Don't Make Change too Complicated: Just Begin!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Day if the Dead...I mean Tread

Cece and friends signed up for  a bike ride called "The Day of the Tread."  This is a themed ride where many dress in costumes.  It is like a Halloween ride.  Cece rode with her friend Julia and did the 26 miler.  What fun they had! 
Then they met up with these two men and we rode together the entire way.    They held and watched our bikes at rest areas, and told us when there was no TP in the restrooms.  All around good guys.

All along the way there was live music and many rest stops that featured many tempting goodies like sopapillas, delicious coffee and cream......themed cupcakes and much much more.

On the ride, there was bacon and eggs....
Fred and Wilma
A hand Biker in a coffin....
And then there was Gerry Moore...who finished the 100 miles in 5:45 and was not even winded! 
And best of all, friends meeting up at the end of the day and comparing notes about how their rides went. What could be better?

Monday, October 22, 2012

Contemplating Lance: How Heroes Fall

Over the years, many have weighed in with Cece and told her that "for sure Lance is doping.Everyone in cycling is doing it."  She has heard this a lot. But, it seems Cece chose not to believe it.....perhaps she wanted to keep her fairy tale hero all in one piece.

But in reading and contemplating Lance now, that the doping allegations are more than just rumors, Cece is feeling very let down.  Her hero, the man who won 7 Tours, who overcame cancer , who does so many good things through his Livestrong Foundation (that Cece supports whole heatedly) and has lungs like no one else, has cheated.  This is what bothers her the most....the cheating.  The winning by cheating.

As a cyclist and as a competitor, Cece also wants to be the fastest, to get up that hill first.  But the reality is that she does not.  Should she then try to win by cheating?  Should she somehow try to beat the system?  To outsmart the system?  Would she cheat to win fame , money and glory by living a lie? 

Cece hopes that Lance will tell the truth and tell his story at some she can understand the desperation that compelled him to live a lie for some many years.  What a toll it must have taken and is taking on him.  She is worried about him and his fall from grace.  He seems to have lost everything.

He is not the first hero to fall from grace.  For other reasons, there has been Tiger Woods, OJ Simpson,Bill Clinton, President Kennedy, Mike Tyson, pedophile priests and many many more.  Men in power.  They seem to think they can command and that none of the rules apply to them...or that they can manipulate the rules to their benefit.  Why is this?  Power?  Control?  Dominance?  Thinking they are untouchable?  People will cover for them?  Lie, cheat and steal for them?

It is just so sad................................that Lance had to win by cheating. 

Marathon Mania! 26.2 in Their Honor!

Cece has been sick the last 8 days and has not exercised or been on her bike!  So it was with great surprise that she found herself in the midst of the Duke City Marathon, her first day back on the bike!  How did this happen?  Well evidently, the marathon route was partly along the Bosque!  Cece was on her bike from  mile 15-24 along their route.
It did not take her long to realize that at this place  in the race, the runners were in a coma.  It was worth her life dodging in and out of them…with their ear buds in and fully comatose from their mileage.  All Cece’s shouts of “On your left” literally fell on deaf ears.  So she had to weave in and out.  Many yelled and cursed at her.  Runners are cranky!  Didn’t they see the sign that said “Share the Road.”

Despite all the traffic, Cece had a wonderful ride with the most beautiful scenery. This was her first day taking pictures on her new IPhone and she was not sure how to work it. The picture on the left also came out twice on video, although she knows not how this happened!
Cece kept riding and riding and riding…and soon it became real quiet as she adventured into the bowels of the south valley.  Cece always sees coyote down there….but that is also when she is dating the wrong man!  A sign that Cece cannot ignore.  So, no coyotes…a good sign!  BUT, she is not dating anyone either!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Out with The Goat!

When your friend's nickname is the Mountain Goat, and you go out for a ride together, you can be sure that there will be hill climbing involved!  At the end of the ride, her friend said, "Thanks for entertaining my addiction to climbing hills!"    They had just finished climbing 1400 feet of elevation gain.  Cece said, "Grrrr." 

Stephanie took her over every hill and false flat between the bowels of Rio Rancho and the county of Bernalillo!  AND as happens in New Mexico, there was a strong head wind  no matter which direction they climbed uphill!    At one point, Cece caught a gust and her bike went sideways!  Why wasn't she home under the covers? 

Cece had ridden close to 90 miles this week and her legs were trashed.  At one point, after getting up another hillacious climb Stephanie said , "Have you seen all the sheriffs on this road?  I have counted 8 so far."  Cece replied, "No, I am focusing on my own suffering and just praying I get to the top of the next hill!"  

Cece's body does not like to climb uphill....but it is getting better and a part of Cece likes to complain and curse as she goes uphill!  The two friends did agree that they would rather climb hills than ride the long boring flat that never seems to end on 313! 

