30 December, 2008

One more day left in this year of 2008

It's been an odd year, full of turmoil and people losing jobs and sitting on a house that still hasn't sold. But it could be worse. All of my family are still close. We have our good health (for the most part).

I took a short ride today. A bowl of bean soup and some cheese and crackers for dinner last night really wasn't enough fuel for a good ride today. Nutrition is key! I planned a 20 and wound up with 15 miles out Route Rd and back. The club had a 40 miler, but didn't have enough time to get back, bathe and make my hair appt.

The ride was challenging for more than the nutrition issue. I get about halfway down Route Rd and a car pulls out of a driveway to my left (opposite side of road). The driver and I look at each other, I keep pedalling and he keeps pulling across the road right at me! I start screaming and waving my left arm. He comes within 2 inches of my front wheel, I don't know how we missed each other. He just pulled away and then made the next left about 150 yards up the street. What's up with that? No harm, no foul I guess. But I also have to think I have to be a very lucky woman. I know some many that have been hit or bit by a dog among other mishaps. I'm sure my odds will run out, they always do.

After coming home and taking a nice soak in the tub, I took off to do a little clothes shopping. After picking up a few items, I made my hair appt with 5 minutes to spare! ;-) The girl I go to is my oldest's age, they've known each other since they were babies (had the same babysitter). I put my hair in her hands and she gave me a nice trim, relayered, and soft perm. Yes!

I have to work 4 hours tomorrow morning and then start taking down the decorations. Not sure I'll get to ride unless it's on the trainer. Festivities will be close to home, small number of friends, peaceful and safe. Then start out New Year's with a polar bear ride and potluck.

Next time I'l try to update on what I've learned so far about my Heart Rate monitor I got for Christmas.

Happy New Year's Eve, everyone! (almost)

28 December, 2008

Time off is good

So, after so much massive caloric intake it was time to burn off some food! I can't believe how 3 days screws with your body! I have to get back to eating fresh fruit and veggies and away from all this rich food.

Yesterday was great riding. The beginning of the ride was close so I rode to and fro which added 20 miles for a total of 46. The temps were high of 71F and winds 20 - 30 mph. There were a couple of times the cross winds had me leaning further than I've ever leaned, even on a turn! I have to get faster on hills! Especially if I'm going to be any good at all next year at the games. We were having a great time and all was going well, about 15 of us and we were all hanging. The first big hill I slowed, Rick was with me. He was fixed and had already ridden 40 earlier. The RC fell back, I think it'd been sometime since he'd been out on his bike and he was working hard. Oh yeah, the ride start, we saw a couple of young men pull in and bring out a suitcase, then a LMPD officer and another pulled in. They had a python! Wild stuff.

I finally got out this morning and walked briskly. Much different with 35F and a little breezy. Put in 25 minutes and was in my HR zone for 21 of it. Tomorrow I'll actually run. It's got to help my heart and overall recovery.

Today I rode the regular Sunday 2:00 out of Heine Bros. Nice crowd of 35 or more. Temps were about 45 or so and the sun was glorious! I rode with a nice size group most of the ride, This made River Road so much more fun. Of course everyone else handles Glenview no prob and I drop back. Murph and I rode in together. He's a very good dude.

Only thing on tomorrow's schedule is a 7:00 pm ride. Guess I'll get out and run, go buy new tires for my car, maybe have the LBS mechanic check out my bike and if there's enough sunlight left ride a few miles. Have to see how it all plays out.

26 December, 2008


We all go through life thinking we are in control. Or worse yet, trying to control what others do, think, etc. We only have control over ourselves, and with me that is still a challenge!

My daughters apologised yesterday for not having a gift for me. I explained that they gave me exactly what I hoped for, time to spend with them and theirs. What more could anyone want? Time to talk, joke, laugh, love and learn something new about each other, hopefully. I think I went wrong somewhere for them to feel guilty for not having a gift.
I need to change my expectations of others. They will act and react as they must and not according to what I want or expect. I need to turn things upside down to find the good stuff.

I have lots of serious thinking about what I want to do over the next period of time. Examine where I am, what I really want to do, and try to figure out how I can begin to live the latest adventure in life. I've spent a lot of time changing what I was, no more smoking, no more sedentary life. I've also had to deal with physical changes, like my thyroid going haywire and menopause striking!

Now I need to plan, refine, take advantage. It's not going to be easy. Some things will be difficult. Some things will be great challenges. I need to "clean house", throw some things out, blow the dust off of others, and hope all my decisions are for the good. I need to separate the fantasy from the reality. Where I can, I will make the fantasy into reality. Where I can't, I will hold those fantasies in a special place to take out at some point in the future.

25 December, 2008

Merry Christmas!

I have precious few moments alone on this holiday. Hubby has left to get Mom. My oldest and her hubby spent the night after an evening with Hubby's family. It was a twin fest, where the babies (almost a year old) were the evening's entertainment.

I will have an open door, most likely revolving today. Everyone is free to come and go as their busy schedules permit. The house cleaning was left for this morning, as was most of the cooking. So the house will be as free of animal fur as possible and full of warm oven smells most of the day.

I hope for patience and wisdom to keep silent. I'm so looking forward to the brother and sister, nieces and nephews, daughters and theirs and mother and hubby.

No more mornings of wakening to the hustle and bustle of packages being ripped open, ah's and oh's.

Time to get back to the cooking and preparing!

23 December, 2008

Time off! Now is the time to really work hard

Yesterday was my last day in the office until 5 January. I got home and the hubby and his boys were playing music. I ate a few bits of spaghetti, got geared up, and rode the trainer for 2 hours while listening to tunes on youtube. It felt so good to spin out into a zone and sweat bullets. I've discovered Sia, she's real bluesy, but I was spinning into oblivion with her in my ears.

Today was "try to remember it's not a race" while finishing the gift purchasing and grocery shopping. What an adrenaline rush! All while driving on slickery roads and listening to a new accident being reported every few minutes. But alas, no snow this year for Christmas.

I have a plan to work hard these two weeks. on the bike and starting to run. What I want is to sign up for the triple crown and race the spring cycling series. Hmm, ambitious yep, but what the hell? I am well past half my life expectancy.

Time to work on the bike too. Dixie is in Yuma. Wants me to visit. sounds good if I can float a tic for me and bike.

Merry Christmas

21 December, 2008

Rationalise - never satisfied?

First of all, I'm a sad individual. Took Mom to church, then was going to get some work done. Next half hour spent trying to find a wireless network to hook into. Now my battery is on the verge of sleep mode and I still won't get any work done. Did you know that there are tons of people with wireless and not enabled security? Shhh, don't say anything!

I got to yesterday's ride start and saw several people I've not seen in a while. Many came up to me and asked where I'd been! I've been riding, just not the regular rides, I told them. It was good to see several in the group. I was feeling fairly strong and the temps were in the high 30s so no wheezing issues. I rode up front with another cyclist I just met and we hung on the front together until Northwestern Parkway, where he dropped me. I worked hard to keep 18 - 20 mph average, just couldn't stay on his wheel. I kept thinking I would see the rest of the group as I circled Shawnee and headed back towards Bank St, but never saw another cyclist. Now that was just weird.

When I turned ont 6th Street I saw a group of 5 that left early from the start, at least 5 to 10 minutes early. I started sprinting to catch up, but kept getting caught by the traffic signals. At one stoplight, I told a gentleman at the bus stop that I just couldn't catch up to those guys. He was very nice and chatted until the light went green, as I pedalled away he told me to be safe. Nice person. I think I've said before, I try to say hello to people while riding. I think it goes back to my Dad waving at people while driving. It's important to be friendly and show people niceties and courtesies.

As I passed Kentucky, I caught the guys that left early. I hung with them all the way to Iroquois. Except for one two block stint. I getting stronger on the hill, but still slower than I want to be. Finally a couple of the guys from behind passed me on this hill. I kept wondering where they were.

It was a good ride, and though I'm not happy with my average speed, I felt strong all day and really didn't mind riding solo quite so much. The cold zaps your energy so quickly. I need to start packing a gel or two in my jersey. You don't realise until the end of 2 and a half hours how spent you are and then I'm starving, too!

