UPCOMING EVENTS for 2015: (Under consideration) BigHorn 50K, North Carolina/DC Marathon Doulbe, TURNING 50 (not in that exact order).

It's never too late to be what you might have been. --George Eliot

Athena is the Goddess of wisdom and war. In 2005, I declared war on my own bad tendencies: sloth, being fat, compacency, and being too old for adventure.
This is the story of how I went from being someone who never stood when she could sit, to being an ultrarunner, marathoner, triathlete, and *sigh* student.
"You're never too old to be what you might have been" --George Eliot

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Nervous.

Yesterday I went on a nice little ride up and down the hills around my neighborhood. It was a nice ride, but I'm still so unused to working up hills that I nearly threw up. Still, I finished all 8.4 miles. Before I left, I was concerned about the temp, and Husband offered to let me use his cycling tights. Husband, himself, has lost 50 pounds this past year. In the history of our marriage never, ever, was I able to "swap" any type of clothing with him. Not socks, pants - nothing. Maybe a hat. In any case, the tights were comfortable. Not exactly tight-like, but very comfortable. I loved wearing these things. So maybe if he stays at his current weight and I stay at mine we can save money on winter workout clothing.

I'm very nervous about tomorrow's procedure. It's made me kind of bitchy all week. I'm not sure why. At first, I thought it might have been because of the child thing. Ater tomorrow I can never, ever again have a child. Of course, I already have three of them, the youngest being 15 and oldest being 22, and let's face it--even being home with 4 needy cats is taxing these days, but still...no, I don't think that's it. I'm not worried about dying, because the worst potential complication could be burns on my thighs. I think that mostly I'm worried about potential pain and being sick. Before the procedure, I had something called an endometrial biopsy which, if you have the choice, I suggest skipping. It was fairly unpleasant. Ever since then, I've been nervous about this procedure. Then there's the MVTC sprint this weekend, which I need to attend to keep up my point in the SWCS, but if the signs aren't right by Saturday, I can't compete in, because the swim could be dangerous.
I'm going to go try to work off some of my nervousness with a hill run and then some coffee, and then go down for a swim. Maybe later I'll do another bike ride.

For the rest of today, I'll be drinking miso soup and fruit juices, and then fasting after midnight, so here's my calorie consumption so far this week.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Attention, Holiday Inn Express:

It was all over the news not long ago that Dick Cheney has specific 'downtime requirements' that are faxed ahead to whatever hotel he's frequenting.
Now, I'm a long way away from people bowing and scraping to me for ANYTHING. In fact, most of the 8th-graders I teach probably call me BEEYOTCH behind my back. But, I can dream. Hmm. What would I demand, if I were inclined to make such demands?

My "Downtime Requirements":

  • One mini-fridge, stocked with salsa, guacamole, 1-four-pack of Jose Cuervo pre-made margaritas, 4 bottles of propel (melon flavored), and 2 boxes of vanilla soy milk.
  • Box of Special-K Berries, and Bag of tortilla chips.
  • Espresso maker and grinder
  • one quarter pound, per day, of decent Arabica coffee (NO DECAF)
  • DVD boxed set of "Quantum Leap" and "Seinfeld" episodes, and a player.
  • Paul Newman's organic orange dark chocolate.
  • Television with no less and no more than the following three preset channels: Comedy Central, History, and Sci-Fi.
  • 1 can of Pilsbury "creme cheese"-flavored frosting.
  • Forget about room temperature. Provide me with a remote control temperature changer thingy, for my hot flashes.
  • And a big-assed fan.
  • Last but not least:You call those tiny things bath towels? Bring this Athena some bath sheets!

One of my favorite signs EVER.


This sign is on the front door of a trophy shop in Albuquerque.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Strange things we ask our doctors.

...but that's what they're there for, right?
A few weeks back, there was a thread among blogs about peeing in the pool. Someone commented that pee is sterile. As a dedicated nerd, I had to check this out for myself, so I did at the pre-operative meeting that I had with my doctor last week.

It went something like this:

Doctor Garcia: So, I think I've covered everything - did you have any more questions?

