Saturday, September 6, 2008

My head still hurts...

Our Oval passes came today! Soon we will be headed to Lake Placid every Friday when we aren't off to Milwaukee, Minneapolis, or Calgary. I sit here fretting over the fact that I have to rewrite my season skating plan by tomorrow's ice to accommodate some new training factors added into the mix, like a few extra sheets of ice and some new season goals. I started to look at the book I put together last May, and despite that file being on the computer and easy to modify, thinking about it is giving me a headache.

On another note, my activity level has been picking up a bit this past week. I am still however, having issues with focusing, especially under bright florescent lights and I have not ventured onto the bike since the 25 miles I rode with Chris on the last day of his trip. My head today is not as foggy as it was that day. Do you know that it actually felt like I was riding with a fever, I was so queazy and it was so hard, but it was on the bike path. I decided to get off the bike in Wassaic and let Chris have the glory of riding the last 45 miles home solo. He deserved that anyway. I reflect on the past month and marvel at the fact that I have dealt with a high ankle sprain (still not resolved) , road rash (still not resolved) and a concussion (my head still hurts). I have spent some time feeling broken (in spirit) but somehow have found the guts to keep trying to find new ways to keep myself busy. I have been faced with one of my own coaching mantras "BELIEVE ALL MOUNTAINS ARE BEAUTIFUL". Didn't mean to get off on this tangent...I will be returning to my skates tomorrow to coach. Hopefully I will pick up the commuting by bike after a visit to the Neurologist on Tuesday. My goal is 2-3 days a week, which will give me that 150 mile base each week that I would like to keep going as far into the skating season as possible. MArathon season will be here soon enough and I plan on being ready.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

a nice long walk

Today was the first attempt at some activity after my encounter with the RR crossing. I decided to go for a walk. Not sure I can keep that routine going but it felt good to be out in the neighborhood getting some "fresh air" after a day of teaching. Still a bit foggy.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


First of all you have to see the article on the Right to Play web sight. It pretty much sums up the trip. Thinking back on it all I realized a few things along the way:

* if I planned it again I would make no day longer than 75 miles and have one fewer rest day.
* I would pack better for the first day in ONtario and not arrive in London mid rush hour
* I would definitely look over EVERYTHING on the map, including the direction of RR crossings and highlight them.
* I would not CAMP unless we had two cars- one that was designated support and one that would take care of camp (too much time to pack up everything)
* I would not vacation first - I would do that after (still wiped out here)
* I would pack the JUST IN CASE/GOD FORBID you might need them supplies (Silvadine, Net Bandage, and Xeroform) for that unexpected slide across the road
* I would also make sure I had a spare rear wheel for every bike with us (We could not find a place to fix Justin's spoke and without a truing stand and new spokes ourselves we were out of luck)
* I would rethink part of the route...

With that said, its done, he finished, and he is very thrilled to have had the adventure...

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Home sweet Home!!!

What a difference a day makes, yesterday we pulled Chris from the route, concerned that he was dehydrated and fading fast, hadn't had a pee stop in quite a long while, hadn't really finished his water bottles, stopped eating because he started to feel nauseous, coke didn't revive him, or interest him, and his eyes started to loose their shine. So after 42 miles we pulled the plug. He was still feeling ill 3 hours later. We made him take a 20 minute dip in the pool after an hour 15 air conditioned car ride and finally after a nap, and some fluid... the effects of the heat and the day started to fade. A bad sandwich day for sure.

Today he was on fire, he wanted to get home so, so badly! He hammered out the 70 miles with no issues at all. He was met along the route by Kai, Alani and Melanie in Patterson, where they were sitting on the roof, blasting the dead and holding a really big sign that said go Chris, which by the way is already hanging in his room, and by Dan and Mary at the bottom of our hill. Dan had a very large C painted on his chest. Chris decided at some point that the end of the ride would be a jump in the lake, so we met him there. He loaded his bike onto the car and then went for a swim and then walked home.
After two weeks on the road I am exhausted. I am hoping that he feels a sense of satisfaction. Pictures tomorrow (right now sleep).

Friday, August 22, 2008

mapping the Copake Falls route

I have mapped it several times and have gotten really frustrated, so rather than relax today I am off trying to decide if the way I wanted to go is viable. I am using today as a scouting day.

We are changing the route to less traveled roads, which may add a few miles, we may split that difference by adding some of those to Sunday's ride.

Rambled Thoughts...

Yesterday we had a day off, Chris went to his friend Kevin's house, and Justin, my mom, and I went to Lake George to see my Aunt. It was a very relaxing day. I actually got a chance to read the paper, and that got me thinking... about all the negatives that are covered in the paper, and how there is a 13 year old kid who has raised money for a cause he believed in, and in exchange pledged to ride his bike home from his vacation, an 800 mile unorganized, grass roots, just him supported by his family journey, to make sure that the world knows how important playing can be in life, ... and yet, there is no story there.

Don't get me wrong, he is doing this for all the right reasons, and recognition is not really in that equation. I just can't get over how interesting it is that it hasn't been picked up.

This weekend's rides:
Tomorrow we are headed to Copake Falls, We will be starting around 9AM and this will be an 80 mile very hilly effort, probably the worst ride of the trip. Rather than camp out though, we are headed back to Malta so that Chris can be comfortable after such a hard effort.

Sunday's ride:
Copake Falls to Home- He will probably start around 9 or 10 AM (I'll know better tomorrow) and this 68 mile ride will be straight down 22 with the exception of the Millerton-Wassaic path and the route from Brewster. We will be headed into Somers on Route 202 from Croton Falls.

I'll edit this post as I know more!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Short ride today...

If there was ever an opportunity for me to get back on the bike, today would have been it, but...I decided that I would wait until Saturday. I may venture out with Justin tomorrow around Saratoga Lake, or the Battlefield?
Today's ride was a series of long steep rollers in the foothills of the DACKS, Johnstown to Saratoga. Justin and I crewed the short ride so that Chris would not have to worry about navigating it, though he would tell you that we fell asleep on that job. We let him make two wrong turns and could not catch him until he was at the top of a hill. Other than that we had one construction related detour, and one set of tracks to negotiate (which were a non-issue). We finished it off with NaNa treating us to dinner at the Goodtimes Restaurant in Ballston Lake.
Check Chris's blog for his take...
Tomorrow and the next day off... then the Berkshires

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

74 miles in 4 hours, finally a great day on the bike!

After Sunday's crash, yesterday's route was shortened to about 30 miles. We still had one of those days, Chris made a wrong turn immediately after being dropped off, it took us 3 hours to get a decent fire going at the campsite, it poured last night (the wind was so bad that the tent would surely have launched if we weren't in it- and a shower in the middle of a dream was not my idea of a great unconscious adventure)and to top it off, a bear was hovering around our campsite about 4 AM. Justin and I were so ready to bag everything if Chris had a poor day today, but...He crusied, covering 74 miles in 4 hours!!! He was beautiful! The pics are a combination of yesterday and today.
More tomorrow!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

RR Crossing on a diagonal equals...

And the Lockport ER thinks what Chris is doing is amazing... regardless of the road rash and fear that his mother was seriously injured... OK, I have an equally impressive amount of road rash, an imprint of Chris's handlebars in my head and shoulder and a faint recollection of the whole event. I can now join the club for RR crossing injuries and live to tell about it.

NYS Bike Route 5 has a serious flaw in its design of this crossing - 5 minutes after we crashed (both of us airborne over our handlebars and eating pavement) a guy riding by joined our club but with a car right beside him. DOT will get a report from us soon. Chris will continue his journey tomorrow (please let us have a worry, tragedy free day).

