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Saturday, June 30, 2007

In Search of Bitch Hill

Friday, Mike and I dropped the boy off at Football Camp at the Bishop O'Connor Center in Middleton and had 4 hours to kill while we waited. So while the other parents set up their lawn chairs to watch the riveting show, Mike and I took off on our bikes to explore the back roads around Middleton. Our first obstacle was to cross Mineral Point Road to get to the Trek store for some route advice. After taking our lives in our hands to cross 6 lanes of traffic at 5pm on a Friday, we went in the store and talked with a couple of the guys and settled on a route Now I must say that i think our idea of "quiet roads with not much traffic" and theirs was a little different.
We found our way to to Old Sauk Road and took it out of town. There was no real shoulder and not really a bike lane to speak of and I thought I'd be road pizza for sure. Cars buzzed by us pretty quick and it made me really nervous. When we reached the end, we went onto some shorter country-er roads and alternated between them and busier highways with a 3 inch shoulder. We went through Cross Plains and around to the other side of Middleton and back to the Bishop O'Connor center. That is the short version. In truth, we stopped to look at the map a billion times, thought we lost nearly as often, got off track for real a couple of them, and generally took the slowest 30 miler on earth. The route was very very very hilly. The roads were often not marked really well (or the map did not list the same name as as was on the street sign). Lots of the roads were gravelly, or the shoulder was sandy or full of debris, or the asphalt was crumbling away making it narrow or non-existent. Actually most of it was probably that we had to rely on the advice of others and we were on roads that I was not as familiar with so I was out of my comfort zone. If we had to do it again, I think it would be a much more relaxing ride.
When we got back to the center, Mike and I ran a quick 2 miles on the dirt track. I was feeling really good and felt like I could have gone forever. We had to quit at 2 miles though because camp got over and all the boys left the field. (bummer).
Today the SWAT folks are riding one loop of the IMWI bike course. I would SO like to go to that, but Mike is working this morning and we have a grad party to get to this afternoon so we just can't. I just finished reading the book we got at last weeks run about the IMWI experience and I really would like to get a look at "Bitch Hill" and see what that's all about. maybe next time. One time up that hill would definitely be better than tackling the Horribly Hilly Hundred ride.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Twilight 5K Race Report

Wednesday night Mike and I ran the Twilight Run 5K benefiting the Alzheimer's Support Center. It has been a while for both of us to do a 5K instead of a 10, so our goals were to PR for this race.
This was the first time for this event, so we expected a couple snafus. The first one came even before we registered when I went to download a brochure from the website and found that only one side of the form was on the site - just not the side that told you when and where the run was being held. There was no check in times listed, so we just showed up when it seemed reasonable to arrive. They had only received a partial shipment of shirts, so mine was there and they will have to catch up with Mike's shirt later on (I know that is just killing the Tshirt whore, but he is taking it well).
The course started in Monterey park and was a flat out and back on the bike path. It was a small group of maybe 60 runners. The course was quick and I took off a little fast. After a mile I had to slow down a little to keep my heart from leaping out of my chest. I was feeling pretty good most of the way and began counting the people I passed so I knew about where I was in the pack. I started feeling like I had to pee about mile 1.5 but tried to will it away. I got to the turnaround and that is where I started counting again who was behind me. I counted at least 12, so that was pretty cool. I got another half mile down the road and knew I was not going to make it back to the park without a pit stop. I snuck behind a bridge footing near the river to pee. I was really bummed about it because it cost me 4 people in my lead and I had given it my all for so long there was not enough gas to try to pass them again. (I think I freaked one of them out - I could here her shouting out to ask if I was OK as I took off behind the footing - good thing she didn't try to follow!!) So anyhow I gave everything I had on the last bit back to the park and ended up with 32:09 for 3.23 on the Garmin, a 9:58 pace and a PR pace. I have no idea what place that left me in, I just know I was lower than 4th in my age group.
They had some problems with tallying the results by hand, but they eventually called Mike to the podium for a 3rd place age grouper- yeah MDot!
Tonight we are headed to Madison to drive the boy to Football Camp. We plan to do some riding or running while we are waiting, so that should be fun.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Thelma, the new love of my life

