Thursday, August 30, 2007

Get Set!

Carbs by way of homemade focaccia
Testing, testing 1,2...
Today is what we call "the race before the race"....
Last night I did a few laps up in the woods to make sure the lights are ready for action...cut my little romp short when all the neighborhood dogs began barking.
Bags are packed, the dough is rising...

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Get Ready!

Did you happen to see the forecast for this weekend??? I don't necessarily want to talk about the weather either, but if anyone participated in last year's 24 Hour Challenge of 7 Springs, you will understand why I am so pleased...so very pleased...about the weather. Churning in my gut and in my head: Equal parts anticipation & anxiety... Anticipating an exciting weekend of racing, racing, racing...last year was pure magic. Our team of 4 fierce women did a great job of working together in some (almost humorously) horrendous conditions. I truly feared for my life during those thick & foggy night laps. Anxious about being separated from my (other) pack, my family, for the entire holiday weekend. I know the boys will be fine...they will break most of the rules, wreak havoc all over town...they will lay waste to "Mommy's Way." Good for them. I should be cleaning my bike, assembling gear, baking focaccia... I need a watch. I need a nap.

Monday, August 27, 2007

After-School Sports

How is it that I made it through my entire childhood without any "practice" after school for sports?...Now, I find myself getting all psyched up for "cross practice" with my "coach"... All fired up about PVC pipes & caution tape...scoping out the fields and poach-friendly (if there is such a thing) parks. "Sorry, guys...I can't hang out, I have cross practice today." hee hee

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Iron Hill

Winner (heh heh)
Iron Hill:
Hot hot hot hot hot...
"Real feel" temp One O Five, baby...yes, 105 degrees.
Mmmmm...nasty!
A late afternoon start left me feeling uneasy and out of sorts (though certainly well-rested with no alarm this morning).
No surprise, even the rocks were sweaty today...thick air, heavy legs, bloated belly...awesome.
Lap 1:
Into the woods, Cati is on my wheel and I play it safe. The first rocky climb finds me struggling, flustered...slippy slippy stop, start, more of the same...fuck it, hop off & go.
Cati passes me, but only for a moment.
Back on my wheel, she says, "Turn it up..." Linda is gaining ("Zoiks, Scoob!").
No. I am playing it cool. The heat is beyond oppressive and I am no dummy.
My dad's words ringing in my ears ("Take it easy and start working after the long downhill...")...makes sense.
We hit the "lava rocks" before the descent and I pummel through, pretending it's Wissahickon...chomp chomp.
It's quiet back there.
Got a gap.
Make some moves on the bone shaker (a climb this year), pass some fellas...putting some boys between me & the girls.
Steady.
Fucking hot.
Guess what? The downhills are fun, really fun...just enough mud to give a little tack, a little grip.
Lap 2:
More of the same, but now I can turn it up.
Tap into my yoga breathing, sit up tall & relax my grip on the flats...drinking, drinking...the Powergel tastes like cake batter.
Keep moving, move faster.
I can hear the Elite Awards ("Henderson 6th...Ickes 1st...") Go Beans! Yes, Kimmy...faster!
Nearing the end of lap 2, Billy informs me I have 5 minutes on Cati.
Lap 3:
I clean the first rocky climb so fluidly, which boosts my confidence.
Halfway through the lap, cramps start attacking my right quad & inner thigh...what?! Reluctantly, I reach into my pocket for my emergency gel (Double X-Presso with Caffeine)...so very, very gross.
I know I am slowing down.
Find my groove on the swoopy little berms and my legs are coming back to life.
Bungle a diagonal log, hop off & goddamn, that is a Cramp. Wow...am I done? Is this fucker my demise? But, I'm winning.
Easier than childbirth...
Get it together, 2 miles to go.
Turning the corner, to the final stretch, my dad is waiting, "First place!! You got it..."
Churning the gravel trail to the finish, I am smiling smiling smiling...
My first win.
My dad said he knew I had it today...I am just glad he waited til it was over to say so.
Aftermath/Afterthoughts:
Teammate/friend Cati finished 2nd...yay!!
I am a nerd & wish I had a medal (but, the Rudy Project shades are pretty rad...nice to see the ladies earn something other than lubes and tubes).
It will be a while before I can even look at a soft pretzel again...which brings us to:
Puking sucks...especially on the side of 202 as Saturday traffic whizzes by. I console myself by saying, "At least cross is cold."
Cross.
I'm ready.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Happy Birthday, Jeff!

