Okay, I've been slacking on the blog front. These little everyday things just keep piling up and it's so very hard to get things crossed off of your list when you suffer from AOADD (Adult Onset Attention Deficit Disorder). The whole cycle begins when I get home from working at the gym. I walk through the door intending to start washing the dishes and lay my "stuff" on the counter. I walk over to hang up my keys and look in the laundry room and think to myself (although at times I do this out loud, but the cats don't seem to mind) that while I'm over here I can just throw the clothes from the washer into the dryer before I tackle the dishes so that can be going on while I'm doing dishes. Okay, so I get the clothes in the dryer and look down to see the litter box needs to be cleaned while I'm thinking (at this point out loud; next step is to start making a list on a post-it) that I can get another load of laundry going in the washer. I look at the pantry and decide I need a few Goldfish and Craisins, so I get some and think that I need to organize the damn thing to find stuff easier. I bypass the organization for now and on my way through the kitchen I look at the dishes and the computer and decide I need to check my email (spam doesn't come in on the Blackberry and sometimes the spam really isn't spam). I check email then I look at the toolbar and see blogs listed up there so I decide to see if anyone has updated lately (because, ya know, I really don't have anything else to do). I am a very slow reader, so there is no way to "quickly" check out the blogs - I want to absorb the main story line, after all, in each and every one. After reading blogs I look down on the desk top and decide to pay a few bills that are laying there. I get bored with the computer and decide that I need to eat before I make a really bad decision and have ice cream with hot fudge for lunch. I look at the dishes again and decide that I will wait to do them until after I eat because I like consolidation. I hear the dryer going and I remember that I wanted to get another load going in the washer. I head upstairs (next house I promise will be a single level) to get some dirty clothes. I see a Tigger on the bed so I have to go love on her for a sec. Then I notice that she has puked on the comforter and the sheets need to be changed - BAD KITTY!!!! I go to get toilet paper to clean up the "gift" and see that the toilet needs scrubbing so I throw a little cleaner in there and close the lid. After I clean the comforter off, I have to change the sheets (well, at least I know what to put in the washing machine now). I look in the toilet to throw the "be the mother bird" substance in and now I have to hold it in one hand while cleaning the toilet with the other. I finish that and change the sheets. Go downstairs to the laundry room and start the wash and notice the litter box again. I really should eat or someone might die! I then clean the litter box and after washing my hands what do you think the last thing I do is....the friggin' dishes. I know there has to be others that are afflicted with this terrible disorder. I bet we could have a fundraiser and organized ride for it!
Anywho, I have been keeping a food journal and carrying it around with me. I have never been successful in doing this. Who has the time to write down what they eat every single day? I didn't ever think I did. I just had to force myself to do it and now it's a habit. I make time to write that and my training down. It really does work at keeping you honest - "I had how many chocolate chip cookies today?!!!". You either develop better eating habits or you lose interest in logging everything. Well, I have persevered and the ugliness reared it's head! I have changed a few things, but I feel that if I deny myself certain things that I will gain all that weight back by sitting down at the fridge with a fork. So I have to come to terms that my body craves certain things especially during certain times (if ya know what I mean) and give it what it wants when it wants, just not the whole package.
This past weekend was the Bike MS Pedal the Peak. We had absolutely gorgeous weather! We arrived a little before 8 pm and Chris checked us in while used the facilities. Chris decided that he would wait to eat until we got to Mather Lodge only to find out the restaurant closes at 8 pm. I see JBar and he told me to go get Chris if he wanted something to eat. I ran as fast as I could and fetched him. They were so patient and the waitress was really great! Thanks Theresa! They even warmed up my food that I brought and gave me another to go box just in case I couldn't eat it all. That's the way you get good tips. Although I have been on the other side and it's really frustrating when people come in right before you close, are total buttholes and don't leave you jack for a tip. I think everyone should be required to wait tables at least for a month out of their lives. Gives you a whole different perspective.
We finish eating and go down to the AR Room to sign in. Sarah had asked if I wanted to be a Ride Marshall and tempted me with a free jersey. I turned in my form and they gave me my jersey. It was a large. Since I would be wearing a parachute, I was hoping for no headwind this weekend. We told everyone goodnight and headed to our cabin. Back at the cabin, I got a call from Sarah saying that Arron, her husband and a Ride Marshall too, would trade me his medium jersey for my large at breakfast the next morning. There was hope that I would finish before sundown now! Thank you Arron!
