Unglamorous

Who knew that all of this running and biking could be so incredibly unglamorous!?

 

This morning, Caitlin asked me to go on a bike ride with her. I knew I wouldn’t be able to bike for a few days due to a crazy schedule so I happily agreed.

 

It was a great ride! I ended up riding 25.0 miles (I only planned on 10-15) in 1 hour, 52 minutes. We chatted about Caitlin’s upcoming 100 mile bike race and I am so excited for her!

 

It was a fun ride, and I even found a dollar bill on the side of the road! Dolla Dolla Bill, yo!

 

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Apparently in the past few weeks, it became summer in Florida. I didn’t pack enough water and I had to borrow some of Caitlin’s.

 

I came home and was pretty much STARVING! It was well passed my normal lunch time, so I whipped up a quick Hawaiian Muffin Pizza.

 

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I used:

  • whole wheat english muffin
  • marinara sauce
  • string cheese
  • ham slice
  • pineapple chunks

 

I baked it for 10 minutes at 350F. So good!

 

I also roasted some broccoli on the side.

 

 

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Delicious and filling meal!

 

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While I was cleaning up from lunch, I noticed some strange markings on my hands…(where the gloves go.)

 

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Then, I noticed my wrist looking pale (where the Garmin lives)…

 

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…I then looked down at my legs…

 

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OMG! I am SO sunburnt!

 

I started panicking! SKIN CANCER! SKIN CANCER!

 

I ran to the bathroom and checked out my back, which was also exposed to the sun.

 

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Uh-Oh. I am officially a lobster.

 

I can’t believe that in two hours I managed to get so red! This is bad news. I have a wedding to attend tomorrow night, and I’m wearing a strapless dress!

 

What should I DO!!?

 

I always think of all the GOOD things that running and biking do for my body. A strong heart, strong legs, strong lungs, stress relief, and pure joy of exercise.

 

Today, I thought of all of the UNGLAMOUROUS things that they have done for me.

 

My toes/feet are ruined.

 

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I have permanently tattooed bike chain greased leg.

 

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Shorts tan lines.

 

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…and now, a sunburned back. Le sigh.

 

I really don’t know what to do about this. YIKES!

 

❤ MegaNerd

Tweaking Things

Occasionally when I ride my bike for periods of time over an hour or so, the front of my left knee starts to hurt. NOT the same knee as the one I injured from running (that was the right.)

 

According to bicycling.com, the cause is under-extension of my leg in the pedal stroke. This means that my leg doesn’t get a change to stretch out because the saddle is too low.

 

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I raised my bike seat up about 1.5 inches (can you see the line where it used to be?) and it made all the difference in the world!

 

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On my bike ride yesterday with Kelly, I felt absolutely NO knee pain! Success! This sure would have been nice to know during the half metric century ride. Hmph.

 

I love figuring out simple fixes to big problems.

 

Speaking of which, I had a pounding headache this morning. I hit up Dunkin Donuts for a small iced coffee on the way to job #1 to fix that problem.

 

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Lunch was leftovers from the other night…

 

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…they didn’t reheat well. The sauce got all watery. Maybe I put it in the storage container too early and it melted the sauce?

 

I also had Trader Joe’s sweet potato chips and an apple. YUM!

 

Well, I’m off to job #2. Still no word on the engineering job interview I went on last week, keep your fingers crossed!!

 

❤ MegaNerd

Friday Trail Ride

This afternoon, I met Kelly for a bike ride at the trail near my work.

 

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Before I left for the trail, I had a CLIF bar in the car.

 

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I came straight from work, and planned on changing at the trail. Since there are no bathrooms at the trailhead, I had to change in the car. I’m hoping that nobody saw!

 

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Since my bike has a flat tire, Mark let me borrow his bike. Thanks, Mark! I haven’t had the time to change my tire out yet.

 

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I got off work a little earlier than I expected, and got 4.0 miles in before Kelly got there. Once she got to the trail, we biked another 15.0 miles together.

 

Altogether I biked 19.0 miles, but I’m not sure of exact time. We went for a pretty leisurely ride, around 12-13 mph. It was great to chat with Kelly and I didn’t mind a slower ride!

 

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Once I got in the car, I realized that I was really, really hungry! With traffic, my commute home is almost an hour. A hungry stomach is no fun, so I stopped at Publix for some lowfat chocolate milk.

 

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Even though I just ate a veggie burger and “fries” last night, I was craving it again tonight! This time, I wanted sweet potato fries… my favorite!

 

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I ate pretty quickly because I’m heading over to Mark’s apartment. He’s moving to a house tomorrow and I offered to help him move. Off to get some sleep!

 

❤ MegaNerd

Flat Tire Fail

There are less than two weeks of spring semester left. It’s getting down to the wire! I will post when I can, but bear with me for the next week or two. 😀

 

I spent all day at school. I normally come home in between classes but with projects, labs, homework, studying, etc. I had plenty to get done! Once I got home, I needed to get OUT!

