Thursday, October 27, 2016
So, this weekend started out okay. We watched the original "Halloween" on Friday night. I hadn't watched it in a few decades, so it was like seeing it all over again.
I woke up on Saturday with the trace of a migraine. I took some Advil and hoped for the best and we headed to Des Moines for my first real, full cyclocross race since my breast cancer.
John raced first. His back has been really bothering him lately and it wrecked him during his race. He was able to finish, but he didn't place anywhere near what he would have and he couldn't bend over after the race.
The race was held at an aquatic park and had a skateboard park in the middle of it. The kid racers were able to run around in circles before their race, but I would have been finished before I began at my age. Kids. Where DO they get their energy?
Spooky CX is usually one of my favorite races because of the costumes. Who doesn't love a saucy, full facial haired, Dorothy with a mangy Toto and a beer in his hand before noon?
Or this sassy lassy. Do the drapes match the beard? As I always say, I love costumers. Sadly for me, I couldn't wear my costume. I was going to be an evil elf, but it was 70 some degrees and WAY too hot for a Santa hat over my helmet.
I raced the Women's masters 35+. Which I always say is too young if you're only going to have one masters category. You are not at a disadvantage in bike racing in your mid-thirties. They should make it at least 40+, but 45+ would be more realistic. That way all the women would be perimenopausal or menopausal and have similar very low testosterone and estrogen levels together.
Anyway, there were 10 women in my category. I knew about half of them and some of them came up to me and told me they were happy to see me racing again. I really love the women I get to race with in Iowa. So many good eggs.
I got a bad start. The two women were quicker on the draw (or the whistle) and my opening closed quickly. So, I had to try and play catch up at the beginning.
Since I have no idea what kind of racing shape I'm in right now, I haven't been training much and haven't done much off road riding, I gave myself plenty of time to warm-up on the course. The course was 2.2 miles long, so I figured with a 35 minute race, we could end up going 4 laps. I wanted to ride 4 laps beforehand to make sure I could even finish that distance.
In my pre-ride, there were 2 parts of the course I couldn't ride well. By the end of my 4th lap, I worked out how to ride one of the parts, but there was a big curb I kept chickening out on, so I figured I could just stop and get my bike over it and probably lose several places that way.
During the race, I figured I'd go out and try to stay behind the back of the pack as long as I could. Lucky for me, I'm faster going over the barriers than a lot of women in my race, so I was able to make up 3 places right there on the first lap. What that meant, was that I'd have some women on my tail as long as I could hold them off.
One woman came up behind me and said, "on your left". We were on a narrow part of the course, and unless she's lapping me, I don't have to make it easier for her to pass me. So, I didn't. We rode side by side on a twisty part of the course and I stayed with her for a little bit, before she finally got a gap on me. It was great practice.
On my second lap, I had one of those beautiful experiences. I just sailed along through the course at a decent speed for me. I hit every line perfectly. I was instinctively in the right gear going up or down hills and I was keeping other, way younger, women at bay. I thought I'd have one lap to go after that, but the cards showed 2 laps to go. Crap. I knew I was going to have to slow down if I wanted to finish two more laps. I continued to get passed by women and then passing two of them back on the barriers.
When I finally finished the race, I was wrecked. I had a woman tell me not to lie down that I needed to ride a little more, but I knew I wouldn't stay upright on my bike a second more. So, I found a nice, grassy area and collapsed. One of my friends, who got 2nd in the race, collapsed with me.
After I caught my breath a little, we sat up, drank some water and talked about our race. She was dressed as a rainbow unicorn and kicked ass like one. I was dressed like an old lady cyclist, recovering from breast cancer and I rode like one... I'm saying that in a good way. I fought hard to be 3rd from last. Way harder than I've fought for first in years past. I used the skills I had, every lap I rode up the curb I was too scared to ride during my pre-ride, I didn't make it easy for anyone to pass me, I passed people on the barriers that I knew would pass me back on the hilly sections, and loved every minute of the race.
