Thursday, May 31, 2007
When I stopped to examine the tire, I saw that it was not completely flat and thought maybe I just had a leak that I could pump periodically on my way back home and have some help or at least change the tube on my back porch sipping a cold soda instead of hunkering down in the gravel on the side of the road. I reached for my hand pump to remember it was attached to my mt bike....... at home.
Plan B - I loaded a CO2 cartridge and zapped the tire to full, then took off down the road trying to beat the inevitable. I was about a mile out of town when I noticed it flatting again. I stopped and got off my bike, weighing my options. I had one CO2 cartridge left and a new tube. I was all set to take a stab at my first change. As I was loading up another cartridge in preparation, a truck pulled up and a raggedy looking guy got out and asked if I was OK and needed help. It gave me the creeps a little, so I decided to just use my last cartridge to give me a quick fix, with one hand on my tire and the other on my pepper spray, just in case. (The guy was probably harmless but just didn't realize how creepy it is to stop on a road and talk to a girl who is all alone- doesn't matter, I wasn't taking chances.) With a full tire again, I took off and changed my plan to pedal like hell and get as far into town as I could before flatting again. The last fill made it almost 5 miles, finally flatting at the intersection of Sunset and Mineral Point, about a mile from my house. I took off my road shoes and socks and pushed the old girl home, about a 10 minute walk.
Today we took the tire into the shop, and after deciding it was worn enough to warrant new tires, we bought 4 new racing tires (Continental Ultra Race). Then we went home and I got my wish - changing my first tire sitting on my back porch drinking a soda. By the way, it took me an hour and a half to change 2 tires and yeah it pretty much sucked.
After supper, Mike and I took the dogs for a walk. I have devil dogs from hell when it comes to walking on leash, so I was fully prepared to need a rotator cuff repair by the time we got home. I had a new solution to try - the Premeir Gentle Leader Walking Harness. To my complete and utter shock, I was walking a totally different dog. When she pulled, she stopped immediately as soon as it squeezed her chest. Aside from a few short stops that nearly tripped Mike, she was very close to heeling. Needless to say, this is a highly recommended product. I might even try running with her again now that I seem to possess the secret formula to success......
Monday, May 28, 2007
Sunday, May 27, 2007
There was lots to see there as usual. We made several trips around to look at the beautiful flowers and plants and smelling the wonderful baked goods, and sampling from the cheese displays and other yummy food items. Before I knew it we had polished off an Amish cookie, a homemade vanilla filled Bismark as big as my head (I split it with Mike), an apple fritter (also as big as my head and split with Mike), a loaf of warm fresh spicy cheesebread (also split with Mike and bigger than my head!). We bought a bag of fresh squeaky cajun spice cheese curds and a couple of beef sticks to boot. Does your stomach hurt yet? Mine did too, but it was SOOOOO good. Seriously, I way heart the Amish- they bake their asses off!!
After a lot of deliberation, we decided on 3 blackberry starter bushes (to replace the ones I somehow already managed to kill this year), 2 cilantro plants and a habenero plant to add to Mike's Salsa porch garden, and a pair of ginourmous hanging baskets to hang from my arbor so it has some color until the clematis plants get a little larger and fluffier. The girl at the plant stand could not remember what kind of flowers the plants were, nor were they marked. She did know they were edible and told us that repeatedly, several times. I am not sure why I would WANT to eat my hanging basket, but apparently if I wanted to I could....... (WTH- very weird!) Apparently we looked hungry or something, I have not a clue.
Next we were off to the Alliant Center for packet pick-up. There were roughly a bajillion people there. We got a bag. We got a tee. We got a ton of other stuff - flyers, discounts, udder balm, a Badger State Games lapel pin, a water bottle, a pen, and some other stuff. My favorite item of all was a red Madison Marathon/Saturn Cow Bell!!!! Now my kids can use it to cheer us on by ringing it from the sidelines. Plus I feel just like Will Ferrell from Blue Oyster Cult........ I know I am way too excited by this stupid bell, but it was fun.
Also on the Alliant grounds was another something only Wisconsin can do up right - that's right, the World's Largest BRATFEST! Being at Bratfest and not eating a brat is like going to Germany and not drinking the beer, so of course I had one of those greasy lovelies too with horseradish sauce and mustard. It was the best brat I ever ate.
Once we got home, the food fest continued with supper at Applebee's and other miscellaneous crap. We never eat like that, but darn it was good! I think I ate one of everything......
