Wednesday, June 24, 2009

hiatus in the sun...

I'm sure you will all be SORELY disappointed by my little announcement. But I'm taking a little blahggie hiatus until after July 4th. With so much going on, I just need to simplify. So blahg land is going to have to wait. I hope you'll all be here waiting for me when I return post July 4th! I have incentive!

When I get back, hopefully you won't be disappointed with what I'll have in store. Like giveaways, picturepalooza FWR stizzzyle and enough stories and running news/tips to fill a novel.... so you hang on eager beavers. I'll be back after taking care of my shiz, and spending some much needed time at Beaver Lake with the fam and Edder!

Cause all I have on my mind right now is this (oh and teaching classes and dealing with some other sniz):

*your little fwr skiing. sigh. i want to be at there. now*

Cheers to SUMMER blahgesphere. Get out and ENJOY it!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

hammer it 5K race report...

I ran the Hammer It 5K this morning, in a suburb of Wichita called Park City. It was a rainy and fun race. Here is my riveting report, big news, PR and a first place AG finish:
  • I PR'd, 24:38 (not positive on this time, didn't use my garmin and didn't catch the exact time at finish because i was in raging stomach pain), this is a PR of almost TWO MINUTES
  • I got first place in my age group of 30 - 39
  • It was raining, not light delicate misty rain, full on stinging my eyes totally drenched wringing water out of my clothes kind of rain. And there were some pretty good hills for us flatlanders.
  • I saw Oz Runner before the race (check out his blog for photos, you can see how rainy it was),
  • Oz got a PR, and his house was along the race course so I got to see his lovely wife and adorable little boys, out cheering everyone on in the rain, how awesome are they?!
  • Around mile 2.5 I started getting major stomach pains, not intestinal issues, more like burning cramps, not cool, I wanted to stop it hurt so badly
  • I could feel myself fading through what I assumed was the last mile, I was feeling tired and breathless, but I kept pushing, and even still didn't go as fast as I would have liked, motivation to work harder and get faster
  • I received an actual hammer for my trophy, AWESOME!
That's about it. Since it was raining so hard Ed came with but stayed in the car, no need for him to get drenched. I just appreciated him coming with and he was so proud of me getting first in my age group. This was a good race and I hope they do it again next year, where I will get yet another PR.

I told Ed on the way home (actually on our way to our fave bakery where we go every saturday morning and to get some hot mochas) that my next 5K goal is going to be getting down into the 22 minute range. My goal for today was to race anywhere in the 24 minute range, and I did. So I'm pleased.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

best part of my day...

Having our Air Conditioning restored. It was a breaker AND an AC unit issue. And they were both finally resolved today. Awesome and a total relief.

Also, Ed's knee is on the mend, he has to stay in his soft knee cast thing for another week (which means another week of no driving for him) but the doctor is sure it isn't a torn meniscus. Awesome and a total relief.

Lastly, after working all day, and teaching all evening, I came home to a clean house, dinner made and laundry completed. I heart that Ed. Awesome and a total relief.

In other news, well I didn't get back on the bandwagon until this morning, when I went for a 2.5 mile run and came home for planks and abs. I am just exhausted lately, just drained emotionally I think, it's been a long week and a half (but clearly things are looking up! YYAYA). I'm still working on the food thing (as i sit here eating mac and cheese with broccoli, hey it's semi-healthy) I did do well for lunch and brek though. I'm not too concerned, in fact I'm feeling quite content.

Monday, June 15, 2009

back on the wagon...

Yeah I fell of the wagon a bit last week. I got lazy with the blog because Ed was doing the dirty work for me, I only got in two workouts (that was mostly due to driving around the entire state of Kansas for a good portion of last week) and I ate like crap.

Today I was determined to get back on that band wagon. Well I made and ate a healthy dinner, but the workout, yeah didn't so much happen. I was going to do weights over lunch but caved for lunch with the boss and co-workers instead. I don't regret that, ummmm beef. YUM.

I plan to jump back on the workout wagon tomorrow, weights and run. Ed is nearly totally out of commission, but I have people chipping in to help, which is tremendous. I have such great friends, family and neighbors, I couldn't get it all done without them. It looks like the week is looking positive, back on track... things are calming down.

Now if we can just get this little Air Conditioning problem solved. Sigh. It was about 93 degrees today with 98% humidity, thunderstorms, thick gross air. ICK. But we are surviving. With rain pouring in through our open windows with fans in them, we had to shut them. So I decided to be on AC breaker watch 2009 and randomly, and thankfully, our breaker stayed on (after ed removed the box cover, BRILLIANT!), and is still on. Our indoor temp is all the way down to a freezing 84 degrees, after only one hour of the AC being back on. Time to whip out the ski jacket...brrrr.

Side note. Ed is using a rolling pin on his leg right now, the one with the bummed out knee. I'm a germaphobe.... so I'm glad I don't really bake. Ever. That thing is going to be retired...

Saturday, June 13, 2009

now that ed is done confiscating my blog...

