Monday, June 30, 2008

Cartersville Century

It is decided.
I am an official endurance addict.
I just love the long events.

Not sure I am ready to put it all together but I LOVE the ups and downs and finding ways to push through the misery and riding the exhalation of the endorphin high. It is amazing to me how you will go from an hour or two of feeling awesome to the next minute feeling like you are dying only to rebound and feel strong again and like you can go forever.

I always expect that once I hit that first downward spiral it is all going to pot but almost always it gets better if I just hang in there. Total physical roller coaster. And, this is the totally insane part, I absolutely adore the spent feeling after I am done. I really like how wasted and weak my body feels. I find it thrilling.

I know. It seems totally crazy to me too.

So yeah, I am so glad I did this ride. It was so much fun and very peaceful. Riding down long country roads. It was just crazily bucolic.

Friday morning I went to the gym to get a little treadmill run in. 4 miles in 29 something minutes. Decent enough run. As I was leaving I saw Neal swimming. I went down to the pool to give him yet another one of my critiques and offer some unsolicited advice of his swim. All in good fun, of course.

I asked him if he was going to do the century ride and he said that he had emailed me about riding together. I misunderstood and thought that he meant drive to Cartersville together and told him eagerly that I could meet him at 6 am at La Fitness. I figured no one I knew would want to ride my slow pace. And besides I know that Neal is much faster than me. He clarified that he meant actually ride the ride with me but also said carpooling would be cool too.

Another swimmer was eavesdropping on our conversation and piped up with his two cents. He said he and a group had ridden the course the previous weekend and that it was actually 106 miles and was very hilly at the end. In particular, he mentioned a steep uphill that made him wish for a granny gear right around 91 miles. He wished me luck.

Neal tried to reassure me that I would have no problems but Pool Boy had put the monkey on my bike.

So while I hadn't previously been too nervous about this ride The Mainstay's psyche-you-out-texts and Pool Boy's warnings now had me very worried.

So went home to prep my bike.

And by prep I mean I clean it with Windex and put some oil on my chain. I also bought a new bike jersey because I find a new outfit always makes me feel confident. I got all my "food" and bike stuff packed and I made the kids clean out and vacuum my car so Neal wouldn't have to ride in absolute filth.

I got up and out the door and was at La Fitness at 6 am on the dot. Neal racked his bike on my car and bungeed them together. He brought his super fabulous GPS and we tossed my Google map. After a stop at QT for coffee for Neal and a throw away camera for me we were off.

We got to the ride start just before 7 am. We went straight to registration and on the way there I ran into Dani. It was her first century too. But she is much more the professional athlete than I. She is training for Ironman Kentucky. And if you notice she has on a team jersey.

Then we hooked up with other tri peeps from NAMSC. Not certain of everyone's name but I remember Greg and he is the one looking at the camera. Neal is the guy pointing. I also met Felix and I don't know why he isn't in this picture. He was there when we were all talking. And I remember Felix's name specifically because really, how often do you meet someone named Felix? I don't know how he escaped my camera.

Not everyone was as lucky to escape my camera though. My friend Paul happened to be parked a few cars down from me. He was not happy to see my camera and told me no spandex pictures but oh well. . .
Paul is actually the one who sent me the link about the ride a week ago. So my ass totally blames him. Paul is quite a tremendous cyclist. He rode with me a month ago and was politely bored while I struggled and sucked tail. He literally pushed me up one hill to help me out. His wife Traci did the 55 mile route so hopefully she'll call me to ride because even if I did those spinervals Dani suggested everyday for 3 years I still don't think I could ever hope to keep up with Paul.

Neal and I had discussed starting out before the official roll at 8 am but that didn't happen. We put ourselves at the back and rolled out into the Cartersville back roads.

I got hot fast and that didn't make me happy. I can totally deal with hot on the bike--much better than hot on the run but it was too early in the ride to have to be hot.

The pace was fine and the course much more forgiving than Roswell. There were hills but nothing too terrible or memorable. The only complaint I have is that we'd have an uphill and then get a downhill and then there would be a long stretch to an uphill and then a quick downhill and then a stop sign and a turn and immediate uphill. So I felt a bit cheated out of my downhill momentum and couldn't work the rollers as I would have liked. Not sure if that makes sense but basically I wanted the hills to be closer together and after the stops signs a downhill instead of an uphill would have been nice. But whatever. It can't all be perfect.

