Monday, February 26, 2007

The times they are a'changin'

Well, I just got back from girls' weekend away. It was fun, but also a little melancholy. It feels a bit like the end of an era. For many years, the group had a heavy leaning toward single girls. Then, people started getting married. A couple babies were born, but then those ladies moved away relatively quickly to go to lower cost of living areas. Right now, we have 3 expectant mothers in the group.

Photo of some of the girls at my wedding

Our usual wine tastings gave way to afternoon naps. I made a huge pot of Peets super-strong the first morning and it sat and burned down, because everyone was bellying up to the counter for decaf. All the cheeses and meats had to be screened for pasteurization and nitrates. I think this was the first trip ever where I was the low-maintenance eater :-) None of these things are bad. They are just signs that big changes are on the horizon and that time is marching on and that we are no longer young and carefree. Our next retreat will either feature three newborns or three less women. Will our group come out of the toddler stage intact, or will more of them flee the Bay Area? Hard to say.

We did have some fun discussions around baby name selection and how some of the maternity clothes purchased were more cutting-edge than the normal wardrobes of the women.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Finally, something good on TV!

So, the Vs. TOC coverage isn't live and it isn't comprehensive, but it sure is fun to have something interesting to watch in the evening. And, I get my daily lesson in race tactics. Poor George Hincapie - he was in great position for the sprint, but just went too early and fizzled out. I was happy to see JJ Haedo burst forth from the mob for the stage win, though!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Here comes Peter Cottontail.....

Being in the Bay Area, I am accustomed to dodging squirrels frequently on bike rides. Today, I got to dodge something entirely new. I was riding through downtown San Jose on my way to class at SJSU this morning. Out the corner of my eye, I spot the movement of a sketchy critter on the side of the road. I look down and spy two rabbits - one big white one and one little brown one. What were they doing on the road? Someone's pet, or someone's dinner, or feral bunnies?

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Mystery bruises....

It seems every time I go to a race, I come up with mystery bruises on my legs in the days following. Now, I have a long bruise on the inside of my right knee and a small one on the inside of my left knee. What the heck am I banging into?

Monday, February 12, 2007

Is the Old Wives' Tale true? No, probably not.

A few hours after the rain crit on Saturday, I started coming down with a cold. Now that it's warm and sunny outside, I'm all cooped up trying to get well and not infect my comrades at work.

So, I called my mom yesterday to report that I had survived the race and that Jen and Anna had gotten first place. I also mentioned that I was sick. Well, I got a scolding and was told to remember that the next time I think about racing in the rain. I tried to explain that colds are caused by germs and not wetness and that I was likely sick long before the race....but sometimes those cultural misconceptions are hard to overcome. Oh well. She was happy that we were safe and that we won.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Rain Crit

Well, the girls and I made a showing at the Apple Pie Criterium in Santa Rosa today. It's been raining for 4 days straight. But, we decided the exercise would be good for us. About halfway through the race, it turned from a light rain to a torrential downpour. It was a surreal experience. I had rainwater mixed with sweat running down my face. My glasses were fogged. I was following the colorful shapes in front of me. But, we made the most of it, and our team won both the women's 3/4 and the women's 30+ categories. And, it was a safe race. What more could a girl want?

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Losing Weight = Good Investment

So, I'll be the first to admit I have an obsession with weight - primarily removing some. So, with the 'buy what you know' strategy in mind, I picked up some shares of a popular weight management program in August. I was thinking that the end of bathing suit season should be a low point for sales, and that there should be a hearty upswing come the new year and resolutions to lose weight. I looked today, and it's up 40% now (yeah, in 6 months). I think it is my new favorite stock.

Next on my list is to buy is a space-age mattress stock, because gosh darnit, I just looooove the new mattress! And, they manufacture in the U.S.A. Shocking, but good!

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Pressed my first headset, a.k.a. stack height woes

Well, I finally learned how to press a headset today. I was very excited. I had gotten a Record headset that was of similar vintage to my lovely Mondonico. It was new in box. It went on without a hitch....that is until we threaded on the top cup, and there were no threads left for the nut at the top :( Stack height is 40mm. The Ultegra that was on there before was 37.5. Now I know why the shop defaced my lovely Italian bike with the Japanese part. I am so sad. :( Back to the drawing board.

Anyone want to buy a new, partially installed Record headset from 1996?

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Help! I'm drowning! (a really long post, finally getting to the point at the end)

I belong to this women's group with 9 women of different ages and backgrounds who are followers of Christ. It's grown organically, and the core group has been together since 1996. We do this ancient scripture meditation called 'Lectio Divina'. The general idea is that someone reads a passage of scripture out loud, and the rest of the group listens for a word or phrase that sticks in her mind. The passage is read several times followed by an extended period of silence for reflection. The idea is that God will speak to through whatever jumps out of the passage. We then share our reflections with the group.

Usually, I get general niceties like 'God loves me despite my faults', 'I need to be less selfish', 'I need to make space for God in my life'. Some of the girls get really specific things like 'God is calling me to move to X neighborhood to help serve the poor'. That doesn't usually happen for me. Maybe I'm not able to really be present most of the time. I don't know. But, I still appreciate the discipline of the exercise and being silent to reflect.

In any case, last night I got a specific message. The passage was Ecclesiastes 1:1-11. In the translation we were reading the phrase that stuck out to me was:
"What's there to show for a lifetime...of working your fingers to the bone?"

So, in addition full time work (which is going full-steam right now), I also am finishing up a master's degree with 3 classes this semester, and racing my bike (go Velo Girls!), and trying to squeeze in family visits and a marriage and keep up some friendships that aren't a part of those 3 activities around the edges....and....well you get the idea. I have lots of working my fingers to the bone. What will I have to show for all this stuff? Right now, I'm in such survival mode, that I am not fully present to any of the relationships in my life. That's not OK. I'm passing over what is eternal for what is a fleeting vapor.

So, I felt like God was calling me specifically to do a few things to pull back where I can:

1. Avoid going to races that were not in my plan for the season....
There are lots of fun races out there that the team is going to do, and I really want to go to some of them and contribute. But, until mid-May, I need to suspend that desire and leave time to survive the semester. Those races will be there next year, and I will be done with school then.

2. Don't over promise on any school project....
I need to clearly state up front what I intend to contribute to the various class projects and not get sucked into picking up additional work - either out of a desire to control things or to go above and beyond. Just do what I promise and do it well.

3. Make clear boundaries at work....
I need to make clear boundaries for projects that were not planned and delegate when my plate is full. I cannot afford to work evenings and weekends for the next few months. Also, I've maxed out my vacation and need to take a day off each pay period. I need to put it in and take it and not get sucked into checking work email on those days, but rather use them for school work and training.

4. Put priority on my marriage....
Because that's my most important relationship. Yes, I need to carve out time for lounging around in bed with my sweetie, and cycling with my sweetie, and having enough mind share to pay attention to what he's saying at dinner. And, I need to tell him how much I appreciate him and how I couldn't survive my life right now without all that he does for me....

OK, that was pretty specific. I guess I'm putting it out here in cyberspace so those who know me can hold me to what I know I need to do. That's it. I promise to be less philosophical for a few posts after this.