Thursday, March 31, 2011

Princesses are ready to roll!

My Saturday Mount Hamilton ride got canceled (again) due to the road being closed because of snow.  The weather was sucky too, so the group I've been training with didn't get to have a final ride together that day.  Instead, we all went to our planned graduation party where we had pizza and cake.

Me and Erin

Sunday, Erin and I met up with two other girls for a nice 37-mile ride (with a lot of climbing) out of Sunol.  Three of us first went up Kilkare then joined up with the fourth one and went up Calaveras to the wall and back.  It was the first nice day we have had in a *long* time. 

Karen, Me, Erin & Kathryn
Calaveras Reservoir

This morning I rode up and over Palomares and back again with two girls from my group.  It was 20 miles but as locals know, it's a tough 20 miles.

Soraya, Me, Amy

What does this all mean?

Our main event is here!  We have all trained hard over the past 11 weeks.  We have hit milestones on some rides, climbed hills we'd never dreamed we could or would.  We rode in very cold temperatures and it's safe to say we never over-heated.  We learned how to ride in a pace line, how to draft and conserve our energy.  We know to point out hazards and how to communicate everything from a car coming in either direction to if we're slowing, stopping or rolling.  Many friendships have been formed and future rides together have already been planned and paid for.

Altamont/Patterson Pass ride, March 10

Cinderella Challenge, 2011 - here we come.  Saturday morning we will be meeting at 6:30 so we can all be ready to roll at 7:00.  Woohoo!  Wish us luck. 

"Med2011" Accountability:
03/23 - 45 minutes bike trainer, Body Pump class, 1.35 mile walk
03/24 - 60 minutes bike trainer
03/25 - 3 mile run
03/26 - 1 mile walk
03/27 - 1.25 mile walk, 37 mile bike ride, 1.5 mile walk
03/28 - 4 mile run, Body Pump class
03/29 - 1.65 mile walk, 1.5 mile walk
03/30 - 1 mile walk, Body Pump class, 2 mile run
03/31 - 20 mile bike ride

Until later.............

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Yeah, so what?!

I took a week off. 

Sort of.

After my huge bike ride over a week ago, I did go hiking the next day with Boomer and on Monday I went to a Body Pump class.

Tuesday I had packed all my gear, totally prepared to go to a spin class right after work.  Wednesday was already reserved for a free ski day at Sierra-At-Tahoe.

Well, for some reason, I started feeling overwhelmed.

I told Keith I just wanted to run away somewhere for the night and play all day Wednesday.  We did just that!  I got home about 5:20 and we were on the road to Capitola by 5:30.  We arrived at The Venetian and were given a room with an ocean view.  We walked over to Margaritaville where we were the last guests to be served dinner.  That's what happens to coastal towns in the winter, when it's raining.  After dinner we lounged around the room and were able to hear the waves crashing as we fell asleep.  Absolutely perfect!

When we woke up in the morning the sky was as clear as could be.  Just a beautiful morning.  We walked out on the wharf and had a yummy breakfast at The Wharf Restaurant.  After breakfast we walked around and took some photos before taking the long way home through Watsonville (checked out the course for a century ride I'm doing in May) and Gilroy (yes, there is an outlet mall there).  And it was just too bad, we got home too late to go to Body Pump that night. 

By Thursday morning I was ready for some time with Ellen.  I sent a text to one of the Cinderella Challenge ride leaders, asking if she was riding Thursday.  She told me she was and she told me what ride she was doing.  I knew Sierra Road (scroll to the bottom of the link for the elevation profile) was a tough one but I said I would give it a try.  Wow!!  I thought Mines Road was tough last week?  HA HA HA!  I stopped "a few" times and even got off my bike at one point, sat on the ground and told the ladies I was "going to wait right here."  I am very proud to say I didn't "wait" anywhere and I made it up to the summit and enjoyed flying down the other side A LOT.  Gotta love patient people that motivate others not to give up and even teach them a thing or two along the way.  Many thanks for Soraya, Cyndi and Amy that day.

My ride up Mt. Hamilton this past Saturday got rained/snowed out.  Hopefully we will do a make-up ride this Saturday.

