Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Icicle & The Bonfire

Icicle this morning...bailed & rode only 36 miles (only). Solid ride, good tempo, strong winds...slow to warm up. Actually, no to warm up...dressed for a 29 degree mountain bike ride...oops. Rookie. Team party at Marcus' home...3 beers, 3 cookies, many laughs & great company. Early to bed tonight...the trails beckon!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Fair Hill

Okay...there is this little feature on the last loop...it is a hand-hewn tree/log/stunt (?)...not particularly high off the ground or anything, not particularly death-defying or anything... a feather I wanted in my cap, nonetheless. So, we are waiting for Susan and I approach the obstacle, thinking okay, there is the line...just roll up to it, just commit...you get on it, you're fine...no different than a balance beam (my favorite part of gymnastics when I was, oh, seven)... So, I ride it and I'm going, "Holy shit! Holy shit!" and my dad is kinda looking at me, puzzled, like, Is she trying that? Wait, did she just ride that? Cause it wasn't that long ago that I was hopping off my bike for sticks that I was calling logs. The whole ride put me in a great mood & bought me an uninterrupted night of solid sleep. Nearly eight hours...eight hours!! My dad was right...we needed a ride like that.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Commute

I rode my bike to work today... I can't think of a better way to start and end my work day. My new ride is snappy and shifts like a dream...(you know, the dream where you ride your bike on rolling open roads lined with trees made of candy?). My going-home playlist (one ear bud, right ear only, modest volume...I can still hear what's going on around me, yet I've got my tunes to take me home): Get Innocuous- LCD Soundsystem Going Down- Freddie King Jayou- Jurassic 5 No Escapin This- Beatnuts Root Down- Beastie Boys Take Warning- Operation Ivy Soma- The Strokes More Than You Know- Prince Paul Feat. De La Soul Cannonball- Damien Rice I got home before Rilo Kiley and Desmond Dekker. Dinner was waiting...woo hoo...

Monday, March 24, 2008

Reasons to Smile

Cousins,
Easter Sunday,
New Road Bike (a road bike, a road bike!!),
A sassy coat that belonged to grandmom Erma,
little glass cups from Aunt Linda (if I was nine, they would be mixing bowls for Barbie...I was a Barbie FREAK...but, I am not nine and I will use them for dry ingredients when baking or tea bags or sea salt...or jewelry...),
Longwood Gardens on the brink of actual springtime,
and, of course, the Wild Thing... get on with your bad little three year-old self!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Good Friday

ran hard, chased trails in the sun...dodged two fallen trees on the cross loop, muddied my sneaks, broke a sweat (shocker)... The Playlist: Wolf Like Me- TV On The Radio (always...if I am moving & listening to music, this is playing) Bodysnatchers- Radiohead Crazy- Gnarls Barkley (just haven't grown tired of it, even now) Dreamworld- Rilo Kiley High & Dry- Radiohead When Your Mind's Made Up- Glen Hansard Weird Fishes/Arpeggi- Radiohead (it makes me go faster, so yeah...) Peter Piper- Run DMC New Frontier- Donald Fagen (yes, seriously) I Feel It All- Feist Could We- Cat Power (you know, cooling down, stretching out...runner's high, soaking up the sun...I didn't even plan that, but, how lovely!) So, I didn't know running would be so much fun... It still surprises me (that I love to do it & that I can do it).

Looks Like I Will Be Okay After All...

Ripping through my favorite trails, fast & feisty...not a single care in the world. I was a girl on a mission this afternoon, peeling back layers and layers of pent-up anger and frustration... The worst thing about such a fantastic ride is the inevitable insomnia that follows... Amped. I close my eyes and there are the rocks and roots, there is the trail undulating before me... a ribbon of soggy leaves and red dirt unfurling with every pedal stroke. Amped amped amped. I was able to stay with BP's steady tempo today and ride every descent with greater confidence and control than ever before. Kinda like a breakthrough ride... Spring is officially here. Made it through the winter and my sleep should sort itself out soon. Has to.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

I Think Spring Begins Tomorrow

did some yoga, ate some chocolate, caught up with Leah... Nikki saw the dad from Little People, Big World at the Chicago airport. thought about nationals...thought about racing... wished the rain would stop.... was glad it didn't. determined to go to bed early tonight. like now.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Luck of the (Half) Irish

Lucky to escape for a quick jaunt around Dtown...lucky to push the limits of the Mudhoney with surprising results (I can climb this? I can clean this? Realllly???)...
No four-leaf clovers to be found (though, I was too busy carving smiles from my bike into the dirt to actually look for clovers), but I did see green, green, green greenery.
I saw baby bees buzzing low to the ground.
I saw signs of life.
The ride back home was smooth...no school bus traffic, no impatient drivers...just a little headwind and some fading sunshine.
Lucky to pedal on a Monday afternoon.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Anchor-ific

