Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Year, Starting Right!

I know every year I make resolutions. But this year, I'm already on a very good track towards keeping them. After a lot of thought and inner debate, I decided that the smartest way to get ready for Ironman while not sacrificing road season, killing myself overtraining, and risking some injury, would be to hire a coach. Luckily, there was one right around the corner, or rather, right at the edge of the pool during the Fall semester. Keith Cook and I have known each other for a while, and he's seen me race- including at the half-Ironman in September- and he knows my goals and how serious I am about triathlon. Plus, he's an awesome guy who actually listens to what I want in my workout- more yoga, a real road season, and the Nautica Triathlon before Ironman.

We met a couple times, once for a terrific and very fun workout (TRX workout, so awesome and in 25 minutes hits your whole body), and a couple to sort of get an idea where the season is going. Yesterday, we made it official, and Monday will mark the beginning of a very long and very exciting training season. Hooray!

Not only is that starting, but my good friend from the team, Matt, and I made a new Year's resolution to go on a healthy eating diet together to drop to a good lean race weight for road season. Finally, someone to bitch to about how my diet is going. (If you were wondering: not great. 1 can of Mountain Dew a day is leaving me very caffeine deprived.) In addition, Matt has volunteered to be my training partner on rides and with weight training. Poor guy doesn't know what he's getting into...

And lastly, to complete the triage of good self-improvement news, my foot seems to be healed, and I've been back to running! Just every other day, with my longest run being 45 min thus far, but it feels great. Luckily, I don't think I lost too much speed or fitness, thanks to aquajogging, cyclocross, cross training, and a sweet elliptical that mimics natural running stride. Still, it's slow-going. I think I'm going to treat myself to a new pair of running shoes though. Any suggestions?

That means.... a return to blogging!

Thanks for bearing with me while I struggled through an off-season. I haven't read blogs, written in mine, or done anything that would make me miss training. Instead, I worked out when I felt like it, took rest days, got a tattoo (you can't swim for 2 weeks after you get one), cut my hair into what may or may not be a pseudo-mohawk, enjoyed Christmas with the family and Robbie, and vegged out. Ironically, I think I lost weight.

Christmas came and definitely boosted my excitement about training: I got a Garmin Forerunner 305, a pair of compression socks, a shirt my mom made that says "Kona or Bust" (an awesome nod to my great great uncle who biked cross country in the early 1900's and wrote a book called "Frisco or Bust"), a body stick (my quads are very happy), a shiatsu massage pillow (my back is also very happy), a Road ID (it says "hang in there hurf!" on it, a reference to a banner mom held for dad during his first triathlon) and a gift card to Eastern Mountain Sports (yak traks for running outside, yay!). Plenty of other great stuff, but those were the athletic highlights of the year. (My mom before Christmas: "is there anything on your list not sports related?" me: "no.")

But anyway, my New Year's Resolutions:

1. Blog more. This will happen on it's own, I think, once I get back into a training groove. It's just been tough to blog about, well, pretty mediocre and mundane stuff. Besides, I'll be taking very good notes for Keith anyway, so naturally they'll find their way onto here as well.

2. IRONMAN! Isn't it obvious? Let's be totally frank here: I want to race at Kona this year. Really badly. So I don't' just want to do Ironman Kentucky, I want to kick its ass.

3. Have a solid road season. Last year was understandably bad, I was new to riding with people. After a season of road and one of CX, I don't have that excuse. While none of the races are going to be "A" races for me, I want to do well and be much more confident on the bike. Besides, I have a sweet new women's kit (finally, a kit that fits!!!) so I feel obligated to do well.

4. Have a solid tri season. Same deal- I have a few races before IM, and while they may not be top priority, I want to really push myself this year and see what I can do.

5. Stay in the game, mentally. I want to stay focused, stay motivated, and stay strong throughout the season. No excuses, no whining, just positivity. I've said it before, I'll say it again: "Stay Posi" is the goal for 2010.

6. Get down to race weight. It's tough because of training, trying to lose weight. But I'm going to try to hit a good race weight by road season and get used to it. This means less soda and junk food, smaller meals, and eating more during training for fuel. Keith was saying that by June, most of my calories should be taken in while training, and I want to accomplish that. I love food, and it's hard to think of it as "fuel" instead of "fun" but that's what I'm going to try to do.

7. Do more writing, focus on freelancing. I've done it before, I can do it again! I have a lot of ideas in the works, and a few plans. I'm just hoping to get it together and get motivated enough to get some work done.

Those are the main ones I can think of at the moment, at least for now. I'm sure I'll have plenty more in the coming days. Right now, I don't want to just have 2010 start, I'm ready for Monday and training to start! I'm going to enjoy a weekend of cramming as much family, friends and relaxing in before it starts, but I'm still excited for it!

Monday, December 21, 2009


My new tattoo:

If you're confused, you've never been to a 'cross race, or any cycling race. But...

The Rutgers Cyclocross team wanted to get tattoos to commemorate the time we've spent together on the team, and how awesome we've done, all our hard work, and of course, our friendship. It's a team thing.

We didn't want a bike, or a Rutgers emblem, or anything really obvious. Someone mentioned the cowbell, and it seemed perfect. Especially appropriate for us, since the trophy for winning the ECCC overall for cyclocross is a huge cowbell that we've now had for 4 years. I'll get pictures of all of us with our sweet tats when I can, but I wanted to show that I'm still alive.

It's been a couple of rest weeks for me, so I've been remiss in blogging simply because I don't want to be tempted to start training without recovering as much as I should.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Posts to Come, I promise!

I've been a bad bad blogger (hangs head in shame).

Finals, an injured foot, a long cross season, and an actual rest week, plus a lot of extra work have made posting less than frequent. But.... I went on my first run in a month the other day- just a short 30 minute one- and my foot felt ok! So I think the healing process is moving along, I'm just happy that and a lot of my other health issues decided to pop up now instead of earlier in the season. More on that to come later, but for now, I'm going to bed in a few minutes to prep for a day in NYC and a tattoo adventure tomorrow.

Before I go, my friend Matt and I also made a million of these shirts last week:

Cute, right?

We think so.

It's been a long couple of weeks....

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Accidental Cyclocross Racer

This is my sum up of the season for the RU cycling blog but I wanted to post it here too. Thanks for putting up with my cyclocross ramblings for the past couple months!

As I write this, my first season of cyclocross has come to an end, and it’s bittersweet. It’s nice to have time to do laundry- and not have so much of it! It’s nice to be home on weekends, to get work done, to not be driving all over creation for races, to be able to take a little break for a change, and to not have mystery cuts and bruises crop up every Monday after a weekend of racing. But I miss it so much already!

