Sunday, August 29, 2010

100 on 100 Relay - A Totally Incredible Race

Love this racing bib!
This weekend was the 100 on 100 relay in Vermont.  This race takes place in August and teams race from Stowe to Okemo and most of the race is on Route 100.  Teams can range from 1 - 6 people.  Most teams do have 6 people although you do see teams of 3 on the course.  You race 3 different legs with all of you cycling through 3 times.  All runners have difficult legs although there are some runners who do have harder climbs or longer routes.  Teams have staggered starts. The slower teams start at 6:00.  I believe the very fastest teams go out around 10:00.  The goal is to have most teams finish somewhere around 10 p.m.  If you reach Leg 16 past a certain time, you must drive through that leg to finish the last two.  The last few legs can be in the pitch dark.
The whole team at the start.  
The next few pictures are the start 
with an attempt to show
how beautiful it is.

This was my second year taking part in this event.  Three of the people on my team had raced with us last year.  I had a different leg to do which I liked. Last year I had one of the hardest climbs, this year I saw running in the dark as my biggest challenge.  As the race got closer I realized running with an injury - PF- would actually be my biggest challenge by far.  I was training for the race, doing two runs in a day once a week when I was sidelined by this injury.  I stopped running for 10 days then I started running short amounts with permission to get ready to race.  Although many of my practice runs this last week were pain free, the rest of the day was not and I was worried about my ability to run 3 times in one day.  In fact I found it unimaginable.  Nonetheless I foolishly hopefully went forward.

I packed last Sunday as I knew it would be a busy week back at work.  It is like packing for a mini vacation.  I did put my faith in the weather forecast and packed outfits for a hot sunny day.  You need clothes to wear early in the day, after you race and for the next day.  You need TONS of food, drink, safety gear for night running, toiletries for overnight and ????? You get it............there was a lot to pack and take.  I finalized my choices and added last minute things Saturday morning.  I was up at 3:30 to be at the driver's house by 4:30.  Before I knew it we were on our way.

When we arrived it was light this year which was  a switch from last year.  Last year we began running at 6:00.  We did have to drive through one of the legs as our pace was quite slow and the final results - we were 90th out of 99 teams, 5 teams of which did not finish.  So we had some room for improvement.  The setting of the start of the race is where the Trapp Family Lodge is in Stowe. (Sound of Music)  It is a gorgeous setting!  Last year I was the second runner so I was able to jump into the race fairly quickly. This year I had to temper my excitement as I was the 4th runner and it was quite awhile before it was my turn. I didn't find this as hard as I expected.  The team captain started us off and before we knew it she was back and the second runner was gone.  Our race bibs - the cutest ever- tell what runner you are. Mine said 14-4.  This means we were team 14 and I was the 4th runner.  When you see runners at the transitions you see runners with team numbers similar to yours as you have predicted similar paces.  As the day goes on you see more runners with higher team numbers as those teams are catching up to you.  When you see a runner with 126-3 for instance you know that is one fast runner as they began much later than we did.  The race gets more congested in the middle of the day as these teams are racing by you and then it lessens again.
Our costumed runner ready for her leg

The racing pack includes tattoos! How fun is that!
This year there was a costume component added to one of the legs and I hope they repeat it another year. There were a lot of great costumes although you only saw the people who were racing near you.  There was also an added element with a plastic dog and trying to take pictures with it at certain spots. We were doing wonderfully with this, sure we were going to win Ipod shuffle for all of our team when we blew it and missed the last two pictures. Oh well.

