29 September, 2010

Circles can be broken

and that can be a difficult thing to overcome. A friend and I were talking last night. He mentioned studies that have been conducted about the sizes and numbers of our circles of friends/acquaintances and how societies have born out the facts of these numbers over the years. 

You see we may have several circles of friends, family, colleagues, acquaintances. The closest of which is somewhere around 10 for most people. The total number of relationships any person can maintain is about 150. This can be very interesting and useful for lots of things, especially social networking sites, etc.

I've been thinking about my circles over the last year and a half. My closest circle was small to begin with. Upon my divorce it was shattered into almost non-existence. Everyone loves my ex-husband and for good reason. I lost my mom, sister, and daughters (but daughters only for a short while) and several friends when I moved out on my own. Logically, I understood but emotionally it was and still is tough.

I worked at growing new friendships and growing my circles. Problem was and still is I tend to smother people. I don't mean to, honestly. I'm still Still, learning to be on my own. There are all kinds of people in this world. Many are comfortable being on their own. Some of my new friends are most comfortable being in solitude, even one of my daughters. Without any malice or intent I've managed to push away some of the people I most want to be in my inner circle.

Not sure I have a point to any of this. I'm just tired. I don't want to fall down off my bike again for a while. I don't want to lose another crown/tooth. I'm not looking forward to finding a car for my insurance settlement. I wish someone could let me in on their secret of how to be at ease in solitude. Someday, what I'd like is to have at least one person in my innermost circle that would put their arm around my shoulder or just sit with me for a while, conversation not necessary.

So if I email you too much or text or twit or im, tell me and I'll try to be better.

peace to all

26 September, 2010

Never get too comfy or even think about resting upon your laurels

Beautiful morning, crisp @ 57F when I left the apt @ 9:30. Stopped to get a cup of english breakfast tea @ JBC and headed to Shawnee. I wanted to see the Cat4s, especially MH race. Alas, MH is not racing but running all over taking photos. "Why aren't you racing?" I ask. He responds that he's just gotten an internship with a cycling magazine (damn I can't remember which). 

I finally got to meet Karen Wh and her husband from Dayton. What a great couple! She and I have been fb friends since late last year following the last CX races.

I didn't warm up properly at all for my race. Just rode around half-ass. But I was breathing well all morning. I've been taking my advair once daily instead of once every third day.

We line up and the whistle blows and off we go to the hole-shot. What fun! Someone has a wheel on me. Not sure who. Fun I kick into overdrive and take the hill, bomb down the other side and ride for all I had. I'd pre-rode the course once, easy and knew I needed to follow the lines already taken by previous races. The course was flat and fast on one side with a nice off-camber that went into a snake around trees to the first log barrier that snuck up on you. Men were bunny-hopping this log, I stepped on it to get over. The second part of the course had quite a bit of flat, but then this up and down, up and down, that put you on off-camber at the top corner which was interesting. I bombed the downhills and then the off camber straightaways to the start finish. Somewhere on lap 3 I felt like I might wheeze, but put it out of my mind and told myself, only 1 lap after this. I am still surprised that no one passed me. It felt good to win and have a nice gap in front of the rest of the field. Only regret is my remounts. I didn't do them properly. The logs were such a bear to clear, that I lost momentum and just stopped and got on my bike instead of running and legging over the proper way. This is what I'll work on this week for sure.

The rest of the day was so much fun, cheering on the other racers. After the last race I headed home. The only way I know to get to and fro is the LBC bike ride that goes to Shawnee. As I am driving down Market between 9th and 8th street a car to my leftt (I'm in the rightmost lane) turns on his right turn signal and immediately starts to pull into my lane. He pulls into me and I am trying to react, slow down but wind up turning into 8th street. There's a parked car so I take the sidewalk and at the same time a parking meter. The entire driver's side of my car is wasted. The front rim is split. Thank goodness no one was hurt.

I'm tired. I have lots of stuff to take care of this week. Car repairs and crown replacements, except I have no car to get to the dentist. Fun times!

