Thursday, October 2, 2014

Savory Cycle

Last Sunday was the Savory Cycle.  It was billed as a "Progressive "Meal" + “Metric” Century"   to "Celebrate the thriving local food and beverage culture. Contribute to the vibrant bicycling scene. Raise awareness and money for Broke Spoke Community Bike Shop."  

What could be better than combining two of my favorite things - riding & eating! I was sold. I immediately signed up Steve & I. I talked Audrey into it - I am pretty sure she was cursing me around mile 55. Steve's running buddies Karen, Jody & Rick signed up as well. It was going to be a fun day.

We started out at West Sixth Brewery at about 9AM for registration. They had Midway School of Baking treats & Magic Beans Coffee to get us started.  

Outside of West Sixth
At 10AM we headed out on the first segment to Wallace Station. I am not accustomed to riding in large groups. The majority of my rides are solo even when I am out with a group. I just like it that way. The first 5 miles of this ride was in a pack & I coasted most of the way. Too many years of training with Susan has made me unable to coast downhill. It just feels so wrong. Somewhere along Spur road everyone started to spread out & I was able to ride a nice pace.

The weather was beautiful. Sunny & low 80's. Perfect day for riding. The first stop was Wallace Station. The menu was fresh fruit cornucopia, bacon, egg and cheese gougeres & watermelonade, water and tea.

First leg was a couple miles longer than advertised. 
Wallace Station
Food

We hung out here for about 30-45 minutes or so before heading to Woodford Reserve for lunch. The route had us going down the Millville hill - it is way more fun going down than up! This leg was about 13 miles.  I started feeling the miles on the last couple miles to Woodford. The longest ride of the season was 40 miles but the majority have been 20-35 miles so this was entering new territory.

The lunch menu was Kyushi( sushi roll with collard greens, ky prawn, black rice, red pepper, sesame aioli), Mini baguettes with cucumber, tomato and pesto, Nutella, banana, sorghum crepes, Salad of arugula, mixed greens, roasted butternut squash, fresh mozzarella, balsamic vinaigrette & Switchel, water, tea.

One thing that put us off at this stop is that there were signs that said 1 piece per person. The first couple of stops seemed to be short on food. They knew how many folks signed up but I don't think they were prepared for a cyclists hunger. The last couple of stops seemed better prepared so they were either making adjustments on the fly or they just had more food available.

Millville Hill - the steep downhill



Woodford - Beautiful location along the creek 
Karen, Audrey, Me & Steve at Woodford
After lunch & a reapplication of Aquaphor we were on our way to Holly Hill. This was the shortest leg of the day. The small plate menu was Antipasto spread & Ginger honey lemonade.


Holly Hill
Audrey with the thumbs up
Holly Hill
Holly Hill
After eating I tried to stretch the hips good. The last leg was the longest & all in unchartered territory. I had no idea how I was going to feel. Well, maybe more correctly stated - I knew I would feel pretty bad I just didn't know just how bad I would feel.

The organizers did a last minute course change to get us off Leestown road which made the overall course a few miles longer. Miles 50-60 sucked. My legs were cooked. My seat hurt bad, really bad. I stopped at Yarnallton & Falcon Wood way to switch out my water bottles, take a couple E21 recovery tabs & talk to Audrey for a few minutes. We started back up for the last 15 miles & surprisingly I felt quite a bit better. I had meant to take the E21 at each stop but forgot. Not sure if that is what re-energized me but I felt a lot better.  

The last 10 miles were mostly on the Legacy Trail. It was a relief to get back on the LT - it felt familiar which was a mental boost. The overall ride was 73.24 miles which was about 8 miles longer than advertised and close to 30 miles longer than my longest ride ever! It was such a relief to roll back up to West Sixth and be done. It was a great ride but I was hurting and ready to be off the saddle!

