Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I want to be the girl with the most cake

It's the end of Run January!! So, how did it go? At the end of today I will have logged 107 miles. That averages out to 3.5 miles a day which is not very exciting. I failed on the one cheat day. I took 2 when my hamstring started bothering me and since that did not help I just kept running but kept the mileage down. It hasn't gotten any worse but it's not any better either. I am headed to the chiro next since my right hip also seems to be out of line so maybe it's all related. Hoping for a quick fix since my favorite race - Red Top Rumble - is this weekend! Yay! After that I need to get in at least one more long run weekend and a back to back to prepare for MS50. I did pretty good in that I ran every day of my cruise. That was tough but I forced myself to get in the minimum. I had hoped to get in a few more long runs but over all not too bad.

I am not feeling overly optimistic about MS50 - I know, I know!! I am supposed to be more positive this year! I just haven't put in the time or miles so I can't expect to have a great race. I still have a month to go so all hope is not lost but I am trying to be realistic. I backed off the goal of the 50 miler after the Pine Mtn 40 fail. I know I could have finished if I had been healthy but I still think the time cut off would have been hard for me to beat. The time cutoff for MS50 is even closer and although it's "supposed" to be relatively flat it just didn't seem like a realistic goal right now. December and January were very stressful personally and professionally so I am trying to get rid of things that might distract me from my ultimate goals for 2012 - Ironman Louisville and Bartam 100K. Screw 40 and 50 milers - lets go straight for 61!

So, what did I learn from my challenge? Not much except that I can do it. I was hoping to gain better running fitness in order to get faster. I did log a few fast miles but overall I think I did too much too fast and that's why my hamstring hurts. I will take it easy after my GUTS birthday run tonight and rest up for RTR. Who doesn't want to spend their birthday running through the woods in the dark? Plus there will be beer afterwards!!

More to come on challenges for February, thru-hiking and a cruise recap!

Until then I am going to enjoy my birthday!

I want to be the girl with the most cake!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Showing my Bloomers

I found this blog entry quite entertaining from Lists of Note - Don'ts for Women Riders

Most are quite amusing (since I often show my bloomers to anyone who will look at them) but this is my favorite

Don't appear in public until you have learned to ride well

Well, hell, if that was the case I would never ride in public!!

Anyway, here is the list, with a little of my commentary, enjoy....

On June 21st of 1895, the "Newark Sunday Advocate" ran an alarming story — syndicated from New York World — about a recent gathering of the Unique Cycling Club of Chicago; an event that saw two lady riders publicly punished/shamed for having the audacity to turn up wearing short skirts over their bloomers. That story can, and should, be read below.
Also of note is the amazing list that followed said piece, printed in an effort to better educate female cyclists in light of the bloomer fiasco. The list was titled, "Don'ts for Women Riders."

The Unique Cycling club of Chicago is all that its name implies. One of its laws is that on all runs bloomers and knickerbockers shall be worn, and two members who disobeyed this rule recently met with a punishment that they will not forget soon. Union park was the rendezvous for the last run, and 50 members turned out. The president, Miss Bunker, observed two women wearing short skirts over their bloomers.
"Take the skirts off," ordered Captain Bunker.
"Indeed we won't," was the reply.
A crowd of 200 had collected to see the start. The president and the captain held a consultation, and then, taking several strong armed members with them, fell on the skirt wearers and stripped them down to their bloomers.
"It was done in all seriousness," said Mrs. Langdon. "The club's rules are made to be kept and not to be broken. Why did we take off the skirts in public? For no other reason but to make examples of the offenders. They publicly defied our rules and were published accordingly."


