Sunday, October 15, 2017

Glassner Autumn Challenge (WW # 115)

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Glassner Autumn Challenge
October 14, 2017

I signed up late and the T-shirt was no longer free!
I didn't buy it, but did receive free socks.

I didn't have plans for Saturday and it was shaping up to be a beautiful day, although hot. {Nothing new!}  Hmm...what to do?  Another Century Ride!  The nice thing about these is you can change your mind about the distance while out on the course.  If you don't feel well, if it's too hot, if it's too hilly -- you can follow the markings for one of the shorter courses instead.  It's a built in escape to the finish line.

Waiting on the ride to start and the humidity to burn off.

The Glassner Autumn Challenge was a much larger event than the DAM Century Ride a few weeks ago.  Accordingly, cyclists started in waves of 20.  I am not a fast rider and seeded myself well behind the mid packers.  The announcer reminded us that these rides are not races.  The goal is to simply have fun and enjoy the ride.  My start time was around 8:20 and it was already 75 degrees and humid.

Rest Stop # 1 -- Wizard of Oz (4.2)

It was too soon for a rest stop, so I waved and rode past.  The volunteers enthusiastically cheered for passing riders.  The stop was most likely meant for shorter distance riders that started behind us.  The traffic was surprisingly very light and it was still coolish, but I was having trouble keeping my heart rate low.  Excitement, perhaps?

Rest Stop # 2 -- Halloween Town Café (9.2)

Again, this felt early for a stop but the name piqued my curiosity.  I stopped to top off my water bottle and ate a few grapes.  I was disappointed there were no Halloween costumes and therefore nothing picture worthy.  The bike rack began to topple over {ghosts?} so I grabbed my bike and was on my way.

Rest Stop # 3 -- Old School Cool (16.5)

Now we're talking!  This rest stop was jammed with people riding all distances.  The sweet lady in the Poodle Skirt was the star of this show and happily obliged anyone wanting a picture.  I couldn't pass on the frosted bike cookies and also ate half a banana.  Here, I remembered to take a Salt Capsule and continued this plan at every remaining stop. 

How could I resist one of these?

I think Elvis was unimpressed with sweaty cyclists!

Rest Stop # 4 -- 50s and 60s Sock Hop (36.1)

The miles between stops 3 and 4 weren't overly hot due to ominous cloud cover. This stop was hoppin' and the tunes were rockin'.  Elvis was there!  I drank pickle juice to counter the cramps that had started and ate a half PB&J among other bites.  I could have stayed and listened to the Rusty Nuts Band all day. But, I put my phone in a Ziploc bag in case of rain, turned on some music, and hopped back on Sanity. Since riders had thinned considerably, I had been riding alone at times.  I thought music would help. Also, I was exhausted from singing the same song for 36 miles {Oh, What A Beautiful Morning...} and I missed my singing partner

This band was awesome!

Rest Stop # 5 -- Hawaiian Paradise (54.4)

Lunchtime!  The miles between stops 4 and 5 were brutal with the sun finally making its unrelenting appearance.  During this segment, I decided I would continue with the full distance although some of the worst hills had begun.  I had no appetite, but they were grilling hot dogs and I managed to eat most of one after first drinking more pickle juice.  It was nice to see a volunteer I knew from our running club.  Although unnecessary, I visited the restroom.  I took my irritating ankle wrap off, which I had worn to support a cranky tendon.  I rested the longest here.  I was just so flippin' HOT.  

Thanks to you Candace and all the volunteers!

Rest Stop # 6 -- 70s Groove (73.3)

I don't remember much at this stop except being relieved I was getting close to the end.  I was amused at how having only 30 miles to go felt short enough to use the word "only".  I drank a Mountain Dew {best thing ever!} and ate...something.  No pictures, but I remember they were playing 70s tunes.  I felt a little delirious.  

Rest Stop # 7 -- Totally Awesome 80s (89.7)

So, so hot.  So, so tired.  I ate very little...I believe a mini bag of pretzels.  I drank more pickle juice and a few sips of Dr. Pepper.  I wanted to just be done and got back on Sanity relatively quickly.  I appreciated the nod to Lionel Richie who grew up not too far away.

