1/10/09

My new ride


First off, before I talk about my new special girl in my life (BLACK HAWK), I have great news...
After 2 years of racing Category 2 and trying to upgrade, Karel was finally given his Category 1 card! Unlike in triathlons where we all race together but are scored either overall or in our age group, cycling ranks you by category. In order to upgrade (Category 5 is the beginner category and 1 is near the pro level) you must have a certain number of points, based on how you placed in races, how many people were in the race and the type of race. There is a Pro level but that is what you see on versus and on other cycling webpage. Karel was having a great year in 2007 until he got hit by a car and spent several weeks resting his fractured collar bone. It was in 2008 that Karel got his coach (Shawn) and a team (Lidner Capital) and everything started to come together. We spent almost every weekend (so it seemed) in GA for the bigger cycling races and Karel raced almost all of speedweek and every race was important to Karel because he had to place in the top 6 (where Pro and Cat 1 riders were also racing for top places) in order to receive points. You only have 1 year to accumulate points. I am so super excited for Karel cause he can now enter ANY race he wants in the US, rather than asking to race (and being approved) in the 1,2 category. WAHOO!
Right now Karel is in Gainesville for a 50 mile mountain bike ride. OUCH! That is going to be a long day for him but I am sure he is enjoying it!

Ok, time to talk about my new ride and my first ride on Black Hawk.
As far as the bike, it looks amazing and Karel did a great job giving me a bike I never thought I wanted. As I mentioned before, I don't stay up with current bike parts and gadgets....I just want to ride a bike! But now that I see what is on my bike, I can't stop looking at my Black Hawk!
Karel put it together on Friday and did a simple fit for me. I rode it today (65 miles) and although it felt great and shifted amazingly, I can't say that it is any easier to ride 65 miles alone in the wind with a new bike versus an old bike. Although I was loving my new ride, my first time on a tri bike since Oct. had me remembering how much work goes into an IM! After the ride I went for a run. My first brick since...OCT! Campy joined me and I am trying to get him to run longer and longer. He is the perfect running partner but he makes me run faster than I'd like. We went for 20 min. and he smiled the whole time. As for me, I was ready for a shower at about 90 min into my 4 hour workout.

Ok..time for pics!
*we are still working on a good position for me because I am so short. But I really like having the 700 wheels and I feel really comfortable on it.









1/9/09

Go to soup!

I talk about my go-to meal all the time but how about a go-to soup!!!
Even for us Floridians who are braving our 49 degree early mornings (brrrr) this soup is packed with vegetables and very little sodium for a perfect comfort dinner.

Ingredients
Any chopped veggies you choose (mushrooms, chickpeas, beans, corn, onions, green peppers)
2 small red potatoes (diced). *you can also use frozen cubed hasbrowns (unseasoned)
1/4 cup egg noodles (not cooked)
3 diced Roma tomatoes
1 can low sodium vegetarian soup (for the flavor)
Vegetarian or lean meat
1 tbsp. olive oil
Water

1. Fill up a medium-size pot with a little more than 1/2 water. Add can of soup and olive oil. (be sure factor in adding your veggies before adding in the water. If you want more of a stew, add less water).
2. Turn burner to medium heat.
3. Add veggies, tomatoes, noodles and potato to soup.
4. Add vegetarian meat (I recommend the Boca crumbles, about a cup) or lean meat (de-thawed chicken breast, sliced).
5. Cook for about 8-15 min. Stir occasionaly and check veggies and lean meat to make sure everything is cooked.
6. Add chili flakes, pepper and garlic (fresh) for seasoning.
7. Top w/ a little cheese.
*Karel goes to a local bagel shop every few weeks (at Jax beach) where they sell bagel chips. Not the processed kind! Rather than using bread or crackers, we buy fresh bagel chips (they use old bagels and toast them and sell them in a huge bag for $3!) for a crunchy topping.


