Miles of Life ~ My life as a donut Kylie Donia

Archive for the ‘biking’ Category

Oops – should tighten that!

Thursday, May 1st, 2008

I started my ride on Tuesday planning to get in just over 20 miles with one of my favorite routes from my door. Mostly flat, and very little traffic (and many miles on a bike path). I was feeling pretty good, but realized I had forgotten my phone. Did the little hill at mile 1, and on the descent from it at about 30 MPH all of a sudden I had almost no control of the bike! I was fishtailing, and heading straight for a T-intersection where I was coming from the hard to see direction. Hoping no car was going to turn and right into me, I braked and looked at the back of my bike, expecting a flat and wondering how that had happened, and so fast.

Instead I found that the wheel was no longer in the drops! Yes, the wheel had basically fallen off my bike. Luckily the brake calipers held it sort of in place, so it was still in the chain. I smelled burning rubber and took the bike to the top of the T to put the wheel back in. And found a couple HUGE bald spots on my tire. Oh right, 30mph to 0 without spinning… yeah, that will take off some rubber.

Popped the wheel back in place, remembering how I had thought it was a bit loose that morning but hadn’t bothered to tighten it since I had raced on it that way and figured it was fine. Um oops.

I headed down to the running path I was just above, and where Mike had either just passed our would be passing soon on his run. I found him, and just rode home easy next to him while talking.

So it was a short ride, and a pretty easy one, but sure was scary! And next time I will be less lazy.

PossAbilities Triathlon

Thursday, May 1st, 2008

2 years ago I almost skipped this race, but ended up going since I’d done it every year I’ve done tris. And while there I met a pretty cute boy, and now I get to keep him, so we like doing that race and signed up again this year.

So off we went to the races in a clown car! We took Mike’s 2door Civic. My bike fits standing in the back seat with only the front wheel off, and his fits in the trunk with the seat folded down. Then the wheels and our race gear squeeze in around, and when we get to the race site you wonder where all the stuff we have in there was stored for the drive.

I got ready, leaving my shoes on my bike for the first time. I had practiced it the night before on our street, and figured why not. Then a quick warmup, and to the line. Where I realized I was not interested in running. I felt exhausted and just wanted to play on my bike. As the national anthem was sung, I remembered my bike shoes were still velcro’ed — so getting them on would be a bit more complicated than I had practiced 🙂 Mike told me it was too late — to not race (which I didn’t reallly want to do anyways) or to fix the shoes. And he even noticed how I just wasn’t giggly excited like I usually am before a race. So the horn blew, and I just ran.

I didn’t really push it — cheered for Mike as he went by the other way, and got to run with some of the kids from the Exceeding Expectations program (they were all there racing, so it was fun to see them). Finished the run, put on a helmet and dropped my visor and GPS and jumped on. Shoes on successfully, and I pedaled.

I still wasn’t really in the zone, and the bike was over. Into the water and I swam a bit hard. But it was sooo crowded. With the serpentine swim I kept getting pushed into the lane lines if I tried to pass, or caught up in others arms. So I just swam hard and passed pretty much everyone around me. I’m by no means a good swimmer, I just think that is often one of the weakest things for most people who show up to the little local races.

Out of the water, jog to the line. I didn’t even notice the time, just gave Mike a high five and was ready to go pack up so he could get on his way.

Mike had a conference in Palm Springs all weekend (which meant I got to commute with him on Friday, which was fun). And then he had to leave immediately after he was done racing to go for more, but would be back around 2 or 3, so I just hung out at the race site until he was back — there was a tri club meeting, and it is my gym, and I had a book. I was a bit sunburned when all was done, but it was a good day.

This post has me sounding like I really didn’t like the race. I did — I felt ok for it, and it has a great atmosphere. I just felt kind of blah in general, and for some reason wasn’t too excited about it being race day. It was fun to cheer for some of the exceeding expectations kids (I just couldn’t cheer for the ones that beat me ;)). And I do like the feeling of that race: some very fast people (Kate Major, Julie Swail) but also tons of people just giving triathlon a first go.

not a bad weekend!