Later, I ran into a friend of mine who is taking a break from racing, but putting her energy to good use by wearing a horse head and heckling with her other animal headed friends.
I had made a painting for her and we exchanged it in the parking lot. She was really sweet and gave me a $30 gift card to some local restaurants. It was very nice, especially since I get paid once a month on the first and with all my lovely hospital bills, I am strapped for cash on about the 3rd of every month now.
I took John to El Bait Shop for lunch and since I was getting a full fledged migraine, we went back to the race and then to our hotel so I could take some migraine meds and rest before we met Coadster and some friends for dinner.
Even though I was super spaced-out from my migraine meds, dinner was still very nice. It was great to see our friends and it's always nice to hang with The Oldest.
It was a lazy weekend at our house. I wasn't feeling well. I could go on and on about hormones and perimenopause and how it is unkind and migraines and blah and blah, but like our dreams, nobody is interested in our hormones but ourselves.
Since it's nigh on Halloween, I have an excuse to watch cheesy 70's horror films. On Friday night, I chose to watch "Carrie". It is a sad and disturbing movie, but just look at the "talent": Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie, William Katt, Amy Irving, John Travolta, Betty Buckley, Nancy Allen and the woman who played Riff Randall in "Rock and Roll High School". Hopefully, this upcoming weekend, we'll get to watch the original "Halloween" with Jamie Leigh Curtis...
Speaking of scary...This is what I woke up to on Saturday morning. Apparently, because I was sidelined by a migraine, Archie thought I was sleeping in too late and so he sweetly took the time to jump on top of me to save me from myself. Good kitty...Jerk.
I did much lounging on Saturday morning. By about midday, I went out to run errands. I finally made it to the garden center to get some organic garlic to plant, black dirt with which to plant it and peat moss to put the irises roots and gladiola bulbs I dug up for the Winter.
I got home and told John that it was probably the last weekend I'd get to take care of the Fall gardening needs, so I was going to spend the rest of the day doing that. He said he would clean many of our bikes, probably like, 10 of them. So, we both got to play outside all afternoon - John with bikes and me in mud. I planted 25 tulip bulbs, 20'ish cloves of garlic, and another 15 or so irises. Now, all I have left to do, is bring in my rain gauge, my disco ball, and cover all the gardens with all the leaves that have dropped from my trees.
I was going to try to race on Sunday, but my body wasn't having it. Instead, we went to the race and John did his race, even though his back was really bugging him. He was basically walking over the barriers, but it was a pretty small field of racers, so he was able to get first even though his back pain was slowing him down. We stayed the whole, wonderfully, warm afternoon and a lot of our friends showed up. It was a perfect afternoon, even if I wasn't feeling the best.
The weekend ended just like it started, with a bunch of lazy cats napping all over the furniture. I wouldn't have it any other way.
Tuesday, October 25, 2016
So, just for fun, I'm doing an "On this Day" post. This was my post from October 25th 2007. I was just telling people what my Halloween costume was going to be for this year, so this post is timely.
So, I was thinking that I might go out this Halloween. Yeah, it's on a school night, but I'd try to come home at a decent hour and not really drink that much. I think I could make it work. Some people I know are doing a Misfits cover band at the Picador. So, K. and I were kicking around the idea of seeing that. Now, the big problem is figuring out a costume. I have this crazy pair of black, knee high boots I could work with. Any suggestions from my readers?
When the girls were younger, I would dress-up to go trick-or-treating with them. One year, when I was still working at the clinic and doing a lot of phlebotomy, I dressed-up like a vampire - even to work. The patients loved it, and Coadster was happy because she suggested it, and even at that tender age she had control issues.