I miss the camaraderie, the excitement of racing, the sore throat from cheering everyone on, the teamwork, and heck, even the riding itself. I admit, I started out a skeptic, thinking nothing could replace triathlon as my most fun sport. But now, I’m already looking to next year, thinking of how to make improvements, to move up in my category, and to start really racing, not just trying to ride the course without falling down. In short, there is a decided chance that I have succumbed to the desire to be a legit cyclocross racer.

In one season, I went from a new racer to the #1 Women’s B racer and #2 Women’s A racer, and helped the Rutgers University Cycling Team maintain our dominance in collegiate cyclocross. It felt pretty great to be part of it.

Earlier in the season, I borrowed a cyclocross bike, “just to test out and race a couple times.”

Then, I raced at Granogue, in freezing rain and mud up to my shins. I fell, I slid, I was one of the last people to finish, and I ended up with a myriad of cuts and bruises to show for it. But, I had fun. And it didn’t hurt that just by racing, I had accrued a lot of collegiate points for the team.

So, I raced again at Highland Park, and didn’t do too badly- in fact, I was pretty decent. I was 12th in the Women’s ¾ race, and the first collegiate woman. I admit, I was hooked. I was also doing well, by collegiate standards. By my second week of ECCC ‘cross, I was ranked #1 in Women’s B. Mainly because I was the one of about five on the list. However, I had a marathon in late November, so HPCX looked like it would be my last serious race. I hadn’t learned dismounts, barriers, or how to ride anything technical. My season was pretty much over, barring maybe a race or two after the marathon. My ranking went from #1 to #10 or so as other women raced and I stayed home and did long runs.

Then, a tendon in my foot did something kinda weird, and all of a sudden, I couldn’t run for a few weeks. I took this as a sign- I was meant to race ‘cross.

So, I started practicing dismounts in my backyard, signed up for all of the races for the last 3 weeks, and attempted to become a decent rider. While that may not have happened, I felt fairly decent going into the last three weeks.

More than that, I learned how much fun cyclocross and spending time with the team really was. From the killer course at Whitmore to racing singlespeed (not by choice) at Allentown, the team was there cheering like crazy every time I raced. And it helped a lot.

I’m not going to go into too many details, as to avoid the longest post in the world, but Rhode Island and the NBX race was probably the most fun weekend that I’ve ever had. It was great racing, an awesome course, vegan pizza, and serious team bonding. I may not have done amazing in the race, but I definitely realized how much progress that I’ve made in the past months. I only wish I had figured out that I wasn’t going to be able to run the marathon earlier, so I could have been working on my ‘cross skills much earlier. As it was, it was a pretty piecemeal season and training schedule. Next year will be a lot different, and I’m expecting pretty good things from myself, not just in the collegiate context, but in the broader context of the ¾ women in general.

When I joined the cycling team, I had no idea what was so great about cyclocross and why everyone on the team was so excited about the season instead of road season. But after this, I can see why, and I think I’ve joined the ranks of the cyclocross devotees.

So, a final round of HUGE thank you’s to everyone who helped make this season so great for me.

Of course, thank you to the Team. Without them, I never would have been able to have the confidence and drive to get on the bike, much less ride. They helped me whenever I needed it, offered tons of great advice, and cheered like crazy for a newbie racer. Especially to Mark, who kept me and everyone else organized and sane though out the season, and Charlie, who did so much by way of bike repair on my borrowed bike. Everyone: it was much appreciated.

Huge thank you to my Dad, who drove to nearly every race, yelled like crazy and forced me to try as hard as I could and put as much effort possible into every race. He really is the Team Dad, and hopefully next year we’ll get to see him race, since he’s pretty hooked on it too.

My whole family- including Mom, Colleen and Robbie- for not just coming to some races but for being so incredibly supportive and doing so much (mostly laundry) for me as I drove them nuts every weekend with racing.

Thank you to all of the promoters for putting on awesome races, to all of my non-collegiate cyclocross friends (both old and new) for cheering and generally making the season super fun for all of us.

Overall, thank you for a great season, and I can’t wait to kick ass next year!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Some RI Love

1st Women's B racer
2nd Women's A racer
Rutgers is overall champion of the ECCC Cyclocross season for the 4th consecutive season.

We're getting cowbell tattoos. Also, All American Rejects song Gives You Hell totally got me to pass a few people when racing. Awesome.

Best. Weekend. Ever.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

On the Road to Rhode Island

Rutger cyclocross racers rock so freaking hard.

Rhodie Island for the weekend racing. Had a sweet race, basically sealed the deal for number 1 Women's B racer, and then we went to a sick party at a bike shop with some awesome new friends.

Having an amazing weekend, and I'm very happy about it.

More later, but for now... waking up in 4 hours to race again. In the snow. Excellent.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Catching Up!

Rather than an obscenely long written post catching up on the last week, here's an obscenely long post in pictures:

It's a long time coming (considering I bought the bike a month ago) but here it is, my WSD Trek Equinox 7, which is (thanks to Blake) now perfectly fit for me! I wish I had had it for Friday since Vlad and I did an awesome 50+ mile ride to burn off some of the Thanksgiving calories, but my Cannondale worked just fine.

Note how wide my aero bars are set apart- as Blake puts it, I have a swimmer/short course build.

My saddle isn't perfect, but it'll do for now:

Just one more shot because I couldn't resist:

And here is my NEW mountain bike! Surprise! Haha it's out of the blue but my friend Charlie was willing to sell it to me obscenely cheap, so Xterra, here I come! I think Vlad and I may race Buffalo Xterra next summer if the timing is right.

Now, onto business at hand: cyclocross!!
I am improving immensely, and having a lot of fun in the process.

For example:

This is the photo in an email we got last week before Long Island cross weekend:

This is the end result:
Ninja camping between races! It was awesome and a great "team bonding" experience.

We also have a few examples of me becoming more competent:

(Mercer Cup CX- lots of mud, stairs, barriers, etc. It was awesome!)

(Actually hopping barriers after a real dismount at Allentown on Saturday)

Catching up and passing girls that passed me when my chain dropped. Yeesh!

Going into a turn, not braking- it's a miracle! (As my boyfriend pointed out, it looks like I'm braking, but I assure you that I am not using them, merely resting on them. Hmph.)

I love this picture, rockin' a particularly off road section in Long Island.

More to come, but suffice to say it's been a nutty and busy week, and racing every weekend both days for the past few weeks is starting to wear me down. But only one week left before the season is over, and I'm admittedly going to be relieved. Thanksgiving weekend was never so crazy!