I seriously do mean fun times. Cars and teeth can be replace but memories like today, racing and laughing and cheering on others is priceless. I am indeed a lucky girl. Lucky too because my Heather came and swooped me up and took me and my gear home. I love her more than she'll ever know.

peace to all

22 September, 2010

Clean-er air would be nice

I really wish it would rain. The atmosphere is full of dirt, pollen, dust particles and making it very difficult for many of us to breathe easy. Rain would knock some of the stuff down.

These last few weeks have been so frustrating. Asthma and wheezing mixed up with crazy crashes. I'll keep getting out there and trying to get some efforts in. Signed up for the local CX race on Sunday. Temps are supposed to be in the 70s, but no rain in sight.

I danced a little jig earlier and burning incense. If I had a mouse trap I could offer up a sacrifice. I know, that's cruel. But I might be that desperate soon.

Went back to the Advair. Guess I'll do one a days and double up Saturday if necessary. I've not used my fast-acting inhaler this much since I quit smoking.

I hope everyone else finds a way to breathe easy very soon.

peace to all 

21 September, 2010

Another chapter closes

and I wonder how the new chapter will unfold. Mishaps and crashes leading up to my youngest daughter's wedding day kept things interesting, to say the least.

Rehearsal and dinner went very smoothly. Bride and Maid of Honor were making lists and checking everything multiple times. I didn't have much to do, but by the end of Saturday I was fairly exhausted.  

Wedding day morning seemed to so smoothly, to start. Pick up Heather, pick up Amber, load the car with dresses and such. Pick up the wedding cake. Arrive @ the wedding site and get ready. Nerves were only a little frazzled. Last minute touches were just that, last minute. But when the music started and the flower girl began walking down the stairs all was perfect. The bride never stopped smiling through the rest of the day's festivities. 

The happy couple are cruising on their honeymoon and the rest of the world continues living. Hustle and bustle of work days and other of life's activities. 

I've been saying my obligations are over, financially. While this is true, I'll always be Mom. Now to replenish the coffers and plan the next things to do. A vacation would be nice, think it will most likely involve riding/racing bicycles. Time to be more serious and focused on training. Cyclocross is a combo of tough competition and lots of fun times with friends. Now to see if I can race and train with no more crashes!

peace to all

14 September, 2010

Tough and fragile

It amazes me just how tough yet fragile the human body is. It is resilient as well. I guess I will continue to prove to myself that I am not invincible (already knew that a long time ago). I've had lots of bumps and bruises and crashes. I've had some people ask me what I'm doing to myself. Do I have the skills to be doing what I'm doing? Shouldn't I find something more safe and less risky like crochet or needlepoint. 

Give me a break, people! I ride a bike. Yeah I fall down (more than I want). I'm also learning. Part of learning is making mistakes. It's how I seem to learn best. I have made the same mistake twice, granted. But I have fun riding. I have fun doing things that are difficult. Riding on bumpy grass, fishtailing through sand, dismounting the bike to carry it over obstacles and push it up grassy or better yet muddy hillsides. Remounting the bike to ride off camber as fast as possible just to slow down and ride through 180 switchbacks. You fall down. Hopefully, you get back up and go. Get dirty. Breathe hard. Hands hurt. Lungs burn. Have FUN. 

I bought a dress for my baby girl's wedding tonight. It's ankle length to cover these banged up legs. I hope it passes muster. I think pearls and low heels will look good. The shiner is looking fairly good. I think the concealer should work through the pictures at least. :-)  

I'm so ready to get back on my bike and ride I can taste it! 

sending high vibrations and much love to family all this week

peace to all

13 September, 2010

Not all that badass, though I'd love to be

Amber came by and we talked over some wedding stuff. She carried my wheels upstairs out of the car. Made sure I was ok, but didn't pawn over me which is good. I used my poultice and drank my jasmine tea and was in bed before 10. When I laid down I bawled like a baby for a few minutes. So silly, but just had to get it out of my system. I remembered how alone I was after my collar bone and got a little over-whelmed. Tears have a way of cleansing the soul. It's been quite a while since I shed any. Slept so soundly, I was surprised. The jasmine tea also has chamomile and I took my mega minerals, that must've been the right combo.  :-)

Worked from home today and probably will tomorrow. I got up every hour and walked around so I wouldn't be completely stiff. Around noon I walked downstairs to check the mail and back up. I did one step at a time gingerly and wasn't so bad. After dinner I walked to Old Town. I was almost home and at one point my thigh buckled. By the time I got back my leg was very tired. Climbing the steps normally was a push.  But I pushed.

