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Sunday, June 29, 2008

Weekend Update: The Horribly Hilly Half Hundred

Friday morning, Alison and I did a 25ish mile bike ride. I always enjoy having someone to hang with on the bike so I was glad she called and the rain held off while we were out there. Here are the details.
Later Friday, Mike and I rode the school bus to Middleton to chaperone the Parker linemen to All Pro Lineman camp. The boys were good and we were able to get in a run on the track at Bishop O'Connor Center. The track there is not great -dirt and gravel- and not maintained well so there was a lot of ruts and plant life on the track making for a challenge. I was doing my own bastardized version of the Galloway method (running 3/4 of each lap and then walking the last 1/4), stopping a few times to watch the BeefCake in action on the field when I could find him. I got in just short of 6 miles (my goal was 8) before I felt a little tweak in the left knee and decided to stop and stretch, calling it day. They ate their half of a Rocky Rococo pizza to celebrate the end of camp (Thanks Coach Dye!) and we were on the way home.
Saturday, we took a rest day and got ready for the SWAT party that we hosted at our house. It was a lot of fun to get together with everyone and Mike makes a killer beer brat. Pictures can be seen here.
Today we took a long bike with Alison. We wanted to do 50ish miles of something different, so we looked up a route on that went through Cooksville, Evansville, and Magnolia Bluff. Holy Moly - it was about the hilliest ride I have ever done. I rarely get off my bike with jelly legs and I was feeling the hills for a couple hours afterwards. Not only was it suck-the-life-out-of-you hilly, it was also pretty windy and thought for a while a rain cloud was going to pour on us but it held off for an hour or so after we got back. And as usual, now that we are done, I can say it was a good ride and I'm glad I did it.
Went to Madison in the afternoon (since the rain ruled out a good OWS) and picked up some replacement pads for my tri-bars, an aerobottle for my beloved Hubba Bubba (that's the Diva, not my hubby), and a couple other miscellaneous things - Suit Juice, etc.
Thought we were going to Rockport for some evening laps but when we got there it was closed, I'm sure because it was coolish today and sprinkly/cloudy. It's funny to see Mike all jazzed up to swim and then pout because he couldn't......... who'd have thought THAT would ever happen?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Laissez les Bons Temps Rouler!

Been a few days - sorry about that.

The 100K Rotary Pie Ride:
Click the title link to view the route & stats.
This was an awesome ride as usual, made even more fun by doing it as a group with SWAT. The Rotarians do an awesome job with this both times I have done it and the weather was BEAUTIFUL, sandwiched between days and days and days of thunderstorms and gloominess. I was a little worried that we may run in to trouble with flooded or impassible roads (as much of Southern Wisconsin these days needs scuba gear to pass through) but the roads were fine. we started early, so we missed much of the heat of the day but we hit most of the aid stations for cookies, pretzels, and fruit!The route is challenging with plenty of hill work, and the last 20 miles of hills was also into a stiff headwind (blech). It was my longest ride of the year and it went rather well, with only one minor windy patch about mile 50 where the wind and the hills sucked the life out of me and I got a little whiny and tearful. Once I figured out my slowness at that point was due to gearing and made some adjustments all was well with the world again and we were rolling.
Tuesday Tri-Outs:
Our summer group workouts with the SWAT Team have started again. There have been 2 of these so far, glad to be rolling again! This is just such a great group to be a part of, they are so much fun! We also got to finally meet Mike and Sherry in real life after doing like tons of the same events and never crossing paths. It is always nice to meet new folks with like interests! This week was a small group of riders, so Darin tricked us into adding an extra 5 miles or so onto our bike, which by the way was 5 miles of life-sucking hills. Once back at the park, we took a short transition run to Pizza Hut, sniffed the air around the building and headed back. Our usual run route through the bike path is underwater so this has been our alternate route, which works for me because it bypasses the biggest hills of the route.

Whitewater Well Bike (A/K/A the Mutual of Omaha bike route) :
last weekend, Mike and I rode this 50 mile route with Alison. Honestly, I thought I had taken this route before last year with Janet. I kept waiting for something familiar and it just never came, but what did come was the realization that what I was really thinking of was the Whitewater LAKE route. No matter - both routes are pretty and fun so we enjoyed the scenery. We saw turkeys, pheasants, foxes, herons, woodchucks, chipmunks, red tailed hawks, a couple of dogs that didn't chase us, and a lot of dead stinky stuff on our ride. it was very rural and deserted for much of the route, which made for good wildlife watching and very little traffic so we could ride a s a small pack and chat a bit. We didn't set the world of fire speedwise, but that wasn't really the point either.