Today we got up and kicked around the house picking up. It really needed it - the maid is so fired! We ran out to do some miscellaneous errands. Yesterday, Mike got a guy on a Bobcat at the neighbors house to come and get the boulders moved from the old rock garden to the new one, so our first stop today was the Home Depot to pick up dirt, fertilizer and other miscellaneous yard items.
Our next stop was the bike shop. We have been bitching about the Yakima roof rack we bought last summer. It is hard for Mike to get them up and down, we need a ladder to do it, and I am far too short to even think about being able to help or do it myself, which rules out any "drive to get there" bike routes. We bought the rack last summer to be able to take the bikes AND the camper on camping trips, then we sold the camper the next month. I know- dumb- but thats just how we roll. I have been drooling over the Saris Thelma rack for months in the cycling magazines, and I have heard through the grapevine that one of the guys from the Michael's team is one of the people involved in engineering this for Saris which is pretty cool. Mike watched the You tube video explaining how it worked and he was finally sold on it too. So today we picked her up and brought our new baby home.
We had made plans to run with another couple from the SWAT group at 2, so we were really on a tight time line to get home and get to Edgerton for a run. We got there right on time and somewhere from Janesville to Edgerton it got really HOT! We took off quick and I was having a hard time keeping the pace up. They are fast runners (well everyone really is compared to me usually) so I was really trying to keep up a pace that everyone could deal with. Bottom line, I was not successful. My legs felt like rubbery lead and just didn't want to move. It was hot, I was sore and tired, and i really struggled. To compound things a little more, I really had not had much in for calories for the day - I was at 535 for the day when we arrived at their house - or much in to drink most of the day. I walked quite a bit off and on and I.NEVER.WALK. The few Sports Beans I brought along were not enough to make up for the calorie debt and it was so hot out I ran out of water with at least 2 miles to go ( I never finish all my water in my fuel belt either). So, I bonked a little, tried to overcome it unsuccessfully, and finished with a dismal pace of 4.9 mph. A little embarrassing.
So, today's lessons were:
*Don't overestimate your ability- Rome wasn't built in a day and neither is my mileage tolerance
*Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Especially before a longer run
*Eat something you fool! What do you think- you can run on FUMES!
*Try carrying a gel for quick sugar, just in case.
*Pay attention to the weather and prepare a little better.
So anyhow, hopefully the Hagens are OK with today - I know they were wanting a workout too and I held everyone back.
Tawya asked me today why I do not like to run. After thinking a little bit about it this afternoon, I guess it is because it doesn't seem like you cover much ground very fast, and also because physically my performance is so variable. On the bike I never seem to have an off day, but with the run some days I feel like Superman others I just feel like I am wearing cement shoes or get too out of breath, or just plain struggle to keep going and finish. I really want to do a half marathon sometime this summer/fall, but I am a little worried that the run I sign up for will be one of my OFF days and I will suck more than usual at it. So, my strategy is to run more, until I like it more or I get better at it. Or it kills me - :-)
We got Thelma assembled to night and I also got to transplanting some of my favorite plants from the old rock garden to the new one. I had some plants I got from Mike's gramma before they moved to North carolina and I really wanted to get them transplanted, since I really am kind of sentimental about them. I also had some that I transplanted from my Dad's garden last year, and some other stuff I had planted over the last couple years that I really like - lillies, Jacob's Ladder, ecchinacea, and some other yellow thing that spreads everywhere. I moved gramma's hens and chicks too, some of which got run over by the Bobcat and yet were nice and perky tonight. I took some of gramma's daisies and used them to seed the new bed along with some other widflower seed. We shall see how it goes - you never know. Cross your fingers for me please!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Rock and Roll Rookie Run 10K

