Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Rides and Races

Somehow I missed a weekly posting...time is flying by! So what's been going on?

Champoeg-Salem Loop Ride

Chicks on Bikes Rule!
 The weekend before last I went on a wonderful 56 mile ride with Christine and two of her friends, Dan and Heather through Oregon farmland between Champoeg and Salem. The weather was great, no rain, a little bit of sun even. We started out at Champoeg State Park and headed due south on River Road until we hit Salem, took a little snack break, then wound our way back up. On the way back up from Salem we took a little trip on the Wheatland Ferry, a little car ferry that crosses the Willamette River .

The ride was basically flat, with a couple of rollers. I was thoroughly impressed with my bike--the fitting and tune-up have really made the ride smooth and beautiful. It was the longest ride yet this season and was really excellent.

Bridges to Brews 10K

Christine and I ran in the Bridges to Brews 10K this past weekend and lucked out with fantastic weather! It was a little chilly but dry and sunny! I think this has been my favorite course so far of all the organized runs I've done in Portland. Most runs have started at the Willamette River and headed uphill through SW Portland and then back down. This one started at Widmer Brewing, went over the Fremont Bridge and downhill to the Willamette and over the Broadway Bridge, making a flat and slightly downhill run, very nice. The biggest hazard were the streetcar tracks, so you really had to watch for big holes in the street.

I'm getting better at operating my Garmin Forerunner, and I really love having it. It's great to have an accurate mileage tracker. I also love being able to customize the display and notification settings, as I really do best mentally when I get quarter mile distance markers.

I was disappointed, however, at something Terrapin Events, the run coordinator, did at this event. I have sent them an email regarding this, which I am including below, but I have not yet heard a reply from them. I will update you if I do (and I really hope they do):

I have participated in several Terrapin Event races over the past several years and have been generally very happy with them. However, I have a concern about something that occurred at the 2011 Bridges to Brews event this past weekend that I need to comment on.

Prior to the race, my friend and I went to the ID check to get our clearance for the beer garden after the event. We showed our ID and were asked to bare our forearms for the validation stamp. After being stamped, I looked down and saw that the stamp read, “Support Local Running BOYCOTT Rock-N-Roll Marathon.” I asked the person who had stamped me what the reason was for this stamp, why were we being stamped with this message, he replied that he had no idea and was told to use this stamp for the ID check. No one else in the ID check knew either.

Quite frankly, I was very irritated to have been stamped with such a message. I had not been given an option to be branded with a protest message, to be a running billboard. No one could explain why this message was used. Maybe I agree with it, maybe I don’t, but people should be given a warning about being stamped with a protest message and an option to have a different stamp should they choose not to participate in your boycott campaign. I felt this was in extremely poor taste.

Your organization has every right to voice your opinion, but not the right to stamp your opinion on my body without my permission.

Cindy Thompson

Other Training

I did several other runs, rides, and swims over the past couple of weeks. Things are slowly improving. Swim team continues to build my skill, improving my form and cardiovascular fitness in the water.

Upcoming Events

This weekend's ride will be a short scenic ride through the Tulip Festival in Woodland, Washington. The Vancouver Bicycle Club organizes several 18 mile rides during April's month-long festival and I've missed it every year! Well this year I am NOT going to miss the tulip ride. The weather should be beautiful this weekend and I am looking forward to some beautiful photos to share in my next blog post.

The Portland Triathlon Club's Mock Triathlon is quickly approaching! Christine and I are kicking around a super-crazy idea of chasing the morning's Mock Tri with an afternoon 5K adventure race, the Ash Kicker 5K. The Ash Kicker was supposed to be held over two days, which would have allowed us to do one event Saturday and the other Sunday, however the Ash Kicker coordinators decided to cut it to one day, which is the same day as the Mock Tri. We are trying to put together a team of 4 members for the "Tri Girls Kick Ash" team....so far it's just the two of us...perhaps it's a sign that we are just, in fact, crazy for considering doing this. But, if this sounds interesting to you...we have a minimum of two spots left! Let me know...we're gonna make cool team T-shirts!

Team T-Shift Design
Team T-Shirt Design

So, that's all for now! Tulip Festival Ride pics next blog!


Friday, April 8, 2011

Hot yoga, wet suits, and snow?

I love yoga and I've heard a bunch of buzz about Hot Yoga for the past year but had never tried it. I'm always on the lookout for new workout options so when my daily email from Groupon featured Hot Bikram Yoga in my neighborhood I jumped on it. Tri partner, Christine, and I headed out there this past week and I don't know if it was the specific shop or hot yoga itself, but it was not my thing at all! While I could rant, I'm not going to, but it was not a great experience for me and I'll be sticking to regular normal temperature yoga! I am glad that I went at a reduced rate through Groupon...

Theresa and I headed out to Hood River, Oregon last weekend for our trek to ProMotion Wetsuits. What a great experience! They have a great shop with a huge selection of wetsuits for all different sports, including triathlon. We got measured up and tried on several, ranging from entry to more advanced performance level suits. Their suits are gender-specific, which is great, and vary in buoyancy for different swimming strengths. Theresa got a long-sleeve suit and I picked up a sleeveless suit with separate tri-sleeves to go underneath during colder conditions as needed. I love the versatility of having separate sleeves instead of buying two suits for temperature conditions. They are having a sale now and giving Portland Triathlon Club members additional discounts, so pass the word!

Have had some good workouts this week. Tornadoes Master Swim team is on spring break (they operate on the kids' schedule) so swim workouts have been on my own. Got a few runs in, including a very frustrating one where my running pants kept sliding down! Apparently I've lost some girth and my favorite non-drawstring running capris are too big for me now....yeah and wah!! Participated in this week's Portland Triathlon Club Thursday Run from Foot Traffic in downtown Portland. Beautiful weather, cherry blossoms, just heavenly! Did a 5 mile run they call "Naito Left" which is a run along the Willamette River along Naito Parkway. And if you don't like the weather in the Pacific Northwest in Springtime, just wait five minutes and it will be something different....or, should I say, if you see great workout weather, you better hurry and get out in it because it will do a 180 on you before you know it!
Wednesday afternoon I went on a great 20 mile road ride through Brush Prairie/Hockinson. The weather was superb, partly sunny, warm, dry. It was so great to get the bike off the trainer in on the road. If you can believe it, the photo above is one hour after I finished my ride while on my way to swim workout with Christine!! It started snowing and then hailed for an hour, so much that we had accumulations and cars were sliding all over the road! Unbelievable!

I'm still learning how to use my Garmin Forerunner. Somehow I locked the screen right before my Thursday run and after playing with it got it unlocked seconds before the run started. I'll be spending more time with it today to get more efficient with it.

Will be heading out this weekend with Christine and friends to do a 55 mile ride in the Champoeg/Salem area. Really looking forward to that ride. Weather is supposed to be nice...ha! I did get my bike in to Bad Boyz Bicycles for a tune-up and major cleaning; it was way in need of cleaning since I hadn't known how to maintain my bike until Tori from Grace's Wrench did her presentation at the February PTC meeting. So between my bike fit and the tune-up, now my bike just sings!

I'm sure I'm forgetting something, but I'll just add it in to the next posting! Have a great week!