What Training Looks Like (and other ramblings)

After looking back at the posts I’ve written, I realized I go through “phases” with this blog: periods of time where I don’t write anything at all, and then times where I write numerous posts in one week (like today, when it just so happens that I am finishing two in one day) What can I say? I have things I want to share! And so does my cat Lucky as seen by the picture below.

My cat felt the need to help with post writing I guess.

My cat felt the need to help with post writing I guess.


Someone I work with asked what my training schedule is like. So, I figured I would post a recent training week. I try my best to do everything before 4pm on days I have off, so that I can spend my afternoons/ evenings annoying my man 😛

bike ( 2 bikes)
• LSD.  70 miles
average cadence on the flats should be 80-90 rpm. Pick a gear that allows you to do this easily while staying within target HR.

• muscular strength = turbo.
Warmup = 15:00.  include 4 x :30 @ 100 rpm
Main set = 4 x 5:00 as 2:00 big gear seated at 60 rpm / 1:00 fast spin (easier gear) @ 100 rpm  / 2:00 big gear standing at 50-60 rpm.  All at HR low zone 3. 2:00 easy recovery spin between each 5:00 interval.
Recovery spin 5:00 then do:  5 x 2:00 @ 90 rpm with 2:00 RI

Run  (3 runs)
•  T-run = 15 minutes. Post muscular strength workout.
•  LSD = 15 miles.
•  Speed.  30 minute run — include 8 x 1:00 pickups at zone 3 (not a full out effort) with 2:00-3:00 zone 2 running between.

Swim  (2 swims)
•  Aerobic.  2700 yards
Warmup = 10 x 50 yards as (2 strokes free then 2 strokes 1-arm then 2 strokes free then 2 strokes other arm) :10 RI between every 50 yards.
Main set = 15 x 100 pull on the :15 RI   then:  10 x 50 as (kick only on one side (use zoomers) / 25 one-arm stroke) on the :10 RI. Alternate sides.
Cooldown = back stroke or easy kick board for 200 yards.

• Speed  2350 yards
Warmup = 3 x 200 focusing on tech while swimming.
Main set = 12 x 100 yards fast on the :20 RI.. Do each 100 yards as: 50 yards moderate pace / 25 yards hard — approx 80% effort / 25 yards easy.
Cooldown = back stroke or easy kick board for 200 yards.

Core (at home)  (2 core)
Side Planks — 3 x 20 seconds per side with :10 RI
Prone Planks — 3 x 45 seconds with :10 RI
Lower abs (rock hollows / flutter kicks / reverse curls) — your choice 3 x 15 reps
Crunches — 3 x 20 reps
Quadruped extensions – 5 times alternating sides. 10 second hold per side ( http://www.acefitness.org/acefit/exercise-library-details/1/14/ )

Strength  (1-2 sessions)
Air Squats  15 reps
Walking lunges 20 steps
Hamstrings 15 reps

So, that is what a week looks like! (And yes, squats are my nemesis).

Things Other than Training

Kevin’s job has allowed him to have some short work weeks, meaning we’ve gotten to spend some mid-week time together, which is fantastic, since I miss out on seeing him weekends and days that I work. From hikes to dining out to road rides enjoying the last of the nice weather before winter arrives.

My first ever Budda bowl...sans bowl

My first ever Budda bowl…sans bowl

Best veggie burgers around...And amazing parmesan frites

Date night!Best veggie burgers around…And amazing parmesan frites


Last short sleeved ride of the season

Last short sleeved ride of the season

Good thing he knows where the trails are

Good thing he knows where the trails are

Last week I got my very first tri bike, and it sure is a beauty. I’ve been drooling over these bikes for a very long time, and finally decided to bite the bullet and get one. I’ll be spending long hours on this, and have done duathlons/ triathlons for four years without signs of stopping in the near future, so why not get a sport-specific bicycle? Isn’t it gorgeous?


I managed to finish all of my holiday shopping yesterday! This time of year is my favorite (except the weather) and christmas shopping simply makes me happy. I wanted to buy everything at HomeGoods but managed to have (some) self control 🙂 Christmas music is now playing on the radio–I admit  my holiday pandora radio station is allowed to be on during my commute home after work in the evenings– and I even saw some christmas lights outside! Yes, it was too early to have Christmas decorations in the stores before Halloween. But now, in my books, it is a-okay to have everything Christmas out! Ohh, the joys of being a holiday-loving dork like myself. I am not ashamed.