And so at the end of the day, Stephanie seemed to be able to tap dance up yet  another hill and Cece was dehydrated and happily complaining, but they agreed it was a good day!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Mountain Goat and The Owl Went out to Tea.....

Cece has created for  herself a motivational poster that is hanging on her wall right across from where she is sitting as she writes this.    The poster has  photos cut out in collage form and features sleek and powerful   women lifting, doing pilates and yes....cycling up a steep hill whose road goes round and round the hill....or should she say mountain!  Up  Up it goes.

If you know Cece, or have been reading this blog, you know Cece likes to complain about hill climbing.  She will do it....but it is hard for her.  She likes certain hills...and not others.  One of the hills she does not like is the Tramway hill.  She has forgotten if it is 6-8 miles up with no breaks.  She has successfully avoided this for 2 years now.  Her friend Mike says, "It is a good measure of yourself...because the hill never changes, only you do."  Still,. Cece avoids it and pretty successfully! 

Well, this morning , she will ride with her friend Stephanie. They spent a while negotiating the route.  Stephanie was told to ride flat pedals and around the block for her first ride.    Stephanie is recovering from ankle surgery and this is her 2nd ride after several months recovering from plates and pins.  Stephanie's nick name is "the Mountain Goat".  Are things getting clearer to you now?

So, Cece offered a 1 mile ride on the bosque.  Perfectly flat.  Steph laughed.  "I rode 8 miles yesterday!"  Cece said, "I thought you were going tor ride around the block."  "Steph said, "I had to get to work."

Stephanie wanted to ride up Elena.  Cece said no...she was pressing her luck.  They detailed other routes that were hillacious. No to all from Stephanie.  So, Cece had to dig deep and offer the first mile up of Tramway!  Well, of course, The Mountain Goat jumped at that one right away!  Cece reiterated...just the first mile up!  Agreed!

So The Owl and the Mountain Goat  ventured out on a 10.48mile route whose final mile before the turn around is a 1 mile climb.  You can be sure Cece will be watching her computer to tell Stephanie WHEN to stop and turn around....and Cece is sure The Mountain Goat will want to climb more!  So, they will have to wrestle.

AND as Cece expected, The Mountain Goat wanted to climb more!  So, they negotiated up to the next gas station.  Stephanie said, "I think I can make it all the way up."  Cece said she was sure she could and so could she but it was not sensible.  Cece offered additional flat mileage after the glorious downhill and she accepted!  So down they went!  Weeeeee!   WEEEE, Weeeee WEEEEE !

They ended up riding 13+ miles and they were both happy with that.  Next they have planned about 21 miles....including the Atrisco hill which Steph says she has never done before.
 It was another perfect day in New Mexico with moderate temps and little wind..They relaxed and chatted afterward at the Satellite coffee shop and had a coffee and snack!  A good day, good challenges and good company!  What could be better?

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Regatta at Tingley Beach!

Well, you might be wondering what has happened to Cece.  She has been focusing on her training and doing bricks, working out at the gym and yes, cycling!  She has been pretty well disciplined...but today....she was out for a joy ride!

A ride down the bosque was called for...just a leisurely ride....just working on her cadence.  Not working on speed....smelling the roses, remembering why she loves to cycle...smelling the earth in its richness, seeing the leaves changing in their cyclic patterns, that she knows so well.....Greeting the roadrunner and catching his blessing.....answering her phone, stopping to talk to people...just being a leisurely cyclist,..seeing the mini train packed full of families.....and even one time when a man was talking to her about his average speed, she reminded herself silently that today was not a day for was a day for refreshment!

It was the type of perfect day that you can only hope for.  Moderate temps, 2mph wind, cool enough to wear sleeves...a glorious day that could not be ordered up.

She saw many new things that she had never seen before...boys on skateboards, many amputees with prostheses riding or getting in shape for ski season.... AND she saw a mini regatta at Tingley Beach!
Many had  large toy sail boats sailing in the lake.  Cece had never seen this before and was fascinated!  It is just so much fun to be outdoors and to see the world on two wheels...stopping and starting whenever you please....exploring and investigating as you was like a long lost friend that she was getting reacquainted with.....not rushing...just exploring to get to know again.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

I Spy ....Something Yellow! Change Balances Out Slowly!

It seems like it has been in the high 90's for the last 3 months or so with little relief.....but Cece should be grateful that the humidity is 11% rather than 80% or greater like it is in New York!

It has been hot , hot hot here all summer with very little rain.  Even our monsoon season has been disappointing...the rain seems to evaporate in the heat faster than it can hit the ground!

Cece has been very busy all summer....clients passing away, recovering from this, supporting the staff through their grief, getting another hospice patient into this same home, training for the Senior Olympics, loosing weight, her dad being in and out of the hospital, supporting her sister as best as she can from afar....a thrown out rib, figuring out how to cope with active rest while she wants to be moving more and faster...facing the facts that she needs to do hill repeats and then doing her first brick!  By the way...she is still successfully avoiding Tramway...but she knows that this will not last too much longer.

