Category Archives: Thoughts
I haven’ written anything here for months. The summer is moving so fast. Well okay time is time but it just seems that I always have something to do. I have spent the last two months training for this Sunday August 3rd. The Jersey Girl sprint triathlon. I am not sure that I am ready but on Sunday morning before light my husband and I will be heading to the Jersey shore. Long Branch to be exact. I just picked up my package and numbers for me and the bike. 452, that’s me so if your there let me know.
I will chronicle the day in detail so look to hear from me.
So after not riding for over twenty years I bought a bike three weeks ago. They have a name for the category but I guess you would call it a hybrid bike. It’s a Giant Escape. I am not ready for a road bike and probably won’t ever be. My goal is to ride at a reasonable rate of speed and finish in a reasonable time (for me) in my triathlons. This bike is a major step up from the heavy borrowed mountain bike that I rode a few times this past fall. Anyway I am still learning how to ride the dang thing. I had no idea how to use the gears. Little by little I’m getting the hang of it. But here are a few things that I didn’t expect.
It’s still been cool in the morning and my hands have been freezing. I didn’t expect that. My right hand actually got so cold and numb that I couldn’t feel my fingers or change my gears without trouble. Part of the problem is that I have a death grip on the handle bars. This is related to the fear that I still feel when riding. I bought some riding gloves but haven’t been on my bike due to my ongoing knee treatments.
The second thing I didn’t expect was how excruciatingly uncomfortable a bike seat could be. It was so uncomfortable I had to stop riding. I bought a new seat but again I haven’t had a chance to ride with it.
Issue number three is that my feet keep slipping off of the pedals. I discussed this with the folks at Hilltop Bicycles where I bought my bike but they could only suggest cages or clip pedals. Both scare the life out of me but I may have to reconsider if my feet keep slipping.
So if biking isn’t your thing but you need to ride I suggest that you buy your bike from folks in the know. New or used a bike shop is a good place to go. Get the best bike that you can afford. Be ready to maintain it properly and take good care of it. Although I haven’t been able to ride with them I belong to a group of female riders HbWomen who ride out of the Hilltop Bikes in Summit and Cranford. They are supportive and helpful and know a lot about riding. If you are unsure, look for a group that can support you. Lastly, just go for it. I am still nursing a bit of fear but it gets easier every ride. More bike stuff later.
Haven’t written in a while but I am still here. My very first Sprint Triathlon is scheduled for August 3, 2014 and I am getting ready in my head. Now you know that I have talked about this for a long time. First steps were hard. I spent the winter having an on again off again swim season. Our pool was down for some time and I was lazy when it was up. I found out that stamina leaves in a short amount of time. It’s May and I’m really not ready to do the 300 yds yet. On top of that I bought a bike two weeks ago and had to deal with my serious fear of riding. I have been on the bike a few times but there is still a lot of work to do there. I had a needle in my knee yesterday and hope that after the three shot series I will have less pain in it which will make walking easier. I will be walking the 5K part of the Tri’s. Anyway I’m back and will be talking about my road to Triathlon in the upcoming days.
So yesterday when I was walking my second 5K of the year I engaged in a lot of negative self talk. After finishing the second of probably five small hills I began to tell myself you can’t do this. You should have done something to get ready even if you couldn’t walk in the park. Your legs can’t handle this, is that my heart I hear? OMG I instantly forgot that my average walk is 3 1/2 miles and on a good day I push that to 4 miles. Granted the hills were a surprise and I could have been in better shape to handle them but in the end it was the same 3 mile walk that I do often. At the mile two marker I said to myself okay get a grip. There is one mile to go and since you are following the same route back basically, a lot of it should be down hill. It was and before I knew it I was at the start/finish line. When I saw 55 minutes on the time clock I actually started to do my version of a jog (It’s kind of sad) in an attempt to beat my 58 minutes from the January 5K. I did it! Wow. I am only competing against myself so I have to quit the negative talk. It is so powerful!! Remember that the next time that you find yourself saying those counterproductive things to yourself. There are plenty of people to say negative stuff to you once you leave your head, the least you can do is be nice while you’re in your head!
