Tuesday, February 26, 2013

ALC 2013: 96 days to go

Money Raised: $300
Days to Go: 96
Mood Forecast: Looking good and feeling gorgeous.
Special Thanks: Nancy and Clayton, and Jesse James 

Thank you to Nancy and Clayton who donated to my ride and were donors last year and have been a wonderful support to me and my training.  Also, the very talented and clever Jesse James donated.  Thank you guys!  

 I had a superstar weekend
  • It was my birthday and I turned 6 (in dog years)
  • Won an Oscar for "Best First Training Ride in Orinda"
  • Didn't trip on my dress before giving my acceptance speech

I went on my first training ride with other B-Listers this weekend which was only 22 miles, mostly hills, and was what I needed.  It was just challenging enough and snapped me into the training mindset for the weeks ahead.  Fellow B-Lister, Nick, popped his tires three times and is nominated for the "Justin Gestler Award" (who last year, popped his tires close to 9 times on the ride).  I was riding with Nick with each flat tire he got and (full disclosure)...I was no help.  I actually have never had a flat tire and have no excuse for not knowing how to change one.  I will learn I will learn I will learn.  

After the ride (and my favorite part of training) we went out to eat.  Something about training I don't know that I've mentioned before: it makes you ravenous.  We burn so many calories riding that when we get around food we nearly lose all composure.  Case in point, Nick ordered a waffle for the table as an appetizer (the restaurant was only serving breakfast) and we attacked that thing like starving buzzards on a rotten prairie dog with sun bloat.  It's good to be back in the saddle.


(L to R) B-Listers; Wookie, Chris, Nick, Big Banana
Click here to donate to my ride and ALC.

Friday, February 22, 2013

ALC 2013: 100 days to go


Money Raised: $100
Days to Go: 100
Mood Forecast: "I had a good breakfast.  Oatmeal.  But I guess you knew that!"
Special Thanks: Team Kovach, my first donors!!  Thank you Trish and Bob!

 I'm Captain Happypants this week.  My training has been awesome.  The weather has been (mostly) awesome.  My bike is getting a much needed tune-up.  Annnnd, most exciting of all, I got my first donation from Team Kovach, who also were wonderful support for me last year.  

Thank you Team Kovach!
For anyone who has trained for ALC (or any other marathon-y thing) you know there are many hurdles to overcome and those first steps are very important.  With ALC, in addition to the time it takes to get into shape, you also have to raise the monies.  Last year I would be focused on training and think, "Oh, I have to go to yoga, and Spinning, and then ride this weekend, and how will I get to the meet-up point, and, oooo, there's a Breaking Bad marathon on right now....".  Then during the week I would be able to relax some and then would think, "Oh no, I have to ask everyone for money and if I don't raise enough money I might not be able to go on the ride and, ooo, there's a Breaking Bad marathon on right now." 

For anyone that ever played Top Gun the video game on Nintendo, you might remember the stress you felt when you had to land on the battleship.  If your speed and altitude were not just right, your monitor would scream at you and you would crash and die in the ocean.  That's what the beginnings of this ALC training and fundraising feels like for me and I am so thankful for everyone who will help me not crash and die in the ocean.    

Going on my first ride this weekend.  Time to get reunited with my old friend, butt butter.  Also, only 100 days to go!  So long 3-digit days in the countdown. 

Click here to donate to my ride and ALC.

Monday, February 18, 2013

ALC 2013: 104 days to go


Money Raised: NOTHING ($0.00)
Days to Go: 104
Mood Forecast: More optimistic than yesterday
Special Thanks: Mother Nature (thank you for not being awfully cold)

I started training this weekend and, as with last year starting off, my joints today feel like the hinges on an old barn door.  To clarify, I did not actually sit on a bike this weekend, as planned.  But I did try to go to Spin class.  Twice.   

The first Spin class I went to was super full, despite my arriving an hour early.  The second Spin class I showed up for (this morning) was canceled and a tumbleweed blew threw the room.  So my training has really just been lots of jogging and shoulder exercises, anything to get my heart rate up.   

What I really need to get used to again is being crouched in the same position for hours and hours on end.  Though, one could argue my day job has been conditioning me for that all along (sitting at a desk).

Good news: Jon gave me an early birthday present (my birthday is this Saturday for anyone wanting to donate) and is paying for my bike to get tuned up.  I had my bike custom built last year and had no idea what a service and disservice the guy that built my bike did for me.  First, I have a sturdy steel lugged frame that will (probably) never break.  But many of the parts that fit onto that frame are not manufactured any longer (or are at least not readily available), like the handlebar stem and the wheels.  I don't totally understand why my bike is so special that any wheel for any road bike couldn't be put on it, but as the mechanic put it, "No one in the world makes wheels like these any more.  Not it in U.S. Not internationally."  That's actually not exciting news.  I'm riding a relic and will have to get parts custom built should anything become damaged.  Cycling can be a very expensive sport.

The B-Listers (some of them seen below) went on their first ride this weekend.  Looking forward to those long weekend schleps trips again.

Friday, February 15, 2013

ALC 2013: 107 days to go


Money Raised: NOTHING ($0.00)
Days to Go: 107
Mood Forecast: Hazy with a chance of salad
Special Thanks: My training team, Team B-List (Just Popular Enough)

Mkay, today I'm officially starting training for this year's Aids Lifecycle (ALC) 2013.  That means I will commit to regular workouts so that come June I will not be cursing my life on the side of a mountain (as I saw from some participants last year...no judgement to them).

Speaking of last year, this time last year I was fresh: pumped, super enthusiastic, and started the day like my hair was on fire.  I didn't know what was in store for me.  I can't say I feel that same push this year.  Not yet.  I think once I get into the thick of training I will feel less like an unctuous toad (whose been guilty of hitting snooze well through early morning Spin classes) and more like a snarly tiger.  

Lots to process as I look forward to the next 107 days, but for now, I will just imagine myself last year, crossing the finish line (see below), and remind myself how rewarding this experience will be for all involved. 

ALC 2012 Finish Line