So it was with quite a bit of amazement that as Cece rode on the bosque this morning, she noticed the leaves beginning to change!  How could this be?  What happened to the summer?

The fall is so beautiful on the bosque!  Cece likes to notice all the changes since she last rode down.  She stops at the bridge she likes and thinks about her mom and has a talk with her.  She sees her favorite little steam  locomotive that she always tells herself she will ride one day between the zoo and gardens....and she notices that they changed the turn around in the parking lot at Central and the Botanical Gardens!  Change occurs!

Life is hard most days in our lives...and Cece thinks this is because change can be so destabilizing. How does Cece cope with change? Like many of us...not easily.  But, she has learned  to put one foot in front of the other as she  tries to prioritize her self-care. Get more sleep, eat clean and healthy, exercise and talk to family and friends.

She knows that if she is not stable, while things around her are changing, that this will make it so much harder to cope. Life can be hard.  She never wanted to admit this when she was younger and more starry eyed!

Cece and Yun talked about this in a round about way the other day.  One friend was telling the other that people cannot understand how she can be so happy and upbeat and positive when things are going awry.  One friend laughed and said, "Denial?"  The other said "no, it is more like a swan swimming on the only see the beauty of the swan...not their feet paddling furiously underneath the water!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Catching Up!

" I'm glad to be here right now, poking at my threshold. I want to get more comfortable being uncomfortable. I want to get more confident being uncertain. I don't want to shrink back just because something isn't easy. I want to push back, and make more room in the area between I can't and I can. Maybe that spot is called I will." Kristin Armstrong, Cyclist

 Kristen and her son after winning Olympic gold medal in the time trial.

Getting more comfortable with being uncomfortable......This is right where I am now!  A few weeks ago I threw out a rib...the floating rib#12  and it is still very sore , but recovering.  I am just back on the bike and in a stage of active rest.  My trainer told me Thursday, "I am going to work on all  your weaknesses for the next 3-6 this will not be pleasant. You will have to ice and aleve."   So far, she is right!

Been in the gym doing everything lighter than light.  Moving, but not too much.  Am trying to heal this rib that then affected my lower back and hip.

Watched the Olympics.  Read an article that disabled my chicken eating.  Have not eaten any...cannot since reading that article...and cannot write about it either.  Looking at my menu and working other protein sources into meal planning.  Have lost 20 pounds since the May 12th time trial.  Working on some more.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Whose Toes are These?

They were such cute toes....that they had to be photographed!
Well, not to keep you in suspense any more...they are Stephanie's toes!  She broke her ankle paragliding and has had to have ankle surgery...complete with plate and pin.  Stephanie is not used to being stopped as she is a very active woman!  

When Cece was at her race in Las Cruces, Cece got a text from Steph asking if she wanted to go to the Cochiti triathlon to watch their friend Ellie the Shark do Steph's former cycle leg.
Yes, Steph  has a heavy cast on...yes...she is on crutches...but a stronger woman you will not find.  So, Cece agreed to take Stephanie to the Cochiti Tri to see "her people" thinking it would be a great adventure and would be uplifting for Stephanie since she has been temporarily side lined.

Well, we brought everything to  keep the leg elevated...we brought ice. sunscreen, an umbrella, pillows ,chairs and much much more.  But when they arrived and saw the steep boat ramp that Stephanie had to crutch down...Cece started to sweat!  Stephanie was calm, cool and collected!  Down she crutched.  This is a stubborn woman who is determined not to be stopped and she made it down easily.  Cece could not envision her crutching back up it, so she illegally parked her car on the low part of the boat ramp, hoping that her Las Cruces  free Senior parking ticket would get them through.  No problem! 

Gina and Cyan met us all there and the 5 happy women started their great adventure.  Stephanie commented what a great group of women we are!  Women who are used to being independent and who are toughened athletes!  A good and comfortable group of women who support each other!  It is very easy being together.  All are competitive in their own rights.

We are all cheering Stephanie on in her recovery and we know that.... because she is sooo strong, she will recover quickly!    She is trying to "be a good girl" and follow the Dr's orders... it is  hard to keep this woman down!  When she recovers,we will celebrate her re-entry back on the bike with a big celebration!  We all cannot wait! 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

State Championships: 1200 Athletes and Counting!

The Opening Ceremony for the Senior Olympics was much in tune with the opening ceremonies for the regular Olympics...except everyone was over 50 years old!
There were over 1200 athletes and Cece found out quickly these were not shrinking violet athletes...they were rowdy extroverted athletes out to have a great time....AND they were competitive!
This is Janet Smith.  Cece and Janet met their first lunch in athlete's  village!  Soon, they were arguing over whether Cece was a pessimist or a realist and Cece got yelled at by a 77 year old dynamo who surged at her yelling over the lunch table....saying, "How can you be competitive if you are a realist?  You have to dream big!"

