Sunday, December 30, 2007

Lazy days on holiday.

So I am still in the OH - IO land of mud and trees. We saw a minute of snow, but mostly just weather in the lower 30s with some rain and lots of clouds. Basically, it is everything I always knew Ohio could be and more. This is why I moved to a desert after all.

In addition, I have been unable to breath since I arrived, but this is also completely expected. I have a gps sensor in my nose that closes my nostrils when it registers Ohio. They inserted it when they gave me my bionic knee. But I have been feeling better the last couple of days enough that I have felt motivated to work out. I especially like how my nose runs when I run in the cold. I ran a couple of times with the longest being five miles (my season high!!). I am trying to test my knee to see if it can handle 13 miles in a two weeks. It gets very sore after each run, but more good sore than bad. I may be doing a half half marathon run followed by a half half marathon walk.

Today instead of running, I did something way more fun. I joined a friend of mine on the coolest six mile mountain biking trail in Columbus. It was bloody cold at around 30 degrees, (shut up I am wimpy), but serious fun. The trail builders did an awesome job building up ramps and logs ramps to get over any muddy or rocky parts. I don't have this on any of my rides in Arizona, so I was loving the whole thing. Mud, trees, fairies, and ramps. SWEET...

We are currently hanging out with friends in CBus staying at the home of world famous Chris Thomas of Chris Thomas Productions (producing the most entertaining drunk home videos since 1995). Thanks for the great post ride egg breakfast Mr. Thomas.

Gotta run now. Blogging is so much work when you are in a chocolate induced coma. I am enjoying the LAZY quite a bit. Year's end ramblings to come.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Twas the night before Christmas...

and all through the house, I was sitting under my kitchen sink for 14 minutes. Then I won.

Why you might ask? I will tell you later.

I am home in the OH IO for Christmas. There is about an inch of snow on the ground, just enough to feel like it's winter. I am allergic to Ohio (seriously I am) so of course I immediately got a cold apon touching down on the Ohio tundra tarmac. But I am fighting it and so my mouth tastes like zinc all the time. The whole fam is here minus my poor little British bro-in-law who is stuck in London working over the holidays. Shoutout to Nimesh! This means that the house is a zoo. I have three loud and opinionated sisters in addition to my parents so we all talk over each other and interrupt each other constantly. It is bedlam and I feel sorry for my pops. At least he has son-in-laws now to bond with.

Last night we decided to play hide and go seek. It was pretty awesome. You think that game is for kids but you are wrong. I won by hiding under the sink and no one could find me for the longest time (except Tom who always seemed to know exactly where I was). It was a small spot and no one thought I could fit in there but they just don't know my skills I guess. Truly, the best game ever.
Otherwise, I have been super lazy. My workouts have consisted of eating and sleeping and that is about it. I tried to mud bike but my fingers were cold and I am wimpy. I may try to go for a run today. Probably not. I did climb up to the top of a closet last night to hide in the back of this wierd shaped shelf thing. That was really tiring. Then I ate more cookies.

Anyway, Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

It's a slow day.

Traffic laws be damned.

So you think your traffic is bad? I took this picture from the top of the Arch de Triomphe in Paris last year after sitting in utter astonishment for 20 minutes watching one car try to get out of the mess. It was vastly amusing. Those funny French people/stupid American tourists.

I am so weird sometimes.

Tick tock. Tick tock. Tick tock. Sound of nose blowing. Crunch crunch crunch. Type type type. Clearing of throat. Yip yap yip yap. Silence. The all encompassing kind. The kind that is so quiet, you can hear the voices in your head. Screaming.

The sounds between 8 to 5. Should I be worried about the screaming in my head? It is almost vacation time. Just one more full day. Screams turn to laughter. Excellent.

Monday, December 17, 2007

"Really" good time.

I rode 40 miles on Saturday and was sad when it ended. I learned some great tips from some "real" riders who wore "real" biking clothes and rode "real" bikes. On the ride home, I put the bike on my car "real" loose so maybe it would fall off on the highway. I was "real" disappointed when I got home and it was still strapped onto my bike rack.