Making cupcakes for daddy...Started out innocently enough... Carnage...no one was spared
"How old is daddy?"
"Forty-six."
"How old is daddy?"
"Seven." Doesn't matter...he is younger than me.
Damn.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

To My Son

Thanks to your clever sense of humor and huge blue eyes, you can get away with... -Being allergic to dogs & peanuts -"Home improvements" (kindly refer to above photo) -Waking me at three in the morning, ready to start the day (you do earn bonus points for compromising & snuggling in the big bed til sunrise) -Refusing the truck PJs -Wiping your hands on my favorite jeans (truth be told, ketchup kind of grosses me out...always has) -Drum solos before my first drop of caffeine -Peeing on the floor (all in the name of potty training...you can't get away with this one forever) -Proclaiming Mommy's butt "too big" for the little seats at the doctor's office...yeah, that office was pretty crowded, huh? I think that about covers it...for now.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Let it Go, Kim...Let it Go

Like Spyhunter.
On bikes.
Without the retro-cool theme music.

drama

Group (road) rides confound me... Someone actually made fun of my shoes (I only have one pair...both my "road"/cross bike & mountain bike have Time pedals). I am happy to have a nice three hour ride in the bank, all for the greater good...but, seriously, my shoes?! Three hours in the saddle on such a beautiful day left me with a healthy sense of well-being (though I heard a little voice in my head, teasing, "It's probably even more beautiful in the woods..."). I napped like a champ and refrained from eating any junk. That was yesterday. Today... Well, today I got a little too close to tree trunk the size of a buffalo, nearly wiped out at the bottom of a smooth, dry descent and crashed into a tiny rocky dip... I am simultaneously icing my left shoulder and my right knee. I think my right foot needs some attention, too. Good thing my mom is making homemade pizza tonight...carbs make everything better.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Disgusting

So the Shoofly Pie did a number on my tummy... or maybe I just overdid it. In any case, before I threw the remains of the offending pie in the garbage, I couldn't help myself & took one last bite... In spite of my suffering. I am disgusting.

Dutch Wonderland

Did the rain fall anywhere else yesterday? Or was there just one lonesome raincloud pouring exclusively over Lancaster, PA?
Didn't matter...Grampy was set on our DW adventure and nothing could stop us...
so much fun.
On the way home we stopped at a farm stand for Shoe Fly Pie...my kid proclaimed it his favorite pie in the whole world (as though he is a pie connoisseur) and marveled at the "jelly" inside (ummm, you mean molasses?).
Yum...that may be my breakfast of choice at 7 Springs (starting my supply list...it is a mere 2 weeks away).

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Priceless

New babysitter (who happens to share a peanut allergy & lives in our neighborhood) and nearly two hours of freedom to just pedal, pedal, pedal... Ahhhhh. Upon returning home, my kid says, "No, mommy. Stay away." That was the greatest feeling... Seeing his bike parked at the curb, helmet still on his head, playing with the "big kids" (they're like 5 and 7) in their front yard... New babysitter watching closely, yet respecting his space... And he wanted me to go away. Back at our house, settled up with my son's new crush & when she insisted I paid her too much, I replied, "Oh no...I want you to come back." After all, cross season is creeping closer & closer every day!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Darkhorse 40

