Sunday, December 31, 2006
Wouldn't describe myself as a 'space nerd' but I sure like reading about the rovers sometimes. They cheer me up. I remember whoopin' when they landed successfully and started their mission. Now entering their 4th year and seemingly going strong, I'm pretty amp'd.
Now it's off to the gym for a coupla spin classes since a long ride outside looks out of the question on this snowy New Year's Eve.
Saturday, December 30, 2006
Cook's Thesaurus: "The Cook's Thesaurus is a cooking encyclopedia that covers thousands of ingredients and kitchen tools. Entries include pictures, descriptions, synonyms, pronunciations, and suggested substitutions. "
This is a pretty cool site. Where else can you find a list of "food wrappers" including everything from parchment paper to banana leaves, etc. I also idled over the edible flowers. Great place to surf if you like to cook at all.
Friday, December 29, 2006
What guidelines or rules cyclocross course designers use when they think up courses. Around here (including KS and IA) it seems the view of 'cross is truly that of some sort of hybrid road/mtb thing as evidenced by the inclusion of single-track and course parts less than the minimum 3 meters in width specified by the USCF rulebook (p. 96). There also seems to have been some liberty taken with the "course shall be rideable in all conditions" rule. For example, riding down that steep hill at Jingle Cross would have been even more sketchy had it been muddy. What do you all think? Do we have our own style of 'cross going on around here which is along the lines of "do you think they can ride this with those bikes...." (cowboy cross) mindset, are course designers just unaware of the rules, or what? Moreover, if you were to design your ideal cross course, what would it include/omit?
Thursday, December 28, 2006
* See previous Alltel post comments
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Naw, this isn't my arm, it's Linda Hamilton's (Terminator II days), but I'm finding the strength training to already be paying off and am learning to apply the extra power to my pedal stroke . I can also do more sets of full out knuckle pushups, which as you know is a very important life skill. ;)
Monday, December 25, 2006
Friday, December 22, 2006
Last night I got into the pool for 50 minutes of laps after 30 min of running and a strength building weight lifting session. It was the first time I've swam since last winter and I'd forgotten I kind of like it.
"Swimming is a very aerobic sport," says John McVan, aquatic specialist at Iowa State University in Ames."
Thursday, December 21, 2006
So when Kyle started basketball in the YMCA league, they gave us a week's free pass and last nite I tried out a spinning class at Cooper Y. Of course, I didn't really do the class so much as sit-in and do my workout and watch how the class went. Don't know if the one's I saw were representative samples, but it was pretty cool and way more fun than sitting on the trainer at home. Got in a little over 2 hrs that way. Also saw several friends there so that was fun too.
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
I'm still a little fatigued from last night's ride. I was scheduled for 3.5 hours of zone 2 riding, so headed east from 84th & Van Dorn and looped around to the west side of Lincoln via Saltillo, Roca and finally the Jamaica trail and back to home again. While I stayed plenty warm, I need to focus more on hydration. It's hard to remember to drink when it's chilly, but I always know when my body is getting desperate for it because dehydration gives me a headache.
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
So Kyle and I go to the basketball game Sunday afternoon and it was really a lot of fun. Kyle is a total bb nut and kept me up to date on whether they were playing man-to-man or zone as well as when I ought to be impressed by a particular play or not. He also demonstrated what sorts of noises one should make when opposing players were attempting free throws. Despite all the learning that took place, I still managed to have a good time and greatly admire the athletic grace of the players. They seem to float and just scoop the ball out of the air and all that. It was really much cooler in person that it looks on TV and it motivated me to play a little bb with Kyle and Erik tonight at the Y. Well.... there's a reason I was track and not basketball or volleyball or any sort of thing where objects come flying at one's head or must be thrown at something/one else. I stink. It takes most of my concentration to resist closing my eyes, covering my head with my arms, and awaiting impact. A certain peanut in the gallery who leads spin classes at the Y even had the audacity to say I "shoot like a girl." Really? Shocker. I would also like to go on the record with saying said peanut and Kyle are both fancy schmancy 3-point swooshing show-offs. Although, I have to say Kyle really did his best to teach me to shoot better, and I really did try to be a good student, and concentrate like he said, but my teleportation powers are weak and I was unable to get the ball to go through the net. Maybe next time the force will be stronger with me.
