Friday, July 27, 2012

8 Reasons to Watch TdF Next Year

I forgot to mention in my post the other day that when we weren't all getting sweaty on vacation, we watched a lot of the Tour de France ("TdF" for those of you who didn't even understand the title of this post). It's over now, but if you've never watched any of it I would definitely recommend tuning in next year.

Besides the obvious reason of witnessing the best professional cyclists ride in the most popular cycling race in the entire world, here are a few reasons why you should watch TdF next year:

You get to see the beautiful countryside of France...

Funny Road ID Commercials...

Epic Crashes
I know crashes are bad and people get really hurt, but they make things exciting...kind of like NASCAR


pretty sure that's not supposed to happen...


Funny faces from Thomas Voeckler...

source: compiled from results of a Google image search for "Thomas Voeckler face"

You discover cool products like Clean Bottle

Clean Bottle Bottle Boy = marketing genius!


Specialized S-Works McLaren Venge = $18,000

Athletic dudes in tight pants
Just sayin'...(and yes, I acknowledge that my husband will be watching some Women's Olympic Beach Volleyball for similar reasons.)

Look at those beautiful mountains!

And if all of these reasons weren't enough to get you to watch some Tour de France, please just watch it for the crazy people who attend TdF

I didn't know the devil was such a fan of cycling!

thong suspenders!!

Did you watch any of the Tour this year?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

One Sweaty Vacation

Our vacation to the beach last week was so sweaty it deserves its own recap. It was so nice to get away, but we definitely stayed active. I'm sure when most people go on vacation they also take a vacation from their workouts, but I prefer to take advantage of all the extra time. And let's be honest...I can eat more that way, too (and we all know that vacation = excess yummy foods).

We traveled the 6 hours to the beach on Saturday, and although my legs would have really loved to ride or run after we got there, I just wasn't feeling so hot so I did some snoozing on the beach while Andrew and my brother went for a ride. I've really been trying to listen to my body and not push it when I feel really dizzy/lightheaded/tired.

Thankfully I was feeling better on Sunday, so I started my sweaty vacation off strong with a 4 mile run with my brother. Despite starting around 7, it was humid and running was downright tough for both of us. We managed to hold a 9:44 average pace though, which is really good for me considering the humidity.

I followed my run with a 20 mile ride with Andrew, and we averaged 14.7 mph. We had a much faster speed for most of the ride, but there is a long stretch that twists and winds through the woods and requires a much slower speed to avoid crashing. I managed to get a Queen of the Mountain (QOM)* on Strava!

*Queen of the Mountain (QOM) is achieved on Strava by completing a pre-determined "segment" (i.e. "from this intersection to the bridge") with the fastest time. The fastest woman is "queen of the mountain" and the fastest man is "king of the mountain". You should really check out Strava if you haven't already.

On Monday, I rode 20 miles with my dad. He doesn't like to ride as fast, so it was a nice "recovery ride". We basically did a big loop 3 times. Our average speed was 13 mph. It was nice to be able to spend some time with him on a ride.

After I saw that there were more Strava segments nearby, I headed out with Andrew and my brother on Thursday with a goal of hammering out some these Strava segments so that I could get a few more QOMs. I strategically drafted my brother and Andrew (who are both much stronger cyclists than me), and I was able to go much faster behind them than if I were by myself. It was a lot of fun! I was able to get some QOMs, some of which were stolen by some fast lady the next day. Oh well. Our total ride was 26 miles long with an average speed of 16.3 mph.

On Wednesday I went for another 4 mile run. My dad followed me on his bike (thanks, Dad!). It was still humid but the clouds helped. I was a little slower than I was on Sunday, but I managed to have a 10:17 average pace with some walking breaks averaged into that.

I still had some energy left afterwards so Andrew and I walked to the "end" of the beach and back, which was another 4.25 miles.

Me at the "end" of the beach

Andrew took this really neat 360 picture with his iPhone using the Occipital app (it's particularly awesome if you look at it from an iPhone). I tried to embed it in this post but I can't figure it out so you'll just have to check it out HERE. You'll feel like you're standing on the beach.

On Thursday I went for a longer 38 mile ride with Andrew and my brother, and I picked up a few more QOMs on a couple of Strava segments. I was pretty proud of myself for going this far, even though I may or may not have been a little bit whiny on the ride ("waahh I'm hungry"). We averaged 16.2 mph.

By Friday I was in need of a rest day! Again, I was trying to listen to my body, and my body wasn't feeling it. Andrew and my brother wanted some more, so they headed out for a 50 mile ride (beasts!).

Saturday was another sweat-less day as we headed back home early...sad :(

Sunrise the morning we left

My total mileage for vacation was 116 miles and my total exercising time was 9 hours and 42 minutes! I'm sure some of you do that in a week all the time, but it's kind of a big deal for me.

When you go on vacation, do you also take a vacation from your workouts or do you take advantage of the extra time and exercise more?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

5 (Fit) Reasons I Love Our New House

This hiatus in blogging has been brought to you by...MOVING! I have never actually moved before. I've gone to college, but of course that didn't involve moving everything I owned. And I previously moved out of my parents house into a townhouse with my husband after we got married, but I was able to do that gradually. In any case, I have no desire to move again anytime soon!

As we've gotten settled (and I've tried to avoid the boxes that still need to be unpacked and the baseboards that still need to be scrubbed), I've discovered a few "fit" reasons that I love our new house...

1. The runability and rideability of our new neighborhood. We knew that we'd be able to do this before we moved, but it. is. amazing. I love being able to walk out the door and more packing up the car and driving 10+ minutes to run or ride. I can stay close to my house or go for a long run. There's also a high school with a nice track within running distance. I'm hoping that this feature of our new house will help me to be more consistent with running and riding because it's one less excuse I'll have.

2. There are tons of runners and cyclists in the neighborhood. I feel like I always see people running and riding. It's so nice to live around people who share common interests. In fact, the neighbors who live across the street (a husband and a wife and also the man who lives next to them) are avid cyclists. On our first ride from our house, one of our neighbors showed up and decided to tag along. Andrew is also really excited about this because they all have tons of bike tools (and nice bikes for him to drool over).

3. No more bike trainer in the living room! We have two extra bedrooms (until we have kids anyways...), one of which I can devote to a bike trainer / exercise room. We also have an unfinished basement that Andrew can turn into his own "bike shop" (which means I won't receive panicked phone calls asking how to get bike grease out of the carpet).

4. A bigger house with a bigger kitchen means I can devote a whole cabinet to our plethora of bottles, sports drinks, and gels. This is kind of a big deal.

5. I discovered that a local 5K starts just 4 blocks from my house and the route goes right in front of our house! How cool is that? I'm definitely signing up for that one. Andrew said he would just sit in the front yard and cheer me on from there :)

So I'm kind of in love with our new house from a fitness point of view, not to mention the other "non-fit" reasons I love it. It was definitely a good move and we're looking forward to enjoying it for many years to come.

Do you live in a fit-friendly neighborhood?