Friday, May 28, 2010

Eternally Happy

I'm never sure what my exact religious beliefs are. I was raised by an italian father who was Catholic and I was baptized Episcopalian. Whatever it is, my hope for an afterlife remains strong. This week my Grandfather passed. If you have read back to the beginning of my blog you now that my Grandmother's life and her passing greatly influenced me to change mine. I have struggled with her death as it was painful to watch cancer eat her away in just a few short weeks. The Grandfather that passed was her husband of 60 years and my last grandparent.

I have not cried a single tear.  I was so at peace with his passing and so happy to know that the two people I looked up to the most were together again. They loved each other like teenagers until the very end. Holding hands when they walked and even signing christmas cards with cute little names. They loved each other and their family with a fiery passion that you don't see anymore.

The service as amazing. I had the honor of choosing the music and what I chose summed it up perfectly. "What a Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong. My Grandfather was a Merchant Marine and an officer in WWII. He went to Howe Military academy and West Point. So did my Uncle Ray and my Dad was in the 82nd Airborne. The flowers at the church were displayed in the Masonic Star because at one point he was the head Mason. At the graveside service they played taps and fired off the gun salute. It was truly beautiful seeing as the cemetery had already prepared for Memorial Day with the flags on display. 

2 1/2 years go when my grandma's cancer came back my grandfather had a stroke the same week. He went to the Masonic home for rehab and paid for my grandmother to be kept in the room across from hm as she battled with cancer. The doctors told us she had 6 weeks and in between rehab sessions my grandfather sat by her bed every waking moment. He fought to get stronger and recover from the stroke just so he could take care of his Evy.  She died and so did a large part of him. In a sense my grandfather has been gone since she died.

There is such a peace inside me knowing that they are together again. It makes me smile to think of them eternally happy.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Zoo-De-Mac 2010

What a weekend. We discovered two things this weekend. We no longer party and I can be pushed to high speeds.

I admit I was scared to be around 2,500 other cyclists. I didn't know if I could "hang". I didn't know how I would be looked at in my spandex. I didn't know if I could climb the hills. I had a lot of doubt about myself.

The started like a bad Nation Lampoon movie. Our 25' breakfast buffet at the hotel ended up being a 2 foot counter. The eggs were not real. Eggs are cheap so imagine a cheaper imagine eating the slime from Nickelodeon. Yup GROSS. The waffle maker and toaster didn't work because of a blown fuse and the fruit salad was warm. I ended up with a  bagel and cream cheese. Then the trolley showed up with the bike trailer. Hahaha, it WAS NOT a bike trailer but we were prepared and actually wrapped our bikes in foam for transport. The company still managed to rip my brand new bar tape.
40 minutes later we were dropped at Boyne Mountain. It was hot and sunny.

A lady we met on the shuttle told us "The pain you feel on the first 25 miles is worth the view" Yup, she scared the shit out of me. We quickly got comfortable on our saddles and fell into a good cadence. After turning the first corner I saw a hill that compared to anything I had climbed so I worked my way up passing people. I looked down and we are only 3 miles in. I was warned that the bad hills were at mile 8 and mile 10. This was no joke. The hill at mile 8 had to be a mile long with  false flat and then another 1/4 mile of climbing. People were pushing their bikes up but I refused. I thought that was bad and it took me a while to get my legs back under me and up to speed. At mile 10 the hill was after a sharp turn. The look of it was horrifying. People were actually stopped at the top cheering people on that made it. The hill was so long that I had to alternate between standing time and saddle time but I made it up. I only managed about 9mph on that climb but I did it. Sweat pouring out of my helmet and legs on fire I did it.

After a few miles of flat and small climbs we came upon the "Tunnel of Trees", a sign before entry warned of the steep down hill. 36.6 mph on a road bike is a rush. I passed a girl with 2 hand fulls of brake and as white as a ghost. That road was amazing.

Mile 25 brought us to Leggs Inn in Cross Village for lunch. Rest, refuel and rehydrate. We didn't stay long. The second half was flatter with some long gradual climbs. The kind of climbs that leave you wondering why the hell you are going so slow if the road looks flat.

