29 June, 2008

So, Master's Nationals are in da Ville this week

I've never seen a cycling race live. I'd love to see the Road Race in Cherokee park. There are 24 women in Age group 50-54! I will be following the results. I don't see anyone local, so not as much to pull for someone. More to better understand how far away I am from those ladies as far as speed goes. I'm sure it is a long ways.

Rode my usual Heine Bro's ride for 21+, but was slow. All the way to the ride I said I needed to take it easy. Then I started to chase some guys thru the park. Had some very nice headwinds, my right hip started talking to me and I eased up. That's all it takes, just a mile per hour and they are gone, leaving dust in the road ahead of me. This one took me 1.5 hours and from Glenview back was basically solo. That's okay. My legs are thanking me for riding and taking it easy.

Need to read about some nutrition stuff. I've been eating 2 banana's a day, most days for the last week. However, I'm having some cramping issues. It's roaming, feet, hands, thighs, abdomenal muscles. Might need salt, could just need to chug a sport drink. YUK, I really prefer water, beer or coffee.

Wonder what excitement this week will bring? 4th of July and time off from work.

28 June, 2008

Last days of June

More and more it amazes me how fast time goes by.

I am so glad that my BFF started the chantix last July. I'm very proud of her. She's busted her arse at work and has built a great team. Those she's managed to make it look easy I know it's been stressful. But she remains tobacco free. And! her hubby still smokes, in the house, too. Our quitting together made it so much easier. Closing in on a full year. This is still surreal at times, because smoking was so embedded into my daily life.

I rode Tuesday with Dixie at the BBC club ride. We had a nice paceline going down River Rd about 21 mph. She flipped my stem for me once back at the start. Said I've moved into the next stage and it looked like I was straining to lean further forward and down, but the handlebars were to high to allow it. Took Wednesday off of the bike, but during lunch I ran to waterfront park and around the great lawn twice with Oli. I walked more than I'd like to admit, but haven't run since March. My quads and calfs talked to me most of the evening and all day on Thursday. Went to the Club Fruit ride on Thursday. It was cancelled eventually, rain, lightning, and thunderstoms rolled through. I'm not riding with lightning. Get club credit 'cause I showed and signed up for the 30. My legs were still talking and I should've gotten on the trianer and worked out the tightness, but I didn't. Friday they were still aching, so after having dinner with Hubby, I rode 10 miles in my neck of the woods. By mile 4 my legs felt great!

This morning I rode my first 60 and I'd waited too long since the last (and first) long ride at 50. This was Tim's Chat and NIbble ride. I rode 57+ miles actual in 4:15, slooooow, add 15 minutes to total time away for store stop.There were between 30 and 40 that showed, (I think that's right) Mike was the only one that ate at the Chat and Nibble, I couldn't find it. He said he took about an hour there. Well he caught up with me, I was dead last and had just barely lost sight of the next to last guy in front of me. Mike is a monster cyclist, distance wise. He stayed with me the rest of the way back, so nice. I felt so guilty. Told him to go on, but wouldn't. He even pushed me up one hill. Most of these people are really good and a bit eccentric, too. So he averaged 20.2 mph on the way to Eminence. I slowed him down to 16.6 for the full ride. My avg was just under 14. SLOOOOOOOW. Gonna buy him a beer at least on Tuesday, maybe even splurge for his burger, too. He's riding a Mad Dog Century tomorrow, Boston to Munfordsville and back. This ride has hills, some rolling and several that don't roll. :-) On the way back we ride Aiken Road. I was aching from it. When we first turn onto it, it goes up a very decent incline, I don't know the grade. Then there are 2 back to back hills everyone has nicknamed Twin Peaks. At one point (I don't remember the specific road or hill) Mike put his hand on the small of my back and pushed me uphill. A.B. said I'd be fine on this one as long as I didn't go out at 20+mph. He was right, well I was almost fine. Still trying to build my strength and keep the cadence going uphill. Need lots more practice!

Hope to do tomorrow's Heine Bro's ride. Glenview should be a breeze after today! Last night for bike handling class is Monday. Short week these next 2 for me. Yippee!

25 June, 2008

50 has arrived - not so earth shattering

I must say that I have enjoyed arriving and passing this milestone. That's what it is, too. I was taken to lunch by friends last week, adorned with a flower arrangement that is still beautiful, treated to an overnight trip out of town to see a wonderful concert with my hubbie. I am blessed to have good friends and family.

