9.08.2011

We're gonna need a bigger garage!

Needs a name...perhaps "Johnny 5" (Short Circuit was a funny movie)...?
Again, our 2-wheeled stable is growing. This time we are adding a "petite" Cannondale mountain bike. Apparently Cannondale had something like 500 size XS/petite 2009 F5 Féminine bikes languishing in their warehouse. So our favorite shop *cough* drug-pushers *cough* got a bunch and are selling them for about half of original retail. Hubby insisted we get one, even though I don't really have any interest in mountain biking...for several reasons.

#1: I already struggle to fit in all of the running and biking I want to do before my body starts to fight back with exhaustion and/or injury issues.

#2: I am a friggin' klutz and bruise and bleed like no one else (I apparently am "a bleeder," according to a surgeon who nearly gave me a unit of blood during elective surgery). I have visions of crashing and bleeding-out on a trail before emergency crews are able to get to me. Seriously.

This river of blood was the result of a super-slow tip-over on my bike, recently...as I was unable to unclip (again) from those Shimano 105 SPD-SL pedals (which have since been returned to Amazon.com.  I am now pedaling on a pair of Look Keo Plus pedals, which have given me 0 issues...even several cranks tighter than the loosest tension setting).

If I can bleed like that after a simple <3mph fall, just imagine what an actual crash in the woods could render in terms of blood-loss... *shudder*

So mostly my plan is to play with this bike on roads and snow that my cyclocross bike can't handle, then hand it off to the rugrat when he's big enough to ride it, which shouldn't be much more than a year or two from now.

Speaking of cyclocross, I was able to put a few more miles on my relatively new Redline Conquest in recent weeks.  A week+ ago the relatively subtle snap/crackle/popping that had started during the One Day Ride Across MI became increasingly louder and more persistent.  Apparently the left side bottom bracket bearing was shot.  So while my zippy road bike was in the shop I did a longish ride on my 'cross bike, with road tires.  It was surprisingly agile on the road.  And FAR smoother than my previous aluminum road bike.  What a difference geometry and tube construction can make!

Last night I enjoyed my 2nd ride exploring backroads on the bike (with true cyclocross tires back on).  Hubby showed me some previously unexplored (by me) backroads.  Fun FUN!  My first ever cyclocross race is this coming Sunday...in 3 days.  Hopefully I will feel fully recovered from my 3rd and final sprint duathlon of the year, which took place on Labor Day (3 days ago).

What a fun race!  It was the inaugural Honey Creek Inn Duathlon.  And my favorite race of the year, thus far.  Even though it was my shortest duathlon, it may have been the hardest.  Fortunately it was not hot or humid, unlike my previous race...but it was chilly and WINDY...and pretty danged hilly.  The bike leg was about the same length as that of my previous duathlon, but my pace was about a half mph slower.  Given the challenges of the course I think I was actually stronger, for this race.

The run legs went better than the previous race, too.  Heat really beats me down.  Even with the hills and wind, I think my overall run pace was better on this race, as we were in the lower 50s for the duration of the event.

My results: 42/86 overall, 6/25 women, 5/12 age group (30-39...4/11 if we don't count the first place in my age group, since she was overall female winner. Half of the female field was in my AG, sheesh). I know how to cherry-pick my races! Also, I only got passed by ONE person on the entire cycling leg.

I think it's possible that I may have podiumed for my age group, but not certain.  The 2nd place winner in my AG has a masculine name...and there is a person with that same name from the same town who does running and cycling races, according to Athlinks.com, but no evidence anywhere of a female by that name anywhere.  Weird. So, assuming something got entered incorrectly and that participant is a guy AND if the 1st place female in my AG wasn't counted, since she was the overall female winner...that would put me in 3rd.  Pretty groovy!

The race didn't provide detailed leg splits, unfortunately.  They had a timing mat coming into the 1st transition and then at the finish.  Somehow they extrapolated splits from this (?).  According to that I was 51/86 on the first run, 31/86 on the bike, and 45/86 on the 2nd run.  But the paces and places are including transitions in some way.  So it's not particularly accurate.  The race directors asked for comments and suggestions on their Facebook page.  I asked that next year they have fully timed transitions/legs...I'd gladly pay $5-10 more for that.

I also asked that they institute a stricter no-iPod/headphones policy.  I had TWO issues with blissfully unaware participants during the race.  One in transition moseying-along with people running up behind him and one during the bike leg...on an open course with cars.  The rider had no clue I was attempting to pass, even though I called-out to alert them.  Headphones have no place on an open road race, particularly not one with hills and winding roads without good lines of sight.

The last few days have been all about recovery.  I have been more wiped-out and sore from this race than I was after riding across the state.  Probably didn't help that I tacked-on another 35 hilly and windy training miles with a small group of riders from the JDRF Ride to Cure team after the race, heh.

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