Monday, Jeff and I met up with Chris and Debby at the Jamestown Classic, a road race. We left the truck at one of the parks and rode our 'cross bikes over to the bottom of Hamilton Hill so we would have 4 chances to see Chris go by during his 2 laps of the island.
Once again, we played Where's Waldo Chris? It was a little more challenging this time as he was in a plain jersey. His new team is waiting for the new kits to arrive. Here's the first time we saw him on lap 1, waving in response to hearing me scream something like 'Go Chris'. Apparently, I really startled a few people watching near us, but Jeff managed to keep his wits about him and get quick shot. I've added a couple of arrows to Chris in the following two shots. We actually saw him really easily, but weren't lined up right for pictures. No arrow in this one, but he is in there on the inside of the curve. How cool is this?! They were filming the race! Here's the camera guy out in front of the breakaway group for the race Chris was in. Chis was in this bunch, but hidden. These pics show the racers crossing the causeway (from various Cats). Jeff shot a few neat pics of the racers approaching the causeway. This seemed like the hardest way around the Island to me... There is an album of more random race pictures here, though sized a bit smaller. Btw, if you are a racer and have found yourself in one of the pics, let me know via a comment and I can arrange to email you a larger format image (free).
No procrastination this month. Got the metric done on October 1st! It sounds like I was all fired up, right?! Actually, I dragged out the door thinking I was going to try to get 20 miles. Luckily, I grabbed a cereal bar on the way out, but I was so lazy I went out with the 1/2 a bottle of water leftover from yesterday thinking I wouldn't really want it on a short ride anyway.
13 miles out I was feeling in a biking zone and started to think about going for the metric. By 20, I'd committed to the idea. I figured since it was cool I wouldn't need too much water and when I texted Jeff about my predicament, he said he'd bring me water if I needed it later on in the ride.
It was a little chilly feeling at times with temps ranging from about 54 to 58 F. I was wearing shorts, a very light, long sleeve jersey and a windbreaker jacket. Initially it was nicer as there were some areas of sun, but the clouds blew in thicker as the ride went on.
I stopped at 3rd beach for a couple of shots of the clouds, just with the camera phone. Looking back the way I'd come: And across the beach to some moorings: The ride was pretty much like the one last Saturday. My back really began to spasm at about 48 miles out and I had to struggle on through to the end. Jeff brought me water in the truck at 57 miles which really saved me. After he dropped water off with me, he went to fuel up the truck, then drove back along my route to pick me up just after I reached my goal for the day. Here's the Garmin profile showing 62.36 miles: We are to the season where when I come back from a ride, I need a hot shower to warm up. No more cooling off showers at the ends of rides!
Well, just 2 more metric centuries are left in the challenge: Novembrrr and Decembrrrrrr! I won't be wearing shorts on the next one!!
It's hard to believe that the goldenrod is blooming and it is officially fall! I am so happy with the drier weather. Saturday, I had a beautiful, sunny day for my metric. Once again, I postponed it toward the end the month and started to worry if I'd get it done, especially when I canceled one attempt due to lack of willingness to fight regular gusts of 30mph for 63 miles! I felt great for about 45 miles averaging over 15mph and not feeling the pains I'd been having lately. After that, the foot numbness and a backache started in together and sapped all my energy. Fortunately, Jeff came out to join me for the last 23 miles, so I had some company and we tootled along enjoying the good weather and sights since there won't be as much opportunity for that soon.
The evidence from Garmin, showing 62.23 miles (just enough!). It's getting a bit embarrassing to post the same route over and over, but it's what I manage to get out to ride...
But last Sunday, on a summery though gray day, Jeff and I went to cheer for our friend Jamie competing in the Firmman RI half-Ironman. It's tricky to pick a good spot for watching those kinds of endurance races, but looking at the bike course map, I realized that we could drive to Ninigret Park and leave the truck there while we biked out to Rte 1 where we would actually get to see Jamie 3 times if we timed it right and pedaled back and forth on Rte 1 a bit. Driving out to Ninigret, the bike course looked more hilly than ever before! At one point, there was an huge snapping turtle crossing the road and we hoped it would be clear of the bike lane by race time!
As we biked to the first lookout, we saw the first riders coming through and hurried to cross the 4 lanes of Rte 1 and get the camera and cowbell out of the pack. We hoped we hadn't missed him! But soon we spotted him coming and looking really fast and comfortable out there.
