Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Iron Christmas 70.3- SUCCESS!

Well friends, not only did I complete the Iron Christmas challenge, I WON!

I stuck to my aforementioned schedule, with my only complaint being that I ran really slow those last couple days. We were in Colorado with Husband's family, and I didn't have a treadmill to force me to keep a decent pace. I did, however, have a nice Labrador and a great lake trail to keep me company.

The final rundown can be found here at the Super Fatlete. I kind of feel like I cheated being on a spin bike and watching a movie, but there were no rules against it.

I ended up doing the 1.2 mile swim in three sessions in 56 minutes. The 56 mile bike I did in two sessions in 2 hours 45 minutes. The 13.1 mile run was broken into four or five sessions and took me 2:27 (which is funny to me, because I did the halloween half in 2:05. Why was I going so slow?)

Can't wait to get the prize in the mail!

Things I learned:
- I can swim. And it's kind of fun.
- I can find time to work out for multiple hours a day if I am motivated enough.
- If you act like you know what you're doing, the gym staff will not question you (case in point- wheeling the spin bike all the way across the gym to the cardio cinema room).
- I am not scared to do my first real triathlon anymore.

Huge thanks to Luke for putting all this together!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Iron Christmas 70.3- or "Why I Spent 2.5 Hours on a Spin Bike"

Want to hear something funny?

This guy, whose blog I have never viewed until the other day, put out a challenge to complete a half Ironman in a 4 day time period- December 20th to the 24th. The legs can be done in as many segments and in any order, and recorded on a spreadsheet. The one to complete the full 70.3 miles in the best total time wins! Prizes are TBD, something about a gift basket or something with a value of $70.30. But prizes are not important! What is important is that somebody challenged me to do something, and I can't say no to that. Even if I have never really swam before.

Here is my strategy:

Swimming- Get through the best I can. I had never done a pool workout until this challenge. I did take a few lessons with a friend who is a swim coach and triathlete, so relying on the few things I learned from her and basic instincts of not drowning, I think I'm doing okay.

Cycling- Spin bike, low tension, and watch a movie. 20 mph pace easily. Wish I had rollers...

Running- I can hold a 8:30 minute mile, but only for 1 or 2 miles. Because I can break up the running in however many segments I need, it is beneficial to do fewer miles per session to achieve a faster time.

So, to complete this challenge, I must swim for 1.2 miles, bike for 56, run 13.1. Over 5 days. Actually, 4 and a half because I started it midway through day 1.

Day 1 (Mon): 2 mile run, 800 meter swim
Day 2 (Tues): 56 mile bike (in two sessions), 2 mile run
Day 3 (Wed): 2 mile run, 1129 meter swim (in two sessions)
Day 4 (today): 3.1 run
Day 5 (Christmas Eve): 4 mile run (in two sessions)

Not too bad, huh? Finishing in plenty of time.

While we're speaking of accomplishments, I stepped out of the pool at 8:30am and was at my desk fully showered, clothed and makeupped at 9:00am. Boo yah.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

first brick training: success

Brick training is "training on two disciplines during the same workout, one after the other with minimal or no interruption in between, just as you would do in a race" (definition from This may not seem like a big deal, but your muscles work so differently for the different legs of a triathlon, it is difficult to jump off the bike and go straight to running. So I heard- I hadn't tried it till last weekend.

Husband and I had some time last Saturday afternoon, and didn't feel like going on a long ride, so we tried our first brick training. We don't have a specific triathlon in mind, but I imagine we'll do our first in the spring. Anyway, we headed out to do a 14 mile out and back (destination: Canyon Bicycles to pick up some lube to clean my chain). Generally flat, with one hill (well, the same hill twice) up to the Oquirrh temple. Our average speed was 17.5 mph. Considering a) I am generally slow at everything and b) there were stoplights along the way, I felt pretty good about that. As soon as we got home we jumped off, put on running shoes and headed back out.

Note: it is a good idea to switch to a low gear the last couple minutes on the bike to get your legs used to a higher cadence.

Once I got used to the switch from cycling to running, I got to a comfortable pace and felt pretty good. Would have stayed that way if Husband actually enjoyed running a tiny bit and didn't want to stop a mile in. Oh well. Something to work on.

Also, how intense is Kona??? There was a cool documentary on this weekend.

photo from here

Thursday, December 16, 2010

don't let the holidays defeat you!

