16 November 2008

I love cyclocross

What a perfect day for 'cross...it was snowing.  The ground was soft...so, we did an appropriately good job of tearing up the turf at the park.  Things were muddy, leafy, sloppy, slow, and just awesome.  When I think of 'cross I think of this weather.

Sure, it's an hour (45 minutes for us B's) of misery.  And, I hate it the whole time I'm out there...but, as soon as it's all done and I look around at all my friends covered in mud...I just think how freakin' cool it is.  I could have spent the afternoon on the couch (and still might).  But, it wouldn't have been nearly as much fun!

10 November 2008

Family Photos

07 November 2008


As usual, I've been lazy with my blog.  And, as usual, MC was around to give me the kick in the ass I deserve.  So, MC, this one's for you.

What to discuss, what to discuss...

Riding?  Man, I'd love to talk it up about all my cool adventures...but, I haven't really had any.  Haven't ridden much at all.  I did a nice ride with MC and J2 last Thursday.  Then, I did the KissCross on Sunday.  And, somehow, I managed to crash my brains out.  Ripped a good chunk of my bar tape off, shredded the shoulder of my jersey, shredded my shoulder, my forearm, my knee, bruised my hip, and shoulder, bled a lot, and left some dandy marks on my helmet.  Other than that...it was a ton of fun!

How about work?  Well, that seems like a reasonable topic.  Why?  Because it's just about all I've been doing lately.  I don't know...I guess that is good and bad.  It's nice to have a mission...it's nice to be recognized for being good at your job...it's nice to have people rely on you.  On the other hand...that means more responsibility, more work, higher expectations, more travel, more unpleasant tasks, and more chances to fail.  I guess the whole thing makes me tired...I sort of can't figure out how I feel about the whole thing.  And, more importantly, WHY I feel anything at all about it.  Feeling isn't what I do...so, where did that come from?  Is this what it feels like to be an a grown-up?

It's been a weird trip this past couple months.  I've made some new friends at work...and, because of that I feel like I have a stronger sense of purpose professionally.  I've made a lot of new friends through JDRF...many of whom I feel really close with...and, the combination of the charitable portion, the team portion, and the physical demands of that group have left a real impression on me.  Feels like I'm a little bit different person now than I was a few months ago.  The weirdness of that is that I'm not exactly sure I could pin down what has changed.  I just know it all feels different...and, the fact that I'm considering how it "feels" is different in its own right.

Maybe I'm just suffering some lingering fatigue from the end of the cycling season.  I didn't go out and become a world  champion or anything...but, I sure made a hell of a lot of progress compared with the previous year.  And, maybe I'm still suffering from a lingering sadness that the whole Death Valley thing is done.  It was just so much bigger, better, hotter, more difficult and more emotional than I was expecting.  Perhaps that bit of sadness I was carrying with me as I got on the bus to go home is still hanging around.

Then again, it's been a long while since I've been so excited about what is happening at work.  I have a great team in my store...and, I've been given some degree of a "hall pass" as my friend Erin called it...so, I've been able to start doing some team building outside of my own store.  This is more than just the trouble shooting I've done in the past.  This is a chance to leave my fingerprints in a more lasting way on the store, the business, and the lives of the employees I work with.  It's tough not to get excited about that.

This is an interesting time for me...I hope I feel this positive in January when all the real change will be coming.

21 October 2008

A Lost Day

Not sure how I feel today.  Recovery has been tougher than I thought it would be.  Jet lag, the ride, the heat, the sense that the whole thing is done...I'm not sure what is causing it.

Haven't eaten much since Saturday night.  Ate almost nothing on Sunday...a biscuit for breakfast, shared a bag of snack mix with Spooner on the plane, and had some subway on Sunday night.  

No breafast, no lunch on Monday...went out to dinner with family on Monday evening to Carrabas (a place where I can generally be counted upon to stuff myself!) and ate almost nothing.  Half a bowl of soup and some bread.  Brought my pasta home.

Still not hungry today...no food yet.  I figure I've eaten about 1000 calories since Sunday morning.  That is a trend that is distinctly in contrast to my normal, glutonous, habits.

Plus, I just feel weird.  Not too sore.  Not too stiff.  More like sad, I guess.  My head was really loopy all day yesterday.  Felt like I had a bad case of medicine head.  Sort of a slow motion type of a day.

Today is similar.  My head feels clearer, but hardly clear. I'm still feeling sort of lost.  I'll probably feel better after the ride tonight...I need to get some cool air in my lungs, get some miles in my legs, and try to clear my head.

I'm not whining, mind you.  Or, at least, I'm not trying to...you may disagree.  I suppose I'm just not sure what to do.  I have the day off.  Karin and the kids are gone.  I have the house to myself.  Sounds like a great time for a nap...but, I'm not tired.  Not hungry.  And, not the least bit motivated to do anything.

I need to ride tonight!

19 October 2008

Bloggin from Death Valley

Well...it's over.  I'm done.  I quit.  feh.

Death Valley is an astonishing place.  Alien in a way that defies my ability to describe...and, thus, a totally unique riding experience.  A vast expanse of sand, gravel and rocks.  A concrete ribbon winding across the salt, the scrub, and the vast, unexplainable expanse.

The ride was brutal...the length, the climb at the end, the utterly oppressive unending heat.  I was tired at the end in a way that I've never been before.  I was totally, completely, fully spent.  The road hurt, the checkpoints healed.  Each checkpoint along the way was an opportunity to return to some level of humanity.  Then, it was back to the road and back to being a machine...unthinking, unending, pedaling machine...with a broken radiator! Overheating wasn't a momentary problem to be fixed.  It was a way of life.  It was the primary feature of my existence for about 8 hours.

Why keep going?  Because I said I would.  Because my wife, my kids, my family, and my friends were pulling for me.  Because of that little picture of Katie's daughters on my handlebars.  Because DiD, Rick, and Spooner were there, suffering with me...as a team.  Looking out for one another.  Pulling for one another.  Because there were people on that course who were going to be out there a lot longer than me...and they weren't going to quit.  Because the coaches were out there, in force, helping people pedal...a lot...making multiple trips up Jubilee pass...and, if they weren't quiting, how could I?

In the end, it was another team mate, Ted, who got me home.  He finished his ride, turned around, and went back on the course to help people out.  He found me with about 4 miles to go...and, helped drag me home.  He had a cold bottle of water...a rare treat on the course.  He broke the wind in front of me.  He talked to me. He made me think about things other than how much I hurt.  He was, in short, awesome.  Yet, he is typical of the type of people on this team.

DiD, made multiple trips up Jubilee pas in order to help some people out.  Jasker?  Same deal.  Ted went back out again after he helped me.

So, why would I ever do this again?  Because it would be an injustice to the team that helped me if I didn't help someone next year.

See you then!