As you might be able to tell,.Janet  is a table tennis player (which Cece calls ping pong) and Janet went on to tell Cece about her strategy to beat "pony tail" because she has beaten Janet every year.  Now Janet knows that "Pony tail" has a bad eye and she will be hitting to her blind side so she can gain an advantage.  Cece exclaimed. 'OMG!  You are viciously competitive."    Janet replied. "Girl what else is there?  Meet me on Facebook after the events and I will tell  you how I did i t!"

Cece asked Janet what her secret to good health and happiness at her age was and she was told this wise advice:  "Never look back.  Just look forward to what excites you and look to your future happiness.  You can't change the past and waste energy on it."  They also talked about men and Janet exclaimed, "Make sure you see the bottom line of their checkbook before you get involved with them.  Are you coming to the dance on Saturday night?  That is where you'll meet a good man."  Unfortunately, Cece was leaving on Thursday....but maybe next year.....?

Janet invited Cece to come watch her practice with her table tennis partner after her bike  race.  She did just that!
Janet was about to serve!  Cece could not get any good pictures of table tennis because she  could not move her head fast enough to catch the action.  Cece broke a sweat just watching them run and maneuver all around the court!  Cece was exhausted.    She could not even keep her eye on the ball.  She learned that there are groups in NM that travel to play each other in tournaments. Cece told Janet, "I have a new appreciation for table tennis.It's exhausting"

This is Dorella.  She is 78.  She knew Cece's dear friend Tom Hendricks and used to ride with him on MWF mornings.She told Cece about the "Record Breaker" race that is Labor Day Weekend and that she is riding there trying to break the record for her age group.  She is in many cycling races and many swimming races too!   Cece and Dorella seemed to meet up at each meal although it was never planned that way.  Cece hopes that when she is 77 or 78 she will be in the great shape that these 2 women are in. 

 Both women were dynamos in their own playing table tennis and the other an amped up time trialist  and road racer....but they were both great examples of women who did not have Title 9 growing up and got into sports late in life. Before Title 9, PE for women was walking a few blocks for gym class.  No sports was unladylike !   They came into their own and excelled at their sport despite great odds.

There were many women and men who just astounded  Cece. She met runners, and discus and javelin throwers and many more athletes!  

 She was always the youngest and everyone asked her "Girl  why don't you just retire and have more fun?"    That always made Cece giggle!
Cece will look to the future and dream big!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Race Report: State Championships Part 1

Cece has not quite embraced this senior thing yet...even though she is just 54 and all of of her best friends are in their middle forties, she still qualifies in Albuquerque to join the 50+ Sr. Citizens Centers.    This is how she got involved in the Senior Olympics.  She must confess that at first, she thought they would be a big bunch of fuddy duddies throwing frisbees....but she soon found out in her first time trial when Olga the Skinny beat her by a 20 full minutes. And she saw some beautiful looking he men specimens in their aero suits! See example below from Cece's age category!  The gene pool in cycling is extraordinary!
And then there is Larry Johnson...the 92 year old cyclist who slapped Cece's butt...and Mr. Aero suit exclaimed , "He is probably the only one that could  get away with that!"
This is Larry with Susan Rice.  Cece was determined to interview Larry for this blog but could not catch up with him afterwards....which is literally true!  She greeted him at the turn around and tried to catch him on the way no avail.  She was going over 24mph and he was a speck on the horizon!  She still wants to know how he has maintained his health and fitness and speed all these years!  Perhaps she can catch up with him in ABQ!

Cece arrived in Las Cruces the day before the race because at the minimum, she wanted to drive the course.  But, first she had to find it.  She brought along "Karen" her GPS and was able to get directions to the Armory .  So, off she went.  She found the route some 15 miles away on a frontage road that went along I-10. She saw the dreaded overpass ramps...and thought "not too bad." She drove the route...not too bad....and then it happened.  COWS!  Right at the turn around there they were lying on the road and under trees...these huge black brown cows.  Now mind you....Cece does not have the bovineophobia that her friend Ellie the Shark  has...and yet she still thought these could pose a hazard to her race....especially since they were in front of the cattle guard at the turn around!
 Race morning, Cece was tired and was determined to get that cup of coffee she needed to revive her!  She got the cup of joe and ate her pre-race meal and off she to the port a potties about 5 times...that kept her busy....then talking to Mr. Aero suit....and Larry Johnson.  Finally, she put on her shoes and it was about 7:47.  The race started at 8am!  One more trip to the bathroom and she was good.  Coffee is a diuretic you know! 

 She lined up.  Cece talked to the motorcycle cop and asked him if he saw the cows on the course.  She said, "If you see them, can you shoo them away?  I do not want to have an accident."  he said , "Well ma' is my job to keep you safe so I will go and ride the route now and see if the cows are at the turn around."  What a nice guy.  Soon,  he came back and told her there were not any cows on the route.  Of course Cece asked him if he was sure....and he said he was certain.    Then he told her all about open space and his strategy for corralling cows that need back in! 

