Click Here to Get One for Yourself

Monday, July 28, 2008

Save the Ho Ho: Cycling Shorts Review

TMI Alert: If you don't want to talk girly parts and sit bones, stop reading here. Consider yourself warned. :-)

So this summer, we have spent several long days in the saddle. Last summer we rode 20-30 miles 4-6 days a week. This summer, we are riding less days but longer distances, usually 40-60, with a 100 miler coming up this weekend. The extended sitting time is taking a painful toll on the lady parts area. About mile 30 lately, I start to consider maybe standing up for the last 20 or so miles of my ride to avoid sitting down any longer. I think it is boiling down to a problem with my shorts or a problem with my seat. Since I have been OK with the seat until the ride gets longer, it seems like the shorts are the best route to try fixing first.

A few weeks back, I read in Bicycling Magazine about some shorts called Trashy Cat Satin Shorts. They were rated as the best shorts under $100. So since the experts recommended them, I started there. Fit: REALLY small, like almost too tight small. I know I've put on 15 pounds since last summer, but yeah WAY WAY WAY tighter than they should have been. Comfort: Okay, but still some discomfort near the end of a long ride. Binding around the legs was uncomfortable. Bottom Line: They were OK, but not that much different that what I already had and would order a size up from what I would normally order. Um yeah, fat girls REALLY don't like to size UP...

So the research continued. Next up was a pair of shorts called the SheBeest SB Ultra D Shorts. I tried them out this weekend and they were really comfortable. The Century Stretch Pad gave good pressure relief and I had no real discomfort. Disadvantage: The pad is bulky and may not lend itself well to triathlon running, unless of course the expectation is you run in a diaper. Overall a good long distance short, but may cause some chafing later on the run.
Other pending reviews: I have also purchased a pair of Pearl Izumi UltraSensor Shorts (women's version with the 3D Elite chamois pad) and a pair of DeSoto 400 mile Shorts. I'll let you know how that goes. I suspect nothing will be perfect, but may each have their purposes.

I hope so. Changing saddles would be a much bigger ordeal for me. Too.Many.Choices. WAY.TOO.MANY.TO.CHOOSE.

All I really want is a pair of shorts that does make me feel like my ass could eat my seat...why is that so hard?

Happy Sweet 16 L.Dub!!!

16 years ago today Lucas joined our family and life has never been the same. Through the years, he has brought us a lot of joy and laughter. He has bled us dry of money for new clothes and high tops to match every outfit, miles and miles of driving to practice, games, movies, and ...... yeah lets not even get into the groceries thing. I wouldn't trade one single minute!
I hope your day has been great and wish you many, many, many more happy birthdays. Wish Beefcake a happy birthday!

Now I have to go and find my lucky license plate socks for his Drivers test tomorrow......

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Spirit of Racine Triathlon 70.3.... The race report

Saturday we headed up to Racine for registration and bike racking. It was icky and spitting rain, which made me nervous about race day, so I tried not to think about it and cranked up the tunes...
We went to the expo to pick up our packets. I had packed several options for race apparel, but while we were there I bought one more pair of bike shorts, just because you never know....
We checked into the hotel, ate some bad pizza at Rocky's (I didn't know it was even possible to have BAD Rocky's, but I guess it is), and headed down to North Beach Park to get our bikes racked. I was glad to see that Mike and I were racked within a couple rows of each other to make it easy to see that we had been in and out of transition and keep track of each other.
After racking we headed down to the beach to check things out. We had intended to swim - we brought the wetsuits but forgot the swimsuits. I was game to go in anyway with the bra and underpants as a suit substitute, but Mikey vetoed that. I didn't cry about it. We walked down to the shore to find a lot of nervous folks trying to brave a dip in the water. We saw lots of blue lips and shivering - YIKES!
Walking back to the car, we ran into KT, who we had invited to room with us after hers fell through. After a little chitchat, we went our separate ways so she could get her stuff done and get to the hotel to get settled.
Mike and I went to dinner at Infusino's with the SWAT folks, while Kate went to supper with some friends. Dinner was great - Orange Roughy, baked potato, and salad (and soup I didn't eat). Too much food for next to nothing (our bill was $15 for more food than we could eat in a week)- the theory of the night was maybe there were mob connections or something. Who cares - it was awesome!
We went back to the hotel where I could check the lake temps repeatedly. We messed around a while, then Mike got to sleep with two women, which is not as much fun as you might think... :-)
We were up at 4:30 and got ourselves ready. Breakfast, packing, and down to the lake to get worked up about the race.
We were set to go off at 7:24 (Mike) and 7:27 (me), which was quickly delayed an hour as we were socked in with fog so dense they had to move the buoys closer to shore and wait for it to lift some. We milled around the beach trying to get psyched up for the swim. Official temp: 56 degrees, warmer than last weekend but still colder than what we can get from the kitchen tap. I waded in the water on our way to the start and was happy to note that it felt a lot warmer than the last time I was in it. I was focused on keeping Mike from freaking out, so I spent a lot of time framing our conversation in positives which kept me from focusing on freaking out myself. The last thing I remember before we were all in the water was looking at Alison and saying "I have no business doing this - is it to late to rethink it?. I must be the stupidest f'ing person alive." And then we were off.