Saturday, August 16, 2008

London to (well that is up for interpretation)

I am writing from Niagara Falls this morning, and a nights sleep changes the perspective on a great deal of things. Yesterday we started the day in London, Ont. and decided rather than planning a new route we would just bring Chris down to the original route we had planned. Everything started out well, Justin and Chris on the bikes, totally pumped. Scouting ahead and found the town of Norwich, where Anna and I found the coolest Dutch market (actually, I think we were the only English speaking people in the town). We loaded up on some surprises for Chris and Justin (chocolate spread, pear spread, coffee wafers, fresh bread, brandy snaps). We headed out to our planned 15-20 mile meeting spot. They showed up in great spirits, used the nearest tree, topped off water bottles, grabbed some snacks, and reviewed the next set of turns, and off they went. The next stop was a bit more interesting, we were on the Six Nation Reservation in a playground where we found the perfect picnic pavilion but also we received a phone call about a wrong turn, Justin and Chris added a few miles to the route because they were sure they were not supposed to enter the Reservation. By the time they got to this stop, they were ready for lunch. The two had been keeping an 18 MPH pace all morning complaining of only two things, the false flats, and the amount of rogue dogs that have forced them into oncoming traffic. Our next stop was in the center of Oshwaken, a bit short on miles, but the best place before the push into Hamilton. As we waited their arrival we noticed the weather changing. There was a prediction of T-Storms, and the sky was turning black. We waited, discussing the plan for the weather and the phone rang, they were 1K short of us with two broken spokes and a bit frazzled by the dog that forced Justin into the ditch to begin with. We picked them up, drove to the center of town, and decided to visit the trading post before going on. This was by far the most interesting part of the day's journey. The man running the place, (I feel badly as I didn't get his name), had a wonderfully insightful message that I didn't fully understand until this morning. Anna wanted to purchase a dream catcher from him, and he told her (as well as all of us) about the symbolism attached to the way a dream catcher is put together. It was about life, and the most important things in life...LOVE, PLAY, PEACE, POSITIVE THOUGHT, HARMONY, and BEING SELFLESS. As the family started to walk out the door, he handed me a CD to give Anna and a poster for my classroom, and told me to remember not to be afraid to PLAY as that was where LOVE was. I handed him one of Chris's Right to Play cards and he told us he would remember us in his stories and commented on how fitting Chris's journey was and how things always seem to work out. He also told us about a wise Mohawk man who ran a shop and B&B in Fonda near the Kateri Shrine. (worth looking up) . As we were trying to decide what to do, the sky opened up with some serious orchestrations and our decision was made for us. We headed to Hamilton by car. It was only 2:30 maybe we could get camp set up before it really got wet.
OK here is where it got really disappointing, our campsite was a ghost town, a unmowed swamp with no fires allowed. We spent the next three hours in the on and off T-storms trying to find accommodations for the night. My ankle is so swollen that I know that I could not have joined him riding, which I think Chris knew without me saying anything (as it is hard to miss).I spent the night feeling really defeated for Chris, we had crossed Ontario with little more than 120 miles on the bike, funny, he was fine with it all. I realized this morning that he got it, it was about making a statement about being able to play, helping others, making a contribution to love, peace and harmony in the world, not about the personal challenge of riding every mile of the journey. He has done more as a 13 year old than most of us do as adults.
We found a place in Niagara and we are camping. Tomorrow, we hit NY, Niagara to Rochester along route 31. I am hoping all goes well with fixing the wheel today.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Route change in favor off a night in a bed

Hey guys, the second day of riding is done. It was a nice day for riding, not very hot, but we got a bit of a late start. By the time we packed up the camping gear (3 hours), ate (1 hour), replaced the front tire on my bike (20 minutes), went through customs (1 hour) and found an ATM to get some cash (20 minutes) it was noon before we hit the road. We were escorted by the whole family today as the route turned out to be very remote, almost no services. We saw some cool things, but unfortunately pics will have to wait until we hit the US (can't send pics on the cell while roaming). The route was similar to riding in Texas until we hit London where we started to get into some rollers. There were cattle farms, horse farms, cattle farms...air-strips, cattle farms. We saw a fox, a blue heron, a bunch of hawks, and a dog who wanted a piece of us in the worst way (TG for the electric fence).
Got to get going, eat, re-plan tomorrow's route, and get to bed. Justin will join Chris for part of the way tomorrow as my ankle started to bother me near the end of today's ride.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Route 25 at 25MPH

Before we begin there must be a breakfast of champions... according to Chris

Today Chris headed out from Lakeport with my friend Chris. The day’s ride wasn’t very long at all, 20 miles total, a prologue of sorts. It was a heavily traveled flat route that they blasted with a 25 MPH average despite the lights. Justin and I played leap frog with him, driving ahead to capture the video footage. What we found is that they were cruising so fast that on one occasion by the time I found a place to park, they had already passed us. They stopped at the BRIDGE TO CANADA sign for a photo-op before turning around and retracing their route to Lakeport.

Two days ago four of us set out from Lakeport and headed north to Lexington for a round trip ride that would cover the route north of the state park. It felt good to pedal after 12 hours in the car the day before. The only notable event was the slight mechanical problem. Chris’s foot got stuck in the pedal. He lost one of the screws to his cleats. I am glad this happened where it was a manageable problem, but it taught him to really check his equipment prior to riding. The little things do count.

Tomorrow will be a long day 80 miles after we break camp and get across the bridge (pray the delays are minimal)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Here are the details of Chris's ride and route specifics

AUGUST 13- Lexington MI to Blue Water Bridge (20 miles)
AUGUST 14- Sarnia, Ont to Lake Whittaker via mostly county highways routes 22, 6, 30, 44, 15, 34, 37 (92 Miles)
AUGUST 15 - Lk Whtkr to Confederation Park, Hamilton, via cnty highways 37, 18, 3, 4, 26, 29, 9, 20,31 and Beach (102 miles)
AUGUST 16 (tentative-may be done 8/16 for day off) Fifty Point to Niagara Falls (40 Miles) via St Catherines, Homer, Queesnton
AUGUST 17- Niagara Falls NY to Rochester via State Bike route #5 -route 31 (85 Miles)
AUGUST 18- Rochester to Verona Beach State Park ia State Bike route #5 -route 31 (114 miles)
AUGUST 19- Verona to either St. Johnsville or Johnstown via State Bike route #5 -route 31 and HWY 67 (70 to 90 miles)
AUGUST 20 - St. Johnsville or Johnstown to Malta via 67, county route 107, 50, and Balston Road (40-60 miles)
AUGUST 23 - Malta to Copake Falls - still working on route (70 Miles)
AUGUST 24 - Copake Falls - Somers via Route 22, 202, 116 (75 Miles)

The average pace will most likely be around 15 MPH depending on his fatigue level.
PLEASE let us know if you plan on joining Chris on the road- call my cell or e-mail me. Make sure to leave your phone number so I can get back to you.

Monday, August 4, 2008

adjusting the cleats

I managed 30-35 minutes today on the bike. I felt a little bit better than yesterday, although the cleat adjustment was strange. It accomplished what I had hoped, taking pressure off the achilles, but created pressure on the tibia enough to bother the point of impact. Getting off the bike is still a question, though an neighbor's urgency to speak with me today actually created that sudden stop situation, and I was able to react quickly enough to protect my foot. Tomorrow I will go on a quest to find a better support than a compression sleeve while riding.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

How does one get off the bike?

PT is hard work, but how do you get off a bike? I went out for a short ride today since getting the new bike to fit on the trainer was more work than riding around the lake for a half hour. Despite the fact that I had more of a chance of a dog running out in front of me in my neighborhood than if I was out on the open road, I decided to take the chance and rode. I was sore, especially when I had to pedal up hill. What I got to see though was that the pain I was feeling at PT on the bike was more of a poor fit variety, where as the pain today was the true pain from the injury. As far as dealing with the pain, I am going to try to move my cleat back a bit to see if that will take pressure off the achilles and allow me to pedal uphill with less force on the ball of the foot, which translates into pain between the tibia and fibula. I spent 30 minutes out there feeling like someone had sliced my leg off half way down my shin, and tried to be realistic about next week when I have to spend 7 hours on the bike for 4 days in a row. I am beginning to wonder if I can pull it off. HONESTLY, my main problem today was figuring out how to get off the bike. I had to ride until I got picked up so that I could have help with dismounting.