West Sixth dinner & beer pairing - Prime rib with chimichurri, Catfish escabeche, Vegetable lasagna, Greased pig( tomatoes, bacon, blue cheese, sorghum vinaigrette, basil), Mexican corn salad, Kale caesar salad, Chocolate bread pudding & bourbon butter sauce, Baguettes

So happy to be DONE!
Yowza! 
West Sixth Dinner 
Savory Swag
Karen, Audrey, Me, Rick & Steve and our full bellies & tired legs
Photo Credit - Jody Shoup

The following photo is my absolute favorite of the day taken by Jody Shoup. I love how the one horse is lit up & the others are in silhouette.

Photo Credit - Jody Shoup
Overall, this was an awesome event. I really enjoyed it. It was so well organized & the route was clearly marked. All the food was delicious & the rest stop locations were amazing. I would definitely do this again. Although I may try to get more miles in the saddle prior.

What's next? I registered today for the Backroads Brewery Ride. The ride starts at West Sixth & goes to Rooster Brewery in Paris, KY. 100% of the $20 fee goes to the Lexington Humane Society & PAWS (Paris Animal Welfare Society). Each rider gets 2 beer samples at both breweries & a West Sixth & Rooster Brewery pint glass. Love.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Tri for Sight Race Report

This post is long over due.  Looking back I realized I never wrote a race report for this race last year either.  Hmmm.  Odd, since Tri for Sight was my first triathlon in 2009 and the race that has changed me forever.

Last year they move T4S to Spindletop from University of Kentucky campus.   In doing so, all legs are now shorter but it makes for a safer bike course.

The new T4S is a 400 meter swim, 12.9 mile bike & a 3.1 mile run.  This race still sells out which says a lot because most other area sprint triathlon numbers are down.  So the combination of lots of people, seeded swim & not being the faster swimmer makes for a long wait before starting my race.  I started my swim about 54 minutes after the first swimmer.   The first swimmers were already coming in off the bike when I was still waiting on the pool deck.  By the time I got out of the pool the winners were finished already and there were still folks on the pool deck.  It took ~85 minutes from first to last swimmer in the pool.



See that guy behind me?  He passed me around 100 meters, then slowed down just enough so I could dog him for a few laps & then I eventually passed him again on the last or second to last lap.  I passed the women in front of me around 50 meters but other than those 2 folks I had some great clear water.  I am pretty sure I seeded myself at 9m55s.  There is a 20 second interval between swimmers.  My swim time ended up at 10m09s which is within that 20 second window.  I know folks hate standing around for an hour but when everyone is seeded correctly the swim is so much better!

Ready, set.....
Remember that guy?  I am on inside lane.

Swim Time = 10m09s


Classy Ass Shot - I have one of these pics from every race I do that Steve is at.  Hmmm... 

T1 = 1m48s

Did I mention how perfect the weather was for this race?  It wasn't too chilly, not too hot but just right for racing.  Nice change compared to the week before in Danville.



The bike is an out and back with some rolling hills of course.  My bike split was faster than last year but not the fastest time I have done on this course.  This course is the same as the old Markey Tri course.

Bike Time = 45m30s


Sorry no ass shots in T2 - only because Steve didn't have the right angle :-)

T2 Time = 0m53s

Did I mention the weather was perfect for racing?  Oh and I remembered to take my inhaler on the bike which makes for a much better running experience.  These two things combined allowed me to shave over a minute off last years run time! Not too shabby since I have cut down my run mileage in favor of increasing my bike mileage.

Run Time = 30m16s


Total Time = 1h28m38s ---> A shiny new PR by just under 3 minutes!

40-44 Age Group Place = 11 / 19

Thanks to USAT rules I will age up to the 45-49 (yikes!) age group next year.

Free Pizza & Beer for Finishers?  Love.  

Me, Ruth & Audrey 
T4S Goodies - Love the West 6th T4S Finisher buff!
There is one more triathlon this season.  It is the Frogs Gone Wild tri in early November.  I plan to register soon for it.  Check out the bike course HERE - there is one doozy of a climb!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Danville Triathlon Race Report

The McDowell Wellness Center's Help Make a Difference Triathlon in Danville, KY was originally scheduled on July 29th but then this happened....

July 29, 2014
July 29, 2014

So they rescheduled to August 31st.  It is a small town, local race.  I was really impressed with the race director & the flexibility of rescheduling.  I have never been to a triathlon that was cancelled & just assumed they wouldn't be rescheduled because of the logistics of a triathlon.

