Triathlon Sisters

June 7, 2007

Tri for the Cure: The Bike Leg

Filed under: cycling,tri for the cure event — by hawk @ 5:07 pm

As luck would have it, I was able to take a spur of the moment trip to Denver for some getaway time and a visit with my brother and sister-in-law. Yesterday my brother met me after work at Cherry Creek State Park so that we could scope out the place and try the bike leg of the triathlon.

Triathlon Routes at Cherry Creek State Park

So you can sort of see the bike route along the dotted green line. We missed the first loop so we did the rest of it and found it on the way back. The biggest hill was the approach to the loop in the upper right hand corner of the map. It almost made me puke but I think that’s because I ate a tuna fish sandwich and cookie shortly before we went (mental note: no tuna fish on race day).

Unfortunately Denver was experiencing 50+ mph winds that day so we had a hell of a time with the wind. We discovered that drafting one another does in fact make a difference. We also did the ride on mountain bikes so that combined with the wind and the tuna made for a less than ideal bike experience but the good news is that if I could do it like that, I can do it for real at the triathlon! We need to practice on a few hills, Barracuda, but I think we’re gonna do the bike part with no problem.

That reminds me, make sure you know how to fix a flat. I’ll pack a seat bag for your bike with tools, air, patch kit, and an extra tube. When we get to Denver, we’ll go through the bike so you know what is what.

This is pretty much the only picture I took. I was too concerned about the wind and then not puking to get any more along the ride. This is our brother post-ride with a Clif bar to sustain him until we made it home for dinner.

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June 4, 2007

The 4 B’s

Filed under: cycling,inspiration — by barracuda @ 6:54 pm

The 4 B’s – Bonding, biking, blood, and bruises

That sums up my awesome trip to Chicago this past weekend to visit my sister (hawk) .

Gecko at Shedd AquariumBonding – It was nice for just the 2 of us to hang out.  Usually she has the nephews (aka fruits of my loin)  fighting for her attention, but this weekend it was just me.  We visited the Shedd Aquarium  and hung out with the fish, sharks, and lizards (that’s our little gecko friend to the right).  We shopped at Nordstrom Rack and Filene’s Basement and dined at the oldest Italian restaurant in Chicago (or so they say) and some Mediterranean place where we had chicken shwarma – nice!  Besides the bike ride, we even worked in a little swimming and jogging at her YMCA.  So food, shopping, exercise, and wildlife entertainment makes for good sisterly bonding.

OK – so the next 3 B’s kind of go together and in that exact order…biking, blood, and bruises.

Bike the Drive - ChicagoBiking – So the main reason for my trip was to participate in the Bike the Drive and try out the bike I’ll be using for the triathlon.  We started our 30-mile ride at about 6 a.m. (getting up at 4:30 a.m. – what the heck kind of vacation is that?).  Now, this is also the first time I have ever used the toe clip thinger-ma-jingers with the special bike shoes.  I think I did pretty well and was able to get a good feel for it by Mile 3-ish.  We had a rainy beginning and middle, but by the end of the ride the sky was clearing and the sun was shining.  Lake Shore Drive was very scenic and offered a little variety for terrain.  I was pretty confident after completing it that I could semi-easily do the 12.5 miles for the triathlon.

OK – nice, but now for the blood and bruises.

Blood & Bruises– So, after the ride I did have a couple cuts from something sharp on the bike that I evidently kept running into.  Not a big deal.  Anyways, the day before I had bought this Under Armor sweatshirt at Nordstom’s and the cashier forgot to give me my 50% off.  Now I’m thinking that I need to recoup that $12 before I travel back home the next day.  So I wear it for the ride (with the tag still on it – kind of like a new wave Minnie Pearl) and the receipt in my pocket.  We were riding to the store on Michigan Ave (in the middle of the city) and since the toe clip thing was new to me, I prepared myself for city driving by keeping one toe in and one out; that way I could easily stop for traffic and not worry about trying to figure out how to get my foot detached from the pedal.  Well about 20 seconds from the store, I made a stupid move and when I quickly tried to stop the bike, I unfortunately decided to put down the foot that was attached to the bike.  That didn’t work out too well and I ended up in the middle of Michigan Ave with traffic coming at me.  The next seconds went by so fast that I can’t even remember what happened.  But, safely in front of Nordstroms, my sister and I surveyed the damage…this is where the additional blood and bruises come in – chunk out of my knee gushing blood, nice gear impression on the back of my calf, slightly twisted ankle, and plenty of bruises on my thigh, foot, and butt.  You’ll be happy to hear the bike was fine and I did get my $12 back : )

I’m still checking YouTube for a video of what probably is a pretty hysterical series of events on Michigan Ave.

 Anyway, hawk, thanks for a wonderful weekend.  I can’t wait until our Denver trip. 

May 2, 2007

Head Wind Ecstasy

Filed under: cycling — by hawk @ 5:10 pm

Okay, so I made a promise that I’d go cycling with my friend Cbabe after work. Well it’s nearing the end of the work day and I’m like, “no way, I just want to go home.” I secretly hope that she’ll bail on me, but she doesn’t. I suck it up and put the spandex on. It’s just under 2 miles to get to the lakeshore. Lake Michigan was a stunning blue and the sun was shining like crazy. It was beautiful.

We got downtown in no time (6.41 miles at 18-20 mph). Guess why? Because the wind was pushing us the whole way. So we get take a few minutes of rest, suck down some water, and then headed back north. MAJOR WIND. It was terrible and thrilling all at the same time. All of my exposed skin is now thoroughly exfoliated from the blowing sand. Nice! My flesh is still sore from the wind. Dang. By the time I got home it was a good 15 miles. Not bad for wanting to go home. All I would have done was lay on the couch and munch.

The ride was great, and surprisingly, the head wind only made it better. I’m not sure if it was because you are so intimate with the elements of the earth and sky or because you can feel every single cell in your body straining. Or maybe it’s just the sheer determination to go against the grain. Whatever it was, it felt great!

April 30, 2007

Every day is an Event

Filed under: beginning to train,cycling — by hawk @ 8:31 am

Some of my buddies at my old bike shop are into cyclocross. Never really knew what it was until I talked with them.

“Cyclo-cross is a form of bicycle racing. Races take place typically in the autumn and winter, and consists of many laps of a short (2–3 km) course featuring pavement, wooded trails, grass, steep hills, and obstacles requiring the rider to dismount, jump the barrier and remount.” (Wikipedia)

I’ve always thought that would be totally fun and once even tried to do a lap the day after a big cyclocross race (you could still see the markers). It was crazy! Anyway I’m trying to envision my weekday routine as one big cyclocross event …

    1. Hop on the bike for a 3 mile sprint (avoid being hit by a car or truck)
    2. Hop off (leave bike at work) and run (walk quickly) to the gym
    3. Swim for 1/2 mile
    4. Run back to work
    5. Work for 8 hours
    6. Hop on bike and sprint home
    7. Collapse on couch or go for a quick run (a real run)

Today is my first day of trying this. I’ve made it to #5. I’m not sure I could do this everday, but it’s really helping me to begin thinking about putting stuff together, not just 3 discreet sports. What I like is that during the week I can do the shorter segments and then on the weekend I can do something a bit longer. Like this past weekend I did a 20-mile bike ride. It felt fabulous! I was tuckered out on Sunday, but it was worth it.

I think my break is over now so Cheers!

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