Monday, June 30, 2008


The heat was back this weekend, and I don't like it. Waaah. Biked 50 miles in the east end with a few TriGirls and one boy; it was a nice ride. We weren't blazing around, given that most of us were still tired from the week's workouts, but we clipped along quite nicely. I really like riding out that way, into Charles City County and through eastern Henrico and Hanover, its still quite rural and mostly FLAT. The ride was nice, then MyKaren made me run 60 minutes in the heat, humidity and sun. Well, she didn't actually make me, but I blamed her nevertheless. I was miserable, and whiny, but I did manage to finish the run with only a few walking spells. I hate the super hot weather. Guess I better get used to it.

I got a 30 minute swim in the Bay yesterday, on the way to Delaware for a short visit. I'm trying to get used to swimming in salt water, so I am trying to swim in salt as much as possible before IMFL. It was kind of fun, MyKaren and I swam from crab buoy to crab buoy in Kiptopeke State Park, so it was a good sighting and salt water swimming pratice. Every time I get in salty water, it gets less bothersome. Maybe there is hope!

On Tuesday, Master of Pain BlakeE had a little bike chase going with three different groups trying to either catch each other or keep from getting caught. I biked my @ss off, and could not catch the group in front (good job girls!), but managed to keep from getting caught by the fastest group (well, it was only MyKaren and BlakeE) so while it was VERY hard, it was also good. I was still tired from that one on Saturday. Can't wait to see that this week will bring!

Monday, June 23, 2008


Well, the first Blue Ridge ride is completed, not without some drama! For my part, the ride was hard, but much better than last year. Maybe I am stronger and more comfortable on my bike, maybe it was just a good day, but the ride didn't seem as hard as last year. I rode 46 miles with several others, while some only had to ride 36, it depended on the race. We do 2 out and backs, the first is around 27 miles total with the second making up the difference. Those that did 36 got lucky, they missed the super yummmy 3-mile climb, I sadly, had to huff-n-puff up it. Bombing down was super fun though! The ride was HARD, but I didn't feel like I was going to fall over on any hill, nor was I gripping my handle bars and brakes with a death grip going downhill. Much better! I ran about 1/2 a mile after 46 yummy miles. Others actually ran a couple of miles, more power to them! Several of us ran 8-9 on the downtown trails on Sunday morning and I was surprised how good I felt!

Now for the some may know, and others will find out, BlakeE likes to serve up some extra sweet action for a select few. I have not made the list for "special treats" so I guess I'll have to work harder. BUT, back to the point. On Saturday, he targeted MyKaren, JeffW, Cyndi, Shelley, Charlton, RickS, and DerickB for some special treat, to occur at the start of our second out and back. Shelley, in her infinite wisdom or to her demise, decides she doesn't want the super special treat and starts riding down the parkway for the 2nd part of the ride. Then it happened...BlakeE began man-screeching for Shelley to come back..."Shelley, you come back right now...Shelley, Shelley, Shelley, come back!!!!!! and so on. I've never heard him sound like that and nearly wrecked trying to process the sounds coming from him. Shelley, just keeps peddling and kind of backward waves him off. We both thought he was going to jump on his bike and run her down. My guess is that BlakeE wasn't happy with Shelley, maybe I am wrong.

So Shelley and I do our out and back, we run into BlakeE on the way down the big hill, he is still shouting at her. She now realizes that she made a mistake, even though the extra yumminess was a 1-mile descent and then ascent to and from hell (as Cyndi described it), aka a climb of 15% grade. Shelley writes a note to put on BlakeE's car, addressing it to Coach Blake, the best coach of all time, etc....and apologizes for her lack of judgement. Not sure if it worked, but I have a feeling that much suffering will be coming our way (our in a collective sense, becuase the word I heard is that we are all going to suffer for this incident). I say BRING IT!!!!! If it doesn't kill me, maybe it will make me stronger.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Happy Birthday to MyKaren! Last week was pretty humdrum, nothing new happened. The workout on Tuesday with BlakeE was hard, and I got a little mountain biking in on Thursday in preparation for the Xterra Sport race on Sunday. I love mountain biking. Both MyKAren and I decided to do the Xterra Sport, as our sprint race this year. We both rode 50 miles on Saturday with about 10 people, including BlakeE. OK, Blake needs some directional instruction, because we got lost several times and had to depend on Jeff W, our country-ambassador to get us back on track. We ended up riding the correct number of miles, and the countryside was pretty. It would have been nice to know where we were, but it was an adventure!

