Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Up, Up, And Away!!!

Forgive me bloggers, for I have sinned. It's been too long since my last confession. Gulp. Yesterday...I did not train!

I know, I know, the shame! I swear I did try!! I woke up in time from my dawn swim and felt like a big green scaley monster had been sitting on my head all night. It was heavy and I felt like crud, so I bailed on my swim. I was going to run in the afternoon so I didn't feel too too bad about it.

Later on I set off on my run like a good little triathlete only to find that as I started to breath a bit harder than normal that my lungs were burning. Ow, ow, ow. What the heck? I'm running DOWNhill! Why are my lungs burning? Then I remembered Saturday's asthma issues. Apparantly, when you ride over 100 km with approximately a quarter lung capacity due to asthma, your lungs take a teeny bit of a beating. Or so I would guess from yesterdays lungs on fire inicdent.

I tried to run around the neighborhood hoping that things would calm down, but alas they didn't. I knew I had a hill ride today that would have me sucking wind galore, and I wasn't going to miss that, so pulled the plug on the run and did the walk of shame home with head hanging low. Sigh.

Today however was a good lung day! Perhaps it's because I've been sucking on my Advair puffer every morning and it's finally kicking in? I know not. Whatever the case, I could breathe and suck major wind.

Being the little planner girl that I am, I had looked ahead to the weeks forecast and noticed it was calling for showers and cooler temperatures on Thursday - the day I was to ride up and down Cochrane Hill. Huh. Now I've ridden that sucker in the rain and let me tell you it is not fun! In fact as I was riding in the rain I came up with a little diddy that had the phrase 'My feet are f'in cold, my feet are f'in cold....' etc in it.

I made the executive decision to switch my Tuesday and Thursday workouts so I'll do my mini hill repeats, which are right by my house and doable in the rain, to Thursday and today I would climb mighty Cochrane hill.

As I rode to the hill for a warm up a couple trucks passed by me. Now I don't know which truck had it's window open but hoooo-eeeeee. This BC girl could smell some serious maryjane wofting about, if ya know what I mean! I could totally smell it for the longest time too! At one point I wondered if it might help with the wicked headache that I was fighting and started inhaling a little deeper. Heh. Or perhaps it would loosen me up so I'd rock the hill? Hey, if we can win Gold in the Olympics with a stoned snowboarder, anything is possible!

Uh, what were we talking about? Oh right. my bike ride.... Okay, so the wind was kind of given'er when I left the house so I figured I'd go up the hill once and if it was out of control wind that might knock me into traffic so my brain would be squished by some big arse truck doing Mach 10, that I would ride Gleneagles hill instead.

Round one. The wind wasn't too horrible! I mean there were sections when I could feel it pushing down at me, but the crosswind wasn't super scary. Perhaps it was because I was going slow? Dunno. I focused on my cadence and technique and felt really good the first time up. I can tell I'm better on this hill compared to last year because I can push it on the flatter sections and when I get to the top I can power back up to speed.

This is good. Last year I was huffing and puffing so much I couldn't get going again on the flats for a while! Yay to progress!!

As I rode back down I was a wee bit nervous about the wind. At this point I was doing about 70 km/h and that with the crosswind did make a difference. I held on to my handlebars and kept looking to where I wanted to go. Seemed to work as I am here typing my blog.

At the bottom I crossed the road and made my way past a town worker using one of those whipper snipper thingys on the side of the road. It whipper snipped a piece of something right to my leg. Ow. I ignored it and stopped a little bit ahead to grab a quick drink. As I got back in the saddle I tried to clip in my right foot. No go. What the.... I stopped at a relatively safe location, leaned my bike on the metal guard and looked down. Ewwwww. Who knows what the heck I stepped in but it is bested described as red, gloopy, viscous, sticky goop that had rocks and other bits, such as the top plastic bit of a colt cigar, embedded it in.

Nuts! I pulled out the cigar bit and tossed it. Then I tried to find something to pick out the goop with. Amazingly I did not dry heave during this process! I then picked up the cigar bit that I just threw down because it was the only thing around, tried not to think of who's lips may have been all over it, and started to pick away at the goop. Did I mention it was very tenacious as well?? What the heck is this stuff?? An extraterrestrial tomato?

