Saturday, March 28, 2009

Climbing in a gym...

It has been very very very rainy down here this week. We are in a flood warning until Sunday at 4 pm! Yikes. Consequently, there has been a lot of yoga and indoor training, if anything at all this week.

On Friday night the owners of the new climbing gym in town came into Hennen's. I got to wait on them. :) The name of their gym is Urban Rocks Gym.

The owners are really nice and gave me a free day pass to go climb. So on this rainy Saturday afternoon Kevin and I headed to the yoga. Andy had to work, and his finger is still too sore to climb on. :(

The gym was really cool. Lots of boulder problems, good routes, and a lot of space to hang out. The staff was really nice too. Kevin and I wanted to climb on lead rope, so we had to get belay checked on lead. I was more nervous about climbing lead than belaying on lead. Kevin was first to climb and I belayed. I passed. Whew. I went next and got pumped on an easy 10 at the third clip! Ugh. I am so soft. Gotta climb more. Kevin passed. We scoped stuff out and found a 5.8 for me and a 5.10 for Kevin to warm up on. I did it, but was super uber pumped.

After Kevin's climb, we went onto bouldering. I did a handful of V0 and V1, I tried 2 -- V3 and got spit off before I even needed a spotter. Gotta climb more. Kevin did well. We were both pretty pumped at the end of the day. I showered at the Trek store (yup they got a shower), and headed into work.

Not that I enjoy gym climbing over outdoor climbing, but when you don't have "real" rock as an option...a good gym will put a smile on your face. :)))))))))

Thanks Urban Rocks for making my Saturday afternoon more than sitting on the couch.


Monday, March 23, 2009

Another new blog to check out...

For those of you interested in following rock climbing...check out Brad Weaver's blog.

This kid is sick wicked strong. He and I started climbing roughly about the same time. I bet you can guess from his blog, who is wicked strong and who can appreciate those who are wicked strong.



MMMMM Humble Pie...

After my 70 mile ride up a mountain last week I was feeling pretty good about climbing and riding in the southeast.

Well...I got served up a large piece of humble pie this weekend. Andy is so awesome he found me a chick to ride with down here before I even arrived in the dirty south. I met her at the Trek open house and switched phone numbers/e-mails. We decided to go out an a relatively moderate ride. It is called the Red Bank Loop. Roughly about 35 miles with out the mountain portion.

Meghan is really nice and relatively new to triathlon. She is on a road bike for now but wants to buy a Kuota from Andy's shop. So driving to our meeting point, I thought..."Wicked. New tri girl. After my ride this past Wednesday, I should be able to hang on if not pull her for some of this ride."

We headed out from the shop and into the wind. Yup. That is right. WIND. The mountains do not block the wind. What actually happens is you get a head wind ALL THE TIME! The mountains turn the wind into continual head wind. We had a head wind on the way out and on the way in. Oh well. So much for eluding my ultra nemesis.

To sum up the ride...I a) tried to stick to her wheel as best I could b) tried to climb as best I could and c) not give up. Well one out of three aren't too bad. ;-)

Meghan dropped me like a bad habit. She was really nice and waited for me when I got too far behind and said how much fun she had riding with me. I really appreciated her company and encouragement. Now I know the Red Bank Loop and could probably do it on my own next time.

I hope that over the next couple of weeks, I get faster and smarter on these hills. Well gotta go run off some of this humble pie before work tonight.

later taters, Heather

PS-Andy posted the pictures and map on the previous blog...go check it out.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Best bike ride EVER!

Not that the "Tour De Taverns" wasn't awesome, but the ride that I did this week solidified our reasons for moving to the south...

It was a beautiful cool crisp sunny spring morning on Wednesday. We met at the Trek bike shop (Andy's shop) at 2 North Shore on Manufacturer's Row at 8:45 am. Andy had just finished putting my road bike together. BTW...I finally named her! The Felt AC1 is now named Beatrice. :) Anyway, back to business...there was a group of about 7 of us. Pretty good for a middle of the week ride.