Other than that, I did not go to any classes at the gym the entire week.  Yup, you read that right.  I did however, walk daily and spent some time with Ellen on my trainer.  Today it was back to normal for me.  I went to a "Camp24" class tonight and a 1.5 mile walk this morning.  As far as my "MED2011" Accountability goes, I'm not going to detail every walk I did last week.  I will start up again with today, and I just wrote what I did.

How about some pictures from Capitola instead?  Here ya go............

The Venetian

Until later.............

Sunday, March 13, 2011

80 mile Cinderella Challenge training ride - Mines Road, Livermore

Wow.  What a ride.  The most challenging ride I have ever done.

Yesterday, nine other princesses in training and I rode 80 miles, 60 of it was Mines Road to The Junction Cafe.  Please, click on the link and check out the elevation profile.  Tell me if you think it looks crazy or what!  This profile may be just beyond the Cafe, but you get the point. 

I was nervous about this ride.  I've never ridden 80 miles before! 

The ride started off fine, until 1.5 miles in.  We were driving on a residential street in Pleasanton, in a pretty tight line.  A man in a little SUV pulled up to the curb ahead of us and opened his door, right into one of our front riders.  She went flying off her bike, into the street.  It was a terrible sounding crash and was followed by screams from the other riders.  He said he didn't even look before he opened his door to get out.  She landed in the middle of the street, thank God there wasn't another car coming up the street that could have hit her.  The impact cracked her helmet.  Erin was right behind her and actually ran over her bike.  We called 911 and her husband.  The fire department came, as well as the police.  A police report was filed and everyone was interviewed.  She denied transportation to the hospital but promised to have her husband take her to the ER right away.  The good news is she was able to walk and talk.  After that, we were all a little on edge, to say the least. 

It took a while for all of us to get to The Junction Cafe.  I couldn't have been happier to get off that saddle.  That was a TON of non-stop pedaling to get that 40 miles done.  I grabbed a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a bag of corn chips.  It wasn't a lot but I think it was just what I needed to get me through the rest of the ride.  After the first HUGE climb coming back, there was a bit more down hill portions this direction so it was a *little* easier.  We took turns pulling each other on the hills and some of the flat parts.  Teamwork at its best.  We are such a great group of ladies!

Erin and I after refueling at The Junction Cafe

After driving home, I took a hot lavender scented bath and ate an entire black bean and cheese burrito from Chipotle.  Both things were much deserved. 

Erin feeling so good at the finish!

Next week?  Mount Hamilton - all the way to the top.  Bring it on!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Lack of sugar

I survived my 70 mile training ride Saturday.  I knew there was going to be a ton of climbing so I elected to hike on Friday, instead of run.  I called my neighbor, Martha, and invited her along.  We picked up Bella and went to Garin for a beautiful 3.5 mile hike.

The ride on Saturday was awesome!  There was over 3,800 feet of elevation gain and quite a few towns passed through.  The weather was very cooperative and the wind was nowhere to be found.  We left Pleasanton at 7:45 a.m. and rode all the way to Tracy, via Patterson Pass Road.  It was so cool to be up close to the windmills.  I've only seen them from Hwy 580 while driving by.  They're actually quite big when you're up close.  After leaving Tracy we rode back to Pleasanton on Altamont Pass Road.  We had to go right by our cars to do a +/- 15 mile loop into Sunol to complete the 70 miles.  After all the climbing we had done, it was hard to not just pull into the parking lot at that point.  But, we are all dedicated to our training and knew we have to build our miles up to our final ride on April 2nd. 

Soraya, Wendy, Joan, Vanessa, Me, Karen, Kathryn, Erin, Debbie, Terri, Marie
Tuesday I went back to Garin with Boomer and we ran 5.5 miles.  It was one of those days/runs where I could have ran all day long.  My legs felt amazingly light.  I knew I was going to a spin class that night though, so I kept it at the 5.5 miles.  Garin is just beautiful right now and there are cows everywhere.  I adore seeing the cows there.  I don't like it when they get taken to slaughter leave to greener pastures. 

The entrance to my little slice of heaven!

