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Archive for December, 2011

http://triathlete-europe.competitor.com/2010/04/27/video-swim-tri-front-crawl-catch/

I’m watching a video on how to swim.  Sounds pathetic, right? Specifically the “front crawl” (which I don’t understand why it isn’t just called a freestyle…). Why? What does this have to do with my 150 mile bike ride? Absolutely nothing for the most part.

But…There is life beyond the first weekend in June. I’d like to complete a Sprint Triathlon between August and October of 2012.

Besides that, swimming is excellent for the cardiovascular system. And when my cardio system is strong I find everything else, including pushing myself to get stronger, much easier. When I let my cardio work slack (like I have since before Thanksgiving) I find my willpower to push through much weaker. This is especially true with running.

Today’s goal: Swim for twenty minutes, applying what I’ve learned about effective swim strokes or at least paying attention to my own form.

Tomorrow is a rest day. I’ll use it to plan my training for the 150 mile ride! I think I want to find a century (1oo mile) ride along the way as a test run for the 150.

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Noticed a change in topic? You aren’t going crazy. It is still me and I still work on the farm. But like I have mentioned before, the new position is mostly in front of a computer, on a phone or doing face-to-face marketing for the farm. I still try to make excuses to get out to help on the farm or at least walk around. With so much going on and changing seasonally I do need to keep myself informed. And I am always eager to help stack hay bales or be on call for birthing or help with a pig auction. But unfortunately those can’t make up 95% of my job.

Because of the inactivity and inability to participate on the farm (which in a way had become a portion of my identity) I actually found myself in a lull of depression toward the end of last Winter and beginning of Spring. It was affecting me, my relationships and I was heading toward a place I thought I had permanently escaped.

And then I rediscovered cycling.

A few years prior, while I worked in a world of cubicles, I had used my tax refund and sales commission to purchase a carbon bike. A Specialized Ruby Elite. I have never been the most creative so the bike was quickly named Ruby. I guess I could claim it was after my favorite Rancid song, Ruby Soho. Sure, we’ll go with that.

But I never fully appreciated Ruby. At the time I was still riding horses, hanging on to a dream I claimed to have hung up. And so Ruby was a space filler. When I took a job on the farm (which I consider myself lucky to have found and very grateful to Bossman for hiring me) Ruby was put away in storage. Afterall, work wasn’t the easiest and I was staying in great shape just by working on the farm.

When I lost that (well, I was promoted to a new position and again I am thankful to have the opportunity) I slipped into inactivity and mentally began to slip downward. So slowly I didn’t even realize what had happened. Then Spring came. After some coaxing I took Ruby (who had been put up for sale) out for a spin. I remembered why I had purchased the bike. Ruby is fast and agile and when I was first getting used to riding Ruby there was a bit of unpredictability that I enjoyed. Really, I loved to go fast. Never having been a great runner, the speed I could achieve was a freedom. Dare I say a way to escape the black hole I had been heading toward. A curtain was beginning to lift.

Without making an already long post even longer I spent many hours of 2011 riding my bike. In late Fall I signed up to join a group of friends (well, most I haven’t met!) to do my first big ride. 150 miles big. Go big or go home right? It isn’t until the first weekend in June. Like all my passions, I am excited to share and so I revived this blog. I’m still a Farmgirl at heart. Just now I’ll be pedaling forward. I hope you enjoy my journey … whomever might be reading this. (Even if it is just myself!)

____Today’s Training____

6.5 mile hike around a portion of Manassas Battlefield. 2.5 hours, 35 degrees.

Notes: Today I did a hike at a high enough pace to feel my heart rate elevate. I would have done some work on the trainer but in my endorphin high after my session yesterday I signed up for a 5k on New Years Day. I have to mention that I haven’t done much running since before Thanksgiving. The last time I ran 5k was September 11 for a Memorial Run in Arlington – and I started running once a week last Summer. To quote a chapter from “You Are An Ironman” my mantra for Sunday will be Right, Left, Repeat. I figure it is good to cross train a bit. 🙂 And yeah, I am a bit impulsive when the endorphins are rushing.

155 days to go. I can do this.

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Never have I been so excited to take down the Christmas tree. Something that has normally been a chore to put off in the past became a must do today. What sparked this (and my blog entry for that matter… after over a year of silence on my part!) take action attitude? It is a looming deadline in my mind. This past fall I signed up for a 150 mile bike ride in NC, the Tour De Cure. It is a fundraiser for diabetes, something that has affected both friends and family of mine. The ride is for them.

Today marks the end of my holiday break from riding. In all actuality, I have been inconsistent since August. Between my new job on the farm (the original reason I fell off the blog wagon. Trust me, while I am happy to have my current job it is no where near as blog worthy as when I was a farmhand.) and various life events, then the holidays, excuses, cold weather, blah blah blah… you get the point. Basically, I haven’t had much time to ride. Work should be slower and truthfully if I want to complete the 150 miles and live to tell about it then I need to start putting in my base mileage now.

Cheers to a new year and to many miles on the road. I’ll be on the trainer until better (warmer) weather arrives. Many thanks to the friend who loaned it to me!

______ Ride Stats______

35 minutes on the trainer

Notes: I definitely feel out of shape and the trainer is louder than I promised it would be. I might be sent the the basement soon… My legs were feeling tired around 20 minutes but it was good to push to 35. The trainer certainly beats the stationary gym bikes. It is easy to over-do it though. Seems like I regulate my effort on outdoor rides much more easily but I am sure I’ll adapt soon enough.

156 days until my Tour De Cure ride.

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