Snow and Sun. Too much to ask?

I was actually kind of sad to see all of the snow melted by the rain this weekend.  I had hoped to go cross-country skiing for the first time on Sunday, but it quickly became apparent that there wouldn’t be enough snow left for that.  I’m now hoping that it will snow overnight, and that the sun will then shine brightly (but not too warmly) the next day to create what seems like the perfect conditions for xc skiing.  Honestly, I much prefer sunny and cold to cloudy and warm.  The sun impacts my moods so much that just seeing a bit of the sunrise over the lake this morning made the day seem so much more bearable.

Today is my last day of work for the week.  I plan to spend lots of time over the next five days reading, going to the gym, and hopefully getting outside for some exercise (either on my bike or on skis).  I just hope the sun keeps on shining.

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New Year’s resolution?

I went to the gym this morning and it was kind of depressing.  As I looked around the room, all I saw were a bunch of middle aged people fighting what appeared to be a losing battle with their waistlines.  Sure the place was packed, with people who appeared to know what they were doing, but just because they knew where to find the equipment they needed/wanted doesn’t mean they actually did much with it.  I don’t know if that makes much sense.  I stopped myself several times as I realized that I was judging quite harshly many of the people around me, but there came a point where I couldn’t thinking anything other than these negative thoughts.  Hell, for all I know, some of those people may have been thinking similar thoughts about me! 

I’m not one for making New Year’s resolutions, but during my workout today, I resolved that I will (no, I MUST) get back into the habit of working out regularly.  Whether that means climbing on my bike even when I don’t want to, or forcing myself to get out of my warm comfy bed to go to the gym before work, I need to do it.  I must do it.

What resolutions are you making this year?

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Supporting local businesses this holiday season.

Every day, the news has a report about how businesses are suffering during this recession, and the holiday retail numbers seem to be lower than ever before.  The recession hasn’t really affected us much (yet) other than the lower property values *knocks on wood*, but we can see the effects the economy is having on those in our lives.  This year, we’ve made a bigger effort to support our local businesses because they really make a difference in our neighborhood.  Rather than stopping at Starbucks for coffee on race mornings, we visit Charmers instead.  We buy our wine from Taste Food and Wine rather than Dominicks.  And, since we’ve been cooking at home more often, when we do go out, we try to frequent our local Indian restaurant at least every two weeks.  Tonight, we plan to have dinner at Gruppo di Amici (if it’s even open).  We even bought a friend a gift card to Sonia Roselli’s Esthetique, a new beauty boutique that just opened.

And, of course, we make a huge point of frequenting our local bike shop, the Pony Shop.

I love Puerto Vallarta!

We had a great time during our trip to Puerto Vallarta.  This was our fourth time in PV, and our second time staying at Riu Jalisco, so we already knew what we wanted to do while we were there: eat, drink, and lots of relaxing in the sun.  We managed to accomplish all three things quite easily, and we even threw in a mountain bike ride with a local guide.

On Thursday, we met up with Alex from Outdoor Vallarta.  Alex is a great guy.  He owns Vallarta Bikes in PV, and also leads hiking and surfing trips.  He spends most of his time in the shop doing tune-ups on local bikes, but also organizes group rides on the weekends.  It seems to me like PV isn’t really known for mountain biking, but it should be!  The Sierra Madres are right there, with beautiful terrain and great trails.  Shameless plug for Alex – If you’re looking for a mountain biking trip, connect with Outdoor Vallarta!

We rode with Alex on country roads, through small villages, when we were in PV two years ago and had a great time.  This year, we went for something a little more challenging… or, I should say, challenging for ME.  Cliff and Alex had no problem riding up those hills, but I walked quite a few of them.  They were very steep and once I lost my momentum, I’d fall over if I couldn’t get clipped out fast enough.  Thus, lots of walking.  But, we started in San Pancho at sea level, and rode up a mountain road to the top.  When we got back down to the bottom, we ate lunch at a little place in San Pancho, where Cliff and I were introduced to Chilaquiles.  YUM!  

We returned last night, and were glad that our plane was not delayed or diverted due to snow.  It took quite a while to get through immigration, get our bags, then go through customs and finally catch our shuttle to our car.  Two hours after we left the park-n-ride, we finally arrived to pick up the dogs.  That trip would normally take an hour at the very  most.  To top it off, I then looked at the chicrosscup series results, because they had not yet been posted by the time we left, and I saw that my Montrose results weren’t included.  I may have finished DFL, but the fact that I raced and finished would move me into the top 10 for the series.  I’ve emailed the chicrosscup organizers, and hope they’ll fix it.  

On Vacation!

We’re off to Mexico.  See you next week!

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2008 Illinois State Cyclocross Championships – Montrose

Today’s race was hard.  Really hard.  I crashed.  A lot.  Hell, I even crashed twice before we even lined up.  I guess that was just practice for the rest of the race for me.  In the end, I was going back and forth with another woman, and I joked that it was a race to see who could crash the most.  I won that race, but lost the overall race by coming in dead last.  Ugh.  That really sucked.  

The season is now over, and I am pretty happy to say that.  I had a good time and really enjoyed getting out there most weekends, but I’m tired.  And, it’s getting cold outside.  I’m looking forward to spring and summer racing where my only job is to sit on the sidelines and try and get some good pictures.  Anyone else dreaming of 80 degree weather?!  🙂  Though, I’ve committed to trying harder this summer to prepare for the next season of cross.  I’m tired of sucking at this and need to work harder to get better.  

I was really happy to see so many people out for today’s race!  The atmosphere was very festive with SRAM guy (sorry, but I don’t know your real name!) serving up hot dogs and hot apple cider by the registration tent!  And, of course, the Cutting Crew bus of cheering fans was in top form on the bridge.  

Pictures are posted here.  Enjoy! 

SNOW!

Jess and I went down to Montrose today, just for the heck of it.  I’ve never ridden in snow before and wasn’t quite sure what to expect.  Once I got out the front door, I immediately had trouble clipping in because both my cleat and pedal were already filled with snow.  I eventually figured out that I could hit the side of my shoe against the pedal and the snow would fall off the shoe and the pedal enough for me to get clipped in.  I then rode down to the corner to meet Jess.

The roads through the neighborhood were poorly plowed, which was actually okay because it made for some fun riding.  We were sliding around a lot, but we had fun with it.  Once we hit Devon, the road had mostly slush on it, which wasn’t as much fun.

Once we got down to Montrose, we rode in the snow for a bit, went up the sled hill, took a few pictures, then headed north to meet up with the guys for breakfast.

 

By the time we got to Wilmette, I was soaked.  Every single piece of clothing was wet from slush on the roads.  I sat down in the booth at the restaurant, slid across to make room for others, and left a very wet train in my wake.  Oops!  I guess my pants were wetter than I thought!  I was fine while we were eating, but the ride home was miserable!

Overall, it was a great morning!  The snow was fun and I would definitely head out for snow riding again.  But, next time, I’ll either skip breakfast or have Cliff meet us with the car.  🙂