Sunday, February 27, 2011

Quilt Fabric Change!!

I haven't had as much time to work on the quilt as I would have liked.  I ended up having to change out the 3rd fabric, it just didn't look the way I wanted it to when I held it up to the portion of the quilt I have complete.

The 3rd fabric is white now, it it looks like this:

Kirkwood to Stone Mountain Ride

Where did I ride: here

Ride Stats:
Still no good stats :-(

The Ride:
This ride was FANTASTIC!  The weather was great, the sun was out, and I felt like I had the energy to concur the world!  Well, at least Stone Mountain.  :-)  The ride up to Stone Mountain was a great pace.  The ride around the mountain was awesome as well - I used my gears very well - I worked on anticipating gear changes. When we were about 6 miles from the start...I started to feel BEAT.  My legs were tired, my back was hurting and my shoulders were tight....but it was all totally worth it.

I'm totally exhausted after that ride - but still kinda smiling! 

I don't think there is a better way to describe this ride other than FANTASTIC.  Maybe...FN FANTASTIC :-)

Saturday Training Ride - Vinings

Where did I ridehere

Ride Stats:
None :-(  The stats my phone took were very wrong.
28ish miles.

Megan and I before the ride

The Ride:
Brrr.....after the 70s weather we saw over the last week, I was surprised at the 36 degree weather so I bundled up!!  The ride started out to a rough start.  About a mile into the ride my chain fell off...boooo.  After some help from another cyclist I was back on the road again and I caught up to the group I rode with last week.  The hills in this ride were really tough.  I did not do a good job using my gears and my bike was extra squeaky.  About 1/3rd of the way into the ride, there was some confusion over which direction to go and one of the cyclists fell pretty hard.  After we made sure she was okay we headed off to the SAG stop.  At this point we started talking about how the ride was pretty hard and we were told that the 2nd half of the ride was harder.  Yikes!  The coach then suggested another route that is still hilly but not as steep.  While I wanted to try the hills, the rest of the group I was with did not.  About 20 min into the second half, I too was glad we didn't do the steeper hills.

At the end of the ride, I realized how much stopping our group had done to wait for others to catch up.  I think next week I need to find another group to ride with.  I also realized that I was really really hot!!  The 36 degrees had changed to 50 something degree weather.

We started the ride at Atlanta Cycling so afterwards I had them look at my bike and I bought some lube - no more squeaky chain!  Woohoo!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Recovery Ride Fit for a President

Where did I ride? here

Ride Stats:
Total Distance: 26.49 km (16.5 mi)
Moving Time: 1:21:20
Average Moving Speed: 19.54 km/h (12.1 mi/h)
Max Speed: 29.70 km/h (18.5 mi/h)
Elevation Gain: 501 m (1643 ft)
Recorded: Mon Feb 21 15:35:52 EST 2011

The Ride:
I had today off for Presidents Day, so Megan and I rode on the Silver Comet and it was fantastic.  The weather was great, my body was the perfect amount of sore and the ride left me feeling energized.  The nice flat ride was exactly what I needed after the challenging ride yesterday.

Also on the ride we happened to pass a college friend of ours on the trail - totally random.

I couldn't have asked for a better weekend of rides!!  

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Quilt Face...almost complete!

I've been so excited the last several days to be able to work on the quilt again.  The face is almost complete and it's really, really taking shape!!
TNT - The Journey Quilt
I'm extremely happy with the way the quilt is coming out, I was worried about lining up all the seams correctly and making sure the "purple path" was maintained.

Tomorrow I need to work on the border and/or pick out the backing fabric, make sure I have enough batting and then get ready to quilt this mofo!! 

35-ish miles to Stone Mountain

Where did I ride (partial map):  here

Ride Stats:
Not accurate - the stats on the map above are incorrect because of my phone dying.
Maximum speed: 30.6 mph
Average speed: 13.0 mph
Distance: 32.63 mi

Time: 2.29.57

Mine were something like that - Megan rode with me most of the time.

