Race Schedule and Results

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wednesday Bullets

It's been a long time since I've done a bullet update (complete with pictures).  Here it goes...
  • I published this blog with the title "Thursday Bullets".  Things have been nuts around here.  Why did I think that they would actually slow down at some point?  Ha... that will never happen.
  • Our house is finally almost done. There will always be little projects (or big ones like a new deck), but we have a whole lifetime to get all of that accomplished.  The most recent project?  Adding our white cream picket fence.  Now we just need the 1.2 kids in the yard and we'll be the perfect American family, right? (no mom... that's not happened yet)

  • And we're still representing OH-IO.  
  •  We're finding a lot of these guys around.  As long as they stay outside, I'm cool with them.

  •  Charlie celebrated her 8th birthday last week.  It's hard to believe that she went from this

  to this.
 We love her so much.
  • And just for my mom and dad... this is what her upstairs toy basket looks like.  Yes, we live in a tennis community.  And yes she brings those home when we walk each morning.
  •  Buddy had a rough weekend.  Friday night, just as we were heading out for date night, we noticed he was bleeding.  He had just chased a cat and somehow managed to cut himself really bad (maybe on the bush he ran through to try to get the cat).  Needless to say, he didn't win the battle with the bush, ended up having emergency surgery and having stitches put in his butt.  He's been walking around with a shaved pink butt like a baboon, trying desperately to rip the stitches out (thankfully, it's probably the only place on his body that he can't reach).  We've had a few rough days with him no sleeping and just crying and crying.  If this is what parenting is like, that 1.2 child might not happen.  I can't do the sleepless nights.  He couldn't handle it either.  This is how he ended the night on Tuesday... mmmm good drugs...

  • I finally felt like "me" on my bike today - as in I didn't totally suck.  The first two rides, my brake was on and that's my excuse.  Saturday I felt pretty good, but it was hot and Tom and I had both had horrible night sleeps with Buddy being in the vet.  So today we went out on the same route we did Saturday.  We rode it 15 minutes faster today (it was only a 20 mile course).  I don't know if I should be proud of that or ashamed of Saturday's ride. :)  No brake problems today... now if I could just remember that I was in my 52 front ring while climbing the wall by our house I probably wouldn't have feared for my life that I was going to start rolling down backward. 
  • I can't wait to share some great things that I recently received and want to rave about.  Here's a hint...


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Biking insults

I'll be honest... the prospect of biking on the road with cars, trucks, semis, etc scares the bejeezus out of me.  I've heard too many horror stories about people who have been hit, run off the road, pelted with things, and generally not accepted on the road to feel 100% comfortable at any time. 

In Ohio, there was at least a little bit of comfort... we could bike for miles and miles without seeing anyone.  Or anything.  Honestly, it was kind of boring.  But, that just meant that the ratio of total asshats to courteous people was really high.  Always good for the nerves.  We had people scream things, usually inaudible things that I'm sure were total compliments on the rate of speed I was traveling or the cute biking tank I was sporting.  We've been spit on (that one ended well... with Tom catching up to the said asshats and pounding on their window, probably causing the 17 year old boys inside to crap themselves).  We had one guy stop his car (I actually believe that the beater broke down right after passing nearly running us off the road) and he then got in a screaming match with the hubs about how he pays taxes and that we shouldn't be on the road.  Hum... last time I checked, the IRS was doing a damn fine job of taking most of the money that I earned as well mister.

So when we were told that Georgia ranks 45th out of 50 in bike fatalities, I was thrilled (that means that there are only five other states worse than us... Tom assumed Missouri after riding across it in RAAM twice... he was wrong - they are actually Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, South Carolina and Florida in case you were curious).  But I have been pleasantly surprised at how much room people give us.  Maybe it's just where we are biking. Or the fact that Tom and I know the rules of the road, stay to the right at all times, signal when we are turning and ride single file (no, that last one has nothing to do with Tom's biking ability versus mine... I promise we do it for safety reason. Really.)