Chris on the other hand continues to amaze me. Off riding on his own, without being told to do so, knowing his training schedule like its part of him, and accepting the work as if its as basic as brushing his teeth. I wonder sometimes as I see this in him if his dreams of Olympic glory are a real possibility some day. If he is this dedicated at 13, and understands work... one can only hope...who knows, maybe in 10 years we may see even see him in yellow as he claims!

Until tomorrow!

Friday, August 1, 2008

PT (Cruising? )

Today was my first official PT session. I have to say it was typical in the sense that it was difficult, it was exhausting and it both had me wondering if I can manage this, and at the same time it gave me a great deal of hope. Especially when Bill seems to think it will be doable, if I do things correctly. Determination has to be kept in check or it has the potential of railroading me. After PT I stretched out in the lake. The ankle is doing well, its the achilles and the High Ankle injury that continues to be the issue. I am sore all the way up to my knee.

What I have to say about all of this is what I have learned about the dedication Chris has. He has been riding his intervals, doing some recovery paced longer rides, and making sure he stays on top of nutrition and sleep. As I listened to him speak to a reporter yesterday, I was almost choked up over how eloquent he was. It was then that I realized that he was as committed as he has saying in his writing. I am so proud of him. Chris, if you read this, this is for you.

Thursday, July 31, 2008


OK, I haven't slept in two nights and I am scared to think ahead to next week. My leg is still rather large and while I have been forcing myself to bite the bullet as far as walking on it, after awhile it gets to be too much, enough so that I can't concentrate on the last bit of writing I have to get done before we leave. I have never seen so many tints, tones, and shades of purple either! My foot looks like Monet's palette at sunset. (Haystack anyone?)

My adventure in swimming today was actually not as bad as I anticipated, though it was difficult to get my self into and out of the water as the sand at the lake is a bit uneven, but sitting in my chair afterwards and flexing my foot in the warmed top layer felt really good. Drawing the alphabet with my toes kills, as does flexing it on a stability ball. Have not tried the trainer, that is tomorrow's task after my PT appointment. My biggest fear is clipping out. I guess I shouldn't gripe though, as where I am at there is a good chance I can still ride at least part of the route. It could have been much worse.

On another note I would like to wish TEAM KERMIT my best as they head off from Boston to Sturbridge tomorrow (72 miles) to warm up for their Pan Mass Challenge (what dedication!) Wishing for tailwinds for you all the way! Check out their profile

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Mt Beacon Revisited (time on my BEHIND included)

It started out innocent enough, Anna and I decided that we were bored enough that a hike was in order. Seeing that I really wanted to explore the top of Mt Beacon once again, we headed West. The trail is very steep and covered with loose rock, not enough to call it scree, but ...(you get the picture I am sure). On the way up, despite my fitness level I was working hard. We passed a few of the foundations for the chair-lift towers.I still can't believe that all the history written about the place, there is no mention of the ski area. Anna was stung by a hornet at one point, and we narrowly avoided an angry swarm. The incline railway station, complete with gearing mechanisms is the first area of great interest, the next is the foundation of the old hotel. The views are incredible and make the hike up totally worth it. On the way down, Anna and I stopped to pick blackberries and spotted a black bear doing the same (which caused our efforts to cease as we quietly excused ourselves as she had the advantage of being uphill from us).On the way down, we were discussing the days happenings and trying to avoid the hornets nest, when all of the sudden I lost my footing and tumbled down the slope, ankle crumbled underneath me, a loud pop, instant pain, instant swelling and 1/2-3/4 miles of difficult terrain to go. I was sure it was busted. I decided however that if I could get out, I should try rather than call for help. SO I scooted down the steep part on my butt, used the stair railings for support when we got there and used Anna's shoulder for a crutch when we got to the graded woods road at the end of the trail. A stop at the deli for a bag of ice, and off to the ER we went. I sat there for 5 hours to have my riding hopes dashed. A visit to my ortho today left some glimmer of hope. In the end no fractures, an Achilles sprain, a high ankle sprain, a script for PT, intervals on a trainer, swimming, and a whole slew of work to get done so that I can ride in two weeks (hopefully). FINGERS CROSSED!
On another note, I think I am doing battle with this mountain, as my mother tells me that I tumbled out of the chair-lift as I tried to lift the safety bar to get off. Apparently, it was one of those things that scared a great deal of people at the mountain. Funny, I remember falling out, but all this time I thought it was at Mohawk Mountain, and to think I cringed as my kids learned how to ski there.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Watching Chris climb a 7 mile wall for the first time...

Chris and I took off quite early this morning aiming to have breakfast on the hudson in Cold Spring. This route was only partially new to Chris. The first half was previously covered the day we had headed to PA. This morning, however, once reaching the NB bridge we headed south on 9D instead of crossing the Hudson. We took our time in a sense, and enjoyed the day, which started out as a humid, cloudy mix but ended up being windy and bright. We stopped at Mt. Beacon for a few minutes to look over the trailhead sign. I was surprised to see that the ski area that was once present on that mountain was not mentioned (DUTCHESS)
I remember skiing there so vividly as a child that even to this day when I cross the Newburgh Beacon Bridge going eastbound I am drawn to looking at the ghost of the area.
We continue down route 9D and through the tunnel and on to Cold Spring where we picked up some bagels and the Cold Spring Bake Shoppe and headed down to the river to sit in the shadow of West Point and eat and listen to the war games going on across the river (artillery fire, heli pursuits, etc)
After about an hour we finally get up the nerve to head home, and some real discussion ensues as they way we planned to head home has a 1100 ft elevation gain over 7 miles, they other way would add 30 miles to the trip... I am not particular to either, so I let Chris make the decision. We opt for route 301 and head to Carmel knowing that we will be climbing for about an hour. As we arrive in Carmel, with 65 miles on the odometer, we stop for frosties before heading home. When all was said and done, we covered 72.89 miles with a pretty impressive profile.


Monday, July 7, 2008

Road Rage...UGGH!!!

I spent the morning glued to the Tour De France. Sorry, its summer, and the fact that I have my first few days where I am not running all over the place, I got caught up in the days events. I am finding that after our outing with Team Columbia High Road we are following the racing a bit more closely, there is a connection. Finally, after the mornings stunning break away success, I decided to get my butt out the door to ride my final solo training ride for awhile, and headed out the door to accomplish the 30 miles in the already hot sun. Yuk, hill sprints in the muggy sun...
So I head to Pound Ridge via Martha's Stewart's place (Griddle Ridge Rd) and just as I get to the GR turn off on 22 I notice a flare burning in the road. I can hear a truck bearing down on me, and I am holding my line to make the left turn, and next thing I know I am run off the road into the flare (which btw was on the right shoulder). So in my surprise I utter a few choice words too loudly as I wait for the tires to pop from the heat of the flame and sharpness of the wire and the guy in the truck slams on his brakes and starts backing up. As I try to avoid him he sends me into the Men Working Sandwich Board and starts yelling a few choice words of his own that I really care not to repeat as they are too painful on many levels (discriminatory on three fronts). I notice that he is even with the island in the road, and I see that there are some men who were working standing at the corner watching, and I see that the woman in the car behind him has stopped and is watching and listening so I take advantage of the situation and bolt left onto Griddle Ridge. The guy in the truck slams on his breaks again, like he is going to turn around and pursue me, only to find the island there. So he guns it and takes off down 22. I see him slam on his brakes as if he was going to head up the side road that would cut me off, but so does the lady in the car, who decides to stay with me until I get to the end of Griddle Ridge and 121 (a good few miles), where she stopped, and turned around despite the guy changing his mind. I learned a good lesson today and remind myself how stupidly lucky I was to have those witnesses in place at the right time. Sometimes defensive driving means that you have to let the expletives live in your head and not sneak out. Keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the bars...(not sure what my hand that was making a turn signal did as I tried to avoid the flames, and tires, and truck...or if I did anything other than yell)
On another note, the rest of the ride, I managed to be true to my workout. Sprint up each hill by shifting up a gear and picking up my cadence, not my butt of the seat (30 seconds or the top...if the top was manageable than the top it was).
Tomorrow, hopefully a quiet ride in the other direction!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Sometimes wallowing is good for the workout...