The race director gave the directions and changed his mind as to how the race would proceed at the last moment.  He decided the men would start first and then women 2 minutes behind them.  OK!   Better for Cece...she did not have to seek out the competition.  She had about 15 women in the race and she could easily keep them in mind.

3-2-1.  And we were off!  Susan Rice tried to convince the race director that she wanted to start with the men...but he did not allow it even if she tucked her pony tail under her helmet.  So, Susan took off like a bat out of hell as did the next group of faster women.  False flat for almost 4 miles.  Cece was going to use this as her warm up and not push the pace too much.  She did not want to fry herself and have nothing left.  She was going to ride her own race.

She had set time and speed goals for herself and that was her better or equal what she set for herself.  She stayed on her pace and her race.

Pre-race day.....Cece had sought out every freeway ramp in ABQ  to practice on and had done hill repeats on them  If you know Cece, she will always tell you that "this body does not like going uphill.": . but uphill she went... doing repeats weighted and not weighted.  She climbed every hill she wanted to except Tramway...she was not that desperate yet....and she easily navigated all the entry and exit ramps on race  day with ease.  She navigated the 90 degree turn and all the S curves.. some small rollers.....but what was most difficult was the strong head wind and the crappy pavement...which bounced though her arms like a jack hammer.  Later, Olga told cece, "Who could beat  a record pace on this rough course?"  Olga missed hers by 17 seconds.  Olga is a time trialist.  Cece just wants to race faster!

Cece was glad that she disciplined her training and did fast cadence work in high gearing....because she needed that as she sprinted in .  She never knew that after a fast race, she could sprint for a mile or more at 24+ mph!  Who knew?  All those dogged competitions with skinny women cyclists on the bosque playing "catch me if you can"  or "You be the rabbit" paid off for Cece big time.

 Her legs were burning, she wanted to throw up...she wanted to just coast a bit to catch her breath from its heaving and let her legs rest a bit...she was thankful not to be on a heart rate she told herself the favorite repeat refrain of Troy Jacobson..."Push, Push,Push! You can throw u p when you are soft pedaling after the finish line!  "  She was in her drops with her head down pushing through the finish line. woosh......ZOOM!  She was through!
 Mantra:"  Rome was not built in one day!"

She looked at her computer. ... 47 something!  WOW!  Her goal was 50.25.  She looked at her avg speed....she beat her goal.  She started to cry!  WOW!  She did it!    Tears of Joy! 

She was so excited calling people and texting people that she missed her medal ceremony!  When she saw the gathering of people they shouted to her that she came in 2nd place and she missed her medal.  Oh well.  She would get it later.  She knew the joy of victory for herself.  She challenged herself and pushed herself to places she did not know she could go!  This was exhilarating!

So now, Cece has qualified to race the20K in the National Championships in Later July 2013. They will be in Ohio. She has a lot of work to do...but she has time!  Cece has  the taste of success and can work to build on it!   

Stay tuned for Part 2!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

To Everything There is a Season....

A Time for Every Purpose Under  heaven:
...a time to break down,
a time to build up;
A time to weep and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn
and a time to dance;
A time to caste away stones,
and a time to gather stones together.....

After Cece finished her last ride this morning before the big race , and began her period of rest, she had this poem running through her mind.  She had a great ride this morning beating her personal best by four+ minutes.  She had not ridden fast in a while .....instead focusing on cadence work,  hills and leg work at the this was a great surprise!

Even so, she still realized that she would not be able to win the race she had been training for.  It is like she has Usain Bolt in her age category.  Who could win against him?   Instead of the Lightening Bolt, her name is Olga.

Cece has been working on herself to embrace the other reasons she is challenge see what she is made push herself over that wall of pain and come out the other give her all and test her own preconceived notions about what she can and cannot do!  

Many of her friends have had disappointments and were unable to win too....and she met one friend in Trader Joe's the other day and he said that he wanted to research what happens to athletes when they train so hard and do not win.  What is the psychology of defeat and then picking yourself back up again and trying again? 

It sounds much like weight gain...and then bucking up to loose the weight  you gained...or falling off that horse...and getting back on again. None of it is easy.  It takes a ferocious will to succeed despite all odds.

And Cece has learned that there are many odds besides being an Athena woman...some odds are being a parent and not having enough time to train, getting older,  getting injured, or having crisis on your job that has to be attended to...or having papers due so that you have less time to train....or not having enough money to get the equipment or nutrition and training you need ( like the woman weight lifter in the Olympics....Sara Robles...the strongest woman).   She writes a blog at Pretty Strong.

So, as she rests and drives south to her competition, Cece is going to continue working on her mind...affirming her successes and focusing on her personal achievements ...which are many.... rather that her failure to beat Olga.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The 5 Karmic Rules of Cycling and its Reward

In Copenhagen, they have opened a cycling superhighway for bike commuters.  They have 26 other routes planned.  An article in the NYTimes details their planning and reasoning for doing so. 