So I've rationalised my stealing wireless and never satisfied with my cycling speed. :-)

17 December, 2008

A day of fond memories

Today my Daddy would've been 83 years old. He's been gone eight and a half years. I miss him dearly and think of him often, though not as often as a couple of years ago. That makes me sad to realise that I don't think of him daily anymore. He was a good man, had sound advice. Enjoyed a hearty debate. So much has changed since he died. Mom sold her house and bought a patio home. Brother got divorced. Sister got divorced and remarried. My oldest got married. He had a laugh that is still memorable. He loved to pull jokes, especially on Mom.

When we leave someone's house I will say, "gotta go, gotta go" like he would. When I leave Mom's or a relative's house, I honk my horn as I pull away, just like he did. As I drive down the road, I will look at people in their cars and wave, just like he did. I miss him calling me, Sherri Jane.

Don't get me wrong, he was a disciplinarian. He could be stern when necessary. He taught high school biology and coached basketball, football, and golf. He taught learning impaired children during summer school. He loved working with kids. He didn't make much money and truth be known we were probably on the edge of poverty, but we never knew it. Spent so many nights in the gym and riding the bus going to ball games. The smell of popcorn still brings back memories from those days so long ago.

I'm so happy I have these memories.

Happy Birthday Daddy

15 December, 2008

So, what's with the obsessive compulsiveness?

Go from one thing to another or three! I wouldn't mind if all those things were good for you, but just like tobacco some things are detrimental. But you still get drawn to them, like a moth to a flame, a fly to manure. Too much of anything isn't good.

I worked about an hour on Saturday,6 hours yesterday and a good 9 today. I haven't ridden since Saturday and took Wednesday and Friday off last week. One of my riding buddies emailed me yesterday asking, "where were you today?" That was cool that someone missed seeing me there.

I had every intention of riding the trainer when I got home today, but still had an hour of work. By the time I wrapped that up, hubbies friends dropped in to play some music. So, I haven't gotten on the trainer tonight. I've been coming up with all kinds of excuses. Such a slacker.

And guess what else! I had a MIlky Way for dinner, along with a couple of peanut butter and crackers. Is that bad? Probably the worst kind of bad. But it is what it is now. In racing they say that you have to go slow to go fast. I wonder, can you translate this the same way, you gotta be bad to be good? ;-)

Time for a cold beer now, a night full of empty calories!

14 December, 2008

The journey continues

I had a good ride on Saturday. It was a 55 miler with about 15 cyclists. Cold day, decided on the way to the start that I wasn't going to have any breathing problems. Two puffs on the inhaler, spent 20 minutes breathing easy in the cold temps before taking off. No wheezing at all, during or after. Another cyclist did have an asthma attack early on. I think it scared a couple of people.

On another note, there are some things in life that need reflection and review. I've made several mistakes in my life, though I'd not change any of them. Can't say I'm proud of them either. There are some things we want, hope for, that at some point we realise need to put them aside. It's hard for me to do this. I've struggled against it too long. Almost requires a greiving process much like saying goodbye to cigarettes.

Today is a new day. Find the good stuff in it and realise how blessed I am.

11 December, 2008

Bad day?

We all have them. We all find ways to get through them. One way is to find inspiration from others that have it so much worse than you.

Jon Blais is one of those people. He was a triathlete struck by ALS. He kept such a positive outlook throughout his fight.

There are several poems and wise sayings on the site posted above. I hope some of it helps you. It has helped me immensely.

10 December, 2008

Funny how life works

My youngest had her gall bladder removed yesterday, outpatient. All went very well.

I went to trainer tours last night, thought I'd go easy. Hah! Still not happy with my lack of ability to do everything on the video, but was a great workout. Must've dropped 3 pounds in sweat.

Last night and this morning have been unique. Life has it's funny ways of twisting and turning. I wish I had more control, but that's a lesson I still need to study.

08 December, 2008

Long day, for a Monday

Took a long lunch hour so I could ride today. Glad I did, too. The sun shone and the weather was blowing from the South. Tomorrow is 58F but rain. Started at 7:30 and left the office at 5:30. Came home and worked for an hour and then a call for an hour.

I'm not complaining! I have a job. I am fortunate. So many are laying off right now.

My yongest is having gall bladder surgery in the am. It's time for her to get some relief!

06 December, 2008

Mother Nature has brought us winter weather

I'm not complaining. It's nice to have the air bite your skin for a change. Not thrilled about static eletricity but I can suffer a little.

One of the guys in the club, AB, has been such a mentor since I joined. He RCs the trainer tours and babysat me on the first club rides back in the spring. AB is 73 years young. A great guy! He asked me on Thursday night if I realised how far I've come riding my bike since the first of the year. Of course I do, I said. He told another person that I put him to shame recently on a ride, that he couldn't keep up with me. I think he was on his fixie, so maybe I had an edge with 23 more speeds and about 23 fewer years. :-) He told me that he put me in for most improved cyclist for the year. But he also was quick to say that he only gets one vote, so no way to know who will win it. I blushed and thanked him. I didn't know what the different awards are as I've not been to any annual banquets yet. I'm sure it will be fun. It's in January.

I've spent more and more time reflecting, reading, researching about life. My mom is very unhappy, losing her independence with driving. She has tried so hard to make us feel guilty. She's been so negative. I have to let this stuff go. I do what I can.

I've also been thinking about many of my relationships. How they are working or aren't. What do I want out of the rest of my life? New experiences for sure. I want to live, love, work hard, sweat, laugh, have fun in all things. I have desires that need fulfilling. A "bucket list" of items may be published at some point but not in it's entirety.

05 December, 2008

Has been a roller coaster of a week

Started the trainer tours on Tuesday and went back last night. Man do I have a lot of work to do! My cardio is not where I'd like to see along with my ability to spin at the cadence. A friend told me that I keep moving the bar and will never be satisfied. I hope so! It's not fun if it's easy. We need a challenge.

The week at work has been crammed full of tasks. I've stressed over trying to get this and then that wrapped up. Always depending upon others. I so miss being on a team. I can be so much more productive when other individuals are involved, sharing their ideas, having someone to bounce my ideas off of.

I've not sleep much. Too many nights waking and staying awake for an hour to two. Finally went to see the gyno again. Had a few items to discuss. She put me on a low dose estrogen that is topical not oral. I hope it works, but after two days, I've experienced worse power surges and sweats during the work day now! Patience!

On top of this of course it's been an emotional roller coaster of a week. Happy, sad, angry, crying for no reason, giddy, butterflies, flirting, horny, anxious, daydreaming a wonderful and scary mix of stuff!

One good thing from the docs is, I now weigh 148 pounds! Broke the 150 mark, now that heavier weight stays on the left and the smaller marks the pounds. I've gone from 172 in April 07 to this. Long, determined, life style change. Quitting smoking is good! Patience with yourself is imperative. We can all do this, if it is a desire.

Let me know how you are doing if you've made a change. Life is an adventure and should be fun!

03 December, 2008

The indoor season begins

The club Trainer Tours started last night. This is where members gather twice a week at a local church, bring their bikes and trainers or rollers, and sweat together for an hour. It never ceases to amaze me of some of these peoples physical ability and speed. You can't really tell on the open road like you can while they're on rollers or trainer.

I really had a great time. Started sweating bullets within 10 minutes of warmups. I felt so out of shape during this one. We had reps of sitting and standing which I need so much more work. About 35 minutes into the 45 minute workout, I developed cramping in my left calf and then my right which caused me to back off the intensity of bit.

Can't wait to get back out tomorrow and do it again though! It's amazing how good I feel these days, breathing easy. No smoke filled lungs for me any more. Very happy I quit tobacco.

30 November, 2008

End of November 08

It's the thirtieth of November. We are having a dark, gray, wet day that is too warm for snow and at 44 cool enough to want to stay indoors.

