Monday, September 16, 2013
On Saturday, September 14, I participated in Lorie's Lakeside Century bike ride in Chesterton, IN (no, I didn't ride for 100 miles, although many others did!). The ride was to benefit the Visiting Nurses Association (VNA) of Porter County, IN. The VNA provides a broad spectrum of health and social services that can be delivered to recovering, disabled, chronically ill or terminally ill persons in their home environment - a very worthy cause.
If you haven't participated in one of these bike rides for charity, I strongly recommend it. It is NOT a race; rather it is all about camaraderie and fellowship – and eating!
It was a brisk 40* overnight. We left Naperville at 6am to drive to Chesterton and got to see this beautiful sunrise!
Here is our "team" representing Emerson Industrial Automation, one of the race sponsors. Left to right - Tiffany Epler, John Vroom, Andy Darrol, Nancy Haines, Dan Burgey, and Harry Fischer.
You can start the ride anytime between 7-10am. At 7am, it was around 50* with a slight wind. We delayed our start time from 7am to 8:30am to let it warm up a bit - it might have been 55* when we started. Pretty brisk, especially in the shade, but it warmed up nicely the longer we rode. The first SAG (support and grub) stop was about 12 miles into our ride. The longest ride Harry had done previously to this was 16 miles, so he was a little concerned about going 28 miles.
This was the view at our first SAG stop - gorgeous! There was a wedding party on the beach taking photos. At this stop, Harry said he was feeling pretty strong and confident that he could make it 28 miles. It was my intent to ride 38 miles.
Who knew that Indiana was hilly? The 12 miles to the next SAG stop was all uphill - gently rolling uphill, but uphill just the same! Harry said he should have realized that going TOWARD Lake Michigan would all be downhill for watershed. At one point, there was a rather steep uphill climb. When Tiffany and I, who were leading our team, reached the top of the hill, there were about a dozen riders taking an unofficial rest stop in someone's front yard. We joined them to wait for the guys. Harry was feeling his knees ache on this climb. He was so grateful for the unofficial stop.
Our second SAG stop was at the Art Barn - which came complete with chickens and crowing roosters. Dan thought that the rooster must have known that we were eating chicken sandwiches at that rest stop, and the rooster was alerting the other birds to that fact!
John, Harry, and Andy refueling at the Art Barn.
If I was going to do the 38 mile ride, the Art Barn is where I would have parted ways with my team. But, due to the nature of this being a ride and not a race, we were never in a hurry to leave the SAG stops. Harry and I had tickets to the Wine & Food Festival back in IL, so time was running short. I returned back to the starting line with the rest of my team for lunch. Yes, I said lunch! The race sponsors put on a pulled pork and corn on the cob luncheon for us.
Harry, Nancy, Tiffany, and Dan pointing out the Emerson Industrial Automation race sponsorship on the banner.
I forgot to start the Map My Ride app when we started to ride (that's a great FREE app, by the way). Map My Ride clocked us at 28.85 miles in 2 hours and 40 minutes with 1,336 calories burned. Dan's computer said that we went just a hair under 30 miles. I thank we ate more calories at SAG stops and at the luncheon than we burned off riding!
This ride was 30 miles of beautiful scenery with wonderful people. The volunteers at registration, the SAG stops, and at the luncheon were awesome. They couldn't have been more accommodating and friendly. I will do this ride again next year - and perhaps go 38 miles. Although Tiffany told me that she did the 38 miles in a previous year and it was even MORE uphill from there!
If you ever get a chance to participate in one of these charity rides, I highly recommend it. Find a cause that you want to support and get out there for some fresh air, exercise, and an extremely fun time!
Saturday, July 27, 2013
This was a great lesson I read on Facebook...
A psychologist walked around a room while teaching stress management to an audience. As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they'd be asked the "half empty or half full" question. Instead, with a smile on her face, she inquired: "How heavy is this glass of water?"
Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.
She replied, "The absolute weight doesn't matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it's not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn't change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes."
