Friday, January 20, 2012

Annual Pilgrimage

For the past three years I have embarked on a journey to the promised land. Usually, I go in the spring but spring came early this year. Okay, maybe spring hasn't arrived yet, because winter hasn't even shown itself yet, but for me, spring had to come early. I have a rule that I have followed for several years called 'Big Ring in Spring'. What this essentially means is that I am to ride all my bike rides in my small ring, working on cadence and speed skills until spring arrives. This year, the rule had to be modified because with an Ironman in May (which btw is in the spring) I had to and by 'had to' I really mean I get to ride in my big ring now. I love big ring riding, which is why I have to have a rule about small ring all winter, it is the only way I will force myself to work on my weakness. Anyways, back to my spiritual voyage. This week I got to go to the holy land and ride what I affectionately call Big Ring Canyon. It was spectacular! The gradient is perfect for me to really fly and for one hour I find myself in a trance as I systemically turn the pedals over and over again. This is a cyclists holy land, no cars, no lights, no stop signs, just your bike and the road ahead. As a good pilgrim my head was covered with my helmet, my effort was honest and I bathed at the site in sweat all while sacrificing my legs for the trip to Mecca.

Kiki's Kulinary

Raw Fettuccine Alfredo on Spinach

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Who Needs Sleep?

When I was stuck working the night shift I was consumed with thoughts of sleep all the time. When I was at work and my patients were sleeping I'd be so envious. My body would go into a freeze state at about 2300 hrs each night, just about the time it would be going to into deep slumber at home. When I was on my days off I would force myself out of bed by noon, after a measly 3 hours in bed so that I had some chance of sleeping during the night. Sometimes it worked, other times I was wide awake at 0300 hrs baking cookies (there isn't much to do in the middle of the night and we didn't have internet or TV on demand back in the stone ages). Why on the nights that I had the chance to sleep would my body revolt, payback for overcaffeinating it and seeking out adrenalin rushes to keep alert on work nights? I look back at those two years and see them through a fog. Ever felt hungover, me neither, but I imagine that is what it feels like;) I would repeatedly tell Me Hearty that I was being deprived of one full night of sleep a week. That's 8 hours every week, 32 hours a month, and that's not counting the nights I lay awake unable to sleep, that's just the switching back and forth between being a night person and being a day person. Me Hearty argues to this day that I slept more than usual because I would fall asleep every time we would be in a car.

So by now my readers are probably wondering what the point of all this sleep talk is? (that is the readers who have actually made it this far) Well now that I am officially training for an Ironman, sleep is once again something I think of. This past weekend was my first 'real' IM training weekend and Saturday night on our way to a friends wedding celebration, I fell asleep in the car. Yesterday we were out for a drive and once again, I fell asleep, luckily I was not driving. I know that it is normal for people who are fatiguing themselves in training to need more sleep, but my baseline is 8 hours a night. Add a couple of hours to that here and there and it gets crazy. I hear of all these triathletes who do 4:45 am runs followed by 6 am masters swims and wonder how they do it. If I were to call them at say 6pm, would I find them about to go to bed? I often envy that they can go, go, go and wish I could do that. Reality is, I can not. One of the things I have been trying to do a better job of is listening to my body, and it says slumber is necessary. Give it a good nights rest and I can back up several solid days. So in answering the Barenaked Ladies question ' who needs sleep' , I do, and I better get some:)

Friday, January 13, 2012

Art Appreciation

I am a neophyte in the art world. It doesn't seem to matter though because even with my relative lack of knowledge on the subject I can still enjoy the arts. I can see colours in my mind listening to the different movements performed by an orchestra. Gazing at a century old painting can evoke all kinds of emotions. Even though I have no formal training in art and don't always (okay, most times)  understand it, I still find myself drawn to it and what it brings out within me.

I love the tranquility of this and got lost standing in front of it

Last week I spent some time lost in art. At the beginning I was feeling warm and light but as the time progressed and the artist got deeper emotions shifted. Rather than seeing lavender and feeling comforted things began to shift. Suddenly, the colours before me were red and pain began to be the predominant emotion. Deep hot searing pain, the kind that shakes you to the core and makes you want to scream out. I was lost in the moment and as I felt the full emotion that the craftsman was inflicting on me, I cried out. It was so real, the pain was so raw and it felt like I was experiencing it. I needed to know the conveyed message of this particular piece. According to the expert that was with me, this was an example of feeling tied up in knots and being stuck in a ball. The artist that I was appreciating was called Vastus Lateralis. I haven't been able to shake the feeling that he will remain with me every step of the way in my Ironman training. Thankfully I have a skilled ART therapist who will make sure that by May everything is in tune and the performance crescendos perfectly.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

It's Going to Be Awesome

We are on the 4th day of 2012 and I already know it is going to be an awesome year. Actually, it is going to be a Super Awesome year. I am so excited about all the adventures that I am planning and about all that life brings my way. Mostly, I am just excited to be riding around in my new team kit. With the magic of the unicorn with me I can only do great things and have lots of fun and laughter. Here's to making 2012 the best year of your life so far.

Team Super Awesome

Kiki's Kulinary

Raw Lasagna