Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Ode to a ’96 Raleigh M7000 (it’s a mountain bike)

When I was a teen

You were so pretty and clean

I rode you to school

To make the other kids drool

We did our first race together

In nasty ass weather

You always made me look so cool

Then came college and you were boxed up

Shipped to the snow in a big truck

You sat outside and got a little rusty

But that was OK, you were always trusty

40 pounds of silvery steel, you will never die

And that is exactly why

Even though your rear shock goes from side to side

Your breaks don’t work and your gears grind

You still go downhill pretty well

And even though my friends give me hell

I will not replace you, this I promise

Because if I did, I would certainly miss

Your constant squeak that lets me know you’re there

And the way you decide which gear to wear

Because my Raleigh, when I was a teen you were free

And so forever together we shall be

A bike and rider intertwined

Oh Raleigh M7000 I’m so glad you are mine!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Your First 100 Miles in the Saddle

dddI remember my first 100 mile bike ride...or my first official "Century" ride. I chose the Ojai Valley Double Metric Century so I could stay with my pseudo Grandma, and so I could brag about my endurance bike-riding capabilities. I had SPD mountain biking cleats from 11 years ago, a bike I like to call the "Silver Bullet" (the paint is all stripped off so it's incognito), and 5 Luna Bars stuffed in my pockets and my little bike bag.

Mistake #1: Luna Bars--especially the chocolate kind, which is the only kind I will eat--are disgusting on rides. They melt. When I finished the ride, I had chocolate all over my face, and nobody was kind enough to tell me; I discovered this fact when I looked at myself in horror in my pseudo Grandma's bathroom mirror. How many people had I chatted with while covered in what resembled poo slimed all over my face? I shutter at the thought.

Mistake #2: I went alone. That was cool with me, but having just rode my second "official" Century ride this weekend with the coachancé, I now realize how truly fantabulous the whole experience can be when you go with someone you know and like. You can pretend to be doing a stage of the TDF by taking turns pulling each other and blasting past all of the other riders. (Of course, you can always tag along with someone else's little peloton. But what if they start conversing about such gag-worthy topics like, say, wedding planning?)

Mistake #3: I had no salt pills. It was 100 degrees outside. At that point in my life, I had no idea what a salt pill was or that they existed, but this is a case where ignorance is certainly not bliss. I cramped. Big time. And at the end of the Ojai Valley Century, there is a nice big ass climb.

Mistake #4: I had my bike gearing set up like this: 12-21. I didn't know it didn't have to be that hard. It was my first road bike, and I just wanted to ride. (I also had...and still have...full fingered mountain bike gloves. I'm convinced they'll keep me from getting skin cancer on my fingers.)

Life is all about learning from mistakes, so the second time around, coachancé and I had a grand old time.

#1: I ate PowerBars and Gu and Gatorade. Ironman training did me good.

#2: Coachancé came with me for what became his first 100 mile ride ever. He kicked butt. I am so proud.

#3: I had salt pills. No cramps. They are a little miracle drug unto themselves.

#4: I rode the same bike. Same gears. Different shoes and pedals. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right?

So get out there with your buddies and do a Century ride! What have you got to loose besides bodily fluids? (And many of them are for charity, so you can do something good for others while you do good to your beautifully muscular physique!)

Happy riding!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Catholic Marriage Counseling for Triathletes

If you or your coachance or both of you are Catholic, you shall soon discover the joys of getting married in the Catholic church (if you already haven’t). Typically included in these joys are: guilt (not the kind that looks like gold coins and is chocolate…oh sorry, that’s gelt), and an SAT-style, #2-pencil required “compatibility exam” with a special extra section for “cohabitating couples”. And a meeting afterward with a Catholic marriage counselor to go over your “problem areas”. The conversation looks something exactly like this:

Deacon: My spouse has habits/hobbies that I consider highly annoying. Agree, disagree, or undecided. TriDiva, you agreed!

Coachance: What!

TriDiva: It drives me nuts when all we can talk about is triathlon and training. I already told you that. (to Deacon) We were training for a big race. I was annoyed. It’s over now.

Deacon: Ok. Moving on. I understand that our relationship will change over time. Coachance, you were undecided.

Coachance: What does that mean?

Deacon: Well, you know, at first you’ll get married and you’ll do it all the time. I know when I got married, we did it on every piece of furniture. Whenever and wherever we could. Now, well, we’ve both developed pooches here and there. You almost have to schedule it in.

Coachance looks horrified.

Coachance can’t believe this is what happens in Catholic marriage counseling. TriDiva is highly amused (not that she knew either).

Deacon: Well, so you understand that the relationship changes over time?

Coachance: I guess….ok yes…

A few more questions, and the Deacon left us with these parting thoughts:

Shower together. You’ll save on the water bill!

Who said the Catholic church wasn’t hip?

Happy Marriage Counseling!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

The Downside to a Perma-Trishorts Tan: The Butt-Fold Burn

I have become very proud of my “neopolitan” tan, what my best friend likes to call the tricolor tan on my thighs. The top is butt-white (as it should be, it’s the part closest to my derrière). This is the part of me that my shortest pair of tri shorts cover, ending high on my thighs. The next phase in my whiteness, normally covered by a longer pair of tri shorts, was subsequently burnt when I did a long race in the short shorts. It turned a lovely strawberry color. Finally, the last part of my thighs is not really a chocolate color, but it comes as close as I’m ever going to get to being “tan”. Thus, the neopolitan tan.

I have defended the perma tritan on my thighs and back against countless bridal gown consultants, friends, coworkers, etc. I have learned to be proud of it.

So when does a perma tan become a very bad thing not worth defending?

The permatritan develops from wearing the same tri-related accessories day in and day out. For me, this is shorts and a tank top. So when I decided to have a beach day yesterday in boy short bikini bottoms, a part of my bum was exposed to sunlight that has truly never seen the light of day. It had been protected by my Zoot shorts for eternity.

Subsequently, I now have the most painful, horrendous sunburn of my life: the butt fold burn. The BFB makes it impossible to pedal a bike, swim, run, sit down, go to the bathroom, or do anything in which you move your thighs in a way that engages your bum. This includes all human activity.

So please, triathletes. Should you decide to enjoy a normal beach day in which you choose to wear something fashionable (i.e. NOT a Speedo or trisuit) that leaves parts of you exposed that only you and your bathroom mirror have seen, don’t forget to lay on the sunscreen!

This has been a public service announcement from FriedDiva.

Happy Beach Days!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

A Meditation on Post-Race Downtime

I should get up

But I don’t want to

Why did I set

The alarm?

I should do laundry

But I don’t want to move

And that would require

Raising my arm

Oh how did I ever become

Such a lazy bum

It was an almost instantaneous transformation

One big race

Is all that it takes

To turn my mind and body into a warring nation

Maybe the stink

Of my clothes and the sink

In the kitchen will get my attention

And so for now

I shall eat and watch “House”

Until my apartment is too gross to mention.

Happy Lazy Days!