We stopped at every rest stop. I certainly didn't need to but since I wasn't sure how it would all play out I figured I'd be conservative and take all the help offered.

I rode to the first rest stop with Leslie, who I have ridden previously in Roswell with. Leslie is also training for Ironman Kentucky:

After that first rest stop we started coming up on lots of little wrecks and even saw a cyclist sitting in a field and then a fire truck raced past a bit later. It all seemed really early for things to be going south already and it made me nervous considering I am pretty inexperienced on the bike--having only been riding a year and that not so long ago a 30 mile ride was an impossibly long and challenging ride for me. So I was feeling even more cautious and alert than usual.

Yes, despite the taking pictures while rolling.

I am fairly coordinated, most of the time.

Around 24 miles we were coming down a steep hill. At the bottom of the hill the course took a sharp right over a bridge. Neal and I were about 30 feet behind a group of four cyclists: 3 men and 1 woman. They all took the turn way too fast and the woman in the group freaked out. Not sure if she just wasn't ready to turn or being sandwiched between the guys wigged her out but instead of taking the turn she swiveled and went straight into the guard rail of the bridge. Her front tire hit the rail and she and her bike flipped over the bridge and fell straight into the creek below. Seeing that woman flipping in the air still clipped into her bike really was the most spectacular sight I have ever witnessed. Also, completely terrifying to witness. As it could easily happen to me.

We rushed to the bridge and looked down. And there she was about 12 feet down in a dry creek bed sitting on her butt with her bike few feet away. I was expecting to see a girl with her neck broken or twisted leg or at the very least some blood. But she looked okay. She asked what happened and said she was fine. She was even laughing. Honestly though, seeing how she fell I don't know how fine she really could have been.

The image of her flipping over that guard rail haunted me the whole ride. I think it haunted Neal too because at least once an hour during the ride we would revisit the incident and further try to dissect exactly what had happened and whether the girl was really okay.

After the first few stops it was just Neal and I. We'd typically come up to rest a stop and I'd see Dani pulling away from the stop and Leslie, Felix and Greg getting back on their bikes and heading back out.

I really didn't have any problems or discomfort until around miles 80. I started getting chills and was super hot. I wasn't hungry, thirsty or particularly tired. But in addition to the chills I was starting to feel the beginnings of cramps in my arms and also in my left foot and calf. I noticed that wasn't sweating as much as I had been but felt much hotter. I wasn't sure if this was because the sweat was evaporating or I was getting dehydrated. Admittedly, I was a little worried about heat stroke. I know the warning signs: having experienced heat exhaustion at GA ING 07. However, I also knew that I had had chills on many a hot runs and got through those without further problem.

So I was just riding along; thinking and assessing and I guess I was pretty quiet for awhile. Neal noted this. He tried to chat me up and bring me out of the funk and I told him it was just a bad patch and that I would be fine. Honestly though, I really didn't know. I know in marathons I always have bad patches and so far I have managed to move on and finish strong (Country Music Marathon aside) but a bad patch on the bike was a new one for me. I slowed down a lot. I think we had been averaging 16-17mph. But around this time slowed to about 12-13 mph. It wasn't even particularly hilly at this point. I was also still worried about what Pool Boy had said about the "super long bad hill at mile 91" and that the ride was really 106 miles. Not to mention that I had already used my granny gear on a few occasions just to not fatigue myself on the up hills. I was worried that if I really needed it I might not actually make it the hill. I just couldn't bear the idea of having to walk up a hill this late in the game.

I figured I had about 15 more miles in me but I didn't know how much more. I started getting up out of the saddle and shifting around. Finally Neal suggested we stop and look at our map to make sure we were still on course (we had missed a few turns here and there and had to back track a few times). I knew we were on course but figured he wanted to stop cause I was looking bad. I knew there was a stop coming up at 89 miles and wanted to wait but stopped under Neal's "let's check the map" rouse. It was a good call on his part. It felt really good to get off the bike and stretch for a second. I did contemplate laying on the ground and doing a back bend because I felt like my muscles were recoiling into themselves but worried that I might not be able to actually pull it off. Instead I just leaned back a bit and twisted my spine from the waist. It felt amazing.

We did stop again at the last rest stop around 89 miles and put ice in our bottles. Awesome to drink cold water at that point. I also got my second wind and was feeling great and ready to go longer. After we left the rest stop I started noticing on the street ground markings for "105". Then around 91 miles I saw the 105 markings turn off up a steep hill. Happily, our route went straight and I relaxed realizing Pool Boy had done a different course: a 105 course and it went a different way than ours. With that monkey off my bike I was a new woman.

