31 March, 2009

Another exciting day in the life

I hit the snooze until 5:55, get up, fix a bowl of 5 minute oatmeal (no microwave stuff for me!), dress, put my clean bike gear in the car and take off for the day. Driving down Route Rd, listening to 84 WHAS and all of a sudden the face of this dear is looking at me through the windshield. Not time to think or react, THUD. A knot rose up my throat and I felt like throwing up. I'd been booking about 50 mph. Quickly I gather my wits, slow down, and pull over. Put on my flashers, get out of the car and walk to the back and look behind me. There's nothing in the road and I don't see a deer anywhere. I walk around the passenger side and to the front. The headlight is busted and the bumper dented.

What's funny is, the whole time I'm driving on to work I'm thinking how I should be all wanting a cigarette. Stressful event, right? nah, I felt sick to my stomach and the thought of tobacco smoke in my system too just made it worse. YES!!!! So much more free than I was before.

The rest of the day was calling the bodyshop, work, insurance company, work, taking my car to the shop, getting picked up and taken to the rental car place, renting a car, going back to work. Other events are happening, my brother calls and says Mom has been scammed.

So much more tell, but it's late and I'm pooped. Hoping to get out to Shelby county right after work tomorrow and ride the road course we are racing on Sunday. 66F and sunny should make for a nice 20 or 30 mile ride I'm hoping.

25 March, 2009

Always something

It's been a good ride for the last 20 months of going tobacco free, in a physical sense. I am so much more fit, though I still have work to do. It's also been a roller coaster, because going through a lifestyle change also affects your emotional well being and relationships with others. On a personal level I've learned quite a lot about myself and a few other people, too.

I now know much of my disappointment is my own doing. I had the preconcieved ideas of how people would respond in certain situations. That doesn't happen. The nice thing about tonight is that all these small events took place and normally would have triggered a "I want a cigarette" response, Didn't Happen! woo hoo

I rode Tuesday Night Worlds last night. Fun and hard workout. Had a couple of the guys giving me tips through the park. Nice people. I made it to Rudy Lane before being dropped. bitched myself out all the way to River Road. Flew down Blankenbaker but have misplaced my puter, so I am riding blind. Probably the best thing too.

Not sure what I'll work in for the weekend. Will ride tomorrow if it's not pouring. Need to work in some other tasks, too. No races this weekend, but a road race next weekend. will be different from the last 2 weekends of racing. Nice to have a week of rest in between.

21 March, 2009

Race day #2

Started out by taking a whole benedryl last night at bed time. Woke up, ate oatmeal and took a half a benedryl. Packed the car and met the ladies at 10 am. The plan was to take another half benedryl when we arrived in Lex. I forgot :-( By the time remembered is was 20 before start time. The morning was cool and had some winds whistling around the course. Temps were low 40s and skies were cloudy and grey. We rode the outside of the course to get a feel for it while races were taking place inside the loop.
15 minutes before race time I realise how warm it's gotten, so I change my long sleeve jersey to the short sleeve, but still wear a compression knit jacket and tights.

Long story not so short, I hung the first two laps. The loop was listed at 1.2 miles, my puter registered more. It was a gradual uphill on the start/finish side. Once at the top of the hill it bore right and levelled out. Then a sharp right turn and downhill baby! I had it up to 30 mph at one point. I still suck on hills. May always suck on hills. I keep thinking I should just have taken the downhills and gone with the wind when I could. The undulation in a group is what wears me down. Sometimes there's breaking, even on the downhills. What's with that? They attacked on the uphill and I hung twice, third time just shot out the back. My own fault.

They said they would put up a sign with # of laps remaining and I kept looking for it. Finally, on lap 5, the rest lap me. Talk about depressing, but I knew it was coming. It had to. I'm just thrilled it was only one and not two. :-) Beginning lap 6 the sign is up with 4 to go. ARGHHHHH I looked at my puter and I'd just completed 21 minutes. this was to be a 35 minute race, it took me 40 to complete. I tell myself, "you are over halfway there". "You can do this". My lungs are starting to fill and try desperately to relax. Focus on exhaling. Take a drink. Blow the nose. Relax the shoulders and focus on the legs going up and down, up and down.

Several people on the sidelines were yelling my name, cheering me on. It was quite motivating. I tried to keep positive thoughts and shuned the negative as long as I could.

It took an hour after the race finished to stop wheezing and coughing. I took a half benedryl once back to the car. Taking a whole one now. Have a 8 o'clock Rogue ride in the morning, so hoping to rest sound and easy.

I have a lot of work to do, a whole lot. And it's all good. I love riding and enjoy all the people I've met riding. Peace

20 March, 2009

Benedryl to the rescue?

