Friday, August 27, 2010

Riding Dirty soon to be White and Nerdy

It's hard to believe my 3 weeks hiatus from hell, errr I mean KSU is nearly at an end.  It went by so much faster than I would have imagined (DRAT!!). 

After the last race I ran, I had resolved to taking some time off in hopes my hamstring and foot would heal up and feel better.  It's definitely improved, but it's only been 2 weeks so I am still anti-running at least through September.  However, I committed myself to at least cycle as much as my butt would tolerate. 

Last week I spent 4 days riding 88 hot, sweaty, spandexy miles mostly through Aurora and Shalersville.  AH even came out one night and dragged me through a hard 24.5 miles.  I normally ride this route between 17.5-19.5 mph, but his easy cadence of 80ish made me feel slow and I desperately tried to hang on his wheel saying to myself "No chain motherf*cker, No chain" just like Lance Armstrong does.  I was rewarded with my fastest time ever 20.5 mph...WOOT!!!

I was hoping to break 100 miles for the week but really who makes plans and sticks to them when you are on vacation???  Instead of a nice 2 hour ride on Sunday AH and I ate wings and cheese fries, watched Avatar and Terminator Salvation and pretty much spent the day laying around.  It helped that my "brittany" as some call it was super sore and chafed from all the miles of riding. 

This week I managed to get out for my loop on Monday at a hard effort and rolled through at 19.4 mph all by myself.  My butt was still sore, so I started applying Neosporin to the area as the chafing resulted in some unspeakable nastiness.  The good news is the lymph nodes down there that usually swell were NOT swollen.  Yes, I know perhaps this is a gross and dirty conversation, but I can't be the only girl that this has ever happened to! 

Tuesday, I chose a nice hilly route that had some nice climbs in Bentlyville and I switch backed a couple roads up and out of Chagrin River Road.  I only managed 17.8 mph, but I just wanted to make all the climbs, while preventing my heart from exploding out of my chest.  The Neosporin had definitely helped, but the bumps on the way home up Liberty were certainly a bitch!!

Wednesday I rested and yesterday, while I was hoping AH wanted to come over and ride again, he texted me saying he was feeling fluish.  Great!  I was on my own until I remember BH led a ride out of LifeTime.  They were planning to ride 25 miles, so I told him I would pick them up at Hawthorne and Sulpher Springs.  I got there in about 28 minutes and kind of rode around in a small loop waiting for them.  It was less than 10 minutes before him DM and 3 other guys came flying by!  I told him I could ride almost 18 mph through the hills and he said I would be fine, but as they flew by I hammered to try and catch them.  There was no pace line and it seemed every man for himself.  I guess some etiquette rules were being broken and some "man" stuff was going on as we raced up Chagrin River Road.  It was okay BH helped me out by letting me act like a leach and stick to his wheel.  I had picked them up at about 8.5 miles into the ride around 7pm, so I knew I would have to ride HARD to beat the darkness home.  We rode up to Berkshire where the ride was meant to go but DM basically called BH out to ride up Old Mill and since I was the only girl, well I wasn't taking the easy way out and hung on BH's wheel until the climb started.  DM is way too fast for me and he suggested we take it in our easiest gear and ride it like a hill should be ridden.  That sounded like a great plan.  I got dropped by the 3 guys, but that was by far the best I had ever climbed Old Mill.  I wasn't hurting or out of breathe.  It was about 7:40pm.  We were running out of time.  I figured I had until 8:30pm to make it home.  We rode down Gates Mills to Brainard and then to Harvard where they split off.  DM and BH were worried offering me a ride home in a car, but come on!!  I knew what I was getting into.  I checked my computer.  I was at 25 miles in 1:29:xx.  It was time to GO!!  I turned my ipod back on and just started jamming on the bike.  It is completely flat or downhill with the exception of one climb up Miles Road.  I just kept pushing and thinking "Go you p*ssy!!, Go!!"  It was nearly dark I had to take off my sunglasses, not to mention I could feel the air temperature dropping.  I hammered away until I pulled in the drive in less than 35 minutes.  I checked my computer...38.1 miles total.  Holy cow!!  That was a race pace for me (and yes it felt like it too).