Maybe "really" soon I can get a "real" bike and become a "real" biker.

Maybe even sooner I will stopping the annoying literary habit of putting "" around words like "real".

Friday, December 14, 2007

Please come back Erin.

This friend of yours, she always has some sort of drama going on. You know the one. Her car got broken into, she lost her wallet, she got dumped in glorious ridiculous fashion while getting hit by a bus and losing her job, etc. She is that girl. (I actually have many friends like this, I think I find them interesting). Well lately, I feel like that girl. Seriously. It like a cosmic pile of sh*t is raining down on me. Luckily I am feeling benevolent towards fate and have managed to laugh/raise eyebrows questioningly at it. Sort of. Overlooking the whole second ACL knee destruction & doctor disappearing act, (that is seriously not amusing). Let's just stick with this week. I am home alone cause my honey is working in a crappy town in Southern AZ in a mine. No big deal right? Foreshadowing for later.

Monday night, I went over to my townhouse which I no longer live in and will be renting out starting next week. I have been getting it ready for renters for about a month. This is the same place that sprung a giant leak two weeks ago and had water running down the walls which in turn ruined some of the new wood flooring that we had just put in. Stay on task woman. Anyway, I think the refrigerator is dying. There is a whole lotta whining and noises coming from the engine, which is usually indicative of motor burnout. Great... Then I decided to do a load of dishes because I am packing them up for the Good Will so I fill it with soap, crank the knob and...nothing. It just isn't working at all. I have sprouted giant holes in pocket that all of my money is falling out of.

Tuesday night, I noticed, as the temperature dropped, that the house (not the town house but the one I currently live in with the actual furniture), is rather chilly. I check the thermostat: set for 70, but current temperature, a balmy 60 degrees. Remember how I enjoy setting my air at 83 for optimal comfort during the long hot summer? Well 83 - 60 is 23 degrees of hypothermia entering my body. Every degree under optimal makes me unhappy and the latest development of being bloody cold isn't driving my yuletide spirit.

Wednesday night was a dosey. Really it is one of the more exciting events of the recent past. I am minding my own business at around 9pm, when I hear a knock at my door. I peak out to see a young guy I don't know. He looks okay and waves so I open the door. He tells me he is a neighbor from across the street and that he works from home. He has noticed some suspicious people loitering around our house that day and in his opinion, they are casing our house to break in. Whaaaa...t? So our house is not... what's that word I am looking for, oh yeah, secure. I have broken in at least 5 times due to lost keys because many of our windows do not lock. Now for all you robbers out there, I am remedying the situation so don't think about it.

So I immediately think about how Tom is not here, which is obvious by the fact that his giant work truck is not in the driveway and how the window by my bed doesn't lock and how we have a really nice tv that is viewable through our open blinds which we leave open because our house is on the market for sale. So I freak out and go look for weapons in the garage. I find a really solid tire wrenching tool and my pocket knife. That's about it. Oh and a shovel. I am armed and ready. I call Tom, he calls the police, and they stop by just to check out the situation. Really there is nothing they can do, and I survive the night unscathed, but I am thinking that we better get a house sitter over Christmas.

So if Wednesday night was weird, Thursday was even more sickly fate-dependant. I decided to go to a women's frisbee practice but when I arrived, there were no lights and therefore no practice. One of my friends there however, was going to go watch her bf play at another field where there was an all male league game going on. So we get blueberry beer and I tag along to help heckle the guys. I am sitting on the sideline, drinking my amazing blueberry nectar and chatting with my pals, when BAM, something hits me in the face hard. I had zero reaction time and it took a couple of seconds to realize what had happened. Yes, this former rugby player who had previously never broken her nose in the 8 years she played managed to accomplish this feat while SPECTATING an ultimate frisbee game. I am told that the guy wound up to thrown a 80 meter zinger about 10 feet from me, and misdirected the disc directly into my nose. Thank you fate. Now fortunately, I have a larger than normal nose and the disc hit me directly straight on, so there is no crookedness or missing teeth, just a lot of blood and swelling. At this point in this amazing week, I did the only logical thing that I could do, I went to the bar.