Yesterday morning started out at 38F for the ride and cloudy skies. I'd been dealing with a toothace the night before and decided it wasn't going to bother my ride and it didn't. We had a very nice turnout, with a few out of towners joining in. I was happy with my ride, though I always wish I was faster. I hung with the front group all the way to Shawnee until some point on Bank Street. Rick was fixed, he was breaking my wind, he started loosing steam so we peeled off the front of the pace line and boom! Faded too fast. Several of us grouped together and rode to 6th, through St James, down 3rd and lo and behold we caught up with the front guys at Central. We all stayed together until the hill in Iroquois and I got dropped. :-( Rode most of the way back solo. When I checked my time it was the fastest for this ride at 2:08.

I was chilled, so jumped in a hot bath once I got home and my tooth began to ache. Hubby pulled out decorations and I watched as he put the garland on the porch railing. I found the wreaths and put them on the front upstairs windows. He put the prelit tree in the foyer window. The front of the house looks festive! Now for the indoor tree. Maybe a little bit each night this week.

I've been emailing with a friend quite a bit. I think I need to pay close attention to what I type. It seems that has gotten very easy to be misinterpreted lately. I wish more of our communication could be conversational because email just doesn't seem to work at all anymore. However, email will remain the primary form of contact for now. Think I should just let it rest.

Here's hoping for a delightful December for my friends and family!

28 November, 2008

Chose not to shop today

I debated with myself about taking mom shopping today. But finally opted to spend a day by myself after spending most of yesterday and couple hours on Wednesday. I don't enjoy shopping. I've been out on Black Friday a couple of times in my life and was miserable each time. I have a feeling this year is going to be much different for the holidays. I'm trying to decide how I can try to make it special for those I hold dear.

Today was a Show and Go, nothing on the schedule for the day. We rode the full River Walk to Farnsley Moorman and back for 50 miles. The day was warmer than last Saturday. The morning started about 39F and was 53F by the end of the ride. This was basically the same route as last week.. The sky was cloudy for the first half of the ride. No one wanted to ride fast :-( I was fairly comfortable today, except for my toes. I have to figure out what to do for them if I'm going to ride in colder temps. I rode with several people, chatting most of the ride. Always good to get to know people a little more.

We ride out past an industrial area where Dupont and Rohm Haas have plants. I didn't notice last week, maybe because the air was colder then and I wore my balaclava over my nose and mouth. Today I could smell and taste the chemicals in the air. One place was an asphalt odor, in another it was paint or something like that. We stopped for 15 at the Save A Step and headed back. No fish sandwiches today. As we got within a mile or so of where the Belle of Louisville is docked we had a nice view of the Ohio River. Never before has it looked like it did today. It's always been brown or greenish brown; full of debris, etc. Today it was this beautiful blue and very serene. It had a nice calming affect on me.

Tomorrow is only 35, so I think I'll add some to the end. They've closed a bridge to automobiles on River Road right where Wolf Pen Branch starts. Thought I might check it out, see if it's a pain putting the bike over the guard rails. The rain starts tomorrow night and I assume I'll be back on the trainer for the week ahead. No compliants though. It's been fantastic this year for riding.

27 November, 2008

Happy Day, full of thanks

Yesterday was only half a day at work, but somehow it seemed I accomplished more than a typical 8 hour day. Then I went and got my Mom and took her to the grocery. We had a good argument and I told her how difficult it has gotten to look forward to spending time with her. Most times I would feel bad/guilty within a few hours, but not this time. Last night she called me and apologised. This has never happened in all my 50 years.

We spent the entire day together today with my sister, brother and most of our children. It was a gorgeous day. The sun shone brightly and it was mid 50s. I had teased about putting my bike on the car and riding after the big meal. I didn't. Very good day!

There is a show and go 50 tomorrow. Weather should be about the same. I toyed with the idea of taking Mom shopping, but I need a day without her and I truly hate to shop. I will find a few hours soon.

She asked me if it would bother me if she smoked in my car, I answer, "yes it would". She lit it anyway. Go figure.

It was 16 months on Sunday tobacco free. Didn't realise til yesteray. Life is good!

23 November, 2008

Beautiful day

I slept in til 8 am. I had my quota of coffee and oatmeal while working. The sun shone so brightly I had to move around the table so I could see the pc screen.

The regular club ride out of Heine Bros had a nice turnout, several rode up 5 minutes before we left. It was 50F and breezy. I decided to take an easy spin today. My lungs were wheezy last night and even woke up in the middle of the night with some heaviness. I kept my speed through the park around 20 mph, and closer to 17/18 mph the rest of the way, Lexington, downtown, River Road. At one point Grasshopper rode by on his fixie and said to grab a wheel. I did, but they were cruising at 23+ mph, my lungs were already burning so I backed off. Got to Glenview and struggled a bit, my lungs started to shut down a little. Again with the relaxation, mind over matter and several passed me. Funny, once I got to Brownsboro everyone was stopped at the light so I rode the balance of the ride with them.

Quite of few of us went to Heine Bros after. I was thinking of getting a coffee, but decided on a large hot chocolate. It really hit the spot. Someone said it's a great recovery drink. I'm not so sure, but I won't disagree. I was smart enough to take off my jacket while indoors. It was chilly walking back to the car. Even with clothes that wick away moisture, once you stop you cool down quickly. At least I do and I perspire quite a bit. Some interesting conversations, a few good jokes and I got in a "that's what she said" that everyone laughed at.

I'm so very glad it's a short week this week. Go back for more blood work in the am. Have to fast! They will check my thyroid levels and blood sugar, too. Looks like rain and cold days until Thanksgiving which at this point looks like the best day of the week. It will be good to see family together.

Looking forward to a warm 50F day!

I debated with myself on which ride to do on Saturday or do both? It was 24F at 10 when the first ride, a 35 miler, began. The coldest I've done is 42F. I'm not so worried about being cold, Layers and windbreakers are the key, learned that in Girl Scouts decades ago. My lungs have always been at issue in cold air. So, I opted for the 50 mile ride at noon instead.

The first half was great fun, though my toes were frozen. I had two pairs of socks and shoe covers, but could not get my toes to warm up. We rode the RiverWalk. It was a very flat ride. I know if we'd had some hills we would've warmed up quickly. My balaclava works very well, except that my sunglasses steam up and I can't see. I spent lots of energy just trying to focus on breathing so that won't happen. I rode with several, including Grasshopper, and had some fun conversations about a wide variety of topics. We rode to Farnsley Moreman, turned back and then stopped at Mike Linnig's to grab a bite. I wish we hadn't stayed so long, at least 45 minutes. It was tough going back out in the cold. The group I was with took off like a shot. I worked to stay with them for the first 5 miles. But the cold air was too much for my lungs and they started closing up where I could not inhale deeply enough. I slowed down and went through my relaxation exercise, mind over body. Finally, I started feeling more calm and could breathe, but I'd lost site of those in front and no one was behind me. I rode into Shawnee and was annoyed that I hadn't paid better attention to where the River Walk comes out. I finally found it and rode in the rest of the way. The thermometer on my car read 32F when I arrived at the ride start and 36F when I got back. The winds downtown made it feel 25F at 4:30 and the clouds were so thick, darkness fell very quickly once I started driving home.

Once home, I immediately ran a tub with very warm water and soaked with the jets running. I struggled with the asthma off and on throughout the night. Think I may need to stick with once a day on the Advair while riding in the winter.

Today the sun has shone brightly since daybreak. It has a tremendous affect on my outlook on life. I've been doing some work, sitting at the dinnette watching the shadows show short. I'm thrilled to get to be back on the bike for the 2 o'clock ride today. My biggest dilemma is how to dress, I don't want to overdress and definitely don't want to underdress.

Back to work for a bit, then off to ride. Not sure what I'll do this evening, maybe read or try my hand at writing.

20 November, 2008

What is it lately?

Daydreams are prominent. I try to focus on the task at hand. Within minutes I realise I've drifted off again. I have these thoughts that keep returning. I know it's all fantasy. But I keep thinking I could turn this into reality.

I'm disillusioned professionally and personally. I'd like to make a few major changes. I'm thinking this might not be the best time for that. But I return to the dreams.

How can I start a new career? Should I start a new life?

I just don't know.

19 November, 2008

Took a day off work

I hope it doesn't come back and bite me on the butt.