This morning we were up early again and after a quick bus commute, we were back on the Capitol Square for the start. I had to use the porta-jon to take care of some excess pre-race Rock Star, which was a 40 minute wait in line. Needless to say the portas are a far cry from the pristine marble and mahogany bathrooms in the capital building a few measly yards away I had used only the day before (I am feeling a little bit George Costanza, rating bathrooms and all, but hey whatever). The course was nice with a downhill followed by a nice flat run along the Lake path back to the Alliant Center.
The start was very congested and I noticed that I was able to break through the crowd a little more nimbly than Mike was. I felt like I got way ahead of him at the start and then he never passed me, so by the time I got to the finish line, I was really certain that I had beat him to the finish somehow. Hallelujah! I was revelling in it as probably my one and only opportunity to cheer HIM in, so I crossed the finish, stripped my chip and turned around to watch for him. After a few seconds, I felt a tap on my shoulder to find Mike trying to figure out what I was watching. I looked at him dumbfounded and asked "How did you beat me here???." Oh well, burst my bubble......... We got a quick snack and a water and headed back home.
Once we got back, we loaded the bikes on the roof, picked up my bro-in-law Jeff and we all went to lake Leota Park in Evansville to pre-ride the bike course for the Evansville Duathlon. Wholly f-ing crap, Batman - what a course! The first 3/4 of the way was a breeze with very little elevation change, but windy. Apparently karma thought we were a bit too cocky and kicked us in the butt. Up we went up a 25% or so grade, turned a corner leveling off slightly, then up, up, up again. We panted for while at the top and kept going. The next hill was just as steep if not more so. just before it, my chain fell off and got chain grease EVERY WHERE. Got it back on quickly and up we went. A few hundred yards into the climb, Mike's chain dropped off too and he had to stop. No way was I going to be able to stop and restart, so I kept going and planned to wait at the top for him. We waited and waited and waited and finally decided he must have had to walk it and sure enough, he turned the corner not long after. I could see he was ticked and as he got closer we saw the blood running into his shoe from a wound on his ankle and his other knee road rashed up.
By the time we got to Magnolia Bluff park, I was toast. We did the turnaround and headed back. The ride back was better, but there were still a few bigger hills and at the bottom of every downhill there was a 90 degree or worse turn so you could not ever really get flying down.
I am glad we pre-rode the course so I can prepare for next week. My plan will be much different than if I had chosen to sit home today. Plus I burned up a ton of calories today in atonement for my gustatory sins of yesterday.
Final numbers 6K results: Chip time 40:07, Pace 10:25/mile (PR!) 196/315 overall, 7/13 age group, 83/171 females- Yeah me.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
I am awed at the powerfulness of the written word and enjoy finding a meaningful turn of phrase. I am also a compulsive fact-checker, so today I set out to verify the translation of the phrase and possibly seek out some others that would be personally motivational in defining my own efforts. I stumbled upon a site that had lots of Latin phrases translated and as I read through them, I found myself creating a few lists I thought I would share with you all. My first list is a serious one, the others just made me laugh.....
Jenny’s Top Ten Mottos to Live by:
10. Audaces fortuna iuvat - Fortune favors the bold. (Virgil)
9. Experientia docet - Experience is the best teacher
8. Luctor et emergo - I struggle but I'll survive
7. Palmam qui meruit ferat - Let him who has earned it bear the reward
6. Pari passu - With equal pace - moving together
5. Per angusta in augusta - Through difficulties to great things
4. Poli, poli, di umbuendo - Slowly, Slowly we will get there
3. Res firma mitescere nescit - A firm resolve does not know how to weaken
2. Vincit qui se vincit - He conquers who conquers himself
1. Vitanda est improba siren desidia - One must avoid that wicked temptress, Laziness. (Horace)
Jenny’s Top Ten Conversational Latin Phrases:
10. In dentibus anticis frustrum magnum spiniciae habes - You have a big piece of spinach in your front teeth (for my sister the hygeinist)
9. Non plaudite. Modo pecuniam jacite - Don't applaud. Just throw money
8. Vir prudens non contra ventum mingit - A wise man does not urinate against the wind
7. Me oportet propter praeceptum te nocere - I'm going to have to hurt you on principle
6. Machina improba! Vel mihi ede potum vel mihi redde nummos meos! - You infernal machine! Give me a beverage or give me my money back!
