Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Sunday Hammerfest

Well, thats at least what I called it. Originally it was going to be a fairly easy bike with the girls starting at 9am. You never really know who will show up when you put the word out on the forum and emails. I had gotten a call earlier in the week from one of my business competitors who used to work for me over 10 years ago. Mark had ran into David out riding and I guess he had found out looking at the forum that I was biking now. It's funny because I used to give him hell about riding his bike to work, and that was probably 12 years ago at least. Long story short, I invited him and his wife to come ride with us on Sunday.

I got a call at 8:30 from Mark telling me that he and Perry were going to meet us to ride. Perry used to work for a paint company that we bought paint from so it was like old times. Perry also brought his son who was probably 19 or 20 I would guess.

After meeting up at the school and setting the route it was time to see what the boys had. Our group consisted of Annette, Brenda, Bailey, Mark, Perry, Perry's son and myself. I figured it was fitting to take the lead out and off down Mt Carmel we headed. Bailey grabbed on to my wheel and we were rolling. You would think we were sprinting at the speeds we were going. We dropped everyone real quick! I knew Mark had to be a good biker because he had been doing it so long but I really have no idea what level I am on so I wanted to see if they would keep up, pass me or get dropped. They were actually probably playing it smart and just riding a little easier. Brenda and Annette were just having a leisurely stroll and chatting away when they could. Mt Carmel has some pretty good hills on it and I was rolling up them at 17 and down some of them at 24-25mph. Bailey was hanging right with me, not to be out done by some guy! I guess we had a point to prove. If you ride with us, we might just make your tongue hang out!

After turning on to Lemay, I stopped to let everyone catch up and wait on the girls. We were off the main highway now so we could chat and take it easy for a while which we did. Well, when I slowed down Bailey picked it up. We ended up alternating pulling for a while, mostly between Bailey, Mark and myself. Perry and son were keeping up just fine so I figured out we were all pretty much on the same level and we could probably push each other anytime we wanted.

It really was a good ride, we mostly talked about biking. We stopped again at the corner of Hwy 31 and Mt Tabor and Perry told me that my rear wheel was out of round bad. I took a look and sure enough, my stinking wheel was bent so bad that my brakes were rubbing. No wonder I felt like I was working so hard. How I was able to go as fast as I was I don't know. I ended up having to loosen my back brake just so the wheel wouldn't rub it giving me almost no brake at all on the rear. Didn't spoil our fun though. We had a good pace line all the way to 236, I think Bailey fell back with Annette and Brenda somewhere in there. We stopped again at Hwy 89 & 236 to regroup. The girls were not that far behind so they were all really doing a good job of keeping up. I took a pull again with Mark on my wheel. We pretty much dropped everyone this time. We alternated a couple times to give each other a little rest. 19-20mph felt pretty good.

We all kind of backed off a little after we turned on Gun Club Rd. Then it was on to Kerr and back towards the school. The guys stopped at Marks house on Kerr and we said our goodbyes. It was a fun ride with friends and we ended up with right at 27 miles for the morning. My average speed was like 17 which I guess is not bad with some of the stopping and going we did. I know I felt like I had a good workout anyway, which is what's important. Annette was excited too, I think she averaged right around 15 which is really good for that distance and hills for her. Riding with faster people will make you faster, and sometimes you just have to bring it on and give it all you have.

Update on the bike wheel. I took the bike in to Riders Ready yesterday and found out that I had a broken spoke. Where and when that happened I have no idea. I did remember my wheel feeling wobbly on Friday nights ride. Maybe I hit a hole, rock or bump that done it. Irregardless, Greg fixed me up and trued my front and rear wheels up. And for the amazing low price of $16.95! I didn't know you could get anything done that cheap anymore.

Monday, July 28, 2008

That Dam Night Run

Saturday evening we headed to Lake Degray for the Dam Night Run. Temps were 101 when we left Cabot just after 5pm. My plan was just to have fun and not race this one as was Annette's, Brenda's and Bailey's. Brenda is also suffering from PF like I am. Annette and Bailey are running the San Francisco Marathon next weekend on August 3rd so they couldn't afford an injury in a 5k.

This is a really fun race but it's always hot. Everyone parks at the boat launching ramp and then gets trucked up to the starting line of the race. Last year we rode on the back of lumber trucks and this year we lucked out and got in a bus. There had to be close to 700 people racing this so getting everyone to the start line was quite the chore. The race was suppose to start at 8, but after getting there around 7:30pm, we waited and waited. Truckload after truckload of runners came in. Needless to say, the race didn't start on time. It was 8:30pm or a little after before we got started. Thats a long warm up if your an elite runner.

Since I hadn't really ran any in three weeks it seemed somewhat hard but we tried to run slow. I tried to run slow but I wanted to take off. That really made it hard for me. I knew I had to stay around a 10 minute mile or slower so not to hurt the foot. Brenda, Annette, Bailey, Ty and myself ran pretty close together for the first mile. We talked and dodged in and out of the slower people. A couple times I would look at my garmin and we would be running in the 9 minute range so I would slow it down. We were all dying of thirst by the time we got to the water stop at about 1.5. I walked the water stop and the water was so cold. Annette and Brenda didn't waste no time and they were gone. On one of the hills I decided to walk just to slow myself down and give the foot a break. Plus it was still at least 90 degrees. I think I walked one more time before the finish which is on a nice downhill. I really had to hold back here as I knew a fast downhill would hurt my foot even more. Going in to the finish I was running next to Ty, Bailey's husband. He doesn't like running but I figured I would see if he was going to be competitive. I started running a little faster and he stayed right with me. Then I made a move like I was going to sprint and he took off. I didn't sprint, but it was fun giving him that chance to beat me, knowing all the time that if I hadn't been hurt it wouldn't happen. I was also hoping that maybe that would spark his interest in running a little more. Beating someone thats normally faster than you is always fun!

I ended with my worst 5k time in 2 years. 32:52. Last year I ran this race around 29:32 and I know I could have been in the 26 minute range this year. Oh well, maybe next year.

After the race everyone had a big tailgate party with food & fellowship. Then we watched the awards. Several of our ladies won age group awards. The awards this year were classic rock and roll vinyl albums. Pretty cool! Especially if you grew up in the 70's.

I think we ended up getting home just after 12am, hot, tired, and drained. Sunday plans called for a 9am bike ride which I will write about later.

I copied this pre-race photo from Marianne's blog. Thats me, Annette and Brenda

This was post race, Gabrielle, Annette, Michele, Me, Marianne, Brenda. Do we look drained or what?

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Ride, attack, ride, attack, run

The past three nights I have had some awesome bike rides with some awesome people.

