Monday, December 31, 2012

An Open Letter to an Old Friend

Dear Salad,

Sorry we weren't able to hook up much this December. You know how crazy things get with the holidays? I've been swamped. 

Call me tomorrow, K?

Love,
gba gf

Saturday, December 29, 2012

There's Kissed, and then there's Kona Kissed


Kona

It sounds delicious doesn’t it?

Kona makes me think of something decadent.

Something I want to taste. Something I want to savor intimately for hours on end until salty sweat trails in rivulets down the contours of my lush body and breathless gasps of pleasure escape my parted lips.

Oh for sure, I’ll be out of breath in the company of Kona.

How we got from no action at all to something as truly sexy as Kona is a long story. I really can't tell you for fear of boring you all to tears... it's generally about deviant minivans, ridiculousness, clumsy sweaty afternoons at Poor Farm, “that’s what she said”, and one charming 21 year old.

“Hey, what do you think of this one?”

I borrowed this photo from KONAWORLD
“It’s a sexy bike, but...”

Just before the holidays I found myself standing in Richmond Bicycle Studio talking to the ridiculously charming lead mechanic about the merits of a women’s specific Kona versus the 29er I was trying out from a competitor’s shop.

SO...

I kept comparing it to driving a tank. I mean, seriously, I drive a fecking sucktastic beige minivan 99% of my time. For once I'd like to have something agile to tool around on...

After riding the 29er for a week, I concluded that it was too much to handle. Every time I rode it I nearly damaged the parts of my body I would seriously prefer NOT to damage. (there’s a TACO post out there on the internet somewhere that can clarify that, but I’m SO not going into details).
...and ultimately, the 29er was too big to enjoy.

That’s what she said.

Once I tried the Kona there was no going back. It was love.

seriously, this is the
end of the grip...
The 21YearOld says
it's called the
Kona Kiss
This isn’t going to turn into a Kona ad. I swear it’s not, but the attention to detail on the women's specific design warrants a closer look if you're looking at mountain bikes. The stock saddle is freakishly nice... I mean, if you're into Tacos & #junk. 

And I don’t mean to turn this into a RBS ad, except it could become one pretty fast. There are lots of nice places to buy a bike in RVA, but if you want to know WHY I ended up at RBS, go here, and click around for about 14 seconds until you get here.

Now, TRY to give me a good argument to buy anything cycling related at another shop? I’d be hard pressed to do so.

Also, even if you over look that they give 100% of the proceeds of their sales to a non-profit that actually does good, they tossed in a free sticker for my whip.

The sucktastic beige minivan never looked so sexy in her life. 
I think my street cred is up a solid 2%. 
Maybe... 3%.... 

~Savor the ride~

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Joy

Today, I told my son that IF he wanted, and ONLY if HE wanted, I would sign him up for a Triathlon as his "big gift" from my Aunt. She had sent money for the kids Christmas.  I looked around my apartment and decided that it would be better to give the children an EXPERIENCE rather than give them a THING.

Based on his reaction (I really should have filmed it, I had NO idea it would be THAT level) I would say that I chose wisely.

He is SO excited...

I am SO excited...


Friday, December 21, 2012

Like Feeding Cocaine to a Crack head... with orange hair


I often equated riding my road bike to doing crack. It was addicting. I wanted it.

But then the season ended, and apparently my interest in crack is directly related to the temperature outside. So what was I going to do for X-training now? Sit on a trainer in my living room? Oh HELL no.

so now, I'm a BOMB. And as I feared/suspected it is like ... a siren that calls me. 

If road cycling is like crack, then this my friends, is high.end.coke.
(not that I know what high end coke is like, but if I did...).

In order to make this more fun for everyone, The Gentleman Leader (TGL) decided to take on a new role, and "enrolled" us in a new class. MTB101.


The Professor (TGL), Muppet, B & Lady K
We cluster in small groups at the rear of our cars, like Freshmen without any upper class-men around to judge. We spend the few minutes before each ride laughing and hazing each other with a nervous edge to our voices. For the most part, the hazing is gentle, with small amounts of mockery tossed in for good measure. mostly self mockery.

The Professor shows up on his Giant Red Bike of Doom... or, if not doom, then definitely red. And things get real.

Or, at least really entertaining.

"Do you have enough gear?"

I noticed on the first day of class that some of the kids in my grade seem like they know more about the assignments than I do (and by "some" I mean ALL. ALL OF THE OTHER KIDS know MORE about this than I do).

But I pay attention in class.
I do my homework.
I practice.
I try to have the right equipment so my teacher doesn't berate me too much.
I keep the whining to a minimum. mostly

And this week at MTB101 I felt definite improvement.

It's difficult to see improvement, because I don't know what I look like on the bike. But I felt it. I felt it in the balance of the bike... and the speed I was able to comfortably handle, hills I had the guts to ride down, and mostly, in the air I got over a few small bumps in the trail.