Oh how I wanted a  sparkly dancing ballerina deer

Oh how I wanted a sparkly dancing ballerina deer

Well, I should get to the pool! Enjoy the rest of your week!

Training’s a Blast! (Really!)

Four years ago if you asked me whether or not I like to train for things, my answer was :”Umm, no, I don’t train. I just do.” Yes, every race I did was done without training.There was next to no preparation before the marathons  I completed. My thought was, why dedicate precious hours of your day training for a race that will cause you to be sore for days after, anyway? Just do it, be sore afterwards, and deal with it. Ohh, naive Molly. 

I remember in college when I was on the fencing team (it is true, I was a fencer. En garde!) we did drills and had workouts 5 days a week. Drills were to help your form while you fenced, muscular endurance, etc. etc. I never questioned why our coach had us do certain things, and, there were lots of times when I would have preferred to sit around and do nothing instead of have to go to practice. But on weekends when we had tournaments, I realized why we did so much during the week…It helped us be better fencers.

Seven years later, and over the span of this blogs existence, I’ve learnt more about training, and it’s importance in races. (Maybe because my body simply cannot decide to go out and run a marathon one day “for the fun of it.”) Drills in swimming help with technique, in turn, help with speed, and also endurance. Long rides and trainer sessions have their place in the whole training picture, as well as tempo runs, long runs, and speed workouts. Not only are the actual physical workouts important for preparing for a race, but so is nutrition. It only took 28 years for me to figure out one of the main reasons I DNF’d a big race was my lack of nutrition and sleep. In retrospect, I don’t think I even ate anything during my first endurance events (marathons). How was I supposed to know that I needed to fuel during the race, if I never trained for it? Let me tell you, it is a night and day difference in my performance when I decided to properly fuel and when I don’t. (Ha, remember when I wrote that I would never consume a gel ever? I now buy the little packets of nastiness in bulk, as evidenced by the image below!)

Training has added a new food group to my life: gels and gu. I now buy in bulk.

Training has added a new food group to my life: the gels/gu food group.

I’ve realized that I enjoy training (I mentioned in my last post how I missed training after the Patriot Half was over). A difference I have noticed thus far, and it is just the beginning of IMLP training, is that my workouts now are longer (duh!). The rides/runs/swims are longer, and they take longer to complete. (Now now, I am not complaining). Obviously, I knew this when I signed up for the race. And as a result, my concept of distances has changed. Anything under 50 miles on the bike is pretty much a “S&S” ride (“short and sweet”). Runs under 10 miles are also S&S. Last spring when I started swimming anything over 2200 yards, I thought I was going to drown. I still occasionally think I will drown; just not as frequently 😉

But, seriously. Training is fun, and after my initial gasp of terror when reading my weekly training plan from my coach, I think, “Yes! Another week!Woohoo! 60-70mile ride? Bring it! Fourteen miler? Hellz yea!*” Maybe I am just weird? 

You know you have an Asics addiction when there are still three pairs of shoes that are not in the picture.

You know you have an Asics addiction when there are still three pairs of shoes that are not in the picture.

*I’ll let you know in the spring when training takes 14+ hrs/week whether I still enjoy it. My thoughts are I will, otherwise, why attempt the race?

Life Lately

I thought it was about time to play catch-up on my blogging which has been lacking as of late.

Between full time work, training, and a “side business,” there is not a lot of down time nowadays to sit down and write.

The Patriot Half is in exactly one month from today.

How is training for that, you might ask?

I’m feeling mostly confident with the bike. My LSD rides have been up in the Catskills mainly, so I feel all the climbing will be to my benefit. I already know riding 50+ mile rides makes my 25mile ride this week feel like a walk in the park. I guess my perception of long distance rides has changed when training for this. I am more than thankful that the weather is turning nice and perhaps the wind might be calming down for awhile. 95% of my long rides have been in horribly windy conditions, testing me physically and psychologically. My coach told me riding in the wind was good because of exactly that: it prepares you for potential race day conditions.