Today was the Rock and Roll Rookie Run in Middleton, the race Michelle Alswager was in charge of and has hounded us to do since we saw her last fall at the Run for the Rivers.
It was a good run for me. I won't call it a race because it really isn't about competing for me (Thank God for that! I would really be down if it were important!..... unless there were medals for bottom 3....) I finished, I wasn't last, and it didn't kill me. And I got to giggle at the old guy in split shorts with his wrinkly ass cheek hanging out in the wind..... I was just wondering what he was thinking when he decided on THAT outfit this morning. I got to clap at one of the two people I knew were behind me as we crossed paths on the final loop towards the finish line and tell her "Good Job!" And we got to meet Colin, a nice guy we met for the first time today, even though we have been at lots of the same races. It was a double loop course, and I thought it was a nice course. Mike whined about the hills, but I really didn't think it was that hilly. However I do live on a killer hill so maybe that clouds my judgement, who knows. For those of you that are data hounds, you can see the run here.
When the run was done, we chatted with Colin a while and waited for them to deliver our medals. When that didn't pan out, we decided to move on with our plans for the day. Since it was right there in the same shopping center where the race took place, we headed over to Endurance House to check it out. I bought a new watch (a girly purple Ironman Timex), some Yanks, and a new race number belt. I did find an awesome wetsuit, but somehow restrained myself from buying it - it was PINK for goodness sake, how perfect is THAT!!!?? It is going to be tough to resist going back for her.
(BTW, speakingof wetsuits - I have had at least 3 conversations in the last week about how everyone pees in their wetsuits when they swim in them, apparently to keep warm?? Eww... gross. I had absolutely no idea this was common practice, let alone something people would share openly....I glad that I had those conversations before considering buying a used one on eBay or renting one from somewhere to try it out. Can you imagine wearing someone elses toilet suit - gross.)
After my retail therapy session, we headed over to Olin-Turville Park to ride the Madison bike paths. We had the mt bikes with us so the ride was slower, but the scenery was great. I wanted to practice clipping into the MTB cleats so I am ready for Monday's Velo Club ride and will hopefully have a better night. Saw a lot of wildlife - turkeys, deer, sandhill cranes, other birds, and other little critters. as we started out, I was just fascinated by all the butterflies (little black ones with orange and white markings) that were EVERY WHERE. It was really cool, for a while anyway. Then they somehow became kamikaze butterflies. They were bouncing off my forehead, lodging into the vents of my helmet, flying into my jersey. Not nearly as cute as it was at first. And they HURT when they bounced off my head! If you are interested in the data, you can find it here.
While we were biking, I decided our bikes need names. I named Mike's mountain bike "Superbee" because of its yellow and black paint job, and his love of the old car. He decided to call it "Hemi" for short. I settled on "Veronica" for my mountain bike, mostly because it sounds like a really bitchy girls name and since she keeps throwing me off the bike every time I ride it, the name fits perfectly. I also decided that I would name the OCR road bike "Angelina" since when we are having a good riding day, I feel like some unmentionable parts of my body are a little puffy and swollen, kind of like Angelina Jolie's lips..........
Any suggestions for Mike's OCR? I am thinking maybe "Blackbeard"...... like the pirate......... ARGGG.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Bring on the SCHWAG

This afternoon, we took our trip to Fleet Feet Madison to pick up our race packets for Saturday. Here is what came in the bag:

A nice covered pedometer

A water bottle

A Brooks technical race Tee shirt

A book written by local Wisconsin triathlete Dan Madson "Swim-Bike-Run-Laugh" (a funny looka thte Ironman expereience)

a rubber bracelet for Diabetes

miscelaneous pamphlets, flyer, coupons

I love new stuff.

Catching Up with Jenny

Hello Y'all. I have been MIA for a few days I guess. Honestly, I am working hard to adapt to a new twist on my work schedule and getting a ton of work done for school, with lots of written work due in the past week and in the upcoming weeks. I will be so glad when I get to the end of July and I am done for a while!

