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Monday, October 30, 2006

Quick weekend recap

The run with Nicole and Carie on Saturday was muddy, but fabulous. It was so nice to run with these gals. My leg wasn't perfect, but it was better than Wednesday. I credit the company and the forgiving trail.

I rode the trainer on Sunday. I could have ridden outside, but I was feeling lazy. Something about 10 hours of sleep will do that to you. I watched my new birthday gift, X-men III. I was still disappointed in the plot and even more disappointed in the alternate endings.

Matt and I went to the Browns game last night. Yay, we now have 2 wins!! It was cold, but not too cold. Our seats were really high, but in the perfect spot (about the 50 yard line), so we could see everything. I was wary about drinking alcohol and falling over the edge, so just had water and hot chocolate. Oh, but of course, I had to eat poorly, because I was at the ballpark. Who can resist the ballpark hot dog?! And, hot chocolate goes so much better with a chocolate chip cookie. All things in moderation and small variations, right? I did resist the night before - got the grilled chicken dinner, instead of steak, with mixed veggies instead of mashed potatoes and had a small portion of another's dessert instead of ordering my own. Hey, it was my belated birthday dinner, so had to splurge somehow! : )

So, Ironman training begins officially this week. I have less than 9 months to go. Time is flying, but I'm looking forward to the challenge. I'm doing drills on the trainer tomorrow. Ah, good times!!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Random thoughts Friday

I've been meaning to get to blogger all week and one thing or another has prevented me. So, we have many random thoughts for today's post. This will probably be long, so I apologize upfront.

Dietitian woes
As you know, I had hired a dietitian to help me get my cholesterol under control. I have to admit to being squeamish about her upfront. She was arrogant, slightly condescending, against milk (and I'm sure against bacon - Nicole would have hated her for that) and expensive. I couldn't pin her down for what I'd actually be receiving for my fee, but I thought I was paying a $199 engagement fee (includes pedometer, 15-minute exercise video, food log and fancy diet plate - what else it includes is beyond me) and then $99 a month for 3 months (monthly fee is for 2 45-minute nutrition discussions with her per month). I must have lost my mind, because I agreed to it and worse, told her to charge me the whole fee upfront.

Then, after tracking my food log and sending it, I tried to schedule an appointment. Her assistant was incompetent and made the whole appointment setting process frustrating for me. She finally got me in for November 4. I got a separate e-mail from the dietitian saying that she was looking forward to seeing me and that she had ordered the supplements that she's sure I'll love. What?! I never asked for supplements. My response was "Why do I have to take supplements?" She gave me some BS sounding answer, but I let it go thinking we could talk about it in person.

Then, I get my bill. Yowza, I was charged nearly $1000!! Apparently, her monthly fee is $199 a month, not $99 a month. The $ is covering the 1 on the contract and she never gave me a receipt after the first meeting. I never would have signed on for that price. That is just too crazy for me! And, there was a charge for supplements on my card. Now, I never authorized her purchasing them, didn't think I wanted them and she charged them to my card. Yikes, what gave her the right?!

I challenged the fees and told her I didn't want to have anything else to do with her, so please refund my money. She told me she could return the supplements, but I had to attend the sessions before saying I wanted my money back. What kind of sense does that make? I don't want to see her ever again. So, I called my lawyer friend. She's taking it over from here. I formally disputed all of the charges on my credit card. I'm sorry it couldn't be resolved amicably, but that wasn't my choice.

As you can tell, I'm all fired up about this. I hate being taken advantage of. Thank goodness for my friend helping me out with all the right avenues to take to resolve this. I'll keep you posted on how it turns out.

I watched this gem on the trainer yesterday. It was playing on our home computer, which has nice speakers that unfortunately are just a tad small. Between the fan, fluid trainer and Christopher Lambert's raspy voice, I barely heard the dialogue. Luckily, it is more of an action movie than one that needs total concentration.

If you've never seen it, I would recommend it. Sure, it has cheesy 80s outfits and Christopher Lambert is not the best actor, but the plot is kind of cool. There are these immortal guys who can only die if their head is cut off. The cutter receives the "power" from the chopped guy. This continues until there is only one (a recurring saying in the movie).

