Friday, November 24, 2006

Did You Stuff Yourself with Turkey?

I did! I have been eating so clean the last few weeks, I think I created an anarchy inside my body yesterday. I didn't really eat THAT much, only one plate and a piece of coconut cream pie. I guess my body was like, "What's up with all this carb loading? Are you going to run a marathon tomorrow?" I ate until I couldn't swallow another bite down. Then, I was super uncomfortable. Thank God I wore stretchy elastic waist pants. I wanted to lay on the floor, spread out like a big pile of sweet potato casserole. We were at someone's house so I held myself together and didn't lay in a heap on the carpet. I was glad when we got home because I was burping and tooting from that feast.

I finally got to lay on the floor in front of the TV when we got home. What did I see? One of the best songs that I have ever heard coming from Fiona Apple's lips! Normally, I wouldn't watch anything Elvis Costello but Fiona's cover of his song, "I Want You" is amazing. Don was even watching it with me. He said, "She's so intense sometimes. It reminds me of you. When you start getting too intense, I'll call you Fiona to bring you back to reality." He better just pray that I don't break out in song. I could break glass with my tone deaf intensity.

I WANT YOU, Fiona Apple with Elvis Costello

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Sunday, November 12, 2006

30 + 12 = 42

Every Saturday, I go on a group bike ride. Even though my season is over, I still do the Saturday group rides. I miss my tri-training friends now, it's been over a month since my last race. I went from spending lots of time with them swimming and biking to now very little. I'm doing a lot of weight training and some of my friends are taking some time off. Yesterday was a beautiful day in NC, it was sunny and the high was in the 80's. A great day for a bike ride.

One of my close tri-friends was riding with me, Meg. There were two new riders and one guy that hadn't been riding much because he was building a house and the "The Biking Fool". I will refer to him as TBF from now on. TBF is a great guy, he wouldn't hurt a fly. TBF is a widowed, older guy in his mid-50's. He doesn't bat on eye at the thought of biking 70 miles a day. I think he averages 1,000 miles per month. He rides his bike everywhere. He is a strong and steady cyclist. If there is anyone in the group that I prefer to draft off of, it's TBF. He is so steady and consistant that you never worry about eating his tire because he braked too quickly. He always points out every rock, roadkill and pothole in the road too.

When TBF said, "It's so nice today, we should ride 50 miles." I wasn't shocked, that was his normal daily ride. I'd been up since 5am and I had been in a cleaning frenzy. For some reason, when I'm PMSing I get this way. If something about my life is bothering me, I must go beyond the call of duty to make it right. This month, it was the cleaniness of the house. I scrubbed the house and my soap shed. I do mean scrub and frenzy, my clothes were wet with sweat from doing all the floors with bleach with a brush. Right as I left for the group ride at 1pm, I drank a protein shake.

Since I am trying to put on muscle, I have cut back on my cardio. It's hard to build muscle while doing a lot of endurance cardio. I still do cardio but it's high intensity for 40 minutes. I wasn't really feeling a fifty mile ride after my house cleaning craze. I talked with Meg and we decide 30 miles would be better. Meg wanted to come by the farm after the ride to pick out some soap for Christmas. She also had a date with her husband. This is our "off" season and 50 miles was more like training for the half anyway.

Meg told TBF we only wanted to do 30 miles. If they wanted to do more, then TBF should just tell us at the half way point to just turn around. TBF said that was fine. I only brought a bottle of water with me because that was all I needed for 30 miles.

We take off and it really was a lovely day. I feel stronger on the bike now, I am averaging 1-2 miles faster climbing hills. I can't figure out if it's because my legs are stronger from weight training or I'm just rested. When we got on the quiet, country roads, it was TBF and I leading the pack. It's not good when I'm out front, I turn into a race horse and really hoof it. I think TBF and I were going 20-22mph and when I looked back, we had dropped some people. I decided to chill out because we did have a thirty mile ride and this wasn't a race.

I fall back and the guy that had been building a house jokling said I was going fast and it was killing him. This was mile eight. We had a strong head wind almost the entire ride. TBF and this new guy from Austria were up ahead of Meg and I. The new house guy had fallen behind us. At mile 13, I told Meg we were almost at half way point. We decided to keep going since we clearly told TBF we only wanted to do 30 miles, we expected him to tell us when to head back and which roads to take.