And then I saw a zebra.

I was certain I was hallucinating so I made Neal turn around so I could take a picture. A guy walked by me and said, "there's a water buffalo too."

I didn't see the water buffalo but there were a total of 3 zebras. I don't think you can see them in the picture. Damn crappy throw away camera with no zoom lens. I tried to get as close as possible but they were way in the back near the trailer. Zebras in a trailer park.
Only in Georgia I guess.

A short while later we were winding through Cartersville's main street area back to the park. Neal reported that he had us at only 97 miles. So we rode 3 more miles to make it a full century. So 100.30 miles at a 15.6 mph avg pace. 6 hours 24 minutes. Woo Hoo!

Great ride! I still can't believe I rode a 100 miles and didn't fall, wreck or get a flat. I feel VERY lucky.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Add Yet Another Member of My Family To The Epi Pen Club

Drum roll please . . .

Joining the ranks of Pop and Lala and Me (I don't have one but I probably should I have so many allergies) is Carmella.

But let me just start by saying today was not a good day in the world of Carmella.

Though, I'd like to think, most are good days in her little world. But today definitely wasn't.

That makes me sad.

Yesterday though was pretty good.

Yesterday after spending the night at Pop and Lala's she and Beau got to go to the nature center to see the reptile show. They also got to visit with their cousins Duncan and Miranda--who Carmella says is "perfectly adorable." Then she got to attend her swim banquet where she received the award for "Most likely to be an Ambercrombie and Fitch Model." Not that she owns anything from Ambercrombie but she definitely has that girl next door quirky prep thing going on.
Beau got voted "Most likely to be "George of the Jungle."

Yeah, that works too.
Today though I woke up sore in the arms and shoulders. Surprisingly the legs felt good. So today had to be a run today. Not a swim today. Ryan had work today at home so I took the kids to the Greenway Trail so I could run and they could ride their bikes.

Carmella was luke warm about the whole idea and then got further annoyed at me when I said they needed to go slow because Mommy had to run slow today. To that she said "What's the point in going?"

For exercise, to maintain, I said. I KNOW she rolled her eyes at me.

I know this because they blazed those first 2.2 miles in 15 minutes. I couldn't figure out why my legs felt like jelly until I checked the time at our designated break spot. Beau even took a picture of me all glistening.

After a brief break where I gulped Gatorade and tried to get my heart rate under control and again implored the kids to go slow, we were off.

I don't think they went slow and at the 3 mile mark Carmella was again annoyed with me when I said we were turning back. She argued and I told her all Mommy had was 6 miles today. Lame, she said and was off down the hill. Beau followed. I chased.

I yelled to her and Beau to slow down and wait for me at the bridge.

But it didn't matter. Carmella wiped out.

I didn't see until I rounded the curve.

She told me that people were coming around the curve on her side and she ran off the trail to avoid them and I guess over corrected and wrecked.

Her knee was, is, a mess. It really is quite an impressive road burn. I would be way proud if that were my knee. The one knee is skinned in 4 places and is now totally bruised. But the Mommy rule when your kid is injured is to NOT freakout and totally down play the injury.

Get back on your bike.

No, she said fighting back the tears.

We argued back and forth and I laid it out for her:

I explained that it has never been a matter of if you are going to wreck but rather when. And today is your when, I told her.

I told her to take a few deep breaths and then squirted water on her knee.

Get on your bike.

No, she said, now crying. I want to walk, she said.

Instantly I realized that she was fine but that she was now scared to ride her bike. She was scared because she has never fallen. In fact this was the first time she had hurt herself since she was probably a toddler. This was her first real injury.

I MADE her get on her bike. Plus, you know, I did want to finish my run. I won't lie. I always have my selfish motives. But nevertheless I would not be doing her any favors by letting her walk her bike for 2.75 miles. She would probably never ride her bike again.

So she got back on. Whimpering. And just as she was starting to get over herself who do we come up on the trail?


Grandma sympathy resulted into a tearful waterfall right there on the trail. Lala even suggested the walking of the bike. But luckily Carmella herself had realized the eternity that that would take and at that point she just wanted to be done.

So Carmella and I ditched Lala with Beau and finished our ride/run. Total time was 53 minutes. Not so bad for all those stops. I was dripping with sweat.