Nick's graduation party:
Last weekend, we hosted Nick's grad party and had a perfect day for it. Sunny, breezy, and dry after a brief AM shower, couldn't have asked for better weather for an outside party. We got to spend time with family and friends we haven't seen much lately and get caught up. Even our friends from Iowa showed up near the end and we had a nice long visit with them.
It was kind of funny watching Nick talk to the folks that came to his party. Socializing isn't really his thing, so he made an attempt to talk to everyone but it was obviously not particularly comfortable for him. It is a good life skill to learn so glad he had the opportunity.

Swim Bricks:
The weather here has been a little soggy lately, so we have used the opportunity to get some serious swimming time in, and Mike has actually been itching to get in the pool every day if he can. Most of our days have been at Rockport pool (a 50M Olympic size outdoor pool) with some other days at Edison Middle School pool (25 yd) if it's rainy. One of the nights we showed up at Rockport as they were closing because someone puked in the pool. Uh, yeah.....gross.
We are following almost all of our swims with a 2-4 mile run afterwards. That whole brick thing kind of bums me out, I do a lot of run/walking as my legs cramp up more than a normal run but it is getting better. And my IT band has not bothered me much at all since my 2 week hiatus from running after the marathon fiasco, which is awesome. I have been reading up a little on the Galloway method and trying to work that into what I am doing to see if that makes any difference in what I am doing. So far I am liking it, although I think I have probably bastardized the method enough that it might not make a huge a difference in my speed. Time will tell I guess.
This week:
The end of this week we are chaperoning the bus for Beefcake and his teammates at All Pro Lineman camp. We did this last year too and it is in a good area for exercising. It's at Bishop O'Connor Pastoral center in Middleton area and they are not far off the IMWI bike course and they have a nice dirt track where we can get in a nice long run.
I think it's kinda funny that they want me to chaperone the bus.....for the O line and D Line. These are pretty big boys, like all 250-300+ pounds of muscly testosterony man-size boys. What exactly would I do if one of them got unruly?? girly slap them?? Yeah right.
Saturday night we are hosting the SWAT Team for a cookout. It really is just a ploy to maintain the current level of cleanliness for my house and to get rid of some of the lifetime supply of potato salad and pulled BBQ pork I have left from the grad party. Anyone hungry? Stop by, we've got food!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Yes I am still alive, thank you for asking.

I guess it's been a few days since I posted - sheesh! Time sure flies!

Things I have done in the past few weeks:
* graduated my oldest son Nick, complete with screaming, yelling, cowbells, and confetti. Now comes the preparation for the party next weekend. I really need to practice my cartwheels for that....
* Did some swimming at Rockport pool in my wetsuit to get used to it before taking her out in open water. I figure the initial wetsuit application and the initial OWS should be 2 distinctly separate panic attacks. We sure looked funny donning those suits on the pool deck. There were 2 ladies in skirted swimsuits sitting in lawn chairs that I think nearly wet themselves watching me try to shimmy my fat ass into that rubber nightmare. What a hoot! Now THAT we should have videotaped....
* Had a great bike ride on the Beckman Mill Velo Club route (45 miles) that was a great ride with Alison and Mike.
* Went to our first Tri Club Tri-Out on Tuesday and got some swimming in the wetsuit again, and then took a group ride resulting in 3 total flats. And many mosquito bites while standing roadside helping the flatters. Ouch,
* Did some additional swimming during the storms at the Edison indoor pool. Tried out my Zoomers which by the way are the best flippers ever. Big congrats to Mike on his first swim night ever over a mile.
* While swimming at Edison, took video footage of our swim strokes. When reviewing the footage, I coincidentally discovered how much of my white butt my new swimsuit exposes. I won't be posting that video clip, thank you very much.

What's coming up: Saturday: 100K Rotary Club Pie Ride. This ride features 63 miles of rest stops with cookies and Gatorade (martinis at the last one) and you take home a pie. So yeah, it's win-win.
Sunday: Fathers Day cookout, likely to be indoors.
next weekend: Nick's graduation party, preceded by the mountain of cleaning that must be done to prepare. my maid is so fired.
Lots of watching the weather and flooding to try to figure out when and where I can get a workout in between raindrops and flash floods. In case you haven't heard, we are all a little bit soggy up this way. it has been a challenge to say the least!

37 Days til Spirit of Racine - our first Half Iron Distance event!

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