Saturday, July 30, 2011

A Day of Firsts

FIRST time I rode in the double digits.  My GPS said 11.22, dear hubby's GPS said 12.39.  Now we rode together the whole time, so obviously his is right and mine was wrong.  Somewhere I lost a mile.  For sure, I am going with HIS mileage and not mine.  I mean after all, the best policy is always honesty.

FIRST time I rode more than one hour.  Wow, even I am impressed!  My fat derriere sat on the tiny (anatomically correct) saddle for 1 hour, 9 minutes, and 31 seconds.  BELIEVE me!  EVERY single one of those seconds counts!!!

FIRST time I got a cramp.  For real.  It was in my hip when I put my foot down for a stop sign.  I yelped and pulled it back up in the riding position.  It finally went away but that sucker HURT.  I am slowly killing myself.  I started to have a moment of panic.  What if I can't ride home?  I will have to send Scot home to get the truck to come get me and I will be sitting here alongside the road (with my bike) and people will stare and the child in their car will ask "Why is that fat lady sitting instead of riding?"  and they will think I am being lazy.  When in reality, I would be hurt and in GREAT pain.  But, if I laid there writhing in pain, then people would stop and try to help me.  Boy, that would be embarrassing - all for a cramp.  All that went through my mind, and then I realized the cramp was gone.  Whew, crisis avoided.

FIRST time I ran out of water.  It is dog hot here in Houston.  One water holder may not be enough.  I may need to add another one.  Boy, wouldn't that make my bike look professional.  Of course, I still don't look professional (too fat).  Speaking of professional (maybe that is the wrong word, I mean they don't get paid, but they are way more than the recreational ride around the block type, and way more serious than me.) one passed us today.  How do I know he was professional?  He was riding at least twice as fast as us AND had enough breath to say "Good Morning"  (I used capitals, because it was quite cheery.)  Now, I was so breathless (it was around mile 10) that I couldn't even mutter under my breath, because I had no breath.  But, I thought ugly off.

FIRST time I went straight from the bike to the pool.  In my clothes.  There was NO WAY that I could peel a swim suit over my sweaty body, so I just went in with my biker shorts and shirt.  I figure that I saved my washing machine the trouble.  That is a good thing, right?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Stars Aligned

The stars aligned and the sun came up and I had no excuse for not riding with my husband.  The truly sad thing is that I can make all kinds of excuses for NOT riding.  And you know what?  They sound great in my head. They sound great when I am mumbling them from the bed.  They sound whiny when I repeat them later in the day.  This whole biking thing is forcing me to realize that there are some things about myself that I don't like.  I will list them for you:

1.  I am a whiner and sometimes I like it.
2.  My excuses are best mumbled into a pillow.  I need to get more creative
3.  My gluteous maximus ___________  (you can fill in the blank here...hurts, is big, etc).
4.  I am impulsive.  Remember? Signing up to ride 27 miles was totally an impulse. 
5.  I like air conditioning.  (I don't really hate that about myself, but it seemed to fit in the list).

But, I've also discovered some cool new things.  I will list them for you too:

1.  Lots of people have very interesting yard art.  When you are driving a car, you are going too fast to notice.  I always wondered who bought all those cement figures when I passed their lots.  Now I know.  They are my neighbors.  (BTW, just in case you are interested, angels are the most popular.)  Ooooh, maybe I'll start a cement yard art tally.  "Today was an 18 angel, 1 rabbit, 4 lion, and 2 turtle kind of day."  Would that interest anyone?
2.  Biker shorts are made to be worn without undergarments.  My first thought was "Really?  Oh no, I need all the padding I can get!"  But, since you can be on the bike for long amounts of time and undergarments can sometimes bunch and wad, it kinda makes sense.  In a gross kind of way.
3.  I found a new cool app for my iPhone that tells YOU when I ride.  Maybe, just maybe, it will inspire a few things.  I could feel accountable to you, my reading public, to actually exercise.  You might decide, if a fat mom can ride, you can too.  I might raise money that helps to find a cure for diabetes.  (Just imagine, my riding would put the research account just over the top and they would be able to Bam!, find a cure, and then they would want to recognize me...They would bring me up on a stage with my bike, and I would thank YOU, my loyal public, and then I would bow and look down and suddenly realize that I am on stage in biker shorts and no underwear under (of course) and be totally embarrassed that I am a fat biker mom on stage in front of everyone and it would be all YOUR fault for not encouraging me to ride more.)  See it???  A major motion picture in the works...

Friday, July 15, 2011

Mornings, blech

I am not a morning person.  Never have been, doubt I ever will be.  I really, really don't like mornings.  I feel slightly ill when I get up.  Especially in the morning. 

So, because of this my family has learned through the years to leave mommy alone when she is "pre-coffee".  In fact, if there were a motto at our house, it would be "Nothing happens pre-coffee".  I don't do mornings.  I don't do them well.  I prefer to not do them at all. 