I have been spending the last few weeks a bit depressed about the fact that I constantly bust my butt, eat well, and still can't loose a single pound. I think I must be doing something wrong? I've tried it all, eating a vegetarian diet with lots of vegetables, eating a lean protein diet with lots of vegetables, the lean protein, low carb, veggie combo, the avoid everything white, lean protein, moderate carb, lots of veggies diet...(which is the way I was brought up and my stand by)...I exercise constantly, most of the time 10-14 hours a week, I wake up some days thinking I am getting too old for this...I want to quit, but I am too afraid of what I'd look like then? So I trudge on.
This morning, I had a bit of a melt down (can you tell?) just as I was headed out the door to ride. Its July 4th, Its raining, its really muggy, Chris is off camping and MT Biking and I am left here to ride on my own. Wait, didn't he do that for two weeks while I fired a kiln and took a graduate class? So I suck it up enough to get my ass out the door and on that two wheel monster and just start pedaling, no real decisive plan, just pedaling and wallowing and I find myself on one of the longest, most avoided climbs in our area, still wallowing and not even noticing that I am not in pain. Wait a minute, I am not even feeling this stupid hill, I can't even get this part, I increase the effort, and there is barely a physical response. Great, I am a fat chick on a bike pedaling 15.5 mph up a hill in my upper chain ring... what's wrong with this picture? I've just proven to myself my melting point exactly, I go to the doctor and get my pulse taken a number of times by 3 or sometimes 4 different people, why, because being fit and fat is an anomaly.
So by the time I hit the showers today, I had pedaled 18 miles in an hour, included a number of serious climbs, and managed a set of 8 x4 min steady states at 90 with 2 minutes rest (just long enough to get annoyed at myself). Despite my state of mind today, wallowing made the work go by unnoticed. If I didn't have a party to get to, I probably would have stayed out there playing chicken with my body all day long.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

White Pond or bust?

It was a beautiful, sunny, hot day today and we headed out about 10 AM to go for a picnic and swim at White Pond in Stormville. I wrestled in my head with the best route for us, Chris had a headache that was bordering on nauseating and I hadn't really ridden in 2 weeks due to firing schedules and studio work. I was thrilled to be out there, but looking for ways to make a 50 mile hilly ride less hilly, after all we have to repeat that distance two more times this week, tomorrow and Thursday. So I decide we will head up towards Carmel, and instead of shooting up route 52 cut through Towners road to Fair Street and head out to Holmes and then up to White Pond the back way. Ok, me, the one with a GPS in my head, made a wrong turn and we ended up back tracking 5 miles (yes almost home) and decided to change our route. We road another 6 miles or so then hopped on the trail and headed south to Millwood for lunch. We then headed north to Granite Springs and headed home around the reservoir. When all was said and done, we road 48 miles. Out again tomorrow, this time, WHITE POND OR BUST!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Today I was definitely melting

I have been spending the last few stoking the anagama. It has been extremely hard work and very HOT! Today the temps were in the high 80's but with the heat of the kiln it was more like 117 in the shade. There was one point I thought I was going to faint. Its hard to be dressed in long sleeves, long pants, welders gloves, reflective gear and mask in that kind of heat. The worst was that the kiln stalled and the firing did not progress all day long. It was a quiet day, where the last two days were a bit more lively.

Were are done tomorrow. Video soon!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

planning the route

I have been spending so much time being spread really thin, with my firing this week and my class next week and finals...OK school is now officially over and my direction now is to fill that time with things that will help us get ready for the ride. We arrive in Michigan August 10th and Chris will start riding August 14.

Things we have found out already:

1. 16 year-olds in theory can sign for their passports, but will be rejected when the Passport office gets the application - so if your 16 year old is applying for a passport, don't listen to the Post Office person and ask to co-sign the form, it will save you a headache.

2. There are short-tempered people, even in the biking world, and sometimes they are part of an organization that promotes the sport, chalk this up to someone's bad day and be persistent, go somewhere else to find what you need if you have to.

3. Planning a route on paper is sometimes as hard as scouting it, especially when the route is in a different country. I have spent hours trying to find people to talk to about route decisions as well as scouring maps.

4. you cannot cross the Blue Water Bridge by bike- there are two options- 1. take the ferry (15 miles south of Port Huron) or 2. load the bikes on the car at the bridge and go across w/the rest of the family.

With that said I have been getting some time in on the road, and Chris has had to train without me at times. I guess that is good, since he will ultimately be the one who has to pull the distance, and even with company, will feel alone at times.

So our route plan so far is this:

August 14- Lexinginton to London (85 miles)
August 15- London to St Catherines (90 miles)
August 16- Niagara Falls - see the falls- etc. (36 miles)
August 17 - Niagara to Rochester (85 miles)
August 18 - Rochester to Verona (115 miles)- camp by the lake
August 19- Verona to Herkimer (50 Miles) - short day maybe we'll mine for diamonds?
August 20 -Herkimer to Saratoga (85 miles) - hills start to be noticeable stay in the river valley until Amsterdam
August 21-rest day - go to the races, swimming, etc
August 22- rest day
August 23- Saratoga to Copake Falls (80 Miles)- walk up to Bish Bash Falls
August 24- Copake Falls to Somers (70 Miles)
August 25 - SLEEEEEEPPPP!!!!!

Ok, I need to get out for my ride- more later.

Monday, June 9, 2008

I'm not sure but I think we were melting!

Friday afternoon was a blur, the forecast for Sat and Sunday was a scorching headache waiting to explode, bike shop, grocery store, searching for maps, packing, sandwiches, on an on... Sat morn came so early. The plan was to leave at 5:45 AM head to PA by bike, be picked up by Kenny at the border and head to Scranton for a party then to Phili for the Philadelphia International Challenge to meet Team High Road.
Our ride started out great, a bit fuzzy I admit, so early in the morning. One thing about riding that early (6:30 AM- we left late) is that we witness a great deal of the animal world waking up...we started our day with 10 turkeys in the driveway, then we scared a deer across the road. We had more encounters like this for the next hour or so as we pedaled in a fog. There was one point, while going around the reservoir, where if we didn't know we were in NY we could have mistaken it for Maine. As the sun came up, the frying pan started to gain some heat, and Chris and I struggled through one hour at a time, in 15-18 mile segments. The 18 miles between New Windsor and Goshen was particularly hard, mostly unshaded false flat with a handful of major climbs, few downhills and ONE REALLY MEAN DOG, our 16 mph average dwindled quickly and the last 5 miles before town seemed to drag on forever. This was a laughable moment as I needed to cool off, I pulled over, dumped most of the contents of my water bottle over my head, cursing and grumbling about the climb in front of me, only to get to the top to find out that we had reached the Village.
It was here that I knew our ride had fizzled to an end, 20 miles short of our cross state goal. Chris was dragging and finding it hard to pull anything more out of that hat, the coffee shop visit didn't revive him, the jelly beans and sandwich in the shade of a big oak tree beside the Civil War Memorial didn't do the trick. Kenny happened to be 5 minutes away, and picked us up in no time. We get into the car to discover Chris forgot his shoes. We stopped at sneaker world before heading to Scranton. The party was great, we were exhausted from the heat, well fed, and ready to head to Phili.
More about that tomorrow...

