Thursday, April 30, 2009

Exciting news..

Well, we just returned from our 21 week ultrasound and all looks good. The baby's measurements are all in the normal range, heartbeat is really good, etc. Oh, and we found out that it's a GIRL! Yay! A Mini-me...I shall dress her just like mom and we shall have such fun terrorizing daddy!...How small do those OutSpokin' kits come? What about helmets? Do those cute skull diapers come in pink?

I was worried about her growth since I'm not showing much, but she's doing fine and my lack of belly girth is just lack of extra fat since I've continued to ride 6-10 hours a week. The docs are all happy though so that is good. Running gets a bit more annoying each week, especially with this kid dancing on my bladder, so I'm not sure how much longer I really want to suffer through that. Cycling is working out well, especially the SS since I can stand up and I feel like I'm keeping my legs stronger by riding it.

I'm feeling well after Cohutta and we did a nice ride up in the Blue Ridge WMA yesterday. Public Service Announcement...the Forest Service just dumped a load of fresh RUBBLE (I can't even consider it gravel...) on FS 42 and FS 58. Funny, I thought they didn't have any money.... Anyhow, FS 42 was definitely the worse of the two, especially on the SS hardtail. The uphills were twice as much work and the downhills were like riding a jackhammer. A couple of good rains and some vehicle traffic are in order to smooth things out a bit. Fish Hatchery Rd was still untouched, but it is likely just a matter of time before they get to it.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Not-Race Race...Big Frog 65

Ok, so I lied about Natchez Trace being my last race...

Today was the Big Frog 65 up in the beautiful Cherokee National Forest. Conditions were absolutely perfect...55 degrees at the start at 7 am, and maybe 80 or so when I finished. My goal for the event was to not race anyone else other than myself. I had done a few pre-rides of portions of the course, so I knew approximately how long it would take me to ride each section while keeping my heartrate below 165. My goal was to finish in 6:15 or less, which I knew was doable as long as I kept my heartrate pretty steady and above 150 on all the climbs.

I ended up finishing in 6:05 so I was thrilled. It was good for 5th place and only 15 minutes out of first, and I had the pleasure of not having to work nearly as hard!

Avg HR 151
Max HR 168...I wish EVERY race was like that! How great it is to NOT be red-lined in a long race. The only time I felt sluggish was for about 30 minutes when I was getting the sloshy stomach from all the fluids I was drinking. A PB&J at the feed station solved that problem and I was able to finish reasonably strong thanks to some Vanilla Coke, which I substituted for my Perpetuem.

Some pics..I hope none of the race photographers got any side-view shots, as my belly was looking pretty large in my tight jersey!

A huge congrats to Carey, who absolutely CRUSHED the 100 miler women's field with an amazing time of 8:06! She was absolutely flying!

EDIT: Oh, and that fancy new Thermarest gets four thumbs up! Chris was nice/smart enough to let me sleep on it and it was heavenly! I didn't wake up with any sore body parts. He, on the other hand, woke up with a sore hand/arm from sleeping on it funny. I'm thinking we're going to have to pick up a second one before we go camping over Memorial Day weekend.

Friday, April 24, 2009

How many times have I said...

...Honey, if you find some really neato, super awesome, way-better-than-what-I-currently-have new piece of better not come home with just one...

I have been telling my husband that for the past 10 years AT LEAST, yet he continues to taunt me with the occasional piece new, fancy outdoor gear that ends up being oh-so-much-better than the equivalent that I have. And then, (of course) he complains that I steal all his cool stuff!

Last night he came home from REI with the mac-daddy of Thermarests...its a Thermarest with a piece of foam on top, all inside a fleecy blanket pouch. Fully inflated it is 3" thick and rivals any bedroom mattress. Sure, its not practical for backpacking, but the majority of our camping is less than a hundred feet from the car, so I say bring on the fluff! I told him I will sleep well on it tonight up at Thunder Rock, and he just gave me the snarly face. It go well with the extra pillow that I now need to sleep comfortably since I'm not supposed to lay on my back anymore...grrrr..

Tomorrow...a nice long day on the bike up at the Ocoee White Water Center...can't wait!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Wow..Recovery really does work!

We headed up to the Ocoee again today to ride the Big Frog loop again. Much to my surprise, it was so much easier today....amazing what recovery + being properly hydrated and fueled can do for a person. Last time I rode that particular section it seemed like a death march - even the downhills were leaving me grumpy because I wasn't eating and drinking enough. Well, today I felt great. No climb was too steep nor gravel too deep!

I think my conservative heart rate actually works FOR me during longer rides, as I don't build up tons of lactic acid and get that heavy feeling in my legs. As long as I eat and drink sufficiently, it is really quite pleasant.

We ended our ride with a cruise down the Thunder Rock trail. MMMMmm...Thunder Rock....Yummy! It was a great way to end the ride that of course left me grinning ear to ear.

I'm looking forward to this weekend - the weather should be fantastic. Now I'm just focusing on giving my legs and body some good old R & R so they feel good on Saturday.

Ride Hard, Rest Harder...

