Posts Tagged ‘bicycling’

Bike Key West

So, as most of you already know, I spent the last weekend in Key West to participate in the first-ever Key West Triathlon. Amy, Katie, and I entered the Olympic relay as Team Run This Amazing Day, and we totally dominated…the other two teams in the division. (Beth dominated considerably more people to come in second in her age group in her first-ever tri!)

If you’ve read Amy, Katie, or Beth’s blog already, you know most of the story. After some mighty-fine finagling, Beth scored a gorgeous bike for me to race on.

She looks like Carmela Sherbert!

After Katie’s rock-star-like swim, in which she tamed the murky waters and seaweed of the Gulf of Mexico, I took off on my bike. I started about two minutes after our competition. They were apparently all friends, because they seemed determined to stick together. At first I was nervous, because they both had really nice bikes with aerobars. I was afraid I’d underestimated them, and that I wouldn’t be able to keep up with my projected 1:40 time for 25 miles. But as the women walked their bikes down to the mount line, I noticed that they didn’t seem that comfortable walking them. And that one of them had a water bottle tucked into her jersey.

Then I saw Katie coming, and I readied myself to begin the chase. Katie came up and handed off the timing chip–she was nice enough to put it on my ankle, because I was stupidly holding the bike and had taken my own, fresh hands out of commission. Thanks, Katie! Anyway, I ran down from the parking-garage transition area and mounted up and took off.

Nice belly.

I frantically tried to start my Garmin as I took off and realized I was still in run mode. Oh well. My first mile was about 3:31, but then I dipped down below 3 for the next 2 or 3. I had no idea I was riding a false-flat downhill. So young, so naive.

Anyway, 25 miles ranks up there as one of the longest rides I’ve ever done. I think I’ve only ridden longer than that 2 or 3 other times. In other words, it was hard. The unfamiliar saddle started to chafe my poor little bottom, and the wind was just non-stop and in my face the entire time. At one point I made a U-turn, relieved to be finally out of the headwind only to find that the headwind was worse going the opposite way. That’s only possible in the Keys, people. And on the Mount Vernon trail.

Anyway, I passed the competition at the first turnaround point. After that the course got a little confusing. There was a secret loop that we Olympic-distancers had to complete. It was pretty out of the way and quiet, and no one would ever know if you, say, didn’t actually do it. But I did it and headed back up to the turn-around point again, excited to see how much time I had put on the other relay riders. But the next time I saw them, there was only one. I figured she had just dropped the less-experienced cyclist. But then, a mile or so later, I saw the woman with the water bottle stopped on the side of the road, facing my way. There’s absolutely no way I lapped her. I can only assume that she was waiting for her friend, after presumably, leaving off a good 6 miles from her ride. Because about 10 minutes after I got to the transition, they came in together.

So, yes, I’m accusing the one of the three teams that participated in a race that was giving away prizes for first, second, and third place of cheating. We decided not to say anything, because I couldn’t figure out how to say, “I know we won by 15 minutes, but that lady who has never done a race before (we checked) cheated” without sounding like a sore winner. It was a bit infuriating to hear the six women argue that they had tied for second place, but again, there’s nothing we could say. I’d like to give them the benefit of the doubt, say that the woman who cheated had been talked into doing something she wasn’t prepared for by her more athletic friends and that once they saw I was so far ahead of them, they knew it really didn’t matter. Surely they wouldn’t have taken first and second in that manner, right? But at the same time, 25 miles was hard on me! I wasn’t properly trained, and I even tweaked my good hamstring! If you’re going to sign up for a race, then f-ing do the race, Team Drink and Tri!

Anyway, rant over. We finished.

We won.

Here's an exclusive photo, just for Chasing Consciousness 😉

And then we drank some margaritas that nearly killed me. Ok, I drank one margarita. Mine tried to save me from myself by spontaneously breaking, but the guys at the restaurant brought me another, so I finished a lot of that one, and then regaled everyone with tales about exactly how sore my crotch was (very).