Monday, December 18, 2006
OK. This is a really funny ad longstinger shared with me. Make sure you watch and listen to the song too. It could be that I'm the last to check this out, but I felt I needed to share it just in case I wasn't. I guarantee it will alter your Monday perspective. I should note it's a bit bawdy and perhaps NSFW, but it's really funny.
Sunday, December 17, 2006
I remember learning to run. I don't mean as a toddler, but the first time I focused on my form to be faster. It was in kindergarten. I went to a one-room schoolhouse near Norfolk and an older kid, Jeff, said to me during lunch recess, "Sydney, you run pretty good, let me show you how to run faster." And he did. He showed me how to use my arms better and after that I worked on it. I even remember a time I got out of the car and asked my mom to drive beside me and see how fast I went with the speedometer. She said 10 miles per hour and I was quite satisfied, but she might have been making me feel good. No matter. It was enough to keep me running and it sort of foreshadowed a time in high school when I didn't feel like running because it was cold and dark out, and I asked her to drop me off in the dark out on a country road so I'd be forced to run 'cuz I had to get home. She did and I did. How many moms would do that? My friend Jeff and I also used to jog on the way home. He would tell me how to breath and on my last day before we moved to Battlecreek, NE, he told the second-grade me to keep running and that I was "as fast as anyone - don't let those city-kids scare you." Thanks for your encouragement and advice Jeff. I hope life has treated you well.
Saturday, December 16, 2006
Friday, December 15, 2006
You know, it just wasn't happening for me ... the whole xmas happiness UNTIL my friend and coworker sent me this link. Made me smile and now I think it's time to make some creme de menthe bars, shop a bit, wrap some presents and enjoy it.
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Sydney - Your blog about Charles is almost correct. He joined the Army to become a ranger. Out of his platoon of 65 men in BASIC he alone qualified to try out for Special Forces training. Only about 1/3 of those trying out passed the Special Forces basics to go on with Special Forces Training. Special Forces is way above Rangers in prestige and training, two different units completely.
And by the way, my cousin has wanted to be a soldier since he was a real little kid and regardless how you might feel about the military, you gotta salute a guy's follow-thru.
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
+ I used to be shy. In fact, being so worried about other people thinking I was dumb kept me from asking the bike shop guys about racing my mtn bike in the early 90s.
+ I love doing cookies in parking lots with my car.
+ My "most fun ever" list includes riding my horse bareback and racing him as fast as he could go through Pioneers Park as well as taking my dad's Yamaha 750 out on south 14th at night and opening the throttle way up.
+ I hate slasher/horror movies.
+ Like Squirrel, I spent some time as a meth head.
+ Although disorganized in general, I like all the hangers in my closet going the same way and all the things hung on them facing the same way (fronts towards me). I have to be careful with this b/c if I think about it too much then I start wanting them the same distance apart, so sometimes I purposely have the fronts of two shirts facing each other. Egads! The stress of it all.
So.... I'm gonna tag CVO, cornbread, endurosnob, bluno, aaron and monkeygirl. Lessee if they're game.
Saturday, December 09, 2006
One drawback of getting into good condition is that if you don't burn off enough energy it can be difficult to sleep, at least for me. All I did Friday was commute and lift weights. So here I sit sleepless. It's not a total loss though. I've made some progress on a report I have to do for work. I know, I know, you're jealous of my exciting Friday night.