Elevation chart before my Garmin's death in mile 92.
Official race elevation gain reported at 3,994.

The final miles seemed shadier and thus easier.  And just like that, it was over -- 104.9 miles recorded on my computer.  Surprisingly, I was handed two medals; one for completing any distance and one for being a Centurion.  Mentally, miles 40-70 were again the hardest.  Time does not seem to exist.  A lot of soul searching went on, including many shoveled piles of digging deep.   Those hills just kept coming!

The rest stops were located at various churches and the volunteers couldn't have been any nicer; filling our bottles, providing cooling towels, making sure riders were taken care of, and supplying welcoming doses of fun and entertainment.  There were plenty of food options and they served a full meal both before and after the ride.  I indulged in pre-race cheese grits and mini muffin.  There was mechanical support at each stop and plenty on course as well.  It was truly a first class event.  The traffic stayed light and the course was entirely on back roads and rurally [<< my new word] very scenic.  

Many thanks to my gal pals who sent messages throughout the day.  Since I was riding alone, it was nice to get to the rest stops and see their encouraging words.  Finally, a big ol' thanks to PoPo who obliged my request to celebrate at our local Mexican hangout that evening, even though the football game was on.  {You're the bestest!}

How do you celebrate after a long, hard event?

Have you taken a picture with Elvis?  If so, where?

And that's a wrap!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Randoms (WW # 114)

Welcome to the Weekly Wrap!
This link was created to support active women.  
JOIN IN!  Click HERE  to see complete rules.

Tricia and I are thrilled you have chosen to link with us on the Weekly Wrap.  If you link early, please make sure you come back later in the week and check some of the other posts.  Our simple tip to the newcomers for making this linkup work for you:  the more you interact with others, the more they will interact with you.  We hope you'll find the connections, support and motivation you've been searching for right here!


You may remember that Teresa visited a couple of weeks ago and we completed our first Century Ride.  Well, I demand politely request that all my guests take a mailbox picture with me.  It's my jam.  Anyhoo, I wasn't crazy about the way it turned out.  But in the spirit of keeping it it is.  She looks great, but I need a do-over. 

Not the DAM picture I wanted!

Although I was so excited for some of our very own Weekly Wrappers to be running the Chicago Marathon, and absolutely wished them nothing but the best of luck, it made me a little blue not to be running it myself.  I'd like the chance to run it and NOT FALL  [or DNS like I did in 2015!].

A favorite pic from Chicago 2016

Sunday's long run was scrapped due to Tropical Storm Nate.  Conditions allowing, I will run Monday instead as I'm off for the Columbus Day holiday.   I'm a member of team #alwaysmissamonday, especially in the summer after spending the weekend running, cycling and water skiing.  Monday ends up being my much needed day of rest.  {Truth be told, I can barely move!  Ha Ha}  But, I occasionally make an exception.

I did work up a sweat for a solid hour Sunday on my second bike trainer ride of the week.  I watched The Good Doctor while cranking out an easy -- and by that I mean low resistance -- 32 miles.  I'm addicted to this new show.  Freddie Highmore plays and excellent role as a brilliant surgeon with autism.  

Saturday morning before TS Nate

I recently won a pair of Zelus Insoles from Rachel.  {Thank you so much!}  I chose the Olympus model for my high arches.   I tested them on my last four miler.  They felt comfy although they made the toe box of my Mizuno Inspires very snug.  I hope that will not be an issue at higher mileage.  If so, I'll try sizing up on my next pair of shoes.  I'm convinced my previously fractured metatarsals need all the help they can get, particularly if I train for another marathon.   Say What?

I'm sending an enormous shout out to Karen [fit_in_france on IG].  We've been working together since June and not only did she set a new half marathon PR by shaving off 13 minutes two weeks ago at the Disney Paris Half {after running the 10k the day before no less!} she did it again today at the 20km de Paris.  Karen is proof you can work hard by running just 3 quality runs each week and still make huge gains!  I'm proud of you!

Congratulations to you, Karen!

OK, I'm finished with my ramblings!

Tell me something random from your week!

