Friday, July 17, 2015

Track Tuesdays

After a pretty relaxed spring of running what and when I wanted it's finally time to get back into it. The Bristol Half was a good kick in the butt to get started. I'm trying to turn Tuesday into Track day because alliteration makes for good blog titles if nothing else. The Gaudet Middle school is a couple miles from the house and who doesn't like seeing their name on a huge sign as they pass through intervals? (Even though they use a soft T here in RI, Gaud-ehh). I started last Tuesday with a 400 ladder (4, 6, 8, 12, 16, 12, 8, 6, 4) and put in 5X1000 yesterday. Track Thursday also has a nice ring to it if you're too tired on Tuesday morning...

As for distance, I covered 15 miles on Saturday after the half and took last week off to discover the thrills of road biking. I'm loosely basing my distances on a potential full on October 11. It is crazy to think that I'm in the middle of a 16 week program for October! Where did summer go? The fight between the Newport Marathon and the RI Rhode Runner Marathon continues and they have scheduled both for the same day in the fall. Do we really have that many runners in this little state?

In more exciting news downtown Newport has a running store! It's not great and they only carry Brooks, New Balance, Asics and a hand full of Run NPT t-shirts but it's exciting none the less.

Have a great weekend! Get out there, drink water, hit the pavement and then hit the beach!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Maybe it IS about the bike...

I started road biking. Though I've been told that I would probably be a strong rider I have never taken cycling very seriously. I bike to work and back and have an old aluminum hybrid that has always suited me just fine. It is increasingly rusty because of the salt air in the yard and though I have very good intentions to fix it up the state of if has gone downhill. My roommate now used to be a bike mechanic for a bit and looks at the bike deploringly. After finishing every ride I took with a flat, he spent some time looking at the rims and bearings and decided that the thing was taking up too much room in his garage and had to go. I could trade up for his finance's old road bike as long as I took my old bike to pasture. (Don't worry, it will live out it's days as a yard bike at the boat yard...)

Kelley and I have been going to a circuit class 2 or 3 times a week and last week we decided to bike to class. It's just under 10 miles to town and usually takes me about 40 minutes. Wednesday morning we jumped on our bikes, Kel on her new fancy road bike and me on my old bike, and headed to town. And then Kel was gone. I couldn't keep up with her at all. Granted she has been riding a bit more than I  have but it's mostly flat and I should have been able to hang. We made it to the gym, 10 minutes late, and she reiterated that this bike was finished. We were planning on a weekend away on Lake Champlain that weekend that included, among other activities, a lot of biking. There was a 22 mile fundraiser ride on Sunday that we had decided to participate in as a group.

Friday night was a small town 5k that I entered in and finished 3rd across the line and first female. I ran a 21:05 which I was pretty happy with. I didn't have anyone to pace against and should have pushed harder at the end but it was a nice run. Saturday morning we hopped in the ski boat and did some early morning wake boarding and skiing in the lake before getting suited up for a training ride. Ben also had a new bike that he hadn't ridden and it was my first time on a real road bike. The country up there is stunning. The wide roads run along rolling fields and picturesque farms. It was a perfect day with a little south wind that we rode into on our way back home. I was pretty nervous about riding the road bike but adjusted pretty quickly and loved the feeling of flying down the road. My GPS watch beeps when you pass a mile marker and this thing was going off every few minutes! Imagine if it was measuring in kilometers! We finished our ride in 81 minutes and covered 22 miles. A pretty solid start! That afternoon we hopped back in the boat to chase the regatta that was going on on the lake. It was pretty nice not to be sailing all day, I have to admit! After the race finished we anchored off an island and swam and sunned. I imagine this is what most people with boats do but it feels pretty foreign to just hang out on the boat, for fun, without working. We watched the fireworks that night and headed to bed to get ready for the morning ride.

Sunday morning was another perfect day. There was a 70 miler and a 50 miler that headed off early along the same route that we were doing. We signed up for the 22 and headed out in a pack of slightly less competitive riders. Our bike gang was 4 up, Ben, Kelley, Brad and myself. After following a local through town we hit the bike path and took off. The route was rolling with a few up and downs on the road along the lake. We turned around 11 miles out and retraced the way we had come. A few miles form the finished I started to pull ahead thinking Kel would come with, since she never lets me go for long! When I finally turned my head around I realized I had lost the others and was about to get back into town and about to get lost. I didn't know my way back to the hospital that was the start/finish and the signed route ended at just the wrong time! I stopped and asked for directions and made my way back, not all that directly. The others had finished, though admitted getting a little lost as well, and we had a high five and a selfie to celebrate!

We had an epic weekend and I have a new sport. This is probably not good for my social life or my wallet! Anyone want to go for a ride?