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Archive for April, 2010

The Worst kind of Rain

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

A warm rain during a run…that’s a good kind of rain. A cold rain while wrapped up on the couch huddled under blankets…a wonderful kind of rain. A freezing rain with wind while riding in the mountains and still needing to conquer a 10-mile descent with uncontrollable shivering…the worst kind of rain.

Yesterday left me crying on the bike. Yes, quite wimpy actually but I was unbelievably scared. I had no options but to ride my frozen body home in 2 hours of cold rain and the worst part was I had to descend down a river that, at one time, was a canyon. I had checked the weather quite thoroughly that morning and rain wasn’t to come until 3:00pm so I thought I would be fine. I peddled along at a good little pace and conquered one of my favorite climbs in a strong time. I was happy until I took a look around me and saw the low hanging gray clouds moving in.

I had already descended to the other side of the mountain and was 2 hours from home but convinced myself that the rain wasn’t coming just a bit of gray. 10 minutes later there came a huge gust of wind then droplets and I shouted repeatedly No!No!No! Please No! The shouting honestly seemed to ward off the rain for about 15 minutes as it only sprinkled on me. I could handle a sprinkle and pushed the pace hoping that with some speed I could bypass the inevitable. No luck. I was surrounded by ominous skies and soon was riding through a down pour. I had one option and that was to get home as quickly as possible. Once in the Santa Monica Mountains, you are pretty much left to your own defenses. There is no such thing as a coffee shop for shelter or a phone call for a possible lift home…it is you and your bike.

I broke the ride into sections. My goal was to push the flats and climbs as hard as I could possibly go to keep a good forward pace and most importantly, to keep warm and then, come descents, ride my brakes as the roads had become a biker’s worse nightmare – sand, mud, leaf parties, rivers of water. Yikers. I managed to keep myself semi-warm for the first hour but all went to hell when I hit Topanga (my last climb and descent). I was literally soaked to the bone and slowly my muscles began to lock up. Pedaling was difficult and could only manage small chain ring circles. My breathing became stuttered and my body starting to shake. I knew this descent could kill me simply from cold shock but I said just manage to keep your hands tightly around the brake levers and you’ll be fine.

The descent from hell. The rain came even harder and the wind whipped up the canyon. Even though I was descending at blistering 4mph, I felt I was still going to fast. Every turn scared the be geezers out of me and I made a pact with God that if he brought me down this mountain safely then I would never swear again or kill any little bugs or ignore the homeless man who asks me for money two times a day. Of course, I was mumbling every swear known to man as I rolled down the mountain but that’s really besides the point. The point was I was colder than I have ever been in my entire adult life and yes, tears started to stream down my face because I had become absolutely miserable and truly thought I wasn’t going to make it home.

When I finally reached the end of the 50-hour descent, I definitely felt a small victory but still had 30 minutes to get home and that was 30 minutes too long. I could barely peddle. I could barely breathe. I was shaking. I had snot dripping out my nose. Spit drooling out of my mouth. I was a complete disaster. I did laugh a little because it was all so ridiculous. I started counting down from 10 over and over to simply keep my sanity (that’s how bad it was). When I saw my rode and my little home, I was euphorically ecstatic. One last demon awaited and that was to unlock my door. The key was in the keyhole but my hands couldn’t turn it. I almost had another fit of tears because I was so close to warmth but so flippin’ far away. Luckily, I was saved by a young man who turned the key so effortlessly while looking at me as though I was truly insane. I hobbled inside, ripped off my shoes and literally ran directly into the shower with full helmet and clothes (couldn’t manage to get the helmet off). I sat in the hothot shower for 45 minutes and after I got out, I still couldn’t stop shaking. I ended up brewing 3 batches of tea and wrapped myself in five blankets and then smiled because I knew that no race could ever present me with worse conditions…

What doesn’t kill you — makes you stronger.

To error is human…

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

Sometimes it is truly hard to admit that I am not all that graceful. It is even harder to admit that I come with a baggage of flaws and unsuspecting messes. Triathlon tends to bring forth all my most inglorious characteristics and though I try hard to work past my imperfections well, things eventually do go wrong. I do not take light the situation that occurred on the 11th of April but due to a man and a camera, I cannot hide behind pure denial because this my friends is etched into history. I also believe it is truly my duty to the team to address the question that was posted on our forum from Miss Caroline Steffan herself – How can you lose one shoe? I wish I could never personally answer this question but the following series of pictures shows how and why one can lose just one shoe…

I would like to apologize for not having a picture of my left bike shoe lying alone and abandoned on the road while I begin biking away with only one shoe clipped onto my bike. Every normal person would assume that you would recognize almost immediatly that you only have one bike shoe however I am not normal and had a crowd of bystanders screaming your shoe is on the road! your shoe is on the road! Oh boy, quite an embarrassing moment though simply one of millions in my life. I attempted to stay calm but anyone who knows me understands that sometimes instead of crying I laugh in order to avoid the river of tears and of course, ended up in a fit of giggles while working hard to stay focused.


