Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Mostly Biking -An Old Favorite Route

Sunday I had a fairly crummy 10 mile run.  Still figuring some things out on those longer runs.

I swam early Monday morning and it seemed so easy in the pool....... a line to follow..........a wall to touch quite often..........nothing in the water you didn't expect..........no choking wet suit...........and the distance seemed very reasonable.  I didn't quite dare wear my new triathlon swim cap - it seemed a little showy but I just might yet.

Monday was a gorgeous day and I brought my bike with me to my doctor's appointment so I could do the Weybridge/Cornwall ride I hadn't done in awhile. I decided I was going to just meander along, taking pictures and enjoying the day. Or maybe my body decided it for me but whatever.......I wasn't going to try to set any speed records.
 I stopped and took pictures about 4 miles in, the first spot that really opens up to some terrific views.  It was sunny and not particularly hot but I was feeling it so the humidity must have been high.
I continued along my merry way when I could see two riders ahead only to catch up and find out one was one of my regular biking friends. She was trying out a bike to possibly buy but she didn't sound sold.  They turned to head back to town while I kept going to take the long hilly loop that would bring me right back to where I left them.  I did fine on the hills but didn't power up them.  There was no powering in me that day.  I stopped on the bridge overlooking Otter Creek before I headed up the longest hill of the day. Please make note of my water bottle!

 My next stop was at Monuments Farm, a local dairy, who makes fantastic chocolate milk.  I also love the drinkable yogurt, also made in Addison County. It is like crack. I couldn't decide between the two so I got both. I went and sat in the shade of a nearby park to drink both.  It continued to be a very relaxing ride.

I went to Middlebury only to double back and ride on Sheep Farm Road, one of my favorite roads.  But there is too much foliage on the trees and you couldn't see the sheep.  I was also hoping to catch horses in the field but they were in the rink at Morgan Horse Farm.  That was my last picture stop and I wasn't the only one taking pictures there.

 I love biking in my home state!  

And in case you didn't see it check out my First Triathlon Report!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

MascomaMan Race Report - A TRIATHLON Race Report

Wow!  I have to say overall I had a great time in my first triathlon.  I made some pretty major mistakes but I am not worrying about it. I expect my first transition number to be pretty huge between two big errors and a long distance between the swim and bike.
Waiting for the first wave to go.  It was a nice lake,
clear and not weedy!

First I got up plenty early and checked all my lists and headed off to pick up my friend Sara who offered to go with me.  I got a little lost on the way to her house but shortly after we saw a mother deer and two fawns, one suckling.  A good sign as far as I'm concerned.  (On the way home I saw another mother and fawn)The rest of the ride was pretty uneventful but I did start to get very nervous once we got there.  Went to registration and guess what - my packet was missing?  They called someone who would be coming and would straighten it out.  It seemed to take forever and I explained to the girls (a college team of some sort running this) that I was pretty nervous and needed to get started getting ready. They told me what to do and Sara waited for my packet.  I barely had time to pee, it was not the relaxing before a race time I like.  Maybe less time to dwell on the swimming but I felt like it heightened my anxiety.
Struggling a little...

Wondering about going home.....

Putting on my wet suit I started to put the zipper in front.  My friend kindly asked me if that was the way it went. She was pretty savey all day for the whole tri thing.  I got in on although it seemed harder than the other day.  Then I waited.
Watching to see where the course is..a little tricky
without my glasses

Coming in........whew!