I got most of it out, and proceeded once again to try and ride the hill. I got one foot clipped in and thought I had the other foot clipped in until I started on the incline and realized only one foot was in. Sigh. I stopped again. So much for timing this hill! I found a wee stick and proceeded to try and get the rest of the goopy stuff out. For the first while I just managed to get bits of stick stuck. Finally, it was mostly clear.

As I was doing this I did notice that my clips are very worn down...how does this happen? Also, I obviously use my right foot too clip in and out more, as shown in Exhibit A and B. (Please also note the remnants of red sticky icky gooey stuff.)

Exhibit A (Right Clip with Red Sticky)

Exhibit B (Left Clip)

Although round 2 got off to a rather shaky start/stop/start/stop/start, it went quite well. The wind was nice to me and I had a good strong ride up the hill. Down the hill I again hung on for dear life.

Round 3 was fairly uneventful. I had a good pace and nice cadence going. I did slow down a bit as a truck pulled over to the almost non existent ledgey bit so I had to go around it. I moved over and almost bumped the very strong male cyclist that was blasting by me. He seemed unconcerned that there may be a large truck coming ready to squish him and merely said 'Hi!' as he rode by. I, on the other hand, was trying to apologize for not hearing him and moving over, thus putting him in the line of the possibility of squishdom.

You know, there is something about seeing a nice set of calves go by you at a good speed that reminds you to PICK UP THE PACE! So I did. At least until the incline got steeper. He stood up and was gone and I slowed down but pushed on as much as I could. I definitely get an A for effort.

With three hills completed I was finished my workout. I went down Gleneagles hill this time as there are some flat spots I could get a bit of an extra ride in. As I did this I again recalled that last year I'd usually suck wind on these spots and not go very fast. This time I thought to myself, 'hey, I'm getting stronger!' It was a nice feeling.

When I got home I noticed something. My hands. They are about three shades darker than the majority of my body and one shade darker than my lower arm. I am guessing here that any sunscreen I may apply gets wiped off as I rub my nose after snot rockets (which I do a lot I might add) and hence they are dark. I tried to take a photo of it...not sure if you can see the difference from my hand and arm, but it's there.

Great, not only do I have vascular man hands, but now they are a different colour. Gotta love the geometric triathlon tan that starts to occur around this time of year!

Peace out my talented friends!


  1. My clips are all beat up as well, but they still work. I'll have to come up and try the hill again sometime and see if I'm any faster.

    I don't normally tan at all, or else I burn bad, but Linda has been ON MY CASE about sunscreen. So now I have the weird triathlete tan going. Complete with the little strip between my shorts and shirt.

    You can sure tell when cars go by that have smokers in them. Yuck.

    Way to rock the hill!

  2. cleats beat from walking in them??

    great hill...brings back found memories... and scary ones too!!

  3. Dang girl, clips are cheap, get you some new ones! You don't have man hands, you have tribaby hands:) My hands and forearms are always a shade darker, so funny looking. Funnier than the farmers tan, I think.

    Asthma blows but it sounds like you've got it under control. On bad air quality days or really hard efforts, I'll hit my rescue inhaler twice before I start just for extra assurance.

  4. HAHAHAHAHAHA!! Where to start commenting with all these goodies you left us!!

    I have a strip of darker skin because I wipe my boogers along my wrist and then up my forearm -- I actually demonstrated this to Leslie and Chad at the Letbridge Oly. Hahahah!

    I finally found a hill for me to do my hill repeats on -- it takes me 40 minutes by car to get there -- 7% grade for 3 km. I was thinking, I should drive up there every Thursday and then hang with you! :) :)

    Way to go on getting stronger Susi!!

    AND GROSS about the shoes! EWWWW! What was that crap? Props to you for not heaving!! :) :)

  5. OMG, you do NOT have vascular man hands but I was laughing for the majority of this post. You are funny. Love your "believe" tatoo, too!

    How do clip ins get worn down, great question. Jenna might have it, by walking in them, I guess that would do it.

    Funny that you wondered who smoked the cigar. LOL.

    Great ride! I hate wind too.

  6. not a cigar my dear... think hemp, but not legal...haha. 'maryjane = ...' LOL.