Another year I went as a skank bar hag. That costume was probably the most fun. I found this nasty, sorta slutty dress at Goodwill, that also had weird pit stains. Then I wore ripped-up nylons, heels that were scuffed and broken, I made sure to wear too much make-up and smear it around, and took my hair as big as it's ever been - which, if you know me, you understand just how out of control that was. The nurses I worked with at the time, had so much fun at lunch one day remembering the outfits of every skanky bar hag they knew to try to give me ideas for my costume.
I went to a lot of parties that year, so I don't remember a whole lot from that night. I do recall, being at an after hours party and sitting on a couch between two women, who kept trying to feel me up - one was dressed as Slash and the other dressed as Axl Rose. Come to think of it, that was kind of fun. Maybe I'll bring back the skank bar hag costume again this year.
Thursday, October 20, 2016
What Makes a House Grand Ain't the Roof or the Doors. If There's Love in a House, It's a Palace for Sure
As you might recall, I'm a little obsessed with houses. Not just houses, but decor also. I want my house to be a sanctuary from all of the crap I have to deal with in the outside world. And, like everything else, I'm very opinionated about houses and decor.
When I bought my house, almost 7 years ago, I didn't have a lot of money. There were a handful of houses in my price range, and I needed a house big enough to fit me and my two high school aged daughters. I also wanted it to be close enough to my daughters' school, and close enough to my work that none of us had to drive, since I had one car that was old and getting less and less reliable.
There were bigger homes and newer homes and homes that didn't need as much work as the one I chose, but none of them were in the neighborhood I wanted and none of them had any real character. They were full of carpet and looked about as interesting as a room in a Motel 6.
The house I chose had a problem with termites and no basement (but a crawl space to protect us from tornadoes) and a small shady yard that wouldn't be great for gardening (which is VERY important to me). Those were all things I thought would be be crucial for me, but I wasn't in a financial place to be that picky. Instead, I compromised and figured I could try to deal with some of it in time and just let the other things go. So, here is a list of some of the things I can't stand about certain kinds of houses and decor. I don't judge what others like. I don't really care. I just know what I like in my house. Also some of the things I love, some of the things I've changed and some of the things I hope to change.
|If my bathroom has to be tiny, I figure it should also be fun.|
Even if I were rich, I would never want to live in a McMansion, in a housing development. It's just not my scene. I wouldn't fit in and most importantly, I don't like people telling me what I can do with my yard and why would I pay extra money just to live in a neighborhood where I would feel like the help. I don't want someone telling me I can't make a garden of my front yard, and if you are my neighbor and want to make a toilet planter in your front yard, I want you to be able to do that too. I'm a child of the 70's, I always want everyone to be free to do their own thing, man...As long as they aren't hurting anyone else. Lucky for me, John feels the same way. I remember when we were talking about him paying in and putting his name onto the mortgage and one of the first things he said was, "I love this house. I'm so glad you didn't buy a McMansion". At least we're on the same page...
So, one of the things I'd like to fix about the house is adding a bathroom. We only have one and it's tiny. It was pretty rough when I first bought the house and myself and my two teenage daughters all had to use the bathroom at the same time to get ready for school and work every morning. It's not quite so bad now that it's just me and John, but when the kids and their boyfriends are all staying the night at Christmas time, or if we have other people staying at our place, it is a huge fuster cluck.
Our idea for when we get rich...You know, say a bag of money drops on our heads or something, is to redo the dormer room upstairs, raising the roof a little and converting the gigantic walk-in closet into a bathroom with a shower, toilet and sink. It will probably still be bigger than our downstairs bathroom.
For now, in the next year or two, we plan to update our current bathroom. I want to repaint it, change the floor tile, put in a low flow toilet and if we can scrape the money together, replace the yellowed, dingy, shower surround with white subway tile. We'll see how and if that goes...