Friday, December 08, 2006
OK. I'm gonna fess up and let you all know that I track just about everything I eat most days and have done this for a really long time. I do this because I want to make sure I am getting enough protein, calcium, etc. as well as monitor caloric intake. Monitoring can be a real pain, but several online sites have made it a lot easier. For losing weight, I think Spark People is the best, followed by My Food Diary. SparkPeople is free and has recipe management, along with providing menu suggestions, shopping lists, etc. along with a lot of support for reaching one's goals. It would be super easy to use if one followed the provided menus.
I'm kind of a cook tho and the most efficient site for someone who uses their own recipes is Calorie-Count, another free site. The drawback of this site, however, is that it doesn't generate shopping lists. My current set-up is a mix of using the nutrition tracking system in Training Peaks. The Training Peaks tracker not the handiest system, but when combined with a recipe, shopping list, menu planning site like Recipezaar, it works plenty good. All of the tracking sites provide an exercise management interface that takes your basal caloric needs + those expended during exercise and finds the difference between what you've consumed and what you've burned.
Thursday, December 07, 2006
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
The other day my mom tells me to pick up a couple of chickens because she is going to make Beer Butt Chicken. I'm like, what? "Oh it's good, bring the chickens." So, I stop by the store and discover an entire chicken costs about the same as or even less than a package of two good sized chicken breasts. Who knew? Not this flunky. Anyway, it's super easy, tasty, and healthy since you're not frying or marinating in any oil.
Basically, rub your chicken down with seasoning, get a can of cheap beer, cut off the top, stick up the chicken's cavity, plug the neck hole with a wet paper towel, set it in a pan and bake it for an hour or so. I used that Montreal Grilled Chicken seasoning, a can of Miller High Life and some garlic, and an oven set at 375 degrees for about 80 minutes. I also baked a loaf of Lazy Irish Beer Bread at the same time. I did substitute wheat bran for about 1/4 c of the flour and added a tablespoon or so of rosemary to make the bread more flavorful. Turned out great with a side of baked sweet potatoes with ginger. You have any favorite cheap, easy, and HEALTHY recipes?
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Monday, December 04, 2006
Well, the first UCI experience was a good thanks to Barb loaning me her Badger again (THANK YOU). Although my pedals crammed with frozen mud and grass, and I couldn't get clipped in on the last lap after a railroad tie run up, I managed a fourth place finish (and no falls despite someone crashing right in front me). Catherine got third and a woman from Colorado road a scorching race and easily tromped us all for first. I know Catherine and I would both have done better if we could have solved the pedal problems as she suffered from clip-in issues as well. Who knows?
BUT, what's more important, is that next time it's mucky in spots but with below freezing wind chill, I'm going to make sure my cleats and pedals are freshly cleaned and coated with non-stick cooking spray. In fact, whenever there's mucky bits, I may utilize the spray. Troy, who won the men's 1/2/3s, said it worked great for him. I'm also going to see if I can figure out a way to have a second bike to ride a half lap while someone cleans up the main bike. A couple of guys had spare bikes all set to go and swapped 'em out as the mud froze on them and made them heavy.
All in all, it was a good time, got to see some cool friends and meet some wonderful new people. The final race for the Maxxis series is January, so that'll be last. I thought Saturday's race was the final one, but was mistaken. Today is a weight-lifting day, so I may be whining tomorrow. No, not really. The gal that won it rides for Maxxis and was so lean, strong and fast that it was inspiring. Gonna lift those weights and ride those miles so I can look and be like that next year. Make it a great day.
Sunday, December 03, 2006
Friday, December 01, 2006
I am so amp'd .... bruises don't hurt, no more swelling in the eye, feelin' real good to race this weekend AND my good friends Tammy and Bernie are comin' back for xmas from San Fran. This pic is from the Bigfoot Lounge where they have this internet hooked up juke box that Bernie and I commandeered for an evening. Played it like a slot machine and when the right song comes up, they do this. We had a blast. :D
Thursday, November 30, 2006
I've been asked several times how I came to start this racing stuff and I thought I'd let you know Kaos is to blame. Specifically, Gary Schmidt, who is talking about the new bridge in this pic, but who triggered my competitive spirit during the BRAN century this summer and talked to me about racing afterwards.
