Tuesday, December 29, 2009

grimly fiendish

My son unearthed a framed family "portrait" of the Perna Four circa 1988 and claimed it for his bedroom (to go with his Lava lamp & Optimus Prime body pillow, no doubt). What a little bitch I was! All pale & gloomy with hideous red lipstick (L'Oreal Drumbeat Red) and a sullen little scowl/half-smile...my poor parents. That phase began midway through seventh grade and lasted well into my dreadful senior year. I know the day will come when my own sulky little brat will be too cool for me, but until then, I revel in the moments before bedtime when he wants to hear "one more story about when you were a little kid, a funny one!" or, "Come on, mommmm, snuggle up and read another book..." paybacks are a bitch. I'm braced for them, don't you worry... if I had a scanner, I'd share that lovely little piece of history with you

Sunday, December 27, 2009

not a fan:

  • Avatar: meh...seriously, just my opinion. While you really have to twist my arm to get me to a movie theater, I found "Ponyo" far more enjoyable on the big screen. The hype was kinda lost on me...I could go on, but I'll just leave it at not a fan.
  • Day after Christmas: post-holiday blues/blahs hit me hard...I'm good now, but, phew...that was rough. Again, not a fan.
  • procrastination: my bike remains in the box it was shipped home in...suppose I should unpack/inspect/reassemble...definitely not a fan of my last-minute ways. New Years resolution material? nah, probably not.

not a fan of this particular post...what can I say? Christmas was awesome, but the rest of the weekend pretty much sucked (the highlights being a rainy ride that left me 20 lbs heavier in soaking clothes and "Footloose" on VH1)...

On a more positive note, I am very much a fan of:

  • Dior color reviver lip balm...mmmm, divine.
  • homemade peppermint bark
  • New Years Eve parties...who's having one?

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

It's Christmas Eve...my son is winding down, though will surely get his second wind upon putting cookies out for Santa... Although I am obliterated from non-stop holiday run-around, I will be too excited to sleep. Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

snowed in

First post-cross Saturday and the snow is falling... Actually, the snow is blasting sideways right now. Yes, it is blasting snow outside right now. Blustery, gusty winds, snow so dense I can barely see the house across the street. ahhhh... My son is at his dad's and I am enjoying the solitude wholeheartedly. Presents are wrapped and the oven is preheating for chocolate chip oatmeal cookies. I am still in my pajamas. The tree is lit, there is a bottle of wine uncorked from Thursday night's revelry...I think there is enough left for me to enjoy a glass after a little shoveling. Or now.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Sunday, December 13, 2009

...09 end in Bend

Wednesday: arrived
Thursday: raced/crashed/ran/rode/finished...soaked in hottest bath ever, fought back tears about a non-championship race gone sour, teamed up with Amy to cook dinner for our teammates, slept by the fire, dreamed about the beach.
Friday: Watched Sam take 5th in an exciting race...damn, that kid is smooth. Froze mentally on my own pre-ride, stopped short at the top of the run-up, where I told Kelly, "Not feeling it. I don't think I can race this." We chatted & he said, "I know you'll make the right decision."
After another glorious last-row call-up, my frozen nerves & anxiety immediately thawed when we hit the course.
I rode clean, I stayed focused, and I had one of my best rides ever...I finished with a huge grin on my face, wobbly from the effort and relieved to wrap up my season on a truly high note.
Sadly, moments later, I learned Amy had been seriously injured in her race (we were on course together) and we were soon our way to the ER.
Conditions were treacherous and Amy has definitely had more than her share of bad luck...it didn't take long to find out her ankle was indeed broken (eerily similar to the break she suffered just over a year ago on the other ankle).
Please,
send her well-wishes, let her know you are thinking of her...she's going to need it.
That night, Sam's dad treated us to a great meal at one of the many local breweries, where we were also celebrating LVG's birthday and DeeDee & Sam's podiums earlier that day.
Wes had also arrived, rounding out the ten C3's representing at Nationals (Kris, Laura, DeeDee, Amy, Wes, Gunnar, Sam, Bill, Harlow, and myself). Miles and miles from home, it was amazing to see how well the team works to support one another...on the race course, in the pits, cheering from the sidelines, building/packing bikes, picking up prescriptions for (rrrrrr!) broken bones, waiting for medical attention, cooking dinner, doing laundry...all these tasks, menial, important, and everything in between...everybody pitches in, and then some...I am constantly impressed and truly grateful to be a part of it.
that brings me to Saturday:
5am found me sitting on my bag of gear at Redmond Airport, ready to board my 4th plane since Wednesday.
I missed my son greatly, was thinking of Christmas and weekends spent sleeping in and imagining my cross bike packed in the box, likely til 2010...
2009 has been an amazing season; tough, competitive, and entirely unpredictable.
20 races (0 DNFs)
1 series overall win (PA)
3rd in the MAC (B Women)
7 States raced in (PA, NJ, NY, DE, MD, VA, OR)
1 MAC team championship win (that I was proud to contribute to, however small my own contribution may have been)
Oh (!)
And,
I've overcome my fear of flying.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