Stay tuned for Friday's episode. I may not leave the house so that nothing else can befall me. I also have a theory that since my friend Erin also known as The Person That Everything Random In The World That Can Happen To Will Happen moved back to the east coast, I am taking her spot in this sick sick game. Come back Erin!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Great Vid

This video is awesome ! Bikes rule! It also shows me how far I have to go with my biking skills. I want to be able to jump up on dumpsters and bounce over cement cylinders. I am sure it is just my bike holding me back right now. Yup that's it.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Gotta get it.

I just picked up the book "The Thrill of Victory, The Agony of My Feet" from Amazon. It's about 20 crazy stories written about the experiences of some of the best adventure racers in the history of the sport (and some amateurs as well). From what I have read so far, it's awesome. It arrived last night and when I opened it up, inside the cover was this...

The Adventure Racing Manifesto
If you're not hungry, you are carrying too much food.
If you're not thirsty, you are carrying too much water.
If you are warm, you have to many clothes.
If you are not wet, scratched, and bruised, you took the long way.
If you are not frightened, you have too much gear.
If you are not tired, you're going too slowly.
If you are not drop-down sleepy, you're getting too much rest.
And if you finish the race on schedule, it was too easy anyway.

It gives me chills. I am sooo hooked. This part of my life is definitely to be continued...

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Climb & Whine.

I climbed a wall. I fell off the wall. I tried again. I fell again. Why can't I do this. Whine.

My knee is shaking. My arms hurt. How is this move possible? Where is the hold? Whine.

My hands are tired. My skin hurts. My fingers are peeling. Why am I so wimpy tonight? Whine.

Sometimes you have it, and sometimes you don't. Rock climbing last didn't have it. I hate it when I suck.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

I ride alone but it doesn't bother me.

Endurance athletes have a whole crazy concept of what constitutes a long workout. Unfortunately I am not one of them. I am queen of sprinting on the treadmill at 9.0 mph in order to get really tired quickly and not have to run anymore. I was a sprinter/hurdler in track, a wing in rugby and consider my competitive advantage my speediness more than any sort of endurance nonsense. So it is interesting that now I am trying to do these endurance events. I think it is the challenge of something I am inherently not built for. That and two straight years of knee issues where sprinting is difficult and slow endurance activities are the only thing you are allowed to do.

So anyway, for endurance athletes, a three hour bike ride is just a normal jaunt in the park. I am not an endurance athlete however , so my quick mtb bike ride Saturday afternoon that ended up being a three hour bonk fest, was a bit exhausting. Since my normal biking buddy Sarah is rowing across the Atlantic, I am riding more and more on my own. I used to be afraid that if I mountain biked on new trails by myself, I would go off a cliff and die a lonely death. But I am somehow over that and now just assume I would break my leg close enough to the path to yell for help.

Saturday, I got ready to go for a quick ride while on the phone with a friend, so I ran out of the house without really thinking bringing no food or camera, and only filling up my camelback halfway. I road a part of a trail in South Mountain that I haven't ridden ever which hooks up with a trail I am very familiar with, the Desert Classic. The beginning of the trail was a pretty cool uphill slog of big rocks and climbing. I was fresh so felt pretty good and was pleasantly surprised how technical this ride was. About an hour in, I stopped to drink some water and realized that I was still a ways from the portion of the trail I know. But I was having a good time and didn't want to turn around yet. I hate hate hate not getting to the end of something, turning around early is really hard for me. Maybe something cool is around the corner!

So I decided just to keep going and if I had to take the road back, I would. I knew it was only around 10 miles of trail to the other end which isn't bad if you are in shape, but my acl-less knee might not enjoy 20 miles of trail out of the blue. So once I got to the part of the trail I knew, I was flying (at least in my mind). Wet sand is sooo much better to ride on than dry sand. Loving life, I reached the other end in 1 hr and 45 minutes as clouds rolled in and thunder started sounding.