This week has been a mess, for both Ed and I. Tonight has been no exception. That's all on that, I just wanted to whine. Oh and I didn't end up running that Rock Chalk 10K, it's for the best I didn't, trust me here. My mental state was in no mood. So no race report from me.

BAK is complete, we drove to Louisburg today to pick up Ed's riding buddy Andy and so Ed could go back and say goodbye to his buddies. I hope over the past week, after all of Ed's posts, you have come to see why I certainly do enjoy me some Edder! He does, point of fact, have is very own grown up blog that he has decided to start writing on again. So if you want to see more pictures and read more about the past few days and more tidbits on his BAK journey, you can check out his blahginess at Clicks and Whistles.

Pictures to come tomorrow... probably. I've been keeping to my empty promises lately, so if I have the drive, I will post!

Good night, and good luck... (anyone who can name where that quote is from gets a gold star, and you are most likely a broadcast nerd.)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

ed's BAK journey: day 6 (and end of the road)...

BAK Day 6, June 10, 2009, Ed's report:
Leg 6 (last leg for me) Halstead - River Valley Rd. outside Towanda
My Last Leg

No stats (my computer broke on mile 10, there's some foreshadowing for ya)

I'm done. And I am sad. I worked really hard for this, but it was not meant to be. Before I start waxing philosophically, here's what happened.
I woke up to my lovely wife's quiet voice. My body felt good: not sleeping on a gym floor will do that for a person. I packed everything up, being careful not to forget anything (it's hard to leave things behind in a gym where there was nothing there beforehand). We went to the cash machine, then to the coffee shop, and were on the road by 5:45a. I got to Halstead in time to meet a buddy for breakfast at 6:30a, then load my gear on the truck. I was supposed to meet them at 7:00a to head out, but they were nowhere to be found.

I waited a few minutes, then decided to go, thinking I might catch up with them.
My leg was achy from the start, but I was going off of the previous day, when it hurt for 30 miles then cleared up. I forged ahead. It was mild temperature, but misty/rainy, the kind of day I imagine they get a lot of in Scotland. The droplets were collecting on my glasses and making bigger drops, which would drop off once in a while. The first part of the ride was on the same route I took for the Wicked Wind 50: Halstead to Sedgwick, then to Park City. My computer stopped recording data or showing my speed or distance just as I rolled in to Sedgwick, around mile 10. I stopped and did everything I could to try to get it to work, but it nothing worked, so I clipped back into the pedals and kept going.

My leg was slowly getting more and more achy the further I traveled, and the rain got worse. I started getting soaked. But I kept going. A few miles past Park City, I noticed my back wheel felt really loose. I stopped to check it out, and I had almost no pressure in my tire. This was the same one that had blown out on Leg 1. I flipped the bike upside down, removed the back tire, and put in a fresh new tube. It took about ten minutes.
I kept going, and a few miles ahead there was a rest stop. I saw my long lost high school classmate, and joined with her group. We kept going east, into the wind and rain. After another ten miles (I'm guessing, again with the broken computer) we turned south and had a blessed tail wind. But my knee was really starting to ache. I figured it was temporary, and pedaled harder like I had yesterday.

We continued south for about five miles, then turned east. After going about a mile, I dropped off the pack to stretch my knee. While there my companion appeared and I told him about the knee. He gave me some stuff that's supposed to make it feel cold, so I put that on and kept going. But my knee ached badly, this time in a slightly different way. I had to go up a hill, and I knew I was in danger. I saw a rest stop at the top of the hill and stopped. This stop, at the intersection of SW Parallel Road and River Valley Road just north of Towanda, was where my BAK dreams died.

I sat down and saw that my right knee was very swollen. I showed my companion, then got some ice to help with the swelling. I sat there for awhile, wondering what I should do. I called Beka, iced my knee some more, and talked it over with my companion, who to his credit realized the situation and didn't take off down the road.
I then made what for me was a very tough choice: to stop there, not fulfill my BAK journey, but not cause any further damage to my knee. As I write this it seems like a no-brainer (why cause further injury?) but when I was sitting on the side of the road with an ice bag on my knee, which was not getting any less swollen, I decided yesterday was a fluke, and the pain was not going to go away this time. I made the call to Beka, and she was out there in a matter of minutes. We loaded up the bike, thanked everyone for their help, said goodbye to my companion, and headed home.

Now I am not normally an emotional person, but on the rude home I broke down and wept for a good 15 minutes (again, no computer to help with time). All the frustration of the headwinds, fighting through pain for hundreds of miles, and all the other small frustrations poured out of me. I was frustrated, sad, angry, in physical pain, and soaked to the skin from the rain.
We got home, took everything into the house, I changed into dry clothes, and fell asleep on the same couch where I had started that day.

I woke up a couple hours later and Beka drove me to my doctor to see what was wrong with the knee.
The first thing he said was how swollen it was. Duh... Then he moved it around and tried to bend it, which caused extreme pain, it hurts just thinking about it. He then said it was most likely a pinched meniscus, and put me in a brace that keeps my leg straight. I have to rest it for a week then come back so he can take a second look.