Today is my third day without eating sweets.  No candy, cookies, cake, donuts, cupcakes.  Oh my!!  No, it's not for lent.  I'm also limiting my carbs.  I work out way too hard to not be dropping pounds.  Yes, my body is trimming/firming up but like most of you out there - I want that scale to read a few pounds less.  I am pretty sure I eat a lot more candy than I was aware of.  I filled almost every void with candy.  It's very hard, I won't lie.  I love my sweets and they make me very happy.  BUT, the scale has already moved in a favorable direction.  That makes it a tiny bit easier to not eat sugar.  Right now though, I am craving a piece of chocolate.  :(

I want my hard work to show and am confident that eliminating the added sugar and limiting carbs will  help me with that.  I hope I can do it.  I want to do it. 

"MED2011" Accountability:
03/03 - 1.65 mile walk, Spin
03/04 - 3.5 mile hike
03/05 - 70 mile bike ride
03/06 - 2 mile walk
03/07 - Spin, 3 mile walk
03/08 - 5.5 mile trail run, Spin
03/09 - 1 mile walk, BodyPump
03/10 - 1.35 mile walk, Spin

Until later.............

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Really? February's gone?

Thank God I keep a record of everything I do because I seriously am having trouble remembering what I did yesterday.  Sheesh!  I know I like to keep busy, no doubt about it but lately I have just been crazy busy. 

Yes, I'm training for a 100-mile bike ride happening in a month.  Yes, I'm trying hard to get in great shape for Sara's wedding in three months.  I'm also trying to keep a high-energy Catahoula happy along with my loving, patient husband.  Oh, throw my job at REI and the business we run from our home in there too.  Every night I try to fall asleep, I lay awake thinking about what the next day entails.  In the evenings I feel completely brain dead at times.

A week ago Monday I was able to get out with Boomer for a much needed run.  I didn't go out to the mountains because of the recent rains, I didn't feel like running through a bunch of mud.  I had been sick all weekend, remember.  We went to the Alameda Creek Trail and ran 6.5 miles along the creek and into Quarry Lakes.  It was so good for my soul to be out there running with my boy. 

Tell me Boomer's *not* part Rat Terrier!

Saturday I went on a 65 mile training ride.  We met half an hour earlier this time because of the longer distance.  There was talk of snow here in the SF Bay Area and believe it or not, it DID snow in San Francisco Friday night.  I was watching the news and they showed it coming down in the city at 10:45 p.m.  That hasn't happened since 1976!  Well, when it came time to get packing for the ride, I pretty much knew I had enough cold weather gear to keep me warm.  I was just hoping I wouldn't have to use it all.  Unfortunately, I did.  All FOUR layers on top, shoe covers, a Buff, headband, full finger wind/water proof gloves, headwind pants.  About half of the girls showed up to brave the weather.  It was 36 degrees when we started the ride.  Yeah, brrrrrrrr!  I kept thinking if this doesn't kill me, it will definitely make me a stronger rider.  We made it, and we all did great.  This Saturday will be a 70 mile ride and I'm happy to say it should be warmer!! 

Monday morning I got up early and was out of the house before 7:00 a.m. so I could get a run in before work.  Boomer and I went to the Alameda Creek Trail again, and watched the sun rise up above Mission Peak.  It was a beautiful morning but it was still quite cold.  My car said it was 38 degrees when we got there.  At least with running, it doesn't take too long to warm up.  We ran around for 45 minutes and I loved the peacefulness I found being beside the water. 

How did my February turn out? 
I ran 34.2 miles
I walked 26.25 miles
I went to 19 classes at the gym
I rode 191 miles
Calories burned (not including walking):  18,318.  No wonder I'm always hungry!

I want to run more.  In March, I will run more!!

"MED2011" Accountability:
02/21 - 6.5 mile run, BodyPump
02/22 - 1 mile walk, Spin class
02/23 - BodyPump
02/24 - 2 mile walk, Spin class
02/25 - 1.5 mile walk
02/26 - 65 mile bike ride
02/27 - 2 mile walk
02/28 - 3.75 mile run, BodyPump
03/01 - 1.25 mile walk, Spin class
03/02 - 1.65 mile walk, BodyPump class

Xena update:  She had a follow-up appointment Sunday.  Her blood was drawn and the glucose level was checked.  Much to the doctor's surprise, her level was in the "normal" range.  He was completely dumbfounded!  We will continue to give her the very small dose of insulin twice a day, along with her wet food.  She goes back Sunday for another blood test.  If we're lucky, we have found the right combination of insulin and food on the first try.  We are keeping our fingers crossed.

Until later.............