Wednesday night - Annette, Brenda and myself met at the Community Center to ride about 15 miles. We really didn't have a route planned so we just kind of threw one together. It actually worked out pretty good. We crossed over to Bellamy and rode to East Main. Then we went over to East Stagecoach then to Hwy 38. 38 to 321 spur then on to Mt Carmel back to Dietrich and back to the Community Center. Let me tell you, this is a fun route. It is not flat, but has constant rolling hills. Some of the hills are pretty big and Hwy 38 has some really good fast spots in it.

This was suppose to be just a leisurely ride and I tried to comply. But anytime I get on the bike I just want to go fast. I did manage to never get out of zone 3, even on the bigger climbs. I would climb the hills really fast then slow down to let Annette and Brenda catch up. They did great and they said I helped push them a little. I ended up with 17.34 miles with an average heart rate of 137 so I was pretty much taking it easy even though it was super hot. 972 calories burnt.

Thursday Night - Annette and I met Bailey and Michele at Team 1 for a trip to the River Trail. Bailey went by and borrowed Brenda's old bike so Michele could try it out so we ended up getting a little bit of a late start. After we got to the River Trail I adjusted the seat for Michele and aired up the tires. It ended up being an almost perfect fit. It was almost 7pm before we hit the trail.

Leaving from the Sub we headed toward the Big Dam Bridge. I was leading and trying to go slow but thats always hard. Michele was hanging in there really well. As soon as we hit River Road Bailey went on the attack and passed me while I was waiting on the other girls. Well, that wasn't going to work. I let her get ahead a little then I took off. I was doing 24mph as I blew by her, of course I couldn't hold that for long but it felt good. From there it seemed like we played a little cat and mouse. I'd ride ahead for a while and as soon as I would slow here would come Bailey. Michele amazed us all, she was even down in the tri bars. This was her first time on a bike in ages and she was looking like a seasoned pro.

After passing the golf course and doing the downhill by the dog park, I swung in the parking lot to wait on Michele and Annette. Bailey went on. Wasn't but just a few minutes and here they come, passing me up on the road. So, I had to attack again. Another 23-24mph attack and I blew right by them. My legs were feeling really good. We found Bailey at the water fountain refilling her bottle and we went on towards the bridge.

When we hit the bridge, I followed Michele up in case she had trouble. She couldn't downshift and was in a big gear but she pedaled right up that bridge with no problem. After we got to the top I told her what to try to downshift and she did. That girl has some strong legs let me tell you! When we made it to the bottom of the bridge I almot got took out by a kid on a bike with training wheels. He cut right across my path and I barely missed him. That was incident number one.

We regrouped and headed down towards 430. Again Bailey and I would shift positions a few times which made it fun pushing each other. After the turn around it was starting to get dark so I told the girls we better step on it and get back. We formed a pace line and headed back towards the bridge with me doing the pulling at 17-18mph. It was almost effortless and felt great, however we ended up dropping Michele. We stopped at the bottom of the bridge to regroup again. Michele and Annette started going up the bridge while Bailey and I waited on people to clear the way. There was a ton of people out tonight and it made things somewhat tricky. Then came incident number two. About the time I started to take off, I clipped my left foot in then saw someone coming too fast. Dumb me I went to put my foot back down but guess what, I was clipped in! Well, you probably know the rest of the story. Down I went! Somewhat embarrassing but most any biker with clip ins has done this at least once, if not you will. It didn't hurt me but I ended up skinning my knee up. Wow, I felt like one of those Tour de France guys now. Blood running down my leg and still riding.

My Tour de France Injury!

The pain from asphalt or concrete is something you never forget so this slowed me down a little going back across the bridge. Then as Bailey and I came down the other side, a couple was on the right at the end where the posts are, so I was going left, then another kid comes shooting out from the parking lot and I had to go to the center of the posts and here is Bailey right there with me. We almost crashed right there but somehow managed to miss the posts and each other. That was incident number three!

The rest of the ride was uneventful other than we got back to our cat and mouse. It made for a fun ride and a very good workout. Michele did great for her first ride.

Friday Night - I met Rock at the Community Center for what we thought might be a 30 minute out and back ride. Then she wanted to run at the track so I figured I would give that a shot too.
We ended up doing the same route that I did Wednesday night other than this time, there was no slowing down. It was actually hotter too.

The rolling hills were great. We would power up then ride em down. I actually tried to up the pace when we hit 38 just to get off the that road as quick as we could. Friday night traffic can sometimes be a bear. It seemed like we stayed anywhere from 19-22mph all the way to 321 spur. When we turned here I slowed down a little so we could relax and talk some. Wasn't as many cars to deal with. There are several small climbs and we pretty much powered up every one of them. Mt Carmel had a lot of traffic on it but has a nice shoulder so it wasn't too bad. Now it has some bigger hills on it and will put you to the test at the end of a hard ride. I was sweating like a dog. As I rode I could see and feel droplets coming off of me. I was hoping these wasn't hitting Rock! Mt Carmel was another one of those roads that you just want to ride hard and get off of it and we did. By the time we turned on to Dietrich around mile 15, we were averaging 17mph. Not bad considering all the hills we dealt with and the heat. From there we slowed some and made it on back to the Community Center. I had almost drank my whole bottle of water!

Then it was time to run. We just drove across the road to the track and took off. Since I hadn't ran in two plus weeks, I had no idea how it would feel. I had taped my foot before I left and that seemed to help my PF a lot. I could still feel it some but it wasn't bad. I think I made it almost a mile at a slow pace before I called walk break. I really didn't want to push my luck with the PF and after the hard effort on the bike, the run felt hard. I think I still had an almost 10 min per mile pace, probably faster than I should have been going. We ran maybe another lap then finished up with about a mile of walking which was good. The foot survived and I didn't fall on the bike so it was a good night!

Overall I ended up with 17 miles on the bike and 2.27 run/walking. My average heart rate on the bike was 160 in comparison to Wednesday nights 137. Kind of tells you the effort we were putting out Friday. Probably counting the run I burnt close to 1200 calories for the night. Another great workout with great friends!

Saturday is bike clean up day then we are off to the Dam Night Run 5k in Arkadelphia. It starts at 8pm so it will be a hot one. Then Sunday morning we are riding again at 9am with a group of Cruisers. That should pretty much finish out my week!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Blackhawk Down

Was one of my favorite movies of all time.

Tuesday night we got to train on Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting with one of these babies. Our former Assistant Chief just happens to be the Fire Chief at Camp Robinson on the civilian side and our current Assistant Chief is a firefighter there so they arranged for the Arkansas National Gaurd to fly them out to Station 1 in one of the Blackhawks to give us a run down of basic crash/rescue techniques that we needed to know about these animals.