After we finished I was hoping that Carmella had a sense of humor about her fall but she totally did not.
Man. She. Was. Done.

So we waited for Beau and then left.

But (boy is hindsight ever 20/20) I HAD to go to the store. Carmella whined and cried and did not want to go. She begged me to drop her at home. And when I called Ryan to see if he would mind he told me that was totally ridiculous to drive right past the store and then have to go back. Waste of gas, he said. I reported this to Carmella who was upset but dealt.

At the store we got there at sample time. Kids, not to mention me, were starving. Kids had a cookie, sampled turkey and smores. Then they had roasted cashews and almonds out. I took some, of both. I offered some to the kids. Neither of my kids have ever eaten nuts. But I wasn't worried about allergies. Carmella was tested for all food allergies at 6 months old and showed allergic to nothing. Not to mention nuts are in tons of stuff. Beau has no allergies that I know of so I figured good to go.

Beau said no to the nuts but Carmella tried them. First a cashew, yum. Then an almond, disgusting. And then she complained about said almond and the "horrible" taste in her mouth. I rushed through the store getting what we needed in record time before complete blood sugar meltdowns all around resulted.

Unfortunately the pictures I had dropped off were still not ready so we had to wait a few more minutes.

Carmella started to complain that she felt very thirsty. I was instantly suspicious but again reassured myself that she could not be allergic. She tested negative for tree nuts, I told myself.

I pointed to the water fountain. Relieved, she ran a few feet away to get a sip. I continued to wait for my pictures.

She returned and than started to complain that her tummy hurt. She felt like she was going to throw up.

Uh oh.

Let me tell you.

I can count the number of times Carmella has throw up in her life and the very first time was at that very store, in my pocketbook no less. Immediatly I started to usher her to the bathroom. En route she threw up in her hands. She carried it in her hands and held it together until we made it to the rest room.

Soon as the door swung shut she started to lose it. I instructed her to first finish vomiting and then to wash her hands. She did and then informed me afterwards that she was" fine, perfect" and that we should go now.

All the while Beau is I have to pee! I don't have to throw up!

Upon exiting the restroom I instructed more water.

And happily our pictures were ready and we left.

I queried her on the way home: how is your tummy? Your throat sore? Can you breathe okay? Do you feel itchy? Fine,no, yes, no.

Well, actually Mommy, she said, my tummy doesn't feel great.

Okay, stomach bug maybe, I thought.

Fast forward to getting home.

Carmella assists me with the groceries but barely makes it inside where she proclaims that she needs to throw up. I rush her to the bathroom and she vomits and starts crying. Unlike Beau she is not so good with the throwing up or any bodily function for that matter. It all freaks her out.

Finally she stops vomiting but then she starts sneezing. She can't stop and I am in sort of in shock at how much sneezing there is. I strip her clothes and put her in an almost cold shower. I instruct Ryan to go immediately to the store for liquid Claritan and for coke--since I am not entirely sure it isn't a stomach bug. Though at this point I highly suspect an allergic reaction.

In retrospect I should have told him to get Benedrayl and I weighed it out but I didn't want her to be groggy and we use Claritan more than Benedrayl. But for the record, always go for the liquid Benedrayl in the case of an allergic reaction. It is best.

Oh, where is Beau during all this? Well he is being punished in his room. I can't remember now after all the day's drama what he did but I do know that he was being punished during all this.

By the time I get Carmella out of the shower, dressed, clean her knee and dress the wound Ryan is back. I settle Carmella on the couch, give her the Claritan, a bucket in case she needs to vomit and I elevate her knee and put an ice pack on it. About an hour has passed since she had the nuts. She seems to do be doing better for the moment. Still sneezing but not throwing up.

I go make everyone lunch. I release Beau from his incarceration and finally

sit down to eat.

20 minutes pass.

As soon as I finish my lunch Carmella comes upstairs. She says she needs help changing her shirt. It is covered in vomit. I noticed that her eyes are red and her face looks a little swollen. She is also itching herself. I pull her shirt off and she has hives.

I grab her a clean shirt and tell Ryan that we are going to the Urgent Care. He unracks the bikes from my car and I grab Carmella a glass of ice water. She is starting to cough and sound wheezy and is still sneezing like crazy. I instruct her to drink the water and I crank up the AC and roll down the windows and haul ass out of the neighborhood.

I drive like a mad woman the 7 miles to the Urgent Care.