The Swim:
It was cold, no doubt about it. We were able to touch the ground for most of it which was both good and bad - lots of people starting and stopping and walking. But when my hands went numb and when some chick powerkicked me in the ribs, I was able stand up and recover. The stroke was ugly. I did some freestyle with my face out the water (OMG cold) some breaststroke, and some other screwy strokes to keep my head up and warm. The first quarter mile was take-your-breath-away cold. About halfway down the beach I caught up with Mike. We swam together a while, then I got a little ahead and then I lost him. The last time I remember seeing him I stood up and was walking backwards in the water trying to find him. he waved when he saw me looking and I turned around to see the last buoy. I swam around it and in to shore. I think I was 35 minutes from shore to shore plus a staggering walk up the beach getting my bearings back. I watched for Mike to come into transition and was just buckling my shoes deciding that I was waiting until I saw him before I left so I wouldn't worry. And then there he was. I ran out and gave him a quick hug, and then got my bike and took off.

The Bike:
This felt a lot like the bikes we ride around here all the time. It was not nearly as flat as I was expecting, but I was able to stay in aero bars for much of it. I haven't taken near enough bikes by myself this year and I found myself waffling around between self-pep talks and telling myself I was too slow, couldn't do it, whatever. The last 15 miles or so my left foot was burning an numb, something new and different.
I need to work on another combination of seat and shorts - my HoHo was a hurting mess (thanks Kitty for that phrase).
Garmin has me at 3:32 for 56 miles. It felt faster, but it is what it is. I haven't been on the bike as frequently as I did last summer and I can tell.

The Run:
Getting off the bike was a treat. I thought I was going to fall over going under the arch back into transition. I was still bike woozy after getting my running shoes on so decided to walk the first half mile to get my bearing. I still couldn't feel my left foot much and when I did there was a great big cramp in it. I walked up the hills, the few that there were, and I did a run 2 minutes, walk 2 minutes pattern for a while.
That's about where the run went to hell on the express train. As I got feeling back in my foot, I felt like I had a marble in my shoe, right in the middle of the ball of my foot. I bet I took my shoe off to try to clear that non-existent pebble 15 times. The more I ran the worse it hurt, so I was doing a LOT of walking, trying to go as quickly as I could. I knew if I didn't keep moving under 15 minute miles I wasn't going to make the cutoff. So, I walked quick, ran what little I could and kept at it. Emotionally it was wearing. I was hot, sunburned, and tired. When I would see someone coming that I recognized I got all teared up, not sure why. I took water at all the aid stations, ate my sports beans, and filled my hat and bra with ice to try to keep cool.
I thought I had a handle on things until I got to the halfway point, where you can see the finish line and then have to turn and go out on your second loop. That started a pity party as I walked down the road trying not to cry. I saw Darin and he asked how I was doing and I started crying. I was definitely not "TRI'ing for fun" at that point and was thinking about punching the next person who asked me if I was having fun yet (The back of the SWAT shirt I was wearing said "SWAT TEAM we TRI for fun" ). Pretty soon Kitty ran up beside me and walked with me a while. I had thought I saw her finish, but really she was going out on her second loop too. We walked a little while together and that really helped me out. I kept at it trying to run/walk. End result was a pathetic run time of 3:13, 45 minutes slower than my stand alone half marathon time.

