Saturday, July 14, 2007

In which Lucas takes possession

(imported from FB, used original posting date)

This afternoon, Kevin and I were running errands. The first stop on our expedition was Costco. While we were there, we noted the gas price was competitive and opted to top off the Kevin-mobile, a 2006 Honda Civic Si. That is when our adventure began.

When the car was filled, Kevin got back in and turned the key. Nothing. He tried again and this time we noted the demonic flashing lights followed by nothingness. He tightened the gas cap and tried again. Darkness. The gas attendant helped us push the Kevin-mobile out of the way and we called my dad and started to check fuses.

Dad came, said that it sounded like a short in the battery, jumped the car. All was well.

As dad and I were waiting for Kevin, I said to him, I didn't know that Lucas did Japanese cars.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Hannah's Carolina Hurricanes story

(imported from FB, used original posting date)

Hannah is a big Carolina Hurricanes fan. Hannah's interest in the
team goes way back. In 2002, the Hurricanes made it to the Stanley Cup Finals where they played the Detroit Red Wings.

Kevin with Hannah and Emma in 2006. We were out of town for the (away) Sabres game that could have ended the 2006 run.

This was the spring that Marvin was with us. This was the spring after Penny had passed to the Bridge. Hannah took Penny's passing badly. She had always dreamed of being an only dog but when push came to shove, she really wanted her sister to be around. She was sad and lonely. We adopted Marvin.

As many of you recall, Marvin had kidney issues from the time that we adopted him. As the Hurricanes went further and further into the playoffs, Marvin got sicker and sicker. Meanwhile, Mom and Dad were yelling at the TV. From Hannah's point of view, this was not good.

Then our vet gave us the bad news. Marvin was not going to get better. We were out of treatment options. Our sweet, clownish boy needed to follow Penny to the Bridge. Hannah took this really hard. What was she doing wrong that her brother and sister had both gone to the Bridge? Why were Mom and Dad still yelling at the TV?

We could see that Hannah was having a hard time with all of this. Either she was home alone while we were at the game or we were at home tensely watching the game. We hit upon an idea. Every time the Hurricanes scored a goal, we would give Hannah a treat. This should
help her have a little bit of fun with hockey. Hannah started watching the games. She learned what the crowd reaction was to a goal scored and how the announcers presented this news. She learned the phrase "wrong team" and that Kevin throws his hands above his head when the Hurricanes score. She knows John Forslund's voice. When the announcers sound excited, she hops up and starts to stare at us in anticipation of her treat.

Since 2002 we have gotten a golden retriever, Emma. The golden has picked up on the hockey rules as well.

Emma is also a fan but Hannah gets much more into the games.

If only we could find Hurricanes bandannas for our dogs...

Friday, July 6, 2007

Training notes...

(imported from FB, used original posting date)

I've been wanting to write a blog for some time now. The problem is that I just don't think that I have that much to say. What would be the focus of my blog? Who the heck would read it? Then it occurred to me that maybe I should blog just for me. If other people read it, great, if not, that's fine too.

While adding Notes to Facebook may not considered a "real" blog, it is a blog in the most literal sense. After all blog is just an ongoing narrative, an online dairy of sorts. Facebook is not as open as blogspot but what the heck. I plan to write about my training for the MS150 here, along with other things that are going on in my life.

This month, I begin training in earnest for the MS150. I signed up for it way back in January. The Tour de Cure is behind me now and I know that I can do the 150 miles. What I feel that I need to work on is consistency. I've been saying that speed is the problem but really, I'm pretty close to where I was this time last year in terms of speed. Well, sometimes I am. I just don't know how it's going to be from ride to ride.

I think of the Fourth of July as the real kickoff to my MS150 training. It's as if all of the riding done before that time was base miles. Part of the reason for this thinking is that when I rode my first MS150, my first ever 100k was the Firecracker that year. The other reason is that there are 100k rides to be had about every weekend from the Fourth of July until Labor Day, so the Raleigh area riding season is really in full swing now.

After my first MS150 in 2005, I had some back problems. In an effort to keep those problems at bay, I started working with a coach. Her name is Maija but after the McDonald's is healthy ad campaign with Maya the Virtual Coach, my husband started to refer to her that way. Maija lives near me but 99% of what we do is via e-mail. She sends me a set of workouts every two weeks.

This week was an odd one because of the mid-week metric century. Last weekend's assignment was three hours on Saturday and 90 minutes on Sunday. Saturday's ride went well. I averaged 17.2 which is spot on. I feel that I should be in the low 17s so I was happy with that. I rode comfortably. The route that I did was Beaver Creek-Mt Gilead Church-Mt Pisgah Church-Davis . It was a new route for me but kind of a variation on a theme. Sunday was a different story. I averaged only 16.5 and was pretty upset with myself about it. It was windy -- 12 mph -- but this time I year I feel that I should be a strong enough rider to not let that be a problem. Maija and Kevin both told me not to be so hard on myself. I ordered some brainwashing materials in an effort to get my head screwed on right. I've struggled with these weird off days since my surgery and I need to do something.

Training on Monday and Tuesday was spin class. Easy effort on Monday, steady pace on Tuesday with a core workout. The Firecracker was Wednesday and Thursday (steady pace) was spin and core again. Friday is my off day right now so I had "alternate schedule" which means more sleep and less gym.

This weekend Kevin is out of town doing some whitewater kayaking -- I don't do roller coaster or whitewater kayaking. I lined up have two On Call Team Car drivers -- Sydney and my mom. That way if I am riding and get into trouble I have someone to call. As it turns out, a friend of mine -- Sandra in the Firecracker photos -- is riding the distance that I want to tomorrow. I plan to join her. My assignment for this weekend is two hours on Saturday and 90 minutes on Sunday. I usually do about 100 miles a weekend this time of year but the mileage is lower due to the 62 midweek miles.

In addition to my training, I have been thinking a lot about my fundraising letter. I have rewritten it twice and it's still pitiful. I want for it to be very concise but I also would like to get some emotion into it. I do the MS150 because it is fun, that's true, but I truly was inspired by a friend of mine who was diagnosed with MS in about 2003. Cathy is very active and athletic and it broke my heart when she started to have health issues. I was shocked when the diagnosis finally turned out to be MS. I've known other people with the disease but they were more internet buddies or people that I knew in passing. Cathy is an agility friend who loves hiking with her dogs. She canoes with them and really would rather by hanging out the woods with her her canine crew than doing about anything else. I worry for her and with her and really do want to help support people with MS.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

A Busy Fourth

(imported from FB)
11:00pm Wednesday, Jul 4

I had a busy Fourth of July this year. Fun but busy!

I started the day with the annual Firecracker 100k bike ride. Over 1000 riders take part each year. This year I participated in the Firecracker for the fourth time. In 2004, I did the 50k as my first ever group ride. I rode in the 100k in 2005 as my first ever metric century and I did the 100k in 2006 and again this year. The route starts and ends in Cary, NC and heads south through Holly Springs towards Fuquay-Varina and the heads west along NC42 through Cornith towards Moncure. We go north around Jordan Lake, with its heavy holiday boat traffic and head back into Cary via the farm land in the Green Level area.

There some hilly sections, especially along NC 42, where I hit 41 mph on one of the downhills. Of course going up the other side was a lot slower!

In the afternoon, my parents came over, brining grandmother too. We had grilled chicken and a lot more vegetable matter than my dad would have liked! I think that everyone enjoyed the visit.

My mom brought over some treats for the girls. She made a special stop at Gourmutt’s Bakery to get fancy dog cookies for them. Hannah and Emma both appreciated it!