Monday, we were set for another attempt at breaking something important (also known as the Club mt bike beginners ride), but unfortunately it was not in the cards due to rain. Tuesday we did another Tri-out with the SWAT group. First we went to the pool where I really didn't swim, but rather spotted Mike for towing drills using the Total Immersion Swim techniques. Let's just call that successful because he did not pout and did not get mad at me or stomp out of the pool. Truly it went well - we still have some work to go before we can call him comfortable. Afterwards we did a group road bike ride. I led the group out on one of my usual routes, but the group struggled a little with equipment failures and other obstacles like a fall going over railroad tracks, etc. The route has a lot of turns on it so there was also a lot of waiting at corners to make sure we didn't drop anyone. It was fun, but a slow ride. When we were done with that, we took a run along the rock river trailway path and returned to Rockport Park for a quick snack and some good conversation. Man, everyone (except me) in that group has got some wheels on the run. I felt like a snail. Of course there were also a couple killer hills on the return part up Rockport Road from the trail and I whined a bit about having to run after biking, but I got over it ...... when we stopped. They have been a fun group so far. They are loud and rowdy and just generally make the workouts feel fun.

Last night, Mike and I took a nice long run, about 8.5 miles to Riverside Park and back. The first couple miles felt like a struggle even though it was all downhill, then I finally got into my groove and felt like we were going really quick and steady. I found that funny because we were going uphill and into the rain. Go figure.

Today I did some clinical hours at Haven House Hospice Residence, which was an interesting experience.

Tonight, we are headed to Madison to pick up our Schwag Bags for the Rock N Roll Rookie Run (inaugural event) which is presented by a friend from high school who works at JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation). Sounds like it will be a good time tomorrow. We are signed up for the 10K, so probably everyone in the race will smoke me but really I don't care. It seems like the 10K is the break between the seriously fast runners and the casual slogger. In the 5Ks I am comfortably in the middle of the pack, but the 10s are a different story - I keep looking back to see if the car that follows the last racer is creeping along on my heels or if there is perhaps another slower slogger somewhere behind me.

Tomorrow: the Rock and Roll Rookie Run 10K, followed by a bike trip around Madison.

Monday: MTB beginners group ride

Tuesday: SWAT Practice

Wednesday: Twilight Run 5K (Alzheimer's Support Center)

Other days: Miscellaneous workouts, whatever catches my attention for the day.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Pie-athlon (a/k/a the Rotary Pie Ride)

Friday night, Mike and I took a quick road ride in country, 20 miles of pretty standard road riding on our regular routes. I have taken a few days off due to laziness and a need to get a couple papers written for school, so it felt good to get out there and spin a few miles out. Afterwards, we went to the Speakeasy for the pre-party for my 20th class reunion which is this weekend. We talked to a couple people and left after about an hour. It was disappointing that really none of my good friends from high school were there, so we cruised early and went home to sit in the hot tub and rest up for Saturday's ride.
We were up early this morning and were at Lions Beach for the Rotary Club Annual Pie Ride. We were doing the 100K (62 mile) route. Other members of the SWAT Club met early to swim an hour at Lions Beach (which is a disgusting small lake that I refer to lovingly as Duck Poop Soup, owing to the fact that there are like a bazillion geese that hang out there freshening up the water. It is truly gross.), the first of three legs of what they call the Pie-Athlon. We opted to skip the swim - too early, too poopy, and too cold. While they swam, we chatted with the Michael's Cycles guys who had a tent set up to do last minute maintenance for the ride. We took off at about 7:30 from the beach as a group. It was a really nice ride, not too hilly, light to moderate traffic to deal with, and good company. The folks on the team are really a lot of fun to ride with, boisterous, loud and funny and they kept a good pace with us that was comfortable but pushing up from our usual pace. There were plenty of rest stops with cookies, fruit, and Gatorade. The last one even served gin and tonics. (WTH??). We picked up our pies (a cherry and an apple pie) at the finish line when we were done.

When we got back, Mike and I joined Kitty, Alan, and Brenda for a quick 3 mile along the Janesville tri route as the final leg of the Pie-athlon. I took off without a water in my hand (stupid decision) I had had enough by mile 2.5 so walked a little ways then slogged it the rest of the way in.

It was flaming hot and muggy out by the time we got done with it all. I have a killer tan/burn going with some interesting tan lines. Glad I wore shorter tri shorts, since you can see where they ended. You can also see the outline of my tri top, my watch, and my bike gloves. Looks kind of strange with street clothes on........

So now we completed our first metric century (100K) ride off our to do list - check. What's left on it? True century, bike race, sprint tri, oly tri, half marathon, and half ironman.

