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Posts Tagged ‘biking’

Let me start by saying that I was a tiny bit cranky and overwhelmed last week, could you tell?

I knew the Townie and I would be fine, but I like to be honest (maybe too honest) on this blog and last week I was letting some of the little things get to me. I love when I get comments that knock me out of my moods.

Sometimes as a control freak it’s hard to let go of the schedule that I have in mind. I need to learn to relax a little when it comes to that.

I also need to voice my need for personal space and what I deem as priorities more. Both the Townie and I are still learning the best ways to communicate with each other. I’m glad I found someone who is willing to work through that.

Anyway, I spent this past weekend in Stowe, Vermont with the Townie. Saturday included ziplining through mountains.

Yup, that’s me!

Saturday afternoon we rented bikes and biked 11 miles along a river path.

Saturday night I ate the most amazing flatbread pizza of my life. Blue cheese, bacon, and honey = food heaven. I will absolutely post that picture later.

Sunday included a 2 hour hike mid-day to a beautiful pond at the top of a mountain. Rain kept us inside eating (another flatbread pizza) and drinking wine at the resort that night.

And today is Tuesday which means a short work week, woohoo!

I’m spending tonight in Rhode Island getting to catch-up with my family and one of my Florida cousins who happens to be a bestie. Totally worth the super early drive back into Boston tomorrow morning.

This week is already off to a great start 🙂

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So I did it.

I completed my second triathlon. (You may recall my first triathlon last summer.)

The second triathlon wasn’t that bad physically.

Mentally…it was really hard.

Let’s start from the beginning:

Saturday at 4:30AM: The townie texts me to say good luck. Have I mentioned he is a police officer? He was on the overnight shift and clearly awake. My alarm had not gone off yet at this point. Sweet but I wanted to kill him 🙂

4:40AM: Alarm goes off. First thought that popped into my mind? Whyyyyy am I doing this? It’s pitch black and I could be peacefully sleeping not shaking from anxiety.

5:00AM: Get into car with friend to drive to state park.

5:15AM: Get an awesome spot with minimal walking to the transition area. 3 stops at the porter pottys needed by this point. (TMI, but it’s the truth!)

5:30AM: Shovel in peanut butter on a slice of bread and one banana. Hydrate with water diluted powerade.

5:45AM: Walk towards transition areas with bikes/gear. On the way in get body marked by 14-year-old boys. Pretty awkward to strip in front of them but oh well. One boy told me “you have a strong bike ma’am, you’ll be great!”  Hmm, thanks?

6:10AM: Transition area is all set up, bike is on the rail, ready to kill some time before heading towards the water. The bike setup is a little different because rather than just one long rail that has for example bib numbers 400-460, it actually has stickers with your exact bib number on your spot. Porter Potty trip times 94859485.

6:25AM: Head back into transition to drop keys & flip-flops. Notice my bike has been switched.

I used to set my bike up so that the handlebars were on the railing but lately it’s made me nervous that it messes with my gears. So I decided to put my seat on the railing like the picture below.

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Apparently I originally set this up incorrectly. I had 90% of my bike not on my sticker side (so the handlebars and the front tire were on the opposite side, facing away from my sticker). When I came back into the transition area the officials actually flip-flopped my bike so that now it was still on the rail by the seat however the front wheel and handle bars were on my sticker side facing me.

This actually threw me off a little because I hadn’t set it up like that before. I learned something new!

6:45AM: Transition is closed, everyone heads down to the lake beach for the national anthem and such. 1400+ of us smushing together on the beach.

7:00AM: The first swim waves are starting. My age group (of 172 people!!!) wouldn’t be getting into the water until 7:25AM.

7:10AM: Repeating in my head that I’m here to have fun and get fit, it doesn’t have to be about winning. It’s at my own pace!

7:18AM: My heart rate is through the roof as I wait for the countdown for us to get into the water.

7:20AM: 172 women wadding deeper into the lake to start the swim. The distance looks a lot longer at this point.