So I had to laugh when we were out on Saturday.  Tom and I had planned out a 55 mile route around Lake Lanier.  A beautiful Saturday by the lake and we didn't know the roads.  That could be scary.  We were only on one or two sections that were 55mph which always scare me. But people gave us plenty of room.  I got whistled at once... and honked at once which totally doesn't bother me.  But the absolute best thing happened two miles from our house.  We were just about to make a turn onto a back road that leads to our neighborhood and a pick up drives by.  In a very thought out, clear as day voice we hear the best comment ever from a driver.

"Nice wiener".

I have never laughed so hard in my life.  The kid obviously thought that one out well because he timed it perfectly, even leaning his head out the window so that the sounds could carry across the 4 lanes of traffic, all while taking into account the speed he was going and the wind.

If you are going to get yelled at on a bike, I'll take "nice wiener" over "f*ck you" or "get off the effing road".

I tell ya... I'm smitten by the southern hospitality here!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Swimming in jello

I swear every workout I do in Georgia is harder.  The running kills me because of the undulations.  The biking, besides being hilly, is just difficult to execute (I'm used to biking out of my house, no questions asked).  And today, I find the aquatic center.

I swear I was swimming in jello.

Or maybe uphill... I wouldn't put it past these southerners to build pools with hills.

Um, this lady has a long way to go to getting back into any sort of swim shape.  I've never been fast, but wow, this was pathetically slow.  And tiring.  And I wanted to quit.  Which so isn't like me.  I enjoy swimming, albeit at my manatee pace.

At least the pools here are a normal length - M/W/F 25 yards, T/TH 25 meters.  My old pool was 19 meters - swim swim turn, swim swim turn.  It got old really quick.

I lost a lot of fitness when we moved... and I'm paying for it now. Good thing I don't have too many races this year. :)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Thank God for phones

I sat down with all intentions of writing some witty post, that generated a lot of "this was a great blog" comments, but let's face it... I just don't have the writing bug lately.  I want to write, but about what?  Training?  That's not happening much.  The house?  Yeah, we're settled and you've all heard about that enough.  Racing?  Haven't done that yet this year.

Honestly, if you want to know what I'm passionate about these days, what really gets me ticking, it's things like macaroni and cheese, baked Cheetos, flip-flops. 

What, did you think that I'd have something really significant that gets me out of bed these days?? :)

Actually, I did have a fabulous last 4 days.  My mom and dad were here this past weekend and it was awesome.  I'm totally the girl that talks to her mom 29 times a day.  You think I'm kidding?  And it's not like a simple "hi, just checking in. Things good?  Okay bye" kind of conversation.  They go on and on and on.  It's kind of funny.  I mean, really, what could we possibly have that much to talk about?  Ha... my love of reality tv and celebrity gossip had to come from somewhere my friends.

I digress...

So the 'rents arrived on Thursday and I was bubbling with excitement.  This was the first time that they had seen the house.  Or Atlanta.  And I'll be kind of cocky and say that I was excited to show off all of the hard work that we put into the house.  (Who am I kidding... I've just shopped for things we needed I wanted for the house while Tom did all of the work). Thursday was a beautiful day - we walked the dogs, we walked the neighborhood, walked Town Center.  I wanted them to really get a feel for the hills city of Suwanee. I think at one point my dad told me that he wouldn't be able to walk the next day because he had to cut my dogs toenails. :)

Friday we did a bit more of the same, until that night when we had tickets to see the Gwinnett Braves play the Toledo Mudhens.  This is some good baseball people.  We introduced mom and dad to Mellow Mushroom (they of course can't wait to go to the one in PCB).  Saturday we shopped (in case there was anything that I needed for the house that I hadn't already found... there wasn't.).  Yesterday we had a great time celebrating Mother's Day and we went to Coca Cola World.

Now, let me explain something. 

Hi, my name is Colleen and I'm addicted to diet coke.

