Thursday, December 2, 2010

Bike Help, Please

Ok all you cyclists junkies out there, particularly those who have done a transition from one sport to the next in a race - I need some advice.  See, I'm doing this little race on Saturday called the Chilly Cheek Duathlon (click HERE for details)....

.....a duathlon?  Jill?

Yes, you read correctly!  Jill will be on a bike.  In a race!

4 miles run (1st leg) followed by 10 miles biking (2nd leg).

I know that 10 miles is chump-change for you cycle enthusiast out there, but I am here to tell you that I cannot ride a bike.  I am not very coordinated and I go pretty much one speed - slow.  Which is fine, I don't necessarily care about speed (hahah....who'm I kidding!) but having last rode a bike, outside a few spin classes here and there this summer in my running hiatus, I have not rode my bike - AT ALL - since July of 2009.  Here's a few pics below of my boys and I riding down Glenwood Canyon, the last time my feet touched my bike pedals....
Me and the boyz - Riding down Glenwood Canyon.  Obviously I forgot my helmet.

Ahhhhhh...hard to look at views like this on a bike ride, eh?


It was a great trip and the boys and I had a total blast.  We biked, we hiked, they went rafting and I swam laps in the disgusting sulfur springs pool (very famous's just that the water is heated by an internal thermal sulfur spring - WAY too warm and way too smelly and if you get that crap in your mouth, be prepared to have an upset stomach for a few hours later). 

To prep for my little adventure this weekend, I hauled my cycling naive-ness body over to the gym on Monday and decided I'd ride the stationary bike for an hour.  I knew I could ride 10 miles, but I have no idea how fast, so me had to find out. 

I set that puppy to the "hill interval" option and what the heck, let's just jump to level 13 (out of 1-20) and see what the legs can do. 

I don't know how you cycling guys do it.  1 hour later, I burned a whopping 413 calories.  HUH?  I  can burn twice that running for an hour!  I did manage to crank out 20.14 miles, but I will admit it, I barely broke a sweat and when a hill did come, it was harder than the crazy speed I was cranking out the flat miles, but it didn't leave me totally breathless or needing to puke - like I am in spin class whenever I am brave enough to go.  I thought my settings would be enough to expire me, but no I guess not.  Maybe I got a lame bike, the guy next to me was sweating buckets and his level was at a 10 and he wasn't even doing hills (I must constantly size-up my competition at the gym... whatever, don't judge), not so much..  Lessons learned, I guess....but at least I know I can survive Saturday.  Hopefully.

So with ONE whole bike training session down, I'm ready for the duathlon!

Bring 'er on!

Only.....I have no idea how to "transition" from the running (that's 1st) to the biking (2nd).  Is there some sort of standard protocol, rules, allowed pushing and shoving involved here?  Do I bring a banana and fuel my body for my next stage?  What if I can't find my bike?  Do I just take the closest $10K bike I see?  :) 


40 degrees expected for the high of the day, meaning it'll be about 35 for race time probably.  What do I wear on the bike?  I'll most likely wear my trusty Nike Tempo shorts for the run but will my legs will be frozen in said shorts for what I hope will be slightly faster than my 4-mile run pace?  Do I hang pants from my bike, pray no one steals them, and slide them on in the transition area?  I will not change shoes, this is a mt bike we're talking here, clips to clip into.  Will I need a jacket?  Gloves?  Face mask?  Thermajock (read up on that HERE).

Ahhh, all will be good.  Right???  I just signed up for this thing because it was something different.  Something new I've never done.  I can't marathon train so what the hell, I may as well do a duathlon.

Check back on Sunday to see how I survived.  In the meantime, here's how the blog fest holiday gift exchange is unfolding:

We're up to I think about 69 participants.  Whoooaaa!  I think I am going to close shop on the 6th now (I love to bend the rules), because people are just freaking out about having time to shop.  Um.....not to mention any names (Lindsay) but one really doesn't need to read a year's worth of blog entries to "get to know your blogger".  $5ish gifts are not exactly personal.  So to accommodate those who need extra holiday shopping time, gift exchange sign up will end at 5:00 MST (that's mountain time zone, yes there is such a thing!!) on Monday, the 6th.  Tara and I will then go swim, and whine how cold the pool is, then we'll go grab a few alcoholic beverages to combat this list.  Expect to get your blog buddy by Tuesday or Wednesday next week (though you foreigners, I am trying to get you guys assigned by this weekend.).  Timing depends on how much alcohol we consume and get side-tracked by various other things. 

And here's the latest pain in the ass wish list:

Jill (onelittletrigirl) does NOT want either of the following:

Nor does she want any of your children's artwork from elementary school.

