Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Miracle Healer

In the process of dealing with my cracked rib injury, I employed a magic potion to mend myself. Everyday, without failure, I started my day with a dose of medicine known for centuries for its healing properties. What is this miraculous potion you might be asking. I will tell you, but you have to promise that you will not let the secret out to too many people. It is one of the most nutrient rich and complex foods known to man. It has mood elevating, antidepressant and antioxidant qualities. Raw Cacao. Yup, you heard it here, chocolate cured me. After four weeks, I am now as good as new.

Vegan pumpkin brownie

Of course, being that I had some extra spare time on my hands I was able to experiment with various ways to medicate myself. Sometimes, I strayed from the raw form and took in some cooked versions. I still took my daily raw dose though, cause I didn't want my serum levels to drop too much. I did run the risk of overdosing, but I followed the theory that the more I took the faster I would heal. What would be the signs of an overdose anyways? Too relaxed and stress free? Too much blood flow to the brain? Too strong of immune system, liver, pancreas and skin? Can there be too much of any of those things? I tried, for your sake dear readers to find out and tested the human limits of dark chocolate and raw cacoa consumption. The end result of my research is it is near impossible to take in too much of this good thing! I can also tell you that I am now fully healed and cured by this miraculous cure. All it took is four weeks of dedicated consumption on my part. Four weeks and I am back at it, as good as new thanks to my miracle healer. Could my cracked ribs have healed in four weeks without this intervention? All research states that they would have, but I know that Chocolate cured me!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Pride and Prejudice

Right now I am overflowing with pride. You see this weekend I had the honor of being on the sidelines as a coach at an Ironman. I have been working with my good friend, super crew Alison to prepare her to tackle Ironman Arizona. Throughout this entire process she has been inspirational in her commitment to doing the work and preparing herself both mentally and physically to have a successful day out there. No matter what the weather conditions threw at her in the race, I knew she had seen far worse in training. How many others came in from their long ride and had to dump out several cups of water from their bike frame? This happened more than once! Yup, she was ready, more than ready and it was time to execute the plan.

As proud of her as I was during the race, the real source of delight came from watching her transform herself on this journey into a dedicated Ironman athlete. No matter what happened on race day, I was thrilled to have been part of the journey and the process. Weekly I was shown how to work hard and push through physical and mental barriers to reach higher levels. No matter how hideous of workouts her coach threw at her she got 'er done, and I gave her some doozies. For example, the day after crewing for me at the Leadville Trail 100, she got to run in a 10km race. At 10,000ft. After being on the go looking after her diva coach the whole day before. How is that for dedication?!

Alison finishing the Leadville Trail 10km

She also got to go for a 2 hour bike ride the day before crewing and a swim workout the day before. All at over 10,000 ft after coming from sea level. Did she complain or whine, NO! Well, maybe just a little whining but she did it. Once we were down to 8,000 ft she did a four hour ride that was all climbing, on her mountain bike on the road. Being that I am a considerate coach, I met her at the halfway point with some food and beverage. I also didn't talk too much about the nap I had while waiting, that would have been vicious, and I am just mean.

Midpoint of the ride, she's still smiling!

The day that I wrestled with the Thirsty Beaver she was out on her tri bike for a 6 hour ride alone in the gusting winds and torrential downpours. When she got back to the car she headed out for her transition run, despite being encouraged by friends to blow it off. That dedication is what got her to the finish line on Sunday at Ironman Arizona. Alison showed that it isn't about what you do on race day, it is about what you do to prepare for race day that determines success. As I watched her execute perfectly the plan that we had laid out, I was overwhelmed with happiness that she allowed me to share in her journey. I can't wait to continue working towards her future goals but for now I have given her some much deserved time off. It may be a prejudice on my part, but she is the greatest athlete anyone has ever coached and I am so proud of her!

About to Cross the finish line

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Sincerest Apologies

Dear Readers,

Blogger has brought it to my attention that I owe you all an apology. Ever so subtly they have made their point clear. You see, they have been tracking what words are being searched that lead people to read my rather frivolous drivel. Well, it turns out from the word searches that have led you here that most of you are rather 'let down' shall we say. I am pretty sure that you are here to read about a girl riding, just not about a girl riding her bicycle! I am sorry for any misunderstandings that  have brought you to my blog. Let me clear up a few things for you.

Dirty Hundy - This is the name I chose for my blog because it started out being about my journey to complete 100 miles (hundy) on a mountain bike, in the dirt (dirty). I don't have enough of an imagination to fathom what this can mean to some people. I am pretty sure though, that they aren't putting this in their particular search engine because they have heard of my blog and want their daily dose of exquisite prose. Note, I said I am pretty sure, not positive, maybe my words are Pulitzer award winning material to the fellow in Slovania who keeps checking in.

Skinny Dip Friday- Okay, I know I have a blog post titled this exact thing but who is that specific in their search. Is there someone out there looking for a group to join. Might I suggest looking on Meet Up and seeing if there is a group with your particular interest. Obviously, this person is only available to swim naked on Fridays. Perhaps, as a service to my readership I can start a community message board, cause it seems that there is more than one of you with this interest.

