Monday, July 27, 2009

all bandaged up


I took a shower today and it was the single most painful shower I have ever taken. How can little scratches sting so much?

anyway, cudos to liz for helping bandage me every few hours.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Race one

I finally took the plunge and participated in a Criterium race! The Tour de Champaign, once the stomping grounds of Amanda and Ben, was a nice small starter race. There were about 25-30 riders in the CAT5 race (beginners level). Here are the highlights.

-Averaging 24.1 mph over the 35 minutes.
-not crashing (but coming close twice.. both times around a corner. the first I just was nervous, and the second time an outside bike got close to me and my front wheel rubbed up against the back wheel of the person in front of me.)
-Staying in the main chase pack the whole time
- At the end, I managed to beat a few people in the final sprint. (12th place overall)
- It rained AFTER our race finished. It wouldn't have been fun doing this first one in the rain.

Training will now be changed to involve more sprinting. Lots of it. After every turn, there was a sprint for a few seconds as everyone grouped up. I need about 15 minutes more of sprints in my legs to do better.

It's amazing how close people are together during these things. Sometimes we were single file but lots of the time I had bikes on all sides of me in very close proximity.

Overall, it was pretty fun and I made my goal of staying in the pack. Liz posted all the pictures and video of the event at

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Ride this morning

I rode this morning with a new person. Riding with new people is always a little awkward because you don't know who they are, how much they ride, how fast they are, how much they like the color of your bike, and so forth. This person was incredibly friendly and I have nothing but good things to report about him.

This is how the actual ride went... We meet at the corner at 6:30am sharp. He says lets do a bit of a warm up before the sprint sets (this was discussed earlier and all part of the plan). He starts pedaling with ease while I'm sucking wind trying just to keep up. I kept up and even pretended not to be out of breath.

For the sprint set we were planning on doing 30second sprints followed by 30seconds of rest. All I can say is that every time we started a sprint he dropped the hammer and rode like a bat out of hell. Here is my favorite quote from him after the 6th sprint "Yeah, the first ones are hard because you aren't warmed up enough so you can't really put a full effort into it." I translated it in my head as... We have have two to more sets of sprints after we finish this set so I'm planning on going faster on the next set of 10. I think he assumed I was holding back too. Reality was I was trying not to choke on my own spit from breathing so hard.

So it went on like this for awhile. By the end, I was using the 30 second rest to catch up to him. Let me tell you it stinks when you catch up just in time to have another sprint.

I got home and then decided to take the bus into school rather than ride my bike. ha.

But it was fun going fast, and it always helps to ride with stronger people than yourself. I hope we can ride together enough times for me to feel comfortable keeping up with him.

oh.... and school is like a stinky pig face. How's that for a simile. There's nothing like spending tons of time ( a whole year) doing a project for an advisor who suddenly decides the original idea isn't worth a grain of salt. ughhh. Grad school is like a grumpy toilet that smells odd. I'm glad I switched advisers ...... end rant

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Wed night is always long

I have a weekly meeting with my advisor and lab mate every Thursday. This is itself is great given the involvement level of my last advisor. It feels great to actually be making progress on multiple manuscripts and projects(we are up to 5 in progress now).

The only problem is that our weekly lab meeting is 4 hours long. Yup, we start at 11:00 and go to 3:30 (he lets us break for lunch and bathroom). That is a lot of time to fill for just one weeks worth of progress. Anyway, it means that on Wed nights I have to stay up late working because losing a little sleep is better than having to sit there in silence. I do believe it will all pay off in the end though.

Other than that, my bike ride was good today. It didn't rain on me which was a distinct possibility. I did a hill workout, and boy can my legs feel it now. I am hungry all the time now. I had a huge dinner at a Mexican restaurant, then three hours later I'm starving again. I had a bag of popcorn, and now I'm on my forth sloppy joe. I better go to bed before I eat all the food in the house. Liz wouldn't be happy if that happened.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

July 11

I entered a bike race. I don't expect to do very well since it will be my first race, but I'm still pretty pumped. I've been training pretty hard, but I still have a long way to go yet.