The Swim

It was finally time to get in the water (mixed feelings - did I want it to come quickly or take forever?). I overcame my shyness to ask the women near me for advice for someone  new.  I was feeling like bawling I was so scared.   Smart move of the day.  One woman reminded me to sight and to do the sidestroke if needed. I never ever practiced side stroke but did I do it today?  You betcha!  First I was amazed because I ran into the feet of people in front of me a few times.  Really? I'm keeping up for a minute or two?  At first I was doing the whole free style thing but I was definitely in a panic mode and went to breast stroke or side stroke frequently. I couldn't really see the two buoys they said we had to swim around. There were larger orange buoys in the water from the 70.3 and they certainly confused me.  I told one man he needed to turn as he was on his back headed out to the middle.  Look at me being helpful and not the only one having some trouble!! Should I be delighted at this?  Yes!  Most people went a ways ahead but I got to the first buoy and swam by it and tried to head to the next one. It was quite a distance away.  I did a lot of side stroke still. Glad I spent the time and money on those lessons!  When I would do the freestyle  I would sight and find myself going in the wrong direction so I would go back to side stroke. Plus I felt less like I would drown.  I got quite confused when I got past that second buoy. I knew I needed to head into the beach but it looked like the two women ahead of me were going around the large buoy to the left so I tried to do that too. Finally I yelled and asked someone and they said no, just come in. I was amazed at how hard it was to stand up.  But I did, got out of the water and it was time to run UP to the bike transition.


Running up to the transiton......

......just before I take a wrong turn.

Side note: As many told me I did not have time to worry about creepy things in the water. I may have spent 5 seconds on this but most of my worrying was just getting through the swim and on to the things I am better at.

Okay now two major rookie mistakes that will make a long T1 time even longer. But no worries. It happened, I moved on.  First I am "running" up the hill to the bikes when the fence ended and I veered off to the transition area. My friend, Sara, once again, came to my rescue and yelled at me to turn around and go all the way through the chute.  I should have know this but just wanted to get to my bike I guess.  So I get there and sit down to get the wet suit off.  I took off my chip to get off my wet suit leg (cue ominous music) (Most people did not wear wet suits.  I was So glad I did because I think my panic in the water would have been in major mode without it.  Also so glad I did those two open water swims as can't imagine how I would have felt without them.)Then I grab my bike and walk/run it through a long transition - I am at the back of the racks. I am just about to mount when a spectator asks me if I have a chip! Thank God he caught it but I definitely said, "Oh s**t! and headed back. The volunteer - confused- asked me what I was doing. I told her and asked her to hold my bike and went and got it, put it on and grabbed my bike as I went by her.  Then I did mount this time and I was on my way.
The chip is ON THE GROUND!  (Andrea look and see it before you leave!)

Still clueless that I am about to have to go back.  
Transition is pretty empty!

The Bike

I seriously loved the biking.  The only thing was the website said it was a 10.6 mile bike and it was 16.  Which is not a bad distance for me it just wasn't what was in my head.  I started out and was all alone.  (see debacle transition - last paragraph.) I think one person may have been behind me at that point.  It was a mile or so up the road that I passed a couple women.  Yay!  Then I was alone with no one in sight and I thought well this is how it's going to be.  I was a little bummed as it is hard to go faster with no one around you. Then I started up a hill and could see someone way in the distance.  Eventually I caught up and went by them and that seemed to be the theme of the bike ride. Spot someone in the distance and pass them going up hill! I was passing people!  Again and again.  I think I passed 10+ people on the bike and of course we all didn't start together!  As I went by more than one person on the hill they yelled:"You go girl"  I really had a nice clip going along.  I attribute this to riding with my friend, Cathy, who leaves me in the dust on hills!  But  we went up hill after hill after hill and we weren't turning around at 5 or 6 miles.  Finally I just stopped thinking about turning around and going up hill and just rode and tried to pass.  Finally we did turn around and the way back was much easier.  But I am not super fast on down hills and even use my brakes some.  I was wearing my brace and it was a reminder to ride smart.  I passed a couple more people in this section and then I was riding alongside many runners who were in the last section.
I got to transition and it was a bit demoralizing to have people all done!  I sat to change my shoes and had to do a little self convincing to get back up.  I put on some sunscreen and headed out. A much faster transition.
I think both of these are on the way in.

The Run

As I started running I did feel it was going to be pretty hard to run 3.1 miles. I did not save any on the bike but just pushed.  I started out though and this is where all my running helped. I sped up a little each mile and I feel muscle memory took over.  It was the old put one foot in front of the other and just do it. I did pass four or so people - two men and two women but neither one in my age group. (younger!)  I am not sure of my time yet but I think it was over 30 but not way over 30 and that is fine. I felt like I kept running well, never slowing down much and even picking it up some.  I told myself that 3.1 miles was not a big deal.  And it wasn't!  Before I knew it I was heading back into the chute and this time I could stop.
Headed out for the run, not thrilled but

Ended up doing just fine.

I was now a triathlete and feeling more than a little proud of myself. This is a goal I set last fall and I worked hard for it to happen.  It wasn't easy - at all - but I did it and I do think I can improve.  I will do it again so I can do that whole bike racing thing again.  What fun!  I want to improve on the swimming -not so much my time although that would be nice but my whole comfort. I want to do free style more. Even when I did it I forgot that whole side to side thing until almost the last time I attempted it.  And who knows if I kicked?  But thank goodness for that wet suit!  I am so glad I bought it - may be the best tri investment I made although I liked my shirt and shorts quite well too!  Now if they would just post the results. I am dying to see them.
Finisher Bottle!  I'm a triathlete!

The results are finally up and a bit confusing but I think I got them figured out.
Some thoughts:

  • Transitions matter a lot
  • Triathlon is a young person's sport - am I nuts to be just starting
  • A lot of people are good at 1 or 2 things and one thing is clearly harder
  • Some people are good at everything
  • It is hard to know how much effort to put forth to move up the results because you start at different times
So results:
0verall 106/134  Time: 1:53:35  This course is quite comparable to the Midd. one I have been practicing on.  Shorter swim 100 yards - longer bike 2 miles.  So I'm pleased with my time as I wanted to be under 2 hours.

Swimming: 13:44  128/134  I don't think anyone will be seeking me out for swim lessons but I thought I might be last so I'm celebrating! I had no idea what to expect.  Some of this is the run to the mat which was up a hill and then of course I went the wrong way so I'm okay with this.  If I hadn't made the direction goof I would have beat more people's swim times. 

T1 4:24 next to slowest, includes going back for chip - definitely cost me some places in results but I doubt if I'll do that again!

Biking 1:01:54 pace 15.51mph 100/134  Again I'm surprised at how many people just a little more push would have moved me in front of.  But I don't know if I had any more push!

T2 1:59 certainly better but could improve it

Running 31:34 10:11 pace 79/134 I was a bit surprised at this but pleased.  

Here are my goals from Friday's post.


I want to finish wanting to do another triathlon. Check

I want to have fun.  Check

I want to find out I can swim in a triathlon no matter my skill or lack thereof  Check

I want to learn more about how a tri works including the transitions.   Check (did lousy at it but man did I learn some things)

I'd love not to be last but if I am, I am.   Check
Here are my race time goals I emailed myself.
swim 15 minutes - less than
bike 40 minutes - way off but I thought the bike 10.6 (website) not 16 - actual
run 29 minutes - a couple of minutes over
T1 3 minutes - sadly over by a couple of minutes
T2 2 minutes - right on

I'll end with the loot I got.  I'm counting the swim cap we had to use and I WILL be using that at the pool.  

Saturday, July 28, 2012

I Am A Triathlete!

In case you can't see it that bottle says: FINISHER!

I did it and for the most part loved it.

No results yet but I was not last.

Full report later.

But I can tell you that won't be the only triathlon I do!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Goals for my first Tri - TOMORROW!

Anyone who has been reading my posts lately won't be surprised to see that I am signed up for a tri a bit sooner than August 26. I said all along I hoped to do one sooner and it's going to happen! My hope originally was to do 3 this summer and I'd still like to make that happen. I just submitted the entry form late Wednesday, waiting to make sure I could do it.  Things are going well sooooo I'm going to give it a try.  It's not at Lake Dunmore :( but it's not terribly far either. So where am I going?