I needed some downtime. My youngest is still having problems, her gyno said she may not have needed the procedure. Ran more tests on Monday and she goes back next Monday. Missing more work and jeopardising her job and insurance. My brother took Mom back to the opthamologist today. Her right eye has stopped bleeding and is clear. The left eye has started again. She still can't drive and is very disappointed.

I called my daughers and finally reached the youngest. We went to lunch and shopped a bit. It was nice. She is on pain meds and didn't have much to say, which is very unusual as she is a big talker. She apologised but I told her I was happy just being in her presence.

I rode with 6 others tonight. It was 42F and dark. Glad I found a good windbreaker with a hood.

16 November, 2008

Time finally ran out - Cold and windy today

Most probably don't think 41F is cold, especially for November. I wouldn't either, except that we've had some very warm weather all the way until early last week.

I've never ridden my bike in temps below low 50s. I worried over my clothing, too many layers? not enough? I need a good windbreaker that fits like a glove so it won't get whipped around. I decided on a mesh tee, compression long sleeve shirt, longsleeve jersey and lightweight jacket made of poly and spandex. I wore two pairs of socks and had toe warmers on my shoes, my fingerless gloves with padding and a lightweight pair of gloves with fingers over. I also wore my balaclava for the first time. It's like a ski mask with face shield that can be moved over the nose or out of the way. I had on regular bike shorts and long tights.

For the most part I was warm. I worried about my legs, but once you start pedalling the muscles stay fairly warm. My feet felt the worst. Very cold and almost numb by the end of 25 miles. The balaclava was good, my ears stayed warm. I had to keep moving the shield up and down. My glasses kept foggin up and my nose kept running. I still have problems breathing cold air. I'm not sure I can take colder temps. I wheezed for about an hour after I finished riding. By 2.5 hours after my lungs were feeling back to 90%. Good sign!

For the most part the ride was good. I wasn't as fast as I wanted, only avg'd 16 mph. I'll have to manage my expectations on these colder days. Hope I can get longer rides in next weekend.

13 November, 2008

Shitty day but a nice evening

Office politics - just suck big time. I'm very tired of all the maneuvering that happens. Much of the time it's all about who you work for and/or who you know and/or if someone with power likes you. Too much.

So I've started blowing the dust off of my resume. It's a scary thing. This economy isn't exactly the right time to be job hunting. Hell, I'm 50 and I'm not sure anyone wants the skills I have.

The weather today was very nice. It was 62F at 5:45 when our ride started. The sun was beautiful setting in the Western horizon while the Full Moon was rising from the Eastern horizon. The sunset had all those hues of pink and orange, but the the full moon was an odd orange early on, too. But once it got up into the night sky, the clouds faded and the moon shone very brightly.

The were about 12 of us that rode tonight. I worried that I would get cold, but stuck with the arm and leg warmers. I was just fine. Wonder if I can get out in the 40 degree weather we are supposed to have this weekend and survive. TIme will tell. They are forecasting snow flurries on Saturday, brrrrrrr.

12 November, 2008

Not getting enough bike time

Long days at work, obligations with Mom and cold and/or rainy weather are playing against me. I did get on the trainer last night for an hour for a medium spin.

Tomorrow is supposed to be mid 60s and dry in the afternoon, so am planning on getting out of the office no later than 4 and head to the park. Club ride with lights at 5:30. I was hoping to do at least one of the 60 mile rides this weekend. Guess it depends on the ride captains. Forecast mentioned snow on Saturday, but I doubt there will be any accumulation. Time to get some gloves and underarmour!

Work is overwhelming with a to do list that just grows and grows. I really need to make time for the bike or find another outlet. So scared I'll start eating and sleeping too much more! Just make it til next month and can fit in the club Trainer Tours twice a week at a minimum.

The drive home was fun today, a near miss by a semi and a deer on Routte Rd. Guess I still have that guardian angel hanging around. :-)

09 November, 2008

Be careful what you wish for, you'll wind up with the exact opposite!

I'm not sure where I'll go with this today.

I have been sitting in my car in my Mom's church parking lot, working on a spreadsheet. I'm thinking about our conversation while driving here. She is terribly disappointed in me for not joining her in Sunday School and Church. She fears I am destined to hell. She began by telling me there is only one unforgiveable sin. She thinks I don't remember my upbringing in church. There is no good way to hold this conversation with her since I won't lie, therefore will not be able to satisfy her wishes.

The week at work was frustrating and overwhelming. It's left me questionning my ability and affectiveness.

My worst fear is that I will be just like my Mom. She told me today that I've always wanted her to not drive and now my wish came true. My poor daughters. I am so sorry in advance!

My oldest daughter came to the house and I took her and Mom to my niece's baby shower. It was a great time to see relative's and friends we've not seen since the last holiday. After taking Mom home, I got to visit with H. She's gone vegetarian/vegan. Mostly she eats only raw food. She will eat seafood, but a minimum of that. Many times one of us is moody it seems and we don't have the best of visits. Today was different. We laughed and talked seriously about life and being happy. She and I have grown a friendship that I am starting to relish. Some people say you can't be friends with your children. I've always worked at being friends with them. I told her to please stop calling me when I start saying mean things like my Mom did today. She witnessed Mom's comment above and told me that she didn't mean it and she'll stop in a couple months. But she won't and I knew that going into this. It's okay, I think.

04 November, 2008

Deer are running rut!

It's time to be careful, very careful. Driving home tonight I missed a deer by less than 2 feet.

Fantastic day for election day. First time in 32 years I had to wait 1:20 to vote. I was proud that so many have exercised their right this year. The temps reached 77F today. I had a long day on calls, in meetings - 2 @ an hour and a half each. Sux! So to clear my head I went out for the club ride. Started in daylight, but ended at pitch dark. Good group of about 12. Had a very nice ride. Wind chill was cool through the parks.

Now to wait and see what happens with the election. It will be interesting to watch and maybe just a little scary.

02 November, 2008

I've been chatting with a bud lately

about politics, religion, life. We've had some lively exchanges. One discussion lately revolved around volunteering. I was a Girl Scout leader for 15 years. I've taken some time off. Now I need to find a new way to serve. I'm not sure what yet. Guess I should investigate a few options. First need to see how much time and the frequency I'm willing to devote. Food for thought!

It's unbelievable that we can wear shorts comfortably the first of November. I am so greatful! Rode 35 on Saturday and another 22 today. Rubbed some sunshine on my face (old Richard Pryor routine).

Got some advice from a TL guy, told me how he watched me and noticed how strong I am, but need to work on my skills. ;-) Then asked how long I've been riding, blahblahblah. When I told him, he said I should read a few books on training and how valuable time off is, too even if it's just spinning on the trainer. I'm thinking it's this white and red kit. But Susan H road with me the last mile or so down River Rd, 'cause I just couldn't hang on to those guys in the paceline doing 24+ any longer. But then, before I knew it she'd pulled me right back to them! She told me she's noticed that I've really gotten strong and was really hammering it today. Was a boost to me ego. Wish I was stronger and faster though! I know, I know, just a wish am still being realistic about how much how fast. Sort of

31 October, 2008

It's so easy to think of smoking

Each time a stressful event happens. I think I've had plenty since last July. My oldest found a lump last summer, then married in September. My sister found true love and married. My Mom is losing her vision and can no longer drive. My youngest daughter just went through surgery to discover that she does not have endometriosis.

My change of life craziness doesn't help at all. Hormone shifts causing weeping moments out of the blue. Some of the time I have such trouble focusing. Wishing for things that I shouldn't.

Work has it's own trials. Too much to do for one person. Just lost a number of good people.

I just had a fantasy of grabbing one of my husbands cigarettes. I'd really like to hold one between my fingers and smell the length of it. It's been over 15 months! I won't do it. I can't. I've come way too far.

It's Halloween and I should be laughing! At least tomorrow I can get out and ride. We are having unbelievable weather again. 70s and sunny with no rain in sight.

23 October, 2008

Chivalry still lives

I can't say it exists everywhere. I witness it on occasion, but not often.

