Favorite Wall in Austin for Blog 2

The Past is Still Recorded Online

This blog is out of use and out of date. I am now posting on mercedesorten.blogspot.com

Monday, June 15, 2009

My Accidentally Great 36 Mile Ride on Sunday

I am starting to see a theme here. A lot of my great rides, great runs, and even great swims are happening by accident lately. So despite how well all of my coaching/organization/planning skills work for others, the planning lately has not been working on me.

And so I think I'll just go with that theme of accidental great workouts for now. Until it stops working.

To explain: This Sunday, I set out from my house over to Jack and Adams to do their Sunday Group ride at 8:30 AM. I thought we were going to do a Decker Lake loop, but the group decided it would be best to stay away from the downtown area due to the Motorcycle Rally. So we ventured south. I was excited because I had never cycled down south to Buda before and many of my friends have talked about how it is a lot of fun. (I still want to do a loop or two of Decker in the coming future to practice for Couples, but that's going to have to be another training day entirely) So I see a few familiar faces and chat with Mark, this girl Lauren and others at the start of the ride. We head up through my new neighborhood on Dawson/5th and go through the neighborhoods toward South First. This is where I leave the Jack and Adams folks and join the Austin Flyers. It was a little miraculous how it happened.

I noticed I was riding with a group of the Flyers who were mixed up within the Jack and Adams folks but didn't think much of it. As we approached S. 1st on Ditmar, I heard a lot of people around me yelling "Go straight! Go straight!" Little did I know that was the Austin Flyers ride leader indicating to the Flyers that they needed to break away from the Jack and Adams folks to follow the rest of their route. I watched the Jack and Adams folks turn on S. 1st to head to Buda, while I continued with the Flyers. I realized my mistake immediately. I road up to the ride leader of the Flyers, Evelyn for a few moments to make sure she was ok with me joining them, and then I set out to see another part of town entirely with my new accidental group. I was ready for adventure!

We went out onto Old Lockhart Road, and it was GORGEOUS. It was very hilly with a slight crosswind, but fortunately there was barely any traffic on that road and the scenes were straight out of Little House on the Prairie (or something like that). Needless to say, I was having a blast. It was hard and I had to push to keep up with them, but I was keeping out with them out of necessity. I knew if I didn’t, I would risk getting lost. That fear turned out to be great motivation for me to stay with the pack and stay fast. It was definitely a challenge for me because I have not been riding lately (aside from commuting) but I made it happen. At the 1/2 way point we stopped at this V@lero Gas Station to fill up on water and ice plus snacks. One of the kind, accepting Austin Flyers, Jerry*, bought me an almond Snickers bar. It was probably the best tasting sweet treat I've had all month. (Ok, maybe the best all week). Thanks Jerry*! I am convinced that Snickers was vital to my accidental success with the Flyers.

I made it back and thanked Evelyn for her guidance and support. I did not follow the group to Bicycle Sport Shop. Instead, I went back to Jack and Adams to tell Mark and others that I made it back safely. I chatted with James and a few other people and I also thoroughly enjoyed a breakfast taco.

I think it is fitting to give a THANK YOU to that random Velassimo racer, Dave, for giving me a ride to REI Gateway after the ride on Sunday. Thank you Dave for helping a fellow cyclist in need!

Here is our trek, which I'm sure I'll be doing again as it starts near my new 'hood and was oh so fun and beautiful!

Accidents happen. They are not always bad.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Belated Update - Splash 'N' Dash Disaster! -or- At Least I remembered my running shoes!

My second Splash 'n' Dash race was a bit of a letdown last month. Even more of a letdown, I did not sign up for the next one in time. It might be for the best, though. I can do my own amazing brick workout this Tuesday instead!!

Picture this: A sweetly hot, sunny, cobalt blue sky day, sun pouring down on you begging you to get into the water. I attempt to leave work early - 5:00, I end up leaving at 5:08 or perhaps *gasp* 5:09 to get to the Splash 'n' Dash on the third Tuesday of last month. I decide that I am going to try MoPac to Quarry Lake instead of the I-35 to 183 that I have used in the past. I get into my hot car and start driving, already getting nervous about the time. I finally get onto MoPac after traveling through the downtown and it's a parking lot. I sigh and start applying sunscreen in the car in the standstill traffic. Even the weather starts to annoy me. I realize I don't have my goggles or cap. I text my buddy Joe who usually carries a spare pair of goggles and hope for the best. I am frustrated at myself for my lack of planning.

After much more frustration, gridlock, and realizations that I'm so happy that I live Central and I don't have to deal with that parking lot every day, I get to the race site - Quarry Lake. The parking lot is FULL. I park at an office building far away. I am still in my work clothes. It's 5:56 PM. The Splash 'n' Dash starts at 6:00 PM. I still don't have goggles or a swim cap. I start to panic. Bad choice, but I did. I quickly change in the car (don't recommend this on a hot sweaty day) and run over to the check-in. A kind volunteer is there to help me and I'm thrilled at how fast I check in. They provide a cap. Now to get obtain the spare goggles. I run to the start, desperately looking for my buddy Joe. He sees me, hugs me, and points to the goggles on the ground nearby. I'm so lucky to have wonderful, reliable friends and training buddies.

I adjust the goggles and try to relax and get my heart-rate down. I don't know if I was effective in doing that. I start out too fast on the swim, something I have been really good at NOT doing in the past, and I don't sight as much as I should. I end up watching the front of the pack pass me on the right as I was way too far out and close to shore. I then settle in behind them, grumbling to myself about how I need to swim more. I stay with the pack but not as fast as usual. My heart rate feels high still.

I settle in on the run by latching on to a pro racer for a lap. She takes me for a little cruise and then she finishes (I think). I keep going at that pace, or try to. I start to feel down on myself and disheartened. I push through and finish 30 seconds slower than my last Splash 'N' Dash. I was slightly disappointed, but it was nothing that a few Oreos and a veggie hot dog couldn't fix!

Current book I'm reading: Bicycle Magazine, actually.
I am a marathoner. That means I have a tummy that could sieze a spider.