Thursday, February 26, 2009

Happy! Happy! Joy! Joy!

Thursday coming home on Damian I experienced sweet sweet bliss. I had read the chapter in "Base Building for Cyclists" on pedaling technique and I learned all about the mechanics of pedaling and power efficiency and when and how to push at what part of the stroke on the pedals and it transported me to a beautiful happy wonderful place. I achieved (with some effort and concentration) this BEAUTIFUL cadence where my legs were pumping simultaneously in perfect rhythm to eachother, spinning through higher gears at a faster cadence than I had ever done before - it was simply sublime. Beautiful. It's experiences like that which make me love cycling. Euphoria. And of course it snowed on Thursday, so I couldn't ride in.

I. am. done. with. snow. I. want. it. to. be. spring.

Friday (today) Paul is taking me out for an absolutely FABULOUS dinner at Le Gourmand, a quaint beautiful French restaurant that I am SO very excited about going to. Since reservations are for 7, I have to jet after work and between needing to get pretty and impracticality of biking, I've - once again - not biked in to work today. Which sucks, but there's balances that must be obtained in life. I can't ALWAYS do what I want. Meh.

So due to this and other things, I've decided this is my first "Rest Week" - even though I've really only taken Monday-Friday off-ish and that tomorrow I'll be officially starting my training schedule. After much bike-geeking and such last night with Andrew I've come up with a training schedule that doesn't really prescribe to the book's base training program, but since I'm coming from and going to a MUCH different place than the readers he's writing to - and I just prefer to do things my own way - I don't really mind that it's different. I learned a lot from the book though and highly recommend it to others if you're interested in cycling and raising your fitness ceiling/aerobic endurance.

My immediate goals are as follows:
1. Do a century (100 miles) on my bike in one straight shot
2. Do the 16 1/2 mile "hills route" to completion without getting out of the saddle
3. Be able to the "hills route" in a low exertion rate most of the entire way.

So I'm going to do around 23.75 hours (roughly) of exercise a week.
Monday = commute and 45 minutes easy cardio
Tuesday = commute, upper body weight lifting, dancing for several hours
Wednesday = commute (maybe) EASY day!!!
Thursday = commute + hills route
Friday = commute, 1 1/2 hours lower body weight lifting and core workout
Saturday = BIKE 2 hours focusing on technical skills (mountain biking)
Sunday = long ride, working up to a century. (76 mile goal this weekend....why 76 instead of 75? Because Paul's longest ride was only 75 miles. And I'm competitive...just a little bit :)

Every 4th week is a rest week where I'll do 2/3rd workload or less to let my body recuperate and build back up before I punish it again. Anyway, I'm stoked about this training and look forward to schluffing off more weight and increasing my power to weight ratio so the hills are easier. Speaking of weight - I'm down an even 40 lbs. now.

(Oh - and for those of you who are wondering why I'm talking about training, focusing on stuff like pedal technique, and all that stuff, I really want to try out cyclocross this fall/winter. So that's what I'm keeping in mind as a long term goal.)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Pretty, oh-so-pretty!

As I wasn't feeling particularly up or peppy or pretty today, I decided to spend some of my tax return money on a nice dress and white vintage bolero jacket. It was going to be used to go dancing, but my partner canceled for the chance at some nice powder skiing so now I'm taking Paul out to a nice dinner, which induces happy-warm-fuzzy, I-feel-pretty endorphins in my brain. I'm really excited. We're going to Troiani, which is where my company took me on a "Welcome" lunch and I loved the atmosphere and the food was really excellent. I've been back another time with a coworker and everything is just fabulous and the service is really great.

I love that at this point in my life I can decide to splurge a little, do something nice for myself, and feel good about it (not guilty). I'll take a picture of me in my pretty dress and post later on, as it's been quite a while since some of you have seen me and the dress is super pretty.

I also wanted to post some of my poetry today. It definitely another love of my life besides cycling and dancing and if Paul and Andrew have their way, skiing will be in there somewhere too. Frankly, the idea of all that fast awesome adrenaline filled *down* combined with the fact I don't have to trudge up the mountain for it is very appealing. So here's to one of the other aspects of me:

My lips leave marks of my passage
wherever they have touched,
coffee cups and napkin marks
stained by the essence
of my emerging beauty.
The metamorphosis is unseen by me,
but occasionally I notice
the lingering trails
of the marks I make
on the things around me.

