Sunday, February 26, 2012

Ski Bunny?

Yesterday was fun. Lots of fun!  I celebrated my 32nd birthday by going skiing with The Husband and our friends, Mr. Fix-It and Nacho Nurse. 
Mr. Fix-It and The Husband

Nacho Nurse & Me

It was beautiful outside when we arrived. The sun was shining and there was very little wind.
The ski resort offers a great deal on Fridays and Saturdays.  For $40 you get a lift ticket, equipment rental, and a ski lesson.  A lesson was definitely in order since Nacho Nurse has never been skiing and The Husband and I have only done this once before.  Mr. Fix-It learned to ski years ago in the mountains of Utah and Colorado, but he was a good sport and took the lesson as a refresher since he hasn't been on skis in about 8 years.

We strapped on our rented boots and made our way out to meet our instructor and fellow classmates (2 people from Chicago whose names escape me at the moment).
Our lesson started off with learning what a 'balanced stance' was and then moved on to attaching skis to our feet and learning how to turn. 

After that, we moved on to a tiny incline to test our new skills. 

It's a good thing we got there when we did - because suddenly a busload of 200 people arrived and the group lessons after us had at least 20 people in them!  Once we proved that we had learned the basic moves of turning, moving on flat ground, and sidestepping uphill it was time to take the tow rope to the top of the bunny hill and put our skills to the test by skiing through a course of cones.

Bunny Hill
After a few practice runs and falls (I fell once. Nacho Nurse fell twice. The guys stayed upright) we moved on to the intermediate hill since the bunny hill was super crowded with all the new arrivals.  The intermediate hill was pretty busy too and we had to contend with snowboarders everywhere.

Intermediate Hill
After a few runs on the intermediate hill, our group decided that we were exhausted from our lesson (seriously, I think I sweat less when I run) and turned in our skis before stopping in the chalet for a few drinks.  I had a delicious drink called the Millionaire's Coffee and the others stuck to beer while we watched the more experienced skiers on the big hill.
A double black diamond run called Holy Moly meets up with the intermediate hill
Finally it was time to say goodnight and head home.  I had a great time with The Husband and our friends and can't wait to try skiing again.  Who knows, maybe someday I'll be ready for The Big Hill!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Branching Out

If you follow me on Twitter, you already know that I've been alluding to and *bouncing* about a purchase for the last week and I've dropped a few hints on the blog: here, here, and here.  I'm finally ready to spill my guts about 'IT'.

At the end of my Expo Run Recap , I mentioned making a non-running clothes purchase.  That purchase was this:

CycleOps Mag Trainer
The only problem now I had a magnetic trainer and nothing to put in it.  That was rectified today when I picked up my brand new Trek Lexa road bike!

I ordered it a week ago and then spent over an hour with the wonderful guys at the Emery's as they tweaked and fine tuned the bike for me.  I was thrilled by the attention I received, especially since I was purchasing an entry-level bike, not a crazy expensive high-end bike.  They busted out a laser level and a crazy contraption that measured the angle of my knee!  The gentleman that helped me out was extremely patient with me - showing me how to change a flat, how to shift, and generally giving me tips maximizing my riding experience.  I really can't say enough good things about the whole experience. I may know a whole lot about running, but when it comes to cycling, I'm pretty much qualified to ride without training wheels and that's it!

Please excuse the ugliness that is my basement, but here she is, all mounted in the trainer with a climbing block under the front wheel.

I'm beyond excited to start riding - as soon as I buy some bike shorts.  (My bootie is s.o.r.e. from an hour in the saddle today with no padding.)

Of course, I didn't just get the bike to ride it inside on a trainer.  I bought it so I could pursue my goal of branching out into multi-sport events this year, so to that end, I'm officially training for the South Shore Rock n Ride Duathlon in June.  The event consists of a 2 mile run, a 10 mile ride, and another 2 mile run.  I know that the running distances aren't going to be a problem, but I think that going from running, to riding, to running again will be an interesting experience - and I'm sure I'll be over-sharing it here.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Sorry guys, I don't really have a good update for you this week.  I've been feeling under the weather and have been mostly hiding under a blanket on my couch, watching Supernatural, petting the bunnies, and hoping to feel better.  Hopefully I'll be feeling better in the next day or so and I'll be back to my usual shenanigans!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Groundhog Day Workout

Happy Groundhog Day!  Seriously, what's not to love about this cute, furry, little fellow - other than that America's most famous groundhog, Punxatawny Phil, saw his shadow today?
Today's workout was more reminiscent of this Groundhog Day.
Yep, it was a 400 meter repeat day. I got home from work, pulled on my cold weather gear, set my Garmin to give me 30 seconds of walking (rest) between intervals, and headed out the door. After a 1/3 mile warm up, the first 3 repeats felt good, but that may have had something to do with the fact that my route has a decidedly downhill grade for the first 1.5 miles.  On the way back, it's all uphill baby - and if you've been reading this blog for any length of time you know how much I loathe hills!  After my final repeat, I decided to push myself and run the last 3/4 of a mile home instead of taking it easy and walking.  When I uploaded the data from my Garmin, here's what I found:

Warm Up: 0.31 miles @ 9:40 pace
Interval 1:  0.25 miles @ 8:39 pace
Interval 2:  0.25 miles @ 8:30 pace
Interval 3:  0.25 miles @ 7:44 pace*
Interval 4:  0.25 miles @ 7:48 pace*
Interval 5:  0.25 miles @ 9:00 pace
Interval 6:  0.25 miles @ 8:44 pace
Cool Down: 0.16 miles @ 9:19 pace
Overall Pace (including 30 second walk breaks): 9:18/mile
* I almost fell out of my chair when I saw these!

The last 3/4 mile was also run at 9:19 pace.

Why do I care about these statistics (aside from the whole bean counter/data junkie thing)? Because my 5k PR pace is 9:18/mile and I really thought it would be a lot longer before I saw numbers like that again.  I may not be exactly where I want to be yet, but I'm definitely making progress!