Don't be a fright. (WTF?)
Don't faint on the road.
Don't wear a man's cap.
Don't wear tight garters.
Don't forget your toolbag
Don't attempt a "century." (I should have paid more attention to this one)
Don't coast. It is dangerous.
Don't boast of your long rides. (well, then what is the point?)
Don't criticize people's "legs."
Don't wear loud hued leggings.
Don't cultivate a "bicycle face." (WTF?, again)
Don't refuse assistance up a hill.
Don't wear clothes that don't fit. (still holds true today)
Don't neglect a "light's out" cry.
Don't wear jewelry while on a tour.
Don't race. Leave that to the scorchers.
Don't wear laced boots. They are tiresome.
Don't imagine everybody is looking at you. (good advice for everything)
Don't go to church in your bicycle costume.
Don't wear a garden party hat with bloomers.
Don't contest the right of way with cable cars. (well, duh!)
Don't chew gum. Exercise your jaws in private. (that sounds dirty!)
Don't wear white kid gloves. Silk is the thing.
Don't ask, "What do you think of my bloomers?" (why the hell not?)
Don't use bicycle slang. Leave that to the boys. (bite me)
Don't go out after dark without a male escort.
Don't without a needle, thread and thimble.
Don't try to have every article of your attire "match."
Don't let your golden hair be hanging down your back.
Don't allow dear little Fido to accompany you
Don't scratch a match on the seat of your bloomers. (um, ok)
Don't discuss bloomers with every man you know. (again, why the hell not?)
Don't appear in public until you have learned to ride well. (in that case I am F'd)
Don't overdo things. Let cycling be a recreation, not a labor. (Tell that to Coach Tony)
Don't ignore the laws of the road because you are a woman. (there are laws?)
Don't try to ride in your brother's clothes "to see how it feels." (that sounds dirty and weird)
Don't scream if you meet a cow. If she sees you first, she will run.
Don't cultivate everything that is up to date because you ride a wheel.
Don't emulate your brother's attitude if he rides parallel with the ground.
Don't undertake a long ride if you are not confident of performing it easily.
Don't appear to be up on "records" and "record smashing." That is sporty.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Unhappy Hamstring

The running has been going well since last weekend. I took things slow after Fat Ass and while a bit stiff and sore I did not feel too bad after last Sunday's run. I kept with the minimum the rest of the week but threw in some intervals Thursday morning and did some bike intervals that night. I was ending each run with a fast set and really ramped up the speed as the week went on. Well, that might of been a bad idea.

Sunday I planned on a 10 mile run at Kennesaw but was going to see how I felt. Well, I felt like crap. It was cold and despite great company I had no energy on the first loop and by the end my right hamstring was making itself known. I quit at 5.5 miles.

When I was not running my hamstring felt fine so I took things nice and slow this morning and after 2 miles the hamstring was really cranky again so I quit. I did not do the minimum I had set up for myself but I also don't want to be hurt. Even now my hamstring feels "pulled" so I will be taking my cheat day tomorrow and hopefully things will be back to normal soon. I think I did a little too much speed too soon and will take it easy for a bit.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Carbs Rule, Cavemen Drool

I started the New Year challenging myself to run every day. John decided to start the Paleo diet. Needless to say it's been an interesting week.

So, the running has been going well. Started off the New Year with a GUTS interval relay. We warmed up and then ran a test lap to determine everyone's predicted speed in an 800m run. The fastest person was teamed up with the slowest, the second fastest with the second slowest and so on and so on. I was teamed up with the third fastest so yes, I was the third slowest. Having not done much track work ever and coming off an almost 2 week rest I was just happy to not be last (not that there is anything wrong with that!). We then ran 800s, 6 times each. This was very tough and I am sure each loop was progressively slower. I did my best (averaged between an 8 to 8:45 pace - which is quite fast for me) but I know I slowed our team down considerably. It is clear that I need to do more of this kind of thing in the future. In the end it was a tough, quick and fun workout.

I was super sore the next day but since it was a holiday we took Betty for a run at Sweetwater Creek to check out the Fat Ass 50K revision for this year. Part of last year's course was closed so they can cut trees. We did out best to predict the course loop and got a little 6 mile run in. 

With the 50K coming up on Sunday I stuck to the 2.5 mile minimum runs each day on the treadmill. 

On to the Paleo Diet. John and I have been discussing eating healthier in the new year. It has always been difficult with both of us working and training to make quick yet healthy meals. I ordered a few cookbooks and he starting reading the Primal Blueprint. This was my late week at the hospital so when John offered to make dinner I was all in no matter what we ended up eating. I am not necessarily on board with this whole thing, I like carbs too much, but I was willing to try it. Some other friends were also trying this diet and found themselves hungry, dizzy and found this was rather costly. 

The first meal John made was a type of quiche. It was not bad but didn't have a lot of flavor. I supplemented my meal with some triscuits. The next night John made a shepards pie with cauliflower as a potato substitute. I hate cauliflower only slightly less than celery but I tried to be a good sport and ate it. It was not bad but had a bit of a twang from the cauliflower. It was almost instantly improved when I added some crushed corn bread leftover from the chili I made last weekend. Carbs just make everything better!

How is my challenge going so far? So far so good. I have run 50 miles this month so far. I plan to work on shorter distances and speed with a few long runs thrown in to prepare for the Mississippi 50 in March. This week I plan to throw in some spin classes and maybe the next week some swimming. The ramp up begins!

