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A Practice Ride Before Sunday's Race

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I can't believe that I am 5 days away from my very first bike race. I am NOT a cyclist!

Well, not yet.

Am I ready for the race? Not really. Will I go ahead with it? HELL YES!

60 kilometers. 37 miles. That is 25 kilometers longer than my longest ride. Until two days ago, that is. That is when I decided to give it a test run (ride?). I checked out the route online (and quickly realized this must be the crappiest map in existence - here, see for yourself: scale it down to 50 % to get the whole route into the image and then imagine it viewed on the screen of a HTC smart phone. The route is marked with a blue line. www.upsalack.se/doc/Korta.pdf )

It doesn't help that I am directionally challenged... emoticon


I decked out in the gear I will use on Sunday, did a last minute adjustment on one of my shoes (I've got clipless) filled up my water bottle and off I went.

The race starts from the center of the city and I assume the roads will be closed off for traffic on race day so intersections and traffic jams won't be an issue. Two days ago this caused me some delays. On the upside I got to practice getting my foot in and out of the pedal; hopefully one day it will become second nature and I won't have to run down a mental list of things to do before every stop, just to avoid crashing.

With the sun beating down on me and with a comfortable 20 degrees celsius (68F) and a brisk tailwind, I set out north.

God, I love the feeling of speed. Of being one with the bike, to feel it respond to my slightest movement. This could easily become an addiction.

The route goes in a loop, which means that the tailwind I had going out, became crosswind and headwind on the way back. Not as much fun, I must admit. This was also compounded by the fact that the normally flat-as-a-pancake terrain in and around Uppsala, became rolling hills the further north I got. But, hey, I got a reason to switch gears! And a couple of times I even did standing hill climbs! Wohooo! emoticon

Note to self: keep figuring out different ways to breathe through your mouth when your nose is congested (allergies), because those bugs didn't taste so yummy.

After 1.5 hours I was kind of thinking that a shower and a lie-down on the couch sounded pretty good. I was also standing up on the bike every now and then, just for the heck of it, even with no hills in sight. Um, yes, sore. And it wasn't even my ass, per se, but my pelvic floor. Sore muscles I know how to treat, but sore BONES?

Another note to self: when you're going to sit back down on the saddle remember that your tights have padding that likes to get caught on the tip of the saddle, thus pulling your tights down a bit. Smooth. LIFT YOUR ASS before sliding onto the saddle!

After two hours I was totally, utterly and completely OVER this experience. The sign that said UPPSALA 8 KM, was a most welcome sight, believe me.

I got home, stumbled off the bike, got inside on trembling legs (my calves felt weak as day-old kittens) and crashed on the couch. And quickly reverted to lying down, because OUCH. And didn't move much for the rest of the evening.

2:23 is the time to beat, come Sunday. Well, I can HARDLY do worse, right? emoticon I didn't adjust the time for traffic delays or the three stops to consult the crappy map, so there is definitely room for improvement.

But I did it. And I can do it again. And again. And I WILL. Just watch me.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:



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TEENY_BIKINI 5/12/2011 8:59PM

    That is so totally awesome! You go rock star!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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IMSMILEY88 5/12/2011 2:29PM

    Way to GO!!! I'm so proud of you! And inspired by you! I can't wait to hear about your weekend!!!

I have had a few rides that I have loved. However, I've had some that I have hated, too. Like last night! For one thing, I need my bike adjusted! I'm just aching too much. And, I much prefer a group ride...or at least some fun hills.. than my boring neighborhood!!

But, I'm so proud of you & excited for you! Have a wonderful time!

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TWNOMWE 5/12/2011 8:45AM

Great job on practice run. emoticon. You will beat the time on race day.
Good luck.

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SEASONS_CHANGE 5/11/2011 10:08PM

    Good luck on the race. Hopefully, someone will be taking pictures!

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MOSTMOM1 5/10/2011 7:32PM

    I just had sympathy butt pains for you, Minna. But wow, you're killing it! Please post a pic of you at the end of the race, looking all victorious.

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ABSOLUTZER0 5/10/2011 3:22PM

    You are always KILLING IT! This practice ride was just the beginning. You are going to have an awesome race! I do not expect anything less of you!

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DDOORN 5/10/2011 2:47PM

    Addiction...? You BET! Sounds like you are WAY PAST serious infection...lol!

Standing in the saddle now & then can really make a difference. A seasoned cyclist told me in my earlier cycling days: "you need to ride lightly" to avoid a sore butt and anything else down there...! Intermittently I'll just flex my legs not into a full stand, but just to relieve the weight that bears on the saddle. Haven't yet had any problems this year, but have only ridden up to 40-50 miles.