Last night I went on the Wednesday night club ride. It is similar to the TNWs. I've clocked it at 27 miles. Now this ride hasn't moved it's start as early as many of the other evening rides, though it's longer. It's been listed as lights required. I got to the ride start, had my light and was ready. It was fairly cool, 59F and very breezy at the 6:00 start, but the sun was still shining and felt warm on your face.

I was the only female to show! No big deal. There were probably 25 or so that showed up. This ride is great fun and challenging for me. My biggest drawback for now is I need some warmer gear to wear. Booties or toe warmers are on top of the list. Next would be a few long-sleeved thin, wicking t-shirts to wear as a base layer, next a wind breaker that is rain resistent. From here I could go a little nuts with my wish list. :-)

We started out and I stayed with the lead group until that darned little inclined on Blankenbaker. I lost ground, but could see them ahead. I made up some ground on the downhill - was going about 31MPH which was great fun but felt like I was in a beer cooler with a fan on. Unfortunately, they caught the light at River Rd and I didn't. Murph reached me and we started out River Rd together. There were others behind, but I never saw them. As Murphy pulled, we chatted about the house he and his wife are trying to purchase. We ride down to the baseball stadium and start back down River Rd. As we turn onto Mockingbird I tell him that I'm going to bail at Brownsboro and head back. It's dusk and darkening quickly and the temps are dropping. When we get to the top he says that he's going back with me. I protest, because this will cut his ride short. He would have nothing to do but go with me. It was dark and he said he couldn't live with himself if something would happen. How would he feel if I had a flat an my spare tube wouldn't inflate? Let alone something worse. There wasn't anything I could do or say except, "thanks, Murph".

Once we got back to the start, he took off to see if he could find any of the others and get some more miles in. It was pitch dark. I really was glad that he rode back with me. But I am a grown up with a cell phone and can handle myself.

I had 18.5 miles in 1:16 minutes. Not exactly Speedy Gonzales, but my legs were happy.

22 October, 2008

Good to look back and reflect

I was looking at the club stat sheet last night. There are still rides happening through the end of the month and some have not been posted. I have 98 rides for 2500+ miles since April. I can't complain about that. I rode several on my own or with Dixie that aren't in that total.

Pretty cool for someone that quit smoking after 35 years. I was a cheerleader and ran track in high school. That has helped me come back as well as I have I think. I am so happy that I have been able to undo some of that damaging behavior.

Anyone can do anyting if they believe they can and work for it.

21 October, 2008

Time to get back on track

Last week was very off schedule for me. I rode my bike through Tuesday, but not again until Saturday. Initially, I was feeling guilty about it. I missed Sunday, too, since I was driving home.

I drove to St. Louis and visited a friend that recently retired. She has been a true mentor. She was my boss for a short while, maybe a little over a year. Best boss I've had since I was 20. It was a good visit. However, it was also educational. She and I talked quite a lot about work and some individuals that are still at my place of employment. She has good insights. I'm greatful that she shared them with me.

I mentioned that I would like to ride my bike and asked if her son-in-law (who swims, bikes and runs) could put together a cue sheet or at least some directions for a 35 mile ride. Very nice surprise that he joined me. It was cold, windy and flat. I still didn't feel on top of my game, though I kept trying to push myself. We only averaged about 15 mph and I apologised to him for holding him back. He talked almost the entire time. Very nice guy that is really into cycling, running, fitness and his 3 children that are adorable.

I am hoping to get back into a rhythm this week. I rode the Monday night tune-up last night and felt better than I have since riding the century. I honestly think taking time off of the saddle has done me some good. Now, I need to think about some kind of cross-training during the winter months. With the days getting shorter it will be almost impossible to ride during the week in just another week or so. So I will be relegated to the trainer and weekend rides.

My Mom seems to be doing okay with the not driving. I know she's depressed about it. We are all trying to do what we can. She has a friend that is taking her to a function during the day on Thursdays and another that is taking her to church on Wednesdays. Last night she said that she's noticed her sight has already improved since the last treatment. We have a couple of months before she goes back to the eye doctor. I am cautiously optimistic.

Since taking the thyroid hormone and the progesterone, I don't feel quite so crazy as before. However, I'm starting to have more and more difficulty staying asleep all night. Maybe it's only becase I've been off the bike, who knows. But without enough sleep I will start to lose my mind again. That isn't a pretty sight.

19 October, 2008

A Great Report

Monday I went and had bloodwork drawn to check my thyroid levels, then I went for my semi-annual check-up with the pulmonary doctor.

Dr. H asked how I was doing, if I was still smoke-free. I explained that I've been riding my bike 130 - 150 miles a week, with some having even more. I said no, I've not smoked since last July. He listened to my lungs, all clear. Then he said, let's try cutting back on the Advair. Go to once a day for a couple of weeks, if you tolerate that well you can cut back to every other day. I was estatic! My visit in April had been such a let down, emotionally. He told me to continue doing what I'm doing. I said something about running, he said I can do anything I want. But he also said running can be difficult on the joints, etc. with all that pounding. I asked about exercises to help increase lung capacity. He said I can increase efficiency, but not capacity. Keep doing what I'm doing. Scales still say 152, it's a number. Clothes fit great, which is the most important thing.

I'll be riding some winter training ride with Team Louisville's women's team soon. I need proper clothing for that! A reason to spend more money.

05 October, 2008

Another goal attained

It's been a couple of weeks since I wrote anything! Guess I've been lazy. Let's see, where to begin?

D and I rode most of the week following the races. I had some great club rides that week with some of the best times/avg MPH to date. The weather has been unbelievable. That week of the 21st was warm and sunny all week. The temps cooled down last week with lows in the 40s and highs 60s - 70s, but still sunny and beautiful days.

D's last club ride was Monday the 29th, our regular recovery ride. A group of us went to Bluegrass Brewing Company to eat and give D a nice send off. She was happy with the turn out. She drove back to Illinois on Tuesday. I miss her bunches! I rode the Tuesday night ride and had a great time. Was in a paceline on River Road and one guy asked me, didn't he hear me say I quit smoking? I said, yes last summer. He said I should be proud as I was doing so well. I thanked him for that.

I promised myself all summer that I would complete my first century (100 mile ride) before the season is over. There are a number of very tough ones on the schedule for October. Probably 2 of the best for a virgin century were held the weekend we were racing at the Senior Games. There was one on the schedule for yesterday, didn't have much information, just titled "Tour de Green". I decided to go ahead and attempt this one.

The temps were low 40s when I left the house and I just kept thinking I wasn't very well prepared for that low of a temperature. Once I arrived at the ride start and got all gear together and signed in the temps had reached about 54. Not bad standing still in the sunshine, a little chilly with the wind chill on the bike riding through the parks in the shade. My hands finally thawed once we got downtown, in the shade. I had never ridden across the 2nd Street bridge over the Ohio River on my bike before. Just a little nerve wracking - with traffic moving at a nice 60MPH clip. This ride was more like 2, the first half in Southern Indiana and the second half in mostly familiar routes in Louisville's River Road and St Matthews areas.

We rode from Clarksville to New Albany and into the knobs. There were 3 very tough hills. I tried to ride each, but wound up walking, pushing my bike. Needless to say, I was not with the rest of the riders once we climbed the first tough hill. They went ahead and the ride captain stayed with me. Once back to Clarksville, we met up with the rest at the lunch stop, but they wrapped up eating and took off before I could get my food. :-( Once we crossed the Ohio and were back in Louisville I told the Ride Captain to go on ahead. I was familiar with the rest of the ride and would be fine. I planned on finishing, but knew I would not be as fast as these more experienced riders. The Ohio River was the 50 mile mark. Once we go to River Road I tried to keep his rear wheel, but my gas was running a little low and my legs were getting heavy. Slowly he got further ahead of me until I finally lost sight of him. There were several loops between River Rd and Brownsboro Rd. Finally the last eastern trek down River Road took me to Prospect. The last store stop was at the Dairy Queen and everyone was just getting on their bikes and pulling out as I arrived. They clapped and congratulated me and left. The ride captain was wrapping up his snack, but waited for me. I told him to go ahead, but he pulled me back down River Road and hung with me the rest of the way. Once we arrived back at Seneca Park I told him I was going to loop the ball fields instead of following his cue sheet through the neighborhoods. I apologized for being such a whiny baby, but my shoulders were killing me and my hands were numb. I circled the ball fields 3 more times and then headed to the parking lot, circled the lot twice to watch my odometer click over that 100 mile mark and headed home. I was a little disappointed that no one was lingering in the lot, but realistically didn't expect there to be.

