Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Bike Rides + life lately

I finally have internet at home again! As it turns out, I didn't have a bad cable modem as I had suspected, but instead, I had a bad cable modem power cord.  But my problems are all fixed and I can read my email, blog stalk facebook as much as I want now.

Life, as always, has been busy lately, especially with triathlon training thrown into the mix.  But I'm enjoying it right now.  I'm not overwhelmed, but I'm also not watching too much TV at night.  It's a good balance.

Since I haven't been doing any weekly training recaps, I thought I would highlight some of my recent rides.  On May 19, I rode in the Arlington 500 for the second time.  Before you worry that I rode 500 miles, let me tell you that is 500 furlongs and only an easy-peasy 69 miles (just kidding, 69 miles is tiring).  I met an older lady named Ruth from the Chicago Triathlon Club who had competed in the Galena Triathlon the day before.  She was a trooper because Galena is hilly so her legs had to be tired from pounding up those hills! She invited me to ride along with her and her friend and I was all, "Drafting, yay!" Okay I didn't say that, but I really appreciated it and had a nice time chatting with Ruth.  Sadly, the aid stations didn't have any Oreos this year, but I still ate plenty of other delicious snacks. You absolutely cannot go wrong with this $10 (pre-register) or $15  (day-off) ride.

The next weekend, Matt came to visit.  Memorial Day is supposed to be the unofficial start of summer, but it was freezing that weekend.  No sitting by the pool for us and we even had to wear jackets to bike in the afternoon! We spent the morning testing driving a car that Matt is looking at.  By we, I mean, Matt drove because I still don't know how to drive a manual without everyone in the car wishing they had a barf bag.  I made the huge mistake of forgetting fuel. I had one spare gel in my fuel box to split, but 50 calories for a 2+ hour ride is no where near adequate.  Matt was fading quickly on the last lap around Busse Woods but we still managed to get in 40 miles!

More importantly, I'm still faster than Matt. I'm just kidding, I'm sure he will be kicking me butt on the bike sooner or later.

I have a new partner-in-crime--Kelly--to talk about all things including triathlon, wine, running, and certainly not least important, food.  I feel like I annoy most people when I talk non-stop about triathloning and training, but Kelly also likes to talk about all that stuff.  It's a match made in triathlon heaven, if there were such a thing.  

Kelly recently invited me to a Yelp event at Frato's Pizza in Schaumburg. Kelly is a Yelp elite and after this awesome event, I am on the quest to be a Yelp elite (great tips from Kelly on how to be a Yelp elite here). The event was a ton of fun and I ate a lot of delicious food.  Highlights include a coffee burger, lots of pizza and a spicy mac'n'cheese.  I didn't even bother trying the ghost pepper sauce though for fear of burning my mouth right off. I can't wait to go back to Frato's!

On the following Sunday, I got to hangout with Kelly again.  I told you she was my newest partner-in-crime! We were participating in the Udder Century hosted by the Mchenry Bicycle Club in the little town of Union, Illinois.  I carpooled with Kelly and we arrived at Donley's Wild West Town around 8 and I got registered for the ride and Kelly (pre-registered) picked up her wristband.  Before we headed off, we met up with fellow blogger and triathlete Lauren along with her husband and two friends. 

Photo courtesy of Kelly
Again the weather was not really cooperating with bike riding and it was cold and windy.  And I mean holy wind, Batman.  At one point while I was riding next to Kelly, I felt like I was riding fairly hard and I looked down and we were only going 12 mph.  25 mph headwinds are not pleasant. I was relieved to turn back towards the start after the last aid station and have a nice tailwind.  It made 20+ mph feel fairly effortless.  

Hosted bike rides are the best and I loved that this ride had a cow theme.  The rest stops were fully stocked with PB&J and only PB sandwiches for the jelly haters out there (me!) plus bagels, bananas, cookies (delish!), granola bars, lemonade, gatorade, and water.  Due to the cold temps, we didn't hang around long at the rest stops because it didn't take long to get cold when you weren't riding.  At one point, Lauren even noticed that my lips were turning blue.  Definitely time to get back on the bike.

Photo courtesy Kelly
Funny story to share.  Right before we pulled into the first aid station, we pulled up to a stop sign at a cross road.  Across the road was a church and I instantly recognized where we were--on Highway 20 in Garden Prairie.  I think this means I've been cruising between Iowa and Illinois too much! 

After the ride, Kelly and I headed out for a 40 minute transition run. Unfortunately Kelly had to turn back due to tummy troubles but I finished out the 40 minutes.  It was so tempting to quit especially when I knew there was a pasta buffet waiting for me back at the finish.  

Kelly, me, and Lauren sporting our Venus de Miles jerseys (photo courtesy Kelly)
The pasta was great and overall I would highly recommend this ride. I hope I am able to make it back next year.

I'm still in recovery mode from Ragnar this weekend.  But I have a lot of stories to share with you!

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