Something I can't stand in a house is carpet. My daughter thinks I'm crazy. One of the redeeming features of our Minimal Traditional home, (I finally looked up the proper name for our style of house) was that it was all tile and carpet, except for one bedroom downstairs and the dormer room upstairs. Coadster thinks hardwood floors are cold and loves carpet, so she wouldn't let me tear it up in her bedroom until after she left for college. We did tear that stained, gross, old, carpet up the minute she moved out, though. Our neighbors helped us sand and refinish the beautiful floors underneath we left the gray'ish purple paint up that Coadster chose for her room. At some point, I'll probably change the color to something a little more neutral, but it's pretty and funky and I don't mind it at all.
The kitchen. OY! The kitchen. The woman who lived here before me really played up the Kountry Kitchen theme here. I loved how big the kitchen was. I think dining rooms are a waste, unless it's big enough and you have the money to buy a nice pool table to put in one, so it didn't bother me that this house didn't have one, but had a very large kitchen where we can all hang-out when I cook or where, more likely, John can work on bikes or wheels while I cook.
When I first checked out the house before I bought it, I was very disappointed with how dingy and dirty the whole house looked, but I knew there were some easy and relatively affordable things I could do to fix it. Of course, those things are taking a while, but at least we got the first phase done a couple of years ago and we hope to finish the 2nd phase this year. Hope, hope, hope...
The first phase was to replace the old faux wood, cigarette burned counter tops with something less heinous. I don't give a crap about granite or marble or quartz counter tops. This is what people like to call a "starter home", but will be more like an "ender home" for me and John and we won't make any money off of high-end anything. The reason I bought this home and probably anyone else would buy this home, is because it is affordable. So, I bought laminate counters and had a friend install them. I kept the old porcelain sink and he switched where the stove and refrigerator were, so we could open one of the cupboard doors more easily. Another friend of mine gave us her old electric oven, which was newer and not nearly as gross as the one that came with the house. John brought his beautiful baking table that we use as more counter space and we put bar stools around to use like a little breakfast nook thingy.
I also painted the old, ratty looking, dirty wood cupboards white, after I cleaned and sanded them and John put the new pulls on them. We also took off and left off the top cupboard doors. We have Fiesta Ware that looks pretty and leaving the doors off make our kitchen look that much bigger. We got rid of the hideous stencils and painted the room a light blue color.
When we do our second wave of remodeling, we are getting rid of the popcorn ceiling (done), re painting the ceiling the same color white as the cupboards, repainting the walls, hopefully a little warmer blue, replacing the dorky looking white ceiling fans with the cow pulls hanging from them, with new black and brushed nickel ceiling fans, and then putting new black and white tile on the floor, as a nod to its 1950 house birth. We don't have money to replace appliances and we won't add a dishwasher any time soon. What we have is fine.
The living room was s decent size, I just thought it needed a little oomph! and warming up and I hate floral prints almost as much as I hate wallpaper, stencils and carpet, so I was glad she didn't leave her furniture here for me.
I chose a camel'ish (it seemed to be pretty popular in 2009) color for the paint on the living room walls. I think it was called twine or rope or hemp or something. Anyway, I wanted something warm and cozy. I liked this whole color scheme, but Jon though the curtains were too long and dark and brought the room down, so now we have shorter, lighter curtains, but the room is still pretty damn cozy.
Originally, the upstairs dormer room had carpet. Stinky lived up there for a couple of years of high school and a year or two after. Like her sister's room, I ripped up the carpet the minute she moved out. I wanted the upstairs space to serve a few different purposes. The space was big, so it could handle it. I wanted it to be a spare bedroom for when people stayed over, a nice reading room and a studio to draw and paint in.
We were very lucky to have John's funky furniture that we had been storing in our garage and attic space, but also some beautiful antiques his mom gave us. All we had to buy was paint, lamps, a futon bed and this funky rug. I painted the walls white and the floors light gray and let all the art and rugs and furniture add the color. I like that, just in case I get in a mood and want to change the color, I wouldn't have to do anything major to do that. Anyway, I don't know if I have a particular style, but if I did, it would be way less ornate and more simple/funky. I would much rather have my home look interesting and cozy, than chic and cold or overly busy with too much fancy crap and contrasting patterns.
