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Miles of Smiles

Saturday, July 26, 2014

This morning I woke up at 4am, was out the door by 5:15 with all my gear, and then on the road with my bike by 6am for Miles of Smiles. I finished my 68-miler around lunchtime, and had a small plate of food before quietly leaving the party that was getting started by all the other cyclists.

I will never forget my first MOS ride when I did the 103 miles. I didn't have a road bike, all I had was my hand-me-down commuter bike, and I didn't even own a pair of padded bike shorts. It was the hardest ride I had ever done, but I finished! Today rivaled that day, not in miles, but in difficulty. I forget about all the hills in Downs, IL, and I wasn't trained well enough for them. And I don't know that anyone could possibly train "enough" for them. The guy who makes the course loves hills. He does it purposely to make the ride more difficult, and I know this. Yet there I was again today, struggling those last 4 miles back into Downs through all those steep rollers at about 5mph in my lowest gear!

I have had some time to think about today's ride, and I have decided that this year is my last time doing MOS for this reason. I don't think a course should be designed to be difficult, it should be fun for riders of all levels. This was a fundraiser ride for St. Jude, and I think if it was more friendly to riders of all skill levels and not just the badass race team guys from the bike shop, they could really do well with this ride. I love the people who run this ride, but it should not stop being fun in the middle of the ride.

In the meantime, we had a stiff headwind for the entire second half of the ride. So yeah, like 34 miles of headwind. We never caught a break. I rode with my friend from the Spokeswomen, Brenda, because her riding partner bailed at the last minute to do the 29-mile route instead. And I told Brenda, I'm slow, but I'll ride with you if you don't mind. And she was awesome. Whenever I fell behind, she would wait for me. I told her at the first rest stop that if she needed to drop me to make better time, that would be okay, but we stayed together for the whole ride and had lunch together at the end.

Someone brought a really good sweet potato salad, and I'm gonna go on fb in our group and ask who brought it so I can get the recipe. My oldest son is starting to work on his food choices, and we picked up some sweet potatoes at the store last week because he found out they are more nutritious than regular potatoes. So I want him to try something good with those. :)

I guess that's about all for now. I spent the first 2 hours at home alone, laying in bed with my legs cramping up, but I had a banana and lots of water and eventually the cramps went away. Now I'm just sore. My knee is really hurting and I'm tired from getting up so early, so I want to take a Tylenol PM and go to bed. I know I will sleep well!!!

Tomorrow starts a new week and I hope I can get to the gym early in the morning for a swim before church. I need something that's not cycling for tomorrow. ;)

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CMBELISLE 7/28/2014 8:16AM

    emoticon

I wonder if you could make a suggestion to the group that puts it together to do a separate course for those who are there simply for the fundraising and fun, leaving the more difficult course for the pros.

You'd hate cycling in Atlanta - it's all up hill. emoticon Not quite, but there's a reason the Peachtree Road Race has a section called "cardiac hill" and it's right in front of a hospital. If you do ever get to ride here, go to the Silver Comet trail - it's an old rail line that's been turned into a cycling/walking/running path. I think it's complete from Atlanta to Alabama now.

Keep up the great work and enjoy the warm weather!

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CONFUSEDBIRD 7/27/2014 1:42PM

    You always make the best of situations and use what you got to accomplish whatever you put your mind to. I can't imagine doing 35 miles let alone 70. You are are amazing! I hope you are feeling better today!

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Depend on Yourself

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

This is a motto that has served me well over the years, and it would do me good to remember it as often as I can!

I typed a blog the other day and posted it, and then I erased it. I felt like it was too negative, and I want to stay positive as much as I can. It was about my miserable 65-mile bike ride and how hot and long it was, and how nothing went right. But honestly, I rode my bike about 65 miles further than most people did that day, so there's nothing bad to be said about that!

What's really exciting about this week is my eating! I'm doing a lot better right now. There will always be hiccups along the way...kids have activities and there's no time for a good home-cooked meal...in between jobs and no quick access to good food...celebrations...there's always something. But if I'm eating well at least 80% of the time, I call that success.

