A few posts back I commented on being in the A Group on a long ride.
Do I cut it? Or am I a poseur?

Mostly I am B Group material. We did a 42 mile ride yesterday that made me want to quit 10 minutes into it. It was hilly, then rolly, then really hilly, then more hills on top of that. I finished though. Total B Group fashion. The saving grace is that by constant repetition of hills, I learned how to do them more efficiently. (and with a lot less pain) I'll continue to work on the technique and also think about going a little faster. (10 mph is pretty demoralizing.)

I'm actually committing to a better diet and way less alcohol so the training goes a little easier. Maybe I'll even lose a little bit of my beer belly. The final goal is to kick some ass on the fundraising ride in Tucson. What? Less drinking??? Ya'll better sit down....I've decided to hang out my liver for a while.


Working on and up the hills

This weekend's ride is called the Medina Meander. I missed this ride last year. I hear it is not fun...because the hills are sickening.

Let me say this about that. I am not good at doing hills. Something about the gearing. Something about trying to muscle through them. something also about getting psyched out by them.

So this week is all about the hills. Mind you, it is also about regaining some aerobic fitness. I hadn't ridden in 16 days. Monday was rough. Had flown in on the red eye that am. Must, must, must ride on Tuesday or get slaughtered this weekend. Did a short 5 miles including one hill. We'll call it Storey Road hill. I had to stop half way up as I tried to pop it into granny gear and my chain balked at the idea.

Readjust, start up again, cannot get left foot into pedal cage. Can't get it into granny gear. Crank a few more times, get it into granny gear. Spin the rest of the way up the hill and die at the top.

Forward to today. We had gone farther to warm up. We did a big uphill having cranked it up to speed on a pretty steep downhill. Then a few more miles of warm up. A quick pop over what was last year's nemesis hill, the Sneaky Hill. No problems there. Then a quick stop to stretch out before Storey Road hill.

Today was better. Way better. I popped it into middle chain ring to start with. I somehow couldn't get it into granny gear, again. So I did the entire hill in 2nd gear and avoided granny gear. It really hurt, but I did it. I didn't stop. woo hoo. I finally did it.

One or two more days to hill train so Sunday does not actually kill me. I must get better at this or Tucson will kill me

Living Las Vegas

We stayed at the Mirage and it was a surprise until we pulled up to the lobby. (There's one driveway for Treasure Island and Mirage and I didn't know exactly where we were!) The days were filled with sunshine by the pool, lots of Rum and Diet Cokes and lots of dips in the fabulous, cool water. The pool at the Mirage is fantastic. Lots of palm trees, lots of nooks and crannies and a huge rock outcropping with yet more palm trees and circled by a waterfall.

First nite: Dinner at California Pizza kitchen including 32 oz. Miller Lites. Then off to the room for some special cocktails and bed. But wait, it's 10 pm Vegas time, we're a little tipsy. Let's get dressed and go out!!! We end up at Tangerine at Treasure Island. (Treasure Island has actually changed it's name to TI, who knows why) There were 3 "burlesque" dancers wearing tangerine fringed bikinis. The would dance to the lounge type music. Then a three piece band trotted in and played three songs. While they played, the blond dancer cavorted behind the bar. Think 60's bikini dance and you've got it. We felt old, tired and fat compared to all the young twenty-somethings, so we left. We proceeded to the sports bar at Mirage and played video poker and kept after the cocktails.

Next day: A little crispy. Very hungry. Lunch/breakfast at the diner. A nap for DD, very crispy day for him. I lounged by the pool. Got a pedicure....blah, blah, blah.

So it went for what seemed like days. Out to the pool to grab chairs before they were all reserved. Sunning, lunch, shopping, napping, dinner, shows. All of it was pretty much heaven.

Just a few insights on Las Vegas.

  • We mentioned to a cab driver that we couldn't believe the amount construction on the strip. He commented that he thought that when he first starting driving a cab. When was that? Thirty years ago!
  • Wynn is really lovely, but unless the rooms come with a 24 hour butler, I'm not sure why you'd stay there. It's the same story with Bellagio, Venetian and Mandalay Bay.
  • There is a Jo Malone store in Wynn. I spent most of my gambling allotment there!
  • If you are a man, do not go to a strip show with your mother and father in law in tow. It will most likely scar you for life.
  • Fake Red Bull is a drinking "no-no" If you are going to do Jaeger or Cherry bombs, make sure you have the real stuff.
  • Surprise birthday vacations Totally Rule. I had a blast. (We had a blast together, too) I got a tan. I drank a lot of rum and diet cokes. I didn't lose too much gambling. All in all a very sucessful Vegas trip! Thank you DD for the fabulous trip. Yes, I did have a great time!


Viva Las Vegas

We are headed out tomorrow morning for Sin City. I am so excited to be going on vacation. DD planned this trip as a surprise. Well, I figured it out last week.

It will still be a surprise, because I don't know where we are staying. I am ready to lay by the pool, drink funny colored drinks and get a suntan. Maybe a little shopping and a visit to the spa, too. That's really about all we have planned.

We need a vacation and we are actually going on one. Long live vacation time from work. Long live fun in Las Vegas!



We didn't go on our team ride on Sunday. We won't know whether we are "A Group" material for at least another 2 weeks. So you will have to wait until then.

Sleeping again?? Well, I'm really good at it. And, I went to the chiropractor on Weds, Thurs and Friday. My upper back was all wacked out and I needed some serious adjustment. I haven't been to a chiropractor in A long, long time.

When he pulled on my skull to give me much needed "traction" it felt like several M-80's going off in the base of my skull. Then he did my spine between my shoulder blades. That was like someone hitting me with a pick axe. So, I went home Thursday nite and slept. Then I napped Saturday and went to bed early. Then I napped more on Sunday and went to sleep late Sunday nite. Very restful.

I went back this am and found that I didn't need a whole lot more adjusting. Just a little tweaking was necessary.

And, well, maybe a bit more napping later....


sleeping now, come back later

Time of Departure: 9:10 am

Temperature upon Departure: 85 degrees F

Miles completed: 44

Miles for August: 44

Saturday was our first longer ride. We completed one of our favorite loops around the west side of town. It starts thru the metro parks, winds thru a cute suburban neighborhood and then into the cornfields on the southwest side of town. Then onto 5 miles of a busy, narrow street with lots of bone jarring bumps and holes. OK, that part sucks. If you make it thru that in one piece, you are rewarded with a great view of Lake Erie.

Our view on Saturday was fantastic. Not a cloud in the sky, nice white caps on the lake and lots of big sailboats. You ride along the lake for a while through a tony, older neighborhood. It seems like it might be against the law to work on your lawn and expansive gardens yourself. I bet you're not even allowed to turn on your own irrigation system . Your gardener or landscaper must do that.

Sorry, I digress. Back to the ride.

Now it's just a few more busy, city blocks and a few busy corners until the joy of a nice downhill. Ripping down a shaded, curvy hill to the finish line is the icing on this ride. Greet everyone on the team with a few high fives and then a quick ride home to hit the shower and then the couch.
(sleeping is good, I slept all day Sunday to catch up....)

DD and I both worked very hard. Something pretty puzzling happened too. We're still trying to figure it out. Last year our average speed was 12 mph. Last Saturday it was 16 mph. And, the weirdest part...we were in the the lead group of all of the 15 riders. The fast group. What the hell is that all about? Add 4 mph average and that does it, I guess. Were they "slumming" or is that as fast as they normally go?

We'll give it a test this weekend to see how it compares. Will we get smoked? Or will it be good? I'll let you know.