Pretty neat stuff, but for me, if you have seen one chopper you have seen them all. It seems some of the neighbors had never seen a chopper before so it was quite the sight. Especially when they were hovering around at tree top level. The Co-Pilot just happened to be a blond female Lieutenant and for the young men thinking about joining the military, seeing her fly that chopper like she does could give you that extra motivation. The Captain actually doesn't fly the bird, the co-pilot does.

One thing I can say about my years in the fire service, there is always an interesting class you can go to for free. I was pretty jealous of our two guys that flew in with the Blackhawk, they were getting to fly out and use night vision for about an hour flight. I did ask the LT to give the guys a fun ride home......usually they will try to make the newbies puke...lol.
Here are a few pics I took with my phone.

The Blackhawk checking out the LZ

Just looking around

LZ in sight and coming down

Time for the rotor wash

On the ground

Lots of neighbors and family had to come out to see the Blackhawk

The Crew Chief wears this, to scare the enemy?

We get instructed on the Blackhawk

The Captain shows us the jet engines and where to put water and where not to

The blond LT gets ready to fly the guys out

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

High Heel Race

I thought this was interesting. We should organize one of these around here!!

Women run in a high heel race at Red Square in Moscow, Saturday, July 19, 2008. Participants of the high heel run were challenged to race in stilettos of at least 9 cm (2.54 inches) tall.

I wonder how many guys would come out to cheer them on!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Sweltering Weekend

Here is a quick recap of some of my weekend which was probably the hottest weather we have had so far this year.

Friday night - I started the so far most boring class ever in my fire department career. 80 hours of Driver/Pump Operator. Friday nights class was 6:30pm till almost 9:30pm. We did have a great instructor, former Cabot Chief Gary Meadows was our teacher and he always teaches a great class even if the content is boring. When I get done with the class I will be "Internationally Certified" as a driver/pump operator. Just means I am trained as much or more than any paid firefighter out there and I could go anywhere in the world to do it.

Saturday - Went back to class at 8am. Yawn. Part of the class was actually how to properly wash a fire truck and why you don't use gasoline of other toxic chemicals to clean the upholstery. OMG......it was so boring and elementary. I was assigned to the engine company in case we got a call and we were actually wishing someone would do something stupid so we could get called out of class. I know this was just the first part and since this is a required class from FEMA in order to get a grant on a truck, we figured the only reason they have some of this stuff is because some podunk department somewhere probably got a new truck and actually cleaned their seats with gasoline...lol. Pretty bad. Lunch was the highlight. Stouts diner on Hwy 107. We all got cheeseburgers and these were the biggest, greasiest burgers around. They were good. The clientel was more interesting. Some of the people coming in there looked like they had just came from the movie set of Deliverance. Pretty scary looking characters. We also had some FD Groupies hanging out for us. A group of young girls had to have a tour of the fire truck. I'm sure we are all on My Space now.

Our Fan Club

Annette ended up going to Forest City with Michele to watch Gary, Curtis, James, Rock and Cindy participate in the triathlon there. They had a lot of fun. Rock and Cindy placed 3rd in the team event. I wish I had been there instead of where I was.

As you can see, Annette and Michele was trying to encourage Curtis!

I think they jinxed Gary who usually gets ALL the attention. He ended up having a flat on the bike portion but he was still able to finish though he wasn't a happy camper.

Rock, David Wonn, James, Gary

I finally got home about 5pm, and we never got even one bs medical call. Go figure.

Sunday - I was dieing to ride Sunday but we had a practical to run through at 1pm so I was going to have to go early. I found out Saturday night that Gary and Curtis were riding at 6:30am and then again at 9:30am from Cabot. James called me and said he was doing the 9:30 portion so that sounded good to me. I figured I could do one hour out and one hour back.

Gary and Curtis were waiting at the school when I got there. James was running late as he had to wait on Michele to get back from her and Annette's long run. Ended up Gary and I took off. Curtis said he and James would catch up to us. It had already started getting warm and there was some wind. We headed out 89 towards Keo. We didn't really have a tail wind but there were times we were easily pushing 24-25mph. We made it just past I40 before James and Curtis caught us. I know they had to fly to catch up and we did slow to about 16-17 for a little while. After crossing 70, it was a nice ride, no traffic. I hit the one hour mark at mile 18 and told them I was turning back. They were going out 25 and back. Curtis decided he would ride back with me. The ride back was slower at times but the heat had gotten to the almost unbearable point again. Luckily I had enough water to get me back. My tri bottle was already empty and I had drank about half a bottle of my acceleraide mix. We stayed pretty steady going back till we hot the store at Furlow then Curtis picked up the pace a little. Or maybe I started slowing down. In either case, I fell back and didn't hang with him. My heart rate was very high and I wanted to get it down. I didn't feel like I was working that hard but evidently the heat was getting the blood boiling. There are a couple small hills on this route that will slow you down and with the heat they did me. I was sweating more than last weekend which I didn't know if that meant I was better hydrated or it was hotter. I think it was both! I ended up finishing the ride with 36 miles in 2:03. Just under the 18mph average.

I got home at noon, had to be at the church parking lot at 1:00 to drive fire trucks. I wanted to quit right then. This was the worst class and now I had to do the emergency vehicle driving practical again which I have done at least 15 times in the past. Mostly consists of standing around in the parking lot waiting your turn at the wheel. Lucky for me, chief assigned me to work the diminishing cones portion of the course. Only thing was, no air condition in the brush truck we were using. I worked about 20+ firefighters through the course, and probably used at least one bottle of gatoraid and one water to get through it. Let me tell you, it was hot. 97+ in a parking lot with no shade. Yuck. Finally when I got all those guys through I got to drive some. I took E65 through the slalom course of cones to show the boys how its done. Most were just easing through but I added a little speed to mine. Weaving in and out of cones and not hitting them is tough in a fire truck. The it was a road test, down the service road and back up the freeway. The Asst. Chief was with me and when we hit the freeway he told me to give it all she had and see how fast we could go. Well, today 65 would only hit 68mph. Usually its about 70-72. Finally the class was over. By the time I got home I had to be dehydrated. The girls were in the pool when I got back so I jumped in for a few but I headed for the AC after that. I was burnt out and done.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Help I need an event planner!

It seems the things I have going on each weekend from now till mid September are filling up my calendar to the point I can't keep up. I found out last night that I can't do the 1/2 Ironman event on August 16th because thats the same day my daughter is getting married. I try to keep all these races/events in my phone and also my desktop but for some reason I forgot to list the wedding! You can tell where my mind is. Well, they did change the date on me but I had plenty of time to change the calendar, I just missed it. That was my big bike event for August so now I really have nothing to train for till the Big Dam Bridge 100 at the end of September. Hopefully I can get back to running when my orthotics come in.