The Ride:
Wowza - this was a no drop ride, and that's really the only reason I was able to complete it.  I was really excited about this ride.  I wanted the extra distance and was looking for a challenge.  Oh yes, I found a challenge.  When we started the ride, there was a group that took off very quickly.  It was apparent in the first 10 minutes or so that this was not going to be pretty - they were very far ahead, I was no where near the speed of the first group, and was only riding with Megan because she was hanging back with me.  At that point I realized this ride was not going to be fun or productive if I was focused on trying to keep up.  I started thinking that maybe I should turn around and let them ride their normal pace.  Megan offered to stay back so we were going to do our own ride - two of the other riders stayed back too.  From that point on, the pace we rode was terrific.  It was tough, I was still near the rear but I was okay with that. 

My legs were alternating from burning to feeling phenomenal to feeling tired.  It was a great ride.  Prepping for the longer distance I drank almost both my water bottles on the way to the location and then refilled them with some Gatorade I had picked up on the way downtown.  I finished those on the ride and then drank the rest of the Gatorade bottle when I got back to the car.  I'm so glad I was well hydrated.  After the ride, my legs were sore and I was tired, but considering the distance and the ride, I felt fantastic.   After  nap, I was feeling even better.

My stats are messed up and my map is incomplete because I had to use the navigation on my phone to get to the starting point of the ride, my car's GPS could not find the address.  My battery was low - I'm surprised it tracked the amount of map that it did.

Hopefully next Sunday I'll ride again with them and I just look forward to improving.  I don't need to be the fastest, but I'd like to keep up with a group and not be the last one :-)

Brookhaven Ride - Group Training - Saturday 2/20

Where did I ridehere

Ride Stats:
Total Distance: 32.69 km (20.3 mi)
Moving Time: 2:19:52
Average Moving Speed: 14.02 km/h (8.7 mi/h)
Max Speed: 44.10 km/h (27.4 mi/h)
Elevation Gain: 449 m (1471 ft)
Recorded: Sat Feb 19 08:20:35 EST 2011
Falls: 2 :-(

The Ride:
I was looking forward to this ride since I heard the weather would be 20 degrees warmer than it has been in past rides.  I decided to still wear the running tights over my bike shorts, but didn't think I'd actually need them.  Boy was I glad I had them on!! Even though it was mid 50s out, moving quickly through 50 degree weather still feels cold.  It did warm up quickly - but the start was a little tough.  About a quarter of the way through the ride I warmed up to where I actually wished I didn't have the long sleeves on.

I rode with a good group, I felt like I was both pushing and the ride was enjoyable.  The pace was good and the stops were appropriate.  After having such a good ride, I was a little disappointed at my average speed.  There  were a lot of hills, and I felt as though I had ridden well.  But oh well, I need to get in my head it's really not how fast you go, but more that you complete it and complete it well.  Execution vs Velocity.

Oh, and the falling started again - booooo.  I fell once when we were starting to go at an intersection....and the second was AT MY CAR!! The ride was essentially done, I rode to my car and I took my second spill right next to it.  My knees can't take much more of these falls - I have a bruise from the first week that is still healing!

After the ride a group of us stayed for lunch at a pizza place in the shopping center we parked at - it was delicious.  That salad and greasy slice of pepperoni pizza were heaven  :-)  It was great to get to know some new people and see my mentor Rod again!!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Journey to a Quilt

Now that work has calmed down (and I have a 3 day weekend coming up) I'm diving headfirst into getting this quilt (and other crafts) ready for raffling!  Below is an update of where I'm at!

The main 2 fabrics were cut into squares.

The squares were then sew together on a diagonal and then cut in half. 