I rode my bike on a club ride on my actual birth date. It took me some time to decide whether to ride the 18 or the 34 miler. While I wanted to do the 34, I didn't want to get caught at dusk or dark and still not back to the start. I opted for the short ride. The two split about 7 miles in, I chased the fast group until mile 6 or so and then lost sight of them. By mile 10 I was hating that I didn't do the long version and in just a few minutes a large crack of lightning went across the sky, the clouds darkened and I decided I did the right thing by taking the short route. I don't think any of the guys I spoke with got wet until they started loading their bikes, but I wouldn't have been so fast or so lucky.

Hubby took me to Indy on Sunday. We dropped our bags at the hotel and ventured to the mall. It's a 4-story 2 block building and we took our time walking through. Grabbed an ice cream and strolled back once we thought our room would be ready. Stayed at the Crowne Plaza which is in the old Union Station. Our room was a converted rail car = very nice accomodations. The concert was Return to Forever. These 4 guys hadn't played together as this group in 25 years. The show was fantastic. first set was electric, second set was acoustic with each having a solo. We slept in on Monday and took our time getting home. This was such a relaxed weekend and phenomenal concert.

I went to bike class and we practiced bumping into each other without falling. Then learned to do track stands. I rode to and from the ride and got in 20 for the night. I rode 30 on Saturday morning and then 22 last night. I've had a couple of women that are being very helpful to me. Talking about how strong I am and letting me know how I can improve by adjusting my position or cadence, etc.

I am a fortunate person. I am feeling great. So lucky to have quit smoking, It was 11 months on Monday! start riding, and living life.

18 June, 2008

These are the last hours I will be

under 50 years of age. I was born June 19, 1958. I don't know the exact date but started smoking cigarettes in the summer of 1972. I was an addict well before that night at the skating rink. Almost every adult in my family smoked tobacco. I never got sick. I just wanted another one. I quit tobacco July 23, 2007. I spent 35 years polluting my body. I am so thankful I found Chantix. I knew that I couldn't just stop smoking. I needed to make a life-style change commitment. Not for a week, month, short-term. Life-time, life-style change. Get depressed? Move! Work it out of the system. We need laughter, ambition, goals. Get up and do something!

I haven't taken any type of pain reliever for months. I was taking an Aleve at least 3 times a week last summer. I can't remember when I felt this good, alive, eager to do something more. I have taken advantage of an opportunity. I hope I can live the next 35 years, become a role model, do good things and live a healthy life.

This is not an EASY thing to do. If it was easy it wouldn't be worth the trouble. Any thing worth having is hard work. I've made sure that I have breakfast at least 5 of 7 days a week. Typically it's oatmeal about 7:30 during the work week. By 10, I'm having hunger pangs. I am always hungry. Just need to eat several small meals during the day. Apple or yogurt around 10:30, go to lunch at 11:30. Lunch is the biggest meal of the day. A banana and protein bar before my ride, some small snack driving home. Beer is my downfall! I need to work on my abs! My tummy bounces off of my thighs while pedaling down in the drops. I hate that! So, I have a way to go before I achieve some of my goals.

Diva sent me a note and called me a jock. Thanks love, but I don't think so. I watch these guys that race and I am in awe. I'd love to smash my legs on those pedals that hard and fast. I just try to chase them as long and hard as I can most days. There are times I just lay back, not often.

Odd, but I'll be happy to wake up in the morning, watch the sun come up and know that it's gonna be a great day!

15 June, 2008

Wish I could remember the exact words

but it's not terribly important. At the end of the ride today, I was chatting with this one and that one. Everyone is so great! One of the instructors at bike handling class rode with another instructor today, S & D, I'll label them. They passed me just before River Rd and D said, "Come on, Sherri, you can do it". I had dropped back from the front group in the last few blocks. S said he asked D about me, if I'd be okay and D said something like, "She's tough and a go-getter, she's fine". Now, D has ridden many of the same rides as me since I started with the club. It was good to hear a comment thru another like that. :-)

I was ready to ride to the ride from my Sis' house. But something wasn't quite right with my bike and I didn't know what it was. I drove to the ride and asked T. He looked at it and said my breaks were too tight, which I thought my LBS had fixed for me, but didn't. T's loosened them up, which made me very appreciate. I owe him a coffee or a beer soon. There were no clouds today. It was 88F+ when we began. I rode with the front group and then chased them as far as I could. When D and S passed me, S asked if I was okay. I said, "this ole lady is HOT!". I had and kept a good cadence down River Rd. Have no idea what speed though as my comiputer was acting up and reset and i need to fix it now. I kept my cadence above 100 until Zorn. Just couldn't maintain and my thighs were getting tight - lactose buildup. Think I need to add a little more salt to the diet as I've been trying to back off.

