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Ride report: First weekend

Sunday, June 02, 2013

As I mentioned elsewhere, I took Greta (yes, my new bike now has a name--like, just as I was writing this!) on our

first ride together Thursday evening. In doing so, I made a number of mistakes, mistakes you should all learn


1. I'd ridden 19 miles in 88 degree weather earlier in the day, but hadn't bothered to eat much of anything,

particularly anything potassium-heavy, so I was starting with an electrolyte deficiency.

2. Despite the fact that I was on a new bike with a totally different riding position, I started our training

together by taking on a 21 mile ride. A ride that begins with 5 miles of gradual but unceasing uphill pedaling.

3. Despite knowing better, I jumped right up with the leaders and pushed myself HARD to stay with them.

By the time we reached the summit of the ride, I was hurting some. But from there, I knew it was an out-and-back

of very straight roads on rolling hills. Plenty of rest, and a chance to finally see what Greta could do.

And she was magnificent! On a minor descent, I was coasting at 19 mph! Coasting! I have no idea what her top speed

might be because I was too nervous to pedal faster than 22! Everything was brilliant!

Then we started climbing again. And that's when things went pear-shaped. My thighs began cramping and my wind

just...died. My back was aching as well. I had pushed through everything I had in those first 5 miles of climbing,

and I simply wasn't recovering on the downhills.

But I kept pedaling. I was climbing even the relatively minor grades at under 10mph, and the bigger ones I dropped

down into the 5-6mph range. At one point I just plain had to stop, get my feet out of the pedals, and just stand

and stretch for a few minutes.

Honestly, I felt worse then than I did at the end of the 81 miles I'd ridden on the first day of Pedal to the

Point last year.

My friend Mike was a hero, though. He kept looping around and checking in on me, giving me encouraging words but

not hanging at my shoulder and nagging. And I got back on the bike and began pedaling again.

It didn't get any easier. By the time we were climbing toward the apogee of the ride, the highest point in the

county, I was just lost in the pain of the cramps, the breathing, the heartrate, the back pain. The good thing was

that I could tell that none of this was injury-threatening pain. Just glycogen-deprived misery.

And so I made it to the top of that hill. Mike was there, cheering me on. "It's all downhill from here!" he

yelled. And mostly it was. There were some minor uphills, the kind that I had barely even noticed in the past.

This time, each one was a tiny bit of hell. We finally got to the last couple miles, which were all downhill. I

pushed my pedaling speed up so that I was going around 15. There will be other days when I take that part at 20 or

more. But it was not this day.

This day was all about struggling, pushing beyond what feels like the outside boundaries, and then accomplishing

the task anyway. It was a humbling lesson in proper preparation, but also an exhilerating lesson in the power of

the will to keep pushing. I staggered back into Mike and Patti's house and gulped down fruit smoothies like there

was no tomorrow. In an hour I was recovered enough to drive home.

I lived to ride again.

Ride two was on Saturday. Erin and I were signed up for a 5k run downtown, so I suggested that we bike the 10 miles there, do the 5k, then bike home as a good training exercise for triathlons. Unfortunately, Erin didn't get up early enough to ride, so I rode in without her and she drove in. We completed the 5k (her in record time; me...not last!!), and then had enough energy to do the Cupid Shuffle at the post-run party!

Oh, and I ate bananas.

When we parted, I got on my bike and headed home. But with Captain America filming in Cleveland, one of the two major routes west was closed, and one of the only two exits from the parking area was closed. I was able to escape, though, via the one open sidewalk.

The wind on the way home was blowing against me so hard that I honestly think I could have gone backwards if I weren't pedaling. It was a grind, but I felt much better in this second half of 20 miles of riding than I had in the second half of Thursday's. And, finally, I pulled into the driveway.

Followed shortly by Erin. Traffic was so bad that I actually BEAT HER HOME. I was completely exhausted, though, and pretty wiped out for the rest of the day.

