Country Living

March 24, 2008

cord.jpgJack and GB went out of town this weekend so Finn and I had the place to ourselves.  It has been a while since he and I spent time alone together and we had a great time.  We cuddled, broke the rules of no dogs on the couch (even though that rule was originally put in place by ME – I know, I’m a hypocrite), practiced not running away in the woods, played a lot, and generally enjoyed each other’s company. 

Finn was a little confused about Jack being gone and spent the first 30 minutes or so looking for Jack behind doors and in corners which was hilarious to watch.

I drove into town yesterday for a group run.  Apparently everyone in the group except me takes Easter Sunday off so it was a group run of one.  Kind of annoying since I could have saved myself the drive and I was looking forward to pushing myself in a group.  Instead I got stuck hanging out in my own head which made for a somewhat painful first 50 minutes.  I was really struggling to get into the run and to push myself at all.  Although my run has improved a lot already this year, it has historically been my limiter.  Most of (if not all of) my fear in triathlon is around running.  Fear about being slow.  Fear about having the potential to be fast.  Fear around committing to my running.  Fear of hurting on the run.  When it comes to the run, I am terrified.  And when I can’t get out of my head it gets worse and worse.  Finally after 50 minutes of yesterday’s run I thought about Elizabeth’s chicken and Marit’s inability to run at the moment, and I was able to dig a little deeper and push a little harder.  But I would not call yesterday’s run a victory by any means.  If anything, I allowed myself to repeat old negative thought patterns for 50 minutes.  It’s a process, I know, and I’m getting there.  But it’s a slow process.

I spent the bulk of the afternoon and evening stacking the cord of wood we got last week.  Since the wood was dumped pretty far from where we stack it, this involved throwing every log over a giant snowpile and then throwing it from there over to the stack.  I was determined to stack the whole cord as a surprise for GB and I managed to get it done.  I had to apply a little workout mentality to it since I considered giving up once it started to get dark.  Finn was very helpful and thought I was throwing the logs for him, so he spent several hours running back and forth.  By the time I got done, my hands rough and full of cuts and splinters, I was feeling like a real country girl.  I guess the next step is to be able to split the wood myself.  Maybe next year.

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At Last!

March 23, 2008

I decided not to ride in the morning with the big boys. The following is an exerpt from a phone conversation this morning as I began to enact Plan B:

Me: Hi, Tara? It’s Ness.
Tara: Oh hey, what’s up?
Me: Well, I’m planning to ride this afternoon and was wondering if you want to come.
Tara: Uhhh, well…how warm is it supposed to get?
Me: Oh, really warm. It’s supposed to go up into the forties!
Tara [choking on her breakfast]: Uhhhh. Forties? Gee, I don’t know.
Me: Okay wellll….I’ll call you closer to the time.
Tara: Would I need gloves and booties?
Me: Yeah, you might want to wear those.

My friend Tara was my godsend today and agreed to brave the outdoors with me. We had a great ride and it felt SO GOOD to get outside. It was windy and pretty cold but the sun was shining and I was oh so happy. We did have to stop at the bike store for her to buy booties (which, by the way, are my new favorite things!). It was amazing to have warm feet and warm hands. I have never had the appropriate cold weather riding gear before and it made SUCH a difference!

I am a happy, happy camper now that I have ridden outside. It was everything I imagined and more.

Booties

March 21, 2008

booties1.jpgToday we had a wind advisory. Advisories in general crack me up and wind advisories are especially humorous. It’s not the wind I find funny, it’s the fact that we need someone to tell us that it’s windy out. If you have functional ears OR functional eyes believe me, you do NOT need a weather channel or website to tell you that it is very windy out at the moment. A simple glance out the window at the lawn furniture and house pets being blown around will clue you in.
Anyway, enough about advisories. The real point of this rant is that tomorrow I am going on my first ride OUTSIDE. It is not slated to be especially warm (certainly no heat advisories will be in effect tomorrow). But I have an outside ride on my schedule and by George, I am planning to ride outside. How serious am I about this?

Serious enough that I put away my trainer. I know it’s not permanent and I’ll probably need it again on Tuesday, but it feels good to stash it in a corner for now. Certainly preferable to having it as the most central piece of living room furniture like some idolistic statue dedicated to the gods of Watching-TV-While-You’re-Cycling.

Serious enough that I paid a pretty penny (well thousands of pretty pennies, to be more accurate) for gloves and shoe covers. I believe roadies in all of their athletic toughness refer to these as “booties”…? Add this to what they call “bib” pants and you have almost a complete baby outfit! Why don’t they just go one step further and refer to their padded cycling shorts as diapers? But I digress. Anyway, I bought some “booties” and some gloves and some gel and now I am READY TO RIDE! Given that it’s the first ride of the year and I want to start things off by raising the bar, I’m going to do a group ride with a bunch of men who are faster, cooler, and stronger than me. Perhaps I should leave the booties at home and then I can yell “AT LEAST I’M NOT WEARING BOOTIES!!!!!!” as they drop me from the pack. Ah well, I’m excited.