Mascoma Lake in Enfield, NH

There is a 70.3 which starts two hours earlier and then there is a sprint. Both the swimming and biking are shorter than the one I've been preparing for.  Glad about the swimming although I don't know how much difference 100 yards will make.  The weather doesn't look great but oh well.  I just can't wait which is certainly a difference from how I was  approaching the tri in June. I may have gotten to that point who knows?  But I am certainly there now.

Swim: 500 yards
Bike: 10.8 miles
Run: 3.1 miles


I want to finish wanting to do another triathlon.

I want to have fun.

I want to find out I can swim in a triathlon no matter my skill or lack thereof

I want to learn more about how a tri works including the transitions.  

I'd love not to be last but if I am, I am.  

I emailed myself some time goals not sure at all how realistic they are.  Truly my main goals are the first two!  

I'll be back with a race report hoping to be smiling.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Did The Whole Tri (Practice) plus a few questions

Wednesday I headed back to Lake Dunmore to practice all of the triathlon I will be doing there on August 26.  I can't say I was thrilled that the thermometer in the car was saying 57 degrees. I wasn't worried about being cold in the water but I was concerned about the bike.

My friend Cathy met me there and she couldn't believe I was going to bike and run in what I was wearing under my wet suit which would be wet when I was done swimming.  But I wanted to replicate the whole thing as best I could. This is the first time I have worn my tri clothes.  I received the tri shorts for Christmas and had not tried them on yet. Thankfully they fit.  I can't say I look good in this outfit - LOTS of muffin top.  I should have been wearing this all summer and it may have stopped a few things entering my mouth! On the other hand the wet suit is like a big neoprene spanx. Yes, take my picture please when I am swimming and then put the camera away.

Okay the light pink swim cap makes me look like I lost
the top of my head. Not such a good look.

So I got into the water and Cathy started the stopwatch on my phone. I did not stop it until I was done running.  But times are estimates.  First question:  I brought PAM but forgot to use it. I thought it was so the wet suit would come right off but it easily came off without it.  When do you use the PAM and why? The water in it (is mine too big) makes it slide off easily.  I cannot imagine getting a smaller wet suit. I was between a large and medium and went with the medium.  Next question:  What do you do with the zipper pull when you are swimming?  Mine just flops around yet I kind of like it because if something touches me I just say, "No problem that is the zipper pull."  It felt kind of rough where the velcro was which I assume body glide would take care of.  No chaffing - good thing about swimming whatever distance I swam. So I once again estimated my swim.  I am swimming what it looked like they swam in the triathlon and then some.  It looks like more yet I am swimming it a bit faster than I expected so I am not sure.  It took me about 17 minutes and that is fast in my world.  This time is the biggest guess due to being unsure about the distance but 24 laps takes me at least 20 minutes.  

Then I got the wetsuit off - easily and went to the car.  The transition took 5 minutes plus but I did get my bike out of my locked car - not necessary on race day. It took a bit to get my socks and bike shoes on, a little sun block (is spray the way to go due to quickness?), and I forgot my water bottle!  Then we were off, Cathy offering to pace me at about 15-16 mph.  It was hilly as before but most of the hills are fine.  It was very windy on the main road which did slow us down some esp. going downhill.  I am not at all into taking corners at a high speed, I slow way down but that is not going to change anytime soon.  The last big hill killed me. Cathy got way ahead but I got up it and finished the loop around the lake back to the start at my car!  It was about 14 miles and took me 54 minutes.  My pace was about 15.4 which is what I was shooting for. I was okay with that.  