Somehow, I married a morning person.  (God has a sense of humor doesn't he?)   I discovered this early in our relationship and after 20 years of marriage, I still don't get it!  Scot can wake up, pull on clothes, walk out the door whistling, and start mowing the yard within 3 minutes. When I get up, I am bleary eyed and unfocused.   I stumble into the kitchen to get a cup of coffee and then I go sit on the couch and stare into space while breathing the steam of my coffee.  Occasionally, I take a sip.  Now you know the secret of our marriage:  He brews.  It is biblical - He brews. 

You may think I am exaggerating.  I'm not.  I don't do light, music, or sound.  I gag very easily and have been known to throw up - often.  I just don't do mornings.

So, here is my problem.  We live in Houston.  Hot, muggy, damp, steamy Houston.  So, for years Scot has been trying to get me up early to exercise.  Two reasons: one, it is somewhat cooler and two, that is when he exercises and he likes to be with me (isn't that sweet?).

I've tried it twice this week.  Both times I got up at 6:30 and went for a bike ride with him.  Good news, I did not throw up!  Bad news, I am soooo tired.  Does it negate your workout if you take a nap afterward?  This is really one of my biggest exercise struggles.  If I don't get up early and do it, it is less likely to happen AND it is hot - dang hot.  But, I hate mornings.

Here lies the problem...27 miles is looming up at me in about 70 days!!!  Oh, what have I done?  (Maybe I should rename by blog "Lamentations of a Fat Biker Mom.")

Anybody have any hints for how to overcome?

PS - If you google "fat biker mom", my blog comes up.  Cool, huh?

PPS - Someone needs to ask my husband how this equation works:
beans + bike shorts = six pack abs
It's his theory, not mine.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Bike Store

Well, I decided that since I have been riding more, I should splurge and purchase a new helmet.  So, we went to a bike store.  I was contemplating the helmet choices when the salesman came to help me.  (We named him Bob, I don't know his real name)  The conversation went something like this:
Bob:  Can I help you with anything?
Me:  Well, I think I need a new helmet, but I don't want to pay alot for it (Since helmets range from $29 to $200, I thought I better get that in quickly).
Bob:  I can help you with that.  How old is your helmet?
Me:  14 years old
Bob:  gulp (it was audible)  Umm, yes, you definitely need a new helmet.

Then he goes into how they are constructed and how the foam deteriorates over the years.  Me?  I just want a new helmet because the little Velcro pieces have come loose and my hair is getting stuck in the glue. 

Bob:  So, how to you ride?  on the road or on the trail?
Me:  Well, I really don't ride, but I somehow managed to sign up to ride 27 miles in September and so I am trying to train a little.
Bob:  gulp (again audibly, but eyes bulging now) 

So, then I am trying to justify why I am doing it, and trying to make myself seem a little skinnier and more fit.  I don't think that Bob was fooled.  I think he might have been a little scared for me.

I picked a new helmet, he helped me pick a new seat, and somehow I left 2 hours later with a NEW BIKE.  Not because Bob was an aggressive salesman, but because I started hearing about all the new technologies of bikes.  Really, my dear husband talked me into it.  I think he was afraid that people would laugh at us on the Tour de Cure. Something about bad paint jobs, Huffy brand, and cobwebs.

So, my new bike is blue with anatomically correct seat, ergonomic handlebars, a rack for a bag, fenders with mud flaps, stirrups for my feet, and a BELL!    And best of all, it was on clearance.  I named it Marley (because it was a clearance puppy...see Marley and Me if you don't get it).

Who knew that bikes could have so many cool accessories?  Who knew that they could be so light?  Who knew that you can change gears soundlessly?  Who knew that brakes aren't supposed to squeal?  Who knew that one bike can ride so smoothly?  Wow!

Do you know what this means?  I have to ride my bike now.  I have spent enough money that I am passed the point where this can just be a passing fancy.  I have to ride my bike now.  Somehow, I have to figure out how to make my body ride farther than 6.6 miles!!!

I wish I could learn to be a little less impulsive.


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Next Step

So, my husband is really getting into this biking thing.  He has been getting up at 6:30am to ride.  That is WAY TOO EARLY for me, so I haven't been joining him.  He found out about this app for his phone that tells you how far and fast you rode and how many calories you burned.  So, he downloaded it and decided that I should download it too. 

I must admit it is cool.  My only problem is that I don't know where to put it.  Biking shorts have padding, but no pockets.  Biking shirts have pockets, but, dang they are expensive.  It will be cheaper to buy a holder for my iphone.  It attaches to my handlebars and then I can watch my progress. 

This app will also post my progress to facebook.  Hmmm....I'm thinking about doing that.  I read an article on the internet that says that people who post their workouts and are part of a workout "community" are more successful.  Now, I need success here.  Remember?  I signed up for 27 miles.  I have to ride that in one day!!!  Me, who is allergic to exercise (I get all red, sweaty, increased heart rate - that's an allergy, right?).  I honestly don't know what I was thinking the day I registered.  27 miles???  27 blocks is more my speed.