This evening I decided to take Greta out again. I took her on our first ride through the MetroParks together. And for the first time I really felt like I was actually using the clips effectively. It's a very different muscle motion and I can feel that I'm going to be sore in new places. After 15 miles of riding hard, I eased back and cruised the last 9 miles home. I was worried about the climb out of the park because I was having some cramping issues in my left leg again. Then I realized that much of that was coming from the fact that I was only stepping out of the pedals on the right, so my left leg was never getting a stretch out. I took a 3-minute break at the bottom of the climb and then made it out pretty easily. The climbing is both easier and harder: easier because Greta is so light, but harder because she doesn't have a super-low "granny gear" that I can just spin without using much muscle. But building more muscle? Not tragic.

So, since I got her on Thursday, I've put 63 miles on Greta. I'm going to take her back to the bike shop for a couple minor adjustments (moving the seat back, decreasing the reach on the brakes), but I absolutely love her!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JANETRIS 6/10/2013 10:29PM

    Sounds like you and Gretta are having a great honeymoon together!! Your riding adventures sound like a blast. Here's to a summer filled with them!! emoticon

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 6/3/2013 10:15PM

    I am glad you are loving your bike so much!

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TATTER3 6/3/2013 12:38PM

    I have a personal relationship with a lawn mower that's similar to you and the bike...LOL. Keep peddling and I'll keep pushing! Love it!

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NATPLUMMER 6/3/2013 11:01AM


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DOGLADY13 6/3/2013 7:15AM

    Oh my goodness! You are a cycling animal! And never mind glycogen deprivation - how did you deal with the heiney-itis? That's a lot of miles on a hard, skinny saddle. LOL


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OPTIMIST1948 6/2/2013 8:36PM

    New toy fun! Sounds like a great first weekend!

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So pretty!!!

Friday, May 31, 2013

Meet my new baby! I have been wanting a road bike for some time, and I managed to get a great deal on this one! I picked her up yesterday afternoon, and even though I'd ridden 20 miles in the 85 degree temp in the morning, I *had* to take myself over to the Patti's Paladins training ride.

Which was, as always, humbling. I am slow, slow, slow and the riders are fast, fast, fast. Also, riding 20 miles in 85 degrees and then not bothering to eat anything containing potassium. Or carbs. I bonked a bit, cramping up.

But I made the ride and LOVE my bike! I will need some seriously training up on the new riding position, but it's wonderful!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JANETRIS 6/6/2013 9:14PM

    Beautiful new wheels!! I say slow and steady finishes the race! That is my motto... Enjoy the ride! emoticon

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MSANITAL 6/1/2013 4:25PM

    Love it .. I was going to get the Pink and black, but I picked the Teal and gray.. anyways enjoy your new bike.. ride on

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    Congratulations both on the bike the ride. I am so happy for you!

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DOGLADY13 6/1/2013 9:30AM

    Wow. Very nice! Ride her in good health!

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OPTIMIST1948 5/31/2013 10:11PM

    so PRETTY! Defiently an "Instrument of Fat Destruction!"

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    That is beautiful. I know a good road bike really makes the difference.

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NATPLUMMER 5/31/2013 1:54PM

    Very pretty!!

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.DUSTY. 5/31/2013 1:29PM

    emoticon It's a emoticon May you two have many, many happy miles together:)

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BARBARASDIET 5/31/2013 1:09PM


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LADYJ6942 5/31/2013 11:50AM

    Woo hoo, enjoy

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MHEDIN2 5/31/2013 11:45AM

    Sweet! I love the color scheme! And kudos on two rides in one day!

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    Now that's one hot bike! You definitely can't go wrong with pink and black - awesome colors! Sooooo glad you treated yourself to her. Wow when you can leave one biking session to go to another one - all because of a bike - you know you are doing something right.

Great job and wonderful picture of mom and her baby - even matching colors! Looks great!


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LAUGHINGLATINA 5/31/2013 11:02AM

You got this! Congrats on your new wheels!

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A cross between "Squee!" and "What was I thinking?"

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Well, I have done it. I've nailed my colors to the mast, so to speak.

I have actually registered for my first triathlon.