Don't forget to link your race recaps right here!  We love them!

And that's a wrap!


Sunday, October 1, 2017

Recovery (WW # 113)

Welcome to the Weekly Wrap!
This link was created to support active women.  
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Tricia and I are thrilled you have chosen to link with us on the Weekly Wrap.  If you link early, please make sure you come back later in the week and check some of the other posts.  Our simple tip to the newcomers for making this linkup work for you:  the more you interact with others, the more they will interact with you.  We hope you'll find the connections, support and motivation you've been searching for right here!


I don't really have anything worthy of a post this week.  When looking at time, riding the Century distance last weekend was along the lines of an ultra event.  Although not so hard on the body (other than slight bruising in the sit bone area, I had no evidence) my heart rate was in its aerobic zone  I respected that and gave this aging body some extra days off.  

Welcome, October.  I found this cute ghost on Saturday's ride.

I posted my Dam Century Recap earlier this week and have linked it below.  It would mean the world to me if you'd check that out, if you haven't already. 

I know the Fall racing season is in full swing and I'm looking forward to reading what you've been up to!

And that's a wrap!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

DAM Century Ride

Dam Century Ride
September 23, 2017

My apologies in advance.  Riding over 100 miles is going to create quite the lengthy recap.  I hope you'll hang with me to the end.  I mentioned in HoLottaMiles that we had started about 30 minutes behind most riders.  It was a little hairy going through traffic stops in Tallassee, mostly because Teresa and I were still nervous I think.  We crossed the DAM for which the ride is named and once on rural roads, we settled into a rhythm.  
The DAM.   Cycling over the bridge (twice) was pretty cool!
Except for being chased by a dog, things went smoothly.   Of all the things we fretted over, dogs were something neither of us considered.  I announced to Teresa we were 10% done.  Little did she know I'd be yelling out my percentages all day (along with our average speed).  The most disturbing thing I saw was a dead raccoon with a plastic fork placed on top.  Disturbing, but somehow weirdly funny.

Stop # 1 -- Raisins, Water
I wanted to document each rest stop and the volunteers were happy to oblige.  As we were leaving, we were told to look for the kiwi farm.  Kiwi?  Growing in Alabama?  Who would have thought...  The kiwi farm was lovely as were the countryside, farms, pastures, small churches, cemeteries, ponds, swamps, and woods we passed.  We conversed.  A lot.  We're women.

We broke the ride into segments between stops.  Otherwise, it'd be too much of a mental bite to chew.  During Segment 2, my singing started.  I sang up every hill.  Elton John's Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me was stuck in my head -- so I let it out.  Nothing significant happened except for losing my magnetic pouch after hitting a huge bump flying downhill on rough pavement back into Tallassee.  It almost smacked Teresa in the face.  I went back to retrieve it but not before a car smashed my Advil, Salt Capsules and Goldfish.  I would have to bum off Teresa.  After crossing the DAM again, it was time for Rest Stop 2.

Stop # 2 -- PB&J, Water
Here, we were told we were the back of the long distance riders and that someone would be following us for the remainder of the race.  Aren't we special? I didn't notice our SAG vehicle and it's possible he skipped ahead to Rest Stop 3 to wait.  If not, he sure kept a respectable distance.   It was in Segment 3 that my obnoxious singing started.  There were hellacious hills and it was getting HOT.  I had switched over to John Denver's Sunshine on My Shoulders and I belted it out up every mountain for distraction.  {Your welcomed, Teresa!} 
With big uphills came big downhills and we wheeeee'd our way down eventually clocking a maximum speed of 36.9 mph.  Dang that was fun!  There were a few Deliverance type moments--complete with banjo sound effects, many cotton fields--complete with singing Dixie {yes, Teresa gave in and started singing with me} and finally we reached Rest Stop 3.  We were around mile 40 and knew we'd have to make the Metric/Century decision soon.

Stop # 3 -- Candy, Pickle Juice, Water
The group at this stop went overboard to make us feel welcome.  They racked our bikes, filled our bottles and gave us crack (chocolate candy, peeps).  With cramping already in my foot, they served me a cup of pickle juice.  It did the trick.  I stuffed food in my pockets, but can't tell you now what it was.  I sent PoPo a message we were OK and off we went.