End result: I made the cutoff with about 25 minutes to spare. So I am happy to have made it, but I can see I have work to do.

On the way home I checked out my foot. The "marble/pebble" I was feeling was a huge blister forming on the ball of my foot, like an extra toe growing out of the bottom of my foot. Part of my foot is still numb yet now. here is my theory in retrospect: I put my run shoes on with numb feet and the sock was wadded up under the ball of my feet, creating (or maybe exacerbating?) a blister. I think maybe there is some nerve impingement somewhere in the foot, given the persistent numbness and the type of foot pain I was having, like knives cutting through my foot.

Boneheaded things not to do next time:
- I forgot sunscreen. I have some wicked bad sunburn. I feel like I am on fire.
- Find better shorts. My ass hurts.
- change socks between the bike and the run. I think it would have made a big difference in preventing pain
- Focus on running between now and pigman.
- I continue to be frustrated by the number of people we knew were there and never saw- Erin, xt4, Megan, Ironpol, Running Jayhawk, etc. I would have loved to have met these folks in real life and have some awkward weird meeting with folks we blog with. I do that at every event - it makes me feel like an idiot for missing these opportunities.

The good stuff:
- KT was a great roommate. Awesome.
- We did it. It was harder that I thought it would be, but we did it. And made the cutoff with time to spare.
- No real nutrition issues despite not planning it too well or practicing it much. I just went with what has worked in other events and kept the water coming.
- I did finally pee for the first time since about 6 am, about 5pm when we stopped to change clothes and buy cold drinks at Piggly Wiggly. I was beginning to convince myself my kidney had shut down, so that was good.
-There were at least a dozen people behind me at the finish. Wasn't last...
- The spectators and volunteers were great.
- As usual the SWAT folks lifted me up when I was down and mad me feel better. I am so thankful to have that great bunch of people in my life. THey are simply awesome.

Pictures and race results should be forthcoming. I am just too tired now to work all that out.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The SORT ice cream headache

Uh yeah. The water was still cold. ...... 50 degrees at the time we were there on the shores of Lake Michigan where we will swimin the morning.

I see blue lips in my future.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Spirit of Racine Triathlon 70.3.... Are we ready to rumble?

The big SORT weekend is upon us, the first of two scheduled half iron distance races.
So what have we done to alleviate our nervousness about the distance? Hopefully enough.

We have
* biked big (50+) every week for several weeks
* I put together a plan and tried to work it logically. (Mike poked fun at the plan.... we shall see who laughs last....)
*Swim, swim, swim swim. Lots of laps and drills in the pool, several trips to local lakes for OWS practice.

As per my usual, I have not logged nearly enough run time. Why because I hate it. I love it, but I hate it if that makes sense. When I run, I am totally frustrated that my overall speed get slower and slower all the time. Last night during a particularly slow feeling stretch of road, I actually welled up with tears of frustration. I want to go faster, and yet I am slower this year than at any time last summer. Pisses me off and makes me not want to run. Seems like an exercise in stupidity to keep doing something with no improvement.

This Week's Final Tweaks:
* Sunday while we were in the neighborhood for Danskin, we tried to pre-swim the swim course. The beach is gorgeous, the water is clear. Oh and the water temp was 53 degrees. 5 minutes of swimming in it yielded numb feet and hands and a wicked ice cream headache. Now we added insulated neoprene swimcaps to our ensemble. Hopefully that does the trick.
* Used Danskin as transition practice and saw some small details I need to focus on to make that more streamlined.
* Tomorrow we are going to do the July Aquathon (swim/run race) as practice so Mike gets in a group open water swim and some wetsuit practice.
* Watch the water temps obsessively online, bringing out a little OCD.

I have not done nearly enough to plan my nutrition and work everything out in practice.
I have done the work to prepare and am feeling pretty good about my foundation.