Sock Poem
stripy knee-high socks
speak sexy soliloquies to society
rise regally, resiliently,
tenaciously cling to the tethers that tie you
lift yourself up by them,
strain to fill those bands of multicolors
with your vivacity, vigor, and verve.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Tracking week of 2.22.09-2.28.09

Wednesday 2.25.09
SLEEP: after blues dancing I got to bed at 2:30 am and woke up at 7 am (NOT GOOD) = 4.5 hours sleep
FOOD: 1590 (-390 off target)
walked 1 mile zone 2 = 80 calories
Biked 6.5 miles home = 300 calories **pedaling techniques/balancing on bike
Tuesday 2.24.09
SLEEP: 9 pm -5:30 am = 8.5 hours sleep
FOOD: 3178 (+668 calories off the target), I ate dinner with Paul at a really nice restaurant, worth every bite and calorie. :)
AM commute-6.5 miles = 300 calories burned
Treadmill - Cardio Zone 2 = 210 calories burned
Blues Dancing = 400 calories
Monday 2.23.09
Sleep: 9 hours
Food: 2110 calories
Exercise: none (recovery from yesterday, but also switching to a new training schedule).
Felt: physically felt really good, but got kinda sleepy/cranky later on in the day. It was really nice having the evening to myself as Paul went to see Andrew Bird, but I wasted a bit of it by sleeping ;)
Sunday 2.22.09
Sleep: 10.5 hours
Food: 2497 calories, should have reached 3850 for the amount of exercise I did, but fell asleep before I could eat much else
Exercise: 45 miles – 33 of which were the chilly hilly.

Sunday was a very good day.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Chilly Hilly, or the Fucking Hills Race

"The best rides are the ones where you bite off much more than you can chew—and live through it."Doug Bradbury

So I ditched the 75 mile goal and got sucked up into doing the Fucking Hills Race with Andrew and Paul. I say "with", but really we all did it at our own pace, as Andrew busted it out in 1 hour and 46 minutes and I did it in around 4? with a 20 minute break around the 1/2 way point. So I did a total of 45 miles today with 33 of them being some serious hills, (see elevation profile below or Cascade's website. It was about equal to doing my hills route 5 times. I've only completed the hills route once, and I had to walk quite a bit. I did a bit of walking my bike on the super steep inclines on this too, but I felt REALLY good about what I did. It was a huge accomplishment for me. I learned a lot about my breathing and what stage of exhaustion it indicates for me. I am pretty exhausted. I was going to ride with Andrew back and forth to fit a stem to the mountain bike, but crapped out because I'm fading VERY fast. Kinda bummed I didn't get to bike geek with him some more, but it won't be the last time we get together :)

I'm happy with today's results, though. I've got about 1600 calories more to consume today with about 3-4 hours left in the day and I don't know if I'm going to make it. Eating more food at this point sounds icky. I'll post today's final tallies tomorrow morning.


I am PAST half way to my goal!!! This morning's readout is 204.5 lbs. I've pushed past that plateau I was wandering around on for the last couple of weeks.


Saturday, February 21, 2009

Day Off/Tracking

This was my day off - I typically sleep A LOT on my day off, especially if I don't feel well (and until I got done with my nap, I didn't feel great today.) Sleep is really good for me and I LOVE IT.

I felt guilty a little bit because I had originally planned on doing mountain biking with Andrew for 1/2 of the day and bowed out because of my ankle. In the back of my head when I was watching a movie with Paul or going grocery shopping I kept thinking, I should read the rest of the book, find out my training load, and start outlining my training plan. The long term goal of finishing a cyclocross race in the fall and hitting my century, losing the weight so I have a better ratio of power to mass, and keeping on top of training is definitely a constant murmur amidst all I do. But I also REALLY enjoy having a day where I do nothing but catch up on sleep, have fun, and don't intentionally think about biking. There's just not enough time in a day, or week, or month, for me to do all I want/need to do. :)

Anyway, tomorrow's the Fucking Hills Race/Chilly Hilly Paul and Andrew are doing (33 miles of hills) Paul's not "racing", Andrew sort of is. I'm going downtown, to the island, see them off, putz around a bit, then bike back to the apartment, drop off my bag, and start in on my 75 mile ride. I'm hoping laying off my ankle and chilling out today will allow me to do it without issue. Paul bought me an odometer, so I actually should be able to keep track of how far I ride from now on.


So Andrew lent me his book of Base Building for Cyclists by Thomas Chapple. Really enlightening. The following is my thoughts/calculations that came out of the book

As a matter of record (having the information down), I have no idea what I originally started out at in July of 08, but in November of 08 I was at 37.5% body fat (I was VERY unhappy with that) and have dropped it down to 34.5% as of the end of Jan 09. My goal is to be at 20%.