"Have you ever raced? If not, you should think about it," he said.
With that nudge of encouragement, I started this racing thing, so now you know where to send your complaints.
It also reminds me how important a little support, a kind word, or a gesture can be. Make it a great day, folks. (Ride your bike, but wear some mittens.)
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
It's definitely time to look towards the '07 season. Towards that end, I've begun some strength training. The first phase is called "Anatomical Adaptation" and gets the body ready for heavier strength training later.
"Anatomical Adaptation -- The goal of Anatomical Adaptation is to prepare the body for work, increase tendon and ligament strength, increase work-capacity and correct muscular imbalances. The Anatomical Adaptation phase is also used as a recovery phase after peaking. Typically, high numbers of exercises are performed, relatively few sets are performed of each exercise, the weights are light and the repetitions are relatively high (15+). Circuit training with various bodyweight exercises and light implements is common during this phase of training. An Anatomical Adaptation phase commonly lasts around 6-8 weeks for novices and 3-4 weeks for intermediate athletes." -- Levy, Matthew
One of the most interesting things, at least to me, about my first cycling season was how quickly my musculature changed and which muscles were affected. You don't really think about how much your arms, lats, and abs work in combination with your legs to help provide power. But, all those areas are much stronger now than they were in May and June this year and the recommended strength training exercises target these areas as well, so look out, Syd's gonna be a little more buff next year. :D
Monday, November 27, 2006
Well, CVO, I dug deep and came up second despite 2 spills. That fence before the mongo run-up got me on the first lap. And then a biffed remount laid me flat on a second set of barriers on the backside during the second to last lap. On the second spill, our front group was hanging pretty tight, but when I went flat, Catherine took off and three other women went in pursuit. It crossed my mind to give up, since hanging onto Catherine had been my mission and it seemed totally scuttled, but after reminding myself that fifth got paid and considering all the people who had invested in my effort to be there on that course, I got my butt off the ground and back on the bike, grabbed the drops, and cranked it up for the last lap and a half.
A HUGE thanks to Troy and Don for hooking me up with some shoe spikes. I'm quite sure that helped my climb a lot -- not to mention Don's teaching me how to shoulder my bike in such a way as to take the most advantage as possible of my upper body strength for the run-up. Another big thank you goes to Marc, Mike S., and Aaron for hollering at me and not giving me the option of quitting. Aaron and Mike were so encouraging and Marc, well, was Marc. "If you're goin' to wreck then you're going to have to make up your place! Get going!" (or something along those lines...)
Finally, a million thx to Rob Pennell (Badger Cycles) and Barb for the bike to ride and to Jen H. and Mike S. for hauling it up. If I'd had been on my single-speed, I would have got waxed. The Badger is so light and just shoots forward under power. I love it.
Only one more race in the season -- the big bang in KC. :D Have a good one!
Sunday, November 26, 2006
Saturday, November 25, 2006
Jingle cross day one. Third place. Field of 20ish. Crowd rox. My legs are so tired and the bruised spot on my left thigh almost cramped it up. Got beat out of 2nd on the hill. Didn't have the gears to spin up and just couldn't run as fast as the 2nd place finisher could spin. Won the sprint for third.
Friday, November 24, 2006
Thursday, November 23, 2006
It's always fun to run into your friends out on a ride, but not literally. This morning, Jessica, her son Lane, and I went for an early ride out at Wilderness park. We thought there would be hardly anyone out there, but didn't push a pace all the same. Well...... who should I meet around a blind corner but Dave. Fortunately, he was on a social ride too and was also going slow. Nonetheless, there are two toasted (steel) frames, my eye is nearly swollen shut, and his collarbone is cracked. Yes, we both had our lids on, so didn't break our skulls. Pics soon from Lance. :) Y'all be careful out there. Both Dave and I thought we were being plenty noisy.
