Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Well, it is Wednesday December 30th and I can't decide if I am going to go to New Orleans to ride this weekend. Normally, I try and ride all of the NOLA rides with the exception of the January 1st weekend. I don't like traveling on holiday weekends.

So, I was (notice I said was) going to spend the weekend quietly with David. I was hoping to get my CA2 in and take it for a couple 30ish mile rides - make sure I am comfortable on it before my 200k on January 16th.

But, the "BEEHIVE" is going to be in NOLA for the 200k ride. John Schlitter and Troy (a fast Ti Areo cyclist), plus two new recumbents from the LA area will be joining Pat and company. Steve, ever the salesman, is really putting the pressure on me to come down - not that my arm has to be twisted much. But, do I really want to go down?

1. Get to ride with JS and Troy - or at least see them in the parking lot
2. Get a 200k in on the 2nd day of the year
3. R-12 BABY!!!! This would be a good ride to finish my 2nd R-12 on!
4. Possibly ride my first 200 on my CA2

1. Not spending quiet time with David
2. Riding my CA2 with very few miles on it - it may not be adjusted properly and mentally I need my first 200 to be a good and comfortable ride
3. Intervals tomorrow should leave my legs trashed - again - making them tired for the 200k
4. Not spending quiet time with David

So, what is a recumbent randonneur to do? Heck if I know!

If my CA2 is finished, I may go.
If Doug thinks that JS and Troy will stick around to talk to over dinner, I really may go.

However, it may be really nice to get my CA2 on Thursday (?) and ride it 30 mile on Thurs and do a 100k on Friday and Saturday and maybe even ride it again on Sunday.

If my CA2 is not finished, I probably won't go.

The weather is really supposed to be nice in NOLA and it sure would be great to get my R-12 finished with my 'bent buddies in tow!

I'll keep you updated on the final decision!

Monday, December 28, 2009

New Years Resolutions

I like making New Years Resolutions. I typically write them down in a journal that I use from time to time. I have resolutions in this journal from 2005, 2006 and 2009. Interestingly, I have had mixed success with achieving my resolutions. Losing weight is always on the list regardless of where I start out. In 2005 it was at 173 lbs, 2006 it was 154, 2009 it was 186. So, just by looking at my starting points, you can see that sometimes I can achieve weight loss and sometimes I can't. In a couple days we will seee where 2010 will start out, but it will be lower than I can remember since at least sometime in 1997 when David and I got married. I will want to loose down to 135 in 2010 which should put me at the mid point of my average recommended weight range for someone my height.

Each year also includes a mileage related goal. Funny to think that a goal of 4000-5000 miles was hard to attain. In 2005 I only reached just over 3500 miles. 2007 I reached 5800; 2008 was a pathetic guess of just over 1000 (thanks NS2) as I did not keep up with a speedometer. I only rode in 3 200k rides and 1 century and I did little to no training in between those rides. 2009 I fared much better riding over 6000. I am hoping to ride Wednesday or Thursday to push my total over 6100.

So what will my 2010 goals be? Since we are entering a new century, I really need to set some massive goals. So here is the beginning of the list:

1. To ride my bike across the United States knowing that just the attempt is a blessing from God and to relish the opportunity to see America up close and personal.
2. To keep a good attitude on the trip even when I get tired or I am faced with difficulties - heavy traffic, steep mountains
3. To weigh 135 by March 15 and to maintain that weight for the rest of the year
4. To ride a 200k ride at 17.5 mph
5. To ride 12,000 all purpose miles and finish in the top 5 females on the UMCA year rounder

Non-cycling related:
6. Once a month, have friends or family over to the house, or go over to their house for dinner or just for fun
7. Volunteer for some organization
8. Try to inspire someone to do something they never thought they could
9. To eat clean and healthy

Well, that is a start. I will see if I can come up with one more non cycling related resolution by the 1st.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Wedding

Well, I have not been riding in the last week for several reasons - primarily due to Christmas, having my bike parts changed over to the CA2 frame and The Wedding. My son Ken is marrying Brooke Grantham tonight. They make a really good couple and I believe they have a great foundation for a long and healthy marriage.

Ken asked Brooke to marry him after Thanksgiving last year. So they have had over a year to plan the wedding during the engagement. I must admit that I am very impressed with their dedication and planning. Everything seems to be in place just as the couple have wanted. No one is running around like a chicken with their head cut off trying to tie up loose ends. The couple has planned this wedding so well, that I think this has been my most relaxing Christmas in a long time.

If these kids put as much time and dedication into their marriage that they have put into their wedding I have not doubt that they will be married until death do they part. It is so important to realize that time is what a relationship needs. Time together and time apart. Time for yourself and time for each other. Balancing time is the tricky part as taking too much time for yourself can put distance in the relationship yet too much time together or requiring time together can be too stifling.

