me & my stuff to the car dealer that had my broken car & they gave me a loaner. I was able to get home with all my stuff only to return to Muncie a week later to pick up my newly repaired car (for a whopping $1800). I was so grateful to all the people that helped me out over what could have been a very stressful day & I'm hoping that when I return to Muncie next year, I won't have to make another trip to the auto repair shop!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Over the Rainbow

Although much more at ease after completing the Half IM at Taylorsville Lake, I still spent a significant portion of my week before Kansas arranging & rearranging all my "stuff" that I would need for my trip to Kansas. I'll admit that I packed way more than I needed but at least I didn't forget anything! I even took my own toaster & hot water kettle so I could have my bagels with peanut butter & hot tea the morning of the race.

Lawrence, KS turned out to be a surprisingly cool little town with my hotel placed in the middle of the artsy, eclectic downtown area. The expo was actually outside just a couple of blocks away from my hotel and although small, it had all the gear any tri-gee
k could want. It even had some Specialized Transition bikes on display that I spent a fair amount of time drooling over.

After picking up my packet, t-shirt, etc. at the expo, I took a drive out to view the course. All the literature I had read ahead of time warned that it wouldn't be flat like
people expected for Kansas & that turned out to be true. The course wasn't hilly like Louisville but it was either a continuous up or down that over the course of 56 miles amounted to about 2500 feet of climbing. I was a little concerned about the complete lack of shade out on the course and the possibility of high wind but otherwise all looked good for race day.

After driving the course I checked out the transition, swim & run areas back at the
park. Because of all the rain in KS, the lake was very high with water actually spilling over the top of the dam. This created some strong currents that I thought would be interesting on race morning. They also had to move the transition area due to flooding which made for slightly less than ideal conditions. When we exited the water we would have to run on sharp rocks to get to our bikes....I was hoping they would cover this but they didn't. Made for some ouchie feet on race day.

Once I had checked out the course, I spent the rest of the weekend just hanging out until I had to check my bike on Saturday. This was a completely different experience
than Taylorsville. While there were only about 100 people at Taylorsville, we had closer to 1500 in Kansas & it seemed that everyone had better "stuff" than me....While I love my bike, it's hard not to get a little bike envy when surrounded by hundreds of people with $5000+ bikes with disk wheels, aero helmets & all kinds of other cool things. Oh well...anyway, took a quick test ride on my bike, a dip in the lake to check out the water temp & currents & got my bike checked. Now all I had to do was wait for race morning.

3 am came really early on Sunday morning. After chowing down on my bagels & tea, I got dressed and headed out in the dark for the race start (about 30 mins from the hotel)
. Lesson learned in this race - take a light to the race start as it's really, really dark at 5 am in the middle of nowhere! I schlepped all my gear down to the transition area, got body marked then arranged all my things around my bike in what I hoped would be an easy, intuitive setup. I got done with all that pretty quickly so got to spend the next 1:30 watching everyone else get ready & fretting over whether I should wear a wetsuit or not. In the end, I pulled on the wetsuit right before lining up with my age group & before I knew it, we were in the water.

Right off the bat I knew this race was a whole different animal than Taylorsville. Gone
was the easy camaraderie that seemed prevalent among the competitors. These people were serious! Lots of kicking, bumping & stuff in the water so I just tried to stay off to the right of the main pack. About a third of the way into the swim I really wished I hadn't worn my wetsuit as I was getting really hot. Oh well - I sucked it up and just kept going. The swim seemed to go on & on - different than Taylorsville because it was just one loop. I was really glad to see the shore & although it felt like I'd never get there I was finally out of the water! Swim Split 51:36 - boo!

The run to transition was pretty long & once we were off the path from the lake we got to run on those ouchie rocks to get to our bikes. I remembered to make a stop in the porta-pot then grabbed my shoes, helmet, sunglasses, bike & kind of run-walked out to the mounting line. T1 - 5:07 - just ok.

Once I was on my bike I quickly settled into just getting comfortable with the race ahead.
There was lots of passing & bad bike handling skills but I made it up the hill from the lake & out onto the main road with no problems. The course is what they call the "Iron Cross" with 3 out & backs plus the road to/from the lake. The first out started with a wicked downhill followed by a long ascent with a little flat thrown in for fun. One guy apparently took that first downhill wrong & wiped out so badly he had to be airlifted out....On that first leg I really tried to relax as dozens and dozens of riders blew past me while I tried to remember my plan to take it easy on the first leg. We already had a wicked cross/headwind & I knew we were going to have a long day. This one guy blew past me with a disk wheel but then immediately slowed down so I passed him back. This happened a couple of times before his ego apparently got the better of him & he took off like a bat out of hell. The hills on all legs of this course were long but thanks to all our local hills, I seemed to be taking them better than most. It seemed that a lot of people just didn't believe the course description & were surprised that it wasn't flat. I tried to relax during the headwinds & take advantage of the tailwinds. The best part of the ride was on the last stretch where I had known we would have a tailwind. I had reserved enough energy that I was feeling great & on the last big uphill I blew past the disk guy from the morning where he was obviously struggling. Next time he shouldn't let his ego get the best of him. I discovered that I love passing guys on the bike:) Bike Split 3:11:51 - yeah!

Once I was off my bike I moved through transition as quickly as I could to get out on the run course. T2 - 3:23 - not bad!

Although there had been no clouds in the sky & it was hot, I could see a big, black storm front heading our way. I started the run slowly but the closer the storm got the faster I tried to go. I was really afraid they would cancel the race. I made it through the 1st
half of the run pretty uneventfully. It was toasty out & I really liked the cold sponges. I didn't eat anything but was able to grab ice & coke at a couple of stops. The run wound it's way through the park's campgrounds & the crowds were great. Even folks who weren't there for the race were out cheering us on. I was probably 20% into the last loop of the run when the wind picked up like crazy, the sky turned black & the temperature dropped about 25 degrees. It was a little freaky but although we could see lightning out in the distance, the storm seemed to hold off. I kept plodding on expecting to be pulled off the course any moment because of the weather but they kept letting us go on. I was about 2 miles out from the finish, ready to do the last little loop that takes you past the finish line & back, when they told us we had to finish & run through the chute. I couldn't believe it! I was having a great run & the storm looked like it had blown over but they made us quit anyway. I was a little disgusted (as you can see from my picture) but other people were a lot more upset. For a lot of the racers, not only was this their first HIM but it was also their "A" race for the season. When I went back to pick up my bike the girl next to me was just sobbing about not being able to finish. I felt really bad for her. People were even more upset because the storm never really materialized. Anyway, Run Split - 1:50:23 for 11.1 miles with and Overall Race time of 6:02:20.