There are time cutoffs. I thought this was a race til your done race. Nope. TIME. CUT. OFFS.
Swim in 1 1/4 hours? not a problem.
Off the bike by 1pm? I don't see an issue.
Complete the run by 3:30? Crap. I am totally shitting bricks about it.

What can I do about it now? Absolutely nothing now. So I will give it a whirl and see where I land. If I don't make the cutoff, I guess I have something for Pigman next month.

Keeney Girls Do Danskin 08

Saturday morning we were fresh and ready to take off for our weekend in Kenosha for the Danskin Sprint Tri.
(Michele, Tracy, Jacob, and Jenny).

We arrived at the Expo Center to register and rack our bikes. Michele quickly lost interest in mike snapping her picture every 5 seconds and found ways to entertain herself.

My mom and Isabel patiently waiting for the fun to start.

Jeff and Mike entertained each other at the expoby taking pictures of Jeff's Prefontaine mustache.

After a quick night in the hotel we were off bright and early to get to transition to set up. Here we are getting ready to pick up the shuttle bus.

This year's Christmas card picture.

Tracy bought a razor Saturday night but we aren't sure what she used it for.

Proof positive I can't ever seem to shut my big mouth, even while trying to stuff my big butt into a wetsuit.

Screwing around waiting for the start of our waves.

I am one of the yellow caps busting the through the pink wave before us. Which one am I? Couldn't tell you. Probably the one who looks the fastest if I had to choose....

Thumbs up to Mike on the bike, coming in hot on Hubba Bubba.

Tracy going out in the bike.

Jwim smiling because the run is almost over!

Tracy (red hat) about to cross the finish at her first tri! WOOO HOOO!

I really don't have a lot to say about Danskin. My intention there was to get a practice run at transitions, especially with a wetsuit. That went pretty well. Things I needed the reminder for:
- lay out everything on the transition mat. I forgot to lay out my glasses for the bike and spent a ton of time digging through my bag for them, easily 2 minutes off my T1 time.
- unbuckle the bike shoes, untie the run shoes. Duh. I never seem to think about this. I hate standing there untying double knots and fighting with the bike buckles.
-turn on the garmin and set it up before the race starts. trying to switch to "bike" when you remember 2 miles into the bike kinda sucks.
- body glide the neck to prevent the wetsuit hickey. Ow.
-arrange a meeting spot beforehand so everyone can find each other. (Or if someone if standing 10 feet away from you, tap them on the shoulder and make sure they know you are there, since I didn't see anyone and others apparently knew where I was, at least until I took off to find them.... )

Time was OK, but that wasn't really my focus. Got in an open water swim with a group and I held my own. Got some practice with sighting the landmarks, which was harder than I anticipated. I think the swim would have been faster if I could have swam straighter instead of wandering form right to left to middle to left to middle to right. Could use some practice yet.

Both my sisters completed their first tri, which is huge. They did great and I hope they had fun. Big high fives to Michele and Tracy. YOU ARE ROCK STARS!

Mike got some great pictures of Tracy during the race. I wish I had more pictures of Michele from the actual race. It was hard to pick her out of the crowd since it seemed everyone there had the same outfit on as she did. I didn't even get to see her finish even though I was right there specifically waiting for her. Somehow I missed it and I am mad at myself for that.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Taking Strategy Suggestions

So, I am fully in taper mode for the upcoming HIM in Racine in 11 or so days.
I am kind of at a loss as to how to manage the weeks between my first HIM and my second, 4 weeks after the first......
I have a base. I would like to keep it, work on my run a bbit more for speed, and be ready for the next one with adequate rest after the first and before the second.
Suggestions anyone? Willing to listen to your thoughts!

Monday, July 7, 2008

My Current Ear Worm

Any idea how many words you can substitute for mountain in this song? Mike does.