But, I am thankful that even with a hurt foot, I can still race. And more than anything, I'm thankful for:
  1. my incredibly supportive family- they come to every race they can, they are my best friends, and I love them so very much
  2. Robbie- always there and supportive no matter how crazy I am, including the times I demand that he rub my back and legs while I watch Frasier. He's truly amazing!
  3. Blake, Vlad, Mark, Charlie and the whole darn cycling team- without these guys I would never be able to afford bikes, ride bikes well, or have fun doing it! And I would damn well not be as interested in getting up obscenely early to get to races. They keep me motivated and sane(ish).
The list goes on and on, but those are the big ones. So, a belated happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

Thursday, November 19, 2009


You know the saying "you don't appreciate something until it's gone"? Well, that's how I feel.

I miss running. I miss the lovely crisp fall days and sunshine and trails and roads. I miss short runs, long runs with Dad on the bike, the hills in the park, the sweet long run on half trail/half road at Round Valley, et cetera.

There, I said it. I never thought I would ever even consider missing something as awful, painful, and stomach-cramping as running, but now that it's gone, I want it back.I used to love the elliptical, but being forced to use it after ignoring it for 2 years sort of sucks. It's boring and no matter how hard I try, I can't seem to get a hard enough workout. I can get a good sweat, breathe a little harder, but really, it doesn't compare.

Sunday, I ran for the first time in a week. And yeah, my foot broke down after about 10 minutes. But seriously, the ten minutes were awesome.

I keep running tiny places, like from the elliptical to the locker room. Just to make sure I still can. I have a doctor appointment with a sports guy tomorrow, so hopefully I'll have answers, and an idea of when I can run again.

In the meantime, I'm getting psyched for 'cross this weekend, along with the sweet camping plan that a few of us on the team have- should be a good time!

I think that this has really been good for me, oddly enough. It's shown me how much I actually enjoy running and how much I would miss it if I never ran again. It was something I needed, it's given me a whole new perspective on my training as something I should love doing, not just as a necessity. It's something I haven't felt strongly about for a while, and it's nice to get this drive and desire back!

But seriously, my foot needs to be fixed now. I want out of the gym and onto the trails!!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Bad News/Good News

The bad news is that there's no way I'm going to be running the marathon this weekend. My foot still is nowhere near healed. Maybe if I'd taken more time off it, if I hadn't been racing 'cross as much, et cetera, but honestly, I don't think it would have been marathon ready either way. I went on a short run after the cross race on Sunday, and it felt awesome to be running outside... for the first ten minutes. Then, pain and a long walk home with the little sister (she was ower walking in the aprk I was running in.) So, no marathon for me. I was a little bummed, as I'd put in the 23 mile runs, figured out nutrition, done all of the right stuff, only to have it messed up at the last minute, but I'm trying to stay positive.

Since it wasn't a real race, more of a long training session for me, it's not like dad and I can't run (well, he'll bike) 26.2 miles once my ankle heals. It won't be as fun, but equally effective, I think. And having been training for it for so long has me in good endurance shape.

Of course, I'm mad that I wasted an entry fee, and mad that I won't have that definitive ending to my beginning of winter "off-season." I guess the last 'cross race and the Big Chill 5k December 12 (my ankle better be ok by then!) will be my end of season races.

Also on the bright side, I get to race in Long Island with the team all weekend instead- my foot isn't so bad that I can't race 'cross, I just can't do a ton of running. So if it's a run heavy course, I may be a bit slow. But I'll make it!

I raced at the Mercer Cup CX race this weekend. I was very unhappy when I realized that we were being lined up according to when we had registered, so I was literally the last person in line. Not my favorite place to start. There were about 40 Cat3/4 women, and a lot of them had already raced the course the day before and were more familiar with it, so I knew it would be hard to do well. I, on the other hand, had put in a 3 hour trainer ride instead- I have a sinus infection or something, and racing in the rain on Saturday seemed like a bad idea.

But Sunday was mid-60's and warm!! It was ridiculous November weather, and while I'd like a white Christmas, I'm stoked about the weather right now...except that I hadn't packed any shorts or tshirts, so I was stuck wearing my skinsuit halfway and tied around my waist with a sports bra to cool off after my race.

It was a very technical course, and I did better on it than I expected. I think if we'd had another lap, I would have done even better, because as always, I still had more in me after the race. Memo to self: learn how to go hard and finish with the tank on 'empty.' I always seem to end with more in me!! But anyway... fun, muddy, and starting in the back meant even though I passed a lot of people, I was still mid-pack by the end. Which is fine with me. I finished 20th, grabbing the last points, so it could have been much worse. And I'm getting a lot better at cornering and just going for it in the mud!

I had one great moment where one of my ex-boyfriends was standing in the holding area, getting ready to race, and he spotted me. The exchange, done in complete monotones, went as such:
"Hi Molly."
"Gonna catch her?" (points to the girl in front of me.)
"Yup." (I did.)

It was so wonderfully chill for a CX race exchange, since they normally consist of people screaming. Fabulous. I also saw another ex of mine (these were from back in my punk/alleycat fixed gear days) win his race, and since we parted on friendly terms, we actually hung out between races for a bit while I waited for dad to find me. It's awesome, reconnecting with old friends.

Dad has also decided that he wants to get in shape and race cross next year- he almost bought a 56 cm cross bike at the race, some guy was selling it for $800 and Dad wanted it. But he decided against it for one major reason: he wants to get in shape, and then next summer, go halfsies with me on a good cross bike that will fit both of us- we can both use a 50 cm frame, so it'll work. And obviously, we'll never be racing at the same time, so we can go to a race, one of us races, washes the bike, and the other goes! It's a brilliant plan, and I really hope he makes the effort to get in shape for it- Dad doing cross would be excellent. And there are quite a few 45+ men doing it, so he wouldn't be alone! Besides, he looks so stylin' in his RU CX jersey I got him.

Me and my foot are heading to a meeting, then the gym. I may hate the elliptical, but that thing has been pretty useful the past few days. At least I feel like I'm doing something run-related! I have a doctor appointment with the sports guy at the RU health center, so hopefully he'll have some insight. And if I'm not going to be able to run on it for a while, it's time to start working on dropping a couple pounds and logging some serious bike and swim hours. So, like I said, it's both good and bad news, but I'm trying to, as I've said before, "stay posi."

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Team Photo Shoot!

We had our cross team photos today and they came out awesome so I had to share:

The crew.
(Mark, Charlie, me, Marcos, Eric, Pat, and Charlie)

We are the America's Next Top Model of 'cross

We look so collectively badass.

Lookin' tough.
Notice that we all have short brown hair (with the one blond exception in 2 of the shots. But luckily, I still look like an actual girl- thank you fitted skinsuit!!)

For more sweet pics, check out David Wilson's Flickr.

Back in the Saddle

This week has gone a bit better than last week. Then again, it would have been hard to not be better than last week.

