New Family Member

So, I’ve been pretty quiet about this on the internet, but I’m ready to share my new relationship.  Meet Jude.

IMG_0982Named for the patron saint of hopeless causes, Jude is my new tri bike.  A Felt B14.  In size tiny.  Because I’m short.

It’s been a period of adjustment, and I’ve barely ridden outside.  I’m going to finish out the racing season on my road bike, then really work in the trainer all winter to get good on this new bike.

Why a tri bike?  A few reasons.  Number one, who doesn’t want a new bike?  Number two, Ethel, my beloved road bike, is actually too big for me.  The store who sold her to me basically wanted to get her off the floor.  After a really great bike fit, I can ride my road bike, but it starts to get uncomfortable after a few hours, and it’s the sort of discomfort that comes with fit issues.  So I knew if I wanted to tackle a 70.3, I needed something different.  Sure, I could have gotten a new road bike, but if I’m buying a new bike, why not go for a tri bike?

And no, I’m not getting rid of my road bike.  I love her too much.  You can never have too many bikes.

It’s been interesting getting fitted because I am short and chubby, and aero bars are totally incentive to work off the spare tire, but it’s surprising how comfortable the bike really is.  Of course, it did require a lot of saddle experimentation.  Thank goodness for bike shops with saddle trials.  I understand how people spend thousands of dollars hunting for the perfect saddle.

So that’s the big news.  Fancy new money pit that I need to accessorize.  There are so many hydration and fuel storage options out there!  At least I have some time to figure that all out.

Training Entertainment: Podcast List Update

kaboompics / Pixabay

I don’t know about you, but when I’m doing a long indoor training ride or a long training run, I get bored pretty quickly.  When indoors, I often have the tv on, but my go-to when I’m outdoors on a run isn’t music, it’s podcasts.  I occasionally listen while on the bike trainer as well.

There are a lot of great fitness-related podcasts out there.  I don’t listen to any of them.  When I’m working out, I don’t want to think more about working out.  I want an escape.  And since I’m constantly adding and deleting podcasts from my list, I thought I would update what I’m currently listening to.

Welcome to Night Vale remains on my list.  This is… well, I’ll just cut and paste their description.

WELCOME TO NIGHT VALE is a twice-monthly podcast in the style of community updates for the small desert town of Night Vale, featuring local weather, news, announcements from the Sheriff’s Secret Police, mysterious lights in the night sky, dark hooded figures with unknowable powers, and cultural events.

So… fictional (I hope) story of weird antics in a strange town.  I definitely recommend going back in the archives and starting with episode one.

Staying on the fiction track, I recently picked up The Black Tapes Podcast.  It’s a serialized docu-drama focused on the paranormal.  If you liked The X-Files, you’ll like this.  It’s definitely not alien focused or anything, just sort of the unusual and unexplainable.  It’s getting better and better as the team gets more experience.

Next we flip over to Sawbones.  This is a podcast by a husband and wife team, where the wife is a doctor and the husband is comic relief.  They discuss medical history in a funny way, such as how people used to strap whole chickens to their face to cure mumps (or something, all I remember is chickens on your face).  Definitely not too graphic, and pretty entertaining all around.

When I’m looking for random entertainment, I listen to My Brother, My Brother, and Me, a podcast by the previously mentioned comic relief husband and his two brothers.  They do comedy and advice, and it’s hard to explain, but it’s pretty funny.

For great interviews by funny hosts, you can’t go wrong with Girl on Guy and Nerdist.  I got into both of these because they were interviewing someone I was interested in, and the whole show was just so great that I stuck around.

Obviously, you can’t go wrong with the This American Life podcast, and I downloaded their app so I could have access to the show archives.  Another standard is Stuff You Missed In History Class.  Both of these are excellent and it’s worth the time to peruse their archives.

Another new podcast on my list is Mystery Show, which I didn’t think I would like, but I got totally sucked in.  The host finds a random everyday mystery to investigate.  And though the subject of the mystery might not sound interesting, the storytelling is so great that you get sucked in and you must know what is going on in the scene on the Welcome Back, Kotter lunchbox or whatever the subject happens to be.

There are others in my podcast app, but I think these are the ones that get the most attention from me.  I listen a lot while in the car or doing chores around the house in addition to during workouts.  What podcasts do you listen to?  Do you have different podcasts for different activities?