Sunday, April 6th, 2008

Saturday was a 5k. The same course I set a PR on last year. I went faster 🙂 23:44! Although their times were a bit odd in that I was in a group and they have no one right by me — my watch had me at 23:19 and a 7:21 pace since the course is long, but also didn’t have the 5 seconds of getting to the start line. Either way, a PR. And yeah, it kinda hurt. But it was a beautiful course, and I’ll take it! Official stats:

23:44 (7:38 pace) — 282/3015 overall, 43/1505 women, 8/171 W25-29

Sunday was Mike’s and my first off-road tri, and from there we were going to head to Redlands and see some of the Redlands Classic bike race on our bikes, so Saturday night we packed up the car and the bikes had a sleepover in the car (which left our house looking a bit empty).

The mountain bike race was chosen since Mike won an entry by winning the Redlands Tri, and since I have wanted to do one for a couple years we went for it. Although it was a bit confusing at the start (missing Mike’s early reg and no one sure what we needed to fill out) we got registered and got a great spot set up in transition. Wetsuits on, and down to the beach. There were only 2 waves (it was a pretty small local race) and Mike’s was off fairly quickly. Supposed to be 5 minutes after, my wave was bumped to 20 minutes after. I watched Mike come out of the water in second 🙂 and got ready to go. And our start time was bumped back by another 20 minutes. So much for that well-planned gel and warm-up! About 20 minutes later, we suddenly we had a 30 second warning, just enough time to wipe the fog out of my goggles, and we were off. I had a pretty good swim, and felt my spotting was not as bad as usual.

It has been a while since I had to wiggle out of a wetsuit on my own! I made it, pulled on bike shoes and a helmet and was off in about 5th or so according to one of the race guys telling us things. I passed a couple other women early in the loop, and later was passed by a couple. Oh, and in one section, there were TALL weeds, taller than me on my bike, with just barely a path through them. One of the weeds caught my handlebars and pulled me into the weeds. Where I didn’t fall over since they were strong, and just had to pull out of them and keep going. And then I made it up and over a curb without pausing (I still feel like I have TONS of mtb skills work to do!). One loop down, off the bike at the dismount, run through the TA, and then back on the bike at the mount line for loop 2. Weird, but it worked (there was a one loop race as well).

Second (and final) loop about 10 miles into the race I could feel that PR from the day before. My legs were tiring fast! The 2 women I had just in sight moved well ahead, and I started wondering how that hilly 3.2 mile run would feel. But first things first, and I kept pedaling. And found that I had launched one of my 2 gels, so I had one and wouldn’t have one at the start of the run. Oh well, keep moving. As I came around the final turn there was Mike (and a camera)!

Back into transition, and a nice smooth change into the run gear. My mtb shoes are so hard to get off! I will have to try out my new ones (with a tongue instead of elastic) next time.

I got off the bike in about 7th place Mike thought, and I started my run. My plan was to enjoy it. There were some pretty trails, and I knew my legs were fairly shot. Someone forgot to tell my competitive side though! It was a tough course, with the first part having tons of climbing. I guess the ultra training has helped — feeling pretty bad I still passed the 2 women right in front of me! And then later another one that had passed me on the bike, and into a fun little single track, and with .8 miles to go I could see another. But she had a decent lead, so I didn’t think I’d make it. Then she walked a hill, and I went for it and made it past. Since most of the climbing and harder downhills were all in the first half, this last mile was a lot of fun. Almost done, around a turn, and again Mike. He was chatting, so I had to talk for him to see me. But he still got a picture as I told him that if I beat him to the finish line he owed me lunch *and* dinner (he already owed me lunch).

He did beat me to the line, but still ended up buying me dinner. He’s that awesome.