One Down...(Bend, Oregon)

I am not lamenting the fact that:
  • random call-ups left me with a last-row start
  • the temperature was maybe ten degrees this morning
  • I crashed out of the top fifteen after a pretty stellar first lap
  • My third crash rendered my front wheel immobile, leaving me to run half the course to the pits (as the field slid by me, one by one, by one...)
  • I didn't have a pit bike, let alone wheels (though, a kindly stranger in the pit quickly had me back in action)
  • the ice got the best of me
  • My knee is jacked
  • I probably had my worst result all season today (on paper)

I really don't care and it's really okay and I am really not grumpy.

wait, shouldn't I be a little grumpy??

Yesterday found me crossing the country on 3 different planes, only to arrive at my final destination in the dark, unaware of what the landscape around me even looked like. Greeted warmly at this amazing house by my teammates, I knew immediately it was worth the trip (even that third & final flight on a straight-up prop plane, nonetheless).

This morning, I woke up to a very cold & very snowy winter wonderland...in Oregon.

I raced my bike, crashed my bike, ran with my bike, and finished my last B race of 2009.

Tomorrow is Masters and I have a chance to do it again...hopefully without the crashing & running part.

Wish me luck & ring your cowbells for C3!

Monday, November 30, 2009

scrambly

I forgot to go grocery shopping this weekend... You can tell it's been cross-crazy in the Dubeck household, as evidenced by the mountains of both clean and dirty laundry...the empty fridge...the piles of clutter...pairs of shoes here & there (rain boots and muddy Sidis in the kitchen...flip-flops & clogs in the hallway)...ziploc bags holding gels & bars (and another for socks & gloves)...toys shoved into corners, piled into bins...a stack of mail about to knock over the (dirty) fish bowl. Slacker. But, My son is fed & clean...phew.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Little Miss Rant-y

Thanksgiving was wonderful...the best I've had in years. I love it when there is a crowd at the table. PA States was great...what a competitive season it's been, even now as it draws to a close. Phelps...sucked. In spite of a good course, perfect weather/conditions, and excellent racing, I am left with sour grapes and frustration. Just moments upon crossing the line, still gasping for air, the promoter made a pretty insulting comment about the lack of a women's field and something to the effect of, "that wasn't even a race..." I started to get into it ("hey, that's a pretty offensive thing to say to someone who just raced her guts out just moments ago...")... I felt so depleted and didn't want my emotions coupled with sheer exhaustion to get the best of me. Dangerous combination, often with regrettable results. So, I took the high road & said, "Thanks for a great RACE." RRRR. Not my fault that the numbers were low, not my fault that it conflicted with another race... How about, "Thanks for coming out, thanks for supporting a local race..." I think I may take my son to see Fantastic Mr. Fox tonight...that will make me feel better, I'm sure.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

thanks

If you've stuck by me, backed me up, helped me get to sleep, boosted my confidence, pushed me, paid me a heartfelt compliment, sent me flowers at work for no occasion in particular, made my day a little easier, lent a hand, emptied the dishwasher, called to check on things, did something thoughtful for my son, shared something interesting with me, cracked me up, taught me something useful, helped me be a better mom/daughter/friend/teammate/person, thanks!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

hamptons weekend...yaaaaawwwwn

what a weekend... raced my freaking guts out both days... love that course, love day two even more. favorite sections: the wooded sandy trail and the swoopy turn leading to the log run-up... so much fun with some of my favorite people... slept like crap in my overheated hotel room last night, but it didn't matter... felt energized and alive on the bike and made it happen. passing out in the comfort of my own bed commences NOW...