After all, I've been really trying to ride more in the last 2 weeks (I told you I'm behind on my blogs) and I haven't even totalled 27 miles yet and I've taken 4 rides.  Help!!!  Will y'all help me?  Will you hold me accountable, please????

PS. - The app is called iMapmyRide.  They also have map my run, map my walk, etc.  It is part of  Go and check it out.  Oh, and guess what my user name is.....fatbikermom!

Monday, July 11, 2011

A Truth Universally Rejected

The seat is probably the most important part of the bike.  Well, maybe that is untrue, because a seat all by itself, goes nowhere.  So, the wheels are probably the most important part of the bike.  But, on second thought, wheels all by them self fall over.... And I could go on all day.  Believe me I can rationalize just about anything.

So, maybe it would be more fair to say that the seat is the most important part of bike for comfort.  So, when I got back on my bike after my 2 month hiatus, a seat was an important consideration.  My bike advisor, Erik, gave me a choice of 3.  Now, I know exactly what I want.  I want, big comfy, and squishy.
Like this:

Big and fat, for a big fat tooshie, right?  Plus that I think that it looks pretty dang cool because it looks like a fly face.  But, Erik was insistent and wanted to prove something to me, so I smiled sweetly and said "ok".
So, he shows me a couple of choices. 

and then he tells me that the first one is "anatomically correct".  Really?  Really?  It is supposed to be more comfortable.  Right....

The second one should be more comfortable than my fat one because it is smaller.  Really?  Really?  This just can't be true.  I mean their has got to be a law of science that says fat and squishy = more comfortable.  Right?

So, just to be funny, I picked the "anatomically correct" seat.  Now, here is the point in my story where I have to tell you that I am just a little bit proud of myself, because there were ALL kinds of things that I could've said at that moment, but I refrained (I suggest that you do the same - take those thoughts captive!).  So, he installed the "AC" seat.  I'm thinking, it's ok, this is a short ride, we are only going a few blocks.  (At this point, you might want to read my previous post about the length of ride.)  Well, instead he drug me kicking and screaming for 5.12 miles and although I wanted to throw up and I was sweating like a pig, my rear end was surprisingly un-sore.  Now, how on earth could that work?  How could putting my big, fat, biker mom butt on a skinny saddle with a hole in the middle be more comfortable that my gel-filled fly face?  I DO NOT KNOW THE ANSWER!  But, it is a truth universally rejected by the non-biking public. 

Small, skinny seats with a hole in the middle are more comfortable.  Go figure!

Back to my Bike

Well, the time since my last blog has been called "The Month of Mayhem that Jumped into June" and quite honestly....I haven't touched my bike since then.  Shameful isn't it?  But now my family and friends have conspired against me and have decided to be obnoxious and force me onto my bike.   Since, I love my friends and family, I have decided to be accommodating.  I smile and say, "as you wish" just like Wesley in The Princess Bride.  (And if you believe that, well, you need to protect your bank account because someone is going to sell you something, probably expensive.)  In all honesty, I was on my bike, but was not very accommodating.  I whined ALOT.  But, after all, I really did feel like I was going to throw up and then I really did want to know what happens when you vomit on a bike.  Does it go straight down and dribble off your leg?  Does it projectile out and splat in the road?  Does it stream behind you?  This is a very scientific question and one that I am sure that I will someday discover.  Since, I am the vomit queen, I'm betting on the fact that someday after thorough calculations,  I will report my findings.

Now on the plus side, I biked far longed than I thought I would.  When we started, I reminded everyone that we were going BLOCKS, not miles.  However, Erik, ignored me and kept going.  I very sweetly reminded him that we could turn right here and go back home.  I think he is deaf.  So, I just started whining more.  Then everyone went deaf.  I hate when I talk and nobody listens to me.  I think it is quite rude.  Anyway, we went 5.12 miles.  Then, I went home, got in the pool, cooled off,  and went to celebrate with Mexican food.  After all...I deserved it.  I tried to make Erik pay, but it didn't work.  Maybe he needs hearing aids?

Now, what did I learn on this VERY LONG  bike ride?
1.  My friends ignore me.
2.  People who drive by and see that you are struggling to keep up won't stop and pick you up even if they know you!  Thanks alot to Sam and the girls.
4.  If you are riding with someone else and they are carrying your water, it is good to have a bell that you can ring.  Then they can be like your "cabana boy." 
5.  It is very hard to do "SOS" on a bike bell.  Trust me, I tried. You can't differentiate between long and short.
6.  I found my Haloween costume for next year.  I'm going to "borrow" a real estate sign that says "I'm gorgeous inside" and hang it around my neck. (I'll be sure to post pictures.)