Wednesday, October 31, 2012

I'd Rather....

I got the idea for this post from Laura I had so much fun making a comment on hers I thought I'd go for a post on it and then see what I got from you in my comments.

I'd rather read a good book than watch tv.

I'd rather race in a triathlon than a running race.

I'd rather run in a ten miler than a half marathon.

I'd rather drink flavored coffee than "plain" coffee.

I'd rather drink no coffee than luke warm coffee.

I'd rather have  a good beer than a glass of wine.

I'd rather shop in a store than on line.

I'd rather take a bike ride than go for a run.

I'd rather stay home most nights than go out.

I'd rather swim in a pool than a pond.

I'd rather see a spider than a snake.

I'd rather own a cat(s) than a dog.

I'd rather visit DC than NYC.

I'd rather eat pumpkin than chocolate.


I'd rather eat chocolate than pumpkin.

I'd rather eat both!

What would you rather do?

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Pretty Much Just Photos

All of these pics were borrowed from friends on Facebook.
Lake Champlain from Mt. Philo

Otter Creek - I ride by this a lot. 

Tutus for Tatas

All of these foliage pictures are taken on Squam Lake 
in New Hampshire. It is where I did my third triathlon
but it didn't look like this.  These were taken the weekend 
before last on what was easily the nicest day of the year.

This was directed to me. Don't be jealous.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

78 Miles A New Farthest Distance

I was finally going to do the two states, two ferries ride today but last night my husband suggested I check to see if all the ferries were still running. It's a good thing he did because they weren't.  I didn't know they stopped.  So a new plan and a much longer ride was planned.  It also centered around Lake Champlain but half of it was in a whole new area.  My friend, Cathy, was going with me again.

When I got off the interstate there was a sign that Route 2 was closed near some place but it meant nothing to me.  I met Cathy at Sand Bar State Park and we were on our way. It was a bit chilly - part of the reason for a 9:30 start but nothing too bad.  I used my arm sleeves for the first time and loved them. When I got warmer they slid  right into my bike shirt pockets. I had the pockets stuffed with food, sun screen and arm sleeves today.  I really haven't been using the bike shirt pockets much.  Today changed that!

We started out on a familiar road along the West Shore, past the ferry and into North Hero.  The sky was hazy and stayed that way all day.  I didn't take as many pictures as some days but of course I took some. We saw lots of animals but the only ones I stopped for were these very cute goats.

North Hero has a nice welcome center that is a popular stopping spot. It was a good place to hit a restroom and have a snack.  It offers some choices as to where to sit outside. There is a spot for Democrats, Republicans and if you're Independent you can sit in Sander's chair.

So we continued north on Route 2 and very shortly found out why the sign had been  there about route 2 closing.  We pretended we were going just a short way and then made our way somehow past the work area. It was a bridge with the lake on both sides and didn't look good but we found our alternate route, maybe not quite what they were suggesting.

At this point I was still feeling pretty perky.  We continued on familiar roads. The lake was pretty but rather foggy all day.  We passed on by the causeway to Isla La Motte on yet another West Shore Road that went on forever.  It was quiet and beautiful with very little traffic.  Much of the ride was very peaceful.

When we began going east heading toward Missisquoi there were a lot of trucks on the road as the book had warned us.  There was a wide enough shoulder that you could handle it though.  I did find this my least favorite part of the ride.  But I haven't spend much time in this part of Vermont if any on some of the roads and it was nice to have different things to look at.  St. Albans and Milton had unbelievably beautiful parts. I almost missed the view in the second picture as it was at the top of a hill and I was huffing and puffing.  But I saw a woman stopped on her bicycle and looked to see why she was stopped. It was gorgeous in all directions!

 I was beginning to get tired in these sections as we began to hit  hills.  On an ordinary day I might not have thought too much about it but after 60+ miles I may have uttered a bad word or two. It seemed each time I turned a corner there was another hill looming.  It was no fun going downhill because it always meant an uphill.  Maybe if we do this ride again we will go in the  opposite direction so we have the hills in the beginning when we are fresh. The last 15 miles had the hills as advertised!  Every time I saw a new hill I was sure I was going to end up walking it. That so isn't me and I didn't but was I ever tempted!  I was also  getting seriously tired. I was sure we were going in the wrong direction (we weren't) and was ready to throw a tantrum if we had to turn around.  Then we were back on route 2 heading toward the car and I knew I was going to make it.  I hit 78 miles which was a new high for me.  Cathy was tempted for about 2 seconds to keep riding and hit 100 but I knew this wasn't the day. Not only was I exhausted but it was the end of the day and beginning to get dark.  That will be a goal for another year.  

Thursday, October 25, 2012

How Many Stars?

I was thinking about how different the quality is of my various workouts.  Sometimes it's very apparent as to why some are so much better than others and at times I don't have a clue.  But here are my workouts for the week and how I rank them.  1 star is low, 4 stars is the best.


5:15 a.m. Running on the treadmill at the gym. This was a 3 star workout. It went well. I like working out in the morning when I can get myself up. The miles go by much quicker and it feels good to have it done.

3:40 P.M.  Biking  I had an appointment to get my oil changed so I brought my bike to ride rather than sit in the waiting room. The guy at the desk gave me a bit of a hard time about being back in time but I had looked up the closing time on line the night before and knew what route to take.  It was a gorgeous day.  Absolutely gorgeous!  There was still lots of foliage and  I was on one of my favorite routes. I added in Sheep Farm Road because other people I ride on don't like to go on it as it is dirt but it is one of my favorite roads.  I got back to the garage before closing but they were still working on my car. They didn't start it once they knew I was leaving so I had to stay in the waiting room.  I was amazed at the cars they put inside though because the owners didn't come get them.  No wonder the guy thought I might not be back. Ride rating: 4 stars.