I'm registered for the Maumee Bay triathlon in Oregon, Ohio on June 16. I am signed up for the sprint distance: Swim 750 Meters, Bike 20 Kilometers, and Run 5

Nevertheless, the statistics on this event are pretty clear:

1. It's barely 2 weeks away;

2. I will have to be there by 7am. Oregon is about 2 hours away, so I will have to be up around 4:30 in the morning to make final preparations and head out; and

3. I am in no way "trained" for this event.

I haven't been in the water since February. At that time I swam the distance in laps pretty easily. But this will be an open water swim, and I haven't done one of those at all. I will have a wetsuit, at least--open water without one could be downright dangerous. But I have had no practice in getting into or back out of a wetsuit, and I won't be getting the wetsuit for another week.

Each one of the events is a distance I have no worry about. It's the combination of them that's going to be the challenge.

And I am doing this alone. Erin will be out of town. In some ways, I'm sort of glad--no matter how cumbersomely slow and awkward I am, no one will be watching me. On the other hand, when I finally stagger across the finish line there won't be anyone there to provide any sincere pity claps.

Still, once it's done I will have bragging rights!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

OPTIMIST1948 5/31/2013 5:08AM

    Oh no. There willbe plenty of people cheering you on the last few painful feet to the finishline. You are going to be working longer and harder than anyone else and while you wont be the fastest, your victory is just as real as anyone else's. (. I've written a bunch of tri blogs if you want to get a sense of the event. For a first-timeer view, you may want Hunter Mt,, which was just about a year ago.)

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NANA2PRINCESSES 5/30/2013 7:10AM

    Good for you! Good luck! Will be watching for the victory post!

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DESERTDREAMERS 5/30/2013 12:02AM

    Go, Grrl! emoticon

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TATTER3 5/29/2013 10:12PM

    Good for you!!!

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DOGLADY13 5/29/2013 9:56PM

    Yeah!!! Go you!!!! It's not as awful as it sounds. WooHoo! Wish I was closer, I'd come out and cheer you on.

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SNOOPY6180 5/29/2013 5:41PM

OMG. Good luck!

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BARBARASDIET 5/29/2013 3:32PM

    Crazy! But good luck!

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NATPLUMMER 5/29/2013 2:58PM

    Wow!! Good luck!

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I got my crown!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Last night I passed 60,000 Spark Points. Which means I now have the first crown of the Spark Levels. I am ridiculously delighted by this fact.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NANHBH 6/18/2013 2:23PM

It's all about the bling, Miss G, all about the bling!

Comment edited on: 6/18/2013 2:23:16 PM

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APPLESBANANAS 5/23/2013 3:35PM

    Yay!! Congrats!!

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TATTER3 5/21/2013 3:09PM

    Yea!!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JULISKA09 5/21/2013 8:51AM


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LUCKYDOGFARM 5/20/2013 11:17PM


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MSANITAL 5/20/2013 6:39PM

    woohoo Congrats emoticon

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HILLSLUG98239 5/20/2013 4:02PM

    I was afraid this was going to be a post about dental work. Yay for accumulating all those points, and yay for not needing dental work!

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NATPLUMMER 5/20/2013 1:28PM


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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 5/20/2013 11:50AM


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STELLASMYBEBE 5/20/2013 10:30AM


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DAWNSJOURNEY 5/20/2013 10:24AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

YOU DID IT !! congrats..

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PARKERB2 5/20/2013 10:24AM

    You should be. You have accomplished a lot and I am sure you have learned lots along the way, made friends and enjoyed this wonderful site.

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VICKI2705 5/20/2013 10:22AM


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Remembering what I actually like

Saturday, May 18, 2013

I went to see The Great Gatsby with my book group last night. Almost all of us just bought a ticket and headed into the theater, but one person stopped and bought a large popcorn.

I felt very lucky that she was seated at the other end of the row from me.

Every time I go into a movie theater, I have that moment of deep temptation. The movie popcorn smells SO GOOD. I used to buy a large movie popcorn, with butter, and eat pretty much the whole thing myself. I have no self-control in the face of movie popcorn.

And they I would be sick. Nauseated and miserable. It took me YEARS to really recognize that movie popcorn was not a good life choice for me. I simply can't eat it without feeling terrible all the rest of the evening.

The problem is, I still am tempted by the smell of it. When I'm out with hubby to the movies (which is pretty often; we are big movie buffs), he has instructions to remind me how sick it makes me. And so far I have stayed away from it, enjoyed the movie experience, and been completely happy with my choice.