My foot is feeling better but instead of running at all this week and risking it, I'm just aquajogging and using the elliptical machine. And when it was 65 and sunny on Monday, it was tough to get myself to stay out of my running shoes! But it's going well.

I made plans to race this weekend, next weekend (CX and marathon!), the weekend after, and the weekend after. A month of racing! It should be exciting, to say the least. But our team needs points from women, so I'm doing what I can.

Yesterday was a just ok swim session, 3400 meters with 15x100 as the main set, done a race pace. I wasn't feeling very fast, averaging 1:38s mostly, which isn't a huge improvement. It seems like I just don't see a ton of swim improvement, though I feel like I'm going to be a lot better in a race situation now.

On the bright side, today was Veteran's Day, so working from home instead of going into the office, which meant gym time this morning and making cross practice on time. Of course, it also meant trying to stay out of the fridge and keeping the TV off to get work done, and I'm ashamed to admit that I didn't quite get as much accomplished as I wanted to. Making progress though!

I think I've just been feeling very stalled in my life lately- school isn't a challenge, and my jobs don't exactly leave me thrilled, or with healthcare. I feel like I'm spinning my wheels and not getting anywhere. Maybe it's just the change in seasons, and the fact that I have no A races at the moment. I need to snap out of it and find challenges elsewhere though- if classes aren't challenging, I should be reading on my own, and if work isn't challenging, I should be finding other things to do that will make up for that. I need to start freelancing again, it's been too long since that Triathlete mag article!

I am reading some books on web design on my own and checking out some books (pun intended) about library science while I consider library school. I want to teach, but I'm progressively more intrigued by the idea of being a librarian. However, with teaching comes coaching and summers off, so it's a toss up.

When I was at dinner with a friend the other night, we were talking and realized we've been feeling the same way about stuff lately- he's my age, fresh out of college and in serious debt, and we really relate when it comes to how we're both feeling about stuff. It was nice to know it's not just me, it's just my age!

Anyway, off to put ona skinsuit and head to CX!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Stupid Ankle, Stupid Week

So my sprained ankle and I have had a very boring week, hence the lack of posts.

We had viewing and funeral to deal with, which coincided with 2 complete rest days for me and my foot, which was still killing me. It's beena sad few days, and that's all I'll say about that.

By this morning, it felt better but I just did a weight set (skipping anything leg or foot related) and 45 minutes on the elliptical instead of running, which actually felt pretty solid. A 30 minute bike ride to and from tutoring ended a solid, if not minor, day of training. Tomorrow I'm taking mostly off and I have a big weekend ahead of me:

  1. reading the sports nutrition textbook I got out of the library for article ideas
  2. make scholarship list
  3. wash and wax truck
  4. change oil in the truck
  5. fix headlight on truck (sensing a theme here?)
  6. go to Rice's Flea Market with the little sister to get a jump on x-mas shopping
  7. library!!!
  8. Robbie and I are working on some pomegranate recipes for pom wonderful's contest. He's quite the amateur chef and we had some awesome (top secret!) ideas. I'm very excited about it, went to the Farmer's Market this morning and am bursting with energy about this...
I admit it: I'm a total Christmas freak. I love this time of year, and I'm not one of those people who hates when carols star playing in November. So yeah, Christmas shopping will start early this year! And yes, our apartment will be getting decorated. Soon.

In other news, I'm going to be racing 'cross a lot more. We just realized that to win overall in collegiate cross we have to have a lot of women's team points too. Since I'm the only female on the team with a cross bike, that's a lot of pressure! I'm sort of excited about it, but trying to not let the pressure get to me. This is my off season and my "fun" racing, and I want it to stay that way. Also, I'm not positive what's happening marathon-wise anymore. It's in 2 weeks, and I don't know if my ankle will be healed by then. It sucks. On the bright side, if I don't do the marathon, I'll be racing cross Saturday and Sunday. So it won't be time off, that's for sure!

It's been a long week and I just want my ankle to hurry up and get better...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Werd, but True.

Loving this pre-race picture of me!

Weird thing #1:
I am fairly certain my ankle is sprained, hence the foot pain. This is weird because I have absolutely no idea how it happened. It felt better when I took a couple days off running but 3 miles into my run yesterday I had to stop and limp-walk-run my way back home for another 3 miles, then could barely walk all night. Try chasing a 2 and 3 year old like that!
So I'm taking a couple days totally off- it's Robbie's Grandmother's services anyway, so we'll be back at his house, giving me a good amount of recoup time. Hopefully it fixes itself, because my health insurance bites.
Fingers Crossed!

Weird thing #2:
I was putting in my results to the Rutgers Cycling team and decided to check out the ECCC (Eastern Collegiate Cycling Conference) 'cross rankings.
Guess who managed to get ranked as #1 B Woman thus far?
You guessed it, yours truly.
Strange. I'm also 45th nationally for CX women's cat 4.
It's pretty sweet knowing I've gotten a lot of team points, and that I might be slightly more competent than I thought. I'm hoping to race more so I can upgrade and go to nationals, though that's pretty pipe-dream-ish. Still, Dad and I talked about it last night and we agree that with a little tweaking and a bit of practice, I could be pretty competitive at least in Cat 4, maybe even move up to Cat 3 eventually. We'll see. It depends on my ankle, of course, since my main issue is mounting and dismounting, which is a lot of leg twisting action that I can't work on at the moment.

Anyway, a couple more pictures:

Race start!

Ahh, finally, dry ground!

Lookin' cool, post-race.
(I was looking at my mom's camera and dad took this shot from the side,
hence my "off in the distance" pose)

OK, this is from Granogue, but I just found it and I really like it!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Week in Review

HPCX this weekend:

I've been a remiss blogger this week, with no excuse during the week, but a busy weekend...

When the week began, it was a slow start. And man, it was a long week! My knee has been bothering me on and off, just kind of a dull throbbing thing going in, so I've been taking it easier than normal. It's also been gross and rainy, so motivation has been seriously in short supply.

But still. Tuesday I rode in the rain and dark to Busch to swim class. I was tired, achy and not in the mood. Stuck it out for the whole set and felt better for it, though still not happy. Cyclocross practice was canceled yesterday but interval ride on the trainer went well. Thursday was more swimming and a 21.5 min 5k on the treadmill, so I was happy about that.

Friday I woke up and thought I fractured my foot, it hurt so freaking much. So, weight set and then I headed into NY, forsaking any other workouts in favor of...

BUYING A TRI BIKE! Went to SBR to get the Trek Equinox 7, WSD, in red. It's so cute! I didn't get to take it home with me, Blake is dropping it off and fitting it for me asap.

(So, more on that and pics to come).

