Sunday, May 31, 2009

Century Club

This morning I woke up motivated and ready to ride. I was happy because yesterday I could barely function. I took a short ride on Saturday and knew I needed to take a long ride this weekend to boost my confidence for the 60 mile ride next week.

I decided to head down to Yellow Springs, Ohio to check out the Little Miami Scenic Trail. I heard it was a long trail that basically goes from Springfield Ohio to Cincinnati Ohio. I have to say this is going to be my favorite place to take visitors when they come to visit me, not only can you take an awesome bike ride but you can get AWESOME ice cream at Young's when done.

While riding this morning I was thinking about my plan to ride 100 miles in a day by the end of the summer. I imagine I will need an entire day to do that ride so I can stop and snack/lunch a few times along the way. This then made me reflect back upon my college days.

While in college one of the very famous drinking games we would play was Century Club. The idea was to sit around and drink a shot of beer every minute for 100 minutes. I remember my goal during one random semester was to become a member of the century club. I can't remember if I ever attained this goal which is probably not a good thing. I'm guessing I never did because that would have been like drinking 10 beers in 100 minutes. I then started to think about my new goal of doing a Century Ride sometime in August. I was thinking about who is going to collect me along the way if I fail, who will be at the end to collect my bike and my body if I succeed, and how excited I would be if I did succeed.

My new goal means a sore butt, achy arms, and dry puffy eyes. Actually, when I really think about it the outcome of my new goal isn't that much different from the Century Club, except that my body thanks me after a bike ride and I have a true sense of accomplishment. I'm happy my goals have changed.

Monday, May 25, 2009

I finally went clipless!!!

I got to Chicago on Friday at which time my Uncle Pete and Dad put the clips on my shoes and then installed my new peddles. My mom and Auntie Evie sat across the table watching the process asking 20 questions. Some examples: what are those, why would you use those, how do you get your feet out, do you wear a helmet, you are going to fall, what if you can't get your feet out?

During this conversation Aunt Evie and Mom told me I shouldn't use the shoes. They told me it isn't necessary, and I was going to get hurt. I got my big bro involved and called him to verify the fact that I would be much more efficient with these shoes and peddles, and he also made sure I knew I would have a massive wipe out at some point (I'm proud to say it hasn't happened yet).

After completing the installation and the very serious talk about my safety I went out to the street to test the new equipment. I had a very large audience. Auntie Evie, Uncle Pete, Dad and my Mom all stood there and cheered me on as I did loops in the street clicking my feet in and out of the peddles. You see I was prepping for the real reason I headed to Chicago last minute this Memorial Day...

One of the reasons I decided to go to Chicago this Memorial Day weekend was to participate in Bike the Drive with David, Jerry and Markie. We went out and rode 32 miles of vehicle free Lake Shore Drive. It was great to ride on LSD without the threat of car meeting bike AND the views you get from your bike instead of your car are pretty amazing. I can't wait to participate again.

As David and I were ending our 32 mile ride I was instantly ready to do another loop. Next week the goal is 45-50 mile training ride in Yellow Springs on Saturday and the following week is the 60 Mile Tourdecure!!!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Helmets are Sexy (but cute on kids)!!! (and other random thoughts)

Helmets are Sexy (but cute on kids)

There are a few things that bother me:

1) Seeing adults ride their bikes without helmets
2) Seeing parents riding their bikes with no helmets but their children have helmets
3) Seeing kids riding around on their bikes with their parents and none of them have on helmets.

I'm going to start a helmets are sexy campaign here in Columbus. I'm going to start by having a cycling jersey made with this saying on the back. After that I'm going to try and figure out how to get bike helmets donated so I can stand on the bike path and hand the helmets out to all the people who have their heads openly exposed to the concrete.

Distracted Drivers

I almost got run over yesterday. It seems to be the story of my life these days, but yesterday was the closest call. I was riding to work and while turning a corner in a double turn lane, the guy in the inside lane decided to go straight. I bet he/she was texting while driving. I am going to try and pay a little more attention while I drive so I don't scare the crap out of a cyclist and myself. Maybe you should too...

Missing Out

When I got downtown yesterday I ran into a wall of runners/joggers/walkers. I got up to my office, looked out my window and immediately felt like I was missing out on something pretty awesome. More than 8,000 people showed up for the annual Race for the Cure. My feelings are just a reminder that I need to continue moving towards becoming an "athlete." You may ask why I didn't sign up and I have to admit I can't figure that out. I'm sure if one of my siblings were around I would have definitely been pounding the pavement. I will not miss out on something like this event again.
Bike Shorts
For all of you who have been wondering, my bike shorts have arrived and my butt is thanking me. It's amazing how much a pair of shorts can make a ride more comfortable.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Bike Shorts: Luxury or Necessity?

The question of the day is are bike shorts a luxury or necessity? I have a very STRONG opinion on the answer to this question. Now that I can say I've logged over 60 miles this week (and it is only Wednesday) on my bike and about one hundred last week I have decided to explore this very important question.