Jason would like someone bad (with a *wink wink* added for good measure.  I have no clue what the winks means).

Karen R would like to review the income and expense statements of the person that is purchasing her gift.  I'm guessing this means she wants the highest income level person purchasing her present....but I'm her to tell you, Karen, those guys are the cheapest tightwads on the planet!!! 

Meg would like someone really bad.  REALLY bad.  Ok....last week we all wanted good, this week we all want bad.  Make up your mind, people!!!

Beth (shut up and run) does not want a woopie cushion, pair of underwear, Depends or fake dog crap.  Beth, Sweetie...there's nothing left to get you then!!

Jennifer (The running Artist) Also wants someone bad.  Geez ... you guys are disgusting. 

Chris (C2Iowa) would like Beer - from fort collins, CO  --- 1554 by New Belgium.  Chris, sorry...I don't know anyone who lives in CO to get that for you.  I can hook you up with a great beer guy, though...he's having a bloggie beer party in Texas soon!  I'm not paying for your trip to Texas, though.

Lindsay may have your gift to you by Valentine's Day.  I apologize in advance. 

EMZ wondered if anyone WANTED Kovas.  Low and behold we had a taker: Chris K.  He's even HAPPY about it.  Go figure.  Again.  Chris, Kovas would like another one of these, so he can sew two of them together:

MissZippy has a special requisition for Chris K's name. there a blog attraction sorta thingie going on I don't know about?

And finally.....

Shellyrm is not being picky, she is just going to shower her blog buddy with happiness.  Shelly.....pleeeeaaaassseeee!!!   Let me introduce you to some of the so-called "bad" people of blog world.  I do know someone you can get a good deal from on a Thermajock though - if you're so inclined!

I sincerely apologize for not getting to read many blogs this week...the gift exchange is really hogging up ALL my spare time.  But in a good way.
Blog list of participants to be posted on Sunday.  Check back to make sure your name is there....time's a clicking away for signing up so spread the word!
Good luck to those running this weekend (way JEALOUS): Vegas, Dallas White Rock (ran that 3 times, ahem) and any others, too - especially my duathlon. 


Patrick Mahoney said...

OK, Here's my two cents on some of the major questions -

Bring a bright beach towel to lay out next to your bike. That will help you find your bike easier, as long as you remember which rack to look on.

I would say some sort of wind pants and wind pants are a good idea, everything else depends on how cold you get. No one will steal your stuff. I'd probably run in, helmet on, pants on, gloves on, grab bike and go.

And unless you where only going 10-11 MPH on the stationary bike, you burned more than 400 calories. But you say you did 20 miles in an hour, yeah? Yep, that calorie counter thing is broken.

Patrick Mahoney said...

PS the second "wind pants" should have been gloves.

The Green Girl said...

Did I mention that when I tried to go for a bike ride runners were passing me?

Kate said...

Ok, I have no transition advice, but 40 degrees is freaking cold on a bike. If your ears are cold sensitive, make sure you have a hat/ear cover. A wind resistant jacket, perhaps. I personally would want some kind of pants, bit on the other hand, 10 miles isn't super long on a bike. Don't spend more time suiting up than riding. I'd think about wearing running tights instead of shorts for the run.

And after reviewing all the special requests, I'm starting to feeling boring-ly low maintenance.

Petraruns said...

yeah hum did one duathlon last year which was great fun but I did nearly come in last. Cycled in running tights which was slightly hard on the ladybits and the run felt a bit wobbly afterwards but otherwise fine. Hat and gloves I say.

Re present I'm with Kate. Clearly I've been too low maintenance. I don't want one of those todger toaster thingies though.

Johann said...

You are brave for entering the duathlon...respect! I can't give any advice though. I'll have to take you up on your Colorado mountains offer one day.

Kovas Palubinskas said...

I might be wrong, but I think the transition goes like this:

1. Stop running.
2. Mount bike (adjust kitten cover if needed).
3. Commence pedalling.

ChrisK clearly has the most discerning taste of any blogger alive (besides myself).

Teamarcia said...

I can give you nothing advice-wise on biking as I'm a neophyte and ride like an old lady...probably slower. I'd think in 30's though you'll want long pants, hat or headband for your ears, glasses, gloves and if not a jacket, at least a top that is somewhat wind resistant.

Ewa said...

Biking in 40 degrees? Warm down parka, thick mittens, wool hat, wool socks, fleece lined boots, face mask... anything else I am forgetting?
BTW, I am sure one bike training session is more than enough.
Have fun.

Anonymous said...