Although my race was cut about 2 miles short, I was really happy with my performance for the day. My swim could have been better but my bike was great & I was having a decent run. My nutrition on the bike was good but I need to continue to work on my run nutrition. I can barely seem to get anything down. I think having the storm looming over us helped me to get over my tired running legs & push through to pick up my pace. Quite honestly, my only real complaint of the day was how they posted the final standings. Because some people were only on their first loop of the run when they got pulled & others were on their second, it totally messed up the standings. The competitive side of me has a real problem with people who didn't do as well as me being posted above me in the rankings - I had only 2 miles left but they had about 7 so it looks like they had better runs.....Oh well, there's really nothing I can do about it so I'll just be happy with my race & go from here. Overall - Kansas was a great race!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Catching Up Part 1

This post is to begin catching you up on what happened over the summer between my May post & the IM at the end of August. The first thing of real significance was my first triathlon ever on May 17th at Taylorsville Lake.

I spent several weeks leading up to this race in a perpetual state of inde
cision. I kind of wanted to get a tri under my belt but I wasn't certain I was ready and, quite honestly, I was afraid that I would embarrass myself & quite possibly come in last. Coach Monica thought I should do it, Kelly & Aimee were doing it, Brian thought I should go - the pressure was unrelenting - I gave in.

Race morning I was so nervous I thought I'd be sick. I'd packed & repacked everything I could think of the night before & had gotten everything into
my car so all I had to do was get up, eat my bagels with peanut butter, throw on my tri suit & go. Brian had offered to be my fan club so I picked him up on the way & before I knew it I was there.

When we go
t there I quickly got my bike ready, my transition set up & my wetsuit on. Kelly, Aimee & I made our way to the water for a quick (and unbelievably cold) dip & next thing I knew we were lining up to start.

Let me start by saying that the water in Taylorsville Lake was absolutely disgusting. In addition to being only one step above freezing, the was so much silt & debris in the water that it was like putting your face in a mudpuddle - gross! I was one of the lucky ones who didn't have a panic attack in the water but I definitely didn't enjoy the swim. It was a 2x out & back course & lots of people were going off course & crossing over the bouys. At one point, I was hit head-on by some guy who had crossed over to my Although I was slow, I wasn't the last person out of the water - which was quite a relief & I made my way up the boat ramp & onto my bike. One thing I learned in this race - go to the bathroom before getting on the bike. I spent the entire bike ride having to go pee - & no, I didn't pee on my bike.

I had practiced the bike course the week before so I
knew what to expect & was pleasantly surprised when I was able to maintain a much higher than expected mph. During my trial run, I averaged just over 15 mph but during the race I was >17. It was great & I really enjoyed the ride - which is more than I can say about the run.

After I made it through transition & out onto the run course the misery of the day started. The run course is a 3x out & back in the full-sun with the out being uphill & the back being downhill. Normally this wouldn't be so bad but on this day, when we should have been getting the relief of going downhill we were heading into an incredibly strong headwind. It wasn't long before I was negotiating with myself for every step forward. I would try to make myself run to signs, poles, rocks, whatever just to keep moving forward faster. However, the longer I was out there, the more I walked. I walked fast but still walked. The only time I was really strong on the run was the last 1/2 mile when the finish was in sight! The good news, though, was that everybody was suffering on the unexpectedly hot & windy day & my finish time was much better than I expected.

When the race was over, I was really glad I had done it. All of my times were better than I expected & I didn't come in last! My splits were as follows:

Swim - 51:50
T1 - 5:27
Bike - 3:10:02

T2 - 3:21
Run 2:22:26
Total Time - 6:33:08

Overall, a really great start to my triathlon "career".

A special thanks to Ben Wilson for all the photos he took of the day!


IM pics courtesy of my bud Murphy who ended up hanging out at the race pretty much all day! Thanks Murph - You may not have much but you have my back:) The first pic is of me & Kelly at the finish line. The 2nd is of Murphy high-fiving me by the finish line (check out his cool hat!) The last is of part of my family hanging out at the finish wearing their extra cool Team Hatton shirts!

Friday, October 31, 2008


So I'm a total loser who hasn't posted to my blog since May. I could lie & say that I was so busy with my training that I just couldn't fit it in. However, in reality, every time I sat down to post a blog it took me so long to write & re-write my thoughts that it just didn't get done. From now on, I'm going to make an effort to blog more regularly but may not be quite so articulately correct - we'll see how it goes.

In the meantime - until I get my very late & overdue IM Louisville race report posted, enjoy this video that Kelly's husband Ben put together of the race. Although, obviously, Kelly is the main attraction, I have some bit parts as well!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Fashion Statement

So it seems like the closer I get to the Ironman, the less I wear my "real" clothes and the more time I spend in my old race t-shirts, sweats & Ugg boots (or Birkenstocks). I've pretty much convinced myself that comfy is more important to me these days than nice clothes, & besides, I'm just going to be working out again within the next few hours, so what's the point anyway?

Most of the time I don't really care a whole lot about this, but every now & then I look in my closet with something akin to regret as I gaze wistfully at all my "real" clothes that I just quite honestly don't have the time to wear anymore.

Well, for all of you who have had the misfortune of hanging out with me for the last year or so as I have descended into my slovenly, non-fashion pit, I wanted to let you know that I really still do know how to dress up like a grown-up who does anything other than exercise all the time. I still remember how to put on makeup, jewelry & normal shoes & on occasion, even go around without the classic goggle eyes I seem to be sporting most of the time these days. So check it out ---> Went to the Oaks on Friday & actually got to play dress up for a few hours. My hair was clean & didn't smell like chlorine, I had a nice new pedicure that wasn't chipped from the pool water & the salon lady even got rid of all the blister remnants from running the Mini. I wore undergarments under my clothes (as opposed to what I usually don't wear under my bike & running shorts) & didn't even have to put chamois butter or body glide on any part of my body. It was actually pretty nice for a change, but as soon as it was over, this newer, cleaner version of me was gone & I'm back to t-shirts, comfy shoes & eau de chlorine! Maybe the more fashionable version of me will make another appearance after Labor Day.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Kansas Bound

Today's Song (click here)

Last week I plopped down the outrageous sum of $225 to do the Kansas 70.3 o
n June 15th (& this doesn't even count travel costs). I was going to do the local Taylorsville Lake half in May but (1) I want to do the Mad Dog rides to Mammoth Cave & back that weekend (2) I hate competing in a relatively small field where I know most of the women in my age group are faster than me.