Had a few small groups pass me as we pedaled down River Rd. Got to Glenview and stopped, took off my helmet and poured water on my head. Got started again and had one fellow pass me and asked if I was okay. I said, yes just hot. Still working out the gearing option on these longer hills. As I topped Glenview and hit the neighborhood streets V, C, D, (all women) caught up with me. We rode in together.

I have lots of work to do before I'm happy with myself out there. But it's nice to know that people think I won't give up and will push myself. Some worry about burning up and not having enough to finish. Maybe I should think that way, too. But I have to finish, no way around that. I might have to stop and pour water on my head, but I have to finish.

Odd about the asthma thing. Had more sputum following the ride as I drove home than usual. Not sure what that's all about. Guess it'll never go away. I should be thankful that it's as light as it is. So much better than last summer. Not smoking and doing all this activity has greatly improved my breathing, all around health, and outlook on life. 3 more days of being 49. Thursday I will continue this journey I started last summer. I may also be starting a new adventure or two. I've decided that if my health stays good and Murphy doesn't pull too many tricks on me, I'd like to have another 30 years to ride, get young at heart and have some glorious fun on the road!

Odd tid bits

Well, I've heard of lots of things but Thursday morning brought a new happenstance. It's before 6:30 and I'd just started my commute. I'm barely a mile from home, turn onto Dawson Hill Rd and a car that should've stopped at the stop sign kept moving forward. There was no time to react and he hit me. Well, he hit the rear wheel of my bike that was on my carrier. The carrier fits on the rear of my car and the rear wheel of the bike barely protrudes from the cars profile - maybe 3 inches. He stopped and we exchanged information. He even called me at the end of the day to say that he gets paid in two weeks and will help me out. Wanted to know how much, which I didn't have a firm # yet.

I took my bike to the LBS following my mid-year meeting with my boss. They checked out the entire bike and thank goodness didn't see any problem with the frame or other working parts, just the wheel. He started checking stock and said it was going to be a full week before a replacement came in. Well I became very unhappy. He said to let him do some more checking. I asked how much it would be to expedite shipping. This was Thursday, my last ride was Tuesday. I was having withdrawal just thinking about no riding. Went back to work and waited for the call. He called later in the afternoon and said it would be in on Friday. Yippee!

I picked up my bike, happy as can be. He says that it has a silver rim and doesn't match the other wheel, but couldn't do better as I didn't want to wait. I'm more concerned with riding, not fashion. Well, road on Saturday with the group and one of the guys asked about it because it doesn't match. Said I should've asked for a loaner while waiting for a new wheel. I'm such a newbie that didn't occur to me, sad that the LBS didn't suggest that option. Maybe I should use another LBS, but I bought the bike there and do have a sense of loyalty as they have treated me right so far. Think I might have them order the proper replacement. Received a nice gift certificate from my sis for my birthday that should cover it. We'll see.

The Saturday ride was 35 miles. I started with the front guys. They had a nice pace averaging between 18 and 20 MPH. This meant that I had to work, but also could draft and not expend all of my fuel too fast. As we approached Shawnee some of the younger guys took the lead and picked up the pace to around 22. Instinct dictates that everyone adjust and follow. I tried for a few blocks, but just couldn't maintain. Slowly I watched them get further and further ahead. So disappointing! I'd only done this route once before and couldn't remember exactly how to get back to 6th. Was telling myself that I'd have to stop and wait for the next group so I wouldn't get completely lost. About that time I saw 2 cyclists stopped. One is today's RC. His right pedal broke. We ride back to 6th together. He's pedalling with his left leg the whole way and only complaint is when we have to stop at traffic signals. I'm thinking he might have some good cramping in bed later. But most of these guys are so seasoned/experienced and ride so much, he should be fine. The other cyclist and I head towards Iroquois and a few others have caught up with us. My right hip starts giving me fits as we approach the park - I go to the restrooms and most others take the hill. I get back to the entrance and wait. I assumed I'd missed the fast group, but hadn't. We take off and ride back together for the most part. They are still pushing the pace. I lose a block or two due to timing at traffic lights, but felt good by the time I got back to the lot.