Me: Yeah. Is pee sterile?

Doc: (blinking) I beg your pardon?

Me: A bunch of triathletes were discussing the relative merits, or lack thereof, of peeing in the pool, and someone said that pee is sterile. Is it?

Doc: Um, well, yes, but there is nearly always going to be bacteria present in your bladder that would be carried out with it. Besides, it's kind of gross to expect someone swim in your pee.

Me: Oh, okay. I wasn't sure, but I had to know.

Doc: I think people who say things like that are people who pee in their wetsuit and want to have an excuse.

Added later: Notice the mention of "wetsuit?" I wonder if my Doc is a closet triathlete! I'll have to ask her on Thursday.

Prairie Dogs and Curly Fries

Today's post is something I'll probably look back on in about a year or so, and say, "awww, I was so cute back then!" but here goes. I rode 44 miles yesterday! I've never ridden that far before. I owe it all to Husband, who keeps just ahead of me, and the fact that I'm too stubborn to admit that I'm tired. Lots of climbing, going up the bike path from the valley up through the center of Albuquerque toward Tramway I think at one point I was in my granny gear, doing 6 mph. Erg. It was quite a chore for me, being as I'm slow and lazy, and I could definitely feel the burn. My calves got all crampy. I also discovered that, as it gets empty, my aerobottle likes to bounce and out of my aero bars.I was on the good ole' Trek 1000, and I"m looking forward to see the difference once I get Rosie out of the shop.
Halfway through we stopped at Hurricanes and where felt fully justified in my large order of curley fries and green chili to dip them in. I'm so jealous of people in Albuquerque having all those fantastic bike paths.
Once we got to Tramway, Husband said, "listen - hear that?" I listened carefully, and I could hear some soft, high pitched honking noises. AFter a bit I realized we were riding through a prairie dog town that existed on either side of the bike path, furry little guys desperatley waddling and diving for their holes. I also saw Canada geese waddling around in the Rio Grande, getting ready for the trip back north.

Today, I went for a long run, but I was pretty tired and a little dehydrated, I think, from yesterday, so I cut it short, to 10K. Then it was into the club for a shower and long stretching session. Ahhhhhhh.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

One tri-bike to live.

Got a call from the bike shop tonight about my cracked fork. Would I like to pay an extra $75 to have the new one painted (over and above the $280 it will cost to replace it on warrenty?) Um, well, will it make me go faster? No, well then, skip it.
The saga of the bike that I've ridden exactly once continues...

Cranky old me.

I've started doing things in the past year or so that give me reason to believe that I'm going to be one of those bossy old ladies.

It's not that I'm angry, to be honest, or even feeling negative. I just have these, oh, I don't know, URGES to make everything a teachable moment and tell people my opinion on their current and/or recent behavior.

Not that this is any surprise. During the courtship phase of our relationship, my husband asked me what my vision of myself as an older women was, and I responded, one of those bossy old ladies that tells everyone what they should be doing. At the time, he was delighted, saying that this was the sort of wife he figured he'd have. However, I'm not sure that reality is all that delightful.

A couple weeks ago, a woman let someone in line with her in the express lane at the grocery store. They were purchasing seperate items. There were several people behind me, none of whom looked like they had loads of time to spare, so I finally said, "you should ask people in line behind you if it's alright to let someone else cut in line". She looked startled and put her cell phone down to consider this and then apologized. Not long after that, I marched up to a man who tossed his cigarette into a potted flowering plant outside the grocery store and said, loudly, "That is NOT an ashtray!". He looked started, and angry, at this intrusion into his nicotine repast.

I've started muttering, as I walk past people standing befuddled in the middle of aisles and sidewalks, "Excuse ME, people are trying to walk here!" I recently told someone else's child who was hanging from a young landscaped tree and nearly tearing the branch off, "Get down! You're too big to climb that tree." I told another child to pick up his litter, since his parents weren't going to tell him, "Pick that up! There's a trashcan right there!" and shared with a woman a few days ago that I had observed that her turn signal may need to be serviced, since I'd observed her make several turns without it. I HAVE learned that if you say, "Dear,'" or "Bless your heart," it takes the sting out of it.

