Saturday, September 27, 2008

Mountain Biking 101.....

This morning I met Harry on Raccoon Mountain for some Mountain Biking 101. We started from the East Overlook and went counter clockwise over to the Visitor's Center. From there we went down the rock drops and made our way full circle.






During the ride we would stop at areas that would "stump" me for a little "how to clinic". That helped so much! Thank-you Harry. I tried things today that I wouldn't have dare tried a week ago! Also... while we were out there we ran into Paul Van Kooten and talked with him briefly about the rock drops and the technicality of them.
The weather was seemingly perfect as the skies were overcast and the temperature was just right.







Now.... I get to rest up for my trail run tomorrow!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Hoping there is enough in the bank.....

This morning Trey and I headed up to Signal Mountain for the last "really long" trail run before Stump Jump 50K. Either it's in the bank...or... it isn't at this point! Too late in the game to gain anymore fitness for this event as we will now officially be on "taper".


We ran out to Mushroom Rock and over to Suck Creek Road then back tracked to Mushroom and headed out to Edwards Point. Our route was modified from the original plan since there was a managed hunt going on the Prentice Cooper side. The idea of being shot by a bow and arrow by an anxious hunter was NOT appealing to any of us! I guess miles on the trail ARE miles on the trail, but it would have been nice to have run most of the course ONE more time!

Most of the group opted for the shorter route of 11miles. This left me, Trey, Sergio and Tyler. I must confess that my legs were getting very tired on the way back from Edwards Point! It was so nice to finish that run up and have piece of mind that tomorrow is an "off" day!

A great day to spend with friends......

Saturday I was so lucky to spend most of my day with friends.



The morning was spent hanging out with Trey and Xian and after lunch I went on a nice hike on the Cumberland Trail http://www.cumberlandtrail.org/nchic.html with Mike and Fred (old high school friends). I hadn't seen Fred in years and it was nice to see that he hikes to stay fit. Mike recently hiked the whole Appalachain Trail and obviously is in great hiking shape as well! It was good times catching up on old and new news while getting in a good aerobic workout.







The evening was spent down at Coolidge Park doing the Light the Night Walk for Lymphoma http://www.tntrivia.com/Light_the_night_Chattanooga.htm with many more friends. Earlier this summer a good friend of mine (Kim Leasure) was diagnosed with Lymphoma and has been going through chemo to battle this terrible disease. I must say she looks great and her attitude is awesome. She IS kicking cancer's butt!

Friday, September 19, 2008

A great day for a mountain bike ride.....

Today I met a good friend (Michael Hawkins) for a mountain bike ride on Raccoon Mountain. We could not have gotten better weather had we ordered it up special from Mother Nature! It was perfect. Starting out I was very nervous and tense, but I finally loosened up a bit and with Mike's help was becoming a little braver. He talked me through some tough spots and also explained the importance of using smaller gears. Anyone who has ever ridden with me knows that I like to pull the "big ring" alot! After I became acustomed to using the smaller ring it did seem easier and some of the rocks that stumped me before.... did not this time. Granted.... I still have a long way to go, but today was a huge leap forward!

A BIG thanks to Mike for the mountain bike lesson today! He really is a great teacher and made it look so easy and effortless!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Dear shoe fairy.....

My legs are in agony after tonight's nearly hour long run. First because I pushed it with some tempo running and hill work......and secondly because my running shoes are just dead and flat.... and thirdly because of the trail running on my legs from last night (also done in dead, worn-out shoes)! Oh well... at least the weather was cooler and it made things a little more tolerable!


I'm hoping the shoe fairy will magically send some shoes my way while I'm sleeping tonight..... yeah... that's likely to happen! : )

BUT... just in case the shoe fairy is listening... here is what I like!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Norris Dam State Park

Sunday we all woke up and headed over to Norris Dam State Park just north of Knoxville for a trail run. http://www.state.tn.us/environment/parks/NorrisDam/index.shtml

The run was very nice and we also found a monster hill there to challenge us. That hill went forever it seemed, but once we finally got to the top the downhill was so nice! On the way up that nasty hill we spotted a rather interesting creature and stopped to photograph it. Turns out this is a Hickory Horned Devil Caterpillar http://extension.missouri.edu/explore/agguides/pests/ipm1019hickoryhorneddevil.htm This is why I always trail run with my camera.... you never know what you might see! Part of the trail winded around the river/lake and made for a more scenic route. If you are ever in Knoxville looking for a hiking or trail running destination you should check it out.




At the end of our almost 2 hour run we decided to test out the chilly waters of this spring feed river. Wow.... it really was cold! As you can see in the pictures there are actually men trout fishing in the background. How cool is that?!

Saturday afternoon at Haw Ridge

Saturday morning I slept in for a bit then went for an hour run before heading up to see Michelle. After my run I cleaned up and took the kids to Nonna and Poppy's and then Trey and I picked Cathi up and were Knoxville bound!