I'll update later about today. Think I'll ride to and from the ride today. (Have to feed cats and birds for Sis and oldest daughter. Sis is still on honeymoon and daughter is at Bonaroo.) I just need to push harder and harder. No taking it easy! :-) Still trying to decide on what I"ll ride this week. Already know that I'll miss next Sunday and possibly Monday due to something hubby has planned. Hope to make the most of these last days being 49.

11 June, 2008

Steady as we go

Monday was a good day. Spent most of it in the office, but drank water all afternoon. Went to handling class and learned to dodge obstacles in the road at 15 mph. I can dodge and dodge, but there are times I'm gonna hit that bottle cap or pothole dead-on! Dad would tell me when I was learning for my road test, "I believe you are aiming for the potholes!". Sure seems that way at times. We also learned quick turns. These are two skills that I'm not so sure I'd be aware of until I had another year or so behind me.

After practicing these skills in the parking lot for a while we left for our 12 mile ride. It was still very warm, but there was a nice breeze and most of this ride (not all!) is shaded. I rode with the fast group and stayed up front most of the way. Now, fast on Monday after class is NOT considered fast on Tuesday nights. Dave pointed out somewhere around Bowman field that I was pointing my toes while pedalling. I didn't realise. This was somethingi I focussed on while riding in the trainer. Need to make a point while on the road, too.

Rode Tuesday with the club ride out of Burdorf's. It was still hot, but I needed a good longer ride. Monday was 12 and I cut Sunday short to 17. We had a great turnout, I'd say 50+ cycist. As we made our way to the park I made my way as close to the front as I could. Dixie and I were together through the parks and a short part of Lexington. She's very strong and kept up with the fast group. I inched my way back 2 groups around the first couple of lights on Market St. MIke talked to me a bit, urging and encouraging me on. He's one of those cyclists that is completely "ate up" with it. He rode a 600K brevet a couple of weekends back. That converts to 375 miles in 36 hours. So when I asked him about last Thursday night's 30 mile ride in 94F, he didn't seem that it was a big deal. Anyway, he's a good guy and took time to urge me on down the road!

We hit Main Street and here's Bernice. She passes me and is movin' on! Now, Bernice rides every day, a lot of the time twice a day. She is 78 years old and has a daughter that is 54 (older than me). Bernice is my hero. She pulled me quite a ways down River Road until I just couldn't maintain the pace - gear/cadence ratio. I did Glenview solo. Which was fine with me. I've been away from hills and it shows. I pushed myself by trying to maintain 18-20 the rest of the way and rode in with a few others.

Took tonight off. Needed to spend time with hubby. Problem is, he got up at 5 this morning and has been fairly worn out since I got home. :-( His physical therapist has given him a booklet of exercises to do. It takes him about 1.5 hours to do them and is supposed to do them every few hours throughout the day. This and he's trying to work a few hours each day doing "one-handed work".

Tomorrow LBC has a Fruit Ride out of EP Tom Sawyer. Should be hilly, hard and great fun! I'm sure I will be breathing hard on each ascent. I mentioned Mike earlier. He said I was doing great with my progress and that his first year he was a mess. Said that it takes time for a lot of this to become second nature. That I need to be patien with myself. I'm trying. I know it takes time to accomplish the really good goals. I try to keep that "instant gratification" flaw tucked in a drawer as much as possible!

I'm getting anxious. Getting closer and closer to my first anniversary of tobacco freeness. I've continued to have urges. (Maggie calls them tuggins'). But they are far and few between. Lately, except for night sweats, most of my hormonal effects have subsided. I've been sleeping again, too.

Just keep the steady progress. One day at a time. Keep those little goals and celebrations so we can achieve the really big, life altering ones. Life is good.

08 June, 2008

Good and hot Sunday afternoon

Spring is gone for 2008 in the Ohio Valley. Slept in this morning after drinking lots of beer on wedding day. Hydrated all morning. Moved outside around 10:15 - first to mow the lawn. That takes just about an hour. If I'd done the weed-eating it would've taken longer. Moved the laptops outside. Surfed on one while conducting due diligence on hubbies. Think it needs more work.

Filled all the water bottles I could find and left for Heine Bro's ride. 95F +, I need to buy a thermometer for the bike. Pavement downtown was scorching. I rode with the lead group for a little while - wound up with the 2nd fast group by end of Lexington going downtown - They moved ahead on River Road. It was so hot - I decided to try and conserve something for Glenview. A colleague and I road together. She decided to cut it short as this was her 1st ride this year on the road bike. I went with her, which cut about 5 miles off the club ride. But as hot as it was, I think this was the smart thing to do. I am definitely going to work on building up mileage this week. Really want to do at least 50 this weekend. Maybe 60+ the following and a century either end of month or July.