Thinking now, as we return from getting my bags from Eureka, it is too soon to decide whether I want to do this again. I met some great people, but the pain I went through for so many days will make me think long and hard about how to train for another BAK and whether long distance, multi-day rides are for me, or whether I should stick to more casual cycling to stay in shape and relieve stress.
Thank you to all of you who left encouraging comments. I read them all and they made a real difference. I think I will look back on this as a growing and overall positive experience, and I'm glad I could share this experience with you all.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

one of THOSE days ...

Ed's BAK journey came to an end this morning. He is home resting now, I am here with him, working from home so I can take him to the doctor around 3:30p. His knee is swollen and is at the point where he can't bend it or move it without pain. He can't drive since it is his right knee, time to play nurse! I don't mind, work has been intense it's nice to work from a quiet house.

Needless to say he is bummed... beyond bummed. But I'm proud of him, he biked more than 250 miles in five days, that my friends is impressive. Later on Ed will have a report on his final day, when he feels up to writing it! He is a trooper and rode through five days of pain and exhaustion and wind and rain (today was the rain). And hopefully later we'll have a report from the doctor on what is going on with his knee. It's all spongy, I want to keep squishing it, but that wouldn't be nice. Although he is sleeping now, he'd never now... it feels so weird, so tempted, maybe just a little squish...

This day has been.... wow. Not only with the Ed thing, but everything has felt like a mess. Just one of those days. You never know when you'll have them. I found out just about an hour ago the university I teach for had sent me the wrong schedule, instead of teaching Thursday nights like I was under the impression I was doing, I had a call today saying a student wanted to talk to me before class tonight. And I was all... wait... W...T....F??! Because I thought I was teaching Thursdays. Oh no, apparently I have to teach Wednesdays from 5:30 - 10p opposed to Thursdays 6:30 - 8:30p, minor difference. This will make going and picking up Ed's bags tonight from a town that is an hour and a half away, when he can't drive, a bit challenging.

On top of that, we live in a house built in 1930, our breaker box was updated sometime in the 70s, it was a bit on the fritz last summer, the breakers would flip occasionally when the A/C was running full force, nothing horrid or immediate. Well that all changed, the last few hot and muggy days have proven too much for our wimpy old school breakers and it will only stay flipped on for about five minutes. Which means... yep.... no AC. At least it is overcast and rainy today, so all the windows are open, but everything feels damp.

I know things could be worse, so I'm not too bummed out, just feeling a little rushed and overwhelmed. In fact a friend at work is dealing with much worse, a good friend of hers flipped his four-wheeler last night and is very critical condition, things are not looking good at all for this young father, it was a really horrible accident, they aren't hopeful he will make it. So sad.

What a day.

ed's BAK journey: day 5...

BAK Day 5, June 9, 2009, Ed's report:
Leg 5 St. John - Halstead
78.81 miles
13.8 mph average
21.8 mph max

5:41:02 total time

Leg 5 began at the same time: 5:45 a.m., except my companion actually woke up on time (I gave him a friendly nudge after returning from brushing my teeth). He and I set off at 6:30a, with a new friend, for 'all you can eat pancakes.' I had four, plus two patties of sausage, coffee and OJ. It was excellent. We then met up with two other new friends, and the five of us set off for yet another record setter (for me at least): 78 miles.

We left right at 7:00a. My knee was again bugging me, so I took it easy. Thankfully two others in the group wanted to go easy as well, so we made our way with a straight headwind on our faces and ominous clouds everywhere (hence the 50% chance of rain). My knee bugged me for 35 straight miles, and I was getting REALLY fed up. I wanted to quit right there at the lunch stop (the food was excellent, by the way. Best homemade strawberry pie I've ever had). That point was by far my lowest on this journey.
We set off from lunch with the clouds even worse, and I continued with them for another 5 miles, my knee bugging me all the way. At that point I decided enough was enough, and I took off at my regular pace, left the group behind, and reconciled myself to the idea that if I was going out today, I was going out with a bang (but hopefully not a literal bang from my knee). I pushed hard, and for some reason my knee pain started getting better. The wind was still brutal, but at least my knee was holding.

*ed didn't tell me what these are pictures of, i'm assuming their lunch stop with the group of guys he was riding with*

*same as above*

I started picking off cyclists ahead of me one by one, keeping my head down to buck the wind. I continued that way for another 30 miles. We had to make a few turns to get to the right roads, and it seemed like every time I turned, I was still heading into the wind. It was very strange. I felt myself starting to fade I the last eight mile stretch into Halstead, but found a buddy to chat with, and that helped pass the time as the wind pushed hard against me.

I got into Halstead feeling like I had nothing left, but when I got to the camp I immediately felt my spirits boost, as I realized I had not only set a personal distance record, but also had conquered the hardest physical and emotional challenge I have had cycling.
I got a shower, then a massage, this time from the other girl, and tried to make some phone calls, but had no cell service. I asked a local and he said if I had AT&T I would have to go three miles north of town. I found a landline, made my calls, and wrote this update. It is now 5:30, and I have family coming to see me and eat dinner. I can't wait. To eat, that is.