It got me thinking about things. Being immortal would be cool, but I'd never go for it if my husband wasn't immortal too. Who wants to stay young if the one you love has to grow old and die without you? I'd rather be in it with him. And, if you knew you were immortal and you knew no one was going to attempt to cut off your head, would you get fat, because you knew you wouldn't die of heart disease? Would you get bored? How would you stay motivated towards a goal? I don't know. I think it is probably better being mortal, because you just appreciate everything so much better.

In the movie, they were able to get away with chopping off heads and exploding cars, glass, etc. by the after effects lightning, but they didn't go to jail. I watch enough CSI to believe that they'd all be in jail if they had tried that with today's forensic science. Of course, CSI is just a fictional show too, but I'd have to believe that there would be video surveillance, blood evidence, etc.

I know, I analyze way too much and I may sound a little kooky. I blame it on the 90 minute trainer ride. That's enough to make any mind go a little batty. : )

Great swims this week
I swam with my buddies, Sam J. and Suzi on Wednesday at my new club. Sam followed Angela's assigned workout with me, while Suzi did her own thing. It was a good workout and great to see my girls.

Today, I swam at CSU. I got my own lane today, so no pressure from the fast people! I did still push myself and I swam a respectable, tiring 2700 yard workout in 65 minutes. Last year, I would have gotten out in the same time, but having only gone 2000 yards. There is improvement! Yes! It was also great to see Jodi as always too. She looked great in the lane next to me. It's amazing how fast she is getting.

My pal, Nicole, is coming here for the weekend from Texas and a group of us are meeting her for a run tomorrow morning. My run Wednesday night was awful (shin so tight I could barely move my foot up and down and renewed IT band pain), but it was on concrete and not with my girls. We are running the Brecksville Carriage Trail, which will be tough, but softer on the legs. I also saw my ART guy today, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I got to get this under control before my IM training gets too behind.

But, regardless, it will be fabulous to see Nicole. I miss her. Luckily, we work for the same firm and have training next month in Dallas together. Hopefully, we can keep the contact up. I love her too much to let her drift away. And, if I'd never met her, I'd never have gotten into this running thing that led to my triathlon obsession.

Until later
I'm sitting in a Starbuck's right now. I had my ART appointment at 12:30, so I decided to "work from home" after. I came here in an attempt to be productive. As you can see, the most I've accomplished is updating my blog and disputed my dietitian charges, but that is kind of productive, right? Anyway, must get to the work. Hope you all have a great weekend and thanks for reading!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

First club duathlon/fabulous bike ride

Yesterday was the triathlon club's first duathlon training race event. I went down there to volunteer and then head out for a ride. I was impressed with the turnout of both racers and volunteers. Our race director was MIA (turns out he had a bad flight home and didn't get to bed until 4 AM), so the volunteers took control. I think everyone still had a nice event, even though we didn't offer the usual amenities (transition racks, gatorade, snacks, etc.).

Luckily, Jodi had her Garmin, so she and another club member served as the 1-mile turn cone out on the course. The rest of us manned the timing, turns, etc. One guy was visiting from Saginaw, MI and decided to not only ride with us, but he also volunteered. Thanks Jim! The racers comprised some fast dudes and gals. Janet finished as first female and even beat a few of the men. Betty was the second female and last overall, but she just always has that smile on her face no matter what. My husband overcame a run deficit on the bike to finish 4th overall. Not too shabby!

After the race finished, six of us headed out for a ride, including the 1st and 2nd place guys. The race must have taken some wind out of their sails, because they let me lead most of the time. It was just a beautiful day and I was grateful to have the time to spend riding. We rode some flats in the beginning, but threw in a few hills, a couple monster ones too. I love climbing out of the valley!

With a 2-hour ride and 3 hours of volunteering done, we were famished. Jodi and I decided to satiate our hunger at the Fisher's Tavern. She had the portabello sandwich with mixed veggies on the side (such a good, new vegan!) and I had the creamed chicken and vegetables over biscuits. Yum! Obviously, I haven't seen the new dietitian again yet. : )

Overall, it was a lovely day. Tiring, but lovely!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

New gym/swimming pool

When I left my old job in March, I also left my old gym (Cleveland Athletic Club) of seven years. I couldn't justify spending so much money for a gym that I went to 2-3 times a month. My new work building has a FREE gym in the basement that is like a nice hotel gym. It has free weights, some machines (some are so old I don't know how to use them), treadmills, stationary bikes, elliptical, stability ball, locker room, showers, etc. Basically, it has everything I need except a swimming pool.