Wouldn’t you know, last weekend’s Trooper Duathlon took place on a morning where the wind was fierce. So bad, they had to take down the race banner and tent because they kept blowing over. I remember asking myself why I was doing a duathlon in less than ideal conditions. I’m not sure what the answer is, maybe because I paid to race in it? It was the first time I have completed this race as an individual and not as part of a relay team since 2011. It was not as bad as I thought it would be. Having no expectations for yourself race day helps. I’m familiar with the race course, and racing up Dug Hill is always a pleasure.

From the Trooper Duathlon...Ohh how I long for a Tri bike....

From the Trooper Duathlon…Ohh how I long for a Tri bike….


Riding up Dug Hill pre-race might have paid off...

Riding up Dug Hill pre-race might have paid off…


Running has been good. I know I am capable of running a half marathon; I’ve already completed two this year. After swimming and biking? Yeah, I am pretty sure it is possible. A couple weeks ago I managed to get third place in my age group in the first Kingston Kiwanis Half Marathon in a town close to home. I never thought I was a good runner for some reason. I guess training is paying off?!? Despite starting at a wickedly early time (who starts a half marathon at 7am?!?) it was a nice race, mostly because I had people along the course whom I knew, and it was close enough for family/friends to come. We cannot forget that Meb Keflezighi was there too, which made the experience even more special.

My mom and my man came to support me :)

My mom and my man came to support me 🙂

Hanging out with my new bestie, Meb Keflezighi

Hanging out with my new bestie, Meb Keflezighi



Swimming. Ah, swimming. Pool swims have been going well. I’ve seen myself improving. What about OWS you might ask? I tried on a new wet suit the other day and decided to go for a swim. Long story short, I am not sure if I will be doing this race in a wetsuit. I despise wetsuits. The panicked feelings of claustraphobia in one are not fun. It reminded me of the feelings from a couple years ago when I attempted Mooseman. I know they give you buoyancy while in the water, but is the added fear of not being able to breathe worth it in the end during the race? A difference in my training in open water and the race is, there will actually be people out in the water during the race who will be able to help me incase I have trouble swimming. Now, my swims in open water have been solo. So, why use a wetsuit? (Maybe any of you triathletes out there might be able to have an answer for this).

First OWS of 2014 at Onteora Lake

First OWS of 2014 at Onteora Lake

So, that has been my life as of late. I know the next couple weeks will fly by, and the Patriot Half will be here before I know it. I’m sure I’ll be posting before then 🙂


Patriot Half Training (Thus far)

It dawned on me just now as I looked at a calendar that, other than the fact I have not posted anything in a couple of weeks, that the “big race” is in a little over five months.

Which brings on feelings of fear: fear of being unprepared for this race.

I am not concerned about the running part of the race; I’ve done plenty of half marathons in the past year, and am pretty confident with my running ability.

After todays swimming session, I am more concerned with the swimming part of the race. I just feel slow. I know swimming has not been one of my priorities over the past year when I focused on duathlons, but it needs to be a focus now, right?

Our daily high temperatures of 14-17 degrees fahrenheit has not made it possible for me to do my long rides. And, lets face it, the trainer is not the same as long rides outside. But, it just has not been possible to ride in such cold weather. (As I age I become a wuss in cold weather).

I know the race is in June, and I still have time to prepare, but I simply had to get those thoughts out of my head. Am I crazy for thinking this?

And, for any swimmers out there, when you train for triathlons, have you ever participated in Masters swim sessions, or do you just swim on your own? I’m trying to figure out ways to help improve my swim.

Tri training week 14

So, only 14 weeks until Timberman. Last week’s training went well– my stupid IT band in my left hip has been somewhat of a nuisance. I’ll see how the 9mile run goes tomorrow (yes, I switched the week up due to weather).  My long ride ended up being longer 41 miles and I’ve realized (1) head wind STINKS– I hate having to pedal DOWN hills, and (2) my allergies have increased from last year for some reason. Maybe because we’ve had such a dry spring thus far in the northeast? Below is my training week for next week- Monday through Wednesday the weather is supposed to be rainy, so I kind of switched up some days according to that. Soon, it will be warm enough for OWS (yes!!! finally! I can’t tell you how much I dislike pools)— with a wet suit…Not quite warm enough to swim without one just yet.