Once we arrived in Knoxville and met up with Michelle we headed over to Haw Ridge for some mountain biking fun. Boy... did we ever find the new meaning of "FUN" there! I think we took every wrong turn... ending us up on either a very steep uphill or even steeper downhill. I think that is hands down the most I've ever pushed my bike! Finally we found a map at a kiosk and spent the remainder of our time riding the "easier more rideable" part of the course. It was sticky, hot and humid which made us all sweat like crazy too.


That night we managed to find a good place to eat called Tomato Head in downtown Knoxville. Thank-god for good food as I was starving after the workouts that had been put in earlier in that day!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

11%......

Yep.... that's my body fat count. Last night I finally got the courage to step on the scale and see what the weight and body fat were. Weight is down a bit @ 123lbs. This bothers me as I've tried hard to keep it at 125 or greater. The body fat was a shocker to me. It's kinda low considering I've not been on a "regular" training schedule since Ironman. Maybe the extra running miles are taking it off? It's so hard to find balance!

Monday, September 8, 2008

26 miles on the Fiery Gizzard Trail......

Sunday we drove over to Tracy City to begin our 26 mile trail run on the Fiery Gizzard Trail. Since some of our group opted to stop at the 13 mile turn around point.... Mitch had parked his car there so he and Sandy could head on back home. Cat and her dog started with us on the Tracy City side and split from us somewhere around the 3-3.5mile mark and did their own thing. So.... it was me, Trey, Joey, Sergio and Michael going for the full 26!


The trail is beautiful. The pictures really don't do justice to what you see in person out there. The Tracy City side has magnificant pines.... larger than I've ever seen! Along the trail you see things such as beautiful creeks, fern gardens, rock gardens, overlooks, falls and much much more. There are parts of the trail which would be rated as extremely technical, but there are some relatively easy segments as well. It's definitely worth a the trip wheter it be for a hike or trail run. http://www.friendsofscsra.org/aboutthepark.htm

Michael (dubbed as "Lucky" by our 5 year old) ran the entire 26 miles in 3:50! It took the rest of us closer to 5hours. At the end I felt suprisingly fresh.... this was unexpected as I had raced the day before. Joey and Trey weren't feeling the love so much, but they finished up like troopers and started getting a sense of humor after they got off the trail. What a great training day and another 26 in the bank!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Frantic Frog Triathlon.....

This morning I got up at the crack of dawn to head down to Scottsboro, AL for the Frantic Frog Traithlon. Cat and I carpooled down for this and ran into some nasty rain on the way. We were just certain this rain was going to ruin the event, but thankfully it cleared up and made for quite a nice day.



Packet pick-up and getting set-up in transition area went well. We then headed over to the dock where we would have an interval timed jump in style swim. My swim went horrible... largely due to the fact that I have NOT been swimming a lick. Just showing up on race day and winging it is not advisable by the way ; ). I know better than this, but I got so burned out during Ironman training with endless hours in the pool and without a big "goal event" looming it's been easy to slack on the swimming! On to the bike.... this goes much better for me as I'm passing a ton of folks very easily and seem to only have been passed by 1 or 2 guys. After the bike I gear up for the 3.1mile run begging my legs to please run. The run went okay, but I can tell that I've let speed fitness go to the wayside as I've been doing more "endurance" type running. Guess that's why I hate these short distance races so much as the endurance events are more my thing.

After the race results are posted and I learn that I'm 5th overall female. Not too bad for someone who hasn't really been triathon specific training lately. Two years ago I placed 3rd overall female, but this year that placement would go to Lisa Becht (one of my trail running friends)..... so I'm cool with that! Actually.... Chattanooga swept this race in the awards. Most notable is Jeff Gibson who took 1st overall in the race. Congrats to all who did this race today!

Monday, September 1, 2008

21+ in the bank......

Sunday was a scheduled long run for Trey and I. We decided that a run from Signal to Suck Creek was in order since that's part of the Stump Jump 50K course. Cat came and ran out to Mushroom Rock with us and from there on out it was me, Trey and Sergio for the next 19 miles.

The day was humid and hot which made for miserable running conditions. On the way up Suck after the swinging bridge we saw a rather large toad ( http://wwknapp.home.mindspring.com/docs/american.toad.html ) and stopped to get his picture. What a cool creature..... Glad we didn't touch him.... he had poisionous glands!!! After crossing Suck Creek Road and venturing further up the mountain....we somehow missed the turn for Indian Rock House and went out of our way over a mile! Finally.... we were back on track and made it to the Indian Rock House despite some minor clearing of downed trees along the way. Once we had a bite to eat we headed back and moved rather fast in comparision to our run there. When we reached the stairs at Suck Creek Road we refueled with water that I had stashed the day before. We were all thankful that I had placed that water there too! Our trek back up Signal was aweful. Our legs were spent and we were all three unusually tired! I told Sergio that I had never felt so terrible.... not even during a 50K! It must have been the humidity and heat -OR- for me.... maybe it was the long bike ride my legs had on them from the day before?! Either way.... we sure were glad for this run to be over and the 21+ miles to be in the bank!

Enjoy the pictures!