*a little evening entertainment to eat by, these guys were playing some bluegrass and it sounded great*
*FWR here now. Ed did great yesterday and I'm so impressed with his record setting days (he'll have another today) and his ability to stick with it. I realized looking at his stats he rode longer than I have ever run, and I think he is amazing. The Kansas wind is no joke, and to ride into that for 5:45:00 is brutal. He is being humble, Ed is kicking total ass! I work with a BAK veteran (he has done it 10+ times, but not this year) and I was talking to him at work in the hallway yesterday telling him about Ed's stats and journey, this guy was seriously impressed and proud of Ed. So GO ED!

And coughahem... not only family went up to see Ed and eat dinner with him, but I did as well. I got to see the incredible set up and effort that BAK takes, I have an entirely new appreciation for what this event entails. Ed writes all his updates on his iPhone (not an easy feat), so hopefully once he makes it home Saturday evening he can post more about how the whole operation works, it is seriously amazing. I am now convinced I need to do this event, Ashley at Journey to a Better Me and I are thinking of doing it next year. Ashley, we soooo need to do it!

Since Halstead is only 45 minutes from Wichita, I brought Ed home last night. He needed the rest and relaxation and comfort of being home for a night. I think seeing me, my parents, his parents and grandparents made him feel supported and really boosted his spirits. The gigantic iced mocha we stopped for this morning at 5:30a on our way back to Halstead didn't hurt either. It has already been a long morning for me, speaking of, I need to get going, time for this girl to work. It's a misty dreary morning and the BAKers look to have a challenging day ahead, so keep Edder in your thoughts and prayers. Thankfully, after sleeping at home last night, Ed's knee wasn't hurting one bit this morning! Oh and Ed's new riding partners are on the ball and good at heading out bright and early... and on time. I got to meet some of his companions last night, they are really great guys.

Last thing, Ed is really loving all the bloggy love, he greatly appreciates it! So thanks interwebs, keep the kind comments coming, on rough days it really boosts his spirits!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

ed's BAK journey: day 4...

BAK Day 4, June 8, 2009, Ed's report Jetmore - St. John (no not the island):
77.74 miles
15.3 mph average
23.4 mph max

5:04:17 total time

Today began the same as yesterday: rustling in the gym at about 5:30a, and the feeling I could have slept longer. Laid there for ten more minutes, then got up, brushed my teeth, and packed up my apartment. Breakfast was just outside the gym, and consisted of breakfast burritos, bananas, milk and coffee. The burritos were clearly not of the homemade variety, but calories are calories (or so I keep telling myself).

*the ark river somewhere between jetmore and st. john*

Got done eating at about 6:30a, and noticed I had not yet heard from my companion. Went ahead and got the bike ready, and went to see what the holdup was this time. They had not even woken up their daughter yet, much less gotten packed or fed. My companion's wife commented about how I must be one of those weird people who have to get going right away. I replied that most of the bikes were already gone, thank you very much, so I was not the weird one, they were just slow.

I waited until 7:00a outside, and after learning that they had not packed or eaten yet, I took off for the longest ride of my cycling experience: 77 miles. It started out nice: pretty sunrise, light breeze. Within 20 minutes, a blanket of clouds covered the sky, the wind picked up, and it got cold, around 50 degrees. It stayed that way for 43 miles, straight headwind, 50-55 degrees, until Larned. Plus my right knee was flaring up. Time to stop.

I went to a craft shop/cafe called Scraps and had a hot mocha and a breakfast panini to warm up and get some food. I think Scraps is a bad name for a place that serves food. The food did taste good, though, so after resting for about 30 minutes I headed out again. I took a few minutes to stretch, which didn't help much, and took off.

On the second half of the leg my knee kept hurting, but I saw a high school classmate at one of the rest stops, and riding with her the last 20 miles kept my mind off the discomfort. She actually graduated with my brother, two years before me, but it was a small school.

Got into St. John and promptly iced my knee, then had my massage. My companion made it in and we went to one if the several dinners offered to the BAK'ers. The hospitality there was truly first-rate. Great dinner, sat out in the town square while a local band played, and chatted with my new friends made this week. Went back to the school, was very tired. Listened to the weather report (headwinds and 50% chance of thunderstorms) and went to bed dreading the thought of 78 soggy and windy miles.

*the st. john courthouse (he's a lawyer what did you expect)*

*dinner time for fellow BAK'ers in st. john*

*made it to st. john and spotted this 4-person tandem, how the heck?!*

Sunday, June 7, 2009

ed's BAK journey: day 3...

I realize this is my third post today, but friends and family are watching my blog for updates on Ed's BAK (bike across kansas), so this will be it for today, and we are caught up. Today was BAK day three. Ed is doing well, sounding happier than Friday, his knee is holding up.

Here at home I am getting a lot done (i.e. cleaning and eating haagen dazs coffee ice cream) while Milo is keeping a tight watch out the window hoping his papa will drive up any minute--Milo sure does love him some papa. He will have a long wait. We are having thunderstorms in Wichita tonight, while Ed is in Jetmore and says it is sunny and beautiful. I hope it stays that way where the riders are.