Why do I need a swimming pool you might ask, because you know I swim at CSU with the masters group? Well, I feel I need at least one day a week to work on my stroke, form, etc. with no pressure to follow a group workout or keep up with a group. This summer, I swam at the Mayfield Village outdoor pool with Matt on Fridays and it was fabulous! Unfortunately, it is also outside, which is not palatable 8-9 months of the year here.

So, there are other indoor choices in Cleveland. How about the Willoughby YMCA? Well, I've swum there as Matt's guest and it is not only very crowded, it also about 100 degrees in the water. I thought I was boiling alive in there. I don't know how Matt has swum monster swims there over the years. How about the downtown YMCA? I've heard from a friend who goes there that it is tough to actually swim there. There are only 3 lanes in the pool. How about the Lakewood YMCA - it's going to open a brand new pool in early 2007? Well, besides having to wait until it opens, I just don't live anywhere near there and I've vowed not to go way out of my way to get workouts in during IM season. I need sleep!

How about HFC Athletic club downtown? This one seemed to fit the bill the best. It is only a few blocks from work, price is reasonable (about $50 a month if you sign up for an annual membership), has 2-hour free parking, allows guests (with fee) unlike my old gym (CAC limited guests to coming once per month) and the pool isn't too crowded or too hot. Now, it could be a little longer though. 20 yards seems awfully short after swimming in a 50 meter pool. I do feel much faster though! : )

I've been to the HFC swimming pool twice now. The first time (last Wednesday), Suzi and Sam J. went with me. We took turns making up our own workout and easily covered 2000 yards. Yesterday, Suzi went with me again. Angela had assigned a specific 2700 yard workout, so Suzi did most of that with me. I really concentrated on my form and enjoyed the no pressure swim. It was nice to be some of the better swimmers in the pool too. It's been a long time since I felt that way.

Don't get me wrong though. CSU is necessary too. I need to be pushed in order to increase my speed. And, I get to see Jodi on CSU days. So, tomorrow, ready or not, here I come CSU!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Trainer rides and dentist visits

I had a dentist appointment at 10:15 AM this morning, so I decided to take the morning off rather than coming downtown just to drive back out to Willoughby. That meant I got to sleep in! I stayed in bed until 6:30 AM. My husband came in, poked me and said "Are you going to sleep all day?" It's one of our jokes, but of course, I wasn't going to sleep all day.

I got up, said hello to the cats, put on my Ipod and bike shoes and hopped onto the Computrainer. Today's schedule called for a 75-minute aerobic paced ride, but I decided to do Thursday's 90-minute aerobic paced ride instead because I had more time (means I get to sleep in until 4:30 on Thursday - woo hoo!). Now, I know this is supposed to be an easy ride to keep the blood flowing, but not tax my legs. I have such a hard time obeying this on the Computrainer though. I think it is because I see the miles per hour, watts, etc. and I challenge myself to keep a certain level of each. Of course, I should be paying the most attention to my heart rate. I did manage to keep it aerobic, but it probably wasn't the leisurely ride my coach had intended.

Even on a Computrainer with rocking tunes, the time just drags by. I am dreading the Sunday morning trainer rides, but like all things, I'm sure I will get used to it. Last year, it became a ritual to ride for 2 to 2 1/2 hours on the Computrainer, throw on winter running clothes over my sweaty body and then head out the door for a 30 to 40 minute brick run. Once home, Matt or I would make me a bagel with peanut butter on it and a glass of chocolate milk. I'd enjoy these treats while sitting in a cold bath for 20 minutes followed by a hot shower that was never hot enough. Ah, memories! I guess you got to do what you got to do to become a long course athlete even if that means long trainer rides, cold runs and even colder baths. Back to my trainer ride today though. The very last song I heard was "Hurts so Good" by John Mellencamp. I don't think he meant crotch pain from sitting on a trainer for 90 minutes. : ) It did propel me to the finish of my ride.

So, then I headed to my dentist appointment. It is a new dentist for me. I swore I wouldn't keep going to the guy in Medina, even though I like him, because it is just too far. Ironman athletes can't afford the time to drive over an hour one way to a dentist appointment. Stacy (a CTC member and training partner) recommended the place, because her roommate was one of the dentists and it just happened to be in my new hometown.