They will be laid out something like this.
Once I have the main face of the quilt complete, I will start selling tickets to win the quilt.  Note: Those who have donated prior to the quilt auction will receive special pricing on the raffle tickets - so get your donations in!! 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Cross Training

This morning I completed Week 2, Day 1 of a couch to 5K program - according to my Android app C25K Lite - not sure if the lite refers to the training schedule or if the lite refers to the fact that the app is free.  Either way, my total time on the treadmill was 32 minutes - 5 minute brisk warm up, 90 sec jog and 2 min walk (repeat), followed by a 5 min cool down. ( And in case you are wondering, I also completed Week 1 Days 1-3 - I didn't just start with Week 2. :-)  )

I'm a terrible runner - I've never been good at it and frankly it bores me.  I do realize it is good exercise  In the past I've competed in sprint triathlons, unfortunately running is also a part of that.  While I'm training and getting in shape for the century, the added cardio can only help me.  I'm also taking part in the Warrior Dash this year - which is basically a 5K with lots of obstacles along the way - I'm really excited about that as well.

Monday, February 14, 2011

First Sunday Recovery Ride

Where did I ride? here

Ride Stats:
Total Distance: 23.81 km (14.8 mi)
Moving Time: 1:29:08
Average Moving Speed: 16.02 km/h (10.0 mi/h)
Max Speed: 22.50 km/h (14.0 mi/h)
Elevation Gain: 333 m (1092 ft)
Recorded: Sun Feb 13 13:09:12 EST 2011

Falls: 0

The Ride
I met up with M and T on the Silver Comet starting at Smyrna bikes.  M talked bike tech to T and I helping us become more familiar with clipping in and out of our pedals and using our gears appropriately.  I was really impressed with M's teaching skills also.  She has a lot of patience and technical knowledge and fun little antidotes.  

Overall the ride was good - T is hilarious and has a great story of how she got involved with TNT.  Her sister's Leukemia is in remission and she actually rode the Lake Tahoe ride last year with TNT - training in another state.  T's sister asked for Christmas that T quit smoking, lose weight, get in shape, ride Tahoe with her this year, and truly LIVE each day - and that's what she's doing.  T quit smoking last week and is out biking with TNT.  

The ride was a little short and a little slow, but I think the personal benefits of the ride outweighed the physical ones.  Sunday night I felt great.  Of course, part of that could have been from the massage I had later that evening - my husbands Groupon was going to expire so I got to use was awesome!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

All Sport Group Training Session

Where did I ride?  here.

Ride Stats:
Before Shot
Total Distance: 33.12 km (20.6 mi)
Moving Time: 1:58:53
Avg Moving Speed: 16.72 km/h (10.4 mi/h)
Max Speed: 37.84 km/h (23.5 mi/h)
Elevation Gain: 567 m (1860 ft)
Recorded: Sat Feb 12 08:13:00 EST 2011
Falls: 0 !!!!

The Ride:
This morning, while not rainy or wet like last time....was FREEZING.  Literally.  My car said 31 degrees.  Today all the team in training participants met at Piedmont Park and we rode out to Decatur and back.  My goal for the ride was to follow Rod's advice, don't try to beat the hill.  We had been told this would be a more hilly ride - so I was prepared.  The ride was great - I really focused on using my gears correctly and I felt the difference - the hills did not seem nearly as bad as that 2 small hills felt last week.

My face felt fine this ride, it was my toes that I thought were going to fall off!  I ordered some wool socks to keep my tootsies warmer on the ride....oh how I wish they had arrived before the ride this morning.

Super Cold After Shot
The end of the ride, all the TNT participants gathered for a picnic, it was still cold...freezing in fact.  We chatted and stood around fighting for sun spots to keep warm.

Tomorrow is an easy 15 mi the afternoon so hopefully I won't freeze again!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Quilt Fabrics!

I am making a quilt to raffle for Team in Training.  I just picked out the fabrics and I thought I'd add this little teaser to show what's to come...

Team in Training's color is purple....but finding a good purple is hard!!  Most were too lavender, some were too pink...I finally settled on this one because I really liked the strong boldness of it.  Also, given the pattern I have chosen, I think the bolder the purple, the better!  All of the TNT jerseys I've seen also incorporate the color green, and instantly I fell in love with this one.  Similar in saturation to the purple, but less bold...yet not wimpy.  Green and Purple will be the two main colors, the 3rd fabric acts more as a background border.