Ed should be sending pictures for me to update with soon. Hopefully on some of his SAG stops tomorrow he will take a few photos... HINT HINT EDDER! Kansas can be a beautiful place, and I want to prove it!

BAK Day 3, June 7, 2009, Ed's report:

Leg 3 - Syracuse to Jetmore
56.18 miles
18.5mph average
31.9 mph max speed
3:01:31 total time

Woke up to the sound of rustling bags at 5:40a five minutes before my alarm was set to wake me up. I wanted to keep sleeping, after going 70 miles on about three hours of sleep I was pooped. I got up and the gym was still dark, just like it had been in Syracuse. Put my 'apartment' back into my two travel bags, brushed my teeth and texted my companion. He and his family were just getting roused, so I aired up my tires, put on sunscreen, and waited. I called then texted, but got no response, so I headed out to find breakfast, not knowing whether my knee would act up again.

I rode to McDonalds (yes, Pizza Hut then McDonalds in the course of 12 hours) and it was PACKED with riders. I waited in line 20 minutes, then ordered three pancakes, eggs, sausage, iced coffee, OJ, and milk. Biggest breakfast I have ever ordered, and it all went into the furnace.

Set out from breakfast solo, taking it easy so as not to hurt the knee again. Had slight tailwind, and rode solo for first 5-10 miles. Another solo rider at some point began drafting off me, and we continued that way for the next 10 miles, so I backed off so we were side by side and met my riding friend, Nancy. She used to live in Wichita but now lives in College Station, TX, and is a cycling trainer. She's in her late 40s and has been cycling for 20 of them.

*a mere flesh wound... or just bike grease on the road warriors calf*

We skipped the lunch stop, as it hadn't opened yet and neither of us were hungry. My knee was holding out, but I could tell it was still irritated, so I was cautious not to push at my normal pace. This was good, because I had opened up the speed and Nancy couldn't keep up, so she helped me push at a reasonable pace and not at full blast.

At about mile 30 we passed one of the BAK RVs. It is around 30 feet long (one of the full size traveling kind). It was sitting sideways to the road, the back half in the ditch. We continued past as the police directed traffic.

The last 20 miles was at an easy pace. I didn't push hard, as I didn't want a repeat of the previous day. Somewhere in the hills (you think Kansas is flat? Take a ride with me sometime) I lost Nancy, so I continued to the finish, and she showed up about ten minutes behind. She does not like hills, and they slowed her way down.

I got to Jetmore early, about 10:45a, and helped unload the baggage truck. I got some lunch (that's another story), had my massage, and fell asleep. I woke up just in time to eat dinner and buy a spare tube from Bicycle Pedaler's traveling store.

*the bikes lined up outside jetmore highschool*

*one of the BAK box trucks, hauling all the participants gear. there are 805 riders this year*

*the jetmore high school, this is where ed is sleeping tonight *

There is a unique feel to this week. A definite sense of camaraderie here, very friendly people here for the same goal of a fun week cycling across our fair state. If my knee holds out, this could end up being a fantastic week.
*it's FWR again, feel free to leave a comment just for ed, he is reading them every night! let him know we are all rooting for him!! if not here, then on FB if you have him as a friend. don't worry, i made him promise to get scenery pictures tomorrow.*

ed's BAK journey: day 2...

BAK Report Day Two. Saturday, June 6, 2009, from Ed himself:

Leg One - Colorado Border to Syracuse:
Drove to the border by dawn's early light Saturday morning. 17 miles back to town. Was supposed to do it Friday night, but it was too dark when we arrived. Did not feel strong on this leg, so rode easy. Made me wonder, if the first 17 miles feels like this, what about the other 550?! Punctured rear tire one mile outside Syracuse, had to use emergency CO2 inflator to get back to town (Andy had left me in the dust miles before). Got back with tire pressure to spare, thank goodness. Just in time for a BIG plate of biscuits and gravy (my personal favorite).

Leg Two - Syracuse to Garden City
Leg 2 literally began when I finished my B&G. Packed up my apartment, put it in the trunk of Andy's car, and set to work fixing my flat tire. This normally takes 20 minutes tops. This time it took 90. Could not find the hole in the tube, a Good Samaritan gave me a new tube which was a slightly different size. Installed that tube and quickly realized it was not going to fit well. It was too big. Tried anyway, and it promptly spring a leak from trying to wedge it into place. Went back to original tube, eventually found the leak, and it held.

By the time we hit the road it was 10:00 and quickly getting warm. We struck off to do Leg 2 as fast as we could before the full heat of the day set in. We were blessed with a strong tailwind, so we maintained 25+ mph most of the time. Unfortunately my companion likes to make frequent stops, so it kept getting hotter. We kept pushing and got into Garden City when it was 93 degrees, and my right knee failed. I could not bend I without stabbing, excruciating pain, so I clipped out of the pedal and rode the last 4 miles through town pedaling with just my left foot.

