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