Tuesday, September 30, 2008

3500 miles right on the nose, baby!

That's right, people! As of this evening, I completed the mileage goal of hitting 3500 miles for the year before the end of September! All y'all down south will understand this: Wooooooo!

Not that I'm going to stop riding or anything, particularly not since I finally got some winter cycling boots, but feeling obligated to ride EVERY DAY for the last several weeks to make up for the miles missed on our trip to Seattle was really crimping my style...though in reality I really probably needed that kind of kick in the tuckus, if I'm really being honest with myself. No, cycling is definitely NOT over for the year, but up here in MN September is typically the end of comfortably warm cycling weather, so Uber-Hubby & I figure that anything we get after that is gravy.

In other fun cycling news, apparently my step daughter, age 10.5, has FINALLY learned to ride a bike. U-H and I tried repeatedly to teach her in years past, even going to the point of bribery, taking her to our fave bike shop and telling her we'd buy her whatever cool bike she wanted, all to no avail. She just wasn't interested, and our dreams of taking her on some cool family cycling vacation seemed dashed forever. Seriously...We wanted to take her cycling in France for some big occasion (16th birthday, high school graduation, whatever), but we knew it was a real long shot the day she managed to crash (badly) on training wheels and screamed bloody murder at the mere mention of the slightest of downhills. She lives with her mom & stepdad out near Seattle now though, and we got a call tonight saying that she borrowed her friend's bike and blew her mom's mind by riding up and down the street, down a hill, over speed bumps, etc.

We don't have her with us here in Mankato very often, but thankfully we are friends with the guys down at ReBike, so we should always be able to borrow something suitable for her to ride. Hope springs eternal, right?

In the meantime, what are YOU doing to get off the couch and
Pedal Your Fat Ass Off

Monday, September 29, 2008

Sarah Palin Will Bill You For Your Rape Kit

She did it as Mayor of Wasilla, AK, saving the city's taxpayers an estimated $5,000 to $14,000 per year, according to this article. Imagine the savings if she were able to orchestrate something similar on a national scale?


Sunday, September 28, 2008

Large Fella on a Bike: the man, the myth, the legend

Amy and LFOAB
Originally uploaded by deplaqer
So...Uber-Hubby and I made it up to Minneapolis for the Babes in Bikeland alleycat race, in which I'm proud to say I did NOT finish last. U-H's job was to photographically document the event, the results of which you can see by clicking over to his Flickr page.

This particular photo was taken at the after party, where I'm posing with none other than Large Fella On A Bike HIMSELF, Scott Cutshall. After reading his blog on a regular basis for months now and being so amazed and pleased about his weight loss and healthy living success, it was a real pleasure to finally get to meet the actual person. We had a very nice chat, and he's got exactly the kind of warm personality I thought he would have. Too bad it was too late at night to meet his adorable daughter.

Here are more of U-H's pix of me at the event. In the first, I'm just finishing with the Peavy Plaza stop on Nicollet Mall in Minneapolis. I had to run down those stairs and do a chicken pose/dance to earn the stamp for this stop. In the second, I'm riding down the alley behind One On One bike shop, ready for the after party and seriously happy to not be last. In the third photo, I'm posing there in the alley with my bag of goodies provided by one of the event's many generous sponsors.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Ticker Update: Babes in Bikeland

Technically, no change in the weight department, if you only look at "official Saturday weigh in" data. That doesn't show the +4 then -4 swing I went through this week. I feel good about my food and exercise, and in fact I had a 1500+ calorie deficit for about 5 out of 7 days, so you would think that I would have lost SOMETHING. Water retention is SUCH a bitch. Also, given recent issues with occasional insomnia, erratic body temperature (not what I would call a true hot flash, but definitely too cold one minute and too hot to sleep the next), and newly onset irregularity of my monthly cycle (used to be like clockwork), there is the distinct possibility that I am pre-menopausal.

EAR MUFFS for the little ones....

