So, the last week has been the same old, running on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Last Tuesday was pretty good, we did speed work and while I usually despise speed work when running, this worked out well. We ran a good mile out to a residential area. There was a loop around a little lake with houses all around. They just tell us to run fast, but it was almost a mile around the lake and I can’t run fast that long. So I made a little game with myself: along the street there were the mailboxes and I alternated between those going fast and slow. They didn’t have the same distance from each other, so sometimes you had to run fast longer and sometimes the slow stretch was longer. It worked out really well for me and I liked picking up the speed in between. This year, there really isn’t anyone in my group that I have warmed up to, so I am mostly running alone which is fine. In the end, this was the furthest distance with about 4.2 miles and the 10:20 pace was nice. The weather was beautiful, which probably contributed to the better speed – first time running without a jacket! So, but that is still same old, on a different note…
I went for my first real “down and dirty” gravel ride! As I mentioned in a previous post, I am signed up for my first ever official, timed and registered bike race on March 24th, Barry-Roubaix. This is a mountain bike race, even though I would generally consider myself a road cyclist. It just happens that the mountain bike races start early than road races, most probably because you can actually ride the MTB fairly well on less than perfect conditions while most wouldn’t even touch a road bike if there is a chance of ice. As for mountain bike races, there are different types. I am not all that clear about the categories myself. Most people think of single track (going on a narrow foot path through the thicket) or downhill (racing down a steep hill with some obstacles). I am doing neither of those… come on, I am a 42 year old overweight woman, what are you thinking???? I am doing Cross Country rides (XC) – Wikipedia explains that “Cross-country cycling is defined by the terrain on which it is performed. XC courses and trails consist of a mix of rough forest paths and singletrack (also referred to as doubletrack depending on width), smooth fireroads, and even paved paths connecting other trails.” I am staying away from the singletrack and Barry-Roubaix is a mix of paved, unpaved, gravel, and other rougher roads. So, someone posted earlier this week that they’d go for a training ride in and around Seidman Park on Wednesday so I joined in.
Wow, that was my first real gravel ride, with some hills that almost made me cry going up but felt like a roller coaster ride going down! I went through my first mud puddles with dirt splashing into my face and while I didn’t have a full mud coat, I was nicely spreckled with dirt and slush – including a nice dirt line going up my butt and back and down my front. I was doing fine, and it was a great ride and I am not that worried anymore for my first race.
Now, since my last post, I have actually signed up for another mountain bike race. I got caught up in the excitement of others (yet AGAIN) – there is a fairly large MTB race in November in Traverse City. It is called “The Iceman Cometh Challenge” – very appropriate name for a Michigan race in November. Some of these races sell out very quickly after they open for registration. The Iceman was full within a couple of hours after opening, and it only took so long because the server crashed when everyone and they brother wanted to sign up – for a grand total of 3,700 racers. I will be one of them. Anyway, when I was looking up some additional information, I looked at the Wikipedia section Mountain Bike Racing and in a list of races by country, the Iceman is the first listed for the USA. For real – a race I am signed up for and will participate in is listed on Wikipedia. Not as a race in Michigan, not as a local race that I thought it was – NO! It is listed as a mountain bike race for the USA. There, how’s that? I just really impressed myself — and scared myself at the same time!
Oh, and since this is a weight loss blog – my weight hasn’t changed since November. Boohoo! So, what’s new with you?