For those who try to eat healthily, the holidays are a tricky time. It starts with the Halloween candy, continues with Thanksgiving festivities (pumpkin cookies.... mmmm), and then of course the whole month of December comes with treats, special meals and celebrations galore.

I had actually been doing pretty well until last weekend, when we went to a super great restaurant (Tucano's) for Husband's work party, and then my office exploded with candy and goodies every where. Dove dark chocolate in the conference room! Mint Hershey kisses at the front desk! They know my weaknesses.

Unfortunately, the holidays are associated with treats and overeating. I'm certainly not one to condemn any and all splurging, but let's not try to get too crazy. How do you still enjoy the holiday treats without going overboard? How do you prevent entering the new year 5 lbs more than the previous?

1. Plan ahead. Before going into a party or place where you know you may overeat, decide what your plan of attack will be and tell someone about it. That way you can stay more accountable. My coworker and I were going into a conference room to practice a presentation. Before heading in, we agreed neither of us would have any of the chocolate on the table. And it was fine! No one died. With that said, ...

2. Don't make ridiculous rules about what you won't eat. (ie: "I will not have any of the cookies at the office holiday party" or "I will refuse any hot chocolate that is offered to me".) Sure, you can try the array of cookies, but maybe choose 3 that look especially good to you or split with a friend. If hot chocolate is something that is really tempting to you, go for the hot chocolate but pass on the brownies that go with it.  It's all about portion control.

3. Keep exercising. I know it's not as much fun to be working out if you're stuck inside due to weather, but you can't expect to lose or maintain weight if you ditch the workout all together. Try some new things, such as swimming laps, focusing on weight training, or that one cardio machine you always make excuses not to do (stair stepper, anyone?). The other day I did intervals on the treadmill- 4 minutes walking on a steep incline, 4 minutes running at a 8:00 minute pace. Try some new classes! I, of course, highly recommend spinning. And just because it's cold doesn't mean you can't go outside. With proper layering techniques, running or cycling outside can be perfectly enjoyable. If you know you're going to be eating more, go for a nightly walk to curb the calories.

4. Know your weaknesses, and work around them. For example, maybe you should avoid baking. It's one thing to make baked goods for your kid's class party, but do you seriously want to endanger yourself by having 2 dozen cookies around the house? "But I have to bring something to the church party!" So, bring a fruit platter instead!

I'm certainly not the shining example for all of these things, but so far I have been successful at maintaining my weight this season (so far being the key words). Any other pointers you'd like to share?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

saturday fatterday ride to suncrest

The Saturday after Thanksgiving, Husband and I participated in a group ride with Epic Biking. The "Saturday Fatterday Ride" went from the cycling shop in Saratoga Springs to the the Suncrest  development in Draper and back.

It was COLD.  And I solved my dilemma of only having cycling shorts! I didn't want to go out and spend a lot of money on cycling tights, so I used the spandex capris I wear to work out in all the time and added $2 knee length socks from Target. Who needs to spend all that money on new pants or cycling socks?

Only a few people showed but we had a great time with them. One of the store owners had a helmet cam on, and the raw footage can be found here on on youtube. (Not that it's exciting to watch  beginning to end.... but if you're dying to see what Utah cycling looks like, then go for it. Mountains and all.) Epic Biking had hot chocolate waiting for us back at the store.. normally I don't believe in liquid calories, but it was perfect for the weather.

Topo Map:

Not too often you get to see 3 miles of 6-7% grade. But, what comes up, most come down! Anyone who hasn't experienced going 35mph on a bike for a couple miles hasn't lived.

The road leading up to the Suncrest housing development (the steep hill) is wide and does not have many cars on it. It has an open view to the mountains and makes for a great climb and descent! I think we'll be adding this to our route repertoire.

Thanks, Epic Biking of Saratoga Springs, UT!

Monday, December 6, 2010

stuff i dig: clif z bars

Clif Z Bars!
photo and other information from the Clif website

While the regular Clif bars are great, with 240 calories they are best for hiking, cycling, or other endurance related activities.  These kids Clif Z Bars are only 130 calories; perfect for a desk snack! I am a big proponent of eating snacks and small meals every couple hours, and these bars are great for that. They are surprisingly satisfying for their size. And organic, too!  The only area I feel they could be improved is their protein content. With only 3 grams, it can hardly be a post workout snack.

They come in these flavors: chocolate brownie, chocolate chip, honey graham (my favorite, I think. And I'm normally a chocolate lover!), blueberry, peanut butter, and s'mores.