Oh and for those of you more concerned about the bikes .... The downtube of Dave's Kona was nearly ripped all the way apart. There's a small strip of metal holding it. My Karate Monkey has a pinched downtube. Nobody will be riding it any more. Sigh.
Sunday, November 19, 2006
As for me, the women's race went with the men's today and was lengthened from 30 to 45 minutes, so I didn't do two races today. This was a relief because yesterday I did the men's 3/4 and the women's open back to back. The consequence was waking up at 3am because my quads hurt so bad. After a couple of vitamin i's (ibuprophen) and massaging them a while, I was able to go back to sleep. The other thing that worked well today was warming up on the trainer instead of just riding around. Yeah, I know, I know. Shoulda done it sooner, but it was the first time I'd really had everything adequately organized such that I was able to do the prescribed routine. Worked like a charm and nearly eliminated that sort of dead feeling my legs go through after the fast push at the start.
Next Saturday and Sunday is Jingle Cross in Iowa City. This is the big one and I'm pretty nervous already. Oh well, I guess all I can do is prepare and then give it all I've got. I am looking forward to seeing some folks, tho. Both MtbGrl and Jen will be there, so that will be fun.
Friday, November 17, 2006
In other news, 'cross races tomorrow in Pioneer's Park. This park is special to me because I grew up right next door to the east entrance and spent most of my free time racing horses around in it, playing frisbee by the buffalo and of course sledding down the ramps.
The racin' will be tons of fun and some cool folks are coming in from out of town -- big welcome to Rob Pennell, Jennifer Herrell, and many others. Even if you don't want to race, come out and ride the course for fun before, after, or between races. Have a great day!
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Spent the day driving. Had to take my cousin Kyle to Bridgeport today and then we just turned right around and came back. Least the weather was good and the vic smooth travelin'. Took I-80 out and then came back around via 26. That's real pretty through there -- even in the fall and winter.
Sunday, November 12, 2006
Saturday, November 11, 2006
Decided to spin with the cat 3/4 men today. Me and the ol'
singlespeed took 12th out of 25 starters. I was OK with that. I
should have dressed a little warmer cuz the muscles were cold and I
think it messed with my first lap -- being cold and a little stiff.
Had some handling and clipping in issues. Things leveled out later
but it was hard to make up time.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Download the race flyer from Cow Town Cycling
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Sunday, November 05, 2006
Riverside cross: Men's cat 4 -- fourth place out of 26 starters. Women's open -- 1st place
A huge thanks to Dan from Route 66 Bicycles for helping me quick swap out my cogs before the race. The 42/18 (4.7 ratio) was perfect, just stiff enough to keep me from spinning out on the flats but not taking too much power to crank up the small hills and across the grass. The course was a lot of fun, with some tricky bits where you wouldn't expect. For example, the steep descent down towards the river didn't seem to crash as many folks as the slippery straw on the flat switchbacks. I did hear, however, that Troy K., had an endo on the former part. The one thing I did learn was that running can be a time to get a little rest. There was one hill that was a little stout for my ratio to peddle up, forcing me to really apply a lot of power. By the last lap of the men's race, I decided to just peddle up as far as my momentum would carry me then run it. This was a much better idea and I should have done it earlier. It gave me a chance to breath and didn't slow me at all. In fact, I think I had more momentum coming out of it than topping it with power. Anyway, this was a really fun course and I sure appreciate the folks for putting it on. (special kudos to the brownie maker(s) - YUMMY!)
Also, to all you noise makers out there ... keep it up. When everything is hurting, hearing you holler gives the umph to keep the cranks turning. :) It's great weather out there. Ride yer bike.
Friday, November 03, 2006
Thursday, November 02, 2006
with the cogs, tool, and the lesson. :)
Oh, and if any of you know of a good place in Lincoln, NE to get a hitch put on my car, please fill me in.