The office was in a shopping plaza and the "rooms" were merely separated by dividers, but they had high tech equipment and friendly, knowledgeable staff. They took x-rays and video snap shots, which showed that I've been grinding my teeth and it probably has been going on for many years. I have literally put small cracks in my teeth that have allowed cavities to form UNDER my fillings. Of course, the fillings are at least 20 years old and silver, which didn't help matters. And, the grinding has pushed my molars out of place, which is destroying my gums. Fun! So, now I have to have 4 molars fixed, but first, I have to get my bite problem under control. I go back again in 2 weeks. Wish me luck! I also have to give up chewing gum (my one true addiction). Yes, it sucks, but at least I am fortunate enough to have dental insurance to fix these problems up. And, I am not in danger of losing my teeth. It is probably good I switched dentists (he never noticed the bite problem). On another positive note, the hygienist and dentist were very impressed with my dental hygiene. Got that going for me at least!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Sunday rider

I talked my wonderful husband into riding with me on Sunday. He wanted to go no more than an hour and I had 2 hours planned, so we compromised at 90 minutes.

The first cyclocross race of the season was yesterday. We wanted to check it out, so we got to Fairport Harbor early and went for a ride beforehand. We rode through mostly flat roads from Grand River through Perry and back. The wind was at our backs for most of the ride out, but we had to turn around eventually. Wind has always been hard for me mentally. I think I should be able to go faster, but can't. Of course, I had my dear husband blocking for me, so it wasn't too bad. I asked him if he thought it was windy and he said "I've seen worse. Look, the flag isn't even blowing over there, so it isn't as windy as you think it is." Eureka moment for me! I've decided that if the trees aren't blowing then I can't call it windy. He did warn that things would be different as we got back to Grand River. And, he was right of course. The trees were blowing, so I'm legitimately calling that part windy!

We barely made it back to the parking lot without interrupting the cyclocross race that had just started. My feet were little frozen stones that I could no longer feel, but I really wanted to check out the race. Amy (former CTC club president) was there to watch her husband compete in his first race, so we watched it together. If you have never seen one of these, do check one out sometime. Riders complete as many circuits of a marked course as they can in the allotted time (beginners go 30 minutes, intermediate for 1 hour and experts for 90 minutes). They ride mountain bikes or special cyclocross bikes (kind of a cross between mountain and road bike - major advantage is lightness of bike). The course went through sand, grass, hills, steps, etc. At a few points along the way, riders have to get off and carry their bikes over obstacles. You must have good mounting/dismounting skills. Falling down was common too, so there can be no fear. I don't have a mountain bike, so I don't see this in my near future. It was fun to watch though!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Stupid Weather

My coach assigned a 2-hour leisurely paced ride today. She said to get out and enjoy the weather. That would be great, but the weather isn't enjoyable today. Jodi and I were going to meet for the ride, but she canceled yesterday due to the weather forecast. We just don't have the right gear. It is not only cold, but also raining (my favorite - NOT). So, the choices are 1) get on the trainer or 2) move the ride to tomorrow which has a slightly better forecast. Given that it is already 9:30, I'll probably just move the ride to tomorrow regardless. I'm importing songs into my new Ipod now to prepare for the long winter of trainer rides ahead. As an aside, the Ipod is really awesome! I've used it for 2 trainer rides already. It kept me entertained and Matt didn't have to be subjected to my musical selections. Now, I just have to find comfortable headphones. Those ear buds hurt after awhile!

The foul weather didn't stop the huge crowd from attending the Race for the Cure downtown. I watched it on a special newscast. Amazing! Over 20,000 people came out to walk or run it. It was so congested at the start that the first runners were finished before some of the walkers even crossed the start line. I don't think people do that race for the race though. It is an emotional experience that I wish I could have done (stupid IT band) with my coach and our friend Tina. Tina is a breast cancer survivor. She's one of the nicest people I've ever met. She's a triathlete with a similar skill level to mine, so we spent most of the 2005 triathlon camp riding or running together. She never mentioned that she was fighting cancer let alone was about to undergo surgery or chemo for her cancer. She is a tough cookie and I'm happy to report that she was running today, whereas last year, she had to walk. Go Tina!