Friday, November 20, 2009

november

In the thick of it... Thanksgiving is all but sneaking up on me...in 4 hours I will wake up & get my bleary ass in the car pointed toward Long Island for more cross cross cross. Going to be a tough weekend (aren't they all?) and I can't wait. Won't be nearly as cold as last year...can't be. Maybe a little exploratory spin around Southampton to ogle all the ridiculous real estate on the beach? I was sick all week with a cold/fevery thing...just enough to render me useless at work & home. My kid is the best...he will be five soon, real soon... I'm going to Nationals. I'm freaking out the way I always do when I anticipate being away from my "pack" (my pack is really just my son, but...)... I'm freaking out the way I always do when I anticipate getting on a plane. Bend, Oregon isn't exactly easy to get to. Long Island is a lot closer than Bend, but I am freaking out a little about that, too...I always torture myself this way. Commit to something, cajole other people into joining the fun, fret about going away, fret about a million tiny things way beyond my control... Once, I saw a therapist every two weeks...I was in the worst tailspin of insomnia ever and it was pretty much ruling my life. Aside from the physiological effects of not getting any sleep, I was anxious about all the worries that would plague me all through the night, every night. It was a terrible loop to be stuck in, knowing that not only would I not fall asleep, but I would be up all night worrying worrying worrying. My therapist suggested a visualization technique (at the time, I was getting ready to go to Kansas City, for Nationals in '07)... I was caught up in so much anxiety about flying and racing and getting hurt and crashing my rental car and being away from my kid and being stuck in an ice storm in Kansas and... My therapist said, "Just imagine yourself pulling into your driveway at home after your trip...the lights are on, your son is there waiting, you made it back safe..." I suck at visualization. I keep trying, though.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

US Gran Bummer

here is my sour grapes not-a-race-report-more-like-a-punctuation-mark-to-a-really-crappy-week: I didn't like the course (and I do love the mud...we all know, I love love love the mud)... I really didn't like the course. In my opinion, it was uninspired...blah. I did like the weather...windy, drizzly, warm. I was happy to see everyone...teammates, friends, women I've been racing with week after week since September. Thirty minutes of lame followed a rather nonchalant start (was there even a whistle? I think it was more like, uh, ready in 15 seconds, uh, GO)... Thirty minutes of churn-y, mucky, relentless lame. The most exciting part of my race was the final sprint with a junior boy...he got me by a bike length. damn. Funny thing is, after taking the week off (to work my ass off & tend to my flu-y kid), my legs felt strong and fresh...my head was in it, but only because I was battling back and forth with a junior boy for two laps of my illustrious three lap race. I don't have sour grapes about my result, I raced well... It's just the funk. Funk left over from the week... Usually, a race picks me up instead of flattening me even more. this one got me down. all three laps of it.

Friday, November 13, 2009

cinnamon toast, please...

F*ck the bike. ...my son has a fever and we were up all night ("Mommm, can I have some water please??" "Mommm, can you sing the song with all the reindeer names?" "Mommmm, I don't feel so good." "Mommm, I'm hot." "Mommm, I'm cold." "Mommm, I need more water, please.") At least he is very polite when he is sick. Poor kid. Following last weekend's double, I intended to taper a little, as my legs felt flat & ugly in a whole new way. I intended to get a massage, at the very least. I intended to spin on the trainer...move a little, you know? I had plans to meet my dad for a short tempo ride this morning while my son is at school. My son is staying home from school today because he has a rather high fever (no other symptoms yet, except the pitiful scratchy lilt in his voice when he says things like, "I feel so bad for myself today." So, a taper week became a week completely off. Makes me wonder how other single moms with full-time jobs do it... Somehow, I've managed to scrape enough fitness together by training one day a week since the end of the summer (having been ill practically all summer long) to hold my own and then some, this season. Makes me wonder how the hell I am going to race in the elites next year...(I know, I know...why worry about next year when this season is hardly over...it's what I do...I worry)... Even with the support of my family (and ex, for that matter), racing/training has proven to be a pretty delicate balancing act...lately, I feel like I am running on fumes. And passing out by 8pm most nights, sometimes in my uniform (gross). Still, I'm having fun most of the time. I'll figure it out.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

sorry, that's not whiskey in my tea...