I won't add much to Patrick's advice, except to say that if you can pull tights on quickly, I'd opt for tights instead of windpants so that the baggier pants don't get stuck in your gears.

Are you wearing bike shorts? Probably not a big deal for 10 miles, but if you veer toward the uncomfortable on the bike, might be worth pulling some on under your wind pants or over your tights.

As for food! You're lucky because you're running first and biking second. I find fueling to be far harder when the run is last. Here, do whatever you'd normally do on the run (gu, sports beans, whatever), and then down something additional before the bike. Shouldn't matter as much what, since your stomach shouldn't be too much of an issue without the pounding. You probably won't need that much fuel for a relatively short race, but better to take it than to crap out early.

Just a couple lessons-learned :)

Good luck!!

Jamoosh said...

.....a duathlon? Jill? Um, good luck with that?

Jennifer said...

I love biking, when it's over 50F. Yes bike shorts under wind resistant tights will be good. Have your gloves and helmet and an extra jacket in a pile (on a towel) next to your bike. Duathlons are way fun I think. I bet you'll do well! Looking forward to seeing who my exchange person is. Whoo hoo I love presents!

Big Daddy Diesel said...

Jill is doing the du!!

Number one rule - in any race I have been at, you must have your helmet on and buckled anytime your touching your bike during the race. So when you get to your transition spot, FIRST thing you want to do is put on your helmet and buckle it.

Tips - a bright, odd towel as your transition mat will make it easier to see.

- rack your bike at on of the ends if possible, gives you more room for your gear.

- I suggest a jacket or arm warmers if you have some

- I suggest to either run in your pants or no pants at all, it is freaking hard to put on tights while your legs are sweaty

- I would wear gloves and sunglasses

- Your first five minutes or so on the bike, your legs will feel heavy from the run, spin in a lower gear and higher cadence to work out the running lacate acid, then pop into a larger gear and race.

- Stay far right when racing, when passing someone, always pass on the left, announce your passing with "on your left" once you passed them, go back to the far right.

- is there another run leg after the bike? Most duathlons are r-b-r, if there is, drop to an easier gear the last quarter mile, spin at a high cadence to get the legs ready for the run, you will feel wobble for a bit, but it goes away

Any questions, feel free to email me at

Running and living said...

Maybe you are a strong biker! I break a sweat on the bike all the time, even when I don't work hard. The calories thing is frustrasting, basicly I have to bike 3X the mileage of a run to burn the same amount of calories. You are going to do super on the duathlon. Try to stay relaxed and enjoy it!
(I could not reply to your post...not sure why!)
Oh, and I want someone sexy!

Tara said...

Girl, you are going to do just fine! (Calorie thing on that stationary bike was WRONG if you did 20.14 in an hour). On the bike, I use a lower gear, but a very high cadence, which requires good stamina and you totally have THAT little marathon girl!
Transition is going to go great for you since you don't have to change from biking shoes to running shoes. Just get that helmet on and GO! Wear close fitting running tights so that baggy pants don't get caught in the chain. That would be an ouch! Or, do you have cycling shorts? You could just wear those on the run and not have to worry about anything else. I have some if you want to borrow them! Let me know what time the damn thing is tomorrow!

lindsay said...

too bad for A.M, Kovas is already taken. no one sexy left...

i'm becoming so famous with this gift exchange! i'm glad you are doing it cause you are posting wayyy more often now... slacker.

biking - i get wimpy about 57* so no advice there. anddd i go like 13mph so no racing advice either. don't hit anyone?

Happy Feet 26.2 said...

Loved this post Jill because I totally share your non experience with biking. I am a RUNNER and can NOT get into the biking thing, especially when it's lower than 70 degrees :) Sorry, I am NO help, but I would have something warm to wear for that bike ride for sure. (from my very limited "fun rides" - totally agree with Tara, no baggy stuff for the bike ride)

Congrats to you for stepping out of your comfort zone and expanding your horizons. I need to do that. Have FUN JILL!

misszippy said...

Since it's WAY too late to try to do some bricks (ahem last-minute lady!), I'll just say that BDD gave you some good advice (as did others) so I won't duplicate. One way to help find your bike--buy a helium balloon and tie it to the transition rack. Then all you'll have to look for is your balloon.

Good luck!

HappyTrails said...

Woo-hoo, Jill! I wish I didn't have to work tomorrow so I could join you in the FUN! Go with knickers or tight, wind vest or jacket, gloves, and earband. Have lots of fun!

Jason said...

Ditto what BDD said about ALL of it. You do that and you are set.

I wasn't winking....I had something in my eye....Costanza from Seinfeld anybody?

DRog said...

