Monday, February 28, 2011


Today is a big day. Today is the day so many will find out if they got a  ticket to the ride of their life. Today, many people are checking and rechecking their email in great anticipation. Are they going to get the much coveted spot into the Leadville Trail 100? For everyone that is on the edge of their seats and anxiously awaiting notification, good luck. But, remember, if at first you don't succeed try and try again. Last year I got the unfortunate news that my name had not been drawn in the lottery but that didn't deter me from getting to the start and the finish line last August. So, if you want it bad enough, find a way to make it happen and if you are one of those lucky ones who finds out today that you have a spot, don't waste it. Get out there and train, make sure that you do all that you can to cross the finish line. Don't waste the opportunity, because somewhere, someone, didn't get so lucky and they are counting on you to have the time of your life. Even though I did not put my name in for this years lottery I am awaiting the results. I can't wait to get messages from all my friends who got lucky!

'Luck is Believing You're Lucky!'-Tennessee Williams

Saturday, February 26, 2011


Sometimes the ones you love rub you the wrong way. It is not intentional but the chaffing that results is the real deal. You can't change what they are doing but you can change your preparation and reaction. Thus, when I decided to put miles and miles on the bike last year I embarked on my own self discovery mission. To maintain harmony and not open up any nasty wounds I started experimenting, because maybe in the past I had become too predictable and wasn't willing enough to try something new. That is when it happened. I don't want to tarnish any ones reputation but a certain professional cyclist with the initials DZ crossed the line and got a little too friendly with me, ME a happily married woman. I was in a position of vulnerability, I was looking for a cure for the abrasive behaviour my boys were doling out and before I knew it a new man was giving me tingling feelings...... down there. Totally unexpected and completely distracting, some might say blissful. Now if you read his claims, it says NO TINGLING, so you can imagine my surprise when I was riding along and I experienced the first quiver. Luckily, I was on a lonely stretch of road so when I bobbled and lost my line, I didn't swerve into traffic. That would have been hard to explain! Over the winter I haven't been spending many hours on my saddles but I am about to, I am going to rekindle the tingle.  If you see me riding along with a smile on my face you'll know it's because I am enjoying the blissful day. And, if you happen to run into that pro cyclist, let him know that flowers are an appropriate gesture when he gets so friendly with a lady, oh and thank him for the lack of saddle sores too;) It's been Bliss!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Special Connections

I can relate to the Bachelor.(sadly, yes I watch the show, mostly cause it makes me Hearty squirm).  I know how hard it is to cultivate more than one relationship at a time. You don't want to play favorites and hurt anyones feelings but you also have to be true to yourself. The pressure can be a little overwhelming at times and still you must go on, nurturing what you have with each one and hoping that the sparks ignite an eternal flame. Luckily for me, I only get one on one dates, there is no way I could keep all my boys happy on a group date, and to be frank, it would be exhausting being that intimate with multiple partners within minutes. Nope I'll stick to my one on ones.

I was wondering the other day as I prepared for a one on one if my boys are anxiously awaiting the date card to find out who gets to go out that day. Do they whisper to one another when they hear the key turn on the door to the locker, and get themselves all handsome looking hoping that it will be them that gets pulled out?  When they get back from their date do they share all the intimate details of what we did and where we went? Gosh I hope they don't compare notes, that could be slightly awkward.

When I go out on a date I am looking for my guy to be fun, adventurous and have a love of exploring. Sometimes, I like to get dirty and on my last one on one, I did just that. My fella for this excursion was smooth and I have to say pretty easy on the eyes. We headed out after some rains and although he is rugged and manly he showed me his softer side and took me to a romantic location. Complete with a bubbling stream where I could enjoy my picnic of dried banana.

Romantic Picnic Location

Of course, after such a wonderful time, my date came home with a rose. I have four boys I am courting still and I am not ready to eliminate any of them just yet. I do need to spend some time with a few of them and reconnect as we haven't been alone for awhile. How is it that I can have four such strong connections with such different boys? How do I know it is love?  Each time I lay eyes on them from a new angle or find them beneath me, I just know, they are all for me and we each have a special connection. Every relationship has ups and downs, but to each of my guys I say thanks for the ride!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Desert Surprises

I went to Surprise Arizona knowing that the sudden and unexpected would happen, otherwise naming somewhere Surprise would just be silly. Here are a few of the revelations I had over the three days.

When a road is flat and straight, and by flat I mean really, really flat and by straight I mean really, really straight, you can see a really, really long way. You can see all the way until the earths edge and it looks like you can ride all the way there too! Since you can see for miles and miles and mile and miles ahead of you when you think you see a biker up ahead, you may be seeing a mirage. You also may be seeing a biker but it is hard to tell because the sign posts on the side of the road kind of  resemble bikers too. So, when you finally get close enough to see that it really is another person on a bike, you might get a little more emotional about it than you normally would. Of course, it is a relief to have chased down an actual rider rather than another sign post. Naturally, the other rider is just as thrilled to see you as he too thought you might have been a mirage.

Really, there is a guy up there on a bike, REALLY!

The act of chasing someone down for almost an hour makes you feel quite bonded to them and instead of just riding by  (And by riding by, I mean dropping it into a bigger gear and flying by with a slight nod that says, you just got chicked as I proceed to go into my red zone to make sure that said rider knows I caught him and now I am going to drop him all while showing him how little effort it took) I pulled up next to him and started to chat. Shockingly, a straight, flat and slightly boring ride became the opposite. The fella I was riding along next to and chatting with looked like just a regular guy out for a bike ride but I found out differently. He wasn't normal at all, he is training to Ride The Divide  this summer. I LOVE it when I meet seemingly ordinary people who are living extraordinarily! (for those of you who didn't follow my link, that is 2745 miles from Banff Alberta to Antelope Wells NM along the Continental divide.)

When I had ridden half the time that I wanted to ride I turned around. Surprise! All this time I had been riding I had thought it wasn't windy. The wind is always blowing over the flat barren land and if you think it isn't, turn around! Luckily, I remembered turning around, otherwise I wouldn't have known I was going back (except for the constant wind in my face) because the view seemed unchanged.

Not even a glimpse of another rider to chase:(

On my hour and a half run I had a major revelation. (other than 90 mins of running is a long time) It is very dry in the desert. So dry that one might want to consider taking some water with them. Luckily, my route took me by a golf course and at the golf cart crossing I was greeted by a drinking fountain. Oh, and because I didn't learn the desert ways enough the day before on the bike, when I turned around on the run I was once again shocked to learn that the wind was in fact blowing. I think that lesson has finally been mastered, until I am in the desert again and flying along with little effort.

They say each turn in the road can reveal a surprise, but even when you can see where you are going you may come across a desert surprise!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Celebrate Love

'Love is just a word until someone comes along and gives it meaning.'

Be the person who gives it meaning to someone else, today and everyday.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Spring Has Sprung

Today my friend turned to me during our ride and said 'I just want to remind you that it is February'. Good thing she reminded me because it was hard to fathom. I was riding in shorts and short sleeves, which means it was over 70 degrees. I don't bare that much skin unless it is 70 or higher. It was a nicer day than we had most of last summer. In honor of you that are sloshing through snow and ice, we did a few extra miles. I know that on February 2nd the groundhog did not see his shadow and thus an early spring was predicted. I had not idea that meant the next week. In case you are about to tell me this is just a slight reprieve and that it is not spring, I present the following evidence.....

Surest sign I know that spring has sprung!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Jazzing It Up

Rather than do the same old, same old yesterday I jazzed up my run. Well, maybe it wasn't planned but it was appreciated. As I was coming to the finish I started to hear notes wafting through the air ,and this time it was not music made from my thighs rubbing. No this time it was rag time jazz being played on a horn. Once upon a time, I played the trumpet. I learned a real appreciation for the sound of clear notes drifting out of the horn, mostly due to the fact that my playing was rather rudimentary. As I enjoyed the surprise concert I felt a little boogie woogie enter my step. My ears weren't the only part of me listening, my feet were feeling the jazz and suddenly my run had rhythm and meaning.

'Jazz is the music of the body' -Anais Nin

Monday, February 7, 2011

Rule Books

If you know me, you know that I like to follow rules. Give me a strict rule and I am all for it, takes the thinking out of the equation. That doesn't mean I have never questioned a rule, I have. Doesn't mean I have never broken a rule, I have done that too. But mostly I follow the rules. I even follow self imposed rules, some of them I make up just for the fun of having a rule to follow. I know, I sound like a riot to hang out with and after you all read this my social calendar is going to get rather hectic. Don't fret though, I do not expect others to follow my rule set, even though they make perfect sense and the world would run so much smoother if you all did. At least it would make more sense to me. Sometimes, I just don't understand other peoples rules. Like for instance today, as I was walking my dog a gentleman came up behind me on the sidewalk riding his bike. He rang his bell, I guess that makes him being on the sidewalk okay in his book. After he passed me he cut across the road, crossing a double yellow line and proceeded to ride his bike the wrong direction in a bike lane. Probably okay because he rang his bell at approaching cyclists and cars.  I should have celebrated his freedom from the confines of um,... being law abiding. Instead I just assumed that he also broke the number one rule in my book and didn't return his shopping cart to the proper spot in the parking lot.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Slow Build

Once somewhere I heard it said that in order to get faster you first need to get slower. Slow down to get fast. What does it really mean? Does it really matter? I have gotten slow and so I just believe that I will get faster. Sure, there probably is some formula where you calculate your heart rate, power wattage, calories burned and your current weight vs how much you need to gain to be a race weight,  but I didn't stick around long enough to get to that part. I just grabbed onto the get slow part and ran with it (okay, ran was used loosely, maybe slow jogged is more accurate). You may find yourself asking how I have been able to achieve this ridiculously difficult goal of getting slower. Let me explain by sport.

Swimming. I am not going to lie, with a total of 4 swims between May and December I really had to force myself to hold back and not set world records in the pool;). In keeping with the get slow methodology I forfeited using swim fins and miraculously it worked! Without fins during the drill and kick sets, I was getting lapped by my lane mates. The truth is, without the fins to camouflage my lack of propulsion forward in various stages of my stroke I was keenly aware of my technique flaws. It is now February and I can report that this week I made it through a drill set without getting lapped. How is this relevant to getting faster, I don't know, I just have insight on the getting slower part right now.

Biking. Oh the so many joys of biking slow. You get to see so much more of the country side as you go by. That part of your route that goes by the basil fields, you get to enjoy the aroma for twice as long. Although, same can be said for the chicken coops. Even though my bike has been moving forward more slowly, my legs are not aware of this fact. They have been turning much more quickly than they usually do. I am steadfast in my commitment that I will ride in my small chain ring on the front at all times. Big Ring Come Spring, that is my mantra. Luckily, a lot of my bike skill work takes place on a trainer, cause how awesome is it to ride in your garage with music cranking!

Running. I am not even going to try and convince you that I have been working on getting slow on the run. I have been working on running relaxed. Not in the I just woke up from a nap kinda relaxed way but in the this is effortless and I am not holding everything on my body tight kinda way. Although, I might be holding my butt a little tight so it doesn't jiggle too much! I am running slow, just waiting for the day that I suddenly run fast, cause these things happen overnight with little to no effort don't they? Don't they?

So if you happen to fly by me as I am out training, just know that I mean to go slow. It is all part of the master plan. I am just not sure how long the plan is meant to take, I really shouldn't have stopped reading after slow down to get fast. I have until the end of June, hope that fast shows up on the right day.

'To build may have to be the slow and laborious task of years. To destroy can be the thoughtless act of a single day' - Winston Churchill

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Question Is...

For those of you who don't know I eat a plant based diet. I didn't always eat this way, no, up until 4 years ago I ate animal flesh. Back then when I would come across vegetarians or vegans I would be curious about their diet. Of course, I had been led to believe that I needed to eat meat in order to get my protein intake. I couldn't eat dairy because of an allergy. I had been told in order to get leaner as an athlete, which translated to getting faster, I had to eat more protein. This took effort from me. I was the kid who gobbled up her vegetables, preferably raw, and was told she couldn't leave the table until she ate her meat. So, when I would come across someone who didn't eat meat, I of course was very interested in what they did and asked the inevitable question that all vegans and vegetarians get asked.

The answer is, the same place as a cow does. (with the exception of those poor cows who are fed ground up parts of beef. Imagine if you were at a family dinner and you asked what made the mashed potatoes and gravy so yummy and your aunt said, grandma always liked to feed us so thought she could one more time). I am not in the business of converting anyone, heck, me hearty still chews flesh, but I am saying that you can survive and even thrive on a plant based diet if you so choose. There are people who say that it takes too much work to get all your nutrients when you eliminate animal products. I say, that there are vegans who do not eat a nutritionally dense diet, but the same can be said for many meat eaters. So the question should not be 'where do you get your protein?', the question is 'where do you get your nutrients?. You may have to repeat your answer, I may not hear you over the whirl of my vita mix making my morning green smoothie.