There is this moment in horses and biking, and probably surfing and skating (definitely want to try skating after spring (race distance) training is over) where you are totally at one with your instrument. The bike becomes part of you, and if you think something, it will happen without effort. The shift of weight is too subtle to be consciously directed.

This is true, I swear.

And at my last MTB 101 class, I felt it. It was there. Not for the whole ride, but for a few brief moments I had total and complete trust in myself.

Trust. In myself. It is a great thing and it has nothing to do with cycling or MTB or anything of the sort.  To feel it, even for a few moments... yeah.

It is precious.

And if that three minutes of peace this week is the only thing I ever get out of MTB, it'll still have been worth every other minute I spent pedaling through the woods.

This MTB sh*t is the bomb.

Of course, now that I'm starting to feel solid about this level, last night The Gentleman Leader casually informed us over beer that MTB101 is over.

We're moving up to MTB201.

Monday, December 17, 2012

No need to panic

I don't know who kidnapped me and replaced me with someone who's calm and cool... but I kinda like it.

Cos, "I think it's just a mild sprain... maybe a strain" here where you "turned this bone to the side" didn't send me into a frantic state of injured runner neurotic "hot mess".

For real. I didn't freak out. At all.  Instead I thought, and this is why it's important to have back up plans to the secret plans.

So RICE today.
Swim tomorrow. (or slog, if anyone wants to slog too)
Ride Wednesday.
Run Thursday... depending.

Maybe THEN I will panic. or not. cos seriously, it's just a (racedistancehere). Why fret? They have those things almost every weekend of the year...

nbd.

And who are you?
And WHAT have you done with GBA GF?

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Best Day Ever... yep, I said it.


It’s not that I don’t feel badly for the families involved in The Events of This Week. It’s just that I was extremely selfish today.

See, instead of being crippled by something sad that happened, I went about my day.

I did what I do on a typical Kid Saturday. I aspired to make today The Best Day Ever because my kids deserve that from me no matter what happened yesterday, or what happens tomorrow.
 
Saturday morning my kids and I woke up and had our usual breakfast. We got dressed, shared some dog licks with our dog cos sharing dog licks is part of the routine, packed the bikes in the car and went...

...To deliver a meal to a friend of mine. 

Yep. Seriously. But I didn’t do it because she was impacted by yesterday’s events... instead it was because she is a single mom living the same day, day in and day out, without a support crew. I mean, I am part of her support crew, she has a crew, we are just a less traditional “crew”, and I thought, “Hey. I’m going to do something nice for her this week”.  

The other night when I was cooking, I made a little extra soup with her in mind. Because EVERYONE deserves GOOD SOUP. Right?
 
Right.

Also, my kids appreciated that we did something nice for someone just because.

Then I took my posse to the park. It’s a great public park with a large play area that happens to be surrounded on three sides by single-track mountain bike worthy trails! I got G all set up, and tooled around with him while the girls played with some friends.  Can I just say, showing G a tiny snippet of what his MTB is capable of was a little like showing cocaine to a crack addict? Uh huh. He’s SO hooked. Then I came back to the park, and the B’nut looked at me, smiled impishly, slapped my arm and shouted, “You’re it”, as she took off running with a squeal of giggling. And just like that, B'nut started a high-speed game of tag.  Do not be fooled by her impish 6 year old self. B’nut is surprisingly fast.

It was amazing. We had SO much fun just PLAYING.

We played tag until we were breathless and giggling and I thought, “Today is just turning out to be one of those special days with my kids. Lucky me.” I am lucky, I know.

And then this afternoon...evening... night, my Nursing School Wife came over to assemble Gingerbread houses, and eat candy, and decorate, and eat candy, and paint nails, and eat candy. We had a super day. My blood glucose level right now is probably around 350.... #seriously, holymotherofgod we totally junked out today.

All of us. Including my normally exquisitely behaved dog.

What? The candy on my nose?
No  idea how it got there... on a
completely unrelated note, those
gingerbread houses you built
tonight may not be "structurally
sound". Just sayin'.
And then it was 9 pm, and our friends left, and I snuggled my kids into their warm beds. We gave Eskimo kisses and butterfly kisses and good night kisses and even Desi came through with licky Dog Kisses. And we did all these things because it’s just a usual day for us. This is our normal.

It’s part of having another Best Day Ever.

And maybe I’ll offend when I say this... but I think it’s OK to be normal after something bad happens to someone else. My kids and I do stuff together. We did it as usual today because it’s just what we do.

Maybe that makes me selfish, but what better way to honor someone lost than to go out and live?

And to my kids, today was another The Best Day Ever.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

I used to be...

I used to be a SAHM.