Lots of work to do. Have to buy a dress for the wedding! Miss riding, but I don't want to swing my leg over the saddle yet or carry the bike downstairs. But I want to spin. Wednesday.

peace to all

12 September, 2010

Day 2 of Applecross is in the books

and what a day it was. The weather was beautiful, morning started about 65F and mid afternoon was 82F, with mostly clear and sunny skies and variable winds. 

They took out the really bumpy rumble strips and put in a pumpkin patch and turned the course backwards from Saturday. The steep run-up was now a downhill to a dry rutted up mud pit a 180 right turn to barrier and a small run-up. The steep downhill to off camber into the lake was now a dry fast off camber ride to a short steep uphill that was a blast. 

I pre-rode the course before the first race. Breathing was great and the course had much better flow. Watched and cheered the Cat4 men for the first third of their race and went to get ready. Decided to go with the easton's and EF helped make sure my tire pressure was right. 

the race starts as a "braveheart" start where everyone is about a hundred (?) yards into a field all lined up across this painted line and we have  prime for the hole-shot. What a great way to start a race. Once into the tape you have an immediate 90 degree right hand turn and another 90 left. Talk about going all out to almost stopping craziness. Fun stuff! We ride into the apple orchard and do the first barriers. Switchbacks, all through the orchard is uphill, which I liked better as I was able to handle the turns better than yesterday when it was downhill. I was feeling good and felt I had a decent chance of completing the full race and not DFL. Ha, so much for that thought.

Coming out of the hole shot at the end of the first lap, I'm sprinting hard to get to the bottom of the hill before going into the orchard. In front of the officials tent I lost my front wheel and down I go. I sat for a second, a man came over and asked if I was ok as I was getting up and checking my bike. He took my bike over to the side of the course and I said something like, "don't help me I could be DQ'd" thinking I was going to ride. I'm looking at the hoods to see if they need adjusting and my right thigh starts burning. I look down at it and decide to sit back down on the ground. Yeah. The handlebar had frogged my quad, resulting in a huge hematoma. (internal bleeding). ARGH   Oh well. The EMTs put icepacks on me, one of the them kept checking on me over the next couple of hours wanting me to go to hospital and get checked out.  Eh, it'll be fine in a few days.  

I know people think I'm a huge clutz and I won't disagree. However, what happened today to me almost happened to a fellow cyclist in a later race. Turns out there were some tree roots covered by the clover and I found one. These things happen. I started thinking how maybe I'm not suited for CX, but I've decided screw that. It's great fun and it's hard and soon enough it will be even better with nasty weather and lots of mud. Here's some footage of what CX is about.

Guess I will buy a long dress or skirt for my daughter's wedding this Sunday. The shiner is looking better and concealer should take care of it. 

The only thing I am upset about for today is that I couldn't cheer for my fellow cyclists. One friend came in first and I couldn't get over to see his podium. The ladies I raced with and hung with this weekend did great. and RF who raced her first ever yesterday got on the podium with third place today. Coolness beyond description. I love this sport and these people.

jam-packed week ahead

peace to all

11 September, 2010

1st 2010 CX race done

1st sign it might not be a great race, went out for my openers last night and breathing sucked. Complete my first set of efforts and was wheezing. Started to pack it in, but went on and did 4 of 5 of the 2nd set. Got home and went through my relaxation routine

Didn't set the alarm, in bed before 10 and slept the best in a very long time. I intended to pull out of the drive by 8:30, just didn't happen. Started to get antsy about it and decided that was silly as I had plenty of time to arrive, sign-in and warm-up before my race @ 11.

2nd sign, short of breath carrying gear out to the car. It took 3 trips down my outside flight of stairs. So, I puff on my albuterol in the car and head out. I really wanted to get there to see RF race. She was going to race with the beginners. When I arrived I found out I hadn't missed her as they decided to have her race behind the Cat 4 men (still not sure they didn't have her race with us women). She did great! So much so, she is racing with us tomorrow. Yes!