All of my "racing life" I have struggled bet
ween my classic, competitive Type "A" personality & my inability to go as fast as others around me - especially at shorter distances. This is one of the reasons I typically go for larger, out-of-town, long-distance events. The big crowds give me a feeling of anonymity, being out of town is not only more fun but usually ensures that I don't know the other competitors & long-distance really lends itself to my somewhat slow, plodding efforts to complete the race.

It's not like & don't care where I finish - I absolutely do - I just hate that feeling o
f pressure I place on myself when I know the other athletes. That competitive streak in me kicks in & I feel compelled to push myself sometimes harder than I should...(read really fast start & dying at the end). So, given that I know about 75% of the local women's field in my age group & all of them are faster runners & swimmers than me, I choose the more expensive, out of town option. I'm thinking it's going to be more fun anyway...I get to drive 8 1/2 hours each way by myself (unless I can find a cyclone or balloon), I'm sure there will be really exciting scenery on the way (corn) & the local entertainments are certain to be riveting:) AND....I get to wear my new wetsuit!!!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Baggage (Click the pics to see them in a new screen)

I think most of us come out of our childhood & teenage years with some kind of baggage left over - insecurity, loneliness, relationship issues....the list goes on & on....Me, my baggage is body image. I grew up thinking I was, well, fat.

Looking back, I realize that I wasn't overweight at all - I was 5'6" & about 130 pounds - all the way through high school....However, when you're the tallest kid in the school (5'6" by 4th grade), hit puberty in 5th grade (read boobs & hips), wore a size 9 shoe in elementary school & have a mother constantly telling you to lose weight because boys don't like fat girls, I guess some fat
baggage is bound to linger.

Now, I'll admit, I've certainly had my up & down years - high school, not so - definitely a chunky 150 lbs (Domino's delivery was just too good to pass up). But since I started exercising fairly regularly 10 years ago, I've really been in pretty good shape. I've been able to maintain a weight range of 128-145 over the last decade & now weigh a comfortable 133. I like to
joke that I'm doing the Ironman so I can eat whatever I want, but it's only half a joke - I really can eat pretty much whatever I want & although I'm not losing weight anymore, it's become pretty easy to stay where I am. I can actually eat a huge meal (sometimes) without feeling the panicked urge to go see how much weight I've gained or to burn off the calories by running an extra 5 miles...I know it sounds weird but most of the women out there will at least understand what I'm talking about.

So, you may wonder, what's the problem with my baggage now? Well, I was actually doing great until a few weeks ago when I found out that a friend of a friend had called me "big-boned". Big-boned? To me, that's just a nicer way of calling me a fat cow. It's amazing how fast all those insecure feelings about how I look came rushing back. Am I really fat, I wondered? Logically I know that I'm not (although I'm definitely no 20 something anymore) but it's those illogical feelings that go hand-in-hand with our own individual luggage that are so hard to overcome. Instead of just laughing off the comment as a somewhat insensitive joke, it's so much more instinctual to let it overwhelm the positive body image I've had going for several months now. So now, I just have to work a little harder to remind myself that I look okay - yes I'd love to have bigger boobs, a smaller waist & ass, firmer abs - the list could go on & on - & that I'm healthy & reasonably happy. I get to work every day towards a huge race that I'm really excited about & hang out with fun people while I'm doing it. I can eat what I want relatively guilt free & no, I AM NOT FAT! Could I stand to lose 5 pounds? Probably...Would I ever get to eat again if I did? Not! So here I am hoping that this baggage of mine gets lost somewhere on this Ironman journey & then I can move onto some new & more exciting baggage:)

Monday, March 24, 2008

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz...I wish

It's 2:00 am Sunday morning & I can't sleep...this seems to happen to me a lot lately. I don't really think it's a sign of anything other than my brain turns on & I just can't shut it off again...Thoughts of biking, running & swimming just seem to invade my sleep & I can't seem to make them go away....

According to, there are 4 main categories you can work on to improve sleep. Some helpful tips are imbedded in each category:

  • No napping
  • Limit caffeine & alchohol
  • Don't smoke
  • Expose yourself to bright sunlight
  • Exercise early in the day
  • Check your iron
Ok, so I don't nap, drink alcohol (very much) or smoke...I exercise pretty much every available hour of every day (usually in bright sunlight) & I'm sure my iron is in the laundry room so I think I have great daytime habits...

  • Make sure your bed is large & comfy
  • Make your bed primarily a place for sleeping
  • Make your bedroom peaceful & comfortable
  • Hide your clock
Alright, I'm not really certain what to think about these points...I do have a very large & comfy bed which I use pretty much only for sleeping (and maybe reading) & it's so boring in there that it's certainly peaceful...maybe if I could combine my better daytime habits with my better sleep environment I'd get better sleep...more exercise in my large & comfy bed...hmmm...

  • Keep a regular schedule
  • Incorporate bedtime rituals
  • Relax for a while before going to bed
  • Don't eat a large, heavy meal before going to bed
  • Bedtime snack can help (especially milk, peanuts & turkey)
  • Jot down concerns & worries
  • Go to sleep when you're sleepy
  • Avoid "over-the-counter" sleep aids
Okay - I'm totally regular...all that exercising & veggies does the trick...I don't really have any bedtime rituals but I guess I could start. According to the Pagan Library, there are many to choose from...or suggests aromatic oils combined with massage - that one could be fun:) I certainly don't eat heavy meals before going to bed & I eat more peanut butter in a day than anyone I know...