We celebrated my3400 calorie day with a burger form Red Robin and a little Dairy Queen. Yummy.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

MTB Mayhem and the SWAT team

It's been a busy couple days.

Monday night, Mike and I went to the Velo Club Mt Bike ride in Rockport Park. I had an off night. The decision was made to work on some of the technical aspects of the trails, in particular hill climbing and some of the single track stuff. I fell down a lot. Several of them really hurt. I became convinced the Schlegels were trying to kill me. We ran through spots in the park named FUBAR, the figure 8, the roller coaster, and broken pinky. Broken pinky was especially heinous. It is a gimongous steep hill covered in loose gravel. I pretty much spun out midway up and fell off my bike onto to my elbow.
I struggled with:
- my clipless pedals. The shoes for my road bike and my MTB have different style clips. I could not get clipped in a lot of the night, kept using the wrong motion to clip, pushing forward instead of stepping down.
- my emotions. The more frustrated I got with the ride, the stupider I rode. I had trouble with shifting sensibly and just did some stupid crap for no reason except sheer frustration.
- my fears. The more I had clipping problems, the more I timid I rode. Because I rode scared, I kept riding into trees. Or flipping myself off my bike.
- my directional orientation. We rode the trails backwards from what we have done the last two times. Totally threw me off and just felt wrong. I think this led to my first (of many) falls off my bike where I slid backwards down a hill and took out a tree. The poor thing never saw it coming, but the scrapes down my back where I slid down the bark as I laid that sucker out will last me for a while - they are pretty raw.
- My balance. I fell off my bike a lot. Sometimes for no real reason at all. I felt like a big giant ass.
- my stupid bike. Did I mention I really hate her this week? I do. Just as I reached the peak of my pissiness, I was pedaling uphill and the chain broke. I let out a little whoop. "YES! I CAN'T RIDE ANYMORE TONIGHT! WOO HOO!!!" Unfortunately, Bob whipped out his fixy thing and fixed up the chain. I rode some more, then as we were fixing to leave the park it broke again. He fixed it again and we went home. I hate my stupid frigging bike this week. I'm sure it will pass, but I blame her for this ride. Lord knows, it's not MY fault..... :-)

Tuesday was our first Tri-out (like a work out tripled). We started in Rockport Park at the pool. We swam some laps. I swam/walked beside Mike trying to help until he got pissy and got out of the pool to pout. Then I swam some laps of my own and got out myself. I no longer want to help coach him since I just get the brunt of his frustration with it. I plan to call around for a coach for him, letting someone else get bitched at would be well worth it for me.

The bike was an easy 20 down Afton Road and back. I cannot fathom why they ride that busy road with glass all over the shoulder when there are tons of virtually empty country roads branching off it everywhere, but whatever -it was not my party so we went with it. Not knowing what to expect from this group, we hung towards the back at first, then took off and hammered it a little harder on the way back in, getting ahead of a big chunk of the group. We skipped the run, mostly because we didn't bring our shoes. Maybe next time. It seems like a nice group, very helpful and offered some good advice so far. We'll keep going for a while and see where this goes. The seem to keep a good pace for us, which is what I was most concerned about.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Jacob's First Race and some other stuff

This morning, my nephew Jacob gave us a harmonica concert wake-up call at 6:50 AM. I answered the phone from a dead sleep and was instantly at a concert. He told us he was running the kids race at the Kerry Classic, so after getting my oldest son Nick off to take his ACTs, we headed to Beloit to spectate for a change. Jeff did awesome, as usual, and Jacob did great too. Jeff took first in his age group, 10th overall and Jacob got a cool Tshirt and a blue ribbon, and a hug from Snappy the mascot for the Beloit Snappers, our local minor league team. It was a fun looking race and Mike and I were wishing we had been able to run it ourselves, but then we would likely have missed Jake's big moment so I'm glad we didn't.

When we got home, we took a new run route from our house along the paved bike trail next to the river into Riverside Park. It was a nice route - we got to run alongside the Rock River and saw some cool stuff - the Aqua Jays Waterski team practicing their stunts, some really cool birds, to name a few. Ended up being about 9 miles round trip and was challenging, but still doable.