Got to Garden City Community College and hobbled around to get my bags to
a sleeping spot, and decided an immediate shower was in order. I had easily 200 gnat bodies on each arm and 500 on each leg. This has never happened before, and it was gross. Got cleaned up and gnat- free and made a beeline (if bees could hobble) to the traveling massage therapist. They go to every multi-day cycling event, so they know how to deal with cycling pains. Got a 30-minute leg massage, which hurt SO bad, iced my leg, texted Beka's sister who is a P.A. to find out how much Aleve I could take without hurting myself, and laid down for a nap.
*the 'commune' at GCCC on day two of BAK*

There was no fundraiser dinner for us (depending on the city an organization of some sort, like a rotary club, etc. provide the riders with a free dinner to raise money), so we went to Pizza Hut and ate. And ate. And ate so
me more. I felt like a glutton. And I drank probably 1/2 gallon of iced tea. It was not great pizza (if you want truly great pizza you need to go to Knolla's in Wichita of course) but it was LOTS of calories, which fit the bill. Went back, laid down, listened to the evening report from the leaders (apparently a 52-year old man had a heart attack on Leg 1 and died) and laid down again.

My inflatable mattress had sprung a leak, but that didn't matter. Within 10 minutes of lights out (10:00 p.m. on the button) I was asleep. I slept great considering the accommodations, and woke up at 5:45. My knee felt much better, but I was still very worried it would not make it through Leg 3. I packed up my apartment, put it this time in the traveling box truck, and got ready for Leg 3.

ed's BAK journey: day 1...

Do to a number of circumstances, Ed's first day of BAK turned out horridly, and it was out of his hands. Not a great way to start for a guy who is beyond busy at work and could have used that time to bill hours. To sum, on Friday he was supposed to be at the start city of the race (syracuse, ks) by 4p to register and get the first 15 miles of the ride out of the way. He left his hectic schedule at 12p to do so. But nothing went as planned and they didn't even leave town until 4p, by no fault of Ed's. So frustrating.

Ed rode out with his friend that is doing BAK with him, his friend's wife and their three year old daughter went along to drive the car back. They didn't get to Syracuse until 8:30p Friday night due to some very bad planing and decisions on the part of the people he rode out there with (and i'm trying to be nice here, needless to say these people deserve to be punched in the unmentionables, there was some lividness going on, even on my part). Just some unvelievably bad decisions there.

Ed didn't get dinner that night, not the best circumstance for having to ride 70 miles the next day. They wouldn't have had to ride those 70 miles if they had gotten to Syracuse at the time they had planned. He was PISSED. Who wouldn't be? So instead of riding their 15 miles Friday night, they got up and drove out to the Colorado border by 6a yesterday morning and rode back to Syracuse to have breakfast and start the rest of the ride with everyone else. This was after a sleepless night for Ed where his brand new air mattress deflated thanks to a hole. Luck was not on his side this first few days of the BAK.

When they got into Syracuse, Ed's back tire had deflated and it took two hours to fix. Plus Ed was diagnosed with 'runners/bikers' knee last Thursday, so his knee has really been bothering him. But they got started and rode the 52 miles to Garden City, KS. They got there by about 1p, got some lunch, Ed got cleaned up, got a massage and was feeling MUCH better about everything. The massage therapist told him his IT band was tight, which was contributing to his knee problem.

Hmmm, I'm pretty sure Ed's wife... coughaheam... told him about two weeks ago when his knee started bothering him that he should stretch his IT band and use his wife's...coughahem...foam roller and perhaps it would help. Yeah... nope, didn't listen to the wife, but sure did believe the massage therapist. That Ed! Well as long as he listens to someone and starts taking care of himself, that is all I care about. He has scheduled to have the massage therapist work on him after every ride, this is an amazing feat for Ed... oh if you only knew interwebs!

Here are Ed's stats and some pictures day one of BAK.

*a line of bikes, ed's is the first one, it's keeping the trash can in check*

Day one, June 6, 2009. Colorado border to Garden City, KS:
Leg 1 (co. border to syracuse)
16.78 miles
15.6 mph average
20.4 max speed
1:04:37 total time

Leg 2 (syracuse to garden city)
52.46 miles
20.0 mph average (minimum based on partial data)
36.7 max speed
2:32:00 total time (estimate based on partial data)

*ed's apartment on the road*

GO ED! Feel free to send your prayers and good wishes his way for the rest of the week. I'm so proud of my amazing Edder!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

storm the dam trail 1/2 marathon...

Two words. Brutal. Awesome.

As hard as this race was, I actually really liked it. I sure didn't break any records, but I keep reminding myself it was my first trail race! It was challenging but I wasn't as fast as I was secretly hoping.

I think I like me some trail running. Not to do all the time, but every now and then I might hunt a trail race down. Plus I like finding a new way to run. I had never done a trail race before, I didn't know what to expect. Some of it was much harder than I thought, some of it ended up being easier.