  • Try visualization
  • Get out of bed if unable to sleep
  • Don't do anything stimulating
  • Get up & eat some turkey
  • Change your bedtime
So the visualization thing just wakes my brain up more - guess I'll have to work on better fantasies....I am out of bed & not really doing anything stimulating...turkey? You must be kidding me.

I don't know...I have all these things I can work so I guess I'll just go visualize about eating a turkey sandwich (but not too heavy of one) while I check on my iron, massage myself with aromatic oils & perform Brigit's Blue Ass of Inspiration Ritual...huh? I'm feeling tired already.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Saddle Slut

TODAYS SONG (click here)

So I go through saddles like some women go through men (or wish they did)...a new one every couple of weeks (or so it seems). When I first got my Felt F75, I used the Felt Race-Lite Saddle that came on it for about a week. The thing felt (no pun intended) like I was sitting on a 2x4. Definitely not comfy! It squished all my girl parts:)

After taking off the "hard as a brick" Felt, I put my old saddle from my hybrid on. This was a Terry Liberator. Now, I must admit, this thing was kind of like riding with a pillow shoved between my legs. All big & fat (and kind of ridiculous looking on my bike). Worse, though, I couldn't get comfortable on this one either. I thought soft would be better but it's like I had sunk into the saddle & couldn't get any support. Boo!

I decided to turn to my favorite Bike Mechanic, Brian, for help & he set me up on a Devo Saddle. It was okay but I could never get as comfortable as I wanted. More squished parts & it was a little too wide in the front. My legs rubbed the nose of the saddle. I could live with it on short rides but for 112 miles followed by a 26.2 mile run - no way!

In frustration, I went home & researched saddles on the internet. Somehow (and I really don't remember now), I came to the conclusion that the Selle Anatomica would work for me. Kind of like the reputably wonderful Brooks saddles but with a cutout that I was sure would relieve the numbness I was getting in all my private parts. When it first went onto my bike, I thought I had hit the jackpot. Every part of me was rejoicing over the comfort of my new saddle. No more pain! Then....Brian & I went out for a 60 miler right after Christmas. We probably weren't 10 miles into the ride when things started to hurt. I'm sure I looked really attractive pulling my tights up, down & around trying to relieve the discomfort. The more I wiggled, the worse it got. By the time we ended the ride, I was totally raw & blistered in places where you just shouldn't be. Going to the bathroom was painful for days after. I thought maybe I had created this problem by wearing tights over my bike shorts so I actually tried the saddle a few more times at trainer tour wearing bike shorts only. No go, it's like this saddle had teeth. Ouch!

Next stop was another saddle sitting around in the garage, the Serfas Tri W. This saddle supposedly had all these really great features designed to make the female triathlete feel good (is that possible?) about sitting on a thin piece of hard material, sometimes leaning forward, for hours on end. It was engineered specifically for triathletes, had a slightly wider back area, has gel inserted in the nose of the saddle, & has an extra-long/extra-wide nose design that allows the cyclist to locate ideal comfort...

It was that extra-wide nose that did me in again. Some might think that wide & hard are what every girls' dreams are made of, but I can promise you - not so much when it comes to bike saddles. More rubbing. Maybe I should just take the hint & either lose another 10 lbs or get liposuction on my inner thighs!

Beginning to despair that I would ever find that "right" saddle for me, I decided
to participate in a Demo Program that Competitive Cyclist has. For $75 they'll send you 11 of their best selling saddles to demo on your bike (read - best selling guys saddles). If, after sending them back, you purchase one, they'll give you a $35 credit. Pretty good deal considering how much I was spending on saddles. During my demo period, I tried out several of the saddles & settled on the Selle Italia SLR Gel Flow. For the first time ever, I felt like my butt & not my crotch was sitting on my saddle. Already a big improvement. Also, after several rides, life was at least bearable after I got off my bike. No more bow-legged walking for me:) I did develop some new, weird pains & bruising - especially in my tailbone - but overall I was more comfortable. Not perfect, but better.

Fast forward a few weeks to my bike fit a couple of weeks ago. After moving pretty much everything around, Marcus from Train Smart was still not happy with the way I was sitting on my saddle. He said I kept pushing myself off the back of the saddle to get my butt on the widest part. Also, even when I did this, my sit bones were actually falling on either side of the saddle. I think he was trying to tell me I had a wide ass, but I can't be sure...He was absolutely right though...the saddle was actually too narrow for my sit bones. So off I went, in search of something new....

This time I decided to take a more scientific approach & began the process by measuring my
sit bones. This involved a squatting down kind of position while I attempted to measure my sit bones with a ruler. It probably sounds about as weird as it was but I at least discovered that I have a really fat ass. 153 mm across...(from sit bone to sit bone) - I guess it's no wonder that I've been having problems with saddles measuring <150.

Clarksville Schwinn, an LBS, sells them at great prices so I
went over there to check them out. When I mentioned getting one to Chris (my sales guy), it was all he could do not to all out laugh in my face..."you want to put one of those on your race bike?" he asked incredulously...Well, yes, I did...after all I have spokey dokes, a bell, a saddle bag...what else would help dork me out more? Seriously though, it really did look like the best option. Clarksville didn't have any B-17's or Team Pros in stock so I decided to order from Harris Cyclery. After looking at both, I decided to go with the sportier Team Pro. Several people from the bike club use that one & at 165mm I figured it would work. I did decide to call Harris directly just to be sure & they said no way, I had to get the B-17. Apparently all 165mm are not available for the comfort of my bottom & the wider B-17 (at 170mm) would be better. I'm definitely starting to get a complex about the width of my butt!

I payed for overnight shipping & got my saddle in late Friday night. I covered it (top &
bottom) with proofide & put it on my bike. I'm quite the expert at changing saddles now. Levels & allen wrenches are my friends! So, Saturday morning - the Dishonest Abe Mad Dog Century & yes, I decided to ride all 100 miles on my spanking new Brooks. I figured it couldn't be any worse than what I already have so I slapped on an extra thick layer of Assos Cream & brought along an extra pair of bike shorts in case I needed more padding. I could tell immediately that the Brooks is the right choice for my bottom! Total comfort the whole ride. Other parts of me aren't so sure but I know I have to give the saddle time to break in. Leaning forward into the aero bars definitely leaves something to be desired but all in all I feel way better than I ever have before getting off my saddle. Today (Sunday) I went out for another quick 25 miler & still feel great. No blisters or other yucky stuff so I think I may finally have it right! Keep your fingers crossed for me:) I think I'm finally ready to settle down!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


I am completely so tired it hurts to walk, talk & keep my eyes open & I'm only half way through my 3 "hard" weeks before I get an easy week.