Then, Saturday my foot still hurt, so I just helped set of the Highland Park Cyclocross course for Sunday's race (more work and running around than I realized!) and rode a practice lap. Nothing fancy. It was Halloween but Robbie had a project to do and I was with the team, so we just spent the night at his parents' house relaxing and watching TV. And eating halloween candy... a lot of it!

I also, at 12:01, dropped a lot of money on Nautica NYC Triathlon, racing as elite amateur, and I'm so stoked about it!

Sunday was the Cat and Kitten CX race in Jamesburg, and we had to be there super early and I was brining Dad's leafblower. It's industrial, so it was like pushing two lawnmowers... my quads were beat.

The race actually went well. I wasn't amazing, but I was competent. For the most part. I finished 13th out of 30-something women, and I was the first collegiate woman to finish, so our team will get some points. It was a fun course, very muddy, and a lot of powering through muddy but not muddy enough to run sections. (This photo was at the top of one hill, I almost made it to the top and had to dismount about 2 feet from it!)

I think spectating is almost more fun than racing, especially at this race, when the whole team had to be there. I got to see everyone I haven't seen in a long time, and it was cool getting to spend a lot of time with all of them. I miss those guys when it isn't road season!

Before the race, my parents and sister showed up just in time, Don gave me a serious pep talk, and I had another awkward encounter with someone I knew a looong time ago. It was a fun race though, and while I'm still not totally into 'cross like some of the team is, I definitely will be racing more in the future. After the marathon though! I woke up today sore and with a huge bruise on my shoulder from the bike, and my knee is bugging me a bit. So I'll try to take it easy today. I also lost my phone as we were breaking down after the race, so it's somewhere in the Jamesburg mud, which means this morning I have to sit through class and then run to the Verizon store and try to get a replacement, and then get over to the gym, then work. What a huge hassle.

This week may end up being an "easy week" for another much less fun reason. Robbie's Grandma passed away last night, and of course, my priority this week is being there for him and his family. He was really close to her, and I loved her- we spent a lot of time with the grandparents since they live so close to Robbie's parents. It's going to be very strange without her around, and we'll both miss her. It's November, of course, the month that I lost all 4 of my grandparents, and I'm getting a seriously depressing deja vu because of it, and it's bringing back a lot of those memories. It's also hard because we both work a ton and have classes and such, and we don't have jobs that have personal days- we don't work, we don't get paid, and we both can't afford a lot of days off. I'm just trying to be there for Robbie... it's almost our two year anniversary, and with the holiday season around the corner, it's just a really hard time to lose someone. Of course, there's never a good time, but you all know what I mean. So it's going to be a rough week, which means my blogging may be pretty spotty.

More cyclocross pictures and race stuff to come...

Monday, October 26, 2009

Longest Run Before Marathon = Done.

Got somewhere between 23 and 24 miles finally done yesterday- nice to know that until the marathon, I won't have to go that long again! It was actually a perfect day to be running- low 60's, leaves changing color, the Delaware Canal from Kingwood to New Hope was well-populated with a lot of cyclists and runners, which is always nice because it's fun to people watch with Dad. Who, once again, slogged through 24 miles on the bike in order to shuttle my water, sports drink and gels, as well as warmer clothes, and a bunch of other things that I desperately needed.

It went pretty well, felt good and strong. I was wearing my knee brace, which kinda sucked, but because of cyclocross and last weekend's race, I needed the support. It hurt a lot when I woke up in the middle of the night, but it was fine this morning. Still, I'm going to take it easy today, get some housecleaning and stuff done- we're woefully behind on stuff like scrubbing the bathtub.

But anyway, back to the run. We started late because of family stuff, and I was set for 3-3.5 hours of hell. It turned out pretty fun and felt good though. Legs moving quickly, even passing some casual cyclists. The only thing I hated was at the bathroom stop about 2 miles from finishing, Dad got into a conversation while waiting for me with a woman triathlete prepping for an Ironman. She kinda got on my nerves offering A LOT of unrequested advice. (I had written more, but after snapping out of my bad mood I decided it was a bit harsh.)

I know she meant well, it was just annoying, especially since we were trying to finish a run but she just kept talking. I get frustrated when people see me and assume I need advice or help because I'm young. I'm great when Don or my Dad or someone who KNOWS anything about me (this includes people who read my blog, you know everything about me!) gives me advice. But when you know nothing about me, it gets to me.


OK, rant over, it was a fun last couple of miles, and when I finished and felt like my feet were on fire, I got to soak them in the chilly Delaware River. Of course, as I walked barefoot out of the woods from the river, I ran into a gorup of men. "How's the water?" one asked.

"Chilly." I replied.

"How far did you go?" (I was carrying my sneakers)

"24 miles."

"of swimming?!"

"No, running."

Afterwards, when I was wondering about why they thought I was swimming so far in the freezing water, my dad made an acute observation: I was running in short shorts and a sleeveless top that basically looked like an athletic tankini. In short, I looked like a triathlete.

Other than that, I watched GI Jane and Domino because I love them, for a hefty dose of badass girl power, and because I was feeling lame about my short hair and wanted to see women rockin' it. And rode 3 hours on the trainer on Saturday. Tame weekend all around though.

Trying to make my knee feel better and get a lot of CX practice in this week, since I'm racing on Sunday. Just happy to be done with the long run!

Friday, October 23, 2009

More 'Cross (last one, I promise!)

I was in a good mood from all of the positive feedback from my 'cross race, both pictures and post-race discussion. I had a sweet 'cross practice on Wednesday, just learning a lot more in terms of skills. My shoulder is killing me though!

I normally wouldn't cross over facebook to the blog, but these comments were begging to be shared:George: This looks like its straight out of bicycling magazine. sweet pic.

Ken: Now, you look determined....

Vlad: Ooooohhhhhhhh yeaaaa! Now that's a mug I would like to chug - Duff Man

Dan: I feel like most of the time when I comment on your pictures, or status, or anything, I end up writing - "badass
This will be no exception. That's so badass.

Adam: molly "eyes on the prize" hurford

(another picture of me grabbing the guy's wheel: Don replied, "YES! YES, MOLLY! YES! so proud.")

I love all of these people!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Ahem... (Embarrassing Story to Follow)

This morning, I woke up bright and early at 6, ready and rarin' to go for Master Swim. Except for one little thing... the past two nights I've had horrible insanely realistic zombie nightmares, and the Halloween spirit has us discussing the concept of zombies on a very regular basis.

It was still really dark out, and embarrassing as it is to admit, I couldn't bring myself to leave the house. So I missed swim class. Of course, I'm still going to head there right after class, now that it's light out, but now that it's light out and I'm fully awake, I'm getting hit with just how silly it was for me to be freaked out about going outside in the dark.

And that's my little embarrassing story for today. It's dumb because now I have to make it up, and I'm in class feeling gross because I didn't get my swim in. Dammit!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Week = Half Over.