Lake Onteora at sunrise during one of my open water swims last summer


(This Sunday–tomorrow): 9 miler


  • Swim = endurance 60 minutes
    swim = total 2100 yards 

    Warmup = total 300 yards.  
    swim 3 x (swim 50 yards / kick 50 yards) focus on one aspect for each 50 yard swim (such as high elbow, hand entry, fingers, pull technique.)

    Mainset = 1600 yards
    4 x 400 yards with :45 RI between

    Cooldown as you like for 200 yards


  • Run = 45 minutes; run = tempo (AM)
    • main set = 8 x 6:00 at zone 3 or race pace with 1:30-2:00 RI

      cooldown: 10:00

  • possible mountain bike ride in PM, depending on weather


  • Bike = trainer. 60 minutes
  • Bike =  big gear. Elevate front wheel 4-6″ on block.

    warmup: 10:00 – 15:00

    main set: 5 x (2:00 big gear <80 rpm / 1:00 >100 rpm /  2:00 big gear 50-60 rpm / 1:00 >100 rpm) 2:00 RI between intervals. HR 3+ to low zone 4


  • Swim = speed.  50 minutes
    swim = total 1800  yards

    Warmup = total 300 yards.  
    swim 3 x (swim 50 yards / kick 50 yards) focus on one aspect for each 50 yard swim (such as high elbow, hand entry, fingers, pull technique.)

    main set = 1300 yards
    10 x 50 as:  (25 yards FAST then settle into 25 yards easy) :45-60 RI
    8 x 100. alternate between fast and easy :30 RI

    cooldown as you like for 200 yards

  • Run (PM)- 6 miles


  • bike = 50 mile LSD
    you can start to ride the hills harder. Getting your HR into zone 3 (HR = 155-164bpm)

    T-run 10:00


  • Rest day (my birthday!Woohoo)
  • Possible mountain bike ride or road ride


  • Swim = speed.  50 minutes (AM)
    swim = total 1800  yards

    Warmup = total 300 yards.  
    swim 3 x (swim 50 yards / kick 50 yards) focus on one aspect for each 50 yard swim (such as high elbow, hand enrty, fingers, pull technique.)

    main set = 1300 yards
    10 x 50 as:  (25 yards FAST then settle into 25 yards easy) :45-60 RI
    8 x 100. alternate between fast and easy :30 RI

    cooldown as you like for 200 yards

  • Possible ride in afternoon, depending on how I feel 🙂


Tri Training Week 15

I have no idea why I decided to go on a hilly 40 miler the day after I had a race, but I need to keep training for Timberman which means long rides as well. And since the weather this week is supposed to be iffy, I decided to get my long run out of the way. It was nice, but got really windy and I think the temperature dropped on the ride. No kidding, I swear I was riding into headwind the whole ride. And the fact that my allergies are in full swing did not help.

below is a map of the ride

RB to Turkey Hill to Snyderville Rd to Elizaville, up Odak Farm Rd, to red hook back past Old Aerodrome

And some photos I took along the way….


Neat sign

Once I got home, I decided to make fresh pineapple, kiwi, strawberry, and pear juice, which was quite healthy…And pretty yummy.


mmm juice

Workouts for the rest of the week


  • swim: wu 200 w/ drills, main set: 8×200 w/:20 RI between
  • run: wu 10min, main set 6x800m, get HR zone 4 (170bpm), take 1:30 walk/jog rest between intervals (hr 120’s), cool down 10 minutes
  • possible mtn bike ride
  • Bike: High cadence/big gear: wu 10-15min, main set pick a gear to get you into low zone 3. then 6x 4:00 (2x 1:30 HC/ :30 BG with a 2:00 easy recovery spin between the 4 min sets. HC= 100rpm BG=70rpm, cooldown: 5-10min
  • Swim; total 1900 yards: wu 500 yards 200y drills then 3x (50y swim/ 50y kick) focus on one aspect for each 50 yard swim (such as high elbow,hand entry, fingers, pull technique, mainset=1200yards as 3x 200 swim w :20 RI then 4x 100 with :15 RI, then 4x 50 faster with:10 RI, cooldown for 200yards
  • 30min run
  • possible group ride?
  • 9mile run
Sat/Sunday are up for grabs– mountain bike if that didn’t happen on Tuesday/Rest day 🙂

Something New, Something Tri-ed

I was supposed to write this post yesterday….And, really, had no excuse not to write it, since it was rainy and yucky outside all day. I know we need the rain, but after being incredibly happy with the gorgeous weather we had last week and all the rides and runs (oops okay, run) I was able to go on, having grey, gloomy, rain and wind is simply not my cup of tea. By the way, like my play on words in the title there?