I took a nice long soak in the tub with the jets beating on my tired muscles. Dressed and went out to eat Mexican. Had a 27 oz margarita. Got home and had 2 beers. By this time I felt like I'd been hit by a Mac truck. I slept like a rock until the alarm went off at 6:30.

I've now got a century behind me! Another goal accomplished! Now what? ;-)

20 September, 2008


What a fantastically fun day! I was so nervous this morning, just before leaving the hotel for the Time Trials (TT). It was a cool morning, mid 50s and I forgot my long pants and don't have leg warmers. My lungs were clogged with asthma gook. I kept thinking; long, slow breathing, gotta find a calm place.

I picked up my packet and my number was 6! That meant I was 6th in the gate for the first race. Thank goodness I wasn't first! We got our bikes ready and I took some warm up laps - got familiar with the course now that the cones were in place. (We rode the TT and RR courses on Friday). We introduced ourselves with all the women. Nice group of people. I've never started from a 'gate' before. You have a ramp, someone holds you up while you clip in and when they say zero, start pedalling as fast as you can. Wind chill was cool, but by the end of the first lap the muscles were warm. Ears were cold though. I kept coughing the whole time and looking over my shoulder so I wouldn't spit on anyone. There were a couple of dips that threw me off while in the aerobars, but I just kept pedalling and trying to focus on the road ahead.

I was worried about the second race, it's twice the length. I wasn't sure what speed to try and maintain and not run out of gas. About the 5th lap, behind the mall, the headwind was fierce. I just kept my head down and pedalled.

The timer set the chips for the 5k for 3 crosses of the tape, but we crossed at the beginning so the times were off by a lap. Had to wait until the road race to get the accurate times. I wound up winning Silver medals in both time trials.

We went back to the room, showered, ate and laid down for a bit. Then headed to the road course. The men went first with a pace car, then 5 minutes or so later the women started. 1.2 miles from the start is the first hill, 3 women dropped me on the hill. I kept them in sight to the 2nd hill. I stood in my pedals about 1/2 way up and my left shoe clip cracked and I fell hard on my saddle. I had to stop, compose myself and restart ( in the middle of the hill). My saddle moved and the nose was pointed to the ground. Sitting was more like sliding to the crossbar. I finally made it back to the start of the race and found an allen wrench so I could adjust my saddle. I kept thinking I would just stop here. About the time my saddle was tight someone said, there's the SAG truck, if you leave now and get in front of it you can still finish. I took off. The adrenaline had drained from my body. It was all I could do to pedal for the next 2 miles. Kept changing gears trying to find a sweet spot. Somehow, around mile 6 I found my second wind and had 2 riders in my sights. I passed one on a hill and then the other at the crest. I had a great downhill and started feeling really good. The fourth hill was in sight and I saw another cyclist. She was struggling and I started encouraging her, "you're almost to the top, keep making big circles". 4 miles to go. The last 150 feet, sprint to the finish is an uphill climb. oh my goodness, I tried to stand and then sat back down, scared I'd unclip again. When they announced the finishers at the medal ceremony and said I'd won the bronze, I thought they had to be wrong. I hadn't passed that many riders, but I had.

Who'da thought last year that I would've done this? Not me! I'm so glad I quit tobacco. Now I'm going to SanFran next August for Nationals. I have so very much work to do between now and then. This has been a fantastic weekend in my life. I am so very fortunate!

18 September, 2008


We left da Ville about 4:30 this afternoon. Took our time, stayed at the speed limit which was 70 most of the way. Ate at Cracker Barrel - I had breakfast for dinner. YUM now to be good tomorrow before the races

While riding here I started to think how odd it is to spend 3 nights in a hotel with someone I just met a few months ago. She's a sweetheart for working with me and giving me guidance.

We'll get up and have breakfast then head to registration. I forgot my letter! so we had the front desk copy D's. OMG I have become such a ditz! We'll then drive the road course and find some lunch. Then we'll ride the road course a couple of times to try and learn as much as we can.

So glad to be away from work. It's been so stressful, especially this week.

Butterflies come and go. So many friends at work have been supportive. hope i can sleep in a strange bed in a hotel!

16 September, 2008


Been tapering. No rides longer than 20 on Sunday, Monday and tonight. Will ride some loops in the part tomorrow, the clean up the bike with Dixie and leave with her. No ride on Thursday, unless it's on the trainer after we check in. It's a 180 mile drive, so not sure about the spin.

There's too much to do at work to be too anxious yet. But I do get butterflies if I think about it too much.

Wind damage is very bad here. Hurricane force winds brought down trees everywhere. Unlike a tornado that has limited area of damage, Ike took a nice big path across Southern Indiana, Northern Kentucky and into Ohio. Last I heard on the radio we still had over 200,000 homes without power, south of the Ohio River. Many of the people I ride with don't have power. But they are riding, so they can get out of their house and have something to do instead of clearing debris and sawing trees.

Seems the synthroid is working and I've not been quite so nutty lately. I hope so. fingers crossed.

12 September, 2008

Hopeful for a few things

I finally spoke to the internist and started my thyroid hormone, synthroid the first of the week. I've had a couple of those weepy days. They are so tough! No reason, but just ready to cry like a baby at the blink of an eye. I guess the progesterone won't do anygood for that.

When I rode Wednesday, my muscles ached like the flu again before, duiring, after. I took Thursday off and checked on Mom. She had laser on her eyes to stop bleeding of the macula. Tonight we did the tune=up. I feel better than I have in a long time. Legs are great! Hoping it's the synthroid that's helping. Will ride 35 in the monring. See if this holds after.

Hoping I don't get overly anxious this week with the Senior games coming up. Try not to think about it, but then it's all I think about. Go figure!

07 September, 2008

Compliments are always welcomed!

First I have to say that the holiday weekend was pleasant, even if my UofL Cardinals lost their first game to state rival UK Wildcats. They didn't have an offensive score! only a safety and ended the game with 2 points. Very disappointing.

I finally got to see the internist on Tuesday. She took more blood work and went over the lab results I had with me from my gyno visit first of August. She said that my cholesterol is very good, the HDL is well above the desired number and the LDL is well below. I have an underactive thyroid. This causes weight gain and tiredness among other symptoms. I need to call about lab results tomorrow. She will start me on thyroid hormone in a low dose and check me every 6 weeks until we get it right.

I am glad one of the symptoms is weight gain. I've been working so hard with cycing and trying to each right and I've lost weight. But maybe I'll finally drop below that 150 mark with medication. I know my body is leaner and firmer. Just feel heavy and sluggish.

I didn't ride on Sunday, Thursday and only a couple of mile yesterday, but rode each of the other days since last Friday. D and I have been cutting some of the mileage short on the downtown rides (cutting out downtown). Think I'll make sure and ride the full rides this week or add to the end to get full mileage. I still have 124 miles for the week!

This weekend is the big ride/fundraise for the Louisville Bicycle Club. OKHT - Old Kentucky Home Tour. I volunteered at SAG#2 yesterday making peanut butter sandwiches for 3 hours. It was great fun! I'm anxious to hear how many riders we wound up having. Today, D and I met up with M and a couple others to ride the 50 option out of Tom Sawyer. It was a great 48.1 miles, started with temps about 61 and was only 79 back at the park. Counting 2 SAG stops, I rode this in 3.5 hours. That's not very fast, but I wasn't very far behind D and Matt at the end, maybe 10 minutes. Was a little tense in a couple of places today. There were 4 cars on the upswing on the hill on Brush Run that just couldn't be patient. At one point one car was in the other lane, but not passing! At another point a car almost slammed into us from behind. We could hear him and we were trying to get to the shoulder, but didn't hear him slowing at all.

