Friday, May 18, 2012

My Uniform!

I mentioned the other day that I got my super sharp bike jersey, right? Well, I finally took a minute to snap a couple pics!

Here's the front:

Nice and simple. Elegant, almost! I like it better than the completely pale blue one The Vita Guru had a couple years ago, but not as well as the white, black, and royal blue one he had last year. Them's the breaks, I guess.

Here's the back:


I kind of like the fierce badassery of the back, though. I am Athlete, hear me RAWR!

Or, hear me bitch about my bits burning. Whichever.

The Vita Guru wants me to wait til he gets home to take my ride today, I'm aiming for twice around without feeling ouchy. And I really need to do some more work on that playlist.

-- Missy, The Fat Bottomed Girl

Thursday, May 17, 2012

I Went Out With My Biker Gang!

Torrie was over today, she brought her bike, and The Pedalin' Pansies hit the road! (That's what The Vita Guru calls us!) The weather was gorgeous, if a bit windy - OK, a lot windy! - and we set out to get Torrie into the groove.

I went once around, not quite 6 miles today. I had hoped to go a bit further, but we lost Tor at the 3 mile mark. This was her first attempt at something longer than a short ride, and I can certainly sympathize with the "Oh, hell no!" that her bod gave to her. I remember a few years back, riding over to my in-laws' place, just about 4 miles away. I couldn't ride back, it was that bad.

That's OK! We're going to keep getting her out there, keep building up her stamina, and keep encouraging her to go a little further, try a little harder. She'll get there! And it's fun to have a posse out in the neighborhood with me.

Especially today. Some time after Tor and Bubba fell behind, I cruised around by the school and some dude yelled at me to stop. So I did. He demanded to know who I was and what I was doing. Er? I told him that my name was not his business, and it should be obvious what I'm doing.

"I've never seen you around here before."

Well, I ride at different times. I'm training for a distance event.

"I've lived here six months, and this is the first I've seen you!"

Oh, wow, a whole six months? I've lived in this nabe for more than SIXTEEN YEARS! So I said so. He launched into a tirade about strangers around the school, and he would call the police if he saw me "stalking around" by school again. (A school I volunteered in for 12 years, I might add.) The hell? I told him to go ahead, but to not expect anything to come of it.

My friends all tell me I have a Weirdo Attraction Field.

It becomes ever more apparent that they're correct.

Have you been stopped while getting your daily exercise on?

-- Missy, The Fat Bottomed Girl

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Here I Go A Cycling

So, off I went with the Vita Guru for a spin around the neighborhood. Only once around today, I'm finding I'm having some difficulties with my hands, wrists, and elbows today.

I'm fairly certain that a good part of that is the repetitive strain injury in my right arm from work. Current work projects have no keyboard shortcuts, so it's clicky-clicky-clicky all day, and that is certainly causing problems. But part of it, too, is that I think my handlebars may be sitting too low. Bubbazander is home tomorrow all day, so I'm going to have him adjust them for me so there isn't so much pressure any more.

I'm also a little concerned about the brakes and gears. Bubba keeps working on the brakes, and they keep slipping anyway. And the gears just don't shift. So. I dunno, I'm sure that when I take the bike in for the pre-ride inspection and tune-up, the fella at The Bike Route will get it all sorted out. Still, it's a little worrisome.

I can't believe the ride is in just FIVE WEEKS! OMG! It's getting close! And to underscore that, my "rider packet" arrived from the Vitamin Shoppe today. They sent me a gorgeous white and gold jersey, a fancy pants shaker cup, and a whey protein packet that is probably going to taste terrible, but I'm going to try it anyway. I'll take pics of the jersey later, suffice to say, it's a pretty cool uniform.

Five weeks. Of course, I'm still looking for sponsors, so if you've got a couple bucks to throw at a terrific organization, hit the sponsor link in the right sidebar. Every little bit helps, and the people who are helped by the MS Society would be so very appreciative!

I could eat a moose, but I think I'm going to content myself with some angel hair and shrimp tonight. What's for dinner at your house tonight?

--Missy, The Fat Bottomed Girl

Friday, May 4, 2012

Pouring One Out For MCA

I learned to my shock and dismay that Adam Yauch, better known as MCA, co-founder of the Beastie Boys, lost his battle with cancer this morning.  He was only 47 years old, just 5 years older than I am.  This really hurts my heart.

What does this have to do with me riding?  Well, the Beasties figure pretty heavily into my playlist.  What better way to get motivated than to have the Beasties hollering at you to fight for your right to party?

Thanks for the fun music, MCA.  Wherever you've gone, I hope the parties are bitchin'.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

That...didn't work out as well as I had hoped

Memo to Self:

Don't wear 100% cotton underwear when you're going to try distance riding in 90 degree heat.  Dumbass.

Seriously, especially you folks with girl-bits:  you really want nice synthetic undies when you're riding, or you are going to chafe like a mofo in a place you definitely DON'T want to chafe.  This is doubly true when you're sporting a lot of junk in your trunk.

Gold Bond Medicated Powder is my BFF right now.  Gods.

Anyway, it was not quite 90, closer to 88, when we decided to go out.  I had taken a nap, and woke up to find  The Vita Guru in a bit of a panic.  He had been doing laundry - YES, my husband does the laundry! - and watching bad TV, when the main breaker flipped, and refused to come back on.  It did this several times last summer, it only happens when the AC is running and we have other stuff on.  Well, washer, dryer, ceiling fans, big TV, dehumidifier...and the breaker got too hot and yelled "Bugger all this for a lark!" and shut itself off.