It leaves no doubt in my mind that Ken and Brooke love each other. I am also impressed that they have made a point to keep Christ in their marriage. They have a church in Birmingham and they have a theme passage that they try to stay centered on - Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 - the last part of 12 says "A cord of three strands is not easily broken". Truly a marriage that allows Christ to be the center of will not fail. It is hard, though, to keep Christ in the center. Most often, Christ is replaced with a very unhealthy dose of self or He is replaced with kids. Many marriages begin to suffer with the birth of children for this problem. Kids are great, but they should never be put so high in a marriage that it squeezes out the spouse or Christ. It is my prayer that this couple continue to remember their verse and that the "3 cords" strengthen to a steel cable.

Congratulations Ken and Brooke! May your marriage be strong and healthy. May you experience true joy and happiness in your lives together!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

CA 2 and IF

My CA2 frame is in! I took my IF and Corsa in to Jim yesterday to start "harvesting parts". It truly was bittersweet. I think I feel guilty that I am taking parts from the bike that I rode my first 200k. I really thought that bike would be the last bike I would ever need/want. I loved it. I rode my only 400k attempts on it. I haven't even thought about a 400k on my Corsa. Of course, it is probably because all three 400s were so painful and difficult that I just don't have the desire to attempt another one. It was 2-3 weeks after my last 400 in October of 2007 that I purchased the Corsa. I haven't ridden the IF since "ride your bike to work day" in 2008 and I have only ridden it maybe one other time since Oct of 2007. I should sell it, but I don't have the heart to yet.

More on the CA2 later - I have to go get ready for church!

Tough Week - 202 days to go

This has been a very difficult week. Monday I got a text from our secretary and she has the flu and won't be in. That is the only bad thing about my new job is that there are only 2 of us in the office - so I hurried to the office to cover for her. She has been out all week, so I have been doing both of our jobs. So, I am getting home later and I am very tired.

However, despite the workload and general Christmas busyness, I have maintained most of my workouts. Monday - full weight workout which really makes my legs tired.
Tues - drills on spin bike - could not do both sets, one for time reasons and two - they were that difficult. I really laid it all out and had no energy by the end of the first set. I got my HR into the 170s briefly but into the mid 160s for a good bit of the time. I had issues having enough energy to even get up and get ready for work. I still haven't puked, but I am really close to tears at the end of each of these sessions.
Wed - exhausted and did not go to the gym. I intended to go after work, but I did not get off until 6:30 and was mentally and physically drained. Did not do SLD.
Thur - woke up feeling much better and did my drills at the gym on the spin bike. They were hard and once again I don't think I got my HR much over 168. My HR monitor would drop to 00 about the time I thought I would push it to 170, so I don't know if I truely reached it or not. My RPE was definitely a 9 or 10 and toward the end of the last set I am breathing very hard and shallow and my legs are burning and can barely turn the pedals. Intended on making up my SLD but once again did not get home until after 7 and just could not make myself do it.
Friday- went to the gym and did the leg portion of my Wednesday drills. Did not have time to do anything else as I had to go in to work since our secretary is still out. My legs are toast. My hamstrings were wavering here in the office when I was just walking across the room.

Friday night, I was so tired that when we got home after dinner and shopping, I went straight to bed. I wanted to ride with Jim, but I did not wake up until 7 and I knew I would not be able to get ready in time. The sleep did me good though.

Anyway, that is my update for the week...

Saturday, December 12, 2009

11/12 of an R-12

Yesterday I bagged my 11th ride of my 2nd R-12. An R-12 is an award that can be earned by riding 12 consecutive 200 k (or longer) rides - one each month for 12 months. I earned my first one in 2007. I had a couple difficult rides earning it as I was much slower in 2007. I started this R-12 in February. I really had no intention on earning another one as some months you just don't have time to get a 200k ride scheduled. This year, however, it has been incidental. Up until this month I had already planned on doing one or more 200k rides anyway. So as December approached I had to decide if I was going to keep it going. Since I have already completed 10 and I know I will ride at least one 200 in January, I decided to finish the task.

So last Saturday, I was going to ride the ride to get the monkey off my back. With Christmas and the Wedding, I did not know when I would be able to ride if I did not get it done that first weekend of December. Alas, it SNOWED!! Snow is rare in Mississippi, but we got it Friday night and early Saturday morning. Needless to say I did not ride. The snow was virtually gone by 12, but I did not know the road conditions and there is no need to ride in suspect conditions and break a hip 7 months before my big ride.

Looking at the forecast showed a dismal day coming for Saturday. Highs in the 40s and a 90% chance of rain = yucky! I started worrying about this dumb ride. I knew that riding it the weekend before or after Christmas/the wedding was most likely out of the question leaving Dec 31 as my last option. Boy, that was pushing the envelope a tad bit. So, was doing it Friday an option? The forecast showed a 20% chance of rain most likely starting after 6 pm and lows in the mid 30s and highs in the mid 40s. I live in the south for a reason - those temps are cold and I don't like cold!