You are just gonna ROCK this RACE!! Can't wait to hear all about it!


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BABYTUXXY 5/10/2011 2:13PM

    Way to go! I've just got a new bike myself and was wondering if there was a point when your bottom toughens up to it! How else can so many people enjoy riding all the time!! emoticon

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 5/10/2011 1:37PM

    Congratulations on your practice ride...I bet it will make the "real" one much easier.

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PSALM42 5/10/2011 12:41PM

    lol, my butt hurts just thinking about that. good luck!

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READYRACHEL 5/10/2011 12:27PM

    That is beyond awesome. I am so proud of you! You will do great on race day.

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JONEIL513 5/10/2011 10:44AM

    You're going to do great!

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FITSPIRATION 5/10/2011 8:42AM

  emoticon emoticon
You are going to do great. Just follow the other cyclists.
And competion will push you harder! Good luck, pls take pics and share!

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MNCYCLIST 5/10/2011 8:32AM

    Yes, you will do it again, and you'll do well. And by the way, getting in and out of the pedals will indeed become second nature. I fell two or three times when I was getting used to mine but now I snap out without even thinking about it. Great idea to practice this bit, and best of luck to you!

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INSANITY Fit Test #3

Thursday, April 21, 2011

I have just started week 6 of my third round of Insanity! I love the month two workouts and am really looking forward to digging deeper!

Did the Fit Test yesterday and I'm really pleased with the results. I repeated the warmup sequence a few times before getting started and it paid off, I think.

Switch kicks ~ 118/128/138 (+10)
Power jacks ~ 52/61/65 (+4)
Power knees ~ 100/106/110 (+4)
Power jumps ~ 45/51/55 (+4)
Globe jumps ~ 12/13/14 (+1)
Suicide jumps ~ 19/21/22 (+1)
Push-up jacks ~ 24/27/31 (+4)
Low plank obliques ~ 58/70/80 (+10)

Going to KILL IT tonight with the Max Interval Circuit!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JADUNN68 5/20/2011 8:17AM

    Excellent Results :) Keep on pushing play.

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ABRANDNEWME09 5/4/2011 8:23AM

    Great improvement! You are doing awesome!

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MOSTMOM1 5/3/2011 9:12AM

    You're killing it!!!

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TACONES 4/25/2011 10:22PM

    Your Fit Test stats ROCK!!!!. I will try doing the warm up more than once to see if that helps me the next time I have to do my Fit test to see if that works for me.

emoticon emoticon

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ABSOLUTZER0 4/21/2011 5:11PM

    YOU ARE A BEAST! You will only get better! You are kicking Shaun T's butt! GET IT, MINNA! GET IT!

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 4/21/2011 1:47PM

    emoticon emoticon

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JONEIL513 4/21/2011 10:30AM

    NICE JOB!!! you rock! keep it up!!

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MARTY728 4/21/2011 10:22AM

    YOU ROCK! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KRISTALD76 4/21/2011 7:24AM


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JREA24 4/21/2011 4:32AM

    Nice. Keep killing it.

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CIVPRO1 4/21/2011 3:23AM

    Way to go!

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Taking on "The Swedish Classic"

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I have been thinking a lot about what I want to achieve fitness-wise. I still want to run a marathon this year, just can't pick one, because the ones I want to do don't fit into my schedule. Darn life getting in the way... emoticon I will figure it out, though.

In the meantime I decided to make another dream a reality. Doing something called The Swedish Classic. It involves 4 races, all to be completed within a year after starting. Doesn't sound like much of a challenge, right?

Think again.

Race 1 ~~ My starting race will be Lidingoloppet, a 30 k trail run in September, on a hilly course in Stockholm. Challenging, but doable. Experienced runners have called this race more difficult than running the Stockholm marathon, because of the trail run aspect and the hilliness. We'll see. I have registered for the race and barring any injuries I don't see a problem doing this.

Race 2 ~~ In March 2012 I will be required to do a 90 K (56 mi) cross country ski race - the famous Vasaloppet. I expect it will take me about 8-10 hours. I haven't done any xc skiing since I was about 13. Gah.

Race 3 ~~ In June 2012 I will have the immense pleasure of riding a bike 300 K (186.5 mi) around one of the bigger lakes in the country during a night time adventure. I estimate that it will take about 12 hours to complete the Vatternrundan. I'm sure my butt will just love this. emoticon

Race 4 ~~ This race will conclude my strive to achieve the coveted medal and diploma. It's a 3000 m (1.86 mi) swim in open waters, called Vansbrosimningen. Not a challenging distance, but...Last year the water temperature was all of 39 F. I'm thinking wet suit, people...

