Monday, April 23, 2012

RAAM Simulation Ride

This weekend, my team got together for a RAAM simulation ride.

5 of us rode for quite a while :-)

We split into two cars. My van had two crew, Don and Linda, and two riders, Rob and me! The other car had two crew and three riders.

This was a chance to really experience what RAAM will feel like.

Rob and I took riding for 30 minutes at a time. So I would ride for 30, and then hop in the car for 30 minutes while Rob rode.

Here are a couple of exhanges:

 Since we had less people we fell behind the other van, so every few hours, we would drive to catch up with them and get a longer break.

Our ride was a TOUGH course! We went over Burnt Mountain in the rain. Here's Rob descending in the rain. Scary!

Then we headed over to Fort Mountain!

After Fort Mountain, we had a period of time that was flat, rural, and just plain beautiful. The sun was sinking, the roads were smooth, and I was SO happy every time it was my turn to ride. I mean, how lucky am I to be invited to do something this incredible?

THEN, we headed towards Mt. Cheaha! We went up and down Cheaha in the dark, which was a surreal experience. You can't really see much, so you are just riding without knowing how the road is going to change. You can't really tell how big the hills are or how long you will be climbing or going downhill or how fast you are going, because you can't see your garmin OR have any perception of speed without light. There is a total trust in the headlights of your crew car, which is quite the experience when you are descending down curvy roads and the lights are catching up an instant behind you!

Around 2 or 3 in the morning we decided to call it a "day" and head on home from Alabama. I got back to my house around 7am!

Speaking of Cheaha, George was the first finisher at the Gran Fondo there yesterday!!! Here's the article in the newspaper! I am SO proud of him!

I had a fantastic weekend. My bike was great, the crew was incredibly kind and supportive, and the other riders were so talented, fun, and hard working.  I feel honored to be a part of this team supporting a truly amazing cause. I can't wait to put in the work to be even better for the next ride! It is going to come So fast!

To see all of our pictures, or give us any support (financial or emotional :-) ) Check us out and like us on facebook or donate and check out out here!

Up next, is the incredible bike makeover that the awesome people at All3 sports gave to my bike!!!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Operation Mountain Goat!

As I get ready to train for RAAM, I find myself looking at this profile of the country:

Holy Stromboli there are a lot of uphills in this country of ours!

Training for the very very flat double IRON, I did not have much of a focus on hills, let alone mountains.

I need to focus on that stuff now!

Thus was the beginning of Operation Mountain Goat!

When you google image mountain goat, it is REALLY hard to choose the picture you want to use! The one above seems so triumphant!

This one seems a little nuts, but serious respect to this little dude!

And then there is this little guy who has a long way to go, but this is a nice start. Maybe this is where I am starting :-)

Ok--back to business!

Operation Mountain Goat is threefold:

1. I have to change my attitude. I am not allowed to apologize for being slow. I am not allowed to say I am a bad climber. These actions are totally unacceptable now. I have a bad habit of doing that, and it only works against my goals!

2. Work on hills on the bike. Coach has me doing hill repeats in workouts during the week, and trips to the gaps as often as possible!

3. New nutrition plan. I am working with the fabulous, knowledgeable, fast, and lean Dani. We have a new plan (since the double my only plan was to eat what I felt like eating). She is awesome. I am learning a ton about my nutrition and she is putting in a lot of time sending me plans, recipes, answering texts, taking pictures of sweet potatoes (it was awesome!), and responding to a bagillion questions that I have! I am psyched to have her on my team of support.

I am hoping that operation mountain goat will leave me a mentally confidenent, physically powerful, and lean machine of a climber for RAAM!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


You have probably heard of the "Stay-Cation." The idea that you stay at home during your vacation, but do great things around home:

Well, because we had an amazing Thanksgiving in Cozumel, 

Ahhhh...that was SO great!

AND, we have INCREDIBLE summer Plans!

A road trip and a race here:

and....a little bike race here:
and...George's second Ironman here:

and....We are hopping across the pond for 10 days to see George's sister, brother-in-law, and our nieces here:

and....our usual week at the beach at Pawley's Island:

In other words, we didn't travel over spring break. Sorry, It's mid-April, and I am getting REALLY excited about our summer!!!