I would say we made an excellent spare bedroom and reading room, but there's only one window, so the light isn't great for a painting studio.
As I said earlier, if a big bag of money falls on our heads, I would love to raise the roof of our house a little bit, rip out the drop ceiling, get rid of the fluorescent overhead lights, put some sky lights in, and rip out the back section over the stairs, put a giant window in there too and put in a small bathroom. But if for some reason that doesn't happen, I love the room as it is.
Of course, at some point, we also need to spend money on replacing the siding, re-roofing and reglazing all of the windows. We decided against buying those vinyl windows. They need to be replaced every 20 years, and don't seem very sustainable. So far, we've spent the most money on the crawl space that no one ever sees. Encapsulating that crawl space was the best thing we could have done for the house, and ourselves. There was so much moisture down there, that it was attracting termites and we were living above airborne mold. Super healthy...Or not.
When I call this our "ender home", instead of our "starter home", I mean that we will probably never leave it, unless we move into a care facility or die. It is perfect for that. Except the dormer room, everything is on the same level. There isn't much of a yard, and while I will garden until it becomes impossible for me, there isn't much yard to maintain either. Even if we got hit with the biggest bag of money you can imagine, (and I'm imagining these bags with nice, light $100 dollar bills, rather than life ending bags of nickels) I wouldn't want to move from this house into a big, fancy house somewhere. I wouldn't feel comfortable there. I would keep feeling like I was only there to be the housekeeper. I love that our house meets all of our needs. We can read and watch movies and draw and paint and our kitchen table will always have spare bike parts on it from John tinkering on stuff next to me while I cook, and our cats will rule the roost and I wouldn't want things any other way. While I was on sick leave for 2 and a half weeks after my lumpectomy, I kept wandering from screened -in porch, to big kitchen, to comfy bedroom, to cozy living room and when it was too hot, to the only room in our house with any air conditioning, the funky, beautiful (to me) dormer room and thinking how happy I was in our old, simple sanctuary.
|My first college ID photo.|
When I was kid, I had a hard time sleeping. I was always scared because of the Vietnam War being broadcast every night during the news, and the fact that in the middle of the night when everyone else was asleep, I would hear weird noises that I was sure had evil intentions. My mom was still alive back then and she would let me listen to the radio all night, to drown out the scary sounds. It usually helped, but one time I woke up in the middle of the night and heard the song, "They're Coming to Take Me Away" was on. It scared the crap out of me and I ran down the hall to sleep in my mother's bed with her. Unfortunately, my sister was already in my place and I set my pillow on the cold, tile, floor next to my mom's side of the bed to sleep.
After my mom died, we moved in with my abusive aunt and uncle. I was miserable for the 8 years I had to live with them and I never thought I'd get away. I had elaborate fantasies of being saved by someone or about running away somewhere, where I wasn't constantly being threatened or ridiculed or or called names or being forced to cook and clean with any time I had away from school.
I turned 18 in July, about a month before I would leave for college. My brother told me to stay with my aunt and uncle for that month. "What's one more month going to harm?" he asked. He was probably right. It would be hard to find an apartment for a month and my aunt and uncle didn't really let me work outside of their home, except for a week or two in the Summer to detassle corn, so I didn't have much money. Plus, my brother thought maybe if I stayed that month, my aunt and uncle might give me some of their old towels or sheets for my dorm room. So, I stayed.
By the day I left for school, I thought I might die. I didn't think I would finally be allowed to be free without something bad happening to stop it. My aunt and uncle and cousins dropped me off at college and it turned out that my roommate wasn't coming that first night, so I had the room to myself. I thought I would be thrilled the second they took-off, but I wasn't. I hadn't been allowed to just relax without worrying they would come downstairs and find me and start yelling at me for being lazy or threatening me if I didn't get up and clean or cook. I had no idea what to do with myself. I could do whatever I wanted and it was almost paralyzing. I had no idea what I liked anymore. What things made me happy or comfortable.
