DP Challenge- Riding the Hills of Cycling: A Haiku Series

The Ups and Downs Of Cycling

This week’s weekly writing challenge on wordpress is a Haiku challenge.  Check out the details here.

I was actually toying around with some cycling Haiku’s just last week, and with the addition of today’s super windy ride for inspiration, I have a series of five that I would love to submit for this challenge.

So here you go my readers, the artsy side of me.

 

Riding the Hills of Cycling:  A Haiku Series

Angry howling wind
Beating my face and legs
Turn my bike around

Pedaling uphill
Legs burning while climbing high
Air is sweeter here

Ride in a paceline
Like a well-oiled machine
Don’t fall off his wheel

Sun and a tailwind
Perfect day for cycling
Even spandex feels good

Don’t mock my tan lines
They are hard earned and well-loved
Trophy of Cycling

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11.25.2013 Workouts

Crossfit:

Back at Crossfit for the 6 a.m. class.  Love those guys, and actually missed them.  Didn’t so much miss the walking up at the butt crack of dawn and the vomit inducing workouts… ok so maybe I missed that too.

Warm Up:  The usual stuff.  Coach did tease us that after the holiday’s we’ll be changing it up.  Fun.  I love when we stick new stuff in the warm up because I usually find a new weakness I didn’t even know I had.

SWOD:  Front Squat 3×8
1×10@ 33 for zombie squats to warm up
1×8 @ 53
1×8 @ 63
1×8 @ 73

This wasn’t too bad.  I likely could have added a bit more weight for that last set, but I still struggle with the pressure of the bar on my throat during front squats.  I really really don’t like choking myself.

WOD: Diane
21-15-9
Deadlifts
Handstand Push Ups

5:06 @93 and regular push ups

This was both a PR in time (18 seconds) and weight (10 lbs) from the last time I did this WOD.  I am super proud of that.  Gotta love progress.

I also looked back to see what I had to say about the last time we did this benchmarck in August and was really surprised to see what I wrote.  Apparently, at the time 83 lbs and push ups unscaled intimated me!  Today I didn’t even bat an eye about the push ups, and loaded my bar with 83 right off the bat.  With a little encouragement from a class mate I added more, and easily managed the weight.

Progress is really an awesome feeling.

Swim:

Post-Crossfit swim.  Honestly, I really REALLY wasn’t feeling it today at all, so I just hopped in and swam 1500 straight.  About half way thru a guy jumped in and raced me.  I won.

I have no idea if he knows we were racing or not.

1500m in about 35 mins

Bike:

11 miles at a 15ish pace with the crew.  The 22 mph winds were really a nice touch.  Ok, not really.  They really blew.  Heh heh. See what I did there?

Weekly Workout Plan

As you might recall, I had a bit of a rough start to my week last week.   But once I bitch slapped myself back into reality, and wrote out my confessions and made a plan, I went out there and got it done.

Last week ended up being a really strong week for my tri training.  Granted, I didn’t set foot in the box, but I’m proud that I snapped out of it and didn’t wait until Monday to “start over.”

This week being a holiday is a short week at work for me.  I’m also traveling to St. Louis to hang with the in-laws for Thanksgiving AND flying home in time to go to the Florida/Florida State game on Saturday!  (Whoo hoo ‘Noles!!!)

Obviously, all that travel could sabotage my training, so building on my lessons learned last week I’m making a plan to ensure I get it done.  It looks like no matter how I slice it I’m going to be short a swim this week, but of all the sports that makes me the least amount of squirmy.  I’m already physically capable of covering the distance I will race, though I would like to do it much faster than I am at the moment!

As always, feel free to hold me accountable, because lord knows I need it.

Monday 11/25
Crossfit AM- Done
Swim AM- Done
Ride- Lunch, 10 miles with group

Tuesday 11/26
Crossfit AM
Swim AM- 1500m
Ride- Lunch, 10 miles solo

Wednesday 11/27
Travel day, off

Thursday 11/28
Run AM- 3 miles
Bike AM- 30 minutes (stationary at the hotel… yuck)

Friday 11/29 (travel)
EITHER
Run AM- 3 miles/ Travel WOD
OR Crossfit AM- drop in on a box

Saturday 11/30
FSU Game- Off

Sunday 12/1
Bike AM- 25 miles

So what about you, readers?  How are you fitting fitness into the holiday this week?  How do you stay active when you travel?

But it’s a GOOD cult!

I hear pretty frequently that Crossfit is a cult.  Sure, it’s a “good” cult (is that like being a good witch) but it’s a cult.  I can dig that.

What I don’t think these people realize is that Cycling is way more of a cult than Crossfit has figured out how to be yet.