The other nice thing about a first off-road tri is the automatic PR! 🙂 Although I didn’t do too shabby:

2:29:36 — 53/112 overall, 5/20 women, 2/5 W25-29

After the race we hung out for quite a while waiting for results. They still had nothing, and finally announced that they’d have to mail out the awards and weren’t going to get them done that day. It was chipped timed, but they were having computer issues. Honestly, I’m not so impressed with the race organization. For how expensive it was, I expected better. While I had a lot of fun, it was so behind schedule and disappointing to not get results, so I’m not sure if I’d do it again. When they announced results would be online this evening, we left, and headed to Redlands and had a nice easy 11ish mile ride around the Redlands Classic course. With In N Out burgers on the way, and then great Thai food before heading home.

Mike had a great race as well and was 2nd or 3rd overall! He says 3rd, but right now results have him 2nd. So the results might all change — oh, and it now says splits won’t be available until Wednesday night. So there are definitely some issues still there.

Oh… and for those of you still wondering how Oceanside was, Mike did a great job and I got some great photos. It’s all over on his blog, and I don’t have the energy to type it up now 🙂 But I had fun cheering for people and hanging out with Marky and crew.

my butt

Thursday, March 6th, 2008

So far today has been all about my butt. It started with the stupidheads in the car yelling at me about it when I was riding. But I completely ignored them and didn’t even glance their direction, so they didn’t get to see that I even could hear.

Then I kept riding, and man it was a bit tight and sore. And then I stopped riding and drove to work. Walking to my office I could again tell it was tight and sore. So yes, my glutes needs some love and I will be trying to get an appointment with Brianne, massage therapist extraordinaire, to help with that.

But they are how they are ’cause it has been a good week. Wednesday had an 11 mile run at sub-8:54 pace! Coach Marky has me running a bit shorter than I am used to right now, but doing more fast stuff and bringing that in, and it is fun! Painful, but fun 🙂

I also had some nice rides Sunday and Tuesday on the R3 and on the PX this morning. Sunday felt great — I did a regular 30 mile loop with a good bit of climbing, and was over 5 minutes faster than other times! I really worked myself on parts of it. I <3 Marky’s 5on/3off intervals.

On Tuesday and Thursday I could still feel that ride and the Wednesday run. I was moving alright this morning, but sooo windy. And I felt like I just didn’t have power really either day during the week. I had some on Tuesday, but especially today my legs just weren’t there. Since I’ve felt exhausted this week, it means I am sleeping in a bit on Saturday since my guess is I’m just worn out right now.

My butt is now on my office balance ball, so time to write the code that will take over the world!

Best Weekend EVER

Sunday, March 2nd, 2008

I spent Tuesday through Thursday in San Diego with Cervelo getting to test ride their bikes and see their wind tunnel testing and engineering presentations.

Then Mike and I went for an early morning mtn bike ride Saturday. We ended up ditching the bikes in a bush and hiking up to a favorite waterfall (yeah, in bike shoes). And I left wearing….

!!!!! Yup, he proposed You know you have found the right one when the proposal comes during a ride in almost-rain, early morning light, with helmet hair, and on a fun unplanned side trail

More pics

Shh — the new one is sleeeeping

Tuesday, February 5th, 2008

All put together now! Here are the pics:

It had a safe and easy trip.

Almost ready to get unveiled…

Then I got my first sight of it!

And isn’t it beautiful??

Then it met it siblings

And then cuddled in with its twin for the night

The new one is here!

Tuesday, February 5th, 2008

The new one has arrived — delivered at 9:46 this morning. Mike brought it home at lunch. And got it all set up for me to unpack: PowerTap mount and camera right on top 😉 there has been anticipation, and nerves, and last night Mike and I reorganized the twins’ rooms to make room for this one. But it is here! I now have a road bike! And now to unpack 🙂

Sick sucks

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

So I’ve just about kicked the sickness that took over my life after Calico. I made it to the pool yesterday and then a really easy 15mi ride (although windy) this morning. I did really miss my bike in the time leading up to Calico. I’m sorry! I won’t do it again! But… you are going to have a new sibling to share me with. I know, it’s tough… but you will get used to it, and it will be a good addition to the family.

Eye candy for the post: Me on the Pasadena Tri Club resolution ride Jan 12th. Nice and hilly, and got to meet some fun folks!

