6 week update

WARNING - FRUSTRATION RANT FORTHCOMING

Well first of all, if I'd known how it would really be, I would have never have done this.  I feel like I've wasted 6 weeks of my life and I'd rather have the pain of bone/bone than not being able to ride, to walk right, bend my leg enough, feeling like crap most of the time and losing a lot of extra overtime money and missed travel.  And reading about other people who have +100 degree flexion the first couple of weeks really depresses me.  The ONLY good thing is that I've lost 20 pounds (in the first 3 weeks) and have kept it off (and will hopefully lose a lot more if I can ever train again.)

Yes, I am in a pissy mood. My life is sleep in, get up and lay on the couch, go to PT 3x/week, come home and lay on the couch, go to bed.  And, this week has been the week of the trip to Hawaii that I had to cancel , so seeing all my friends' photos is killing me.  

Currently my extension is anywhere between 5-10 degrees.  We know this will be slow since I lived 6 years never fully extending my leg after my arthroscope in 2009.  That is what my former surgeon wanted and I didn't know any better.  So my current surgeon is fine with that number right now since hamstrings and calf muscles are super tight.  Working daily on stretching them.  

IMG_4038

Current flexion is only about 90 degrees, which is behind where I should be.  I have a lot of pain in the IT band and over the fibular head and calf (one pin-point area), with "tightness" over the front of the knee.  I can drive if I scoot the seat all the way back to get in the truck then move the seat up.  The surgeon said 90-ish is ok for now and he thinks I'll get more in the next couple of weeks since it feels "springy" and not like hardened adhesions.  Keep it going and he added 4 more weeks of PT.  

Back to work full time on November 1st and ease into it by working a few hours at home for the next three weeks.  

I did get to three hockey games in the past two weeks, including a Meet the Team party and opening night Gold Carpet walk.  Last night was the first night that I've made it for the entire game, sitting in my usual seat, so that's a plus.  

IMG_4028

I haven't been walking as much as I should, since I don't like to walk around my neighborhood (long story) and I really have a very difficult time getting off the couch or out of bed.  But tomorrow, I am going to go to the pool and try swimming.  The surgeon doesn't want to see me until December 31st and said go for it regarding swimming and walking.

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15 Days Post-Op

It's been just over two weeks since surgery and I feel like I've lost about 8 days somewhere.  I ended up spending 3 nights in the hospital, starting physical therapy on the second day.  They get you up and going as soon as possible after surgery, though the nerve block in the leg needed to wear off first.  And once that wore off - PAIN!  I should have known the first day/night was too good to be true.

 

On Saturday afternoon, my Dad arrived and teammate Angela picked him up and they came to the hospital to get me and take me home.  I'd set up the downstairs as a sleeping area since I didn't really know how well I'd be able to do the stairs.  One minus of living in a 3-story house!  We got home and within the first 30 minutes of being  home, I proceeded to lose my lunch.  And I still can't eat much and nothing really sounds good anyway.

 

Nurse Dad stayed for 9 days and it was really nice to have him here, though I felt bad about him having to just sit around the house most of the time.  But he had one of his knees replaced a number of years ago, so he knows the score.

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The Monday after surgery, home health care started - blood tests on Monday and Thursday (in order to monitor the blood thinner med) and physical therapy Monday through Friday. It's been two weeks of that, so starting next week, PT will drop to 3x/week and I'll be going to my usual therapist Jonathan.

 

Daily schedule for the past couple weeks:  get up; coffee; think about eating, but nothing sounds good; lay on sectional and try to look at Facebook, emails, etc.; physical therapy; take a nap; try to eat lunch; do a couple of hot laps around the living room and kitchen; lay on sectional and rest, usually falling asleep mid-texting or mid-email; do another round of PT with Nurse Dad; try to eat a few bites for dinner; go to bed (usually around 8-9 PM); wake up multiple times during the night.   Repeat.

 

Labor Day Dad flew back to Kansas, so I rode with Kathy to take him to the airport.  My first big outing, so I was wiped out afterwards. Another big outing th next day - staples came out!!!  

 

A few observations:  

* This surgery was quite a bit more involved than I originally thought.

* Just yesterday (2 weeks post-surgery) was the first day that i could focus enough to read a magazine. Thank goodness for reality TV where you don't have to think too much.

* Everything that I thought I might want to eat has not sounded good at all.   Or, something will taste good for a day, then make me nauseous the next day.

* Any physical exertion (even doing easy PT exercises) gives me serious cottonmouth.  Like I can barely talk.

*  There have been many days where I will just fall asleep right in the middle of whatever I was doing.

* When you don't have to go to work, all the days seem to run together.  I need a big calendar and then mark them off each morning so I know what day it is.

* Rehab is ike a job!  And sometimes even the smallest gain is cause for celebration.

IMG_3769

 


3:00 A.M.

It's 3 AM and I'm wide-awake since they seem to come into my room about every hour to do something. Yesterday Kristi picked me up and drove me to the hospital. I was there early so I sat in the lobby until my scheduled time and then went to Admitting. Filled out my paperwork, got my wristband, and then teammate Paige arrived to wait with me. And wait, we did! About 55 minutes later they finally called my name and we went upstairs. I got changed, got blood pressure, temperature, pulse and all of that done, then the nurse came in to put in the IV. At that point, water seemed to burst out of my eyeballs involuntarily. I told her about my needle phobia and she said they could give me something for anxiety but...it would have to go through the IV! The head anesthesiologist came in to explain what they were going to do and the surgeon came in to sign my leg. Then they let Paige come back and we sat some more. The resident came in and then finally the other anesthesiologist (the one who would be with me the entire time) came in and gave me the happy juice (but I didn't feel so happy). Then it was time to go. In the operating room it took three tries to get the spinal, so everyone who said it was a piece a cake and I wouldn't remember it, that was not the case! They finally got it in and the next thing I know, I was in recovery with numb legs and the inability to open my eyes. Eyelids - so heavy. But no pain. I eventually was able to wake up a little more and was finally taken up to the room. I was hungry so they got me a tray of food and what I really wanted - COFFEE! Later the resident came in and said that everything looked really good, though they had had to put me under a little more because when they started, my leg jupped. So it was a spinal plus a deeper sleep, but not general anesthesia. No PT last night since the nerve block had not yet worn off. That also means the bedpan. Lovely. Now I t's 3:00 A.M. and I'm wide awake. I'm taking the pain meds on a regular schedule (oxy every 4 hours, Toradol every 6 hours). Time to try some more sleep. I'm sure it will be a busy day ahead.

How About A New....Knee?

It's hard to believe I haven't updated this in over a year.  Very little training and even less racing to report.  The past year has been work, physical therapy, work, travel for work, sit too much, exercise not enough, and go to some hockey games.  And now, tomorrow, I face surgery to get this bum knee fixed once and for all.

Last fall involved quite a bit of travel for work, all condensed into a short time frame.  I also decided to become a 13-game season ticket holder to the Nashville Predators NHL team.  I found my new love!  They do a really nice job for customer experience and the team was good too!  In fact, I found I loved it so much, I became a full season ticket holder for this upcoming season.  

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The winter again was rough - too cold for me, even a snowstorm that shut down the city, then a month later, an ice storm which again shut down the city.  Still too much work, continued physical therapy, more work travel, not enough training,  but I did get to spend half a week with the gals in the high desert of Los Angeles County.  I was unable to go last year and really missed it.  My knee was hurting a lot so I mostly did some walking and swimming.   No biking, which was a major bummer.  

After that trip, Jonathan, my PY, said he had some pretty much all he could do.  My strength was better, we'd gone from 15 degrees to about 5 degrees shy of full extension, but to make it any better, I really needed surgery and a new knee since I was bone-on-bone. He suggested seeing a non-surgical orthopedic doctor to see what he said, so I did.  He suggestion injections (no thank you), a topical creme (that gave minor relief), get fitter/thinner, and last resort - knee replacement surgery.  Not what I wanted to hear, but the same thing my ortho in SF had told me in September 2009. ("You will eventually need a knee replacement.")

May - June - first part of July - more work travel, work, some riding, a couple "races" (more of me just paying the entry and riding around), then when I saw my GP in mid-July, I told him that maybe I'd go see the ortho he suggested.   I "raced" on my birthday and could barely walk for two days.  So that's how I ended up  at Dr. Andrew Shinar's office on August 17th.

X-rays, exam, history, and admitting that I couldn't really ride my bike and that sitting or walking or standing too long really made my knee hurt, made me realize that my quality of life had gone down.  So surgery is scheduled for tomorrow, August 26th.  TKR - total knee replacement.

Not thrilled about it, but it needs to be done.  On Friday I had a major freakout session when I think everything finally hit me (and I realized that he wants to do a spinal), and I came this close to canceling the entire thing.  But I didn't.  So tomorrow I head to the hospital and in the future, back to riding the bike, walking, weights - getting back in shape.  Time to rehab and then start training for the 2016 racing schedule.

Wish me luck.


Book Report: What Makes Olga Run?

 
* * * * *
 
A must read for anyone over say, 45 years old.  A look into the science of aging, mostly with the subject, 90+ year old Olga, a Canadian Masters Track and Field athlete.  It's a easy read, not all dry and scientific.  It really makes you think about how you spend your days.
 
Nine Rules To Live By:
 
1. Keep moving.
2. Create Routines (but sometimes break them).
3. Be opportunistic.
4. Be a mensch (i.e. be kind, do good).
5. Believe in somthing.
6. Lighten up.
7. Cultivate a sense of progress.
8. Don't do it if you don't love it.
9. Begin now.
 
Read this book.

RR: Music City Sprint Tri

 

July 27, 2014

 

The last triathlon I completed was the full Vinemen in 2007 (I did swim/bike Kansas 70.3 in 2008 but a tornado cancelled the run). After that I'd turned to bike racing only, then a crash, knee surgery, rehab, and told by the surgeon that I should never run again, so I didn't really think about triathlon. I followed who won the various Ironman races and the results of my friends, but I rarely swam and never ran.  But then with moving to Tennessee, I thought maybe I'd try a tri again and Music City Tri was a good choice. And hopefully I'd be ready for the sprint.

 

The start is in downtown Nashville, with the transition area right on Broadway, within spitting distance of the honky tonks, less that 2 miles from my house and a few blocks from work. What wasn't to love! The day before the tri we did an open water swim race to test out the course and the river. There was a current in the river and I probably swam closer to 500 meters than 400. But it was good to get in the water and test the course.  And we didn't seem to have any adverse effects from the water.  (Everyone at work said, "You are going to swim WHERE!?!?!?!  Ick!")

 

Sunday morning I checked the weather and it was about 75F.  Yea!  Until I walked outside and it was super humid! Oh boy. I picked up Kathy, we drove to my office and parked there and walked our bikes and stuff to transition. They were doing a sprint, an international/Olympic distance, an Aquabike and a "velo-run" dividsion.  The sprint started first, with a time trial swim start – you start one by one about 10 seconds apart, jumping off the dock, with the start order seeded by your projected swim time. Everyone had to be out of the transition area by 7:00 AM, so there was a bit of waiting around to line up for the swim. I was sitting with my swim buddy Pu and we chatted with a gal who was doing her first tri, so there wasn't too much time to get nervous. (Unlike a month earlier when I did the Chattanooga Waterfront Aquabike (swim/bike) where I was extremely nervous before the start!

 

I was number 280 or so (and remember, you lined up in numerical order) and I wasn't so keen on jumping off the dock into water I couldn't see, so I sat down on the side and went in that way. Swim time was 9:29, about 1 minute faster than the day before. I swam a much straighter line but it was much more crowded than the open water swim on Saturday. Climbed up the ladder and walked up the stairs and to transition.

 

Helmet on, sunglasses on, shoes on, trot the bike out to the mount/dismount line and head up 2nd Street. One block flat, then uphill about 3 blocks to the bridge to go over the river. The bike course went over by the football stadium, then through an industrial area and onto a 4 lane expressway which was totally closed to traffic. Going out was a net uphill, with a couple of rollers, and I was thinking that once we hit the turnaround we would fly back since it was net downhill. Right. Once we turned around and were headed back, we hit a big headwind.  At this point, I was really glad I didn't have to do a second loop.  I passed a few people on the way out and quite a few passed me, but on the way back, I passed quite a few of them back. Finished the bike in 58:52. Racked the bike, put my running shoes on and...melted.

 

The 5K run became a 5K walk with a few 50-70 step jogs interspersed. It was sunny, no shade and close to 90F (still humid). Couple that with less than optimal run training, and my whole goal was to just finish. Which is what I did. 52:36. And, as slow as that was, I was only 3 minutes out of 3rd place Masters Athena. Note to self: Do the run training, get thinner and kick some butt next time.

MusicCityTri


RR: Tennessee State TT

June 14, 2014

 

The TN State time trial was the first race I did when I moved here two years ago. I flew here on a Thursday, checked into a hotel in Brentwood and on Friday, went to MOAB Franklin to pick up one of my bikes. The guys gave me directions for a ride right out the door and man, it was HOT and HUMID! In the line-up in 2012, I ended up right behind Tammy so she was one of the first people I met here, and now we're on the same team! That race was fun – I was 4th in the 20K Merckyx division (no time trial equipment), riding about 17.1 mph.

