Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Moab is in Utah--Not Colorado

Last Friday (while in Boulder) I took a trip to Treads to pick up my new bikes. Bill spent a bunch of time dialing me into my new Cannondale road bike. Turns out Bill is married to Sunne, a former superstar track rider and collegiate national champion(CU-Boulder of course). While I was racing for University of Colorado, we had the bestest coaches including:, Alex G (now owner of Missoula Bicycle Works); wedding crasher Lee H; Pro bike fitter and sick musician Annie S. and E.B. I raced for CU from 1996-1998, and while I was there, I heard so many stories about the superstuds that had paved the way for us--ESPECIALLY the women. Sunne was one of those people. Bill was super cool, and making that kind of connection was even kewler. I also picked up my new TT bike--a Cannondale Slice. The machine looks FAST (and funny). No excuses anymore.

On Saturday I did a ride with my new team- DFT p/b Treads. It was an awesome ride, great peeps, and (surprisingly) GOOD weather! We did about 4 hours (longest ride in 2009 so far--who's ready for Redlands?). I had a blast getting to know some of the girls. Some of them I've raced against--so its great to be on the same side now! After the ride, we did team photos and had our first meeting. I'm so stoked on how organized and professional it is. Marisa and SP called in from the south (they were the only ones not in physical attendance)... SP upgraded from 4 to 2 last year and Marisa is a seasoned pro rider.

Out team has a cat 4 contingent so we got to know some of those girls too. One of the cat 4's, Susan, did the ride with us and I'm sure she will be following the SP route to success.

After the team stuff, I headed back to the Casa de Sleaze where the Drewster picked me up so we could participate in the padheating party thrown by Glennbro (aka the hostess with the mostest). While the Drewster and I had a good 10 years on most of the attendees, we had a great time. My bro cheffed up some serious vittles--he is definitely the figlio of mia madre. Props to the veggie chili.
Woke up the next morning to snow. Of course. After good brekkie at Le Peep with SIL Frita, BIL Dave and their friends, Sharon and Reto, I made my way to 24 hour fatness in Boulder. Holy not able to swing a foamroller without hitting a ridankulous fit beautiful person. I found the spin room and got on a bike. However, unlike SLC I was soon joined by a bunch of other people. It was like being in a spin class where everyone is doing their own workout to their own music. And, in true Boulder styles, I ran into someone I knew---friggin mo to the jiggedy jo. Good stuff. It's a good thing shooting the shit at the gym counts towards total workout time. Everybody knows that.

By the time I stocked up at Whole Foods and packed up 3 bikes and all my crap...I was hitting the road to Moab (where I had to be for work Monday morning) at 6 pm in a snowstorm. Good one. I was driving the hubsmobile which has more room than my car--but has many quirks--e.g. the locks and the lights don't work too well--something about features that begin with "L". So with tight buttcheeks I crawled across I-70 and prayed my way down Vail pass. I banged a louie at Cisco (what is the deal with that place) just in time for an apocalyptic hail storm at the crack of midnight. I limped into my hotel around 1:30 am. Oh, and for all Coloradoans reading this, Moab is in UTAH not Colorado. It may not be like the rest of Utah, and there may be just as many CO plate bearing subies as there are in Boulder--but it is still in the reddest state in the union. Sorry. You can't have it. We need it.

So I've been in Moab all week. Working not playing. But I have managed to sneak in a few short runs and rides. I love it here.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

I *heart* Coolorado

Made it to Coolorado just in time for the weather to get back to normal January status. Don't think I'm complaining though because I'm not. Its just a little black fly in the chardonnay. Not really.

I arrived on thursday afternoon--destination casa Beth and Teton. I got a little mini 1 hour spin in the 60 degree weather which was fantastico. I rocked a super Neva. I ended up running into buddy megan m and she was game to ride with me back in town. She is a born again carnivore and was making my mouth water with the description of her buffalo pot roast recipe.

Thursday pm we celebrated sam's aka Teton Jr.'s 6 month birthday with some Ideal market but really its Whole Foods cupcakes. I love Beth and Teton's house, but Beth is like an Italian grandmother with how clean she keeps her house. We're not talking plastic on the couches--but there is no need for a 10 second rule there. I would eat dropped salad off her floor. I need to learn from her.

On Friday I did a chilly but GREAT ride over on the east siiiiide wherein which the sleaze (me excellent host) resides. I went to Treads and picked up my sweet new road and time trial bikes. Bill, Per and Wade are my new favorite people. I am really excited to be connected with them!