The next transition took slightly more than 2 minutes. I think I can speed this up but I can see why you practice.  The bike had to go back in the car. I changed to dry socks which I may not do in the race but it was too tempting today.  Cathy did another loop on her bike.  I forgot to drink while I was at my car. Total fail there.  I also forgot to get the Garmin started so satellites were not located when I started running.  Stupid.  I was surprised that my legs didn't feel bad. I did push it on the bike not worrying about the running later.  I don't push as much swimming as don't feel I will get as much bang for my buck.  This was the quickest I have gone from biking to running and it felt pretty good.  The wet tri suit felt great by this time although I met people walking with pants and hooded sweatshirts.  It made me laugh.  The road was shaded with rolling hills.  I don't know where the official turn around is, I just used my Garmin.  I thought I was doing fine but as I looked at my splits after I definitely did better each mile. I am so motivated by racers around me that that is one thing I may not like about tris.  By the time I am running there may not be many racers near me.  My overall time was 29:34 and I was hoping it would be under 30 so pleased. I did not know how I would do after swimming and biking first.  My splits were:
10:05, 9:25, 9:10 and 8:58.  

My total time was 1:52:39 by my phone stop watch.  My secret goal for this tri is to go under 2 hours.  I would feel more confident about that if I knew about the swimming course but I think I have a good shot at it.  I absolutely enjoyed doing all 3 things.  I was thinking on the way home about all my half marathons and how tired I am at the end. This had a whole different feel.  I am pleasantly tired but but in a different way.  I did notice fatigue when I was running for sure but not too bad.

I need to make some lists for what I need to bring.  How much room do you get at the transition area for your stuff?  Today I used a bag for each discipline in my car but I can't imagine I will have that much room.

The Road Not (Usually) Taken

I am using one of Robert Frost's poems to illustrate my point today.  I had crappy runs on the weekend and did not want to continue the streak.  Tuesday I was taking a short 4 mile run and was undecided about what to do.  I headed down my driveway and turned left as usual but when I got to the end of the road rather than turn left I turned right.  This is not a road I never go on but it is extremely rare. When I first went down it I was only going to go a short ways and turn back toward my usual route but something kept me going. This road is also along the river but once you get to a certain point it is only you, the river and the woods (and the road of course.)  It was relaxing and the river always soothes me.  I am not sure why I take this so seldom - could be because traffic seems closer and there are more blind corners plus it is hillier but nothing horrible.   Tuesday it was exactly what I needed and I was able to come home and feel like I had had a very good run. 
Have you ever had a turn in the opposite direction make a difference?

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference. 
Robert Frost

Monday night we had thunderstorm after thunderstorm here.  One would end and another would begin.  I was surprised the river wasn't higher with all the rain we got.  South Hero where I had ridden my bike earlier got particularly hard hit.  At my house in the first storm it started with a great deal of loud pinging which was hail hitting the roof. It hailed for a few minutes and I got a few pictures of the hail on the lawn. Thank goodness the cats were in as one is particularly scared of thunderstorms and the hail would have totally freaked him out.

Monday, July 23, 2012

A Blissful Ride in my Beautiful State

Wow!  What a wonderful, fantastic, awesome, terrific bike ride I had today.  I wasn't the only one who thought so. I dragged my biking buddy Cathy along and she is already planning on going back Thursday with friends and Saturday with her husband!

The weather report this morning was iffy so I kept looking until I found a weather report that said storms would hold off until 2:00. And it worked.  No storms.........just lots of wind.  We rode 38 miles which is a post injury high.  My friend, Cathy, had ridden here last year but NOT on the East Shore which believe me is the best.  It must be the only place in Vermont you can ride along Lake Champlain heading north and the lake is on your right.  I prefer the Vermont side to the New York side where you see more houses and buildings. These pictures are all from the East Shore.

One of the first times you see the lake and you know the ride is 
going to be a good one.

When I ride nothing hurts it is just uncomfortable to have my splint on.  Yesterday I ran  without it and I am beginning to believe I will be riding without it soon.  I will be thrilled when that day comes.  

Today we rode along the East Shore and then crossed the draw bridge into North Hero.  We headed off the main road trying to find a route where we could see lots of camps out in the lake along a thin strip of land. Well, we found a nice road to ride on but it wasn't the one we were shooting for.  It ended too soon and turned to dirt.  I was gawking and not realizing how soft the dirt was and my bike slowed and started to lean. What happened?  I UNCLIPPED and life was great!  Good confidence booster.  As we turned around and headed back we went by this dilapidated camp that was obviously no longer in use.  All of a sudden I yelled and turned back. That was the camp I went to two summers as a young child.  I did not love it when I went but it certainly is in a beautiful spot. It is so too bad that it is not being used for something.  