Neither one of us slept very well, but what do you expect when you are sleeping essentially on a piece of foam. I had gotten everything ready the night before and I was very calm about what lay ahead. If you know me, this is a rarity. I'm usually as nervous as a cat in a room full of rocking chairs about this stuff. I guess once you do an open water 1.2 mile swim with 1299 other people and survive, doing anything on dry land is a snap. We get down to the start/finish line and see several members of Team Fast Girls Slow Guys. I decided I would just ride easy and not care how long it took to finish Sat. I wanted a good social ride so my legs would be good to go for day two.
I gave Luvbug a kiss, told him I love him and I would see him later. With that he was gone. I had to yell at some people and even had to chase some guys down. I think I depleted my glycogen stores and all my ATP in that one burst, so I knew the rest of the ride was not going to be quick or painless. Thank goodness for the downhill! The best part of the ride probably is descending Petit Jean. It's fast and curvey and not for the faint of heart. Kind of makes you want to raise your arms in the air and yell out "WAAAAAHOOOOO!!!!". Unfortunately, it doesn't last very long.
Sat. I decided to stop often and just enjoy the company, scenery and weather. I always have to stop at the first rest stop and visit on the first day. The first year I was any part of this ride was in 2005 as a volunteer. I was stationed at rest stop 1 and made Rice Krispie Treats (chocolate and peanut butter, I think). There was also another woman, LaDonna, with her 3 daughters and a friend of her oldest daughter. They were a hoot! Her husband Mike rides every year. In 2006, he was the only reason I made it through the second day of riding. The second day is much flatter and less scenic than the first, so it gets a little rough if you get caught out there by yourself. Especially if you've ridden the first day. Each year at this rest stop they have Rice Krispie Treats because of me! I love that!
Well, I was feeling pretty good when I got close to Perry County, remembering the email that Lisa had sent out that there would be a parade going through. She had gotten permission from the parade director that we would be allowed through. Much to my chagrin, we were halted by a Deputy. Now I have respect for the law, but he was acting like Barney Fife (sp?). Telling us that we would be stopped on the other side if we went around the back way and he had his orders, dammit! Well he didn't say that, but you could just hear him thinking it. I finally called Lisa and her first words were, "I am so pissed". I tried to get the Deputy to talk to her, but he stood there all serious and not saying a word. I handed my phone over to one of the support guys for the ride. Meanwhile I finally turned around and all the cyclists that had been behind me were riding back up the hill and around the block. When the support guy handed my phone back to me (I had been there for about 10 minutes-enough time for my legs to get stiff), Barney looked at me and said, "If ya went through this parkin' lot and around that white buildin' it would come out on the other side and ya could just ride on the shoulder through.". He had a half smile on his face I wanted to wipe off with my bike tires. What a jerk! Instead I told him to have a nice day and saddled back up.
I tried to forget about, as Lisa refers to it now, "The Parade Incident". I was just so happy I wasn't going to have to wait out the entire parade! I knew I shouldn't have stopped so long at the first rest stop! I rolled along and saw several people I knew and socialized for a bit before taking off. I get frustrated sometimes because I'm slower than the fast people, but faster than the slower people and end up riding by myself alot. I just try to convince myself that it makes me stronger and it's good mental training for triathlons. I finally come to the lunch stop and see my friend Geo! I fix myself a sandwich and get some plain pasta and sit down across from him and next to some super nice and funny people. I tried to make quick work of lunch and refill my bottles to be on my way. As I'm getting ready to take off I see an old friend of mine. I used to work for his brother as a baker at a coffeehouse. I now train his wife and have done some plyo training with 2 of their kids. They are genuine and down to earth. All 4 of their kids are well-mannered and sweet natured. His is an Orthopedic Surgeon and I usually see him in scrubs. I didn't recognize him at first in his bike clothes. He said, "Thank you for getting my family into shape.". I told him it was my pleasure to boss them around and make them sweat ;-) !
I caught up with Geo and rode with him for awhile and we talked. He asked me nutrition and fitness questions. I told him I would bill him later! I stopped at rest stop 5 and was ready to be done at that point so I decided to skip the last rest stop. The road leading up to the climb up Petit Jean is always so hard for me. I don't know if it's a mental thing or if by the time I get there I'm just so whooped. I finally start the climb up and get almost all the way to the top and I see this guy running down the mountain. Now, my husband said he was going to run after the ride, but he's usually spent after a hard effort. This guy starts coming into focus and I discover that it is, in fact, my husband. He looks fresh and like he hadn't ridden 78 hilly miles. Like he just decided that he wanted to run in that bike jersey. Our friend Marvin said he thought Chris had lost his bicycle and went back to look for it. I said that he had lost something, but it wasn't his bicycle. I'm so proud of him for his recent weight loss and fitness gains! Welcome to the world of fitness fanatics! We are the few, the proud, the lunatics!