I know all rides cannot be great rides, or even good rides...but rides that flat out suck are disappointing. Ooooh, what a revelation. I can't really use the borrowed bike as an excuse (it is one of my dad's best rigs, plus I have successfully ridden it before). I can't really use yesterday's strenuous yoga practice as an excuse...I mean, yoga... I can't really use sloppy conditions as an excuse...nothing has stopped me all winter long. So back of the line, that was me... Not having fun, that was me... I will redeem myself this week.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Pride, Futility, Aggravation, and Zitner's Coconut Eggs (green wrapper)

Tonight I am utterly thrashed, pummeled, humbled, and worn... sigh. Feels reallllly good... Rode twenty-two blistering miles at French Creek with my dad and Wendy (she had to bail after our second run down the fire tower descent to catch her son's basketball game)... Oh. Man. Once Wendy left, the ride became even quieter and more painful...my dad set a great pace, but we slowed down upon reaching Purple (daylight ran out, only had our Minewts...amateur move), my eyes were playing tricks on me! This is the first time I truly whined on a ride...barreling through one of the last rock gardens, I cried, "Wahhh...I don't wanna race expert. I just want to race cross...wahhh..." Half joking. Ugh! yeah, cause cross is so easy? Please...I guess my mind was playing tricks on me, too... So we wrapped up our ride, twelve degrees colder, only car in the lot ("Where is everybody, dad?")...I wanted to curl up in a frozen little whiny ball. But, BP said, "Good job..." and my pride unfurled just a little bit, shoulders eased, feet thawed. Unwrapped my precious double coconut egg (Zitner's: green or blue wrapper only, please)... It was a hard ride...I am not going to lie. I didn't feel as tough as I thought I was. But, I reminded myself of my tenacity. I breathed into my aching quads. I focused on pedaling circles, circles, circles with every climb. I didn't quit. I hope the Easter Bunny hooks me up. Peeps? No thanks. Jelly Beans? Nah. Cheapo chocolate bunny? Nope. Pass. Coconut Eggs? Many, please.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

My Own Little World

Howling winds told me to get my ass on the trails this morning... I listened. Bashed my left knee on the same water bar (going uphill...we all know that is my signature move). Now both knees match. I left my crankiness behind... I think most of it is scattered on Orange, on the steepest pitch...by the time I got to the dam, it was all gone. Ahhhh. Tomorrow is Monday and remember, I like Mondays.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Little Miss Cranky Wants To Race

So Little Miss Cranky read about the Camp Hilbert race in Virginia... Just minding her own business, geeking out on Bikereg... "Oh my! A mountain bike race tomorrow! Could it be?" Why, yes... it's only a four hour drive. Where is everybody's sense of adventure? Okay, the weather sucks. Conditions are probably less than ideal. Maybe it was Fernando's testimonial about the course. Maybe it was that little feeling that nudged Miss Cranky at the finish line of the French Creek course last week...she thought to herself, ooohh I remember that feeling when you cross the line and they record your number and sort of nod at you and acknowledge that you're finished your race...ahhhh... The phone just rang. It was Miss Cranky's Mudhoney calling from BP's basement, begging, "This is your Seven. Take me out on the road tomorrow." Her voice sounded strange. She wins. Miss Cranky will have to wait to race. Not long, though!

Little Miss Cranky

Trying on jeans this afternoon (a half-hearted stab at retail therapy...which I no longer believe in), I caught sight of Lindsay's chain ring imprinted on my left thigh...still there. Only more...purple. Cute. I am cranky. The rain seems to have cleared for the moment, but more is coming... I was really hoping to hit the trails tomorrow, but it looks like I will be chugging along on the road. Reluctantly. On my cross bike. In a group. It's no secret how I feel (and fare) on group rides... So, to say I am looking forward to it would be a stretch. A fib. Last night my best friend and I got in a fight...more than an argument, more than just an exchange of heated words. More than just drama. A real fight, with no resolution. If we were boys, we probably would have thrown some punches...(if we were the sort of boys that throw punches, of course...but, we were grown women behaving like 13 year old girls). Well, I wasn't behaving like a 13 year old girl. Maybe that's the problem. Nah. Again, I am cranky. People have disappointed me and pissed me off all week long. They should know better, they should know by now, that's all... ...tomorrow is Sunday and I just keep telling myself everything will change and I can start all over again on Monday. As if I actually have any control over anyone or anything (other than myself). And... And (!) I missed the last class of the yoga session I've been taking. I woke up even more sore from my clumsy crash at French Creek...my right arm and shoulder feel wrecked. There was a very sad, very pathetic attempt at a sun salute this morning...when I got to plank, I winced. When I got to up-dog I cringed...downward dog was downright pitiful. Ouch ouch effing ouch. No yoga, no salvation from crankiness. Instead, I joined Jeff & The Little Angel for breakfast. I should have ordered the ginger bread pancakes. Cause I love love love them and they would have cheered me up. Noooo, I went for an egg white omelet. It was gross. I was cranky. And hungry. I am still cranky. And hungry.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Mexican Radio Ride

