Monday, March 26, 2007

Catch up

Wow - it's been a long time.

I feel really bad that I've let the last two weeks slip by without even a nod to my blog. I guess I don't have an excuse other than being incredibly busy with school and work these past few weeks. And maybe a touch of the spring fever that makes sitting at the computer any longer than necessary utterly unbearable.
A few things of note, though, to catch you all up on the past few weeks of me. Let's see... The long anticipated KissCross Alley Cat took place on St. Patty's day. For those not in the know - an alley cat is somewhat of a scavenger hunt-type bike race where you have specific stops to make or items to purchase as you navigate through the urban landscape. This particular alley cat featured the transport and delivery of a (raw) egg, the purchase of lotto tickets and comic books, and the simultaneous consumption of Pabst and Lucky Charms. Yum. The race started and ended at Founder's brewery where the party continued on well past the end of the race.
The week after the Alley Cat was my first hell week since I returned to school. I had two major exams, a ton of catching up to do, and way too many hours at work. We were short staffed in the shipping department just in time for a delivery of 5,000 or so rims. So much for free time. A glimmer of sunshine, though, came on Wednesday morning while I was walking home from school in the rain. A curbside treasure - an old women's Peugeot road frame, trash tag and all, waiting for me to rescue it from depths of the garbage truck! I brought it home, cleaned it up, and - if we can manage removing the bottom bracket cup that seems to be fused to the frame - will hopefully be my first fixed gear bike. It's really a gorgeous frame and I have big plans for dressing it up nice....
Other than that, not too much else going on. Steve and I got out on our bikes on Sunday for a road ride in the 77 degree weather and I've gotten a decent start at my bike short tan lines. It's hard to believe that the temps are supposed to be back in the 40s by the end of this week. In a way, I guess I'm not ready for this warm of weather just yet. My blood is too thick or something. Poor Fausto can't shed fast enough to stay cool so he just stretches himself out as long as he can to cool off... Steve's shedding his winter coat as well. He's having a lot more fun with it than Fausto is. Sometimes I think I married him just to get a free pass into heaven....

Just be glad you're not married to this freak :) Unfortunately I couldn't convince him to keep the mustache and go to work with it. Dang.

Anyhoo - that's it. I'll try to be better, though I can't guarantee it. I'm going to get my first (of three) Hep B vaccine shot on Thursday, along with a tetanus shot and whatever booster shots I need in order to be able to do my clinical rotation this fall. Definitely not looking forward to feeling like I've been punched in the arms... Have a great week!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Scratching the Itch

Ahhhh......relief! The spring itch has been lurking for a while now - even the flu I had last week wasn't enough to fully extinguish it. So finally it's been nice enough to really get a bike out and RIDE IT without wearing several layers of stiff clothing or having to avoid huge patches of snow and ice. Steve and I got out on Sunday and got in a nearly 40-mile ride. It wasn't super warm but it was sunny and dry and that's all I need. We rode a loop northwest of GR (redneck country) and ended our ride at Founder's for some post-ride refreshments. Perhaps I would look more like an athlete if I didn't inhale peanuts and beer after every ride....Yesterday was even warmer and I rode to work for the first time in what feels like ages. I tried a new route to work and loved it! It's more of a direct route through mostly residential neighborhoods so it's more of a pleasant ride instead of the angry, trafficky, and pot-holey route I normally take. Today's ride, though, was the best of the week. Although terribly windy, it was sunny and 70 degrees - just the thing my hibernating soul needed. I did hear a cruel joke that it's supposed to snow on Thursday. We'll just see how that pans out but at least for now I'm feeling a bit more alive and ready to push on through until spring gets here for good.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Spring Broke

Hard to believe my spring break is now over. I wish I had more to report for the week but the truth is I've squandered my break by spending most of it flat on my ass. At promptly 9pm last Friday night, I came down with the worst flu I've ever had and am still recovering from it. It was the kind of flu that left me bargaining with the illness gods to give me something else to suffer from. I would have gladly had boils erupt on my face for a few days than have this flu again. At this point, I'd say I'm about 80% back to normal. Spending 3 days asleep and adhering to a strict diet of diluted Gatorade, oyster crackers, and 'redneck risotto' (cream of chicken soup and Minute Rice) has definitely helped.

Weather wise, it's definitely feeling like spring around here. Lots of dripping water - both outside and inside our apartment. (Long story - let's just say it involves lots of buckets and our landlord on an extension ladder with an ax trying to bust up the ice dam above our bathroom.) I'm bummed that I've missed the opportunity to do some decent outside riding this week. The plan for next week is to get the Surly out and ride to work at least 2 days - especially since the temps are supposed to be in the 50s. I feel like I've lost a lot of ground this past week. I did go to the gym once to walk on the treadmill and felt utterly exhausted after 30 minutes. I'll do my best not to be discouraged this next week but I know I'm going to be bitter over how hard everything is going to feel. I just have to remember that it truly could be so much worse....

Anyway - I'm off to enjoy this weekend and get ready for classes to start up again. This weekend brings a birthday party for my neices (turning 4 and 7) which means seeing my whole family and eating BIRTHDAY CAKE! And if that doesn't cure me, I don't know what will.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Spring Break?

Well, I'm officially on my first spring break in five years. Woo hoo. Too bad it looks like this outside.....

It's actually not this bad since this picture is from the blizzard we had a month ago. But we are under some sort of winter weather warning and it's supposed to be unseasonally cold all week. Super sweet spring break.

Not too much going on around here - I'm off the happy pills and my ear is ringing just as loud as ever. Luckily I managed to escape the rumored mullet/flannel shirt side effect of taking steroids. Though I think maybe they had something to do with my ability to hang in on a 30 mile bike ride last weekend. At first I thought that maybe I was in decent shape, but we all know that's just not true. Had to be the 'roids. I'm not sure what to do about my ear now - it's such a stupid thing. But it's to the point now where it's so loud that I feel like other people can hear it when they're around me. I hate to think of going back to the doctor - especially with our crappy health insurance and due to the fact that my car decided to do its interpretation of the Exxon Valdez on Monday and now I've got about $400 of repairs to take care of. I know - boo hoo. I have such a bad life. Wah.

In other news, I am rockin and rollin on my Summit for Someone donations - thanks to everyone who has donated thus far. I've had a few really huge donations - most notably my uncle, my incredible husband, and my best friend - that have really helped me gain some ground. But it's simply the generosity of all the people I know that will get me there and I am blown away by the support! As of today, I have 183 more days of training to go before the climb. I have been doing fairly well with my training - I've finally settled into some sort of routine although I seem to stray at least once each week. This week, I skipped Wednesday night to go for a walk with Steve - which I would have counted as some sort of exercise had we not stopped at the bar for a few beers on the way home. I definitely made up for it with a long, hard workout yesterday - Thursdays are now treadmill and stepmill interval days. I've been adding 5 minutes to the stepmill each week and I'm now up to 30 minutes. If you're not familiar with a stepmill, it's a continuous rotating stairway like an escalator. I hate it but I know that it's going to make a huge difference. I'm also looking forward to chick flick Friday this afternoon, especially since it's crummy enough outside to justify riding the trainer indoors.

Anyhoo - gotta go now. I have to learn my disease for the week so I can get on with my day. Last week it was Guillian-Barre, this week it's Myesthenia Gravis. See how smart I am??