5. Estne tibi forte magna feles fulva et planissima? - Do you by chance happen to own a large, yellowish, very flat cat?
4. Cum homine de cane debeo congredi - Excuse me. I've got to see a man about a dog (I always thought it was about a horse, but whatever........)
3. Cave canem, te necet lingendo - Beware of the dog, he may lick you to death (Accurate description of my dogs)
2. Antiquis temporibus, nati tibi similes in rupibus ventosissimis exponebantur ad necem - In the good old days, children like you were left to perish on windswept crags
1. Braccae tuae aperiuntur - Your fly is open (unfortunately, I need to use this phrase at my house WAY too much!)
Jenny's Top Ten Latin Quotes:
10. Certe, toto, sentio nos in kansate non iam adesse - You know, Toto, I have a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore
9. Interdum feror cupidine partium magnarum europe vincendarum - Sometimes I get this urge to conquer large parts of Europe
8. Mater tua criceta fuit, et pater tuo redoluit bacarum sambucus - Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries
7. Pone ubi sol non lucet! - Put it where the sun don't shine!
6. Solum potestis prohibere ignes silvarum - Only you are can prevent forest fires
5. Stercus accidit - Shit happens
4. Vescere bracis meis - Eat my shorts
3. Ascendo tuum - Up yours
2. Estne volumen in toga, an solum tibi libet me videre? - Is that a scroll in your toga, or are you just happy to see me?
1. Luke sum ipse patrem te - Luke, I am your father. -Star Wars (for my son Lucas, who hates this phrase)
Monday, May 21, 2007
Tonight Mike and I did our second Velo Club Beginners MTB ride. First we had to make an emergency pit stop at the bike shop because Mike went to prep his bike and discovered his tire was flat. When he tried to change the tube, he discovered that the valve stems were not the right ones and would not fit through the hole in the rim. The bike shop boys did us up right and we got ourselves together int time to meet the group at Sunnyside.
I have to say I had myself pretty wound up by the time we started the ride. After last week, i was not looking forward to taking my life in my hands again and I was very nervous about doing the single tracks again in Rockport. We had a larger group tonight including a 9 year old boy who was pretty much fearless. No way was I going to let a kid kick my ass without putting up a good fight so that was the motivation I needed to get moving.
We did a lot of the same trails so even though I had no idea where I was most of the time, certain things looked familiar to me from last time - like the trees that bit me last week or any of the numerous places I hit the dirt, or a tree, or a rock, or a sharp turn, or a root...... (you get the picture). I would call the night a success because:
- I was not the least experienced person on the ride (there was someone else there that was newer than I)
- The only person I told to shut up and leave me alone was Mike, and he's tough so I know he can take it
- I only fell off my bike 3 times, one of which was over a log hop which I had never tried before.
- I was able to maneuver most of the single tracks tonight
- I only shrieked out loud once, down roller coaster hill.
- I only said the F word out loud once, and i think the kid was out of earshot when I did. (In my defense, it was on a rather scary hill)
- I have no tree bites to speak of, I only bled a little bit from one knee, and none of the bruises hurt yet.
We saw a few new spot tonight too. Janet had a quirky name for all kinds of different parts of the park, and there is a story behind them all. Tonight we didn't do onion run, but we did visit "Porno Point" which is a ridge where a pile of girly magazines was once discovered by some of the MTB riders, hence the name I guess. Funny.
Next time, I will be working on cornering better and trying to keep my brakes from sparking a forest fire. I can't believe I just said "next time"............. guess I'm hooked.
Sunday, May 20, 2007
On Saturday, we rode our road bikes for the Rock 50/50 benefiting the Rock Trail Coalition. We chose to do the 38 mile tour and it was a nice ride. I think we probably should have opted for the 60 mile ride, but at the time it was early in the morning, a little cold out, and honestly I didn't know I had a 60 in me until we were well on our way. Interestingly enough, we registered for the ride so we could do a different route than we usually ride and the route they planned went out on Hayner road to Murray Road and into Afton, which is where we ride all the time. It did veer off in an unexpected direction onto Bass Creek Rd and took us into Big Hills Park and then onto Creedy Road, back into Afton, and back to the bike trail. Despite a chilly start, the temperature of the ride was very nice and the route was challenging but not too much so. Next year, I want to do the long ride and check that out.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Monday, May 14, 2007
We started off going through some wider grass trails with gentle slopes and gentle hills. I thought to myself, this is OK so far. it did not take long before Janet veered off onto a single track winding dirt path and burst my bubble. We went careening through a narrow path cutting back and forth across a steep hill, many many many trees rocks and debris on either side. i think I fell off my bike in less than 5 minutes. I whined and whimpered to myself through the death track after picking myself up off the ground several times.