Make yourselves at home...
So, this is Host Housing...and what's in that jar? Only the finest oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. Jeremy's mom's place...I could breathe the air of the Gunks from the back porch...ahhhh! The muddiest my bike has been all season
Smethers rolling up the gravel climb for a strong 4th place finish...Damn, Josh, you are fast!
BP finishing up his half of the Family Style Beans co-ed relay
Be safe fellas
Darkhorse 40 Newburgh, NY:
Not only did Jeremy's mom provide comfy accommodations for me & my dad, she prepared the most amazing pre-race dinner ever with ingredients from her garden...Staying at the old country house was not unlike a tiny little vacation. I could pack up my family and stay there indefinitely...that's how welcome I felt.
And the green beans?
It's no secret I have no love for veggies, but these beans were so fresh & tasty I kept going back for more. Me...helping myself to a pile of green beans.
Must have been the secret weapon, because I raced like a girl who eats her greens (I imagine that girl is healthy & fast at least).
In spite of the goofy lemans start (where I unwittingly ran past my bike...duh), I had a flawless, fluid race.
Fluid, baby...this place was freaking cool! Flowing, twisty, rooty singletrack through a scenic forest littered with the best kind of rock slab power climbs, short rocky stretches, big ring meadows, and abrupt descents with a few drops to keep you on your toes. No room for error because if you bungled, you bungled fast & hard...saw a lots of broken chains & blown up derailleurs. Ouch.
My dad & I each completed a 20 mile lap for a 3rd place co-ed team finish...it was cool to podium together. Didn't travel all that way for anything less!
So much fun...

Friday, August 10, 2007

Giddy-Up

BP of Family Style Beans
Racing to win... but, I will be happy to ride new trails & enjoy a change of scenery. Heading to Newburgh, New York for the Darkhorse 40...My dad and I will be participating as a team (each completing one 20 mile lap)...Family Style Beans, that's us! I am super excited to be doing a team event with my dad...Stewart State Forest is close to the Gunks and our "friend in the know" Jeremy has raved about the trails up there. Can't wait can't wait can't wait...new trails, I am chomping at the bit. Chomp chomp!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Tranquilo

Charlie, "You do realize you are on skinny tires, right?" Me, "Yeah, it doesn't happen often..." Charlie, "That's the only reason I came out for this ride...to see Kim on skinny tires." So began an easy, rolling, conversational ride with Charlie & BP... Out Valley Creek, down 842, up up up the Secret Shortcut through Blue Rock (which baffled Charlie, the navigational superstar)...back home the long way to avoid the obvious climbs...easy, easy, easy... "Tranquilo, Kim, tranquilo." Um...okay. Completely unrelated, but definitely worth documenting: Overheard while I was flipping pancakes in the kitchen & Sonny Boy was playing in the living room, "Funky Boss Funky Boss Funky Boss Funky Boss Funky Boss Get Off My Back!" Later, driving home from dinner at the cousins, I say to the Little Innocent strapped into the car seat, "So, who is your Boss anyway?" Silence... Then, "Mommy!!"

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Concepts I Have Yet to Grasp

-Just because I ride for a mere hour in the blistering heat does not mean I can help myself to every edible item in sight upon returning home (vanilla yogurt! sourdough pretzels! Lindt chocolate! Honey Smacks!) -Just because the morning is filled with finger-painting, castle-building/destroying, and dragon slaying does not mean I am off the hook in the afternoon...Scooby Doo is not a babysitter. -My hair is not going to grow (ever) if I continue to cut it every three weeks. -One forkful of arugula does not count as a "salad"...in that same vein, corn on the cob, um, not exactly "greens." -I am thirty-two. -The laundry is not going to put itself away. -My tiny diamond earrings are really, truly lost. -I carried Diablo himself in my womb for nine months.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Magic Potions

-Polenta (no short-cuts, just good old fashioned stirring, stirring, stirring...with sea salt, black pepper, and olive oil) -Arnica (makes bruises change colors & disappear quickly) -Boudreaux's Butt Paste (saddle sores, diaper rash...it's all the same) -Greyhound Juice (smells like cross) -Grappa -Grappa in espresso (even more magical following a light cheese plate and some good, crusty bread ) -Limoncello -Nestle Quik (strawberry, Very Vanilla, and plain old yummy chocolate) -Aqua di Parma Colonia perfume (what I imagine young & sassy Erma would have smelled like) -Santa Maria Novella pomegranate bath oil -Coconut Milk -orange blossom honey -Pepto Bismol (for the color, the name, and the flavor) -Queen Soup -Tend Skin -gunpowder green tea I can keep going...