As most of you know I am mainly a runner. My idea of fun is doing a 10-14 mile run on Sunday. Throw in some Insanity and I am a happy camper.

Cycling? For me cycling has been a transportation method to and from the train station...

This obviously needs to change. And once I have made up my mind I rarely hesitate. I brought my Master Card with me and went to a cycle shop to be educated. And holy cr@p did I ever get an education. For three hours. Brands, frames, the importance of weight, comfort vs speed, gear systems, breaks, pedals, shoes, upkeep...

Oh, my God.

I exited the shop with this:

And I am in love... I love the lightness, the speed, the freedom.

And from now on a couple of hours on Saturdays are devoted to a long ride, just like my Sunday mornings are devoted to a long run. These hours are MINE, not to be messed with. After I finish this round of Insanity (in about 4 weeks) I will replace those workouts with additional bike rides and ST.

I am already a fairly strong swimmer. However, I always do breast stroke or back stroke.

This I completely suck at, which is painfully obvious in this photo:

So I have signed up for a swim class in late fall to learn proper crawl technique. The class also teaches turning technique in the pool, something I've always wanted to learn.

That leaves me with the xc skiing. Sigh... I'll let you know how that goes in November when the snow comes.

I have an ominous feeling it'll look something like this:

rather than this:

Oh my god, people - I am so EXCITED about all of this! I will let you know how this all develops!

**the last two photos were found online through a Google search. They're not my photos and no copyright infringement intended...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DDOORN 5/5/2011 8:44AM

    Do I ever HEAR you regarding "the lightness, the speed, the freedom!" You've got the cycling "bug" all righty...! :-)

Beautiful pic with your new bike! You are ready to rock & ROLL!

Woo hoo!


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FITSPIRATION 4/22/2011 1:27PM

  Wow, you go! Love the bike & the gear. Look at you swimming too. Looking good Chicka.

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ABSOLUTZER0 4/20/2011 1:42PM

    I don't know what to say! I'm excited and jealous! I know you are going to KILL THIS! I have no doubt in my mind. I will be here cheering you on! I look forward to hearing about your progress and your training! GO GET IT! LEAVE NOTHING!!!!

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JONEIL513 4/20/2011 10:35AM

    You are seriously one of my fitness idols!! You kick so much butt! I can't wait to hear more about your training and the races themselves. You are dedicated, determined and will kick some major butt! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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-WRKNG2ABTTRME- 4/20/2011 9:30AM

    That sounds awesome Minna! I wouldn't know where to begin....but, you...I have confidence that you will do it! I am interested in hearing how it goes.

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ANNAEA 4/20/2011 9:08AM

    Sounds awesome! I am eagerly waiting for the pool here to open, so that I can get back to swimming.

Good luck with the Classic!

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KRISTALD76 4/20/2011 8:33AM

    OMG!! You are a powerhouse!!!! I'm cheering myself for doing 5k on a treadmill under 1 hour and you're blowing out miles like there's nothing to it! You are inspirational no doubt!! I think maybe a couple years from now I'd like to do a triathlon. Only problem is I have to hold my nose under water so have to swim on top. And I will definitely get a fantastic light bike with all the perfections within the next year or two! It's my new fav hobby but very expensive!

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RIVERLEAF1772 4/20/2011 6:34AM

    emoticon Sounds like a fun adventure! I'm sure you are up for the challenge!

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JREA24 4/20/2011 5:36AM

    I love the cross-country ski pictures. I am sure you will do fine.

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BIGDOG18 4/20/2011 4:29AM


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Progress Photo.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I realized today that I need to retire these jeans. I have been wearing them with a belt pulled tighter and tighter and now it just looks silly.

I found a photo from August 2010 where I wear the same jeans, so I put on the same top and tried to take a similar photo. Didn't quite get the angle or distance right, but this is the best I can do.

I had a setback in November/December, where I gained a few pounds, but those are now but a memory and I am back where I was in August, weight wise. I am more toned now, though, so I think there is a difference in the photos.

Putting this in a blog so that I have something to look at when I feel like I am making no progress at all, just because the scale is stubborn.

Soon I won't have to feel embarrassed and ashamed, explaining that I am still carrying pregnancy weight - as my little girl approaches her fourth birthday. emoticon

Heading out for a run now and am feeling full of energy and hope! I can do this!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HOLOGRAM82 4/15/2011 5:07PM

    Wow, absolutely gorgeous. Good for you darlin'.

