Friday, August 29, 2008

Female Triathlete Dies from Bike Crash

This story SO brought tears to my eyes in many, many ways. A female traithlete was near the end of her 34 mile bike leg of a triathlon and crashed on a downhill, breaking her neck. The story is here. She was paralyzed, and would nod her head yes, that she wanted to die. The family pulled the breathing tube, giving her her wish.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Tour de Millersburg Criterium

Something different this time around -- a CRIT! We know the promoter, the course, the area (Rick's hometown) and it was a georgous weekend so the racers came out in numbers. Over 200 racers signed up for the 12 mile time trial, the 1.5 mile crit, and the 18-mile road road (totally 96 miles for the Cat 1,2,3 guys). I found it interesting that not 1 person was "local," In fact, the winner of the crit was from Belize! Shane, the promoter, updates his BLOG quite frequently, so read it for his view of the Crit -- he's quite the promoter and really does his selling thing quite well on his blog. The Crit itself - Rick and I never saw one. A roadie Rick works with who has raced crits, used to say to tease Rick "mountain bike racing is boring." When the racers made that first turn in this huge peleton of about 50 riders, and they were all leaning the same way, at the same 30+ mph, yes, there were goosebumps. Holy hell they go fast and stay close together. There was only a couple of minutes that a lead group broke away, but for the most part the group was constantly together. A FAR cry from mountain bike racing. It was the speeds that floored me. I don't really know how fast they were going, but the Porsche pace-car was stepping on it most of the time to stay ahead of them. Rick and I enjoyed watching it and will likely watch again next year. We ran into two locals whom said they would have liked to race the 18-mile road race today, but couldn't because you had to sign up for all three stages. So they would have been our only "local" hope for entry into this race. I'd really like to see a local in it someday - the townies would really enjoy watching locals too. Hmmm.. maybe in the women. ( HA! -gotcha!) Millersburg is a quaint little community that when they hold community events, everyone comes out and enjoys it -- this was no different. The race was well attended, well staffed, and well organized. Kudos to Shane March! I was impressed.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

"Did He Bite You?"

Those were the words out of the DOG OWNER'S mouth after she called her dog off of me. No... he didn't attack - but boy was that scary. I'm running this time. And I'm on a normal route. I go by the house to get to my loop, and pass the same house on the way back thinking dang she got a bunch of dogs. She's always had a beagle for her husband's hunting, but today she also had an irish setter and "Snarly" I'll call him. But I didn't see him until after I'm past the house. About 100 yards later I hear the toenails on the road first -- then the barking and snarling. And I'm talking hair-raising, teeth-showing growling and snarling. This dog meant business. I stopped dead in my tracks and turned around and pointed at him and sternly said "BEHAVE. GO HOME. BEHAVE." And he stopped! Phew...I'm saved. Whoops - no I'm not. He really wanted to take a chunk out of me. There was just something about him that was a little scary. Finally, the owner yelled his name and he turned around and went home. She yelled "did he bite at you?" And I said no...but he wanted to. Homeward I went. About a half hour later, she called me! She was SO worried the dog bit me. When she yelled at me and the dog, I was about 100 yards away and it was kinda hard to hear each other. So she just wanted to make sure he didn't bite. Diane said he gets a little nippy sometimes but usually stops when you yell at him (he did). She highly recommended pepper spray and don't be afraid to blast him! Turns out the dog is young and a take-in and he loves to chase cars and motorcycles. Guess he likes people on the run too. The family are very nice folks. If they all could be that caring! I used to say when I retire I want a dog...that thought is out of my head forever! I'll stick with my kitties.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Complaining About Olympic Coverage of Events

Ok, I admit we don't have that new-fangled TV from a cable or satellite, and the only channel we can watch is NBC (Channel 8) and its fuzzy 'cause the antenna is getting covered by some weeds that I haven't been able to get out and pull, but why can't that one major network provide a little more coverage of the many events going on at the olympics? I've had just about enough of 4 days of beach volleyball, 4 days of swimming in every shape, form, and manner, and 2 nights now of gymnastics and sychronized diving. WTF!? Today, is whitewater kayaking finals -- in the middle of the afternoon!! Wouldn't it be nice to show bits and peices of it tonight in primetime? But No....its not on the schedule. We NEED to see even more swimming and diving. I'm so bummed. I think I'm done watching unless they decide to change up events. I'd like to see the triathlon too -- or even mountain biking! But that would certainly be asking way to much. Bastards.