Husband told me recently about a friend of his who saw someone throw out a bag of trash onto the ground at McDonalds and walked up to the car, knocked on it, and when they rolled it down, he threw it back in there and said, "I think you dropped this". I was choked up, just hearing about it.

I figure I'm within short time of getting an umbrella or a cane to shake at people as I tell them off, and I'm starting to feel a kinship with Maxine, the cranky old Hallmark lady.

Where do you get your protein?

The fat came from fried tofu. I do make a wicked fried tofu, but it's deadly fattening. It's good fat, but c'mon, let's face it, it's fat. My recipe for Southern Fried Tofu is on the web.

It surprises people that I get enough protein, being as I haven't eaten meat, dairy, or eggs since 2000. But never have so many people asked me that since I became a triathlete. Do you know about Scott Jurek, who has shattered records on a plant-based diet? Anyway, protein defficiencies are so rare in the US that most medical specialists wouldn't know it if they saw it. A vegan diet is actually a pretty good one for endurance atheletes.

The 2nd and 3rd questions I'm asked are, what about calcium? what about iron? Iron defficiency is common in women, meat-eaters and vegetarians alike. I take iron supplements. Calcium is likewise available (one of the most abundant elements on earth, along with iron) in tablet form, and also comes in fortified bread, juices, and I don't have that icky bovine hormone cholesterol aftertaste. Sorry. Ugh.
You'll notice my readout (above) doesn't include cholesterol. There isn't any. My last blood test showed me to have a cholesterol level of 142. Did you know every 1% higher than 150 your cholesterol is raises your chances of having a heart attack 2%. That means that at 200 - that's right - a 100% chance of having a heart attack.

(Misty, stepping gently off her soapbox now...)

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

So, doc, can I race on the 2nd?

No, I didn't bike into work today. It violated my "it's too damned cold out" rule. (around 30 degrees) And, I realized that I had a doctor's appointment immediately after work which required immediate exit from the area so that I could get into Albuquerque. I did, however, do a 3-miler run after work.
Okay, now this is a bit personal, so all you Y-chromosomed individuals might want to cover your ears.
I'm having a brief procedure done next week. I won't go into detail. It's a lady thing to deal with the fact that some things associated with being female happen too often and with too much vigor.
So today I had a pre-op meeting with the surgeon, so that she could tell me all the horrible things that could go wrong (gotta love informed consent). The procedure is March 30th, at 7:30 am. My first triathlon of 2006 - is April 2nd. So, Doc, can I race? :-S
The swim seems to be the issue. She has no doubt that I may feel up to it, it's just a matter of whether it would be safe for me. She asked me a bunch of questions, seeming encouraged by the fact that it's a chlorinated pool (somewhat sterile, compared to a lake, I guess) and that I'd only be spending less than 15 minutes in the swim. So, Doc, can I race?
So, finally, she gave me enough information so that I will know what signs to look for to be able to determine on my own if I can do this triathlon by Saturday evening. I've purchased a container of miso - the last time I had surgery I drank miso soup all day before hand and it worked wonders. I purchased some Lara whole food bars and Cytomax ready-to-drink for recovery.

So here's the plan:
Up until March 30th, I'm going to train like hell. Thursday is the procedure, after which I will rest and read and enjoy some spring air. Maybe take some walks. Start on a 30-page paper that's due soon. Who knows. Eat miso soup, drink Cytomax and eat whole foods.
But worst case scenerio after all this is that on April 2nd, I'll get to cheer Husband on, and no longer have to count on missing about 1/3 of my events due to untimely events, and the rest of my season, in which I'll be doing sprints nearly every weekend, will be annoyance free. :-)

Eating log - 3-20

Writing everything I ate would be too long to put here, and too boring to read, so I'm including the summary readout of yesterday's log from "LifeForm", which I highly recommend as a tracking program.

I probably ate a little too much fat, but in my defense, I only use canola and olive oils.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

What's your weakness?

