Thursday, October 22, 2009

My Favorite Time of Year!

Oh how I love this time of year. I love it more than Christmas if you can believe that. My favorite things about this time of year are: the beautiful fall colors, the cooler temps where you can break out those sweaters, dressing up in costumes, and scaring co-workers. As for example earlier today I scared a co-worker who was singing along with his iPod and didn’t see me sneaking up. Boo! Boy, did he jump!
Awwww…. It almost makes me miss those days (five years) when I used to work (volunteer) at a local haunted house. The ultimate compliment for a haunted house “employee” caused a need for the mop bucket. Yes, I did my share of scaring the piss (quite literally) out of people; and loved every moment of it. I may have a bit of a sadistic streak in me.

What I love more than scaring the piss out of people is dressing up into costumes. I have several different costumes that I have hanging in my front closet that I can pull out at a moment’s notice. But this year I have opted to purchase some new items for a new get-up. I’ve been a patriotic clown, Medusa, a variety of Cruella Deville’s, a murdered ghost bride, a flapper, and a mysterious masked caped female. Its fun dressing up and going out into public, a vampire, and watching how people react to the costume. I enjoy getting into the roll of the character of the costume.

So, I’m preparing my last details of a new costume which I will not reveal until the Halloween Bike ride that I put on. (I just hope that the weather holds out for it.) This is the third year that I’ve had the Halloween Bike ride. Some of the photos that have been taken during these have ended up being in one of my paintings and who knows I may have enough inspiration from this years ride to make another painting hopefully better than the painting below. And see if you can figure out which character I was above in the photos.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Runner's Block and/or Lonely Shoes?

Great weather ( mid-70's and sunny) and a wonderful weekend! Got two bike rides worked in among a BBQ, a "DE-Commissioning" Mass, and a champagne social. But with all this I kept on coming up with excuses on why I shouldn't run. I rather felt like a total procrastinating prolific lying wench! (Oh, boy! I might have to go to confession over this one?)

I just can't get motivated to put on those running shoes and go. But yet, I all ready have 115 miles on the bike. It's strange. I'll go to all the trouble of putting on my gear-- shoes, gloves, helmet, arm warmers if necessary. But gee, just to throw on a pair of running shoes with socks and go? It seems like too much trouble! Gee, am I experiencing "Runner's Block"? Is there such a thing?

I hate to force myself to run for fear that I'll hate it, or I'll grow to hate it. At the same time I do need to get out and do it. I've signed up for a 5K at the beginning of November, and then I have another 5K that I'm doing on Thanksgiving day-- the Cold Turkey. (It sounded like fun.) So I need to get it together and keep my running up to prepare for these runs. I, also, have been playing with the idea of trying a half marathon in the Spring. So, I need to get in the game. Hit the road running!

I've heard that if you don't use it you can lose it. So I wonder how much I have lost in the 3 weeks since I've last ran. When do you get to a point where you have to start all over again? I have found that with cycling that it's about 2 months before I really notice much in the off season. But I generally make sure I don't reach that point with cycling. But at the same respect, I trained up enough in 3 months to muddle my way through a triathlon 70.3 with just coming from cycling background.

But those running shoes that are hanging are staring at me, I almost feel like they are glaring at me. They've been hanging around untouched like that since the day after the Slow Salty Dog Tri. Maybe they are just getting lonely, and I'm reading them all wrong but I can't help but feel guilty in the whole affair.

And so I think to myself," Next weekend! I'll run next weekend. Most, most definitely--next weekend." Or maybe I need my bike to go missing and give the motivation that I need? Hmmmm....

Friday, October 16, 2009

Bosses’ Day and Mom’s Birthday, ….hmmmm?

Today October 16th is both my Mom’s birthday and Bosses’ Day. Is it coincidence that they occur on the same day? I don’t think so! Not that my Mom’s overly bossy (though I think we all have our moments) or anything but… come on! Who is the ultimate boss and go-to-person when you are growing up… MOM! And so each year I find it rather fitting that my Mom’s birthday falls on Bosses’ Day. After all, she was my boss the whole time I was growing up, and she still is quite often the authority figure that I go to get answers.

Happy Birthday Mom!!!

And thanks ! I hope it’s a wonderful day! I, also, really hope you’ve gotten your birthday card from me in the mail. (I don’t want to end up in the dog house on this one!) And I hope I wasn't too off key when I sang on the phone this morning? Above you'll find a picture of your favorite cake. I wish I lived closer so I could bake it and deliver it. Lots of love!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

At the Weather's Whim & Nicknames...

So I'm sitting here at my desk at work and looking out through the windows. There are these dark gray clouds floating in the sky. No blue skies in sight and I'm hoping that it doesn't rain. Please don't rain! Tonight is the last of the Tuesday night bike rides up Emigration Canyon for the season. So here I am at the weather's whim.... please, please... Don't rain!

It's that time of year when there's not enough light to catch a bike ride after work before it turns dark. Darn winter! The sun rises later and sets earlier. It's the opposite of burning the candle at both ends! But I just want to catch one more bike ride after work up the Emigration Canyon, and I'm definitely planning on bundling up for this one!

It's not as though I won't be going up Emigration Canyon the rest of the year. There's still weekends, but it's harder because weekends get SO crowded with other things. I'll probably also be going out for short rides durning my lunches too when the weather is nice.

Oh, did I mention that I bike year round outside? I've had some people call me a hard core bike babe. If the roads are clear, I'm out there! You'll find me all bundled up and pedaling along. What can I say....? I LOVE to bike!

Thus, the nickname that a great deal of my friends call me-- Biker Chick! I can't begin to tell you some of the reactions that I've gotten when new people meet me after most of my friends introduce me. (I tend to wonder if some of my friends have forgotten my real first name.) I think these new people expect me to be in leather, and really tough... perhaps burly with a little bit of chin hair. I smile at the reaction and then say that I'm a cyclist. Then, they say,"Oh!" Like this explains it all. Then I feel like they are looking for the spandex ware. I've been half tempted to lean over and say," I'm prepared I have spandex underware on!" Just to shock them further continue on and say," I left my helmet in the car, but if you really want I can run out and get it. It's pretty cool! It's got Superman stickers on it!" Nah, maybe not!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


It's always easier to take off layers than to be caught flying down a canyon at 30MPH on my bike and freezing. Yes, the high of the day was 58 degrees and there was a frost warning for the night. There I was racing down the canyon trying to beat the setting sun. I must admit there was some beautiful views all along the way. The leaves turning combined with the red lights from the sunset made for an amazing color combination. (Picture - I got from bing but please imagine it with more yellows, and then the sky turning pink and reds from the sunset. Then you've got the beauty of it.)

I arrived at the bottom as Lady Chattering, but my teeth were chattering so fast I could not have carried on much of a conversation if I wanted to. I had my "light" winter gloves (glove liners), no wind vest (mistake), and one pair of socks that proved not to be enough without my toe covers to cover the mesh part of my cycling shoes.

To say the least, neither my toes or my fingers fared very well at all. In fact, I almost felt like I had experienced hypothermia (but this could be exaggerated). But in this state of mind, I imagined a conversation going on between my fingers, toes, and my delirious brain. Such as follows...

( ***maybe I should be writing a disclaimer about the voices in my head? I actually prefer to blame it all on my artistic nature. There enough said!)

"Hey Mac! (nickname for brain) You need ta haV a talk with dis crazy wench.", says my right pinky with a Bronx accent. " Sheeshh! For crying out loud! Hanging with des boys goin' down da canyon lightly squeezing da brakes. It's CRAZY with a capital "C"! Just a thin layer between me and freezing da death. Whatz wrong with dis broad anyway?!"

"Yah! What was she thinking!?!", pipes in the middle right toe with a Mid-west accent(is there such a thing?). "You bet-cha, we were just freezing down here. One pair of socks is not enough with that mesh in these shoes. She should know better! I hope she considers taking a hot bath after this one."

There are murmurs of agreement all around from all of the body parts.

" Sorry to disagree Chaps!" States the little toe on the left foot in an English accent (don't ask me why?) " But this cold felt downright bloody good! I'm still black and blue from that run in with that chair leg a couple of days ago."

There's an audible silence from all for a bit.

"Ahhh! You oyz was da bit unhinged!" Yelps the right pinky to peels of laughter all around.

Well, that's the short version of the conversation of the voices that I heard in my head on the drive home. I tried to warm up as much as I could in my car, but the heater has never worked very well. When I got home, I started a pot of coffee, and some hot bath water. Ahhh! Now that felt good and hit the spot.

You know, I keep thinking that my learning curve will improve over time but sometimes I wonder if that is possible. Maybe my learning curve is like a credit card and I've just maxed the hell out it. Well, that's one theory.

Oh, and P.S.... I'm getting some flack from Mum about the eating the veggies thing. She doesn't want to be accused of being a bad mother and she was not a bad mother. So let me state this for the record. I at no time was sitting at the said dinner table the entire night. It was just until bedtime... but I will say that to a kid a few hours sitting still at a dinner table can feel like all night long. I was exaggerating with what it felt like as a kid. Sorry mom!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

An Update, A Recap, & Gee, What Am I Whining About?

I thought I would continue with the monthly totals update like I did last month. Some of you will find this a little "dry" reading but I'm going to be a little selfish here and use this as a record of what I did. Who knows it might prove to be interesting to you too?

Totals for Sept.2009 ...

Cycling miles-- 337

Running miles-- 23.5

Swimming miles-- 3.5

I looked up my cycling miles that I did last year. I did 475 miles of cycling the month of Sept. 2008. Now keep in mind that last year I was only cycling, I wasn't doing any of these other "disciplines".

FINAL RECAP--the SLOW SALTY DOG Tri (1.2M Swim/56M Bike/13 M Run)

Swim--1 hr. 7 min.

T1: 46 min (I was totally dry for the bike.)

Bike-- 4hrs. 22 min.

T2: 19 min.

Run--3 hrs. 50 min.

Okay, that's the last of the SLOW SALTY DOG. I'm sure all of you are sick of it by now. Now onto the...Gee,What Am I Whining About? I've been dealing with some tiredness of late but last night I watched a video that put all of this into perspective for me. It really made me think-- what the heck am I even whining about.

I watched Running On The Sun. It's a 2000 documentary film about the Badwater 135. The Badwater 135 is an Ultra-Marathon race that's 135 miles through the Mohave Desert. The race is limited to 40 people, and the film focused on 13 of the entrants through their experience. It was just amazing to watch all of these runners test their limits. The emotions ran from despair to joy. I found myself crying as one of the entrants, a man who had lost part of his arm and a leg from volunteering to remove landmines, as he crossed the finish line. It was just amazing and I would recommend the video to anyone that is into any kind of endurance sport. It always amazes me what a person can do when they set their mind on something, and it gives me hope.