We wait 10 minutes. I tried to up play her situation. Carmella tried to down play it to the receptionist. I guess she believed Carmella. I feel certain that if she had kept her mouth shut we would not have had to wait. I know how to work the ER by this point. So instead I had to sit next her and try not to panic as I watched her about scratch her face off.

It has now been about an hour and 45 minutes since she ate the nuts.

We are called back and I try to quickly explain what is going on. Carmella finally admits that her throat is indeed starting to hurt. The nurse hears her wheezing but her oxygenation level is still decent. I think it was 92. Her temperature was way low but I told them I had been making her drink ice water so they checked her auxiliary temp and it was normal.

I hear them discussing what to do. I can tell they are little panicked. I know that they just need to give her the steroids and antihistamines and am annoyed that they aren't sure what to do but I try to keep my mouth shut.

As it was it didn't matter because immediately they give her an epi shot and then a steroid shot for which it takes 3 of use to pin Carmella down for. Then she gets some Benedrayl and the doctor debates whether he is going to call an ambulance to take her to the ER or just observe her. I know that they will not need the ambulance. They bring Carmella more water and almost immediately her wheezing is gone. After about another hour the hives are gone and I am greatly entertained by the wired Carmella.

The nurses all seemed amazed at how "resilient" she is but I am like, duh, you just jacked her up on an epi pen and prednisone.

So we leave with a script for an inhaler, prednisone and an epi pen. Oh, and that liquid Benedrayl.

So yeah, today was not a good day in the life of Carmella but she was pretty cool about it.

And rest assured. We will be visiting an allergist to determine for certain exactly what she is allergic to.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Did not die

Almost bonked though. Had a rough patch around mile 80. Entertained some pretty negative thoughts which irritated me but I rallied and got past it to finish strong.

100.30 miles, 15.65 miles per hour (yes, I am slow poke. But I should note this was a tad faster than my previous longest ever ride of 63 miles. So there is potential that someday? I might, kick ass on the bike. Bwhahahaha) Time was 6 and half hours. Ouch for the boo-Tay. But thanks to Dani for the chamois creme. My girly bits thank you too.

Full report with pictures forth coming. Digital camera got dropped in the pool at swim meet Thursday so I bought a throw away for the ride to record for prosperity. And by prosperity I mean blog.

Thanks to the Mainstay for the advice. I take back about wishing you to be a bridesmaid and hope that it was your big day up in Rome this evening.

And HUGE thanks to Neal for offering and actually riding with me. I had a FABULOUS time. It was great meeting everyone and just was a beautiful ride!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Greasing the Chain of a False Analogy

100 miles is a lot farther than 60 miles.

This is what the Mainstay texted me last night. Along with a bunch of other texts served, I think, to psyche me out:

lots of carbs tonight! Steak and baked potatoes tomorrow. Eat like you are in a contest--lots of water and Gatorade tomorrow.

I responded that I always eat like I am in a contest. But, nevertheless, I did eat a lot yesterday. But, then again, I always eat a lot.

Gel or three bloks an hour during ride. At least one big bottle an hour. And munch on bars the whole ride. Tips to success from THE MAINSTAY!

I am fairly certain that The Mainstay was referring to water in "one big bottle" advice but knowing him as I do part of me does wonder if he meant a fifth of something. I probably should have asked for clarification on that point. At any rate I responded to the text that if I eat like that I am going to gain weight on the ride. And to that he wrote, after he told me that I would be burning a bazillion calories:

don't call me when you bonk at miles 90

Hey, and don't call me when you bonk the final lap of your crit and find yourself a bridesmaid. Oh, ouch. But hey, good luck.

Finally, when I asked if he thought it was a bad idea that instead of cycling this past week I have run 43 miles instead. He wrote:

I guess we will find out Saturday afternoon!

I am sure there is a lot of truth to what he says. But I also know this is his MO as I have witnessed him try to take Colby down this way. And I suppose the smack talking did work in that case since Colby got taken out by a wreck--though the wreck wasn't his fault--in the Roswell Crit.

So I am taking it with a grain of salt. And while that may sound like I am not heeding the advice it is quite the contrary. I take salt very seriously. I love salt. I eat a lot of salt. I crave it. I need it. In fact, I just had some salt for breakfast. Sure it was on a bagel with cream cheese but the primary component of that breakfast was definitely salt.

In all honesty though I think I am just not taking this century ride serious enough. And I am certain I will be handed my sore ass on saddle tomorrow as a result of my lackadaisical approach.