I did get to do my neighborhood time trail route Wednesday night. 13.5 miles in 47:32 and that was with two stops for traffic. Gave me an average pace of 17.1 mph. I was 1 minute faster this week than last week. I did make some adjustments on the bike which may have helped. I set it up on my trainer and raised my seat about 1/4 inch and also moved it forward. Seems like this gave me a little more power and it felt pretty good. I also adjusted my cleats back a little to see if it would help with the pain I had in the balls of my feet during my 100 last weekend.

Annette and I had planned on biking Greystone Thursday night but after doing what seemed like Chinese fire drills at work all afternoon, I really didn't have it in me. Plus the temperature at ride time was going to be 95 degrees and I was still burnt out from Saturdays ride. Hills at 95 degrees and full sun is not fun training. And I knew Annette wouldn't enjoy it so we opted for dinner out.

Friday night, Saturday and Sunday I have a driver/pump operator class I have to attend at the FD so it's going to be a long, dull, weekend for me. I'm trying to scheme a way I can bail out of class early on Sunday and make the 1:30 group ride. My only other hope is that we get some fires so we don't have to sit in class all day long.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Grind

Sunday - recovered from Saturdays 100 miler. I'll have to say I wasn't that sore but I still felt dehydrated and tired. I had trouble sleeping and was up at 6:30am for some reason. Annette and I had a late lunch at Brickoven Pizza after that I felt great. Changed a flat rear tire on my bike then I checked Annette's and found that her front tire was flat too. I found a small thorn stuck in the tire so I guess she was lucky to have made it in. I'll have to say, her Specialized bike had the easiest flat fix I had ever done. I could do the whole thing without the use of a tire tool. Sunday evening I had a fire officers meeting, still waiting on the Insurance to pay off on my station damage. Seems like I responded to some fire call in the middle of the night too.

Monday - Mowed grass, front and back. The humidity was low so I figured it was a good time to get both done and out of the way. Not much time left after that to do anything. Another middle of the night fire call had me up at 2am.

Tuesday - Since I couldn't do the running clinic, I went to FD Training. We were hosting the Lonoke County Fire Chiefs so we had barbecue and all the bad stuff that goes along with it. After dinner we transfered the extrication equipment from Engine 62 over to my Engine 64. This has been needed done for a long time since my station is first due on Hwy 67/167. We always get the bad stuff. Even the fires are worse since we have the majority of the commercial buildings in the area. Had another 2am call, had to do a washdown to remove glass from John Hardin in front of the strip club where there had been a minor accident.

Work has been very stressful. One of our owners sons took over as President of our company. He had been our IT person so a lot of the employees do not have a lot of faith in him yet. We are also waiting on a new CFO to start so a lot of things that have to get done daily are not getting done. I guess I expect too much. Leaders have to prove themselves to their people so the outcome remains to be seen.

Sleep seems to be a precious commodity these days, fire calls are way up for some reason. Keeps things interesting though. I sure could use a good run.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Ms Vic's Hotter 'n Hell 100

Saturday was Ms Vic's 100 mile bike ride. This is a free, unsupported ride that is put on by Ms Vicki, our past president of the Cabot Cruisers. I did it last year but only did 50 miles. This year I went for the 100. Others do their own mileage, some doing 30, 50, etc. It is a totally flat route that starts at Willow Beach Park on the river in Scott, then goes to England and almost all the way to Pine Bluff before turning around. Annette was planning on just doing 30 since she had a 20 mile run on Sunday. Since I couldn't run, I figured I'd go all out and see how it went.

I made the mistake of starting out with Gary and Curtis. They had their game face on today and they were planning on a 5 hour 100 and holding 23 mph or so. I don't know why I thought I could hang with them for 100 miles but for some reason I had in my head that maybe I could. I lasted about 5 or 6 miles when I looked at my heart rate and saw I was about zone 4.5 or so. Way too high this early in a 100 mile event. I had to slow down some so I dropped off and let them go. Basically this put me riding in about 3rd place for a while. About mile 10 a group passed me. We had already started hitting the wind so I was bummed that I didn't have anyone to draft off off. Later a couple guys passed along with a lady on a high dollar tri bike. It had already started getting hot and I was glad I had added the drinking bottle to my tri bars. This gave me a little over 2 bottles of water and one bottle of acceleraide. I alternated between the two and planned on taking an enduralyte every hour on the hour. I did not stop at the first store in England. It was about 22 miles into the ride. I planned on riding till the Country Store which was at about mile 33. So I rode, fought the wind, the heat. Trying to take a drink about every 15 minutes or less. I ate some pretzels after about an hour or so.

The wind was relentless. It made for a very not so fun ride to say the least. And being out there all alone made it even tougher. I would alternate hand positions to battle the wind. I'd ride my tri-bars for a while until I couldn't stand it then use the drops. Then I would put the palms of my hands on the hoods which got me down a little bit. Sometimes I just had to sit up and ride to relieve my shoulders and legs. For the first two hours of riding I was holding a 17mph pace. During that time I was in and out of the wind. I hit the Country Store at about the 2 hour mark. I was almost out of water and had drank almost half of my acceleraide. So I stopped, bought a bottle of water and a bottle of gatoraide. I filled my tri bottle and put the rest in my water bottle. I ate a bananna while I was there and did a gu probably 7 miles back. The short rest was nice especially getting out of the wind. Then I realized I couldn't put the gatoraide I bought in a bottle because I still had some acceleraide in it. That probably wouldn't taste good so I just stuck the bottle in the back of my jersey. I was beginning to feel like a pack mule. But I knew I had an out and back before there were any places to stop of at least 30 miles. So I was off again. A few riders passed me here since some didn't stop. They may had planned on stopping on the way back but I wanted to be safe rather than sorry.

