Wednesday, February 18, 2009

i smell a rat!

last year we tolerated interview upon interview and promotional piece upon promotional piece about team columbia-high road .

okay, lance was gone and the U.S. television market and bicycling industry needed to keep the momentum of interest that had grown during his reign.

okay, i get it.

i watched, i listened, i supported (though i can't say as i rooted, because come on ... ole george is like a dumb labrador who has run into a sliding glass door one too many times). ask liz, she'll confirm that the guy can't even spell ... though she'll also tell you he doesn't need to. ; )

anyway, back to the bone i was picking (in case you hadn't sensed that that is where this was going). i'm watching the tour of california, like any good fan and on day #1 i notice something.

what's that on craig, phil and paul's shirts?

what has replaced that sweet little l.l. bean (love the bean) logo that used to adorn it?

it's ... it's ... COLUMBIA!?!??!

and what jacket is that keeping a demoted bob roll dry as he conducts sideline interviews? hmm ... looks to be columbia brand.

oh wait and what's that leading into the commercial break?

oh right, yet another insufferable interview with team COLUMBIA-HIGHROAD management.

i definitely smell a rat!


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

all a twitter!!

yet another distraction!

life just keeps getting better!

jen h. -- please appreciate the pink background. all the rest of you haters ... hush up, he's just representin' as THE giro winner. ; )


Monday, February 16, 2009

he's ba-aaaaack ...

oh glorious day!

yesterday i spent untold hours on the couch watching cycling and filling my eyes and brain with the most wonderful images ...

of this man ...

welcome back, ivan!!


Sunday, February 15, 2009

valentime's ride

i'm not much of a joiner, but i can't say as i am really a loner either. with that in mind, this year i decided to try some of the l.a. tri chicks hill series. last year i longingly read the descriptions each week of the monster climbs they would be doing to prepare for wildflower.

i wasn't ready to "join" the girls AND i was only racing olympic distance ... so between those two lil' facts, i never went.

this year i am racing longer and i am feeling a little more open to multiple personalities, beyond my own.

so last week i packed up my bike and headed out with my friend amy (every good extroverted introvert needs a friend along as social lubricant) and we headed out to meet the "chicks" in malibu.

there were at least 30 women of varying levels of fitness, but all were there on a very early, cold (again, shush up to my midwest friends) saturday morning to tackle 37-59 (depending on your route) hilly miles.

up we went. and it wasn't so bad. in fact ... dare i say ... it was fun. i fell into a group of about 4 women and we ticked away the miles.

this week i was back for more. i had a couple of hard efforts that i was supposed to throw in as i went. on our first climb (a little 6 mile hill) i did my intervals and built up quite a sweat. it felt great at the time, but come our first descent, i was wishing someone had handed me the sunday new york times to shove down my jersey.

i'll spare you all the details (and save myself some sunday afternoon time in the process) and say that it was one of the most challenging, gorgeous rides i have ever done! 6500 feet of climbing over 59 miles. we rode through some of the most gorgeous hillsides in southern california.

check out the scenery (thank you internet) ...

yes, as you get toward the top of piuma road, it really does say "allez" ... it's that kind of a climb.

i rolled back into the parking lot, exhausted, exhilarated and more than a little relieved to be back in one piece. i had a nice 25 minute run off of the bike and some chocolate milk and glutamine waiting in the car.

by the way, this weekend's ride was the "valentime's ride" (yes, i know i wrote valentimes ... everyone in my office says it that way and it's just stuck, ya know?).

anyway, it being valentimes day and all, the ride was co-ed this week. here's my favorite story of the day ... there was a woman on the ride who is new to cycling. her husband had come out to support her. when they got to the ride he realized he had left his cycling shoes at home. homeskittle proceeded to put his sneakers back on and rode all 58 H-I-L-L-Y miles with her ... on clipless pedals. ain't love amazing!?! he get the valentime's prize of the century!


a new way of life

on my run today i passed by this scene ...

at first i was taken aback. it seemed so absurd ... someone can't afford rent, but they've still got direct tv?

but then i thought about it as i ran on and realized ... this was pure genius. the owner of the van (which actually looked pretty nice and relatively spacious) had a 10 million dollar view of the ocean, never has to vacuum, can change his address whenever the neighbors get loud and he has all the television channels he wants with all the time to watch them in (author's assumption -- occupant does not need to have a job in order to pay rent)

a new way of life to consider??


Monday, February 2, 2009

cat power

turns out there is some photographic evidence of the ride ... or at least that i was at the start. ; )

photo courtesy of liz oakes


Sunday, February 1, 2009

saddle time

so it's been two weeks ... TWO since my last post. i think of so many things throughout the week to write about ... i even send myself emails with ideas and keep a running list ... but damn if i can find the time to write them ... or when i try ... find the talent to make them sound as good as they did in my head while i was running (i am a brilliant, witty writer while running).

so i revert to the obvious ... "what i did today" (or this weekend).

i rode my bike from irvine to san diego.


the l.a. tri club organizes a ride down to S.D. every year. a lot of people ride down in order to attend the ESA's, some just do it for the fun of it. you can bail out at oceanside, solana beach or go allll the way down to san diego.

last year i trained for olympic distance races all season. i rarely saw a ride on my schedule that was more than 2 hours ... in fact, i'm not sure i ever did. i get it though ... it didn't make sense for the distances i was racing, but ya know what? ... i missed the distance riding.

my "tenders" didn't, but i did.

this year i'll be racing 1/2 IM and a weird little hybrid that consists of a 30 mile ride followed by a run/swim/run/swim/run/swim/run totaling 18.4 miles of trail running and 2.1 miles of swimming.

so ..... cue heavenly music ... i get to ride longer!!

there is something so satisfying about getting into that strong and long cadence that comes with a longer ride. sure i get crabby like the best of 'em. there are times when my neck cricks, my blood sugar drops and my unmentionables hurt that i say "this is fun?", but yes ... it is. it feels so ... i dunno ... solid. i love feeling tired and thinking i can't go any further and then riding right through it to a second, stronger wind!

i even loved feeling wind beaten last night. i loved the deep soul yawns (the kind that involuntarily and with no sadness make tears spill down your cheeks) i was having at 7:00pm ... though i am not so sure it was much fun for my dinner mates -- lisa roo and charisa. two really fun, sweet women who i wished lived up north!

anyway, this is all a very long way of saying it was nice to be back in the saddle. as always, after 2.5 hours my stomach began to stop processing the liquids i put in it. when, oh when ... or rather, how, oh how will that issue get sorted out!?! by the end of the ride i looked like a woman in her 7th month of pregnancy ... with twins. thank GOD i didn't have to run off of the bike.

today we jumped on the train from san diego back up to irvine. if you've never done it, do yourself a favor. it's 18 of the best dollars i have spent in a long time. no traffic, lots of pretty views and heck ... you're on a TRAIN!

it was a great adventure and i thank the tri club for putting together the ride, supporting us with three s.a.g. vehicles, schlepping our overnight gear down there and to 'el poco grande' for being a good little steed and getting me down there safely.

sorry for the lack of pictures, my camera is just too big to take on the bike. i think i mentioned that fact to j. six or seven times as we rode ... so hopefully that'll be changing in the near future.

here's to more long rides ... and to more frequent blogging ...