So, back to perspective. Yes, I can't comfortably go for a ride today. So what! I'm just grateful to be healthy.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The Future

I've never been much of a future thinking person. I don't care much about the past either. I pride myself in staying in the present most of the time (generally don't look forward more than a couple of months). I think it helps keep me happy. I don't dwell on the past mistakes and I usually don't worry about what might happen in the future.

However, having to sign up for an Ironman race a year in advance does make one look a little further out. The problem is I can't see what comes next after that. I tell my job that I'm only going to do one of these, but what if one isn't good enough? My friend Rob is considering doing three Ironman races next year. He just did two races this year. Is he nuts? Yah, probably a little, but I know he will perform well at all three and every other smaller distance in-between.

But, back to my dilemma. What comes next? Do I try to be the best employee ever and build a fabulous, professional career as a consulting actuary? Not really my style, but my new company believes in me and would love for me to go there. Do we start a family? I'm 35 now and don't know if I can even have kids, so don't want to stress out about that yet. Do I allow myself the thought that I can do Ironman again, but just not as frequently as once a year? Maybe, that is the ticket. Got to get through the first Ironman before entertaining those thoughts.

I guess this present thinker needs to get back to the present and stay there. Whatever comes next, comes next. Life is too short to rush through. I'll close with my motto and favorite saying:

There is no better time than right now to be happy.

Happiness is a journey, not a destination.

So work like you don't need money,

Love like you've never been hurt,

and, dance like no one's watching.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Weekend wrap-up

Friday night

Matt and I went out to a tasty dinner at the Willoughby Brewing Co. We had 100 calorie ice cream after at home and I got to open my presents from Matt. I got an Ipod Nano (2GB) and a running carrier for it. My husband rocks! Then I promptly fell asleep on the couch at 9:30 (oh yah, I'm a ball of fire - just wait).


I met two of my friends (Sam B. and JT) for a chilly 1:50 rolling hills easy paced bike ride starting at 8:30 AM. JT and I were praying for up hills, because it was so chilly in the shade (around 40 degrees). Apparently, we need to invest in some more cold weather gear. After the ride, we picked up our packets for the Towpath marathon relay. Definitely not a high budget expo, but we got what we came for.

Later, I met with my new dietitian. She's a triathlete who is also a registered dietitian. I went in with the goal of her getting my cholesterol under control while also maintaining the right diet for Ironman training. It appears that she will be a good fit for that. But, I have another goal now. She measured my BMI and body fat percentage with some hand-held device. According to the device, I'm overweight on both measures. 25% body fat. WTF?! Yes, I know I've had less food willpower the last few months, but I've been a workout fiend and I still fit in the size 4 jeans (maybe a little less comfortably than before, but still fit). Now, I don't know if I believe in the accuracy of this device, but it is a big wake-up call that should help me with my willpower problem. Now, if I could only get my company to stop giving us free cookies and pizza!

Matt and I went for an hour long ride in the Sky with the top down after I got home. I finally got the nerve up to drive it around our neighborhood. Apparently, I haven't forgotten how to drive stick. Now, I just have to find the nerve to take it out of the neighborhood. There isn't much convertible season left though, so it may have to wait until the Spring.

After Matt's wonderful grilled free-range chicken with corn and potatoes dinner, I promptly fell asleep at 7:30 PM. With just a brief awake time to go up to bed, I pretty much slept through till 5 AM. I guess I was tired! My poor husband didn't get much quality time that night!


Today was the Towpath marathon relay. It was the first race ever for my friend Stacey and my brother Dave. They had great races and I'm proud of both of them! Stacey's boyfriend started us off with a great 8:30 pace average. Stacey was planning 11 minute miles, but she went sub 10-minute. I was the third leg. Matt stopped where I was waiting and decided to run the next 6 with me before pulling out of the marathon. We took off and we both were in pain. Apparently, my IT band is not healed and was yelling at me from the beginning. Matt stopped to walk about 3 miles in (he tried to catch me and almost made it). I managed to pick up the pace and averaged about 9:30 miles for the whole 5.7 mile run. Not my best, but okay given the circumstances. Dave averaged under 9 minute miles (CTC pal Janet paced him the whole 5.25 miles). [Keep in mind that my brother has never run a race and hasn't been training. He ran 2 times before this with me in the last 6 months. Apparently, he's the one with the natural talent in the family. I hope he enjoyed himself enough to try it again, but maybe train for it next time.] JT took off for the last 5.6 miles and she had a blazing 8 minute pace (Janet paced her for the first few miles). I knew I picked the right anchor! Our team finished around 3:53, which is fabulous and way better than I expected!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Unintentional birthday presents

So, I officially entered the 35-39 age group today. I've had a 35 on the back of my leg for a few races this year, because of the new USAT rules, so I'm more okay with turning 35 than I might have been. I don't feel 35, but who really knows what 35 is supposed to feel like?!