7:22AM: Trying to swim but my heart rate is so high that every time I put my face into the water I feel like I’m out of breath and panting.

7:23AM: Pep talk with myself. Go slow and relax.

7:24AM: Slow breast-stroke with minimal face in the water time. This clearly slows me down but it keeps me moving. Every 30 seconds I flop onto my back for about 5 seconds to calm down.

7:34AM: Out of the water. (I only knew this time after as it ended up taking me 14 minutes to do the 1/3rd mile swim.) Run along the beach up to the transition area. See that there are wetsuit strippers which I’ve never seen before. I was told to lay on my butt and it one quick pull the guy had my full body wetsuit off. I screamed YOU ROCK and jogged to my bike.

7:37AM: Changed and running my bike out of the transition area. With a mix of others getting onto our bikes.

7:38AM: Turn right out of the park on the bike, celebrating the end of the swim and then I see the first part of the bike course. A big long gradual hill.

8:00AM: Moving steady on the bike and having fun. This isn’t so bad.

8:02AM: Heading straight down an even side road when I see what looks like two bikers on the ground. Ambulance noises are coming at this point. As I get closer I see him. More blood than I have ever seen before pouring from a guy’s head and side. Everyone is told to keep moving.

8:05AM: Crying. I’m going to be honest here, I cried for the at least the next 5 miles of the bike ride. I’ve never seen someone hurt like that in real life. I’ve never thought about how dangerous triathlons can be and really how mortal we all are. From the amount of blood and his eyes being closed, I assumed the worst. I slowed my bike pace down quite a bit at this point because it just made me realize that nothing is worth getting that hurt.

8:40AM: Bike is over. 15 miles DONE and I did it without getting hurt. I hopped off my bike at the dismounting line and was very disoriented by how wobbly my legs felt. This is why I should have trained with brick sessions like last year. 

8:42AM: Choked down a Clif shot blok and jogged out of the transition area. I’m not physically that tired at this point, but I have to pee (why does this always happen to me?) and I can’t stop thinking about the man who fell.

8:55AM: I’m walking parts of the run. I don’t know why, I know I could push myself but my legs feel like 2,000lbs. Turns out I was jog/walking 11:40/mi at this point.

9:05ishAM: Realize this is ridiculous, it’s time to at least jog. Jog and sprint the last 1.5 miles into the finish. I sprinted so hard at the very end that a guy actually yelled “Awesome finish!!!” 8:56/mi average for that last 1.5miles! 🙂

9:25AM: It’s over. I did it. I don’t feel that tired or sore, I’m just happy and taking pictures with my friend and her family and thinking about how much I want ice cream.

And that was my day. I’ll have to write part 2 about the rest of the day, and then watching the half-ironman on Sunday. Crazy people those half-ironmen and women are.

I also haven’t been able to find anything about the guy who got hurt so I hope that means he is OK now.  I’m so grateful to have finished and finished safely.

I’ve got another Tri coming up in September. This one is shorter distances and all women. I know exactly how I need to train over the next month. 🙂

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I have 438 unread blog posts in my Google reader. I have 117 work emails waiting for me. I have over 250 Gmail emails.

But I’m in a really good place. That trip was unlike anything I expected. And it gave me everything I needed. And most of all it reminded me of ME. 2011 is going to be one amazing year.

Here are a few pics of my trip. Many stories to follow 😉

Bariloche, Argentina

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bike ride day 1 - On the right

 

Pompa Linda (Mt. Tronador), Argentina

 

Glaciers

 

On top Mt. Tronador

 

 

Bike ride through the canyon

Bike ride through the canyon

 

San de martin de los andes

 

Heading into Chile

 

No man's land - between Argentina and Chile

 

Pucon, Chile

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NORTHERN PATAGONIA! I’m going I’m going I’m going!

I will be heading with my coworker to Argentina where we’ll hike, bike and white water raft our way on to Chile. Once in Chile we are planning to climb Villarrica Volcano. An ACTIVE Volcano. We’ll be outfitted with helmets and ice picks to do so.