I can't wait to get started!!

Monday, February 7, 2011

My First Group Ride!

Where did I ride? I rode here*.

Ride Stats:
Total Distance: 36.42 km (22.6 mi)
Moving Time: 1:55:23
Average Moving Speed: 18.94 km/h (11.8 mi/h)
Max Speed: 46.83 km/h (29.1 mi/h)
Elevation Gain: 713 m (2339 ft)
Recorded: Sat Feb 05 08:13:37 EST 2011
Falls: 3

The Ride:
40 degrees, overcast, rainy and 8am on a Saturday morning....yikes!!  That was my first ride.....and overall it was GREAT!  There were about 50 cyclists who gathered at Riverside Park to begin the ride.  The ages ranged from early to mid 20s to what had to be late 60s and possibly even 70s.

The rain concerned me, since it was my first ride with clip in shoes I was worried I might try to clip in and my shoe might be wet and just slide around.  This only happened once, and I was able to recover and not fall.  Not that I didn't fall....oh I fell, you could say I became a pro!  I fell a total of 3 times....and twice was going up the same hill!  Overall, despite the falls, I believe my new cycling shoes are awesome.  I was glad to be around some more experienced cyclists to both help me get up from the fall and give me some tips on using gears, going up hills, etc.

Before the ride started, everyone gathered around the head coach and he gave us a little pep talk.  He spoke about Warren our Honor Hero.  Warren road in the Race Across American raising money for LLS.  Because of a relapse of his non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, he was unable to ride with us on the first ride.  As it turns out we have several other heroes on our team, one was there on the first ride and he told us all his story.  It was inspiring.  Here was someone who is actively in treatment for blood cancer and he believes so much in Team In Training that he's here riding with us.

When the ride started, it truly felt like my face was going to fall was so cold between the rain and the air.  Eventually my face (and the rest of me) warmed up and it really wasn't that bad.  The first leg consisted of 2 hills - neither of which could I objectively describe - in my current state of "out of shape" they were horrendous.  On the second hill, I was pumping and trying and as I went to guide my bike closer to the edge of the road to make room for a car, my bike started to tip and I completely forgot that my foot was now attached to my bike.  BAM!  Fall #1.  My friendMegan, who I've known since attending Georgia Tech, was there to witness it and cheered me on.   Fall #2 was a simple case of Val being clumsy, once again the whole foot-attached-to-the-bike thing didn't occur to me until it was too late.

The goal for the ride was to put in 15 miles.  Despite the 2 aforementioned falls, I decided to go out  for an extra ride with my mentor Rod and another woman named Cindy - along with the head coach (I think - he was very bundled up).  I explained that I was terrible at climbing hills, and the direction they were heading was towards the hill we went up on the first leg (yea the one I fell at)...I could use the practice.  By this time, the sun had started to break through but it was still pretty cold.  We took off adding some mileage and then headed for the dreaded hills on Eves road.  Cindy gave me a quick tutorial of how to use my gears - and some things to keep in mine.  Rod said something great as I was struggling up the hill, he said "I used to try to BEAT the hill, and then I realized that's not how to do it....when you walk up a hill you walk slow and steady, it's the same with biking".   I, too, was trying to beat the hill, so I slowed down and made it up the first hill.   I looked up at the next hill, the one I fell on some 90 min earlier, and I didn't think I could make it.  Cindy talked me through it, and about 3/4 of the way up the hill, almost the exact spot I fell in bike stopped moving despite my intention to keep pedaling and I tipped over.  I was done - but I was glad I tried and even more glad I had Cindy and Rod there supporting me.

When I came home after the ride, I showered and required a 3 hour nap.  I have a couple bruises  and 2 skinned knees but still feel great about riding with Team In Training.

*I use My Tracks to track my stats and create the Map, recently the upload to Google Maps was deprecated from the Google Maps API and will not work until the next release of My Tracks.  I exported the map to a .kml file and the imported it to My Maps - unfortunately it broke the map up into 3 different legs.  On the left of the Maps page you can click next to see the rest of the ride