Friday, May 30, 2008

60 miles after school and the studio, a pipe dream...30 miles, a possibility, but at 5:30 PM, 20 miles is more of a reality. So we decided to get real and visit Martha (OK it was just a drive by of her massive estate in Katonah). This Griddle Ridge loop was hilly enough, and I was so exhausted when we started, but surprisingly, I was feeling like I could have ridden another 2 hours if we had the time. Every hill that I anticipated was no big deal, I seemed to be keeping a really good cadence and we completed the ride at about a 17 MPH pace.

I found my thoughts wondering from school to the anticipated summer, to the woodfiring, to the conversation I had yesterday on the way home from the glass house about 911. I had never really talked at length with anyone other than Marc about their experiences, and it brought up something that really struck a nerve, the decision to jump from the sky, and the people that watched helplessly.

I also reflect on another conversation, about being alone with my work, putting stock in what other people say...and I find myself wondering what really is important in life? Should I be spending this much time riding, when my studio work is crying to be done? I know I need to exercise, and I know that I definitely need to help Chris achieve his goals. My heart depends on it in both cases.

Chris needs a break, tomorrow, so I am on my own in the early morning. Not sure where I might wonder, or how long I'll be.
Until then, onwards and upwards...

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Glass houses!

I think about the irony of what it is to live in a glass house. I am on a tour of the Johnson House in New Canaan with an artist I know and feel like the kid in a candy store that is allowed to have the pick of the place, almost, but is somehow missing out on some of the best parts, the parts we are not allowed to explore, like the climbing structure seen off in the distance (top photo). I am in heaven in this space that I learned so much about in art school. I can't believe I am inside looking out, or outside looking in for that matter. I want to spend time there, sit and sketch, and sketch some more. I think about all of the times I have ridden by the place on my bike and wondered just what I was looking at from the road. Now that I know, I want to experience it again and again and again...I wonder just what type of work will erupt from this experience, will it explode or ooze out? Will it be dynamic or subtle?

More to contemplate while I am riding!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Barely hanging on, Kamikaze squirrel, and rabbits

All day long I was looking forward to my ride to Ridgefield today, only to find out that the meet was switched to Danbury, which meant a 5PM ride would be out of the question, not because of distance, but because of the traffic, so I bailed on the idea. On the way home I came up with the thought of going down past Martha's place and riding up 121 to Bogtown Rd., then I picked up Chris...A tough workout at track, sore legs, he kept rubbing them, trying not to say anything, then he took forever to get ready, and as a coach I took some cues. I suggested we head around the reservoir, which stretching means a shy 11 miles. As we head out I realize how much of the right decision that was. I lead today, 18 MPH pace and feel like I am barely moving only to look back and see Chris barely hanging on. I am now happy that I made the call for a short ride.

Intervals saved my workout, widened the gap to out of the line of sight at times since Chris was just cruising. They actually felt pretty good. I nearly bit the dust coming down from the dam. Cruising speed, 40 MPH and a squirrel decides to dart out under my wheel just as a car is whizzing by on my left, talk about an adrenaline rush. I had to slow it down a bit as this left me a bit shaky, as I did I see a rabbit do the same thing to a car.

Tomorrow, the glass house, until Friday!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

My feet hurt - and my passport...

My feet hurt from yesterday's hike to the point that I feel like I spent 8 hours on skates. I think it was the fact that my hikers could and should be replaced. Never-the- less I had passport issues to deal with today and Chris was supposed to run. Thunderstorms took care of that. SO, tomorrow we are off to Ridgefield again this time we will be trying to catch the NCHS girls running at FCIAC's. I figure we'll be a bit late, but it could be a good reason to ride over that way. Maybe I'll even spring Keehler on Chris?
For those of you who don't know about the 116/Keehler/Hilltop loop, its 3 miles of pure hill climbing hell! 12-18% grade in spots and a solid 10% for most of it. Climbing a friggen wall is more pleasant, but you can't beat the views!

I'll let you know how it goes. Onward and upward!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Canopus Lake overlook

Oh I really wanted to pedal today, but I got a much better offer, a hike up the AT to the Canopus Lake overlook. It was only 5 miles round trip, but it was a day out with my husband and my daughter. We traveled the same route that Kenny and I used to take all four kids when they were little, usually Chris in a backpack, Justin, Anna and Mikey walking. We remarked at how challenging that must have been for them. Some of the rock stairs were nearly waist high. No wonder Mikey used to complain so much, the steps were as big as he was.
We encountered a family about 1 mile in. They asked a question about where the trail ended and if it was walkable for lunch. Hmm, this was a hard question to answer. I asked if they had a map, and they produced a paper copy issued by the State Park. I decided to show them where we were and how far the overlook was but then I couldn't resist telling them that the end of the trail (in the northern direction of travel) was in Maine at Mt Katahdin. I'm not sure they digested it. At the overlook a couple asked if we knew of another way down. I was worried that without a map they would get lost but they managed as we spotted them by the river in Cold Spring where we headed post hike for a slice and a cone.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Glacier Erratic? Ridgefield isn't that far...and I really didn't want to ride today!

Ok after yesterdays hilly 60 miles the thought of another 30- 40 today really didn't feel to good in my head, but train we must right? I spent 2-3 hours debating with myself about riding, beating myself to pieces actually, then I just decided to not listen to that monster occupying the space inside my skull, or the one that had taken up residence in Chris's skull and put on my best I am not fatigued and if you believe that... face and got dressed to ride, filled some water bottles, grabbed my gear and headed out the door deciding that White Pond was not in my cards today and that Ridgefield for lunch was more my speed. We headed east.

In the first mile, I was so sore, in the second mile I realized just how chaffed I was, in the third mile my dehydration from yesterday kind of caught up with me and by mile 8 I was contemplating turning around I then thought ok I'll make an attempt to get to Ridgefield and make an excuse to get picked up if I have to. I decided it really was not all that bad and any excuse I would muster up would just be lame, so on I plodded. I REALLY DID NOT WANT TO RIDE TODAY!!!!!!

So on we rode, up the hill past the mill house and approaching the balanced rock and Chris starts going on about the glacial erratic. I was stunned, to me, the person who grew up with a geologist as a father, it was just a balanced rock. I later learned that Chris's teacher has pictures of her Earth Science students standing in front of it all over her room. The decision was made at that point that he would have to add to the collection so we stopped on the way home and took pictures.

So we rode to Ridgefield, it didn't seem all that bad despite my tired and screaming body. It was actually flatter than I remember, and it seemed less of a chore than I thought. When we got there I wasn't hungry, so we ordered one Panini and an iced coffee, Chris downed half of the sandwich and deposited the rest in his back pocket. I just drank my iced coffee remembering the time Bud and I took an 80 mile iced coffee tour.

On the way home I realized just how hungry I really was... YIKES 5 miles to go and nothing but soapy water - yeah the bottle wasn't quite rinsed of the soap when I filled it...Why did it take me until now to realize this 25 miles in? Because despite feeling a bit dehydrated from yesterday, I was feeling that queezy can't drink anything sensation as well. I managed to fly home despite it all. Chris, don't know where he pulls it out from , went the long way up the hill and still beat me home by 200 ft (but my side was much steeper 15% for 1/2 mile to his 7% over 1 mile)

Until next time...

Saturday, May 24, 2008

RIde of the Raiders

Chris and I spent last night getting ready for this ride because we had to leave the house SO early this morning. We had to meet the group at Compo Beach in Westport at 7:30 for this ride, which was a fundraiser for the Westport Historical Society .

The plan was to ride to Danbury and back along the route that the British Army took during the raid on Danbury. I found the concept interesting, as often times I ride along these roads I know have a 200 year old plus history, and often I read the markers, think about the ghosts of the foundations in the woods, the walls that marked pastures, etc. The point of todays ride was to point out all those things I often wonder about, but never get to talk about.

