Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Breath Celebration, The Rider on Fyre, A Pregnant Chick and Purple Rain

I've been totally exhausted lately - I think my body is finally starting to demand repayment on the massive sleep debts I've acquired since March. So I'm really tired at night, really tired in the mornings. Anyway, yesterday I was up at 5:30 am to get to my office and get to work, and at about 7:00am, you'll be amused to know, I subjected myself to the wonders of yoga. I found a great websilte that has fully featured, downloadable yoga sessions, each about half an hour long, all free. Very well produced. Anyway, I pulled it up on on one of my monitors, turned the monitor towards my greater office, and got to it. I found a particular workout for beginners that was geared towards the hips and knees.

So it's as dorky as it sounds - I don't mean yoga in general (well, not entirely), but the scene: There's me, in my office, Jackson lying on the couch behind me eyeing me suspiciously, contorting myself into unimaginable poses. I have to check what the lady's doing 3 times because I can't make sense of it. I get it wrong more than I get it right. And the lady, she's saying things like "listen to your breath...celebrate the breath...know and treasure and welcome the breath..." - what the hell? So I'm trying to balance on one foot, and pull a leg behind me, and deal with how utterly unelastic I am, all while treasuring my breath.

But, by the end, I was actually getting the hang of it a little, and I think I actually enjoyed it some (weird new-agey lady not withstanding). I may try to start my day with it a few times a week. I think it would be good for me as a triathlete and a person. It did get me sweating a little, and I could easily isolate areas of major weakness with how unsteady I sometimes was.

So anyway, about 5:00pm, then, after a long day of work, I headed upstairs to get organized for an hour on my bike. I laid down on my bed for two minutes while Amy was chatting about her day, and when I opened my eyes a moment later it was nearly 7:00. Clearly, more than anything, I needed some rest.

After some dinner, then, I asked Amy if she'd like to join me for a bike ride - I thought I could at least enjoy a mild ride around our new town on Fyre, and it would be fun if she came along. She was excited about it, so went and got all changed (part of the fun for her and working out is the cute clothes) and came back down wearing an Under Armour top that I'd gotten her a long time ago, pre-pregnant. "Can I wear this?" and it was hilarious - imagine wearing the tight lycra that we usually do, then throwing a small beach ball underneath. I suggested maybe a t-shirt over it? but she seemed most comfortable with the pregnant lycra look.

Amy's bike is a Target Special, some 3 or 4 years old, that she's ridden maybe 10 times in her life (maybe), and which is a huge, heavy thing. And it's purple. It was all dusty and funky from years of storage, so while she tended to wiping it off and I tended to inflating tires, we were greeted by some passing neighbors that we hadn't met, which is always fun. Anyway, I imagine we looked like quite a pair - pregnant chick bursting out of her workout clothes, her hilarious yellow helmet (a child's size, even), humongous on her little head, with her dorky husband, all decked out in gloves and riding glasses and a jersey, the whole 9, just for a quaint ride around town. What a tool.

I went inside to grab my shoes - I have different shoes for Fyre than I do for Ol' Blue - and made the discovery of the century: During the madness of the weeks of getting ready for the move, I somehow lost my Garmin 305. This after the company had just replaced it for me, so it was brand new - I'd maybe used it five times or something. I remembered turning it on and setting it on a bench off my driveway (all at the old house, obviously) to detect satellites while I got Fyre ready for a ride, and then, in my haze of activity at that time, I rode off without the damn thing. The next day, when I wanted my watch to go run, it was nowhere to be found. As I don't lose things - ever - and I knew I'd set it on the bench, after days of looking around, I finally decided either I actually had lost it, or more likely some damn hoodlum in my old neighborhood swiped it while I'd forgotten it overnight on the bench or something. So, all these weeks since, I've been working out with my old 301, which has such a wacked out heart rate monitor in it that I don't even record HR during my workouts. Two days ago I finally ordered a new 305 - and as you know, these things ain't cheap - so I could get HR training back into my scheme of things. It's actually due to arrive today or tomorrow.

Anyway, of course you know how the story is going - I reached into my shoe, and there was my 305. I shouted in glee. Whahoo! Amy came bursting into the room, pregnant chick in lycra, sure I'd cut my finger off while slicing apples or something.

Alright, so we finally get on the road, and by this time we have about an hour of daylight left. We live in a hilly neighborhood, so we headed up our street and turned left, and were immediately met with our first hill. I was coaching Amy on how to get into her easiest gear while she was cursing me for bringing us up this damn hill right away, and maybe we could have done some gentle riding for awhile first, and maybe she'd like to ride her bike more often but dammit this is a little much on your first right, don't you think? until finally we crested the hill and saw the descent on the other side. "I like this part!" she yelped and cruised several blocks down the other side, me behind her and terrified that she'd fall off her bike or something. We get to the bottom of the hill, go a few flat block, then turned right - where another hill awaited us. She said crap, and maybe this is far enough and I can go on without her, and I said hell no and it's not as bad as it looks from here, they never are. So we start climbing again and her heretofore abandoned bike is screeching and clicking in protest with every gear change, arguing its re-entry onto the streets when it had been perfectly fine sleeping all these years. Something is wrong, Amy's saying, this doesn't sound very good, maybe my chain is about to fall off or something, and I assured her that she's okay, there's nothing we can do about her bike right now, it needs some love and attention but it'll be okay. Then to change the subject a little I asked her what her bike's name was, and she paused only a beat and said proudly, Purple Rain, and in a way that suggested I should have known that all along. I laughed. A few quiet moments of climbing later she asked if she's supposed to look up the hill while riding, or do you look down, and I said it depends, that on the Bitch Hills at Ironman you just watch your front wheel and pray to Jesus. She eyed her front wheel intently, then. Moments later she announced, mid-hill, that she needed a rest, so while I started to protest that no, don't stop in the middle of the hill it's harder that way, reward yourself with water at the top of the hill, she was already pulled over and taking a swig from her bottle.

We finally meandered a few more miles down the road to our destination, which was a river trail I'd been wanting to investigate. We approached the tiny river as it runs through town and found it surrounded en masse by hoards of gaggles of gooses, all oblivious that there were people in the world. They covered the sidewalk and street, and as we approached they didn't seem terribly concerned for moving until the last possible moment, then they'd flutter away, parting like the Red Sea, their huge wings beating the wind and they being so big so up close that I got a little creeped out.

We finally found our little trail, explored it only a little with promises to return soon, and headed home. Amy said she would lead us home, she's sure she could find us a way without so damn many hills, and in fact, she did. Our return trip was pleasantly hill free, and all was well but for her complaints that this damn seat isn't adjusted right at all, my butt bones are killing me on this thing. I promised her it would get better if she stayed at it.

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