Getting water from my teammate during my first leg

My I said I was runner number 4.  My first leg was slated to be 5.5 miles with a lot of uphill and a downhill finish. It was rated a black diamond for difficulty.  I had paid no attention whatsoever to this description even before my injury. Last summer I did TONS of hill training and this year ZIP!  I did my best although I must say it was definitely not what I needed for my PF.  Hills are not good at all and I find downhills the worst.  It was still not too hot and it was very scenic.  Out of staters should find this course a real treat as so much of it is stunningly beautiful.  I knew that the uphill was more than 3 miles with the last part being the downhill.  I had attempted to tape my foot to help with pain but could quickly see it wasn't working. Why I first tried this on race day is anyone's guess.  I didn't do it for my next two legs.  It did hurt but not excruciatingly so I decided I was okay. I spent a fair amount of my thinking time wondering how wise I was being.   My splits were 10:40, 10:36, 11:12, 9:52, 8:44 and 7:51.  Not exactly even splits!  My Garmin clocked it at 5.35 with a 10:04 pace. I was okay with that.  After I handed off the bracelet to the next runner I did lots and lots and lots of icing.  I also made sure to refuel and to drink tons!  Then I iced some more and stretched and iced some more.  It is amazing how the time goes by as it is really quite a stretch between runners.  You spend a lot of time cheering teammates and others on, eating, drinking changing and so on.  I found it a fine line between staying hydrated but stopping soon enough to not have to pee the next time I ran.  I did drink tons and felt overall I did a great job with hydrating. I think the prettiest leg is the 6th leg which was very hilly but beautiful.  One of our strongest runners ran this leg and she could not believe the continuous hills! But man did she power up them!  I had planned to take lots of pictures but was not totally successful. I think a lot of this was because of the time I spent icing my foot. It was hard - and truthfully painful - to get in and out of the van so I stayed put a lot encased in ice!
Finished with that hot second leg!

Then it was time for Round Two for all of us.  Last year this was the hardest leg for all of us as it was an unbelievably hot day.  Also as one of my teammates remembered we had not had a lot of hot days and were not the least bit acclimated.  I had a fairly long run in the middle of the day and walked some of it even though it was flat. That stunned me and humbled me.  This year it was hot but not the debilitating heat of last year.  There was even an occasional light breeze. This leg was 4.2, my shortest and flattest leg.  I must say it was a long 4 miles as even though the heat was better it was still pretty damn hot.  I am not a mid day runner - EVER.  It was  a very pretty section and I tried - with some success - to enjoy the scenery through which I was running.  There were a lot of bicyclists and motorcyclists out also.  It turned out there was a 100 mile ride going on in the opposite direction of our race.  The riders were a welcome distraction as well as being very encouraging and supportive. The downside was it seemed more dangerous with a narrow shoulder and so much going on.  Before I knew it - well not really - it took forever so why I just wrote that I have no idea - I was entering Rochester but truthfully before I knew it I was at the school where the transition was handing off to Racer #5.  This was my most painful leg as far as my heel went. Again it could have been worse but......  I iced and iced and all of the above again. I think the icing saved me overall and allowed me to do the whole race.  My splits were: 9:39, 9:45,9:52, 10:10 and 9:15 for an overall pace of 9:50.  These were much more even than my last leg. This was my best pace of the day (they were all similar) but my least favorite leg.  I think this was solely due to the heat. I was glad to be done this second leg.

I loved my teammates. Everyone was very supportive and encouraging. I did not know two of my teammates at all until that morning.  As I said three of us did it last year and the fourth person is a colleague of mine at work.  Everyone was so upbeat and positive about the whole experience. This was not the case last year so this year felt better for sure.  I know that 5 of us want to do it again next year and we were making plans on how to improve it.  We were sadly lacking in matching t-shirts with our team name for one thing!
About to head out on the last leg and getting
excited to go!

I expected my last leg to be in the dark but all day we were exceeding our predicted time goals so when I began my last leg it was still light, just begining to get dark.  I had to wear all the safety gear and was ready to go when runner #3 arrived at the transition. I was jealous of the runners who were done because this was my longest leg and I was worried about my heel.  It turned out to be my favorite leg.  It felt like my fastest leg although it was not. Still it was my third time racing that day so I am pleased with what I did.  My heel also felt the best of the day.  My teammate who had done this leg last year told me it was flat. Well, not so much. As she was driving while I was running she realized that she had had no idea how hilly it was (not big hills, but lots of rolling hills) because it was so dark when she was running.  She thought she was just tired and working hard although believe me she rocked this leg last year.  So as I was running I thought about my regular 6 mile run at home.  I didn't want to be expecting to be done too soon and be discouraged.  It was quite pretty while it was still light enough to see.  For a time I was running next to a lake.  As it began to get darker I was glad to have the faster runners catching up to me and passing me as I had stretches where I was feeling quite alone.  I found all other racers to be very  supportive during this leg as were the members of the other teams.  All vans going by were honking and shouting encouragement. Everyone was telling me how good and strong I looked and I chose to believe them!  I felt strong!  I loved the coolness of the air. My mistake was wearing a light wind breaker as I didn't need it at all. Taking it off with the safety vest and all seemed too cumbersome so I left it on.  My splits were 9:11 (Wow! Go AJH) 11:11, 10:46, 10:07, 9:50 and 9:27 with an overall pace of 10:06.  I LOVED THIS LEG. I don't know if it was the newness of running in the dark, less heel pain, being on my final leg or the amazing support of my team and all the other racers but I LOVED IT.  Once done, back to icing.  I did feel like I missed out on some social interactions due to all the time spent icing my foot but I found it really necessary.
Finished! (One racer headed home to her babies early)