I stayed at home, and baked and cooked and sewed buttons on things and went to my fitness classes and organized playgroups... and then I met a runner.... and then I was a SAHM who ran miles and miles and marathons...

and then...

I was a STUDENT ATHLETE (HOTT) MOM who ran marathons... I'm a pretty solid student again... it's a nice feeling to have that back... a TriLaughAlete Mom of 3... A Single Mom of 3... A Stressed-Alot-HolyCARP-Mom of 3...


So now I'm a BOMB... B*tch On Mountain Bike, and seriously, I kinda just made that up on the fly, and I seriously kinda love it...

BOMB level 2... of 10. lame

I'm a terrible B*tch. Not sure I'm bitchy enough to qualify at any level. I'm way too sweet most of the time, slightly naive about the world much of the time, ever hopeful all of the time...

I'm not much of a mtb chic either. I lack  the mad skillz. I'm not gba just yet.

Regardless, I went on a solo ride to try out some new trails on my sweet whip.

If you like something enough to do it completely alone, it kinda says something about the interest in getting better... don't you think? I do.

Though, I might have gone alone because my training plan says I needed some high quality cross training today.

Cross training should always be this fun.

And it was fun. Fun like running alone is fun... maybe you have to be a runner to get that statement in it's wholeness.

Today as I was crashing through the trails.. er, literally... on a borrowed 'not quite mine yet' 29er, I decided to stop with the labeling. I might be a lot of things, but why limit myself?

For every nonsense label I've thought up, I've yet to think up 201 more appropriate ones.

I'm whatever I am in the moment. No label of "neurotic mom of 3" is going to come close to touching on the me that I am.

Besides, at the core of it all,

I'm a runner...

and runners are weird.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

its a sweet whip

"S'that your whip?" with a nod to the mountain bike.

"yeah. It's nothing fancy, but I dig it."

"It's a sweet whip."

~a smile~ "I think so."

"Whoa, wait... disk brakes too?" ~an answering smile~ "niiiice."

And so that was the conversation from Friday that served to reiterate that I know NOTHING about mtb except that it's abbreviated mtb in a text message and that "whip", "ride", and "mtb" are interchangeable when referring to mountain bikes in certain settings.


But despite that lack of education, Saturday I was throwing around words like “cog”, and “whip”, and “gear”, and “sh*t!”, and “tree!” like I had a clue what they all meant, all while huffing through the woods sounding suspiciously like a twenty year 2 pack a day smoker on her very own mtb...

There was an occasional scream or squeal of glee-omgIamgoingtodie-fun.

"Uh, TOM???"

"Uh, Ginny, just ride over it."

I could totally tell y'all a story here, but I don't think it counts as a real bike wreck or fall unless there's blood & stuff. #prettysure

And, besides, it.was.AWESOME!

It was kinda the most fun I’ve ever had on a bike, ever.

Shhh. Don’t tell OC, my road bike, I was cheating on her... but honestly, this was so much more my speed and style than road biking. I will even argue that when you consider there was one ditch that I looked at and couldn’t bring myself to ride through. I will next time. I just needed to re-acclimate myself to riding off road before attempting badass level 7.

Today I was definitely squarely in badass level 3... maybe 4... for a few minutes...

And to be honest, this whole thing... well, it was just like riding a bike.

The last time I rode a single-track type outing was with a fellow BMX kid back in 1992-ish. We both had what we called mini-mountain bikes. They were BMX in size, but fully geared, and we tooled around the woods near our house on them for a summer and fall...  by the spring I think we’d both moved onto bigger and badder things.

My thing was a horse named Ringo (cos I was a Beatles fan) and his thing was a cute 8th grader named Rebecca or Samantha or something like that (cos he was a boy).

Regardless, it’s been 20’ish years since I’ve been on a bike in the woods, and about 3 minutes into my ride today I thought, “I have found my winter cross training”.

For shizzle.

In fact, if I wasn’t training for a (race) this spring, I might take up mountain biking as a bit more than a cross training sport. I can totally see how this could be my new sport for a while. Kinda like how a few years back I was really into swimming... and then I came back to running after the break...?

Only, I don’t need a break right now. I just need a really intense high quality cross training adventure once a week... 
cos, yeah... this, today... this didn’t suck.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Cost analysis


Do you have any idea what it costs to shelve your pride?

I do.

I have a good idea, and the cost is pricy. It took me 4 days to do it. Four.Days.

That’s a friggin’ long time for me to think about writing a facebook message.
Seriously.
Who does that?

Someone with a crimped budget, that’s who. Someone who fears the emotional expenditure will be too much.

But you know, the cost wasn’t as bad as the budget suggested.

I had an unimaginable response. I’m not sure WHY it was unimaginable. We’ve established numerous times in the past that my friends are #epic. They do epic sh*t almost every day.

Including today.