Segment 4 had the worst traffic.   We received a few irritating "honks"  It was flat and we began missing the early hills; no whee's to rest and enjoy.  Constant pedaling.  Constant...with a head wind.  We cycled over a river, along double railroad tracks, saw golf courses, a casino, and a prison.  We pushed on and after crossing the Interstate -- there they were; the big arrows pointing us either back to Tallassee for the Metric distance or on through HELL for the Century.  Well, you know what that decision was.  We giggled a while because Teresa imagined SAG Dude thinking "Oh, crap -- they are going the full distance!"  We were sure he'd rather been watching football.
Elevation Graph from my Garmin
After a beautiful stretch of homes and farms, we reached the fluid only Stop 4 around mile 58.  {We're 58% done, Teresa!}  The volunteer was an IronMan who had Gatorade and Water on the tailgate of his pickup.  We did not document this stop.  I think we were getting delirious.  However, we made sure SAG Dude was well hydrated (ha ha).

Segment 5 was Hell on Earth.  It was so freaking hot with the sun directly over our heads.  However, I did a little celebratory seat-wiggle dance after surpassing my PR distance of 65 miles.  We were in the middle of nowhere.  I remember singing Garth Brooks, Kenny Chesney, and Zac Brown to name a few.  We were completely delirious and couldn't remember more than a couple of lines of any song, but that didn't stop us.  

We talked (again!) about what we'd eat later at the Mexican restaurant and how big our margaritas would be.  My feet felt like they were on fire!  The road kill was bad.  Some were unidentifiable; one with weird hooves.   Had Bigfoot ran out of the woods, we wouldn't have batted an eye.  He could have hopped a ride with SAG Dude.  We shared some gummies Teresa had stuffed in her pocket.

A beautiful oasis in the middle of Hell...

Finally, we arrived at rest stop #5!  {We're 70% done, Teresa!}  I was getting that WE DID IT feeling although we had over 30 miles to go.  The sweetest people were sitting on the front porch of the church parsonage waiting for us to arrive.   An INDOOR stop with air conditioning almost brought a tear to my eye!  WHAT a spread of food! -- OMG at the homemade Pecan Sandies.  We made ourselves go to the restroom for the first time even though it was not necessary.  Being so hot, it was difficult to eat and I stood over the A/C vent in the floor. 

Stop #5 -- Pecan Sandies, Cookie, Banana, Water
It was hard to leave knowing we had to go back the way we came; back through hell.  Another "I'm OK" text and we were off.  I can't remember much of Segment 6.  There was more singing and cursing too.  A big group of fat tire motorcyclists passed us.   We were sent down the worst road imaginable with rocky pavement, huge buckles spanning the road with deep potholes nestled inside.  We won't discuss our potty mouths every time we hit a brain jarring bump.  But as Teresa pointed out, it was shady. After an eternity, we arrived at the last stop.  Teresa convinced me to drink in a Dr. Pepper (hoping for a burping contest -- no such luck).  I can't tell you how good that tasted.   

Stop # 6 (with SAG Dude) -- Iced Grapes, Banana, Dr. Pepper
With about 17 miles left for Segment 7, we sang Johnny Cash (a lot of Cash) some Elvis, crossed back over the Interstate where I convinced an 18 wheeler to blow his horn and we pedaled on.  {We're 90% done, Teresa!}  In the distance, we saw an ominous cloud.   Rain?  Really?  Now?  Maybe it would go in the other direction.  Oh, no no.  It stormed.  We were soaked in seconds.  There was nothing to use for cover.  I'll admit there was some repenting going on -- you know, just in case.  We pulled up to a stop sign that was whipping back and forth from high winds and two SAG vehicles soon caught up to us.  "Do you want us to take you back?"  NO WAY.  We sat drenched in the vehicles until the wind died down. 

File this away under EXTRA BADASSERY

Back on the bikes, the storm left much cooler air in its wake.  We appreciated that and the fresh, just rained smell.  I had gotten cold while off my bike and my inner thigh kept threatening to cramp. Thankfully it never made it all the way.  More cotton fields.  We steeled ourselves for the last DAM hill.  We knew it would be a doozie.   And ... success!   One.hundred.three.freaking.miles.

