Saturday, April 30, 2011

Ramblings and Long Pants

Friday when I drove into work I should have stopped, turned around, and gone home.  I have a zombie apocalypse plan.  

Honestly.

And I should have known that this might be warning of the weekend to come:


But instead I drove in to work like a responsible employee, granted I did keep Pepito close by in case there were zombies.

I left early to take my Dad to lunch as Beignet had to have surgery this week due to stomping on a thorn while digging in Mom's yard.  Soooo - I owed Dad a burger.

Saturday morning I jumped out of bed at the ripe, early time of 0900.

I slept in too late to make the group ride again this weekend.  Damn comfy bed!

But I got up, found some chamois pants, and grabbed Lil Beast.

I left straight from the house and headed to the park.  It is only a couple miles away and I bet it takes longer to load and unload Lil Beast then it does to just ride over there.

My Garmin was dead, so I used my backup iPhone app to track the ride.

I headed east and followed the trail, avoiding dog poop and runners while feeling pretty good.

I was also patting myself on the back for not falling.

BIG MISTAKE

I was just over 5 miles into the ride, and I saw this sign:


I figured curves - awesome - I got this.

And then I saw this sign:


This sign did not make me think things would be awesome.

I made the turn, down shifted into a low gear, and pedaled.  I even stood up from my saddle to give myself more push.

When I realized I didn't have the strength to make it, I tried to unclip and put a foot down.

Whoops


But the good news is that now my left leg looks like my right leg.

After the fall, I picked myself up, walked Lil Beast up the hill, and clipped back in.  The rest of the ride looked like this


Beautiful!!!

I was breathing heavy, and the sun was climbing so I was sweaty and hot.

As I neared the end of the trail I saw another big hill down.  I knew I would enjoy going down that hill, but might not have the energy to get back up it.

So I wimped out, and turned around.

I was exhausted pedaling back through all the hills and turns I kicked a$$ through earlier.

I was going into the wind and I was tired.

Plus - my leg kinda stung.

In the end I rode 13.1 miles in about 1:14 - WAY faster than any half marathon time I have had!

I have also decided that maybe I need long pants for any future rides.

Dad offered my old training wheels - he actually found them in the garage.

And now - LUNCH!

Go team go - zombies are coming!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

And the Fun Keeps Coming!

This morning around 4:30am I was awoken by the ceiling fans shutting off, the AC closing down, all of the ambient lights going off, and the UPS batteries incessantly beeping.

I got up, unplugged all major appliances, and passed back out.

When I awoke to get to work, I assumed that the power would be back on.

I was wrong.

It seems that due to the drought conditions and non-stop bracing wind for over a month, the power lines and transformers are covered in salt.  That salt is apparently heavier than expected, thus something snapped today.

It was estimated that over 12,000 people were left without power this morning.  And all of this comes on the heels of the power plants 20 minutes north of here having to be shut down and worked on over the last three days.

So let's just say I was a wee bit nervous.

I had a computer here at the house and all of my work files, so I set up shop here in the house.  I wanted to be here when the power clicked back on just in case some transformer blew out and my house caught fire.

Unlikely - but still scared me.

But in order to having a functional computer for a full 8 hour work day - I had to do some creative rigging.

I headed out to the garage and set Bessie to run.  I rolled the windows down, and tossed one of those long, orange extension cords into the car.  I then plugged it into this adapter:


Once Bessie was up and running, I went back upstairs and was productive for the majority of the day.

It got hot, but thankfully the the wind was still gusting.

The power finally cut back on after 2 or 3pm.  Thankfully, since I had cut most of everything off - there was no fire!!!!

And when I went down to turn off Bessie and I found this beautiful brown box on my deck.

Inside was this fabulous item:


I followed the recommended instructions and put them in a doorway to keep me from falling over.  I also loosened the tension on my left pedal and was able to get in and out slightly easier.

I will say this - 15 minutes at the easiest gear on the bike is enough to wind me.

WOW!!!

I didn't fall getting off, but I did have to stand on a yoga brick to be able to get my other leg over the top of the bike.

I totally predict a fall sometime soon on these!!

But it is nice to know that when the weather is crap (windy) I can stay inside and ride.

And on the ankle front - after 2 hours of diving yesterday I woke up gimpy, swollen, and sore.

However, I think that the diving isn't too much of a problem - maybe I just need to limit myself to a certain number of dives a day???

And now - time for sleep and pray the power stays on!

Go team go - zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

This is My Job

Some days I am a boring, desk jockey.  Crunching numbers, writing articles, and hiding in the office I call The Hole.  It is crazy cold in there - but with two space heaters I make it work!

Other days I get to do this:


Today we had an optional day in the water training for our upcoming sampling trip.  I decided to go for two reasons.  The boss man would be attending, and I wanted to test my ankle out in crappy conditions, wearing heavy gear, and high task loading.

We got there and I set up my space -


That's right - I have some OCD issues.

The ducks from our last visit to the lake come to come say hi again.


So of course I fed them.