43 miles out I saw Gary and Curtis flying back. That put them 14 miles ahead of me. Holy crap. They were really flying to do that. There was one rider behind them then a large group. Later I found out that the large group had started at 6am. And Gary and Curtis had already passed them! Those guys are awesome. About another mile or so I saw the girl that passed me on the tri bike. Wasn't many after that. The wind from here on seemed pretty bad. My pace dropped to about a 14mph average and there was nothing I could do. Sometimes when the road turned I would get a little relief but not much. I was planning on eating 1/2 my peanut butter and jelly sandwich when I hit the 50 mile mark so this I was looking forward to. I was going to make a quick stop just to regroup my thoughts and rest my feet. When I made the left turn on Hwy 79, I had the most awesome tailwind ever. It was like the noise of the wind went away too. I looked down and I was doing 23 mph and with not much effort. Man, if I could only get some of this in the 50 miles back! The only downside was, when I hit the turn around point, I had to reverse my route and go right back into a major headwind. Talk about taking the fun out of riding. My speed dropped to 12-14. This sucked. On top of that there was no shade on 79 to stop and eat but I had seen a place on the other road so I couldn't wait to get there. As I was going back on 79 I saw Marianne, Heather, James and Russ. They were probably a mile behind me. I knew I was stopping so I figured they would all pass me when I did. I hit the shady spot, stopped, dug out my PB&J and ate half of it. Getting some good drinking down too. I continued with the one enduralyte per hour plan. Marianne and Heather soon passed me. James should have been nest but it was Russ. He had turned around before the halfway point. I was quickly back on the road and watched behind me for James. After about 5 or 6 miles the balls of my feet started hurting. I would try pulling up sometimes to relieve this but it didn't help much. About the only thing that helped was getting off the bike. I still had plenty of fluids at this point but again, I was battling the wind. How could I have the same wind both ways?? Actually I think it was more of a crosswind but more than half the time it was a headwind. About 3 or 4 miles from the Country Store James caught and passed me. he said he was trying to catch the girls. I caught up to Russ before the store and passed him. He seemed like he was hurting. Later I found out that he had crashed so that was why.

Again i stopped at the store, this time I mainly just needed to get off the bike and stretch my feet. This was around mile 75. My shoulders were starting to get sore too and I was to the point I hated getting down in the bars. I did buy another bottle of water to top off my tri bottle. Man, that thing is nice. With the straw I can drink while I ride. I went ahead and ate the other half of my sandwich here too. The heat was starting to beat me down at this point. It had to be in the low 90's at least now. I also bought a coke and drank about 3/4 of it for the sugar. Marianne, Heather, James and Russ were at the store but the girls and James quickly left and before I was ready. So still no drafting help for me. With the wind it would have been nice to have several people doing my pace to draft with.

After the short break I was off again. Russ was still inside the store. I figured he was taking advantage of the a/c maybe. I pushed on. It got harder and harder. The wind, the heat. About 7 miles outside of England I ran into Bailey, Annette and Joan who had done 30 miles and were now out driving the course and checking on riders. They asked if I wanted to get in. Then I saw James. He had jumped in a little ways back. His knee was starting to hurt. I told them no, but let me refill my bottles. I knew I needed enough to get in from here. I also drank about 1/2 a coke. They commented that I didn't look so good but I wasn't done so I went on. In retrospect I probably should have jumped in. That a/c would have sure been nice!!

The balls of my feet again started hurting as I rode into England. I didn't stop at the store there but saw several bikers sitting on the front of the store looking wore down. I kept going. Then I hit the road outside of England heading back. I had a dead on headwind on this road. On top of that there was no shade anywhere. My speed dropped even more with this wind. I started watching my heart rate more knowing that we were really in a critical heat situation. When my heart rate would get up I would slow down or douse water on my head, back and neck. That seemed to help. I knew that an elevated heart rate at these temps could be a sign of heat exhaustion. The wind on this road was the worst all day. After two or three miles of this I started looking for shade to stop but there was none. I knew If I could make it to Breedlows Corner there would be some nice shady spots. But how far was that? It had to be about 8 miles because the corner was exactly 15 miles to the finish. It really got mentally tough here, along with physically. I started thinking I sucked at biking. I was going to quit, sell my bike, find a new hobby. I sucked at running and now I sucked at biking. Every negative thought possible came into my head. I called Annette on the phone and told them to come get me, I was done. She said it would be a while, they were dropping off their first load of bikers they picked up. Dang, so I kept riding. I couldn't stop because stopping would be hotter than riding with no shade. All I could think about was how much further it was to Breedlows Corner. The heat was almost unbearable. I wondered at that point if what I was feeling in my feet was the heat from the road burning my soles. Finally I made it to the corner. There were three bikers already there. One laid out under the shade. The other two younger guys just taking a break. I parked the bike, got me some food and drink and sat and waited. I laid down on the grass and it was nice. There was a nice breeze here, it was shady and really not bad. I think I ate a gu, some pretzels and whatever else I had. A lady in a car sagged the one guy out. I told her I had someone coming for me. After maybe 10-15 minutes my thinking got clearer and I began feeling pretty good. I knew I was only 15 miles to the finish. Heck, 15 miles wasn't nothing. I could run 15 miles. Why couldn't I finish? Then I got to thinking about all those riders behind me and how they must be feeling. The one guy that was laid out was a big time biker and when I saw him get sagged in I knew i didn't suck anymore. It was the heat and wind and everyone was sucking today. Except maybe Gary and Curtis! So I jumped back on the bike and headed back out. I was almost out of fluids at that point, but i knew the Bailey Rescue Squad was on the way. I figured then that I would just refill and tell them to go check on the others. I'd take one for the team today even though it would be so easy to sag it in. I really didn't want to quit till I made 100 though. It would have been a big let down. A couple miles up the road here they came. They were ready to pick me up and I said no. There are people that need you worse than I do. Give me some refills and I'll make it back.

I pressed on, the wind was not as bad but it was still there. I had no desire to get down in the bars at this point. I just wanted to finish. I stopped under a shade tree at about mile 90 and took a quick rest, just a couple minutes. Ate a peanut butte cracker and I was off again. Then at mile 95 my bike sounded different. I looked at my rear tire and it was going down. Crap. I stopped, called Annette again and told her to come get me. She said it would be a while, they had a whole load of people they were sagging in. I really didn't want to change the flat at mile 95 and for some reason the tire still had some air in it. I thought I'd try adding some air and see if it would hold. I did and it didn't blow out so I told Annette I was going to try to limp it in. A truck passed me with probably 6 or 8 bikes in back of it they were sagging out. Dang, it must be really bad for that many people to drop. I was feeling better all the time for not stopping. I eased back toward Willow Beach, hoping the tire would hold out. I could have changed the flat but I really just didn't have the energy or patience at that point to do it. Some how I made it in. As I rolled into the parking lot there was a group under a tree cheering me on. I felt pretty good that I had finished but I was disappointed in my time. Considering the conditions though I guess it wasn't that bad. After talking to some of the riders that were still there I found out that almost all of them had been sagged in. Marianne and Heather had made it OK but then again, they are Ironmen. Shortly the Bailey crew pulled up with a load of bikers. I was shocked to see Charlie W. pile out who rides 12,000 miles per year on a bike. Wow, just making it to the finish of this thing was a feat today.

