Monday, February 22, 2010

The Worst Day of the Year!

Modeled after Portland's Worst Day of the Year Bike Ride, our fair town started their own tradition this year. Come rain, or sleet, or in this case, snow, you show up and ride.

Unlike the Portland ride, which is takes 2-5 hours, the ride here this year was a scant 10 miles. I don't think I've actually been on my bike since the Glenwood Triathlon, which is pretty sad. With the snow finally melting off the road, I'm excited to get back into 20+ mile rides in the country around Colorado National Monument.

We spent our ten miles on various trails down by the Colorado river. It was nice to go for a ride with my husband. Our tickets included lunch, and costumes were encouraged. M dressed up as a cowboy (including a cowboy hat cable tied to his helmet), and I dressed as a flapper girl complete with gloves and a feather boa. M got interviewed by two of the three news stations here; he got comments from his co-workers this morning asking where his "six shooters" were. He showed them off for the NBC affiliate.

Here we are after the ride. Sadly, we had already put our bikes away or you could see how dirty the back wheels got.

The sponsors gave out prizes for the best costumes. I really thought we had a chance, as only 6-8 people actually dressed up, but it was not meant to be. We left before the end (you could show up anytime between 11am-3pm), so maybe you had to be present to win. Oh well, we're already planning on how to go "bigger" next year.

Monday, February 15, 2010

No longer a hamster on the wheel

I have been struggling the past month or so, trying to figure out how I want to set up my training schedule, what I want to get out of it, and how to balance work/home/fitness/life. The fact that my husband makes incredible chocolate chip cookies is *not* helping.

I had the day off today, and planned to take M's car to have it detailed as his V-Day gift (thanks to my friend Jill for this suggestion). The car wash is 2 miles from the house, so I drove down for the appointment and got my run in coming back to the house.

What a difference being outside makes! Its been so long since I've run outside that I almost couldn't remember why I hate the treadmill. Don't get me wrong, the treadmill has its purpose; speed intervals, hills (when its hard to find a safe one in town), and help with maintaining a constant speed. It also gives me a chance to watch NBC Nightly News and drool over Brian Williams. But, all of this fails in comparison to actually being outside. To see that you are actually going somewhere. To smell fresh air instead of gym sweat. To no longer feel like a hamster on its wheel, spinning and spinning but going nowhere. Oh outdoors, how I've missed you.

It has been an unusual winter here in our valley, we received more snow here back in December than we have in the past 20 years. That snow (and the subsequent storms) have finally melted enough that we can take down our Christmas lights. Because we live in a valley, we often get an inversion over the area. This traps in a lot of smog and pollen; it is not very conducive to running outside. It lifted this past weekend, so I took advantage this morning. All 25 degrees of it. I also walked back those two miles to pick M's car up. I tried to get M to go swimming with me today also, but that was a bust. Maybe I will go tonight after dinner (and after they put the lanes back. 5:30 is "aqua fitness" at our gym).

Inspirational Music Monday

I would have thought that starting a weekly blog "feature" would have made me more likely to update this thing. Baby steps Julia. . .baby steps.

This week's IMM is brought to you by the number five, the periodic table element Fe, and the Tasmanian Devil. Why him? Because when he spins around, it looks like he's working himself into a frenzy. Get it? Five Iron Frenzy?

I know, I need to work on my Sesame Street humor.

My husband turned me on FIF when we first started dating. He is a big fan of ska and punk. The band scores bonus points because they are local (Denver), but sadly they broke up in 2003. According to their Wikipedia page, a DVD called "The Rise and Fall of Five Iron Frenzy" is scheduled to come out next month. Its on the interwebz, so it must be true.

I don't remember exactly what my husband told me when he played this song for me; actually, I think he put it on a mix tape for me to listen to during my 30 minute drive between our apartments. I do remember him telling me I'd like it, and I do. This week's inspirational song is called, "Dandelions." Its about seeing the beauty that is beyond the surface; and, its got a good beat to run to.

I found the song on YouTube, which includes the lyrics. A more whimsical video can be found here. Viva la FIF!