I decided to take the road back for expediency and since I was running dangerously low on water and had no food. Problem was, I hadn't realized I was riding with a back wind the whole time (climbing will take away that advantage) and all of the sudden, I was tired and trying to ride into ridiculous headwind. Not to mention this road biker kept passing me like I was going still as he weaved in and out of neighborhoods. I think he was laughing at my big dirty tires.

Finally I was getting fed up with the road and I came upon a road cutting down into a wash back into the mountains behind the house line. I thought maybe that would be a short cut to the parking lot my car was it which was behind the house line also. At the very least, it would at get me out of the wind. The trail was fun and wet with sections of it actually consisting of running water, which is such a treat to see in the normally dry rock pile of a mountain range.

I was happy with my decision until the trail starting climbing the mountain again. It became almost unbikable uphill and at this point I was bonking pretty bad. After summiting a ridge, it dumped me down into a million dollar neighborhood on the top of a private mountain. I was then had to scale an 8 foot fence with my bike to get out of the neighborhood before finally making it back to my car. Tired dirty hungry and happy was a pretty accurate description of how I felt. I would guess I did about 12 trail miles and 10 road miles on about 1 liter of water. Not my smartest move ever, but, it made my cookie and wine party that night seem much more earned.

I forgot to take my camera, but snapped these pics from the top with my cell phone. Not bad for a cell phone camera.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Thoughts on Christmas

I am alive with the yuletide spirit. It ripples through me like amber waves of grain. Each ornament placed on the tree and each wreath hung signifies my devotion to all things of the season. [...record screeching to a loud and violent halt sound followed by maniacal laughter.]

I haven't done anything for Christmas yet. No gift buying, decorating, card sending or even candy cane buying. I am one lazy mofo. For whatever reason, even though I grew up in a house that decorated for Christmas with all the normal hubbub, I am totally lazy at decorating my own pad. Maybe it's because I am wearing shorts as I make plans to "do things" outside. I think it's easier to decorate in cold places since you are essentially stuck in the house due to the ridiculously bad weather outside. Sure, I'd string thousands of pieces of popcorn on a string. That sounds like more fun than going mountain biking in the glorious 70 degree weather.

[Alert: This is the point in the year that people who live in bad weather places (as I call them), should stop reading this blog, because I am going to become insufferable as I describe the perfect weather everyday. Check back in in June.]

In addition, I hate Christmas shopping because the mall is sort of my worst nightmare and sometimes I just want to lower my shoulder as I run screaming for the door, knocking over little old ladies and bratty kids alike. I shudder at the question, what do you want for Christmas. I am forced to come up with ideas that are in the right price range. Can't I just say, "I want a new bike so buy me a fork or rear derailer please." I can buy my own things, thanks, lets skip the gifts this year. But hang on dear readers, I will not scrooge myself completely quite yet.

But even though I am lazy and have to force myself to decorate and shop, there are many things I enjoy about Christmas. I love caroling. It's nice and I know all the words to harmonize for most Christmas songs. I enjoy the time with family and friends back home, especially if it snows. Nothing beats snow at Christmas when you don't have to go anywhere. I like the food. Ahh food. People go all out around Christmas time and no one even stops to think twice about the amount of butter that goes in that Christmas morning cinnamon bread candy cane shaped tee-ring. Delicious. My mother is a great baker and prepares treats months in advance of my arrival. I do not know why I can not cook or bake anything. I am an aberration in my family. And really, I enjoy the warmth of the reason for the season. It's about love, giving, friends, family and rebirth and with the turn of a calendar year, all things are possible. Even potentially two knee surgeries while starting school again, working and selling a house with a little marathon and bike racing thrown in for fun. Can't wait for Christmas and 2008.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Maybe a reason why I injure myself playing rugby.