It all started Monday with that long 1600 swim, I felt great after the swim but the 40 minute treadmill run right after was tough. Probably because I had run 11.2 miles the day before. Then Tuesday, Monica (my weight coach) beat the shit out of me with pushups, pullups & other sundry forms of torture. I followed it up with my scheduled bike workout. I actually felt okay yesterday after all the working out but I only slept about 5 hours last night.

Then today, I had a really hard 2500 yard swim. It included 10x100 on 2:15 which means I get 2:15 to complete each one (including rest time). Doesn't sound so bad but it was taking me 2:00 to complete each one & I was working really hard on my breathing which really raised my heart rate so the 15 seconds left over for rest was just not enough. That combined with my arms workout from the day before made the swim very challenging. (Also, I got to do the 10x100 on 2:40 last week so this was a big decrease in rest time).

After I recovered from my swim it was time to move on to running. Let me start by saying the weather was fabulous today & it's not supposed to be this Saturday so I decided to swap run days. That gave me a 12 mile run today. I went over to Seneca Park & ran through Seneca and into Cherokee making enough detours to get in my 12 miles. For anyone not familiar with the route - it was very hilly. By the end of the 12 miles I was done for (and had 2 huge blisters). Probably not my smartest move to make this change to my training plan but at least the rest of the week will be pretty easy! I've only got one 70 mile bike left, one 1800 swim, one 45 minute run & one 30 minute weight workout! Not so bad with 4 days left in the week!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Becoming a Fish

So it was just last August that I had my first swim lesson with coach Nancy. I could only swim 1 25 meter lap without feeling like I was going to die. I can still remember hitting that wall and just gasping for air. Sure, I knew how to swim - I just didn't know how to breathe.

As of the end of the year, I was still stringing together breast stroke with freestyle on my continuous swims & at the end of January I had finally strung together a 400 continuous freestyle swim (although I was totally spent by the end & couldn't have gone 1 yard more). I was convinced that I'd be doing the Ironman using breaststroke & was wondering if I would make the cutoff.

Well....yesterday, I had my longest continuous freestyle swim ever - 1600 yards. I comple
ted it in 39 minutes & finished feeling like I could have kept going - pretty fucking incredible. For the first time ever I actually felt confident I could complete the swim portion of the race! I may not be the fastest swimmer in the water but in my usual slow & steady fashion I think I'll get there!

Just as an aside- it could have actually been the purchase of my new (much smaller) bathing suits that made me so fast. They're so tight they actually make me look 10 pounds skinnier - apparently that's how they're supposed to fit! & they're pretty colors - there is no missing me when I'm in the pool:)

Sunday, March 9, 2008


So our weather totally sucked Friday & Saturday. We had such good weather on Thursday that it was almost impossible to believe that a winter storm was actually coming. I have to say, sucky weather totally stresses me out when I start trying to get my workouts in...I initially planned to run & swim Saturday & then ride & swim Sunday. However, the weather gods had something else in mind...Friday morning it started to snow, and snow, and snow....It snowed all damn day. Unbelievable as it is, the weathermen actually got the forecast right - 8-12 inches of snow. It kind of took a little break sometime during the day but then it snowed more. It snowed all night & Saturday morning it was still snowing. All the Saturday bike rides were canceled, the Saturday runs were canceled, & I finally had to break down & join the Y since all the other pools were closed.

As I drove slipping & sliding through the snow on the way to the Y on Saturday, I was still holding out hope for Sunday. I did get a semi-decent swim in - I had the pool all to myself but for some reason I was unable to swim a straight line. No I hadn't been drinking but I felt like it by the time I got out of the pool - I think their multi-colored pool lines were creating some weird optical illusion in my head. I ruined my Motorola Q by talking on it with wet hair & then got in a weight workout before heading home. Fun times!

The city actually did a decent job clearing the roads so I was really hoping I
would get to run & ride on Sunday. Unfortunately, the Sunday rides all got canceled (I'm still convinced the afternoon ride would have been fine) but Howard & Harry agreed to come out & run with me Sunday morning. We got together at 9 & managed to get in an 11.2 mile run without killing ourselves or being hit by a car (there were maniacs on the road today). After the run, we were going to celebrate Tammy's bday (another group runner), but for the 2nd year in a row, Howard brought a cake but Tammy didn't show:( We got the cake out anyway & wished her a happy bday in her absence...I think it took 6 mos last year for her to actually get some cake. Hopefully it won't take so long this year!

After our little quasi-celebration, I headed out for the club (Milestone this time) for a swim. Amazingly I had my own lane the entire time & had a great (very straight) swim workout. When I finished I had just enough time to change clothes & make it over to Betsy's Hot Yoga for a Bikram class. The place was absolutely packed! Great class though. Ever since I started riding centuries, I've been having problems with my upper back & neck hurting. I figure the deep stretching at Yoga can only help...time will tell.

So I made it through the week & somehow managed to get my training in. It took a lot of reshuffling & moments where I just didn't even know if it was going to happen but somehow it all came together in the end. The weather is supposed to be great this coming week so I hope it will all go more smoothly. Between my training, my husband's travel, my daughter's lacrosse & one of my son's basketball, there's not a lot of wiggle room when things don't happen when they should.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Squeezing It In

Right now we're under a winter storm warning & they're predicting several inches of snow tomorrow & into Saturday. This seems to be the trend lately - decent weather until just before the weekend when it snows & sleets & screws up weekend rides. This totally sucks since I was either going to do a century Saturday or a 70 miler on Sunday.

Because of this, several of us were out today seemingly trying to accumulate as many miles as possible in advance of the storm. First up was a 41 mile ride out of Westport Park. This ride is the first in a series of rides led by Larry Preble intended to help people get into shape after the winter. This was a great ride! It had almost 3000 feet of climbing over the ride and offered some incredible views of the countryside. The sun was out & the weather was pretty warm - I'm really glad I did this ride & will try to make his next one in a week.