Couldn't resist sharing a few more pictures from the race:(Don was exceptionally proud of this one... he told me to get on someone's wheel on the short pavement part, and I followed directions!)

(Slogging through mud to get up this hill was harder than it looked- I'm starting to master the art of "one foot down and push the bike!")

(At the bottom of a downhill aware that now it's time to hop off and start climbing the same hill, all the muddy, slippery way back up.)

And, the aftermath. My sister and I post-race.

All right, I promise, that's the last of the cyclocross pictures for now! I'm honestly just proud of myself for even trying it. Especially in those miserable conditions- my dad put it succinctly when he said, "well, you learned how to ride in the worst conditions you'll ride in, it should be easy now!"

I'm not sure if that's true, but we'll see. I think my biggest limiter is my not wanting to get hurt- after that tiny knee twist last January set me back months of running, I'm in no mood to do anything like that again. I'm in it for fun, not to get horribly injured. So that will slow me down a lot, taking everything a bit cautiously. My results were pretty pathetic, but hey- it was my first race and I finished it, which is more than I expected. Before the race, even at the starting line, I was wondering if I could just quit and walk away. So I'm glad that I didn't. (We all knew I wouldn't, but still, it was tempting.)

I'm pretty stoked about next weekend, since it'll be our local race, and fun no matter how badly I do!

Anyway... this week so far:

  • Had Master Swim yesterday morning and managed to swim a 1:25 100 meter after having already put in a 500 meter warmup with drills, followed by 4 x 300 meters at a pretty hard pace. I was happy. Followed it up with another 9 100's, all at between 1:35 and 1:39. So slowly but surely, I am getting faster.
  • Played with a breathing drill for the cool down, where I think I surprised Keith with how competent I am at holding my breath. "Swim Yoga," he calls it, and it's just 25 yards breathing every 3rd stroke, then 25 at every 5th, then every 7th, and so on... Did two sets of that, then went the whole 25 meters without a breath. How's that for yoga? Thanks to all the ocean swimming and surfing I used to do, I'm good at holding my breath unerwater- nothing like wiping out in a huge wave to teach something like that!
  • Yesterday I also had what I consider my worst run of all time- maybe I shouldn't have done it right after eating leftover Chinese food for lunch, but I had a growling stomach and only 1:45 before I had to be fed, run, showered, and out the door for work, so digestion time wasn't really on the table. So, ran pretty much right after I finished eating, which just resulted in a quick step to the bathroom, then the rest of my pathetic 30 minute run hovering in areas near the bathroom and praying I wasn't going to throw up. But I went for 30 minutes... sometimes, it's the little victories.
  • Spinning at night relatively hard for 30 minutes. Why? Frankly, I like cookies. So I decided whenever I want dessert, I have to do something so that way my metabolism is revved and ready to eat, so I don't go to bed with cookies sneaking their way onto my hips.
  • Getting very tired of school, classes, tutoring, and nanny-ing. Considering becoming a librarian in order to avoid the human race. (I almost went to grad school for library science, got into the program and everything, so this isn't a stretch.) It won't happen, I'm sure I'll get over this hump and remember that I do want to teach English and work in a high school (read: coaching and free gym access, as well as summer off to train and race!), but right now, I'm feeling a bit frustrated and like I'm in a 'cross race, stuck in the mud, and spinning my wheels.

But, it's mid-week, soon it will be the weekend (then again, I have a 23 mile run on Saturday... maybe I don't want it to get here!), and I will be thoroughly enjoying two days of (relative) freedom. Is it just me, or as the days get shorter, does it seem like the weeks are getting longer?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Cyclocross Photos!

Some photos from the race on Saturday:

And my personal favorite, just before the finish:

Sunday, October 18, 2009

First Cyclocross Race, Done!

Well, had my first cyclocross race yesterday!

And I'm still not sure how I feel about it. Granogue was rainy, muddy, cold, and miserable. But when I was carrying my bike up a hill sinking 6 inches into mud and trying to cough up whatever was stuck in my throat that was making it hard to breathe, coach Ken (Rutgers Cycling's awesome coach) yelled, "having fun yet?"

And before it really registered, I yelled back, "I kinda am!"

So I guess it was fun!

It was freezing rain and my sister was pointing out that my hair was actually freezing. I had to change in Matt's truck and he lent me embrocation to keep my legs warm- thanks Matt! Don wasn't there to go over the course with me, I couldn't find Blake, and we got lost en route to the race. By the time I was lining up, I was thinking "crap, can I just not race?"

Of course, we all know that that's never an option, so I rolled out with the rest of the women. I've never ever ridden in mud before, it's insane. You're sliding, you're slipping, you're almost falling, you're literally spinning your wheels and not moving. It's amazing what your body can do that you didn't expect. Even at the first lap, I had one foot down leading my bike, I was dismounting comfortably, and I was almost always able to clip back in, despite my shoes literally being coated with 3 inches of mud, leaves, and grit. I got smacking in the face with a thorn, fell in the deepest mud, tripped on one of the pieces of tape marking the course, cramped up my hands braking so hard, almost cut my side with my crank, twisted not one but two knees, slammed my pelvis into my stem and literally cried while riding because it hurt so much, fell about a million times, dropped my bike once, but finished the race, and wasn't last!

It was messy and it was wild- I think I'll do it again. I'm not amazing at it, but then again, it was a highly technical course in the hardest conditions that you could be stuck racing in. So I feel ok about it- it was a good first race in the sense that it'll never get harder than that. I hope. And Dad adds that if it is ever harder than that, especially weather-wise, we aren't going. He and my sister were awesome, as was the rest of the team, cheering for me.

And I have triathlon to thank for my doing semi-decently. It was clearly a runner's race, and even better, a triathlete's race. I have upoer body strength that most women don't have from swimming and weight lifting, so I can move my bike easier and faster, and I'm a runner, which most of them aren't. So while they kicked my ass whenever we were riding (or most of the time, anyway), I was passing them like crazy on the runs. Ha! And the guys make fun of me for being a triathlete...

So first 'cross race down. I'm not in love, but I have a bit of a crush on the sport. We'll have to see how the next race goes, but it is great to be racing in general. I don't know that I could go for more than a month without some kind of race- I may hate not getting to sleep in on weekends, but any kind of racing is good for me, it teaches me how to keep my nerves calm and focus.

So yeah. Bring on Highland Park Cyclocross in two weeks- should be an adventure!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Long Week!

Obviously, it has been a long week. Why?

Started on Monday when the 3 year old I'm a nanny for slipped on the bathroom floor and cut her chin. Lots of blood but I handled it well. Still, she needed cosmetic stitches so it won't scar. This meant that while the parents rushed to the ER, I stayed home with the 2 year old. It was midnight by the time that they got home, and I had been reading him stories for 3 hours straight. My voice was about shot.

