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