I decided after I ate, I would get in line for a massage. I've never taken advantage of this before and I'm so glad I did this time. I'm sure it did alot of good and it felt great! Chris finds me and we stay and talk with some friends. JBar introduced us to a woman named Dell. She wants to do a triathlon, so of course I'm more than happy to dispense advice on this. Once you get me talking about something I'm passionate about, good luck on trying to shut me up. Lucky for Dell, I remembered that I was sweaty, grimy and tired. We headed back to the cabin to shower and nap for a bit.
Winrock Foundation always provides us a place to have our Awards Dinner and they own really beautiful land up there. The food was tasty and the MC was entertaining as always. Our team usually takes biggest team trophy, but this year I was not the greatest team captain and I'm sorry for that. This year a very well deserving Team CARVE took it. Good job, Sarah. Even with bronchitis she comes through. I've gotten to know Sarah a little better this year and she is one of the most upstanding, funny people I know. I certainly respect her knowledge of the sport. If I ever decide to do more mountain biking, she will be the one I call on to give me advice and ride with hoping that she doesn't laugh at me too loud or get too frustrated with my 'like a 4 year old' bike handling skills.
Chris told me that he had decided not to ride the second day because of his near 20 mph average and 5 mile run. Smart choice and understandable. JBar told me that he was going to wait for me at the bottom of the mountain because he didn't want to get stuck without a paceline to grab onto. Sure enough there he was in a sea of Megasoreasses waiting on me. I was already in a paceline so he just jumped in. I had decided I only wanted to stop at a couple of rest stops today. We bypassed the first one (while the rest of our paceline stopped) and I told him I really needed to stop at the second because I forgot to blasted pee before the ride got started. He pulled me for a good while and the Megasoreasses paceline came by. We grabbed on and held on to them for most of the ride. We all worked together and everyone pulled as much as they were comfortable with. I felt good all day! It was nice to have people to ride with consistently. We stopped at the second stop and the lunch stop. I gulped down my food and was ready to roll, but no one seemed to really be in a hurry. So we hung out until our group was ready. We were going at a pretty good pace down a straight stretch and all of the sudden there was alot of commotion. All of the sudden, I saw on of the riders head on the asphalt to the right and riders scattering. She overlapped wheels with the person in front of her and down she went, HARD! The guy behind her ended up running right over her and then going down. Double ouch! We avoided the mayhem and assessed the situation. Nothing broken, lots of road rash. The guy that ran over her had a big hemotoma on his hip. She laid in the grass and said that she wanted to ride and started crying because she couldn't. Both of her break levers were bent in. I felt really bad for her because she didn't have far to go. I bet she was really sore the next day. We got back on our bikes and took off after support took care of things. We saw the CARVE paceline come by us while we were on the side of the road. We ended up catching up to them, thanks to JBar. Sarah advised us to go the front as the guys in the back were a little sketchy. When JBar was a little more rested we went to the front. We dropped the CARVE group without realizing it and the Megasoreasses caught back onto us again. I was pulling when JBar got my attention and said that there was no one with us, but a guy named David. Why the heck was I working so hard? I guess I needed to prove that I could hang. So JBar, David and I rode together and prepared for Cove Mountain, a monster of a climb! We rounded the corner and took a deep breath. Who do you suppose was sitting on the back of his truck halfway up Cove Mountain? None other that Christopher Irons. He looked like he was enjoying himself thoroughly. I'm so glad that I have a triple on the front because no way in hell am I EVER going to walk my bike up any hill. At least that anyone will witness. We made it and enjoyed the descent on the other side. We stopped at the last rest stop and got ready to make that not so final climb up Petit Jean. The last 2 miles is probably the most grueling in my opinion. It's right at that point where you want to throw your bike in the ditch, but you're almost done! You just know that the finish line is around the next corner when really all it is, is another climb. It's so good to round the corner and see the finish line and that's the point that you remember why you do this stuff to yourself. You stop whining and grab your finisher's medal.
It's really not that big a deal when you consider that there are people who would give ANYTHING to ride, but can't. You remember that this is temporary pain for you and they must deal with physical limitations everyday. This is one of the best supported, organized and beautiful rides in the state. Especially if the weather cooperates like it did!
I will stop here. I will be attempting a 16 mile run tomorrow morning and I have to prepare for it. Thanks for reading and maybe the next one won't take me three hours to write and you an hour to read.