tomorrow is plainly going to hurt soooo bad...
back to back races + three hour drive home= may I please have Monday off? (no, I may not)
excellent weather made for great (dry) conditions this weekend for both races...no energy or desire to lay down a race report, but I will say this:
Both races went well & I certainly had nothing left by the time I packed up my gear and rolled out of Rosaryville State Park...two solid efforts, proud of both rides.
What really stands out about this weekend, though:
I had the opportunity to travel (somewhat) afar and spend some time getting to know my teammates...I would hardly call myself socially awkward, but I am shy and am often "the quiet one" (until, of course, you get to me...well, I am still the quiet one most of the time)...it was important to me to step outside of my shell a bit (thankfully, my team makes that rather easy).
In spite of a pretty horrendous drive home, an empty stomach, and impending headache (it was freaking HOT today), I am so happy to have made the trip this weekend...
What a perfect day to be on the bike.
thank you, Monkey, for letting me experience the glory of 4th Place Urban Camo...that was so, so cool of you.
thank you C3 & friends for the hospitality...
thank you, Jim, for giving me a really good reason to jump into a MABRA race & try someplace new (and I didn't see anyone messing with the exotic native grasses, much to your delight, I'm sure)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

precisely

First thing I said to my son this morning was, "Um, the Yankees won." to which he replied, "That's bullshit, I'm goin back to bed."

so nice to...

roll out easy, at a conversational pace see something other than caution tape in the periphery breathe chilly autumn air hear click, click (ahhh, little ring, there you are) sail through my dad's wake of rustling leaves and flying sticks feel cushy front suspension point and shoot through shallow stream crossings rail (gently) through South Park (wheeeeeee!) not gasp for air & choke on defeat corner better than ever on my mountain bike (thank you, cross) give my right shoulder a break catch a glimpse of a wizened old deer moseying across the trail pass two solid hours in the woods on a Thursday afternoon... (having said that, I am excited for another double this weekend)

Saturday, October 31, 2009

no crying in cross...

So, Beacon remains my nemesis...the race that gets the best of me year after year, yet I always come back for more. The course doesn't suit me at all...fast, relatively flat (save for the Amphitheater of Pain, the only elevation to speak of and if you are petite in stature like myself...well, those steps are laughably murder)... Anyway. After hanging onto the talented & strong lead group for a mere minute, I dropped back and kind of hung in limbo til a few women caught me...crashed gloriously with two laps to go (already faltering long before my crash, don't get me wrong)... Rrrrrrrrrrr. Crashing sucks (duh). I'm not even sure what happened...maybe I overcooked the turn, but my near-endo landed me on my right side with a nasty thud. Predictably, my race unraveled. The last time up the Amphitheater of Pain(ful) left me wincing and nearly crawling to the top, barely heaving my bike enough to make it up the ridiculous steps. No style points...no skillz...all grimace & grunt. Crashing sucks (duh). Rounding the corner to the last downhill before the road finish, tears welled up...big, fat salty tears. Tears like fuck this hurts bad and fuck I feel like an idiot... And then I have a few seconds to try to suck it up and get it together before the finish (why does it even matter)...I'm choked up, a mess (like when your boss is a dick or a parent hurts your feelings and you try to rise above...ugh)...no crying in cross no crying in cross... Finally, emerge on the road & I'm pulling through, but what the...now I have to sprint?! Caitlin is suddenly on my wheel...and I'm all, seriously?? Do I have anything left?? (I did) That was my silver lining (in spite of hurting like mad)...truly, it's always a race to the end and you never, never know... I'm bummed that I wasn't up for hanging around to cheer on my teammates and friends...I'm bummed that my attitude quickly soured just because I got hurt. but, there's always tomorrow...(fingers crossed/hot bath/ibuprofen/rest/ice)

Friday, October 30, 2009

mischief night

It's not too late... I still haven't carved a pumpkin or been to the haunted hayride (I can't handle the Bates Motel or the haunted corn maze anymore). I need to procure some supplies for mischief night, too... Tomorrow night I am taking my son trick-or-treating. He is Iron Man and I am Pepper (duh). Today we are modifying his costume to make it "more badass." Cross race, trick-or-treat, cross race. Oh, how I love love love this time of year! (is it me or are the leaves actually more colorful this fall?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

bad dreams suck

My son woke up 5 minutes before my alarm with a bad dream...I'm not going to iron my scrubs, but I am going to sit and drink my tea. I am not get-up-and-GO...I never have been. I am more get-up-a-little-bit-after-the-alarm-and-gently-ease-into-the-cold-dark-morning. that's just my style... I eat my breakfast, drink my (huge cup of) tea, and watch a little Action News (bemoaning the weather today) and wait til the last possible minute to hop in the shower. From there, it is a mad scramble to get ready, get my son ready, and make it to work (almost) on time. Bad dreams suck...especially when you are almost five.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