After the morning ride, I spent a few hours running around picking up kids & stuff before heading off for a 25 mile night ride. A bunch of people from this morning were there too. We had a pretty big group & good (although cold) weather. As part of this ride, we went to the top of Iroquois Park. What an incredible view! With the relatively clear skies, you could see all across the city. The lights were great! I've run through the park a bunch of times & had no idea this top loop was up there. Like the morning ride, this one is a keeper! I won't be able to go a lot over the next couple of month's because my daughter has Lacrosse games almost every Tues/Thurs but I'll go as much as I can.

So here I am, worn out for the day but really glad I fit it all in. I'm also hoping that the weathermen are wrong & we won't get so much snow. Even if Saturday is a bust, I've gotten a babysitter so I can ride on Sunday if the roads are clear. I'll keep my fingers crossed & hope for a ride this weekend!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


This song perfectly describes me today - Am I the Only One?

I find myself looking at my life & wondering when I changed from being a smart, successful woman to being a live-in housekeeper, laundress & chauffeur...I used to have a career, I made real money, I was successful....I guess I used to feel important. I wonder, would anyone notice if I disappeared tomorrow? Probably the kids because no one would do the laundry & they wouldn't have rides home from school, my husband maybe because he wouldn't have his resident secretary to give "to-do" lists to and possibly the Fedex guy who waves at me when I run. My kids sometimes make comments about me "doing nothing all day" & how their friends moms have real jobs. When did my husband's career so take over our lives that who I am was sucked into it too? Even my parents point out the my husband is a CFO, my brother is a DR & my sister-in-law is a CPA...they leave off there but I know they're thinking that I'm not, well, anything.

There was probably a little piece inside of me thinking about this when I signed up for the Ironman this year. No, I'm not any of those important things that they are, but I'm going to accomplish this really hard thing that they can't do & maybe, then, my they'll look at me less like a piece of furniture & more like that accomplished lady I used to be. Somehow, I doubt it. Running 2 full & countless half marathons didn't do the trick & they've all made it clear that there's really nothing I do in my life that interests them but a little piece of me hopes...and then I wonder, do I really care?

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Pool Update

just a quick note on the pool...while at Milestone today, this gross guy was swimming in the lane next to me hacking up snot & spitting it into the gutters at every lap...even though I pointed out to the guard how gross & inappropriate I thought it was (you know, the water gets in my mouth), she wouldn't say anything to the guy...go figure? Good thing I had a short swim today!

Monday, March 3, 2008

I need sleep...

On Saturday I ran a 10k. Nancy (my coach) had instructed me to run it all-out so I pushed it as hard as I could - my time was 53:56 (my fastest by about 2 mins) and my average HR was 178 (really & she didn't even freak out about this). Spent doesn't even begin to say it.

I followed this up with my 2nd Century on Sunday (more details to come). It was reasonably flat (with one big hill) & I had a great time, but it seemed to take forever to get done & I was pretty tired when it was over.....BUT, there is no rest for the wicked because Nancy was putting on a bowling party for all of her athletes & their families so I went directly from the ride to the bowling alley where I met the rest of my family...

By the time we got home & got the kiddos in bed, I felt like a walkin
g zombie - I just wanted to take a quick shower to wash off the road grit & go to bed. Unfortunately, this wasn't meant to be. Although I was in bed by 10, I never really could get to sleep & by 2, I was up again because I was sick of pretending to sleep. Nothing hurt but nothing was really right either, my legs felt weird & my brain wouldn't turn off. Watched "Little Children" with Kate Winslet until I finally fell asleep around 4. When the alarm went off at 6am this morning I was not happy.

I've been kind of dragging all day. Again, nothing really hurts (except my butt
from all the time in the saddle) but nothing's right either. Did my swim this morning but struggled every lap. I was actually surprised when I finished the whole thing since I kept fantasizing about quitting. I pushed off my run until tomorrow but when I saw it wasn't going to pour down rain as forecast, I decided to try and make the outdoor Monday night "recovery" ride. Even though it was going to be raining a bit & was after dark, the ride captain assured me that he'd be there. Yeah - I felt that the short spin would do my legs good.

The rain was picking up but was sporadic as I headed for the ride start. The ride was scheduled to start at 6:45 but at 6:40, nobody was there...guess everyone was going to wuss out. I pulled out my phone to order carry-out from PF Chang's when I saw a lone rider pulling into the lot. It was Scott, the ride captain! We talked briefly about what to do & decided we both needed the ride after the century so decided to take a quick jaunt through th
e park. We called a couple of other guys (Perry & Eric) that usually show up rain or shine & heckled them about not coming but it looked like it was going to be just us. Just as we were about to leave, Micah (someone way crazier than us - he had actually ridden 20 miles to the start), pulled in. With 3, we were off.

So riding in the dark, in the rain, was a new experience for me. It was a little disorienti
ng because I couldn't see the road very well & I definitely need a better headlight but it was fun. We did about 9 quick miles through the park before making it back to the lot. My legs actually feel much better but I can say that when my butt first touched the saddle it was not a good thing:) Soaking wet, I drove my tired self home, got changed, cleaned up my bike & collapsed on the couch.

So now it's time to try's hoping I'll sleep tonight because I have a ton of workouts tomorrow & I NEED SLEEP!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Choppy Waters

A little complaining...

I use two different local pools to get my many swim workouts in each week. If I'm only swimming (no weight or run workouts) or I have a lot of drill work, I'll swim at the Mary T. This is an Olympic Size Pool that's part of the Louisville Parks System. Lots of triathletes swim there & I always get a lane to myself & a really good workout in. However, if I'm combining multiple workouts into one outing, I'll swim at my health club, Milestone. The actual facilities are much nicer at Milestone but they dedicate at least half the pool to water aerobics & I almost always have to share a lane when I swim. Now, I'm not so selfish that I'm incapable of sharing, but at Milestone, instead of sharing with serious swimmers, I often get to share with walkers. You may wonder how hard it could possibly be to share with a walker - right? Well, it's awful. They often jump into the lane without first telling you they're there (common courtesy), they often don't like to get their hair wet so they get mad if I make any splashes, they like to walk in the middle, but worst of all, they often hold chat fests with their friends making it impossible to swim around. When I swim at Milestone, I do my best to schedule my swims around the times when I think there's not going to be a lot of these people in the pool.