Yes, last week we had amazing weather. And I was able to enjoy almost all of it. I stuck to the triathlon training plan posted last week except for the speed run work out and one swim workout. I still cannot get over the fact that I simply dislike swimming. Especially in pools. Ohh lake water, when will you be warm enough so that I can swim in you and not get hypothermia? I did some more mountain bike rides thrown into the bunch as well, since I need to get somewhat better by June 10th when my first ever mountain bike race is (that has a cave….a cave…darkness…scared? Slightly). I still fall, but not as much, at least I don’t think.

Fur Ball getting her tan on

I actually found some new routes around my neck of the woods for road rides which was awesome; and found roads which should not be ridden on a road bike. **Note: if a sign says “Uneven, Unpaved Road Ahead,” they ain’t lyin’.

Catskills in the background

What I consider my artsy shot

I also learned (even though I am a nurse and know SO much better than to do this, I do) that water and gu (ewwww I hate gu) do not really help you when heat stroke strikes. Yes, I decided to get my long ride over and done with last monday–ohh, and also decided it would be a good idea to go for 60 miles instead of the 45 scheduled– on the hottest day this year. You know, at noon when it’s ninety degrees outside. STUPID STUPID. Don’t do it. Just DON’T. Despite the consequences of my ride, I did get one good picture in, which is below.

Side of a barn in the middle of fields

My IT band injury/hip/knee problem seems to be okay, and I was able to go for a run last week–it took longer than I have ever run in my life, but I had no problems afterwards. Not that you really care about that. On that note, I was recently introduced to Strava™. Have you heard of it? It’s this program that records your rides/runs/routes, kind of like a Garmin watch, but you can compare yourself to other people who have ridden/run the same route, and see who is fastest. Perfect discovery for the non-competitive over the top competitive person I can be. Usually, though, the competitiveness was just during races. But now with Strava™….

My first duathlon is this upcoming Saturday. I’m not quite sure how I’m feeling. Well, truth be told, I’m fine about the biking, just terrified of the running. I know the course–it is nice and flat–and in my old ‘hood, so we shall see how that goes, and how my hip and knee will like my sprinting (insert terrified face here).

The Saturday after (I cannot believe racing season is here already!), I’m doing the Trooper Biathlon which I did last year (if you are bored you can read about it here). It is actually a duathlon–run then bike then run). But this year, I decided to do it as a team–I will do the biking, and she will do the running. Perfect! We are actually trying to think of team names for ourselves, so if you have any ideas, feel free to give your suggestions.

Strawberry Cake Pops

Back in February it was my friend’s birthday, and I wanted to bake her a surprise birthday cake. I did most of it, but something came up and couldn’t make it. So, two months later, I decided to finally bake a cake for her. Well, cake pops to be more precise. I also made cake balls, as I soon tired of making the cake pops. I didn’t make ordinary pops either. I made strawberry cake pops. If you want to see how I make my basic cake pops, I wrote a post about it here.  I’m still new with the whole cake pop making thing, so they aren’t perfect.


  • Red Velvet cake with Cream Cheese frosting
  • Haribo sour straws (green colored–cut into 1/4 inch pieces)
  • Green, red, and multi-colored candy coating
  • Sprinkles
  • Sugar pearls
First, I made the flower tops for the strawberries. To do that, I melted green candy coating in a candy piping bag until it was melted enough to use, and piped flowers onto grease proof paper. It took a couple tried before I actually got the look I was aiming for, so in the picture, that is why you might see loads of flowers. I piped the outline of the flower first, then filled it in.

Ingredients, and melted candy coating in piping bag

Once the flowers were dry, which doesn’t take long at all, I removed them from the grease proof paper and turned them onto the other side, which was completely smooth. I then piped a dot of green onto the middle of the flower and placed a sour straw and let them dry.


I know they aren’t perfect…As I said before, it’s still a learn-as-you-go-trial-and-error baking craft
Cake Pops

I actually made the cake in advance and froze it then defrosted it, which came out fine–I’ve never frozen a cake before so was slightly concerned about that at first. Anyway, I formed the cake balls in the normal fashion, but for the strawberries, shaped them into rounded cones (thank you, Bakerella–I still strive to have my cake pops look as good as yours).