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Crass

"Balls...balls...balls...balls..." Yep, that's what I was chanting in my head, chasing my dad's wheel down the final descent today...who knows, maybe I was even uttering the words out loud...in my fervor, in my chase...anything is possible. I got tired of feeling like a wuss. I got tired of thinking, "hmmm, I'd much rather be climbing this..." or, "Wow, I can handle this much better in reverse." Enough. This descending thing, it's a piece of the puzzle (my puzzle anyway) that I really, really need to "get." Well, I got it...for today. Catherine Powers once relayed an interesting fact to me...the little synapses in our brains that make us courageous, brave, ballsy if you will, are formed by the time we are about fourteen years old...This comes into play later in life, when someone like me is blazing down a rocky trail, white-knuckled, feathering the brakes (or more accurately knuckle-headed & grabbing too much brake), having no past experiences, no reference of daring feats such as this...Almost as if I am hard-wired to be afraid of speed (and crashing) because I didn't partake in ski racing or white-water rafting or mountain biking (or any sports) when I was a kid. Maybe so... But, we don't have a DeLorean in our garage... Time travel is not an option and I don't really care to relive thirteen again (bad bad haircut, pre-orthodontia fangs, crappy attitude to match...plus, good taste in music didn't quite temper poor taste in boyfriends)...I suppose I should have been wielding a lacrosse stick or ski poles instead of a jar of Manic Panic. So, "Balls...balls...balls...balls..." That and a little imagination...this is a race, the end is near...this is your competition, do not give it up, do not relent just because it's down down down...anyone can do this, you can do this...quarter mile to go, hold it, make it stick...no brakes, no brakes, trust the bike...TRUST the bike! Ahhhh...that and a little technique where before, I had none. If only we could race French Creek again instead of Bear Creek. A rematch... Today I got it.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

I Smell Cross

At least my new skinsuit fits somebody...

Pow!

7 Year Anniversary Celebration: -50 minute Swedish Massage upon check-in. Best massage. Ever. -Luxe digs on the 39th floor...killer view of the city at night. -Cozy dinner in a wine cellar...simple pasta, great wine, Limoncello & chocolate cake. Yummy. -Beastie Boys Live...awesome sound, no BS...just a great show, great music. Mostly instrumental grooves (old & new), plenty of classics, and they closed with "Sabotage." Doesn't get any better than that. -Time spent away...together (alone)...best gift imaginable.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

No Explanation

Like being pregnant...only not: -Insatiable need for cereal (of the sweeter variety, such as Honey Smacks, Cracklin Oat Bran, and Special K Smart Start)...a heaping bowl of dry cereal with a tall glass of overly-sweet Nestle Quik (just chocolate, nothing fancy...a whole extra tablespoon full) -Aversion to certain smells (Veggie Patch Spinach Nuggets...my trusty go-to greens disguised as a faux chicken nugget...nearly sent me over the edge, in a bad way) -Loss of appetite & nausea around dinnertime the past few nights (thus, the late-night cereal cravings) -Two, count em TWO, on-demand chick flicks in one week (Because I Said So...so lame, and Catch & Release...Kevin Smith was the only redeeming feature of this otherwise weak movie)...and I stayed awake to watch both movies in their entirety, glued to the TV...glued! What is happening to me?! I tried to snap out of this weird spell by hopping onto my bike & hitting the trails first thing this morning...My legs felt sluggish, the rocks were teasing me, "take that, Kimmy"...so I slowed down, enjoyed the early morning sunshine. Felt like an easy stroll or jog, except I was on my bike. Almost 10pm...no cereal cravings. And I'm watching Entourage. I think I'll be okay ;)