We didn't have anything else to do while we waited for it to cool down, so off we went.

This was the route today, which is seriously candy-assed (heh):

Lame. 4.51 miles, when I was hoping to go at least 10 today. But when you can feel the tender skin rubbing right off your nethers...well, fuck that. I called it off, and we headed for home.

Let me tell you something besides Gold Bond I'm terribly grateful for: Foam on the Range soaps. Not just because Amy is my dear friend, but because when you wash up with her soap, IT DOESN'T STING THE CHAFED BITS. And in fact, it was soothing and I was so grateful that having a shower didn't make me cry.

In the meantime, the electricity is back up, lots of things have been turned off, the AC is back on and working like a champ to get the temperature inside the house back down to something reasonable, Rocky is crashed out and snoring, and I'm just about to do the same.

Bubbazander promised to go out for a ride with me after he gets home from work tomorrow, before I leave to go meet up with The Vita Guru to see The Avengers (EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!  Sorry, I have a mad thing for Robert Downey, Jr. AND for comic books.).  AND!  And, and, and!  Torrie said she'd come ride with me after finals are over, so I can start pestering her on Monday!  I will have a posse, y'all!  Oooh, no, a biker gang!

What shall we call ourselves?

--Missy, the Fat Bottomed Girl

Found A New Tool!

It turns out the Google Maps has a nifty map creation feature that looked like it would let me plot out yesterday's ride and figure out just how far I went.  It also turns out that the damned thing is so fiddly, I determined I had neither patience nor alcohol enough to mess with it - after an HOUR!  AN HOUR!.  So I went looking for a new tool that wouldn't make me wish I was an alcoholic.

Found one!  It's called Map My Ride, and it will both track while you're riding (though not as nicely as with SportyPal) and let you map a route out by hand.  Took a whole five minutes and zero alcohol.

Wait...I think I got robbed there...

Anyway, here's yesterday's ride:

...and if you're super nosy, you can see a full sized map here.  I'd apologize for the sloppiness of the drawing, but I think I did pretty decently for a crotchety, foul-tempered arthritic, so I'm going to skip that. ;)

SO!  8.8 miles!  Not bad, if I do say so myself.  And I do!  And I don't feel like I want to die, and I feel like if I lie down for an hour this afternoon and go out once the temperature is more reasonable than the current 88 degrees, I might even manage three full laps around the neighborhood.  I'm dragging The Vita Guru out with me, since he's been off all day, and we'll see where this training ride takes me!

If I make it home in one piece, I shall celebrate with a hot shower, raspberry walnut glazed pork, sweet potato chips, and half a bottle of Pentamere's new release, May Wine!

Dear Ma Nature,

Please drop the temperature about 15 degrees, so I can ride without dying, and sooner rather than later.  I really want that May Wine!

--Missy, the Fat Bottomed Girl

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Return of The Fat Bottomed Girl

I know, I know, I've been really quiet.  A lot has been going on lately, and some things required that I just be gentle with myself for a while.  I've been riding since last I wrote, and walking a lot, too.  But I did take a full week off.

On Saturday, April 21st, my much beloved Pit Bull-Labrador mix, Whiskey Jack, was taken suddenly from me by a previously undiagnosed liver tumor at the age of ten.  We had adopted Jack from the Toledo Area Humane Society in 2005, and we loved him with everything that we had.  He was a wonderful companion, a loyal friend, and my heart is shattered for the loss of him.  I still wait every morning for him to come to me to share some toast, and every afternoon for him to remind me in his inimitable way that it's time for a nap...and every day, my heart breaks all over again.

It's really hard to give a damn about riding your bike when you're grieving for the loss of a dear friend.  Can't see much when you're crying, either.  So, I didn't ride last week.  Did some walking with Rocky - whose presence has been a balm to my broken heart - and did some walking on my own, but I admit I neglected my bike, and I am unapologetic about that.  Sometimes, you just need to be nice to yourself, and damn the workout.

Today, I hopped back on, and Bubbazander and I did the neighborhood route for 1 3/4 laps, which The Vita Guru estimates is about 8.5 or 9 miles.  We only came home when we did because it was getting too dark to see - our neighborhood has no streetlights!  Ridiculous if you want to go out and ride around in the evening!

It was a very good ride, with very few issues!  Bubbazander and I had great conversation throughout, and he was very motivational.  He noted that I'm having fewer difficulties with talking while riding, which means that my lung capacity and stamina are increasing, YAY!

My ass?  Still sore.  But it's no longer that burning, stinging, so awful I can't bear to move sore.  Rather, it's a sort of vague ache, which is much more tolerable than wanting to fill the bathtub up with ice and park myself in it!

The only major setback, aside from dusk falling, is that I was inattentive at the start of the ride and did not make sure that SportyPal had started.  So my ride did not get tracked.  ARRRGH!  I have no idea how long it took, or how my pacing was, and I can only guess at the actual distance.  I wonder if I can map it out by hand?  I guess I'll be fiddling with the site a bit after supper, won't I?

Anyway, I'm back.  I'm a little broken and sad still, but I'm carrying on and getting better and I'm determined to be ready for this thing.  I've got two months left, and I need to make them count, right?

I think Jack would be pleased with my progress.

--Missy, the Fat Bottomed Girl