Monday, March 26, 2012

Spring Rides in the Big City

Although you might not think NYC is a great place to live if you enjoy riding a bicycle, I have to say I am really enjoying riding here so far. I am doing a ride series with NYCC and it is super fun. This week we rode to Ridgewood, New Jersey, wherever that is. I still honestly have no idea although I believe it is Northwest of the city.

First I must say the park is looking insane, every week it is more and more beautiful. Everything is blooming. I need to take a leisurely ride there to take some snaps. This is actually from one of the parks in Hoboken, but you get the idea. Beautiful!!

Here is our fearless leader of my group talking about something that I probably should have been listening to, rather than taking a picture, but whatever.

It is kind of funny because they are teaching a number of basic cycling skills so I tend to zone out but I am learning a few things. It is hard to ride in a single paceline when I am not just hanging on for dear life like I would when riding with my old team.

Ridgewood was SO cute. It was the cutest little town. We hung out and had a snack in a park and I took pictures of some of the super cute buildings. We did not have anything like this in Colorado.

Right?! I also took a picture of one of my compatriots' bikes. This guy lives in Brooklyn and has a bamboo bicycle. Apparently it is quite light. You will notice it is sitting right in front of the Purple Hammer, my bike.

So I am really enjoying doing these rides. They are so not intense but I like finding out different rides to try, rather than just riding up 9W. One of the rides will be out to Long Island, I can't wait. And I guess we will be doing a Century. Which is funny because even a 60 mile ride seems to take us about 7 hours, so I have no idea how we will do that. Perhaps we will get home at 2:00 am. Oh well, we always seem to have a good time!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Sometimes in life you have to pull the plug on a race because it just doesn't make sense. A few weeks back I had wanted to run a race in Prospect Park and Chad and I decided that it was a dumb idea because my butt and my calf hurt. And it was 30 degrees with a 25 MPH wind which is not great weather! We had another good heart to heart today (Chad is an awesome coach) and I have decided not to race at Galveston on April 1. I am sad for many reasons, but mostly because that means I won't get to see Kim or watch her first pro race. I am kind of sad not to race but frankly my body is in no shape to do so. Every morning I wake up and stretch out in my bed and hobble around for a good 10 minutes, because my body just hurts. My butt and my calf hurt the most but in generally I feel like a little old lady. I want to regain the spring in my step, or be able to break into a jog to make it across a street before a light changes, without feeling pain. I think I have always prided myself on my endurance and my ability to do lots of work without breaking down. Well, sometimes even Banzo hits a limit. I do this sport for fun. I love to exercise, and I love to push myself. But not to the point of feeling pain whenever I move around. The ability to move our bodies is such a gift. I want to feel the pure joy of movement again, which I know I can only do if I get some rest, and forget about racing. So that is the plan.

Sorry for the buzz kill of a post, especially after weeks of radio silence. But that is the big news. I did stop traveling and that is amazing. I am having a wonderful time living in New York and watching the city wake up from winter. It is such an amazing experience and I feel so lucky that I live here. Perhaps it is time for me to focus more on experiencing a new city, making friends, having fun, reading, learning, going to museums, and walking, than obsessively training. There is more to life and I think at times I have forgotten that. Here's to remembering. Even though this is kind of a sad post, I don't feel sad. I feel optimistic about the future and excited to have some new experiences. So I am a happy and more balanced person now, even if I won't be trying to crush the field in Texas!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Off the road and temporarily unemployed!!!

Well today I am technically unemployed - my last day at my old job was Friday and my first day at my new job is tomorrow. And how do I feel about being off the road?


(times 100)

(or maybe more)

It is funny. Taking a job with 100% travel enabled me to move without looking for a job across the country. And at this job I feel like I met some lifelong friends and professional contacts and learned a ton, for which I will always be grateful. And it allowed me to hedge my bets with regard to moving - if I didn't like it here, I could have easily moved somewhere else. That said, I don't think it's a very healthy lifestyle for me (especially when the travel is to Houston). And now that I live here, I want to be able to have more of a life here rather than coming in for the weekend, training, and leaving again. So I am so excited to be working in the city. I am also excited that I don't have to get on a plane tomorrow. In the first two months of the year I flew 25,000 miles. That's just about enough I think!

It is truly amazing to me how much better I feel just knowing I'm off the weekly travel schedule. My load feels lighter and the stress I always felt weighing on me is gone. It's a good feeling. I also feel excited to be integrated into the daily life here. It will be weird to walk to the train station and go to work in the city like I always wanted to. The funny thing too is that when I was in school I almost moved here, so it's like I'm a new graduate just 10ish years late!

So in the spirit of meeting people and getting to know the city and surrounding areas, I signed up for a 10 week ride program with the NY Cycling Club. I went to an orientation meeting yesterday and I'm excited. It was great to meet some new people who share my interests and it sounds like we'll be doing a bunch of cool rides! Right now I know two rides so it should expand my repertoire quite a bit! It starts next Saturday which is great. I am about ready to stop doing long trainer rides.

Other than that I am just kind of trucking along with training. My butt has been bothering me which I think is due to travel related alignment issues, so now that I won't be sitting on a plane for 7 hours a week I am going to get adjusted and hopefully my butt and hips will feel better. But outside of that I feel good and I am finally feeling excited about the season ahead. It's my last year in 30-34 and probably my last year of hard training so I'm ready to tear it up a little!