Mile 35 brought about an interesting situation. My husband and I ride together. Often we are not next to each other because the idea is to take turns in front. The rider in back burns 30% less energy. Well we picked up some people and had a nice pace line for a while but dropped them. I came upon another rider that was letting people (men) pass him. When I approached his wheel he saw me and picked up speed, I picked up. He kept picking up speed so I couldn't pass so I backed off. I then watched as he let 2 more MEN pass him. This truly pissed me off and I informed my darling husband that he needed to learn a lesson and I was the girl to teach it to him. My husband responded with "go get him" giving me full permission to attack knowing he would follow. Full sprint at 25mph I caught him, passed him and pulled him at that pace for 3-4 miles until he was just too tired to keep up.
Sir, if I ever meet you again I truly hope you learned a lesson on that long sandy stretch of road. I ride like a girl....try to keep up.

The rest of the ride went by fast and when we only had 4 miles left we attacked again because we were eager to be out of the saddle. Overall the views were breath taking, the weather was perfect and 99% of the people were friendly. We completed the 51 miles in a little bit over 3 hours and spent a well deserved weekend away doing what we love.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Why is it always so hard ?

Really? That seems to be my question for everything lately. Why is it so hard for my kids to listen to me? Why is it so hard for adult women to be nice to each other? Why is it so hard to lose the last of this weight?

As I type this my youngest is literally having  tantrum over not having enough bubbles in her bath. My oldest is screaming at my middle girl about some sort of drama and the only thing I can do is listen to it and hope to keep some of my sanity. It doesn't help to scream at them or separate them. Just  ride the chaos out and hope it ends without bloodshed.

I have decided I am going to actively start sending my husband's resume out west. I hate the area I live in. I was not raised to be rude and catty but it seems almost every woman in this area was. Details don't matter but I am sick of everything from glares to mindless chatter about my weight loss.

Speaking of weight loss, what the hell? I do this by the book. I am a good little weight watchers soldier. I work out damn near every day and yet again the scale just stays. I don't want to hear any more about muscle and size and the fucking measuring tape. I want the scale to move. It is true that I can physically accomplish a whole world of things I couldn't before but I am tired of this constant battle. I work out too much I gain, I work out too little I gain. I eat too much protein I gain. I eat sugar I gain. I live on fresh spinach, egg whites and chicken breast and guess what? I GAIN! Then the next week I lose what I gained and it starts all over again.

So many opinions and ideas on the subject leave my head spinning. I journal. I work out. I eat low sugar, healthy carbs, high fiber non processed foods. I run, I ride, I do plyo, I lift, I Zumba, I do yoga. I just want the scale to move. Just budge. Just a little at a time. I am not looking for biggest loser numbers but a pound a week isn't too much to ask for. Vent over. Now I am going to work out.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Total Loss to date 170

I haven't done this in a while so I googled 170. Most of the pictures were people but I did find this one of this big big fish. My goal I set in the beginning is now only 23 pounds away. I may lose 30 just to say I lost 200 pounds all on my own. So I guess I lost this:

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Happy Feet

I just want some happy feet. Pain free, blister free happy feet.
When I started running in September I was wearing New Balance because of the support. In January I switched to Nike+ Vomeros which I LOVE. The problem I find is that there is still so much padding. I kept telling my husband if I could run in wrestling shoes or moccasins I would be a happy girl. Well, I was turned on to Vibram Five Fingers and they are creating some happy feet, no running in them yet per instructions but I will get there.
My feet are still sad on the bike.
As a person who rides 15-50 miles on average 4-5 times a week the points of contact must be happy. Hands, feet, and ass. These are your points of contact. My hands are happy. I keep the weight off of them with my core. My ass is happy, I have a $200 seat. My feet are horribly sad. I have high arches and a tiny hobbit foot. Last season I started with a pair of Bontragers. All season I got hot spots numb toes. This year I switched to Nike which fit like a dream and have a carbon sole. The problem comes after about 10 miles when my feet start to swell. The toe box room is limited so my feet start feeling like they are in a vice. Sometimes the pain is so bad it's hard to climb hills. Fast forward to Team Estrogen ladies who all swear by Specialized Torch shoes. The price caused sticker shock. It took me a while to even wrap my head around spending that much on shoes that didn't have a stiletto heel. So here I am waiting for my Specialized Torch shoes in silver with a fiberglass infused sole, vents and a ratchet closure system. I am told this will give my happy feet.
Weight Loss Update: 23 pounds to go until my "goal" I set when I started this journey. Will I stop there? I don't know yet. Depends on the size of my jeans :o)