I rushed back from Denver to chef up a little dins for some core peeps including sleaze, Melanie, Mojo, Month and Glennbro.

Today was another action packed day. I did my first ride with my new team. I'll need a separate post for that one because it ruled on so many levels. Suffice to say I am super lucky and very excited for the '09 season.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Sundance Redemption

Ahhh yes the hubs and I had a spectacular bounceback from the bad Sundance film we saw on Friday. "Prom Night in Mississippi" offered some serious redemption. Holy shit. Charleston, Mississippi had segregated proms up until 2008. Wow. We like to think we've come a long way with our Blackberry, wireless printing, networking, skyping whatever....but when you see a movie like this one, you might as well just be in a loincloth using stone tools. To know this goes on in the so-called free world is horrifying. But I guess you stop yourself from crawling under a rock by knowing that people are capable of bringing about sorely needed change.

It was pretty cool to see this movie on MLK day---the night before Barack Obama's inauguration. Maybe I do "got hope"....

The same, however, cannot be said for the unlivable air conditions here though. Thank god I'm getting the hell out of here on Thursday. I'll be putting SKID MARKS down on the way to Boulder/Denver for my first Team function and to pick up my new ride!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Scylla and Charybdis

Here in the 801--better known as Wasangeles--we continue to be PLAGUED by the inversion from hell.

In fact, the air quality index calls this unhealthy for sensitive groups, cautioning children and older adults to reduce or avoid heavy or prolonged exertion. Since I'm basically the boy in the bubble from all the lung nastiness I've been experiencing--I find myself facing a Scylla and Charybdis dilemma with respect to training. If I try to train in these conditions, I face the Scylla of working my lungs over and getting sick again. If I don't train there lies the Charybdis of not getting fit with Redlands looming large on the calendar.

So, my confession is that the hubs and I DROVE up to Park City to ride our road bikes both days this weekend. I feel so dirty. A road bike on a car (not going to a race) is pure evilness...The inherent powers of a road bike lie in the freedom of activity that specifically does NOT require a car! Catholic guilt pervades...

While it was chilly con queso up there---the air was clean(er) and the riding was great. Since I have the day off work today, I'm planning to go up there again--with mixed emotion of course. Then the hubs and I are going to see another Sundance flick--Prom Night in Mississippi. We are due for a good one after the movie we saw on Friday- A Day in a Life. While our fellow movie goes--the DB's and Woodies--were fantastico; the movie itself was....well, let's start with the positive. The short before the movie was good. The movie was in Italian, that was great. The director and 2 actors were there---very neat. Everything else was awful. After the movie, the director/screenwriter was talking about how they had no money and shot the movie in a week. During the Q&A I considered asking how they were able to make a movie without a plot as well. Figured that might be rude. I'm not a total asshole. We at least STAYED for the Q&A, to have left would've felt rude--these were ITALIANS after all. And we clapped a lot too. But I think I've paid my dues to the Sundance gods and I'm owed some fantastic film experiences.

For now I've got to get dressed for skiing, I mean riding because I have my fitness orientation at 24 hour fatness this afternoon. I can't wait to find out what my orientation is, and whether there's anything I'll be able to do about it.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

How do you do this again?

SARS/ebola II seems to be abating just in time for the start of actual on-the-bike training. On Tuesday, I rode OUTSIDE for the 1st time in what felt like forever. When I haven't ridden my road bike outside for a while, I always feel like I have flat tires or a cracked frame or something. It just feels weird. I think I'm starting to remember how to do it because today was day 3 of training outside and I didn't feel like I would stack in every corner or slight turn.

While the temps are in the high 40s, our air quality has gone to complete shite. With the high pressure system parked in the valley, the nast-ola air is a gray/brown blanket that makes the mountains look like they are floating in the air without bases. I snuck away for an extended "lunch" ride today and headed up Emigration. Even though NOAA said it was 4 degrees warmer than 2 days ago, it felt WAAAAY colder. I think that was the yucky air just keeping it cold. After passing Ruth's diner, it started to feel a little warmer. I'm not fooling myself into thinking you can *totally* escape the grossness in Emigration--but its pretty and I FEEL like after Ruth's it maybe isn't AS bad as being out at Saltair, let's just say.