leveled

Two flats, rear & front brakes rubbing, seatpost too low, stuck in big ring... that is what my easy 90 minute "spin" felt like this afternoon. In truth, no mecanical issues whatsoever, no significant hills to speak of...just plain dead legs. I am loathe to even admit how I spent my Friday night and I wish I had a more salacious tale of how I came to have opiates coursing through my veins into the early morning hours... Quite simply, I was leveled by my first migraine and found myself reluctantly (once again) in Chester County ER. Ugh. I'm beginning to feel like that girl...with "issues", often in the hospital or at the doctor with some (non-life-threatening, thank goodness) malady, laughably starved for attention (or blog fodder). Back in my early twenties, I thought I suffered from my migraines...I had some badass headaches that warranted enough attention for an MRI & a prescription for migraine meds. Those headaches were nothing like what I experienced Thursday night through Saturday morning... Pure, nasty hell. It unraveled like this: Thursday at work: weird, tingly nuisance on the right side of my face, curious jaw pain and weird ache in my right temple...the lights seemed especially bright in the office. Being a non-patient day, I was the only assistant in the clinic & kept the music turned down to the lowest volume. Wondered if I slept funny...or if my son punched me in the face in the middle of the night. That evening, I kept plans with friends at Teca...had a lovely time catching up with my cousin & our mutual friend visiting from Phoenix...felt kind of funny, picked at my food & didn't finish my glass of wine. Opted out of after-dinner bar hopping in favor of a hot bath and bed. Slept like crap, couldn't lay on my right side...head pounding, pressure around my temple. Friday: pretty uneventful, but felt strangely hung over (like I drank 4 key lime martinis and a shot of Jaeger...not like I nursed half a glass of Pinot Noir). I struggled to get dinner started for my son and pretty much fell apart from there...I don't even remember much more than crying as I stirred a pot of boiling water and insisting to my best friend that I did not need medical attention. How bad I didn't want to go the hospital: verge of breakdown bad...I wanted to take more Excedrin & curl up with my kid, turn the lights off, watch a movie... That never materialized...the pain was too much for this wuss to bear and by midnight I was knee-deep in opiates and waiting for a CAT scan. Bawling like a baby, the Ugly Crier was in full effect. So, that's a migraine, huh? Wow...serious shit. I will never scoff at anybody's headache ever again. I get it. On the bright side: Halloween is next week...my son is still undecided between Iron Man, Scooby Doo, and Luke Skywalker. Luke will likely prevail (light saber...just sayin). Double cross every weekend starting with Beacon...Beacon is one of my all-time favorite courses, yet I always have a lousy race there. I want redemption! Dinner tonight at Alma de Cuba to celebrate my brother & sister-in-law's 6th Anniversary. I think I will stay away from the mojitos, as I still feel bleary and kinda down...I will, however, indulge in some salty, fried plantains! Mmmm.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Granogue & Wiss...I can't even describe the weekend...okay, I'll try:

does this mud make my ass look big?
Here I am...Monday. The sun is shining & puddles have dried up...the lawn is a little less soggy & the mud on the FJ is dry & crumbly. Sigh. Dry, clean clothes are hanging in the laundry room...bottles are washed, sitting in the drying rack. Shoes still need attention, but my dad has (thank you thank you thank you) taken care of the bikes. Monday...still abuzz with absolute crazy cross love... Amazing weekend. I am in awe of the incredible bike racing I saw this weekend...mostly, I am just happy & thankful to have found my little place in this mud-loving community. Although I still feel like the new kid, I am stoked to be a part of a team that just gets it (and totally slays it in the mud, apparently). Maybe this sums it up better than anything else: Last night I dreamed the trees in my neighborhood were linked together with SRAM tape... thanks for reading.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

cyclostalker qu'est que c'est...fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa

"Will you sign my medal?...Ummm, I don't watch sports, I never played sports, but it's amazing to see what you do out there. You guys are the sh*t. Thank you." no shame. none.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Iron Cross Lite...