Read my Fat Ass 50K race report here. The race went well. Not the complete desired outcome but still good none the less. As for John and the Paleo diet, he tried to stay Paleo during the race and found himself getting dizzy. At one point he had to cheat and eat a gel to keep from blacking out. I ate PB&J and grilled cheese and felt just great. 

Carbs Rule, Cavemen Drool!

Fat Ass 50K

Fat Ass 50K Race Day. Since half of December was spent sick or enjoying the holidays, not much running had been done since my Pine Mtn wipeout. I was not sure how this was going to go. It is a low-key, GUTS members only race that in the past has been freezing. Every time you finish a loop you see friends hanging out by the fire and drinking beer and it's hard to make yourself head out on another loop. I wanted to do the complete distance but I was going to just see how things went, loop by loop. No pressure!

The weather report was calling for warm temps in the 50s with a 30% chance of rain starting around noon. This would be a nice change since the last 2 years the temperatures have not risen above 20°. I brought all kinds of clothes for all kinds of temps and my rain coat for good measure. I started the race running with Peggy and Terrie Tillman (who was planning on 3 loops only). Peggy is training for the 50 mile race in Mississippi so planned on the full distance and I was undecided. The new course differed a bit from what we were thinking but it was not bad just tougher than previous years. The three of us stayed together and we chatted along the way. First lap was done. Grabbed some food, hit the bathroom and then we headed back out. 

The next lap went well. I was feeling good with good company but I didn't think I would have enough energy for the whole thing. Three laps seemed good - it would be close to 20 miles and a good run on any given day. Four laps seemed silly since you might as well just do one more so it was either 3 or 5 at this point. 

At the end of lap 2 we had some runners join us - Miles Bays and Mike Luebeck from Get Fit. The weather was still good with a few sprinkles here and there. Still able to run/power walk and feeling good. Peggy was in good spirits and started singing "red solo cup" at the end of lap 3. She was now called Red Solo cup for the rest of the day. We finished the loop and I was trying to decide what to do. I knew I could run/power walk the next lap but was pretty sure lap 5 would be entirely walking. While I was debating this, Peggy and Mike said they were off for lap 4 so I just followed and stopped thinking about it all. 

Lap 4 started off good but Peggy started slowing down very soon in. Her feet were really hurting and she was having a hard time trying to keep up even when we were walking. About 1.5 to 2 miles in the rain started. I knew I should have grabbed my rain coat! It was not pleasant but I wasn't cold as long as I was moving. Mike and I kept running/walking along with a few stops along the way for Peggy to catch up. When we got on the final home stretch we just kept chugging along figuring Peggy could make it the rest of the way in. 

Lap 4 was finished and I was planning on grabbing my coat and heading out for number 5. I was still able to run a bit and figured I might as well get this thing done. Well, that decision got made for me since the sweeper had already headed out. If I had made it in a little sooner they would have let me finish up but given the fact that the last lap was so slow, it didn't look good for me to get in before dark. I could have really argued it since I would have definitely been faster on my own but I decided that warm, dry clothes some chili and beer would be just fine too. 

I had a great day, stayed positive almost 100% of the day and enjoyed all the friendly faces on the trail. It's really nice to go to these races now that I have gotten to know so many of the GUTS members. I always enjoy their company and yesterday was another big success.

The course was close to 34 miles total so I ended up doing an ultra after all with a total distance of 27.5 miles. Not too shabby since I still felt good and knew I could have finished strong. A little more training and the Miss 50 is going to go well.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

A New Year, a new challenge

A new year, a new blog and new challenges....gone is the "suck" of I suck at all three sports. This year will be the year about not sucking! 

This year the Jenbeast is going to take on challenges and knock them down with a renewed fervor. I can't say I won't whine a tiny bit but I am going to try my best to keep a positive, strong attitude and kick some ass!!

Here is what I have scheduled so far..... 

Jan 8 - GUTS Fat Ass 50K 
March 3 - Mississippi 50
March 4 - New Orleans Half Marathon 
Aug 26 - Ironman Louisville 

A Half Ironman and possibly an Oly will be in there somewhere as well as some trail races next fall and winter.  

My first task will be to work on my running, so my first challenge for myself is


By that I mean I challenge myself to run every day of January 2012. I have set some rules for this challenge. 

  • I must run a minimum of 2.5 miles every day
  • I will allow myself ONE skip day so as not to completely set myself up for failure if a day presents where I absolutely cannot get a run in. 

The last week of January will be especially tricky since we will be on a cruise but there are treadmills so I should be able to at least get in my minimum between piƱa coladas. 

Who knows? Maybe, this will become a monthly exercise for 2012 with new challenges for each month. 

For now, let's start the new year with a little run!