But what tickled Cece was that they also have a  “karma campaign,”  in which city employees take to the streets with boxes of chocolate to reward cyclists who adhere to the five rules of cycling: be nice, signal, stay to the right, overtake carefully and, rather than let bicycle bells irritate you, do your best to appreciate them.

An interesting idea that would probably encourage more people to cycle to work! 

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Secret Language of the Shark!

As Cece and Ellie the Shark had a dessert and meal at the Flying Star yesterday,Ellie told Cece about a ride she thought she might like.When Cece asked how the ride was, Ellie replied,. "It's not too bad."  She would send her a google map and directions from the north and the south!  Very specific! 

Well, Cece should have recalled that the last rides she got from Ellie, which Cece called "The Leg Burner" and another "The ride from Hell" were also termed "Not too bad." 

It  took Cece until today to begin to understand the secret language of the Shark.  "Not too bad" means "there's lots of climbing but you will make it or almost make it."

So this am, Cece set out to find the route that Ellie had suggested.  Troy Jacobson had told her to take a rest day today because she did a grueling mashing workout called "Iron Girl" yesterday  that was a killer!

So, as Cece approached the trail head parking lot....she looked at the trail head   and thought, "Not too bad!"  It looked pretty flat.  She had looked on the google map and plotted it out on Map MY Ride, and it showed it was only 1/4 mile long!  No wonder Sharkie had told her she met a cyclist on this trail who did up to 14 hill repeats on this route!

Cece started off.  It only took seconds to understand that this was a false flat.  Up, up up she went... finally realizing that she would be climbing into the Petroglyphs .  She climbed for 4+ miles traversing lots of rollers and little steep spitter hills....and more and more  ups.

Finally, she saw one last hill....that would have to be saved for another day, she told herself...enough was enough!  She will ride this hill again over the weekend and perhaps she will repeat  it way 14 times! 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Last 2 Weeks Before the Race!

I am in my last 2 weeks of training before the State Championships in Las Cruces.  Training is going well and I think I have a better perspective on my competition and my competitive personality.  I have set a personal goal for myself that is based on my time...not other people's..... and that feels more realistic for me at this moment.

I continue my mantra "Rome was not built in one day!" and I keep working hard.

My friend Stephanie loaned me her camera,  since mine mysteriously broke,  and I am getting all excited to take a mini vacation to the Senior Olympics the week of the 23rd of July!  I will take lots of pictures!

If you read our other blog, The Two Whos, that blog will be on vacation until the beginning of August.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Choose Your Hard!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Being a Jockey vs Being a Cyclist: Let's Change the Rules!

Cece's trainer wants her to carry add in weight while she is riding that she works harder...especially when climbing hills.  At first she got angry....add in weight while I am working so hard to loose weight?  But after she finally figured out how to carry added weight, she understood how much harder it was during her speed was effected and was slower.    The ideas then,  is that on race day when she is not carrying this weight, she will have trained stronger and she will ride faster without the additional weight being present.

Given that Cece has maintained and lost almost 140 pounds at this moment,  she understands this.  The lighter you are the faster you can go.

But in her tweaky she was riding hill repeats with the weights, she came upon the most brilliant idea for this Athena rider.  This idea will level the playing field and she loves this wonderful plan!
Did you know, for instance that in the Kentucky Derby each jockey needs to weigh 126 pounds including their equipment?  This does not include the horse.  So, all jockeys need to weigh the same weight.

Cece's ides is that each cyclist should weigh the same weight as she does....which would mean that everyone will need to carry additional weight.  For instance, Olga will need to carry 115 pounds.  Jan 40 pounds.  etc. etc.  That way the playing field would be equalized!  

Everyone would weigh the same amount.  Then, Cece will be on an equal playing field with all the other women....and yes, it would be absolutely fine with Cece if the other women train with their additional weight loads!

Problem solved! 

Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Shark is Showing Her Teeth! Girls Just Wanna Have Fun Time Trial

The last time you saw Ellie the Shark and Stephanie they each were wounded.  Ellie with a boot and fracture and Steph with an ankle sprain.    They were taking it very easy for a while.  But not for long!

  If you look closely, the Shark is bearing her teeth and is ready to compete in the first New Mexico all women's Time Trial....Girls just Gotta Have fun!  This is Gina next to Ellie...herself an amped up competitor!

For Today, Cece was the photo journalist.  She toolk it all in, spoke with friends, cheered people on and had a wonderful time watching....glad for today she was not on her bike.  She is still recovering from her heat exhaution episode.  When will this recovery end?  Soon she hopes.

There were issues with the timers today and people got their times messed up we are all still waiting for the final times.  But all three friends did extremely well.

Women Riding Well hosted the event and about 90 women came out for the first all women's time trial.  It was a huge success and everyone was very happy and exited.

