Virginia Cap2Cap Ride 2015

Hello, hello!  It’s been awhile since I’ve been active on the blog and now that I’ve finally left my office and got some ‘me’ time in, it’s time to get back at it–starting with one of my favorite moments over the past two weeks, riding the Cap2Cap 25-mile ride out of Williamsburg.

Tyler and me at the start line

Tyler and me at the start line

I cannot say enough great things about this ride–it’s well organized, it’s a beautiful way to spend a Saturday morning (or day) and of course it all supports the Virginia Capital to Capital Trail (more about the trail in the last paragraph of this post).  The ride takes place on both the trail and the roads, and for the most part I didn’t feel any car vs. cyclist tension on the roads, most cars were very courteous and moved over for the cyclists.  Love seeing that!

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Tyler and I went to packet pickup the night before in Williamsburg at the Corner Pocket restaurant/bar.  It was super-easy and quick and the swag was pretty awesome.  I also purchased the annual jersey because I really liked the design.

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Ride day.  Tyler, his friend and I arrived to the Chickahominy Riverfront Park around 7:30am, just after the 100-miler ride had started.  Tyler and his friend were riding the 50-miler, which started at 8:30am, so they wanted plenty of time to park and get all of their gear together/tires pumped and ready to go.  Parking was not a problem at all, there was more than enough parking for all of the events–and then some!

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So 8:30am came and off they went and before I knew it, it was time to line up for my ride, the 25-miler.  I decided on the 25 miles because I 1. was not ready for a 50-miler after the lack of training and 2. I wanted to do a little time trial to see what my 25 mile time was (so I can base some of my olympic tri training off of it).  The 25-mile field was a little bare, lots of riders who were obviously going to leisurely ride (nothing against it, but I really wanted someone who could pace me a little bit).  We took off and to my surprise I was in the lead–until these two uber-cyclist men blew by me with the pace car–I think I lost sight of them around mile 5 or so–those dudes were F-A-S-T fast!  Keep in mind, this was not a race, so there was no official time clock, no podiums, just a nice ride.  A ride that I decided to make competitive in my mind.  I told myself I was not going to let myself get passed again and to my complete surprise I did not get passed!

I was not wearing my Garmin so I had no idea what my pace was, but it was comfortably-hard (I ended up with 15.8 mph pace, which I am quite proud of since I didn’t have a pacer).  I struggled with the hills, oh man did I struggle with the hills.  Definitely something to work on this summer.  As I turned onto the turnaround loop, I found that I was all by myself.  Just me, the road and eventually a random rooster standing in a large field close to the road.  It was so quiet and somewhat relaxing.  I started going downhill and noted some turns and gravel so I forced myself to slow down–I didn’t want any accidents, especially being by myself.  All in all I felt I kept a nice even pace (aside from the uphills) and felt really comfortable on the bike.  It was definitely a confidence booster.

Heading back into Chickahominy, it dawned on my that “holy crap I wasn’t passed!!” and as far as I knew I was the first female in and third overall in for the 25-miler.  I finished in 1 hour 34 minutes and some seconds–about SIX minutes faster than my goal time!!  Now that was a hugenconfidence booster.  Again, this was not a race so there were no official times, but in that moment I felt amazing.

I walked down to the docks and hung out for awhile waiting for the post ride BBQ that started at 11:30am.

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My only complaint would be for those finishing before the 11:30am meal service time, to have some snacks available.  I walked up around the 100-miler turnaround (from the Richmond start) to see if I could snatch a bag of Sun Chips, but there were complaints that food was running low and there were still several riders to come in and I really didn’t want to take away food from someone doing a century ride.  I remembered I had some almonds in the car so I munched on those to hold me over.

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The BBQ.  There is nothing like a BBQ sandwich after a ride.  Lemme tell ya, it’s the best and that’s really all  I have to say about that :)

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Tyler and his friend returned from the 50 miler, ate their food then we packed up headed out.  It was a great day!

The 10th annual Virginia Cap2Cap Ride took place on May 9th.  It consists of a 100-miler, 50-miler, 25-miler and a 15-mile fun ride.  The ride takes off from two different locations, Rockett’s Landing in Richmond or the Chickahominy Riverfront Park in Williamsburg.  The Virginia Capital to Capital Trail is a multi-purpose trail that will run from Jamestown to Richmond.  I frequently use it for cycling and running.  You can find out more about the ride here, and find out all about the trail here.  As of today, there are only 111 more days until the trail is completed!  Exciting stuff!

Have a great day!

Monthly Goal Series: May 2015

Happy happy Friday!  Yesterday was my last day at the office as a full-time nurse and I’m beyond excited to start this next chapter of my life–going back to school!  More on that in a future post, for now I’m gonna talk about May goals.

So, last month I started a monthly goal series where I set a few goals for myself.  Last month did NOT go so well, and to sum it up, I didn’t meet any of them.  I didn’t even run the Carytown 10K, which I was looking forward to but was again undertrained and just flat-out exhausted.  I am skipping my first duathlon this weekend for that same reason, to much of an injury risk.  I ran for the first time in two weeks (?) on Tuesday evening and had no IT band issues and I want to keep it that way.

This month, I’m only setting three goals:

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1.  Regular training.  That means running, swimming, cycling and strength training.  I know it’s going to be difficult for the first couple of weeks getting back into it all, but it just needs to be done.

2.  Weight loss.  I hate that this is a goal, but it’s necessary.  I gained a whopping 18 lbs since last August (totally unhealthy, I know) and I would like to get rid of that weight and then some.  Not only will I just feel better in general, but I’ll perform better athletically.  The aero position is very uncomfortable with a belly, and unfortunately that’s where I carry a lot of my weight.  Slow and steady is my goal here–no “quick fixes” for me.  My plan is to just eat right, exercise and stay relatively stress free.