Today was the rescheduled Cupid’s Chase 5K in Morristown, New Jersey. So I learned a lesson today. It’s a good idea to visit the route before doing it. I often walk 3 to 4 miles but my park route is for the most part flat. Morristown is full of hills! Half way through I was exhausted and out of breath. I kept telling myself that I could do the distance and just had to push through the hills. Did I mention the slight wind that we were generally walking into on the first half of the walk? By the time I could see the last hill which was just before the finish, the police said that we had to walk on the sidewalk because they were no longer curbing traffic. It was a messy finish uphill in slush and single file behind the walker in front of me. When we turned into the parking lot where we started and I saw the time clock I was amazed. I finished about a minute faster than my January 1, 2014 time. Go figure. Stay tuned for March event!
Okay I know it’s winter in the northeast blah, blah, blah. I’m just a bit impatient. I rode through the park two days ago and this is what our lake looks like
That’s the lake beyond the tree. It is snow-covered which means it is ice-covered and then snow-covered. The birds have gone elsewhere I guess because there is not a goose, duck or swan to be found. The synthetic track that everyone calls the red carpet is buried in the snow in front of the tree in the picture. The serious runners are still in the park but having to use the black top. Props to them. If it would just get back up to a sustained 30 degrees I’d get back to my walking.
After tomorrows snow threat we may actually see a warming trend! Who’d of thought that Sochi would be warmer. LOL! Well there is a bit of good news, I took the picture at 5:18 pm and it wasn’t dark!!! Spring I know you’re out there!
I know that I live in the northeast and it’s the only home I’ve ever had but this winter has the best of me. I will not say I know what a caged animal feels like because I’m positive that I don’t but I feel trapped. The snow has turned to ice and now it’s downright dangerous. People are almost double parked because the curbs are choked with ice. It’s like driving a obsticle course and you are always worried what you’ll come back to if you have to park your car. My students tell me the buses are crowded and don’t always stop. And guess what? It’s SNOWING!!!!!!!
Okay that feels better. I still have to get up in the snow tomorrow and go to school and my exercise routine has hit a major snag but how much longer can this last?
It’s nice to upright and coherent at the same time because for most of the week I wasn’t either. Walked 3.6 miles on last Sunday, went to church, visited Auntie in the nursing home and saw that Mom got her dinner. Got up in the snow on Monday drove to school to find 2 of my 24 students and oh yes that school was closing soon after I got there and barely made it back home. When I got home I went straight to my bed only to find that my very helpful husband had stripped the bed and done laundry. I grabbed the nearest blanket and climbed on to my bare mattress face down. I left there on Wednesday. Sometime in there my husband made the bed (I really didn’t care, I was dying wasn’t I?) Chills, fever, sweats, no appetite( the surest sign of illness for me) unable to stay awake. Wow! What could it be?
My Doctor claims it was the flu. Just glad it’s gone.
Several of my swim buddies and I belong to a group called Triwomen, a group of ladies who volunteer their time and put together a fabulous training season for female triathletes. Every January they bring together a group of girls and women (14 – 70’s) who want to complete sprint triathlons. Now for those of you who have completed an Ironman or two a sprint Triathlon may seem like nothing for me the 62-year-old anti-athlete it’s a big deal.
This group has all types of free activities for members of the group (no membership fees) and they pretty much start in January with the goal of having members ready for August (Jersey Girl) and September (Iron Girl) events. They have swim clinics, riding clinics and running clinics. Any money donated to the group or realized from the sale of Triwomen gear is donated to Breast Cancer research. It’s a win win situation! They have taken many women from beginner to triathlete in less than a year and have lots of finishers to show for it. So I’m in.
Must overcome fear of the bike! Stay tuned.
Well for those of you not living in the northeast, we are having a bit of a snow.
So after an insane visit to the supermarket with the Armageddon shoppers. I came home to drop groceries and head to the pool. Haven’t been in the water since last Thursday. Well I received a message that the pool is still down and that the reopening date is sketchy. OMG, now what? I am so bad with exercising in the house and my other municipal pool alternative is not as convenient. On top of that it is now 11 degrees and dropping so outside exercise won’t be fun either. I have to make an alternate plan and stick to it. Not sure yet but I will have to get up and do it tomorrow! What do you do when your training schedule is interrupted?