Saturday, January 1, 2011

2010: A Slow-twitch Odyssey (part 2)

Ang, my sister Lesley (Racing It Off),
and her friend Jenn
The last half of 2010 was a true game-changer for Ang and I.  In July, Angelia decided to give running a real try by signing up for a C25K (Couch to 5k) program under the guidance of Coach Barrett from Rockwall Running Center.  The program really pushed her limits and it didn't help that the hip and knee were being unkind despite therapy earlier in the year.  In the end though, she emerged with a whole new group of friends and motivators.  In September the class ran their first 5k, the local Rib Rub 'n Run.  They all had successful runs and a lot of family members were there to cheer her on.  This was a definitely a big step for Angelia towards her long-term triathlon goal.

Now, while the C25K stuff was going on my training took a hard turn ..... or rather, failed to take a hard turn.  This is what happens when you hit a curb at 25+ mph on a gusty day:
There are a lot of factors that led to this result and lessons to be learned (and shared in a future post).  My bike frame was toast but I managed to avoid any broken bones or even stitches (which was shocking) but there was a mild concussion that affected me for about an hour.  Catscan was clear though and I was sent home after the wounds were dressed.  Here's the real crazy thing - 8 days later I received my new bike frame and 4 days after that I was riding my first 100k event, the Cotton Patch Classic in Greenville.  The rest clearly did me some good because I averaged 18mph, a best for me at any distance over 20 miles.  Angelia also had a good day doing the 30 mile route.

The month of October is a big one for the Cheesy Riders with 2 major rides.  The first is the Wish100 supporting the Make-A-Wish foundation and hosted at the Frito Lay campus in Plano.  This was my first group ride ever in 2009 but this time I was ready to conquer the full route.  Meanwhile, Angelia and Julian were going to ride the 30 mile route I had done the previous year.  In my mind it was the right event for Julian to push for more distance and was the most sensible ride for him to be a part of the Cheesy Riders team.  He had a very strong ride (likely spurred on by attempts to impress fellow Cheesy Rider Jessica!).  My ride was fairly uneventful which was notable in and of itself.  The 100k distance was feeling very manageable, no injuries, just a good, solid ride with a great climb of Windhaven Hill.  I felt ready for my target event .....

The Livestrong Challenge - Austin.
This is what I had been training for.  This is why I enlisted the help of Joe's Coaching (thanks Joey!).  This was the one event that could make up for the BikeMS injury and the Labor Day crash.  At the beginning of the year I had hoped to do the 90-mile route but with the injuries interrupting training the 65-mile route was the choice.  Besides, the 65-miler was the only route to include the largest hill in the event (a sustained 12% grade).  First things first, Ang decided to ride as well and targeted the 20-mile route.  It should be noted here that riding in the Hill Country west of Austin is, uh, somewhat more intense than riding in Rockwall.  To get the legs loose we decided to take a quick loop near our hotel the day before.  Ang was not happy with me after that.  The loop included multiple 7% grades, most coming from a stop, and she hadn't been doing the hill training I had.  Confidence was shaken yet somehow that night at the team dinner she was talked into riding with a teammate on the 45-mile route.  The event itself was as expected, a logjam of thousands of cyclists for the first several miles followed by hills, wind, hills, some rough road, hills, and then some more wind.  All that matters though is that we both finished, felt good about it, and neither of us ever had to walk our bike up a climb.  Maybe I can get Ang on the big climb next year!

Ang with some of her
fellow C25K runners and Julian
With Livestrong in the rear view a certain amount of laziness crept into our cycling routines.  Ah, who am I kidding?  Our riding REALLY dropped off.  There was fatigue, some minor injuries, weather, pick your excuse.  On my side of things I got more involved with Rockwall Cycling by regularly leading the fitness ride on Saturday mornings (8:30am, 15-17mph pace, routes of 18-33 miles depending on turnout).  Angelia returned to running while battling a stubborn knee and ran another 5k, the Jingle Bell Run, just before Christmas with Julian as a pacer.  This resulted in a year-ending personal best for her of 43:06, a mark she would challenge on New Year's Day (details coming soon).

So, in 2010 the entire family set new bests for cycling distance and Angelia and Julian each achieved PR's in the 5k.  Would those PR's last more than a day into 2011?  Tune in to the next post to find out.

No comments: