Friday, August 29, 2008

I love fall!

I just read this article in Runner's World and I couldn't agree more. This is exactly how I feel. Although I prefer UnderArmour gloves. And I need more gear like I need a hole in the head.

Incidentally, I also agree with his views on pancakes.

Don't get me wrong, I love the baking heat of summer, but FALL!

Football games, cool crisp runs, leaves crunching on the trail, head races, apple cider, wine tasting, tailgating, joy!

Cool enough to wear snuggly pajamas, bake cookies, eat oatmeal for breakfast, and cover all that goodness up with a sweater or run it off and not get sweaty fall!

Halloweeen! Dressing up as Silk Spectre or Wonder Woman, Thanksgiving, Fantasy Football leagues, back to school super fun fall!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

IronGirl and a rusty shoulder

Thursday night. My shoulder hurts so bad it's shooting hot bolts of lightning down my arm. One of these days I will have a heart attack and think it's just my shoulder. Icing it not helping. Can't sleep. Take 3 Vicodin on an empty stomach. Finally get to sleep.
Wake up Friday, yak a few times. Pain comes back, take more vicodin. Stay home from work.

I don't know if the return of the pain is from the increase in swim volume (minimal) or thanks to the weather shift (probable). The weather here has turned and you can feel the wistfulness of fall in the air.

I decided not to go home, and go to the IronGirl practice since I had to either pick up my uniform or race naked next week.
Turns out it would be about the same. The shorts are a bit shorter than I would ever choose to wear in public. And it will be a miracle if the zipper in the top survives.

The group was doing a brick of the 18 mile bike course and the 3.4 mile run course. I made it through the bike course, with a slight detour adding yet another hill and a little more mileage.
Waited for B to finish so I could give her a bike bottle since she didn't have one. I have an entire huge storage thing of them plus like another 30 of the ubiquitous Gatorade waterbottles, so I was fine letting one go. Even if I was a little sentimental about the NJ State one. She'll give it a good home.

Later I met J at the pool to swim a few laps and be lazy. Right around dinner I realized I had tried to fuel two workouts on a latte, a croissant, and spanakopita. That was right about when I got the world's worst headache that would not go away. I so hate gym hangovers.

Sunday I slept in instead of doing my long run or North East. And spent the whole Nats game in search of salt, I mean a curly "W" pretzel. Ate an obscene amount of bread at Macaroni Grill trying to stuff the hole I dug myself into on Saturday.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Hellllllo Bella!

Velo Bella is an all-women's cycling team. The Mid-Atlantic Bellas are geographically dispersed throughout the region, from Pennsylvania down to North Carolina.

For 2009 Nikki of fellow blogging fame is making a push to grow the DC-region team. Why? Velo Bella is about to announce that for 2009 we are going to have an official Triathlon Team! Kona Bikes is working with us to develop a prototype timetrial bike, made exclusively for Velo Bella racers, and we are looking to field an elite/professional team, focused on the Olympic distance. (for a sneak peak at the TT bike:, but it will be blue, not white).

So, what is Velo Bella? Well, besides having the absolute BEST kits in the country, our mission is to encourage a healthy and active lifestyle through cycling and laughter. We inspire women to get out and ride a bike, race a bike, and to eventually grow the pool of talent and have a lot of fun along the way.

Not everyone is a racer....we have recreational riders, the racing team, and the pro/elite racing team.

How much does Velo Bella cost? Here's the best's FREE!!!!! Okay, there is some fine print.....

--To be a "recreational" Velo Bella, there is no fee, and no requirement to purchase anything.

--To be an "amateur racer" or "pro/elite" racer, you are required to buy 1 jersey each year (~$65). BUT, you get access to great discounts to a ton of sponsors (such as Kona Bikes, Zeal Optics, FSA, SRAM, Patagonia clothing, Crank Brothers, Sidi, Cateye, Giro). As a racer you can get deep, deep discounts, sometimes over 50% off.

What does it mean to be a Mid-Atlantic Velo Bella? Well, this is the best part. We can make it whatever we want the team to be! Maybe that means a weekly group ride, maybe it means a monthy team dinner, maybe just coordinating races together, or supporting each other across disciplines (we have roadies, tri-gals, MTB and cyclo-crossers here)'s up to us all to decide!

Please take a few moments to check out our website and forum blogs, and stay tuned for a Happy Hour in the next few weeks (we're targeting Sept 4th or 5th).

I hope you consider riding with Team Velo Bella! or

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Cancer to 5K Version 3.1

Cindy and Jess, third time is the charm!

I've volunteered with the previous two cycles, and I can vouch for the fact that this is a great program.
Please consider volunteering as a sherpa or passing along to anyyoung adult cancer survivors you know.

We are proud to announce that the Fall 2008 CANCER to 5K training program will begin on Saturday, September 6, 2008. The program will end on Thursday, November 27, with Runner and Volunteers running inthe VA Run Turkey Trot 5k in Centreville, VA at 8AM.