 

Mark came over to go on a bike ride with me. We planned on riding 15.0 miles which has become an “easy” ride! Around mile 2.5 I heard a loud hissing sound. My back tire blew…

 

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Lame!

 

I have a repair kit, but the ONE time that I don’t have it, I need it. During Saturday’s race, I took some of the pieces of the repair kit out and stuffed them in my SPI belt. I did this when it started to rain so that I could put my camera in the pack (which is under my seat) so that it would stay dry. Le sigh.

 

Mark let me take his bike back to the apartment so that I could pick up the car and come get him and the bike. It was a disappointing ride, but I still got 5.0 miles in! 😀

 

I’ve been eating tons of quick meals lately. It saves time and dishes, and that makes me happy.

 

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Tonight’s dinner featured a cup of veggie soup

 

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…and a ham, swiss, spinach, and honey mustard wrap.

 

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Flat tires are no fun!

 

I have never (knock on wood) gotten a flat tire in my car. One time when Jason (my ex-boyfriend) and I were driving to the farmer’s market we got a flat in his car. If it weren’t for that day I would have absolutely no idea how to change a flat.

 

Do you know how to change a flat on your car or bike?

 

I’m off to bed, I have plans to meet with Katy in the morning for a short run. I have my awesomely-lame training plan for my upcoming 5k which I will share with you in the morning!

 

❤ MegaNerd

Breakaway to Sugarloaf Race Recap

Today I discovered that there are ACTUALLY hills in Florida! Who knew?!

 

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Before setting out to tackle 50km of hills, I filled up with a blueberry bagel and peanut butter.

 

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Mark’s breakfast was a little more involved: PB bagel, banana, yogurt, and CLIF bar. That boy can eat!

 

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We drove out to Clermont, about 45 minutes away from Orlando, for the Breakaway to Sugarloaf bike ride. The event had three distances: 18 mile, 31 mile, and 62 mile rides.

 

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Mark and I decided a while back to only complete the 31 mile ride, since we were unsure about hills and lack of training. We met up with our friends to wish them good luck before they set out on the 62 mile bike ride!

 

The crazy 62 mile group:

Caitlin

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Ashley 

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…and Caitlin’s dad.

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After waving goodbye, I met up with blog reader Kristen. She was also completing the 31 mile distance, and we decided a few days ago to stick together during the ride.

 

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Before setting out on the ride, we consulted the map. I am not at all familiar with this part of town and I was so glad to have this with me.

 

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After only about two miles, it sunk it just how hard this ride was going to be. Training on flat surfaces does not prepare you for hills. Not at all.

 

The first aid station was around mile 8. I was so happy to get off and stretch.

 

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Each aide station had a place to hang up bikes so riders could walk around, stretch their legs, and get a snack.

 

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I had two fig newtons at the first station.

 

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Sadly we had to get back on our bikes and start pedaling. We rode about 9 more miles and then it happened. Caitlin told us we would pee our pants when we saw Sugarloaf mountain… and I almost did!    

 

 

This picture, which I stole from Caitlin because I didn’t want to lose momentum on the hill, does NOT do this hill justice. It was HUGE. Kristen burst out laughing, and I said, “is this a sick joke!?!” It was insane!

 

The worst part is that there is a “false flat” which is about 20 yards. You can see what you think is the top of the hill and then it keeps going up. You are tricked!

 

I had to get off my bike and walk it up the hill. I was so proud of Kristen who hung in there and pedaled all the way up. She looked like she was working as hard as possible and only going about 4mph. GAH!

 

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I felt a little lame, but a few other cyclists had to do the same thing. I caught Mark walking a couple times, but mostly just to encourage me along. 😀

 

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Once we got to the top of the hill, I was so extremely excited to see the second aide station. We stopped for about 10 minutes. Obviously, we were not in a rush!

 

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I had a donut hole (epic!)

 

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…and refilled my water bottle half way with gatorade.

 

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Once again, we got back on the bikes.

 

As the saying goes, “what goes up, must come down.” Whoever said this must have been a cyclist on Sugarloaf. The downhills were the BEST part. I loved speeding down the hills.

 

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I am a very timid cyclist, and I can’t go down the hills without a little break resistance. Mark however pedaled his bike as fast as he possibly could, and managed to get his bike up to 43.0 mph at one point! INSANITY! The speed limit was 35… luckily there were no cops around! 😉

 

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It started to rain around mile 25. This is also when my left knee (not the same one that I injured during the marathon) started hurting in the same location as it did on the right. YIKES!

 

I took it pretty slow and just told myself that I couldn’t give up. I knew that I could ice it and take ibuprofen when I got to the car, but there is NO GIVING UP!!! Giving up would be MegaLame.

