Sunday, January 29, 2012

Cinderella training - Palomares ride

That is Soraya and Amy, and this is the view I have when I ride with them.  Yet, I continue to ride with them on a weekly basis, on very challenging rides.  One of these days, I just know it, I am going to get stronger!!  This particular day we rode 26 miles, 20 of which included Palomares up and over and back again.  And just for good suffering measure, we rode three miles into Castro Valley on some narrow, rolling road and back.  On the climb back over Palomares, we encountered this: 
We had no choice, we had to get back to our cars.  It was a lot colder than when we left.  We survived, like we always do. 

Speaking of Palomares...

Our Cinderella training ride this week was 45 miles and included Palomares.  This is only the third training ride and I was a little concerned for my girls.  But I am quite proud to say, all 18 girls made it up just fine. We took it slow and chatted a lot of the way up the front, which is a 5-mile climb.  Ewa was one of the first ones up.  When I got up to the summit she was telling me what a "bitch of a hill" that was.  Please!
Ewa, Leanne and me
Me and Leanne

Going down the other side of Palomares is FUN, no doubt about it.  What we told the girls is, take note of how fast you get down the next 5 miles. Notice how steep it is.  The steepest part coming back up is at a 17% grade and you feel every single inch of that!  There was no chatting on the return trip.  Just a lot of slow pedaling and heavy breathing.  I pulled over half way up and gave encouragement to the ones that came by.  I waited a few minutes and finally made the final part of the climb myself.  I was greeted at the summit by everyone else that was already there and did the same for each and every girl that came up after me.  It was awesome! 
One of the other ride leaders came up the hill quickly and said one of the riders was "stuck" about 1/4 mile down and needed some encouragement.  Leanne, Ewa, and I went down the 17% grade hill and found this girl off of her bike on the side of the road.  She was scared to start up again, on the steep hill, with her clip-in pedals.  With a little encouragement from the four of us, she was up and rolling again.  We rode beside her and talked to her as she pushed as hard as she could.  Three of us were a little bit ahead of her and reached the summit first.  I watched as the girl finally peaked the summit and you should have heard the roar or the group.  We were all yelling great things to her and clapping for her.  She came over to the group and a bunch of women gathered around her and hugged her.  She was so appreciative and emotional at that time. 

That right there is what this training is all about!!!!  There was a bond made that day that will never be broken.

After that it was downhill for 5 miles and then off to our much deserved coffee stop.  I led the final 10 miles back to our cars after coffee and was very impressed with our entire group staying in a tight line.  Spirits were pretty high when our ride ended.  I felt like a proud momma!

My triathlon training is continuing.  This week I swam 3 days (1750, 2450, 2000 yards), went to one spin class, rode 2 days and ran 2 days - with this guy:

Baby news this week - At 13 weeks now, fingerprints have formed on the baby's tiny fingertips.  Baby is almost 3 inches long, the size of a medium shrimp, and weighs nearly an ounce.  <3

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

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Riding, running and swimming. Oh my!

The Bay Area has had a very unusual dry spell this winter.  We have had perfectly beautiful weather for months.  So beautiful that I still have a tan line on my legs from wearing shorts on my rides and runs! 

This nice weather came to a complete halt, however, once my Cinderella training began yesterday.  We had very gloomy skies when we started out at 8:00.  The sun threatened to come out but never really made an appearance.  It was cold and windy but not unbearable.  Just a drastic change from what we've been having. 

There were 12 girls and 3 ride leaders for our ride.  We began at Club Sport and rode out to Alum Rock Park in San Jose.  We had a couple of very good hills to climb and I am happy to report all my girls did awesome!  I love their spirits.  On one hill that I was afraid they would have trouble, Ewa was the first one up.  I was thoroughly impressed with her.  One girl had to stop half way up but I think that's because she was in a very low gear, spinning too fast, before she even started climbing.  I talked to her about it on the return trip and I think she will be better next week.  One girl ended up dropping from our group, saying it was too fast for her and she didn't want to hold us up.  Unfortunately, we were almost half way through the ride so one of the other ride leaders stayed with her while the rest of us went ahead. 

We stopped for coffee in Milpitas and had to make it short because as we were all standing around I could feel myself getting too cold.  I was concerned for the other girls so made a 15-minute limit and gave them a warning when we had 5 minutes left.  The way back was into a horrible headwind.  We tried to stay as tight as we could though and everyone was pretty quiet as we just tried to hold on to the wheel in front of us.  At one point, mile 26 of 35, the rain came.  A hard, cold rain.  We were getting pelted.  We pulled off onto a side street under a tree and let the cloud pass over.  After a few minutes we took off and finished our ride.  It was slow going into the bad headwind though. 

We all finished strong and I could tell they all felt good about themselves.

I am beginning to get into the triathlon training even more now.  I make sure to do one of the three disciplines every single day.  This past week I was able to complete 3 runs, 2 bike rides and 1 swim day.  And to my credit, I tried to get a 2nd swim day in but one pool was closed for maintenance and the other one had a bad accident near it that closed the road in and out.  So, that day I just ended up with a long walk with Boomer. 