This is definitely one of the biggest trips I have ever taken. It’s happening at the right time in my life and while money is now stressing me a little it’s worth it.

When else will I be able to take a trip like this?

Northern Patagonia region

First stop - Mt. Campanario, Argentina

The center of Villerica

Climbing Villarica

The center of villerica

The center of Villerica

The center of Villarica

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Say hello to my little friend…

 

image source

 

My new Trek Lexa! It’s probably one of most expensive pieces of equipment I have ever bought (besides my car). I’m already anxious that I have it locked up in my basement apartment. I’m anxious that when I attempt to put it on my new trunk car rack it’ll fall off while driving.

But the anxiety fades away when I think about how many rides I’ll get on this beauty this fall on Boston trails during the crisp sunny weather. 🙂

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My past weekend in a few words and a few pics…

SATURDAY

Pawtuckaway State Park - Trail start

Pawtuckaway State Park - Trail start

Drove up past Portsmouth, NH with my friend J to Pawtuckaway State Park. After driving down some pretty bumpy and unfinished roads, we parked at a trail head and made our way!

 

 

 

 

 

From the start of the hike the nature was beautiful and just what I needed on a Saturday.

We came across a little toad that J picked up. It then peed on her, which is apparently what toads do when you terrify them. Understandable.

A little toad friend

We also ran into a garden snake but I actually was so thrown off by seeing a snake that I was clutching J’s arm instead of taking a picture. I’m not even scared of snakes! We kept walking and while this doesn’t look steep, it was!

Fire tower trail

Fire tower trail

About a mile or so up the trail was the fire tower. We climbed the rickety few floors and had some spectacular views. I loooove New Hampshire!

The view from the top of the fire tower

 

 Then we drove too…

Downtown Portsmouth for lunch & ice cream

Portsmouth, New Hampshire! We had a mexican lunch (where I overdosed on fajitas) then some really yummy ice cream. Portsmouth is actually one of my favorite cities 🙂

We then drove back to Boston, showered quickly and headed to my friends for a surprise going away party for our friend Gretchan. While we are so sad to see her go, we are excited for her to start a new chapter in graduate school and in D.C. So our friend A made her a cake shaped like the monument and was pink with skittles like her Mom used to make her as a kid (which everyone had to joke looked just a bit phallic.) It didn’t help that “watch out D.C. here she comes” was written next to it.

the cake - it's the Washington Monument!

After playing drinking games, where I beat out everyone at survivor flip-cup (who knew I was a drinking games champ!) I got home around 2am and crashed.

SUNDAY

7:30 am rolled out much to soon. My friend S picked me up and we hit up Dunkin for some much needed iced coffee and veggie flat breads. We got to the Tri just as it was starting and cheered on the swimmers!

The swim - Marlborough Triathlon

I’m really glad I got to watch this Tri. We were able to see each different portion and it gave me a great idea of what it’s like. I’m not nearly as scared for the swimming part. BUT, I’m now a bit scared for the bike portion. I watched a few riders going so fast, a few almost crash, one minor crash, and crazy downhills. I’m feeling a little uneasy about that.

So what better way to feel more comfortable than to rent road bikes in Nashua, NH! Road bikes are completely different feeling than both spin and mountain bikes. I was quite uneasy getting on and off the bike, and had a really hard time stopping and restarting.

But after riding some back roads we happened across the following trail…

Nashua River Rail Trail

We rode onto it and powered through about 5 miles down and 5 miles back. Amazing! The bike ride was so much easier than I expected in comparison to spinnning. I felt the need for speed on this trail. 😉

 

It gave me insight into passing (really frustrating and scary at times), changing gears, and going really really fast. I love it! I wish I had brought my garmin to see how far we really went. Oh well, next time.

I didn’t get home until after 8pm. I was exhausted but so overtired I couldn’t fall asleep until almost midnight. I’ve got quite a few to do’s this week, one of which is buying a bike and helmet!

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