I was having fun cheering for everyone because you can't stand there on the side of the road with a cowbell and not ring it for people! Some people were in a 'zone', but most smiled and waved and many actually thanked me as they rode by! Too funny! I was thinking, 'If you can be talking to me, you can be pedaling faster!' Awhile after seeing Jamie go past we went to our next lookout where the riders were coming downhill and using one of the on ramps to get back on Rte 1. Jamie came flying down the hill and cornering while at the same time reaching for a water bottle to throw to me! Yeah! Swag!!! You can see the pic on his blog along with his full race report. Again, we moved on to the next lookout for one more sighting about 16 miles from the finish where Jeff got this picture: And I snapped this one of him waving and getting ready to throw another bottle:
It was a busy day for biking with all the tri riders, but also some people just out for their usual loops. Then, we saw this peleton go by both ways on Rte 1! I think they must have been part of the Bob Beal Omnium Master's races going on at Ninigret that weekend. They got some cowbell too, of course! I have not managed to build up from summer yet, but I am enjoying the cooler weather and feeling like I will start getting out more again. I've been having numb feet on my rides and some knee pain, so that can make me feel reluctant to head out for a ride a lot of days, but I think I need to just get out there and ride through it and I'll start feeling good again. I was very happy to be out for 20 miles earlier today!
A break in the humidity happened just in time for me to get my August metric century with a few days to spare! I rode X6 and started off very well, but mid way my feet got very sore with a pins and needles sensation and it killed my tempo. I also ran out of water and was painfully dry as the weather was still pretty hot.
Jeff kept me company for much of the ride, joining me 22 miles in and, fortunately, with eight miles still to go, Jeff took the turn to the house, grabbed some water and brought it to me in the truck. What a relief!!
At Sachuest Point, I stopped short to get a photo of this buck with velvety antlers. He wasn't at all frightened, even walking toward me a little! This is the closest I've gotten to a deer out there as they are usually out across the field more. Garmin actually shut off on me during the ride, but I managed to notice pretty quickly and you can see I still got a distance of 63.30 miles. With the crazy pains in both feet and being dehydrated, my speed ended up at 14 mph overall...which was disappointing especially after a fairly zippy start to the ride. Oh well, I just don't do well in summer weather! I'm really looking forward to the fall and starting to ramp up mileage again. I had a good 20 mile X6 ride today. I think the next metrics will feel a lot better, assuming we don't have early snowstorms or something!!
As I'm not feeling very energetic in this hot August weather, I got my bike 'fix' vicariously on Sunday by watching our friend Chris race the Blount Seafood Crit in Fall River, Mass. He was in the Cat 3 race and worked awfully hard. It seemed like he was rarely on a wheel as he rode past us. His 12th place finish was excellent! You can read his write up on his blog. But I'll share a few of my pics with you too, starting with my best shot of the day: I'm still getting used to my new camera and get a lot of rear shots when I'm slow on the shutter. There were lots of splits and if you look closely here, you'll see Chris making an heroic effort to bridge the gap, head down with the white shoulders. I got a finish line video too.
If you googled to find pics of the race and are looking for someone specific, let me know, I might be able to help. I took some pics of the 3 man break and various pack shots that I would be happy to share.
Jeff and I missed out on watching Jamie at a Tri this weekend, he finished in spite of a crash and you should check out his blog post!!
Is there a standardized gift for year 3? Aluminum? Carbon? Maybe it's only spandex, LOL! That's OK, I could use some new shorts!
The summer slump continues, but history shows me that I'll recover. The chart of my rides and miles by year: And I have two graphs showing nearly the same thing; I just couldn't decide which one was prettier!
All the weeks spread out with outdoor miles in blue and trainer miles in red: All miles by week and year: Hope those colors don't make your eyes cross!
Well, not too much to be learned from these, they are just fun to post! Obviously, I like to ride in fall and spring and the computrainer made a big difference.
(These charts vary ever so slightly from the previous charts I posted of each year as I had to tweak the way I numbered the weeks to make the years line up right. Also, I added a previously missing trainer ride into 2007 that it turned out I had stats for after all. There were some others that I didn't record, believe it or not =P!)
Sometime last week I said to Jeff, "Let's go mountain biking this weekend, no matter what." That was before I bought the new trail runners and did 4.30 miles on a whim! In fact, when I set up the mtn bike 'date' with Jeff, if you had told me I'd be doing a run like that yesterday, I wouldn't have believed you and laughed hysterically at the very idea!
Apparently the run didn't excuse me from mountain biking! Since I wasn't really feeling that bad, just tired with achy shoulder blades and some muscle pain in the groin/hip area, I agreed to go as long as Jeff got the bikes ready and lifted them in and out of the truck. We went to Freetown State Forest to ride. I haven't biked off road in ages, so I was quite pathetic, but it was so fun anyway. I had to walk over the large cobble washouts and picked my way on foot around a couple of very muddy, yellowy-green, frog filled puddles after very nearly going in one. My body felt fine as long as I was on the bike, but it was hard going when I walked.
We actually rode right through this sort of puddle easily, but it got quite boggy further on and I didn't feel inclined to get the camera out and be easy mosquito food. Are we there yet? Jeff got us to 'The Ledges', our goal, before turning and heading back to the start. The loop we did came out to 10.42 miles.