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KALISWALKER 3/17/2011 10:51PM

    You look great! emoticon

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JREA24 3/17/2011 8:29PM

    Alright now. Getting it done.

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TWNOMWE 3/17/2011 5:11PM

    emoticon You look great. is the six pack showing yet?

I will post one when I hit 160's.


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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 3/16/2011 6:43PM

    Love the photos! Very cool that your jeans have gotten so big on you.

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PAMINHALF 3/16/2011 8:28AM

  Wow you look great! emoticon

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SEYSARAH 3/16/2011 7:21AM

    Oh my gosh..you look great!!!! Talk about consistent efforts...you have the jeans to prove it..that is until you pitch them out..Congrats!

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MINNA72 3/16/2011 7:13AM

    Thanks for the wonderful comments, y'all! You have put a big smile on my face! The scale was good to me this morning and now I am eager to get out for a run in just a little bit!

You are the best SparkBuddies one could wish for! emoticon

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JONEIL513 3/15/2011 8:27PM

    WOW!!!! you are doing AWESOME!!!

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ROSE-100 3/15/2011 6:53PM

    emoticon Looking Good!

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APIRLRAIN888 3/15/2011 5:33PM

    OMG HOLEY MOLEY!!!! that is amazing!!!!!! but you have benn working crazy hard p90xing and running looooong runs too!
you are my hero!

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GWENAEL 3/15/2011 3:57PM

  Wow! Looking great!

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ABSOLUTZER0 3/15/2011 12:28PM

    Yes, I am sure the belt you are using can't get any tighter. It is time to retire those jeans. LOL! You are seriously working hard and it is paying off! You should have put a disclaimer in the beginning of the blog......*WARNING!!! SEXY ALERT*

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HDHAWK 3/15/2011 11:10AM

    Lookin' good!

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RUNNER12COM 3/15/2011 10:00AM

    Good heavens, woman. You look amazing!


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KRISTALD76 3/15/2011 8:26AM

    Awesome! Loose jeans AND shirt!

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FITSPIRATION 3/15/2011 8:18AM

  Wow, def lose those jeans. And waist defined! emoticon

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Insanity Fit Test #2

Monday, March 14, 2011

I haven't been as diligent with my Insanity workouts as I could have wished, but I am sticking with it and that's the main thing! I am running 4 times a week and that is still my priority.

So, today was Fit Test #2 and I had some concerns about doing well, since my legs are tired from yesterday's 11-mile run. Shouldn't have worried! :)

I did the warm up sequence 3 times because I think the 2-minute warm up is inadequate. Good decision! I felt strong and energetic going into the first move and kept that attitude all the way to the globe jumps. Started getting tired at that point, but pushed through.

As Shaun T says: "I'm not trying to kill you, I am trying to make you better!" I have my moments of doubt regarding the truth in that, but, yeah, moving on... emoticon

Here are my numbers:

Switch kicks ~ 59/64 (two kicks count as 1 rep) (+5)
Power jacks ~ 52/61 (+9)
Power knees ~ 100/106 (+6)
Power jumps ~ 45/51 (+6)
Globe jumps ~ 12/13 (+1)
Suicide jumps ~ 19/21 (+2)
Push-up jacks ~ 24/27 (+3)
Low plank obliques ~ 58/70 (+12)

Good times! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CONTESSA63 4/2/2011 7:05AM

  WOW!! that's fantastic. emoticon

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JREA24 3/17/2011 8:30PM


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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 3/15/2011 5:51AM


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GNABAFITMOMAT30 3/15/2011 1:40AM

    Good job

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APIRLRAIN888 3/15/2011 12:35AM

    HOLEY MOLEY! WOW! great job!

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FITSPIRATION 3/14/2011 11:30PM

  You're Awesome! And your drive is incredible. Just telling my DH that you burn like 1300+ calories! He was like Wow.

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JADUNN68 3/14/2011 11:05PM

    Awesome!!! You rock, girl. Keep pushing play and running emoticon

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SASSAGAIN 3/14/2011 9:38PM

    Good for you! Progress all the way through. Congrats!

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ABSOLUTZER0 3/14/2011 8:10PM

    You are a beast, Minna! Continue to show Shaun T that you refuse to back down!

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HOKIEJEN13 3/14/2011 7:50PM

    Great work! You're my new person to look for extra motivation or perhaps in my head some competition (friendly of course)! Keep it up!

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NICKJAROSH 3/14/2011 6:32PM

    That is awesome! They look so great :) Keep up the great work!

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JONEIL513 3/14/2011 5:55PM

    Way to go!!!!

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