With that mental picture, I’ll sign off now. Oh, wait, for the record, it only took me 1:20:57 to do 25 miles. Luckily Katie told Amy to expect me sooner than my projected 1:40.


Ramping Up the Mileage

So you know things are going well when you show up at the chiropractor, and he’s all, “How do you feel?” And you’re all, “Pretty good. I did 44 miles last week, and I’m not sore or tight anywhere.” And he’s like, “Whhhhaaaaaaatttt?”

(My chiro is awesome, by the way, and he just opened his own practice. Check him out:

He couldn’t believe that I had gotten over my injury hump so completely, and while I was tempted to let him think it was a miracle possibly brought on by his intervention, I know full well what happened. As of April, I didn’t have any more races on my calendar. Whereas before, I kept trying to come back in time to do a half marathon–not a 5k or a 10k, mind you, a half marathon!–and shocker, I kept getting hurt. It was September before I could run again after my late-July bike accident last year…was a December half marathon the best idea? How about the one in January? Oh wait, couldn’t do that one because I pulled my calf. Or the one in March where I hit total injury rock bottom?

Now, I think there were also some shoe problems going on in there, but that, coupled with racing goals that were well beyond my current capabilities spelled disaster. Over and over and over again. I thought I was done running forever.

Enter triathlon. I actually think the triathlon was a brilliant move on my part. (Good job, self. I’m really modest too.) Because it allowed me to train as hard as I wanted, without pounding the hell out of myself through running. Which meant that when it came time to switch back to running, I was in pretty good shape.

So, for my week of 7/26-8/1 in review:

44 miles for a total of 7 hours running (most weekly miles in almost two years)

14 miles for a total of 1 hour biking (booo! Need to get more in!)

1500 yards for a total of 1 hour swimming (Have I mentioned that I hate swimming lately?)

We’re what, 12.5 weeks from MCM, 6 weeks from Philly. Am I ready for PRs? I have no idea. I’ll just keep plugging along with my fingers crossed.

The Plan

This morning I woke up at 9am. I went to bed at 10:30, so that was a lot of much-needed sleep. I had set my alarm clock for 7, but I apparently never turned it on. Luckily my office is flexible about showing up on time.

Anyway, this week I need to hit 28-30 miles this week, and I really want to do it on 4 days of running. I’ve always been one to do lots of little runs, but I lost a lot of endurance over the past year, so I need to work on some long middle-of-the-week runs too. Thankfully, the weather is supposed to break on Wednesday. So here’s the plan.

Tonight: swim–Mondays are my rest days, but I started swimming for the tri, and I love it. So now it’s an active recovery day.

Tuesday: morning track workout, 3-4 miles of intervals for a total of 7 miles, all before work! Then abs class and some lifting.

Wednesday: Katie moves to Oregon! Land of brunch! And I will probably swimming after work and do my crazy yoga class at lunch.

Thursday: morning 5 mile run, evening bike ride with another Katie B.

Friday: Independence 5000 with some friends. I need to do 6 miles total that day, so I might get up and do 2 in the morning or at lunch so that I don’t have to worry about it race night.

Saturday: long bike ride to recover from my run the night before

Sunday: long run–10-12 miles for a total of 28-30 for the week!

Wish me luck!

24.5 Miles

24.5 miles. That’s how many I ran this week. It’s not a lot, but it’s the most I ran in who knows how long. And it was tough getting them all in the week after my tri, which also happened to be the hottest week ever. Just kidding–it was crazy hot, but if I know DC, it’s going to be much hotter come August.

I just got back from banging out a nice and slow 6 miles with my sister. It was her last long DC run, so I really tortured her. Just kidding, but we did run near her house (lots of hills), and I was so tired that I wanted to run at 8am. I don’t know what the official temperature was, but it read “Hot as Balls” on the Lizard scale, which means whatever you think it means. The highlight of the run was definitely my stop in the zoo’s air conditioned bathrooms. I finished the run with sweat marks that bordered on obscene. I wanted to take a picture, but even I have to draw my dignity line somewhere.