Monday, August 11, 2008

If I Was a Mountainbiker....

And I was looking for the ulitmate race to do (besides some of those 50, 60 and 100 milers) this would have to be it -- the Trans Rockies. And VisitPA's own endurance Queen, Michelle Stopper, is riding it this year. She's on a co-ed team with Tim Dougherty. What a gal.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Olympic Break

So is everyone sitting on their asses glued to the TV like I am watching the olympics? What a show - what incredible athletes. Of course my favorite is that 40-year old swimmer. Geez, that's really old, isn't it! :)))))

"Could You Call Your Dog Please"

Boy dogs piss me off -- especially when they stop you from riding and won't let you move. Bastards. I planned on getting out on a nice 20 mile road ride today to figure out if I can still ride. I went a route I always go and the one farm must have gotten two new dogs. The one didn't count - it was a chiuahua (I think), but the other was some sort of rottweiler (my FAVORITE dog!) and it seemed kinda friendly at first. But being skittish after crashing on one dog and having another bite me in the calf, I stopped to make sure the rotty wouldn't do anything weird. He started circling me! Bastard. And everytime I'd try to go, he would come after me and start barking a little more. I kept yelling at him because that seemed to keep him backed off enough that I wasn't fearing for my life (HA!). After about 2 minutes, I think the owner heard the ruckus and came out and I politely said, "could you call your dog please?" And he did, and the dog immediately went home. The chiuahua was just watching and followed the rotty home. Bastards.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Pro Racer Jamie Whitmore Update

Several months ago I posted about Jamie Whitmore getting cancer. Jamie is a Pro Xterra athlete that was diagnosed with cancer back in March. They removed a baseball size tumor from the base of her spine and took a bit of nerve that caused her some loss of movement in her one leg. They've since found a 2nd tumor and removed it...taking an entire butt muscle rendering her pretty much no longer able to race professionally. Her blog is a must read.

Rethinking That Favorite Race

While I still think CAP CITY CHALLENGE is my favorite local race (within one hour of home in Central PA) when taking into consideration all factors surrounding the racing scene and what I consider important, I can’t help but agree with the “Wise” comments on the picking of your favorite race post… if you only do one a year, why not make it a favorite and/or memorable, an epic, and not worry about the cost, or the distance, or anything else! Its really all about the fun-factor while getting some exercise anyway isn't it?!? Sooooo…. I'm rethinking that one race and what it would be. Two main ingredients -- a TEAM thing and multi sport are definites. So that means Adventure Racing. Hmmmm my favorite adventure race of all time would have to be: PA Wilds 100 (it was a one-time two-day stage race in Northern PA that covered 100 miles - awesome event ) ... or maybe the Krista Greisacker 12 Hour Adventure race, or maybe the Savage .... I can't pick one! They all rock. Goals ARA really puts on good races and I'd surely continue to consider one of their races. The Krista (picture) was truly memorable -- three racers and their packs and 3 bikes in a canoe for 8 miles of low water! OMG that was tough. In reality -- in the grand racing scheme of things these days - I'm such a dreamer. But we can dream, can't we?

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Pick One Race as Your Favorite

If you were forced to pick just one race as a favorite, which would it be? Simple task? Good for you if you immediately had a race come to mind! I'd love to hear what they are in the comments. Its really not a simple task if you factor in all variables. I imagined if I was allowed to race just one race a year, what would it be and I had an awful time deciding! First, I had to break the races I've done into categories since they all differ with varied types of training leading up to the race (yes, Rick made me realize there's really something wrong in my head doing all this - but I used to do these different types of races for "training" purposes):

  • Mountain bike - cross country
  • Mountain bike - endurance -individual
  • Mountain bike - endurance Team (12 and 24 hours races)
  • Xterra
  • Triathlon - road - sprint or olympic distance
  • Off road triathlon - sprint or olympic distance
  • Running -5K
  • Running - 10K
  • Trail running - 5K
  • Trail running - 10K
  • Cyclocross
  • Ironcross (it simply ain't nothing like a "real" cyclocross race so it gets its own category)
  • Kayaking
  • Adventure Racing - all lengths
  • Adventure Tris (i.e. Chili Challenge)
  • Off road Duathlon