Here is my report:
  • 13.1 miles on a hilly, horse hoof HOLES, muddy, rocky, crevassed (yeah i know that isn't a word), wooded, windy, hot, humid, narrow, grassy, dirt trail course.
  • Time = 2:18:29, I wanted to finish in under 2:30 so I'm happy and proud of myself.
  • Official race stats aren't out, but I THINK I finished 88th, not sure on that. I have no idea how many people ran the 1/2. I heard it was around 225 total (there was also a 5K).
  • It was fun and new and felt adventurous
  • The wind was horrid, almost OKC marathon horrid, but we were sheltered from it every now and then.
  • Running through the woods on a narrow trail alone after 12 miles is hard.
  • I wasn't fast, but I'm proud of myself for finishing in the time I did... part of me wants to be hard on myself, but what's new. I'm trying to remember that it was a HARD race, and again that I never ran a trail before.
  • I itch.
  • I'm irritated Ed isn't here to check me for ticks, I hate them and get a bit freaked over those evil little blood suckers. I threw up a little in my mouth just typing that.
  • I have scrapes and an almost blister.
  • I got muddy and I liked it.
  • I started off at the back of the pack and am proud to say after mile six or seven I started picking off other runners left and right. It made me feel like staying conservative at the start and being careful through the tricky parts paid off.
  • I just kept telling myself to keep steady, no sprinting to catch and pass runners, just steady passing, that is a good feeling.
  • I felt stronger than any other half (even though i was oddly slower) I ran before.
  • I only got four hours sleep last night, not by choice, just couldn't fall asleep (what is up with my bad night before race sleeping habits, grrrrrrr).
  • I now feel like a hard core runner!

When I post pictures later this week (ed has our camera on BAK, so i have to wait for the girls to send me pics) I'll explain more about the race so you can see the terrain.

I'm going to be posting Ed's BAK stats every day, so keep an eye out!

Thursday, June 4, 2009


The second part of our Saturday during our anniversary weekend getaway was spent at Dogwood Canyon. This area was amazing, so beautiful. We got there around 2p and rented bikes and took off on the trail. It was four miles if you went all the way to the end, and who are we to putz out, we went the full four miles. Totally hard core.

It was a beautiful day, not too hot, but the area is so shaded and the breeze
from the streams and creeks keep it amazingly cool. Plus I met one of the coolest running guys EVER, oh yeah, you'll want to read that story! It's posted under one of the pictures, so you have to hunt for it. We love us some nature, so I thought I would share our pictures. Enjoy.

*the bike man, gettin' his ride on at the start of the dogwood canyon nature path*

*a cool bridge in the nature preserve*

*this is a long explanation, but trust me, worth the read! i met the coolest runner ever who took this picture of us in front of thunder falls. oh and i decided i hate these sunglasses, they look like those huge medical wrap around monstrosities... consider them trashed, blech*

we met a 50-something couple along the path, asked them to take our picture and the guy was all, sure! are you a runner (please note my shirt) and i was all... yeah i guess so. he asked if i have done a marathon and i was like, wellll... yeah. so i told him my story and we got to talking. i mentioned it would be awesome if dogwood canyon would do a 10K in there, he then told me how they have devoted an entire weekend to races in dogwood canyon. then he told me how he rode a plane next to bill rodgers on the way to springfield, mo. one day and how cool bill was.

bill was on his way to run the bass pro marathon, which is all a part of the dogwood canyon/bass pro fitness week (bass pro, big cedar and the canyon are all owned by john morris). so talking to this random run guy who we just wanted to take our picture ended up being one of the coolest conversations i have had in months, this guy was awesome. he also made me feel a ton better about my marathon experience, humidity kills him too, and this guy looked like a pro, you know you can tell the type, you can just SEE that they are a great runner. plus he lives down the road from the canyon and runs there almost every day, can you say jealous?! and just talking to this runner guy got me totally convinced to go back to table rock this fall to do the dogwood canyon trail run 25K... i had considered doing the ultra, but uhhh, maybe i should get used to trails before i try my hand at that.*

*do you see the sneaky dorky snake poking his head out. and aren't our bikes with the baskets adorable*

*ed climbing up thunder falls (please note my picture isn't first, but i went up first, not that i was keeping track...)*

*i had to climb up thunder falls to check it out up close. I HEART NATURE!*

*this was ed's idea, and it was a good one, it was starting to get warm*

*ummmm, even though it said no riding over the water bridges, well... we do what we want. and this has to be one of the most un-flattering photos ever, but you have to deal*

*these are the crazy, massive, and intense trout they have in the nature preserve, these guys know when it's feeding time. we got some feed and were having fun watching them fight and go crazy for it, this sadly was the best action shot i could get*

*because i am married to someone who is 12 years old inside... otherwise no comment*

*after our nice dinner (sorry peeps i refuse to take pics of food and/or in restaurants), we headed to the resort bar called buzzards and sat on the patio, this was our delicious view*

*meet your resident mojito queen, yum. there is a reason i grow mint in my herb garden, luckily i didn't have to make these (yes plural)*

*edder went for a lil' double shot of jack and coke.... yeah we had a lot of laughs this night!*

*a room with a view, this is a picture of the view from our room, i took this right before we left. until july table rock... until july. sigh*

I'm thinking of starting a Flickr account to link on the side of my blog so I can put all my billions of great photos on that instead of weighing down all my posts with TONS of photos. What do you guys think? I aim to please, so let me know what you think.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

I can do anything for 400m….