My dad won...pretty freaking inspiring to watch him sail through the spiral and keep moving moving moving. My dad rocks...I try to listen, try to learn. I missed Anne Rock...I missed our smack talk/pep-rally on the grid. I raced kind of sloppy...I was on my knees in the sand pit after a pretty ferocious start. On my knees...with wheels bouncing off my helmet and shouting and nerves. What else? I worked really hard to catch the lead group...worked well with Jess Kates (crazy kit, super-strong), but bungled (once again) in the sand with one lap to go. Something was a little off, I can't name it...all I know is, the race was over & I was tired. I felt kinda defeated, kinda hungry...it was weird, yet I still had fun. The pine trees made it all worthwhile.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

extolling the virtues of Pac-Man & other bedtime stories

Seems my kid says the cutest, most heartfelt things just as he is about to conk out for the night...there's always this sleepy little musing right before the zzzzzzzzzzz sets in.
Tonight, we read two books & talked a little about Pac-man & Ms. Pac-man...I thought he was asleep, but then he goes, "I bet we look cute right now, mom...all cozy and snuggled up."
Awwwww.
Kid stuff that I never want to forget.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

"...and the Hustle's Really On..." (as sung by the late, great T-Bone Walker)

Pictured above is me & my awesome teammate, Diane...I love her attitude and her pluck. At last, redemption was mine at the Hillbilly Hustle (where, until now, I have always had a lousy race). Lining up for my first foray in the Elites, I channeled Catherine Powers' voice in my head, "I belong here because I am fast..." (or, in my case, I belong here because I can be fast)...I'd be a fool not to acknowledge the fact that I was also inspired by my dad's win just hours before.

race like an A race like an A race like an A race like an A race like an A race like an A...

(I don't know how or why these things pop up in my head while I'm racing, but it works for me...sometimes it's a song, sometimes it's a haphazard silly mantra, sometimes it's words shouted from the other side of the tape...today it was, "Bury yourself, Kim" on one lap and, "Smile!!" on the next...thanks, dad)...as I said, it just works for me.

If I've learned anything this past year, it's that attitude is everything...I've watched it and embraced it in just about every area of my life in the past eighteen or so months...far from any race course, too.

The Hustle was on...the mud, the fast turns, the mound of doom (heh heh)...I rode the hell out of that course and made my legs ache in ways I've never felt before. I was proud to cross the line 4th, hot on the heels of Diane...she rode an amazingly strong & smooth race, graciously showing me how it's done in the A's.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

all about me Part II

...sometimes, it's no surprise at all that I couldn't stay married...after one calendar year of being on my own, I am just barely getting used to saying things like, "single mom" or "separated" or "filing for..." or "property agreement." Some days, however, it feels/sounds like the most natural thing in the world. Trying to stay on top of the pragmatics of working, keeping my home, and being a loving & strong mom hardly affords me much time to daydream or wonder what the future brings...for now, I just need to make sure the bills are paid & there is something other than Pokemon Mac-n-Cheese on the dinner table more nights than not. Surviving feels good...thriving will feel even better.

Friday, October 2, 2009

all about me

I have a broken toe...pretty sure it's the same one I broke almost two years ago (which is only worth remembering because it happened the day before Beacon...) I have a pile of papers with lots of legal terms that are tricky (for me) to understand...trying to make sure all the bases are covered and nobody's getting ripped off isn't pretty. I have an icky cold that's been lingering since Sunday night...skipped a ride/practice on Wednesday, ate pizza and cinnamon rolls this week...should prove AWESOME for this Sunday's race. I have a new roommate...though, he's more like a pen pal with the hours he works. The house looks & feels exactly the same except for a notepad on the kitchen counter ("Chris, there are tacos in the fridge"..."Sorry if I made too much noise, Kim...went food shopping late"...) I have nothing exciting to say today...

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

this week's quotes of note

"I hope you don't feel as crappy as you look." "I got 72 views on my match.com profile since Friday." "I want a little sister. Or a big sister. Can you get me one?"

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Whirlybird Silver

Whirlybird Cross Presented by Guy's Racing: Chatting with Rockstar Anne at the line, I decided today's sentiment was, "Kick your own ass..." With a week between the opening races, there was plenty of time to reflect/gush/ruminate/obsess...my game plan was a simple one: Suffer dearly, suffer hard. The field had an interesting dynamic...many unfamiliar faces and (I'll say it-) a little attitude on the grid. (seriously?)... Nerves quickly gave way to a whole new confidence as I dug in & grabbed the hole shot...led the first lap all the way to the road, then fought like hell to stay firmly in 2nd. 3 notable missteps (clipped my pedal on the first short steep by the pines, crashed out in the gravel, and bobbled on the backside hill) didn't cost me much, if anything I gritted my teeth and pushed myself even harder. Hearing my name, hearing the words, "Stand up! Accelerate through the turn...Get into a harder gear NOW!" (thanks, Faticus, from the bottom of my pummeled heart)...Friends, family, teammates (teammates!) yelling and cheering was what pushed me through & made me try harder today. Out there in no man's land with nasty wind & a bloody knee, every burst of encouragement counted...BP (2nd in 55+ today) was hollering through the spiral, Colin was cheering from the pits...I heard it all today. So. Suffered dearly, suffered hard. Now I am somewhere between cross buzz and cross headache...all cozy and clean after a salt soak & hot tea. Mmmmm...it's gonna get colder soon.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

double-crossed (the aftermath)