One bright spot was early on the ride when M, a young man about 28 asked me if I was wearing new shorts. I responded that they weren't that new, maybe had then 5 weeks. Why are you asking M, I inquired. He tells me that they make my ass look really good. This is in the company of 4 - 6 other cyclist riding down the road. I respond, thanks M! I thought it was my ass that made the shorts look good. ;-) Oh my, I could be his mother. In fact someone pointed that out. At that point the conversation deteriorated for a few minutes. I have to say that it would be nice if someone closer to my age made that compliment. I don't see that happening though.

LIfe is so good to not be smoking and to have the blood coursing through the body rich with oxygen. 12 days til the games. Starting to get a little more anxious. Not sure this ole broad has trained hard enough.

29 August, 2008

Learn something new everyday!

A cycling buddy pointed out a slice in my rear tire on Wednesday night. So, today I decide I should "boot it". Place something inside the tire between the wall and the tube. The tire was flat when I pulled it off the bike. So I changed the tube while I booted the slice. I finally got it back and and aired up. While I was getting ready to put it back on the bike, the tube popped! It was my last one. So I load up and drive to the LBS. While there I check on a new tire. The kid tries to sell me something heavier. I don't want heavier, I want the same kind of tire I had. He has a tire that is very close so I buy it and 3 more tubes. Now the last tubes wound up with a shorter stem so I asked if I could get the longer stem. When I get to the ride and start putting the tire and tube on I realise the tubes are very different from the last ones I bought. It took some effort, but I got the tire and tube on and aired up. Then the sub RC shows up and I tell him about my fun so far. He looks at my tire and tells me it's on backwards. I did not know you could put one on backwards. But the tread is in the wrong direction! Then we look at the front wheel and it's on backwards, too. I guess the mechanic was never told that either as he put that one on the front wheel.

The ride is the weekend tune-up, 12 miles. Felt good tonight, even if it was short. 35 in the morning, not sure about tomorrow night. Not sure about the rest of the weekend actually. I'll take it hour by hour. Try to savor this holiday.

27 August, 2008

Oh dear, the days are getting shorter

I've noticed it's dark later and later in the mornings. The last two nights we've had dark cloud cover which makes it darker earlier than if we had clear skies. I hate short days! All I want to do is sleep and eat.

So far I've ridden every day. Monday recovery ride, Tuesday D and I did Burdorf's but cut out downtown. I stayed in my aero bars most of River Road. She pulled the entire way. I have to push through that damned wall I keep hitting about mile 12. Tonight was good, but the ride is listed at 25 and might actually measure a little longer. We got to the ballpark and I kept thinking how low the light would be when I got back. So, I cut it short by 6 miles. Got in 20. I need to do interval work. Trying to decide if I want to do the fruit ride tomorrow or just go to the park and do intervals and a few loops instead.

Long weekend and I need to plan my rides. Louisville is sponsoring an Iron Man on Sunday, so most rides will be altered if not cancelled.

These last 2 days have been cool - right around 80 or so. Going to heat back up tomorrow and Friday. I can feel Autumn coming. You can almost smell it. The birds are starting to move, too. and another season changes to the next.

Oh yeah, at lunch today a colleague made a comment. She told me how my butt is smaller than ever. (Not her exact words). That was so very nice, to hear from a woman. Well, not that a man I work with would tell me that. Anyway, it's nice to hear that people notice things like that. I can only say that muscle is much more compact than fat,

24 August, 2008

Last week of August ahead

Last week was okay for training. Wednesday we went out Hwy 148 to practice time trial. Nice flat piece of road, found a good turn around point at 3 or so miles. The first time out D said to maintain 20 mph. I grabbed her wheel and was working with the aero bars, but they get moving up and down. That's no good! I started going slower and slower and could not stay with her. Then my right thigh started talking to me and cramping up. Keep pedaling I told myself. Made it to the subdivision where she was and then went uphill (fun). I thought I was going to cry! We started back and both realised why it had been so hard. The road has the slightest of inclines in that direction. Heading back it was a piece of cake to do 20 mph, almost coasting!

Had a retirement party after work on Thursday and then took Friday off too. Not again. I just can't ride after 2 days off the bike. Sat morning I did the 35 slow and easy ride. Started out with Murph leading and me beside. There was a 10K going on that had streets closed. Thank goodness they let cyclists through the road blocks. Made it all the way to Shawnee and got dropped in the park. My thighs felt like lead. About StJames court I gained my second wind and caught up to Murph, who had also gotten dropped. This happened about 4 times, feeling good then miserable. I took Iroquois hill and was over 10 MPH all the way up, which is slow but faster than anytime previous. I added miles to the front and back due to parking away from ride start. Wound up with 35 miles this tme. The high temp of the day was 96F, I'm sure it was in the high 80s by the time my ride ended about 11:30 am or so.

Today was Hot Hazy and Humid, 90+ and 70% humidity. Had a flat tire before leaving the house, so I was soaking wet before driving to the ride start. I did arrive early enough to ride to Seneca around the tennis courts and back to Heine Bros, about 3.5 miles extra. Glad I did that warm up. Rode out with the front group and was feeling good in the park until that first stop sign. Everyone but one made it through. One guy and I stopped as there was traffic turning and it was their turn at the stop. I worked hard to catch up, but just couldn't get it going. Finally caught up to everyone at Lexington and Grinstead, but was dropped before Spring. Traffic signals caught me and I rode with 3 others through downtown. What is it with a headwind that follows you no matter what direction you are heading? geez I just keep thanking Mother Nature for the added breeze.

Tomorrow we'll do some work in the park before the recovery ride and then recover. ;-) maybe Planning on riding each day this week weather pending. That and getting my spoke replaced.

I want to give a shout out to MzDiva. She's one of my blogging, Chantix, quit smoking girlfriends. She has done a terrific job with not smoking. She's now changing her diet, to several smaller, smarter meals each day and on an exercise regimen. She's running! I'm so very proud of her accomplishments. Check out her blog, there's a link on my main page.

19 August, 2008


She said Monday and Tuesday were recovery nights. Monday was definitely recovery. We skipped the hills in Cherokee and did additional loops instead. Felt great spinning out the tightness in my thighs and calves. Wound up with around 17 or so miles.

Tonight was going to be recovery. We started with the group at Burdorf''s, but instead of going downtown and hitting all the traffic lights, we took Spring. We got up to 23mph or so and I was feeling good. Then we get to River Road and D says we're taking turns pulling, 1 mile each. Had a bit a of a head wind (I'm not sure why, but there's almost always a headwind on River Rd). D said to maintain 20 mph. Man, I did for a bit, but by the second pull I was more like 17 or 18. She coached me the whole way. Keep your head up, that's right exhale, blow out that carbon dioxide. and so on and so forth.

Working out the lactic acid that builds up in your muscles and pushing through that ache is what is takes. Sometimes it just feels like I'm dying, but you have to push through it. She told me tonight that I'll be riding with the fast boys by the time she's done with me.

Update on another topic. Hubby was released by the surgeon last week. By end of the week he had already bought a pack of cigarettes and is smoking again. I'm just so disappointed. But I can't smoke. I won't. Not now. Too much fun riding, getting stronger. And now I might get to catch up to those fast boys on bikes.

17 August, 2008

Great weekend of riding

I'm very lucky that I've met D and she's willing to spend time and coach me along. We've done hill repeats last Thursday and this Tuesday and Thursday. 6-7 times up Indian hills - Arrowhead - etc. That helpe prep me for this weekend. We rode 28.5 and 23.5 miles yesterday.

The morning started out very cool at 8 am and I worried the first 30 minutes as it was taking longer than normal for my legs to warm up. By 45 minutes in, I was warm. ;-) It never got past 85 I think for the evening ride. Hills on both rides! Challenging, but I felt great climbing even though I'm no where near the speed I'd like. I was a little tender last night before bed, but this morning felt great.

We rode 24.5 and 21.5 miles today. This morning was cool again, about 62, felt so refreshing. We had to detour as River Road was closed past Zorn and we couldn't get through back streets either. So instead we took Mockingbird and around. Wasn't happy about my climb up Hogan's hill in Cherokee. Lots of people out, walkers, strollers, skateboards and cars. This afternoon I started out very strong and was feeling like I could ride hard. I slowed a bit on Spring and bounced back in a paceline. But once I got to Zorn, I was slowing to 18, the 17 and think I got to 16 at one point. I have this catch/pain in my right hip. D says to move on the saddle where I'm sitting on the hip to make the other leg work harder. It could be that I'm depending too much on my right leg.

