When I think about what I am full time every day all day, I am a mom. I may not be the best mom in the world, but it is the one constant in my life and it’s one big part of who I am. When I think about my health, my vision, my life and where I’m going to put my energy, it is always with the kids in mind - whether those rug rats know it or not. And, believe me, they will doubt you. If you're a parent, you know what I mean.
How can I stay balanced? How can I encourage them? How can I give them space? How can I be strong for them? All of these questions float about in the background while my body does my day to day life activities.
I don’t know why I got so excited when I saw a mad max lookin’ pick up truck cruising up the road today. It looked like one of those Ford Bronco’s, but bigger, way bigger, and with the back part chainsawed off. The tires were huge too - but not too huge - not monster truck huge. And I swear the license plate was twist tied on with rusty wire. The back bed of the truck was full of scavenged items: bed frames, table parts, chairs, coils. It was a gnarly looking vehicle.
Now there is nothing really good, per se, about being in Mad Max world. It’s dystopia. At the same time there is something fascinating about large imperfect hunks of scrap metal leaning to one side roaring up a road. I don’t know if it’s just bringing back childhood wonder or if it was just so surreal and out of place - it didn’t logically look like it should be moving at all - that I admired it.
I continued riding up the road scooting in between stopped cars and around slow cars. It’s nice being on bicycle sometimes. I love it pretty much all the time although I admit I was thinking about riding in the cold weather and snow. Something I have been planning to do and has been on my list. Last year I was going to give up my car entirely - but I got too lazy. This year though - I better get plenty of cold weather gear! I’m excited!
When I got home I could hear Sammy lazily plop off the couch pulling one of the cushions to the floor as his hind legs slithered off as he stretched and kneaded the rug with his front paws until they finally dropped and he trotted over. I patted his head and tethered him in his harness and off we went. It was cool outside. Unusually so for summer in the Chicago burbs. Global warming, so I hear.
We walked easily to the park and I was impressed by how he was actually following commands pretty well, not getting too crazy about squirrels and rabbits. I felt it was as if he knew he wasn’t going anywhere anyway. Even if usually he would stubbornly pull the leash anyway. Once so much so that I was holding his harness and his front feet were air walking over the sidewalk - ears perked.
We got to the field and he found his freedom - and some rabbits. I wonder what he would do if he caught up with a rabbit. He doesn’t seem to have a violent bone in his body. Would he kill the thing? Or was it just the chase that interested him? He definitely enjoyed the chase. I didn’t feel bad about tethering him back up since he had gotten his run in. In and out and around the bushes and trees at full speed. The chase was fully on. His eyes had laser focus. Ah, the life of a dog!
reprinted from https://etherealbeings.wordpress.com/2015/07/08/the-way-home/
So today I rode 106+ some miles by bicycle. It was fun. Lots of sprints, break aways and - the clincher - great cyclists to ride with. That’s what makes it. I love the competition and spirit of it all. I love the spirit of the people I rode with. I mean, the whole event is great, but the spirit of the social aspect is really fun for me. I woke up around 4:45 in the morning, got my coffee together, got my water bottles together, showered quickly, wrapped up the spare tube just in case and headed out the door.
I met my friend, Danny, at the Trader Joe’s - we planned to ride out to meet the group together. It was his first group ride - first century with a group too. That’s one way to break that in. Just jump on it. We warmed up via Gardner to 75th and down Book to Frontier Park where about ten other riders were waiting around. These guys all usually rode what’s known as “the blur ride” - meaning they ride a 20+ mph pace. Tuesdays and Thursdays it’s about 22.5 miles, weekends it’s usually 50. They usually seem to go about 22-24 mph average which means if you don’t include stops they are traveling at about 25-28 mph on the straights.
Weekends and for long rides - like say, a century - it’s usually a “no drop ride” relatively speaking.
Last year I rode Tuesdays and Thursdays because they were the only days I could get out to ride really on weekdays. Some days I was happy to hang on for 10 of the 22.5 miles. It did make me a better rider to push myself. And I learned the route and the way home so I had no worries. I was always blown away at how they made the speed and the attacks look so easy. The thing about riding, or being athletic, there are always those who you will be better than, and there are always those you will be humbled by. Either way I find you can’t take it personally. We all work at our own pace and it is all a learning experience.
I remember riding up some serious hills in Girona and the coach just glided next to me, hand on my back gently pushing me up a hill steady and smooth. He spun. I struggled. He smiled. I sneered. He spoke. I listened.
Of course... there are many many similar examples like this I could give - where my body was just failing and their body seemed to just do it. Just like it was nothing. How? How did they do it? They were so thin and weak looking. They were ... So. Strong.
All of June I accidentally conditioned.
I mean, I have been riding for a while now and with a variety of different types of riders. I’m lucky that way. If I’m lucky I find myself with people who kick my ass and I learn and grow.
It’s happened often enough.