Doing the whole figuring out the total necessary number of calories according to the books calculations (conservative estimates on how many calories I expend in my exercise) it says I should be sitting at 2412 calories. The trainer I was with said I should be shooting for 1500 calories a day. As this is around a 900 calorie difference, I'm going to go off of what I KNOW works as a baseline for me. When I wasn’t doing a lot of physical activity 1600 cals a day was awesome – I wasn’t hungry and I lost weight at a reasonable pace. So that means 1600+600 for biking (for biking into work) +100 for exercise (if I lift weights/run/dance)= 2300.

Goals should be:
Calories: 2300 (adjusted to my activity level EACH DAY - don't bike in, cut 600 cals, bike 75 miles, increase calories accordingly.)
Fat: 690
Carbs: 1035
Protein: 575
Water: 144 ish oz

Other things I learned: I need to increase my iron since I have a propensity to be anemic. To do that I need to cut down on the coffee and get more calcium to increase absorption. As well as drinking A LOT more water. I got kinda lost with VO2 max and lactate maximum/UTT thresholds and the like. I have a feeling I'm going to read this book many times during the next couple of years and focus more on different parts each time.

I want to be the best I can. I want to have the courge and the determination and the resolve to do what I think I can't, and then keep going. I want to be proud of what I've accomplished.
After much debate, I'm going to track the hell out of everything for training purposes, but not going to post all the crap here, as this should be more of staying in touch with people.

Friday, February 20, 2009


Check out Andrew's blog . He's a good friend, and my dancing/cycling partner. Naturally inclined to be super gnar, he's help reshape both my body through insistence on going out and doing fun stuff, and his unique view on life.


God it's pretty out! I wish I were riding rather than sitting in an office chair. My right ankle's being a little tempermental, I hope it doesn't interfere with dancing tonight. Wanted to post a few poems (I write poetry and will post quite a few).

click, click
click, click
gears run out
can't go any higher
can't go any harder
so push push push
to increase the speed of the spin
to match the rush of adrenaline
to the rush of the wind.
under the tires
the road sings
in subliminal monotones,
whispering secrets of soothing zen
if only one can listen.
it promises to set me free.


The word for the day is:
\p-'r-m-'รค-l-jist\ n : a student of proverbs

And the quotesbelow are what I need to be reminded of right now:

Our greatest battles are that with our own minds.
Jameson Frank

If you doubt you can accomplish something, then you can't accomplish it. You have to have confidence in your ability, and then be tough enough to follow through.
Rosalyn Carter

So long as there is breath in me, that long I will persist. For now I know one of the greatest principles on success; if I persist long enough I will win.
Og Mandino

Thursday, February 19, 2009


*sigh* Paul, has a way with words and today's word is definitely "RESTLESS". I don't even know where I want to start with this. So here's a sampling smorgasbord I guess.

Past History/Background: I'm a good ol' Kansas girl who was a city girl at heart who moved up to the big city of Seattle, fell in love with it. I came from an unusual family background: mom's gay married for 15+ years to a woman who has had a ....lasting impression on my life. A good person but an alcoholic. My father remarried a Canadian Mormon. My brother is a really good guy, a bit lazy, but a really good friend now that I don't live with him. Went to college looking to get a PhD in Literature to teach English at a university, but ended up meeting my late husband there. After about 2 years together we moved out to Seattle and I worked as an assistant manager/baker/barista/all around whatever in a great cafe that was run by a non-profit until they closed to help put Richard (late husband) through college, which he dropped out of. Ended up marrying him 5/18/08 and getting a job at which is an amazing architectural/interior design/planning firm. Basically around 9/09 the crap the two of us had been circling around in our relationship for the past 6 years blew up in our faces and I ended up getting together with Paul and Richard ended up committing suicide.

You know - regardless of how I put it or say it or write it, there's no good way to say it. It sucked, but it's over and I'm living my life now in a way I have never before. I'm not callous, but I'm also realistic and daily - momentarily - faced with the option of being happy or not being happy. I guess I chose to pick being happy (as well as I can). Some days it's easier than others, but most days it comes naturally.