 

Fast forward to this weekend. A lot has happened in two years – lots more work, lots more travel, a real winter (SUCKS!), buying a house, a very, very stressful fall 2013, xx more pounds, and a lot less riding the bike means I am far from the fitness I used to have (but I WILL get it back). So my goal was to just ride within myself and use my new bike (Quintana Roo tri bike). I've only had a few rides on it and no extended time in the aero position, so I was a little worried I'd be riding too much on the bullhorns (definitely NOT aero).

 

Chrysa picked me up at 6:00 AM and it was actually a little cool. Way better weather than 2 years ago. We drove down to Lascassas and met up with Corrine, who was doing her first ever race. FUN! They'd posted the start list and my start time was 8:25. Get checked in, pin number, get warmed up, then it was time to go line up. There was one other woman in the W55+ division and she was from Indiana. She stated 30 seconds in front of me in full-on aero gear (wheels, skinsuit, booties, etc.)

  State TT Start

Starts were 30 second intervals. Clip in, 10, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, go. I'd started too fast in the last TT, so I eased into the first mile. The course is an out and back with a slight false flat and even though it wasn't hot, there was a definite headwind. The IN gal was down the road so I rode controlled but wasn't very happy with my slow speed. In fact, I was in the small chainring most of the way. One good thing is that I was able to stay aero almost the entire time. When I got within a mile of the turnaround, the men coming back all shouted “TAILWIND!” They were right.

 

Hit the turnaround and clicked it into the big chain ring and coming back, I hit 22-25 mph most of the way, with a few times much higher, once hitting 33 mph. I got to the 1K to go sign and that seemed like the longest kilo ever! Crossed the finish line at full speed and then shut it down and spun around for 20 minutes to loosen up my legs.

 

2012 20K time: 40:09

2014 20K time: 43:55

Goal for next year – sub-40:00. 

The IN gal dusted me, but, since she's not a TN resident, I am the TN W55+ State TT Champion. Thanks to the women of Tennessee Women's Cycling Project and everyone who's drug me out to ride, to ISM Saddles and Quintana Roo. Now to do the new bike justice.

  State TT Podium

 

State TT TWCP

 


Race Report: Rockabilly Omnium

RGP No.

Rockabilly Ominum

May 31 – June 1, 2014

Jackson, TN

  RGP number

I hadn't really planned on doing these races since I'm vastly undertrained, but I did get 6 days in a row riding in California in mid-May and a few days prior, decided to just go and have fun. It would be a good way to get some enforced training in. W4s could either do the W4 22 mile RR or ride with the 123s in the 44 mile RR.

 

Friday afternoon I picked up Emily and we were off. We got to the hotel, got checked in, picked up our race packets, then met up with Kristi and Chrysa for dinner. Back to the hotel to figure out when we had to get up and leave and it was then, I had my first “What the hell am I doing?” thought.

 

SATURDAY RR:

 

Saturday morning we were up and out the door fairly early for our 8:00 AM road race start. It was then that I was really getting nervous. My last road race was in 2009, back when I was decently fit but just a week post-crash. Now, I was way out of shape and a lot fatter. Note to self – rectify this!

 

The W4s RR was 2 laps of the course, about 22 miles total. TWCP had me, Emily and Paige in the race, plus about 8 other ladies, mostly from the Memphis area. Warm up on the road, then time to line up. The first half mile was neutral roll-out (similar to Snelling for your NorCal readers), then a right hand turn and up a hill and GO! There was a little too much braking and hand signals (just ride over the small cracks please, no need to point them out) but the group stayed together. The right turn came and going up the hill, I was off the back. Well, a nice solo ride. But no, I get to the top of the hill and there is a lone rider not that far ahead! Hammer the slight downhill and catch up with her and we chat and she says, “Let's ride together”. OK by me! She was from Memphis and knew the course, so that was good. The course was flat to rolling, so I got on the front for about 80% of the time and just rode tempo. She kept commenting on how strong I was, which made me keep going.

 

We go by the finish line and headed out on the second loop. The hills on the neutral rollout were a lot easier when I could take them at speed (use that momentum!), but the right turn hill that dropped me the first lap got me again, but I got to the top and thought, “I don't have to do that again!” Somewhere about 2/3rds of the way through the second loop, I got a gap on my riding partner, and to be honest, I was just wanting to get finished and if I had to sprint her out for “not last”, well, the track legs were getting ready. We get to the 1K sign and I KNOW I can ride hard for the kilo, so I picked it up. At the 200m sign, I took a peek back and saw someone in blue (she was wearing blue) – CRAP! Seated sprint! I crossed the finish line and sat up and the person in blue was a Cat. 5 dude. A few minutes later my riding partner crossed the line. I thanked her for motivating me. Finished 10/11. But hey, finishing was the main goal.

 

SATURDAY TT:

  RGP TT Start

Later Saturday afternoon was a short (5 mi) TT, back on the same RR course (only the opposite direction). We'd left and went to eat, then laid around the hotel until time to come back and get ready for the TT. It was hot and humid (like 85F) and as we were hanging out at the truck, the local TV station had a reporter onsite interviewing people, so I chatted with him.

http://www.wbbjtv.com/news/local/Rockabilly-Gran-Prix-Brings-300-Cyclists-to-Jackson-261406461.html

 

Lined up for the TT start and I took the first mile out too hard. We made a left turn, straight into a headwind. Since the TT was so short, I'd just ridden the road bike. I do wonder what my time would have been with my TT bike. I ended up sub-17 minutes, which had been my goal, but I could feel the tiredness in my legs. Again, finished “not last”. But had fun. 9/10

 

Back to the hotel to shower, then the team went out for dinner.

 

SUNDAY CRIT

 

After the TT, teammate Paige was sitting right near the top of the omnium, so the team goal was to get her a high enough finish in the crit to be on the podium of the omnium (hopefully, the top step!) Our race was around 9:00 AM and after about 5 minutes on the rollers in the parking lot at 8:00 AM, I was drenched in sweat. Yes, it was going to be a hot and humid one early.

 

For the crit, we had a majority of the W4s field – me, Emily, Paige, Kristi, Karah, and Tammy plus Chrysa (who is officially on Team Novo Nordisk). Warmed up, did a few laps of the course – why didn't someone mention the two hills???? Lined up and we were off – up a hill. I was behind someone who had a little trouble getting clipped in, so I was off the back from the gun. I rode around solo and about halfway through, my legs started to cramp, so I put it in the small chain ring and just finished it out. The one very fun part of riding solo was being able to come down the backside hill and just rail that right turn at speed, taking whatever line I wanted. At one point in the race, I came up on the aftermath of a crash and slowed up to make sure Paige and the other gal went to the pit to get their free lap.

 

There was a strong headwind on the long finishing straight (and up the hill), which made it not so fun, but in the end, Paige WON, even after a crash mid-race, with Karah third and Kristi fourth. And with the crit win, she won the omnium! So a very successful weekend for TN Women's Cycling Project. 6/6 for the omnium.

RGP TWCP


#My500Words: January 26, 2014

Only six days left in this challenge and I've been liking it quite a bit. It's given me some ideas to later write about and got me to take a writing course, so a win all around.

 

Yesterday I found out how much you can get done if you just get out of bed and get going. That is something I had a lot of trouble with in the past maybe 3 months. Pretty much when the weather changed and the time change. I did sleep in with no alarm and since I didn't get to bed until after midnight, I slept in until nearly 9:00 AM. Coffee, make my juice (orange, carrots, kale, lemon, kiwi), then I finished up the painting in my master bathroom. For everything else, I think I'll have a painter come do it since it does take up a lot of time. I like the painting part. I don't like all the taping up and then cleaning up everything part. But my ocean blue wall against the big window and white trim and white bathtub looks really good.

 

My new bike racing team, Tennessee Women's Cycling Project, (http://tnwomenscycling.com/) had our first get-together last night and it was so fun to meet all my new teammates. We had originally planned a ride in the afternoon, but with the uber-cold weather we've been having and waking up to a little snow on the ground, the ride got cancelled and we just did a potluck that evening. We had 15 or 16 women here from both the race team and the club team, and there is a mix of road and mountain (and of course cyclocross.) And at least one trackie and triathlete silly enough to enter an Ironman this year!! Most of the time was spent chatting and getting to know everyone and we will plan a road camp and a mountain bike camp before the season gets going. The first race in the area is Hell of the South at the end of March.

 

And I did get on the trainer yesterday. I have the Lemond Revolution trainer (http://lemond.myshopify.com/) where you take the back wheel off the bike and the Lemon has a cassette that you put our bike onto. It rides much more realistically than other trainers. I also recently bought all of the Sufferest videos (http://www.thesufferfest.com/) so yesterday afternoon I rode most of one of them. How apropos – it was the Wretched one where you used to be a champ, and now you're out of shape and suck, you forgot how to suffer, etc. Yes, that pretty much sums it up! But at least I'm back on the bike. But hopefully I'll get some miles in soon in warm sunny California.

 

So the 2014 season is looking up. There should be some good racing and it will be time to do some things like road races and go other places to race. Supposedly Georgia, Alabama and Kentucky aren't that far. I've only been out of the Nashville metro area once since I've moved here so it's time to do some exploring.


#My500Words: January 25, 2014

 

Endings. What is that saying? “All good things must come to an end.” I think that's it.

 

When I moved here I knew no one. The one person I did know that lived here (who knows me pretty well), high-tailed it out of the state to San Diego before I moved. His comment when we went to lunch on my first visit there was, “You will hate it here.”  Thanks Paulo.  At least he turned me on to Fido. There was one person whom I knew from a triathlon email list, but had never met (yea Lisa!)

 

So it made it so less difficult to actually move knowing my co-workers Matthew and Vince would also be moving. Matthew, Johnno and the kids moved first, landing in Franklin. Then on one of the trips to interview potential hires, Vince found the apartment complex that we both ended up moving to. I reserved a place there when it was still being built, but it was close to downtown and work and was going to be brand new. Having to commute in my own truck was not an option (and they don't have public transportation here. Well, there is a bus, but let's just say, this is a VERY car-centric place.) So having a nice, brand new, granite countertops, laminate floors instead of industrial grey carpet and a WASHER/DRYER INSIDE THE APARTMENT and a pool was awesome! Of course, going from having half of a San Francisco flat to a mere 700 square feet took a lot of weeding out and condensing my stuff and in the apartment, there was no good place for the bicycles. Plus, I still had to rent a storage unit!

 

But, it was so great having Vince, Aaron and Wookie in the same complex, though they ended up being in the building next to mine. That was close enough. There were so many fun times having someone to go out with, and it made me feel better when I'd go ride solo, knowing that if I got stranded, I could call them to come get me.

 

Some of the highlights:

 

  • Many a dinner shared that I cooked but it did include Vince learning to cook, including his making lumpia for Thanksgiving.

  • Many a Wednesday night in their “apartment/lounge” (the coolest decorating by Aaron) watching “Nashville” and drinking whisky, often followed by a Wii dance party.

  • Dinners or cocktails out. Many, many nights.

  • The night we went honky-tonking during CMA Fest.

  • Taking Vince to his first ever Jimmy Buffett concert. We met in the parking lot to drive downtown and he had on turquoise pants, a Hawaiian shirt and a hat. His first words were, “I'd better not be the only one dressed like this!” “OK”, I said as I smiled, knowing he would be dressed pretty tame compared to some Parrotheads.

  • Taking Vince to his first ever NFL football game, the San Francisco 49ers v. Tennessee Titans. And trying to explain everything that was going on down on the field. 49ers won!

  • Taking Aaron to the Grammy Nomination concert where we both drooled over Adam Levine. And trading photos and comments back and forth about Adam.

  • Wookie. That little dog – I love. When I lived at the apartment, he knew exactly which door to run to when they got off the elevator. And the first time at my house, he went to the 3rd floor and ran across the carpet, rubbing his face into it, marking his territory.

  • Vince coming over regularly at the apartment to vacuum my floor. I didn't have a vacuum when I first moved here and Vince LOVES to vacuum, so it was a win-win!

  • Our daily talks about everything, either in his office or mine.

 

And now, Vince and Wookie are moving back to California (Aaron moved back in the fall). And Vince's last day at work was yesterday. I feel like I'm being abandoned. But it's a good move for him personally and I'll see the three of them on my trips back to NorCal. I guess it's time for the next chapter for all of us.

 


#My500Words: January 24, 2014

This would be the 24th straight day that I've written a minimum of 500 words. I'm kind of getting into the flow of it, so I've decided to take a 6-week writing course – Intro to Non-Fiction through Gotham Writers (www.writingclasses.com). Time to get a little more focused.

 

One of the TV shows I like watching is “The Biggest Loser” and they use the Body Media device to measure how many calories they burn (with a corresponding food database to enter what you consume since it's a lot about calories in v. calories out). Since they were having a sale, I ordered one (Body Media Fit) and it came Tuesday. I've now had two full days of wearing it and you know that sitting at work for 8-10 hours a day isn't the best, but damn, seeing it in real numbers is very enlightening.

 

You plug in your metrics and goals and it gives you a target to hit for calorie burn and intake. Intake in via an online database so it's much easier to eat whole, real food, than to enter a long list of “ingredients”. And restaurant eating? Well, that's a guesstimate. Like last night when we went to Lucky Bamboo (off Charlotte just past White Bridge Road next to the K&S Market) for hot pot. Hot pot is a broth and then you choose what veggies and meat or fish you want and they bring it all out raw and you cook it yourself. We had chicken, beef, jumbo shrimp, and a whole table full of veggies – greens, bok choy, two kinds of mushrooms, Chinese pea shoots, Napa cabbage. Kind of hard to quantify that. But it's really good and all whole food, so I won't worry about that one meal.