Who wouldn't want to ride on Sheep Farm Road?

Tuesday: I swam in the morning and it was fine but I felt hurried as I started late.  I'll give it a 2 star rating.  I knew I wasn't working out after school as I was heading to the Flynn that evening to see Brandi Carlile. Awesome concert!  Truly wonderful!

Wednesday: I didn't get up since I got in late the night before and planned to go to the gym after school.  I got there but had not brought any shorts so home I went.  It was actually a nice day and once I got the fire started for my husband who was working outside and told him, no I couldn't fill the wood buckets right now I headed off. As it was I was late and the last 25% of my run got darker and darker and darker. I was not dressed for the dark and had no lighting with me. BUT the temperature was perfect and things were right with my running.  I would give this 4 stars in spite of the poor planning for the dark.  

Thursday: 5:30 a.m. I got up and ran in the village as I have been doing many Thursday mornings.  These runs are always tricky as I never get there as early as I want and I am worried about falling in the dark. The other problem is my GI system.  Even if I have taken care of business before I leave the house I always have to go again after about 2 miles.  This had caused some rather uncomfortable morning runs. I have now found a clean public bathroom that is open at between the 2 and 3 mile mark so these morning runs have improved. I'll give it 2 stars but nothing more.  

5:00 P.M.  I took a planned bike ride once I got home. I really wasn't feeling great plus I felt tired but being who I am I went.  I only planned to go 10 miles, the minimum miles I think it is worth heading out for.  I was overdressed as I was a bit chilled but it worked.  It was a nothing special ride, just okay UNTIL I went by the beaver dam.  I glanced over and there was a beaver swimming toward the road.  It took me awhile to get my camera out and then there was the old tail slap and he disappeared.  But I waited and very shortly he came out and swam and swam and swam.  But it is not easy to get a picture of a moving beaver.  I watched him until I got another tail slap and then thought I better keep going so as not to get caught in the dark again.  Beavers fascinate me and I always like to watch them so that brought this ride up to 4 stars!

My attempt at getting pictures of the beaver.  

What makes your workouts worth 1 star vs. 4 stars?  Here's hoping you have some 4 star workouts this weekend!  I am planning on a 4 star ride on Saturday!  

Monday, October 22, 2012

Making Strides for Breast Cancer

Sunday I did a very special walk, Making Strides for Breast Cancer.  My friend, former colleague and fellow racer, Christa, was instrumental in organizing this race at this location. I hadn't realized it was the first time the race was in Rutland until that day.  It was also taking place in Chittenden County at the same time.  Christa was the biggest individual fund raiser and her team, Tutus for Tatas was the second biggest fund raising team.

Christa, on the left, looking back.

 Christa is a 7 year breast cancer survivor who is living with cancer every day.  I never hear her complain.  She has a great attitude and lives life fully.  So many people find excuses to not exercise but not Christa. She is out there running and racing and challenging herself.  Christa is  a hero of mine and I was thrilled to do this walk in her honor.

There were other former colleagues there walking for Christa too. In fact of the walkers there from our school I am the only one who is still there. Some have moved on to other jobs and some have retired.  And man is that looking better lately!

Anne, on the right, another former colleague, is
an 11 year survivor.

The day was rainy and a little cool but that didn't seem to dampen spirits.  Before we started all of the survivors were called up to the front and as you would expect it was an emotional moment.  

Christa, in the front, on the right.

We walked around the mall where we were located and then on a trail through the woods.  I was very glad I was part of this day and a member of Tutus for Tatas!

I saw on Darlene's blog that she wore pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Day.  I didn't realize it was happening. Did anyone else do something for breast cancer over the weekend?

Sunday, October 21, 2012

You Might Want to Move to Vermont

Today had to be one of the most perfect days ever.  The temperature was perfect, not too hot or too cold.  The fall colors were still glorious.  I had a friend to ride with and great roads to ride on. Bliss!

I had thought I was going to ride 30 or so miles today.  I didn't do the ride I was thinking about as it was around 50 miles and it's been awhile since I went that distance.  But then Cathy texted and she was heading out. I couldn't resist even though I had a million things to do today.  There are not going to be that many wonderful days left in this biking season.

We ended up biking 65 miles which is actually the farthest I have gone at one time.  This year I had not gone beyond 50 miles. Last year one ride was 64 so when we finished today I made sure to reach at least 65.  I was surprised at how good I felt at the end of it.  I was tired but by no means dead.

We almost did a loop but ended up repeating about 3 miles. It was the prettiest 3 miles of the ride so no complaints.  I did a fair amount of standing up going up hills. This has never worked for me but today it seemed to click.  Why did I start doing better at this after racing season?  I felt like our pace today was good but not exhausting. I know Cathy could have gone much faster without me and I appreciated her holding back.

All of these pictures are near Lake Dunmore which is where I did my second triathlon - the one I trained right there for. It is a great lake and a beautiful spot. It was really nice riding around it today as there weren't a million people and the roads were empty except for other bicyclists.

 Earlier on Thursday after school I had another great ride.  We headed out toward Lake Champlain but didn't do the usual route as we had to pay attention to what time it would be dark.  The farmers were hurrying to get in their corn and there were lots of huge trucks and machines going past and the roads were a mess. So that part wasn't good but the ride still managed to be wonderful.  We  rode 27 miles before we called it quits.   I love biking in Vermont in the fall.