Dam Century Ride: #103freakingmiles

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness …

No, it wasn’t Charles Dickens “Tale of Two Cities”, but it was Holly and Teresa’s “tale of 100 miles’ so sit back and enjoy the ride, pun intended, and I’ll tell you all about it!damcenturyride Continue reading

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Marathon Training Week 2: Settling In

How can it be Sunday already? My days have been consumed with two things …1. moving and 2. getting my workouts in.  Since we don’t have to be out of the rental house until the end of this month, we’ve been taking the move slowly, making a couple of trips a day, painting, replacing fixtures, etc. While it obviously is taking longer, this method has made it much more bearable. The movers are set to come on Wednesday for the big stuff and I’m beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Speaking of the light at the end of the tunnel ….it just may be the light from the Johnny Ray train heading my way! After many months of chatter, CenturyRiHolly and I have finally found a century ride that works well for both of our busy schedules and are going to attempt to put our money where our mouths are! This coming Saturday, we will cruise the back roads of rural Alabama and circumnavigate the old Johnny Ray Trail line and even have the opportunity to cross a WWII era steel bridge. Whether we go the extra 44 miles to crush a century or stop at 63 to settle for a metric, one thing is for certain …there will be lots of fun, giggles and snacking amongst the pain and gnashing of teeth! Wish us luck! Continue reading

July Runfessions: Hotter than …..?

Runfessions-300x294Another life sucking hot and humid month is coming to end which means it’s time to air all of our sweaty summer grievances by linking up with Marica’s Runfession link-up. Be sure to pop over to her blog and read all about her “Runfessions” and others.

So, let’s get this party started!

 

No point in dancing around the obvious, so I’ll just go ahead and get this one out of the way ……I runfess that I am totally over the heat and humidity.  Growing up in the south, I’ve heard quite a few ‘old sayings’ regarding the summer heat ….thought I’d share a few for your entertainment:

  • hotter than blue blazes
  • hotter than a six-shooter
  • hotter than Hell’s pepper patch
  • hotter than Hell on fire
  • hotter than a goats butt in the pepper patch

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If you’ve been following me lately, you know that I’ve been on somewhat of a ‘running hiatus’ this summer and been cycling a lot instead. I runfess that I really miss running …but there’s that whole heat and humidity thing.

However, I am enjoying my bike and the myriad of adventures she’s bringing ….the good, bad and the ugly. After my tire blow-out the other day, I realized that I need to take ‘bicycle mechanics’ much more seriously. As much as I hate to admit it, I runfess that I’ve been riding around for years with a spare tube and nothing else. That’s right. No tools, no CO2 canisters and zero knowledge of how to change a tire. I’m not sure if I thought the tire would change itself or if it came down to it, I’d play the ‘damsel in distress’ role and rely on the goodness of strangers to help a poor girl out. While that’s exactly what happened yesterday (thanks to the southern gentleman in the Elmo cycling jersey:, I hated feeling so helpless and have vowed to not let that happen again. Let the record show, I runfess that I will be signing up for the next available bicycle mechanics class at the local bike shop.bcc4248607760c18664b7ad9d7706198--spare-tires-flat-tire

 

As a runner, I will admit that I used to get so irritated by cyclist whizzing past me on the trails as they yelled out “passing on the left”. I really don’t know why, but I would think to myself, quite smugly, as they passed me on a hill that it my running that hill was so much harder than them pushing up it on a bike. Well …..now that the shoe is on the other foot, so to speak, I runfess that I get so freaking irritated by walkers and runners who take up more than their half of the pathway! I can understand it if you don’t see the cyclist coming from behind, but many times I’ve encountered runners running side by side and they can see me coming and still don’t fall into single file. It’s so frustrating. Come on people…. let’s all play nice and download (1)

……and by the way, speaking from experience ….pedaling a bike uphill is just as hard as running uphill. It’s not a competition …we’re all just out there enjoying what we do, pushing ourselves beyond our comfort zones and trying to be the best version of us we can be.

And with that, I’ll close this month’s edition of ‘runfessions’. It always feels good to cleanse those sweaty soles! Join us the last Friday of every month when Marcia opens her ‘Runfessional’, I know you have a few things to ‘runfess’  yourself.

I’m also linking up with RachelMeranda and Lacey for the Friday Five 2.0. Do stop by their blogs and check out their July Runfessions …Friday Five style!!FriFive2

What are your favorite “hotter than” sayings? Do you know how to change a bike tire? Ever had a flat while riding? 

xoxo,

Finding “Fabulous” at Fifty, one runfession at a time!

 

Cycling 101: Five Must-Haves for every Cyclist

Ask any cyclist what their “must-have” gear would be and you’ll likely get a wide array of answers based on the individuals style, needs and type of riding they are most interested in. For example, if you ask Major Hubs what is the one cycling “must-have” he just can’t live without, you’ll most likely get a mischievous grin as he tells you ….a kickstand! This is a long running joke between us as I tell him that “real” road bikes don’t have kickstands and he laughs every time I have to prop mine up against something while airing up the tires or when we stop for a rest during long rides. Inevitably, mine will fall at some point and he loves to say “now who has a ‘real bike’?” as his is standing perfectly poised on its kickstand. However, whether you want a kickstand or not, if you’re new to cycling, there are a few things that every cyclist should consider buying.Cycling (1).png

1. Helmet

Well, this is a no-brainer ….unless of course, you want to be a “no-brainer” and have your brain splattered all over the pavement. I’m always amazed at how many people still ride, even casually, without a helmet. Just because you’re riding on a ‘rails to trails’ type of path doesn’t mean a helmet isn’t necessary. Any debris along the path or critter darting out in front of you can cause a bike wreck. Please people, protect your head anytime you are riding!

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Besides protecting my noggin, my Giro helmet also accommodates my ponytail! Win, Win!

2. Sunglasses

These are an absolute necessity when cycling. In addition to giving you that uber cool and badass look, they protect your eyes from the suns damaging UV rays, tear inducing winds and kamikaze bugs! They can range in price from $20 up to several hundred. Find what works for you and just be sure they have a good nose grip to prevent them from sliding down your nose when you get sweaty. My personal favorites are these from Ironman …they don’t slip and are comfortable behind the ears.download

3. Gloves

Okay, so these may not really be a necessity ..but for me they are. Not only do they absorb the shock from the road, they also provide an extra layer of protection from some nasty road rash in the event of a crash. You can choose from different levels of padding depending on your preference. I, personally, prefer just enough padding to absorb the bumps of the roads while still allowing me to have a good ‘feel’ for the handlebars.847223

4. Padded Shorts

Trust me on this one …if you’re planning on riding longer than an hour, you need cycling shorts! They come in many different lengths, rises and degrees of padding to suit everyone’s needs. The padding in cycling shorts is called a Chamois and it not only provides a cushioned barrier between your nether region and the saddle of your bike, but it also provides added support for your tail bones and aids in chafing prevention. Triathlon shorts have a much thinner chamois which allows for ease of running off the bike and women’s specific cycling shorts have a chamois that is designed specifically for a woman’s anatomy. However, it’s important to note that none of them will do their job if you are not willing to go commando. That’s right…. cycling shorts = sans underwear. Seriously, just do it!

5. Safety Lights

According to the CDC, there were an estimated 1,000 deaths of cyclists due to accidents involving motor vehicles and over 400,000 injuries reported. With a growing number of cyclists taking to the roads each year, it’s even more important to take every possible precaution to be visible at all times. There are many different options available on the market today to make yourself and your bike more visible to motor vehicles. LED lights are the most effective and affordable and generally very easy to install. I recently purchased these Lumintrail High Intensity LED safety lights with quick release and waterproof batteries on my bike ….and let me tell you, they are BRIGHT!

 

According to Runner’s World, cycling is one of the best methods of cross-training for runners and a great choice for those looking for a low impact activity with maximum calorie burn. Now that you know all the health benefits of cycling, the cycling gear that really isn’t necessary for beginners and my ‘must-haves’ for getting started …what are you waiting for? Come on …..pump up those tires, lube that old rusty chain, strap on that helmet and go for a spin around the block, down the road or through the park. Be careful though, you just may get addicted to ‘life behind bars’!

Carpe Cycling!

Finding “Fabulous” at Fifty, one mile at a time!

 

On the Road to 100 Miles

It was another hot and humid July week here in the South with temps reaching well into 90’s every day. I know it’s hot everywhere but geez …..it doesn’t even drop into the upper 70’s until after the sun sets. However, thanks to Lexi (my road bike), despite the relentless oppressive heat, I’m still managing to enjoy some outdoor workouts. 20170719_164850 Continue reading

This Week’s Gallivantin’: Celebrate all Celebrations!

It was yet another hot and humid week in Mississippi with a few much-needed rain showers. No complaints. I didn’t get all of my push ups in this week and only ran 3 miles, but I did get in two strength training sessions and 45 miles cycling. I’m contemplating heading up to north Mississippi in a couple of weeks to participate in the Bikes, Blues and Bayous bike ride. They have 46 mile and 62 (metric century) options. I’d like to do at least the 46 miler just to get my ‘feet wet’ in large group riding. They are estimating a little over 1,000 participants….quite a difference from the little 6 person Saturday morning group rides I’ve participated in the past. In the meantime, let’s see how my week looked….. Continue reading

Cycling 101: What You DON’T Need

Are you a beginner cyclist, an injured runner looking for a great cross training activity to keep up your endurance, new to fitness and looking for a low impact way to get fit or just looking for a great way to beat the summer heat while blasting some major calories? Or maybe my recent post, Cycling For Your Health, struck a chord with you and now you are wondering ….”how do I get started?”

Ask any of your cycling friends or any salesman in a bike store and before you know it, you will be dressed like Lance Armstrong and have at least a couple of grand invested in your new interest. So, in an effort to keep things simple, here are five things that you don’t need in order to get started cycling.

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