Going to the Coca Cola world was like bringing a crack addict to the Andes mountains in south America.  I couldn't get enough of the history of my drug of choice.

But again... I digress...

This morning came too fast as my mom and dad were back at the airport by 8am. :(  Although I'm adjusting to being a Southern, and loving just about everything in Altanta (I could do away with the spiders and the red clay), I miss my family.  I miss seeing my mom and dad, sister and brother-in-law on a Saturday at Costco.  I miss Sunday dinners or Saturday night poker nights.  I miss the ability to just pick up the phone and say "you want to meet in 25 minutes?"

But I cherished the time that we had together the last few days.  I loved that my dogs adored my parents (they are kind of finicky around guest... always have been).  Buddy even cried this morning when I came home without the treat lady. I look forward to the next visit... this time back in Ohio.

And thankfully, I know that my mom is always just a phone call away.  She might have spent the last 4 days with me, but since dropping her off this morning at 8am, I've talked to her three times.  And I have to call her now to remind her that the Bachelorette starts tonight. :)

What's new in your world?

Monday, May 7, 2012

Biking 101

So as I've mentioned multiple times, I have not been on my bike since moving to Atlanta.  We moved here on the 28th of March for those of you that are counting.  And prior to that, we were only on our indoor trainers since, um... well... let's see - last October?  Yeah, that's the way us Ohio triathletes do it.

Since moving here, Papa Smurf has been hanging patiently in the garage, waiting for his maiden voyage down here.  Each time I walked into the garage, I'd greet him and say "someday soon".

On Friday, Karen invited me to come ride with some girls that were doing the Irongirl course up at Lake Lainer.  I wanted to go, but knew that the house to-do list was far too long.  Tom and I said that we should probably just fit a run in whenever we could.  Saturday we worked our tails off, grouting the first floor tiles that we put in (just a side note... grouting is BY FAR the worst possibly house improvement job ever.  That's all).

Sunday we woke up to a beautiful day.  We had our list ready to start with home improvements but Tom looked at me and said, "I really want to get out on my bike".  That's all it took.  It was too late to meet the ladies at Lake Lanier and were didn't have a clue where to ride out of here - that's why we haven't been riding.

We got on MapMyRide and searched a route from Suwanee.  We found a 35 miler that went virtually from our house (maybe one of our neighbors rides...) and took us looping to Lake Lanier and then back home.  Perfect.

Let me just tell you that I loved it.  Loved loved loved it.  I feel most comfortable on my bike and even since the crash last August that still has me gripping the handlebars for dear life, I'd rather be on my bike than doing just about anything.  The course was hilly and scenic and filled with bikers on a Sunday morning. Not too many cars and those that we did see were super nice.  We only stopped about 25 times to make sure that we were on the right roads (since neither of us had a clue where we were for 99% of the ride... thank God for cell phone GPS!).

But, and here's where my Biking 101 segment comes in... I was really struggling the last 10 miles or so.  I literally had nothing.  I know that I'm not a good climber (that's from living in Central Ohio for 32 years), but I didn't think that I sucked this bad.  I went through the "how am I ever going to get better down here" phase and the "I really need a road bike" phase.  I went through the "why is Tom so much better than me" phase (that's always  a doozie).  I went through the "I think I might die phase".  But I got home.  After the steepest hill all day being in my neighborhood and me thinking that my heart was going to pop out of my chest, I declared "I have a long way to go" to Tom. 

Then I realized that my rear break was on.  It wasn't when I started (I love my Kestrel but have had a million problems with my rear hidden break) so I've learned to check it before going out.  At some point, it must have started rubbing and got to the point where my wheel literally wouldn't spin on it's own.  And I had ridden on it like that for who knows how long.

That explains the 14mph and me struggling.

Although I still do have a long way to go to get my bike fitness somewhere near where I want it, at least I reminded myself of something you learn in biking 101...

If the ride seems impossibly hard, check your brakes.  It might just make all the suck seem totally okay. :)