Last night, I had to reset my clock, because the power had gone off during the day. I always set the time a few minutes fast, but this time accidentally set it 5 minutes slow. So, not only did I oversleep this morning, but I added an extra 5 minutes. I'll take that as an unintentional birthday present to myself. Extra sleep rocks!

I still made it to swimming. That was my other gift to myself. I've been feeling kind of lazy, but I managed to talk myself into going to swimming today at CSU. JT and the guys kicked my butt as usual, but they were all very supportive. I even made a few of the 100 pulls on the 2:10 interval. JT tells me I'm getting faster and I hope it is true. I appreciate that she always has something positive to say. That will help in the coming months.

I get to have lunch with a few of my girlfriends today. That will be fun! Then, tonight, my husband is taking me to dinner and has promised there will be gifts I can open later. Of course, the best gift I ever received was getting him as a husband, but I'll take other gifts too! : )

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Back in Ohio

I was in Arlington, VA (just outside of D.C.) the past two days for work training. Last night's flight was not only delayed, but was an unpleasant ride due to the weather. I was so happy to see the ground. I hope not to be on a flight again for awhile.

I took Monday and Tuesday off from training. I had to get to work early on Monday, because my evening massage was more important than a morning workout (if you ever need a great massage therapist on the east side, let me know - she even gives CTC discounts). Tuesday was filled with travel, class and mandatory dinner. I did get to see an old friend, Anne, who now works for the Seattle office of my company. That was pretty cool. I did work out on Wednesday - short spin on the stationary bike followed by core work and stretching. I have to motivate to get on the trainer tonight for a ride. I just couldn't get up early to get it done. I'm just not going to stress about it right now. It is the off season and I'll get in as much as I feel like doing.

I do have fun workout plans with some pals this weekend, so I'm looking forward to that. JT and Sam will be joining me for a leisurely ride on Saturday. Then, I do the Towpath marathon relay with JT, my brother, a pal and her boyfriend. Should be fun. My fabulous husband is still undecided about this weekend's marathon. I love that he is able to run back to back weekend marathons, but also love that he is so nonchalant about whether he will do it again this year.

Oh, and my IT band feels better. Stretching and rest are good things!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Akron Marathon Relay & CTC picnic

Yesterday was my 3rd Akron marathon relay. The first two years I did the 1st and 2nd 10k legs (respectively) on a 5-person team. This year, I did the 2nd leg (10.7 miles) of the 2-person team with CTC member, Tim.

It was rainy and cold (low 50s) all day, so I was quite cold by the time my leg started. I did get to enjoy the company of a couple CTC friends, including fellow blogger pal E-speed. When Tim handed off to me, I couldn't feel my feet. That was just the beginning of the good times. My IT band, hamstring and shin on my right leg took turns feeling miserable the whole run. My hopes of running sub-10 minute miles were quickly dashed. I was proud of myself for being able to just keep running - I didn't walk once (actually, I was afraid if I stopped that my IT band would seize and I wouldn't be able to run again). I'm so glad I didn't attempt the full marathon as I had been semi-seriously considering doing. Apparently, my thoughts of being invincible that I developed by mid-September did not materialize into the truth. I blew the large lead my partner had developed (he was on pace for a 3:45 marathon), but did manage an exact 10-minute mile average and we finished in just over 4 hours (about the 50th percentile for our division). Could have been worse, but could have been better. Luckily, Tim was just there for the long run and didn't care about our time (I did warn him upfront).

Today, I awoke to a stiff knee, but it wasn't too bad. I was able to put in a hilly 90 minute ride with the CTC crowd before the picnic. It was so nice to ride with Angie, Jodi and many of the guys from the club. We then chowed down and chatted with the rest of the CTC picnic crowd for the next 5 hours. It was a great turnout and the food was plentiful and delicious.