Z Bars are only 45 cents per bar when you get them at Costco in the 24 pack.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

fun gift ideas for your favorite fitness friend

Happy December 1st! Now you can legitimately play Christmas music and light up your tree.

When looking for gifts for your exercising friend or family member, there are a ton of different ways to go.  Heart rate moniters, magazine subscriptions, water bottles, and yoga mats are always appreciated. But if you're looking for something a little more unique, check out my holiday gift guide!

I am convinced that foam rollers are magic. They help with soreness, tight muscles, IT band pain, and cancer. Maybe. Check out these sources if you don't believe me and some suggested exercises.
About $25 (prices vary on brand, length, and circumference) from REI or here .

Best way to light your bike at night: BikeGlow. Unlike other bike lights, this allows the rider to be seen from the side. While I admit it looks kind of goofy, it sure is a good way to be seen! $24.95 from

Know someone who needs some motivation waking up in the morning? This is an alarm clock that you've got to pump to get it to shut off. $15 from

This neato bike chain bowl would be a great addition to a cyclist's home or office. Made from recycled bike chains. $88 from Resource Revival- and check out the picture frames and bracelets, too!

Who wouldn't want this cute (and handy!) bike pizza cutter? Only $11.99 from here

I think these Measure Up bowls are GENIUS. Portion control in a bowl! The two different sizes measure in increments of 1/2 cup to 2 cups. $13.99 - $29.99 from Measure Up Bowls.

The popularity of Vibram FiveFinger shoes is increasing exponentially, and for good reason. They allow you to run/walk with a more natural, correct form, and users have reported alleviation of back and joint pain. Not to mention you look like a ninja in them. The KSO model is my fave with the additional strap and cover. $85 from REI. If anybody wants to buy them for me, I am a size 38. Thanks.

Commute to work? Want to bring your coffee/hot chocolate/smoothie with you? Eliminate the balancing act (it's rough; I've done it) with this Felt coffee cup holder. $12.99 from here.

If you're like me, you love to save numbers and even chip timers from races. But they only look good sitting on your dresser for so long. Solution: BibFolio. A great way to organize and showcase your bibs! $39.99 from . Check out their other cute stuff, too!

Raising triathletes, one baby at a time. This baby bib and hat combo made from organic material is so darling, it makes me want to have a baby myself. $30 from Trix Gear.

As good as we've gotten with balancing the camera on various rocks and trees along the trail, this flexible tripod would be a great addition to any nature lover's collection. The Joby Gorillapod, $15 from Amazon.

There's a large variety of hydration belts on the market. They all seem fairly similar and after reading reviews (I liked BestCovery's take on it best), it seems like it may just depend on your body shape. The three listed below seem to be the most popular, although I would recommend a trial run (ha, pun!) to make sure there's not too much jostling or awkwardness. 

FuelBelt Helium 2 $21-$41.99 on Amazon (pictured left)
Nathan Trail Mix Waistbelt $45 at REI
Amphipod RunLite 4 $42.99 on Amazon

Sunday, November 28, 2010

fleet feet thanksgiving 5k

About  month ago, I challenged the girls in my church to make a fitness related goal. One girl said she's always wanted to do a 5k, and with the enticement of earning a Turkey Trot hoodie, we all registered for the Fleet Feet Thanksgiving 5k.

It was crazy cold the morning of, but we all dressed warm and headed out in the single digit weather. I was a little disappointed in Fleet Feet's lack of organization in the packet pickup. I don't know if they had more people coming than they expected or what, but there was a terribly long line. This caused us to start a good 20 minutes late, a really long time when you're standing out in freezing weather! I don't think they had any packet pickup the previous day, so that probably contributed. Anyway, not a big deal, we were off and running just as snow started to fall.

I have a confession. This is the first race that I have made a time goal. I complete, not compete. I told myself I wanted to get 27:something. Yes, I'm aware that's not super speedy, but I'm so used to going longer distances (5-6 is my usual, and of course more as of late with the half marathon) that I settle into a 9:30-9:40 pace and I'm cool with that. But 3 miles? I should be able to pick it up for 3 miles. Unfortunately, I had originally planned to run/walk with the girls and did zero training. I changed my mind a week before Thanksgiving and made the 27:something goal on a whim. Anyway, I kept an eye on my watch and figured I'd be okay at the pace I was going, and crossed the finish with a 27:20 time. I was pleased, especially when placing 9th in my age group! I've never made the top 10 before. It helped having my friend M-Cat along with me, who is a much more experienced runner. She was/is coming off an injury, hence why I was able to keep up. :)

This little chica ran the whole way and finished in 30 minutes! Afterward, she asked when we could do another. Yea! Another convert.