I hope it is. I took a half a caplet about 9:30 this morning and everything dried up very quickly. Since I eat numerous times throughout the day I wasn't worried about getting too sleepy. I realised about 3:45 that I hadn't taken any more and so I took another half. I've had a coughing spell here and there but all in all am breathing easy.

I'll take a whole one at bedtime and another half as soon as I get up. Tomorrow is criterium in Lexington. Dry day in the forecast with a high of 60. Much different from last Saturday, however more is blooming and getting greener with each day.

Tomorrow's goal is to keep the lungs working and ride to the finish line. Haven't gotten nearly enough time on the bike to think I can do more. There's a 70 mile ride at sunrise on Sunday morning I want to join. Have to get through tomorrow first! :-)

19 March, 2009

Asthma reared it's nasty head again

Went to Long Run Park for the first race in the Spring Series. Rain and 36F were the conditions. Rain was steady for the hour leading up to the women's race and during. I warmed up by riding out of the park for a bit and then jumped on the trainer. We were all soaked to the bone well in advance of the start. I was feeling good and got out of the blocks very well and fast, passing numerous women before cresting the hill. As I hit the backside and the gradual uphill I lost momentum (as is typical) and was passed by many. We came around and I pushed up the hill crossing the start line and sprinted to the top again. When I hit the backside on the 2nd lap my lungs shut down. It was like a wall was at my breast bone and no air would go deeper. I tried relaxing, slowing my spin, shifting to easier gears, long slow deep breaths, but nothing was working. I'd taken 2 puffs on the inhaler 40 minutes before I started exerting on the warm up. Didn't have it on my body for the race, but left it in the car. Needless to say I abandoned the race, which I am not proud of or happy about.

Tuesday, I rode worlds, got my arse handed to me and had some sniffles and cough but nothing problematic.

Last night I went to the park to ride and within 15 minutes the asthma started again. I was wheezing and choking and miserable, but the legs felt great! I signed up for Saturday's race, but am worried that I'll have another attack. Need to think seriously about what I can do, maybe benedryl at bedtime Friday night. I'm just not sure. I've not had issues for over a year like I have Sunday and Wednesday.

Crossing my fingers

12 March, 2009

Tuesday Worlds

So I left work and headed straight to the park. Aired and geared up and took a warm up lap, up Dog hill and Hogan's then around toward's Seneca. All it took was Dog hill to get the lactic acid built up in my quads, but had most of it worked out by the time I arrived at Cycler's. I didn't count, but there were at least 30 to show up. Tracy, Oli and I were the only women to ride. Teams represented were Texas Roadhouse, Bolla, Barbisol, Humana, Twin Spires, BC/TL and Rogue.

There was a full moon on Tuesday and the temps were about 78F at ride start. I was happy that I almost made through the park before I got dropped the first time. Amazed the I hung with them up the hills. I chased through the neighborhoods between Seneca and St. Matthews Ave before I caught up with them, thank goodness for traffic lights. Got dropped fairly quickly on Rudy lane, caught back at Brownsboro Rd. One more drop on Blankenbaker, though I kept them in sight quite a ways. I was flying down Blankenbaker about 32 mph, but couldn't catch them at River Rd. Perry joined us on his fixie. That man can spin! I hung on his wheel best I could.

Glad I was in the back. There were two mishaps on River Road. I only saw the aftermath. Perry and I pulled off at the second one as there were several stopped. I took off again, tried my best to grab a wheel, but those headwinds were tough. Webguy came around and said, "grab hold!" which I did for a few hundred feet. Again the headwinds pushed me back. Those guys were squirrely, lots of testosterone. I can only imagine how intense it gets as people pick up their fitness over the next months.

There are 5 Cat 1/2/3 women racing on Saturday and 9 Cat 4s. As someone said, I'll finish in the top ten! :-) Just need the experience. Only expectation is to hopefully finish.

08 March, 2009

Too early for Spring fever?

I mean, it's March 8th. But yesterday Mother Nature looked kindly upon us in Louisville. 75F and sunny! It didn't get below 60F over night.