My sister commented on my last post saying something about how my butt must hurt. Let me start by mentioning that I am still using a pair of bike shorts that were gifted to me about seven years ago from the exact sister who questioned the comfort of my behind. I now know exactly what is on her mind when she thinks of cycling. I believe she gave them to me in her exercise bully days to make sure I had few excuses to go out for those long rides with her. Of course my sister was always riding with her burly and Brady in tow and I could barely keep up.

One of my favorite memories was when we got on our bikes and while we were riding up a hill that when you looked to the top kind of looked to me like the distance of the top of the Sears Tower, I fell over because I lost all momentum. Christina got to the top of the hill just in time to look down and laugh her "butt" off. I also recall walking around for a few days after that ride as if I had ridden a horse for 24 hours a day 7 days a week for the last month. Shortly after that adventure the bike shorts appeared.

This morning I had taken the long route to work. My butt was so sore I thought for a moment I should go home, take a shower, and hop on the bus. I instead I kept going; by the time I was about a half mile from work my butt was about to fall off. I again looked like a goof ball as I headed over to the gym to take my shower.

So you may now ask what is my response to the so very important question? "BIKE SHORTS = NECESSITY!!!" I guess it's time to invest in some new shorts that will hopefully last another seven years.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Bike Shop Drama

It's been exactly a week since I signed up to do the 60 mile Tourdecure here in Ohio. Although I still stand by my decision to sign up for the ride I'm still freaking out. I think I have logged about 100 miles of riding this week, but I'm sure I should be logging much more. The struggle is finding a good route here in cBus where there is little traffic and NO college students (sorry little cousins who are reading this, but seriously you all text on your cell phones while driving WAY too much). The other struggle is finding riding time when I'm working too much.

My strategy for this week is to take an extended ride every morning, and take the super long way home from work.

So, my big excitement for the week was also my big disappointment. I took my bike to the bike shop in town and asked them to fix my "masking" taped together brake cables and give me an overall tune up. They told me they would complete my bike quickly (which they did) but when I went to pick it up, my bike cables were still taped together with masking tape, but they assured me they fixed my bike. I don't know about you but I thought since I paid a pretty penny to get my bike worked on the least they could have done is put gripping tape on the handle bars rather than re-taping with the masking tape. I did not have it in me to argue, I just made a statement about incomplete work and left the store. I thought "Oh well, I'll go home and fix it myself" (which if I took the time to tell you the entire story you would know my decision to fix it myself is why my brake cables are taped together with masking tape in the first place).

The decision to take my bike to a bike shop didn't end all bad though, once I got on my bike I took note that my tires were in fact full, my bike chain was aligned, and everything seemed tightened up. My brakes? They still rub.

Moral to the story, you pick because I can't figure it out:

1) Never try to fix my bike myself again.
2) Never go back to that bike shop.
3) Never let David (my cousin) talk me into another 60 mile bike ride.
4) Both 1 and 2.
5) All of the above.

I'll ponder this as I try to log twice as many miles this week...

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Freaking Out

I have been wanting to get into real shape and decided to make it happen by signing up for more events this summer. Example, 60 mile bike ride five weeks from now. For those of you who know me, you may say, Uh Oh Sarah got in over her head. Hell I am saying Uh Oh I got in over my head, but I paid the money, I'm going to do it.

I created this blog for a number of reasons.

1) Two years ago I was participating in the Chicago Triathlon and a couple of things happened that day. I was cheering people on while "jogging" and at the end of the race a gentleman came up to me and gave me a hug, thanking me for providing him the motivation to finish the race. All I thought I was doing was distracting myself so I could finish the race.

2) The other thing; At the end of the Chicago Triathlon two years ago I talked with one of the folks who participated with our group and we both talked about how we wanted to do better the next year. Neither of us trained like we would have liked to, and our times were reflective of that.

3) Last year again during the Chicago Triathlon my time indicated I did not do what I could have done to improve my time. Three years prior I finished the race 15 minutes faster.

4) I do best when I am accountable to someone or something. Regardless of whether people read this or not, I will still update it once a week (or more if needed) because I am now telling everyone what my plan is.

5) Maybe someone else is in my position and would like the encouragement and motivation.

6) Lastly, I watch myself get overly motivated, have one or two great work out months and quickly slip back into watching too much TV and hanging out on my couch. This way I can spend some time in front of a different screen chronicling my anticipated success.

So here is what I am going to do, I'm going to share my stories, successes and failures, funny stories, and disasters. What I'd like my "followers" to do? Laugh, encourage, participate in an event with me, provide pointers, work out with me, convince me to participate in an event you enjoy, or simply read...

The events for the summer at this moment in time are as follows:

- Tourdecure, Westerville, OH
- Met Life Duathlon (relay with my mom), Tinley Park, IL
- Chicago Triathlon, Chicago, IL

I believe more 5ks and bike rides will appear over time, but that is what I have committed to at this moment in time.