Mindy Caruso,  the Women's National Time Trial Champion , came to support all the women and she gave us some great advice about the bare bones necessities in time trialing.  We all took notes!

We paid special attention when Mindy mentioned this product that most of us were not familiar with...Yes, it is called 

Anti Monkey Butt Powder......

I will leave the rest for you to find out.  Check  in with Amazon!

The friends all say that they are not competitive...but Cece knows from her mom saying that for years...that people who say that are THE most competitive types!  Sharkie is already planning to get new go fast wheels...perhaps wheels covers to be more aero...perhaps an aero helmet?  Shoe covers.....  I give her a  year...before she is time trial outfitted!  

What fun we all had!  It is nice to be a spectator on occasion!

Hope you are watching the Tour and watching the Olympic Trials on TV!  Happy riding and happy dreaming!


Saturday, June 30, 2012

Avoiding Dehydration and More!

Cece has pretty much recovered from her heat exhaustion when she stupidly rode a long ride in 103 heat on the bosque!  Here is a link that a friend sent so that you can avoid getting dehydrated in the heat and so that this does not happen to you!  This is advice from a doctor.

 But so many other interesting things happened before her mishap that she did not want to forget  them.

She met her friend Daniel who works for the city keeping the bosque beautiful.  He sweeps the  trail so that cyclists do not get goat heads in their tires.  He takes the cotton out of the wet land so that flies do not breed  in it and also recirculates the water so it is fresh.  He helps people who get flats and also makes lots of friends in the process.

So he and Cece had a nice reunion and again we  met at the bottom of a hill....and Cece joked that once again she had to struggle up it....although this time it was quite easy.

She was also stopped by the Sheriff and asked is she had ID!  This was a first!   Stopped on a bicycle? When Cece was asked, she stuck out her ankle and showed him her Road ID and explained it to him.  She also told him she has her phone, state ID, her insurance cards and her AAA card and car insurance with case she needs to be towed back! After all this, he gave her a reflective ankle bracelet that would function as ANOTHER ID!  Go Figure!

He explained that they are increasing their patrols and just asking people to be vigilant and to be their eyes and ears given the restrictions on the bosque.  Both Daniel and the Sheriff mentioned that they would not be surprised if there was a bosque fire soon....but both asked Cece to keep her eyes open and call 911 immediately if she sees anything.  They are  having increased patrols and are asking people to assist them  when they are out and about.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Look Who Got the Hot Single Dad Award!

It's Troy Jacobson!  The man Cece loves to hate!  He is the Spinervals Coach whose DVDs Cece uses to train indoors.  He is also the Ironman Coach  and a coach at Lifetime Fitness!    You can check out his blog on the side bar called "Life of an Endurance Coach."

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Pain of Suffering From A Loss.

Cece does not usually watch the NBA  finals. She much prefers college basketball.  But this year, she got caught up in the back story of the HEAT...particularly the story of Lebron James as told by Magic Johnson in a pre-game show.
Magic said, "Last year after losing in the finals, Lebron James stayed in the house all summer because he was disappointed by his own performance.  This year , he is so determined to win because he does not want to feel that pain and suffering again."

After the HEAT won the NBA championship, Wayne Wade said, "We had to go through all that pain and suffering to get where we are today."

What happens when we are disappointed  in ourselves?  We could be disappointed in our athletic performance or job performance or a multitude of things.  Lebron did not come out of the house for months. Cece often puts on weight.  Others get depressed or beat themselves up. Some surrender and quit.   What happens to the psyche when we have trained and trained or practiced and practiced and planned for success..... and we fail to reach our goal?

Cece has been thinking of this a lot lately.  She loves to watch the Olympic Track and  Field events and as a matter of fact has a friend who is attempting to qualify.  She envisions the starting line and all those elite athletes waiting to hear the gun.....they have all worked so hard  and dreamed  so big!  They have  trained for this very moment.....but the reality is  that only one person will win.

How do all those other athletes, that did not win, handle the defeat?  What do they say to themselves?  Do they try again in the next 4 years?  Train harder?  Try new training methods?  Get a new coach? Or do they give up?

For Cece, she has had to readjust her goals as she transitions from an endurance cyclist to a sprinter!  "Rome was not built in one day" is her new motto!  She has plenty of time to develop her skills.  She does not need to hurry or push too much.

She has a competition coming up toward the end of July.  She is doing what she can to improve her skills, and lose more weight.  It is a road race.  She has never been in a road race....but she has watched plenty of them in the Tour!  She will keep training, will talk to a few friends about the road racing strategy and then come race day, she will just do the best she can and see if she can come out the other end.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

A 120 Pound Biker Chick Passed Me!

A 120 pound biker chick on a 48 inch frame passed me while I was thinking I was riding fast!  I was riding 18.1mph.  Very fast for me! 