Wow. That's a solid base, is all I'm saying.

I was looking through some old pics on my computer and found this photo from my days at the ole Ohio State U. I don't believe I dump tackled this person, if I had to guess. Bad high form didn't help, but man that's a solid base to move. That's why they stuck me on the wing... all speed no form. I never really felt small in rugby though, at least not until I played club level against teams like Berkeley and I was having my garbage taken out by the freaking dump truck.

The rez. My rez.

Look at the Puddles! Of Water! In the desert! Sigh. Pure Bliss.

Ever since I have found the hole in the fence, I have been pretty excited.

I have talked about the Ak Chin NA reservation land just south of my house before. And how I found a hole in the fence that is my entry into this exciting portal. About how it is my own little deserted playground of dirt trails, roads, and just deserted barren land. Ugly by all standards, I find the absolute desolation of it quite endearing. It's kind of like when someone has a baby, and really its the ugliest baby in the history of babies, but they think it so cute just because it it is theirs. Well that is what I feel about my rez, not really mine, but since no one else uses it, it might as well be.

So we had some major rain this past weekend. It was around 2.5 inches. That is approximately 1/3 of our average rainfall. In 24 hours. Wow. Imagine if you had 1/3 of your rainfall in 24 hours. That would be like 75 inches in some places in Hawaii. In fact we had so much rain, that my roof sprang a leak and water was dripping down the inside of the drywall. That was slightly exciting, but not as exciting as riding in the mud on the rez. I went for a bike/run Saturday and just enjoyed getting dirty. The giant rainbow being painted across the sky, just served as artwork for the mini lake puddles that offset the tumbleweed sculptures. Sometimes that ugly desolation just seems almost beautiful.

Running in mud, biking in mud, it is all new for me now. I forget how mud flies up from your tire and smacks you in the face. And I forget the soft squishy unstable feeling of running through anything other than desert concrete. But I laugh out loud as I revel in the newness and excitement of mud and it makes me feel like a kid again.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Please doc... can I ...

Forget to mention that New Doc wasn't really that keen on me running the half marathon in January. He said "well if its really something you want to do, but I really don't recommend." Is it really something I want to do? Actually no, I don't even like road running, BUT THATS NOT THE POINT!

So I conveniently forgot to ask him about riding in a 24 hour bike race as well. Cause that is something that I really really really want to do.

Sigh. I can't win. I shall have to consult my astrology report and see if my stars are aligning. Then I will drink goat's blood, kill a chicken and strap on my running shoes.

Why I am guaranteed arthritis.

So I met with a new orthopedic doc yesterday. His name was given to me by my disappearing act previous surgeon who also can't find my previous medical records and is really annoying me. I think I like New Doc though. He is very real and tells me what he is thinking and he also spent more than 3 minutes with me so that is also a plus. Unfortunately, his words weren't that exciting to hear however.

The first thing he told me was that I should stop running forever because I am guaranteed to have arthritis in my bad and knee and it will just make it worse. Awesome. I know this is probs true, but whatever, I can't live my life like that.

The second unsettling news is that because I am having a do-over surgery, I may have to have a two step process for fixing it. In the previous ACL reconstruction, they drilled tunnels in my tibia and femur to attach the new ACL in. These tunnels can not be used in the second surgery (?) and they need to drill new ones. If the paths of these two sets of tunnels are interfering, they will have to do a bone draft in the first step and then wait 3 months for the tunnels to fill in with bone. Then I would have a second procedure for the actual ACL reconstruction. I take this as stretching out hell as long as possible. Argh.

New Doc also has different rehab methods which include walking much quicker, but doing most of the initial rehab at home vs with a physical therapist. I am cool with that since PT cost $20 a pop and totally rules your life since you have to go during work hours 3 times a week. So I am optimistic that I like New Doc but the reality is that this knee isn't going to be back to normal anytime soon and that I really shouldn't plan big events for a long time. Blah. I went to the gym last night after the appt and ran a couple of miles on the treadmill. Take that New Doc.