Okay well almost anything. This marks week three of speed training. I have been slated to do speed work twice a week, but that just hasn’t been happening. I manage to get it in once a week though. However I do plan to do it again tomorrow, so things are looking up. In addition to the speed work I have been aiming to weight train twice a week. I really think it's starting to make a difference.

Today was a 8x400 day. I warmed up for 800m and then started in on the 400s, doing 400m between each. I hit every single one at my goal pace of a 7:13 minute mile. I had to do these on the treadmill (which I set on a one percent incline), so it was of course easier to hit my times consistently. I was feeling really strong, my legs were holding up great, it was my lungs and heart that didn’t want to do it. They were protesting, but I hung in there and kept with it.

I realized as sweat was pouring down my legs and face, and I was sucking air, that it was only 400m, and that I could do anything for 400m. Plus I reminded myself that there is a reason it is called speed WORK. It isn't supposed to be easy and comfortable. You are supposed to be huffing and puffing and wiped when you finish, in my opinion. However after just three weeks I am already feeling stronger and faster. I didn't fatigue and have the overwhelming desire to lay on the gym floor in no shame to take a nap until the last 400... I think that's a good sign.

I'm figuring out how far I can push myself (on a good day), and my body is finally feeling back to normal, like that evil, life sucking marathon five weeks ago never happened. I might even venture to say, I'm feeling hopeful and confident my speed will improve a bit this summer after all! My body is loving the shorter yet speedier distances. So we will see if even a month of speed work pays off in a week in a half during the Rock, Chalk, Run 10K!

Here are my stats for speed workout number one this week (doing hill work tomorrow):
distance: 5.2 miles
total time: 43:01
400s speed: 7:13 per mile
total speed miles: 2
warm up, cool down and rest total: 3.25
rest pace: 9:40

As a reminder I started a group over on Runner's Lounge called All Things 10K, devoted to tips and tricks to getting faster at 10Ks, so if you have input to offer, feel free to head on over and join the crowd... all three of us!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

best part of my day...

First off... I am doing that trail half. All of you are right, and thanks for you input, much appreciated. I need to go with what I feel, and honestly, I really want to do it. Yeah it sounds scary and intimidating, but if I can run a marathon, I can do a trail half! Sure, why not?! It will be fun and interesting and different and new. Plus all of us girls doing the half (a few are doing the 5K, hopefully we will get to run a little with them) decided to go out and have fun. I think we we will all just sort of stick together (which is not something any of us have a policy of doing), slug it out, walk if we have too, laugh (and take pictures) when we fall, and have a fun Saturday morning.

Second, we hit Tarreee-get (anyone who gets this gets a gold star) and checked out right before close. I think we have Ed all squared away on everything he needs for BAK for the first half of the race. They only give him so much space, so I'll be taking him more supplies next Wednesday night. Tomorrow we just have to get it packed up, pick up his Juice Plus powder supplies and he will be good to go. The stress levels are lowering in the Robinson household. Whew.

Third, I hit my speed work today! WHOO-HOO, more on that tomorrow (and yes, probably more empty promises, my life feels too busy lately!)

Fourth... and the best, drum roll pleaeeeaassseee.... time to go to bed. Yeah, I just wanted to be dramatic about it.

should i be scared??! opinions wanted...

I got the following email about the little trail half-marathon I'm doing with the girls at El Dorado Lake this Saturday:
"So, I need to see what you think about something. We have a friend/she's a personal trainer at the Y who is in kick-ass shape and not a wuss (I need to preface the story with this). She went out to the course at El Dorado to scope out what it was going to be like. She came back saying that she is not only "no way" attempting the 1/2 but "hell no". For her to say this......well, it scares me a lot. She is one tough cookie. She said it's like that Derby run we did, but 13 miles of it.

Let me point out the "Derby" run she is referring to was a 10K trail run that went on sand and dirt and grass and hills near the river (yes we have sand here, random but true, there are several really sandy spots here, kansas was the bottom of the ocean once after all), after just a 10K these girls were spent, and they hurt for about a week afterward. And I realize to all you trail runners out there, you are laughing at us little wimpy girls who never run on trails, thinking what I described sounds like a breeze... but hey if we never do it, come on, it would be hard don't you think?

So the question is, do I try and tough it out on a muddy hard core super difficult trail run (i never trail run) or wuss out and do the 5K. Holy crap I'm nervous!! Oh and don't you worry, apparently the race director is ensuring the race course is muddy. Who does that?!

Opinions needed!

And as a side note, I have bout 100 blogs to catch up on in my reader, I've been a slacker. Okay not a slacker, just insanely busy since Ed is leaving for BAK on Friday afternoon and his work schedule has been nuts so we have to prepare him to go this week (bike in the shop, target runs, making sure he meets baggage limits and gets everything he needs). So between paying getting things organized from being gone all weekend, doing normal start of the month stuff, softball and everything else.... oy. So I will read and comment soon. More empty promises you say....