Before long I was following Janet and the rest of the group though the woods, up and down hills, around and over trees, and through the mud. I think I spent more time off my bike than on it, I couldn't get my pedals to clip in right, and I was basically scared to death and nearly peeing my pants for 2 solid hours. I crashed into numerous trees, scraped my arms and legs across lots of tree bark, and knocked myself off my bike lots and lots and lots.
Bob had lots of good advice for me, I wish I could have taken it. "Try to relax a little" (yeah, right!). "Don't look at the tree, look at the path ahead" (um yeah, harder than it sounds, ask all the trees I hit). "just squeeze the brake lightly and keep pedaling" (do you suppose my brakes should smoke?? I think probably not..... hmmm).
We did finally leave the woods and go home. I hurt everywhere. My arm is all scraped up and bleeding. my shoulder hurts where I ran it into a tree. I have a hole in the palm of my hand that really hurts. My legs are all scraped up too. I have several holes in the back of my calf that looks like it was punctured by my sprocket at some point. I had blood running into my shoes and a fat lip.
Did I love it? Not so much today. Did I embarrass myself? Yeah, I pretty much sucked. Will I do it again? Absolutely, I will conquer this, I can do it.
Saturday, May 12, 2007
Thursday, May 10, 2007
The race began behind the Vilas Zoo in Madison and wound around behind Edgewood College, around the golf course and through the arboretum. It was uphill the first half and mostly downhill on the second half, which was a nice break. It was shady and pretty, keeping us pretty cool despite the near 80 temps. In the arboretum, I had a pack of turkeys (what is the plural for turkeys - flock? gaggle? I don't really know....) that was across the street in the brush and I worried for a time they might swarm me and start throwing spurs as they started to run parallel to me along the other side of the road, but they eventually stopped and stayed put.
When I reached the mile marker for mile 4, in my head I mistakenly thought I had only a mile left to go and a lot of gas in the tank so I took off as fast as I could go. As I was running that mile, I redid the math in my head and realized that there were TWO+ miles left and so I slowed it up a little until I got to mile marker 5. (mental note: never rely on math done in your head while trying to run fast , especially when cursed with a fuzzy math gene.) After that, I took off and ran the last 1.2 miles as fast as I could.
I am feeling pretty good about the race. My Garmin time was 1:10:04, no official results are posted that I can find yet. I finished it, I did my best, I had fun, I managed to pass at least 6 people, in fact all of them I set in my mind to play cat and mouse with, and - BONUS - I was injury-free (this was the same course I sprained my ankle on in September at the Zoo Run Run).
Today is national Nurses Day. Take a minute next time you see a nurse and thank her/him for all they do to help make/keep you healthy. Like everyone else, we work hard for too little appreciation sometimes and it's good to hear that we have made a difference in someone's life.
UPDATE: The official results are up and can be found by clicking here. The highlights are:
286/294 overall, 46/50 age group, 145/152 female, 11:17 pace, 1:09:44 chip time.
Monday, May 7, 2007
After feeding the masses from Parker High lunch, Mike and I went to the bike shop looking to browse and find a map of Rockport park. We talked to Bob a while and he printed us a map of the Rockport trails and went over it with us giving advice on which trails would be fun to ride and which ones are kind of boring. We got home and prepped our bikes and took off to the park across Austin Road and entered onto the north trail head on Rockport Road. I knew I was in trouble immediately. Mike took a right which after a few feet became a wicked steep and gravely down hill labeled on the map as "difficult". I got about 3 feet onto it before I unclipped and walked my bike down the hill to the bottom. mike was circling at the bottom, raring to go. We took off on the trail and we made lots of loops around the trails - orange, green, and then red. At one point we ended up in knee high grass next to cornfield in the middle of nowhere, totally off map. We had lots of pit stops along the way trying to figure out where we were. I am still scared to death of the downhills down the rutted dirt paths, but after a couple I loosened up my brakes a little bit so I was going faster than a snail (Mike says this is because I was squeezing them so hard they lost pressure for a few seconds, but I THINK he was kidding). At one point we rode past the hill we originally came in on, so we knew we had come full circle. I got brave and suggested we do another loop around, which we did and I was still a scaredy baby but it was better the second time around. Mike at one point turned around and said "you know, the constant commentary is hysterical." I guess when I am road biking he doesn't usually hear that I am talking all the time about what is going on around me, but in the woods I continued to talk to myself and i think he heard every word. Mostly I was saying things like "oh shit" and "I think I'm going to die" and oh my god, here's another *&$#* climb" etc, etc, etc. That as in addition to the shrieking and whining noises I made on every down hill, no matter how puny or gimongous they were.