1/8/09

Black Hawk

Nope, I didn't just rescue another animal. But, after selling my Seduza (I know, so sad...she is out in Colorado braving the snow), my 650 Zipp wheels and Karel's first mountain bike we had a little play money. Karel wanted us to have the same size wheel and after struggling to change many flats on my 650 wheels (lucky none in a race) it was time for me to go a little bigger. My road bike has 700 wheels and I feel really comfortable on Blue so I wasn't worried about the change in size for my tri bike
Well, here she is....some of her.


Karel has always wanted to custom build a bike for me that would fit me. He also wanted to pick his own parts for my bike, rather than paying a heck of a lot of money for a complete bike. Karel and I both know that any bike will be good for me so long as I ride it hard and it is safe. I am not very high tech and obsessed with the latest and greatest so I am not too picky when it comes to brake levers, gears or stems but to Karel, he wants to build a good looking bike that no one else has out there.I just requested pink handle bar tape and pink water bottle cages.
I can't wait to see the final product!


Karel is using some of his parts from his Pinarello and from my Seduza (which we traded out before we sold her).




We are waiting for a few more parts but she should be finished before next week. And to make my bike even faster (ok, to make me train a little faster and harder) I got a power meter. Ok, so I got Karel's old powertap and he got a new one that is more than I would ever spend on anything electronic for my bike....but I know Karel loves those things. As for me, I just want to keep things simple. But what a world of difference when you train with power. I have always been big on HR but after my first bike set w/ power on Tues I couldn't believe the workout I had on my bike! And, it is cool to see the results of the ride on the computer (WKO training program and training peaks) after the workout.
Since we visit Karel at work almost every day, Campy was more interested in going outside than going to the shop to see my new bike.

1/6/09

New Year, New You

My latest article on IronGirl.com (subscribe for your FREE newsletter)...

New Year, New You

Welcome to 2009! With the New Year upon us, it is time to make some resolutions and changes. As you remember the past and look toward the future, make sure your expectations are realistic. If there are areas in your life that you hope to change in 2009, take time to reflect on what was and was not successful in 2008. If you repeat your actions, you will receive the same results.

The idea of creating a New Year resolution may seem simple in your mind, but it must be practical and possible in order to be achieved. Change can be very rewarding, so start with an intention and develop steps to accomplish your overall goal. Losing weight, eating healthier and improving your fitness are popular New Year resolutions. Making these changes may seem difficult at first, but follow the tips below and you will reach your goal:

(In no particular order)
1. Pack your lunch
2. Eat out no more than 3 times a month
3. Exercise more than 5 times a week, for at least 45 minutes each workout
4. Eat a complex carbohydrate, protein-filled breakfast everyday
5. Use fat-free condiments and dressings
6. Snack on fruits and veggies
7. Include protein with all meals and snacks
8. Sign up for a race and give yourself at least 6 weeks to train
9. Keep your evening snack under 150 calories
10. Smile, laugh and enjoy life
11. Read - really read - food labels
12. Reduce your intake of sodium
13. Set realistic weight loss and/or fitness goals
14. Replace foods, don't eliminate
15. Have friends and family hold you accountable
16. Let the mirror be your scale
17. Use only the necessary supplements (ex. whey protein powder, fish oil, multivitamins) and do not rely on weight loss pills
18. Walk more, drive less
19. Encourage others to set realistic goals
20. Weight train 2 to 3 times a week
21. If a food is heart unhealthy or you can't control your intake with a certain food/snack, keep it out of the house
22. Enjoy a little of everything rather than a lot of one thing
23. Portion control
24. Don't be afraid to eat unlike the norm (in other words, don't be afraid to be healthy)
25. Enjoy healthy habits that will last a lifetime!


And how about some cute pics of Campy....