Next week I need to push it up closer to 30. It’s an increase of more than 10%, but I really need to get my mileage up, and I’m hoping my body can handle it after all the tri training. It will involve lots of slow running and ice though, so I don’t hurt myself.

But I’ll worry about that next week. Right now I’m going to go take a shower and a nap before I go buy some new running shoes and meet friend and fellow blogger Amy to break in her new bike! Does that count as a blogger meet up? Do I have to take pictures?

P.S. Lots of luck to my blog twin Liz Runs DC on her tri today!

Three Things Thursday

1. So you may have noticed that I’ve been training for a triathlon for a little while now. What you may not know is that I’m totally not registered for it. For a long time I put it off because I wanted to do the Olympic but wasn’t sure I could handle the swim. Now that I’m positive I couldn’t handle the swim, I’ve decided to do the Sprint, but I was still putting it off until I got paid tomorrow. But, for the record, I didn’t register for my first marathon until right before the last price increase so I could still back out, and for my first 10-miler I joined a Cherry Blossom training program…and never registered for the race. I ended up doing the Cherry Pits 10 miler because I could sign up well after CB closed, and it was only $4. The course is also gorgeous but MUCH hillier. Anyway, I’m just saying that even though my awesome tri mentor thinks I’m crazy, I’ve got a system.

2. I’m having yet another quarter-life crisis. I’m pretty sure I can’t be an editor forever, and my dream job isn’t to cram edits down the throats of people who think they don’t need them (whether they need them or not) so if you know of any jobs, send them my way. In the meantime I’ll be all reevaluating my priorities and thinking about (more) grad school and stuff like that. (Grad school would be a no-brainer if I didn’t already have a useless master’s degree–that I really enjoyed getting at least.)

3. Tomorrow is Bike to Work Day! I first participated years and years ago. I rode my bike from Capitol Hill to my office downtown, but was too shy to stop by the pit stop and get my t-shirt. Then two years ago I started bike commuting–in January, no less–and was stoked to celebrate Bike to Work Day with my compatriots. But it was raining. So I took the bus in and felt guilty about it all year until the same thing happened last year, and I was like, whatever, I ride my bike all the time. But tomorrow it’s finally going to happen! Except I really can’t remember if I ever signed up to stop at the Freedom Plaza stop or not… but I guess I don’t really need another t-shirt.

Wordless Wednesday

I'm trying to buy this jersey, but it's on backorder and REI isn't taking my coupon code 😦

A Few Things

Hey everyone! It’s been a while, and I apologize. But–I’m about to use an excuse you’ve heard a hundred times before–I’ve been training more, and my workload is manageable, which means that I don’t need the break that blogging provides as much anymore, and as I’m sure you’ve noticed, I’ve been slacking. So I’ll do a quick sum-up of what’s been happening lately.

1. I got a bike! I’m pretty much in love with it and TOTALLY STOKED to ride it tomorrow. I just happened to stumble upon it on vacation, and it was too good a deal to pass up, so happy early birthday to me! On a somewhat-related note, I’ll be having a bike ride to celebrate my birthday, and readers are invited, so email me at if you want to be added to my invite.


2. My leg stopped swelling! I was able to run Cherry Blossom in 1:27:16, and I never thought I’d be so happy to run a time I ran 4 years ago, but there you go. It was a lot better than National is all I have to say.

3. I just got back from an awesome mini-vacation at the gorgeous Inn at Riverbend in Pearisburg, Va., and from the wedding of some good friends in Wilkesboro, NC.  It was fantastic. Check out the view.

4. I’m headed out to the American Odyssey Relay this weekend, so if anyone has any relay advice, please send it my way.  I need it.

Think that’s all for now. Someday maybe I’ll post a race review of Cherry Blossom, but in the meantime, I’ll recommend that you do it.