Sunday, July 22, 2012

Hills with a side of fog please

Just got back from my FIRST bike ride out on the Blue Ridge Parkway! This was no where on my Training Peaks for this weekend and not even a consideration until yesterday's bike plans kinda sank. I find that sometimes the best trips/experiences are the ones NOT planned. The impromptu nature of this ride prevented me from over-thinking and over-analyzing what this ride entailed (descents).  I did loose some sleep last night though thinking about it and this morning I had jitters similar to what I sometimes feel on race day!

The day did not start off too well but what can you expect when you get up at freaking 4:30. I needed gas but the Exxon up the road wasn't working and for the life of me I could not remember my PIN number. This is the same PIN number I've had for YEARS. I had to scramble to the nearest Sheets and hit the road to meet up with the crew at the park-n-ride.

I enjoyed the ride up to the Blue Ridge with great/easy convo with JB but inside, I was kinda nervous. When we got higher up to our starting point the fog was insane. I couldn't see the car that was 15ft in front of me! When JB mentioned that it may be unsafe to ride, I gotta admit that I was a little relieved. Luckily, Lynn was already waiting for us and let us know that it was clearing up.

When we first started, I felt strangely out of place. The air temperature was in the 70s which seemed cold compared to the 100+ degree temps. That, the fog and the gentle misting made me feel like I was in Forks on an early fall day. Less than ideal to start but I ended up being grateful for the milder temps and cloud cover/fog.

Once my legs warmed up a little, I started to relax and soon I found myself enjoying the ride. It's also important to note that this was my first outing on saddle #3, the Terry.  I was nervous about doing a longer ride on a new saddle but I figured nothing could be as bad as last year. I must say that this saddle  is at the top of my short list. I've tried a many saddles and so far Terry>Cobb>Deva. Thank goodness for people like Craig at RCC that are patient with picky people like me!

During the ride, I kept thinking how lucky we are to have such an amazing place to come ride. There was minimal traffic, amazing views and just clean, fresh mountain air. The fog did make a few of the descents a little sketch and my hands will definitely be sore from squeezing the shit out of feathering my brakes so much.  I snapped this with my POS droid at the top of a climb. I'm getting my Christmas tree from here this year! So pretty!

After about 13 miles of climbing/descending, JB and Lynn went off to do Vesuvius because they are crazy insane good on their bikes. The more sane people, including myself, just did an out and back and met back up with the girls to finish up the ride. Of course, now Vesuvius is a goal of mine now but mainly to check out Gertie's Country Store! what a great name:)

The way back to the cars seemed to be more descending rather than climbing and I found myself remembering all of the advice Karen has given me over the years. I relaxed my arms, pushed my butt back, leveled out my feet. and kept my line of vision out ahead of me. I'm getting the hang of it slowly but surely with every ride I do. Progress.

After about 3ish hours, we made it back to the cars. Some did t-runs while others texted significant others to let them know we survived and some tried to help a cute doggie that clearly didn't want our help. Lynn mentioned Devil's Backbone Brewery and I perked up at the thought of a burger and a beer. We enjoyed an unseasonably mild lunch on the patio which was the perfect ending to surprise impromptu ride. 

And I get to do it again next weekend at the Wintergreen TortureFest!!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Month 3

So month 3 of IM training is here (and now more than halfway over) and I must say that I'm not feeling like I'm training for an ironman. An aquabike, maybe. This is mainly due to NOT running. After a 2 hour run last Sunday, I knew that things weren't going well so now I find myself on a running ban, wearing a brace or getting my foot taped everyday. I'm trying to remain positive about that but with every week that goes by (2 more) I'm feeling less and less optimistic about my posterior tib issues. Dr. B even said the dreaded "s" word.  I told him that this wasn't gonna happen until after November. fingers crossed.

This blog's main purpose was to keep track of my IM training so I could look back and learn from my mistakes for future races or to just reminisce on days where I was active and happy. I'm not feeling happy right now, I'm feeling really frustrated. Not running in addition to a TON of changes at work has left me somewhat of a grumpy monster. I tell patients everyday to be patient and to allow his/her body to heal and I say that knowing that I would probably have a hard time following that advice.

I think the changes at work are bothering me more than I've admitted to myself. It may not be directly impacting IM training but it definitly does indirectly. I love my job and love my co-workers but over the past couple of weeks we've lost two PTs and gained a new-grad, a new part-time and soon a new PTA.  There was even talk of another new hire. After 5 years of experience, I find myself as the "old" therapist.

I will miss Chris and his goofy ways. We worked really well together and balanced each other out. We got work done but still managed to have fun. I take pride in the fact that most of our patients loved coming in because of the great dynamic we had. bye chris:(

I will miss Dan who I've known for almost 10 years and who I respect tremendously as a therapist and a person. I will miss our chats about bikes and our conversations about his son, Rudy, who is now a kick-ass pro-triathlete.

The good news is that the new PT, A, is a super fast runner. Like a sub-three-hour marathon runner! Annnnd I'm pretty sure I can convince him to do an Ironman with me! Or at least get him into triathlons.

.....several weeks have gone past since I first started that post. I still don't feel like I'm training for an IM so nothing has changed on that front. That just makes me anxious to make plans for next year. Since this year probably won't turn out like I had wished, it is time to make new goals for IM Florida AND save my time goals for next year!