1/4/09

Love/Hate

I've spoken many times about my love/hate relationship with my bike.
I LOVE riding my bike
I hate it when it hurts.
On thursday morning Karel talked me into the Penny Farms ride with the Open road cycling group. I've hung on a few times for the 40 mile, saturday morning ride but never a Penny farms ride. The ride goes south from our place, then west over a bridge, then through several windy roads (not hilly, just a lot of turns) and then after a long stretch you go north and then east and then south again home. Yes, it makes no sense unless you live here but even I live here and I have no idea where we went.
Sadly, I wasn't feeling my best for the ride that I looked forward to all week. My pectorial muscle (right) has been giving me a little grief over the past few days and I contribute it to my fall during the marathon. Perhaps I didn't fully recover after the race and it has really been getting on my nerves when I swim. It is fine when I run but the bike also hurts a bit.
For the Penny Farms ride I couldn't tough it up. There was so much wind on Thursday that even with a group of about 50, I still felt like I was going to fall off my bike. After about 30 miles, averaging around 23 mph, about 10 of us took the short route home (72 mile route) and Karel went with everyone else (92 miles).
I suffered as long as I could, using my poor drafting skills, and with 10 of us, we each took turns pulling. Even though it was windy out, I looked forward to the front cause I didn't have to draft and follow a wheel. I am getting much much better but without Karel near me, I often loose my confidence
It was around mile 50 that my chest was killing me and my eyes started watering. I don't know why but I always get emotional on my bike. I can be a bit hard on myself but I blame my "I want to try" attitude. Although I may be one of the slowest ones of the group, I always like to try to keep up. I'm so over getting sad when I get dropped so I've moved on to just getting frustrated if I am about to get dropped. I know Karel is proud of me for trying but I just wish it was easier for me to ride with a group.
The ride got worse around mile 55 and I knew I wasn't even close to being home. Sadly, I had a body of water between the road I was on and my house and there was no short cut in my sight. I had at least 20 more miles home and I knew I wouldn't make it. I had to stop because my chest was hurting me and I'm sure my frustration with the wind was also getting to me.
I wanted the group to keep going but then again, I wasn't sure exactly how to get home on these new roads I was riding on. A few people came back for me and when we got close to our friend's house, I asked if they could drive me home.
I was embarrased to get a ride home. I've heard of people bonking during a ride and not being able to make it home but I was so bummed that I had to be driven home. Although I was sad about the situation, I was so thankful that I was off my bike.
The best part of the whole morning was when James was driving me home and there was the main group who did the 92 miles. As I looked for Karel I see a few guys sprinting up a bridge (one of the sprinting sections of the ride where they "race") and there at the front, winning the sprint...was Karel. I was smiling so big and so proud of Karel. Here I am getting a ride home in the opposite direction (I can't ride home in the direction we were driving because it is over the interstate and water) and I see Karel giving his all. I couldn't wait to see him at home and tell him that I saw him win the sprint.
Karel is feeling super strong right now and all the hard work is really paying off.
I took Friday off and I really needed it. The day went by super fast and I was really glad I didn't go to the Y, get on my bike or go for a run.
Saturday I did my first run since the marathon and it was an easy run/walk for 11 miles. I just enjoyed myself on the treadmill at the Y and I actually watched a movie on the treadmill. I was glad I added in the walks because I wanted to watch the whole movie (it was a corny movie on TBS, but cute). It was just an easy and well-needed run.
Well, it is sunday and I spent a few hours on my bike with Karel and about 70 open road riders. I couldn't believe how many people did the penny farms ride (the ride is normally on sunday but thurs was a special new years day ride). I only wanted to do 40 miles but I figured I would enjoy a draft for a good 20 miles. I stayed confident (even though I hated it) as I tried to stay in the mid pack by drafting closely to the wheel in front of me. It was a nice ride and I felt really good.
So...it is finally here. Jan 5th and my first week of 2009 triathlon season training is here. Shawn uploaded my workouts on Training Peaks for the next 4 weeks and I can't believe I have a 3 hour ride and 30 min run on sat. I can't believe I have to do a brick...ouch!
Actually, I'm really looking forward to the upcoming season and some structured training. I really want to work hard and give my all for every training session. Although I will be having fun (and probably a few tears along the way) I think karel is looking forward to seeing me suffer with my new power tap :(