I rushed back to work and threw my clothes back on (sans shower) to make it to a meeting (right after inhaling a rich's asiago bagel). I'm hoping I can sustain energy to make it to yoga again tonight. I might need an episode of Sopranos or 2 to muster the strength. But then again, as riveting as Season 6 is turning out to be, if I go down that road it could be the end of me. And I need to make sure I'm in bed early enough so I can get up at the crack to try to get tickets for a Sundance Italiano flick I want to see tomorrow night. Our friends the Woodies and DBs will be there so I have extra motivation to extricate myself from bed tomorrow morning. If it turns out all to have been for naught....I may have to take out some unsuspecting sundance attendee wearing inappropriate footwear. Like it would even be that hard. I guess you have to go to PC to find more of those types though...

Either way, I found out you can get some tix on line for some Sundance flix so the hubs and I will probably partake of some audio visual acculturation since we have one of the theaters in walking distance...The safe bet is to get tickets for at least 3 things. Because then you improve your chances and then you don't have the bad taste if you only see something that is confusing and annoying.

But if you can't do Sundance--I'd recommend watching Blame it on Fidel for a Sundance-like experience. Its a french film we netflicked--and it was AWESOME!

Here's to hoping for some low pressure to blow this crap out of the valley. Otherwise, save your yoga breaths for indoors or try to get up into the mountains, above the yuckiness.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Things are looking up

I'm starting to feel better AND I discovered real bagels here in the 801. The craziest part of it all is that this joint is in f'ing Holladay?! The place is Rich's bagels and the deal is water boiled maybe even Kosher products. Just like Bagel Land in the good ol' upstate NY.

My question is what is this place doing in Holladay? I would think a venture like this would be somewhere close to the Aves, or Sugarhouse. The crazier part is that the OTHER store is located in SANDY. Let's not look a gift horse in the mouth because I am so happy that such a place exists in my ambulatory perimeter. I'm just sayin---non comprendo.

Maybe it was discovering these gluten rich circles of joy, maybe it was the 10 hours of sleep plus 2 naps I had yesterday....but I feel myself emerging from the pit of despaaaair.

The one small downer to my comeback is the fact that I *might* have gotten 2 of my co-workers sick. Its not like we shared a coffee cup or anything (because they don't drink coffee but that's really like reason 7869)...but I was in a car with them for 4 hours on Tuesday, the day I got sick. I was coughing a lot but I thought it was because I had forgotten to use my inhaler that morning (now that I'm an inhaler-dependent-pickedlastforteams kid). Turns out I was coming down with Sars-Ebola II.

Anyway, I was thinking about writing to Miss Manners to ask what social/workplace protocol is in such a situation. My 2 co-workers are actually a lot sicker than me. They are not super healthy to begin with. Do I feel guilty? Of course, I was raised Catholic (now I'm just in recovery from it). So what does one do? Send a sympathy card? Get well card? A statistical analysis supporting the likelihood that they might've gotten sick in a host of other ways?

Maybe its a good lesson for me. I think I got sick a few months ago when I caught what another co-worker had when we were in close proximity for 2 solid weeks. While he never apologized, I *may* have been overheard making comments to the effect of "So and so got me sick and it pretty much ruined my life for 2 weeks." And that was totally tame compared to the stuff I said out of his earshot.

One of my New Year's resolutions is to try to calm the f$%# down and not be so hard on people...To try to be less negative and agida filled. So maybe this is good old karma or whatever giving me a little taste of my own. 2009 could be a reeeeeeal long year for me if that's the case.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

My Immune System Needs to Grow Some Balls

Despite being knocked on my ass sick a mere 8 weeks ago, my immune system, total pussy that it is--just caved into some new gnarliness. I mean really, it just needs to man up and not invite every freeloading virus and other goomah it comes across into the house. I'm all for hospitality but this is too much. I want to slap my immune system in the face and say "you can act like a man! what's the matter with you?" (points if you can name that line).

Negative energy right? I bring this on myself? Probably true. I'm working on it though. I find it more interesting to blog about my negative traits than my redeeming ones (the few there are).

I've got a 7 day trial pass at a 24 hour fatness near my house. It has been pretty sweet working out there. Even though I've hardly been able to do anything the past few days, I've been going and doing the executive triathlon. As my dad (an exercise junky) calls going to the gym and just hitting the steam room the "executive workout", it follows that going to the gym and doing the hot tub, steam room and sauna is "executive triathlon". It rules.