As we headed out of Westport, away from the coast the terrain starts to change. I find myself thinking about several things that my friend Deej had said at the start; the area was deforested as it was all pastureland. Climbing a ridge meant that you could see the sound. There was a comparison made to the contemporary wars in which raids take on a similar format, time changes but history repeats...

As we head out onto the Post Road, Chris takes off riding and misses a turn completely. I give chase, but it was the guy behind me who managed to catch him. He was a bit embarrassed and chose to stay with me a bit until my pace was uncomfortable (5 minutes later). He rode up ahead with the group for awhile again heading to the front of the pack with ease and then I lost sight of him, then I lost sight of the group...then my mothers angst set in and I started to get a bit panicky. I really had to stop and live up to my stump queen name, but I had this thought that Chris took off after some rogue cycling group and would eventually find him lost in CT with no cell service. Oh how the mind wonders, I caught the group at the Bluebird Inn. I relaxed a bit but this would happen several more times over the course of the day. Mostly though, Chris stayed with my little group talking to Deej and Scott. I think he actually liked hearing the stories.

The group as a whole, fell apart before we hit Bethel. Actually, one wrong turn kind of dispelled the group. First we tried recon work, again chasing down the pack, (of course Chris was with them and seemed a bit surprised to see me pretty much right on his tail- my interval training now complete for the day) which worked to some extent. I caught up to them waiting by the park but I wasn't sure the back of the pack had followed me, I wasn't sure what to do. Some of the people wanted to go back, some wanted to go ahead, we decided to that we would get to 302 in Bethel and just wait, as that was a spot on the route that seemed doable from where we were. As we embark on that decision that back of the pack catches up. We gather at a left turn we are supposed to take, discussing the logistics of the route. Some go left, some continue on the route we were on. The group was essentially shattered at this point. We plod on into Bethel and then Danbury. My chain seized up in the middle of an intersection at the Danbury/Bethel line. I could almost hear Mikey going OH OH ... but I managed to clip out before the fall into traffic. As we wind our way through Danbury, we stop at a place for lunch where they had stopped in past years only to find the place no longer making sandwiches. We were only a couple of blocks from Hanna's on Lake Ave so we headed there. At this point I was in home territory so my navigational skills took over for a while to get us back onto the route.

The route itself was a bit hilly, though nothing like last weekend. I found myself almost ready to crack at one point in Ridgefield at the thought of having to climb Barrack Hill Rd. I didn't mean to utter some negative words for the group to hear, they just came out. I was tired, I was near home and my body was wanting to go in that direction; my shoulder starting to twinge, the awesome chicken gyro I ate at Hanna's in Danbury sitting heavy, the thought of 20 more miles... Surprisingly, a stop in town soothed my attitude. Coffee was just the thing I needed. I settled into the rest of the ride quite nicely. I seemed to forget that the route back was mostly downhill so when my body kept rediscovering it, I was thrilled.

I was worried a bit about Chris, who seemed to be wearing thin and not eating well enough to sustain the rest of the miles. The gelato in Ridgefield was probably one of the best choices he could have made at that point. He had some issues with cramping in Wilton, actually I was sure it was something mechanical when he uttered I can't pedal on a hill. His groin muscles were in spasm. We stopped and made him down some E-gel and some water, spin on the downhills and be more conservative on the climbs. He pushed through it and had a wonderful finish to the ride.

The hardest part about training again is dealing with how much speed I have lost. My competitive soul has to deal with this major ego blow. I have only lost a few pounds since I have started this endeavor in January which is a bit disheartening. Here we go again, back to the ride 200 plus miles a week on average and eat right only to loose nothing. I try not to get discouraged, but sometimes I am just so frustrated with myself as I let the stress of a job let me slide back into an seemingly inescapable cravats. I find myself drawing on the real important task at hand, getting Chris ready to ride 800 miles and this time the coach actually gets to participate. I know that intervals will bring my speed back up, and we will start this sometime this week as Chris's track season will finally be over.

40-50 miles tomorrow.... maybe a White Pond visit?

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Up Through the Clove

Today we rode from New Paltz, stuffin 30 miles of spiral staircase climbs with John. Now I love to climb, but I really suck at it. The torn Rotator cuff in my right shoulder makes it really tough to rely on pulling to help my legs. I can pull, but when I do it too much the muscles seize up with no warning and wreck me for the next few days, so my legs have been doing the brunt of the work. Anyway, John and Chris were really patient and pleasant. i know Chris had to be patient as I had the car keys and the means to get him back home.

It started to rain shortly after the hairpin turn, TG we were going down. It really picked up to a full pour by the time we hit Libertyville, and I started to get really cold, then a bit bonky with about 5 miles to go (could have been worse I guess). After all that I had a blast!

The image is some sculptures we came across in the clove. Check out Chris's blog

Monday, April 28, 2008

The rain woman is back!

Two years ago I spent hours training in the rain, not by choice but by circumstance and I was not exactly a happy cyclist that year, but at the end of the season I knew why I was blessed with a wet training season

Today, however, it was a different story, I decided that I had a training schedule I didn't want alter as it would cause me too much stress. This is supposed to be fun right? So, I go home and decided to ride despite the deluge. It wasn't thundering and it wasn't cold. Where have i heard that before? Oh yeah, the story I alluded to above. Ok, I have to say that I even think that I am nuts.

Anyway, enough of that - I LOVED MY RIDE TODAY. It wasn't very long, 45 minutes (10' W/U, 30' of hill attacks, 5' cool down).
There is a certain peacefulness that comes with a rainy day ride, the colors, the smell, the sound and feel of the rain...

The hardest part was wiping the bike down afterwards and thats just because I was in wet clothing.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Holy Day

Today was the first day that Chris got to see what riding anecdotes were all about. We headed out for a quick 25, just to get a decent amount of miles in for the week. First things first, we are cruising up this hill in Carmel, this guy riding right in front of us, practically falling over. He stops near the crest of the hill and lights up... hacking away. We head south, hoping on the trail for a bit, and just as we head into the woods, three Hassidim men dressed to the nines on an 80 deg day on bikes way too small were headed up the trail with the biggest smiles on their faces. These three made my day because they were so pleasant. Most people on the trail seem uninterested in saying anything, or even smiling for that matter. Next we encounter a guy running who greeted us like he hadn't seen us in days, we didn't know him, he was just cheering us on. Then, we rescued a turtle who had decided the middle of the pavement was the best sun, he was right, but the mother in me couldn't seem to allow the playing in traffic to continue. Back on the road we find more cheers (were we wearing signs broadcasting the reason for our training?) A quick stop at Fratellis to order pizza and a race home thinking I'd have to get the car and head out to pick up dinner...Mikey to the rescue.
All in all this was a beautiful ride!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

sinus infection looming...

I forgot what it feels like to train despite feeling under the weather. I knocked off about 15 miles yesterday, uneventful other than having to chase Grizzy around. He was so spent from his first big ride Sunday on top of a threshold workout in track Monday. It was a grand opportunity to talk about over-training in his case. His season in track ends late may, so until then we are going to keep the volume low and the intensity moderately low.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

over the river and through the woods...

