Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Corpse-Rat King

What isn't intriguing about this title?  Or the cover for that matter.  The Corpse-Rat King is about a corpse rat, con man, and all around scuzzy guy with no redeeming qualities.  He finds himself dead, and with the promise of life being restored, goes in pursuit of a king for the dead.  Going in pursuit implies that he went right out and did what was asked of him.  He did not.  He ran, he hid and he connived, all of the things that he did best while he was truly alive.  Some reviews say he did not evolve during the book.  That they started the book not liking him, and they ended the book not liking him.  I don't know that you are ever suppose to like him, but that doesn't mean that he doesn't evolve as a character.  It took his death to make him find the humanity that he was capable of, and it was a long journey.  Corpse-Rat was a bit to wordy with descriptions for my liking, but that is my only real complaint. $4.80 on Kindle, and completely worth it.


Monday, September 24, 2012

Stairs, Commuting and Pain

On Friday we had an evacuation drill at work.  I work on a very high floor.  I've never actually completed the drill and I decided that this year I would do it.  How hard could it be?  I can go on a 30 mile bike ride and maintain 15 mph.  What was going down some stairs? 

Never again.  Unless the building is actually on fire, never, ever again.  My legs are still cramping, still hurt, and I am barely mobile.  Ugh.
Regardless of my hobbling I decided to carry on with my plan to map the commute from my house to work via bike on Saturday.  My aunt's came with me and we really didn't have any issues until we got  into downtown.  Columbus is a mess right now.  Nearly every highway is shut down or has construction.  Apparently the same goes for the bike trails.  We were detoured off of the bike path and through random parts of the city.   The detour signs were neither consistent nor helpful.  We mostly ended up where we were going by smell.

After lunch at North Market we headed back out for the return trip.  Instead of trying to weave our way back through the no mans land we entered by we took Google's suggestion and headed straight up a main street.  It was a more direct route to the bike trail, and less miles.  However, it is a Main street, while not to scary on a Saturday afternoon, Monday at rush hour would be an entirely different story.

 My great ambition to commute to work then is still in the planning stages.  I am waiting for the bike lockers to go in ( SO excited and the basic structures are already up) .  I know I can bike the mileage, even though it is higher than a typical cycling commute.  The one remaining problem is getting in and out of downtown safely.  That is going to take some more research and planning.  I don't believe either of the routes that I tried on Saturday are viable options.  I am okay with the ride in, it would be early enough that traffic wouldn't be a concern yet.  How to get home is the remaining challenge.

Despite my predead legs, and despite my misgivings about work day viability, it was a good day.  We explored parts of the trail that we hadn't been on before, I was able to introduce my aunt to the wonders of North Market, and I put in some more real traffic/road miles.  If you had told me last year that I would voluntarily ride a bike in downtown Columbus the length of High Street, I would have told you that you are out of your mind.  Now I just need to convince myself to do it in work day traffic.  Uh huh.


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Things I am looking forward to

When I am getting down about my weight, work, less daylight or life I find it is easier to face down those things if I have something to look forward to.  Like my next scheduled cycling event

This one is double edged, as I will be going the FARTHEST I have ever gone at 50 miles.  Also, you cant go 50 miles with out hills.  I hate hills.  What I am I looking forward to?  It's a goal so now I go out and push myself o try to get ready for those 50 miles.  Instead of just riding to ride.  Also, I will be getting through it with my aunt who is better than me at this.  Thirdly, my late Uncle was active in Scouting.  Upon his early, sudden and in now way expected death, the Scouts helped to organize the day of the funeral.  It will be my way of giving back.

Autumn!  I love fall color.  Love, love love.  I hate replacing  my tank tops for hoodies and my flip flops for socks, but it is a sacrifice I am willing to make.  I am also looking forward to gorgeous fall rides.


Christmas!  The lights, the colors, the joy.  Christmas is my favorite holiday and it has nothing to do with receiving presents.  My personal goal is to not buy some new decoration in every store I go to.  Every time I go to the store.  From now till Christmas.  Even though that is what usually happens.

What happy thought are keeping you going as the light wanes and the weather cools?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Jane Eyre

I did not understand this book at the beginning. I had a problem suspending disbelief about Jane as a 10 year old expressing herself as an adult.  I also had a hard time reading of her mistreatments in childhood.  In attempt to get myself through it I researched the book a bit and discovered that it has 5 distinct sections.  That helped me when Jane's back story was getting tiresome.  
The third section was amazing, and why this book is a classic.  I had never used the kindle highlight option before reading this book, and I used it, a lot.  I also cried.  I can't remember the last time a book made me cry.  I was reading exactly how I believe love should feel and how it should be expressed.  That made reading this book an intense and self reflective experience.
Like my favorite movies,   I can see reading the "Kelly version" of this book multiple times.  In this case, that means the third section and probably the fifth section, only.

This is a classic novel that is truly worth reading.  Now I can get the 2011 movie with Michael Fassbender off of Netflix with no readers guilt.
4/5 stars.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Happiness Is The Little Things 9.16.12

New bike gear!

Nothing is more motivating then new gear to try out.  It has made me really happy and more enaged with my work outs again.

 You will notice the name brands are all over the board.  There are two reasons for that.  One, amazon is cheaper.  Two, the Cannondale shoe cover were a guilt purchase.