That just f-ing SUCKS. I'm only 38 years old, and I'm not quite ready for the Old Sailor Chicks' Home (still planning that, Christina?), but according to my mother (the 11th of 12 kids, half of which are female), some of the women on her side of the family have entered this phase of their lives relatively early. Sigh.

On a more positive note...

Nearly there! I will add more mileage tonight by riding in my first ever Alley Cat race up in Minneapolis. Babes in Bikeland is an all female race in it's second year. An Alley Cat is where you get a manifest at the beginning that lists a bunch of stops you have to make and stamps or tidbits of info you have to gather. You get an hour or so to map your own route through the city, and whoever makes it to the end first gets a sweet custom messenger bag. There's usually all kinds of free stuff given out by sponsors, so lots of people stand a decent chance of getting something. Uber Hubby was specifically requested to come up and take event pix, hence our attendance and my decision to participate. Apparently he's gained a reputation for quality bike photography, not to mention the fact that HIS photo actually determined the official result of last year's Stupor Bowl. You won't catch me riding in that one...It's held on the same weekend as the real Super Bowl, only it goes from bar to bar and there's a category for the drunkest rider to make it to the finish. No, tonight's event is much more my speed. If all goes well, maybe I'll even bring the Pink Taco bike next year. For my first one however, I'm sticking with the tried and true Blue Giant.

While I'm doing that, why don't YOU get off the couch and
Pedal Your Fat Ass Off

Friday, September 26, 2008

Campbell Brown...Tell It, Sister!

You just have to love someone who lays it out like this. Spot on commentary re: the current financial crisis and proposed bailout.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Baby steps

It's been a long time coming, but I'm in the process of designing a training plan for the New Prague Half Marathon, which is set for May 9, 2009. I haven't actually signed up and paid for the race yet, partly because they haven't got that part of their website changed over from the 2008 race, but also because I want to see how my training progresses first. I'm not too worried about the shin splints and/or stress fracture I had last year, but my knees seem WAY weaker than they ever used to be, and I'm a little concerned about that. I did one little 30 minute jog yesterday and felt fine, but this morning I can definitely feel it. How do you get from a 30 minute walk/jog around the block to successful completion of a 13.1 mile half marathon? Baby steps, people...baby steps.

Why would I commit myself to something like this, you ask? Well, variety is the spice of life, right? I've spent the last two summers doing almost nothing for cardio except riding my bike, and I think I need to mix things up a little. These days, I've got ice hockey at least once a week, body conditioning classes at the YMCA, cycling, and now my training for this race. I do NOT plan to repeat the same mistake that I made last year when trying to get ready for the Breast Cancer Half Marathon. I had that pain in my lower right leg for months before finally asking my doctor about it, and by the time I was told that I needed to lay off running for 6 weeks, my training for the race was totally derailed and there went my nice little break from the Minnesota winter. That race was in February in beautiful, sunny Florida. Uber-Hubby was even going to do it with me. Sigh.

Now that we're on different insurance down here in Mankato, they have no idea that I'm really not due for my annual stuff until the end of November. I think I need to go ahead and do it now so that I can address any potential knee issues ASAP...Also before I actually pay for the race. At least my money for the last one went to Breast Cancer research.

Speaking of which, October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Please also make sure to celebrate Feel Your Boobies Week during 10-17 October.

R.I.P. Karin Harrell
My friend Karin was only 34 when she was diagnosed with Breast Cancer and fought it for 5 long years before it finally took her life in July 2008. She left behind two small children and a husband ill-prepared to care for them and get through his own grieving process. Her friends and family miss her dearly.

Get a mammogram and learn how to Feel Your Boobies properly.

After that, get off the couch and
Pedal Your Fat Ass Off

Saturday, September 20, 2008

MS Challenge Walk 2008 photos available on Flickr

Cow Flag
Originally uploaded by GnomeCrossing
Finally got all the pix from this year's event loaded onto my Flickr account, complete with descriptions. Please click over and take a look, and feel free to add any comments you may have.