I was really nervous. This was my first time on a road bike/tri bike on the road since Ironman (way back in November). The first ride of the season is always a little trepidatious for me. Over the winter I have forgotten how to steer, worried about turning, finding my balance, etc. For those of you not familiar with the "first ride of the season" jitters, sitting on a stationary bike all winter does not hone your bike handling skills. If anything, it hinders them.

We headed out of town through down town Chattanooga heading south. Riding through downtown at 9 am was interesting. Lots of traffic and new terrain. I got over the jitters pretty quick. I jumped onto someones wheel and we were off! We did about 70 miles, 2 states, and 1 mountain. I am pretty stoked about that for my first ride.

It was a beautiful ride. I had never seen back country like that. Georgia is gorgeous! Not sure I want to live there...lots of meth labs on our route ;-) but it is an awesome bike ride. We were chased by only a couple dogs. The worst dogs on the route were the little dogs. Man those Georgia pups are fast and M-E-A-N. We skirted around Look Out Mountain and Sand Mountain and headed straight up Raccoon Mountain in Tennessee. Andy and I have driven up Raccoon Mountain to go mountain biking at the top, but I have not had the opportunity to ride up the mountain. Andy and the group reassured me I would be fine and we would all regroup at the top. At this point I think we were about 50 miles into our ride. Climbing a mountain on tired legs is interesting to say the least. At the base Andy told me we were going to be climbing for 20 minutes straight. I thought he was kidding until we were about 5 minutes into the climb. He was NOT kidding. It really did take that long! Holy crap. I climbed a mountain on my bike. When we got to the top I felt like a million bucks (on the inside), physically--I felt like hamburger.

I discovered why climbing a mountain on your bike is so much fun...the decent is killer! It was so much fun coasting down. I didn't have a computer on my bike, which I am glad for. If I knew how fast we were going, I might have tapped my brakes more. :) Andy said later we were going over 45 mph at times. I have only done that once in Madison. I went 47 mph on a down hill on the IM course. Keep in mind that was for less than 1 minute and during my training season. This was much longer of a decent and my first ride of the season. Very exhilarating.

All in all, a great ride. I took Thursday off from training and am glad for it. My hamstrings were really tight going into the ride (from Yoga and running) and now they have loosened up. I am sore in areas I wasn't before and am ready to really start MIM training. May be a little too late, but who cares? If I get to ride courses like the one I just did, I will be happy with anything I accomplish in Memphis.

Take care all, Heather

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Fun times in Chatty...

Things are going well down here in the dirty south.

I finished my training at Hennen's. This week I have been on my own and earning money...YEAH! Like I mentioned before, the food really sells itself. I think management likes me and believes I can do what I set out to do. The computer is getting easier and the staff has been really helpful and answering all my questions. :) I think I am really going to like it there. So next time y'all come for a visit, come in for a bite to eat and have a drink.

I joined The Rush (it is a workout facility here in the Chatt area). They have a pool, treadmills, stationary bikes, yoga/Pilate's classes, free weights, and weight machines. Very cool place. Not too expensive.
Andy had his "true" open house at the Trek store last night. They opened in November (the day after Thanksgiving), but this was their true "Hi Y'all!" to Chattanooga this spring. All the reps Tyler, Mike, and Andy use were there with a ton of schwag! There was beer, wine, and catered food. I was amazed how many people showed up. It was a great night. I think the community has noticed what a great job these guys have done in a short period of time. I am really proud of Andy. Congrats babe. ;-)

Now that I have a) a job b) a place to workout on a regular basis and c) a small group of friends (thanks to Andy) I feel like I actually live here. It just struck me that I actually moved. I am not living in Bloomington IL anymore. Wow. It really happened. I have started a new life in a new city. Crazy.

I miss the ability to see my friends and family in IL, but I think that is the only thing. I thought I would have been terribly homesick, but I am not. Sure I miss my friends and family, like I said before, but I am really happy here in Tennessee. I feel like I am home. It is a good feeling. I don't know what else to say...

Happy trails all.