I joined Oli, Paul, Michael, and Jason for breakfast at Oli and Paul's house. We ate and the rode across the bridge to Sellersburg. From there we met up with some of the team bag balm guys. Great company and very nice scenic ride out in the countryside. Buffalo roaming, frogs croaking, very little automobile traffic and birds were singing. The wind was still fierce at 20 mph most of the time. I don't think we ever had a tailwind. I knew to put on my sunscreen, but my forehead and nose are very pink today. One application isn't enough I guess. :-( I forgot my hr sensor, so didn't get to measure that. We rode 65 miles and I averaged 15 mph, which is all I wanted. We rode fairly fast on the way to Sellersburg. Oli had a flat tire on the bridge and we didn't want to miss the beginning of the ride. I met several new people, all very nice and willing to give pointers. We traded stories about how we get started riding, how long, etc. Caroline commented about my stopping smoking, saying it is a good story to tell. :-)

There is a time trial this morning in Shelby Country. Would've like to have gone, just to see how I'm coming along, but today was taking Mom to church. Doesn't look good for a ride later, they are calling for rain at ride time. I'll probably through on the running shoes and go for 30 minutes. I've been thinking of doing the Tuesday Night worlds, being my last hard effort before the race on Sat. Looks like rain will spoil that plan. If that's the case, I'll have to settle for intervals on the trainer, again. pooh!

Several other developments going on, but will wait a while longer before posting here.

05 March, 2009

Too much, too little...

It was cold and windy over the weekend and I had two hard rides. As I get closer to race day I think my bud is spot on about not getting enough time in the saddle. At least not enough to be competitve. Though, did say that I've come a long way considering.

Had a hard workout on Tuesday at Trainer tours. They were supposed to end last week but since we've missed some with bad weather AB extended through this week. I spun easy last night. Planning on hill repeats in a little while and then the last Trainer Tour at 7 with free pizza after. Only drawback to the day is a call at 10 tonight. :-(

Temps have warmed to the sixties today. Are supposed to hit the 70s over the weekend. Lots of wind, but Mother Nature will always throw something our way, right? Looking forward to getting in some miles on Sat and Sunday. Hope I can throw in a few more hills too.

01 March, 2009

2 weeks til the first Spring race

I am not ready! spun easy on Friday for an hour. Was awake past 1:00 am Saturday morning so sent a text saying I wouldn't be making the 8 am ride. I just can't ride for 3 hours on less than 5 hours of sleep. I could've, but then I wouldn't have been able to hang at all.

Wound up riding the yellow lot 35 miler. The Polar Bear dip was taking place just down River Road an hour and a half later than our ride start. It was a cold and windy day. People say I'm crazy for riding my bike in these temps. I say those people jumping in the Ohio river in 35F are insane! I don't care if it is, jump in, jump out, dry off, and warm up. brrrrrrrrrrrr As we were waiting to see if any more cyclists would show we are watching all these spectators parking and tailgating. It's 10 am. Any reason for a party.

There were 6 of us, me being the only female, again. Only 5 did the full ride. I kept trying to back off and stay with the guys, but through 7th street seemed I was always in front. Mike finally warmed up and took off. I tried to keep his wheel, but kept losing it along the way to Shawnee. Somewhere heading back downtown we pretty much rode together the rest of the way. The other three were a good 5 minutes behind. The wind was fierce until we started up Iroquois hill. I felt stronger than ever going up it. At the top there didn't seem to be much wind at all, which I thought was very odd. Coming down, we found the wind again and I swear it felt like the temp dropped 5 degrees by the bottom. Riding back was fun and always love the hill at Cardinal Stadium! Somewhere on Jackson the sleet started. At first I thought it was cinder or something, because it stung! Sleet hitting your face with a headwind while on the bike is not exactly fun times.

We held our kit-ordering party Saturday night. Very nice evening, spending time with new friends and making more. Lots of tri-athletes and marathoners as well as cyclists. I'm so excited, but need to be patient as it will take 6 weeks for them to arrive. Maybe I will order a t-shirt that I can wear over base layers for the first races.

Today was a ladies ride, 5 of us again, all Rogue! Oli coached us the whole way. I had a tough time from Tom Sawyer to Long Run for some reason. It was cold and my breathing was labored. My right IT band started screaming again! We finally get to the course and do a hot lap. Well they do a hot lap and I flounder up the damn hill. Regroup and Oli is going to do 3 laps steady state, race pace. I got a great start out of the blocks and was sprinting like mad. Then somewhere early on the ascent they all passed me. My right hip is hurting and I keep saying too bad. The wind was even more fierce. At one point as you come out of a turn and hit another incline and it's smack in your face. I got to the end of the second lap and stop. Got off the bike and walked out my hip a bit. Then tried to hide behind a SUV from the wind so I wouldn't get too cold. Oli does a 5th warm/cool down lap and we regroup and head back. Guess I finally got warm, 'cause the ride back felt great. The wind was still there and at one point I thought I was going to have to stop, but decided to scream, "give us more Mother Nature!". She did. One car buzzed me and I think I caught the others off guard when I screamed at the woman driver, "3-feet buddy".

After today I'm thinking I'm not ready for this race, period. But I'm still gonna do it. Finish is the goal. Same as September KY Senior Games. There are many women that I will not come close to and that is ok. 2nd race, I need more experience!