I warmed up on my trainer and breathing was still iffy so I take another puff. I was thrilled to see SM racing with me in the 35+ and SS racing the 34 and unders. SS and I did a warm-up lap. Fun course, except for that first SUPER bumpy part. It was overcast and damp but felt warm to me. We line up and take off. They took off and I didn't get clipped in until the first turn. By the time I got to the second turn they were almost out of sight. There were plenty of places on the course that I liked. One power area that was almost like a golf course in smoothness and carpet feel. The part that took you into the lake was Great fun, muddy and off-camber. The first barrier came after a 180 turn into a dry mud pit and immediately turned to a nice run-up the hill with your bike. When I got to the beginning of the third lap and saw where the rest of the field was I  decide
d to back off so I could try to breathe and allow them to lap me. This is mainly because I just didn't think I could pull off a 4th lap. SM came in first, which totally rocked. SS had a great first CX race. A fellow Rogue who raced the Cat 4 race and a Twin-Spires racer were there cheering me on along with several of the ladies from the Monday night Skirt-ride. SM and I took the podium as the only 2 in our AG.

The rest of the day was filled with cheering on other racers and socializing with lots of people. I got to know several people a little better and catch up with a few I'd not talked with in a while. I watched ND race as the only elite woman with the elite men's field and come in fifth place against the men while winning the women's race. They had to do 8 laps! OUCH

Driving home I reflected on the day and how fortunate I am. One woman told me how she thought I was in my late thirties. How sweet. So many people asking how the other guy was doing when they saw my shiner from Monday night CX practice.  ha ha  Lot's of good conversation, joking and just clean fun (well maybe a little bit of dirt on the legs and bikes).

Tomorrow brings the 2nd CX race of the season. I hope the breathing improves. But I know I'll have an even better day since so many more racers will show up and I'll get to catch up with even more friends.

Life is good

peace to all

08 September, 2010

Sometimes it just doesn't click like you want it to

Been wanting to write, but just couldn't muster up the sit-down and do it time.

I took the week after Master's Natz easy, maybe too easy. Bought the mtn bike and rode it. It's been a struggle feeling good on the bike. My hands have ached, ragweed has kicked my allergies into high which then turned on the asthma. Good grief, enough is enough now!  

So I've been to CX practice and CX skilz and drilz clinic and this Monday Niki put on a ladies clinic. All great things put on by good people. At CX practice the medium kids drop me. Now, these kids are all probably under 12. Sad but true. They are GREAT kids and it amazes me how fluid they are on their bikes. Duane and Steven have put on skilz and drilz clinic for anyone that wants to come. We've focused on dismounts and remounts, carrying our bikes over "barriers" and riding uphill and downhill while attempting not to use the brakes (yeah, well I touched the brakes 3 times last night). And one fellow teen CXer, who shall remain nameless, tells me that my pedals look too low to the ground for a CX bike. hmmm, oh well.

Monday, Niki put on a clinic for the ladies. She wanted to make sure anyone that is new to racing had a chance to ask questions about it. She also gave some great tips. We practiced dismounts and remounts. We practiced starts and once we'd done several of those we practiced hole-shots. Fun stuff. We did a warm-up lap and then headed over to practice the stairs and use our dismount/remounts on the real thing. This was great fun. We did one at a time, then two and then three. All seemed to be going fairly well for me, remounts could be better. Then on my 4th time around I was solo. I misjudged timing and speed and dismounted a little late, then the bike went right and I went down. It was slooww motion. I saw that step and couldn't find my hands or a way to slow down or stop. Right cheekbone meets corner of a railroad tie step. Owie. So I knew it was going to be a nice shiner and it is. 2 days later and it looks worse than ever. I think I might've cracked my bone or at least bruised it.

Like a fellow cyclist said, it's a good thing I don't have a man in my life or he'd be getting all kinds of grief about now. My daughter's wedding is a week from Sunday and right now I just hope it fades enough that I can cover this up with concealer. I played with that earlier tonight and it didn't work so well.  :(

I'm so fortunate to have this activity to look forward to each day. Bicycle riding has helped me in countless ways. October, November and the first half of December are going to see weekends filled with CX races. I've met many people in other cities (both in person and on facebook) and I look forward to seeing them during this season and cheering them on, too. There are quite a few lady newcomers to the scene and this is super exciting.

Til next time, Keep The Rubber Down!