 

Anyway, back to the Body Media. For the last two days, I've only burned 2,000 to 2,100 calories. So, I need to step up the working out. Crap, I need TO work out. It's been very cold this entire week (5F this morning). I didn't sign up for this. In fact, that's a major reason I left Kansas in 1984!! I remember when we visited in November 2011, everyone said, “Oh, winters are not that bad here. Maybe a few days of cold weather.” I call bullshit on that.

 

Another thing the Body Media measures is physical activity (over a certain MET) and steps. The target goal for steps is 8,000 per day. I've only hit 3,500 and 3,200 the past two days. Going from the house to the truck to work and back is a habit I need to break.

 

If you wear the Body Media at night, it will measure your sleep and give you an efficiency rating. That's one plus – I don't toss and turn. I get in bed, fall asleep and stay asleep until the alarm wakes me up. I just need to get another hour of sleep.

 

Each area further breaks down into charts, graphs, etc., such as nutrition breakdown into percentages, actual graphs of when you take the steps or have physical activity hitting the MET minimum.

 

So, very eye-opening. Time to swing the kettlebell.

 

 


#My500Words: January 17, 2014

I've been writing every day but longhand instead of here. Not much to say, just a recap of the prior day and other things going on (which I can't really say quite yet, but will do so later).  So, I'm at 17 days in a row.

 

I am getting into writing every day, so yesterday I signed up for a 6-week intro to non-fiction writing class that begins next week. It's an online course, so I don't have to be tied to a specific day and time which is pretty hard to do right now with my work schedule. So I'm looking forward to this class as I have a couple of longer term projects floating around in my mind.

 

OK, is Comcast the worst!? I have two DRV boxes set up and one is upstairs in the “office” but I want to move it downstairs to the back where my bikes are and where I have the trainer set up. So I called, said what I wanted, they made an appointment and the guy came out today and said he couldn't install the line since I needed to have an electrician come out to do it. He'd set up my wall-neighbor and knew exactly what needed to be done and said the people on the phone didn't know what they were talking about. Well, crap. At least I'm not getting charged for today's visit. One plus, is that I did a little rearranging and clean-up so I have the back organized and some stuff tossed out. What I need is someone knowledgable to go through all my extra bike parts and see what I might need, what can be sold and what should be tossed.


#My500Words: January 13, 2014

 

Back on the bike.

Two days in a row of riding the bike. That's about 34 miles and probably more than in the past 4 months. October through December was pretty brutal. A lot of work travel, a lot of normal work (I annually have a large insurance renewal application due in early December which involves a lot), plus, there was a lot of work on a potential merger, something that had most of the staff on edge and freaking out since they had never been through the process before. That cratered and a lot of stuff that was set aside, was then back on the table. So busy, busy, busy. And then there was all the sadness and shock of losing Allie. Some weekends after a long week at work, all I could was lay on the couch and read or watch TV. And then came December.

 

For many, many years, I have not liked the month of December. It's cold, it's dark more than it's light, the whole holiday thing, and seriously, I think I am very much affected by S.A.D. (seasonal affective disorder). From WebMD.com:

What causes SAD?

Experts are not sure what causes SAD, but they think it may be caused by a lack of sunlight. Lack of light may upset your sleep-wake cycle and other circadian rhythms. And it may cause problems with a brain chemical called serotonin that affects mood.

What are the symptoms?

If you have SAD, you may:

  • Feel sad, grumpy, moody, or anxious.

  • Lose interest in your usual activities.

  • Eat more and crave carbohydrates, such as bread and pasta.

  • Gain weight.

  • Sleep more and feel drowsy during the daytime.

 

Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.

 

The best December I remember is the year I went to New Zealand for 10 days to do a half Ironman. I may have to schedule a short holiday next December and preempt this. It seems like I had a mental shift on New Year's Day and the nice weather over the weekend also helped a lot. Something to think about.

 

So Saturday's ride was a solo affair. I headed out about 2:30 PM on my road bike and rode over through Metro Center and did a couple of loops. It was a little cool, but not bad and it was really nice to get out in the sunshine. But man, I'm out of shape. One good thing is that always in the past when I've taken a break on the bike and then started back training, my fitness comes back pretty quick. Saturday's ride was 15 miles.

 

Yesterday teammate Chrysa came over to my house and we rode from here over past the edge of downtown and past the football stadium and to Shelby Bottoms Park and to the end of the bike path and then looped around and back. It was a very nice day with a lot of people out and about, so a casual, chill ride with lots of talking. The incline up the Woodland Street bridge wasn't even as bad as I thought it would be, but carrying some extra fat was not helping. Major goal is to lose that! We came back via the side streets and ended up with close to 19 miles. So nearly 34 miles for the weekend. Now to ramp that up. The racing schedule has been announced and the first road race is at the end of March. Time to get serious.


#My500Words: January 12, 2014

 

Review: Saint Añejo http://mstreetnashville.com/restaurants/saint-anejo/details

 

Last night I met Kathy and Neil and a few others at Saint Añejo, the new Mexican restaurant in the Gulch by the M Street group. They have six restaurants, all on the hip, happening, high end and most in the Gulch. Saint A is Mexican and has a premium tequila and mezcal menu of over 120 labels and does tequila tastings and tequila flights. I'd been there before Christmas for dinner and found it fine. The bar will be fun in the nice weather since they have large “garage door” type windows that will open up to the outside. There are also a number of big screen TVs showing sports.

 

We started with drinks and they have a number of signature libations and margaritas (hibiscus; ginger/rosemary; cucumber/habanero/lime). I'd had one of the margaritas the first visit and wasn't too impressed (should have went with a normal one), so last night I had a Negra Modelo. The beer list is good, with many Mexican beers on it. The do have pitchers of margaritas, but it doesn't seem that they will do a pitcher of normal margaritas. Bad idea. There is also a wine list, sangria (will have that in warm weather!), and for the non-imbibers, Jarritos and Horchata. Neil got one of the signature libations which tasted like a cigarette and he had to send it back for a beer and they were good about taking it off the bill. Stick to the regular margaritas or beer.

 

They didn't automatically bring out chips and salsa and since two of us had been there before, we asked about the chips and trios of salsas that we'd had before. They brought some of that for the table. I forgot to look at the bill and see if those were a charge or not. The chips were okay and the salsas were all fine. One tasted like pure crushed tomatoes, another had mango in it with a lime kick, and the third was a little smokey. None had heat. A major fail in my book! I'm one of those who keeps a Costco-sized bottle of Tabasco and a bottle of Sriracha next to the stove at all times!

 

If you look at the menu online and then go to the restaurant, you will find that they are different. So please, if you change your menu, update your website!! There are a few appetizers, quesadillas, tacos (3 small ones to an order), nachos, salads, a number of different entrees, a couple desserts and a couple of daily specials. I ended up ordering the special chimichanga which was really good and big enough that I gave Kathy some of it. It came with some rice which was pretty bland. One of the sides they have is chorizo mac and cheese which got raves. In my first visit, we'd had the Mexican street corn and that was amazing.

 

One change between my first visit and last night is in the tacos. Previously, you could order tacos by the taco so you could mix and match. Now you can only order them by the platter of three and they will all be the same. With a few people you could order a few and then share. The tequila lime chicken was really good. Others that sound good are the grilled shrimp with Chipotle-Lime Mayo, and the Salt + Pepper Beef (Ground Round/Mex Cheese/Shaved Jalapeños). There is also a veggie option, Mahi-Mahi and a few others.

 

At the table, someone had the chicken tamales and said they were very good. The grilled chicken got raves as being moist and quite good. Desserts were churros, a flan and something else that I forget, but we all passed on dessert. Since we had 9 people, gratuity was automatically added to everyone's bill. Mine came to $25, so not cheap. On my Mexican rating scale, it rates towards the bottom. Give me authentic Mexican food, salsa with heat and a couple of Negra Modelos and I'm happy. But the company was A+!

 

As someone mentioned last night, Nashville is turning into a city for people with money. They aren't too far off. I've said it from my first trip here – except for buying a house (and in some areas, that isn't even true anymore), it's not that much cheaper here and more expensive in some ways, compared to California. But that's for another post.

 


Other Books Read 2012-2013

2013 was a low year for reading.  Will rectify this in 2014!

Other books read in 2012 and 2013 and my rating (1 to 5):

 

1.  17 Hours to Glory: Extraordinary Stories from the Heart of Triathlon

by Mathias Muller  * * * * *

2.  Fit From Within: 101 Simple Secrets to Change Your Body and Your Life - Starting Today and Lasting Forever

by Victoria Moran * * * *

----- 2012 ---------

3.  Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

by Cheryl Strayed * * * *

4. The Happiness Project: Or Why I Spent A Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun

by Gretchen Rubin * * * *

5.  Paris: A Love Story

by Kati Marton * * *

6. I Declare: Porclaiming the Promises of God Over Your Life

by Joel Osteen * * * * *

7. Yes, Chef: A Memoir

by Marcus Samuelsson  * * * *

8. Finding Your Own North Star: Claiming the Life You Were Meant to Live

by Martha N. Beck  * * * * *

9.  A Life Without Limits: A World Champion's Journey

by Chrissie Wellington * * * *

10. Get Out of Your Own Way: Overcoming Self-Defeating Behavior

by Mark Goulston * * *

11. Creating A Charmed Life: Sensible, Spirited Secrets Every Busy Woman Should Know

by Victoria Moran * * * *

12. Living A Charmed Life: Your Guide to Turning the Ordinary into the Extraordinary

by Victoria Moran * * * * *

13. Drop the fat act and live lean

by Ryan Andrews * * * * *

14. Bike Tribes: A Field Guide to North American Cyclists

by Mike Magnuson * * * * *   HYSTERICAL!

15. The Secret

by Rhonda Byrne * * * *

16. Grits (Girls Raised in the South) Guide to Life

by Deborah Ford * * * *

17. Make the Right Career Move: 28 Critical Insights and Strategies to Land Your Dream Job

by Rachelle J. Canter * * * *

18. West of Jesus: Surfing, Science and the Origins of Belief

by Steven Kotler * * * * *

 


Book Report: Lean In

Women, Work, and the Will to Lead

by Sheryl Sandberg

* * * * *

Unless you've been living without media, you have probably heard of this book.  For me personally, there were a few "ah-ha" moments.  I'm in the camp "liked it a lot" but can see the point of those who don't really agree with her.  I'd say, read it and make up your own mind.


Book Report: Waiter Rant

Thanks for the Tip - Confessions of a Cynical Waiter

by Steve Dublanica

* * * *

Kathy gave me this book at book swap and it was a fun read.  The author had a website where he blogged anonymously about life as a waiter and this book came out of it.  I'd never heard of or read his blog, so all the stories were new to me. 

As someone who has many friends in the restaurant business, I hope I'm one of the good customers! 


#My500Words: January 11, 2014

 

Review: Pinewood Social http://pinewoodsocial.com

 

Co-worker Vince and I needed a break from so much work, so we left at 5:15 PM (so early!) last night and went to check out the new Pinewood Social in the Rutledge Hill area. Reading the Yelp reviews, people either really liked it or hated it, so we weren't sure what to expect.

 

Since we got there so early, we didn't have to worry about waiting, though the front desk (“INFO”) was less than overly welcoming. One gal was on the phone, the second said, “Hello”, but then nothing and the third took her sweet time in greeting us. An immediate minus.

 

We said we wanted drinks and probably some food (versus being there specifically for dinner), so eventually we were taken to two seats at the bar. The guy who took us there was MUCH more friendly than any of the three gals at the INFO desk. Thing were looking up.

 

The bar is in the middle of the room and is quite large and square with seating around 3 sides of the square. The drink list is lengthy and interesting. This is a cocktail place so if you plan on drinking beer, you'll be disappointed (but then, there are lots of places with very excellent beer lists). The first bartender who waited on us was pretty matter of fact and didn't offer much in the way of suggestions and went off and made our drinks, which were good, albeit pricey $12 per drink).

 

But then bartender Lee took over and things were very much on the upswing! Lee asked if we wanted to order food and the two ladies sitting kitty-corner from us had suggested the fried broccoli appetizer, so we ordered that and cheeseburgers. The broccoli was amazing! Next time I would order that for myself and not share. The broccoli florets are flash-fried (not deep-fried) and then lemon zest and sea salt are sprinkled on it and they come with a dipping sauce, but really, you don't need that. $6 for the broccoli.

 

The cheeseburgers ($13) come as two thin patties with cheese, lettuce, onion, pickle, mayo and mustard and the bun was pretty good too. This comes with home fries and a little cup of cornichons. I couldn't finish it all, leaving some of the home fries and about a quarter of the burger. I'd get it again for sure.

 

We got chatting with Lee, who is from Charleston and went to The Citadel, and we let him make our second drink, whatever he wanted, after us telling him what we do and don't like. I have no idea what I had except that it was not sweet (my request) and had mint and ginger syrup in it. Vince liked both of his drinks. They make all of their syrups and everything they use in-house and it was fun to watch the guy making different syrups during the evening. And with the “gatekeepers” at the front door, you don't have people walking in and standing at the bar. This is actually one big gripe in the Yelp reviews.

 

There are also a number of banquets along the windows and tables were you can have dinner, then there are the couches and small tables and chairs like someone's living room. And a long raised table where people were working on their computers. I'd like to go back with a group and get one of the two private rooms, or, get a group and hit the old time bowling alley. There are 6 lanes in the back with retro bowling lanes and equipment, but at $40 per hour, you need a group!