I'm not sure I'm totally into yoga at the gym though. I've only taken yoga at our local uvy-groovy studios. So over the weekend I decided to check out a class there. The booming techno crazy cardio pump class or whatever that was going on RIGHT BEFORE the class didn't do a whole lot for getting into the yoga mode. Then you're going right into a room where people have been leg and knee lifting the crap out of themselves with their street shoes on and sweat flying everywhere. Its not like people don't sweat in the rooms at the yoga studio...but for SHOES to be worn in a yoga space--I don't know, its like not washing your hands before eating.

In my first downward dog, I looked forward to see some massive lint balls drifting toward my mat. I blew them away but they sort of went sideways toward this other chick, and she gave me a dirty look. Peace be with you.

So you get to take classes for free if you're a member of the gym--but there's something about a devoted yoga studio for maximal chi flowage. The class was decent, and I'd take it again...I'm just sayin...

I'm hoping to leave my grave to go up to Powder Mountain tomorrow night. One of my bestest buds Mel, (and MOH from the Italia wedding) is celebrating her birthday up there for the weekend. Regardless of the snow conditions, the entertainment and bacon levels should be off the hook.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Powder Days to Ring in the New Year

Ok so we didn't ski powder (or ski at all) on New Year's Day... But I had a fun day of skiing with our good buddy Woody yesterday and then today, the hubs and I connected with a big posse for a day of fun in the 13 inches at Alta.

Yesterday's skiing was a nod to Woody's skiing on the east coast. Its what he called an east coast powder day. Because while there wasn't any new snow, it wasn't a frozen ice sheet either. However, while Woody was going off about crappy days of skiing (amidst other topics), the fine gentleman accompanying us on the lift informed us that in Michigan they say a bad day of skiing is better than any day of working. Out of the mouths of babes and Michigonians....

Yesterday was a lot of fun and our friend Woody is a gd incredible skier. I also don't know anyone that gets as fired up as him about skiing. I gotta say--its a little contagious... After Woody and I spent a few hours at Alta, our hardworking spouses were able to join us for dins at a new restaurant called the Wild Grape. They are all about local ingredients and interesting dishes. Over buffalo steak, venison medallions and wild 'shroom raviol'--we had a GREAT time. It started snowing while we were having dinner (and while the Utes were beating Alabama--whoa!) so Woody started getting FIRED UP about skiing the next day. He didn't explicitly throw down a challenge to the hubs and I about being able to get our asses up there before the resort opened--but let's just say it was an OBVIOUS subtext. The hubs and I were not to be bullied in such a fashion so we capped off the night with some Sopranos and then got up at 7am so we could be rolling by 8am (resort opens at 9:15). I'm pretty sure I'd never been to Alta before it opened. The point is to get a good spot in line, miss the powder traffic, and to just generally demonstrate how hard core you are (which shows how hard core I'm NOT).

So it was worth it...We got up there and then stood in line for another 20 minutes with the Woodies. Woody getting more amped up by the second. Everyone had lots of anticipation for the new snow---and it didn't disappoint. Holy BOMBING to try to get stuff to slid though. You can feel some of those explosives in your bowels if you're not careful.

We skied around with a posse of about 8 people for most of the day. It was super fun. Ran into some peeps that had previously been unaccounted for--the KIMO, coach and teammates from our 2003 co-ed intramural "world" champion soccer team (ok just our division--but we got t-shirts). Missed the DBs out there, that's for sure. My hats off to my friends who are such awesome skiers--ESPECIALLY the girls, and double especially to those moms who are out there just ripping it up. Love it!

We left a little before 3 and we got shit from Woody. He was keeping track of our vertical and he pointed to his watch when we were leaving to point out that we were cheating ourselves. By leaving, we would be unable to know how many feet we skied (or laps for that matter since that instrument can track both) :))) But I was tired at that point and had some knee twinges...So it was just time to go... Skiing is for fun and enjoyment (ok and some believe those tele turns are a sprinter's secret ingredient)--Bike racing is for pushing myself beyond my limits, and I'm saving that energy (and my knees) for the upcoming racing season.

The hubs and I hit Lone Star on the way home and then enjoyed our delicioso burritos while watching some more Sopranos (we're about to finish season 4, I'm already stressing about getting through the last season)...All in all, a great way to end the first SATURDAY of the new year.

The Yogurt on My Pretzels

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