3.  With the exception of the OBX Duathlon tomorrow, do all planned races/events for May.  That means I’ll have the Cap to Cap 25 miler (bike ride), the Elizabeth River Run 10K and the Run for the Dream 8K.  No more wasting $$ on race entries I’m undertrained for.  I love running/racing and really want to get back into it.

That’s all the goals I have for this month!  I’m off to the Outer Banks for the weekend with Tyler to do some cabin camping at Cape Hatteras.  So ready for a relaxing weekend filled with cycling and low-key beach time!

Have a great weekend!

What is one goal you have for May?

Blackberry Mango Smoothie

This post is sponsored by Almond Breeze Almondmilk.

It’s almost May, which means gone are the days when I come in from a run or a ride and want a hot tea or cup of soup to warm me up.  These days, it’s all about an ice cold smoothie to cool me down after a sweaty workout.

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I know after I finish a tough workout, I’m always wanting a treat, because you know, I earned it right?  Why negate all of that hard work with a high-calorie/junk food meal when you can have an equally delicious smoothie that will kick-start your recovery process?  A post-workout smoothie provides vitamins and protein needed to help those muscles recover so you can hit the pavement or bike again tomorrow.

Yes, while coming home and making your own smoothie does require some (very minimal) effort, you can control what goes into it.  Instead of high-sugar juices and syrups, you can make a healthier choice, like Unsweetened Almond Breeze Almondmilk Coconutmilk Original, which is naturally sweetened by coconut, which means it has no added sugar.

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Blackberry Mango Smoothie
Makes 2 servings

1 cup frozen blackberries

1 cup frozen mango chunks

1 banana

16 oz Unsweetened Almond Breeze Almondmilk Coconutmilk Original

1 tablespoon chia seeds

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.  Serve immediately and enjoy!

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What is your favorite post workout treat?

I received a 32oz tetrapak of Unsweetened Almond Breeze Almondmilk Coconutmilk Original in exchange for this post as a Blue Diamond Tastemaker.  All opinions are my own.

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funny beagle wanting in on the photo action

Nine Days

Nine days until I am no longer full time at an office that consumes my life.  Nine days until I get to feel normal again.  My current job has me completely burnt out.  Week after week I kept telling myself it would get better, I would finally get down to 40-45 hours per week and be able to train/workout like I want to, meal prep like I’ve been wanting to, but it never happened.

When I gave my notice about eight weeks ago right before we left for Seattle (yes, I have an insanely long notice, but it was more for my sanity than making sure they can find someone to replace me), I felt relief that this madness was finally coming to an end.  We went to Seattle for a week that went by way too quickly, and I found myself back at work working even longer hours than before.  I was miserable and was often angry and always tired.  It was at that time I finally admitted to myself I was burnt out.

Weekends weren’t weekends, but time to catch up chores and rest, leaving little time for workouts.  I feel completely unhealthy (I’ve gained an amount of weight one shouldn’t even gain in a year in less than 8 months) and my sleep is wrecked.  I would constantly binge on sugary foods for a quick burst of energy, knowing fully that is not the way to do it.  Tyler and I have argued more in the past few months than we ever have.  My only workouts have really been walking the dogs about 2 miles daily, which, while better than nothing, is definitely less than what I’ve needed and wanted.  I was lucky to get any runs and rides in when I did.

Now, with only a few workdays left and my second trainee starting tomorrow, I’m feeling that relief again.  I took this past weekend to catch up on rest and to prep meals for the upcoming week.  My alarm is set for 5am and my running clothing is neatly folded on the dresser, shoes by the door ready for a run.  I no longer want to “just get through the week,”  I want to enjoy the week and feel good about my decisions.

Here’s to the last nine days, making time to get the things I want to do in and starting to feel like myself again.

 

Weekly Training Log: 3/30-4/5

Good morning!

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I feel like I finally got a solid week of training in last week, here’s what I did:

Monday

3.1 miles running, 29:41 @ 9:34 pace.  When I start a new training plan I like to run a 5K so I can periodically measure my progress.  This pace was definitely challenging for me, especially after a full day of work!   It was actually kind of too gorgeous of an evening to not be outside.

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Tuesday

8.07 miles cycling, 30:05 @ 16.1 mph.  Post work ride on Pepper.

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Wednesday am

3 mies running, 30:28 @ 10:08 pace.  An easier pace than Monday.  This was the day I have been waiting for since last year–I finally FINALLY got over the Wednesday hump of “I’m so tired from work, I just want to come home and go to bed.”  How did I do it?  I ran in the morning.

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Thursday

I continued the Rock Your Core Challenge (it started on 4/1) and did some arm strengthening.  I’m still working on getting two days of strength training in during the week, but one is definitely better than none.

Friday

REST-I actually planned on this being a rest day and I’m so glad I did.  Due to Tyler being out of town this week for work and my work hours being so unpredictable, we drove the dogs up to my mom’s in northern Virginia to stay for the week.

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Saturday

Walked with the dogs around town, probably a total of 4 or so miles.

Sunday

Cycled the W&OD trail from Purcellville to Leesburg and back—21.07 miles-1:43:21 @12.2 mph. We made a pit stop in Leesburg at Shoes Cup and Cork for some biscuits, bacon and lattes–it’s a must-try if you are in the area!

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Totals
Running 6.1 miles
Cycling 29.14 miles

Have a great Tuesday!