We came across several muddy bogs that Mike stopped to walk around in his self-described Tony Shalhoub style, apologizing to his bike the entire time for getting her muddy. Somehow we found our way back out of the woods and back home, although I'm not sure how. While on the trail we envisioned that maybe there were webcams broadcasting our adventure back to the bike shop to entertain the boys with our bloopers. I can almost hear them giggling that they got one over on us by sending us down the advanced trails instead of the bunny slopes.
Next Monday i think we are set to start a beginners group ride in the same park. Janet leads the group with another guy. I hope we either are quick learners or she realizes how truly beginner her "class" is going to be. There seems to be a beginners level and then another level of beginner that is more like the special ed class. That seems to be about where we are at at the moment so there is nowhere to go but up. I should really warn Janet...... yeah.
We were up at 6 on Sunday so we could get ready and packed out of the hotel in time for the start of the race. As expected, we needed a crowbar to blast the boys out of bed and into the shower they had deemed immensely important the evening before. The marquis on the Mall said it was a balmy 44 degrees when I looked out our window. Little problem - I had brought tri shorts and a sleeveless bike jersey to wear. at the last minute I had also packed a pair of trek arm warmers and a sweatshirt so those went on too. It was flipping freezing and windy as hell out - great.
Here's a couple pictures post-race. The first is Mike and I as the unofficial Michael's Cycles Duathlon Team (LOL- notice how thrilled the girl in back of us is to be a part of the picture.) and the other is of the photojournalist team. Hollister belongs to me. They did a great job. We got some good action shots of us, which was the point. We also got lots of shots of random hot chicks, girls butts, and some other random stuff including a picture of Lucas's snot rocket (gross).
Friday, May 4, 2007
So here is what's been happening lately. I biked a couple times in the wind, and I have been running a lot lately. 5-6 mile runs have become my standard instead of my long run. I've done that several times this last couple weeks. My parents have returned from Costa Rica. I bought matching pink camo capri pants for my niece Izzy and I, plus some other stuff.
Friday I sent in our application join the SWAT Team (Southern Wisconsin Area Triathletes - "We Tri for Fun"). Mike went to see a Sports Med Doc this week who is in the club and hooked us up. Apparently they do group training and I hope they can help us with our form, especially in the swimming. I so want Mike to learn to love swimming like I do and get good at it. With his past knee surgery I worry that he needs to be kinder to his knees long term and swimming would be a good cardio workout that is non-weightbearing for cross training. Anyhow, we filled out the applications and are excited to begin some group activities, like we get from the Velo Club already.
Tomorrow we set sail for Appleton to do our first duathlon of the year, the Paper Discovery Dualthlon. It is 5K run - 22 mile bike - 5K run. I think it will be an absolute blast. Lucas ("DUB") is coming with us and bringing a friend and they are in charge of taking pictures of us so we should have lots of pictures of hot girls in tight spandex and other random people and funny signs. If all goes well we should get one or two shots of us in there somewhere that don't have to buy from the event photographer.
I have found a new favorite treat. Sugar free Mentos - I love them. One caveat for those of you that are suggestible enough to consider running out right now to get a box - there is a phrase written in teensy, tiny letters on the packaging that states "excessive consumption may have a laxative effect." Just in case you are wondering, an entire package of roughly 20 Mentos pieces apparently qualifies as excessive consumption........... So should you choose to buy them next time you are in the supermarket checkout line, remember that less is more and stick to just a couple at a time.
What's up next for the Wimmers? Well, on Thursday we will celebrate National Nurses Day with our first 10K race - The Meriter Nurses Run in Madison. Next weekend is the Beloit YMCA Biathlon (which is a mere 15 minute drive for us) 2mi run - 11 mi bike - 2mi run. This should be a piece of cake after the Paper Discovery this weekend. After that is the Rock 50/50 bike ride. We will take Memorial weekend off, the we will be doing the Evansville Duathlon the following weekend(another one close to home). Beyond that- who knows? We have lots of choices, so we shall see.