Monday, January 19, 2009

Riding and running and cleaning, oh my!

Can I go to work please? This weekend has just been too tiring.

Saturday morning was a team buddy ride, meeting in Pleasanton, scheduled for about 50 miles. I was terrified that we would again be riding Palomares, but on a 50 miler this time. Oh silly me! That would have been the easy ride. Instead, we rode the Altamont. If there was a soundtrack to this blog there would be music of doom here.

The Altamont is the Pass between the coast and the central valley. To be precise, a mountain pass between the Livermore Valley and the San Joaquin Valley. We started in the Livermore Valley and went up, then down, the mountain. The Altamont Pass is home to wind farms - places with gigantic windmills (or turbines as these fancy modern monsters are called). This would be because it's so windy there; I believe it's because of the temperature differential between the cool coast and the hot valley. Very windy. Very very windy. And hilly.

I could tell how windy it was when we were riding downhill, pedaling as hard as we could in our granny gear, and still going less than 6 mph. Windy. Suffice it to say that it was a very hard ride and after 20 miles I was questioning my sanity. After 30 miles I was questioning my sanity and my body. After 40 miles -- actually, after 40 miles I got a second wind and was glad to be almost done.I ended up with about 49 miles, not quite the 50 barrier I had hoped to break. Yes, I could have continued for that extra mile and turned around and what, am I crazy? Whether 49 or 50 I was glad to be done and headed toward beer and fries a healthy lunch.

I love my cycling team. This past summer I never really got into the tri team, partially because I was having other issues. But the cycling team seems friendlier, warmer, more accepting of rookies. The coaches (those remaining uninjured, and what's up with that anyway??), the captains (ditto uninjured and healthy) and mentors (again, ditto) are all wonderful. The ones currently unable to ride still show up and support the team, especially our head coach (who is the only coach on any team I've been on who always shows up at the buddy trainings). I'll point out the coaches of our little group of not-quite-the-slowest-riders, Beth and Lorraine, for special mention. They are making this experience so much richer by their presence - thanks ladies! And almost without exception I'm enjoying my teammates who are all gaining experience and skills along with me. Now if only my sit bones would stop hurting so much ...

Saturday night I was just a teeny step above zombie-ism. I lounged on my sofa staring blankly at the television screen, unable to move, unable to sleep, not hungry or thirsty and just about as pooped as I've every been, including after running marathons. My hands were too sore to knit (deathgrip on the brakes coming down a couple of those hills) and I didn't have the energy to follow a pattern anyway. I couldn't concentrate on a book so I just watched episode after episode of NCIS; even changing the channel was too much of an effort. Finally about midnight I crawled into bed and stared at the inside of my eyelids for a couple of hours until I fell into a restless sleep. I'm just a smidge worried that I only went half as far and a fraction of the elevation gain that we'll be riding in Solvang.

Sunday I was tempted to call in sick to our run but Sandy was in town and I wasn't going to miss that! I met Sandy and Bree in Alameda and whined my way through our planned 6 mile run. Or 6 mile run/walk, as it turned out. I wasn't sore from the ride but I was very fatigued. It was a beautiful day, even if it wasn't clear enough to see across the bay, and I'm lucky that my knee and back were feeling well enough to carry me along out there.

Sunday afternoon was filled with normal weekend Mom stuff; no rest there.

Today I had promised myself I'd clean my house. It had gotten to the point where every time I'd walk in I'd shudder. I got up, started cleaning and laundry and more cleaning and managed to clean an entire 3 rooms (and cleaned them to sparkling!). Then I decided that I needed to do yardwork almost as much as I needed to clean the house, so I should do that while it was still light out. I figured one, maybe two hours would get the worst of the outside mess cleaned up.

Today felt more like summer than winter. Sorry to those on the east coast and the middle of the country, but it was sunny, clear, warm. Little or no wind, clean air, lovely day. I wanted to trim back my jasmine; I have 3 lattices that are overgrown with jasmine since I've been ignoring my yard since last spring. New growth is much prettier and blooms better than the old so I was just going to trim. I started trimming one along my fence. It was so overgrown that it was pulling down the lattice and growing through the fence. I trimmed a little, a little more, more, more and uh oh. I ended up cutting those suckers right down to the ground. It's 3 plants and now it's 3 -- um -- stumps. Oh, they'll grow back (probably). It's not like I didn't pay for it, my arms are all scratched up and bruised. After that I carefully trimmed the plants on the lattice by my slider - it's my favorite when it blooms and the smell wafts inside so I didn't want to take the chance of destroying it.

My planned one or two hour garden jaunt turned out to be four hours. Looks like the rest of my house is just going to have to wait until another time to get cleaned.

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