We should have known better. TBF has a history about lying about distance. It makes Meg livid! One time, during the summer, Meg toldTBF she needed to be back at a certain time because she had plans with her husband and friends to meet at the lake. She was hot when she realized he took a longer detour and she'd be over an hour late. He's miscalculated distance a lot. I'm a pretty laid back person. It takes a lot to work me up. I never got really upset with TBF during the summer because Saturday rides were always long during training season. I always brought food with me because most rides were 40+ miles.

Yesterday, I didn't bring anything but water, one bottle. When we hit a small town at mile 22, I knew this would be no 30 mile ride. I said we needed to stop at the gas station because I was out of water. Meg asked TBF how many more miles? TBF rambles off the route and Meg's eyes turn to slits like an angry kitty. "We are going past the school? The school is 20 miles back to our cars!" TBF tried to calm Meg down by telling her it's only 10 miles. She was pissed.

I am just watching and listening to everything when the new lady whips out a bag of almonds and raisins. I suddenly felt like a wild animal, I wanted to attack her and steal her almonds. The last time we did a long ride, I brought beef jerky and almonds too. Meg was hysterical when she saw me gnawing on a piece of jerky like a rabid dog. Yesterday, I was ravenous. I had another 20 miles to go. I had no food, no money. Lifting has done something to my body, I have to eat almost every two hours. Since I planned on 30 miles, I thought I would be eating in less than two hours. I almost started drooling watching her pop almonds into her mouth. I refilled my water bottle at the gas station and we started pedaling again.

Meg kept swearing it would take us at least 20 miles to get back. I kept thinking about almonds and then I bit my tongue because I was chomping on my gum so hard. I got mad and spit my gum out when I tasted blood. At mile 28, I realize we were going to be doing at least 40 miles. New house guy was really falling back and struggling. I slowed down and told him it didn't look like 30 miles, more like 40. He looked upset, he said he was tired and not ready for such a long ride. At mile 33, my legs were getting tired climbing the hills. My stomach felt like it was cannabilizing itself. I kept hearing my weight training friends in my head telling me, "Endurance cardio without proper fuel will eat your muscle up." I was imagining a Pac-Man like character biting into my biceps.

TBF and Austria guy waited for us at a stop sign. Meg laid into him about it being over 30 miles but she actually controlled herself. I thought her wrath would be worse. She just decided she's never trusting TBF again. The new house guy finally made it to the stop sign at top of the hill. He was so beat, he decided to ride his bike home because it was closer than his car. He'd have someone take him to get his car later. I felt bad for him.

The last three miles are tough because there are some hills to climb. At this point, I don't feel like talking too much because I'm so hungry. When new girl with the almonds got in front of me, I almost felt like crashing her to see if any almonds would come spilling out, like when you hit jackpot on a slot machine. I'd pick them up off the pavement and savor each crunchy almond. I decided to pass her and pull her up the hill instead.

Meg and I splurged after the ride and got a frozen coffee drink. We can't really figure out why TBF always fibs about mileage. We ended up doing 42 miles. Is it an honest mistake? Does he not listen when we say only 30 miles? Or is it selfish reasons, wanting people to ride longer because he wants company? I did learn I will always bring something to eat "just in case". I don't want to start a WWF smack-down brawl over almonds.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Not as Strong as I Thought

On Tuesday, I decided my last quad exercise would be jump squats. My entire self was pretty whipped at this point. Tuesday is quad and calf day. I had been been training these muscles for almost an hour. I grabbed the olympic bar and started with 20 pounds for my first set. Squat and jump in the air, squat and jump up high! When I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror, I look like the Samsonite gorilla.

Could feel some burning but decided I needed more. So, I added another 15 pounds. I should have thought about this again when I struggled to get the bar and weights up over my head to rest on my shoulders. I pounded out another 15 jump squats. My quads were on fire and I was gasping for breath.

I was really tired now and when I tried to lift the bar back over my head and I couldn't. I was stuck, I couldn't clear my big ole' dome piece. I sat down on the bench and thought if I rested for a moment, I'd have enough power left to get the bar off my shoulders.

Some nice guy was watching me and came to my rescue and removed the bar.
He said, "You are a little thing to be lifting so much weight and doing such a hard exercise."

I obviously felt stronger than actually was and I was pretty embarrassed I needed help. I learned a lesson. I will wait until the squat rack is free before I increase weight for squat jumps or you may see me running around with a loaded barbell on my back.