The Sport race was a blast! I had done it 3 times before and really was hoping to have fun and maybe break the 2 hour mark. The swim seemed longer than usual, but the current wasn't bad and even though I got into some shoving in the water with some other women who happened to be going my exact speed and were not going in the direction I wanted to go in, it was fine. It was strange to come upon rocks in the water, but I decided not to stand up, when they came up, and just pushed myself along them until I could push off with my feet. I thought I was at the back of the pack out of the water, of course MyKaren was long gone when I transitioned to the bike. The bike was fun, I had a few minor issues, got a stick wrapped around my rear wheel early on and then dropped my chain on a long climb, but it wasn't bad. I rode some things I never have before, so I was happy with that, and the fact that my legs felt pretty darn good, even with the ride on Saturday! I had always bonked on the run before, so I was kind of taking it easy at first, until I saw a woman in front of me...and then as I got a little closer, I saw a 45 on her leg. And I knew I had to pass her, since she was in my age group, I, too, had a 45 on my leg. I passed her on the Mayo Bridge, and decided I'd not push it too hard until after the Mayan Ruins. Those are steep and tall log steps up an old train trestle just below the Manchester Bridge. I got up them pretty easily and then knew I had to pick it up. So I did. I finished strong, did not bonk and nearly finished in 2 hours (2:01). Both MyKaren and I won our age group, she came in 4 of all 37 women, and I came in 11 overall. A good day!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


HOT. That sums up this past weekend, not surprise there! Last week I did the BlakeE hill route for the first time and tried to keep up with Cindy, but after about 10 miles, she dusted me. That route is hard, no question about it. Ran about 20 minutes afterwards. Saturday's ride was more relaxed for me, I didn't try to kill myself given the heat and the run afterwards. A couple of us went across the river to Chesterfield to do the run, hoping that the selected route would have more shade than a West Creek death march. We finished 7 miles, only because we were able to drench ourselves with a kindly friend's sprinklers at mile 2+ and then again at mile 5 or so. It was still a struggle to actually run in that heat. I felt like I was going to explode, and that, my friends would have been ugly. I did OK with nutrition, working on eating something BEFORE I bonk, and downing magic pills (Enduralytes) more frequently than I did last year, and that helped a lot. So much more to learn!

I am hoping that the heat wave is not going to last all summer. That would suck big time because I'm in it now!

Monday, June 2, 2008


OK, summary of Brazil trip. Part 1 - trip down. Waiting, waiting, waiting, waiting, some flying, more waiting. Arrival in Florinopolis after some 56 hours and more waiting for bags. Lessons learned: book multiple legs as one itenerary and all airlines pretty much suck. There is nothing interesting after 18 hours in one airport or another. NEVER BOOK TRAVEL THROUGH ENDURANCE SPORTS TRAVEL! They were ok for the hotel and shuttle stuff, but they really hung us out to dry on the trip down. See Susie's blog for some specifics of the issues. Got in 2 short swims in the ocean and wet suit, so that was good for me.

Part 2 - sherpa race report. Swim nightmare, wondering why swimmers were going right when 2nd bouy was left. MyKaren looking like hell after the first leg, everyone taking longer than expected. Bike seemed ok, nice cheering house on course. Run took forever, it seemed. Everyone looked great in their skirts!

Part 3 - after race report. Did a "canopy tour" which really means, high ropes course. We had fun (all 10 of us) and it was funny to see IronStuds looking a little out of their element. Monday's celebration dinner was at a Brazilian steak house and food was fine. Brazilian beer is horrible. What a dissappointment. Tuesday was post-race party blowout. Unplanned. Much fun and frolicking ensued and several white butts were seen running into the surf for dip, skinny style around 11 pm. While the Brazilian beer is horrible, their national drink is pretty much a knockout punch, but it tastes good. No one lost any teeth or woke up with any black eyes, but it was quite a night. 5 of us also went on a trek on Wednesday to an older fishing village, it was a nice walk and the scenery was pretty. 8 of us left that night for Iguazu Falls. Actually arrived there relatively on time! Falls were pretty, but it got kind of cold, guess I'll be wishing for cold soon. We went to both the Brazil and Argentina sides of the falls, toured a bird sanctuary (well, it was actually a bird zoo), and ate at another steak house (I should be able to spell the stupid actual name, but I am lazy and don't feel like looking it up) which had a cultural show of all the South American cultures. Interesting to say the least. Understood very little of the show, in more ways than just the introductions. But it was fun...HA HA HA.

Part 3 - departure. For all the trouble it takes to get into Brazil, with the visas, and airline crap, they also make it hard to leave. Original flight out of Iguazu Falls was late, so our connection at Sao Paulo was missed and we had to spend another night. Of course, this meant that we missed our American Airline flight from Miami to Richmond. Here we went again. No one would help us, the only flight we could get on American would be on Monday, they could get us to Raliegh but the connection was tight, and it was going to cost several hundred $ more per person (this, after updgraded tickets down to Brazil so we could get there, 2 more nights in a hotel, transportation costs for airport shuttle, etc) and we'd have to drive at 1 am back to Richmond. GAAARRF! So, we get ended up booking flights on JetBlue from Fort Lauderdale and flew back yesterday.

Obrigada TAM, American Airlines, Endurance Sports Travel for NOTHING!

Back home now and ready for some yummy training!