After freezing, I dipped them into the red candy coating and immediately added sugar pearls. After they dried, I added the top “flower” by adding a touch of red coloring as glue. Then, for the first time, I actually put the pops in styrofoam to dry, which is SO much easier, and sturdier, to keep them from tipping over, than an egg craton that I used in the past. Although, a flower holder (which is in the picture below) works well, too. It is important to refrigerate the pops afterwards, because of the cream cheese frosting….And, so that they do not melt.

Before entering the fridge

Since my friend likes to plant, I decided to display the cake pops in a terra-cotta planter that she could re-use later.

End result

And, to be somewhat crafty, I individually wrapped the cake balls (made out of the same Red Velvet cake) into a box. For the cake balls, right after I dipped them in coating, I sprinkled the toppings on top.

Now, I’m off to the dreaded pool to show off my lovely bruised and scratched legs, thanks to you, mountain biking.

Cycling Mishaps, The Brick Yards, and the Eggs Nest

You know, there are some days when you are just not meant to go for that 46 mile road ride to show a friend the sites of Dutchess county. And, Saturday was that day.

Start of road ride

We started off at 8:30 and made it almost to Turkey Hill when I realized I had a flat. I did have a patch kit, but no spare tube with me (when will I learn to always bring a spare tube?). We manage to get 6 miles into the ride before this happened  on a beautiful day. So, I used my patch kit to patch up the hole in the tube, my friend pumped it up, and we were off for another two minutes when the tube went flat. Again. More patch kit used. And that is when we realized I slashed my tyre and would need a new one (how I slashed it, I have no idea. Bummer, because I just bought a new tyre about a month ago). So, I road down to route 199 if you are familiar with the area of Milan, and waited for my friend to sprint the 5miles back to my house so he could pick me up. Well, there went that idea of a fun long road ride.

Two flats within 5 minutes

But, we did get another mountain bike ride–my “Urban Mountain Bike” experience later in the day down by the old cement and brick factories along the Hudson River close to Kingston point. I must admit, it was much trickier than the riding I’ve been doing as of late– the terrain is very slippery due to dust and tiny fragments of old cement, and it is quite rocky. I’ve been riding in the forests, so this was a whole new world to me. It was interesting, and we were not run over by motocross fools, but it did leave my nice clean Scott covered in dust pasted to the bike frame by mud. Ohh well.

Brick yards

Checking out the Urban Jungle---old cement and brick factories

Perfect riding partner.

bikes in the background...Not sure what Kevin was upto....

Due to our ravenous appetites, we decided to go to The Egg’s Nest, in High Falls, NY. I’ve been here a couple of times, and the atmosphere of the place is like one of no other restaurant. It is eclectic on the inside and out–painted different colors inside, with chandeliers decorated with decorated eggs….The was even a branch hanging from the ceiling with a small white tiger (toy) walking along the branch. Ofcourse, there were eggs hanging from those too.

The Eggs Nest in High Falls, NY

The menu was great, and food delicious. They have very good options for both vegetarians and vegans alike, and can do gluten free.

Tomorrow I’ll continue with my triathlon training and update you on that!

And We Now Return to Triathlon Training

I know it’s been awhile since I’ve written about my training–did you know how many blogs out there are by triathletes following their training and racing? Reading them makes me feel lazy. But, my “real” tri training for Timberman started this week. And, after last year, I think with proper nutrition, enough sleep, not working night shifts, and simply being smart about it all will help in my favor to finish it. Not only that, but now I can actually swim…Outside…Which I actually prefer to do than in a pool.

Monday was a run day–running without my Garmin, nor a HR monitor has somewhat bothered me… ohh well. The weather made up for it.

View from Burger Hill, Rhinebeck, NY

But, running, which was something I’ve been okay at and have done for years, I mean, I’ve done marathons, half marathons, trail races….Has not been going so great lately. Last week I went for a longer than usual run (you know, instead of 4 miles you run 13–who does that?) and did something to my hip. I let it rest, stretched, and did what I’ve been told to do, but my run Monday was a killer and ended up being a walk–so painful I couldn’t walk up the stairs in my house. So, that is somewhat concerning, especially since I have a half marathon to run in less than 4 days. :-/

To give my hip a rest, yesterday I went for a great road ride which ended up being an easy 25miles–I’m saving my longer one for friday. And, to think I was riding in almost 70 degree weather in March is unheard of. It’s hotter in NY than in Austin, TX! Spring is here!

