Sunday, April 29, 2007

Highway 9, Saratoga, CA - I OWN you!

Oh yeah baby. I had a two-hour ride scheduled tonight and was wondering if I should do my normal route through Los Gatos or if I should be brave and climb. Of course, I chose to climb. We all know I love it climb...perhaps not while it's happening, but I do absolutely adore the exhilaration of an extremely satisfying downhill.

I decided to ride straight down Saratoga Ave, from my house and rode into Saratoga. I decided to get onto Highway 9 - a billy goat climb - and it took just over an hour to climb all the way to the top where it ends at Skyline Blvd. 2135 feet of climbing for 7.3 miles. Oh what an amazing feat that was. On the way up, I realized something...and this is going to be quite profound, so pay attention.

Climbing difficult roads takes three things to accomplish: two legs and two hearts. Two strong legs to turn the pedals over, one heart - the primed cardiovascular machine that pumps fresh oxygen and blood into those legs that are pushing and pulling your ass up the hill, and the other heart. The one that makes you dig deep and removes all thoughts of quitting out of your brain. This is the heart that gets you up the hill, if you don't have heart, how do you get up that hill? You don't, you quit and go back down from whence you came. And that's no good. That does not feel good at all.

Highway 9, I really do own you today. My hearts and legs totally took advantage of you and we won. Thank you for the 42 mph max speed going downhill, too. You have replaced Bernal Road as the MOST satisfying downhill in the South Bay!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Dove Evolution

An ad campaign every woman and man should see!

Monday, April 09, 2007

Hills that kick my a$$

Normally, I pride myself in being somewhat a billy goat on hills. Riding GB through a steep course is what gets my blood moving and sense of accomplishment...accomplished. However, I did something really stupid on Saturday. I started up a road that I had never been on and had no idea where it ended. OMG. Bohman Road, you officially suck!

I do enjoy finding new routes but need to know what I have in store for myself so I know how hard I'll have to work. This road was steeper and had more switchbacks than any road I've been on. It was painful. It was a stair-stepper ride, for sure. I can usually climb comfortably at 5-7 mph on a steep, but this one reduced me to 2mph! After every turn, I kept thinking, "This has got to be it, I have to be at the top already!". But, NO! It took me ONE HOUR to climb ONE STUPID MILE! Like I said, it sucked.

I never made it to the top. I met a cyclist that said I was only halfway to the top and my legs responded to that comment with a resounding, "We're done, KT, we're totally done with this road. Take us home now.". Of course, the downhill was not satisfying at all because of the switchbacks, narrow road and cars. Brakes were engaged the entire time.

It will be quite a while before I attempt this climb again. I will conquer it, but not until my brain returns to normal.

Total ride was 2.5 hrs and 26 miles. Hard rides are worth it, though, in the end. It's that accomplishment thing.

OK, it's really not placebo, SB works

Y'all know this is my second week on the South Beach diet. From the very first day on it, I've felt amazingly good. I've been sleeping better, have more energy, am friendlier (as if this was possible;)), and have a clarity that's been missing for a while.

I spent Easter weekend at Mom's and blew the SB out of the window. The first night we had spaghetti with meat sauce AND garlic bread and I had a horrible night's sleep. I kept waking up every hour and tossing and turning. I was also terribly bloated the next day. Easter Sunday came and was a day of excess....full of candy, chocolate and bad/sugary carbs at dinner (brown sugar sweet potatoes, anyone?). This night's sleep was just as restless and I had that creepy/crawly thing going on in my legs and was getting very irritable because of it. When I woke up this morning I was groggy and bloated again.

The moral of the story is that sugar is most likely the reason I'm not sleeping well and can't shake this 20 lbs off of my body no matter how much I exercise. It affects the way I sleep and my mood during the day. Being on SB has made me realize this and I will not fall off the wagon again. It's just not worth the aggravation. I felt great without those irritations, so today, I'm back to clean eating without processed carbs or any sugar.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Cycling South San Jose

Sheri and I finally hooked up for a bike ride. For being training parters, not a lot of with-partner training has been happening in the past several months. She's busy with work and other grown-up things and I've been left to my own vices, which has worked out fine, I just miss her company.

After an hour of searching for the Gilroy Hot Springs ride, part of the Tierra Bella course, I gave up. The place where I usually get my routes has not been kept up and has broken links and doesn't work properly anymore. What's up with the Bikemaster?? Sheri, in her infinite wisdom, did a clever thing and went to G-Maps Pedometer and mapped out a route for us herself.

I will eventually get all of my rides onto my site, but that will be a slow process. For the sake of people like me, though, that live to find new and exciting routes, it must be done:)

We finished our ride in 2.5 hrs and did around 25 miles. It was a perfect day and an excellent ride.