After we finished, I turned back to find the walk/running girls. I rounded them up a little after mile 2 and ran them in.

Oh right, this is a race report. I should report on the race. The course was nice and flat, albeit a little boring because we were mostly around a shopping center. The turns were well marked and volunteers were staged at appropriate intervals. They had a good variety of foods at the finish, and hot chocolate, too.

Although the swag bag was pretty skimpy, they did have some great raffles! I mostly coveted the gift cards to the Fleet Feet store, sweaty bands, and $250 to a tire shop. And the many many turkeys. BUT, I did win a Blender Bottle! Haven't used it yet- maybe this will prompt me to get some protein powder. Rather than t-shirts, they had good quality hoodies for participants. Not bad for a $20 entry fee. And for those of us who have more hoodies/shirts than they know what to do with, I appreciated the discounted fee of $13 with no hoodie.

Overall, it was a good Turkey Trot. Races are fun and that's all that matters! I think this may have been the first year they did this, and I'm sure they can correct disorganization for next time.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

people for bikes

Sign the pledge! If not to improve the routes of bike commuters like me, because they have the cutest logo.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Recent observations of human intelligence:

I stopped by a favorite consignment shop after being at the barn all day. I kept getting inquisitive looks from a mother/daughter pair, something that happens pretty regularly when I go anywhere in public in my riding garb. And usually dirty and covered in horse hair. We were both near the front about to purchase our items when the daughter finally said to me, "Those leg cover things are really cute! Where did you get them?"

I was caught off guard, never having been complimented on any riding gear by a non-horsey person, so I responded, "Uh... well they're half chaps. For riding. They're in any riding catalog or tack store... I mean they're not really a fashion thing, they're for riding." "Well they're really cute!" The mom butted in and said, to the daughter, "Well you like riding bikes, right?".

What? Have you ever seen anyone riding a bike? Do they wear tan pants and heeled leather boots and a 'leg cover'?

"No, not bikes, for horses."

Blank stare.

As seen on ebay:

"2011 NEW MODE JP BRAND cycling Jersey bib shorts set"

In their defense, the Pearl Izumi logo does look like a J and a P...

I love love love REI- they have a wide range of products and their garage sales have AMAZING deals. However, they may not be the best people to go to as far as product knowledge goes. Their employees are expected to be masters of way too many things and it can be hit or miss on who you get.

Case in point:
REI worker asked me if I had any bicycle brand preference. I responded that my other bike was a Specialized, so I have some attachment to that brand. He told me this may prove to be difficult because Specialized went out of business.

"What?! Are you sure?" "Yep, the whole company went under." "Huh. You'd think I would have heard about that." "Yeah it happened about 4 or 5 years ago."

Interesting, considering the Transition I had was only 2 years old. And that the other stores we went to that day were stocked with the new 2011 models. Way to be, REI guy, way to be.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

stuff i dig: arm warmers

Pearl Izumi Thermal Lite Arm Warmers!

I'm what you might call "temperature sensitive". Meaning, I freak out if I'm too hot/cold. Funny I should be discussing this right now, because I'm sitting at my desk in my puffy down coat because this office is too dang cold (don't worry Mom, I only blog/waste time on my lunch). You can imagine my delight when I discovered these little gems! They are perfect to wear on a slightly chilly day when you just can't decide if you need long sleeves or not. They peel off easily while riding (or running!) and can be stuffed in a jersey pocket.

There are a couple different materials for arm warmers. From what I've seen, the most popular are fleece and a synthetic material. While I've never ridden in the fleece, when I was trying them out in the store, they seemed too heavy. If the weather were cold enough to warrant a fleece material, I'd rather wear a jacket. The synthetic material is more like Under Armour and I found it to be more fitting for my needs. I went for these at, but if you aren't a member and don't have a store near you (to get free shipping), then this website would provide the same product for less money.  I especially like the neat design on the arm!