The CANCER to 5K Training Program is a free 12-week training program designed to introduce and/or reintroduce cancer survivors to physical activity by providing them with the training program, coaches, encouragemnt, and support necessary to complete a 5K (3.1 miles) distance road race.
The program is FREE to cancer survivors, ages 18-40,(and beyond as room allows) and includes:
- 12 week training program
- Registration into a local 5K distance race
- 2 weekly group training sessions with a coach for 12 weeks(1 weekday evening, 1 weekend morning)
- CANCER to 5K ™ technical T-shirt & water bottle
- CANCER to 5K ™ Program Certificate of Completion
- CANCER to 5K Race Day Sherpa ™ to run with you on your big day(if you want one...)
- CANCER to 5K ™ Official Finishers Medal (upon completion of an official 5K distance race)
Registration is open through Tuesday September 16 (beginning of Week 2 of Training) so make sure you get ONLINE and REGISTER NOW!

INTERESTED IN VOLUNTEERING? Check out the website and learn how you can help!
Life is Good! LiveSTRONG!
- Holly
"Young Adult Cancer Survivors giving new meaning to the wordENDURANCE...One Mile at a Time!"

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Just Peachy

This past week I had the brilliant idea of despite being sick for like 2 weeks straight, to tackle the hilliest bike course like ever. And since misery loves company, I sent out a call to tons of cool tri people.

Well, D doesn't like to bike in groups, a bunch of people were doing the training tri, some were up in Deep Creek tackling their own nightmare bike course, R didn't have a car, so it just ended up being me and Tamara.

My thought process had gone something like this: The Eat a Peach bike is hilly, but supposedly do-able. We would do the 33 mile route which would justify the 3 hour round trip drive. It would be fun, there would be pie, I would get to touch a jello brain, it would prepare me for the IronGirl bike course, and it supported a good cause- essentially traumatic brain injuries. I would come home and shower and nap before my swim lesson. I would be tired, but in a good way, I would not eat pizza, and the world would be full of sunshine and lollipops.

What actually happened:
I woke up late. Rushed out the door. Did not realize it was really cold for an August morning. Just wearing my tri top and bike shorts, brrrrr.

Get call from Tamara, she gives me a heads up on some of the directions. She got there early, I am running late. She graciously waits for me.

Tamara also mentions what I am starting to notice. It is extremely hilly, not "rolling" hills. We discuss our wuss out options. Settle on riding the 12 mile course, and we can always ride it again if we feel we didn't get a work out.

I get there, we register, I get my bike checked out.

Here's where it gets interesting:
My chain is skipping gears, which was causing the baseball card in the spokes sound I heard at NJ.
The lovely bike people tighten some things up so I can make it through the day. Turns out it was quite tight. Took some getting used to. Especially up the first hill.

We take off, and holy cow. My spirit was almost immediately broken. I finally get the gears sorted out and have a better time of it. We pass donkeys, and a cow that moos at us, and roosters.

Then we get to the real hills. Tamara who had been doing the Conte's hill rides was in much better shape than I was. I had to get out of the saddle a few times, and I admit I totally walked part of it. Tamra was a rockstar, biked the whole thing, and even waited for me at the end of it.

You should not be able to go 35mph on your bike. All I could think was "If you hit your brakes, you'll flip your handlebars, don't touch your brakes. This is so not how I intended to die".

Thank you Cliff Shots for making margarita flavored products.

We decided after one particularly spirit breaking hill that one loop was enough, it being the longest 12 miles of my life.

We wandered throught he farmer's market, I got some specialty honey for friends, Tamara got corn for later.

I stopped at a gas station on the way back that was selling biodiesel!
Across the four lane road were a couple stranded cyclists. I waved and motioned did they need a pump (picture jack hammering pantomime here) or a tube (drawing a big hula hoop in the air)? They drew a hula hoop back so I grabbed a tube out of my bike bag and gave it one of the girls who red rovered across the highway. I think they were okay in the end and I got in my good deed for the day.

Later that day in another fit of genius, I scheduled my swim lesson with Coach Alan. We talked about the possibility of doing Sandman. I haven't brought up the whole Ironman thing yet, not sure how to broach that without sounding insane.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

A rose by any other name

I got majorly sick after NJ, so this week was just a bike ride and a swim, nothing of note. I did get a throat infection so bad the nurse took a step back and said "Whoa!" when she went to swab me for the strep culture.

So using my evil powers of persuasion, and thanks to Holly's race report extolling the fun to be had at Muddy Buddy I have successfully suckered Jess into doing Muddy Buddy with me next year.
Much like IM is all about the tattoo (sarcasm), Muddy Buddy is all about the offensive names and funny costumes.
A little background, Jess is a fellow Team Z'er who is recovering from breast cancer. We really got together thanks to Holly's Cancer to 5K program. This time Jess will actually finish that program, provided she doesn't sacrifice any more ankles. Really the most accident prone people ever.

So knowing that, here are potential (offensive) team names:

Team Real and Fake
Don't you wish that you had Jessie's girls
Saving Second Base and Sliding into Home
Team All the Same in the Dark (goes with the real or fake)

And the more PG:
Team Hills and Veil
Bosom Muddy Buddies

I know there must be other names which would be funnier and could make for a good costume, so I open it up to you all. This is public though, so don't write anything you wouldn't want your mother to read.