The Girl Who Lost- Yes, I have written in a few of my posts that I lost a race or two, but remember I also have written about winning - rather recently actually.Of course, in that same post I wrote about losing, but its all semantics.  Anyways, back to the point at hand, I am hoping that they are searching for girl who lost her puppy so that they can return it. Or maybe, they found an ipod and it is pink so they want to give it back to the girl who lost it. Otherwise, get off of my blog you perv! (off of, not off on!)

Thirsty Beaver-Yup my encounter with this evil creature continues to haunt me. Either people are looking for a review on the malt beverage or they too have had an run in with this animal. If you are just looking for a trail review, it really was a lovely trail. I just didn't really enjoy it on that particular day. Would I recommend riding it again, well, I can recommend running it again:) As for the beer, I can't say, I had had my full of beaver by that point in the day.

Once again, I am deeply sorry if you were brought to my blog under misleading circumstances. For those of you that are reading because of duty (IE- you gave birth to me) thank you for being a reader who wants to read about a girl who rode her bike 100 miles in the dirt. Please accept this apology if the hobby that leads you here doesn't involve bicycles, but may I suggest that riding a bike is a good way to relieve shall we say stress? I would be very happy if just one person gets turned on by my blog to bike riding.

As a symbol of my humble sincere apology and because you are going away empty handed please enjoy this lovely picture of the sun going down yesterday.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Poppy Day

Today is November 11th. Here in the United States it is known as Veterans day. Having grown up in Canada it will always be Remembrance day to me. The day that we remember the sacrifices of armed servicemen and women as well as civilians in times of war. I remember participating in the towns festivities on this day growing up. We had a parade where the veterans of WW1 and WW2 were honoured and there was a wreath placing ceremony by the members of the Legion. A minute of silence was observed at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month. To this day that silence is more penetrating than any words. The silence was broken by the resonating playing of the Last Post on a trumpet. Even though this day occurred when we usually already had snow on the ground there were red blossoms everywhere. All coats were adorned with a red poppy as a symbol of Canadian Soldiers lost in battle. This simple custom with profound meaning is what I miss most.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Trip on de Nile

For the last week I have been taking a cruise on the river of denial. Instead of accepting the reality that ramming my bicycle into my chest wall had indeed caused a rib or two to crack I put my head up my butt and tried all kinds of activities. What is a good cruise without the plethora of available events to keep one busy. Here is a report of what I tried and the results I got.

1) Going for a run- just kidding, even I couldn't convince myself that would work. Walking was challenging enough. I had to slow my pace so that I wasn't breathing too hard. The only one that benefited from the slow walks was the dog. Lots more sniffing and peeing than usual.

2) Riding the trainer. Okay, this one isn't too bad. I can spin, not get my breathing too rapid and there is no impact or vibration. Good chance to work on getting a better cadence going for next year.

3) Core work. Whoever is stabbing my voodoo doll with a knife between the ribs, you can stop now. My plan for that off season six pack has just changed to another kind of six pack!

4) Yoga. About the only pose that didn't hurt was savasana and during that I still felt the dull burn of pain in my side.

5) Strength work. Pushing the vacuum around counts right? It took a few days before I would even do that.

6) Swimming. Always a good fall back on workout session, that is until you get searing red hot pain any time you move your rib cage. 50 yards in and I knew it was not to be. Another month out of the water won't really make that much difference after having been out since May. -right? Maybe I have been spending so much time travelling denial that I should be the cruise director.

To be honest the only real cruise activity that I am able to take part in comfortably is the endless buffet eating. I am planning to eat my way through the next 4 weeks. That should give me plenty of strength work when I am able to get back at it cause I will be carrying a wee bit more weight up all the hills.

pretty sure I won't be loving the hills in January!

My trip is now over and reality has crashed the party. Until I can get out of bed without bracing myself and splinting my side I will be on the injured reserve list. I can only hope that when I have the green light to get back that I am fully recharged and that I haven't chosen to stay in the buffet line!

'Sometimes the most urgent thing you can possibly do is take a complete rest'
Ashleigh Brilliant

Friday, November 5, 2010

One and Done

Last night was the premier of the 2010 edition of the Race Across the Sky movie. It was a great way to relive an amazing day. Much like any great event in my life, the images that are stored in my brain through my own camera lens were much more spectacular.When I got married someone made a video (yup, I got married a long time ago) of the event. They told me that it was to record the day so that I could watch it and relive it whenever I wanted. I have never watched the video. I recorded the day in my head down to every detail but all from my perspective. I didn't want to see what the guests and others saw, it was my wedding and I wanted to remember it as the bride looking out. Weird maybe, but last night I was reminded there is nothing quite the same as seeing something like the Powerline climb at mile 80 from ones own perspective. So, while many were enjoying the movie on the screen at face value, I had another movie running at the same time. My movie came with a little bit of muscle memory and feelings of fatigue. In the film there were shots of the massive crowding of the first climb up St Kevins. From the camera angle above it looked crowded but to get a true feeling of how it was one had to be in the masses, attempting to stay upright while getting jostled around going uphill with no room to maneuver. The one criticism I have for the movie makers, is that they omitted the most talked about part of the race. Just like any good party it is not complete without the food and drink portion and we had five star service on the Columbine climb. Hey, at 12,000 + feet PBR and Hotdogs are 5 star! So, just to prove I was not hallucinating when I was in oxygen debt here is the photographic evidence.
 Seems this guy had other plans for his raceday fuel