With this said, I'm sure you can understand why I go to Mary T. when I can....bad news, though, last week Mary T developed a serious leak that's going to cause the pool to be closed until the end of March. Now, while I'm happy that I have Milestone to turn to, they have apparently offered a deal to all the Mary T. swimmers to come swim at Milestone! Even on the best of days, it's tough to get a good swim in there. Now, in addition to all the walkers & water aerobics chicks, we're going to have to deal with the added Mary T traffic. I know, I'm totally selfish, but I am paying out the bucks to belong to Milestone & now swimming is going to totally suck for the next month! I have 4 swims planned this week with one of them being over 2000 meters...I'm hoping I'll be able to get it in without strangling a walker first! Maybe I'll just kick extra hard as I go by & they'll get the hint:)

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Snow Biking

RIDE SONG!!! (click here)

So this past weekend, I got the pleasure of participating in a new sport for me...part skating, part skiing, part road biking - Snow Biking! Unfortunately for me, I was riding on my road bike & not one of these--->

It all started with a scheduled Century ride with the Louisville Bike Club. All week, I watched the weather forecast in anticipation of the weekend to come. It was to be my 2nd Century (100 mile ride) & we were going to an Indiana Maple Syrup Festival for a pancakes...yum! All the way through Saturday evening, the all-knowing weatherpeople were forecasting a cloudy morning followed by a sunny afternoon with highs in the mid 40's...not too shabby for late February. We had an ice storm earlier in the week so the roads were a bit of a concern but just before going to bed I got an email from one of the ride captains saying the ride was still on.

When I got up bright & early Sunday morning, I turned on the weather while I ate my peanut butter bagels
for breakfast. Imagine my surprise when Mr. Weatherman started talking about the possibility of brief snow/rain showers or sleet sometime during the morning. A decent afternoon still looked to be in store but the morning wasn't looking so hot. I checked my email to see what the ride captains (Melissa & Dick K) had to say & was greeted by a mail saying that the ride was still on...excellent!

I decided to deviate a bit from my standard winter attire due to the possibility of rain/sleet
- so instead of riding tights I opted for bike shorts covered with wind/rain tights & threw in a rain jacket for good measure. I also decided to try out my shoe covers for the first time ever...turned out to be a good choice.

After loading my bike into the car I checked email one more time...uh oh - msg from Dick K - - turns out he saw the updated forecast too...he was a bit concerned about the snow but decided we could all meet at the river & decide what to do once there. Off I went.

When I got to the parking lot by the river there were a couple of riders already there. Good sign since I was a bit worried nobody would show - (I shouldn't have worried since these were the famous Louisville Mad Dogs I was riding with). It really didn't look like it was going to rain, snow or anything else. It was cold out but the sky seemed pretty bright off to the west. Over the next 20-30 mins, the rest
of the group trickled in. Everybody but 1 rider was game to give the day a try. When we left the lot around 8:15 we had 9 riders.

I think we had only gone about 20 minutes when Melissa got the 1st flat of the day. The roads in Indiana are wicked on bike tires since they use cinders instead of salt to treat the roads. Melissa got it changed quickly and we were off again. Not too long after, I began to feel little drops of moisture hitting my face. It was sporadic (you couldn't even see it) so we kept going. It was probably about 45 mins to an hour into the ride when we began to see the first snowflakes. They were the big fat lazy ones - the kind that usually make me want to rush out the door to go running. They weren't really stic
king to anything so it was kind of fun to be riding - very pretty.

Once we turned off the main road onto the side road, things began to change. The roads were getting wet & you could see the snow starting to stick along the edges. We went over a
particularly rough/slippery RR track when one of the riders decided to turn back. The rest of the group decided to go on. We were probably 10 -12 miles away from the first store stop so we decided to push on & decide what to do when we got there.....

Bad move - about 10 mins later that really pretty snow was starting to come down at a much faster pace. It was starting to stick all the way across the road & we soon had our first accident of the day. Melissa wasn't hurt & was right back on her bike but this was just a sign of things to come. We all really slowed down as
our tires were beginning to slip on the road. At this point (being the chicken we all know I am) it was very tense...every curve, bump, bridge seemed like a hidden trap that would take me down. I'm certain I had a death grip on my handlebars & although they weren't really working, I felt like I was riding my brakes.

As we went on, the group became so strung
out that we stopped to regather about 5-6 miles out from the store. As I came up on this stopping point, I could see evidence on the road where another rider had gone done (Chaz). He wasn't injured but made a nice, big snow angel as he slid across the road.

We all got off our bikes for a couple of minutes, tried to get some of the snow off, took a couple of pics & tried to get on our bikes to make the final push to the store stop. Unfortunately, we had stopped at the bottom of a hill. Not a very big hill but a hill nonetheless. Do you have any idea how hard it is to get on your bike in the snow & actually start moving forward uphill? VERY hard! Not only were our back tires spinning as we tried to get traction, but a few of us couldn't get clipped in anymore. When we had gotten off of our bikes, snow & ice had gotten so embedded in the cleats that it wouldn't come back out. I kind of walk/rode up to the top where I jumped up & down like an idiot trying to fix my cleats. I dug the ice out with a stick & was finally able to clip back in & get going. At this point we were about 5 miles out & it took us a full hour to cover this last bit.

I didn't know that it was possible to sustain a 5 mph pace for as long as we did...and even then we were slipping & sliding across the road. About 3 miles out I got to join in the falling fun when my bike just slipped out from under me while going down a small hill. I felt like a total idiot after my slow-motion crash & walked the rest
of the way down. Thankfully Melissa & Mike K walked down with me. At the bottom I got back on but couldn't get clipped in again & now my bike was behaving badly. It wasn't shifting well before I fell but now even though it wouldn't change gears, it kept trying to shift by itself. I couldn't really pedal because the chain kept trying to jump. We were all pretty much in the same boat.

About a mile out from the store, another rider (Dick R) got a flat. He decided not to change it but to just walk in. Now you know you're going slow when someone can walk their bike in the snow wearing frozen bike cleats & still keep up with those riding - what a joke!

