Friday, March 30, 2007

Grief - that crouching tiger... stalks you and jumps out when you least expect it. That's something my friend Nancy always says. I've found it to be true.

This morning was a good morning. I'd had a great yoga session last night, a good night of sleep, the sun was shining, I have a rest day today, and I'm wearing new shoes.

Absolutely nothing to be sad about....Then it pounced.

A Honda Odyssey passed by - one with four swinging doors instead of sliders - the same kind my grandpa drove. I was thinking of the time we visited home in August after the San Ardo Road Race and how on that Sunday afternoon we loaded him into that mini van after lunch. We helped him get his lifeless foot in the door, the one that hung at at the bottom of his slender legs all clad in sweat pants and tube socks and those funny black tennis shoes with the velcro closures. All clothing choices based on rapidly declining functionality. I remembered kissing him on his weathered and unshaven cheek and squeezing his angular shoulders.

My eyes welled up as I approached my off ramp for work. Then, as I waited at the light, I saw a hummingbird dancing above the street sign and the tiger slipped away as quickly as it had come.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Weekend o' Pain - Another Crit and a TT

The weekend started off with a crit in Santa Rosa. I put the picture of us at the line, because that was the last time we were all together in the race. It was a Category 3/4 and Open 30+ and a team of 8 Cat 2 women showed up to 'warm up' for their afternoon race. Needless to say, the pack was shattered from the start. I spent a lot of time in no-mans land. 4 of our team managed to hang on, but unfortunately one crashed in the last two laps and will be sitting on the sidelines for 6 weeks with a broken clavicle. The other 3 that survived all ended up in the top 10 for their categories, which isn't bad considering the circumstances!

Sunday, I raced with one of my more petite team mates at the Berkeley Hills Team Time Trial. We were sort of a weird combination - both good at TT, but me definitely faster in the flats and downhills and her definitely faster in the uphills. It was a challenge of how to race together and not limit each other too much. She led the downs and I led the ups. We split the flats down the middle. We shaved 7 minutes off our pre-ride time and were happy to get 5th place.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Flash Flood at our Office

Yesterday, after returning from lunch several people ran inside shouting "Don't go outside! It's a gullywasher!" Of course, I ran to the window to see the hardest rain shower I've ever seen in California. And, it didn't taper off after a couple minutes like they usually do. It kept going for 20 minutes at that rate and then tapered off a little for the next hour. We were estimating it rained about 2 inches in the hour.

About 5 minutes into the torrent, the front desk sent a message to the whole office that the parking garage was flooding.

Most people got their cars moved before it got too deep. The two cars in the back of the photo fared the worst. You can see a guy crawling in through his trunk to avoid opening his doors. He was able to move his car. The Audi next to it was completely flooded in the engine compartment and had to be towed. But, not before the owner (one of our marketing guys) waded out in his tighty-whities to try to start it.

Of course, my bike was happily stowed away in the indoor bike parking....

Monday, March 19, 2007

What to do first?

DONE1. Start working on my term paper for a class (all the materials are gathered)
2. Start working on my final assignment for the other class
3. Review vendor proposals for my special project
DONE4. Continue debugging the perl script for work
DONE5. Return a call about some freelance work (as if I have time to do it)
6. Fret about my two-race weekend coming up and its logistics
DONE7. Register for race #1 of the weekend
DONE8. Go inspect my front bike tire for weirdness, since the front end felt like it was 'slithering' and not tracking straight on the way in to work
9. Call Grandma
DONE10. Go down to the gym and do my core workout
DONE11. Clean/organize my desk
DONE12. Update my training journal
DONE13. Call bike shop about headset I'm waiting for
14. Take a nap

Friday, March 16, 2007

I've sinned, and there is no repentance in my heart

I had an unplanned bike ride today (a very mellow one) to Foothill College to observe a class for my master's program. It felt wrong to drive for the 4th day in a row - especially since Foothill was celebrating an early Earth Day today. So, no snack. Then, I rolled into work at 11:30 and felt too guilty to go out to get food. So, I scrounged up some stir-fried udon noodles and vegetables left over from our customer training class in the lunchroom (calorie defecit at record level at this point).

At 3:30, I finally had enough of a break to escape for my afternoon jolt at Starbuck's. I was feeling hungry, and there it was calling to me from the pastry case - an oooey, gooey fudge brownie with caramel. I brought it back to my desk and savored every one of its 580 calories. I even tore the bag open to make sure I didn't miss any crumbs or globs of caramel. I know it was wrong, but it felt so good! I guess I'll have to skip the St. Patty's Day social upstairs as part of my penance. I can't really justify a beer before riding my bike home anyway.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Me in a skinsuit! Who wouldda thunk it?

I promised photographic evidence of the new kits, so here it is. This is me at the Tri Flow Menlo Park Grand Prix last weekend. If you'd told me 3 years ago that I would wear a one piece spandex suit on my bike, I would have said you are loco. You see, at heart I am a connoisseur of all things phredly - wool, steel and fenders. My how times have changed!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The C-40 has arrived and a sad story....

Well, there it honey's new, very fancy, Eurotrash bike with full 10 speed Chorus group. I picked him up at the train station with it after work on Monday. He had been talking about getting a lighter bike for a while. He used to be able to ride his touring bike with me on workouts. Then, he could only keep up with it on 'easy spin' days. Now my 'easy spin' requires that he actually get something light with racing tires so he's not doing lactate intervals while I am doing 'easy spin'. And, he might want to enter races like Mt. San Bruno hill climb and Mt. Tam hill climb (he's a billy goat and I'm a big-engine sprinter type). So, he'd been looking at getting a Ritchey Breakaway titanium so it would be light and he could travel. Anyway, I digress....

His new boss somehow got engaged in the conversation and suggested that he might have just the thing. It turns out his older brother, Kurt, was an avid cyclist in New York, and an avid smoker as well. Kurt was riding a century last year and had a massive heart attack and died. Kurt's bike ended up with the new boss. He rides a little, but it's more like the bike path with his wife and kids in tow. He has no need for an uber-fast racing machine. Nor does he have the time and energy to sell the bike. So, he *gave* my man the bike.

We're going to make a few mods to make it more user-friendly, like maybe a compact crank, a wider cassette, and move the Chris King clinchers over from another bike we're going to sell. I will probably take over the carbon wheels for the occasional TT race or fast crit.

In any event, it's an incredible gift. Hopefully, Kurt's memory will be honored by his bike seeing many happy miles along the roads in California.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

The end is in sight!

This journey that began on September 1, 2004, will end in December 2007. I filed my intent to graduate with a master's of Library and Information Science today! After spending my first semester preparing for my wedding and the second semester remodeling our house, it felt like the finish line would never come. Below, witness the starting document and the finishing document:

Friday, March 2, 2007