She continued, "The stresses and worries in life are like that glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if you think about them all day long, you will feel paralyzed – incapable of doing anything."
Remember to put the glass down.
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
This story was in my Facebook feed this morning. I thought that this was good advice for us on our Spark journeys - Shake it off and take a step up!
One day a farmer's donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally, he decided the animal was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway; it just wasn't worth it to retrieve the donkey.
He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone's amazement he quieted down.
A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well. He was astonished at what he saw. With each shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up.
As the farmer's neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and happily trotted off!
Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up. Each of our troubles is a steppingstone. We can get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping, never giving up! Shake it off and take a step up.
Remember the five simple rules to be happy:
1. Free your heart from hatred - Forgive.
2. Free your mind from worries - Most never happens.
3. Live simply and appreciate what you have.
4. Give more.
5. Expect less from people but more from yourself.
Thursday, June 27, 2013
Pleasant Prairie Sprint Triathlon
Sunday, June 23, 2013
Pleasant Prairie, WI
Division finish: 5 out of 6
Overall finish: 370 out of 409
T 1: 6:23
T 2: 5:01
Total time: 2:10:35
1/2 mile swim/20K bike/5K run
Look at the ripples in the water! It was a windy, but hot and humid day.
This was a tough race. The temperature was in the 80's, it was windy, and the humidity was high. My coach tells me never to compare results from one race to another because of all the variables involved. But, it's hard not to!
My total triathlon time on Sunday was 5 minutes longer than two weeks ago. The open water swim was the main reason - that took me 11 minutes longer. Without swimming lanes, I was all over the place. I probably swam half again the distance that I needed to!
My bike time improved by 8 minutes with the new bike - even though the course was somewhat hilly and windy. The clip-in pedals were awesome! Just when I thought I couldn't push one more time up one of those hills, I remembered to pull on the pedals! Now, to get in that habit all the time.
My run time was 4 minutes slower due to the heat and humidity. I walked a lot of the 5K. I shaved 2 minutes off of my transition times, but I can still do better. I still took 5 times longer in transition than some of the top finishers. All in all, I'm pleased with the results. I know where I need to improve.
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Esprit de She Triathlon
Sunday, June 9, 2013
Division finish: 14 out of 21
Overall finish: 1015 out of 1229
Total time: 2:05:19
I did it! I completed my first sprint distance triathlon - 1/2 mile swim, 14.4 mile bike ride, and 3.1 mile run. I did one other triathlon last year - a super sprint distance, which is half the distance of the sprint race. The sprint distance was a challenge, but I had a blast!
The forecast was for a cool, cloudy, and overcast morning. But as you can see from the photos, we had nothing but sunshine!
The water temperature was 68*, so my investment in a wet-suit was well worth it. Plus, it added to my buoyancy.
I have a 27-year-old Peugeot hybrid bike. It was like pedaling a Mack truck! I had the opportunity to ride a new Giant fitness bike the night before my race. Man, was it ever light, fast, and required a lot less effort to pedal than my old bike. I think I will make the investment in a new bike - soon.
My peeps didn't get photos of me running or at the finish line. I apparently ran right past them without us seeing each other. Here's a photo after the race. Lempa was the name of another girl who participated in the triathlon.
I've come a long way since doing the super sprint triathlon last year. I got some awesome training from the coaches at Experience Triathlon. Coach Joe helped me "Run to Become." And Coach Suzy helped (and continues to help) me with my swimming technique. I will have to admit to Coach Suzy that I did a lot of sidestroking and backstroking during the swim portion. I think the adrenalin had me gasping so much, I would have inhaled water if I put my face under water!
My next triathlon will be on Sunday, June 23 in Pleasant Prairie, WI. This is the site of where I did my super-sprint triathlon last year, so I am familiar with the lake. I'm looking forward to the challenge and hopefully can improve on some of my times - especially the transition times. And, if I get a new bike, there should be improvement there!
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