I smiled more the last 2 miles of my ride tonight than I have all week (and it's already Thursday, so that has to count for something). My dad and I explored the (supposed) race loop at French Creek this evening...winter still in the air, but no need for booties or extraneous layers. Took a chance on minimizing our lights and almost paid the price climbing out of Orange...the rocks grew meaner and sharper, but we charged through unscathed. By the light of our Minewts, we navigated the last tricky descent...by then I was cackling to myself with glee. "Dad, seriously...pull that stick out of your spokes...it sounds like Mexican Radio," I begged. Remember that song? Or better yet, the video? Who was that? Wall of Voodoo? Anyway, that's what it sounded like and now have this in my head: I wish I was in Tijuana Eating barbecued iguana So, I had a gloriously fun ride...just ripping it up, using up every last second of daylight...and barely slowing down when the sunshine ran out.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

To Do:

  • Put a team together for the relay (on my birthday, no less!)
  • Forget about Cadbury Mini Eggs. They no longer exist in my universe. They can't.
  • Unearth the ghastly spinning bike (or master the rollers) for days like this (limited time, limited childcare)
  • Find my left road shoe
  • Catch up with my cousin
  • See Juno with Kate & Hannah
  • Finish my book (The Abstinence Teacher by Tom Perrotta...he wrote Little Children, also a movie I happen to love)
  • write a letter to Carl
  • wash my bike
  • get in a better mood

Monday, March 3, 2008

At Last, French Creek!

Stayed upright, pushed the downhills, and attacked each climb with ferocity (okay, the first climb was hardly ferocious...but, after that initial suck-fest, ferocity took over)... An errant limb/stick smacked my right knee so hard I felt it all the way to my gut...I have not felt pain like that on my bike in a long time. My goodness, that hurt. Now that Jeff has a new toy, and the season is nearly upon us, we are back to tag-team Kid Wrangling. Tricky, tricky... Jeff intends to race this year, too...so compromises will have to be made on both sides. I want: the Team Relay (come on, it's my birthday) Granogue French Creek Fairhill Seven Springs!! the Darkorse 40 Maybe a Michaux race? A few Campmor Series cross country races?

Oh...and the Hibernia duathlon.

Anything beyond those will be a bonus.

Sleep, I Need You

What more can I do? Oh, maybe BP's espresso was not a smart choice after dinner. I reallly wanted a 'spro. Maybe a solid 90 minute nap this afternoon was a recipe for foiling sleep. I realllly needed a nap. I love naps and I believe they are never a waste of time. And, honestly, 'spro or no 'spro, I would still be deciding: Rolling Stone? Or Dirt rag? Or Dooce ?(hmmm...I do miss Chuck...check out the Daily Chuck) Or Cat Power ?(the Greatest...but, that sort of makes me want to start the day, even though it's quiet) Or visualization? (nahh...that never really worked for me. Imagining a relaxing image always brings me to sweet singletrack and next thing you know, I am zipping peacefully through trails...zooming along on a favorite loop, wide freaking awake)...sorry, Sherry. how many days til spring?

Sunday, March 2, 2008

It's Called Insomnia and It (Mostly) Sucks

Lately I have managed to fall asleep at a pretty decent hour... the falling asleep part, I've got that down now. It's the waking up in the middle of the night that gets me again...I'm not going to stress too much, only because I know spring is mere weeks away. If this is like any other winter I have experienced in my adult life, I know sleep will return to (my version of) normal soon soon soon. I remember bouts of this when I was a kid...looking back, I can't relate it to a season or find a pattern. I just remember so many nights, watching the second hand spinning slowly...wondering if anyone else, anywhere, was awake counting their stuffed animals or glancing repeatedly at the window for vampires. Kid stuff. Sometimes it would bother me and I would call out for my mom or dad and feign a bad dream, just to wake someone up...even if it was only for a minute. At least now, I can sort of enjoy the peace and quiet...I mean, I would rather be sleeping. Yeah, it is quiet!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

As Long As I Am Moving...

French Creek tomorrow morning...who's in? My bike needs some attention...my mechanic/dad is out of town, ice climbing in the Adirondacks. I can probably get away with cleaning it up, giving the tires a little love. I am spoiled. My dad keeps my bikes race/ride ready...thanks dad! thanks, thanks, thanks... Salvation this morning found me in a particularly invigorating Ashtanga class. What I love about yoga: I find my breath, listen to the instructor and give myself over completely to my body. I love that I have no decisions to make...I am told exactly where to place my hands, my feet, my toes, and even how to soften my gaze...all I have to do is listen to a voice, follow my breath, and surrender to my edge, my limits. Love it. It took me eight years to fully express "Crow"...not especially difficult, I have certainly mastered more advanced poses...but Crow confounded me for the longest time. In any case, I got it over the past few weeks and it feels good. Now I can focus on peacock...ouch. Driving home, I thought, run? ride? run? ride? Running won today (ease, simplicity, timing)...riding tomorrow no matter what.