DAREDEVIL no helmet!!! and YES always jealous of your pics and also a bit remorseful never did these things when living in Denver:)
have a great wknd


Amanda - RunToTheFinish said...

gawd I'm so behind I didn't know I could put in a request, I bet all the "good" ones are assigned by now. So i'll take one for the team and just send me all the crap no one else wants

Katie A. said...

Okay, not too up with the peeps who do duathalons, but I have a feeling once you get ridding you're going to be cold because you will be sweaty from the run. Layer up! Good luck! I want to do one someday!
I want someone bad, too. Hahaha! Although, I'm afraid that my measure of bad is probably toooo bad for the blog world! Hahaha!
Have a great time at the race! Love ya!

funderson said...

Cycling??? eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!are you mad?

Aimee said...

Yay for doing the du! I really wanted to do that too, but I'm still in the midst of marathon training!
You are going to have so much fun! BDD gave some great advice! If it were me, because it's going to be FREEZING during the race, wear running tights through the whole thing. If you had tri shorts, I would say wear those, but I'm assuming you don't. So, finish the run, grab your helmet and gloves, and go, go, go!! :)
I can't wait to hear how it goes!

ajh said...

Have fun! Wish I could do that. I would be slow slow slow on the bike but I bet it would be fun. Actually I would be slow slow slow on the run too.

ERG said...

I think you forgot your helmet on purpose. :) It feels better to me that way, but I also feel naked w/out it.
Why isn't something pressing in on me.???

Thanks for the seriously kind compliment and the book recommendation! I haven't looked at Daniels much because I thought he was more heart rate based (? could be wrong there), and I don't have a HRM..but I'll still look for the book. :D

Raegun said...

A duathlon in this temperature? You're a brave soul....or maybe I'm just a wimp. ;) Good luck!

Terri said...

Oh, I want to do a tri in the spring, so I'll be following your adventure! :) I'm an utter klutz on a bike, so please post lessons learned and whatnot! And for the blog exchange - please, no dead mice. I know, I know - I'm being really picky here, but dead mice seriously depress me. So that's my request. :)

Julie said...

I can totally see you doing a DU!! Actually I think you would be pretty darn good at it:) We already know that you can run and your legs are super strong....I bet you would kick butt! I have no advice for you as I am still looking for a bike myself.

Did you get my e-mail? Just checking....if you did not get it, I just said that your suggestion is totally fine with me:)

Take care Jill! Hugs and love:)

Anne said...

35 degrees riding a bike really fast after you've worked up a good sweat from running does not sound fun to me. I guess I'd recommend adding wind-proofing gear (at least gloves and jacket) to hold in the heat and cut down on the cold.

Velma said...

GOOD LUCK!!! I am late, but make sure to bring gloves. My hands are always SO FREAKING COLD on the bike.

Anne said...

Can't wait to hear how it all went with your duathlon. I plan on doing one in May :)

Your comments about your gift exchange make me smile...I end up reading them all even though I'm not even registered!

Meg said...

Good luck with the duathlon. I love it that you're getting out there and trying new things, you're so tough and inspirational!!
Gosh, now I'm scared about the gift exchange! I TRUST you'll take care of me, you will, right?!!

Chris K said...

Awwww, Miss Zippy wanted to get me a gift. She is one bad a@@ chick. Regarding biking, I got nothing. I mean nothing. Sorry. Those pics were awesome. Jealous? Sure, for about 3 months out of the year. Remember, I am allergic to snow.

Amanda@runninghood said...

Oh, goodness I need to catch up on here and in blog land in general! So fun that you are doing a gift exchange....the wish lists made me laugh! thanks for your comments on my Boston post! It would be fun to have a big blogger meet up at Boston 2012 or 13! btw, love your new blog picture on your site! :) Nice holiday feel. :)

Amanda@runninghood said...

I just reread all the wish lists mentioned and laughing out loud. So funny! Count me in and give me someone good! :)

Molly said...


I am seriously thinking of racing in a Du (look at me with the biking terminology) in the spring!! I have no idea of how to go about it, but I think I'm gonna do it. Do the Du. I'm a comedian.

Also, the new header photo puts me right into the holiday spirit!!

Anonymous said...

DU the DU :) And don't forget your chinstrap!

I am hysterical at the posting. Now people probably think I hate kids. Haha.

Looking forward to the exchange :) Check out my blog I am doing a card exchange- get in on it :)

Adam Culp (Crazy Floridian) said...

Have fun at the dua-thingy. It sounds like fun.

Keeley said...

Aww bummer, I missed out on all the fun. My fault for not checking the blogs often enough. =P Oh well, maybe next year. Sounds like great fun. =)