It was kinda of easy to pick a favorite within all the above categories, but the goal is ONE favorite. So...onward to the analysis. Here are the other factors to consider:

  • Training - how long, how hard, availability of training needs (i.e., access to a swimming pool). What does the training do for my physique?
  • Team vs Individual race
  • The Fun Factor
  • Road vs off-road
  • Appropriate Age Groups - I really hate racing out of my age group. I'll settle for MASTER women if that's all I can get.
  • Travel time to races
  • Cost!

Ok...all factors are laid on the table. Elimination time:

  • Xterra and triathlon races were first to go - (WHAT?!) - they are far, expensive (sometimes needing an overnight stay) , my swimming sucks, and the pool is not always accessible.
  • XC Mountain bike next to go. I just always sucked at it!
  • Endurance Mtn Bike and Ironcross - no age group breaks for women! (although the Wilderness 101 has a MASTER women of over 50 which is enticing).
  • Running and duathlons were eliminated - I'm not a runner! and I pee my pants too much.
  • Road tris and races were eliminted - my preference is off-road
  • Cyclocross was eliminated - it just hurts too much.

So what did that leave? Adventure Racing! It's looking like the winner will be the CAP CITY ADVENTURE CHALLENGE. Its close to home, has all three sports I love, is team-oriented which are FUN, has a MASTER women division, and training in all three sports is not boring at all.

And the runner up was the Chili Challenge. It got second because its an individual race and the bike section is on road.

So there you have it - my favorite is the Cap City Adventure Challenge.

More Than an Hour Today

Read the post below this one first so you know what I'm talking about...

Bike Trainer = 45 minutes (I LIKE the trainer -- I won't crash on it... teehee)

Trailwork carrying the Chainsaw for 3 miles = about 3 hours. (Rick's having sacroiliac issues so I wouldn't let him carry the chainsaw).

I'd say I got my one hour minimum in today! Yeh. Finally feeling back on track. Tomorrow is a 45 minute run and weights. Yeh - in advance.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

One Hour a DAY - EVERY DAY

For 7 years, my old bones have gotten used to a daily bout of high-energy activity but the last few weeks were similar to that pre-7-year period - I would be happy if I gardened and got my heart rate up - that's exercise isn't it? Well, no. Not at ALL. I've been reading up on what is the standard on exercise -- what is the minimum amount of activity needed in a day to be healthy. At first I was finding that most literature will tell you 20 minutes of "vigorous" activity (heart rate gets up) 3 times a week, and/or 30 minutes of "moderate" activity 5 times per week. Yeh! My gardening IS beneficial! It turns out that that amount of activity is garbage - don't believe them. These amounts will simply maintain your health where you are at when you start that 20 minute routine. That amount of exericse won't increase or improve anything -- muscle strength, your ability to fight disease, weight loss -- it simply allows you to hold your own so your health doesn't further deteriroate. I've since found out to become more healthy, the standard should be 1 hour a day. Scientists claim if you exercise 1 hour a day on top of everything else you do (using stairs, walking to car, etc) in a day, you can improve your health through a multitude of benefits. To maintain optimal cardiovascular health, a good body weight, and a favorable body composition, we really ought to be exercising at least an hour a day. And they are talking "vigorous" movement, not moderate. Most of you reading this are already doing the good deed of an a hour day and you KNOW the effects -- congrats and keep it up! I used to know it too... I seemed to have forgotten the past month. I AM a slacker these days!

Here's an article on the effects of exericse on muscles and bones as we age. And this article talks about how aging doesn't slow us down, lack of using our muscles and exercise does. My dear old dad is living proof of all of this. His job his entire life has been training, driving, and caring for standardbred race horses. His daily work routine involves being active -- using his muscles. He's now 78, and claims his job kept him healthy all these years. He uses his muscles everyday and he's not slowed up at all yet. He's my inspiration.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Day 1 - Post Bone Grafting to Prep for Dental Implants

Yup, that's me...Zira. The Doc told me yesterday I'd look like one of the characters from the Planet of the Apes after my extraction and bone grafting and he was right! Ain't I cute?!