Tomorrow and Tuesday will be recovery rides. The start workouts for the Time Trials. Think we've found a nice flat road about 6 miles or so and little traffic. I'm crossing my fingers!

My oldest daughter came out on Wednesday and visited for several hours. It was so nice. It had been 2 months since I laid eyes on her. Youngest is on her way out. We plan on grilling and spending some time. Life is very good!

12 August, 2008

Training for next month

Yesterday was the first true recovery ride I've done. Met Dixie and the club guys at the church. Monday night recovery route was going to do 2 loops through the park, which meant Dog Hill and Hogan's Hill twice. Dixie said we need to skip the hills and just ride so that's what we did. We rode with the club until the first ascent and turned around. We rode 19 mile, which is 7 miles further than the club ride, but took it easy. Felt great after and through the night.

We met today at Thurman Hutchins park like last week. She put her aero bars on her bike and adjusted mine. We rode down River Road to Indian Hills. Turned onto Country Club road and went all the way to the top. I worried that someone was going to chase us off the property. They have signs posted everywhere, no trepassing, no joggers, cyclists, etc. The few we saw were cool and waved at us. :-) We rode back down and did Indian HIlls three times. Then we took Arrowhead to the right, next we took Arrowhead to the left - this had some grade. Finished with Indian hills one last time. I can feel that I'm getting stronger. It's still tough stuff.

Dixie was great. Telling me to relax, work on breathing easy, keep my heart from burning up too fast. She gave me several tips. Talked about the road race and things to expect. Practice starting from a slow pace, not too slow to have to unclip, Stand and get to a speed I'm ready to ride at and then sit. Make sure my gearing is right. So much more, but I can't give away everything. ;-)

I need to spin in the trainer tomorrow, even though I'm "off". I have to get used to the aero bars, find a comfort zone.

Thursday will be more hill repeats. Friday is off night. Saturday and Sunday will see 2 rides each days. Saturday will be hillly rides. All weekend rides will be 30 miles or less. I need to gauge being in the saddle, like I will be on race day, throughout the day. Need to make sure I understand what nutrition works as well as hydration. I'm wondering about down time and then warm up time. I'm sure it will all come together.

Full moon is approaching. Wonder what crazy things will happen?

Post script: I had an almost overwhelming urge to smoke a cigarette today. Took a walk around the builiding. It worked.

11 August, 2008

A week of marvelous weather

Last summer we had many, many days of 90 - 100F weather in July and August. This past week our temps stayed in the low to mid 80s and beautiful sunny skies.

I rode every day but Tuesday last week. Dixie and I spent Thursday evening doing hill repeats on Indian Hills - 5 times. Then, just for kicks, we did a side street that has about a 10% or 11% grade. I thought my heart was going to explode! Fun stuff though. when we got back to the cars she put her clip-on aero bars on my bike and I rode around with them for a bit. They are going to take some getting used to. Saturday we went to Cathy's ride out of Salem, Indiana. Beautiful countryside with a few tough hills right at the beginning of the ride. I was disappointed (though I need to get over it) that though the ride was listed at 60 miles, it turned out to only be 50. I left the house about 8:05, 20 minutes later than I planned. I pulled into Cathy's street right at 9:15 (when they normally would be leaving), but so did several others. There were a couple that pulled in 10 minutes after us. Needless to say we started later than scheduled. If I counted correctly we had 25 to show up. 4 of them did the 30 mile option while the rest of us did the longer one. Got back to a huge spread of food and a keg of beer. Good day of riding.

I think we are going to focus on hill repeats a couple of times a week through most of this month. I need to work on the 5K and 10K somehow, too. Just gotta find time to squeeze it all in.

My doctor's office called on Tuesday with lab results, but I didn't get the message until Wednesday. It seems my cholesterol is acceptable, but approaching the high end of that. Now I need to find an internist though. My thyroid is over active according to the labs. Guess I need to check this out and see what it all means. Fun stuff!

Haven't seen or heard much from my girls this summer. Looks like they are enjoying their friends, which is what young adults should be doing.

Hope I have something more exciting to write about soon. ;-)

02 August, 2008

Progress and a little setback

Had my appointment with the gyno. Hate that the scales still read 152, but then if I hated it that much I'd give up my beer consumption. I have to admit that I've lost a number of pounds over the last year, so I should be happy with that. She lit up when I said I haven't smoked in a year. She's attentive and listens very well. We are going to try progesterone for now. See how it goes. She said that hormones get out of balance at this point in life. Just have to see what needs supplementing. Progesterone has the least side affects, one of which is it makes you sleepy so I'm taking it at night. Maybe I will get better sleep now.

Man, you turn 50 and now all these tests rear their ugly heads. She said I should have a colonoscopy, that sounds like so much fun, NOT. Guess I'll schedule it for end of September or early October. She also did bloodwork to check my thyroid function as well as lipids. But I didn't fast (I had a nutrigrain bar and coffee), so the lipid test won't have any accuracy, at least that's what I've been told.

I rode Monday, Wednesday and Thursday so far this week. Planned on riding this morning, a 60 miler, but something I ate yesterday woke me about 3 this morning and kept me running to the restroom for over an hour. Can't ride with no sleep or dehydrated. Today is rehydating for tomorrow's 50 miler. My weekly mileage is going to be less than usual this week.

I've signed up for the KY Senior Games in Sept. They have a 5K and 10K Time trial and a 20K Road Race. This will tell me how slow I really am compared to others in my age group. D has some clip-on aero bars we are going to try out. She is going to coach me over the next weeks. I'm so grateful that she's doing this. Not sure if those bars will work or not. For some reason my bike has granny brakes. Buddy of mine made fun of that recently. Guess I can be good natured about it. :-)

Tomorrow will be mid to upper 90s just like today. Just have to be smart and hydrate!

27 July, 2008

Warning - mature female topic below

Well, maybe not the entire post, but initially. Change of life, menopause, it's happening to me. Has been for a number of years now. I am blaming most of my nuttiness on changing hormones. I go back to the Gyno on Friday. I'm hoping, now that I'm tobacco free for over a year, we can discuss hormone replacement. Seems they don't like giving those to smoker's.

But honestly, I can't exactly put all of my nuttiness on menopause. Some of it is how I am, have been and always will be. I won't expand here. That would be too boring.

I didn't ride Wednesday or Thursday, but did Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Should've worked more this weekend, but just couldn't bring myself to it. I even told hubby that I was working all day today, but then talked myself into riding this afternoon.

Glad I did. Yesterday's 30 miles felt great and I pushed myself to stay with the front group. They were going fairly easy, but I was averaging 20 - 22 hanging on to one of their rear wheels all the way from downtown, to Shawnee and 3 blocks from Iroquois park. That incline into the park always gets me. Should've done the hill, but all the coffee I drank earlier made my bladder start talking to me, so I hit the restrooms instead. Sat at the stop sign, waiting for the guys to come back down when Paul rode past. He had skipped the hill like me. I took off and grabbed his wheel for a few blocks. He said something like he was gonna take off, had things to do and I said no problem. I kept up with him until the hill at Papa John's stadium and got dropped at the light at the bottom. I still kept within a block or two but by the time he got to Kentucky and turned I never saw him again. Fastest time I've done this ride. But was wiped out all afternoon. I only had a peanut butter sandwich and chips for dinner the night before. I know better than that.

Well, I need to decide what I want to do in September. The Senior Olympics has 4 cycling events in Ashland, KY. I was thinking this would be a good way to "get my feet wet" with racing. One of the girls at work approached me about joining Team Louisville about a week ago. I'm not thinking I'll do anything but last place at the Senior games, but at least I'll get some idea if I have the potential to be competitive or if I like it. Lots of work to do before then if that's what I decide to do. Planning, interval work, and need to get a copy of the course map.

Hope this week turning into August is a good one for everyone.