For the price of the entry fee we could also have a mountain top picnic

Line for hot dogs and beer

From this racers point of view, these guys provided much needed comic relief. They even offered to get a veggie dog ready for my trip back down when I informed them as much as I appreciated their offer, I did not eat meat.

Did the movie make me want to throw my name in the hat for next year? No. You see, I had the perfect day this year and I loved every minute of it from the training to the racing. The Race Across the Sky and I will forever remain in the honeymoon phase and whenever I want to do it again, I will replay the day in my head and glow from the fond memories. Just like that wedding day I had years ago, I am ONE AND DONE!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Scars and Stories

This year I pushed my body to do things that it had never done. I tried to go past my previous limits and challenge myself. I feel that I was successful. I can look at my body and relive the story. Long after the gained fitness vanishes and the muscles atrophy, I will still have the scars. I managed to accumulate quite a few of them and they all are now woven into my history. Of course, my leg modelling career is now officially over but when I am old and frail my body will tell a story of a life worth reliving.They say that scar tissue is stronger than regular tissue. I am embracing each of my new marks of adventure as symbols of outer and inner strength.

My left knee now appears to be completely healed from its brush with the evil branches and I have a nice raised purple scar. Purple is one of my favorite colors and it is much cheaper to get it on my body this way than a tattoo! In my last cross race I finally wasn't having any twinges in that knee and all was going well, as you may know I won. Anyways, I was racing so hard that going over the barriers on one of the laps I managed to ram my bike stem into my right chest wall. This is good in that I was actually moving quickly and had momentum rather than gingerly slow stepping, but bad in that I took a pretty hard hit. Let's just say, I don't have much chest padding and it hurt. However, the stem in question had an ever constant reminder on it that made this buttercup suck it up and keep racing.

Are you a Pussy?

Post race, my chest hurt pretty bad and by that night it was awful. I figured it was badly bruised and would go away. That night was kinda rough and taking a deep breath was out of the question. The final nail in the pain coffin was when I sneezed! Take the knife out of my ribs now!! The weekend double header of racing was not to be. At least I went out with a win, right? Sundays race had other women in my category so maybe just maybe I was faking. You know you are only as good as your last race and right now I won my last race;) I am optimistic that I just have rib bruising and that in a week all will be back to normal. Until I am able to sniff without bracing myself for a shot of pain I will just spend my hours reminiscing on all the fun I had this year. I don't need medals and awards to remember all this year has been (although, I am not giving back the buckle), I have memories permanently marked onto my body. I get to take these scars and the stories that made them with me and one day if I am no longer able to tell the stories my body be a canvas marked by adventures. Or, people will look at all the purple marks I have accumulated and learn the true story, I am a klutz!

Here I am racing where I first saw Cyclocross

'The human body is the best picture of the human soul'- Ludwig Wittgenstein

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

My Summer Vacation

This week the 2010 version of the Race Across the Sky hits theatres. It will be a movie premier event like no other. I am super excited that I get to share with everyone the amazing scenery of Leadville Colorado and surrounding areas. I remember watching the movie last November and being awestruck by the stunning beauty, especially at the top of Columbine Mine. The movie really doesn't do it justice. It is more spectacular in person, which could be attributed to the lack of oxygen in the air and the amazing technicolor that your brain then experiences. I am looking forward to reliving the day, even though it will be a 2 hour movie not an 11 hour movie. From experience, I suggest all movie goers come stocked with some super salty snacks because by the time you get back to the Powerline climb you are going to need them. Luckily for you, the movie theatre popcorn will do the trick. Here's hoping I don't get transported back in time and think I am racing again. If you see a girl pulling down her pants yelling lube me, you know you're in the same theatre as I am!

Here are some teaser images from around Leadville this summer.

View from Town

Top of Columbine

Bridge at bottom of Powerline
View from Sugarloaf climb

Twin Lakes aid station

 Luxury lodging, very friendly owners!

Half way turn around point!

Victorian house, love the paint colors!

Creek on way back to St Kevins

Finishing, yes I am crying!

For all of you who are attending the movie, know that we can all do more than we think we can. A year ago when I was watching the 2009 version of the race, I was petrified about the race course and how I would ever get myself through it. With grit, determination, lots of luck and the amazing support of friends and family I became a member of the Leadville Trail 100 family.

'You are better than you think you are and can do more than you think you can - but you gotta DIG DEEP!'.