Spring Run

March 21, 2008

Last night I had a trainer ride that was dragging and dragging.  I swam after work and then had zero motivation to get on my bike.  Finally GB convinced me to just get on with it and even did part of the workout with me, for which I am grateful.  I didn’t get on my bike until pretty late so I knew there wouldn’t be much daylight left for my quick run off the bike.  Since it was the first day of Spring and I was entirely unmotivated to put on running tights, I ended up running in shorts.  I don’t know what I was thinking – well, actually I DO know what I was thinking!  I was thinking I was going to rebel against the cold – but I did not wear a hat or gloves.  Just a shirt, a running jacket, and shorts.  Yup.  And I think the “real feel” temperature was in the low twenties if not the teens.

It was just a short run, and I did warm up quickly so I didn’t hate myself for too long.  Actually, but the time I had turned around, it was nearly dark, very peaceful, and the full moon was lighting my way through the trees.  It was one of those awesome moments where you think “this is what it’s all about”.

 This morning I swam with Masters and now I’m DONE FOR THE DAY!  In spite of the snow falling and the wind blowing, I can feel a great day coming on….

Rainy Day Run

March 20, 2008

Yesterday was very rainy. All day I toyed with the idea of doing my run on the treadmill. Then when I got home and got dressed into my outside running clothes, I was still bargaining with myself for an indoor run. At last I got out the door, and boy was I glad. It was raining but not too cold – probably in the mid 30s and it was just gorgeous outside. I realized I had hardly spent any time outside for the whole day and just revelled in the fresh air. I felt like I was running pretty well and was really feeling in the groove. It got even better when I passed two people at their mailbox and the man said to the woman after yelling ‘hello’ to me: “Wow, I thought I was tough…”. That made me feel great, of course, and my spirits just kept getting higher and higher. And then on the backside of the loop I was running and OWL flew in front of me. I don’t know much (okay ANYTHING) about owls but this one tends to hang out in the vicinity of our neighborhood and this is the second time I’ve seen it while running. I often see it when I’m driving to or from work. Pretty cool to see it up close.

After my run GB and I headed into town for burritos and grocery shopping. We have decided to reinstate the weekly Wednesday date night. I know, grocery shopping is hardly a romantic date, but the point is to spend quality time together and we actually had a really fun time.

I am rethinking my plan to drive somewhere warm this weekend since I don’t think it’s that warm even 5 hours South of here.

Bust Your Butt

March 18, 2008

Given that Marit and Elizabeth were in a bike accident on the final ride of their San Diego training trip yesterday, it seems a little pointless to blog about the details of my day or my training.  My heart goes out to Marit who broke her sacrum and fractured her hip (literally busted her butt) and to Elizabeth who has been taking such good care of Marit while she’s in the hospital.  There is an update here if you want to know more.  I’m relieved they are both okay, although this will be an inevitable interruption in Marit’s big IM debut this year.  The good news is that she’s young and perky and will no doubt find ways to turn this all into a positive experience.

These things always make us stop and think about how lucky we are to be healthy.  So here’s to Marit and Elizabeth, poster girls for great attitude and sportsmanship in the face of adversity.

R & R and a Road Trip

March 17, 2008

Yesterday was really an amazing day.  GB and I had a lazy morning and then took the dogs to one of our favorite trails for a hike.  It was nearing 40 degrees so we drove around looking for roads that were bikeable.  We did manage to find one route I might be able to do, but looming clouds discouraged me from that plan.  Instead we set up our bikes on our trainers on the back deck facing the sun.  Sadly by the time I was ready to ride, it started sleeting so we abandoned that plan and biked indoors instead. 

During our ride we had a delivery of cordwood which is VERY exciting news since we ran out a few weeks ago and have been using our propane heaters.  I’m really excited to have the wood stove going again.  We still have to stack the whole cord, though because I barely put a dent in it yesterday!

After riding we decided that in the spirit of FINALLY having some time together, we would splurge and go into town for dinner and a movie.  We arrived at the restaurant at 5:30pm and I was already nearing a hunger crash.  The restaurant was almost empty that early so we were hopeful that we’d be done in time for the 7pm showing of Juno.  The server caught on quickly that I was hungry and was extremely accomodating and efficient.  We laughed at ourselves as we paid the check and realized it was only 6pm!  In and out in 30 minutes!  It seemed obvious that we should use our extra time to go for dessert, so we went to a little dessert place we’ve been meaning to check out.  The movie was great and was also short, so I was home and ready for bed by 9.30pm which always makes me a happy camper.  On the drive home we both kept saying “Wow, that was a perfect day!”.  We’re simple people, I guess.

This morning was masters swim.  It felt great to move my body around after yesterday’s post-race soreness.  I’m going to try to squeeze in my recovery run at lunch time and tonight we have our pre-marriage session with the minister of our wedding.

I have decided that I need a weekend away.  Away from work and away from the cold and the snow.  I think Finn and I are going to hit the road on Friday after work.  I don’t want to drive more than 5 hours but I’m hoping I can get somewhere warmer in that time and find somewhere to camp.  I have a two and a half hour outdoor ride on Sunday and I want to at least be COMFORTABLE doing it.  If anyone has any great ideas of places to go that are WARM and FUN and around 5 hours from Massachusetts, please don’t hold out on me.  And if anyone wants to join me, feel free!!