Not sure how many of the 100 mile riders actually finished. I know there were a lot that did and a lot that didn't. Over 80 riders started the morning but I think the majority of those just did 30-50 miles. Gary and Curtis finished right around 5:12 which is a great time under these conditions. My final bike time was 6:38 and a 15mph average for 100 miles. Actual start to finish time was 7:22. This was my second ever 100 miler ever. I missed my PR on bike time by 5 minutes. Overall time I did beat that by close to 40 minutes. The legs feel pretty good, not nearly as sore as they would have been doing a marathon. My system is still sort of funky though. With all the loss of fluids and calories I think it will take me a full day to totally recover. Total calories burnt was 5717 with an average heart rate of 163. That's about the same heart rate I would have had if I was running a marathon.

So we had a discussion under the tree post race about if a 100 miler was harder than a marathon. All those there that had done a marathon before said YES. I would concur. Yesterday's ride was harder than any marathon I have done yet. However the recovery is much much faster at least for the legs. I think nutritionally, the bike is harder on the body than a marathon. Never underestimate the distance in either event. As I left the parking lot headed home, there were still people riding in. The temperature at that time was 97 degrees with a 102 heat index. Thus ending what I now call, Ms Vic's Hotter 'n Hell 100.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Foot

I went Wednesday afternoon and saw my foot doctor. In fact she is the same doctor that is treating numerous other runners in our club right now. It seems I have a heel spur, which has been caused by none other than the famous Plantar Fasciitis. Yep, I have it too, along with at least 4 or 5 other runners in our club. Mine is more in the heel, but the scary thing was that she said if I kept running like I had been, the boney protrusion could break off and go into my achillies tendon which would require surgery. To make matters worse, my big toe has some kind of injury to the joint, and it is not doing what it is suppose to do to carry its weight. Also I have some genetic bone defects where some of the bones don't line up like they normally do.

Bottom line, I can still run but I cannot do speed work. She told me not to do long strides or anything else where I have to be on my toes. Stooping, bending down, etc is included. Also I cannot go barefoot. And all of this is after I get orthotics. So, it sounds like I may never be able to run fast again, not that I ever was, but I was getting faster. I knew the speed work and races hurt more and the reason is because that puts you more on your toes running. Also we all know running puts more pressure on the foot anyway. So each speed session would tear away at that facia and cause micro bleeding which would feel like a stone bruise or cause a little swelling. It all makes sense the way she explained it all. Basically I have a bad foot, it might get better, but without orthotics it will get worse. So, I am waiting to see if my Insurance will cover the $450 cost. If not I'll have to pay.

This won't stop me from running, but I may have to run slower and go back to more of a shuffle. I might even look into speed walking. I think longer distance races will be the only ones I can compete in. 5k's, 10k's and 2 milers may be just too fast. I really don't like being told I can't do something so I may figure a way around that. This may call for an all new training plan and goals for running.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Upcoming Events

I get to go see the foot doctor. This should be interesting. Maybe I can find out whats wrong with mine and I hope its not PF. I still think its just the bursa around my heel that gets aggravated but we shall see. It has been feeling better but I haven't really ran any to speak of either. I want to get back to running and it's just about time to start up my fall marathon training.

Saturday 12th
Ms. Vic's 100 miler. This will be a 100 mile bike ride starting at Willow Beach Park and going out past England and back. It's pretty much a flat as a pancake course so times should be good unless there is wind. The wind is my enemy here. I may try to hang with Gary and Curtis but I know they will drop me at some point. They plan to hammer the whole route and never stop or get off the bike. How do you do that for 100 miles?? The ride is not supported so stores along the way will be our only refueling spot unless you bring enough with you to get by on. I don't think I can carry enough fluid for a hot summer 100 miler.

Saturday July 26th
Dam Night Run 5k - this is held at Lake Degray and starts at 8pm and ends with a big party at the lake. This is always a fun event with all the clubs bringing food and having fun. I'll be doing this one even if I have to walk it!

Saturday August 16th
Lake Degray 1/2 Ironman - That's right, I am doing a 1/2 Ironman but actually only 1/3 of a 1/2. I will be doing the bike portion of the race with James (Iron James) doing the swim and his wife Michele doing the run. We will be a triathlon team. James will be wearing two chips as he is doing the whole race as an individual too. A 56 mile bike race may not sound like much but this is the hardest 1/2 Ironman course in the south! The hills that I will be racing on are monsters but I have been training hard, and riding with faster riders is paying off. I will be back there to ride the course at least once before the race. I am looking forward to participating in my first Ironman event even if it is just as a team. I am not a swimmer yet so there are no future plans for a full event. The team should be a lot of fun especially with Michele and James. Annette will be there to cheer us on.

More events may get mixed in between now and then but these are the major happenings for now.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Holiday wrap up

The past three days have been a little of everything. From crazy, to busy, to some of the hardest biking I have done, to just sitting around and doing nothing. All in all it has been an awesome holiday, just wish I could have run more.

Thursday night I got a grass fire call just as I got to sleep. Wednesday night was the same thing. Both ended up being wild goose chases, one where nothing was found and the other wasn't even in our district but in the City of Jacksonville.

The plan for Friday was to load the bikes and head over to watch the Firecracker 5k, then a bunch of us were going to the River Trail and bike 20-25 miles. The Firecracker is a big race with over 1000 people running and also elite runners, because the winner gets cash money. I raced this one last year and had a PR but with my foot hurting I didn't want to chance it, plus it's not going to get me anything but a t-shirt and probably some pain. So I hung around the finish line and took pictures. That was cool getting to watch the winners finish.

After the race was over Annette, Gary, Curtis, Bailey, Rock, and Jane all headed to meet up at the River Trail. Even if you want an easy ride, when you ride with Gary and Curtis, your going to get some work in. Today was no different. Gary had to leave early so he didn't get to ride much with us. Jane left a little later also. Later in the ride Curtis took us out by the soccer fields and up the big hill going to the main park area and across the freeway. This was a very hilly route, which seems to be the best way to train on the bike for strength and speed. The good thing about an up hill climb is that there is usually a nice downhill. It was a good ride and I ended up with 20.2 miles for the day and a 15mph + average which isn't bad for being on the River Trail. Its not a place you can maintain a steady speed because of all the runners, walkers and other bikers.

Annette had an 18 mile training run on her agenda for Saturday and my plan was to meet Gary, Curtis and some others at Lake Beaverfork for Ironman training. Several were going to swim and then we were all going to bike 1.5-5 hours depending on what you wanted. Both of us needed to get up like at 3:30am and drive to our training places. After the night I had with the guy running into the fire station I was tempted not to even go. In fact, I didn't even get home until 3am. So I set the clock for 3:40 and thought I might get an extra 30 minutes sleep. Well, I ended up with maybe 15 minutes, giving me a total sleep time for the night of maybe 2 hours. And I wanted to ride 75 miles???