As a team once the final runner starts you go to the finish and all run in together to finish, get your medals, get your picture taken and have a meal.  Then we stayed in a suite 2 minutes away. This year there was also a breakfast on Sunday morning with a slide show. It was nice to connect once more with the other racers and share some war stories.  Back to the finish. This year we ran all our legs - no having to drive through, started a half hour later and still finished about 40 minutes earlier.  Results have not been posted but I will share them once they are.

One odd fact. Today my heel is basically pain free which is not usually the case the day after I run.  Maybe I just need to pound the s**t out of it on a regular basis.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Summer - It Was Great

A Mostly Pictorial Review of Summer


Running past wonderful sights in DC

Running, racing and winning with my daughter 

Bloggy meet up with MCM Mama


Lots of fun on Governor's Island


Running in Waldo Canyon

Hiking up Pikes Peak with M!

Racing in the Summer Round Up 12K

Meeting "Happy Trail" and "Run with Jill" bloggers

Running in Garden of the Gods


Lots of great veggies from the garden
Lots of time to do a ton of reading
Time to spend with family and friends
Personal training sessions with my son
Time to make cards
White water rafting
Great runs on the Burlington Bike Path
Another Bloggy Meet Up and Lots of great races including

Silks and Satins where I met Darlene from My First 5K

A reignited appreciation for how much fun biking is

But now it's time to head back to work and school has always signaled for me, the end of summer and the beginning of fall, no matter what the calendar actually says.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

MCM Mama's Virtual Race

I decided that this morning was my best chance to get in MCM Mama's virtual race.  I have not been running as much as usual due to my heel.  What running I am doing is very slow.  I didn't run yesterday as my heel was sore from the weekend's running.  It felt great all day yesterday so this morning I went for it.  While I was not fast I was faster than I have been lately. I had thought maybe I would do it this morning and tomorrow morning and take the best one but my heel has been sore today so if I run tomorrow I am going to go slower.  I need to be able to race in the relay on Saturday.

So today's race!

I felt GREAT the whole run. I did 5 miles although the distance I was racing was 4.  It was cool.  I was wearing capris, short sleeve shirt and a hoodie  over that.  There wasn't much traffic but it was 6 a.m. and foggy so I was watching those blind corners carefully.  Every mile felt good with no pain and my pace was faster than it has been in previous days.  There were no other runners out there racing or otherwise but I did meet one biker.  I didn't wear my Ipod so it was just me and the road. As I was racing I was thinking about:

  • how my heel was feeling
  • today was going to be my first official day back at work
  • if I had allowed enough time to do stretches, shower and grab a cup of coffee before work
  • what news people would have from the summer
  • how I would try to do the race again on Wednesday and go faster
  • how I didn't bring a camera to take any race pictures as I was so worried about getting to work on time
  • how my heel was feeling
  • that racing is my crack.........when I can't race I definitely have withdrawals
  • how my heel was feeling ........
So my overall pace was 10:29.  It took me 41:55.  My splits were: 10:38, 10:37, 9:54, 10:16.  I felt good I was able to do this race at all even if not at a pace I would have hoped for!  Happy Birthday MCM Mama!  
Back home happy to have raced!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Running and Biking this Weekend

Yesterday - Saturday - was a gorgeous day with perfect temps.  I had the go ahead from my chiropractor to run 6 miles at a time to get ready for my relay next Saturday. I seem to be running really slowly.  Getting used to orthotics is a whole thing in itself.  But T showed up at 7 a.m. and off we went. The 6 felt great.  When we got back to my house I had a quick chocolate milk and changed my clothes.  I was sweaty from my run and didn't want to head out on the bike wet.  As it was I could have had another layer on as it was definitely cool on the bike.  We did the same 12 we have done before but we did it in the opposite direction.  Man oh man it made a difference. It is hilly no matter what but yesterday we headed up this hill you see me running down.  That hill continues up for a ways.  We turned right less than 2 miles up but it was a workout.  Many hard core riders continue up over the gap, down the other side and up and down another gap.  Wow!  I thought just our short section was hard. So then we were headed in the opposite direction on all the dirt roads.  I did not feel we were able to take advantage of the downhills as the gravel was too loose, blind curves, lurking dogs etc.  Going in the other direction is not only easier on a bike but more fun!  But I did feel like I had  a great workout. I was whipped.  I came home and finished a book, watched some West Wing and took a nap.  I really accomplished nothing.  Oh well.  That will happen today.  I thought maybe I would run and bike again today but it was POURING. So we ran the 6 miles again today and got completely soaked. I don't mind - in fact I like - running in the rain but I had no desire to take my bike out.  