PoPo took us to our favorite Mexican restaurant where we indulged.  Homemade guacamole, made right at our table, tasted like heaven on earth.  That actually could have been our meal, but we didn't stop there.  And the margarita?  Well...

There were no medals given out.
But this memento sweetly gifted by Teresa
has been around my neck every day since.

Thanks for making it to the end!  Be sure to check out Teresa's recap as well.  A special thanks to everyone associated with this event.  It was perfect for our first century.  A big shout out to all of you who sent encouraging messages throughout the day (especially you PoPo!).  Knowing we had that positive energy coming our way helped more than you can ever know. Oddly, we rarely even looked at the time.  It's almost as if it didn't exist.  We had a job to do and we just did it.  And Teresa, what can I say?  Thank you, my friend.  It was a DAM good time.


Sunday, September 24, 2017

HoLottaMiles (WW # 112)

Welcome to the Weekly Wrap!
This link was created to support active women.  
JOIN IN!  Click HERE  to see complete rules.

Tricia and I are thrilled you have chosen to link with us on the Weekly Wrap.  If you link early, please make sure you come back later in the week and check some of the other posts.  Our simple tip to the newcomers for making this linkup work for you:  the more you interact with others, the more they will interact with you.  We hope you'll find the connections, support and motivation you've been searching for right here!

Teresa and I have been scheming for about a year now to get together for a Century Ride.  In case you need some mathematical clarification -- that's 100 miles.  [Think about it this way -- if you left your house and drove 100 miles, where would you be?]  We had a hard time finding a date that would work, swept the plan aside for a while and also contemplated doing a Metric Ride (still a worthy and daunting challenge of 60+ miles).   On the spur of the moment, we chose the Johnny Ray Century to finally put it to rest.  I scheduled Sanity for a much needed spa day in the short time we had before the race.

Friday morning while picking up Sanity, I overheard the bike mechanics discussing the next day's Century Ride.  I piped up to tell them I would be riding.!   I was wrong.  Surprisingly, they were discussing a different ride much closer to home, with 2 extra hours for completing the century distance, and with 1400 less feet of elevation gain.  Hmm....  The wheels in my brain started turning. The scrambling began to find out more about the Dam Century Ride (seriously, who can resist that name?). 

Teresa arrived on Friday evening later than planned (I'll let her tell you about that!) and we chilled a while before heading off for a carbo-loading pizza dinner.  We discussed the pro and cons of both century rides.  After much debate, we decided: let's do the Dam Ride!  We racked Sanity and Lexi, laid out our clothes, set an early alarm for the short trek to Tallassee and called it a night.

Sanity and Lexi together at last.

The ride did not require that everyone start at the same time, allowing you to leave from 7 until 9.   Due to *ahem* navigational issues, we arrived later than intended and by the time we registered, unmounted our bikes, got set up and visited the restroom, we were about 30 minutes behind riders who started at 7.   No sweat, right?  Got all day...

You may have guessed that we completed the Century, not opting for the turn to take us back for the shorter Metric distance.  I'm not going to recap the ride today as my first Century deserves a recap that isn't hastily put together.   There were so many things we saw, so many back road hills, our very own crew, things we did to entertain ourselves, a #holottamiles, a surprise ending and more.  I can't say enough about the wonderful people in Tallassee.   The event more than exceeded my expectations and vanquished my fears.

Ready to roll (sorry for the fuzzy pic)!

Let me say my heartfelt thanks to Teresa for going on this adventure with me.  We checked an item off our bucket list.   There is no way I could have (or would have) done this without her.   We pushed and pulled each other up every.damn.hill and through the horrendous life-sucking, delirious trash-talking 90 degree heat.  Most importantly, she participated in my obnoxious on course entertainment -- a true friend indeed!

My body?  Aside from a little soreness in my sit-bone area and effects from mild dehydration -- I'm feeling great.  The next adventure awaits! 

Do you enjoy riding a bike?

What is your next adventure?

And that's a wrap!