STP Yeah You Know Me

A Hot Shower in My Future

As per usual, the beginning of the year brought on new stuff and things: projects, drives, initiatives, etc. All of this translates to calendars that are triple-booked and a lot of that juggling we all euphemistically refer to as “work-life balance”. I have it… if only just.  Outlook keeps me in line. When you have to put in a calendar event to clean the catbox, you’ve gone too far. We are not there. Yet.

Tomorrow I will be on my first real bike ride in about four months, courtesy of the weather, a new job, and enforced socialization. I had the bike checked out today (new tube, otherwise good to go) in hopes of a 30 mile ride tomorrow, the first Official Outdoor Training Ride of 2012… for the STP.

Yes, I know I signed up for it last year. Yes, I know I didn’t do it last year (thank you knees, you are not at all welcome). Fortunately, I’m back in training early enough and cognizant enough of my limitations, my next injection is well ahead of the actual ride date. My only limitation is time — time to train, time to have things to do OTHER than train (you know – Mom/Work/House/Social). It’s a familiar whine.

Being back in the bike shop brought all the old training home though — yes, there’s the Gu, the Sports Beans, the Cliff Bars. And yes, over there is the rear wheel fender I keep meaning to get, so I don’t have the telltale “brown stripe badge”. Over there is the GoreTex jacket I will absolutely, positively not spend $200 on, even though it is in my size and has an appealing lack of pink.

Years ago I was a diver — I still technically am, there’s no expiration date on your certification although I am personally in favor of the idea of recertification. I’ve seen enough people in the water who were first certified fifteen years ago, just got back in recently, and I know that they are a hazard to themselves and others. At any rate– when I was diving, the second best part to it — other than seeing the really cool stuff Puget Sound has to offer underwater — was the hot shower afterwards. After two dives, even in a drysuit, you are cold, you feel dirty, and your muscles hurt — not from the dive, but from wearing 70 pounds of gear down to and up from the water. Diving is not an elegant sport, but it is rewarding. I quit cold water diving due to arthritis and a blase feeling of having seen it all (and I know I’m wrong, so see “arthritis” as chief reason) but I will keep up with warm water diving for the joy of it.

So the secondary joy there was the hot shower, the washing of everything, the loose, cottony feel of your muscles when you were done. I am very much looking forward to that, post-ride, tomorrow. I am MORE looking forward to a time when 30 miles is again “a piddlin’ distance”.

I’ve done 160. Come July, I’ll have done 200.

Cohabitation, Part I

I’ve been in absentia in the ethersphere of late, courtesy of the massive upheaval at home (including Operation Super Secret Project, Parts I-CLVIII) and the continuing fascinating Super Secret Projects at work. Sorry about that. What did I miss?

Cohabitation is both awesome and totally f-d up. The awesome is, of course, having your object of affection right there: you can reach out and touch someone, as it were. Accessibility makes the heart grow fonder and all that jazz. You have someone to share household obligations with (let the record state that I went out for a run and came home to find my car interior Armor-All’d) and now I can watch Battlestar Galactica (I’m almost done, don’t ruin it for me, I don’t know yet who the 5th Cylon is) more than one night per week.

However, this particular cohabitation is f-d up, and it’s largely due to the massive upheaval. We didn’t plan this terribly well because it took a lot less time to get some things done than we planned (this was like when I planned to have a baby and everyone told me it would take like 6-8 months to conceive, and it took like 2 weeks. You think I would have learned my lesson.) And it took a lot longer to get some other things done. In short: it ran exactly like a work project, and here I had been under the illusion I was mistress of my life.

This resulted in the Male Person moving in BEFORE the painters and carpet people came in, neither of whom can, of course, do their work in a day. We are now on day 3 of painting, which, if you’ve ever had painters redoing bits and pieces of your whole house, you know means your bed is in the middle of your room, there are no curtains anywhere so your neighbors know you wear that old sweatshirt more often than is likely healthy, and the cat is displeased.

Carpet will take two days, which results in us moving 1,400 square feet of furnishings into the other 400 square feet (compression garments are NOT available in dining-room size) on Friday, having him do tear out and putting in new pad, and then waiting until Sunday (yes, Easter Sunday) for the new, fluffy, nearly-white carpet to be put in. Meanwhile, we have my furniture, and his furniture, in the house and garage. We are the owners of four sofas and 2 coffee tables, 2 kitchen aids and a staggering volume of knives. So in addition to all of this, we need to figure out what to keep, what to store, and what to donate.

Life will calm down by Monday — just in time for the Male Person to leave for a few days. Leaving me home either with the BoyChild or alone, with the cat.  The cat is not a fan of the upheaval, either.

In other news: I’ve quit training for the STP (there is no time there is no time there is no time) but may be on the hook for 2 or 3 triathlons and definitely for one run this summer, I had the most huge injection I’ve ever had two weeks ago and will totally blog about it later, and the deer are eating my #$%%$#( tulips again.

Wheels

I don’t know how to drive a stick shift. Yet.

Learning to drive one is/was part of my “quest for awesomeness”, e.g., my ongoing list of things I should do before I become a useless, shriveled old maid. The fact that I hadn’t learned in my younger days — mind you, at sixteen I could change the oil, transmission fluid, coolant, and tires on a 1981 Volvo — is sad and crippling; my instructor (Mr. W, who is an Aussie and happily accepts payment in gastronomie and vin!) is patient and thorough. I have completed lesson two.

Lesson two involved repracticing start/stop, and that sorta-glidey-thingie you do with the clutch in and the brake off and you’re rounding a corner and going into a parking space. Or something. I also learned to shift up and down, which I need to practice.

Two hours later I was on the bike for the first time in five months. We did but 13 miles courtesy of a blown tire (mine) and only one spare (Duncan’s); it felt *good*. And tomorrow? Tomorrow we enroll for the STP, the Seattle To Portland, 200 miles in 2 days, with a stop (thank whatever God(s) you select) at my mother’s house at the halfway point.

And so January turns! (PS — this week? I lost two of those three awful pounds, and went to the gym 5/7 days). Go me!