Hopefully, I will be able to get in a few more rides this weekend, along with working Friday, Saturday and Sunday (LAME!!). 

And then Monday, it starts again.  I can't believe it's been a year already and I am in my last semester.  I miss my classmates and without them I would not have made it this far, but the amount of studying and research, not too mention test after test after test...yuck!!  It will certainly be the hardest semester thus far, but this time off has really de-stressed me and I know I can hang in there for 16 weeks...or there is always the alternative

Either way I am gonna have to HTFU!!!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Twilight Trail Run by Team HTFU!

I don't know why I do this race.  It is always very humid and hot and I always struggle to the point wear I have puked during the race and after through the years.  It always seems like most of my girlfriends do it and it's a nice chance to see them (especially after being so off the radar with school for a year) so I just get sucked in.

I really wanted to do this race with JP and the girls.  Although, not being the fastest team out there the bandanas, sunglasses and pink HTFU t-shirts would undoubtedly get a few questions and some laughs.  It had been about 2-3 weeks since I had done anything. I hadn't swam or biked since Muncie and after one good week of 38 miles my left hamstring and heel were just destroyed. However,I had made my decision, I would run the race with JP and then call it quits until October or November on the running front. 

I got to the race super early and although I didn't need a warm-up I was talked into 2 super hot and sweaty miles.  My HTFU t-shirt was soaked with sweat by the time I was done and the bugs were already coming after me.  Two of my classmates running under the team name "Kenny Rogers Chickeneers" had come out, so I was excited to see them and thankful they had bug spray. 

Our wave started at 9:00 minutes in and I had every intention of taking it out slow until about 1.5 miles and just running smoothly from that point on.  My effort felt okay all the way to the hill and then I ran as much as I could before power walking the second half to the top.  When I reached the top I walked a bit longer as it is a false flat before re-grouping and picking it back up.  Mile 1 was so incredibly long, I thought for sure it hadn't been marked, but then at 10:24 I saw it.  OUCH!!

My achilles and my hamstring were just screaming at me from all the uphill and I felt hot and nauseated.  Wow, was I paying for it.  I started smiling though, thinking this half of Team HTFU needs to harden up a little for sure.  I had lost sight of all my friends and just kept plodding along thinking I really should not have run those 2 miles for a warm-up. 

Each mile took forever and I never got that feeling of am I gonna vomit or not to go away.  I just kept thinking 49 minutes max it would be over...keep going.  It seemed after the first mile I ran between 9:00-10:00 pace.  As I was running down the big down hill I passed a woman who was walking and she slipped and scared the crap out of me.  I asked her if she was okay and she responded with "yep, that's why I walk this down hill." 

I was almost done and when I saw mile 4 just passed the castle I was relieved, less than a mile to go.  I had nothing in my tank, but I had nothing from the start, so what did it matter?  SL ran me down and we exchanged words of encouragement with each other before he broke away.  I couldn't wait to stop and catch my breath and have this feeling of puking everywhere pass!  When we popped out of the woods I forgot we had to run a zig-zag back to the finish and I was definitely thinking "F*CK!!"  But I did it of course, and as I ran across the field to the finish I heard my friends cheering for me.  I crossed the finish in 48:41 and walked right over to the woods where I dry heaved for a few minutes before heading back down to join my friends.  The feeling of puking subsided as I recovered, but it never totally went away that night.  My leg was completely trashed though and it hurt like a mother.

It seemed most of my friends had done really well.  E-speed and NC winning 1st in the female team division with Daisy and ET 2nd, BS had of course won the 1st place male.  My teammate, who was running a good hard pace still finished really well (not a shocker - GO JP!!!) and although "2 Slow 4 Elizabeth" didn't place as a team I think they might have quite possibly come up with the BEST team name EVER....hahahaha!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Therapy in Mamby Pamby Land

Anybody need someone to talk to or a shoulder to cry on?  This guy reminds me of my mom.