But I am sorry. I can't help it.

I am a runner.

And I think running is the hardest physical thing I do--well, aside from raising Beau.

Please, don't misunderstand me. I definitely think cycling is hard but the fact that you do it sitting down just makes it in my mind less of a challenge than running.

Really, I guess I have been thinking about this century ride as a marathon that I get to do sitting down.

I know.

I am trying to compare sprockets to strides. Which as much as I try is probably just not comparable. I guess it will be a bit of an athletic experiment to see if being an endurance runner can prepare you to be an endurance cyclist. But I am placing my bets on that it works out.

What is my scientific basis you might wonder?

Well, The Mainstay did run the Peachtree one year(albeit that's just a 10k) with almost no running. And he put up a not too shabby 53 minute for a crowded, hilly, hot and humid race. Granted there are some holes in my scientific basis but surely if I can run marathons I can do a century. Right? After all, I do cycle more than The Mainstay runs. Then again, he does have youth on his side. . .

At this point the sane and rational side of my brain is most definitely wondering how in the hell I arrived at that riding in a century would be a great idea. Even more so, it is completely boggled as to why I thought I could do it.

But of course the insane and irrational side that unfortunately occupies 90% of my brain knows with almost certainty that come tomorrow afternoon-- just like after the 6 marathons I have done-- I will be happy, probably even proud of myself, for taking on such an endeavor and that I won't regret it. The tough part, of course, will be getting that 10% sane part of myself through the 100 miles. That 10% part of my brain can become quite loud and obnoxious.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Difference Between Boys and Girls

Exhibit A: The Girls:

Exhibit B: The Boys:

We had a long playdate yesterday. Pool with Camille and her girls and Sam and her brood. Of course, Tara and Ellie and Chase. Hot dogs and Hamburgers and then everyone left and Abby and Chase stayed for a sleepover.

Some pictures of the double sleepover:

Me getting tickled by the kids:
Them hanging out on my bed:

Carmella and Abby and Ellie playing Uno:

Carmella and Abby all tucked in:

Beau and Chase, still fighting until they both eventually passed out:

How I still managed to get up at 4:30 this morning and run I have no idea. But it is in the bank. And now I have to rush the four kids off to swim practice. Off to use my drill sergeant voice. Or as Lala says, sound like a fishwife. Whatever that may be.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Butt Plug Revisited.

Tara said in an email today that she felt a blog coming on.


Because in madness of all madness Beau is having his first sleepover ever tomorrow with his best bud Chase (Tara's son).

And tonight when I tucked him into bed and kissed him goodnight he told me that he and Chase were going to sleep in his buttplug.

AND that he was going to be on top of the buttplug!

For shits and giggles revisit this post for further explanation.

Oh my.

Cuddle Club this certainly isn't.

PS. Carmella is having friend sleepover too. Ryan says he is working extra late.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Living the Dream

So I am back from the beach. I needed another week.
That is how much fun we had.

Who all here can say that after one week in a beach house with their parents,
their in-laws,
brother-in-laws, sister, sister-in-law and kids and cousins
would want to spend another week doing the exact same thing? Really. Can I see a show of hands?
Probably they were all done with me but whatever I LOVE the beach. So do my kids. We did not want to come home.

And I especially shouldn't have ridden home with my parents. Their travel MO is like nothing I have ever experienced. Me? I am point A to point B and do it as fast as you can and spend as little time in the car as possible type of gal. Pop and Lala? Apparently they love a road trip. Serisously. I have made the Atlanta to Hilton Head trip in as little as 4 hours but generally it is a little less than 5 hours. Same ride with Pop and Lala? 10 hours. Tours of Savannah and Macon included.

I should say that Pop did stop at the outlet so that I could shop. I got some new rags and admiring my new clothes over the course of the ride did console me some. Some.

Anyway, we made it home and I managed to squeak in a little run around 8 pm. 3.5 miles in 27 minutes. I had to walk around for 3 minutes to get me to requisite 30 minutes to stay in the Kindzia streak. Gotta say. That was the closest I've come to goose egging. Only sickness or severe injury is going to take me down.

And yesterday I lived the dream.

What dream is that?

Well, it is the one where I go running and my kids ride their bikes along side me.

