Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Now I remember...

..why I hate running.

I ran in Valley Forge Park again after work today. My legs are SORE! I didn't think I'd be in this much pain again after having run that distance before. Turns out I was wrong. Maybe I hurt because I ran hard yesterday too. Who knows. I'm gonna take a few days off and try it again. I know my fiance wants to try it with me.

I do still enjoy running more than I used to, and if I want to run a half marathon, I'll need to continue training for it. Wish me luck.

PS... I miss my bike.

Monday, November 23, 2009

New personal best run

I decided to go run again because I have today off... I went to Valley Forge Park and ran around the entire thing. I even ran around the Arch. Mostly because I didn't know where the path went next. I made it 5.56 miles in an hour flat. Not too shabby. I wouldn't say that I hit a wall, but I definitely hit a "staircase." I just had to keep saying to myself, "She did 5 times what I'm trying to do right now. Just pick 'em up, and put 'em down." And I did.



Yesterday my wonderful and beautiful fiance ran her first marathon. I am inspired. I'm by no means a runner. In fact, I'm barely a jogger. At heart I'm a cyclist, but I can't allow my love for one sport hold me back from accomplishing something great for myself. Now, I'm not saying that I'm going to go run a marathon. I'd love to do that. Some day. But not soon. I would however, like to train for a half marathon. For a guy like me, that's still a huge deal. The farthest I've ever run in my life was 5 miles. I did that only because I was forced to during a SWAT Team training while I did my internship with a police department.

My fiance is an inspiration. She's changed my life in incredible ways and I love her for it. I've been trying to get out and run lately, mostly because I'm trying to lose more weight. I've gained a little since the century. I don't have the clothes to ride in cold weather, and I don't have the money to buy those clothes. I've got a trainer, but I'd much rather be outside. So running it is. Since I started running a few weeks ago, the farthest I've gone was about 3.8 miles. That's far for me. It's over a 5k. That's pretty sweet... but if I'm able to run that at 240 pounds, what can I do at 200? My new goal is 199 by our wedding day, June 12th.

I'm trying to find a weight loss support group online, but I haven't had any luck yet. If anybody knows of any, or would like to start one with me, let me know.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

City to Shore


On Saturday October 3rd, my fiance, Brother, friend, and I rode 102 miles from Cherry Hill, NJ to Ocean City, NJ. To thank all of you who read this blog, I wanted to give you the "play-by-play" so to speak...

We woke up on Saturday at 4:30 to get ready. By the time we'd had breakfast, loaded up the cars, and picked up my friend, it was 5:35. Our ride time was at 6:30, so we were running slightly later than I had anticipated, but it was only supposed to take 50 minutes to get there. Close to two and a half hours later, we finally got on our bikes. We'd totally missed the start time for century cyclists (which we were a part of) so we joined up with the group that was rolling out as we were rolling in. It turned to be the teams group. As you can see from the pictures, we fit in pretty well.

My brother and I were so amped up to get the ride started we started blowing past people which meant we were leaving my friend and fiance behind. WHOOPS! We realized the mistake and slowed down for them. Apparently at 8:00 in the morning, the Elicker boys don't need any warm up time. The next thing we knew, we saw a sign for the first rest stop. We'd been riding for an hour and had gone 20 miles and didn't even realize it! Since none of us had hardly touched our water bottles and nobody was hungry, we just skipped the first rest stop.

The second rest stop came up quickly. At that point, I was starving. We stopped for the "lunch stop" around 9:30. I'm not even sure that qualifies as brunch on a normal day, but since we were up at 4:30, we ate. I had a PB&J, nutrigrain bar, and a chicken sandwich! Talk about fueling. That was the last time until dinner that I ate anything other than energy bars and gels.

Once we got back on the road, we went strong as a group, sticking together pretty well. At around mile 45, we started the Century loop. It closed at 11:00. Despite being late to the start point, we made it there by 10:30 and got on. I decided to do what cyclists refer to as a "pace line." For those of you who don't know what that is, you put one person in the front of the line and everybody else drafts off of them making it a lot easier on the people in the back of the line so they don't have to work so hard. I was pacing really well and had a good cadence (rotation per minute of your feet) at a decent speed of around 17mph. I had my fiance, brother, and friend riding right behind me, and as I continually looked back to check on them, I noticed a longer and longer line of riders catching onto the line. It was really cool. I almost felt like I was in the Tour de France. haha.