 

One thing we did note is that except for Lee and one other busboy, every single bartender and waiter had dark hair and facial hair. Not that I'm complaining! That is definitely my favorite look!! And the crowd was quite eclectic – a few grey-haired patrons, preppy types, some hipsters, tourists, downtown workers, pretty much a little of everything.

 

Pinewood Social is open all day, with breakfast, lunch and dinner. The breakfast menu looks good so I'll check that out. When we left at 8:30 PM, there were probably 20 people waiting in the front, but they all had drinks in their hands, so the other major complaint on Yelp of not being able to get a drink while you wait seems to be fixed. The other big minus in the Yelp reviews was on the food, but our broccoli and cheeseburgers and fries were very good, so maybe the kitchen has improved. I'll definitely go back, but it won't be a regular thing since I'm not so keen on dropping $50 a whack. It's San Francisco prices for sure!

 

One thing that Vince and I talked about is that if all these new places had been here in November 2011 when we came on the “recruiting” visit (and if they had taken us to them), then it wouldn't have been such a cultural shock to move. In the past year, the bar and restaurant scene here has exploded, which is a very good thing.

 

And if you're wondering, did I skip my 500 words for the past couple of days, rest assured that I did not. I wrote +500 words Thursday and Friday, just not for public review. So I'm 11 for 11 on this goal.


#My500Words: January 8, 2014

Watching “Buying and Selling” on HGTV and it's giving me some ideas. I really like my house but there are a number of things I'd like to do to make it perfect. There's too much builder-grade stuff and the pale yellow color ALL OVER! Everyone says that there are lots of projects and they are ongoing pretty much forever, so I should make a list.

 

Starting at the entrance, I have a small counter with two drawers and cabinets and an empty space in the middle. Not sure what they thought that would be, but the empty space just might fit a wine cooler. Then the counter area could become a wine bar area. And curtains.

 

The living room is pretty good as it is since I already painted one contrast wall. The one thing I would add is more lighting as it's too dark for me, especially in to corner next to the fireplace. I hate dark. I love my fireplace (double-sided) but I'm not so keen on the slate. But for now, it's fine. And I really need a 70 inch TV. Yes, really!

 

There's a bit of work that needs to be done in the kitchen and dining room. First of all, I really dislike the granite. Not the granite itself, but the color and pattern. I'd rip that out and put in white quartz. And it definitely needs a backsplash. I would also change the cabinets to light grey. And run all that so it ties into the dining area, adding the beadboard around the dining room.

 

I have tons of room in the kitchen and tons of storage, which I love, but no microwave! But I don't want one sitting on the counter. On one of the HGTV shows I saw a microwave in a drawer. That is what I need!! Even though I have a lot of storage, some of it is a little awkward or in hard to reach areas. But at least it's there. And in the dining room, they put the light fixture in a funny place. It needs moved about 18 inches. And replace the fixture. And paint the entire area. And curtains.

 

The other area that needs work is the back of the house, in what the other houses have as a breakfast area. That is my bike area. My wall-neighbor had wiring run back there and put in a TV. That's what I need so I can ride the trainer and watch TV. That's what I used to do nearly every morning in San Francisco. I rode and watched nearly every episode of “House Hunters”, “Property Virgin” and “My First Place” so I got lots of ideas. I have added a chalkboard wall back there so I can write up a race list.

 

Things I like about the downstairs are the openness (it's a great party house), the huge island in the kitchen, the gas cooktop, the double ovens, having a half-bath, and all the storage. Oh yeah, the hardwood floors and my refrigerator.

 

Moving upstairs, I'd rip out the carpets and put in better carpets. It's fine for now, but it's on the cheaper side. The two other bedrooms are fine (except for painting the walls) and the closets are pretty large for secondary bedrooms. The hall bathroom is huge, but it's a fiberglass tub. I'd rip that out and put in a real tub and retile.

 

One thing I love is the laundry room on the second floor with the bedrooms. This is ideal. And a very large storage closet. This they did right.

 

The master bedroom is great – a nice size and two walk-in closets. As my friend Matthew said when I took him to look at it before I bought it, “Her summer and her winter!” Not much I want to change about the master bedroom except new carpetings and painting the walls. I have the paint, now I just need to get it painted. And curtains.

 

The master bath is another story. I want to pretty much rip it all out and redo it. I don't like the granite (same as the kitchen) and I hate the tile in the walk-in shower. Rip out the tile, put pebble stone in theshower floor, add a rainfall shower head and full body jets (the shower is large enough for about 6 people), rip out the floor and add heated floors and new tile. The tub is fine (not fiberglass!) since I will never use it (HATE baths). I'd also like to put a bottom-up blinds in the window over the bathtub. The master bath is where the most work needs done. I'm in the process of painting one wall, so that's a start.

 

Then there is the third floor. It's 700 square feet, 33x14 feet open space. Everyone has an idea of what should go up there, from a media room to a workout room to add shower, toilet, sink and make it another (huge) master. I'm kind of leaning to a workout room, so I'd rip out the carpet, run cable up there, add a TV, then put some other kind of flooring in and get a weight bench, more weights, a treadmill, etc.

 

Moving to the outside, landscaping needs done for sure. In the front, I have a tiny yard and front porch. In the back there are steps to a small concrete pad and a little more grass (which I'd like to get rid of since that's where a lot of bugs and mosquitos are in the summer). I have a couch, two chairs and a table from Walmart out there, but I need a BBQ and some plants or something. And definite landscaping is needed in the front. And stain the wood on the stairs (front and back). A motion sensor light in the back would be nice too.

 

So nothing huge needs to be done (the master bath is a want). Finishing the painting is top priority. Then, think about the next project. Or maybe Jonathan Scott will ring my doorbell and take over!

IMG_1001

 




#My500Words: January 7, 2014

 Well crap! My juicer just crapped out after less than 2 weeks. Not so happy Jack Lalanne. I'll be taking a trip to Costco to take it back. Luckily I had done an apple and some kale before it died. A squeeze of lime and I had half a glass of juice and it still tasted good. When I started doing this, I wasn't sure I would like juice (ick – green stuff!), but I've liked everything I've made. Though do NOT put orange or grapefruit peels in the juicer – makes it bitter.

I went over my 2013 goals but now for the 2014 goals. I put the following down for 2014 and of course, they may changes as things and life happen. But for now....

2014 GOALS

  1. Read 12 books. That's one a month. There used to be a time when I was reading double and triple that. Less internet, more books. And magazines. I still like a real, paper book or magazine or newspaper over online. I get too scattered reading online. Read this, oh, there's a link that sounds interesting, and another, and another. Pretty soon, you're far from where you started. I will admit that having books on the iPad is good for travel. You can take multiple books at once.

  2. Finish Ironman Chattanooga. This is a big one since the last Ironman I did was Vineman 2007 (and IM Brasil earlier that sumer). So it's been 7 years. As Scott (my old tri coach) said in September, “You do remember how much training this takes?” Yes. So it's time to get with it. I have 9 months. Biking will come back no problem (especially when the weather warms up to ride) and for swimming, I doing a swim camp beginning February 16th, so no issues there. I grew up swimming and may not be the fastest, but I can swim forever. Running will be the issue. Will my knee take it? That's the big question mark. But I think that getting into this race was a meant to be. When it first opened up, I tried to get in but got booted out (so many people trying to enter crashed the website.) So I thought, “Oh well, not meant to be.” But later Ironman sent out an email saying they were going to enter people as they were in the queue and would be sending out two emails. The first one was if you still had a chance to get in and the second one if you probably had no chance (being at the back of the queue). If you got the first email, then you had to declare you still wanted an entry, or you could take early entry to 3 other IM races. If you declared you still wanted to enter, they would send you a follow-up email with a link to entry which you had to enter within 24 hours. I got the first email, so here we are.

  3. Get back to a regular training lifestyle. And that's going to mean fitting in my work schedule. I'm going to have to remember what I did previously. Though I think training was much easier in NorCal. I will just have to adjust.

  4. Build up savings. No brainer.

  5. Pay extra on truck.

  6. Enter one swim meet (if it fits into the schedule). Not sure what the swim meet action is here.

  7. Lose xx pounds (and corresponding decrease in body fat.) Follow #3 and clean up nutrition and this should follow.

To get there, my January goals are:

  1. Lose 6 pounds.

  2. Swim 8 times.

  3. Get back on the bike.

  4. 40 hours of training.

  5. Pay off one debt.

  6. Read 1 book.

  7. Walk/jog – get ass out the door!

  8. Write 500 words daily for 31 days. This has been the easiest to do thus far!

So, days 2-6 of January haven't been so great workout wise. Accelerate from zero. Day 7 and on will be better.

On the nutrition front, I'm trying to pin point what is causing the heartburn, stomach issues. And it's looking like it might be meat. So what I've been trying to do is to cut back on meat and eat a lot of veggies and beans and some fruit. At one point, I thought it might be gluten and flour, but I'm leaning more towards the meat. More experimenting is in order.


#My500Words: January 6, 2014

For starters, yesterday and Saturday was not a good day for my football teams. The Packers especially have some thinking to do in the off-season.

All weekend long, shoot, even starting on Friday, the news was full of doom and gloom about a huge winter storm hitting the area on Sunday. Sunday morning was fairly nice from what I saw (considering I didn't get out of bed until close to 1:00 PM. It was cold in the house, I didn't get home and to bed until after midnight the night before, reading a book for awhile sounded better than getting up, etc. I guess I'm still in a bit of a funk.

When I got up, they were still projecting doom and gloom and even though it was partially sunny and 55F, it was pretty black to the north and the wind was kicking up. So I bailed on the plan to go watch the game at ML Rose and got dressed and went to Kroger. I needed to stock up on my veggies and fruit so I can do my morning juice.

I got in the truck and drove over to Kroger (about 3 blocks) and by the time I got there, the sun was gone and it was starting to rain. Still pretty decent temperature. The Kroger by my house was busy, but not as bad as some of the other places I heard about. There was only one person in front of me at checkout. A basket full of food later (yes, and some junk food to watch the game), I was out of there, back into the rain.

Since I'd had barely any coffee, I drove through Starbucks and then cruised around Salemtown to check out the amount of building that is going on there. Salemtown is on the other side of Rosa Parks Boulevard from my neighborhood and is one of the next new “hot” neighborhoods. There is limited area to grow since the freeway and the river marks natural boundaries. Salemtown is just north of Germantown and both area part of The Capitol District, which includes my 'hood. The Capitol District, as the collaboration is called, includes the neighborhoods north of the State Capitol — Germantown, Salemtown, Hope Gardens and Historic Buena Vista (my 'hood).

Germantown was the first to gentrify and they are building some townhouses that will list at $550,000 to $650,000. Salemtown is next and when I was looking last spring, shotgun houses (long and narrow, usually 2 story) were listing for $260,000 to $280,000. And I wasn't that thrilled with the immediate neighborhood for that price (plus, above the price point where I wanted to be). But they've done a lot of building and there isn't much area left to build out. There are still a few old houses that could become teardowns, but they are even building clear over by the river/freeway across from the water plant. So I like to drive around and check out what is going on in that neighborhood and look at prices since so many people want to live near downtown, so the natural progression is for gentrification to move across Rosa Parks to Historic Buena Vista. With corresponding real estate increases. In fact, my relator texted me a few months ago to tell me a very similar place to mine had just been listed in Salemtown. It had 4 bedrooms instead of my 3, but only had 2,800 sq. feet (I have 3,100 sq. feet) and looked the same from the outside (brick). That place listed for $419,000!! I told her when she could sell mine for $400,000, to call me and I'll start packing. I'd take a +50% profit any day.

Back to yesterday. Came home, watched the game. Was pissed out about the outcome. Really Packers, we have some changes to make in the off-season!

Next weekend I'll be rooting for the Colts (HATE the Pats and Tom Brady), no one in the SD v. Denver game, the Saints and the 49ers, though I do like Cam Newton.

AFC DIVISIONAL ROUND

SATURDAY, JAN. 11, AND SUNDAY, JAN. 12

No. 4 Indianapolis Colts at No. 2 New England Patriots, Saturday, Jan. 11 at 8:15 p.m. ET on CBS

No. 6 San Diego Chargers at No. 1 Denver Broncos, Sunday, Jan. 12 at 4:40 p.m. ET on CBS 

NFC DIVISIONAL ROUND

SATURDAY, JAN. 11, AND SUNDAY, JAN. 12

No. 6 New Orleans Saints at No. 1 Seattle Seahawks, Saturday, Jan. 11 at 4:35 p.m. ET on FOX

No. 5 San Francisco 49ers at No. 2 Carolina Panthers, Sunday, Jan. 12 at 1:05 p.m. ET on FOX


#My500Words: January 5, 2014

The NFL Playoffs. I love football. Always have, even as a little girl. One year for Christmas I received a football helmet. I still have that somewhere. I also still have a card or letter my Grandpa Eidman wrote me when I was in high school. If I recall correctly, my high school team had lost a championship game and I was in tears and inconsolable. He sent me a note saying he'd had a dream that the players from the winning team were carrying their coach off the field and that coach was me. I think comments like this are part of why I grew up thinking I could do whatever I wanted and to not have limitations.

My love of the Green Bay Packers also come from him. He thought Vince Lombardi was “THE MAN”. And he was. If you ever have the chance, read “When Pride Still Mattered: A Life of Vince Lombardi" by David Maraniss. A very awesome read and insight into the man. A few of my favorites Lombardi sayings.

“Winning is not a sometime thing, it is an all the time thing. You don’t do things right once in a while…you do them right all the time.”

“It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.”

 “Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.”

“If you’ll not settle for anything less than your best, you will be amazed at what you can accomplish in your lives.”

“Winning is not a sometime thing…it’s an all the time thing. You don’t win once in a while…you don’t do the right thing once in a while…you do them right all the time. Winning is a habit.”

“Show me a good loser, and I’ll show you a loser."

“Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.”

A few years ago, when they sold more Green Bay Packers stock, I bought a share. So yes, I am Packer owner. My dream is to attend a game at Lambeau Field. So, the Packers are my #1 team.

My #2 team is the Kansas City Chiefs. I grew up with them as our local team. Len Dawson, the Chiefs winning Superbowl IV, but miring in obscurity for most of the past decade. Until this year when they seem to have turned things around and made the playoffs. Yesterday's game was so frustrating!!!!! To be up by so much and then lose four of your players to injury and totally fall apart. Damn. But Andy Reid seems to have the program heading in the right direction.

And today my #1 (Packers) are playing my #3 (San Francisco 49ers). Spending 25 years in Northern California, of course I'm a Niners fan (except when they are playing the Packer or the Chiefs). I lived in San Francisco during the glory days of the 1980s/early 1990s. Bill Walsh, Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Roger Craig, Dwight Clark, Steve Young. Heady times.

So today it's the 49ers v. the Packers at Lambeau. I was at the Packers v. 49ers NFC championship game in 1999. The 49ers scored late (Steve Young to TO) and I still remember Ben Farber jumping about 4 feet into the air, ecstatic. I'm hoping today's game turns out differently.

2000px-Green_Bay_Packers_logo.svg


#My500Words: January 4, 2014

Someone mentioned New Year Resolutions the other night and I always like to spend a little time going over the year at its end, looking back on what was good, what was bad, what I accomplished (and didn't accomplish). And I said that I preferred to set “goals” rather than “resolutions”. Remember S.M.A.R.T.? Specific. Measureable. Achievable. Realistic. Time-targeted. That said, I generally write down some goals for the entire year, and then each month, set goals for that month, and I do both personal, life, financial goals, and also training or fitness goals.

Looking over my 2013 goals, I did pretty well on hitting my non-workout goals! Not so good on any fitness related goals though.

2013 GOALS

      1. Pay off two long-time loans. Done and done. When both were paid off, this was a great feeling. Why didn't I buckle down and do this earlier?

      2. Save money to buy a house. This was a longer term goal since living in San Francisco, the thought of never being able to buy a house was remotely in my mind. But on a whim in the fall of 2012, I went to one of those first-time homebuyers seminars and for kicks, had them run some numbers. Holy crap! Someone would loan me how much? Enough for a decent house here (which would not even be enough for a garage in SF and about half of what a decent tiny condo in SF would cost). So that put the wheels in motion.

      3. Buy a house. This was was definitely not on the radar for 2013, but it wouldn't hurt to go to some open houses. Then everything just spiraled from there and is another post in itself. But yes, check mark on this too.

      4. Read one book per month. I read 9 for the year. That's a low number for me actually.

      5. Lose x pounds. Sadly, this did not happen.

      6. There were a number of other fitness and racing goals, none of which were met.

As I look back over the year and think about why the fitness and racing goals went by the wayside, the first part of the year I was in physical therapy a couple of times a week with a very painful hip. Part of that is going from walking most places, riding my bike a lot, just being much more active in general, to working more. I went from a 7.5 hour work day to an 8.0 hour one. That 30 minutes a day is 3.5 hours/week and that adds up over a year. Plus no more walking or taking the cable car or bus to work with the corresponding walking. Now I jump in the truck and drive to work. Why I don't walk is yet another post.

Another thing is that my bike fitness was (and is) minimal. Having asthma and Reynaud's Syndrome means riding in cold weather is very painful. Give me +100F any day of the week. So I don't ride outside when it's cold. And we've been over riding the trainer already. But I will do more of that now.

But what really threw me off the rails was Labor Day weekend. Here is a message I sent out on September 4, 2013. It still hurts to think and write about and I was in a funk until this week.

=====================================================

 

Those of you who have been following along since 2011 know that when I was in

NorCal I raced my bike at the velodrome and helped to coach the juniors program.

I loved it! I did it also because my buddy Allie, whom I've known since she was about

4 years old, started coming to the workouts. I love her like she is my own.

We spent a lot of time together. I was her Auntie Cathy.

 

Here is the message my SF team sent out yesterday. She turned 14 a couple weeks

ago. I am heartbroken.

clm

Quote:

 

FR: Paule Bates to Roaring Mouse

Hello,

It is with a very heavy heart that I have been asked to relay a horrible tragedy that has happened to one

of our own. On Monday, Katy and Tim lost Allie. They found her at home Monday evening.

If you knew Allie she was a warm, goofy and wisecracking teenager. She will be missed by everyone

who knew and loved her.

  398319_10151430738880045_595830044_23523146_1616610038_n

 

 

 


My Best Places

Well, this isn't surprising.  Rating a number of criteria, these are the places I should be.  From Sperling's My Best Places.

They did get it wrong on 4 or 5 of them though (Minneapolis, Salt Lake, Detroit?!, Rochester, MN, Tacoma).  But #1 and #2 are spot on.

Below you'll find your BestPlaces.

1 . San Francisco , CA (see San Francisco, CA)
Econ.:  C, Housing:  C, Educ.:  A-, Health:  A
Crime:  C+, Recr.:  A+, Culture:  A+, Trans.:  A+

2 . Los Angeles-Long Beach , CA (see Los Angeles, CA)
Econ.:  C, Housing:  C+, Educ.:  B, Health:  B
Crime:  C+, Recr.:  A+, Culture:  A+, Trans.:  A+

3 . Seattle-Bellevue-Everett , WA (see Seattle, WA)
Econ.:  B, Housing:  C+, Educ.:  B-, Health:  B+
Crime:  C, Recr.:  A+, Culture:  A+, Trans.:  A+

4 . Chicago , IL (see Chicago, IL)
Econ.:  C+, Housing:  C+, Educ.:  B+, Health:  B+
Crime:  C-, Recr.:  A+, Culture:  A+, Trans.:  A+

5 . Minneapolis-St. Paul , MN-WI (see Minneapolis, MN)
Econ.:  B, Housing:  C+, Educ.:  A-, Health:  A-
Crime:  C+, Recr.:  A+, Culture:  A+, Trans.:  A

6 . Denver , CO (see Denver, CO)
Econ.:  B-, Housing:  B-, Educ.:  B-, Health:  B+
Crime:  B-, Recr.:  A+, Culture:  A+, Trans.:  A+

7 . San Diego , CA (see San Diego, CA)
Econ.:  C, Housing:  C+, Educ.:  B+, Health:  B-
Crime:  C+, Recr.:  A+, Culture:  A+, Trans.:  A

8 . Oakland , CA (see Oakland, CA)
Econ.:  C, Housing:  C, Educ.:  B+, Health:  C
Crime:  C-, Recr.:  A+, Culture:  A+, Trans.:  A

9 . San Jose , CA (see San Jose, CA)
Econ.:  C, Housing:  C, Educ.:  B+, Health:  B
Crime:  B, Recr.:  A+, Culture:  A+, Trans.:  B+

10 . Orange County , CA (see Orange County, CA)
Econ.:  C+, Housing:  C, Educ.:  B, Health:  C+
Crime:  B+, Recr.:  A+, Culture:  A-, Trans.:  B

11 . Dallas , TX (see Dallas, TX)
Econ.:  B, Housing:  C+, Educ.:  B-, Health:  B+
Crime:  C-, Recr.:  A+, Culture:  A+, Trans.:  A-

12 . Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater , FL (see Tampa, FL)
Econ.:  B, Housing:  B-, Educ.:  B, Health:  B-
Crime:  C, Recr.:  A+, Culture:  A+, Trans.:  A

13 . Miami , FL (see Miami, FL)
Econ.:  B-, Housing:  C, Educ.:  C, Health:  B
Crime:  C-, Recr.:  A+, Culture:  A+, Trans.:  A

14 . Salt Lake City-Ogden , UT (see Salt Lake City, UT)
Econ.:  C, Housing:  B-, Educ.:  B-, Health:  B-
Crime:  C+, Recr.:  A+, Culture:  A+, Trans.:  A-

15 . Rochester , MN (see Rochester, MN)
Econ.:  B+, Housing:  C+, Educ.:  A-, Health:  A
Crime:  A-, Recr.:  A, Culture:  A-, Trans.:  A+

16 . Houston , TX (see Houston, TX)
Econ.:  B, Housing:  C+, Educ.:  B-, Health:  C+
Crime:  C, Recr.:  A+, Culture:  A+, Trans.:  A-

17 . Atlanta , GA (see Atlanta, GA)
Econ.:  C+, Housing:  C+, Educ.:  B-, Health:  B-
Crime:  C-, Recr.:  A, Culture:  A+, Trans.:  A+

18 . Sacramento , CA (see Sacramento, CA)
Econ.:  C, Housing:  C+, Educ.:  B, Health:  C
Crime:  C, Recr.:  A+, Culture:  A+, Trans.:  B+

19 . Orlando , FL (see Orlando, FL)
Econ.:  B, Housing:  C+, Educ.:  C+, Health:  B-
Crime:  C-, Recr.:  A, Culture:  A+, Trans.:  A-

20 . Detroit , MI (see Detroit, MI)
Econ.:  C+, Housing:  C, Educ.:  B-, Health:  B+
Crime:  C-, Recr.:  A+, Culture:  A+, Trans.:  A

21 . Cleveland-Lorain-Elyria , OH (see Cleveland, OH)
Econ.:  C, Housing:  C+, Educ.:  B-, Health:  B+
Crime:  B-, Recr.:  A+, Culture:  A+, Trans.:  A

22 . Tacoma , WA (see Tacoma, WA)
Econ.:  B-, Housing:  C, Educ.:  C, Health:  C+
Crime:  C-, Recr.:  A+, Culture:  B+, Trans.:  A

23 . Riverside-San Bernardino , CA (see Riverside, CA)
Econ.:  C, Housing:  B-, Educ.:  C, Health:  C+
Crime:  C+, Recr.:  A+, Culture:  A+, Trans.:  B-

24 . Boulder-Longmont , CO (see Boulder, CO)
Econ.:  B, Housing:  C+, Educ.:  B, Health:  B
Crime:  B, Recr.:  A+, Culture:  B, Trans.:  A

25 . Santa Rosa , CA (see Santa Rosa, CA)
Econ.:  C+, Housing:  C+, Educ.:  C+, Health:  C
Crime:  B, Recr.:  A+, Culture:  A+, Trans.:  B+


#My500Words: January 3, 2014

I've been awake for over two hours (it's now 6:05 AM) with major gastric reflux. Woke up belching up a storm. Yes, that's a visual I know. Sorry. The same thing also happened on New Year's Day, during the day. I've been thinking about what the culprit might be. On Wednesday I thought it might be ground beef. But there are two things in common that I ate over the two days...chips and salsa (and a different brand of salsa than I've ever had), or, black-eyed peas (with tomatoes and sausage). Maybe I'll stick to juice, fruits and veggies for a couple of days and see what happens.

Before Christmas I watched a movie on the Netflix streaming service, “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” [http://fatsickandnearlydead.com/] about a 310 pound Aussie guy who drank only fresh fruit and vegetable juice for 60 days, plus exercise, and lost a lot of weight and more importantly, got off medication for a debilitating auto-immune disorder, as did another guy with the exact same auto-immune disorder. I found it to be a pretty interesting movie and it was probably the right time for me to see it since I'd been eating crap for far too long this fall and winter. Why I'd been doing that is a whole other discussion in itself for another time.

Anyway, I poked around on Joe the Juice guy's website and last weekend when we were at Costco, they had the Jack Lalanne juicer for $89. Score! So this week, I've been experimenting with juice for breakfast. Though just a coffee cup sized glass of juice at 8:00 AM left my stomach growling by 9:30, so I've added one egg to go with it. And we all know how healthy and fitness conscious Jack LaLanne was, living to 96 years old and working out to the end. Probably living in Northern California helped too.

I was a little leery about drinking spinach or kale, but my concoctions all have been pretty good! The first day it was carrots, pineapple, grapefruit and spinach. I was very pleasantly surprised – it was TASTY! Though putting frozen chunks of pineapple in the juicer is not advised. And, baby carrots try to escape if you don't stick the plunger in real fast. The first couple of days I used what I had on hand, but after a trip to the grocery store, I now have quite a few options. Yesterday's mix was kale, apple, lime and carrots. That was really good.

One good thing that's come out of this so far, is that I've been taking my lunch to work and don't have any urge to eat eat fast food. And in fact, the thought of meat isn't too tempting right now. I took some turkey for lunch yesterday to go with my cabbage salad and I ended up eating only half and tossing the rest.

Joe the Juice dude also recommends giving up coffee, but that is not going to happen. I am trying to cut down from drinking it all day, but I actually like the taste (and I pretty much drink black only) and brew my own in the mornings with my Kona coffee from coffeesofhawaii.com. No office swill for me! And I have three Starbucks gift cards that I've received in the past couple of weeks, so I couldn't let those languish, now could I?


#My500Words: January 2, 2014

Ugh, forgot to set the alarm so I woke up 2 hours later than planned. I wondered why the light was peeking through the window shades when I woke up. And we went from sunny and nice (50s) yesterday to overcast, wet streets and freezing this morning. And the snow is coming (already snowing about an hour away).