Yes, I know we have been doing that but until yesterday I wasn't able to run my regular pace. There was lots of stopping and starting and sprinting while the kids took breaks or Beau caught up. But now that Beau is free wheeling without the training wheels I am the one that they have to wait on. However, Beau still needed a few breaks but even with the breaks we managed 6 miles in 51 minutes--that is an 8:30 pace per mile and since that includes break time I would guess my actual running pace was closer to a 7:30 mile. Not a bad workout at all. Carmella was even championing for 10 miles. I was game but Beau and Lola were not. Oh well. Later this summer.

I am thinking come fall easily they can clock a few 12 mile marathon pace runs with me. Trust me. Nothing motivates you to run faster than the fear of losing your kids on a bike trail. So you push it just to keep up.

I have to say. Having kids has made me a faster runner. Before I had kids I was forever stuck in that 9 minute mile range. After Carmella someone would give me an hour to run and I would squeeze as many miles as I could into that hour. It was then that I started seeing the 8:30 minute miles. Then after Beau there was a shelf life to his patience in the jogger. I was forever running out of my comfort zone just to get the miles in before he melted. All the sudden I was seeing sub 8:30 and even some sub 8 minute miles. And then the marathon came along and the times just started dropping down. But now I am stuck in the 7-8 minute mile limbo (except the marathon where I am over the 8 minute mile).

But I am thinking that having to chase down my kids on their bikes is what is going to finally open up that sub 7 minute mile door for me--at least for the shorter distances. And I am even cautiously optimistic that I might even run past that 8 minute mile pace for the marathon and find myself going sub 3:30 at Rocket City this fall. Yeah. I know. That is a whole lotta optimism.But like the title says: I'm living the dream. Trying to at least.

Anyway. . .

We have the beach trip all tied up and it is time to get back to some focus. I am planning on a century ride this Saturday (anyone else? It's the one in Cartersville) and then I am going to get serious about a half iron man this September. Yep. It is still there bleeping on my radar.

The bike is the weak link and I am hoping after the ride Saturday I will see my bike fitness leapfrog. Right. I know. I need to practice the bricks but once I get over the distance on the bike I think the swim and run will fall easily into place for me. Pretty much every time I get in the pool I am swimming at least a mile and the half marathon is my favorite distance. After 10 years of running only once has a half marathon taken me more than 2 hours. And that was because I pregnant. For the past 2 years I've been around 1:40. It is just the bike that holds me back. In July I will work on putting all the pieces together.

Vacation Week Totals:
Running: 27.5 miles (so very sad)
Cycling: 65 miles
Mountain Biking: 2 hours 20 minutes
Kayaking (with beer): 90 minutes
Stunt Kiting: 30 minutes
Ocean Swimming: little bit everyday
Beer Drinking: 24/7
Final Pictures:
Some aforementioned stunt kiting with The Mainstay:

My hawt husband:

Yoga with Lala and Pookie

Me doing tree:

Pat and Carmella trying some poses:

Pookie and I showing off our shag:

And other photags:

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Big Bike Day

Today the Mainstay and I tooled around the island on our roadies. Pretty easy ride considering I always ride Roswell that is fairly hilly and Hilton Head is pancake flat. Challenge was in navigating the beach cruisers. Highlight was, as to hear the Mainstay tell it, almost getting bit by a cobra. I definitely think it was venomous--probably a cotton mouth but definitely not a cobra and at most it would have got his tire-- or me, who was right behind the Mainstay. You know, drafting.

In more exciting news Beau agreed to take the training wheels off his bike. This was after he made me promise that if he did it I would take him to Monkey Joe's after the beach vacation.

I have to admit. I feel a bit taken. I gave him one little push and off he was pedaling down the beach. Hi! I'm Beau. And I can ride my bike without training wheels, he informed all beach goers. All those around us, having come to know Beau's name because I constantly scream it for one reason or another, also cheered him on.

However, there was a few bike tantrums. Beau really took out his frustrations on the bee bike. And everyone around us was quite entertained. And I am glad that we are able to offer beach entertainment to such complete strangers. Sorry the video was so shakey. This was probably the third such tantrum and I could barely contain my laughter as the tantrums were quite theatrical and went on for a quite awhile. I regret not getting the one where he beat the crap out of his bike with a sand bucket.

Other fun stuff we did:

4 square:
We are good.
Especially the kids:

We have caught nothing! Yet the people who fish right next to us caught a 4ft black tip shark. Not to mention of bunch of little sharks, sting rays and sunfish. Us? Nothing.

Clearly though.

We have other priorities: