more than just another bike blog

Monday, October 29, 2007

running away from it all

yeah, I'm running. a lot. consistently. and with purpose.

after our triathlon on September 30th, it took about a week to recover from my 3 mile run. but then I started running slowly and for short durations.

last week, we started trail running. I'll admit, I like running on the treadmill because I can force my pace faster, but my IT bands always get inflamed from the treadmill. so, the dutchboy, Julie, and I ran at Arastradero. it's one of the few "dirt" trails where you can run with a dog, and even though it's kinda up and down, it's a good steady workout. and it feels so good to run on the dirt that I could immediately run longer than I could on the treadmill -- WITH NO PAIN!

so, in the past week, I've run trails, a soccer field, and the high school track. and I've been able to bring my pace down each time I run. at this point, I'm really just focused on increasing duration, but at some point in the near future I'll start some speedwork, too!

so far I've been pretty injury-free. my calves/achilles tendons got tender from running circles on the soccer field and the track. but that's minor and my recovery was very fast. and I got a blister tonight from a poor sock choice (lesson learned: don't ignore hot spots!!!).

btw, running with the garmin is way cool! not only can I see my pace as I run, but I can analyze my training when I'm finished. I think I like it more for running than I do on the bike.

Saturday we're racing in the Salmon Duathlon in Knight's Ferry. I'm excited because I know I can run the distance now. My bike training has been pretty darn consistent this month, too, so I'm feeling pretty good for an off-season race. I've never done a duathlon, but I'll try a brick tomorrow to see how it feels.

next on tap, the Run to the Far Side post-Thanksgiving. then I need to find a 10k for December. and if all goes as planned, I'm hoping to run in the Cabo Wabo 1/2 marathon in mid-January. yeah, it's in Cabo San Lucas -- why not, right?

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Monday, October 22, 2007

march 4th, 1930 -- october 22nd, 1997

RIP Ron Lown.

I miss my father. he died 10 years ago today. he was only 67. that's way too young. he was a really good man -- not a perfect man, but a really damn good man!

he was the most powerful influence in my life and I credit him with helping me develop into who I am today. thank you, dad! I love you!


Friday, October 19, 2007


while I believe in freedom of expression, I also realize that a recent blog post of mine and the 40+ comments left by various members of the racing community, got just a little out of hand. feelings were hurt. reputations were questioned.

I've gone back and forth with how to react and I think it's time for me to pull the plug.

afterall, it's just a sport that we all love, right?

to those who were insulted, offended, felt slighted, lost the warm & fuzzies, I send you my sincerest apologies.


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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

girls (and boys) day in the dirt

for the past 4 or 5 years, Velo Girls has volunteered to coach a special "girls day in the dirt" for Trips for Kids. the girls who participated are generally from inner-city programs like ROCK or Girls Inc. although there are probably more "troubled" children in SF and Oakland, many of these girls have never had the advantages you and I enjoyed as children. many have never left the city. many have never ridden a bike. or seen the ocean. or a snake.

Saturday, Team Velo Girls headed up to Tennessee Valley to coordinate our annual "girls day." we had arrived before the kids, and when the first van of kids arrived, I was a bit surprised to see high school girls and boys. boys? what happened to "girls day in the dirt?" oh well, we'll play it by ear.

the high school students were from a program called ROCK -- Real Options for City Kids. they were all pretty cool and respectful. as the second van of students arrived, middle school girls from Girls, Inc., one of the Rock boys reminded the others that these were middle school girls and they needed to be on their best behavior.

after furnishing the kids with bikes, helmets, and gloves (all 30 of them), we were off on our great adventure. we started with a short climb up to a campground, where Velo Girls provided about 30 minutes of bike skills. at the last minute, I changed our program and we did a little body/bike separation drill and then had a very competitive game of limbo. one of the two winners was a little tiny girl who barely could pedal her bike. but after a try or two, she mastered the lean technique required to win the game! just goes to show you can't judge a book by it's cover.

after limbo, we had a quick lunch, and then rode down to the beach. the kids were fascinated with the sea cucumbers, the high tide, and the caves. I think they enjoyed their beach time more than their riding time.

the ride back to the start included a super-steep hill (over 15%). all the kids were amazed that the adult volunteers (mostly middle age women) could ride up this hill while most of the kids were walking their bikes.

back to the start, a cookie circle (a TFK tradition) and we were finished for another year! the boys definitely changed the dynamic of the trip, but a good time was had by all just the same!

more girls day in the dirt photos here!

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Sunday, October 14, 2007

my sock drawer broke!

I have an old chest of drawers from my grandmother. it's definitely seen better days. the bottom drawer is filled with cycling socks. and bathing suits. I'm not sure why I've got those two items together, but neither fills an entire drawer so it just happened that way. well, my drawer broke! it's a dovetail construction (if that means anything to you), so I was able to put it back together and use wood glue to fix it.

but the underlying question is, "when does a girl have too many pairs of cycling socks?"

most of my cycling socks are Velo Girls socks. but we've gone through 4 designs in our 6-year history. and I have to have enough of our current design to wear them everyday and only do laundry once a week (so that's 7 pairs).

and then there are socks "earned" at special events like centuries, interbike, or races.

and then there are the special pairs that were gifted to me by folks in the industry like my "slut" or "hottie" socks from Derek of Sock Guy.

and, of course, I have sponsor socks from GU and Ritchey and Rudy.

and socks from friends like Passion Trail Bikes and Pilarcitos.

somehow, when you become a cyclist, everyone you know suddenly decides you deserve socks for gifts.

because I had nothing better to do tonight, I counted. let's just say I have 3-digits of socks.

so, how many are too many?


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

just because

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when was the last time you did something for the first time?

ARGH! I somehow lost my original's the short version, only a week and a half late!


I think I've finally realized why triathlon is so appealing to me -- it's new and different and challenging and fun! maybe I've just gotten bored with road racing. maybe I've hit my potential (sadly, not where I'd like it to be). or maybe triathlete bodies are sexy. all I know is that I really enjoy triathlon! it's fun. the people are nice. and when I'm challenging myself in new ways -- learning new things -- I feel like I'm continuing to grow as an individual. yeah, new is good!

last weekend the dutchboy and I raced in SLO at Scott Tinley's Adventures. we made a fun weekend of it and even took Julie on her first camping trip (yes, she had her own tent).

Saturday morning we spectated the road triathlons -- and watched Courtenay and her boyfriend win their respective races. since I'd never raced a tri, and I was nervous about the swim, I wanted to watch the races and maybe learn a little something.

we had planned to race the hillclimb on Saturday but a mechanical issue discovered during our course pre-ride prevented this and we spent a good part of the afternoon at Art's Cyclery in SLO. they fixed the dutchboy's bike and I was relieved to learn that the "problem" had nothing to do with the work I'd done on his bike earlier in the week.

Sunday morning we woke up and I was scared and didn't want to race. the dutchboy twisted my arm (and then held my hand at the start of the swim).

I survived the swim. it wasn't pretty. I did every stroke you can imagine (and probably invented a few, too). it was my first mass-start open water swim ever. I wasn't last and I didn't drown.

the bike was good but I was disappointed in my time. I was able to pass lots of riders, but my time was slower than it should have been. I'm not sure what happened there -- too much time off the mtn bike lately, I guess. interesting to note that the men were all very gracious as I passed them, giving me the line when I asked for it. on the second lap, however, the young boys (8-12 years old) were just starting their race and they didn't want to give up the line even though they didn't have the gears to ride the steep singletrack, so they would run with their bikes -- so tough. I saw the dutchboy during the out & back section on lap one and then again as I was finishing my bike leg and he was starting his run. that was totally cool!

the run leg shocked me -- I apparently ran just over 8-minute miles. I don't know how I did it, especially since I haven't run since February. I had to walk a bit of the really big (14%) hill but was able to run everything else, even though it was a pretty hilly course. just as I started walking, I saw the dutchboy approaching from the opposite direction on his bike. he had finished his race and came out to encourage me. after a bit, he rode back to the finish to cheer me on and take photos. a mile from the end I was passed by a girl in my age group. as I neared the finish I completely forgot about the extra little uphill loop (ouch). but I was able to push it to the finish.

as I crossed the line, the announcer announced my name and stated that it was my very first triathlon and something about Velo Girls. apparently the dutchboy had told her all about me and asked her to say that -- how thoughtful was that?

I finished in 3rd place! no way. and the dutchboy got 6th with a smokin' bike split -- one of the fastest of the day!

on the podium, the announcer called me Lorri Lay Down. apparently my middle name was truncated to Le (from Lee) and she read "Lown" as "Down." I cracked up (as did everyone else).

I've got some big goals for next season, including a half ironman in August. I've started my run training and will be racing the Salmon Duathlon in November and am looking for some other du's or running races. I'll start masters swimming in December. fun and new, new and fun. yeah!

how fun to do something new and different!

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