If you are  going to pass me , you had better leave me in the dust, because  if you don't,  I am going to catch  you and sit on your wheel and play "You're the rabbit." 

She passed me and then I sat on  her wheel for a while going 20+ mph.  Then  I told her "You be the rabbit" and I will try to catch you.  This is my fast day and it will be good for me."  

Up she amped it  to 22.4 mph and she kept that pace for quite a while.  Soon I started to ask myself, "How long can she keep up this pace?"  because I was not sure I could  keep up this pace...but as if to read my mind,  she said "I can't keep this pace up."  I told her don't worry.  Just ride your own ride."  She slowed down and we rode together talking.

Turns out her name was Kristen....with a "K" and an "en."  I had to check because the spelling of Kristen was always an issue in my house..... given that is my sister's name.

This Kristen was a NYer from Jamestown NY... now living in Germany.  She is here in ABQ  to run a 5K in the Cherry Garcia Race....and she is planning on winning in her age group...which was 45.  She has had hip and back issues due to over training that she has finally recovered from.  She made it a point to tell me that she is "competitive here in the States, but in Germany they are animals and I cannot even place in the top three there,.  Usually I place about 6th in my age group."

So, we had a nice talk as we rode along and then I told her that I was going to turn around shortly.  I told her about the bosque trail and how far it went , what land marks to look for etc.

As for me, I rode an average of 15.9 miles per hour , which I was very pleased with.  I think  having a rabbit helps me and I thought that when I get to the State Championships, I will have many rabbits to chase! 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Ramping Up!


Well, this morning, I finally made it to the ramp!  I parked my car at the Sr. Center which is just a few miles from the ramp and plotted my way to the ramp, through the neighborhoods, from there. 

Down one road,  I encountered a group of men who saw me and fanned out in a line across the road.  I kept my eyes on them and when I got close shouted "Hey!" and blew right through them.  Whew!  Next time I will take a different road!

Once at the ramp I met a woman running up it and pushing a baby in a carriage.We greeted each other and I asked her how bad was the hill?  She told me, "You can make it!"  And so I did....I hate to say easily...but it was quite easy.  Then across I went and down the other side.  I quickly discovered that the back side of the ramp, coming back up, was the much harder side...but even that was quite manageable......on the first repeat! 
The bottom of the drawing is the front side of the hill

Here is my rough diagram.  The dotted lines are the turn arounds.    You are riding up and over a bridge that crosses the highway , then down the other side...repeat. On the back have an up, then another up and around a tight corner then up and then up again until you cross back over the bridge.

I did 5.5 repeats in a row and of course each time it was  harder...but it was not that hard and I got bored.  I even hate to say that.  But I did.  I took a little ride to explore "the new land" and found that it dead ended along a highway with an on ramp!   Imagine that!  Not only that...but a bike path started at the very bottom on that ramp! Albuquerque is so very bike friendly!  I was in my glory!  Another ramp to practice on.  That too was a piece of cake...and I hate to say that.  But I got some good practice in and can now design a loop that will include two sets of ramps and will give me some miles at the same time.

I saw some beautiful things that I  had wished I could have taken pictures of...these metal coyote sculptures that were set in the middle of the desert with a rock wall in the background...the beautiful mosaic designs and colorful sands of the landscaping on the highway median as seen from above.....on my next round, I will photograph it before I start my speed rounds.


Sunday, June 17, 2012

I Finally Found My Ramp!

Well, since I qualified for the State Championships in Las Cruces, and discovered that the route was flat except for an on ramp onto the highway and then that ramp in reverse on the turn around, I have been scoping out ramps all around Albuquerque.  I like to practice.

However, I could not find a suitable ramp.  And when I did, I could not find a suitable time to ride the suitable ramp!  I wondered if Sunday or Saturday mornings, really early might suffice...but I never did quite figure out how I was going to ride on an 8 lane highway and turn around and get off it!  So, I did nothing.

Finally on this past Friday afternoon, I spotted my ramp!  It went across the freeway, but was a part of a pedestrain walkway...and it had a steep ramp up and over and then another ramp on the down side of the freeway that would enable me to do hill repeats.  Did I say hill repeats?  I had banned those little words from my vocabulary.  Here are a few pics of the ramp.

Here's another view.....

 The orange brown is the is quite long...on a slowly increasing grade until it pitches sharply up as you can see in the first and second  pic.

And another view....

It was very interesting how I had to get to this ramp.  I had to wind  in and out of  neighborhoods and  apartment  complexes and ask people how to find the "pedestrian walkway."  It is along the South Valley side of 1_40.  Once I found it, I noticed that there was plenty of room to park and it seemed like a reasonable neighborhood.

So, wish me luck,  Early Monday morning, I  will do my first trial run over the ramp and back and see how many I can do.  Then I can work at  increasing my efforts week by week and incorporate this into the rest of my training!    I don't know whether to say "OH! JOY or not!"  Will  keep you posted!