There were white caps on the lake - the wind was insane.  You couldn't be in the water without being pushed along the surface by the strength of it.


We set out of dive plan, and headed out.  The first dive was fairly easy.  Lots of counting of kick cycles, breath cycles, and timing at certain distances.  This allows us to calculate our typical air consumption so that you can determine how much air you would need for certain dives and even estimate your current supply simply by how long you have been in the water.

We came up and I was beat.  My ankle did feel ok.  A little achy, but not so bad that I wanted to curl up and cry.


I fed my new buddies


and prepped for our second dive.  It was a much more complex dive with lots of task loading to see how well you can adapt at the insanity being thrown at you.


After it was all said and done my ankle was tired and swollen, my body was exhausted, we had been in the water for roughly 2 hours in total, and we still had an hour to get back to the office followed by another 40 minutes for me to get home.

Ugh!

But the highlight of the day was this:

On the way to the lake we heard a load BANG.  I thought maybe one of the local rednecks was protesting against the agency, but what really had happened was that the strap for the truck bed cover got caught in the fly-wheel and spun up and shattered the rear window.

BANG.

Glass popped out of the lower part and came inside and fell right onto my seat.  Made me kinda nervous you might say.

But as with everything in The South - duct tape heals all


Go team go - SCUBA!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter Sunday in Pictures

Saul gave Mom flowers

Saul's Mom gave me flowers!!!

Lil Lamb cake - it's a tradition

I have no idea what is up with my arm!

Mom and Dad

Saul and I

No more heels!  

Opps!  Poo check!

Labbies during the Easter egg hunt

Bobby was a PRO!

Beignet - not so much

Super Saturday

Friday I was PUMPED about riding with the local bike shop and getting back into the swing of things.

But then I realized that in truth - I am kinda new to this whole clipped in business and perhaps I should strike out on my own instead of failing in front of strangers.

Also - there was a whole pity party in my room right about the time I had to get up and leave.

So instead - I joined my parents for breakfast.  My Dad made some awesome quiche, and then I loaded up and decided to head to the park nearby.  Mom said she would join me and walk while I rode.

By the time we left, it was closing in on noon - and noon in Texas in the summer is bad.

But we headed out.

We got there and I have never ridden on the path - only run or walked it.  I didn't know where the paths went once they left the oh so familiar loop.

At places the path goes under major roads.  On the loop, it goes over as well and circles back to make the loop.

I thought that happened at all of the major roads.

I was wrong.

I went up, turned right, and found the tiniest place to ride a bike - just barely big enough for tires.  Cars were whizzing by, I began freaking because I couldn't unclip my left foot (again).  I was rapidly coming up to a curb and had only one foot I could put down.

So - I did what every sane person would do.

I fell.


Now that I was properly unclipped, I dusted myself off, stood the bike up, turned and went back down.

I finished the ride at 7.3 miles.

It was hot, there were some major hill (with turns), I was choking on quiche taste in my mouth, and I had a sore leg from the scrapes.

The good news is that - I HAD FUN!

Shut the front door!

Mom and I finished our treks about the same time, and when I tried to stop to walk with her to the car I could not unclip my left again.

I think I need to adjust the tension in that pedal????

Anyway - it was a good time and I am grateful Mom went with me.

She was there supporting me all the way on the running and I know she will do the same with the cycling.

Just not from a bike.

It's a long story.  Something about her, a shattered wrist and arm, and Dad "pushed her."  There are varying accounts of the story.

Well - not too bad.  Maybe I am ready for a group ride!!!

But for now I will stick to tracking my distance online.  I found a website that allows you to input your running/walking/cycling distances and tracks how far you are along the TransAmerica Highway.  It is pretty cool!  Sadly - I am still in Virgina and have a LONG way to go!!!



Go team go - zoom

Friday, April 22, 2011

Soldiering On

Yesterday was kinda rough.

I got some really bad news and basically waffled between being angry and sad.

Today was slightly better -

It was father-daughter day at the gun range. Dad and I armed ourselves and went a-shooting.

This is Texas people.


He rushed me home in time to catch up with Mom for Stations of the Cross.

Talk about a dichotomy!

Later, Dad and I ran out for some beer and I popped into the local bike store.

I found out that there is a Saturday morning rude at 0730. I am hoping to join them tomorrow.

So it's safe to say I am still crushed, but as with all disappointments - you pick yourself up and move along.


Go team go - biker chick






Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Feast of Fails

I should have known my day was going to suck.

The dog (the big one) landed on my bum knee this morning leaping into bed.

I got on a scale and saw I have gained a few pounds.

My head is throbbing with a headache.

It took my 20 minutes trying to shove Lil Beast into the suv. And then I remembered last time I took the front wheel off.

I drove to the Big City with douchebag drivers.

I went to the ortho and found out that I am 100% guaranteed an ankle replacement in the next 5-10 years.

I was also told to stop running.

Apparently, your ankle is supposed to have a healthy space between the bones to keep bone-on-bone rubbing from happening.

My space is pretty much gone.

You can see it still there on the edges of the joint, but I have MAJOR arthritis in my ankle.