I've noticed that whenever I talk to people who are not triathletes, they'll wrinkle their noses and say, "I'd do it if it were run-run-run," or "bike-bike-bike" or more often, "I'd do it except I hate swimming." One person last week told me, "I'd do it, except I hate the bike."
I believe that most of the time this kind of thinking is a mental, rather than physcial block. When I first considered a triathlon I dreaded the idea of running, but a good running plan and lots of training has made it my (nearly) favorite area of training. I wonder, though, if most triathletes have that one event in which they have to kind of force themselves to train.
For me, at this time, that would be the bike. I enjoy a good, flat bike ride, but I love running and oh, do I love the water! Swimming and running are both so simple: you just get up (or jump in) and go. In fact, often in the pool, I have to really force myself to get out and stop at the end of my workout.

When it comes to training on the bike, though, I really have to force myself to get in the saddle, and even then, I often cut my workout short out of bordom. That may be because the bike paths around here suck so much, and I hate to deal with traffic, or it may be because, here in Rio Rancho, once I'm on the bike I'm either struggling up a hill or screaming down one. Another reason I think I avoid the bike is mechanical difficulties. It's just so complicated, all that equipment and such. I know that a lot of this is purely psychological, but I'm actually considering running the four miles to work to avoid riding my bike.

So, I'm wondering. Fellow triathletes, what's your weakness? If there isn't one event that you really have to force or bribe yourself to do, then more positively, what's that one (of three) area of training you look forward to every time you do it?

8-mile.


No, not the Eminem movie. I'm talking about my weekly long run thing. Actually, it was 8.4 miles. What makes this so unusual isn't that I finished it, because I've done 2 half-marathons. But the thing is, I finished those using walk breaks. This is the first time I've ever run this far without a walk break. I left the path for about 1 minute to go to the bathroom out in the bushes, but other than that, I ran the whole time. That's the longest I've ever run in my whole life!!! It was a fantastic morning, cold and drizzly. That's pretty stupendous itself in the high desert in the middle of a draught.
On my blog there's a post back in September or maybe August, where I go on and one about how "Today I ran for 5 whole minutes straight!" Today, I ran for nearly 2 hours straight, another triumph of stubbornness over speed. Then I swam 400 meters in about 12 minutes, and I'm happy to say, the shoulder is fine. My Timex Ironman watch-heart-rate thingy says that I burned 1950 calories. That ought to be worth a pint of soy ice cream, chocolate brownie flavor.
If you'll excuse me, I think I've earned a day of sloth.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Time to get off my butt.

I am now officially registered for the Buffman and Squeaky Olympic Distance Triathlon, on May 21st, the first of two Olympic triathlons I'll be doing before the half iron distance in September, and I'm terrified.
It's a 1500m lake swim, 40K bike, and 10K run. Now, I can slog my way through the swim and run, although I'm a bit nervous about what is to be my wetsuit debuit, but the bike is straight up out of a canyon, straight up a hill, then steep rolling hills all the way out and back. I hate hills. They're lots of work. (I think I've been clear in my desire to avoid hard work).

Tomorrow I go back to my regular training. I've taken it easy because of the shoulder thing. Rosie is still in the shop awaiting a new fork, and "might" be back in time for my first triathlon of 2006, the Wind Triathlon. The good news is that after Thursday of this week I'm off until April 3rd.
Anyway, here's this week's training schedule. It's ambitious, and I'm going to try really hard to stick to it. Maybe posting my training plan for the week publicly will shame me into sticking to it, for once.

  • Sunday: Long run, 8-9 mi.
  • Monday: Swim 2000m, then weights, long stretching session
  • Tuesday: Bike to work and back (4 miles each way w/hills) + evening run, 3 mi.
  • Wednesday: Off day
  • Thursday: Swim 1500m, then weights & stretching
  • Friday: about 4-5 mi run
  • Saturday: Brick w/long Bike + short Run
Oh, and I'm going to start posting what I eat, too. I think I eat too much, and I know that going public with it will definitely shame me into eating less. Either that, or having the post it will trigger my innate laziness and I won't eat if I have to sit down and write about it.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Health food, New Mexican style.