So about 8 miles of pacing later, I felt a pop. No, not a flat tire... a broken spoke. The nipple of the spoke, actually, which is the part that connects it to the rim of the wheel. Crap. Again, for you non-riders, this isn't something you can fix on the side of the road without tools and spare parts. The four of us stopped and watched our pace-line go flying past us. We stood on the side of the road waiting for a repair truck or SAG (support and gear) wagon to come along. 20 minutes later, my brother rode up to the next rest stop, which ended up being 3 miles away, to try to get someone to call a SAG wagon out for me. He called my cell to let me know they were coming, so I sent my friend and fiance up the road to the rest stop to wait. I figured if the SAG came, I'd just be picked up and brough to the rest stop to get my bike fixed. Instead, a repair truck came first. He stopped and fixed my wheel in about 15 minutes. So 45 minutes after the broken spoke, I was back on the road. I was also the last person on the century loop. THE LAST PERSON. I tore off at about 25mph for the next three miles and got to the rest stopped, filled my water bottles, and got back on the road with my friends. I felt terrible for making everyone stop for so long, so I tried to pace everyone out again, but everyone was tired and our muscles were tight so we had to go slower than I think most of us wanted to, but such is life.

The rest of the ride was mostly uneventful until the end. We got hit with a little bit of rain after we got through the rest of the century loop, but nothing too bad. We skipped another rest stop so we wouldn't get tight again, and then just kept pedaling. Once we got closer to the bridges leading into Ocean City, the wind really kicked up. We probably had gusts of about 20 mph. Unfortunately, these bridges were the only two hills on the entire ride... and they're big. My fiance and friend told my brother and I to go ahead of them and just get them done, so we did. We stopped and waited at the end of the second bridge and waited for them. Once they both caught up, we started off again, together, for the ride through Ocean City. As we were about to make our last turn we saw Mom and Steve (my step-dad) who had been there for an hour or more taking pictures.

After crossing the finish line, we went to grab some food, collect our prizes, and then met up with Mom and Steve so we could walk to the cars and drive back to Cape May, where we have a beach house. We got down there, grabbed some showers, and then got to relax! Mom made us chili for dinner and brought some beer for everyone. We each had a few drinks and plenty of dinner. Later in the evening, after sitting around talking for a while, we went to bed at around 10:00.

It was quite a long day, but we made the 102 mile ride in 6 hours and 15 minutes with an average speed of 16mph. It was fantastic. Next year, I hope to make the 75 mile ride each way. I'm glad to have completed my first century with three of my best friends in the whole world and I hope that they all continue to share the passion of cycling with me.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sunday Sunday Sunday!!!

Today I wanted to fit in a decent ride before the Eagles game was on at 1. I went with my brother and my buddy who are doing the City to Shore with us in TWO WEEKS! I wanted to redo the ride I missed because of the broken spoke yesterday. We went out with a mission. I felt GREAT. My bike finally felt right, and I was excited to ride. We got to the hill that my spoke broke on last time, and I had a little apprehension about going up it for some reason. I made it to the top, then got to go down the hills... my reward. We ended up crossing over a street we'd already done, so I suggested we do it again, because it was a decent up hill ride and I knew there was another way to go down.

BOY WAS THERE! We shot down like bats outta hell. It was fantastic. I love going fast. But I had to climb that same hill again, where my spoke broke. I considered it exposure therapy. I'm not afraid anymore. haha. We found an arrow for the Iron Tour we did a few months ago, and started following them. We found about 7 arrows in the same intersection. I just picked a direction and the others followed. We climbed a MASSIVE hill only to go down the other side on a steep hill that ended in a 90 degree turn, so there was no speed... our breaks almost didn't hold it was so steep.

Once we got down the hill, we ended up right where we got lost, at the 7 arrow intersection. We took the only direction that we didn't know, and found ourselves on a very familiar road... about 2 miles from home, so we ended our ride at 20 miles. Good ride, lots of climbing, low average speed.

Time: 1 hour, 23 minutes, 1sec
Distance: 10.12 miles
Av Speed: 14.5
Max Speed: 40.4

Saturday, September 19, 2009

3 in 1

Because I haven't had much time to post lately, I'm going to make one really long one that includes three separate thoughts! COOL!

So I just moved in with my brother about two weeks ago. We haven't had much time to ride together because I am super busy, but we're trying. We had gotten out to do a quick 30 minute, 10 mile ride. We averaged over 18mph. It was absolutely insane. I was in a bad mood that day for some reason and decided I wanted to pull the whole time. He had just gotten back from the gym so it worked out fine. I think I want to make that my new time trial route. It's a little shorter than the last one, but I can get a lot of speed on it.

Last weekend I went to my fiance's house and did a "50 Mile" ride as a benefit for the local library. We signed up, 20 bucks a head, and it was great! The ride itself was beautiful and fairly well marked, but there were probably only 20 riders out there. So, essentially we paid for a marked route, a water bottle, and a sandwich at the start/stop point. It was nice to get out and ride with her again, though. It was a very relaxed ride and we got to spend some quality time together doing something we both enjoy, which was really the whole point.
Stats from that ride:
Time: 3 hours, 46 minutes, 50secs
Distance: 57.54 miles
Average Speed: 15.2mph
Max Speed: 46.3mph

Today, I went for a ride with my brother and his neighbor. I'm getting over a cold, but I want to get some miles in because the city to shore is in two weeks! We started out and things were going great. They had decided they wanted to show me a different route that they'd taken before that has a lot of down hills... my favorite. Of course, to get to ride down hill, you have to ride up hill for a while. That was fine, because I appreciate the pay off. At the top of one of the last hills, MY SPOKE POPPED! I had to call my dad to pick me up, waited for 30-40 minutes until he got there, and then I took my bike to the LBS (local bike shop) to get fixed. Phoenix Cycles is the best. They fixed some of the gearing problems I've been having FOR NOTHING! They also fixed the spoke for 10 bucks. Can't beat the price. I was about to put my bike in for a $45 tune up just to get the gearing problems fixed. I think he even lubed my chain up for me.