After shelling out for the trail runners today, I felt like I couldn't let them just sit in the box, so I went for a test run this evening. I hoped a positive attitude would get me through it and the biking fitness might carry over a bit.
I optimistically picked a route mostly off road. It turned out to be 4.30 miles (I posted it wrong on Twitter and Facebook earlier). I ran some of it, jogged slowly for most and walked a few bits like the muddy areas and some of the hill at the end.
My aerobic fitness was fine as my legs couldn't go fast enough to cause me to have any breathing trouble, LOL! I really felt it in my feet and I guess groin to hip, some muscle there was not happy. Trail running is hard too because I had to pick up my feet so far and place them somewhat carefully and try not to have too much lateral movement which I am not used to at all. There was crushed stone that got tiring as it made me slip back a little with each step.
The trail was very pretty. Here are a couple of turn stiles by a cow pasture. Boardwalks and bridges keep you out of the worst of the mud. Have you ever noticed that it's impossible to take a pic of your own foot that doesn't make your leg look weird? The shoes felt really good so far. After the exercising, I thought it would feel good to wade in the cold ocean, so we took the dogs over to the town beach. It's very rocky there, but we had a good time. Silas even saved one of my flip flops when a wave took it off my foot and started to carry it away from shore! Then, he thought the flip flop belonged to him and barked at my feet, wanting it back! I'm not sure how much of a rest I'll need after today's run, but hopefully I'll get out there on my feet again soon!
but a little running might happen now that I at least have some shoes to do it in. It's so humid today that I worked at getting through my list of chores that involved being in air conditioned buildings. I may have had a little heat stroke from going out in the sun between stores as I ended up in the Eastern Mountain Sports store spontaneously buying these trail runners!! I hope to try them out soon along some roads and on the nearby Sakonnet Greenway trails (that don't allow bikes!). I'll be the weirdo running in padded bike shorts, until I get some running ones ;)
I think the July and August Metrics may end up being the hardest of the year for me given that I don't feel well exercising in the sun and heat and am going through my summer slump! While I may be 'well rested' I just don't have the motivation or dedication when it gets warmer and sunnier and there are many mellow activities to distract me.
However, last Sunday I did feel inspired watching my friend Jamie at a local tri. Seeing him and all the others riding made me want to pedal. Something about the whoosh of all those bike wheels going by makes me feel a little giddy =)
Today, Jeff briefly went to work to tie up any loose ends, then took the day off to do the July metric with me. We decided that laps of Conanicut Island would be our least trafficy option and the shady parts would be occasional relief from the sun. I was anxious to get the metric done today as it was a coolish, dry day and muggy weather is due again soon. Jeff hasn't done enough rides this summer and trailed along behind me for two laps before deciding to skip the last one to avoid serious pain later. I pushed on and managed to finish the metric distance though I got much slower toward the end. I got hungry and was low on fluid and the wind picked up a lot. As I was heading out Beavertail the third time the wind was getting so strong I was only concentrating on turning over the crank and not as aware of the road as I should have been until a deer was suddenly right beside me, pivoting away on its back legs to leap back into the woods. I guess it hadn't smelled or heard me coming as I was downwind of it. I'm not sure who was more startled! It was actually the third deer sighting of the day. On the first lap, we saw a doe and small, spotted fawn.
Here's a view to the west from Beavertail Point showing the bright, sunny day. And one of Jeff with the Beavertail Light in the background. It's not quite as picturesque as usual as there is scaffolding on it at the moment. Elevation Profile: Speed Profile: July Metric Stats 62.47 miles 4:14 hours 14.7 mph average...going in the wrong direction =( 3,289' elevation gain 1 nutty power bar and 1 bottle of Gatorade 1 bottle of citrus Nuun for fuel
This was the first time I'd tried to take pics of him racing in this year's kit, so I had to get used to looking for him in it! After a while, I could pick him out pretty well. It's easier to see than the previous one that was dark colors.
He was even easier to see when he was at the front of the pack to chase the breakaway! Go, Chris, Go!! We were so lucky that it didn't rain, despite being cloudy, and after the bike race we enjoyed dinner and shopping together too!
Another girl addicted to cycling! Blogging to help set goals for myself, record stats and have a place to share pics from my rides.
I’m working on building speed and skills. Not sure I’ll have the nerve to try racing. Jeff, my DH, tells me to “Dig Deep into my Handbag of Recklessness”, but I don’t see him racing either… Our main goal has been to keep up on fast-ish group rides.
When I’m not biking, I’m playing with my two silly dogs, a very fuzzy cat that seems to be allergic to his own coat, cooking yummy dishes (generally within the amount of calories I’ve burned on the bikes), making/drinking lattes, avoiding other forms of exercise as much as possible (though I must get better about upper body strength training), knitting, reading, viewing some TV (if it’s mysteries or certain comedies or news)…