I Mutter the Body Eclectic

This is a perfect example of the sort of conversations one’s body parts get in to when one does things that one doesn’t normally. Our ride last Saturday was in 13mph headwinds. I looked it up — each 5mph is equal to an additional 1% grade (in terms of effort) and will take your normal pace down 7%. So, yeah! It sucked.


A girl (ok, ok, woman) runs frenetically through her house, having loaded her bike into the back of her car she is doing the needful, e.g., filling water bottles and packing Cliff bars.

BACK: Uh-uh, no way, I am *not* doing this. See? *TWEAK*

ME: OW! What’s that for?!? All I was doing was filling a water bottle.

BACK: (smugly) Now you can’t go.

ME: Oh yeah? (grabs Ibuprofen bottle) Think again, punkin! I have 800mgs of ibuprofen that is going to chill you out. (takes ibuprofen and washes it down with water, and then more coffee).

Fifteen minutes in the car and BACK is silent.

ME: Oh yeah! Who’s the man (well, not me). 

(Gets on bike)


It is 22 miles into the ride. Somehow, in a 36 mile course that is a U-shape along the top of the lake and back, we have succeeded in riding into HEADWINDS the entire way. This is disheartening and some of the constituency is starting to complain.

KNEES: Damn, we are sore! Where is that ibuprofen the doctor told you to take when you do this?

ME: I took it. All 4. I was good, but I can’t take any more for like 6 hours.

BACK: I commandeered it. I have the higher need you know: spinal column and all that.

KNEES: Oh no you Di-int! That was mine, beyotch! I have doctor’s orders!

BACK: Oh yes I di-id. I make this body function, punkin, so don’t give me your “oh I’m so important” routine. Nothing’s more important than the BACK!

BRAIN and HEART (in unison): Um…

BACK: well at least KNEES aren’t.

KNEES: STFU! I am the one that keeps you mobile, which the doctor also said is GOOD FOR YOU. You wanna hog my drugs, fine, but at least half of that should’ve been shared and now I’m going to show you just how hard *your* life gets when I don’t share.

BACK: Bring it!

ME: HEY WAIT! WAIT! I did what I was supposed to and..

KNEES: Tough cookies, sister. (KNEES start to ache petulantly)

STOMACH: I’m hungry.

ME: Now, BACK and KNEES you guys really need to… what?

STOMACH: I’m hungry.

ME: You just ate a Cliff Bar. Technically you’ve eaten 1.5 Cliff Bars.


ME: That’s enough food for you.

STOMACH: Look, apparently the BACK is the appreciated person here, and I’m not, I get that. Especially as it was ME who had to sort out that ibuprofen on not perhaps the most comfortably full stomach. So I’d appreciate it if YOU’D back off and feed me. Mkay?

ME: Ok, ok. Fine. Here’s the other half of the Cliff Bar.

KNEES: OH, I GET IT NOW. All I have to do is bitch properly, is that it? Well fine (KNEES  start to really ache)

BACK: FINE! I’m tired of being the scapegoat. I’ll show you what it’s like when the ibuprofen wears out. (BACK starts to tweak and ache)

BUTT: I’d just like to say…


BUTT: Oh, it’s all fine for you to have an opinion, I get it. But last I checked, I don’t get a special doctor. KNEES gets the Sports Medicine guy, and BACK gets Dr. Cat and Massages, and all I get is wedged on this hard plastic seat.

KNEES: Well you should be used to that, what with work and all.

BUTT: Hey, it’s not my choice that they sit on me, okay? It’s just what I do. And I try to do it without complaint. I’m just saying I’m feeling a little sensitive now and would appreciate some of the ibuprofen next time, is all.

BACK: Oh yes we get it, it is *SO HARD* to just sit around all day.

KNEES (to BACK): That’s pretty much all you do, BACK, except vertically.



HEADWIND: SHUT UP BOTH OF YOU! Guess what, I’m going to ramp up a few miles an hour because I’m the freaking WIND and I can’t hear myself think for all of your complaining. KNEES, you’re going to have to concentrate on what you’re doing because this is going to be like one long hill. BACK, you’re going to have to use yourself more and crouch forward because otherwise the BODY will make no progress. And if EITHER of you want to see the comfy inside of the car today (and possibly a nice hot shower) then everybody needs to SHUT IT and get to work, mkay?