I got 2.5 dozen eggs for a buck on clearance today, so I've been baking and cooking in my kitchen all day! All good stuff, too. The weather is cool this week so I have some chicken soup going in the crockpot, and I baked some bread to go along with it. Yup, it called for eggs. I also started getting zucchini from my garden, so I baked a couple loaves of zucchini bread too. It's the only way I can get my kids to eat zucchini. ;) I didn't even plant zucchini this year, all my plants are volunteers from last year. They are choking out a couple tomato plants too, so I'm not entirely happy about that. They pretty much took over my garden.

Speaking of my garden, I think some major changes are in store for next year. After we put in our garden, our neighbor decided she didn't want to look at a vegetable garden, so she had a privacy fence put up. Well, that fence blocks the sun now, so I can't get anything to grow there. I think next year will see us moving the garden over about 12 feet and also taking down 2 dying trees, which will give us more sun too. I'm exhausted just thinking about that.

Finally, I'm starting to look at different time slots that can work for me for gym time. I've always been a 5am-kind of person, but it's not working for me. The gym is too far away and it makes no sense to go there, work out, come back home, and then go in for work in the evening. So I'm finding 8pm to work pretty nicely for me. Also, I had orientation last week, given by the owner's wife; one of the segments was about knowing the competition, so this morning I stopped in at LA Fitness for a class schedule and more info, so looks like I will try that place for 3 days for free. I'm just always looking for new things to try. I missed the Wildflower ride this morning, because I was just too cold. That polar vortex is here, and wow it's chilly. All my running friends are excited to run in cool weather. ;)

I almost weighed myself yesterday, but I'm holding out for the end of the month when I'm scheduled to weigh in. I'm doing really well on exercise and eating a lot better, so I'm feeling anxious to see some progress. :)

  
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CONFUSEDBIRD 7/18/2014 8:39AM

    65 miles is a lot of distance! My marathon was pretty damn miserable and all I seem to remember about it was the horrible parts. I guess some things in life arent ment to go smoothly. Some things are just meant to be finished and we can look back at how strong and tough we were that day.

That's funny all your zucchini are volunteers. My plants just have tiny baby zucchini on them so far. I hope the heat comes or this is gonna be a miserable yr for tomatoes. That's too about the privacy fence. Our yard is so shaded, it's really hard to find good places for anything to grow. Good for power bills, bad for gardening.

I wonder if LA Fitness has slowed down since they opened. My friend was telling me if u have a membership there, you can take ppl with u for free anytime with passes they give u. Tell Gold's that, they should adopt that plan.

Comment edited on: 7/18/2014 8:40:54 AM

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Swimming Update

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Well, I graduated May 10, and here it is 2 months later and tonight I finally had my first good swim at my new gym! There are a few issues that I've had to deal with: first, it is crowded. Second, the pool is smaller than 25 yards long. And third, the water is too warm. Only 2 degrees warmer than at ISU, but what a difference! I feel like I'm sweating in the water, it's that warm. Oh and finally, there are these jets that beat on you when you are at the end of pool, and it is hard to swim straight with these jets constantly going. But anyway, I tried it out after working tonight and I was the only one there, so that made it easier to deal with all the other things I don't usually like.

In the meantime, I also checked out a swim class last week and really enjoyed it! I went on Tuesday and Thursday and my work schedule was perfect for letting me do that right when I got off. Thursday was better because there was more ST in the water, and I worked hard on that. I don't always get the perfect schedule though, so this week I'm out of luck. :/

I'm kind of in limbo with my ST right now. There's that perfect spot upstairs with dumbbells and Swiss balls, but it is always CROWDED and I can't get the dumbbells I want or the space I need on the floor; also, a lot of people who have personal trainers go there to work, so it not only crowded, but there are trainers everywhere yelling at people and saying annoying things like "I'm gonna make you hate me" or "Leave all your anger right there on the floor".