Well, somehow I dragged myself to Lake Beaverfork. I got there earlier than I had wanted so I had to wait on the others to get done swimming. We had a great group which consisted of Gary, Curtis, Rock, James (Iron James), Lisa F.(Tri Lisa), Cindy C. and Russ. James and Lisa had both just completed Ironman CDA, with Gary training for Ironman Louisville. Everyone else except Rock and I have done Sprint Tri's. Well, I don't do good on the swim so I decided that I was sticking to what I do best and that is bike. And with this group, you better be able to do at least a 17mph average on the flats. Well, this route had no flats, but there were plenty of hard climbs.

We left Beverfork and headed north towards Wooster. Curtis and Gary led the charge with me in third position. James and Russ followed then the girls. We quickly lost the girls it seemed, it was very foggy and it was almost like riding in a mist. My sunglasses quickly became wet and almost unusable. I would have to wipe them off every few minutes with my glove or finger. This was not fun. We went out pretty fast. First 10 miles we averaged over 18mph and this was on hills. There were several that we would slow to about 9 mph on but none overly hard. After about 7 miles or so, Curtis turned back to check on the ladies. We continued pressing on. We passed a couple intersections and kept going straight. Then all of a sudden here comes Curtis, flying up to catch us. He said we were supposed to turn back at the last intersection and the girls had already turned. Now it was hammer time. We had to catch them. They probably had a 2 mile lead on us at least. And none of these girls were slow. In fact, they all could hang with any of us all day long.

The next 10 miles held more smaller climbs and one major downhill as we rolled into Greenbrier. The hill going up to this one was pretty long, maybe a mile climb. Then we hit the downhill. Oh my god......this was the perfect downhill. Nice smooth road. Small curve. I hit 41.6mph going down. I'd have to say it was a blast! Lisa said she hit 42mph and that was the fastest she had ever been on a bike. Well for her to say that really meant something because she has been biking and doing triathlons for the past 8+ years. It was the fastest I had ever been on the bike also. We took a quick break in Greenbrier to regroup. Everyone but Gary, Curtis and myself was going to call it quits once we got back to the lake. So we reversed our route and headed back the way we came. I was not looking forward to the uphill that I knew was coming.

When we started the climb I told myself just take your time, don't try to keep up with anyone, just keep moving forward and that's what I did. I knew that if you tried to push hard up it you would be using up all that energy that could be used later. Why waste it? Just to be first over the mountain? Well, if I hadn't planned on 75 miles I might have done it but I knew I had to stretch my energy. It took us a while to get up the hill. I never got winded or felt like I wanted to stop but it was extremely hard. My quads were burning like never before. This hill was not as bad as Degray but would compare to River Mountain but a little longer and harder. I think I was last over the top, but I didn't care. I probably felt better than some of the others. Then we had a downhill and I made up for lost ground. While some of the others were resting going down, I pedaled and flew past them. It felt pretty good at that point. The past 10 miles put me at an average pace of 15 mph with several of the miles being like 9mph due to the extreme hills.

The reverse route back seemed worse and the climbs seemed bigger going back. I guess we had more downhills going than I thought. We hammered pretty hard on the way back. I had a 17.2 mph average for the next 10 miles which put us back at the park. We said our goodbyes to the others and Gary, Curtis and I took off for more.

Curtis took us out a different route this time. We headed east on the north side of Beverfork with plans to ride to Vilonia. Curtis said this was pretty flat and not as many hills as the other. Ha....don't ever believe that! It was all rolling hills. Most were not as bad but we did have some good climbs. We slowed down a little at first. I think the boys were tired. Later they both admitted that they went out way too fast on the first part. I felt pretty good because I was hanging right with them. There was no drafting today either. We were using all muscle. We made it all the way to Hwy 36 before it being my turn around time. Curtis and Gary decided they would cut their ride short too. The hills had to count for extra miles. We did have one more major climb going back. It was one of those short and steep ones. I used the same climbing plan I had and it worked, even though the guys left me in the dust. It seems I can hang with them pretty easy in the flats but they take me on the hills. Watch out though because I am getting stronger!

After the last climb Gary and Curtis took off. I tried to catch them but they were really flying. I would look down and I would be going 22-23mph, maybe gaining a little but not much. I figured Curtis was trying to make Gary puke...lol. Those brothers do that to each other some times. This last leg of our ride I had right at a 16mph average.

When we got back to the park, all Curtis wanted to do was go sit in the lake. Gary still had to run. He said he was just going to run as long as he could. Evidently the bike really took it out of him as he only did 6 miles. It was pretty hot by that time. Probably close to 90 degrees. I was soaked from head to toe but felt good. I had drank probably 2 full bottles of accelerade mix and ate one gel and some pretzels. Probably not enough for the effort we put out. I ended up with 55 miles for the day with an average pace of 16 mph. 3168 calories were burnt and my average heart rate was 154 and a max of 176. Not a bad workout!! It was a great ride and great training. Best of all, I found out that I don't suck on the bike! Gary and Curtis kept saying how good I did keeping up with them so that meant a lot. Especially since Curtis is probably one of the top 20 bikers in the state. If you want to get faster, ride with fast people.

Sunday was my rest day sort of. Mainly trying to catch up on sleep so I slept till almost 9am. Wow, haven't done that in a while. Did some mowing then a storm came through messing up my other plans. I did get about a 40 minute swim/water running workout in the pool. Later I wanted to run so bad that I did an experiment. I ran without socks. Dumb move but it was interesting. I wore my Saucony Hurricane 9's that I haven't used in ages. My feet felt really good at first. I had NO heel pain at all. The saucony's felt like boat anchors though but I guess the extra stability and cushioning made a difference. I was about a mile into my run when I started feeling the shoes rubbing my heels. I knew it was time to quit. I did get 1.3 miles in and yes, I did get blisters on my heels. Dumb. But I wanted to see if my heel felt better not wearing socks and it did actually, if I didn't get the blisters. Not sure what that means. Maybe it was the shoes. Maybe it was not running all week. Either way, for 1.3 miles my heel felt great. I don't know how people run without socks though.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

4th of July - why you don't drink and drive

Actually this happened on the 5th, but it was the result of activities during the 4th. Old glory is still intact though!

You can only imagine the adrenelin rush I had when my fire pager went off around 12:30am saying that there was a car that had run through MY station with a person entrapped.

Luckily the driver was so drunk, he never felt a thing and was out of the car standing around when we got there.

The car took out our overhead door, went into the station, damaged two fire trucks in the bay.

If you saw this up close you would wonder how they got our unhurt. Alcohol has a numbing effect and makes you straighten out curves.

