Friday, March 27, 2009

Wavering Weather..........:/

Well, this week we've had it all....torrential downpour, sunny skies and highs of 50 degrees, and then, low and behold, the only 2 days that I have off, we are supposed to get snow! Go freakin figure!! Not exactly ideal for another 2 long days of base miles in the saddle, but what is one to do!? Move back to Tucson...nahh!!! I guess you just deal...

The work is still busy, the days are flying by, and I am happy to say that I'm up to 11hrs of cycling this week, and its only Fri...I guess that is pretty good, considering I am putting in at least 8hr work days.

Tue and Wed were roller rides, with Tue being more interval focused and Wed a total recovery spin. I am still sooooooooooooooooo incredibly frustrated with my legs!! My L leg, which was the initial source of discomfort and ITband injury, has more or less healed in the past few months. But a stupid 30 min run I did about a week ago triggered some pain in the R leg (which, mind you, I was doing all of the same stretching, strengthening, and rehab on to PREVENT it from being injured like the L leg!!!)...Certainly, its not nearly as bad or painful, but lets just say I am not running...AGAIN!!! Erghhh!! Bike and swim, bike and swim..oh, and yoga and weights! let's hope something works here!!!

The Univ of Wisc cycling listserv is a great place to post a ride, find others to ride with, etc. So, being that I knew I had a light afternoon schedule on Thurs and it was pegged as the "only nice day" this week by all the meteorologists, I opted to post a ride.

To my pleasant surprise, about 15 people showed up at the Arb bridge at 430 and off we cruised towards Paoli, up Observatory Rd, and back into Madison. Awesome, fast ride, and I was the only chick! (I may have even chicked a few of the other dudes out there too!) That's always fun to do...I was probably older than most of those little studs by a decade, but who cares, it was a super workout! And exactly what I needed heading into the wintry weekend...

Off to sip another cup of java and head to work.....

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Something to Try.........

Yummy, healthy, and delicious....Try these if you are looking for a new alternative to cooking/eating Garbanzo (Chickpeas) Beans!!

-2-3 cans of Garbanzo Beans; strained
-Optional: 1 can Black Beans; strained

-Spread out onto cookie sheet
-Drizzle with Olive Oil or spray with Pam (I use the former!!)
-Top with your favorite seasoning: S&P, dill, oregano, Mrs. Dash, etc
-Bake for 40-50 min (depending on how CRUNCHY you want the texture!) at 425
-VOILA!!!!!!! A healthier alternative to croutons or salad toppers loaded with fat and hydrogenated oils!

*They can get pretty dried out, so I store them in an airtight plastic container!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Lack of blog = one busy girl

The past few weeks have been filled with big miles in the saddle, big hours at work, and big time fatigue for this girl.

Last weekend, Kristin got together a huge group of ladies and organized a fantastic weekend full of riding in the Madison area. I don't know about you (Jen H, Jen L, Angi, etc) who are familiar with AZ riding, but I gotta tell you all WI IS WHERE ITS AT!!!!!! I have done some of the most epic, hilly, fan-freakin-tastic rides since moving here. Obviously the weather is our only downside to getting out everyday, but nonetheless, you are all invited here when the Southwest becomes entirely too miserable for riding this summer!

Back to the weekend: Saturday was a solid 5.5 hrs (~90mi) with a bunch of heavy hitters from the NRC...Bri, Sam, Louise, Kristin...all the gals that really know how to ride...and plenty of other strong local gals who really gave me a run for my money...we climbed all day, and were fortunately sagged the entire way by Sam's dad and her boyfriend...I have to say it was the best supported ride I've ever done, and I didn't even have to pay a dime to ride!

Saturday was also Kristin's Dirty 30th! so we went to the Great Dane for an awesome meal, and Monique showed up with a magnificent artwork of cupcakes in the shape of a bike! how cool! Good times, good food, great people!(See Kristin's blog for the cool pics!)

Sunday was a good solid 4hrs in the saddle, a bit less hilly compared to Saturday, with a cruise out to New Glarus and back. By Sunday afternoon, I was pretty much D-O-N-E! But so happy that I was able to ride those distances with an extremely talented group of ladies both days!

Which brings me to this week.....tired legs, after coming down from that "high" on Tue and into Wed...I try to avoid massage, only because of the cost..but I caved on Fri afternoon...I have been putting in big miles at work as well, since I run my butt off most days. So I took the liberty of scheduling something for Fri afternoon, perfect timing leading into the weekend for some more long miles.

Yesterday another group of women from Milwaukee and Madison met and we cruised out to Blue Mounds for about 70miles of hills. Another super day of riding, and I am caffeinating up here for a shorter ride today with some of the same women!

I think overall I am just so happy that I've met some great women who enjoy riding and training as much as I do. TMinus two weeks until the season kicks off in Hillsboro, IL. (I still don't even know where the hell Hillsboro is!?? Go figure!) but I plan to be there, perhaps a bit flat since I've not done speed, but nonetheless really excited to start racing again!

Cheers, and Happy Sunday! Welcome Springtime! I am so much more appreciative of this great weather now that its finally here! Yay!

Monday, March 9, 2009

A Rainy Weekend..........

Bummer! I knew my 2hr ride on Fri was TGTBT!! It started to pour like mad on Sat am didn't let up until the snow was coming down in chunks and flakes by Sun evening.

All in all, I had a pretty decent weekend training wise....50min mod run Sat, 75 min in the pool, lots of stroke work. A bit of yog's to stretch out the hips, and some maxing and relaxin' Sat night with friends and a glass of wine..