My heel is sore, too sore I don't know.  I had to take my hubby to Btown to pick up a car so I went to Ski Rack to pick up Gus etc. for next Sat.'s relay. Then I went to Barnes and Noble to use some gift cards.  I bought the Wicked CD because I will be seeing Wicked over Labor Day weekend in Boston! Woo Hoo!  I also bought a new book on Running Injuries Treatment and Prevention by Jeff Galloway and someone else.  I liked the format and thought it might be handy to have around.  It may be putting the cart after the horse at this time but may help in the future. I know you can find all kinds of info on line but in my opinion there is nothing like a book in hand to leaf through, look at and go back to.

Has anyone who has seen Wicked read the book?  I have it, tried to get into it several years ago and couldn't. Should I try again?

So this week I had 49 miles on the bike and 16 miles running.  

If you live in one of the four states having a primary this week be sure and 

Friday, August 20, 2010

Five Random Things Friday

1. I ran 4 miles yesterday in my new orthotics.  My heel didn't hurt although it was sore later in the day.  My chiro seemed encouraged by the progress I am making and gave the go ahead for getting ready in a small way for my relay next Sat. I can run but no more than 6 miles. Tomorrow I plan to attempt 6 miles, followed by a bike ride.  A KCIRB I guess.

2. I have still been getting lots of reading in.  Here are some books I have taken out of the library in my last couple visits- mostly chick lit!
The Search by Nora Roberts
The Island by Elin Hilderbrand
A Friend of the Family by Laura Grodstein
Fly Away Home by Jennifer Weiner
Every Last One by Anna Quindlen
Anybody Any Minute by by Julie Mars
Second Time Around by Beth Dendrick
Driftwood Summer by Patti Callahan Henry
Love in Translation by Wendy Nelson Tokunaga

3. I love going to the movies but I don't rent movies a lot.  I tend to watch tv series on DVD.  Currently I am rewatching West Wing Season 1!  It is a fantastic season.  I remember some of the seasons begin to drag but I love this one.  Who else has watched it?  Did you have a favorite character and who was it?  I like many of the characters which is why I like the show but I like Josh Lyman best hands down!
I also love Donna so chose a pic that included her.

4. What other tv series could you recommend?  I also love Friday Night Lights (the new season is in the mail on it's way to me, Lost, Brothers and Sisters, Grey's Anatomy, Boston Legal, Damages, The OC ( I am a shallow shallow person) and ????

5.  Today was an outstandingly gorgeous day. Cool temps. Sunny. And it was a rest day.  Oh well. There will be other gorgeous days!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Another Great Ride/White Water Rafting

Both of these pics are taken in one of my favorite little parks on the bike path. 
Beautiful views in all directions!

I'm trying to eke every last bit out of summer that I can. Today I went back on the bike path and causeway but this time with T.  The day was another great one. I had on my new bike shorts (love them) and was riding my newly tuned up bike. (A Success!).

Surprising the hubby at work!
We also rode out to see my hubby at his new job site.  I hadn't told him I would be on the bike path today so I think he was surprised to see me.

 T loved the Causeway which she had never been on.  We were there nice and early so it wasn't too crowded.  She had trouble finding me when I first got there. I guess I need to brush up my direction giving skills because last week the same thing happened with my other friends. I park on the waterfront in a free parking lot but it is not well known and apparently hard to find.  That is good except when my friends are trying to meet me!
T on her bike!

On my newly tuned up bike!

Out at the cut 

Back on the bike path.  The house to the left is going to be 
mine when I win the lottery.  Lots of glass, beautiful lake views, cozy spot. 
This picture doesn't do it justice.

