Wednesday, October 28, 2015

My first road bike and its first lakefront journey!

On Friday I bought my first road bike, a spunky Giant Avail Advanced 2. The previous Saturday L and I went to Kozy's to talk about bikes and see what they had-I wanted to go there because I saw they carried Giant bikes. I spent a few hours asking questions and learning everything and all things bike. We determined what size bike I needed as well as what type of bike based on my future race and life plans. I felt very comfortable with all the info presented otherwise I would have gone to another shop.

Fast forward a few days because the shop had to get bikes from other stores for me to try. During the week I saw 2 people ride by on Giant bikes within a 2 minute span and wondered if it was a "sign" of which bike I would choose. My options for this round were a Cannondale Synapse 5 and the Giant. I rode laps around the parking lot on both while Vicky asked me questions and held the other bike for me.

To be honest, I liked both equally. There wasn't a huge difference between them that was obvious for me. I felt the Giant was slightly more of an extension of me and the disc brakes sealed the deal due to the fact I would be riding some hilly courses next year and the ability to stop quickly was important to me.

We went back into the store and the bike was prepared for me to take home. I got clipless pedals and some water bottle cages. The sales guy made more and more adjustments which made deceptively huge differences to the way the bike felt. Again I feel he was extremely intuitive and knowledgable about bikes which made me feel very comfortable going to Kozy's. I'll likely get a professional bike fit by next year to ensure everything is perfect.

On Sunday I took my bike out for its first lakefront ride. Saturday night I practiced getting in and out of the pedals again. I was truly scared of falling or crashing.

We zoomed south and despite it being high 40's, I felt very warm. The bike was snappy and really fun to ride.

I stopped a few times to take photos and to practice getting on and off the bike. By the end of the ride I felt very confident in my clipless pedal abilities. At the beginning of the ride I almost flopped over because I didn't shift my weight to the leg that was unclipped. Lesson learned.

This photo pretty much sums up the entire 16 miles I rode. I couldn't wipe the big fat cheesy grin off my face. I know I made a great decision with buying this bike and am super stoked for our 2016 adventures!


Monday, October 26, 2015

Week 2 of base building for races next year

Learning new things is super fun, although it's totally overwhelming at times. Just when I start to feel more confident about something, I discover many more items I need to learn about and research. It's like peeling apart an onion and seeing all the layers. Buying a bike was a very positive experience, but it just doesn't end there. Now I need X, Y and Z and need to do X, Y and Z to it to ensure it stays in working order. I sometimes wish triathlons were as simple as running, but that is part of the draw for me. I really enjoy pushing boundaries and learning new things, so it makes me happy to be soaking up all of this new information. And besides that, I really love a good challenge!

Monday: 10 miles cycled

Tuesday: 4 mile run, 3 miles cycled

Wednesday: REST aka Hungover.

Thursday: 12 miles cycled

Friday: REST aka Buy my bike!

Saturday: 11 miles cycled, 4 mile run

Sunday: AM: 16.2 miles on my new bike!!

Sunday: PM: 3.8 miles cycled inside, 2 mile run

Total: 66 miles, 5:12

56 miles cycled, 10 miles run

Goals from the previous week:

  • Manage time better.   Did better this week, but work is also extremely busy right now.
  • Run more. Check. wanted more than 10 miles, but given the 2 rest days, i'm happy.
  • Wake up earlier to complete workouts before work. Check. 
  • Start swimming again. FAIL. 
Other stuff:
  • Bought my bike on Friday! Went with my friend Vicky who helped me decide which one to get after zooming around the parking lot. (More on that in another post)
  • Felt good with all of my workouts despite being stretched extra thin at work.
Goals for next week:
  • Start swimming again
  • Continue to increase run and cycle time
  • Add one small speed sesh for cycling and running.
  • Log my strength/core work. I currently do at least 4 sessions a week, but dont keep track of it.

We went to the last Bulls preseason game on Tuesday evening with some friends and had a blast! We even ran into Emmers who was also at the game. I had a bit too much fun and felt like shit the next day, but it was worth it.
Friday I bought my first road bike! A beautiful Giant Avail Advanced 2. 
A post just isn't complete without a cameo from the CB dog.