“to err is human, to forgive divine”


Alas, I lower my head in shame and agony. I will not let this incidence happen again and will train hard in order to ensure a more professional and swift mounting onto the bike. Here are a few more pictures of the race. I promise that these will not make you cringe as much as the others.


Sadly, I am not saying that I am number one…I was simply caught in the act of pointing at something. For a 1st place, I have much more work to do.

The madness continues…

Friday, April 9th, 2010

The other day I wrote a thank you e-mail to Bruno-Luc from Louis Garneau. I was in immediate need of different size cycling shoes and honestly the next day, they were at my doorstep. He became my hero and I was even more excited that the shoes looked so snazzy with my red and white bike because well…the shoes are a shiny, sparkly red and white. In response to my e-mail, Bruno-Luc asked if I heated up my shoes in order to make them mold to my feet. I could only laugh at this question as anyone who knows me understands that I haven’t put anything in an oven for almost 3 years let alone a pair of brand new happy shoes. My response went something like this…

I cannot lie to you. I am nervous about heating up my shoes. I lack any experience with ovens so the shoes are not in qualified hands plus I don’t own a pan. Before you judge me on my lack of pans just know that my entire life has reverted back to the 1930s as I have been writing with unsharpened pencils, my cell phone has been broken for 6 months, and currently am operating on a cash only basis due to some credit fraud. Fun times.

I will trust you if you tell me it is simple and I won’t melt my new shoes but do I really need to put them on a pan? Who uses these things called pans anyway?! How about just some tin foil?

Luc…I’m a mess

I do want to apologize to Bruno-Luc for such a drawn out response but he probably didn’t realize who he was talking with and he also probably regrets his decision to involve me in any sort of e-mail dialogue. Bruno-Luc’s response to my e-mail was that we could have a phone conversation and asked how he could reach me. Again, I had to laugh as I have no phone and no way of receiving any incoming calls. He now must have realized that I am truly a disaster.

To make matters even horribly worse, the plumbing in our apartment went bust and has completely wreaked havoc on my life deciding to spew all of my neighbors shit into my bathtub continually throughout the day. Of course, this perfectly suits my reverting to the 1930s as my toilet has also felt the effects of the plumbing problems and I am now considering the possibility of using the pan in my cupboard in order to relieve myself.

When will the madness end?

Is there a full moon?!

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

by null

I honestly think everyone of us has heard the saying two steps forward, one step back. I am trying to convince myself that right now in my littlelife I am simply taking a small step backwards and soon enough I will be rocketing off into the sky. Of course, that sounds brilliant but sometimes it can be frustrating as I can honestly confess that the steps backwards have quite outweighed the steps forward. I promise I have put my fighting cap on and am determined to forge ahead though last night I realized how ridiculous things had become. My mind was battling one thousand thoughts and ideas. I decided that I could go for a nice warm cup of green tea. I put some water in the electric kettle and waited very impatiently for the boil. As soon as I saw some steam, I pour the water into my cup and knowing I have to wait for it to cool, I scampered off to the computer to write a few e-mails. I return to my heavenly cup of tea only to find there is no tea. What the?! It was empty yet no water surrounding the area. I asked Mike if he dumped my tea though he had just raced a 50k and was lying on his most favorite sleeping bag and I knew there was no chance in hell he had moved within the last 10 minutes. Stupefied but not defeated, I go through the whole routine again and again return to the cup only to find it empty once more. I swear to you there is a full moon circling my head. I inspect the cup and discovered no cracks and convinced myself that I had somehow inherited magical powers and was unknowingly deploring them onto my green tea. After further investigation, I did finally find a small rounded hole at the bottom of my most favorite mug which allowed for a perfect leakage rate that caused the water to drip seamlessly down the lines of the counter. I do not know how a rounded whole ended up at the bottom of my mug but I did seem to find the whole situation deliriously hilarious. Lately, even the small insignificant things have gone weirdly wrong and I am praying for mercy from the April Fools gods because it’s April 5 and it isn’t funny anymore. Please full moon…stop circling my head.