Friday, March 28, 2008

Ride however you can

Ahhh....spring is here. As much as I love my homeland (New Hampshire), spring in Virginia is a marvelous thing. I loved reading Bethany's description of walking her dog on a gorgeous in bloom, birds singing. It's simply invigorating. So, why am I riding indoors for 4.5 hours tomorrow? First, it's not going to be 70 tomorrow morning. It's predicted to be 42 degrees. I will run in just about any kind of weather (it was 10 degrees out when my sister-in-law and I ran on Christmas morning this year), but I will not cycle in that kind of chill. Not to sound like a complete wimp, but my hands frequently go completely numb (as in totally white with no feeling) when I get really cold. I have Raynaud's syndrome, which is not really a big deal until I try to ride my bike in cold weather. Shifting and braking is tricky with numb fingers. I'm sure there are super-fancy gloves out there that can help alleviate this situation. But, I have not budgeted for more cycling gear this year. I'm trying to be frugal, so don't encourage me to spend more on gear!
But, the biggest reason I'm riding indoors is that it's our last Saturday of indoor cycling. When I'm on a trainer, I can actually keep up with my hardcore cycling training partners. After spending the winter together, we have a certain kind of crazy indoor bond. We can talk and laugh (and occasionally cry on those power repeats)without worrying about a pothole or a too-close-for-comfort driver. We share funny stories. We listen to Mark bemoan the Cleveland sports situation. We watch as Rick tries to convince Mark to shorten our workout (it never works). We try to keep Lynn from complaining about the music (which only makes Mark angry - not unlike the Incredible Hulk). We see who will come off their aerobars first - and be penalized with more aero time. We listen to Michael "sing" along with Journey. (No, you didn't misread that). We try out different sports drinks and bars. I'm completely sold on Hammer & Clif products, so if you see me eating anything else, it's just for a little variety. Yum...peeps.
Yes - 4.5 hours is a long time inside. But, it's a lot easier with company. We race alone (unless you are Deanna B at the Patriot Half - sorry DB, I couldn't resist), so it certainly is nice to train alongside a friend.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A quick update...

* My laptop is back. Perhaps that means I will be a little better with my blogging...or not.

* Josie was quite frightened by the SPCA party. I think she could smell the fear & loneliness of the animals that live there (while awaiting their new homes). The Richmond SPCA is an immaculate facility - clean, bright & cheerful. But Josie felt otherwise. She remained stuck to either my side or Rick's all night. However, she did momentarily regain her friendly nature when we stopped at the bar for a glass of wine. She popped her two front paws up on the bar like she owned the place. She takes after her mother.

* We ran close to 22 miles on Saturday. It's been awhile since I've completed that kind of run. Thanks to the planning of Shawn & Shelly, the run took us through all kinds of beautiful neighborhoods. We also watched in shock as Karen took a major wipe-out on Brook Road. She cut up her hands, her knee and even her happy face. That was the first time I've seen her look unhappy during a workout (seriously). Afterwards, we gorged ourselves on cupcakes baked with amazing skill by Caroline P. She can run fast AND bake.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Party with the Big Dogs

Tonight, I (along with my main squeeze and my main dog) have been invited to one of the cutest parties ever (really) in the history of the world. We are heading to the Richmond SPCA for a cocktail party hosted by my buddies (and fellow animal lovers) Nancy & Rob. I ran my very first marathon (which at the time, I thought would be my last)with Nance & Rob. Anyway, this party is open to dogs, too. Nance and Rob have hired some of the good folks from the SPCA to oversee a doggie play group while the "parents" watch, socialize, and enjoy some adult beverages. How fun is that? I think Josie-Posie may have to sport her Trigirl bandanna tonight. I'll take some pics...and hopefully upload them....once my real laptop returns from the laptop hospital.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


In case you were wondering, water and laptops do not mix well. I made the unfortunate decision to place my water bottle (see - I really do try to hydrate) between my laptop and my phone at work. Don't do that. As I reached to answer my phone, I knocked the water bottle directly on to my keyboard. Now, my laptop is in the Mac emergency room. I am using a "loaner" laptop, but it's just not the same as my trusty laptop (and it's missing my iTunes collection). Let's hope the Mac doctor can rebuild my laptop...bigger..stronger... faster. Maybe I'll find myself with a bionic laptop?

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St Patick's Day

The title of this entry is simply to acknowledge the day - I don't have an Irish-themed entry so don't get too excited. But, for the record, I do have a lot of Irish blood in me. Case in point: my sister's name is Siobhan (which is Gaelic - and is pronounced Shuh-von), so you get the gist of my Irish lineage.
Anyway, I have been training like crazy for IM Brazil & Boston. For this Ironman, I'm working to keep myself as calm and positive as possible. (As IM Florida approached, I did have many moments of complete panic). I wish I could remember all of that race, but like most events, the memories start to fade as we inevitably make new ones. Maybe that is why I wanted to do another Ironman race within 6 months of my first. Or maybe I just like the satisfied feeling of completing a tough workout. Or maybe I just really enjoy the company of my training partners.
I think it's a combination of all of those reasons that caused me to sign up for Brazil - and that makes me wonder what event to do in 2009. I realize how flat-out insane it is to even consider another Ironman race before completing Brazil. And yet, I find myself reading the posts about 2009 IM races with great interest. Arizona? (No - too late in the season for me), Lake Placid? (Would love to, but doubt I can get in online - and I won't be able to volunteer due to work), Wisconsin? (Maybe - but would prefer an earlier race), Louisville (No), Austria? we're talking. It's in the summer (which works well with my work schedule) and is in a beautiful country.
Do I need to make this decision today? No. But, it's fun to think about it.
Could it be that I've become addicted to these endurance events?

P.S. Congrats to all of the fantastic efforts at the Shamrock races this weekend.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The New Cocktail Dress

Remember when Grandison told us how much she loved her Tough girl pant things? I thought they looked so cute on Grandison (of course, everything looks cute on her - darn her) and considered buying some. And yet....I thought to myself, "What the heck are they? Sweatpants? No. Jeans? No. Running tights? No. Tennis skirt? No." Logically, because I didn't really know what they were or if they'd look remotely normal on me, I ordered some.
And, I love them.
I just ordered a second pair because I'm zany like that.
Fave, Molly and I are thinking we might sport ours at the next available cocktail party.
I wonder how the lycra-pants-skirt things will look with pumps? Wait & see, my friends..