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sunny Skies ahead

Yesterday, Chris and I headed down to Dauset Trails for an orienteering meet. I was amazed at the small turnout, since its such a fun place to spend the day running around in the woods and riding. I followed my run on the red course with a short ride on the SS and my legs were telling me they were tired! Not much snap left in them after 4 days of tooling around on the SS. Today we decided to rest, eat, and drive around and look at potential houses for my parents. Of course we found one that WE would love to move into...if we could only sell our current place!

Chris is making Chocolate Caramel Pecan cheesecakes - one for his office function tomorrow and one for me to pig out on! Mmmm... It's probably a good thing my stomach has shrunk, else I may devour the entire pie in one sitting!

This week looks to be full of sunny skies and warm temps so I'm looking forward to some good rides and maybe Cohutta on Saturday, when its supposed to be a toasty 80 degrees! Yay, summer is almost here!

Thursday, April 16, 2009


I have to offer my random thoughts on pregnancy and swimming...THEY (being those in the medical profession) say its one of the best exercises us Preggos can do. Whomever originally came up with that notion HAD to be a man, as other than the fact that its pretty hard to hurt yourself, I'm not finding pregnant swimming to be all that its cracked up to be. Perhaps they don't actually mean to swim for exercise...rather just go hang out in the pool and splash around.

First, I have to bring up the whole oxygen depravation issue. Maybe I'm just a crappy swimmer (ok, so I kind of am) but I'm a whole lot more oxygen deprived swimming freestyle than anything else. Sure, my HR stays below 150, but I'm forcing my body to sustain that heartrate with way less oxygen than if I were on my bike or on my feet.

Next, the "elongation" issue. With each stroke, you reach ahead of you and effectively streamline your torso in doing so. This means your baby bump gets squished back up into your chest cavity, from the skin on your tummy becoming more taut as you reach, as well as your abdominal muscles contracting. Today I had the pleasure of it all squishing up towards my lungs so breathing was even more of a challenge. I can't wait until it gets bigger - I'm sure that will be loads of fun...

Finally, having to pee even more than usual (likely due to squishing mentioned above). I can't think of a more inconvenient place to have to go to the bathroom than in the pool. Not only do you have to freeze your arse off by going into the cold locker room, but inevitably, some fat guy jumps in your lane while you're gone. When you come back and are forced to share a the lane, you end up with 1/3 and he gets 2/3 - just due to sheer volume - and you spend the rest of your time trying not to hit your elbows on the wall or hook your fingers in those damn lane dividers, nor brush up against said fat guy as you cross paths. Grumble. I think I'm going to go ride my bike now...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Ya know what I'm craving?????


Another 50 degree, cloudy and windy ride. Ho hum...of course the sun came out as I was packing up to go home. Meh.

This was the first time that I rode my singlespeed at Pine Log and it wasn't terribly exciting. I stuck to the fireroads since I was by myself and I just didn't feel like I got a good workout in. The climbs were good, but it just didn't seem like there was that much of it, especially after getting used to the 5 milers in the Blue Ridge WMA.

Thankfully, Chris blessed me with his presence on a 5K run later that evening, which ended up being quite an invigorating workout. It felt really good to release some endorphins!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Red Velvet Cake

Yesterday, we did a pre-ride of the Cohutta 65 route, minus the last portion of singletrack. After reading about how Carey was taking pumpkin pie on her long rides, I tossed the clif bloks aside and packed myself a big piece of red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting....mmmm! The only problem was the container it was in was fairly large and it didn't fit in my small pack very well. Because of this, I had to skimp on other necessities, such as water and other calories, which I clearly didn't bring enough of for a 5+ hour ride. I was feeling the crankieness of low blood sugar at about 4 hours in, but I stopped to eat my cake and a Hammer Gel and seemed to perk back up for the final climb back to the whitewater center. This morning I weighed myself and it appears that during yesterday's ride, I lost the two pounds that I've finally definitely need to re-hydrate.

I was glad to finally have ridden the Big Frog section of FS road but it was pretty much only good for good 'ol suffering. Lots of needless elevation gained and lost. I thought for sure we'd cruise downhill back to 221, but no...we went down, down, down, just to climb way back up. I'd say this is where you either gain or lose time in the Cohutta 65, as the rest of the climbing felt pretty easy after that section.

It was also nice to ride fast, easy singletrack for a change. After bouncing off of babyheads at Pine Log and Fort Mountain for the last couple months, the buff Brush Creek and Whitewater center trails seemed so smooth and fast. Hmm...maybe I'd actually enjoy a ride at Blankets since I've pretty much abstained from those trails for the sake of improving my technical skills instead...

Right now my faithful steed, Sex on Wheels, needs some serious TLC. She not only needs a nice bubble bath, but her brakes need to be bled and she is due for some new knobbies. I also need to pick up a wireless computer from OutSpokin', since my el-cheapo $15 wired one finally crapped out. I'd buy another el-cheapo, but my husband gets annoyed by my ghetto-ization of every high-end bike I own. The amount of electrical tape on my Colnago would make most roadies shudder...along with its squeaking chain.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Look Ma, more oxygen!