Friday, September 19, 2008

America On The Move

So I was down at the Mankato YMCA the other day, and I heard about a program that is the new favorite thing in the PYFAO family. Check this out: America On The Move is a program that encourages people to simply DO SOMETHING...ANYTHING to get moving and become more active. They break it down into small pieces to make it less intimidating, which is nice for those who are just barely able to get off the couch in the first place. Baby steps, people. Cut 100 calories here and there, use a step counter and work on adding 2,000 steps to your daily average, etc. You can pick which "trail" you want to try and complete during your 6 week challenge period, and they give you a chart to convert all kinds of physical activity into steps per minute, which encourages people to try different things and see how easy it can be to fit exercise into their everyday lives. You pick your own start date and they track you for 6 weeks. When you're done, you can start over and pick another trail if you want. You can even get a free step counter, especially if you sign up through your local YMCA, which is a major national partner.

I'm walking the Pacific Crest Trail as we speak. Today is my first day, and I already earned the equivalent of 9,000 steps by going to hockey practice this morning. Once I go for a ride today, that's another 212 spm according to the conversion chart.

What are YOU doing to
Pedal Your Fat Ass Off

Ticker Update

Well...Not great, but not horrible either. I had two weeks totally away from my SSHE meal plan because of the Seattle trip and then the MS Challenge Walk, so I consider it an okay weigh in because the water weight from all of those off plan meals is pretty much gone now. I did the big Faribault ride on Thursday, so this is actually the weight from Friday morning because by Saturday morning the water retention from such a huge ride (nearly 83 miles) has set in. Have no fear, however...by Tuesday I'll pee it all out and all will be right with the world once more...unless I decide to do the big ride on Monday, which has been my normal day to do it. I don't know, though...This last one was pretty bad on the way back. We'll see. Speaking of mileage issues...

Mileage is clicking along just fine. At this point I need 28 miles/day to make my goal of 3500 by the end of September. We've had decent luck with weather lately, so this is still totally doable.

In the meantime, what are YOU doing to
Pedal Your Fat Ass Off

Sarah Palin: Your Nation on White Privilege

I read a recent article by this guy named Tim Wise. Frankly, I think he's hit the nail on the head and calls it like it is regarding Sarah Palin. CLICK HERE for the full article, but one of my favorites was how he says that it's a "private family matter" when someone like Bristol Palin gets pregnant at 17, but when Black or Latino girls do the same thing, they're contributing to the downfall of society. It's not "all white" privilege, though...Just look at what's being said about Jamie Lynn Spears and her pregnancy situation, never mind her train wreck of an older sister. I think it's really more about "white upper class" privilege.

But oh....SNAP. Wait until you see what Daily Show correspondent Samantha Bee did with RNC attendees! Bristol Palin had the CHOICE to keep her baby and compound her mistake by marrying the idiot who impregnated her (though personally I wonder if it wasn't really Mama's choice), but the good governor's political & religious beliefs mean that she doesn't want anyone else to have such a CHOICE. CLICK HERE to watch great video of Samantha at the RNC. It is almost pathetic watching these people trying to avoid use of the word CHOICE.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Walk this way - MS Challenge Walk video

Well, I haven't been too successful in actually embedding video clips into my blog, so this time I'm just going with a clickable link again. CLICK HERE to check out the YouTube video from this past weekend's MS Challenge Walk. Yours truly makes an appearance, as do other members of Team COWs. Just look for the cow print hats & bandanas.

Edit...SWEET! Looks like the embedding code from YouTube works better than what I got from the Comedy Central site for the Sarah Palin post. Enjoy.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Hilarious but OH SO TRUE Sarah Palin commentary

Ok...This is my first effort at embedding video in a blog entry. It's Jon Stewart (The Daily Show) pulling together some video clips that prove just how hypocritical and retarded the uber conservative right wingers are. I love it.

Looks like it might not work right, so just in case I've added a link to the page where I found it. CLICK HERE if video doesn't appear for you.

FYI...The long break between posts was because UH and I went to Seattle for a week and this afternoon I'm back up in the Twin Cities for the MS Challenge Walk.