A perfectly cloudy damp day, but no rain, and we head to G-Mas for a sader (50 Miles). She lives in the Bronx, and we head there by bike. Chris and I had decided to ride to dinner down the path, thinking that the path was complete and learning on the ride that it would be an adventure due to the fact that there were more than a few detours. In Elmsford, we have to head out to 9A for about 1/2 mile, in which time a tractor trailer gets a flat in front of me. Waiting for the shower of tire that never materialized was nerve-wracking. Chris encountered the second two reasons you fall while clipped in- so he is up to par- falling at a light because you think you have time and realize you don't but you can't unclip fast, and the oh I forgot my feet were attached to my pedals at a stop sign on a steep hill. The trail abruptly ended in Yonkers around Mile Square Rd. We headed up the hill on Mile Sq, got to Yonkers Ave and found the path again, but couldn't find the way to get to it, we inquired at the gas station, the hot sheet hotel, and rode up the hill to Dunwoodie, only to realize that we just needed to carry the bikes up the stairs by the bridge. We find our way and we are sailing... and the path runs out of pavement near McClean Ave, now we are riding through the woods on a dirt path. I admit I wasn't quite sure where we were going, but knew we were inthe relative area. I could see Tracy Towers off in the distance to the left and the Riverdale to the right, so as long as the two were in that orientation, I knew we would find our way. We eventually found ourselves on Broadway and 242, 10 minutes and a few hills later we are in at G-Mas. Bring on the MATZA!

Saturday, April 19, 2008


TO answer how my rides have been going... Thursday, it was spectacular- we chased down this guy that seemed to
have that an "all that" shake them off attitude. One look at me an I am sure that he was sure he would not see us again... hah!!! 23 MPH and I cruzed by him as if he was standing still. Chris was on my tail - ok I can take my son on the flats almost any day of the week- We raced by this guy and I drop something so I tell Chris I'll meet him up ahead. I stop to retrieve but couldn't find... so f### it I head off chasing, catch both of them ... Chris smiled... the guy, who was buried by the fat chick, then by the kid, stopped to see if we were going on from where we were parked. I think we must have made his ride, at the very least, more interesting! Friday, I was off by myself. 20 fast miles (little over and hour- saw a hawk swoop down and catch a mouse in front of me, had an insect land on my tongue and start to crawl...eewwwe, and I managed to be cut off and almost killed by a neighbor (man you'd think that by now - 10 years later, that they would be used to seeing me on my bike....). Anyway, funeral today in PA. Tomorrow we are riding to SADER, a solid 50 miles away.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Smart planning

I always hate the second day out of the season, it hurts! Everything about this morning's ride was tough. It started with fitting Chris to his bike, and realizing that with his track and skating schedule this week, I probably should not let him ride this morning. As a coach I know how important it is to listen to the body and plan training sessions. While his volume is manageable now, I don't want to spike things so severely that he is burned out before he really gets going. So we looked at the calendar and his training schedule and decided that two afternoons after track practice this week and two days next weekend would be sufficient.

So off I went, on my own. The thing about riding here is that you can loop a reservoir in almost any direction you go. Today I headed west and looped the Amawalk (17 miles total). I am on my skates tonight and have a bunch to do, so an hour was about my time limit for the day. It was a beautiful ride! There were the guys who were regulars, they all had this giddy reply to hello. I was, however amazed at how many people I passed who seemed to be lost in a stressful struggle, to deep to do more than scowl at a hello. I am also amazed at how some people go fast, regardless of how they pedal (or not). This guy passed me, and seemed to coast more often than pedal, yet I couldn't catch him for the life of me, despite my all out effort. All in all it was a decent ride, can't wait for Tuesday with Chris!

Saturday, March 29, 2008


Have you ever thought about your time at play? Today I did something absolutely amazing. I rode my bike with my son, whose main reason for being out there was to start training for his ride from Michigan home. I felt like a kid out on my first ride. He was so excited, even when he hit the hill by PQ elementary in North Salem. Despite the comment "THIS HILL WON"T END" he was all smiles, and his speedskating life has lent him some POWER.

Tomorrow we have a route in mind that is a bit longer. I am hoping that the enthusiasm for riding is still there when he feels that saddle and how sore he will be.

Here's the link to support him!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Weight lifting and swimming and...

So I have been in the gym... and in the pool.. and on my feet running...biking...skating, sort of... and generally returning to my normal workout routine. I have really been looking at what I eat, (except as I sit here and sip a glass of wine while talking to Crash online). Man, I miss the LT ice. Life has taken a few interesting turns lately. I am just about finished with my level 3 coaching certification, things at work are fabulous and working out is working.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Catching up with winter on a bike

After working in the weight room and swimming all week and psyching myself into this weekend's goals of skating 85K only to find DUCKS IN MY TRACKS (Tim's description of why the plug was pulled on Skate the Bay), this morning I decided I had had enough of my skates for awhile. Seeing that Chris and I are embarking on an 8 day, 800 mile ride in August, I figured that there was no time like the present to start preparing. I bolted out of bed, cooked up some oatmeal and boiled up some eggs (yes I actually cooked it this time, forgot to put up the thermos last night). Made some coffee and cut up some fruit. A breakfast perfectly suited for the 2.5 hour ride I had planned. I was listening to the weather, which was calling for snow in the afternoon, well, it was still early morning and the roads were dry. I found all my gear, got dressed in layers until I felt like a sausage stuffed in a lycra casing, pumped up the tires on the training bike, and headed out the door.
It was a bit chilly and damp, but I knew that a 1/2 mile decent without warming up would always feel colder than it really was so I didn't stress about it. I was riding the 5200 instead of the Madone. It still had the racing slicks on it from Chris's adventures this summer, when he was short enough to actually fit on my old bike. My thoughts were that the road was dry and it would take too much time to pull the wheels and put the training set on (Talk about 5 minutes of LAZY). So off I went. I spent a good 1/2 hour really enjoying myself, pushing through a moderate set of farlicks and laughing at how much my legs burned from all the squats I was doing this week. Then, the flakes started, first it was flurries, so I stayed the course and for the next 15 minutes I actually headed further from home. Then came the change, it stopped flurrying and started snowing, HARD. This triggered a get your butt home response, but the roads were becoming slick and I had no treads to speak of, so my version of BOLTING FOR HOME was more like a granny with a cane running a mile. It was the scariest, coldest 12 miles I had ever covered. Motorists were not expecting to see me, some drivers were even pretty rude, LIKE I PLANNED TO RIDE IN THE SNOW! Anyway, I am back home, still freezing. waiting for the shower to free up, drinking a cup of coffee and dreaming about the cycling season to come. The last time my season started this way I was in top shape, loosing weight, and chasing my faster friends around the world. With that said the clutter is finally starting to lift a bit.

Monday, February 4, 2008

MY HEAD HURTS!!!! LT Nationals

I have spent the last week with a headache, sometimes so severe that I am driven to tears. I am told that there is this virus going around that has exactly those symptoms, I also hear that it could be winter allergies, or even hormones. All I know is that it is very painful and has affected every aspect of my being, from my sleep habits to my mental composure. I am short tempered, whiney, lethargic, extremely exhausted, and generally not feeling like myself at all. I apologize if you have seen that unbecoming side of me. I am headed back to the doctor this week if it does not subside.

Needless to say I was a bit off at Nationals this weekend. I tried really hard to not let the pain get the better of me for Chris's sake. He worked so hard this season and was skating so well. Chris managed to skate to a 5th place finish after a few major set backs.

My club faired well, I was so proud of the fact that there were 5 Newburgh skaters there. Everyone skated well. We took home 1 medallion and a slew of medals (1st through 4th). I got to file my first official protest for a member of my other club, who also faired very well. This was a major learning experience for me, and to tell you the truth, one that was welcomed. Katie Traver made it very simple, as did Tom Porter.

I had a really nice conversation with Pat Maxwell about coaching and training. I am always greatful for those conversations as I learn so much there too. I feel like I am ready to finish my level 3 certification, but at the same time feeling like I have SO much more to learn. I guess my thoughts about being as much of a student as I am a teacher apply here as well.

Well, that is all for tonight. GREAT JOB Chris H, Grizzy, Denise, Stewart, ,Jack, Andrew, Kristen, Matt and Dave!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Swim, run...snow!