Back to the topic at hand--Spring Break!

We decided that instead of a lame-sounding "stay-cation," we would have a....


Here's the plan--train as much as you want anywhere you want to go that you don't normally get to go!

Saturday: 44 mile ride at Silk Sheets with George and Dani! They both push me, which is going to make me stronger on my bike!

Sunday: 50 Mile Ride with Andree and Steve! Steve had 281.2 stickers made, and he gave one to Dani, Jason, and me! Here is is on my car:

Monday: Master's swim at Dynamo! That deserves another whole post! I have been going to Dynamo, and I love it!

Tuesday: I did strength work, then I rode 50 miles with Laura and Scott, then I went straight to Dynamo for masters again! I was tired at the end of this day!

Wednesday: A good follow up to an exhausting day is to go to the gaps! George, Laura, and I loaded up our bikes and rode a 62 mile loop that included Unicoi, Jacks, and Neil's gaps. It was a huge climbing day for us! I am not allowed to stand and limb in the boot, so I am becoming a very efficient climber going up mountains sitting down all the time! I'll tell you, there were a few pitches where I really wanted to stand up!

Then it gets interesting. On the drive home, we hit a bump. We looked back and the bikes looked lower. Yikes. We were on a road with a guardrail and no shoulder, so we had to drive on some. We kept driving until we could pull over. Hit another bump while we were stopping and the bikes gently (THANK GOODNESS!)hit the ground as we stopped. The straps of the bike rack broke! We are SO SO SO lucky that's all that happened!

Here's George with the broken rack:

Then, the real trick was that we had to fit three bike in my little car with three people, and all of our stuff!

So, we got everything in, and then, we had to drive the rest of the way home!  La di da di da....boom......

A blowout on the CAR tire!?! What? Now, to change the tire, we hand to unload and reload all of those bikes and wheels!

What a day!  We dropped Laura off, who was by that point HOURS late for a big meeting at work.

Then George and I had dinner....maybe it was a lot of dinner:

Thursday: After that kind of day, I took Thursday as a rest day!

Friday: Back to the Gaps! We rode the regular three gap and did Neils, Wolfpen, and Woody. It was a great ride!

Saturday: We did the Tony Serrano Century. It is one of my favorites! It is for a great cause, it is an awesome course, and they really do have the best rest stops ever!

Sunday: We went up to Mary Alice Park and swam in open water in our wetsuits for the first time this year! It actually went well!

As you can see, a train-cation can be AWESOME! We had a wonderful week, and now I am incredibly excited for summer!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Restoration Ride 4/14!

On Saturday April 14, my Team Shepherd Atlanta RAAM team will be hosting three rides leaving from Alpharetta! I would love to see you out there! 57 mile ride starts at 8:30, the 20 miler at 10:00, and the 10 mile family ride at 10:30.

We will be leaving from the Five Seasons Brewery in Alpharetta (3655 Old Milton Pkwy, Alpharetta, Ga. 30005)

There are three choices of rides: 10 (bring the kiddos, this is on a closed course), a casual 20, and a fun 57!

Saul Raisin, Rob Leggerio, and Linda Manires all who have suffered with TBI (traumatic brain injury) and Saul and Rob were patients of Shepherd Clinic. Please come and support our cause and hear their story's, Blaze, Linda's service dog will be there too, helping with registration

Even if you don't ride come and have lunch with us at 12:00pm. Auction for a Trek Travel trip to CA Wine Country worth millions maybe a little less!!

Here is a small version of the flier, but you can register there!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

My Next Big Adventure!

So I have decided on my next adventure.....drumroll please...... I know you have all been losing sleep wondering....drumroll....

I am going to be a member of an 8 person Race Across America Team (RAAM)!
Race Across America

This is an incredible opportunity to race with Team Shepherd in this incredible event! We are riding to raise awareness about the great people at the Shephard Center here in Atlanta.

This is a truly exciting opportunity to be a part of an amazing race for a great cause.

That being said, I think I need to go ride my's a big country!

(If you have a second, would you go like us on facebook?? Thank you!!)