 

As we approached the end of the ride, it was pretty anti-climatic. There were no screaming fans and no finish line. I literally just rode straight to my car! I was so happy to see my car.

 

I did one of these numbers. Remember my twenty mile run during marathon training? Similar concept!

 

 

I immediately grabbed a banana to quiet my growling stomach.

 

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Then, posed for a group picture: Kristen, Me, Mark.

 

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Go team!

 

I finished feeling wiped. I am so glad that I didn’t do the 62 mile death ride!

 

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It took a total of two hours, 52 minutes, and 13 seconds including stops to complete 30.35 miles of intense hills. I was proud!

 

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Honestly, it was a really hard ride for me. It wasn’t really the distance that was a challenge, but the fact that I was not used to riding on hills. I pretty much had to learn which gears to shift to and the right timing. I wish that I could have practiced before today!

 

My chain kept popping off when I tried to switch gears. It was really frustrating me at first, because I had to keep stopping and figure out what was wrong. UGGGH! It fell off about 4 times before I figured out the problem!

 

It was a fun ride, but I don’t really think hills are awesome. I felt unprepared for them! I really want to do a full metric century (62 miles) but ONLY on flat ground!

 

Here is a map of the elevations… Crazy, right?!

 

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My knee is hurting, and I’m falling asleep at the computer. I’m off to rest!

 

❤ MegaNerd

Scared of the Hills

The half metric century is in three days!

 

I don’t really feel to confident about riding 30+ miles in the hills of Clermont, FL. I have been riding 15 miles a few times a week, and only once did I reach 25 miles. It’s also going to be HILLY and I am used to riding on FLAT.

 

We shall see!

 

Before I left for my bike ride this morning, I ate a large bowl of oatmeal. I was starving when I woke up.

 

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I added banana, strawberries, brown sugar, milk, and almonds into my oatmeal.

 

I then set out on my ride. I had to get it done early, because it’s supposed to rain later today. Plus, I wanted to try out my toe clips!

 

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WOW! I felt so much faster, and I felt like my legs got a great workout. I rode 10.5 miles in 38 minutes. I was nervous about getting my feet in and out, but it was pretty easy.

 

I hope that having the toe clips will really help on the hills this weekend.

 

Once I got back I was starving, yet again. I had a couple handfuls of trail mix. This stuff is soooo good, but it didn’t really fill me. When’s lunch?!

 

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I’m getting a little nervous about this weekend’s “race”! However, I know I can do it.

 

Confidence is key!

 

❤ MegaNerd

Pedal to the Metal

One of the things I have noticed recently, while biking with Mark and Caitlin, is that we all three have different styles of pedals.

 

I have the first type, Platform. This is the most basic pedal, which comes standard on bikes.

 

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The rider’s foot just sits on top of the pedal, and is not connected in any way. It only allows you to push down on the pedals with your feet, using only your quads in a downward, repetitive motion.

 

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The second type of pedal type is toe clips. This is the style that Mark’s bike has. Having a cage-like holder for your foot allows you to make a more complete circular motion with your legs when you pedal, because your foot is strapped in, and you can pull up. This allows you to use both your quads and hamstrings, working them a bit more evenly.

 

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For cyclists that ride often and on longer rides, the clipless pedals are, in my opinion, a wise investment. This is the type of pedal that Caitlin just started using.

 

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Sorry the picture is so blurry, but here is what the clipless pedal looks like. It has a little metal piece that your shoe clips into.

 

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This type of pedal requires special shoes, which can get expensive. It is also most difficult to disconnect from, which makes it not as safe if you are riding on the road, or in traffic.

 

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The last two methods obviously are more efficient for a rider than the first. It allows you to get a full circular leg motion, giving you a better workout and not allowing just your quads to get sore.

 

Ashley let me know yesterday on Twitter that Orange Cycle in Downtown Orlando was having a sale on everything in the store. I literally jumped up right then and headed out the door. I have been wanting to upgrade for a while, but don’t want to spend a fortune.

 

I picked this toeclips set up for less than 10 dollars!

 

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It is the best investments I have made on my bike. In fact, I was SO excited, that I decided to make a video on how easy it is to install toe clips on existing platforms.

 

 

If you haven’t done this yet, I recommend it!

Making the video took longer than actually installing the toeclips. By the time I got done, I was starving and wanted a quick, easy meal.

 

Sweet potato and baked beans. Possibly my new favorite combination.

 

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With a side of mini trees.

 

Mark made brownies, and I happily ate one two. 😀 I have a major sweet tooth, and I am not shy about it!! It’s bad. 

 

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Thanks to Mark and Caitlin for participating.

 

Do you have a road bike? What type of pedals do you use? Do you want to upgrade? Have you noticed a difference since you upgraded?

 

❤ MegaNerd