Why I started this: I want to chronicle my journey towards, as corny as this sounds, the me I want to be. For the last 6 years or so I've been lethargic, depressed, sedentary, and generally glued to my couch and the TV. I wasn't happy with the way I looked or the way I acted or the way I communicated, or the way I did things. Last July I decided to change. At 243.5 lbs and 5'7 3/4" I was severely overweight. That was my first target of attack. I want to be around 165-167. Works with my frame and is a realistic goal, blah blah blah. I've dropped roughly 35 lbs since and am sitting around 208 right now. I tracked every bite of food and every exercise for the past 6 months or so, but am at the point right now where I just want to live my life and have the weight loss happen as a byproduct of being the active person I've become. I also want to try out cyclocross this fall (target is labor day) so I'm kind of going to use this as a tracking source for that as well. I've also undergone MAJOR ....revelations? I guess would be the right word, in my mental and emotional state and how I think about myself and how I feel towards others, me, life in general, so would like to work through those too. Maybe this will be a quick easy way for others in my life to keep up with what's happening too, as right now I'm really busy with living and don't have much time to talk to all those who I want to.

As for what I do "training" wise, generally I try to lift weights 2 times a week for at least an hour at the gym over lunch. Do at least 30 minutes of running twice a week, I bike commute 13 miles a day to work everyday that isn't icy or snowy. I try to do a hills route to muscle failure once a week, I dance for at least 2 hours at least one day a week and I'm working towards 100 miles on my bike, or a century. I do a long ride once a week when life or sickness don't get in the way.

This week's been kinda off as last weekend Paul and I took a train to Portland (which is an AMAZING way to travel, by the way). I ate what I wanted and drank 5 beers on Saturday, which is unusual for me in the extreme. But it was my first time going to a strip joint and it was definitely an experience. I had a good time, but it's not really my thing. Although, one of the strippers had a nipple piercing that look really awesome, so I went out and got one on Sunday. Monday I came back, rode 6.5 miles in headwind which sucked, and slept most of the day decompressing as Paul's friend we stayed with was a little exhausting.

Tuesday I didn't bike in to work, biked at the gym for an hour, ate around 2000? cal, danced blues for 3 hours or so hanging out with my friend Andrew and promptly crashed into bed when I got home at around 1:30ish.

Wednesday I didn't bike in (I wanted to leave the mess bag at home and try panniers instead due to the piercing, but didn't get the chance to set up the bike because of the late dancing on Tuesday). Ate like 2300 cal - totally imbalanced and felt really crappy at night, so crashed after spending some time with Paul at 8:30ish

I guess that brings us to today. Bike commute to work + going out to 80th and back twice = 17 miles (ish, I need to get an odometer). I ran for 40 minutes and did an hour of weight lifting (lower back, abdomen, and a bit of arms today) I had around 2070 cals. I would have been better if I cut out the muffin.

Like I said, this week's kinda off, but I have a feeling if I focus on the crap that's been swirling around incessantly in my brain I might be able to regain my focus. I'm kind of going nuts because I want to talk to someone about all that's going on in my silly brain, but no one seems like the right candidate. Which always tends to drive me a little crazy because my first inclination is to distract myself, but I know that never solves anything and just ends up with this distracted restlessness that eats into my goals. It doesn't solve the problem, usually makes it worse and makes me cranky in the meantime.

It's this whole realization of negative habits I've created in the past and realizing how ineffective they are but not knowing how else to proceed that is stumping me a bit. Besides the fact that I don't get a whole lot of time to decompress and chill between working out and a job and you know that silly thing sleep that I keep putting figuring this shit out.

Everything takes courage and sometimes I'm not sure I have the gumption to power through the really icky part. Right now I'm feeling very unpowering throughness welling up inside, shrinking me back from ideas and thoughts. It's the same broken cycle that brought me down when I was with Rich. It's a lot better because several elements are different - I realize I'm doing I'm doing this, I'm kinder with myself - more accepting - etc... I have a really great positive environment around me with people who love me (or at least have a great time with me and make me happy) Plus, I really am trying to work through it and I'm not just distracting myself. I know where some of the root problems are and I'm poking at them a bit. They're just biting back. They don't like to be poked all that much.

:) I really wouldn't be me if I didn't poke the deep dark things, though. I like probing past where it's comfy and examining the real reasons I do and think (and other people do and think) they way I/we do. It's just easier to do with others, harder to do with myself. Because I don't have to live inside other people's heads, as infinitely interesting as I would find that.

So fun dancing tomorrow is on the agenda. I might go to a coffee shop and try to line my thoughts up a bit on these mind squigglies and get them straightened out so I can focus a little more.

...."It never gets easier, you just go faster."

The Beginning

I've been thinking (and trying) to keep a journal forever, but it never seems to make much sense or actually come about. But I'd like to track the road I'm on right now and have a record of it. It's definitly something and someplace I've never been before and I'm constantly CONSTANTLY learning about myself and what I'm made of.

So here's to the start.