Thinking about why I didn't ride my bike for a month and a half. Cold weather and rain. That's it pretty much. I HATE cold weather. Hate it with a passion. It affects my asthma and I have Reynaud's Syndrome, so my hands and fingers get ice cold. In an ideal world, I'd live somewhere that it's nice and hot (and only rains at night) and I'd have multiple houses and follow the sun. A great schedule would be from about April to September I'd be in Livermore, California. Great riding all over Northern California, close to my Cali friends, close to San Francisco, great bike racing, Vineman tri series, and my beloved velodrome. Damn, I miss the track.

I would take the month of July to go to France to watch the Tour. And of course, it's an ideal world, so I would have an apartment in Paris. Come October, I'd go to Kona, Hawaii for a few weeks to ride, swim and watch Ironman. I love Kona and I haven't been since 2011. I was planning to go this past October, but buying a house made me rethink that. I'm hoping to get back there this coming October. After Ironman, it would be off to New Zealand and Australia for the Southern Hemisphere summer. I have friends in both places so I'd split my time.

But all bets would be off if I visited Italy. I have a feeling that I would love it so much there (plus the Italian men), that I might never leave. And I want to go back to Ireland, and back to Belgium, especially for the Spring Classics. I've ridden my bike on part of the Paris – Roubaix course, but damn, I would love to see that race and the others in person. (Yes, I know – it would most likely be cold and raining!) And back to Brasil. Damn. How to actually pull this off......

Back to yesterday's bike ride. The other thing is that I'm out of shape and don't want to ride with everyone else since they are all fit. I never minded riding alone in California, but here, I still don't know the roads that well and just can't seem to get out the door. Even living right in the middle of San Francisco, I could be over the Golden Gate Bridge in 30 minutes. Or, do a bunch of hill climbing for a good 60-90 minute workout out in the Presidio. I haven't figured that out here but my goal for the new year is to get out there and ride. Or if it's too cold (which I will have to figure out), ride the damned trainer. I spent a few years riding the trainer or the rollers every morning for the track. I could ride at 6:00 AM with the TV on with no problem. Here in the apartment, I hardly ever rode the trainer since I'm pretty sure that 6:00 AM riding would not have thrilled the downstairs neighbor. But now I have the space to do this. Time to get off my butt.

And I still didn't write about what I had planned to. That is still mulling itself around in my head.


#My500Words: January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!

 

I've committed to writing 500 words a day for 31 days. [http://goinswriter.com/my500words/] Maybe this will help with my procrastination!

 

Throughout the years I've never really liked New Year's Eve, but I really like New Year's Day. New Year's Eve always seem like everyone tries way too hard. So in the past, I've usually just gone for a drink, a fairly early dinner, then home before 10:00 PM and often, sleeping before midnight. Living in California previously, I'd “celebrate” the new year on East Coast time.

 

There are a couple of traditions that I've followed for a long time. The first is that you have to eat some black-eyed peas on New Year's Day for good luck and prosperity for the upcoming year. No, we aren't Southern, but my Mom always had the black-eyed peas and I've continued it. But now living in the South, I had to laugh on Tuesday when I stopped at the grocery store and the had bags and bags of the pea piled up, 10 bags for $1! This is serious business!

 

The other tradition is that whatever you do on New Year's Day sets the tone for the rest of the year. So really, do you want to stay out all night and wake up drunk and stupid to set the tone for the year? I didn't think so. We did have a little Mexican Fiesta pot-luck at my house last night and a few beers (or wine or margarita) were drank, but the main entertainment was playing the game “Cards Against Humanity”. Not for the faint hearted or prim and proper! There were 12 of us and by the end, we were laughing so hard that people were crying. What a fun time. We had a champagne toast at midnight, kisses all around and then everyone was off. Cyclists who were all going to ride today, you know.

 

Now this “whatever you do on NYD” thing is truer than you'd think. Looking at my journal from last year I noted that I went to dinner with V&A, then home and to sleep by about 10:30. January 1, 2013 was cold and rainy and I didn't really ride (or run or do a lot of anything but watch TV and read and goof around on the computer). So how did the rest of 2013 go? I didn't really ride or run or swim and only raced three times ALL YEAR (two 5Ks and 1 crit). My lowest training volume ever since I started training. And it shows. I did do entirely too much sitting on my ass on the couch, surfing the internet, watching TV and just doing shit. Hell! So to start 2014 off right, I got up, had some coffee while I was putting all the party dishes in the dishwasher, cleaned the kitchen, put the B-E peas in the crockpot, did a little goal setting, reviewed my 2013 goals, picked up the house, folded the laundry, called my Dad, read email and checked Facebook, took down and put away all the Christmas decorations, had breakfast, had lunch, and then....went outside and rode my bike for the first time since November 16th. Sunny, temps in the 50s and just me and my bike.

 

Shit, I am out of shape. But, it's a start. My motto for this year is: “Accelerate from zero.”

1-1-14MtBike copy


POWER. PASSION. FREEDOM. JOY.

If the "F' word or other cursing bothers you, you might want to click away right now.
I posted the above photo on February 20th of this year.  It's taken me until today to realize (or admit to myself) that for close to a year I haven't been myself. I've been a watered down version to try an fit in. What the fuck!  I've done what others want, have gotten away from what makes me happiest and in the process have become a fat fuck and nearly wrecked my health.  Shit--sitting for 10-12 hours a day and eating shit and drinking beer will make you a fat fuck.  (Yes, x0 pounds gained = Fat Fuck.)
I realized all this today as I was suffering on a damned 20 mile ride, trying to get my fat ass up a short 7.5% hill.  I'm pissed at myself for letting this happen.  I'm pissed at the circumstances that led to all of this.  Did I mention that I'm pissed at myself for letting this happen?
But I'm over it now.  I'm at the place where I'm meant to be and there is a something learn in all of this. As Arnold said, "I be back"...leaner and faster and more kick ass than ever.   POWER. PASSION. FREEDOM. JOY.
And in the meantime, if anyone wants to race downhill.  Game on.

Yes, a race report!

July 2007 That is the date of my last pure running race. From 2008 up to 2012, I spent the time bike racing, knee surgery, recovery from knee surgery, being told that I should never run again, a year of hell dealing with an unplanned job relocation and trying to settle in (still working on that!), more knee and hip issues, and finally deciding, screw it all, I'm just going to do what I feel like doing. Which yesterday was standing on the start line of a 5K. Image
Del, the trainer I work out with once a week, had mentioned he was doing the Zoo Run with some of his other clients and I figured that it was a fairly large run with lots of walkers, it was at the zoo (where I hadn't been) and it would get me out of the house, that I would sign up and do it. Physical therapist Keith has been working on getting my knee straight (started at 15 degrees and we've gotten to 5 degrees), so I can actually walk with an almost normal gait, which has nearly made the hip pain go away. So walking a 5K would be a good test to see where we are.

The Zoo Run starts at 3:00 PM which really made me think about what and when to eat for the day. I decided on having an early big breakfast and then a very light snack around noon. I also wasn't sure of what to wear since it was going to be only in the 40s, but at least it was sunny. Got to the zoo (after a little getting lost), parked, picked up my number and shirt and cup of free coffee and then I actually ran into Del, so stood in the porta potty line and chatted with him.

Time to line up (people who were racing for time with yellow bibs in front, no time chip and walkers with white bibs in back). Countdown to start and GO. And we wait. It took nearly 3 minutes to get to the start line, but we were off.

Mile 1: Started out walking, but I did a few 30 second jogging intervals. Knee felt pretty good. Cardio was way out of shape. Hit the first (of many) inclines and walked. 15:24 first mile. Pretty much on target for what I wanted.

Mile 2: More hills, but on the flats I did do more jogging intervals, each one lasting a bit longer. Stopped to take a quick picture of the elephants. 16:11 so still OK. Take 20-30 seconds off for photos.

Mile 3: OK, starting to get tired now. Left leg feels weak. More hills and a stretch of gravel/dirt. Stopped to take a photo of the flamingos. Lots of pink ones! Oy, are we finished yet? 16:49, yes, getting tired. Image 4
Last 0.1 mile: Almost to the finish, but some downhill which I could feel in my leg more so more walking. Last picture of some monkeys. Thought was, "That fence isn't very high and those monkeys are clear up in the treetops. What keeps them from swinging over to the tress outside of their pen?" Get to the 100 meters and jog the entire way in. Time 2:04. Total: 50:29 which sets no speed records, but my personal goal was (1) finish and (2) go around 50 minutes, so with 3 photo stops, I hit that target. And, today, I feel pretty good. The leg is a bit stiff, but no worse than any other day. I did use The Stick a lot last night and that helped. Very encouraged about this little test! Image 5
Time to stop living like a semi-invalid and get back out there.


EMG Test

So, my hip/knee/leg has been very stiff and sore, mostly in the past couple of months from way too much work and way too much sitting. Sitting is the devil.  But the ortho wanted me to have an EMG to see if there were anything abnormal. 

From Wikipedia:

Electromyography (EMG) is a technique for evaluating and recording the electrical activity produced by skeletal muscles.[1] EMG is performed using an instrument called an electromyograph, to produce a record called anelectromyogram. An electromyograph detects the electrical potential generated by muscle cells[2] when these cells are electrically or neurologically activated. 

Doesn't sound like that big of a deal, right?  Wrong.

First of all, the doctor was quite nice and we went over the history, both from the bike crash in 2009, surgery and recent.  She then explained what she was going to do and first she did a muscle conduction test where she put some electrode things on my lower leg and then took a pointer-like thing and, well, did you ever see the very first "Lethal Weapon" movie back when Mel Gibson was very cute and not a mentally unstable raving lunatic? Remember when the bad guys hooked up Riggs (Mel) and electroshocked him?  Yes, that's about what happened. Jolts of electricity in various places on my legs, feet, knee. On both legs. 

But that was the easy part! 

Next was the EMG. She explained that she was going to insert a needle (WTF!) into my muscle, then I'd contract that muscle and she'd move the needle around. (Oh hell no.)  In four different muscles. (Double hell no.)  First was the tibialis anterior (where you get shin splints). The needle stick wasn't too bad, but it was hooked up to a machine that made all kinds of noise, like when your radio isn't tuned in and it goes, "KRRRRRRRRR".  I flexed my muscle and then she moved the needle and I about passed out. I was SWEATING and it hurt like HELL and I told her to take it out and I was finished. No way could I stand that in my calf, quad and hip flexor (!)

So the test was over and I was naseous for the next few hours. I'd rather take the pain from the injury. Needles and me do not mix.


Women of Hellyer - A Request

 

As some of you know, my work is relocating me (kicking and screaming) soon to Nashville.  Yeah, Tennessee.  Where the closest velodrome is Atlanta.  But someday there WILL be a velodrome in Middle TN if I have my way!
 
First of all, a huge thanks to Coach John (Cheetham), Coach Steve (Jones) and all the parents who have helped out at the Sunday Junior training sessions.  Off the top of my head--Tony Borba, Jay Parkhill, Michael Wesley, Neil Wright, Murray Swanson, Derek Hemingway, Brigg's dad, Miranda's dad, the Misserians, the new dads that I can't remember their names. I know there are more that I'm forgetting.
 
Anyway, I have a small request.  The guys mentioned above do a great job, but one thing that's missing are the women mentors. This spring we have an equal number of girls than boys and yesterday, the girls outnumbered the boys!  It's been super exciting to see the 12-13 year olds develop over the past couple of years and they are a very good group of ladies, ready to try and beat each other every time they get on the track, but laughing and talking once they come off the track. This spring we also have some new ladies who are very excited about the track (in fact, one went home and got her dad to look at track bikes online.) And maybe one day one or more of them will be the next Shelley, Beth or Ruth.
 

Clm-Allie-March2012

 
So think about coming out to help out at a Sunday junior session.  The next one is April 29th, but if you are racing at Michael's Novice races on April 1st or the April 15th Tax Day sprints, a few of them will likely be there.
 
If you have any questions about getting involved, give me a shout, or John Cheetham or Steve Jones.
 
Thanks!
clm


RR: Cherry Pie Crit

Cherry Pie Criterium - February 5, 2012

This was a 30 minute crit on the outskirts of Napa. Women Category 4 (27 in total) and women 15-18 (about 5). Lots of college girls. (Crit = multiple laps, usually for time, on a short course). I'd never raced it and the only time I'd spectated was 2009, the week after my crash at the Squirrely Bird, so Nole drove us up and I hobbled around in lots of pain so I may have forgot a few things, like the steepness of the hill.

What you find in the early season races are fields with (1) people who are really fit since they are a few points from moving up to Cat. 3 so they want to do well in the early races and Cat up; (2) brand new racers with fitness and skills ranging all over the place; and (3) people like me who need more fitness in the early season. Something about 193 hours billed for work in January didn't help that fitness.

Got up at 5AM and went up to Napa early since my 12 yo friend Allie raced in the second race. She did OK considering she's not that experienced with shifting (or brakes!) She was 4th out of 6 and with more fitness and experience, she'll be ripping it up! Not to mention, she has game OFF the bike!

After her race I got on the rollers and did 20 minutes of warm up and got a sweat going and did a few high cadence spin ups to get my breathing going. Then I rode over and did a couple of short hill repeats and also did one loop of the course since I'd not seen the entire thing.