I'm mainly concerned about the swim for my upcoming triathlon.  And actually, it's not "the swim" I'm concerned about.  It's the open water part of it.  So, my focus for training is really getting my confidence in the swim. 
My swim work out consisted of 16 50's, 8 100's, and 4 200's.  I rested 20 seconds between each set and did not let myself "push" off walls.  My goal is to be able to swim 100 lenghts without stopping by March 1st.  Swimming 3 days a week is what I'm shooting for.  Since the pool I go to is indoor and available nearly 24 hours a day, I have no excuses.

One of my runs was a trail run with Kristi which was FUN!  The other two were flat, on the road.  It's nice to know I only have to "work up" to 6.2 miles on the run.  I'm not going to train for anything more than that, what I am going to do is work on getting faster for the 6.2 miles.

On the baby front - now at 12 weeks, the baby is 2 inches long, about the size of a lime, and weighs half an ounce.  I went to Sara's sonogram appointment Friday and saw the heart beating again and this time we were actually able to hear it.  :)

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

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Someone new, some things old....

How often do you say to someone, "Let's get together soon, okay?"  And how long does it take, IF you ever get together?  I seem to do it all the time.  What happens when I do this is, I lose out on either meeting someone new or spending time with someone I enjoy.  Not this time though!  I wished Ewa a happy new year and said those exact words to her on Facebook.  And I actually followed through with it and made plans to meet her for a hike less than a week later.

I took her to Garin and she even got to meet Boomer.  Boomer loved her and so did I.  What a great women she is.  We hiked for a couple of hours and got to know each other well.  We talked about her signing up for the Cinderella Challenge training and she ended up doing that and we started our training today.

I went on quite a few bike rides this week.  Most of them around 20 miles.  Of course, Soraya took me up Palomares one day.  It was 34 degrees when we started.  Luckily it's just a long climb for the first 5 miles so we warmed up rather quickly.  Other than it being cold, I can't complain about how beautiful it is here right now.

Keith and I went on a couple of rides together.  He's getting so good on hills.  Well, he's complaining less and letting me take him on rides that have a lot of hills.  That must mean he's liking them more, right?  ;)
Two days ago we were on a ride and he had a "tip over".  Of course he fell from an almost complete stand still but ended up hurting himself pretty badly.  Yesterday he had no use of his left arm.  Today he has a little mobility.  He thinks he pulled a muscle and is hoping it will work itself out in a day or two.  I hope so too. 

I guess you could say I started my triathlon training this week.  Let's just say it.  I started my triathlon training this week.  I went swimming!!  Soraya got me a 5-day pass for Club Sport and I met her on Wednesday to swim.  She presented me with my Christmas gift - a pair of Zoomers and took me out to the pool with a swim plan in hand.  We spent a full hour doing 25's, 50's, and drills with buoys, my flippers and paddles.  At first I thought I was going to lose a lung after each 25 yard lap I swam.  By the end of the session, I was able to do a couple of 100's.  Afterward, I was actually excited about our next swim session. 

Today we started our Cinderella training rides through Fremont Freewheelers Bicycle Club.  I am a leader for the Challenge 1 riders which is the 90-mile ride.  Challenge 1 means we go at a slower pace to begin (14-18 mph).  We have some awesome ladies in our group.  They all seem like they are experienced on the road and not new to riding.  I led the majority of the ride and kept it at 15 mph and didn't lose anybody so that was good.  It was a 26.65 mile ride through Fremont.  We had one 14% grade hill that everyone made their way up nicely.  I'm very excited about this training series.  I get to spend the next 12 Saturdays with these great ladies.  After our ride, Ewa and I walked over to Starbuck's and had a drink while we talked about the ride.  She certainly sounded like she had a great time.

On the baby front:  At 11 weeks now, baby is just over 1-1/2 inches long and is about the size of a fig. 

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

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Knock, knock.......

Still there? 

Great!!!  So am I.

Do you want the good news, or the bad news?  I will let you off the hook and let you know right up front - there is no bad news!!!  I have only great news. 


First off, I'm not in rehab now, nor have I been during these past few months that I have been MIA in Blogger-land.  Things are great in that department.  Thank God!

Beginning tomorrow, I will be carrying my camera again and doing posts on a regular basis.  I have still been working out like a maniac and moving every single day (2 years straight now)!  I love my new bike.  My husband has started cycling and really likes it so we have been riding a lot together.  I've been walking a lot more than running since my last good run on Thanksgiving morning.  My other foot (the one that still has a bunion on it) is giving me some trouble but I'm thinking a stiffer running shoe might straighten that out.  I have faith.  I have, however, been hiking a fair amount which still gives me much enjoyment.

Do you remember last year when I participated in Cinderella Challenge training with the Fremont Freewheelers?  Well, I'm participating again but in a different role.  I will be a ride leader this year for the Challenge 1 group, which is the group I was in last year.  Our training starts Saturday and the official training starts on January 14th.  Every Saturday until the actual Cinderella ride on March 31st.  If any of you local ladies are interested in signing up and don't know how, contact me.

I am signed up for the San Jose Metro Olympic Distance Triathlon in April.  A cyclist friend of mine who does triathlons (and is an ANIMAL) has promised to help me with the open water swimming training part of it.  I'm super excited about it.  Nervous, but excited.  I will definitely be depending on you guys for encouragement here.

And finally.................

Sara is pregnant!!!  I found out the night before Thanksgiving but didn't announce it on Facebook until she had a sonogram and I was able to see the little heartbeat.  She is due in August and everyone is so incredibly excited!

Happy 2012 everybody!