So now I get to quit running. Did I mention I had signed up for a duathlon this Saturday????

Oh and on May 6 I get to have the remaining pins out so that when the ankle replacement happens down the road, those holes will be healed.

And to top of my day of fun - I am waiting for my very first mammogram as I type this.


Go team go - shit


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Timid Tuesday

After the bike fall on Saturday night I have taking it kinda easy.

Sunday, The Boy and I went to the pool and relaxed.  I think it was the first time in months that we didn't have plans to be somewhere or errands to run or people to see.

We went for brunch, stayed for drinks, finished with lunch.

cut me some slack - it was the first time I tried taking the pick with my phone using my freakishly long arms

Fabulous day - other than the pool was still FREEZING!

Monday I went to work and hobbled around the office - awesome.

I wound up skipping running club - again - because I wasn't sure my leg would tolerate it.

Today I thought maybe taking the dogs out for a short walk would be ok.

I was kinda wrong.

I have this awesome leash - its adjustable.  It can loop over your torso, be long, be short - fabulous!

I put Gentle Leaders on both dogs, put the Y-leash on them, and strapped that the the big leash.


I basically spent the first quarter-mile walking Bobby and dragging Bennie.

She kept trying to scrape her leader off with her foot while continuing to walk.  She isn't the brightest dog.

Finally, they both settled in.

After we made it out by the state park, I thought I might try to jog a little.

Trust me - this didn't last long.

I limped, cussed, and hobbled as I tried to run.

It felt like someone was hammering a spike through my ankle crosswise, while someone else was sticking a hot poker by my Achilles tendon.

Sooooo - I started walking again.

We made the turn, headed home, and I decided to try running again after I made the turn onto the street where I live.

It sucked.

Big time!

But we finished, and now I am questioning my weekend plans.

I signed up to do the Spring Back Duathlon - 3 mile run, 12 mile bike, 3 mile run.

The only way I can conceive of finishing this race would be to walk the run portions.

I don't want to drop out - and I don't think I will - unless my new ortho tells me to.

I finally made an appointment with an awesome ortho in the big city.  I am hoping he will take some more x-rays and a MRI.  I am worried that the reason I still have so much pain is that there is scar tissue in there.

But that is Thursday.

I doubt I can run again with the running club again tomorrow - and that kills me.

But maybe I can still make it out for a nice bike ride.

Go team go - sonofabeetch

Hop-a-Long Holy Week

So Saturday night I posted about an accident I had, and then I forgot to come back on Sunday and report back.

Whoops!

Here is what happened - I decided that if I was going to move more into duathlons and triathlons - I would need clipped pedals.  Nashbar had a really great deal on clearance shoes and pedals, so for less than $60 I was in business.

The Boy was nice enough to change my pedals Saturday afternoon, and thank goodness - because those suckers were on tight - there is no way I could have gotten them off the bike on my own.

That might have been a sign.

Oh well.

That day was Palm Sunday, and not being a great Catholic - falling more into mediocre - I decided that I still needed to go to church and pick up a palm and hear the story of the Passion.

Since the church was about a mile away, I thought there would be no better way to get there than by bike.

I clipped in, started pedaling, and was thrilled!  I was moving along quickly, and with little effort!

I made the turn into the church parking lot (right next to the fire station and EMTs).

I unclipped my right foot.
I coasted.
I tried to unclip my left foot.
I fell.

Right into a brand new car!

Those poor owners now have a great image of my hand print on the back of their truck.

My favorite part about this accident was that as I seem to have them frequently enough it never occurred to me to be concerned first, or worried about whether I was hurt.

The very first thing I said was, "Well, now my left is unclipped."

Seriously.

And then I surveyed the damage.

Right leg - scrapped, bruised
Left ankle - Ticked off, bruised, scrapped
Left knee - twisted, bruised, scrapped
Right thigh - bruised
Left wrist - jammed, scrapped
Left shoulder - bruised
Head - hit pavement

Not bad for a fall at less than 1 mph!


I picked myself up, brushed off the dirt, chained my bike, and hobbled into Mass.

Trust me - I got a few odd looks.

I couldn't decide if it was the shoes, or the blood.

But I stayed for Mass, got my palm, limped back down the stairs, grabbed the bike, and crept back home.

The Boy took one look at me when I walked in the door and immediately went into medic mode.


After he cleaned me up, he handed me my teddy bear, we curled up for a movie, and every time I moved I yelped.  I don't think he slept all night listening to me moan and groan with the injuries.


I'm totally not ashamed - that's me after I cried.

I guess this should be a sign that a mediocre Catholic like me should just skip Mass.

Only kidding Mom!!!!

Go team go - limp

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Pain - The Final Frontier

Friday after work there were shenanigans at the local Target - searching for sunglasses.

We were having so much fun - I thought we would get kicked out!!!

Blue sunglasses - Blue tongue




Saturday, The Boy changed my pedals on Lil Beast to the clip-in kind.

Saturday night there was an accident.


Tomorrow I'll blog more - but for now:


Go team go - owie!!