Catskills in the background, taken from the road ride

Today, since I went for a mountain bike ride last night as well, I’m taking a rest day…Maybe go to the pool later…We’ll see. (I actually do have a training plan that I follow–I really do!).

However, my race schedule this year, which really depends on work schedule, includes some different, and I’d say more challenging in certain aspects,  races: mountain bike races. I ended up going for a short spin last night before the sun really set and realized (1) I love going fast and (2) I love mountain biking, even if it really hurts, and (3) it’s simply fun, technical, difficult, challenging, and a blast. So, why not give this type of racing a try?

Trying to race the setting sun in the woods


Caused this...Amongst the other bruises and scrapes all over my body.

Last car in the parking lot with my bike...Gotta love it

Soon, I’ll be racing with these guys…Well, women. And, maybe not the World Cup right away….

Back to Tri’s

I feel like it’s been forever since I have written about some sort of training, and, indeed, it has. Creating Cake Pops, trying new foods, fevers, building a bike, and attempting to get my cat Lucky to accept my newly adopted kitten Fur Ball (well, she’s about a year old, still a kitten in my eyes) has been taking me away from training. I’m not saying I’ve been inactive. But it’s February already–can you believe it–and time to settle down and get back on track.

Meet Fur Ball, the newest addition to the family (and no, for the first time, the newest addition is actually NOT a bike!)

Yesterday we were blessed with almost- mid 50 degree weather–in February! Last year at this time we were still up to our knees in snow. I’m happy with such forgiving nice weather, but it does kind of inhibit my use of my new cross country skis. Anyway, even though according to my plan for the week, my longer ride isn’t scheduled until Saturday (with a transition to run afterwards), I had to take advantage of the blue sky and went for an amazing ride on some roads I’ve actually never been on.

Just a heads up: If a sign on a road warns that the surface is uneven, for once road authorities are not lying. Despite the warning sign, I did decide to take a road that had a surface which was rideable, and it was gorgeous. Upon stopping to take the photo below, and wipe my non-stop dripping nose on the sleeve of my jacket, I noticed someone driving in an old red Kawasaki tractor from behind the farm close to where I was standing. As the farmer drove up to me, I put my phone back in my pocket and started to clip in. Then, he stopped next to me with a huge toothless grin. I noticed an old Border Collie in the back of the truck next to a well-used wooden cane.

“You okay?” He asked, cheerfully.

“Oh, yeah, I’m fine, thanks.”

He nodded to my bike, “you broken? I have tools if you need help.”

I think my heart melted inside. It is rare to meet genuinely sweet people in this world full of  greed–where people only think of themselves.

“No, no, it’s not broken, I was just taking a break. Cute dog!”

“Okay then, you drive safe,” the farmer nodded and smiled with his toothless grin and drove off, the border collie taking in the scene. I could not help but feel a grin appear across my face and thought of the farmer’s words for me to “drive” safe on my bike.

My almost-40 mile loop through Dutchess County

Our interaction may have lasted less than two minutes, but it reminded me that not everyone out there is a self-centered human being—something which I worry about when I see a lot of people nowadays who could care less about other people. It made me happy.

View from Odak Farm Road

The 40 (well, 39.98)mile ride was awesome, and it felt wonderful to be in the sun, even though some little things somewhat annoyed me (i.e. the odometer on my bike wasn’t working, not was my HR monitor). Today’s plan is a long run, and depending on the weather later, I might take my Contessa out for a spin.

Goals for 2012 Race Season (yes, I said race season)

  • Compete in a mountain bike race (meaning I need to get over my fear of going fast through trees) without killing myself
  • Finish a road (bike) race–nothing to insane
  • Finish an actual triathlon (not a duathlon)–to be more specific, finish Timberman
  • Finish a half marathon (totally do-able, since I ran 14 miles for “fun” a couple weeks ago)
  • Work on race nutrition (so I don’t “bonk” on long rides/runs)
  • Biggest goal: not compare myself to other people training for race

“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.”
Mark Twain

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