Later in morning, Lucas consented to go for a spin on his new bike with us. It was cool to do something active together -I think that's the first family ride we have taken since the boys were riding in a kid seat on the back of my bike. It's a shame we took so many years to take it. We had fun, Mike and I took the mt Bikes so we could more easily keep a pace Lucas could keep up with even though we weren't off road at all. We took the Kiwanis trail to Riverside Park that we had run earlier. I think Lucas had fun, I know I had fun riding with him. I wish Nick would come along too next time. Today he was just getting done with the ACT and then he had to go to work.
Tonight we took Jacob a celebratory "great run little guy" prize package. It included lots of messy smelly stuff that should serve as retribution for the wake-up serenade. He got some silly string, smelly bubbles, a whoopie cushion, a playdoh confetti maker, and best of all some gel in a jar stuff that makes fart noises when you play with it - SWEET! A boys dream come true, and lots of stuff that mom and dad probably wouldn't get them (I know I wouldn't have!).

Tomorrow is a big ride, probably to Big Hills Park and a short run maybe with Lucas if he will do it. I will also email someone from the triathlon club and see if I can figure out when they do group workout and where we would fit into their scheme. we seem to be out of the loop as the new guys on the block and need to get with the program.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Evansville Pictures from my sister

On your left is me, fully experiencing bike/run ick. Notice the length of my stride? That's because my legs DO NOT want to move.

On the right, I am hollering "I'm not last!!!!" Apparently, my sister took a butt shot of me too. Awesome.

Here is Mike and I at the awards ceremony. I have just collected my 3rd place age grouper award. Notice my smile? That's because the race is over. Notice how thrilled M-Dot is for me? I believe his exact words were "Great. Now can we go home? Let's go. Now. Let's go."

Sunday, June 3, 2007

An Exercise in Stupidity - another race report

For reasons I cannot really fathom, I signed us up for a 10K today, the day after the hardest race ever. Why did I do it? Well it was cheap ($10 for me, $15 for Mike), it was through my work so we got a special tee, and it was local. It was called the Finish Line 10K for the American Cancer Society, and there was also a 5K and a fun walk.
There were maybe 15 people that did the 10K. Most everyone was out of sight ahead of me the whole way. We ran from Traxler Park over the bridge on Centerway, behind the hospital on the Kiwanis Trail into Riverside Park. I was pretty much dead tired by then. I ended up shortcutting a quarter mile off the park, kind of by accident. What did it matter? There were 3 girls behind me but it didn't cut them off at all and it didn't move me farther up in the pack. There was a HUGE hill through Riverside Park I had never done before, pretty much don't plan to ever run it again - it sucked big butt (and I cannot lie....) and I was sucking wind hard at that point so I walked up it, bitching the whole way.
As I ran out of the park and down Memorial Bridge back to Traxler, there was not another runner in sight. I crossed the finish line at 1:10.11. Whoopi-de-doo. I'm done. There were 3 girls behind me, way behind, like walking that finished about 10 minutes after me, so not DFL at least.
Now it's time for homework and rest. Lots of both.
Memo to self: back to back racing - not such a great plan, ya big dummy.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

The Great Evansville Duathlon: Not DNF, not DFL

First things first, thanks big bunches to my sons Nick and Lucas who came and took pictures of us and cheered us on. Even though they took pictures of my butt bent over tying my shoe in transition. Even though they refused to give me a cowbell fix. Especially because they got their cracks out the sack at 5:30 and didn't whine about it much. Also big thanks to my sister and nephew for cheering me on and taking some pictures that I hope are of something besides my butt.