Rachel and I had planned to ride "come hell or high water" on Sunday and unfortunately we got the latter...literally! I was still raining cats and dogs when we ventured out the door, completely geared up for what we anticipated would be a short ride..but hey, at least we were doing it!! (You know, they don't necessarily stop a race if there's rain, so sometimes you just have to buck up and do it!)

We made it about 15miles, doing all miles on the Cap City trail and surrounding areas out to Monona...kind of wimpy, and ordinarily something I wouldn't do, but we both agreed that in the downpour it was much safer than roads...

About 12.5mi in, my hands went totally and completely numb..Ok, I know, a bit dramatic but nonetheless I was ready to call it quits...and I think she was too! Her hubby rescued us, and we were sooooo grateful for the warm ride, towels, and blast of heat awaiting us inside!

I stood under my shower for what felt like hours, and believe it or not, my 1:15 min in the saddle actually felt harder and longer in hindsight..I think I expended so much energy trying to stay warm, not slip, move my fingers, etc.

Much to the dismay of Rachel (HA!) we won't be doing that anytime again soon....

The hours-minded junky that I am wanted to do some more time in the pool, so I headed off for a longer set in the water that afternoon, by which time the roads were getting dicey. You gotta love the Midwest, the ever-changing pattern of weather.

Today I am feeling notsomuchawesome....EEKS! There are 2 flu's spreading around at work, and I am concerned I may have a touch of something. Think today will be the rest day, with my fingers crossed for the rest of the week being filled with Springlike temps!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Perfect Afternoon!

This morning started off with a very hard, anaerobic set in the water, doing a long freestyle warm up set of 500, 400, 300-ladder sets, some kicking, and then a main set of 5 X 200's broken up freestyle. I felt awesome after the 75 min workout--just what I needed to get me thru the Friday at work after what has been a very long week.

I love those days at work when all of your interactions are positive! Its a rare day when nearly everyone I meet, all patients I work with, are happy, grateful, and truly appreciative of the service you are providing! It was great day, and makes me remember why I do what I do...........

On the flipside, I was equally as happy when my 330pm appt cancelled, and I was finishing up at 230pm. The day was slow, our staff was adequate, and I took the opportunity (a rare one, might I add!) to get out the door and enjoy the beautiful 55 degree temps and sunshine! You better believe it, this girl is going riding!

I just love the UW cycling listserv, as you can post a ride, and within 5 min people are responding to you left and right, wanting to meet up and cruise the streets. Since I hadn't been on my rollers since Tue night, I was hoping for a mellow, aerobic 1.5-2hrs on the roads, and had just enough time prior to dusk.

Derek and Mollie, 2 cyclists who are newer to the sport, met me at the Arb and off we went towards Paoli. We ended up taking a slightly different route out towards Goodland Park, and talked a bit about racing. It was such a nice and fun ride, very social, and reminded me again why I do what I do. Mollie was full of questions about racing and training, so it was fun to be on the other side for a change--as I am usually the one asking questions to others!!!!

We ended up with about 30 miles and 2hrs later, and I was feeling warm, toasty, and pleasantly exhausted after a great day of training, work, and socializing! I capped off the day with my most favorite place to spend a dollar-- TRADER JOES!!!

And let me send a big HOLLA!!! To all of you who commented on my previous post regarding food choices!!
-Eileen, the lentil soup is da bomb! Ate it for dinner last night!!
-Jen H,- MINI PB CUPS!!! soooooooooooooooo good!!!! and yes, I Heart Naan Bread!! The garlic kind!!!

I filled up my cart with a bunch of yummies and ate my way into the evening!

Today is a typical Midwestern one....a day of sunshine usually follows a day of rain/cold/precipitation. I am finishing brekky and off to train indoors!

Happy Saturday!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

How would you react?

This post has almost nothing to do with training, racing, etc. But a lot to do with all that has been going on in my ever-diverse world. I have been tired as balls lately, trying to muster up the energy to sit on my damn rollers for longer than 1.5hrs, but it hasn't been all the motivating for me. The temps are warming, the skies are bluer, and I am still working the daily grind so basically, I am SOL if I want to get outdoors for a spin...However, my swimming and running have been fan-tastic so really I can't complain. That's about it for now.

In other news, my neighborhood is trying to pass for a halfway house to inhabit formerly homeless men, that would include 12 full-time residents who may or may not live there up to 4months at a time, with an obvious turnover rate every 4 months. You do the math, that's potenitally 36 residents in one year. All with potential criminal and/or sex offender records. And my hood is full of owner-occupied family homes, small children, and some student and professional rentals that are flat-style apt homes. I have been adamantly opposed to this, from a perspective of not only a female but thru the eyes of my neighbors and friends who are parents of small children.

Now it is a known fact that many homeless people have history of unmedicated or untreated mental illness, uncontrolled addiction, and criminal behavior. While there are clearly more "warm and fuzzy" people living in my hood, I am not one of them.
I guess I wish that I could be more accepting, and not as fearful. But I am a safety Sally and this idea makes me a little on edge.

At a community meeting last night, that wore my brain and feelings out to no end, there seemed to be a clear bias towards moving forward with these plans. From the chatter amongst people, it sounds as if this will likely occur. Again, I am somewhat speechless. And unsure of how this will affect the feelings of the neighbors, the property values of homes that inhabit mostly upper middle class working folks, and the safety of all of us.

What to do, what to do.......................