Wanna make it worse? Here you go. You are VERY welcome!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Weekend Update: The Slow Lady and the Sea

Oh I love me a long holiday weekend, especially one where the weather is B.E.A.UTIFUL.
Thursday we got home from work and Mike and I took a time trial pace ride over our usual 25 mile course. As usual the Hill Goat served me up a biscuit with gravy although it was a pretty quick pace for this hilly bit of biking. (He is such a show off). We followed it up with a 2+ mile transition run, uphill both ways, or at least it might as well have been.
Friday, we were planning to do the Milton Optimist Club 10K, which we did last year too. When the alarm clock went off, we threw it across the room and went back to bed. For.3.hours. God it felt great. We got up and headed out to Lake Ripley to meet some of the SWATties (Tawnya, Martin, Kitty, and family) for our first real open water swim in the suits. With all the flooding around here, there is no boating on the rivers around here and "no wake" on many of the lakes. Not this one. Which meant that like every boat and jet ski in southern Wisconsin was on this lake, or felt like it. There is a nice beach that is bordered with buoys, probably about a 1/4 mile swim to go from the first buoy around to the last. or more if you have a problem or two sighting and zigzag all over the place. the waves were WICKED and slapped us around pretty bad. I actually was feeling pretty good about the whole deal, since I doubt that in real life racing days that we will battling giant boat waves, so it was good good practice. Then again, the 70.3 in 2 weeks in Racine will have the swim in Lake Michigan, so we may be closer to reality than we bargained for. At any rate, we got in, we did it, and we conquered our open water panic attacks and pushed through it. Yeah, Wimmers!
Lucas took sweetie pie to the fireworks and Mike and I took Nick to see the movie Hancock with Will Smith. It was really great, about a flawed superhero.
Saturday we got up early to head towards Kenosha and Milwaukee for a Mikey mission. Mike wanted to try some 2XU tri shorts and top but didn't want to spend the cash until he could try them on and make sure they would fit. So first we headed to Triathlon World in Kenosha. What a joke. the store was tiny and if you were not a small or XS, you were shit outta luck. AND they had not a lot of any other inventory of other stuff and the salesgirl knew..... like nothing about anything. A very disappointing experience. So then we headed over to Hales Corners to Wheel and Sprocket bike shop over by Milwaukee. If you get the chance to head that direction, that shop is AWESOME!! It's huge, it has a huge tri apparel section and the sales stuff totally knows what they are talking about. The girl we talked to had done all the HIMs we have coming up, could offer advice, and had good insight into what we needed. It was great. I found a couple things on clearance (tri shorts, a sleeveless jersey, etc) and Mike got a new pair of gloves.
Funny story: While driving around looking for these places, we were talking about what cute towns we were driving through, but that they all kind of smelled weird, like hot tires. Weird, hmm? so when we stopped, we realized that the stinky town smell was really our wetsuits warming up in the back seat of the car......... Duh.
On the way home, we stopped again at Lake Ripley. We got in a 30 minute swim and finally gave up since the waves were even higher than the day before and we were plain getting beat up. Plus, I forgot my swim cap so the first lap I swam with my hair over my goggles and couldn't see anything. Then I took Mike's swim cap and i kept panicking that something happened to him because I couldn't see him without the bright blue cap on. we finally gave up and went home, but again it was good experience with tough conditions.
Today, we got up early again for the SWAT Sunday Goober McChicken ride. We did 50 to Beckman Mill and back, a hilly and challenging bike. we have Greyhound to thank for the Goober McChicken name. Mike, and Alison, and I have been riding about 50 for the past few weekends. One of the rides I called some jerk who did something rude (I can't remember exactly what..... honked? drove fast past us? wouldn't yield us a lane? yelled something stupid?). I called him Goober McChicken. the name comes from a series of greyhound's posted about dealing with a rude police officer he named Officer McBreakfastTaco who knew little about cyclist's rights and how to observe them. I don't know Officer McBreakfastTaco personally, but I have met his long-lost cousin Goober McChicken on the road a time or two. So anyway, we started calling our Sunday 50's the Goober McChicken Ride. Thanks Greyhound.
In the evening we took a quick lap swim at Rockport Pool, nothing much just 1000 yds of stroke work and form.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Help me join Team

Go here. Tell them Jwim sent you. I am shamelessly seeking your help in getting a girl some sponsorships!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Happy Birthday Tracy!!!!

So my baby sister Tracy turns (I think) 32 today. Hope your day is great!

Stop over and show her some bloggie birthday love ....... don't let the infrequency of her posts fools ya, she really is alive and kicking and coming to visit in just a few days.

View My Stats

Calculate your Calories