I went to bed that night and couldn't sleep. I had no idea what to expect from my life after that day. As I tossed and turned, I could hear someone was playing David Bowie's "Changes One" album. It brought me back to my childhood, when my mom was still alive. I was scared of the unknown, afraid of the dark still and I was a mess, but I thought I might finally be okay. I just had to keep reminding myself of who I was and what I liked to do when I was a kid, before my mom died, and I was free to make my own choices. I finally fell asleep, lulled by David Bowie's voice. The next morning I would start figuring out who the hell I was. It would take years...
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
This weekend was nice and mellow. Originally, we were going to go to Madison and stay with my brother and then do a cyclocross race, but I still wasn't over my cold, and John was just getting a cold of his very own, so we decided to stay home and rest and hopefully, get better faster.
Saturday was filled with me reading and nodding off and reading some more and nodding off some more, until I felt up for doing another cleaning project in my bedroom that involved me taking all of the books off of one of my bookshelves, wiping all of the books off with a vinegar, water and baking soda solution, vacuuming and cleaning the walls, floor and ceiling around said bookshelf and then putting everything back away. The only bad thing about this project, is that I start reading the backs of books I haven't read before, and it makes me want to go right back to the reading and nodding off stage of my day.
On Sunday we were both feeling a little better. John suggested we try to do a ride to Solon. I was a little worried, just because that route has one really big hill on it, and I hadn't ridden it since my surgery. I thought I was strong enough to ride it, I just wasn't sure how long it would take me - a day, two days, a week?
I actually did just fine on it. I had taken a couple of days off with this cold, and my time up it was maybe just a little slower than normal. Of course, usually when I ride up that hill, I've already been on a 5 mile run earlier in the day and ridden and run many times the week before. Apparently, not killing yourself before a harder effort, can make you stronger and faster. Hmmmmm, who knew?
We met some friends at Big Grove for an early dinner. Since it was in the 80's in the middle of October, we decided to eat outside. When it's warm this time of year, I keep thinking about every outdoor activity as "possible the last time" I'll be able to do that particular thing before the snow flies and it's 30 below zero. So much pressure!
|I have to keep reminding myself, that I have chosen these people to be my friends...|
The roads were beautiful and we had a great ride back.
We didn't see any deer, but we did meet a new friend. This poor, misguided creature thought it would be a great idea to warm himself on the asphalt to catch those last remaining rays of sunshine, but we thought he'd probably die doing it with all of the traffic on that road, so I used my bike tire to gently persuade him to move to safer ground, like the ditch.
We made it back in town just in time to see the sunset behind us light up one of my favorite Fall trees. I have to say, I will definitely miss October when its gone, especially since it's been so lovely and warm this month...
Sunday, October 09, 2016
|The Amish horses get a little skittish around cyclists.|
So, Monday marked the 2 month anniversary of my cancer surgery.Of course, I was going to write this post on that day, but for some reason, I haven't been in the mood to write much this week.
Anyway, I took Monday off and had a wonderful day that I will try to write about tomorrow, but right now, I'll write about our weekend, which was also wonderful.
|I love these horses hanging out by the green houses.|
Saturday was beautiful and I started it by going for a 5 mile run. I was trying to go slow, but since I didn't run the day before, I went way faster than I thought I would. It felt so good.
At 1:30'ish, our friend Burne came over and we all went for a 50 mile bike ride to Kalona and back. As I say all the time, it is one of my favorite rides.
On the way there, my burrito (which is a little leather pouch attached to my bike saddle that contains an inner tube, some CO2 containers and a few other things to fix a flat) fell off my bike and we didn't notice until later.
So, when our friend Burne flatted on the gravel road and didn't have anything to fix his flat, all we had was one inner tube and 2 Co2 canisters, and it turned out that one of them didn't work. We rode on to Kalona and had a lovely early dinner and Stinky joined us before she headed off to work and it was great.