Three days following the MAC opener, I find myself immersed in the season... reflecting on two solid efforts (not exactly stellar, but respectable nonetheless), I was thinking all things cross: Monday at work while sterilizing instruments and prepping teeth for a bonding Tuesday in the car, listening to Radiohead Wednesday on the bike, trying with all my might to hang onto BP's wheel during interval #3 (and to be honest, pretty much every waking moment in between...) No cross dreams, though. yet.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Double-Crossed (this is really not a race report)

Day One (Nittany cross): 12th Day Two (Charm City): 12th Charm City was so much fun today...the charge & the pluck were there, the legs pulled through after being pummeled at Nittany, and I fell in love with cross all over again. Yesterday...well, no need to brood, but... At the line, stress was written all over my face (ask Monkey) & my last thought before the whistle was, "I don't have to finish this if I don't want to..." (ewww, Kim)...not the right attitude. I knew I was going to have a hard time focusing. And that's all I really want to say about yesterday. After a great night's sleep, flubbing the directions to Baltimore, surveying only half the course, and perhaps the crappiest warm-up ever, I was happy to ride a clean, fast race...what a physical and clever course. Most of all, it was lovely to see all the familiar cross faces...I've been missing this!

Monday, September 14, 2009

CAUTION CAUTION CAUTION CAUTION CAUTION

somewhere in the middle of fitful bouts of crappy sleep last night, there was a blurry dream divided into paths of yellow caution tape, spirals of caution tape, plastic stakes, wooden stakes, grass that made me sneeze and ruts of choppy mud...hmmm, wonder what that was all about... couldn't have anything to do with all the daydreams streaming through my head Wednesday to Wednesday to Wednesday (practice practice practice)...PVC pipes and Bikereg and the Black & Blue (will my kit fit will my kit fit?) and new chains and shifting like butter and a familiar bruise on my right shoulder (ahhh, right where it ought to be) and a brand new canister of HEED and running up steep hills and organizing gear and taking inventory of tires and making extra cash at the shop and pairing up gloves and armwarmers and travelling with BP and digging out booties and weaving through pine trees and avoiding the "confirmed riders" list and playing with tire pressure and putting summer clothing away and LCD Soundsystem and dusting off the cowbells and the starting grid and stretch of road and a hairpin turn and getting my legs ripped off and trying to glide across sand... and being immersed in the brother/sisterhood that is the MAC ... I can't freaking wait!!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Blahg-ing

Sometimes, the Blog (capital B, yep) meanders its way into everyday conversation (though, I am loathe to ever bring it up myself) and incites a little well of anxiety deep in the pit of my stomach. Especially when I hear: "So, I read on your blog..." "I saw on your blog that you blah blah blah recently..." "But, on your blog you blah blah blahed about blah blah blah" Mostly, I'm surprised...like, "You read that??" Or, "YOU read that?" Then I'm all, "hmmmm..." Sometimes, I even have to defend the Blog (although, it's hardly rife with controversy or juicy gossip...I mean, come on, I'm not Dooce for crying out loud)... Sometimes, I have to be like, "No, silly, that wasn't about you..." or, "Are you kidding? No, that's not at all what was stressing me out." Sometimes, I want to lash out and spew and name names. But, I'm not going to name names or throw stones...I'm just going to pedal really hard in circles until I feel like puking...and in a few weeks, I'm going to pedal really hard in circles marked with yellow caution tape (hopefully elbow to elbow or wheel to wheel) until I feel like puking. Nearly every weekend til December. Because that's what seems to work the best for me.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

oh, puh-leeeeze!

I'm healthy again and sleeping fantastically...normal, solid, consistent all-night-kind-of-sleep. On the other hand, I am right back at square one all over again...in many ways, nothing has changed since this time last year. In many ways, everything has changed. So, the push-pull is killing me these past few weeks...as silly as it sounds, cross practice affords me a huge break from the buzz and the worry and the big stuff that I am trying to handle gracefully. I did see two films recently... (500) Days of Summer...loved it. Was heartbreaking. Ponyo...loved it. Giggled a lot.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

practice makes (almost) pukey

there's no eloquent way to put it... sorry. Practice Number Three took place at the Tedious Park (with the uninspiring scenery, powerlines & plentiful obstacles)... Practice always yields one amazing constant: My worries completely cease. Every single time, every single one of them. Nothing else in my life is quite that powerful in that regard... lap after grueling lap...