PowerTap — losing signal

Thursday, December 6th, 2007

So one of my favorite rides includes a stretch along a dam (flat and wide bike trail). Unfortunately something (perhaps in it) turns out to be one of the only places in about 100 miles of us where PT often loses reception at least for a bit, as Rich of Wheelbuilder let Mike and I know. Oh well, it’s still part of a great ride — the end of the dam and back is just over 20 miles for me a good quick morning ride.

Today though both our PTs were having issues regaining signal after we were through that section and a couple miles from it. While mine was dropping signal and finding it again, Mike’s gave up. However, I remembered that holding down both buttons for a second will make the screen say “FIND” and it will do what appears to be a stronger refresh of the signal – after doing that on his, I don’t think he had any more issues, and I stopped having them as well. We just had to be careful: if you hold down both buttons, it scrolls through “FIND” (what we wanted) and then “- clr -” which will reset all the data on the PT (definitely not what we want), and then into a setup screen (which is weird to get out of).

One of my biggest PT annoyances had been that once it lost your HR it didn’t look for it again. So go pee, and no more HR. ARG! Today I realized that the “FIND” will also rescan for the HR strap! So I now know how to get it back. Much better!

PowerTap night 1 & day 1 — the setup & the first ride

Thursday, November 29th, 2007

Santa came early and dropped off PowerTap SL 2.4 wheels (the wireless version) for Mike and me! A number of people have expressed interest in our learning process with them, so I’m going to blog our progress of getting up to speed and learning to make the most out of them in our training.

We got them set up last night. Not too big of a deal — Rich (of built up awesome sexxy wheels so we just had to move over our cassettes, tubes, and tires. Then we added the computer mount to the bikes.

Here are the wheels before we got started:

I will post the full bikes once we have our new black front wheels on them as well.

We then spent the evening reading the manuals and playing with the computers: setting the time, learning a bit about what was displayed where and how to see different things. Definitely not straight forward, but actually pretty simple once you read the manual. I guess it is actually fairly similar to a regular bike computer like a cateye, but as I haven’t used one of those in a long time (and was just using my Garmin Forerunner 301) I’m not used to that interface right now.

This morning we got up bright and early and took them for a ride. It was fun to see the numbers and wonder what it all meant. I’m such a geek — I’m excited to have my first file to upload and (with the help of Coach MarkyV) learn from.

However that brings me to my first sticking point, and I have done some limited googling to no avail so far. It seems the PT manual is missing the info of what to do once the data is collected:

  • Once I have a trip in the PT computer, do I have to upload it to my computer before doing the next trip, or will it save multiple trips? How many will it save?
  • Once I do upload it to my computer, how do I reset the trip to start a new one?
  • While Saris does provide software for use with the PT, I know there are a number of websites that are popular for coaches to be able to give feedback, etc. Which one should I use (and yes, I’m waiting to hear from Marky on that one)?
  • If I upload the file to my computer, is it then gone from the PT? Or could I upload it a number of times if I needed to?

Right now I’ve put an email in to Marky, and I’m sitting here with a computer full of data just waiting to be looked at! And at home I have the highly recommended book Training and Racing with a Power Meter just waiting for me to keep reading it 🙂

Oh, and here is a bit of background on how we came to be the proud parents of new PowerTap wheels:

So why did we get power? Because we’ve heard such good things about how it can help you improve on the bike, and in particular make the best use of your time. As I’m going back to grad school part time in January (with full time work) I’m going to need to make the best use of my training time for sure!

And why PowerTap, not Ergomo or SRM? All of them seem to be reliable and useful, but we have multiple bikes: Mike has a road and a tri bike, and I have a tri bike and hope to add a road one as well soon. So we wanted something easy to switch between bikes, and we didn’t want to spend a fortune getting both bikes set up with it. It’s expensive enough to have to buy two of them! No need to up that to 4! Plus Rich at Wheelbuilder is a good friend, and he uses one as well as being a dealer of them, so we’d have him to learn from.