Also, I did go white water rafting yesterday and had the best time imaginable!  I loved everything about it.  It took us a little more than two hours to get there. We got to ride the free ferry in both directions since the Crown Point Bridge is being rebuilt. It was in the middle of nowhere!  We didn't go by anything but woods and lakes. Five of us went and we had an awesome  guide whose grandmother was also in our raft!  It was great.  I loved the rapids! A dam is released which is where the white water comes from at this time of year.  The temperature of the water was 70 degrees so no problems there.  We were soaked for most of the ride. I did go swimming at one point which helped keep me cool for the rest of the day.  The last two miles were just floating to get to our take out point which I was not as crazy about.  Mostly because my body was tired and cramped of being in the same position.  I loved all the splashing, the white water, "surfing - we rocked at this!"  There will be pictures at some point as we all chipped in to buy the CD which made it quite inexpensive.  It includes all the shots of us plus some scenic shots. It was very scenic and peaceful.  I will repeat this experience!  

Monday, August 16, 2010

Biking and T Shirts

The Biking Bits of Info for Today

1. No snakes all summer and now two days in a row? Really? A totally horrible one today - some kind of milk snake - big and yes dead but still horrible.  And I had to go by it twice as I was trying to stay somewhat close to home it case it started thundering.  Managed to get planned ride in with no storm in spite of black black sky.

2.  Left my bike off to be tuned up (after another great personal training session with my son).  The guy looked it over and gave me an estimate and I think the birth of my first child was a smaller amount.  I asked him if it was worth it and he assured me it was.  The frame was great and I liked the bike so there was no need to go new.'s a lot of money!  I'm sure I will be amazed at how it runs.  And I will be taking much better care of it than I have been.

3. And I caved and bought biking shorts.  I am sick of my butt being so sore. I thought it would get better but it hasn't.  I got the cheapest pair but truthfully I tried on several pairs and these were the most comfortable.  So next time I ride I will be styling!!!

4. Plans are to do the Causeway again on Wednesday with T. She has never done it and after seeing my stunning bday ride pics she wants to try it. Wed. may just be the day to do it.  I'm not getting into school much this week to get ready but gotta play while the sun shines!  Right now it is my choice whether or not to be there. Soon there will be no choice!

5.  I will not be biking tomorrow because the whole day will be taken up with white water rafting which I have never done!  I.CAN.NOT.WAIT.

Quite awhile ago Mel Tall Mom posted about race shirts.  More recently Marlene took up the challenge. So I got out my camera and decided to go for it too.  I have given away far more t shirts than I currently own.  I took a couple bags worth to one race alone.  I have decided I am going to save ones I get that I won't wear until I have enough to take into school and give to every kid in my class who wants one. They will be big but kids don't seem to care. If given a choice I rarely get the tshirt as I have so many.  But I definitely have many I like.
Short sleeve cotton shirts that I have kept - I have two favorites

This one is from Beach to Beacon before it filled up so quickly and 
BEFORE I RAN!  I walked it!  

This is from a local race series that no longer happens-
Also walking for this one

Short sleeve tech tees - I have even given away some of these

Last years 100 on 100 shirt - LOVED that race
Hope to be doing it in two weeks!

Long sleeve tech tees -thought I had more of these
The top gray one is large and hideous 

Love the bright red, loved the race!

Long sleeve cotton shirts that I have kept - some 
were put away.  Have many colors of the Leaf Peepers

Liked the shirt - why I did the race!  Did it once with two cousins and 
once with my husband! It was a great race - around Portsmouth, NH 
You crossed 4 bridges - very beautiful This race no longer exists which was too bad.  I won age group prizes and  random - some very good ones!

So that's it for the t shirts I could find! Got to love the shirts and medals!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

A Good Training Partner is Hard to Find - But I Found The Best!

Bennington Battle Monument
T has been my training partner for years. We run on weekends together with the rare weekday run thrown in.  T does NOT like to race although she has stepped it up this year and raced more than usual.  But the fact that she doesn't race makes her a good training partner for me as she is willing to do whatever my schedule dictates.  Most recently my schedule has gone out the window as I am unable to run.  I took my bike out last weekend and it has been on the go since. So what did T, the perfect training partner do?  She got her old Raleigh 3 speed out and her husband spent some of his precious time getting it road ready!  So T is now biking with me and loving it!  She cranks that 3 speed up any hill our mountainous town throws at her. (She is much more afraid of leery of the downhills at this point.)  We even get to ride on that rare weekday this week because our state employees get tomorrow off for Bennington Battle Day. If you are a state employee elsewhere I bet you are wishing your state was Vermont right about now!