And as someone who does both, let me tell ya, sometimes these cults are in conflict.  In Crossfit you drink only gluten free hard cider where as in cycling you drink beer.

In Crossfit you eat steak and kale, in cycling you carbo load with pasta and Gu.

Luckily, both cults share a love of bacon, so I can deal with the rest of the conflicting messages.

As someone who is relatively new to both sports, I’m really lucky that both come with a rule book.  In regards to Crossfit, just google “Crossfit House Rules” and you will get thousands of options of boxes around the country and their respective codes of conduct.  They’re all similar.  Work hard, push your limits, check your ego at the door.

In cycling, there is really only one rule book.  Published by the infamous Velominati, the keepers of the cog, new and seasoned cyclists alike can appreciate the 93 rules of riding the road.

Granted, I don’t have a ton of experience with cycling clubs, but speaking for the one I ride with pretty regularly I can tell you, we know our rules.

Not only do we know the rules, but we regularly reference them.   In the middle of a windy ride, someone might just yell “Rule 5”  as they’re pulling the paceline and hammering away.

When I asked about a tri or racerback tank top to go with our new team kits, I was simply told “Rule 7”  and it was left at that.

Most recently, after my epic derailleur fail, I decided it was time to push the new bike conversation husband and I had been having recently a little further.  Don’t get me wrong, I loved my Allez, but as I bought it nearly 10 years ago now before I knew what I was really looking for in a bike, I had been itching for an upgrade.

Yes, I have a full carbon very fancy tri bike.  No, it’s not the same thing.

As it turned out, hubs was more than willing to not only have the conversation, but to buy the bike.  So tomorrow I will be getting fit on my brand spankin’ new Specialized Tarmac SL4 Comp Ultegra.

I’m so excited I could pee.

But wouldn’t you know it, not 15 minutes after they called me to tell me that my new bike has come in, I received a second call from the shop telling me that they had figured out how to FIX my Allez!  For “only” $180 I could have her good as new and still be able to ride her from time to time if I ever desired.

I’m sure you all see where this is going.  Husband didn’t quite understand it.  Luckily for me, I was able to reference “the rules” and help him to know the reality of how this works.

According to Rule #12:

“While the minimum number of bikes one should own is three, the correct number is n+1, where n is the number of bikes currently owned. This equation may also be re-written as s-1, where s is the number of bikes owned that would result in separation from your partner.”

Lucky for me, 3 bikes does not equal s-1.

So as of tomorrow I will have my original road bike, my tri bike, and my fancy new bike (yes they all have names), and only one ass to ride them with.

What’s a cyclist to do?

I need a plan

I woke up this morning and wished the hubs a happy hump day.  Doh.  Clearly, I have no idea what day it is, and while I love being closer to the weekend, I can’t believe this much of the week is gone already.

Last Thursday was the last time I did a planned workout.

I’ve skipped everything on my training calendar since then.

Do I have a hundred excuses?  Yup.  Are a few of them actually pretty good?  Of course.

But the fact remains that as of today it has been 1 week since I’ve done anything to help me reach my goals.

And since you all know me, you realize this also means I’ve been eating and drinking too much and have just generally been a hot mess.

I was talking to a friend yesterday about Crossfit and felt like such a fake.  Last time I went I PRed my clean and jerk, and haven’t set foot in the box since.

Thanksgiving is in one week.  Christmas just over a month.  Vegas right after that.

Not to mention I’m doing a freaking TRIATHLON in around 5 months.

I don’t have the time to skip training, and good excuses or not, I need to find a way.

This morning I woke up and my first thought was, “I don’t need more excuses, I need a plan.”

Part of me just wants to pick up the training that I was supposed to do this week starting with today, but because of the upcoming race I really do need to prioritize some workouts over others.

I need to get on the bike at least twice before Sunday, and one of those needs to be a long ride of at least 25 miles.  I need to run at least twice as well.  Swimming twice would be a good thing too.  I don’t want to ignore Crossfit, but with all of that to fit into 4 days, I’ve got my work cut out for me.

So for the sake of accountability, I give you my readers, my training schedule for the remainder of the week.  Feel free to check in with me, to keep me accountable, or to just cheer me on and I cross the workouts off the list.