So, got home exhausted and fell into bed. I ended up getting to sleep around 1 AM after eating way too many cookies- I was upset! Then, got up at 6 for swimming, and had a decent enough time trial.

The day got significantly better when I decided that running for an hour was going to take too long, so I decided to get speedwork out of the way in a much more fun way. I know a route that's roughly three miles, couple of hills, trails, road, a good mix for New Brunswick. So, I basically went out hard and stayed hard the entire run, sprinting when I could. You know it's a good run when you finish, walk into the driveway and realize that you are seriously considering puking. Now that's a hard run! It was acutally about 21 minutes, and the route is between 3-3.5 miles, so I'm seeing some major progress in my run.

The day then got worse when I had to babysit and keep the kids relaxed and not moving around a lot, since we didn't want to hit her stitches at all. Not easy.

It got better when Colleen came over with a lot of takeout food from the dining hall- vegan chicken nuggets and curly fries! OK, not the healthiest, but yummy.

Yesterday was a looong day at the office, designing a new window, doing a bunch of web stuff, video stuff, et cetera. I was starving by the time I hit the train, and I had cross practice immediately after. I had a cookie on the train and got home and ready as fast as possible. It was cold out though!

So, many layers later, headed to cross. It was chilly and windy and they're starting earlier now that it gets dark faster, so I'm missing a lot of the practice. I got there, FINALLY got my pedals adjusted. I only got in one loop, I had a really bad headache, maybe from the cold or being hungry. Charlie, Marcos and I rode home together afterwards, and we talked about Saturday's race- I'm pretty nervous and not feeling ready for it. But, that's kind of the point anyway- see how I do wiht little practice and find out what happens. If I'm good or tolerable, great, and if I'm not, I probably won't pusue it- I've got bigger fish to fry!

Tutored and did Iron Yoga, and this morning, getting up was pretty damn hard. Still made it to the pool for 3300 meters of various fast sets. I'm totally beat.

Still, thinking very hard about what I want for the next year. So here's the tentative list:
(Parentheses mean 'pending qualification')
  1. Philly Marathon: Nov 22, 2009
  2. (Boston Marathon): April 19, 2010 -or-
  3. 1/2 Marathon in NJ: April 19, 2010
  4. Jerseyman Half Ironman: May, 2010 (hometown race, should be fun)
  5. Mooseman Half Ironman: June 2010 (not 100% sure yet)
  6. Nautica Olympic Triathlon: July 2010
  7. NJ State Olympic Triathlon or Steelman Olympic Triathlon: July 2010 (not 100% sure yet)
  8. Ironman Kentucky: August 2010
  9. Skylands Sprint Triathlon: September 2010
  10. (Ironman Hawaii): October 2010 (hey, a girl can dream, right?)
It's a weird list because I'm not totally sure what I can afford to race. I may throw a couple sprints in, if they're in the neighborhood and cheap, since there are few places in NJ to do open water swims, and they'll be great brick workouts. It's just hard to figure stuff like this out when working 4 different jobs and trying to pay for school.

I'm also debating which tri bike to buy and how much I should spend on it. Money is just always a problem!!

Back to class and work...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Long Run, but Beer!

Oh dear.

I've been quite remiss in blogging lately. It's just... ehh, no real excuse other than the obvious lack of time. I meant to, really! Some weeks are just better than others.

Last week was pretty uninteresting anyway. After a painful cross practice where I finally mastered dismounts, if nothing else, did some yoga, and hung out with the boys.

Thursday was another swim, 3300 yards with 10x100 fast. I'm not that fast... or rather, my "fast" 100 is the same pace as my "fast" 1000 meter. Hmm... Clearly something needs work! This was emphasized today when we did our 1000 meter TT swim to see what progress we had made. In my defense, I was tired from a nanny's worst nightmare, tired from weight lifting, had no one fast to swim next to, and was TTing for the first time doing flip turns. Excuses, excuses, excuses- I'm full of 'em today! It was 15:55 for 1000 m, which was OK, but only a 25 second improvement- nothign to write home about. But then again, my aerobic swim was there already, now I just have to a)learn to swim, and b)speed up past what my body likes. Still, it's an improvement and I should be happy.

Friday was more weights and some riding around New Brunswick, but nothing fancy. This was because I knew Saturday was coming.

Saturday: on schedule was a 22 miler. This would be THE farthest that I would ever have run, since during the marathon I had to stop at mile 14 because of cramping. Yeah, I finished the marathon, but not running the whole way. So 22 miles was pretty scary. Normally, I know people don't do that much before a marathon. But between my lack of good nutrition while running and my cramping issues in the past, it makes sense for me to be running that much. Plus, it's pretty fun, as it turns out.

Dad and I set out with a bike basket full- extra long sleeved and sleeveless shirts, wattle bottle, sports drink, 2 gus, camera, phone, and driver's license. And handkerchief- I was very stuffy that day!

We planned a 22 mile route that was pretty much totally flat and would hit bathrooms eveyr few miles. Perfect! Plus, at mile 18 we would loop past the car, so if I was hurting, we could call it a day. The miles ticked off fast and easily- 8 minute miles, sometimes 7:45-ish, not sure of exact numbers since Dad was keeping time and we didn't always have accurate mile markers. Maybe it was the conversation with Dad, maybe it was kowing that while I was running, people were racing in Kona, where I want to be, but it went by quickly and with no real issues. I finished with a sprint and a smile, and Dad and I put my license to good use by celebrating with a half pint of dark porter at the microbrewery that I used to work at.

It was great! All muscle soreness gone- maybe it was the break, maybe it was seeing people I worked with and really liked, seeing my old friend Tim, who got me more serious about biking, or maybe it was simply the alcohol content. But I have a new long run routine!

Sunday morning was crazy- I woke up in NO pain! Shocking, I know. I had to head to northern NJ to meet Jackie for a thirty mile ride through the Great Swamp and I was worried- she smokes me on the bike in every race, so I was scared about riding after such a long run. Luckily, my legs cooperated, and we had an awesome ride- the Great Swamp is beautiful and soooo full of bikers!- and chat. She's going to be a HUGE help for training for IMKY and she's awesome at pushing me to do more. She's mentioned a few races I should do next summer, so I'm working on compiling the list now- a couple half Ironmans for practice, but a few well-chosen short courses for fun and potential profit.

Now I just have to get fast...

More later as I try to figure out what to do about a tri bike and muse more about everything, including my babysitting insanity of last night (hint: emergency room involved. Nothing major, but nonethless...)
For now, it's off to Child Psych.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Quads vs Pecs

I feel like this:

but it isn't my pecs.