Since we didn't have enough CO2 to fully fill Burne's tire, we had to be more careful and not ride on the gravel, which meant riding on the highway for a bit, but since that bit was still in Kalona, the shoulders were made wide enough for horses and buggies to safely ride on the highway. It was heavenly.
We decided to go through New Sharon on the way back home.There just happened to be a big auction on that road. At one point, we hit a T intersection with two boys on bikes on one side, a weird auction vehicle on another and a horse and buggy on the 4th side. It was such an Iowa experience.
We rode past the auction and saw many Amish people packing up and heading home.
The shadows just before sunset in the Fall are so well defined.
Our friend, Burne finally did get another flat tire just as we were heading out of the town of Hills. It was 10 miles from home, so Burne went back into Hills (all two blocks of it) and sat at the one bar there, while John and I rode home, deposited our bikes and drove back to pick him up. Oh, and by the way, we found my bike flat fixing kit burrito on the side of the road and everything was there and in working order. We picked up Burne and headed home. Two weeks out of surgery and I ran 5 miles and rode 50 miles all in one day. Of course, the next day I was pretty wrecked, but I could finally actually do both tthings.
I know I always complain about what a huge A-hole my cat is, but he is also really smart...Which I'm not so sure is a good thing at all.
On Friday evening, I went out to the garden to get some green peppers and jalapenos to make salsa. I came back smelling like tomato vines and Archie instantly started whining, which then turned into yowling. I had no idea what his problem was, and since I was apparently, an idiot human, he had to try a different way to communicate it to me. He went to his scratch box and pretended to eat the imaginary catnip that wasn't there. Oh, duh! Normally, when I come back smelling like garden, I have some fresh catnip for him, that I normally scatter on his scratch box. It's a good things stupid humans are easily trained...
Thursday, October 06, 2016
Okay, well yesterday was pretty nice. On Tuesday after work, I planted the 12 or so Hostas a friend of mine gave us over the weekend and John cleaned all of the gutters before a big rain that night and yesterday morning.
The rain prevented me from running, but I made up for that later. After the storms, the afternoon was gorgeous and I got to sit and read at my little waterfall between the building where I work and Halsey Gym. I love it, because I get to hear the piano music for the ballet classes or the hip hop for the more modern dance classes coming out of Halsey Gym and from where I'm sitting, almost no one can see me. My favorite situation.
After work, John and I headed to Cedar Rapids for my first Cyclocross practice of the year. After this weekend when I died on a 22 mile gravel bike ride, I was worried about what kind of shape I was in.
My goal was to try and ride 45 minutes without stopping (the average length of a race) and to try to get at least 10 miles in.
They had a route all marked-off with little markers, so we could follow and work on skills and speed or ride with other people to work on passing. There were probably about 15 people who showed up which was great. Two of us were women. I'd love to get those numbers up, but I know from many years of experience that it's hard to do.
Anyway, I rode the course and used my Map My Run app to measure it out and time it. Each lap was a little over a mile. I started out slowly and kept trying to increase my speed every lap. I worked on going up the hills staying on my saddle one time and the next time, I got up off my saddle and did standing climbs. I also worked on taking different lines and cornering faster and faster. I had a blast AND I rode for an hour and 10 minutes without stopping and did a little over 12 miles. Next time, I'll have to work on dismounting and remounting and getting my speed up.
Oh, yeah. I also want wish John a happy 6 year anniversary of recovering from getting hit by the guy who bent down to pick up the thing he dropped in his F-150 pick-up and hit John straight on without braking. Even though he still suffers some back pain, John is kicking so much ass every day.
After we got done riding, a guy brought out some good beer and some of us hung-out and talked about riding and races we wanted to do. It was very nice.
Then John and I drove off into the sunset through Cedar Rapids, a town that narrowly escaped a flood last week.
Tonight? John goes to his mom's for dinner and I get some alone time at home to read and harass and get harassed by cats. I can't wait.