I swam this morning (4x 500) at race pace. It was an interesting experience sharing a lane with someone who was committed to doing surface dives every 10 feet. Thinking ahead, my goal for the weekend is the following workout:
Sat morning: 10 lap warm-up, 3x30, 10 lap cooldown- total laps 110
Sat afternoon 8x8x8 (E/H/E)
Sun Morning 10 lap warm-up, 25K, 10 lap cooldown
Sun evening 8x8x8 (E,H,E)

tomorrow morning- SWIM? maybe

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

"A bird does not change its feather because the weather is bad"

I received this Nigerian proverb about persistence today and found myself thinking just how timely it was. I have had a bit of a backslide motivation wise, I am not sure if its because I am so so tired, or if its just one of those things. My nutrition has been horrible this week. I decided today to force myself out for a 45 minute run, something positive for my soul.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Speedskates are sharp!

I just got back from a weekend in in Placid. That drive is starting to get to me. I am so glad that our tenure there this season will soon be less urgent as Nationals is in two weeks. While I love that place, its just makes for an exhausting pace.

This week has brought some nice changes:
I swam both Tuesday and Thurs morning, and each morning my goals were taken care of despite not managing the quick paced miles due to the icy roads and shortened pool times.
I ran and hit the weight room, though the weight room was more of a training session (that left me really sore) for my level three completion. If all is said and done, I should be done by March.
I skated a few days as well, including the days on the oval.
I lost 5 pounds!
Three weeks until I skate the BAY!
Speedskates are sharp -to the tune of 9 stitches in the thumb!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Looking forward

You know how there is a calm before the storm and its darkest before the dawn? Today I took a step that is quite scary, but will help me in the long run. I decided that all of my life needs to be in order, not just the physical and nutritional, but every aspect of it. I wake up each morning lately asking myself "What can you do for yourself or your family today that is positive? Today I took one of those big leaps of faith. I decided to put my financial house in order. Numbers scare me, heck money scares me, regardless of the have not have scenareo.

I did however in all the frenzy end up blowing off my workout. It was dark out by the time I got home from work, and at this point, I can't even squeeze a skate in. Its too late for me, especially when I have a 4:45 AM wake-up if I am going to make the pool by 5:45. I plan on swimming at least 3300M tomorrow morning beore school at a fairly quick pace (21minute miles).

Life is such a wonderful wurlwind!!!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Its Snowing!!!

I spent my weekend immersed in activity. I walked a few miles yesterday because I needed a break, and managed a run today before the long drive to Saratoga and back before heading to Shelton to practice. I didn't get the kind of ice time in that I thought I would, as there were too many new people on the ice, but I did get to move a bit. I am hoping that I will make the session in Brewster tomorrow, but that kind of depends on work.

Its snowing and I am thinking about cycling. really thinking about it, between the ride Chris and I are planning, Port Huron to NYC for Right to Play (this will be a sans organization event- totally grassroots effort) and the ride my friend is doing (PAN MASS CHALLENGE) for the Jimmy fund...

I am totally thinking ahead towards next month when I can get back out in earnest. Maybe start with my favorite GOLD coast ride to warm things up - nothing like riding along the beach in the winter then going to the Greek Diner for lunch. Chris will love it.

Now for the real meat:
goals for this week - bring workout times up to 1.5 hours a day (and mix up the intensities)
Run: Sun/Mon/Thurs
Skate: Sun/Mon/Tues/Sat
Swim: Tues/Thurs
Stay on track with nutrition - no processed foods!

Its going to be a great week!

Friday, January 11, 2008

It caught me!

I have spent the past two weeks trying to avoid stress, and I have to say I have really enjoyed them. The hard work and reframing of thoughts have been a welcomed and exhausting proposition. Today however, I cracked. I spent the day in a really foul mood, not sure if it was overtraining or exhaustion, but something set me off. Curmudgeon describes it well.

I got home and decided to run instead of fighting the weather to go skate. A few things came to light; I should have taken the day as a rest day, doing low-walks as farlicks after a 2 mile run is FRIGGEN HARD, and if I wasn't fried enough the half a mile trek home up that stupid hill did me in...ok, I think I am suffering from a bit of overtraining.

Tomorrow is another day- I'll smile then.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Its all about balance

I found myself talking about balance at Tuesday's practice, mostly because it was one of those things that the world (NY Times and Stamford Advocate)seemed to focus on in the papers that day. I got to thinking about how true that is, Balance is key, and as we age, we loose quite abit of the ability to keep it, both literally and figuratively. Stress seems to be a key component in its loss.

I managed to stick to my workout goals so far this week. I skated, ran, and swam. I also managed my nutrition pretty well. I have started to notice a difference in the way things fit, and I am falling in love with that feeling again. Starting to feel the need to push beyond limits all while reframing negatives. This New Years resolution to find happiness in the true sense of the word is exhausting but exhilirating just the same.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Content and pleasantly tired

I spent the weekend in Lake Placid, racing. Yes, I said racing. Ok, maybe I was not really racing, in the true sense of the word, remember, I barely get out of first gear. I think of myself as the slow and steady type. I know that if I work at it though...Its the fact that I got out there. I didn't psych myself out, the mere fact that I decided that mental stress was not in the vocabulary this weekend as the physical would be more than enough and stuck too it was amazing!

My 500 time (1:05) was faster than last week (1:13)
My 1000 time (2:13) was way faster than last week (2:39)
My 5K time (12:38 or something) was indicative of my survive a marathon pace

Best of all, I was SO happy. I did really well at reframing negative thoughts. Actually, I never let them enter my head. It was just fun.

On another note it was great to see such commradery at this meet. The crowd cheered for everyone on the track. People seemed to come out of the woodwork too. I saw so many that I haven't seen in awhile. It was especially nice to see Mitch back on the ice.

Chris (polka-dot skin) had 4 PR's and almost caught Dave (.14 off). Chris H. (1st), Kristen (4th) and Andrew (2nd) skated well. Jack made a comeback to racing after 20 years and managed 4th place. Nationals is only a few short weeks away. It seems that everyone is so keyed up, so ready.

GOal for today: Its such a beautiful day that a ride may be in order but 1 hour of excercise at an active recovery pace. I also would like to turn in early as tomorrow is a pool day (5:45 AM after a 45 minute commute).

Thursday, January 3, 2008

OUCh its CoLD!!!

It was such a beautiful day that I was excited about working out. I was half tempted to ride, but resolved that a run would be more feasible not to mention warmer. My plan was to make it at least half a mile longer than two days ago. I concenrated on picking up the pace and working on arm swing. That part was easy. The temp outside was hovering at 12 degrees and it was a bit windy. No matter how well dressed I was the air hurt anything exposed. I was listening to this playlist I have created for running, with a snappy mix from Galactic to Angelique Kidjo and thinking about something that came up in class today. There was this conversation about how boring track was and how painful running was. I told them that they had it all wrong, that running shouldn't be boring, but should be a place where they can solve the world's problems (thier world's problems anyway). I spent my last mile trying to take that advice, and came up with a decision that its time to clean up the clutter in every aspect of my life. Clutter is an exhausting albatross that gets in the way of life. On that note...looking foward to skating this weekend.
Today's goals? OK, just getting out there was enough of a goal. Moving for 45 minutes...

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

out for a run

I didn't do too much yesterday, I was really spent from the week in Lake Placid, skating a few hours a day, and driving home in snow yet again. This morning however, I found myself still hurting, and despite the temptation of allowing myself to be glued to the Saber/Penquin game, I managed to get out for a short 35 min run, which turned out to be a bit of a soul searching endeavor. I found myself picking my brain about specific goals, and trying not to compare this time to last time. I does no good to beat myself up about the past. What is more important is that I remain positive and move forward as each journey is different. I tried to think of how I wanted to break down each task. On excercise, I know that if I give it a month of consistant effort, then the hard work will start to become second nature. (7 days down- 21 to go)
Today's goals:
exercise for at least 30 minutes - This was completed and exceeded
eat only whole foods (and in moderation)