I walked into a bike shop in town and asked if they had any fall/winter gear.  They didn't have any on the floor, but the associate went to the back and dug through boxes and made multiple trips back to me.  Most of the gear wouldn't fit, they had limited sizes and the womens was too small and the mens was to big.  it was all more than I was willing to pay for a single item as I really had a lot of purchases in mind. See pictures above.  One thing interested me however and it was the shoe covers.  I hadn't even know they existed but it made sense.  My bike shoes that I wore all summer allowed air to come through, which was great. Now that it is getting colder what was a benefit will now become frost bite inducing.  So I bought them.  Even though they were not my typical brand.  I figured it was the least I could do after all of the great customer service he provided.

Side note about bike shops.  My husband ( and I to a lesser extent) loves comic books.  Sometimes when we walk into comic book shops together I can get a definite OMG it's a girl!  Feeling.  Not for any reason other than I don't think some of the hops are frequented by women unless it's Christmas and they are looking for a gift for their partner.

I get the same feeling in bike shops sometime.  I took a grand tour of Columbus bike shops while price comparing and deciding what to buy.  And I occasionally felt that comic book store vibe.  It's a girl!  And she wants to buy stuff!  I feel this is a failing of bike shops.  Carry womens sizes!

As a side note to the side note,  I find it hard to believe that cycling is a male dominated past time.  It is low impact, practical, social, and burns tons of calories.  Why aren't women cycling?  The cost?  The time commitment?   I don't understand it.

Back to the first side note,

I believe at the heart of every cyclist is an accessories whore.  I see this as another great failing of the bike shop.  I've decided there is a great need for a cycling accessory only store.  Every color, every size, of every wardrobe piece, bike addition and accessory available.  Bike shops have not seemed to catch on yet that I don't want to spend $2000 + on a bike and then not be able to buy matching or coordinating accessories.   I envision a magical place, organized by color and offering XS- 4XL.   With a definite focus on the fact that their are women cyclist, they do have money, and they might want coordinating accessories. In colors other than black.

I am not sure how my Yay stuff!  Post turned into a rant about how I could create the greatest cycling accessory shop ever, but there you have it.

Have you added anything to you workout wardrobe to accommodate the weather change?

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

There is always an excuse

 Reasons why I did not want to go on a ride tonight:

1.  The tiredness mentioned in my previous post continues.
2.  I was really really sore yesterday and tender today.
3.  I waited to long and only had an hour before sunset.
4.  It looked like rain.

I went anyway.

I was only able to go out for 30 ish minutes, I forgot my bike computer, and it started raining.  I was riding hard and fast to get the best work out I could and to the beat the darkness and the rain.

I was riding west on the way home.  Riding into the sunset was amazing.  It was the kind of meditation I experience when I am around water.  Even though I was on my bike and going 15 mph the orange sunset still brought a kind on peace and wonderment. 

I wasn't able to take a picture, but this is the general idea...

Except the sun was much bigger, and I felt much closer.

My point is, I didn't want to go out tonight, and I barely made myself do it.  

Despite that, I was reminded of why cycling is so amazing.

I felt like I was part of nature tonight.

One of the many reasons to get out and ride my bike.
Moments like that make all of the excuses and all of the issues null and void.

Monday, September 3, 2012

If you are going to do something...

Do it right.  Right?

Here is a screen shot of my Edomondo activity for the last 5 weeks.  You can see the steep and steady decline followed by the rally. 

If you count weeks in Endomondo time, a week is Monday- Sunday.  I worked out 5/7 days last week with two work outs on Sunday. I apparently am not screwing around with this come back.

I pulled up the stats an graphs to look a because I am tired. I am freshly back from my Monday morning ride and I need a nap.  "Why am I so tired" I thought to myself.  Luckily for me, I have charts and graphs and spreadsheets to show me why.  Nothing like jumping back into it hard core!  My distances have not been long or fast but I have definitely been consistent.  Tomorrow is back to weights ( this guy )  Which isn't to taxing,

I haven't been sleeping well either.  I keep hoping all of the working out will help me sleep better....but so far, not so much.

My goals for September are:

1. Cycle or cardio 3 days a week.
2. Weight training 2-3 days a week.
3. Keep tracking on Lose it! EVERYDAY. Ugh.
4. Make a appointment with a foot Dr. for my supination

So far, so good according to the charts and graphs.  4 more weeks to go!

Oh and a side effect of rididng every day it's not raining, it getting splashed with mud anyway.  In my case grease from my chain as well.

I am off to take a nap before Labor day cook outs I think  I hope everyone enjoys their holiday!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Magazine Love, Bike Lust and Appreciating Beauty

The last event I signed up for was through  They offered a subscription to  Bicycling Magazine .  The usual three months free cancel at anytime blah blah.

I received my first issue in the mail yesterday, and I LOVE IT.  I was skeptical because I feel like anything I need to know, I have the internet for.  But I've been carrying this magazine around with me everywhere reading it every chance I get.

One of the more unfortunate for me article was titled " Our favorite $2000 road bikes". Their description of Specialized Ruby Elite Apex Compact had me drooling.  It is available in my size, carbon frame and ( apparently) the ideal bike for the rider who rides a lot but does not race.  SWOON.  Oh and let us not forget the Ruby comes in the same color as my Lexa  so all of my accessories can match across bikes!

To bad I need a bajillion other things, cycling gear and other wise before I consider a new bike.  It is definitely motivation to be more diligent about saving.  Sigh.  Some day Ruby Elite Apex, someday.

Trek posted a great picture on their facebook page today:

Love it!  It reminded me to share this picture with you.  I left late for my ride Thursday and was about 6 miles from home when the sun was setting.  Not great for riding, but it was a good photo opportunity.

That's all for today really.  Magazine love, bike lust, and most of all appreciating beauty.