Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Right Before My Very Eyes.

Me getting a gander at my new bike in the hotel lobby.
It's been almost a month since I posted. Sorry. In that time I turned 47, did some races and went on RAGBRAI.

I guess I'll start with my birthday. Which started about 2 weeks early. I had been interested in getting a road bike - a Cannondale Caad 10. It's aluminum, instead of carbon fiber, so it handles really well, but is about half the price of most road bikes. Cannondale doesn't sell their bikes on-line and there isn't a dealer anywhere near us who had the bike in my size. So, I had to let it go and figured I'd wait until next year's bikes came out and there were still plenty of them to buy at the beginning of the season.

Then, when we went to meet my brother and his wife at the hotel in Maquoketa, before the triathlon, I was telling my brother how I had to make sure I could ride my time trial bike up that 20% grade hill at the beginning of the bike portion of our race. He said, "Wouldn't it be easier on a faster, lighter road bike?"

"Um, I guess..." At that point, my sister-in-law walked behind me and The Guy wandered into the other part of the hotel lobby and reappeared with a Cannondale exactly like the one I wanted. Still not getting it and thinking that one of the other racers had left their bike in the lobby like my brother had, I said, "Hey, this is exactly like the bike. I want! I wonder who's it is?"

The Guy answered, "Yours." He had been sneaky and found a shop in Madison, where my brother lives and had him pick it up and bring it down for me. The best surprise and birthday present ever!

Thursday, July 05, 2012

I'm Hotter Than the Sun on the Fourth of July

Stinky in her funky 4th get-up.
I hope you all had a wonderful holiday. It was hot here, but we were able to deal with it.

On Tuesday night, Stinky and Coadster had gone to the Quad Cities and The Guy and I were happy to have a night to ourselves - for the most part. He went on a training ride, and I got everything ready for dinner. I grilled salmon with a lemon. butter and fresh dill sauce. I steamed asparagus, made a salad, aute'd zucchini and red peppers and then served it with good bread from the co-op and brie. It was all very good. While we were eating, our friend JH stopped by to show off his '80's Panasonic bike that he bought from the Bike Library and was fixing up. He stayed and ate some salad and salmon and we talked bikes for a while, before he took off. I've been DVR"ing The Tour, so we watched the last part of it, before we went to bed.

I went for an early run on the 4th - it was almost 80 degrees by 7:30. The Guy went to his mom's to help her with a few things. My plan was to tidy-up the house and go to the store, before The Guy's ex and still friend, came to visit from Minneapolis. I made the mistake of reading my book for a half hour, but it was so good, I had to finish it. If you haven't already, The Elegance of the Hedgehog is a great read...Especially the last half.

The Guy's friend finally arrived and we had lunch and then road our bikes, in the hot, hot, heat to the Resevoir to swim. Riding home, after we were soaking wet, was WAY more comfortable than riding there.

In the evening we went downtown to eat. Almost every restaurant was closed.We were on a waiting list for a while at one place, but the kept telling us it would be longer and longer, so we finally went to The Mill. Coadster joined us and I had the veggie lasagna and we all tried to avoid watching the hotdog eating contest that was being shown on all the TV's there.

We rode our bikes home to the sounds of the fireworks display going on behind us and it was all so very nice.

Monday, July 02, 2012

Rock the Boat. Don't Rock the Boat, Baby

So, I did my second triathlon of my life, which was also my second triathlon this month. Jeesh! I might be a little too old for all of this, but I really like triathlons.

This one was called an adventure race and took place in Maquoketa, Ia. Basically, they just replaced the quick swim with a very long and arduous canoe race - at least for those of us who didn't train for it...

We left for Maquoketa on Friday evening to make sure I could actually ride my bike up the 20% grade hill, right after the canoe section. We met my brother and his wife for dinner at the really cool hotel where they stayed, then we went back to their room for a drink and to talk about our itinerary the next day.
There were these cool lime kilns at the last transition spot.

We got up early and deposited our things at each transition.

We listened to our instructions and then we were off. The canoe part was the hardest for me. My brother races canoes on a regular basis, but I've been on a canoe about 4 times my entire life.The water was very low and so we had to maneuver a lot and our times were much slower than they would have been, had their been more water. My brother yelled at me a couple of times, but I just told him I didn't understand what he was saying and he said, "I guess I should stop yelling then..." Yes. he should.

We finished the canoe and grabbed our bikes. I was dead after the canoe, but my brother was raring to go. He took that steep hill in no time flat. I, however, felt like I crawled up it. I regained my strength a few miles into the ride and came in only about a minute behind my brother.

The Guy was waiting for me at the last transition. This race was a little more lax. usually,  you aren't allowed to have any outside contact, but here they didn't care, so the guy took my bike and helmet from me and I was off to run my 5K.

Of course, it was about 95 degrees by then and I hadn't been drinking enough water. I started getting the chills, but I kept going and when I finished the race, a man came over and handed me a piece of cold watermelon. It was the best thing anyone could have done for me.

My brother and I ended up winning the co-ed, race canoe category and got $80. Since my brother paid the $50 entrance fee, he kept the cash, but he had paid for our dinner the night before, so it was only fair.

 I went home hot and tired and happy. It was pretty grueling, but I'm so glad I did it.