Sunday, September 18, 2011

keeping busy

If your heart is aching you must not mope around the house, you must get amongst it and celebrate life. Luckily this was scheduled to be a big weekend. I wasn't supposed to race the Crit on Saturday, but there was a novice class I could jump on to in order to practice the hot dog course on the strand, so I gave it a go. I let all the keeners who were actually racing take off, and the I did my own thing as a training run. Good fun, but badly done. I have a hard time eating when I am grieving, so I did this 11:30 ish race after a roll out at 7 am on a 500 ml bidon of endura and a 300 ml box of up and go. OK, I am an idiot, and my body suffered.
Good race, badly photographed. If there is one thing you can note about life in the tropics, it is that the sun is very harsh and the shadows are very dark. If you are cowering in the shadows, you cannot photograph the sun. Lesson learned.

Go BoaB in the tribal Nova Scotian kit. Makes you want to strangle a cod and swill some rum.
That was Saturday, and I was saving myself for Sunday, the corporate triathlon where I was the cyclist on a keen women's corporate team. High expectations!!
I am grateful for the running I have been doing, the transition was better than last year. Scott clocked me at 28 minutes cycling. I am desperate for a sub 30 time, was the run fast enough? I have to wait and see the final results. So at the end it was all good with a coffee enjoyed with my boys. Sorry Patrick, you are outed. I love that he takes it for granted that we cycled home after, and that he can walk everywhere in the city he wants to go.
This Blog is about cycling, and I have embraced the challenge of sports cycling, but really, I am keen on bikes, and everybody cycling all the time. Go ride.

Friday, September 16, 2011

my heart aches

Vale my Rusty. He was always the good dog, so he didn't get as much attention as Stanley, the bad dog. I am glad he lasted more than two years after Stanley died, because he got a chance to be top dog and sleep wherever he wanted, including right up close to me. He died well. Wednesday evening he was full of beans and playing ball, then he sickened in the night and the best Vet in the world visited the next day and it was done. 16 years old, riddled with cancer, he found joy in living til the last. I am so sad, I have not been without a dog for a very long time. The house and garden are so empty. We mourn his passing. He was 16.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

happenings round here

We have been pretty busy. Last Tuesday was Super Tuesday, an annual bike count in Australia, and Townsville was included for the first time. We were in! Scott registered after me but got his shirt in time for the day, and I didn't. Doh. It was waiting when I got home from work. So we stood on a corner from 7am til 9am and counted bikes, and were gratified to count quite a few. Hope I can get the data for a student project, it could be interesting. Hopefully we will have more volunteers next year and cover more territory, but really, we did well this year with 25 of 44 locations covered, and me away til mid August and unable to promote the event til I got back.
Then it was a busy week at work and another 4 gym sessions on top of riding. I have had to cut the kms way back because riding 35 kms before work, going to the gym for an hour and then eating lunch and staying awake all day is really hard. So Saturday I took a full rest day and slept in with Rusty. It was so windy before daybreak that there was no way I was riding. I need to weigh more to keep my bike from skidding around in high winds. Not group ride friendly!

In the afternoon I did ride over to a friends to get some bananas (that rich mans treat) and admire the orchids. These are all local natives:

Here is Bob sharing the (literal!) wealth and cutting me some bananas. I also got enough chopped banana for a batch of muffins to enjoy while these ripen.So Sunday I was raring to go for a ride, but it was one of those days. We got to the top of Hervey's Range and it was 5 degrees.
At least the bushfires hadn't reached the race venue.
I was driving support, and the race was delayed for more than an hour due to an "administrative oversight" (we all screw up sometimes). I thought I would fill the time with a roll, but the wind chill was about zero so I played the tropical flower card and didn't ride my favorite rolling road. *sigh* You always regret not riding.
My bike suffered the indignity of being a sign holder!
Permit fetched and ready to go.
After the race we had to hurry home because we were in cooking mode and it would take all day to get ready for a dinner party. Here is my friend Kiran admiring a rare feast of fish cakes, baked beans and both blueberry and apple pie!! Honestly, we were on the hop from 11 am to get this all cooked for a 7 pm dinner party.

I was delighted that my Aussie mates loved the food. Kiran doesn't count because she is a Bluenoser, so it was a given she would love it!
And so it goes and another busy week ahead, but there is always a glass of red and a beautiful sunset at the end of every day, and life is pretty sweet.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

We are here

We were exactly right here this morning, except the google marker was gone! It is Strand Ephemera once again, my favorite art exhibition. Saturday morning during coffee I was admiring the Google marker across the street and thinking about blogging the exhibition. Today was Fathers Day and a great chance to walk the Strand and take it all in, but Oh LA it was windy and the marker was gone. : ( Interesting to speculate where it is now! Here is a photo pinched from the ABC website:

It was a stunning morning, if insanely windy, and the less floaty exhibits all survived to be admired and photographed. I adore sand raking:
Loved the glass, life sized turtle hatchlings.
I collected bottle caps at work for ages to support this artwork. When I was done I took away the signs and containers, and someone put up replacements! Seems people love to save and recycle, so I must contact the artist and see if she wants the bags of lids in my office.
Look Out says this bicycle installation. Kids loved it.
It was incredibly sunny and bright, so I couldn't see what I was photographing. This is a terrible shot but what do you want for free.
Copper flying fish. My favorite!
After the Strand we visited my Vet and his lovely wife, who were putting on a concert of original music for family and friends. It was intensely personal and beautiful. I didn't take a photo. My vet made me cry with a song about an old dog. It was lovely.

Then we visited a friend in hospital, who feels fine but suffered a few blackouts, and is trapped like a rat in EMU. He figures it is like a long haul flight to nowhere. Tomorrow is brain scan day and we are hoping they find nothing but a brain!! I cut a bunch of flowers from the yard to cheer him up, and we all giggled and carried on like teenagers. Then it was a visit to a friend with orchids to give away:
These flowers have been in the family for 3 generations, and I am privileged to have some in my yard now and carry on the tradition. That is pretty special I think. Even more so because my Mother has the same plants in her greenhouse, but I had none of this variety until now. I may be moved to put an azalea in a pot too. How nice is this!

So how is the cycling going, since that is why this blog exists. Well, I am down on KMs a bit because I have started a personal training program. I like to volunteer to be a client for a Sports medicine student who needs to do a practical of 20 hours . My student this year is a peach. I'll have to get a photo up so you can all go "awww" he is really cute, his Mom must adore him. So my days are pretty full. The mens washroom symbols are gym sessions. Friday we did a fitness walk (the hiking symbol). Thursday night I thought I was no going to make it, but compression tights are a miracle and I fronted up Friday feeling pretty good.

cycling red, gym sessions pink and fitness walking purple.
This week I have 5 days of training. I am hoping to get the usual kms in if my body is able. It is a lot to add to an obsession which is an imperative. I think my trainer is starting to understand what cycling means to me. I hope I am going to be able to be 'normal' with the morning rides at least. Two weeks til the Corporate Tri and I am obsessing about a sub 30 minutes for 16 kms.

Plus, Magpie season will be here any minute.