ME: (to HEADWIND): I kind of hate you, and love you, for that.

I’m Back in the Saddle Again

Doot doot doot doot doo…

My lack of progress was apparently not as awful as I thought it was. One of the advantages to going with a formalized, large ride like the Ride to Conquer Cancer is they give you a handy-dandy training plan. That training plan states clearly that by the end of April (which I count as this weekend, in terms of long-distance-ride) I am to be able to ride 41 miles on the long ride and go through  another 60 miles in 2-3 rides during the week. This I can do and have done (I did it last week) so: guilt assuaged!

What is going to be more difficult is that as training progresses, that long ride, and the interim rides, get longer. I was not-so-secretly elated at stopping half-marathoning because, to my way of thinking, running just took so much time — long runs in training would take like 2 hours!

What I wouldn’t give for a simple 2 hour divot in my weekend these days. The long rides are taking 4 and 5 hours, and by the time we get to June I can expect 7 hours of riding in one day. This is, of course, nothing compared to the actual ride days, which I can expect to be 9 hours each day, back to back.

My speed needs to increase as well: in chatting with my boss (who is a cycling hobbyist– you know, rides his bike everywhere) I should have no problem doing 20mph on the flats. I have no problem doing 20mph on the flats — in the gym. In the real world, I’ve been doing as good as 15 and as bad as 10 given the day. Clearly, I need to get my cogs looked at. Further, I’m going to have to deal with some real hills and not the teeny climbs involved on the Burke Gilman, and this has me… apprehensive. Hills + clippie shoes = whups, splut!

Still. I only have 8 weeks to go, and then it’s over… until the Danskin Tri 🙂

Travel Fail

Ok, tomorrow is the beginning of the rest of my life. Or something.

I write to you from the relative comfort that is the Embassy Suites in Jacksonville, where I am having massive guilt and am a little scared at my dearth of progress. Having lost two weekends of bike time I rented a bike here in Jacksonville.

A bike that I was not able to pick up.

To be fair, the weekend was to be packed with wedding-related activities (and it was) but I thought I’d be able to squeeze in a couple of hours on the bike. Having lost my luggage twice though (enroute to Geneva and coming in to Jacksonville) and not slept for 24 hours upon landing in Jacksonville (I was a zombie), I decided that getting up and getting on a bike was going to be unlikely.

Someone had reminded me when I rented the bike that it would be no problem to get around, as Jacksonville is all flat. This is so very true. Jacksonville is all flat. In the section we were in, this means you can get your car up to a hefty 50mph in the 30mph lane and since there is no official bike lanes anywhere that I could see, I could just imagine my tired-jetlagged-rickety self on a borrowed bike getting smucked thirty or forty times by the varying products of Ford or Chevy. 

Therefore, the bike was never picked up. Off to plan B, which was to abuse the recumbent bike in the gym. However, in this particular Embassy Suites we had a Mary Kay convention and a Fish and Wildlife convention and some sorts of sport convention, and the gym was packed both mornings. I had to settle for a run, which does not compare to the mileage I’m supposed to have done. I’ve got ten weeks left to get from the 51mi I was at to the 120mi I need. That means I need to increment by 7miles per week– this is suddenly getting very very real.


In my fantasy world, this post is so-called “Overachiever” because I’ve totally been hitting all of my marks in training and doing a kick-ass job and Lance Armstrong should totally be scared.

In the real world, this is not really the case. (Disappointing, right?)

I did 51 miles in a day. 2 weeks ago. Then I went to my mom’s house (disastrous), and while I faithfully Spin-Class’d and gym’d and all that, I didn’t really ride my bike this weekend (hello, High Wind Advisory and Rain!). Instead I went back on the gym bike and did 19 miles in an hour, on level 8. Yes, yes, lots of calories burned but not what I should be doing.

Now I’m on a trip to Geneva, Switzerland, and then Jacksonville, Florida. At some point I need to get on a bike and do something but that will not happen in Geneva and while I’ve rented it for JAX the likelihood that I’ll get 55 miles in at a pop is nil. The plan is to get 30 miles in, in two days in a row. And still be sociable.

At this point, my goal is to do it, and to not be the last person doing it. That strategy has worked well in the past 🙂