See how happy they make me?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

how to make yourself like running

Growing up, I hated running. I dreaded the day we ran "the mile" for PE, and since I didn't play sports in high school I never had to make myself do it. It wasn't until I had been working out at the gym (elliptical, spin classes, etc.) that I realized I was fit enough to run a few miles, I just didn't like it. I would go through phases where, for a couple weeks, I would run 2 or 3 miles some evenings and then quit for a month or two. I remember the first time I got it in my head that I wanted to break the five mile barrier. I psyched myself up, mapped my route, and did it. Once. And didn't attempt again for a year. Then I did it again, and this time it only took me 6 months to do it a third time, and then a couple months for another time, and then the next thing you know I wound up training for a half marathon. I'm still not quite positive how I got there... But, I have been thinking recently how I got from dreading running to kind-of-maybe-sometimes liking it. And here's what I came up with.

photo from here
1. Running is mental, mental, mental. Unless there are real physical limitations (injuries or obesity) you can run- even for a little. Most of the times I've cut my runs short or gone slower than I had planned were due to me talking myself out of it. Know your weaknesses- do you need an iPod with  great playlist to keep you going? Are you going to be more motivated in the morning? Do you need a running buddy? It's amazing how quickly time passes when you're chatting with a friend.

2. Focus on how great you'll feel after. Whenever I think about cutting out a few miles and heading home early, I always think about how proud I'll be to bust in the door and exclaim how many miles I completed.  I have friends at work that I know won't think it's weird when I tell them what I did that morning, or I call my mom or runner sister to share my accomplishment. Telling other active people about your plan to run X miles tomorrow morning keeps you accountable to your goals and may maintain motivation. I think about how great I feel afterward, and how I'm much more likely to stay on track the rest of the day. Most people find that they crave healthier food when they are regularly exercising.

photo from here
3. Sign up for a race. There are a TON of websites, articles, and even apps that help newbies and non-runners train for 5ks. A 5k is a great goal to shoot for- 3.1 miles is an accomplishable distance, yet still impressive to our couch dwelling colleagues. And there's nothing like a race to get you excited and jazzed up about running. You get a cool tshirt to wear and impress people! You get a number to stick on your wall! You may even get a medal- just for finishing! "When we sign up for a race, we become athletes", says coach Patti Finke. "We take better care of ourselves. We train properly, eat in a healthy manner, and get enough sleep." Running a 5k race means you're committed to something- you're training.

4. Reward yourself- preferably without food. Unfortunately, most people (myself included) automatically think of food as ways of treating ourselves. Of course there are healthy ways to do this, like maybe a lunch at Subway when you normally pack PB&J, or a fresh pineapple. But try to come up with some non food rewards for everyday runs and to mark milestones. It could be buying a couple songs on iTunes, reserving a special body wash exclusively for post-run showers, or a massage from a very supportive spouse.

5. Look the part. Having cute workout clothes to choose from makes me look forward to working out. Don't feel like you need to spend an arm and a leg, either. Some of my favorite tanks or shorts have come from Target or discount stores like T.J.Maxx or Marshalls. There may be a consignment store in your area for outdoors goods- we love love love Second Track Sports in Salt Lake.

6. Become a part of the culture. I think one of the biggest changes in my attitude towards running is the focus I put on thinking of myself as a fit person. I added a bunch of fitness blogs to my google reader and hang bib numbers in my cubicle to remind myself of the lifestyle I have chosen to live. Entering a race and even shopping in athletic stores makes you feel initiated into the casual running scene. Sure, I still feel like I'm pretending to be a "runner", but who cares? "Fake it 'till you make it" is a good enough motto for me.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

half marathon madness

The dangers of watching Community's Halloween episode the night before a half marathon? Having ABBA stuck in your head for two hours of running.

It was a pretty fantastic episode.

Anyway, my first half marathon can be considered a success!

Note to self- don't take off a headband before photos.

My darling cousin trained and ran it with me. Neither of us had ran more than a 10k before deciding to do it, so we kept a pretty equal pace the whole time. My unofficial time ended up being 2:05- meeting my other goal (the one besides finishing) of keeping about a 9:30 or 9:40ish pace. Not that that's fast by any means, but I'm not a very fast person.You should see me drive.

Action shot by the husband!

Speaking of husband, he made this delightful little sign while he was waiting for us to get to the halfway point.

Magically, my knee did not hurt AT ALL. I had run 10 miles of the course a few weeks ago, and my IT band started to hurt after mile 2. When I did my last long run before the race, it was killing me again for most of the time. I thought for sure it was going to be a huge deal since a) I'd never run more than 10 miles at that point and b) the first several miles were very downhill. I guess I've gotten good at stretching it when I give myself the time.