Thursday 11/21
Lunch Ride- 10 miles @15-18 mph pace (group)
**Done- 10.3 miles @16.5 mph average by myself on tri bike
After Work- 2 mile run @ easy pace
**Done- on treadmill @13:30 pace

Friday 11/22
6 am- 1500+m swim
**Done- 2000 m in approx. 45 mins
7 am- 9 mile bike ride @ 14-15 mph pace (group)
**Done 9 miles @ 14 average pace

Saturday 11/23
AM- Long ride 25 miles @15-17 mph pace
**Done on the NEW BIKE at 15 mph pace exactly (1:40)
PM- 1500 swim
**Moved to Sunday- Done 1500 in about 35 mins, bricked with run

Sunday 11/24
AM-  3 mile run
**Done, right after run.  On the treadmill.  First mile really had trouble convincing my body that it actually wanted to run, but smooth sailing after that.  41:30

That looks like a lot, but really it’s not at all.  I need to just gently remind myself that it’s well within both my comfort zone and my abilities.  When I successfully complete this, while some damage will have been done from my week of laziness, I still will have logged some miles towards my tri training and won’t be in as bad of shape as I could if I let this lazy streak keep going.

I already have next week planned out, and will really need to stick to the plan as there is a holiday and travel in there.  Skipping a workout early in the week won’t help me one bit, and I will do my very best to hold myself accountable.

What about you?  Have you ever just not wanted to workout?  How long did it last?  How did you get yourself back into the swing of things?

That dream just turned drier than the Sahara

Creeeppyyyyyyy
Creeeppyyyyyyy

You know what’s not awesome?  When you’re having a really REALY great sex dream, and then half way through the dream the person you’re knockin’ boots with suddenly transforms into someone you would never EVER have sex with in a hundred million years.

No Mr. Rodgers, no please.  There’s no need to take your shoes off.  I’ll just put my leather chaps and cowboy boots back on and be going now…

Holiday Gift Giving Guide- For the Well Groomed (ie The Primper)

Sweet mother of God, do you realize Thanksgiving is NEXT FREAKING WEEK?

I’m probably less in the holiday spirit than most seeing as I live in Florida and it’s a balmy 89 degrees outside today, but that doesn’t change the fact that the “most wonderful time of the year” is totally here.

Even though I’m feeling a bit like Ebenezer, the one thing about the holidays that I absolutely LOVE is gift giving, and picking out the perfect gifts for the perfect people.

Husband knows this, as usually about once a month I find something randomly that is just SO him that he has to have it, so he gets SURPRISE it’s TUESDAY NIGHT AND YOU’RE AWESOME presents all the time.

I would never in a million years claim to be a shop-a-holic, but I do have a few favorite websites that I turn to and always manage to find something beautiful and unique for even the most difficult person on my list.

So in the spirit of giving, I’ll be sharing these sites with you over the next few weeks to hopefully assist in your holiday shopping!  If you find yourself stumped this year on what to get some of the pickier people on your list, check out my recommendations in the weeks to come!

This week, let’s talk about what to get for the Well-Groomed- also known as the person in your group that always makes everyone late because they take so darn much time getting ready!  (Doesn’t mean you love them any less).

Birchbox http://www.birchbox.com/

The motto of the site is “discover your next everything,” and man they aren’t kidding.  The site has a smattering of unique items for men and women giving a twist on the old standbys for everyone from mom and dad to your personal trainer or best friend.

The easiest option is to give the gift of monthly surprises with the monthly Birchbox subscription.  At $10/month for the ladies and $25 for the gents, it’s a steal.  Each box features a sampling of awesome items that are tailored to preferences based on a quiz the subscriber takes.  Granted, this is more than the $50 gift, but since you as the giver can be billed monthly it’s an affordable way to give something pretty darn nice!

If you’re more interested in a one and done, check out their super friendly site for items at $25 and under for amazing skin care items, and unique trinkets.  Husband was most recently gifted a pair of amazing Bullet Designs Cufflinks that look so darn classy I almost can’t stand it, but have an edge that is so very him. At less than $25 including the shipping, I got to be a hero and get some extra special “thank you” time, and not break the bank with my kindness.

bullet designs cufflinks

Anyone have any go to stores or sites for the “primpers” in your life?  What about any go to gifts that fit lots of people on your list?

Stay tuned for the next gift guide- colleagues and your boss!

Thanks for the ride Sesame Street

happiness

Whoever writes my internal monologue is a sarcastic bastard.

Oh wait, I guess that’s me.

As I’ve mentioned before, I have a habit of having a lot of internal dialogue during especially difficult workouts.  At Crossfit these usually translate into some sort of repeatable mantra’s, but when I’m cycling it’s usually music.

I think it might be because it helps me to keep my cadence where it belongs.  If I think of a song with a beat that’s around 90 rpm, I can pedal to the beat.  If I end up singing it really reallllllly slow in my head, I know I need to pick it up or downshift, and if I’m goingsofastthatican’tactuallygetthewordsout, it’s time to add more gear.

I usually don’t pick the song on purpose.  It just happens to be whatever pops into my head at the time.

Sometimes I don’t even realize I’m singing one because I’m so in the zone.