We finally made it to the store/restaurant - we had covered 28 miles in 3+ hou
rs & hadn't even made it all the way to the festival:( All of our bikes were pretty disgusting & our clothes didn't look much better. Spray from the road had come up behind the bikes & we were all pretty filthy! Even my hat under my helmet was covered in muddy water.

Dick R called his wife to come get him & Mike K & I volunteered to hitch a ride back to the river
to get our cars. Mike was going to haul all the bikes back in his truck & I was going to take people. While waiting we had breakfast - the store (kind of like a truck stop) was serving breakfast & even though we hadn't made it to the festival we got our pancakes & hot chocolate anyway.

By the time we finally got everyone & their bikes back to the river it was about 1:45. As I was driving home it struck me that if I hurried I could make the 2:00 Heine Brothers ride. It hadn't
really snowed over on the KY side of the river so the roads were just wet so I was hoping the ride would go off as scheduled. There were only 3 guys there when I arrived but I think we ended up having about 12 people when we left the lot. My bike had thawed in the car so it was shifting ok again...the brakes didn't sound so great but since this was a very fast ride, I didn't really need them a lot:) Instead of our morning average of around 10 mph, we were closer to 20...It turned out to be a great ride & I got about 50 miles for the day. Not too shabby, considering.

As awful as the whole thing sounds, it was actually a fun day. Misery loves company & I was with a great group of people who all kept upbeat attitudes through the whole thing. I got to know them all better & since we'll be riding together a lot of summer that's a good thing. Next time, though, I'll probably try to avoid the snow. I don't think I'm cut out to be a snow biker!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Wipe Out

Last Sunday I began my day with an awesome swim! After procrastinating half the morning away, I drug myself to the club to get in my last swim of the week. After a slightly sluggish start, I somehow got into my groove & actually pulled off a mile of swimming in 40 minutes - my fastest time ever. In addition, as part of the total swim I managed to string together a straight 400 freestyle - I was totally pumped!

After coming home & taking a quick shower, I hopped on my bike to head out for a 40 miler. I had decided to ride my bike to a Sunday Louisville Bike Club ride - which Kelly was coming on for the first time! Yeah...Although it had rained all day on Saturday, the weather was decent on Sunday - still overcast but pretty warm with the road only wet in spots (I didn't even have to wear tights).

Out the door I had plenty of time to make it to the park on time. I took a slightly hilly/curvy route & was having a great time. Almost to the park (about 20 mins before the group ride start), I turned onto a side rode with multiple sets of RR tracks. I've ridden over these tracks bunches of times so when I briefly considered walking over the 2nd set (because they were wet) I just called myself a wuss & kept going...Next thing I knew, I was lying on the ground & my bike was lying in the mud on the side of the road.
I briefly remembered watching the tracks seemingly grab my front tire & take it in the opposite direction than what I was going. It was like the rails had turned into some kind of giant hand that picked up my bike while throwing me across the road. OUCH!!! This was nothing like those little clipping out accidents I'd had to date. Somehow I managed to land on my head, shoulder, hip & knee - I would love to see a video of how I managed that.

The first thing I did was to look around to see if anyone was watching. Part of me was wishing someone was so they could just take me home & part of me was desperately hoping that no one had seen my complete humiliation. After determining that there was nobody around, I sat up &
took off my helmet. I had actually seen stars when I hit & my head really hurt so it was no surprise to find out that I had cracked my brand new helmet in 5 places. Bummer...Next, I checked out the visible skin on my legs & arms - skinned my left knee & scraped the part of my left thigh below the shorts but not too bad. I stood up & wow - my left hip was absolutely killing me - quick look under the shorts - it was red but no blood. Then I realized that my left shoulder was killing me. You know, the kind of stinging, burning that happened when you fell & scraped up your hands & knees as a kid. Ouchie:( I looked at my jersey which looked fine so decided not to look under it at my shoulder. I stood up, hobbled over to my bike, picking up my lights, phone, sunglasses, jelly beans & all the other things that had been thrown across the road along with my bike. OMG - I suddenly remembered that I was supposed to be at the park to meet Kelly for the ride. I figured I could stand so I should just go ahead & do the last 30 miles of my ride so I gave Kelly a call & told her I might be a few minutes late but to wait or me.

I picked up my bike (it looked like it was in one piece) & tried to hop right on & go. I immediately noticed that something wasn't right - I had knocked my saddle sideways...After straightening it up I tried again - no go, my chain had come off. It was actually difficult to fix since it had kind of gotten stuck in the front derailleur but I was able to pull it loose & get it back on. Good to go, off I went (now hurrying since I was going to be late). I did make it to the park to meet Kelly almost on t
ime but walked over the rest of the tracks on the way there.

When I got there, Kelly was waiting with Dick (the ride captain). They, of course, wa
nted to see all my injuries so I got my first look at my shoulder - big mistake because once I realized that I had ripped all the skin off of it, it began to hurt more. Dick, being the helpful kind of guy he is offered a tube of antibiotic ointment to Kelly to put on it. I really think she was remembering all the times she thought I might be killing her as she rubbed it into my skinless shoulder - it hurt like a Mother F*&K@#! One day maybe I'll get to repay the favor:)

Anyway, once she had tortured me, we got on our bikes & off we went. I actually tried not to whine too much & successfully made it through the last 30 miles but I was really glad when
I got home. I changed as quickly as I could (no shower that night - I was way too scared of the stinging water) & pretty much collapsed on the chair. Slept like crap because I couldn't really use the left side of my body but made it through.

So now, a week later, I'm pretty much recovered (at least pain wise). I had to skip a couple days of swimming (because I couldn't rotate my arm in a circle & the pool is saltwater) &
running (because every step made my hip hurt) but now I'm back to my regular training plan. I am, of course, using a new helmet but otherwise my bike seems to be fine. My shoulder is slowly healing (one day I may have skin again) & I have a super cool bruise on my hip that gets great comments from people a the gym. Lots of sympathy & stuff! I'm a little skittish on my bike every time I see a track or anything that looks remotely slippery but I'm sure that will pass too. And now, I'm a true believer in bike helmets. I shudder to think what might have happened to my head if that helmet hadn't been there to take the impact. I can send it back for a crash replacement but may keep it just to remind myself (and my children) how useful they really are. Now, if only I can make it through the rest of training in 1 piece!