 This must have been when "Fernando" was playing in my head.

The race was really well organized- quite the feat for over 2,000 runners. They had pacers carrying signs the whole way with what time they were keeping. The event shirts were awesome, water stations were well stocked (and with Heed! My favorite!) and the course was beautiful.

Oh, and the COSTUMES. People went crazy. Really, check out the photos on Facebook (search Provo Halloween Half). It's amazing what people were running in.

One of my personal faves:

The amazing thing is that this guy made it on the podium and kept about a 6 minute mile.

Will I do a half again? Maybe by Spring I will have forgotten the agony of miles 10-13. The good news is, every race I do I like running a teeny bit more!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

St George Century

I can't tell you how many times we heard "Just one more hill after this, and then it's all downhill!" or "Once you get to mile __ (fill in the blank with 80, 85, 92, etc.), it will be all downhill from there!"

LIES. All of them. Even the topo map lied to me. 

This is what I gathered from the map:
1. The first generally more challenging than the second. Sure, there's a long hill from 85-90, but the first half is a long gradual slight uphill. Which I hate. And besides, the steepest hills are only a 3% grade. That's not bad at all.
2. Once you get to mile 90, you're home free.

Both of these were false. The first half was a breeze- didn't feel like I was working at all. We were upbeat and overconfident. The second half was BRUTAL and I don't even remember many parts as I have now blocked it out of my mind.

I had a flat at mile 88. No biggie, change the tube, carry on. Flat again at mile 90 (also a rest stop). Hm. Something's wrong with the tire. A nice guy and his truck fixed me up with another tube and picked out the big whatever that had caused the hole from my tire. Great! It's all downhill from here, right? I'm at mile 90! Mile 93 (still going uphill!) and same tire has a flat. Called the SAG vehicle to pick me up and drive me to the finish- something is wrong with my tire. He found a crack, gave me a temporary patch, and told me to carry on because.... "it's all downhill from here." So, now I'm by myself and I turn down Snow Canyon, have several miles of beautiful downhill, and my computer says 99. Wait a minute... the finish line is still in downtown St. George, definitely more than a mile away. I follow the signs, turn to go to the finish, and what do I see? A hill!

Lies, all these people lied to me.

Anyway, the moral of the story is don't be overconfident and don't assume that a century is truly 100 miles. Because this one was 107. And don't believe the map.

Nonetheless, it was still fun. Support was great, weather was great, etc. etc. 

Action shot!

Shaking my Hammer Heed electrolytes in my water bottles!

Flashing a peace sign on the UT/AZ border.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

weekend goal

Try something new this weekend! Go for a hike or a walk in nature. Rent a tandem bike and go for a ride with a buddy. Go to a Zumba class at the gym. Cook a new, healthy dish.Varying your routine keeps your mind and body refreshed and gives you better chances at maintaining fitness goals.

This week I started doing yoga in my living room after working out. Google has many free yoga videos and I'm loving trying them all out.

Here is Husband trying his new thing:

He is posting very well. And recognizes more and more every lesson that riding is harder than he imagined.

So get up and do something exciting this weekend! Enjoy the last bits of warm weather! Meanwhile, we'll be in southern Utah for the Tour de. St George. Whoo!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

little d

The two largest stores I went to this weekend when shopping for a new bike, after hearing my description of what I like to do (longer rides, riding to work, not competitive) steered me to their women's selection.  I was a little skeptical.  My bike, the stolen one, was a men's frame. I bought it used and quite frankly, didn't care, as long as it was a good price and fit well enough. Looking back, it was too big (probably 54 cm) but I did just fine with it. Smaller bikes are harder to find used and women's specific bikes are even more elusive. I wondered if women's bikes just had shrunken geometries of men's bikes, had some flowers/designs slapped on them, given a pansy name, and sold to naive ladies. Unless you like the pink look, in which case you should go here. Upon further research, it seems like the recent trend has brought (good) bike manufacturers to make women's bikes with narrower handlebars, shorter cranksets, and women's specific saddles.

The two I ended up deciding between were the Cannondale Synapse and the Specialized Dolce (again with the names! Dolce?). They are both entry level bikes and have equal components, but when I test rode them The Cannondale felt good, but the Specialized just fit. When I got off, I exclaimed to Husband, "It's just my size!", something my 4 year old niece used to say when she found something miniature or made for children.