The start of the race is downhill and then a hard right, sweeping left past the hotel, a hard left, another left a block later (into the left side of a road with a curbed/grass median). Then a chicane to go from the left side of the road to the right, then up the hill (a little over 1 mile total). Yes, the hill was harder than I remembered. Looking at my Strava, it was 6-9% in places and I had to stand up every time. At the top we did a 180 and went back down the hill. I ended up going up that hill 8 times.

On the start, I hung with the pack near the back until just before the hill, then I got popped off with another gal (Davis junior "DJr"). She would get ahead of me on the hill and I'd catch back on on the backside. What was nice was railing around that first right corner at full speed without touching the brakes. My max speed was 32 mph. Whee!

About halfway through the race, DJr and I got caught by the moto and the first group of 4-5 and they all passed. No one else caught us or passed. It stayed like that all the way until the last time up the hill, bell lap. I stuck closer to DJr that time up the hill and then caught back on to her wheel sooner on the downhill and went in front of her. Then on the last time up the hill (finish line about 3/4 the way up), she wasn't coming around me. Really? I kept pushing and with about 25 meters to go, I take a little glance back and see she's trying to come up on me and she was almost at my back wheel, so I just dug in hard and stayed in front of her. Yea, not last! It's the small victories.

Goals met: Ride hard the entire way (don't give up); don't get pulled; stay upright! Met all three of those! So, pretty happy with the day.

Post-race cool down, then off to breakfast with Allie, Katy and Tim. Then home to watch the Super Bowl.

Picture from the day


Book Report: "Poke the Box"

by Seth Godin

Back in April on the Time Management Ninja website http://timemanagementninja.com/, Craig asked, “What Do You Need to Start?  What have you have been hesitant to do?"

 That's a good question to ask yourself.  The book is slanted towards the business world, but the concept and ideas can also be used for personal growth and home.

I got a lot out of the book and it's a quick read (less than 100 pages).  The basis gist is, show up, do the work and don't let failure stop you.  Most initiatives fail, but push the envelope and keep going.

 Poking doesn't mean right. It means action.  Godin takes issue with Yoda from Star Wars ("Do or do not, there is no try.")  Instead, try and if you fail, try again.  Saying or thinking, "This might not work" is OK and actually, is expected.

 There are a few quotes that I really like: 

* Starting implies FINISHING.

* Keep starting until you finish.

 * When in doubt__look at the fear.  That's almost always the source of your doubt.

 * Don't succumb to the challenge of expectations.  Get back to the reason you set out to do whatever it is you do in the first place.

 * Failure is an event, and with rare exceptions, is not fatal. 

 * There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth.  Not going all the way and not starting." (Siddhartha Gautama)


Year 2010 Totals

Yeah, I'm a bit late with all this.

Year 2010 Totals:

Bike: 3,742 mi (2nd highest volume ever)
Trainer: 34:39 (being limited to the trainer last Feb. bumped this up)
Walk/jog: 221.9 mi (mostly walk as the ortho banned running)
Total time: 426:58 (biggest volume since I took up bike racing)

Resolved for 2011:

Work on power/wt ratio.
Do more rides and races where I am not in my comfort zone, mentally and physically.
Get training hours up over 500 for the year.
Revise my goals so that they are process oriented. Work on the habits and the process and the goal results will follow.


RR: Get Ready for Summer #1

This past Saturday was the first real day of racing on the track for the year!  YEA!!  And really my first time back mass racing on the track in close to two years.  I did a couple of races last year, but more half hearted than anything and then TEAM CLM all decided that mass star racing wasn't such a great idea while still doing knee surgery rehab so I didn't do any more mass start races.  The goal for the day Saturday was to just get through the races and get used to being back out there.

GRFS is a day with 4 different races and my field, Cat. 4/5, was sold out with pre-reg but a couple of no shows meant the two junior girls who showed up day of got to race. One other gal whom I'd not seen before was there in the 4/5s. The rest were all guys. 21 people total. There were also a pretty full Cat. 3/4 field and a P123 field which included a couple of pro men (or ex-pro), a couple of fast juniors, and a pro woman from Switzerland who has been here training and racing. So some fast laps going on!  And some folks I hadn't see for quite a while (Ben, Deano and Katie), so it was nice to see some friendly faces.  There were quite a few new people there whom I didn't know.

The coach wants me to work on spinning more, so I rode a smaller gear than normal. But it was windy so that was probably a very good call. 

Race #1 - Keirin: [follow the motorcycle then sprint]

My heat was me + 6 guys. Thanks again Rick for putting me in with the guys. I drew #6 and slotted in #6 with a good throw from Ben. I was able to hang with the group the entire time on the motor, but when the motor pulled off (going into turn 1 instead of on the back side so a full 2 lap sprint instead of 1.5 laps) I was only able to hang on to the group for about a half lap, then got gapped off. Dude on my wheel sits on my wheel for another lap and then passes me on the back side and I couldn't go with him either. But I had a good hard effort and I was happy with how I rode.  And man, I forgot how hard track racing is!

A lot of time in between all the other keirin heats, rep and final rides, so I jumped on the rollers for a bit and also was a holder twice.

Race #2 - Snowball:

We do this race so infrequently, I'm still not sure how it works, but it's like a freaking 15 lap sprint! With the full field of 21, I was a bit nervous on the line, but once the race got going, everything became totally strung out and then splintered into many groups. I got on with the two junior girls and we started doing half lap pulls and then picked up another guy and we rode the rest of the way in. I looked at it as team pursuit practice as we rode hard the entire way.

Race #3 - Miss-n-Out: [musical chairs on bikes]

With the big field, my intention was to go to the pole/inside lane and sit there as long as possible and stay out of any possible craziness in the back. And that's what I did for about 6-8 laps. Think of it as pursuit training. Once the speed picked up more, I got passed, so I ended up about 14th out of 20.  Super happy to not be one of the first ones out!

Race #4 - Points (15 laps/sprints @ 5): [math on bikes]

The field had dwindled by this point and I'm not sure how many started. The junior girls did not, but one of the Master riders did start and once we got gapped off on the first sprint, he and I worked together to not get lapped. Mission accomplished.

Did a cool down on the rollers and then it was time to head off to a party.

Goal was met and the day was fun.  As the Coach said, "Not a bad start".  We had a 45 minute conversation this morning and we are rethinking the plans for the year.  Just might mix things up and do something different.  I'll keep you posted.


Long Time, No Post

Not sure why.  Just haven't been in the mood.  But I'm back training and lifting and life is good!

The new Roaring Mouse Cycles shop is now open in the Presidio (end of Chrissy Field).  And the Mouse Women are front and center!  We are larger than life.  Every time I go into the shop and look at this, I just giggle.

Mouse-shoot 

And speaking of Mice, a new kit for 2011! 

2011 black kit 


RR: Early Bird Track Race

The coach said we are resuming track workouts, starting this past Sunday, and it was so GREAT to be back on the track!  I hadn't done a real workout since September post-nats/pre-whooping cough, so Sunday was just about getting back into the routine. Since the EB track race was right after the morning workout, we decided that I'd race some and see how things went.

Workout was a 15-20 minute warm-up, plus a jump or two in a small gear (81").

2 x 10 laps in the 50x15 (90") in the aerobars.  For the first one, Lala sat on my wheel which made me ride hard and it was good to have her push me.  I don't have a speedo on the track bike yet so I'm not sure what we ended up at but Lala said we started out a bit aggressive…29 mph.  Oops.  Second one was solo and the wind had picked up.

Last was 3 x 1 lap flying, which was fun.

Then it was time to get ready to race.  There were 18 Cat. 4/5s and only two women (me and a Tibco gal), plus a younger junior girl.  Lots of fixie types who were racing for the first time EVER. 

Race #1 - keirin, 3 heats.  I was in heat #2.  Did Rick put me in the heat with the Tibco gal and the junior? No.  It was me + 4 guys.  Mr. Official says, "Who has raced a keirin before?"  Look around and only clm has her hand raised.  Crap.  Please let me draw #1 so I can take the motor.  (You draw for starting positions and #1 is obligated to take the first spot behind the motor.)  Draw is #5.  Crap!  Alex F. gives me a good shove at the start, but I slot in in the last spot in the line.  Not sure that rider #1 has ever been behind a motor before so there is a pretty big gap, then a very raggedy pace line behind.  4.5 laps in and Peter pulls off and they all shoot away and I get gapped.  It was windy so I geared down to an 88" but should have stayed at the 90 or maybe even higher.  Top 2 go to the final, 3-4 go to the rep ride, 5th (me) is out. 

I thought about doing the rest of the races, but after the keirin final the official called every single rider over to discuss.  I told Rick to scratch me from the rest of the races and called it a day.

Super Bowl Sunday 2009:  Crash at the Early Bird crit and Izumi and I spent all day and half the evening in the ER.

Super Bowl Sunday 2010:  Crash on the Sausalito bike path when a jogger w/headphones cut across the path in front of me.  I'd only been riding outside a month and the surgeon then banned me from riding outside for another 6 weeks.

Super Bowl Sunday 2011:  Not taking any chances with a bunch of new riders.  I'm STILL going to PT and can't afford any more medical bills.

And besides, I had a game to watch!  PACKERS WON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Kind of long winded for a short race.  But I am so excited to be back on the track!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


My Afternoon at Specialized

A number of Mice teammates and I got to go down to Specialized in Morgan Hill to shoot some photos for the new Mouse shop yesterday.  What a fun time riding some SWEET bikes!   My ride was the lone time trial bike in the group, a Transition Pro, with SRAM components and Zipp wheels.  That baby motored!  A really nice ride.

Specialized1

We ended up doing a 20 mile loop (Morgan Hill out Watsonville Road to the Uvas Reservoir loop), most at a pretty peppy pace since we were running up against daylight.

Specialized2

Thanks Chris and thanks Specialized!  Now how about an above-entry-level track bike?????


100 Books

INSTRUCTIONS: Have you read more than 6 of these books? The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books listed here. Copy this into your NOTES. Bold those books you've read in their entirety, italicize the ones you started but didn't finish or read an excerpt and * means I have it in my “waiting to read pile”.  

1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen 

2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien 

3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte

4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling (all) 

5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee 

6 The Bible 

7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte

8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell 

9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman

10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens 

11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott

12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy

13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller 

14 Complete Works of Shakespeare 

15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier 

16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien 

 17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks

18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger 

19 The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger

20 Middlemarch – George Eliot  

21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell

22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald 

23 Bleak House – Charles Dickens

24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy

25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams

26 Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh

27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky 

28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck 

29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll  *

30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame  

31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy

32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens

33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis

34 Emma – Jane Austen

35 Persuasion – Jane Austen

36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis - This is a Chronicles of Narnia Book

37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini

38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Berniere

39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden

40 Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne

41 Animal Farm – George Orwell

42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown 

43 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving

45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins

46 Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery

47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy

48 The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood

49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding

50 Atonement – Ian McEwan

51  Life of Pi – Yann Martel  [and I HATED this!]

52 Dune – Frank Herbert

53 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons

54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen

55 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth

56 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon

57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens

58 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley

59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon

 60 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck

62 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov  *

63 The Secret History – Donna Tartt

64 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold

65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas

66 On The Road – Jack Kerouac

67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy

68 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding

69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie

70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville 

71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens

72 Dracula – Bram Stoker

73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett

74 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson

75 Ulysses – James Joyce 

76 The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath

77 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome

78 Germinal – Emile Zola 

79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray

80 Possession – AS Byatt

81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens

82 Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell 

83 The Color Purple – Alice Walker

84 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro

85 Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert

86 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry

87 Charlotte’s Web – EB White

88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom

89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

90 The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton 

91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad  

92 The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery

93 The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks

94 Watership Down – Richard Adams

95 A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole

96 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute

97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas

98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare

99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl  

100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo


QOTD (a couple of months worth)

Take your rightful place on your own stage.

When in doubt, throw it out.

A loss becomes a gain.

"A true cyclist sometimes has to bite the dust before he can reach the stars. Win. Survive. Hang in there"__Laurent Fignon

"As soon as you move fear aside, that's when fun really happens."__Carlos Santana

"You can't just want it; you've got to go earn it."

Wherever you go, you have to take your own head with you.

True competition - striving for excellence. False competition - the need to prove something to someone else.

"ENJOY, ENJOY, ENJOY, just remember you have already been invited to the dance so have a good time dancing."__Jimmy R.

One reason so few of us achieve what we truly want is that we never direct our focus. ~ Tony Robbins

In essence, if we want to direct our lives, we must take control of our consistent actions. ~ Tony Robbins

" Picture yourself in your minds eye as having already achieved this goal." ~ E. Nightingale

"Jens Voigt's Suitcase of Courage will not fit in the overhead compartment."

"If something is important, do it every day; if it’s not important, don’t do it at all."

"It is a fine thing to be honest, but it is also very important to be right". ~ W. Churchill.

"...but I tried with everything I had and that is the most important thing for me."___Carlos Sastre

People who are unable to motivate themselves must be content with mediocrity ~ Andrew Carnegie

"Today I did it for me."___Chris Horner

"The genius controls the chaos."___Jens

"“My ribs are hurting but hey, broken ribs are overrated anyway. Fortunately, I didn’t land on my face this time and I’m still alive."__Jens again

Do not overestimate the competition and underestimate yourself. You are better than you think. ~ Tim Ferriss

"There are no safety nets in the sport of professional cycling."___Paul Sherwin

He who is destined for power does not have to fight for it.___African proverb

Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up ~ Thomas Edison

If you fear something you give it power over you.__African proverb

It's not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives, but what we do consistently. ~ Tony Robbins

If Jens Voigt was a country, his principle exports would be Pain, Suffering, and Agony.

