Archive for category Bike


I was very excited about going for a bike ride this afternoon. The sun was shining and it was a cool 71 degrees. I pulled my bike out of storage where it has been since Timberman and I pumped the front tire, moved to the back tire only to remember that the valve was broken on the rear tube. Believe it or not this was the very first time I have had to change the rear tire since I got my bike! I struggled a little, but got the tube changed and the tire back on the bike and got ready to go.
I got about 2 minutes away and heard a pop. I pulled over and my rear tire was completely flat. Since I only had one tube with me, and the first few pedal strokes revealed that I couldn’t shift out of the big chainring, I decided to just walk my bike home for some tinkering.
I set up at my front steps and first attacked the tire issue. As it turns out, I had made the one mistake I usually try so hard to avoid and the tube got stuck between tire and rim and had a huge hole in it as a result. I changed it with a bit more success. I’m not sure why my shifting is not working properly, so I guess I need to take it in. I could ride it as it was, but I opted not to as I had already spent over an hour working on it. It probably could use a tune up at the shop anyhow.
Oh well! I tried!


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Quick update

Last night was a run with Curtis and the pup.  It was disgustingly hot and humid- it felt like running through soup or a steam tunnel.  We ran a 4 mile loop around our town.  Running with Curtis makes me run faster, so we went at a pretty good pace and I felt great.

Today I did an easy 90 minutes on the bike trainer.  Nothing to exciting to report there.  I spent time reading my new nutrition book from Curtis while I was riding.  I’ll do a full book review when I’m done, but so far I’m really liking it.

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Weekend training

I never made it for a swim after my last post and ended up having a very lazy Thursday.  Friday it was back to the training game with a 4 mile run.  It was under 90 degrees at 86F, so I decided to take Tara with me.  It was amazing how much easier it is to run at that temperature than the 95+ degree days we’ve been having!  It was quite refreshing.  We were pretty slow and had to make several stops for road crossings and water stops.  All in all, I was pretty pleased with the run.  I’m hoping for more cooler days, but I think that’s just wishful thinking!

Saturday was my long ride, and I did a 3 hour ride on the W&OD bike trail.  I think I did about 45 miles total.  It’s hard to say how far it is exactly because the area near my turnaround point is all detours off the trail and it’s difficult to map precisely.  I felt really good for the first half, but the second half was a little rough.  I think I need to work on going out slower so I don’t use up my legs before the end of the ride.  My speed doesn’t seem to be improving much beyond 15mph, but I really need to replace my computer so I have more accurate data.

Yesterday was a swim at the outdoor local pool.  It was just a “recovery” swim, so I didn’t have a workout planned.  When I got there I decided to do a full 1900 meter swim to find out if I could do the distance for the half-Ironman (1.2 miles = 1931m).  After a 100m warm-up, I started by long swim.  I don’t know how accurate my count of lengths was, but I’m pretty sure I was fairly close.  I felt great after the first 500 meters or so.  For some reason it always takes me a little while to get into a good rhythm.

Tonight is a running night.  It stormed earlier, so I’m hoping it has cooled off outside!

Have a great week!

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Home again, home again!  We had a fabulous trip to New York City this weekend to celebrate our first anniversary, and spent our time doing all the touristy things in Manhattan.  It was a blast!  Training definitely got put on the back burner, despite my good intentions of getting in some running.  I even solicited advice from fellow triathlete Amy for locations to run in the city, but didn’t end up following through with that.  I don’t actually feel bad about missing the workouts much at all.  Last week was a lighter week in my training plan for resting, so it wasn’t as crucial to get all the miles in.  We did walk a TON, however, so at least I wasn’t sitting around from Friday to Monday eating bonbons.  🙂

We got back yesterday afternoon, but Mondays are usually rest days for me, so I did not have a planned workout.  It was probably a good thing to give myself a day of recovery from the weekend!  My body does not seem to travel well and unfortunately I had to deal with frequent headaches and stomachaches during our trip.  I think the sun caused the headaches- I forgot to bring sunglasses and didn’t want to buy any so spent a lot of time dealing with the brightness.  And I’m not sure what was up with my stomach, but I’m thinking it might have been a combination of the water and my (lack of an) eating schedule.  Lessons learned.

