Friday, July 31, 2009


So last night I went to bed at a decent time but couldn't dose off until sometime during the Colbert Report. I actually had one of those nights where I remember being in a deep sleep, feeling like I had slept way too long, waking up in a sweat, really thirsty, and really nauseated, afraid to move for fear of what might happen. So I laid there, trying desperately to nod off, 3 AM, 4 AM, 5:19 was the last time I looked at the clock before I awoke with a start an hour later. I dragged myself out of bed, I needed to get on the bike but I could barely move, not sore, just had that sloshy I swallowed the ocean feeling. I tried, really tried to suck it up, the thought of repeats made that motion sickness feeling even worse. Ok, maybe just a spin, I thought to myself just as the heavens opened up and I hear the clammer of Thunder and Lightning looking all over the village for each other. I decided to bag it and get a massage. This was the wisest choice of my day as the masseur was none other than Rich "WHITEY" Condon from my swimming days in New Paltz. It was great to catch up! This inspired me, actually Linda inspired me weeks ago to do this too, after I left Rich's I stopped at Colleen's store "Tiger Lilly Jewelers" in Gardiner. We chatted for a bit, wish I had much more time to talk but I had more visiting to do. I ended my day at Pete's and Storm King and the diner. I am so wiped out from my day of rest that...Actually, I may get back on the bike tomorrow, or I may give myself one extra day, not sure yet.
Off to the DACKS again in the morning looking for that perfect sign or adventure to write about.

Thursday, July 30, 2009


If you were anybody in the Toga area then you were up at Tinney's for all you can eat ribs. Tinney's is this place on Lake Desolation that has decent food, beer, and seating arrangements (a deck overlooking the lake). Which is where Amy and I and her two kids ended up sharing a meal with this couple who recently relocated from Florida after our swim. Lake Destonation? Well, that was Amy's daughters name for it at some point during their day and a story she shared with me on the way there. Little did she know that she would coin a phrase that was so fitting.
Now, about a little thing called an open water swim. I got there feeling kind of nausiated. I think I was just spent, and the chocolate milk I drank to try to recover a bit did not seem to be doing anything to help matters. I actually thought about not going in. I did though, and swam like there was no tomorrow. I found myself in the mix of the front pack all the way out, and all the way back, and the closer I got to the finish the faster I swam, as if I wanted to be the first out of the water, I was possessed. I am not sure what tipped that competitive streak in me tonight, was it the lack of nerves, a look from a fellow swimmer, the need to be finished working out, who knows?
It felt good to swim tonight, despite this nagging cramp that kept curling my foot. I have always suffered from leg cramps while swimming, especially if I worked out earlier in the day. These were just plain annoying. I really enjoyed my swim, not for any other reason that being able to feel the power in each stroke and seeing the results glide by with an intensity that made my thoughts desolve into a meditative state. I enjoyed the rythym. It was part of me. I was at home.

Victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and hard the road may be; for without victory there is no survival.”

Who knew that Churchill would have it pegged my ride today? We started out thinking it would be a long flat tempo ride, but somewhere between the house and the road I got bored and decided that we should head to the battlefield, then once we got there I had this thought about the last time I was there in this type of sunny, muggy weather; the place was over-ridden with deer flies and I was eatten alive. So, to avoid a repeat of that I encouraged Alison to abandon every thought about the battlefield tour with the monsterous hill at the end. We continued on to Schylerville before looping back to the lake. Who knew we would find Victory along the way. OK it was this village on route 32 that had a really cool greeting sign that claimed you were entering the Village of Victory, and we honestly would have stopped to take a picture of it, but there were these construction workers right in front of it that terrified me, well, maybe not terrified, but put it this way I did not want the catcalls over a damn picture, they were already thrilled that we riding through. As we rode along we managed to get out into this really philisophical conversation, even if it was somewhat broken by our continuous effort or 80%MHR. We spent two hours at that pace before a nice break at Stewarts, where the iced coffee was way too sweet. Then we spun along Saratoga Lake to end the ride with a 45 minute cool down of high cadence low impact with the exception of the hill at the end. Allison was a well matched riding partner. I got to thinking about this. Maybe our training styles are so well matched because we learned how to train 25 years ago from the same person when we swam at New Paltz? It is a remote possibility? It was an exceptional and awesome ride.
Later, a swim on Lake Desolation with Amy, and maybe even Alison. Now that will be a photo op- two hawks in a pond.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Sexy thing...

Hmmm,thinking about the last 24 hours, the anticipation, the nerves, the butterflies in the stomach and the elation afterwards...the energy ya didn't I? What I am talking about here is the time trial. My first experience with this animal was last night and in all honestly until I finished it and reflected upon it I did not beleive that "I should watch out because they were addicting". It felt so good to complete this ride inwhich the only number I really paid attention to was my heart rate. My only real mistake was that I did not fuel up the tank before hand. I was so intrigued by my afternoon with Pete and so nervous that I couldn't even dream of eating. This made me a bit nervous, but it didn't seem to bother me too much on the road. I arrived at the finish of the loop completely spent and completely alive.

Today, I was out for a short spin with the girls. We spent an hour on rolling to flat terrain, dodging this Shenedahoah bus, taking pictures and trying to decide on an acceptable pace. Let me tell you Kelly can get a good cadence going in her middle chain ring that could potentially pulverize the competition. Alison has this keen way of creating mirages that looked like hills. It was an awesome spin.

Now skating was a completly different ball of wax all together. My legs are so fried that the 25 laps or so that I managed did little to lend there name to the sport. I was so sore. I could barely stand up on my skates.

Hitting the road tomorrow rain or shine. What is a little water afterall?

Monday, July 27, 2009

Its a Manic Monday!

So my task today was to fit in a 2 hour tempo ride concentrating on keeping my heart rate consistent and my cadence consistent. I had the mantra in my head "the only thing that changes on a hill, up or down is the gears". I was so focused that I had 10 miles out of the way before I knew it. I have my first manic encounter shortly before this. I almost get hit by a Town of Carmel Cop who seemed so busy doing police business that he didn't notice me until I sat behind him at the light on Rt 6. I was surprised that this did break my focus, I actually thought about this for a brief second, I let it roll and kept going, as if I was on a mission, which I was.
My second encounter of the day happened shortly after this when a guy tried to pass me on the left when I was clearly, hand off the handle bar to signal, making a left. He almost has a head on collision and forces me to stay in the middle of a two lane road for way too long. Eventually a nice guy flashes his lights and lets me go. What killed me about this is that had the guy from behind me let me go, I would have had plenty of room to get across safely.
Yes, there is more. I told you it was a manic Monday. I am now on the path, a perfect place to do a tempo ride, because intersections are few and the terrain is fairly consistent. As I come to one of the busier road crossings this guy in a Forrester decides to stop by the path as if he is allowing me to cross. As I start my crossing, he starts to go, then stops and starts yelling at me that I have the F%^$%#$ stop sign, and he should have kept going to teach me a lesson about crossing the street. Really? OK, now its 18 miles into my ride, and I am starting to show a bit of fatigue with maintaining this tempo shit, so trying to bounce back after this encounter was difficult. I did persevere. In a few minutes I had my rhythm back and I was heading down the last stretch of path having to avoid the dog who is not on a leash and chasing everyone (sorry Jon, this really spike the HR for a bit), finally reaching the road and a sense of accomplishment, 20 miles down and 1:10 min on the clock. I was cruising, totally focused on my goals. Totally enjoying this moment. I actually wished that every person that had too much to do today to the point of making them stressed and angry could share this moment with me. I was tired, but I was refreshed.
As I make my way around the final reservoir and take the lane down Brick Hill Road, people behind me are laying on the horn trying to get me to move over. I wanted to ask them if they really needed to go more than 10 MPH over the speed limit in that neighborhood? I was already pushing 12mph over the limit down that hill and somehow had a Honda on my ass laying on the horn. Come on, there are kids that live on this street and going 42MPH is plenty fast enough, plus there is no shoulder to speak of the the road is chopped up enough that it is dangerous for a cyclist who cannot scope out a line.
Yes, one more, this one just made me angry. OK, it took until I was 1 mile from home, at the corner of 202/100 at a stop light to get my blood boiling to a point that letting it go was nearly impossible. I am sitting in front of a line of cars at the intersection, and yes I was the first to get there. The light turns green and the guy behind me lays on the horn because I am in his way. So I did what any typical Southern NY Cyclist would do, I take my time in the intersection, making sure that I am following the NYS penal code "when a cyclist deems that the conditions on the shoulder are unsafe they can take the lane". I made it difficult for this guy to pass me for a good 1/4 mile figuring that the shoulder was non-existent and what was there was really chopped up. When he finally did pass me, he rushed to make the next right into the animal hospital. I really hope he was only late for an appointment, for his pet's sake. Surprisingly, after I did this, the stress was gone. With 3/4 of a mile to go, I cooled down as much as I could seeing that my street is nearly vertical. It was one of the best rides I have ever had, as I accomplished all my goals and I didn't allow myself to get caught up in all the problems that people I encountered had.

Tomorrow, a time trial in New Paltz.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Interesting Revelations

So today was my first day off in this new training cycle. I have been at it for a few weeks, but I have only just really written out my goals and my plan to accomplish them last week. With that I have gained the tremendous focus that I have been missing for awhile. I have also managed to fall, quite unexpectedly, in love with training again, despite being exhausted and sore and pressed for time. I found that in this journey I have a number of friends who are right there with me. I've been gone that long that there is this enthusiasm for my return to that training world. Its mind-blowing and refreshing and most of all encouraging!

So this week coming up has a little bit of everything that I like to do. I have a short spin tomorrow (my least favorite), a 25 mile TT which has me extremely anxious, thank God for life long friends (Pete) to calm your nerves especially when you have not seen them since Chris was born, a long ride with Kelly, skating with Kelly, swimming with Amy, a long ride by myself along the Mohawk ridge and hill repeats in the GUNKS. I head to Maine next week, and quite honestly I thought I would have been a bit nervous about trying to fit workouts in, but my time in Maine a few weeks ago has proven to me that I can manage it. It may be compressed, but it will be doable.

As my day has progressed I have found myself wishing I was out riding, but knowing that I have a big week with some big goals ahead I have listened to my body, especially my legs, which are completely trashed. This was probably the hardest thing I have done all week. I m looking forward to the sexiness of that Time Trial, even though I know my best performance will be anything but. I am really psyched for my ride with Kelly and my swim with Amy, as its always so much more fun to workout with friends. And Friday, in the GUNKS, hahahahaha, if you drive by and see me suffering, call my husband and ask if I should be put out of my misery. No, he won't be anywhere near me on those hills, my ego cannot handle it. Actually, there is something about that ridge that draws me to challenge it more than once in a single effort, which is the perfect mentality to hang onto as I will need that in the Cascades and the Rockies next summer.

See you on the road! Bring on that headwind!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

A Slice of HUMBLE Pie was in store for my TODAY

So I get up this morning after the second night of over-training, nerve endings adjusting, midnight waking in a row, knowing that there is only one more day of this and I can rest. I set about my business and drive the hour and fifteen up to Newington to skate with Chris and Dave. This was actually a good thing for Chris as he got Dave to himself. They worked hard for 2 hours or so, while I tried desperately to keep up with the drills they were doing, but frankly this slow fat speedskater is too weak to handle some of what they were doing. My legs were also toast from yesterday's encounter with hills. I wanted to curl up and sleep afterwards.

I arrive home knowing that I still have a 2 hour effort on the bike in front of me. I am so friggen tired, ornery even! I spend an hour trying desperately to psych myself out of this last ditch effort, after all tomorrow was a rest day, and I haven't slept in two nights! I think my husband is my guardian angel or something, because every time I am arguing with myself to quit something, he comes along and decides to take it up and invite me along. Its like the Sunday football widow who makes a gigantic spread for the super-bowl and actually learns the game and the point spread before hand. So he has this bright idea, why dont we pedal to Scotts place (Captain Lawrence Brewing) and have one of our kids pick us up, or take the train home. This way I could get my 1.5- 2 hour ride in and he could get a couple of growlers of beer. This sounded like such a splendid plan that we were off and riding within 10 minutes.

Ok so we start our journey towards Pleasantville. We are riding up a bunch of hills and he is always in front of me. Mind you he is built like he is in perpetual shape, tall, thin and muscular. He has not been on a bike in two years and every hill we hit he drops me like a stone. I get used to this, rationalize it even. Its both my excess weight and the hard work I have done for the past two weeks (he was on flat pedals BTW). So we get to the steepest hill of the day, over a mile long and I see him stop and rest up ahead. He says he wanted to look at the deer that was in the bush, which there was one. I blow by him and think to myself, YES! finally I've got him. I pedal along happy as a pig in shit. In a few minutes time I hear something on my wheel. I think WTF, could he have regained all that energy? Is he now going to have me pull him up the rest of the way? So I press a bit harder, turn around to see where he is? He is walking, not riding, right next to me.

After that all I can say is that the BEER at the end was great!

Friday, July 24, 2009

sleep? right after repeats? IS HE NUTS?

First of all I don't do naps well, never have. Second of all, I am tired but I am wired and completely fried. I feel like the eggs must feel in the pan they are cooking in. I have strict orders, eat, feet up, try to sleep. I don't have any bananas and I can't drink milk right now, I'll puke if I try, I can feel it. So as I sit here wolfing down a tomato omelet I wonder if I can calm down enough to rest? I also wonder if I can spare the hour or two as I have so much to get caught up on.

Today's repeats were difficult to say the least. It was interesting to watch my neighbors wonder just what the heck I was doing going back and forth up a hill that most hesitate to walk up. I worked to failure each time. Attacking as if I was being chased down by a pack of wild dogs, giving in only at the last second. Needless to say I have not worked that hard in a long time. I forgot what it felt like.

OK, I ate while I wrote this, now time to shower, put my feet up and worry about my clay order later. Until tomorrow!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A Bobber Splashing In Front of You Means That You are About To Be Caught

I had a double workout day today an 85 rpm spin for 1 hour, which was a much different ride than yesterday and quite uneventful. I did however see a guy doing hill repeats on something that could barely be classified as a genuine hill, its long, but its more like a glorified false flat. I was reminded that my workout tomorrow calls for a grueling hill repeat session, but the hill I have chosen will destroy me in the 45 min I will spend on it. I suddenly got this pit in my stomach thinking about it. I know I will survive, no, I know I will thrive on the pain.

My swim this afternoon was an interesting venture in being one with the fish. We live in a lake community which has a swimming area that is equivalent to a long course pool. While the lifeguard is on duty it is very difficult to rationalize swimming outside this roped off area, which is understandable. However, what I don't quite understand is why people are allowed to fish in this roped off area when there are people swimming? I am in this zone, have a good pace going, focusing on form, working on my kick, and I catch a glimpse of this splash in front of me as I turn my head for air. I try not to panic, thinking of the huge snapper that lives in the lake, and I look up to avoid whatever it was. As it turns out, its a bobber, and where there is a bobber there is usually a hook, which thankfully I managed to avoid. I see the two boys on the dock laughing. Were they casting my way on purpose? I finish my swim out of their range. After a mile or so I get out of the water and discuss the fishing habits with the lifeguard who tells me that the beach manager, his boss, has told him that this is permissible, even though he himself can see the safety issues involved. He has to allow it. HMMM, I wonder what would the county health department say if they had witnessed that? Would he still have his certification? Next time, I am going to risk being thrown off the beach and swim where nobody is fishing, outside the swimming area. I'll let you know how that one goes over.

For now, I am thinking about tomorrow's workout, which will more than likely be a wet one, yuk! Stronger, faster, lighter, better...3500 miles is a very long way to go, and it starts with the work that I put in now.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

If you cheat on miles IT will come back to haunt you sooner or later

In my case it was sooner. My task was to ride 4 hours today, steady state, not to look for hills, but not to avoid them either. I had planned on leaving the house at 10AM only to be reminded that Chris had a dental appointment at 1:30. So I waited until we got back. I was so sure that 4 hours that late in the day would be an issue. I was almost ready to bail on the plan, but the guilt and the not wanting to disappoint Jon after we spent an hour planning my week helped me to drag my butt out the door. So I loaded up a bottle with perpetuem, a bottle with hammer gel, and a bottle with water. I headed out the door at 3PM and decided that White Pond would be a good trip, it was hilly on the way there, and the terrain moderated on the way back. I could also see if there was anyone out for an open water swim in the pond.

I was kind of hyped up for about 15 miles, then I hit that climb on 52, the one going out of Lake Carmel up to the Kent Primary School. Its about 1.5 miles long and a steady 6-7% grade, just enough to incinerate your legs slowly. I knew this climb was here but for some reason it started to get to my head a bit. I decided that I would refill my bottles at the deli near the top and turn onto Farmers Mills, a full 2 miles before White Pond Road. I was scheming to cheat. I actually even rationalized it with the fact that it was a route I have always wanted to explore and I knew that there was this big downhill shortly after the turn. So I blow by the deli, this was my guilt setting in, and I make the turn anyway, full knowing that my water bottles are 1/2 full and there is nothing for another 15 miles at least and it was a sunny route. I was tempting fate. Thinking about this now, I can almost see a little red guy sitting on my shoulder just waiting with a pitchfork to stick it to me. I was so psyched at the 1/2 mile steep downhill that came shortly after that turn, regardless of being sprayed with dirt from a dump truck. I was committed to this route now, there was no way in hell I was climbing that, it was brutal, at least 12-15% grade. On I go, and this short cut turns out to be one steep climb after another. That little red guy poking me in the ass and laughing all the way I am sure. I eventually arrive at White Pond, a good deal further than I had imagined it to be, maybe this wasn't really a short cut, but just a hilly pain in the ass way to get there! Good news, there were some open water swimmers. Something to try to arrange in the near future.

I stop long enough for a photo op and head out, pedaling towards Carmel, and water, 8 miles away. Thank God they were not hilly miles. I am really fatigued at this point, and parched. I down some of the hammer gel, and try to take the minimum amount of water so that it wont turn to a rock in my stomach and hope that I make it to Carmel without getting behind the curve.

I reached Carmel in no time, took a quick photo of Sybil Ludington and hoped on the path towards Yorktown. I am thinking at this point that the difficulty is behind me, the next 20 miles will be a piece of cake, its fairly flat, its got no traffic, and its shady. I am tired , hungry for dinner, and totally fatigued from the climbing on my short cut. This 20 miles was as difficult as they come. I survived, battling myself the whole rest of the way. Not daring to waver from my route. I arrive, detour to the lake, jump in and head home for dinner, completely spent.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Training with Mark Twain?

I was supposed to take yesterday off, I was certainly showing the signs of fatigue that screamed rest, but my head wasn't into it. I needed to be out there, enjoying my bike, looking for adventure, feeling like a little kid! So I went out for a ride with Hans. It was a short recovery ride for me, 13 miles at a comfortable spin pace, that took us through tons of farmland and boasted views of the 'Dacks and the Green Mtns. along with the occasional vintage tractor, run down barn, farm dog... I loved it.

So why Mark Twain? We were pedaling along and I noticed a road off to the right called Tom Sawyer lane. I got to thinking about how much I loved that book when I was about 10, and how at ten I spent my summer on my first 10 speed, riding all over town, even racing because this really cute and cool boy in my neighborhood, who was about 15 at the time, raced. I discovered my America that summer, cows, soda-pop, ice cream cones, frogs, turtles, road kill, screaming wheels and freedom. I totally identified with Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. Adventure was mine, I just needed to seek it.

Today? I took the day off, after a long drive home in the rain, contemplating the training week ahead of me, a rest day was in order. Tomorrow, a swim, some dryland and off to find another story on my bike.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

i seem to have fallen in love on my sweet strike, which was not my intention

So about three weeks ago I get this invite to join a sweet strike, so far I have had very few setbacks and have picked up a new habit, my bike. I used to love riding, then I went through a burnt out state and a few accidents that have caused me to really grieve my ride as if it was a dead to me. What was disconcerting to many around me was that much of my motivation seemed to be buried with that carbon machine and I gained weight both physically and mentally.

I have spent the past few weeks giving myself permission to try something new. I have been riding as a means to collect pictures that capture my adventures. What I have found is that even on the mundane rides I am trying to find some ridiculously random image that frames my thought pattern for that endeavor. I spent two days photographing phallic like road markings (and discussing them). I even stopped to photograph a sign I saw yesterday even though I was on the verge of bonking and running late for a dryland workout. (I did eventually bonk in the park).

Today, well, I rode to the rink, stood on the ice for 4 hours, then made plans to ride tomorrow knowing that I needed to keep up this crazy pace for a few days for my mental health even though Jon would tell me that I need a day's rest. Sorry Jon, I can't right now but Wednesday is my planned day off unless everyone bails on dryland Tuesday.

So for now, cruising along to this years "song that is stuck in my head" Going Down to Cuba (Jackson Browne) and thinking that a cross country effort for Right to Play (thinking Seattle to NY) next June in worth dreaming about!

* A note about the lake image, that is SARATOGA LAKE and after my open water swim with AMY on Thursday in Lake Desolation I found myself daydreaming about circumnavigating that lake with an open water swim as I rode around it.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

hieroglyphics among other things

So I set out last Thursday on a fantastic road trip. I left home with Harriet (Ken's mom). Our trip started in Boston where Harriet relaxed for awhile and I got in an exciting ride with Steve. Afterwards we had a very lovely dinner with both Steve and Ellen (and a visit with Bruno too).

My relationship with Steve is an interesting one, we are both HS Ceramics teachers and we both have used our bikes as a means to raise awareness and money for charity. We were introduced to each other a few years ago by a mutual dear friend who thought we would enjoy talking shop. Steve has this way of making you feel as if the bike is as essential as life itself. I do understand this completely, its just lately my bike and I have not really been friends. It seems that I tend to hold grudges, and the grudge that ensued after being tossed off my bike by a set of RR tracks seems to be as deep as the scars that the pavement left. Steve has been trying to get me to work through this since last November, 12 weeks after my concussion, the reminders that my bike and head were in desperate need of attention kept coming, and as soon as spring hit, any reason I needed to stop by to see them became a reason to get on the bike. That first ride was full of strobing light through the trees, which was so uncomfortable. The second ride I was tortured by the side-effects of prednisone. It has always been something. This time, I felt pretty good on the bike for once. As we made our way back towards home, a lady in an SUV decides to pull out on our right without seeing us. We almost T-boned her as we hurled along, skidding along the pavement having to cross into the oncoming lane to fully avoid hitting her. My life on my bike, antics and all seemed to be reborn. I had a story for that ride at least. As I left Steve and Ellen that night I was asked if I would use my bike in Maine? Actually, I was strongly encouraged to.

My weekend had me on the bike once, a nice 25 mile, somewhat hilly pre-breakfast ride. I marveled at how little traffic there was at 7AM and how everyone who passed me waved as if I was some long lost friend and they hadn't seen me in years. There was this one lady who was working in her garden who seemed a bit put off that I didn't say hello as I buzzed by her down this long steep hill. On my return I was sure to say hello, only she didn't hear me coming, and I scared her out of her skin. Then there was this man who was walking along the road on the other side, who also bid this unnerved gardener a good day in the midst of my apologies. It was so sad, and so funny, the woman had just barely recovered from the start I had given her only to be plummeted back into near hysteria. I found myself so intrigued by this that I chuckled all the way back to the Coveside Inn. That 25 miles took me down roads that I wouldn't have had the chance to explore otherwise. I saw a few osprey, a fox and the biggest RABBIT I have ever seen in my life, it was the size of a small dog, and way bigger than the fox. This was a great start to a beautiful reunion with a sense of freedom I forgot about.

Since returning I have been on my bike everyday. No real stories to tell. but no animosity either. I was out with Justin and Andy Mac yesterday (Ah to be 21). It was my 85 day (it doesn't matter what gear you push as long as there is a cadence of 85 or better). I was absolutely chasing them most of the time, but there was that one time, when we made the turn up Delancey, and we passed this man who was my age on his bike taking a break on the side of the road, right before THE HILL. Wait a minute, he had passed us early in the ride, pedaling a nice ride and living up to it... So we continue on up the hill and he hops on his bike giving chase, and I realize that my 85 is slowly and steadily pulling away from him, and though Justin and Andy drop me I was not being passed by the guy on the carbon FELT. As we cruised through North Salem, there were these symbols on the road that were left by the electric company. My mind starts to wonder and ends up at focusing on this Art History class I took once, called Sexuality in Ancient Art. This class was the study of pornography in ancient Egypt. Interesting, those pole symbols left by the utility guys look a bit like the hieroglyphics that I studied in that class. Is the road trying to tell me something about my hesitancy to get engrossed and consumed by my ride? Am I starting to fall for that sleek black and grey carbon machine? I am in Toga this morning, and last I looked the car was loaded with an alternate method of transportation which I plan on using several times in my tenure here. I guess this story will have a sequel.

To find out more about Steve's Charity endeavors...

Monday, July 6, 2009

Sweet strike...

A few days ago I took on Chris Callis's challenge on Facebook to go on a sweet strike. I had already revamped my attitude towards training, I have been getting sick of having nothing to wear, and I found a partner to work out with at least a few days a week, so what could be so bad about returning to that GI diet that allowed me to loose so much weight to begin with. After all the only thing I really had to gain was my health. So, its day 6 and I had one tiny setback, but as I told Chris, I have acknowledged it and moved on. I am feeling more confident each day, but still getting the headaches from the drop in calories and increase in fiber.

I have made it a point to actually seek out farm stands and farmers markets and buy local produce. We even picked our own berries two days in a row, one we paid cash for and one we paid sweat for. I am running out of those berries, so Wed may be another day to pay in sweat. Who knows, maybe we will find some Black Raspberries? The wineberries will be ready soon too.

My day so far has consisted of cleaning the house. I find that each time I clean I get more and more into it, maybe that is the calorie deficit potential? I have gone out for a much needed but much procrastinated about ride that was a bit mundane. I did allow me to think a lot though. I started to realize that I needed to fall in love with cycling again. I think that needs to happen with skating too. As I was riding I was reflecting on what has been different since I was so head strong into it? There was a time I would eat, sleep, and obsess about cycling and skating and exercise for that matter. I am not sure what has changed. So I am up for suggestions. How can I fall in love again?

Time to get ready for dryland and a swim. Until later.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Bring a friend

I decided as I got abandoned by my training partner this morning that I needed to suck it up and go do my workout anyway, no whining, no excuses. I did battle with myself for about 30 minutes and slowly felt time slipping away. I was not going to give in! My lazy couch butt was not going to win! I called a friend.
Now this friend is the most un-athletic person I know, but she does like to walk and seeing that she is a full 3 inches taller than me I have to jog to keep up with her cadence when she is walking briskly I knew it would be ok. She actually agreed to come to the track and attempt dryland with me. Her exact words were "i'll try but if I can't do it I am just walking, you can do your thing and we'll see each other when we are done". We warmed up for 10 minutes then broke into the 2 minute x 8 exercise set. I explained that she should only stay at each exercise for as long as she could, that there was no pressure to hit the 2 minute mark (you know the don't overdo it logistics as you will not be able to get off the toilet seat lecture). I give her credit, she made it through 4 exercises in the first set (statics, baby steps, dryskates and wooders) then decided that it was not for her and would continue to just walk. She is not an athlete and has no desire to "strength train". I was fine with that. We continued on our own until I was finished with my workout and she still had 3 laps to go (perfect cool down). As we were walking together she commented on how sweaty I was, she was impressed. She also let on that she has always wanted to run, but gets too tired to fast. Now my coaching brain turns on and I tell her to try skipping part of each lap, work yourself up to the desire to run. I shared that I started to love running when I realized I could cover much more ground in a given time and that was part of what I needed to convince myself I had accomplished something. I let her go on up-ahead so that I could cool down more slowly (remember I have to run to keep up with her, which does not lend itself well to cooling down). As I watched her do her last two laps she was skipping 100M of each one and enjoying it, she finished with a huge smile. The moral of the story? When faced with a lonely dryland workout, BRING A FRIEND!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

So your DOG has more brains?

I was so proud of myself this morning. I got up took care of some long needed chores, go out of the house by 8:50 to make the farmers market by the 9AM opening. I wanted to get myself the best of what was available, after all there is that thought about the "early bird".
There was a pretty wide selection of vendors and produce. I settled on this one farm because of the one stop shopping aspect. The farmer had a wide variety of goods and they looked wonderful. In the past I had noticed that this man has an issue dealing with pressure. Today I thought I would ignore his shortness, maybe it was just a bad day. The "SOUP NATZI" comes to mind, or maybe "JUICY MANGOS". I watched out of the corner of my eye as this man belittled a woman who did not weigh her produce for him, she offered to do so and he ripped it out of her hands and did it himself. I learned quickly and made the mental note to weigh my stuff before I offer to pay so he can do the math quickly and not yell. I got a snippet of attitude when I mistakenly told him I had only 1 dozen scapes. Actually, I had the price right but the quantity wrong (I had told him there was 2.00 worth, and wanted to know how many I replied 12 but they were a dollar/dozen). I let it roll. I paid what I owed but I was still trying to decide on some herbs so I lingered at his stand. He came over to me and starts making derogatory remarks about this Latino couple who were at the stand. He was all over the food stamp issue. He would take them but can't understand why our gov't would give them to them in the first place. He was all over the language barrier, and all over the fact that they were making him deal with them.He was so abusive to them and they took it. It was so sad. He went too far when he said his DOG had more brains. I thanked him for ruining my farm stand experience and that I would never shop his stall again. Of course, HE DID NOT GET IT. As I turned to walk away I heard him tell a woman to make sure he bought her eggs from the honey stand next to him because the other one was run by a woman who was supposedly INDIAN, but he really thought she was just another MEXICAN. I went and bought Eggs and Cherries from Tello's (against his advice) and had the most uplifting conversation.

What can I say? I would have so many questions for this man and I am tempted to ask him to share a meal with me. I would make sure that I also invited the people he abused, who have less than his dog (less food/less comforts). I would sit at the table of food that was prepared in concert with my invited guests. I wonder how long he would last, and if in that gracious company he would understand that he could do so much to solve some of the world's problems? I wonder if anything would change?

I am tempted to go back up there this afternoon with 20.00 in my pocket and wait until one of the many immigrant couples comes down to buy vegetables with food stamps. Then pay for them with my money, telling the couple to use there food stamps for eggs and cherries.

Mister, your dog has more brains than who?