Today is an "off day" for training, so I'll share a bit of wisdom.
You know, there's a lot of things I'm willing to give up in the quest for health and fitness, but the few that I am not are java, avocados, chilis, and margaritas. This is probably why I'll be an Athena forever. But I'll be a jolly one.
I'm convinced that chilis cure the common cold, and that avocados are good for depression, although I am neither a researcher nor am I involved in the physical health sciences, nor have I been trained in diet or nutrition or clinical psychiatry. I just know that it's been my personal experience that chips and guac is ever so useful in de-stressing after a week of teaching 8th-graders. Margaritas, I believe, cure everything else, when taken in moderation, owing to their lime (vitamin C) and salt (electrolytes).
That's why I, the slothful triathlete, am so lucky to be living here in New Mexico. Here in my rose-colored glasses, I search the Internet for proof that my somewhat lax style of training and veganism will reward me with perfect health, popularity, and a fabulous smile. And, I'm extra happy to get some validation for my fixations and addictions.
So it was happy news that, according to the folks at LiveScience.com, my daily trip to a local coffee place is good for me. Every day I put in my order for a soy coconut mocha, medium-sized, at 110 degrees. The 110 degrees is so I can slam it, but I never do. I just hate having to wait for boiling hot anything to cool down before I can enjoy it. The Oracle of Starbucks says I'm a hippie. Whatever.
Now, of course none of my claims have been validated by the Food and Drug administration, the American Psychological Association, the National Education Association, or any association of merit whatsoever. They are purely my fanatasies, such as they are, and represent my overly optimistic view of how the world would be, if it was exactly the way I wanted it.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Whaddaya know about that?

I went for a run tonight, about 3 miles around the neighborhood. It's the first time I've done this run since November, when my wimpy southern body said, "too cold!". And you know what? It was the fastest I've ever done this particular little loop! I kept tapping my watch, thinking I'd made a mistake.
When I first started doing it in September of last year, it took me around 42 minutes. Tonight it was just over 35 minutes. I'm always astonished when I actually make progress in all this stuff. I've had a very, very lazy winter, after all.

Just thought I'd share. Cheers!

Monday, March 13, 2006

Naughty swimming.

Very excited to find this machine at my gym that exercises the hip flexors. These were my weakness during the half marathon that I ran in Arizona. Were it not for them I could have gone longer and stronger. These, and my hamstrings. I'll be working on these as part of the weight-training that I'm including in my half-iron distance training regimen.
Was naughty tonight but oh, that water felt soooooo good. Just being back in for the swim was almost better than s-e-x. I know I wasn't really supposed to swim for a while because of my shoulder, but I did a very, very slow (3.5 minutes per 100 meters) crawl mostly moving by kicking my legs harder than usual to ease up the burden on my poor achy shoulder... I stopped after 400 meters; didn't want to push it. But oh, how I wanted to swim!

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Stealth Duathlon (Race Report)

Well, how shall I start?
Wait, oh, I know: Wind wind wind wind wind wind wind wind wind wind wind wind wind wind wind wind wind wind wind wind wind wind wind wind wind wind wind wind wind wind wind wind wind wind wind wind wind wind wind wind wind .

It was windy; get it? Gusts up to 35 miles per hour. Blowing on me on the run, on the bike (at one point, I was practically going backwards) I had a pretty good run, actually. I did the same pace that I had done at my last race, (11.5 minute mile maybe? But considering the wind, I think I've improved. It was in my face going in, and unpleasantly at my back coming back. On the bike, it was a crosswind, so I got it coming and going.

Results: I finished, was not last overall, and got 3rd place in the Athena division.

I'd planned to get a T-shirt that said, "Let me win; it's my birthday" but didn't have the chance. Happy Birthday to me!

Saturday, March 11, 2006

If I were superstitious

I'd almost think there was some melevolant spirit that doesn't want me to do this duathlon.
Yesterday I went for a short run to see how it felt, and it was a great run, no shoulder problems, no leg problems, no slower than usual...only to come home and find out that, after all, they've decided that the fork is cracked on my bike (which, as you may recall, I have gotten to ride exactly once). So, I'll be using my commuter bike for tomorrow's race.

On the other side, I realize that when I got my Trek 1000, on the first day out, I fell over and sprained my wrist. On my new bike, on the first day, I did an endo and messed up my shoulder. I've decided that if I ever get a new bike again, I'm going to just throw it up on the air and let it fall on me and get it over with.

The weather at Hollman tomorrow is supposed to be cold, rainy, and windy. I'm trying to positive affirmation thing. It's not working. I used photoshop to put my face on the Athena goddess painting I use for my profile. That was fun. But I'm still worried about tomorrow.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Jogging separates us from the apes.


Your science moments for the day, boys and girls.

This article informs me that, apparently, my long neck, flat face, and big butt gives me an edge in marathons. (Hell, something's got to)

Seriously, though...another article about recovery, in which they studied long course triatheletes.

And, a final one, just for fun. If I do slack off and let nature take its course, according to this article, I have a brand new excuse.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Cycling in the Burque

The reason I was in Albuquerque Sunday is because of the great cycling paths there.

The theory Husband has postulated is that both cities hired someone who understands cycling, but Albuquerqe hired someone who likes cyclists, and Rio Rancho hired someone that hates them.

Albuquerquer's bike paths are dedicated paths that cross the city in a efficient manner that affords very little contact with cars. They run along diversion channels and rivers, crossing over and under roads as the channels do. They are the reason that Albuqueque is one of the tope 10 cities in the US for cyclists who commute. Their "Greater Albuquerque Bicycling Advisory Committee (GABAC)" works with city leaders. Their paths are well-connected, fully signed, well-maintained, and drivers are generally courteous.

However, I don't live in 'Burque. I live in Rio Rancho, the suburbs, amongst very large people who drive very large SUV's. (there are more Hummers here than I've seen anywhere) It's kinda like living in Hank Hill's world. They barely notice my Civic, much less a cyclist, on their way to the Megalomart, and they view cycling in a recreational sense, rather than a vehicular sense.

Bike paths that exist aren't connected and not appropriate for commuting. They're basically sidewalks, meaning that cars will block them while waiting to turn. Your course is likely to end abruptly and without warning, in a large patch of soft sand, pile of trash, thistles, the side of a car, a wall or fence.

So you're better off using the street. However, most streets do not have a bike lane. When they do, people routinely veer into them, use them for turn lanes, or park in them. 40th Street, on which resides the city's 2nd largest school, doesn't have a sidewalk, much less a bike path, and children commuting walk and ride their bikes on the 30" shoulder, hoping that people talking on the cell phones don't accidentally veer in their direction.

Drivers are generally hostile, despite New Mexico laws that require that they share the road.

The easiest way to get to Albuquerque from Rio Rancho is through Corrales, but the main roads going down do not have bike paths and have blind curves. Once in Corales, you have to share bike paths with equestrians, who for some reason are not required to clean up after their horses. Corrales is proud of their "village" way of life, which apparently includes large piles of horse manure.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

weirdly wonderously worrying me.

Why does Blogger suck so much tonight? It took me 45 minutes to make this very short post over DSL.


The people Doc says do some light exercises, take some anti-inflammatories and ordered an X-ray, just in case. I can pretty much do what I feel ready to do, albeit lightly, and he'd rather I didn't do the duathlon this Sunday; he's worried about me having an accident. I shouldn't do any swimming for a couple weeks, which I can actually afford because I have spring break at the end of March, then a triathlon April 15th.

The cycle doc says there's no damage done to Rosie, and I can pick her up on Friday.

Doc Husband, a psychologist, suggests reading the Te of Piglet because I'm prone to such fretfulness. Maybe my team nickname should be Piglet, instead of Double-barreled.

Better day.

I woke up this morning hurtin' hurtin' hurtin' but after taking 800 mg of Ibuprofin I'm feeling much better. I stopped by the athletic trainer at our school and she did said manipulations and little tests and said it definitely wasn't the rotator cuff. Whew.
I have more range of motion today. Actually dressed myself this morning. I think I'm going to be okay by this weekend. I don't know why I get so worked up about these things. I know that the 2nd day is always the worst. But I freak out, nonetheless. The bike shop called, and they said they can't find any problems with the head set (turny thing), so maybe that's something less to worry about as well.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Triathlete paranoia and the Blues.

Today I write in blue, drama queen that I am.
I can't ride. I can't swim (I was supposed to do 1.5 miles today) and I can't run. I think I have done something horrid to my shoulder rotator thingy. I have an appointment tomorrow with the Doc, but meanwhile, I'm depressed. Even Vicadine doesn't make me feel better.

What I'm worried about is the time I may have to take off from training for the Buffman and Squeaky Olympic Triathlon I'm doing in April, and any sprints I may miss in the meantime. What I'm depressed about is the time I can't spend on my new ride because it's in the shop. I have a duathlon this Sunday. Will I be able to do it? What's the doctor going to day? Last year it was just my wrist, and I had to stay off the bike for a month. This hurts way more, and I can't lift my arm.
OW.
I need a hug.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Rules of the road.

It's entirely possible, I suppose, that the man who ran us off the bike path today didn't know about courtesy and the rules of the road on public bike paths.
Maybe.
All I know is the blur of events about 20 miles into our ride today: the large group of roller skaters coming toward us, my husband maybe 5 yards in front of me, me checking the proximity of the lead skater, and then suddenly, my husband was right at my front wheel. I hollered, hit both brakes hard, ran my front tire ran precisely into his back gear assembly. (Pop. Hiss) and then I and the back of the bike went over my front wheel, and I was on the ground, on my right side, legs entangled in the bike. My first "endo" (end-over)

  • Thought #1: "shit. I hope I didn't damage my new bike"
  • Thought #2: "I hope I didn't damage Husband's bike"
  • Thought #3: "why can't I breathe"?
Then, people standing over me. Weird noise when I tried to breathe. Starting to worry about not beaing able to breathe. Like the occasional hysteric that I am, wonding if I had some sort of sucking chest wound. Relief comes when someone asks, "get the wind knocked out of you?" (nerd I am, I have to look this up when I got home)
I found out later that a cyclist on a mountain bike who was behind the skaters decided not to yield or wait, but instead go around and head direction at Husband rather than, oh, say, taking his mountain bike onto the DIRT PATH IT WAS MADE FOR.

In any case, the faces peering at me as I lay on the ground, gasping did not include his. He slowed down briefly to ask if we needed to use a cell phone, but my husband was so furious that he didn't trust himself to talk to him, so he told him to more on. My shoulder--ugh, Husband has to help me with dressing for a few days, and since we're doing 8th-grade standardized testing at work my poor colleagues get to help with the Giant Box of Tests. I don't think there's any permanant damage done but you're definitely not supposed to land there, and I won't be swimming for a while. Vicadin is my friend right now.
Both our bikes are in the shop, Husband's for some bent teeth on his back sprocket assembly, and mine for a possible crushed bearing in the steering turny thing (head set, is the technical term). I won't get to ride my new beautious wonder until Saturday, which is when we leave to do a duathlon on Saturday.

The good news is that, I was lucky, actually, and statistically if someone is, probablistically speaking, supposed to have so many endos in their lifetime, that's one down for me. Fewer to worry about.

None of this change the fact, however, that the guy is a narcissistic asshole. There, I said it.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Gear - Review: TREK EQUINOX 7 WSD

Just yesterday I slobbered all over my keyboard about my brand new bike and today, after my master's comprehensive exams I finally got to take it out for its innuagural ride. The comps went well, despite what I considered to be many irrelevant questions. ("The accrediting body for counselor education in the United States is--?") This is my 2nd master's degree, so somewhat less stress than last time.

Down in the aerobars, my upper body was relaxed while my legs were pumping away. I didn't notice any road vibrations, and that may be largely due to the carbon fork, because I usually feel some on this trip. I took it out basically to work and back, a short ride (8 miles), but formidable in that it has a large dip in the middle where the route goes across an arroyo (arroyos are places in the southwest where rain water, should it every occur, is allowed to make its way across the desert toward the Rio Grande) and then straight up hill again (maybe, 500 feet elevation? I don't know). The hills felt easier, as though more of my work was actually going into moving the bike instead of straining knee tendons and heating up my core.

Flying down Loma Colorado, I hunkered down into a nice tuck, no small feat for a women of my size, and made the trip faster than I have before, by about 10 minutes. One quick fix needed: The cyclometer needs adjusting. Much as I'd like to think I pedaled my self at 50 miles per hour up and down New Mexico hills, I just don't thing so.

Still no solid ideas on what to name it yet. Any ideas?

Have you heard this song?


I think this is going to be my personal theme song for 2006. It's by Natasha Bedingfield Lyrics are here.


"Today is where your book begins.

The rest is still unwritten."

Friday, March 03, 2006

CAUTION. Heavy envy ahead

It was just going to be a regular team meeting, I thought, to get together and pick up team uniforms. I was curious, of course, at how many people seemed to know that it was my birthday (actually next week), but nevertheless I was happy just to be having dinner (at Fuddruckers) around adults, for a change.

The flowers were sweet, from Queen, and I was surprised and delighted by the Vegan dark chocolate raspberry cake brought in by Husband made for me at Whole Foods. Happy for this pleasant evening out. It was kind of noisy, which makes my hearing instrument pretty useless, so I nodded and smiled to people in turn when I was able to make out that they were wishing me a happy birthday, enjoying my Carona, chips and guacamole. I excused myself to the ladies room for a bit. Then when I returned, my teammates were smiling big smiles. At me. A little too much. I smiled back, unsure of exactly why they were looking at me in that strange way (was there toilet paper trailing from my shoe?)

and then I looked past them and saw IT.

Where I'd been sitting, well, leaning up against it, actually, was my birthday present. IT was shiny, sleek and silver. I'd admired IT several times over at Albuquerque Bicycle Center. IT was built with a shorter top tube, profile frame, aero wheels, and carbon fork. IT is the Trek Equinox 7, WSD.

I was thrilled, and dumbfounded. I hadn't expected the cake, much less this bike. In fact, I hadn't expected the bike until much later in the year. I found out later that, given my afternoon "check engine light" and the call to my husband to come pick me up, he'd had to do some bit of transportational gymnastics to pick up my present, deliver it to someone else who could hide it in their truck, shower (my husband commutes by bike about 15 miles) then pick me up, then get us to the restaurant. It takes a lot to surprise me. I've been in the bike shop several times where he bought it, and sworn the employees to secrecy, and I'd occasionally wondered over to where it was, high up on an overhead rack, but never, ever did I expect this tonight. It's fantastic - you should see it, shiny and aero.

I found out later that Husband wanted me to have it a week ahead of my birthday, so that I could get at least a weeks' ride in before the Stealth Duathlon on the 12th (my actual birthday). I've been told I should name IT. I'm thinking of Rosie. We'll see how I feel after the inaugural ride tomorrow, after my comps. Then I'll do a "gear" review. Whoo-hoo!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Ahhhhh SPRING!

Is there anything more glorious?
Spring is so fabulous in the high desert! The sun is warm, and there's still just enough cool sharpness in the air to energize you. There were two goldfinches at our thistle feeder yesterday, a mated pair. Wen I get to work, the sun is actually up. For a teacher, such as myself, it is hope.

Of course, spring in New Mexico can be somewhat cruel. The trees have their fat happy buds on them, and then sometime in late March a petal will pop out here and there, and then, WHAM! A late frost, and I get one shriveled peach sometime in July.

The sky is blue and I can finally RUN outside. I actually got in some hill work on the cycle last weekend. (Now if only my knee would stop hurting). Pretty soon the outside pool at the gym will open, and Husband swears that in the cool desert morning, a swims in an outdoor heated pool is great. I'm looking forward to it.

Spring break is nigh. Students are antsy, and getting things pierced. I don't care! because it's SPRING! You know what happens after that? SUMMER! Only a teacher can embrace the childlike wonder that is summer and summer break. In fact, I challenge you to come up with adults more excited about summer than teachers.

Speaking of Husband, (my favorite Clydesdale) he has a new blog. Check it out. He's new at this, so leave him some feedback!