This morning, the cycling gods were smiling upon me and the Spokeswomen on our weekly wildflower ride! I got 26 miles this morning and the weather was PERFECT. I've been waiting for a good day like today! Yesterday was nice, but very windy. Today was just like yesterday but without wind. ;)

Also, I got a message from my friend Tori, asking me to ride with her this weekend for her birthday years-in-miles ride. She will be 44 too! So we planned a 44-mile route together for this weekend and we're also going to have bfast together at Green Gables near Lake Bloomington. A lot of the Spokeswomen do a breakfast ride every weekend, but I'm not one of them. I'm usually too busy with crap I have to do, so I've never made a bfast ride. So this weekend is gonna be awesome. :D :D :D

Finally, my eating has been really good this week. I've been in my calories and eating clean ever since my son's birthday with the ice cream cake, and I'm really proud of myself because my oldest daughter brought home a tank of ice cream last night and I didn't have any. And of course with 5 kids in the house, it's gone tonight. I escaped that one. ;)

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CONFUSEDBIRD 7/11/2014 8:16AM

    Those jets running full blast at the end of the pool are pretty stupid! Have you tried swimming morning vs. night and tested the temps? I know they the temp warmer in the morning for the arthritic classes. Then drop the temp for the the rest of the day.

I hate the whole concept of the personal trainers. It must be a hard job. I see new ones popping up every month it seems and other ones magically disappearing. I met there are only about 4-5 person trainers there that do not disappear. The majority of them to be lost in their careers. Trying something new, why not yell at people? Everyone at my work is doing ferrell's right now, our manager teaches it and she keeps recruiting. It sounds like such torture. No thank you.

Have a good miles for smiles with Tori! I have never tried green gables. I had no idea they served breakfast even.

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Good To Know

Monday, July 07, 2014

A couple weeks ago, I had a cool experience. One of the personal trainers at the gym I work at was picking his son up from child care, and as he was packing up the diaper bag, he opened a little container of Froot Loops and gave his son a couple of rings from the container. He was in mid-conversation with me and another parent who was picking their child up, and as he grabbed a couple more O's to put into his own mouth, he stopped halfway up to his mouth and said "Whoa, what am I doing? I can't eat this today!" And then he put the O's back into the container.

Wow, what discipline! It was so impressive to me to see a man who is nothing but muscles and tattoos from head-to-toe, and in my perspective, he's the last person anyone would think had to watch his food intake. And yet, there he was, doing it just like I do when I'm staying disciplined. I have a hard time visualizing fit people making a conscious effort to take care of their health, but it made me realize that it's a set of lifelong habits that makes a person fit.

I did not have that kind of discipline today. Well, maybe I did a little! Today is my son's birthday, and I rewarded myself with a piece of ice-cream cake tonight. But, I made sure I had ZERO donuts this morning because I knew I was having ice-cream cake. I saved myself for that awesome thing. SO while I wasn't perfect today, I did a great job the rest of my day so that I could have the ice-cream cake without feeling guilty.

Now, if the weather could just clear up so I can get out on my bike and put some miles in. It's been warm, humid, and uncomfortable, and we have been getting just enough rain to make the pavement wet and unsafe for biking. Hopefully tomorrow or Wednesday. I've been going on the Wildflower rides and they have been great! Last week I got 35 miles because I stayed out after everyone else went home. I love summer; no responsibilities, no plans, just me and my bike. :) :) :) Now come on, weather, let me out!

  
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MARGARITTM 7/8/2014 10:24AM

    Happy Birthday to your son!

Enjoy the cake...but just a little!

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CONFUSEDBIRD 7/7/2014 10:27PM

    Someone I know from HS is like that. She must not be able to eat anything. Too frustrating of a lifestyle if you ask me. I hope Ryan had a nice birthday!