Wednesday Workout Recap

At some point, training is going to go back to normal, but for now, another easy week.

Monday – Rest day.  Lots of stretching and researching stretching.  Gotta do something about these hip flexors.

Tuesday – Still pretty sore, so I did a ton more stretching and took an extra rest day.

Wednesday – Easy 45 minutes on my bike.  Getting better about pushing this.  I’m weirdly looking forward to a winter of trainer rides.

Thursday – Team swim was cancelled for pool maintenance, so I considered doing Tuesday’s five miler.  Got through 1 mile of it and stopped.  Not sure why at this point.  Probably just being overly lazy.

Friday – Rest Day

Saturday/Sunday – 24 Hours of Booty.  24 hours of riding as much as you can around a 2.1 mile loop (with a small hill that seems to grow as the hours pass).  I wanted to hit 125 miles.  I did 112 last year, so I thought it was doable.  This year was much hotter than last year, so my early miles involved more breaks for fluids, and unfortunately, my hip flexor issues really flared again.  I did 56ish miles on Saturday, and ultimately ended the weekend with 103.  Not what I wanted, but Sunday’s miles were a bit easier.  I don’t know if I was just pushing too hard on Saturday or what, but I didn’t want to risk injury before my last tri of the season.  Either way, I’ll be back next year.

Quick Weekend Recap and a Race Discount

This weekend was a whirlwind.  Thanks to everyone who supported 24 Hours of Booty this year, either through donations, volunteering, riding, or just sending dry thoughts.  For the first year in many, the weekend was gorgeously dry.  Of course, I wasn’t quite ready to spend that many hours riding in the heat.  Turns out cold rain does make it easier to stay on your bike since you don’t have anywhere else to go to get warm.

I didn’t make my goal of 125 miles.  On Saturday, my legs kept cramping up.  Same problems I’ve been having with my hips.  I need to stretch and strengthen them.  This is just another reminder of that.  So I got in a little over 50 miles each day and ended up with 103 miles.  Still pretty good.  My legs don’t want to work today and I might have Desitin on my saddle sores right now.  That stuff is amazing.

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you already know this, but I’m trying to help the Ulman Cancer Fund drum up participation in their upcoming Iron Girl Columbia Half Marathon and Family 5K.  It’s a busy weekend here in the area, so registration is down, which is a bummer for such a nice race.

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The race is on September 12th, so it’s coming up fast, but if you’re doing a fall marathon, this is a great tuneup, and if you’re not, join me for the 5K!  (I backed off on the half after having such trouble with my hips – I need to get my body in shape for my winter racing season and not risk injury.)  This is a fun race and the 5K is family friendly, so bring the kids!

If you use the code MEGAN15, you can get 10% off your registration.   And let me know if you’re coming!  It would be fun to see some more friendly faces there!

Friday Five – Five Things Five Years from Now

I thought it was high time I joined the DC Bloggers Mar on the Run, You Signed Up For What?! and Eat Pray Run, DC for their Friday Five Linkup.  This week’s topic – Five Things Five Years From Now.

DC_linkupI can never predict where I will be in X years.  Five years ago, I don’t think I would have expected to be a triathlete, so who knows what the next five years will bring.

1.  In five years, I will be be approaching a big birthday.  One with a zero behind it.  That’s kind of scary to think about to be honest.  Let’s hope that I’m planning a pretty sweet birthday party to celebrate.

2.  I want to still be rocking the athletic endeavors.  Running and triathlons.  Will I have tackled a longer distance?  Hopefully, since I want to do a 70.3 soon.  Will I be an Ironman?  Probably not.

3.  Maybe by then I will have lost the weight that I keep saying I’m going to lose.  Oh who am I kidding?

4.  With the way technology is going, we’ll probably all have little smartphone chips embedded into our contact lenses so we can look at our screens at all times.  Or phones will have gotten giant again, given the size trend with the iPhone.

5.  Work wise, I don’t know where I’ll be, but whatever I’m doing, I hope I’m happy.  There’s nothing better than having a job you enjoy.  No one loves their job 100% of the time (and if you do, I really would love to hear more), but it’s nice to not dread going into the office every morning.  Note that that doesn’t mean it’s easy to get out of bed, but that’s because beds are awesome.