Bennington Battle - August 16, 1777

But T and I are well matched running/biking partners in other ways too.   T is somewhat afraid of dogs due to a childhood incident. So I have been the shield more than one time between her and a dog that appears dangerous.  T is the type of person who always thinks of others first except when a dog is in the picture. If she is feeling danger she does not hesitate to put me in front of her which tells you something about how much dogs frighten her.  Now T does own a dog and loves them so I am only talking about threatening dogs.  They don't delight me either but I do my part to put my own fears aside and protect T.  The last two days we have come upon the same dog which doesn't live too far from me.  It has never been a problem in the past but for some reason it now ventures out in the road and gives us his best growls and threatening manner. It is working!  T cowers in the background while I have been throwing it dog biscuits.  I think the treats are working and soon this dog will know me as that friendly athlete who gives it biscuits as I pass by! At least that is what I am hoping.

We actually went by this dog twice today but that is not the only thing we went by twice and here is where T was the hero!  Right after we started out today I passed my first snake of the year!  I screamed like the girl I am and raised my legs (I was on my bike.) T didn't know why I was screaming and at this point we were well by. I wasn't sure if it was alive or dead but if it was dead it was a very recent road kill.  So we continued on our ride and covered a wonderful 15 miles!  It was mostly hilly but today was another gorgeous day here in Vermont, cloudy and cool, just right for biking!  After we got back I said I wanted to try running.

 (We ended up just going a mile as my heel was hurting. I guess I am done trying the running thing for now but I am worried about my relay in two weeks.But today I listened to my body. Yeah, me.)

 But as we started out guess what we passed again?  Yes you know what is coming. Did I remember it would be there?  Noooooo! And obviously it was dead as it was in the EXACT same spot.   I screamed again but even louder as I was closer to it on my feet. T screamed too right along with me even though she didn't know what I was screaming at. But I screamed so loudly she must have figured we were about to be killed or something.  Then we stopped and I said, "Man I am going to get sick of going by that snake or something to that effect!" So T turned around and removed the snake to the bushes off the road so I wouldn't have to keep seeing that snake as I went by. That is being the best training partner you could possibly be!

Stats for the Week:
Running - 3 miles - oh my!
Core - 1 hour
Biking - 76.3 miles!

The BEST Training Partner Ever
Same road as yesterday's biking picture, obviously earlier in the year

Saturday, August 14, 2010

I Am An Athlete/1000 Miles/My First Brick

As you know if you have been reading my posts I am biking, not running, as I wait for my heel to heal.  When  I first ran I never thought of myself as a runner and I was always waiting for the running police to jump out of the bushes and tell me to go home.  You are not a runner and never will be.  Well, fortunately this never happened and I absolutely came to believe I WAS a runner.  Now it is so much a part of my identity that I feel bereft not running.

Presently I am having the same problem with biking that I used to have with running. I don't feel like a biker. I don't have the cool clothes the "real" bikers have.
Okay, maybe my clothes are a little more modern than this but I do NOT have the RIGHT clothes!

My bike is old and needs a tune up. (That will be taken care of next week.)  I am wearing  a helmet my son wore when he was a young teen.  (That has already been taken care of.  I bought myself a more respectable helmet for my birthday for vanity and safety reasons.) I am slow and don't go 50 miles at once.  I have found a renewed love for biking and am enjoying it immensely.  Even when my heel is healed I want to keep biking at least once a week. Perhaps not varying my activity enough is what got me into this fix in the first place. But in the meantime I need to stop worrying about the bike police and how I look and just think of myself as an athlete.  It is hard for me to even write that.  BUT I have run marathons, raced far more than 100 races, work out a minimum of 5 days a week all year long and hiked Pikes Peak just this summer.  I have been doing some core training with my son,  the wonderful, demanding personal trainer.  Before my injury I had passed 1000 miles for this year's total of miles run.  So yes, I am going to call myself an athlete and enjoy what I am doing.
Hiking Pikes Peak

I have had several great bike rides but this morning I had my first brick. At least I think that is the correct term.  We biked more than 12 miles and then I was just dying to try out a run. So we ran 2 miles.  My heel feels okay, not perfect, not horrible.  I may try a short distance again tomorrow.  But man did my legs feel heavy after that bike ride. How do you triathletes do it?  You are all amazing!

                       On today's ride