Today was back to the grindstone.  After work and a bit of decompression time, I headed out for a 2 hour bike ride.  It ended up being about 30 miles I think.  It was blazing hot outside, even the wind and breezes didn’t help cool off.  Someone (can’t remember who, sorry!) recently wrote about a similar bike ride and how the wind felt like a blow drier in their face.  I can now relate.  I was supposed to do 2x 15 minutes at race pace after an hour warm-up.  I only did one 15 minute race pace effort.  Other areas of the trail were just not very conducive to doing that length of uninterrupted effort.  And, since I still haven’t replaced my bike computer, I really just guessed on my pace also.  I really need to take my bike in to the shop to be tuned up or sit down and take a look at it myself.  It’s doing a lot of what I call “ghost shifting” (technical term?) and it drives me nuts.  There’s got to be a way to fix that.  Anyone have any suggestions?

After returning home, I ran inside long enough to stow my bike, use the bathroom, change shoes, and grab the dog before heading out for a very short brick run.  It was supposed to be 15 minutes, but I walked about half.  No real reason for the walking, I should have been able to run the whole thing.

Oh!  I almost forgot, Curtis’s anniversary gift to me was two books, Going Long by Joe Friel and Gordon Byrn and Sports Nutrition For Endurance Athletes by Monique Ryan.  I’m really excited to read both of them, especially the nutrition book because I know I really need to learn a lot in that area.  He’s so thoughtful!  Thanks, Curtis!

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Finally in the Training Game

This week was much better on the training front because I actually did stuff!  And I must say, it feels good!  I won’t recount the whole boring week, but today was my long bike ride day and I did 40.6 miles in 2 hours and 45 minutes which is about 14.75 mph.  I did have a little help in the beginning because Curtis came with me for the first 45 minutes and let me draft off of him for about 30 minutes of that time.  I think this was the longest bike ride I’ve ever done, so that’s exciting, and it’s only 16 more miles to the HIM distance.  Woohoo!  Tomorrow is supposed to be a long run and an easy swim.  I think I’m going to try and do about 10 miles before the day gets too hot.  I’ve not done that much though in awhile, so we’ll see how it goes.

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35 Miles

Well my week didn’t end quite so well as it started.  I missed three days of training, ugh!  No sense in looking backwards though, I’m going to focus on doing better this week.  Only 12 weeks to go before Timberman!  Eek!  The time is really flying by and I’m not sure I’m going to be ready.

I did get my bike ride in today.  I rode 35 miles in 2.5 hours.  I’m not breaking any records, but I’m pleased with that.  I rode west on the bike trail and was surprised that there weren’t more people out.  There were many times that I was completely alone on the trail.  Maybe everyone was avoiding the heat?  Or away for the holiday weekend?  Who knows.  I enjoyed the solitude.  I saw two separate dogs off-leash with no owners in sight.  I hope they weren’t lost!  I checked craigslist when I got home to see if there were any lost dog posts for dogs of their description, but didn’t see anything.  I also saw an enormous snake trying to cross the path.  He was just slithering along, I hope he made it and didn’t cause any cyclists to crash.

I think tomorrow is a running and swimming day, but I can’t remember what my plan says.  I’ll check back tomorrow with what I end up doing.

Happy Memorial Day!

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Keep On Keeping On

This has been quite a week.  I’m trying to really make an effort to do all my training workouts and so far so good.  Granted, we’re only three days into the week (one of those being a rest day), but I feel good about my new-found resolve.  Yesterday I went to the gym after work and did NROLW Stage 6 workout A.  Essentially, I’m starting Stage 6 all over again since I took a hiatus.  I’m glad I restarted because I am SORE today.  I did negative chin-ups, underhand grip lat pulldowns (@90 lbs), split squats (@95 lbs), and push-ups.  It was a short workout, but quite challenging.  After I finished lifting I came home and set up my bike on the trainer for a 75 minute ride.  I really need to replace my bike computer.  If you’ve been following for awhile, you’ll know that it was stolen at my last tri last season (Nation’s Tri).  I haven’t replaced it yet, but I really need to so I can monitor my cadence and distance, especially for indoor rides.  I must admit, I do love the convenience of being able to ride right in my own house, even if it does get a bit boring riding on the trainer.

Today I had every intention of going to the gym or running before work, but of course that didn’t happen.  I ended up not going until later this evening because  spent most of the day at my parents’ house.  My mom had surgery on Monday and is recovering well, but I went over to help out during the day in case she needed anything.  I went to the gym after I left and ran on the treadmill for 40 minutes.  I slacked on the treadmill and jogged pretty slowly.  I’m pretty sore from lifting yesterday and none of my limbs wanted to work right.  My arms are especially stiff.  After my slow run, I went to the locker room to shower and prepare for a swim.  I did a swimplan workout, which I actually shortened to 2000 yards, which I finished in 45 minutes.  I did 4x 100 freestyle with 15 seconds rest, followed by 6 sets of 50 yards long dog drill and 50 yards single arm drill with 10 seconds rest after each 50.  The core part of the workout was supposed to be 16x 100 freestyle, which I actually cut into 8x 100 freestyle with 15 seconds rest and used fins for the first 400 yards.  I finished up with a cooldown of 2x 50 freestyle and 2x 50 backstroke.  Those drills took a long time to complete.