I really feel like going to sleep. This is awesome because the past few days I have been super antsy. Today I actually felt hunger also. It was odd. Usually I get cranky or munchy - but today it was actual hunger. I probably ate too much as a result. Yesterday I definitely ate too much after my ride because I just lay on the bed and went into a deep deep coma after breakfast. I woke myself up snoring twice.
I never realized just how much food I cook and put on everyone’s plate. Everyone else seemed fine, however. My body must have just been freaking out since I had been on a steady diet of Gu, Rocktane and Clif bars.
I fell hard too. Pitch black and there was no waking me. Pure zombieland. It felt like some scanner washed over me and in my mind I vanished. I know I dreamed and bounced around in the netherworld, but can only remember glimpses.
This was maybe the second or third time this has happened to me this summer.
I had a week where I was waking up at 3:45am to sub bootcamp. That was really difficult. I’ll be doing that again for a few days in a couple of weeks. Buckledown days.
This month I was looking at some of my statistics too. I went from 51.2 miles (5 hours 29minutes and 852 feet in elevation gain) in May to 437.7 miles (38 hours 3 minutes and 22,991feet in elevation gain) in June. Quite a jump. And that includes both running and cycling. No wonder my metabolism sped up and I was having zombie days. All in all, however, I feel great. I’m still teaching and doing yoga too on top of it. I think that’s why my muscles aren’t really that bad off. Next month I want to focus on some more long rides and still get in hills. I also want to pick up my running and swimming miles. Running is great doggie and me time too. So I like that.
Over the weekend Sammy got in a lot of outside playtime. He met two dogs, Star and August. August only had 3 legs, but he loved to run and play. They all played a lot which made me happy since when I’m at the office, Sammy’s stuck inside. Star was a little feisty girl dog that weighs probably 48 pounds, however. She’d often growl and snap at Sammy and steal his toy. Did I mention Sammy is a 60 pound pit bull. So ferocious. You know what he’d do when she’d steal his toy? Nothing. She’d snap and growl and then when he’d trot off, she’d follow him tail wagging.
Females are a mystery.
Did I just say that?
Anyway, it was fine until Star really snapped and Sammy while I was typing away in “the zone” at the kitchen table. I yelped. It scared the shit out of me. That’s when one of the humans pretty much told Star to get out. Still, I liked her and all of them and it.
Wrapping this up - but still have to mention how lucky we were to meet such amazing people at the farm we stayed at. They were artists and hippies and there was another guy there named Sky (my son is named Sky). Neither Sky had ever met another guy named Sky. It was pretty cool.
Oh and if you want to check out some of the art- you can find it online and in galleries. Enjoy :)
( reprint from https://etherealbeings.wordpress.com/2015/06/30/zombieland-and-art/ )
Okay, time to write.
What to write....
I don’t know what to write today, although I guess I feel that way every day. My head is focused on making my list for the weekend: Bread, peanut butter, jelly, instant starbucks, drinks, water, veggies.... And what to pack: Climbing gear, swim suit, gym shoes, dog food, and on and on. Excited and nervous about the weekend of course there never seems like there is enough time to do anything and so time is running out for me right now. I want to get this done though and so I will pluck away until it’s done. Just like if I’m on a run and am just plodding away. I used to put my head phones on and dance around in the street just to entertain myself. I am certain I looked like a royal fool. It did keep me going though and that is what matters. Now I don’t need to go to such measures, I just run. Strangely enough, it feels great. Odd, I know.
This weekend we will be up in one of my favorite locals and were lucky enough to get a farm to stay in which is 22 miles outside of the lake. Perfect riding area and my son is a rock climber so after my ride when they wake up, we hit the rocks. Hopefully there is wifi ... otherwise the following two posts will be after we return. (I know, you will be just sitting on the edge of your seat waiting!)
Devil’s lake is just outside Baraboo, Wisconsin and it is a hilly, tree lined area with nice Quartzite cliffs that are a climber’s delight. Speaking of delight, there is also a crazy two or three mile piece of road called Devil’s Delight that ends in a wall called Solum.
Because I have crazy friends, when I road out that way they made sure I would not miss such a wonderful little roll up the 10% grade 500 foot climb. Thank you, friends. What would I do without you. The whole time the guy I was riding with kept saying, “Who are these people you know?!?” As if they were nuts or something.
All in all the ride was very fun as I got to hit 45 mph going downhill and I ate weird Clif foods like sweet potato and beet and mango baby food lookin stuff. What’s particularly sweet is I got to drive home while my riding buddy snored away merrily which kept me bright eyed the whole time (I can’t sleep when someone is snoring so it worked out). Plus I got to get a snap of him with his mouth hanging open which helped me stay entertained. Whatever you do, be sure it keeps you entertained.
So here we go again. And it is a good thing because I have been carbing up the past few days in preparation (read: I’ve been eating a lot of pizza and drinking a lot of beer - all of which.... were awesome!).
reprinted from : https://etherealbeings.wordpress.com/2015/06/26/packin-unpackin/