After a stressful work week, a terrible nights sleep, a 5AM work conference call & once again rainy weather I didn't have any expectations for this race.  I considered not going but then figured since I already felt miserable I might as well go do a triathlon in crappy weather conditions.

8/30 - The night before 
Fortunately no lightening this time but it was pretty wet.  The heavy rain did hold off until just after I finished the race.

So sleepy
I got my new watch the day before.  I had a moment of panic as we were lining up because I couldn't remember how to get to triathlon mode but Steve walked me through it.  He is awesome.  He always gets up early with me & yesterday had to stand in the rain & watch us crazy fools get our tri on.  I also have to give a shout out to Jin who also drove to Danville to was us race.  Not sure who is crazier - them or us!

The race started about 8:15.  There were probably between 50-60 people competing.  The swimmers went off every 10 seconds so I was in the pool in no time.  The swim was 300 yards.  Somehow I was super lucky & had a really clean & clear swim.  You can see there was no one in my lane at 75 yards but the lane next to me was a cluster.  Thankfully it wasn't me in the cluster this time although Audrey (yellow cap) looked to be in the mix.  With such clear water I was able to really stretch out.  I breathed every 2 strokes this time instead of my usual every 3rd stroke.

Total 300 yard swim time = 6m50s.  1st of 3 in age group! Woot!  That has never happened before!


I didn't bother trying to go fast in transition.  Since it was so rainy I put all my stuff in a garbage bag to keep it relatively dry.  For the most part it worked well.  I decided I didn't want to run in soaking wet socks so I went without socks on the bike.  I never do this but fortunately it worked out just fine.

T1 = 2m11s


I had never been on this bike course so I had no idea what to expect.  The course was great & I think I only had 1 car pass me in 18.5 miles.  It was an out & back bike which is my favorite.  The ride out felt great & I felt like I was cruising at a good clip.  Around mile 5 I started to wonder if I had a tail wind because it felt too easy.  Well I was right.  The ride back was quite a bit tougher thanks to a head wind.  The ride out was spent mostly in big gear but the ride back was in small gear.  I was worried I was cooking my legs & the run would be miserable so I was trying to stay in small gear on the way back.

I heard the miles clicking off on my watch but had no idea what my time was - couldn't figure out how to display the elapsed time on my new watch while riding.  When I got back to transition Steve told me I was out for 1 hour 8 minutes so I super pleased.  When I got home & looked at my Garmin I was really surprised to see the splits.

Bike splits from my new Garmin
Total 18.5 mile Bike Time = 1h07m44s - 16.4 mph - 2nd of 3 in Age Group

T2 = 1m19s

Again T2 wasn't speedy but uneventful.  I had 4 miles running ahead of me & was really wondering how I would do.  Since ramping up my bike miles I dropped my weekly runs from 3 to 2 per week so I was thinking I would be happy with a 12 minute mile.  I went out with my usual plan of running 1 mile, walking 1 minute.   When the first mile clicked off I was pleasantly surprised to see a 10m04s mile.


I have been suffering from side stitches during the run in the last couple of races. I think this has to do with the fact I haven't been doing any bricks in training this summer.   I hope to remember that for next season.  The run was a lollipop course through the local neighborhood with some minor hills.  My pace dropped off a bit for miles 2-4 but the average was still in the 10's even with the side stitch.

I was so happy to cross the finish line & thrilled to hear the announcer say my total time was just under 2 hours!

Total 4 mile run time = 41m20s - 3rd of 3 in Age Group

Total Time = 1h59m27s - 2nd Place in Age Group

Audrey at the finish
The other cool thing about doing a small race is if you show up & finish you win an age group award.  Audrey & I both came in 2nd in our age groups.


The drive to Danville took about 40 minutes.  We didn't leave the house until about 6:25AM & got there a few minutes after 7AM.  Not a ton of people do this race so check in was super fast.  The parking lot is right next to transition so setup was quick.  So many plusses for a local race.  I really look forward to doing this race again next year hopefully in better weather!

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