We kept going and crossed back into South Hero and went on the West Shore on our way to the ferry.  Then we took the ferry to New York for a short ride there but a beautiful one.  A ferry ride = a forced rest and snack time!  
On the way to New York on the ferry we saw these cows....

.....and on the way back, these.

The water was rather rough.

After we got off the ferry on the Vermont side we lost our lake view on the way back to the car.  It looked hilly but the hills were not bad at all.  I felt rather euphoric from such a great ride, one I have been wanting to do all summer. And today it happened!
A great ride on a beautiful day deserves two cold drinks.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Running and Reading

Workouts this weekend ............runs which are so much less exciting than biking and swimming.  Really?  Even swimming?  Right now, yes!  Running is tricky these days. I seem to be having lots of bathroom issues (sorry if TMI) and it just makes it not fun at all.  Saturday I was ready to hang up my running shoes. Oh well. I'll either figure it out or I won't.  Didn't really take the camera but stopped with my car to get this picture. But when I went to look at the pictures, my camera was once again not working. You may remember I broke my camera in April - my fault - and quickly replaced it. That one stopped working in about 6 weeks and here it is another 6 weeks and the one I exchanged it for is doing the same thing. This time I hope to just return it and get something else. I am going on an awesome bike ride tomorrow and will hate not having my camera. I know I can use my phone but I will miss my zoom!

When I haven't been running, biking or swimming I have been spending a lot of time reading and I have been reading a book about every other day. The last few really caught my interest.  If you end up reading one let me know how you liked it.

Thirteen-year-old Natalie Gallagher is trying to escape: from her parents' ugly divorce, and from the vicious cyber-bullying of her former best friend. She discovers a dusty old diary in her family's basement and is inspired to unlock its secrets.

Kathleen Lynch, an archivist at the Massachusetts State Archives, has her own painful secrets: she's a widow estranged from her only daughter. Natalie's research brings her to Kathleen, who in Natalie sees traces of the daughter she has lost.

What could the life of an Irish immigrant domestic servant from the 1920s teach them both? In the pages of the diary, they will learn that their fears and frustrations are timeless.

So Far Away is an affecting story of mothers and daughters and how solace can be found in the most unlikely places. (from Good Reads)

Eliot Gordon would do anything for her family. A 38-year-old working mother, she lives a conventional but fulfilling life in suburban Atlanta with her partner, Grant Delaney, and their three daughters. The two older girls are actually Eliot's stepdaughters, a distinction she is reluctant to make as she valiantly attempts to maintain a safe, happy household . . .

Then Finn Montgomery, Eliot's long-lost first love, appears, triggering a shocking chain of events that threatens to unravel everything she's worked for. How Eliot survives-and what she loses in the process-is a story that will resonate with anyone who has ever loved a child. With hilarious honesty, wrenching depth, and a knockout twist, I COULDN'T LOVE YOU MORE illuminates the unbreakable bonds of family and reveals the lengths we'll go to save each other, even as we can't save ourselves. (also from Good Reads.)  This one was my favorite of the three.  It definitely had some surprises in it.

A warm June evening, a local tradition: the students of Nantucket High have gathered for a bonfire on the beach. But what begins as a graduation night celebration ends in tragedy after a horrible car crash leaves the driver of the car, Penny Alistair, dead, and her twin brother in a coma. The other passengers, Penny’s boyfriend Jake and her friend Demeter, are physically unhurt – but the emotional damage is overwhelming, and questions linger about what happened before Penny took the wheel.

Although all of these books could be considered chick lit none of them are light, breezy fare.  I have moved on to non fiction.  I gave my son this book for Christmas and have borrowed it.  I have wanted to read it for awhile but perhaps because of my visit to the World Trade Center Memorial last week I chose it as my next book to read after I got it from him today.