I'm wondering what July and August will bring since we are having back to back to back days in 90+ and it's not the middle of June yet!

It is good to perspire. Sweat out all those toxins. I'm still trying to stay away from sugar when possible. Heine has a frozen cap that looked cooling, but chocked full of sugar. I opted for the unsweet iced tea and water instead. Wonder if I should invest in one of those camels. It's a water bag that sits like a backpack and a hose for drinking. Probably for the longer rides.

Think I might look into a field trip to St. Louis soon. A good friend/colleague lives there. We need to catch up. She's invited me to visit. See what I can do.

07 June, 2008

Weddings and June!

They are a match. However, 95F on a beautiful Saturday while wearing a red satin dress can be challenging. My Sis got married today. She met Don and both insist it was love at first sight. Though, as Sis said today, always believed that concept to be "poppycock". :-)

The only regret I have is the fact that we only had 2 hours. I couldn't possibly talk to everyone and spend time with both new members to our family, as well as existing ones we've known for decades!

I knew I needed to do the toast as Matron of Honour. The only other members of the bridal party were his son (my escort) and her son (her escort), both under the age of 15 and not expected to give a toast. I kept thinking about it, but didn't have anything written or prescribed. Just a theme, she has always been My baby. His mother asked me to expand a little later. So, I told a story or two.

All I ever want for her is happiness. Beware anyone that doesn't understand that and isn't kind. It might not be tomorrow, it might not be next year, but I can guantee you misery if you bring harm to her.

So, I have to confess. No matter how hard I've fought the "farmer's tan" syndrome with cycling, I still had white shoulders and feet. So I bought a can of spray on tan. Did it twice on Friday. Woke up today with orange splotches and stripes. Oh deary me. I put Calgon in the tub, ran very hot water and then took the pumice stone to scrub off what would. Thank goodness, most worked it's way down the drain.

I have missed riding. Need to get back in the saddle. This damned heat shall be accepted and the ride will happen. ;-)

05 June, 2008

Where did Spring go?

It has been a fantastic spring and I have taken advantage of the good days. We've had plenty of rain, too. But 90 degree weather in early June? What's up Mother Nature?

My sis gets married on Saturday. My legs look like crap. Road rash on left knee from a crash on the bike. A burn on the right shin from the lawn mower (long story).

Changed a tire in bike-handling class on Monday. Good to know stuff like that.

Wednesday was the Dundee ride, tried to stay with the fast group. Got dropped on River Rd, but never saw any of the slow group. Got to my car and no one was there. Guess the fast ones either finished and left or added miles by going back through the park. Some of them do that when the ride is posted at a certain mileage, but is actually 3 miles short. Drove home, took a shower and almost an hour after I finished the 20 miles, my face was still bright red.

Tonight I went for the SE Christian ride. There were 18 and 34 mile options. When I arrived at the church my themometer read 94F. I went for 18. I got to 6 miles and said uncle, turned around and went back. It was hot and I have no idea what the humidity was. We had a good head wind, which felt a little cool, but was strong enough to have to pedal that much harder which raises body heat. I rode 12 miles. BUMMER! Been kicking myself ever since.

Off tomorrow, getting my hair done, last minute instructions from sis, meeting a good friend, and having Friday night date night with hubby. Wedding is Saturday, so no riding tomorrow or Sat. Have Sunday to look forward. 2:00 Heine Bro's ride and the temps will be 96F.


01 June, 2008

4 good days of riding last week

Monday was the Mayor's Hike and Bike. Tuesday saw threats of thunderstorms, so I didn't go, and they cut the ride very short. Wednesday was the Twig and Leaf ride, Fun stuff, tried to stay with the front group, but they were way too fast and I worried I wouldn't make it up Glenview, which wound up being Indian Hills. Thursday was a ride out of EP Tom Sawyer and it was tough. Lots of hills and Aiken Road (it is an achin' road). I had fun on Friday's weekend tune-up ride. Fell on my left knee (for the third time) after it was healed and scab was gone. Now I have ugly legs for my sister's wedding this weekend. :-(

Threw a party for my sis on Saturday, so didn't ride that day or Sunday. Sunday was rehydration day. :-)

Tonight is bike handling class and we each have to change a flat tire.

We've now moved into summer weather, with temps in mid 80s to 90s and humidity levels are rising like mad.