Tomorrow is another lifting and biking day.  I’d like to ride outside, but the forecast is calling for storms and ridiculously hot temps (90+), so I may end up on the trainer.

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Back in the Saddle

I did it!  I actually got on my bike trainer today!  But let’s back up a little…we woke up to steadily falling snow today with quite a bit of wind.  Needless to say, I was not venturing out of the house since school was canceled, and I could work from home (as I have every other day this week).  I had a productive morning working till noon, then after a bit of lunch and digestion, I decided to hop on my bike.  Wowza, I am out of shape on that thing.  I did 30 minutes, which is what I planned, but it was much more mentally difficult than I thought it would be.  Physically, I felt ok, except my saddle hurt a bit.  I think I really need to start making trainer time a regular part of my training routine so I remember how to ride a bike when the snow finally melts.

Here are my heart rate stats for the bike ride…

Duration – 30:38

Maximum Heart Rate – 163

Average Heart Rate – 153

Calories – 281

After my trainer ride, I took some time to do some BW core work (leg lifts, sit-ups, reverse crunches), some push-ups, and some stretching to round out my work out.

Heart rate stats:

Duration – 16:55

Maximum heart rate – 141

Average Heart Rate – 106

Calories – 71


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Biking Blind

Is the weekend here yet?  It has been a long week!  I can’t believe I have only a week and 2 days till the tri.  I’m feeling a little under-prepared, so I need to work on confidence a bit.  Unfortunately, tonight’s bike ride was not helpful.  Sometime between my trip to the lake and now, I managed to lose my sunglasses.  So, I’ve been using a pair of cheap ones I had lying around.  They’ve been fine for driving and walking, but they were really obnoxious during my ride.  They sit slightly too close to my face, so my eyelashes touch the lenses and somehow they kept getting all fogged up and smudged.  Needless to say, I couldn’t see very well while I was riding.

Unrelated, to my sunglasses issue, I just missed an enormous collision with another cyclist.  Shortly after I started riding, I found myself behind three cyclists- two who were obviously together and chatting while riding next to each other.  And a third who quickly passed the other two soon after a road crossing with a straightaway.  I was riding faster than the pair, so I started to pass one of them who had dropped back.  I gave an appropriate warning, “ON YOUR LEFT”, and passed the rear guy.  Then all of a sudden the leader was slowing clipped out and started crossing the path, right in front of me!  It’s a good thing I had slowed down (there were some kids on the side of the trail that I was being cautious around), because if I hadn’t, it would have been disastrous.  I can’t believe he didn’t even look down the trail to see if anyone was coming.  It’s so inconsiderate and dangerous when people don’t think about where they’re going.  He should have known better.  Oh well, just glad I missed the collision.  Hopefully he’ll know to look before turning around in the middle of the trail again.

Here are the tech-y details…

Duration: 1:03:02

Distance: 15.16 miles

Average Speed: 14.4 mph (14.9 when I got off the trail, it went down on the way home)

Max Speed: 29.5 mph

Average Heart Rate: 155

Max Heart Rate: 183

Calories: 663

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Lake Swim, Bike, Run

I haven’t gotten around to look at any information on training with heart rate zones yet.  But that hasn’t stopped me from training!  I had  a fantastic weekend, for training and just for fun too.  On Friday after work, I swam 3500 yards right after work.  I made up the workout, which included a ton of pulling with a pull buoy and a fair amount of kicking too.  I also worked in all the other strokes as well, so that was pretty fun.  I forgot my heart rate monitor at home, so I don’t have any workout stats, but I felt like I was working fairly hard nonetheless.