But if I had been seated next to my popcorn-eating friend, I probably would have been tempted to ask for just a little. And then mugged her for the rest of the bucket. So I would have been sick AND embarrassed.

No, far better to be at the other end, away from temptation!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TORIAMAE 5/29/2013 3:23PM

    I have the exact same temptation! And it's even worse and more disgusting for me to have it.

See, I worked at a movie theater when I was in high school. So, I've made the popcorn and know exactly how bad it is.

But worse still...if what they serve is not real butter...I've cleaned out the containers that it is stored in and let me tell you, it is NAUSEATING! It's like you scrape pure salted cholesterol from the container.

But I still crave it when I go to the movies. I could still kill a large by myself. And yes, nine times out of ten, I still want butter.

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PRETTYPITHY 5/29/2013 2:54PM

    I've actually been avoiding the movies for months for just this reason. But we saw Star Trek on Monday and it ended up being a complete non-issue. We ate lunch right before the movie so there was no temptation to snack!

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KANSASROSE67 5/29/2013 2:48PM

    My husband shares the popcoran addiction. I actually hate popcorn, and always have, so it's not an issue for me. But I've had to get over eating peanut m&ms at the movies!

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DOGLADY13 5/25/2013 7:47PM

    I totally understand what you mean about movie popcorn - or any popcorn for that matter. I love it and if I start, I can't stop.

There's a vegetarian restaurant that we go to. They sell "Glad Corn". I call it "Corn Crack". It's the half-popped popcorn kernels that settle to the bottom of the popcorn bowl. Heavily salted. I am utterly and completely defenseless against it. We at there last night and I forced myself to look away from the jar and summon every last ounce of will power that I had to not buy it.

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NINJA_SMOO 5/23/2013 11:09AM

  My fiance was the same. Every movie we went to, he bought popcorn. At some point I decided I wasn't eating corn and he stopped too. That's when he realized that he always felt like crap after eating popcorn. Weird huh? I've fallen off the corn-avoidance wagon, but I've actually been thinking for the last little while that it would be a great habit to work on again. Thanks for the reminder! :) Now my bane is chips :( I need to work on avoiding those too!

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JJARAMILO 5/22/2013 3:54PM

    So .... how was the movie? emoticon

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TATTER3 5/19/2013 10:17PM

    Keep Sparkin'!!

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DOTTIEJANE1 5/19/2013 9:19AM

    emoticon emoticon The smell is why the popcorn is here ,they make it at the change f movies to get people over to buy . GLAD it does not work on you.

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    Good for you! I probably see only one movie a year in the theater, and I have traditionally allowed myself movie popcorn. But next weekend, I am going to see the new Star Trek movie, and I'm going to try to stay strong. I'll be thinking of you! Thanks for the inspiration!

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NELLJONES 5/19/2013 8:19AM

    For what it's worth, movie popcorn hasn't had butter for decades. It's oil with butric acid as butter flavor. And popcorn flavored salt. You didn't miss a thing.

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 5/18/2013 8:31PM

    Great reminder of how it used to be!

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BARCLE 5/18/2013 7:30PM

    emoticon emoticon

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BARBARASDIET 5/18/2013 5:54PM

    Glad you resisted. Theater popcorn has never tempted me.

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AUSTRALIA55 5/18/2013 5:06PM


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CAKEMAKERMOM 5/18/2013 4:58PM

    Popcorn is great! But only when air-popped at home. The oil or something at the movie theater makes my stomach hurt for hours and is just not worth it.

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OPTIMIST1948 5/18/2013 4:53PM

    Thankfully my parents at a young age trained me away from the popcorn at movie theatres. I like popcorn, but we eat it at home salted but no butter.

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DATMAMA4 5/18/2013 4:29PM

    Every time popcorn is near, I'm thankful for teeth that are very close together, and therefore difficult to floss when there are popcorn kernel-skins stuck. The extra labor alone is enough to stop me, lol.

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MRSKATEDUVALL 5/18/2013 3:44PM

    the price alone detours me.

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SBN141 5/18/2013 3:43PM

    I know what you mean! I have a 16 oz. industrial size popcorn machine at my house that I have to actively avoid everyday so I don't indulge. It is a problem. Congratulations on resisting the temptation!

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