I think my quads exploded tonight at cyclocross practice.

Robbie showed me this video and says it reminds him of me and my cousin in law, Tim, when we talk about training.

More yoga and stretching to follow.

Iron Fever

It seems like the whole world is heading to Kona this week, and it's making me crazy! I'm envious, I'm excited, and I'm thinking about next year and if I can make it.

In my life, I have watched a total of 1 sporting event on TV: the Superbowl last year. And yes, it was for the snacks. OK, of course, I watched the Tour this summer. But this past month, my new favorite channel has been Universal Sports, and every triathlon they have on, I'm usually watching it while riding or doing yoga. It's total immersion in a very bizarre way. I think Robbie is confused and confounded every time he walks in and I'm screaming at the TV or tearing up at watching a great finish. I gotta get a VCR and start taping these...

But anyway, my life. While I'm not Kona-bound, I do have big workouts coming up this weekend, and I've been working hard all week. After Sunday night's "practice" combined with the 6 year old antics, my quads felt like they were about to explode. So I did what any normal person would do: a kickass weight set on Monday, followed by a ride or two.

Then, Tuesday was early morning swim class trying out my new flippers and doing upwards of 3000 yards. I learned to do flip turns, and only hit the wall once- hard! I also worked on a lot of bilateral breathing, which is coming more and more naturally, and started trying out my flippers. Then, a kick set at the end destroyed what was left of my quads.

By the time I got home, my upper back aws feeling tight- I guess the bilateral breathing is changing the way I use my muscles, combined with the technique stuff I'm working on. So, ouch.

Normally, fro 2-9 on Tuesdays (and plenty of other times), I'm a nanny. But Steph ahd a family emergency so I was off the hook for the day. That meant time to a) sit around and watch Degrassi with Adam and stretch my back, b) a rare chance to see Robbie during the day, c) an excellent opportunity to go for a quick 6 mile run in perfect weather, and d) the chance to actually cook lunch and dinner and sit and enjoy them! It also left time for work, research, hair dying, Iron Yoga, and more Degrassi- I think I'm hooked!

I've also decided that in the off season (so to speak) I'd like to drop between 5 and 10 pounds. Much easier said than done. I don't really eat any more than I should, if anything, some days I fall short. It's just that I eat a lot of junk food and I really love night time snacking- I blame Robbie and Adam, who eat like crazy every night at 9 or 10. So I'm working on it. Kinda successfully. It's just hard to find the balance between eating enough to keep my training up and eating little enough to drop some weight. I'm also not weighing myself more than 2 times a week, since I don't want to get obsessive. Been there, done that, and it always makes me miserable.

Tonight is cyclocross practice and a run with Pete. I still need to sign up for the race I'm doing next weekend, or at least, the race I'm planning to do. We'll see!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Right Hand/Left Foot

I finally figured out my cyclocross conundrum this Sunday. I've been having trouble learning how to dismount, and I finally discovered why.

I've always known that for things like surfing, skateboarding, and snowboarding, I favor my left foot- I'm "goofy footed." It's weird because I'm right handed. Apparently, 95% of people who are right handed are right footed. Not me! I'm in that little 5% block, and it throws off riding, apparently.

I thought about it the other day, and remembered trying to mimic Dad getting off the bike, and falling over. Then, I saw Robbie get off the bike and realized I was doing the opposite thing that he was.

So, instead of dismounting so I can pick up the bike on the non-chain side, I decided to let my body do the talking and decide how it wanted to dismount. Nice, smooth, and fast: on the chain side. Try to do it the right way and wobble wobble fall! Tried it a bunch of times and even though I didn't have barriers, I was practicing running and jumping. And it went really well!

So, I'm goofy. And I'll have chain marks everywhere by the end of the season. The point is, I can dismount!

This weekend, Dad and I are rigging a CX course in the backyard. Awesome!!

I also made friends with the little 6 year old girl living next door and spent an hour playing outside with her after practicing cross. Running, cartwheeling, tree-climbing, and pushing her in her out of battery Barbie jeep made for an awesome workout, albeit a weird one- I'm sore all over from it!

In very sad news, my 12 year old rabbit, Carl, finally passed away. He lived twice as long as most rabbits, and he was awesome. Robbie and I both really loved him, and so did my dog. I think my dad even teared up a bit when we buried him- he gave a little eulogy and everything. So, RIP Carl, aka Carrie (we may have given him some gender issues as a bunny.)

Here's us a couple years ago:
And with the dog... see, she likes him!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

New Gear, Long Ride, Long Run, and Back in the Game!

Rest week is finally over, and now the work begins. And man, it hurts! A week off did a lot of good but still, getting back on the bike was no fun.

On the upside, I came home on Friday to my awesome new Steelman Triathlon transition bag, as well as my new suit from and these great fins that Keith recommended I try to even out my swim stroke:
And this excellent lap counter that I'm incredibly stoked to try:

Even better, the wonderful people at POM Wonderful just sent me a box of their amazing juice, which I am now totally in love with:
I wasn't sure how I would feel about it but Blake told me that he's heard people cut it with water and use it as a sports drink, so I tried it during my ride on Saturday.

50 miles, some hills, some flats, and done 5 minutes faster than my best time on that route. Then, off on a short 30 minute run. Gotta get more bricks in! My stomach was killing me on the run, which sucked. But, such is life. There were a ton of gnats too, and I ended up covered in them. Yuck.

Sunday's run was more eventful. I'm pretty sure I hit the "bathroom" in the woods within a few feet of a bear... heard a lot of something very big and very heavy ambling off, scared the crap (pardon the pun) out of me. Then, dropped my car keys while walking out of the woods. Didn't notice for a mile, and then had to go find them, panicking the whole time. I thought I was going to have a heart attack.

But it got better. I've said it before and I'll say it again: I LOVE TRAILS! I did about 11 miles of hills and trails around Round Valley and it was gorgeous! That water in the reservoir is so clear, it's incredible. After 30 minutes, my stomach started acting better and the run went smoothly.

Afterwards, I couldn't help it, I had to take an ice bath in the lake! So I sat smack down in the lake for a few minutes, dunked under, and had the best cooldown ever!

Went home to another recovery bath and tested out my POM as a recovery drink- awesome!
Amazingly, I even stretched!

(check out my awesome visor- I "borrowed" it from a friend in high school and never used it until recently, and I love it!)

And of course, as promised, I'm working on the nutrition thing:
bananas, yogurt, fruit, low fat cheese and milk, hummus, V8, coconut water, and of course, all my POM!

This week, I'm weighing in, seeing if I need to lose weight off season, and if I do, how much. And back to my normal routine, with a super long (22 mile) run this weekend... I figure it's only fair I do a long run since everyone else will be racing at Kona!