Anyway, I only got about 6-7 miles in today because of the spoke. I'm hoping to give it a shot again tomorrow before football. I want to get at least 30. We'll see how that goes.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


So for all my loyal fans... which I'm pretty sure consists of my fiance, my dad, and maybe a handful of other people... I'm updating. FINALLY.

I haven't updated for a few reasons. Originally, it was because I went on vacation. When I came home, I started apartment hunting. I was really exciting, packing, and planning, and then became depressed when I realized that I couldn't afford the apartment I wanted... you know, because of the whole grad school thing. Anyway, I am moving in with my brother this weekend which is going to open up a whole new world of cycling for me. I'll get to find routes to all sorts of different places. We got to explore last weekend and got totally lost. We ended up turning a 15 mile ride into a 30 mile ride that took us about two hours to complete.

I haven't updated my weight in a while, but it hasn't changed much to be honest. I started eating poorly and drinking too much again. SHOCKER. But since school started up, work started up, and my internship started up, I've stopped with the hard-core boozing. I think that when I live with my brother, I'll probably drink less too. This is a good thing.

So, my mileage is up at 1477.8, which means I've got ABOUT another 500 miles to go... so outside of the century, I'll need to complete about 400 miles in training. I'm not overly confident that I'll make my weight goal, but never say never.

I'll try to update more.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Great achievement, Great disappointment

Today started out like any other... I went to work, I came home, and I did homework. I decided to get out for a ride before dinner and figured, why not try my good 'ol TT route. Remember, I just put a new chain on my bike... having never done this before. I had no idea if I had it right or not, so I was a little worried I'd get stranded again.

Anyway, went out, felt good, didn't quite meet my average speed for the first section, so I figured I'd try to make up for it on the climb and the highway sections. When I got to the end of the highway section, I was right on time. I knew I had to pick up the pace a little to beat my last time. When I was about 6 minutes from home, I was about 6 minutes from my best time. OH NO! SPEED UP! I ended up stopped at a stop light for a few minutes while an ambulance went by with 3 minutes to get home before my time ran out. I wasn't too far away, but there are some pretty tight turns on the way home, so I knew I'd have to push it. Hard. When all was said and done, I beat my best TT time by about 3 seconds, but still only managed a 17.9mph average! DISAPPOINTING! I wanted 18mph in the worst way.... next time. That's my goal before the end of summer.

Time: 52 minutes, 44secs
Distance: 15.80 miles
Avg Speed: 17.9mph
Max Speed: 33.8mph

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Can't catch a break...

I cannot seem to catch a break this week with cycling. It's like the god of bicycles has it in for me or something. Yesterday, the spoke on my back wheel breaks. Today? TODAY my chain broke. I was starting a hill 2 miles from my house and my foot dropped mid circle causing me to fall, catching myself with my groin on my saddle. Awesome. I looked back and saw my chain dragging behind me. Awesomer.

I'm about to head over to Performance to see if I can get it replaced for free. If I can, that's sweet. If not, oh well. What can I do? I can't ride the bike without a chain!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Bad start, good finish

Today I took off work because my fiance didn't have class. The plan was to do a 30 mile ride in the early afternoon and then study/do homework. About 3 blocks into the ride, one of the spokes on my rear wheel broke. CRAP!

I took my bike over to Performance and they told me they could fix it for about $15, but they couldn't do it until Wednesday. I figured, that sucks, because I can't ride today or tomorrow, but if I can get it on Wednesday, at least I'll have my bike for vacation to the beach. WRONG! They handed me the slip and it said 8/12/09. NEXT WEDNESDAY. That wasn't going to work for me... but I didn't have any option at the time. I got home, complained to the fiance, and she told me to call other shops to see what I could find out. I called the shop up near my brother's place, they told me to bring it in and they would do it while I wait. So much for waiting a week and a half. I went back to performance, picked up my bike, drove over to Phoenix Cycles and waited while the guy fixed my spoke and did a little tune up... for $10!

I got home, had lunch, and we went for our ride. We did about 22 miles because of the delay and it was so much fun! it was kind of like a date... we stopped and took pictures every so often, looked around at all the farms and really took in the beautiful weather. I really enjoy doing one of my favorite activities with my favorite person in the world... it makes it that much more special for me.