My rides this week have been pretty darn windy, making me zone out hardcore and just focus on pushing the pedals.

During my particularly brutal ride last Saturday, I had reached a point where my lady bits were screaming, the wind what whipping, and I had just had enough.  I was on the lowest gear the bike had and felt like I was barely moving forward.

At one point during the ride I had been singing Rhianna’s “Rescue Me” to myself (yeah, no accounting for taste when I’m in pain), and went back to that song just to keep the pedals moving.

Before I knew it was humming, OUT LOUD the melody to “The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round…” what the?

Ok sarcastic little devil sitting on my shoulder who decided it was a good idea to do this ride, I don’t have children.  I have ABSOLUTELY no excuse for that song to be stuck in my head.

But I’ll tell ya what, it had the perfect tempo to get me home.

Add some bass and a little booty shakin’, and Usher might have his next hit right there.

11.14.2013 Workouts

Crossfit:

Headed to the 5:30 p.m. class today as hubs is working late so there’s no need for me to wake up at the butt crack of dawn to get it done.

SWOD: Clean and Jerk 1 RM

YAY!  We NEVER do 1 RM of anything, so I was excited for this.  Previous best for a set of 3 was 73 lbs…

Warm up:
1×10 clean pass thrus @ 33
1×5 strict press @ 33
1×10 front squat @ 33

1×3@ 53
1×1 @ 63
1×1@73
1×1@ 83 (power clean) PR
1×1@93 (power clean and push jerk) PR

I was pretty darn happy with this.  My split jerk got ugly at 83 so I changed to a push jerk for the attempt at 93.  I also lost my squat at 83.  It’s amazing to me that I can power clean more than I can squat clean.  That’s totally backwards.  I also think I could have jerked 10 more lbs pretty easily (the 93 went up easy), but there’s no way I could have cleaned it.

I’m clearly damaged.  I should NOT be able to get more weight over head than I can clean.  Seems to me like I’ve got a lot of work to do on my technique, specifically how I catch in a squat, before I can improve this lift much more.

WOD:
10 minute AMRAP
12 burpee broad jumps
12 OH walking lunges @ 25lbs
12 hollow rocks

Score: 2+20 Rx

YAY!  I love  when I’m actually able to go Rx.  Truthfully, I didn’t want to.  I had my eye on the 15 lbs plate but a few of the other awesome ladies in class gave me a push so I grabbed at 25.  Made for some hard ass walking lunges though.  Man.  I actually had my left leg give out on one causing my right knee to slam into the ground hard.  It’s funny, because as it was happening my first thought was “damn it my knee just came in!”  At least I realize when my form is compromised.

My score was stupidly low, but I kept moving.  That’s what’s important.

Cycling:

I had a planned lunch ride on the tri bike by myself, but with the 15-20 mph winds I really REALLY didn’t want to go.  They were coming out of the NE, meaning about 2/3 of my usual route would be into the wind and just god awful.

Rather than skip the ride, I improvised.  I mapped out a 2.5 mile route in the office park where I work, and rode it 4x.  granted, it was a bit boring, but because it was a small loop, it meant that I was never pedaling directly into the wind for more than a few minutes.

This ended up being a great plan.  The crosswinds were tricky, the headwind was pretty awful, but the tail wind was fantastic.  It went something like: Miserable miserable miserable, AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME for the whole duration of the ride.

In the end, I forgot to start my timer so I’m not sure how long it took. I would guesstimate about 40 minutes and 10.4 miles.  I was down on my aerobars the entire time except at the 2 stop signs each loop.

Done and done.

Man hands and handjobs don’t mix

feel safe

It’s probably not surprising that hubs and I, we have some sex.  Heck, I would go so far as to say we have some downright athletic romps thanks to my “ass to grass” squat capabilities.

Since adding Crossfit into my fitness routine, I’ve received nothing but compliments from the man.  From the changes to my body, to my stamina, to my strength in various er… positions, he’s a big fan.

And frankly, so am I.  It’s super awesome to be able to do it and not end up focused on how much my thighs are burning or how sore my lower back is because the muscles are weak and out of shape.

But, there has been one thing that has changed for the worse.  Lately, it’s been so bad that I’ve heard more than one “ow!” in the bedroom.  Since we’re not into the S&M stuff, ow is never a good word.

It’s my freaking hands.

They are a disaster.  So bad in fact, I’m banned from giving handjobs and really shouldn’t use them at all when touching the delicate bits.

This is such a shame because my grip strength kittens, it’s out of the darn world.

But my razor sharp callouses and man hand type texture just kills the mood.  Apparently no amount of callous shaving in the world is going to make them feel any less like sandpaper.

What’s a Crossfit girl to do?