Finally..I've found a GOOD side effect of being preggers...more red blood cells floating around and that equates to more oxygen going to your muscles. I first noticed it on Sunday, when I was actually able to ride my singlespeed up Springer Mtn AND carry on a conversation the entire time. I think I may have even out-chatted Kim, and that would be a first. Then yesterday while running a reasonably fast 5K, my HR was moderately high, yet I had this slow, super-relaxed breathing going on. Hmmm...nice. I won't complain, at least for a little while longer, until I look like a watermelon on wheels.

Since it stopped snowing and is back in the 60's, Kim and I rode at Pine Log today, although I made the mistake of swimming a mile before the ride, which left my upper body pretty tired. I'm guessing this will be my last rock-gardeny Pine Log ride for a while, which is fine by me because the yellow jackets seemed to have come out of winter hiding and are gunning for me.

Kim topping out the tower climb..she did the entire climb with eyes closed, as seen in this photo

The initial descent along the ridge, with Hanging Mountain off in the distance

These next pictures will likely land me an angry call from my concerned mother, but they were too cool not to post

Finally got to ride my favorite rock garden since we got the log out of the trail on our last visit...see ma, no blood or scratches on the knees and elbows, its all good!

We did an out-and-back to that last rock garden and then rode back down the now-cleared Hanging Mtn (which is a nasty hike-a-bike on the way up). Whoa, was it much better going down, but it was (or perhaps I was..) much slower than I thought it would be.

Rock cairn that marks the final ATV trail descent

The last descent was super fast and way more flowy now that it is clear. You can swoop your way all the way down to the big grass field. And to complete a near perfect ride, the road was even dry and smooth, so we didn't have to slog through quagmire to get back to our cars...always a plus.

Now I'm pooped and thinking of bathing in Traumeel to get rid of this constant aching back I seem to have now. Too bad I'm supposed to stay out of hot tubs, because that is sounding really good at the moment!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Blue Ridge Weekend

Well, after a pretty cruddy week we ended up having a fantastic weekend. On Friday all the planets aligned and I was actually able to wrap up my proposal at work to leave early and get a ride in before the Blue Ridge Race Check-in.

I rode the Noontootla/Springer Mtn loop on my singlespeed (yes, I'm back to that bike again) and I must say it was COLD! Probably 40 degrees -/+ at the top of the ridge and the sun didn't decide to come out until the last 15 minutes of my ride. Given that it wasn't actively raining though, I considered myself lucky and just enjoyed the crisp mountain air. I was also relieved to see that I wasn't having any issues riding my SS and my legs, bloated belly and peanut-sized bladder were quite enjoying being able to stand up on the climbs.

Then it was off to meet Julia, Bo and Chris for Blue Ridge race check-in. They received their maps and the race ended up being very strategy based, just like last year. We woke up EARLY the next morning to partake in some grease at the Waffle House and then were off for a cold start to the race. Based on their strategy, I didn't have too much to do as far as support, and the first TA was pretty social as there were a bunch of folks who usually race who were doing support, and everyone else was super friendly. The team came through to retrieve their canoe and were neck and neck with another team so it was pretty exciting! Once the team departed, I headed to the next TA, where I arrived even before the race staff. I think the locals were wondering why I was laying gear and bikes out like a yard sale. Once a race person showed up, I went for a short bike ride to meet the team and take some pictures by the dam. In the end, Julia, Bo and Chris took home second place, so a good performance for them.

On Sunday, we took our chances and headed back up to North GA for another ride. The temps were PERFECT and I worked on evening out my funky tanlines from the day before. No rain, full sun, and 70 degrees...mmm mmm good! We got in close to 4 hours of great riding and I think I've convinced myself that I want to do the Cohutta 65. Still waffling over registering...

Until then, here are some pics from the race...

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Getting ready for the weekend

This weekend is the Blue Ridge AR, which normally I participate in, and quite honestly, I still could easily race...but I figured I'd stay out of trouble and support Julia, Bo, and Chris B. as I'm sure they will be the winning team. And of course, if you can't RACE on the winning team - might as well support them! (No pressure guys...)

I just came back from a rather uneventful baby-doc appt where all they did was stick me with a needle and say that the baby's heartrate sounds great. Of course it does..this kid is going to have a VO2 max of 55 straight out of the womb, especially with all the riding "we" have been doing. In 4 weeks we hopefully find out the baby's sex, so that will be good to help eliminate 50% of all the potential names out there. We also made our first kid-related of those Chariot bike trailer-jogger red to match Sex on Wheels. Thank you REI dividend and 20% off coupon!

I was just about to hop on my SS for a cruise around the area, and it just DUMPED for about 5 minutes...yippie, wet roads = wet chammois.

I'm trying to wrap up a proposal at work so I can take advantage of the no-rain and fact that I'm going to Blue Ridge tomorrow. Was hoping to sneak in a ride before race check-in but my coworkers have some evil plot against me I think. As usual, I've got most of my writing done, however I'm waiting on some information from others, which I'm sure will come at the last minute in order to cause me the greatest amount of stress possible! Aahh, the joys of teamwork!