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

catchy

Here is the current list of songs my son never fails to request while we are in the car, playing Playdoh at the kitchen table, or hosting impromptu Dance Parties in the living room: (in no particular order): Lovecats- the Cure (groan...again?) Stray Cat Strut- Stray Cats Buffalo Soldier- Bob Marley "The Scooby Doo Song" (which means alternately, depending on his mood, "Rapper's Delight"- , "A-Punk" or T-Rex's "Jeepster") Strange Overtones- David Byrne "The Force Song" (which is actually, "Don't Stop Til You Get Enough"- Michael Jackson) Hollaback Girl- Gwen Stefani (when will the novelty of "that's my sh*t, that's my sh*t" wear off? Never, apparently...) Crazy- Gnarls Barkley (and he almost peed his pants when I showed him their VMA Star Wars themed performance on Youtube..."Chewbacca is playing DRUMS, mom!!!") ...Imagine my surprise when I heard him softly singing, "She wears high heels, I wear sneakers..." while he was setting up his GI Joes & Wolverines for battle this evening. Taylor Swift???!! Seriously? (disclaimer- I recognized it IMMEDIATELY only because I probably hear it no less than FOUR times a day at the office...where he picked it up is a mystery to me)

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Summertime is winding down...

nests
hangin out
swimming
sunshine
family reunion
mono
hike
arrival
vacation
wedding
dates
celebrations
adventures
playtime
birthdays
cupcakes & lollipops

Thursday, August 27, 2009

voodoovoodoo

As fall approaches, I can feel the summertime curse lifting (not afraid to say it...what am I gonna do? jinx myself or something?)... the only thing that gets me nervous is registering for all these races so far ahead of time... My dad admitted to it, too. But, damn, I want a good starting position... (*grins*) Cross Practice... I just hope I am not blowing myself up & turning myself inside out to bring back illness...I am hovering over a fine line right now of getting stronger or wearing myself down. How is it still fun...three years later? Of the handful of areas we poach for practice, I somehow don't get bored chasing & racing around the same field of dirt & soybeans...year after year.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

"Cross Oh-Nine...yeah!"

(at least I think that's what BP hollered over his shoulder as I gasped for air, choking on the dust of a ninety-degree afternoon & my humbled ego on Hot Lap #3)
Ouch.
Considering my first few hard efforts back on the bike have occurred at high intensity and in ridiculous heat, I'm feeling pretty good.
Worth noting:
1) Getting reacquainted with the Mudhoney? Are you kidding me?? Easy, baby...Easy.
2) Following my dad around in circles, trying to stick to his wheel, trying to find a rhythm?
The element of anxiety was almost zero...kinda like the comfortable little jumble of nerves one feels upon going back to school after a lazy, ho-hum summer vacation (like fourth grade, right? Summer was great and all, but really you just want to get back to seeing your friends, watching the leaves turn colors, and fall back into the groove...there's work to be done, but you like it)
3) Gaining confidence about an all-too-quickly approaching season of racing after a slothful & discouraging summer spent mostly in bed?
Not too bad, considering...
Recovery took a bit longer, breathing was tricky to negotiate on the stronger efforts, and the mere thought of dismounting just plain confounded me. Otherwise, confidence is within reach.
Cross practice.
Part of my vocabulary again, starting today.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

S&T

Sara & Travis got married...perhaps the most beautiful wedding I have ever attended. Their latest adventure begins all too soon, all too far away (far away from Quizzo and goofy little dinner parties and petulant requests for tea & toast well after midnight and dreadful Cranium and Ladiez Day and dirty Frazer Lanes and plain pizza with absolutely no effing pineapple and Tiny Girls in Burly Trucks and exquisite beer snobbery and fantastic Halloween costumes and yummy treats including the most addictive homemade Almond Brittle ever and chocolate chip cookies with extra salt and cheap fireworks and good wine and impromptu trips to Casablanca and dominating the Picture Round and clever drawings and hand-sewn pillows and daring fashion choices and taking cheap shots at a snarky cheese plate, I mean the "Celebration Platter" and loathsome sing-alongs to Supertramp...lots of great memories & excellent conversation crammed into one little year)...
Guess I'll have to add Bloomington to my list.