Sunday, November 30, 2008

Palmer Cx That Wasn't

Instinct. Go with your instinct on everything. That's the relatively new mantra I've established for myself and it's working out quite well so far. Last night after a long drive back from NY from visiting family and gaining 5 pounds in less than 48 hours, I waffled on the idea on making the trek back out toward western Ma having the entire day sucked up completely for one cyclocross race smack in the middle of the day. I decided nope and stuck with it. God knows I needed to burn off some calories though. Geesh. Every year it's the same thing, Thanksgiving weekend away is completely centered around eating and I always come home feeling like

I did manage a long run today, some on line Xmas shopping sandwiched in between lots of laundry but here's where I've been hanging out most of the day. It's snowy,wet and raw outside which made me feel even better I didn't race today after all.

I did venture out to hang my wreaths the Boy Scouts dropped off. I know you all want my girly boots and my flannel lined J Crew chinos, right???????? Tis the season. Let the bargain hunting and tree trimming begin

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Benevolent And Protective Order of Elks Lodge #95

When I spoke to my dad this week he invited me to the annual turkey raffle at his local Elks lodge Saturday night. Stop laughing!!! How could I say no? Spending quality time with my dad has seemed somewhat minimal so taking advantage of the off season, I went to hang with my family for a little imbibing and turkey raffle excitement on a Saturday night. Wooo Hooo. I felt REALLY YOUNG among the attending. Loved that!

Turkey Raffle tickets and my red wine in a lovely plastic cup

Check it out! I scored some schwag but no turkey.

My sister on the other hand, won 2 turkeys. Dad (in the background) is happy Daughter #1 and Daughter #2 as he affectionately calls us, took home the goods.

Hangin' with my nephew is always a treat too. Here's to a season of gratefulness and an appreciation of family and how important they are. With the passing of Margaret still very fresh in my mind and heart, it's all too important for me to take a step back and remind myself to not take life and it's very simple pleasures and joys for granted. Happy safe travels and I hope you all have a great holiday with your families too.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Lowell Cross

I went. I got muddy. I didn't break anything.

Slip 'n Slide way-too-long mud pit.

What a clean up post race.

Here I am entering that muddy long section totally forgetting what Cathy taught me last Wednesday with the sand practice and tensing up midway thru and getting bogged down only to have to GET OFF and run my bike the rest of the way while seeming to lose another placing each time in this section. Duh.

Thanks Jamie for this pic proving I suck at riding mud. Honey, if you are reading this,does my butt look big in these shorts? Ha ha! So much for the no candy October and Veggie/fruitpaloosa November challenge... geesh.....
Happy to be done with no face plants in the mud that I witnessed with the CAT 4 men in the race prior to mine. Yikes..they were going down like bowling pins!

Thursday, November 13, 2008


nothin' like it when you come out of the chilly ocean water and you just want to plant yourself on a towel and shimmy the perfect indentation to cradle yourself in it's warmth and drift off. Ahhhhhhhhh.

Riding a bike through it is another story.

Last night I reluctantly dragged myself to my friend Cathy's house in Bedford for cross practice. I'm gonna be totally honesty here. It took a SERIOUSLY BIG SPATULA to lift my sorry ass up and out the door from work to go ride in the dark and cold. ICK. Like I stated in my last post, I felt out of the loop missing 2 weekends of cross racing and I felt FLAT ( and lets add FAT to that) and UNMOTIVATED.

Once getting there and I got started with the workout,I quickly learned it was worth the effort. First we did backyard grass cornering skills.Then 4 ~3min interval sprints down the bike path focusing on speed. Next up 20+ minute/5 lap mock race on a fast 1.24 mile course w/ sub 5minute laps - focus on speed, skills and race tactics - maintain "loose power" through the sand sections.

The sand sections? Maintain what? The sand section was a beach area surrounding a small pond. By the time we got to the 5 lap section of the workout, my light died. Pity. I'll have to go home now as I stood there fiddling with my dead battery. With five other people there I decided it would be best to not wuss out completely and modified what I would do.

Instead, of completing the laps, first I played around in this fun little park in the moonlight

darting though the twists and turn of the now vacant and lonely water toys. Then I decided I would venture into the sand. Cathy gave me some really good tips and by the end of the workout, I could ride the entire loop of beach twice without bogging down and having to get off. Oh, and not riding right into the pond. Yippee!!!! I think it helped that I only had moonlight to work with which in turn made the beach sand a bit out of focus. What you can't see, can't scare you right?

Post ride, Cath and Mike fired up the grill and hosted us for a great dinner. Awesome!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Random Stuff

I'm in a fog today. Is it really Monday already? Yikes. The weekend was a whirlwind. After much thought, we decided to pack up the car and head to Scranton PA from here in MA for Margaret's Wake and Funeral on Friday and Saturday. A memorial service is planned for her November 23rd here in Boston as well and we contemplated attending just the memorial but my gut feeling was to go to PA and honestly, I really wanted to be there. This was not a matter of what was going to be more convenient. It was the right thing to do and I'm so glad to have gotten to meet her brother, her dad and her mom. It was a very tough weekend for all but also very apparent that her family was ever so grateful for all of the support surrounding them.

In other news, I've missed 2 weekends of cyclocross racing due to more important life obligations so I'm feeling out of the loop but trying to maintain some sort of fitness both on the trainer and getting outside when possible. I've started running again after a long hiatus. My goal this fall is to completely heal all nagging injuries and it's been a slow process.
Also I've decided to go the controversial MAF route in building up a solid base. My biggest mistake last season was jumping back into running way too quickly and intensely last January and I paid dearly for it by missing my Ironman and insisting on dragging myself through a season plagued with nagging injuries. Time for a fresh start with some new ideas.
So as a very disciplined individual, if I'm supposed to run uphills, downhills, in the dark, rain or snow with a heart rate of 140, damn it,I'm gonna do it. Special thanks to Kerrie for helping me get started with this endeavor.

Keep up the great work on the 5-O-day challenge all who are participating!!