Later in the evening, in the pouring rain, we drove down to Curtis’s dad’s lake cottage.  What a gorgeous place!  We got up fairly early on Saturday morning and went for a very humid run.  I did a total of 70 minutes, but that was broken up with a bathroom break in the middle.  I actually felt really good during the second half of the run.  It’s amazing to me how far I’ve come with running just since the beginning of this year!  I never would have thought I’d consider myself a runner, but I kind of do. 🙂 Stats for the run (paused during the break):

Duration: 1:13:02

Average heart rate: 165

Max heart rate: 185

Calories: 763

Early in the afternoon, storm clouds started rolling in and we started hearing thunder in the distance.   There were torrential downpours until 4 or 5, so we spent the time inside hanging out and visiting.  After the rain finally stopped, we headed down to the beach area of the lake to go for a swim.  I made up an imaginary course of about 700 meters, I’m guessing.  I sighted on a white boat with a blue awning and then a flagpole with an American flag and the third sighting was on the dock.  Curtis swam with me, and did about half the distance and waited for me back at the dock with his cousins and sister.

Duration: 12:06

Average heart rate: 153

Max heart rate: 165

Calories: 110

I felt pretty good in the water, and I’m glad I got a little open water practice in, even if it was only a short swim.  I did learn that I only need to be sighting about once every 9-12 strokes to stay in a straight line.  Hopefully I’ll get in a little more open water practice before the tri.  Nation’s should have pretty good sight-lines, the finish is sighted on the Washington Monument!

The rest of the evening was pretty relaxing, we had a cookout for dinner and then afterwards went to meet the family’s new horse.  We didn’t stay at the barn long though, it was already dark so just long enough to get him settled in.

Sunday morning, Curtis and I got up and got our bikes ready for our 2.5 hour ride.  Since it had rained on our bikes all the way down and they had gotten rained on Saturday, they needed a little TLC.  Curtis also had to change his tube on his rear tire again.  Last week, I picked up some chain lube at the LBS, it’s called Rock N Roll, and it’s actually a combination cleaner and lubricant in one.  Wow, it did wonders for my bike.  All I did was dry the chain off, and remove as much of the excess water from the rain as possible.  Then, turned my bike upside down to rest it on its handlebars and saddle and applied a steady stream of the liquid to the chain while back pedaling.  After the whole chain was lubricated, I continued to backpedal the tires for several seconds.  Then I removed the excess liquid from the chain, and voila! as good as new!  I followed this procedure for the first time last week, and could not believe how much smoother my ride felt.  I will definitely be using this product again in the future and regularly to keep my chain in good condition.  I would highly recommend it.

When we finally left for our ride, it was about 8:00AM.  We rode out on the main road for about 10 miles then another highway for about 7 more miles before turning back.  The course was mostly rolling throughout with a few bigger hills.  We also had a couple encounters with some dogs, two sets actually.  They chased us, which believe me, is a fabulous incentive to pedal harder.  We managed to out-pedal them and continued on our way.  It was an absolutely gorgeous morning for a ride, but we were both a little sore from the run the day before and were having a bit of trouble pushing through.  We made it though!

Duration: 2:24:27

Distance: 35.23 miles

Average speed: 14.6 mph

Max speed: 31.1 mph

Average heart rate: 146

Max heart rate: 176

Calories: 1228

Wowza, that’s a lot of calories burned first thing in the morning.  I had a half bagel and cashew butter before we left then another when we got back.  It lasted awhile, but I wish I had brought some sort of snack for the ride.  Unfortunately, I hadn’t brought anything from home and there wasn’t anything easy to bring from the lake house.  I think that for the rest of my long rides I really need to bring some type of snack.

After our bike ride we went on another ride- a horse-back ride!  Curtis’s step-mom has several horses at a barn nearby the lake house, and we took out a few of the horses for a ride around the grounds.  I road River, a beautiful bay boy.  I am by no means a good rider, but I do love to take advantage of opportunities to ride, when I can.  I really enjoy it.

After our ride, and very busy weekend, we headed back home for my grandmother’s birthday party at my parents’ house.  And after that we had a meeting with a volunteer with the dog rescue organization so she could check out our house and determine whether we’d be approved to adopt through them.  We found out today that we’re approved!  Now, to find our dog!  Hopefully we’ll get to meet some soon.

Today, I went to Mom’s for some weight lifting after work, as usual.  We did Stage 1, workout A, week 4:

A. Squats – 2 sets of 12 @ 80lbs

B1. Push-ups – 2 sets of 12 real push-ups @ BW

B2. Seated row – 2 sets of 12 @ 70lbs (I lowered the weight on this because I felt like I was sacrificing form to increased weight)

C1. Step-ups – 2 sets of 12 @ 22.5lbs dumbbells

C2. Prone jackknife – 2 sets of 10 @ BW

I’m feeling quite tired from my very busy weekend, and I’m afraid I might be starting to overdo it a little bit.  So, I’m going to take tomorrow off completely.  I had a swim planned, but I’m just going to let that go this week.  I think I need the rest.

Have a great week!

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