Thursday, I posted the fact that I was going to try and ride Friday and what to my wondering eyes should appear, but an email from Dougie saying that he would be there!! We knew it would be cold and there was a chance that I would have to work. We decided to let that be our decision. If I did not have to work, we would brave the cold and get the 200 done. As it turned out, I did not have to work and thus we were riding. Twice that night, I almost texted Doug to back out. It was going to be so cold. David surprisingly told me not to ride. But I would think of all my friends in Dallas and my coach in Colorado. 40s would be very acceptable temps to them. So I but my big girl long johns on and stopped whining.

It was 38 when I woke up. Warmer than the 32 I thought it would be. I still hoped that Doug would call and bail so I could crawl back in bed. Alas, he did not. I decided to wear two wool jerseys, my thermal tights, wind proof gloves, one pair of wool socks, ear headband, shoe covers and my neck buff and of course my Showers Pass jacket.

We left the house at about 6:10. It really wasn't as cold as I thought it would be, matter of fact, I had to stop 7 miles from the house to take off my under layer of wool as I was sweating. We did have a headwind that I was fighting and my heart rate was staying well above normal in the 160-170 range. My legs were really heavy feeling as I have been working on intense intervals and weights the last two weeks. It was obvious that I would not be able to hold an average pace above 15 mph today.

Doug needed to stop at Ratliff Ferry to get fluids. I took the stop to adjust my layers. I needed more than just one wool layer, so I decided to try my silk underlayer with the wool to see if it would wick better than the wool under layer. I also added a second pair of socks with a chemical hand warmer for my feet. One of the bad things about riding recumbents is that your feet are out in the elements leading your body through the cold air. The cleat feels like it is searing your foot with cold. Even though I had on my heavy booties over my shoes my feet were freezing and numb. I took way too much time at this stop, but it was probably good as I got my layers perfect this time.

Leaving Ratliff Ferry the temp felt much cooler. My bike computer said it had dropped to 35. I am guessing the wind had picked up too. Even Doug said it was tough when we came to the clearing and the wind ripped through us. My legs were burning and I really was glad Doug was with me as I knew that I was going faster riding with him than if I had ridden alone. About 10 miles or so up the road I realized that I was really comfortable. My layers were now perfect. I was really amazed to be riding in 30-40 degree weather as comfortable as 70. I am so glad I decided to get out of bed and ride.

We made it to Kosciusko in 5 hours. A little slower than what we predicted, but with the wind and the sluggishness of my legs, that was not a bad time. Plus we were going to have a tailwind coming back (ha!). We stayed in Kosy for 30 min or so. I decided to eat, so that took a little more time than I would have liked. Plus I spilled my water when adding it to my hydropack. We got stopped by a funeral procession on the way out of town and I noticed that there was no tailwind. It changed to a shear crosswind. ARGH!

So, we diligently and efficiently rode home. I did not drink as much, deliberately, as I think I drink too much which makes me have to pee too often. We did have moments of tailwind although they were not as strong and prevalent as I had hoped. I think we only stopped briefly 3 times. One of the stops I took the chemical warmers out of my shoes as my toes were burning. That was a mistake. I should have just repositioned them. I did not realize how well those things were working. Within 5 miles my feet were cold and numb again. I decided to tough it out as we only had 30 miles to go.

We opted to take the bike trail home as neither of us like heavy traffic and that last 3 miles to my house is awful. The trail probably added 5 min to the trip but it was much nicer to not have to worry about the Friday afternoon traffic.

We made it back in 10 hrs 7 min. This is 40 min faster than my previous best time! With the cold, wind, and sluggish legs, I was very pleased. I know I am getting stronger and riding with Doug will sure help me get faster.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

I am a terrible blogger!/Pac Tour Desert Camp 2010

Okay, now I really need to start working on my blog and being more consistant with it. So far I am a pretty pathetic blogger. I have a handful of people that are interested in following my training for my Northern Transcontinental bike ride, so I need to develop a better discipline doing it.

So here it goes:

The PAC Northern Transcon is going to start in Everett Washington on July 10, 2010 and end 30 days later in Williamsburg, Virginia. I read back over my earlier blog posts and found that I made the decision to ride cross country around March 4th. Too funny really. I hired a coach, Michelle Grainger, the first of April and slowly but surely have been training for the ride. I have lost a total of 42 lbs and want to lose at least 8 more. I have lost a lot of inches although I really have no idea how many. I know I am stronger and fitter than I have ever been.

I also made the decision to participate in a one week Desert Camp also orgainized by the PAC tour just this week. I will be heading to Arizonia to train in the mountains during the week they call Chiricahua Challenge March 13th. The routes will be different from the routes I did in April 2007, but some of the roads will be the same. We will fly in to Tucson and cycle to Tombstone instead of Sierra Vista. We will also move to Willcox for a night or two. I am very apprehensive about going out to do this ride. I guess it will really show me where my strengths and weaknesses are. Seeing that I have issues riding up some of our "hills", I have no idea what Mountains are going to do to me....