One side of the car. You can see that something barely missed taking the guys head off through the windshield. I had several fire fighters that wanted to take his head off too. Since there was nothing we could do about it I had to put a positive spin on it. Now maybe we could get an extra bay added on! This made for a long night. Now the district has no fire response from my station until the Insurance and overhead door people can come out on Monday. We can't get the trucks out! Well, we could tear the door out but they are making us wait. What a crazy night.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

New Tires

Thats right, my baby has new shoes and now she can go faster!

Monday I ordered a new set of tires for my bike from Performance Bike. I bought the Vredestein Fortezza SE at a very good price and they came in a blue color to match my bike. These are 160 PSI tires and several of my friends are running these with good success so we shall see. There are so many different road bike tires out there to choose from it gave me a headache to shop for them. These were highly rated and recommended so I hope they serve me well.

Here is a pic with the blue slicks on

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Sunday Ride

With the foot bothering me I elected to not run all of last week. I had planned on biking Saturday but the weather messed that up. Annette ran early Sunday morning but I elected to be lazy and try to sleep. Well, I can't sleep past 6am anyway, even on weekends. So I just piddled around the house all morning. We decided to ride the Cruisers 1:30pm Sunday ride which turned out to be really nice.

This was meant to be a training ride for some of the beginner bikers and was going to be 40 miles, Cabot to Lonoke and back. The weather was perfect other than the wind. We had west winds at about 15-20mph. This would make some point of this ride a pain as we have a lot of open areas we ride through.

The group took off and our first stop was designated as the store at Furlow. We had a pretty large group, I think someone counted 24 bikers which was pretty cool. There were all levels represented. I waited back and let the beginners get going. I figured I would catch them before the store so there was no reason to have to wait a long time. I think there was about 4 of us that held back, so I took the lead after about a 4 or 5 minute wait. When I hit 89 I felt like flying. I had no plans on riding hard at first, but since I hadn't been running, I was going to give a hard effort to make up for it. I don't think we had a tail wind but we did have a cross wind which seemed to give us a little boost. I was not all out, yet I was still doing 20-22mph. Nice! There were no pace lines today, just ride. I caught the main group 2-3 miles from the store and passed the majority of them before we got there. We took a small break and we were off to Lonoke where we had another designated stop.

Hwy 89 to Lonoke definatly had a tail wind. I was barely pedaling it seemed and I was going 22mph. I was liking this, but I knew it would end soon when we hit Hwy 31. I used my aero bars a lot and this helped even more. I have been trying to get more used to them and the only way you can is to use them. Just takes lots of practice.

We hit Lonoke stopping at a Shell Station then Annette and some others wanted Ice Cream at McDonalds instead so some of us rode over there. After waiting in line for a long time, they find out that they are out of ice cream. So we had to settle for a coke. Before we knew it the rest of the main group was passing us on Hwy 31 heading out, so everyone started mounting up to catch them. Somehow, I ended up being the last person to leave. No big deal, I knew I could catch up.
I had to hammer for about a mile or so to catch up soon catching Annette and Brenda. They were the last ones in the back and they asked me to please not go off and leave them. I wasn't going to do that, but I was going to ride hard so I kept riding. I'd get about a half mile or so ahead of them and I would turn around to check on them. Hwy 31 is flat and today it was very windy. After 2 or 3 miles of wind, It was starting to be not so much fun for Annette and Brenda. I used my aero bars almost the whole time on thsi road which really helped me slice through the wind. I rode back once and told them to use their drops. They would some but the drops take some practice and getting use to also. This road just really slowed our speed and the wind made it miserable for some. I was actually still having a good strong ride.

When we got to Mt Tabor everyone stopped to gather back up. Several were heading back to the starting point. A few of us were going on to do the whole 40 miles. Annette and Brenda opted to do the shorter route which gave them right at 30.

The rest of the ride was pretty leisurely. We turned right on Tippit Road then cutting over to Bethleham for the ride back. When we hit Tippit several of us just rode slow and talked. We were actually still maintaining a good speed but we had some of the wind too I think. We hit a rough section of road then Bethleham was smooth. It's so nice when you hit those smooth roads after riding on a really rough one. We stopped at the water department at 31 to gather back up. Vicki decided that the best route back would be down Mt Tabor. Since Annette had went back early, I knew she would be waiting on me so I decided that this last stretch I was going to hammer down.

I was the first one out of the parking lot and I never let up once I hit the road. I tried to stay aero as much as I could, which usually would be about a mile or less, then my neck would start getting sore and I'd come up and change positions. Mad the right on Mt Tabor knowing that the wind and hills were ahead. There are several medium size hills on Mt Tabor but nothing terrible. I never saw the group behind me, but I just kept pushing. I figured Rob or David would be trying to catch me at some point. The wind and hills did make this last 10 miles pretty tough but it still wasn't that bad to me. I knew I was having a good ride and I wanted it to be tough. I was ready to puke at the end if needed. This ride made up for the runs I didn't get.

I rolled into the church to find Annette, Brenda and Jane sitting in the shade talking and cooling off with drinks from the store next door. I talked to them for a few then I wondered where the others were. I had figured Rob and David at least would be riding in any minute. I went ahead and loaded the bikes, changed shoes and went over and sat with the girls to cool off. Still no other bikes. I told the girls surely I wasn't that much faster than the rest. Maybe so. It was close to 15 minutes before they hit the parking lot. They all looked beat up and were complaining about running out of energy and fighting the wind. I felt pretty good at that point. Being the first one in on a 40 miler is like winning a race, but even more so with a big time difference. They asked me where I went and I told them I was just riding till I puked which I was, and I didn't...lol. I could have rode a little harder probably. I did drink well on the ride, and had an acellerade mix in each bottle which may have helped me. I did one Hammer Gel at the water department to get me back in too.

I think the hill training and riding with faster riders is really starting to pay off for me. I can tell I am getting faster and stronger. The first 10 miles I had a 19 mph average and that was not an all out effort. The last 20 miles was very windy and hilly so this cut the time down some but I was still able to average 16 for the whole ride. 2203 Calories burnt and it was actually probably more because I forgot to turn my garmin on a couple times when we stopped. Average heart rate was 157 which put me close to where I would be running a marathon, which on the bike is about zone 4 for me. All in all it was a great ride for me.

Still waiting to get in to see the foot doctor. i was hoping they would get me in early but I have still not gotten a call. I ran about half a mile on the treadmill last night but I could still feel a little pain so I stopped. Now I'm paranoid about the foot so until I see the doctor I probably won't run much at all. Even with not running, yesterday I weighed less than I ever have. 168 and dropping! I think I was about 172 or 173 when I did the Nashville Marathon. Lower weight mean more power on the bike and faster times running. I'll take it!