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Wheelin' Around the Lake

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Yesterday I celebrated my 44th birthday weekend with 44 miles by bike at the McLean County Metric. What a perfect day!!!! I started early because we had a busy weekend, and I was done by 9am. There are 3 20-mile routes and you can any or all of them for one price, and the rest stop and starting point are one and the same. It's always a really well-organized ride. I did notice today that Routes 2&3 were not as clearly marked as Route 1, so I decided on Route 1 right away. I totally didn't have time to get lost on a bike ride.

Probably my biggest frustration with the ride was my computer died at around the 12th mile, and after that it either showed I was going 0 mph, or 3 mph, and I don't care about speed so much but it wasn't logging my miles!!! It's a good thing this was my 4th straight year doing this ride and I have ridden to Comlara Park from my house so many times, so I knew how many miles I had put in. If it was the first time, I would've had to go online and map it out.

Also, I set down my diaper rash cream (yes, that's a cyclist's secret... ;) ) and couldn't remember where I put it, so I left my house without it. It would've been nice to have!!! Also, my bike seat really needs to be replaced. Add that to the computer that is whack too, guess I'll be making a trip to the bike shop soon.

The course was sweet, with just one really tough hill and the rest were all just mild slow climbs. The headwind home was probably the hardest part of the ride because I hadn't eaten much and I was feeling a little bonk-y. It's amazing how much a headwind really changes your ride. One of my riding buddies keeps saying that headwind is a good fitness trainer, but I'm a wimp and always plan my rides around wind direction. We have a wind farm right by our house so I head down the street, see which direction the turbine blades are facing, and then plan in my head which way I'm going so I will always have tailwinds/crosswinds or very little time spent in a headwind. Yep, wimp. ;)

The really exciting part was that my hubby did one 20-mile route! He did awesome! And actually, they tell you it's 20 but his computer is new so it registered 22.5. He's uber proud of himself and can't believe how accomplished he feels. There. THAT'S the feeling I've been wanting him to have!!! He was very under-trained for this ride, has only been riding about once a week since he got the bike, so this ride was very hard for him. But he did it. I told him next time we will ride together. I had to leave early in order to get my 44 in, so we had to ride separately. But now that this crazy weekend is settling in to a nice vacation pattern for him, we will be able to just relax and enjoy riding together, hopefully more frequently so we can do the next ride together. Next one is Pedaling for Kicks in 2 weeks, and we should have no problem riding to that ride together since it's only 4 miles from our house. Comlara is 14 miles from home, that's why he drove there. ;)

Next ride after Pedaling for Kicks will be Miles of Smiles and that is a beautiful, scenic ride to Dawson Lake in LeRoy, IL. It is HILLY so I will probably do the short 30-miler on that. MOS was my first century and it was one of the stupidest rides I've ever done. 107F for the heat index, and with a commuter bike. Took me 10 hours to complete that ride but I had that crazy idea in my head that I could do it. Also, I had no idea how hard it was to put miles on a non-road bike. I think a road bike will be hubby's next prize to set his sights on. He is so impressed by my road bike. I'm just thankful to my riding buddy Jillian for gifting it to me when she got a new one. It has been a great bike for me and I think of her whenever I ride it, which is almost every day. :)

Sorry this is so long today...one more thing, and that's about food. I have been eating really poorly for a long time, and last week I couldn't give blood because my iron was low. So I started back on vitamins last week and not logging food, but just eating really clean and not too much. Last night I was at a ball game out of town and the food was all really bad and unhealthy, so I had just what I needed to not feel hungry anymore, and then I was good. Had a few drinks (okay, too many) but today I'm feeling just as determined and plan on eating well in spite of being out of town on a family road trip. Not easy...but we are camping for the next few days and once we set up our campsite and get to the grocery store, things should shape up nicely. And yes, hubby and I brought our bikes on this trip. :)

  
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CONFUSEDBIRD 6/23/2014 11:19PM

    Wow Dan doing 20 miles was an amazing gift in it's self! I don't think Scott or I could do 20 miles right now. That sucks about your bike comp dieing on your ride. I wish I had some money I would buy you a new bike seat. Or Maybe I can see if I have one.

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