Be willing to see the existence of mental self-interference.

Seize that moment. That moment is a crossroads where everything you want will collide with everything standing in your way.


RR: Track Masters Nats - 500TT and Team Sprint

500 TT:

A race against the clock, two laps of the track from a standing start.

Saturday I didn't have any races and the coach said to go to the track during the break between the sessions and do a workout to get more comfortable on the track.  Warm up, then do 10 laps in the aerobars in the middle of the track (at the blue/stayer's line), then 10 laps in the aerobars in the pole (down near the bottom of the track) and then 10 laps at the rail (the very top of the track).  I did this on Saturday and it helped A LOT. 

Sunday morning I woke up and felt OK and ready to race.  I drank some coffee, ate some eggs and veggies and got everything organinzed to head over to the track.  I wasn't racing until later in the session and you don't want to be out in the heat all day.  I got ready and then suddenly I started feeling sick.  I ended up getting a late start and did not feel good at all.  I got to the track and it was sunny and getting hot, but not too humid.  Since they changed the schedule (stupid idea!), for Sunday there were the kilos and then the 500s and then the team stuff and then madison, with awards intermixed in between, plus a break scheduled mid-afternoon.  Since so many people were racing that day, the place was packed with people so I set up the rollers outside next to the fence.  I got in a warm up on the warm up gear and felt so-so, actually wishing I was back at the hotel in the bed.  After an abbreviated warm up, I went to get off the rollers and the bike to change wheels to finish my warm up on the race gear and the bike was facing the "wrong" direction (which means I got off the bike on the right side) and ended up toppling over.  Dammit.  Never get on/off a bike or a horse on the wrong side!

Nats2010start

 I brushed myself off (at least I fell into the grass) and changed wheels and had to rush to finish my warm up, plus I was still feeling like crap.  I got the bike checked and it was time to go to the ready area (like the baseball on-deck circle).  I was first to go in my age group, riding solo.  I used a gear that I normally ride since it wasn't windy but, that wasn't the best idea.  I got an OK start and stood up over halfway around the track and got into the aerobars after coming out of turn 4 and rode the rest in the aerobars (a big win!)  I crossed the finish line and felt like I'd had a decent ride but the announcer 48 seconds.  I couldn't believe it!   That was so freaking slow and I was SO SO SO disappointed.  I got off the track and stopped the bike and went to get off and SHIT…I toppled over AGAIN!  This time in front of everyone and on the concrete!  I walked over to where the Hellyer people were and lost it, sobbing my head off into a towel, still holding onto the bike.  The folks still in the area came over to see if I was OK and Keith came over to put my bike away.  After about 10 minutes I walked outside to call the coach but he didn't answer so I left a sobbing message on his voicemail.  What was done, was done and I ended up 4th.  Nice to be on the podium, but I'm still not happy with the time I rode.

  Nats2010cry

 Team Sprint:

 I'd paid for the TS long ago and was planning to do it with Donna, but after her crash at Districts, I needed to find another partner.  I ended up getting Tracy from Tucson who is in my age group to race with me.  She was pretty gunshy about the steep track but I told her she only needed to do one lap in the pole lane and we were doing it for fun. (Yes, really!)

After talking to Kenny, he said to work on my start and chase Tracy down since there was a differential between our speed.  I told Tracy that I was going to delay my start just a bit but for her to go as fast as she could and I'd run up on her.  She said, "No problem" and we were riding around the warm up circle and heard them DQ one team, then we went up to the ready and watched Beth and Steph from Hellyer ride right before us and THEY got DQed!  The official said something about a zone violation so I asked him what they'd done to get DQed and he said they weren't a meter apart before the end of the pull-off zone, so I told Tracy to really pull off when it was time.  [TS is two riders who start together, one does one lap and pulls off in the zone and the second rider does a second lap solo.  Fastest time amongst the teams wins.]

On the start, I delayed just a bit but still caught her before turn 2 and sat in behind her, resting until my solo lap.  Once she pulled off, I stood up and hit the gas, pedaling through the turn like it was a bell lap in a points race, and rode hard the rest of the way.  We ended up 4th and had fun.

  Nats2010podium

They tally everyone's results and award the BAR to the best all-round rider.  There were 4 of us tied with 16 points and then going to the tie-break, I ended up tied for 3rd (or 4th depending on which print out you look at) out of 7.  Pretty happy with that since that's the highest I've ever finished.  And, I have a clear idea of what I need to do in the next 8 weeks.  I submitted the online entry today for Masters Worlds in late October in Portugal.  That's when the competition gets really tough so I definitely need to step it up.


RR: Masters Nats - Sprints

Match sprints are what you see at the Olympics--2 riders going head to head for 3 laps. Time does not matter. Sprints are run tournament style and to get the seeding, everyone does a flying 200. That's 200 meters with a rolling start. And if you drop down from high on the banking, the more speed you carry.

Flying 200: I got to the track and it was cool and overcast and really windy, but instead of the winds we had for the pursuit, it was really gusty and swirly in the corners.  I decided to not ride the disk wheel because of the winds.  I also geared down to a smaller gear after discussion with Mark Rodamaker, who won the national championship later that night.  I rolled out and up to the blue line, then up to the rail (clear at the top of the track) on the first lap. Continued around the rail (barely freaking out) and probably went a little too fast too early and on the last lap, I stood up about 4 pedal strokes and took a good line into the corner. Ended up feeling pretty good about the effort, especially compared to what I'd done at the LA indoor track 6 weeks ago.  Ended up with the 4th fastest (or, slowest, as there were only 4 of us in our age group) and that meant I got to sprint at night!! Damn, that sprinting stuff takes up the whole day! 

Once they confirmed that we were going to ride that night, I went to lunch with Dad and bro and then they headed back to KS and I came back to the hotel and was relaxing and there was a knock at my door....move rooms please.  Crap! That took 30 minutes, so I got settled in the new room and put my legs up and got organized, had a snack at 3:30 and headed back to the track at 4PM.  Did a warm up on the track and then moved to the rollers when things got busy.  My legs felt OK, not great.

Semi finals (best of 3)

Ride 1 v. Ann Marie: She's only been doing this for 20 years and is a former world champion and it's her home track. And, she's so darned nice and helpful.  I drew #1(which meant I had to lead it out) for the first ride and took her sort of long but didn't fully commit so she came blasting past me.  Afterwards, she said she thought I would do that.

Ride 2: I was behind her to start but she slowed way down high on the steep part of the track and I didn't like that at all so I went around her.  Then I jumped with about 200 meters to go and she beat me, but not as much as in ride 1.

On to the 3rd/4th place finals v. Ann from NC (again, best of 3):

Ride 1:  Ann Marie gave me some tips on riding against Ann and the first ride Ann lead out and I jumped and she caught me in the last 50 meters and beat me by about a bike length.

  Nats2010sprintStart2

Ride 2:  I started in the #1 position and led her out and jumped her a little sooner and she only caught me at the line and maybe beat me by 6 inches or so.  Really, really close.  Afterwards everyone in the crowd was applauding and the officials applauded us too. So I ended up 4th. 

Of course I would have liked to been higher up the podium, but I feel pretty good about how I rode, especially since I've done no sprinting in about 3 months, and there is a definite technique to it.  And everyone said how well I rode, which was nice to hear.  Two more races tomorrow. Can't wait.


RR: Masters Nats - 2K Pursuit

2K pursuit (10 laps)

 Frisco, TX Superdrome

250m track w/44 degree banking

 This was one of my big focus races of the year.  I've been riding faster than I ever have in training so the Coach and I were looking for me to ride a good time. 

 I arrived in Texas late Sunday night and Monday midday, I went to the track and rode some and was almost in tears and ready to go home.  The steep banking was scary.  I went back Monday night to ride some more and try out the electronic starting gates and felt a little better.  Another session on Tuesday and I felt OK, but not comfortable.

 Race morning I warmed up a bit on the rollers at the hotel and then went to the track and finished the warm up and got the bike checked and rolled around the warm up circle and...it started to mist!  Nuts!  They called a rain delay for about 15 minutes and finally it was time to go.

 Start--I got a very good start off the line, but of instead of standing up for a half lap or more to get to top speed, I freaked out about not being able to get into the aerobars in time before the second turn and sat down in the middle of the first turn after only 4 or 5 pedal strokes.  So I never got up to speed and then with the wind on the front straight, it put me into an even bigger hole.  Plus, with 10 shorter laps, I wasn't sure on how to pace it, so the entire race ended up being one big mess and a super slow time.  I was definitely not happy with my race but I know what I did wrong and what I need to work on and I have until late October to get it right.  

  Nats2010tt

I will keep the bronze medal, but I'm going to put it up where I can see it every day to remind me of what I need to do.  I won't be riding that slow in October.


2010 Season In The Books

Long time, no update. I'm not sure why. I just wasn't motivated to write anything over the summer. But now the summer is over and it's like a new year...I,ve always liked looking at things like a school year instead of the calendar year. And as long as it's a new start, it's time for a fresh look for the blog.

So what happened over the summer? Training, some racing and lots of work. I think that with a lot of work and feeling a bit overwhelmed and trying to train and too much sitting and the knee not being 100% (STILL!), that things went in a vicious circle...work, sit, train, too much coffee, too much sitting, too much crappy food, often eating dinner at work at 7:00 PM (where generally the food is starch on starch) and that left clm not so happy. But like I said, it's a new "year" and time to get things back on track.

The 2010 racing season came to an early end and in the grand scheme of things, that is probably for the best. I raced a few mass start races early on, but then the surgeon (with the Coach's agreement) didn't want me to mass start race, which meant Tuesday and Wednesday nights at the velodrome were out, leaving me with only a few chances to race. July was the Beat the Clock time trial day, August was Masters States and Elite States and September was Masters Nationals. I was supposed to go to Masters Worlds (scheduled to leave next week actually), but on coming back from Nats, I turned around and went to Washington, D.C. for work and came back from there and ended up sick and stayed sick off and on for about three weeks, missing some key training. Once I got back on the track, my workouts were terrible, times were slow and Annabell and Carlos both said one Sunday, "You aren't riding like you usually do." At that point, I knew there was a chance I would not go to Worlds, but decided to see what happened at the workout the following Tuesday. Well, that morning I woke up with a fever and I emailed the Coach saying, "I think my decision about Worlds has been made for me". So, no Worlds for me. And I'm fine with that.

Right now I'm on a couple of weeks of unstructured workouts...doing whatever I feel like and mixing things up. Some walking, some weights, ride when I want, maybe even some swimming. The Coach and I are discussing 2011 goals and I'm excited about next year. And the knee? I'm still going to physical therapy, yes, over a year later, and there is still a definite strength differential between my left and right leg. And with what I've spent on PT, I could have bought a new bike or some really nice race wheels! At least I really like my PT!

Winter plan....like the Coach said, this winter we can do all the things we didn't get to do last year, like hit the gym hard and base riding instead of 15 minutes trainer rides and physical therapy. I'm looking forward to it!


RR: Friday Night Racing 06/04/10

Friday Night Races @ the velodrome.  We were lucky enough to have a W3/4 night and probably 15 or so women came out.  Lots of Cat. 2 and 3 roadies and Cat. 3 track women, plus national points champ Julie Nevitt and young Kira riding to mentor our races.  Goal was to get some race miles in my legs and get that race feel back. 

Race #1: 20 lap scratch

Oh hell, 20 laps? I have not raced that many laps in probably a year. I remember what Annabell told me last weekend--hang on and it would slow down. It did but then someone attacked and I got gapped a bit (still don't have that jump) but was able to get back on the back of the pack. At 10 laps another attack and my legs were shot. I tried to stand up and sprint but had jello legs. I took a lap and got back in and stayed with the pack until 2 to go. Fininshed a lap down but pretty happy with how I rode

Race #2: 30 lap points

30 laps? Ouch. This one went about the same as the scratch. Stick with the pack as long as possible, get popped, reintegrate, repeat. Ended up down 2 laps but again happy with how I rode.

Very short turn around and they are calling us to the rail. We all look at each other, "Didnt we just race???"

Race #3: 15 lap Win & Out

What a huge variance in pace from the start....fast, slow down, speed up. A big yoyo effect.  With 6 laps to go, the field slowed down to a crawl (15 mph?) and everyone moved up track leaving the pole wide open. Hello pole lane!  I attacked hard and got a gap!  Kenny had told me that I needed to start "Riding it like you stole it."  Well, that's what I did. I got at least a quarter lap gap and people on the infield and in the stands were yelling to keep it going. I looked back and THERE WAS NO ONE THERE!!! So I rode like hell and stayed away, 5 to go, 4 to go, Argh, I'm getting tired, but the crowd and Hernando on the mic said to keep going, keep pushing. It"s 3 to go and I'm still away!  I get to 2 to go and I'm still away but my legs are starting to turn to cement and I'm sure I'm starting to pedal squares. With 1.5 laps to go I'm nearly blown and the pack starts to attack each other and string out and I'm caught, but I am so damned happy with how I rode.

Cooling down after the race on the warm up circle, the ref who was working the turn 3-4 area told me I rode really, really, really well.  (Yes, 3 reallys). Not bad for now.  143 days till Worlds.