Secondly, for my mother who will ask (and anyone else who was wondering):
DNF: did not finish
DFL: Dead Flipping Last (or insert your F word of choice)

We were up early today (5 bells) getting ready for a 7 am race. the sky was iffy and Mike watched the Weather Channel for like an hour, wringing his hands about the rain. I said nothing but apparently he thought I gave him "a look." He then says "Well, I know you would have no problem running in a tornado, but that's not fun for me." After that, I WAS good and ready to run in the rain even though I hadn't been really feeling it yet.
Got in the car and arrived at the park by 6:20. There was lightning to our north and we basically drove into the darkest area in sight. We got unpacked and set up in transition and waited under the pavilion while it started raining. By the way, all the racers and spectators fit under the pavilion awning, all 52 or so of us. It was a small group. Pretty much everyone but us looked like hardcore elite triathlon folks. I prepared myself to be dead last and race against myself. The transition area was kind of funny - there was maybe 10 bike racks and was roughly the size of my master bedroom, especially compared to my only other experience in Appleton.
We took off as a group in a light rain. I opted to keep my water resistant high-vis jacket on to keep as dry as possible. Before long everyone was out in front of me. And by everyone, I mean EVERY ONE . ..... . DFL. Not too far ahead of me was a girl about my size, running a little faster than me. I decided she was my goal pace to beat. I followed her pretty close for a while, then she was out of sight. The run was flat and pretty easy and the rain stopped about midway through. I got to transition and changed out quickly. I was the only bike left. Bummer.

Taking off on the bike, there was a girl who came back because she forgot her helmet. Sweet - I was ahead of her, one down. The ride was as I expected from the pre-ride. The road was wet so I was extra cautious, especially because I had never ridden on the new tires so was unsure if handling would change. The downhills were all very technical with hairpin turns at the bottom of downhills, so I didn't make up a lot of time on them. I was able to pass 6 people, surprisingly most of them on the uphills. I had been able to plan for my hills wisely, unlike a few people apparently.

The only unexpected part of the ride was when we got to Magnolia Bluff Park. We had only ridden in and turned around in the first parking lot. The route went farther in, or rather up. And up. And around. And up some more. It was tougher than the other two big hills combined. Super bummer but I lived through it.
The ride back was smooth sailing. I got back to transition and changed out quickly. I was no longer the only person there and there were people behind me. One guy was in the process of turning in his chip - he quit before running the last leg, not sure why.
I saw my sister and her kids as I ran out of the park and yelled "I'm not last!!!" in case she didn't know it. I took off on my last run ahead of my goal pace girl. About 1 1/2 miles in she came up beside me, said hi, and got ahead of me. CRAP! I passed her at the water stop and she passed me right back. I stayed on her heels until the last half mile. Not sure why, but she slowed down to a power walk and I was able to gain a pretty significant amount of distance on her. As I neared the park and the ultimate finish, I kept looking over my shoulder for her - not sure why because I had no gas left in the tank to race her if she was there.
As I got to the finish, Lucas came over and ran me in the last 50 yards or so. That was cool, but sadly there was no cowbell. Oh well. Michele and the gang were there for the last run and everyone was waiting at the finish. Jeff was bruised and bloody. He had a wipeout at a corner and has a mean road rash on his arm and leg and he hit his head so hard it broke his helmet - OUCH! He put a hole in his Balegas too, big bummer there. Still, he beat me to the finish by 34 minutes despite being a battered bloody mess. Now that's tough - mental and physical. I am super impressed with that. Mike did a great job too. I know this was not his favorite race adn he stuck it out and did really, really great. I'll let him tell his own story.

I got an awards certificate for 3rd in my age group. It's more impressive if you don't know that there were only 3 people IN my age group, but it's not like anybody was really buying my "I'm a ball of racing fire" stories anyhow. They did not list us as Athenas or Clydes, but since there were no registered Athenas, I will also credit myself with a first place Athena award. Hey, if I keep rationalizing this thing, I may ending up winning the whole darn race................ :-)

I had fun, it stopped raining for most of the race, and my kids got to see me work hard at something. Good day for me overall. And yes I did beat my pace goal girl. Yeah me.
My Garmin data can be seen here.

Final results from
date: Jun 2nd, 2007
location: Evansville, WI
number of finishers:52
number of females:14
number of males:38
average time:02:07:47
Jenny Wimmer
bib number: 30
age: 37
gender: F
location: Janesville, WI
overall place: 47 out of 52
division place: 3 out of 3
gender place: 10 out of 14
time: 2:32:07
run 1: 35:35
trans 1: 1:32
bike: 1:15:16
trans 2: 1:28
run 2: 38:17

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