So, welcome to the family, Little D. And a big thank you to Canyon Bicycles in Riverton, UT for helping us find the right bike, letting me test ride it not once but twice, and throwing in some extras with the purchase of the bike.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

halloween half

I have officially registered for my first (last?) half marathon. For those who know me, this may come as a shock because I don't enjoy running. The last race I did was a 10k in July, and I distinctly remember thinking as we were stretching and lining up, "I don't even like running! Why am I doing this??". That thought persisted for several miles.

But recently I've had the urge to train for something bigger. Maybe it was accomplishing the century- probably that hardest thing I've ever done physically. Maybe it was seeing my longtime friend Stephanie run her first half. Either way, I looked around to see if there were any local half marathons before Utah turns into a frozen tundra, and lo and behold I found this.The Provo Halloween Half, boasting a 2,000 ft elevation loss. Costumes encouraged. After gathering some cousin friends (who I sure hope don't bail on me) I registered yesterday.


Training? Oh, yeah. Let me remind you I've never run more than 6.2 miles, ever. Yesterday I did 8 with relative ease. Calves are a little sore (shocking to me, because I have always considered my calves to be indestructible from riding) but overall no worse for the wear.

And the greatest news of all- no IT band pain. I guess stretching actually does help; go figure. I struggled with my IT band hurting the week before July 10k. I'd never dealt with that before, and after some googling, I found the only solution to be stretching. Google video provided me with some how-to stretches, but I've never felt a good, deep stretch while doing them. It must be doing something because I went from feeling pain after just 2 miles to going 8 with no complaints.

Next week: 10 miles. We'll see how that goes...

Monday, October 4, 2010

a sad day for the cycling world

Last Thursday after work, I walked from my building across the parking lot to get my bike and ride home. The bike rack was empty and my bike lock, cut, was on the ground.

I sat on the curb and cried for about 15 minutes before calling Husband.

Called the police, who of course besides filing a report, do nothing. We went to pawn shops the next day and I am checking craigslist, ebay and obsessively for the thief to post it to sell. However, I personally believe that he took my bike to use for himself, because lying on the grass nearby was a mountain bike. Decided he wanted an upgrade, I guess.  I was one of the last people in the building and no one has claimed it so I think that's a safe assumption.

I still have hope that I'll see it one day chained up in front of a grocery store, or with some kid riding down Redwood Rd.  Until then...

RIP Specialized Transition

Sunday, September 26, 2010

heber valley century 2010

Welp, I did it! My very first century.

The weather was PERFECT, which was a huge blessing. I would have gotten really discouraged if there were a headwind. Or any wind. It was definitely challenging (especially since we hadn't done more than 60 miles at one time) but very fun and very worth it. PLUS we (husband and I) got to shoot a rifle about 10 miles in on the Olympic biathlon course. Click to enlarge.

Random? Yes. But fun.

Course topo map:

Last 10 miles were pretty sweet.

Not that I have done one of these before, but I felt that the whole event was very well done.
- Well organized. The registration desk was quick and painless. They had a great listing of all the rest stops and turn by turn directions, not that we needed them, because...
- The course was well marked. It's always a pain when you're questioning if you're going the right way.
- The rest stops were super well stocked. Wide variety of snacks- fruit, bars, trail mix, candy, etc. and Subway for the lunch stop. All had either bathrooms or porta potties and a couple had bike support for those that were having problems.
- Great scenery! Passed by a few lakes or reservoirs and through mountain passes.

- We were going along just fine around mile 40 and hit a gravel road. Um... what? It gradually turned into a dirt road and lasted for a couple miles. Not only is that super hard on the bike but my legs were exhausted. Like running on sand.
- During miles 50-60ish, we saw riders going the opposite way on the same road. It was pretty discouraging knowing we would be coming up the exact same road in several miles. Also, this stretch was slightly downhill so all I could focus on was the looooong slight uphill that would greet me when we looped around.
- The shirts are on back order! The website said we were getting "quality event socks" and since I have enough t shirts to last a lifetime, I thought that was neat. But then I guess it changed to shirts but they didn't even have them there. Something to look for in the mail, I guess.

The finish, 100 miles later.

As for the aftermath, I did the responsible thing and iced my knees (rather than leaving them along and regretting it the next day) and I feel no soreness or pain today.

Next up: St. George century in October!