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Week 1 of base building for races next year

I find that when I have long term goals, recapping my weekly training keeps me motivated to stay on track. And since I won't have any "goal" races until 2016, I want to build the best base I can to be successful at whatever I decide to do. Currently I'm contemplating a spring marathon and then a couple of triathlons. Whereas before I used to be content with being a "runner," my focus has now shifted to being a more complete athlete. Since I have been injury prone in the past, mixing up running with cycling and swimming as well as strength circuits will suit me better for my longterm goal of being healthy and injury free. Because healthy & injury free > any PR.

Monday: 10 mile cycle

Tuesday: REST

Wednesday: 21 mile cycle

Thursday: 5 mile cycle, 1 mile run

Friday: 4 mile run

Saturday: 10 mile cycle

Sunday: 10 mile cycle

Total: 61 miles, 4:30

56 miles cycled, 5 miles run

Goals for next week:

  • Manage time better.
  • Run more.
  • Wake up earlier to complete workouts before work.
  • Start swimming again.
Other stuff:
  • On Saturday I went to a bike store to look at road bikes. I was overwhelmed (in a good way) with all the knowledge I gained from that initial visit. I am excited to try some bikes out later this week.
  • I finally was able to use the gift card I received when I won the Mikkeller Beer Run back in May. It took a while, but the shirt and shorts I got finally arrived this past week. 


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

This is How We Spectate. #ChiMarathon

Early Sunday morning we left our place to get some coffee before heading to mile 23.5 to spectate the Chicago Marathon.

Michigan Ave was completely empty and devoid of spectators and runners- this was the final stretch. Around mile 26. 
We took the EL down to 35th ave to hang out near the Goose Island bus to spectate. This area isn't too crowded and is a prime spot to take photos.

After seeing some  wheelchair athletes fly by, we saw the men's leaders. It is incredible how they make 4:xx pace look so effortless and easy.
A little while later we saw the women's leaders.
And then saw complete bad ass Deena Kastor on her way to a 7th place finish in 2:27 and 10th place Sara Hall who had a huge PR to finish in 2:31!
Eric  who had already volunteered in the morning came out to join our little cheer station. We had a lot of fun cowbelling and cheering and taking photos of our friends who were running this year. Huge congrats to everyone who ran this year!
After seeing many of our friends run by, we decided to to get an IPA from the Goose Island bus to take with us on our walk back home.
Instead of taking the EL back to our place we decided to walk along Michigan ave- there was no shortage of spectators with fun signs to read.
On our way back up Michigan ave, we stopped by Motor Row brewing to rehydrate. Spectating is hard work! We continued watching the runners from the bar on their 2nd level.
We eventually made our way back up to our condo and I cheered for runners while handing out pretzel rods. We brought the Whistle Pig downstairs in time to cheer for one of our Mikkeller Running Club runners who was completing his first marathon. At mile 26 we congratulated him and all took a small shot of whiskey with him to celebrate.
This is how we spectate.


Thursday, October 1, 2015

A busy day

At 2:30 am CB woke us up. We quickly threw on our clothes because we knew not to question him. We took the elevator to the street where he proceeded to vomit multiple times and have diarrhea. Crisis averted! I then take 20 minutes to google his symptoms/home remedies and found that not giving more than a few teaspoons of water at a time helps prevent additional vomiting. Whereas letting him drink all he wants would induce more vomiting.

A few hours later the same thing happened and I jumped out of bed and took him out so he could once again relieve himself.

Another 2 hours pass and I take him out one last time before heading to work. He barks at small kids in the elevator which makes me slightly less concerned about him being sick. I give him a few probiotic treats and don't give him breakfast.

I feel bad leaving him to go to work, but L was working from home so I knew CB was in good hands.

At work I had to go to a different building and count our inventory of supplies. 4.5 hours later the we got to take a break and see some gorgeous views of Chicago which made me feel just a bit better.

On my way home I got CB some oatmeal, rice and carrots to cook a super bland meal that he will eat for the next few days until things return to normal.

He ate all of the small amount of food I gave him and looked at me with those sweet blue eyes begging for more- which I declined due to the early AM events.

He ended up sleeping through the night without incident and now seems to be back to normal. I have no idea what caused this stomach bug but I'm happy he's feeling better.