Thursday, December 31, 2009

Wanting to Be a Skinny Bitch

You know the type: skinny, not an ounce of fat, and they ride bike like hell up a hill. I can't stand them! Damn skinny bitches. Well would you believe there was actually a book written about them. Yes, Skinny Bitch, by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin is my latest read and it's getting a book review here on my fun blog 'cause I want to repeat the profanity they use in the book. No, the authors aren't riding bicycles, but they do tell you exactly how to become a skinny bitch. Unfortunately, it's nothing that I didn't already know - its all about becoming vegan which I'm maybe 90% at this point and allow a 10% "cheat" each week. (Cheating is dairy, meat, fish, or eggs). They talk about slaughterhouses, animal cruelty, you are what you eat, chemicals, environmental degradation, etc -- the normal vegetarian read. The really fun part about the book is the way it's written. It's hilarious and totally profane! You'll get the gist of the entire book by these couple Chapter Headings and quotes from some of the chapters:

Have no Faith - Government Agencies Don't Give a Shit About Your Health. The USDA - It's not what you think.

The Dairy Disaster "Go suck your mother's tits. Go on. Suck your mother's tits. You think this is ridiculous? It is. Get ready to use your head. "

The Dead Rotting Decomposing Flesh Diet

Sugar is the Devil

Pooping "Pinch a loaf. Lay cable. Drop the kids off at the pool. Let's face it; there is no greater pleasure than taking a big, steamy dump. But Shitting isn't just for kicks. It is a vital tool for weight loss and optimal health. Basic math girls, How much are you putting in your mouth, and how much is coming out of your ass?"

Don't Be a Pussy "Recognize that anything worth having is worth fighting for. Good health, vitality, more energy, more confidence, better sex, great abs, a tight ass - you either want 'em or you don't."

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Barefoot Running (Almost Barefoot)

It was 50 degrees, sunny, and a beauty of day for December 27 - the perfect opportunity to try my feet at barefoot running. No, it's not really "barefoot" running. It's a term for running without sneakers or any kind of supportive upper shoes. It's basically running with a slab of rubber on your feet. The Vibram Five-Fingers (see an earlier post to see a pic) are often sold as kayak shoes and my very-smart kayaking hubby says, "why spend the money... you have a couple pair of kayak shoes you could try." So I did. Today was the virgin run and it was awesome. My thoughts kept going to the Tarahumara and their terrain. They obviously don't run on hardtop road, so I tried to keep it offroad as much as possible. I ran field and grass, soft berm of the road, dirt, and I couldn't help but connect the run with some blacktop. My feet obviously felt best in the grass and soft gravel. The blacktop was the worst feeling, but tolerable. I think my foot position is fairly flat when it lands, so I didn't have any heel-striking issues. There is definitely a feeling underfoot based on the terrain you are on and your feet and toes react amazingly - just like they are meant to! The coolest part of the run was climbing an embankment near my home. It's about a 40 % (or more) incline for 18 feet and you almost have to crawl up. I could feel my toes spreading out in the kayak shoes and helping grab the terrain to climb. Very cool. Sneakers were difficult to climb in to say the least. The run totaled about 50 minutes and so far I feel great.

A Teaser of What's to Come - Whitegrass!

Whitegrass is just about our favorite spot in the world in the winter. It's far (4.5 hours), or we'd be there a lot more than the once or twice a winter we get there if the snow conditions are right. This year, the dates are set for January 8, 9, and 10. It's Donna's birthday! And she and Brett are virgin Whitegrassers! Oh boy... are they in for a treat. Here are a couple shots to tantalize and tease. The long range forecast has it cold all the way up to Jan 8.... that means there should be snow somewhere in the next 12 twelve days. We are staying at the Purple Fiddle Roost. The Purple Fiddle itself is a party and a half (think West Virginia and drinking). There are several other locals planning to make the trek also. Total tally might be about 9 for the party. Here's the link to ALL the pictures of Whitegrass.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Fit Chick Joins A Mountain Bike Team for 2010

If you frequent Mountain Biking Endurance races, chances are you'll be seeing more of FIT CHICK next year. She got an e-mail from Churtle the Turtle (Cheryl Sornson) to join no, not TREK, but a team to raise awareness of Cystic Fibrosis, Team CT. Its always good to see folks out there raising awareness of something. You know, awareness of beer, hummers, BBQ spare ribs and such. No, you know what I mean. Dr. Jim Wilson from the University of Pennsylvania Medical School started the team because of his research on CT over the past 20 years leading him to conclude exercise truly is the best medicine. Two really fast chicks are also on the team -- Nikki Theiman and Kristin Gavin. Those two race faster than many guys. And of course Cheryl is also on the Team. Lots of 40-somethings out there (or near 40-something).

Sick List

Finally... after almost two weeks of what started as flu, but ended up as a chest/head cold, the old bod is feeling more normal again. Even the beautiful snow on Sunday kept me down and Rick had to venture out on his own. A little Tylenol and OJ usually nips it in the bud and it did for a day or two, but then the head/chest thang started. So the activity level the past two weeks was fairly low. That first week I accepted as a "rest week" and rode the bike all of two hours. I managed to get a 45 minute walk on a treadmill in at the Y, but other than that, I was pretty much out of it. Action started picking up this past week and I got a run in, two or three trainer sessions, and I was really hoping to get out and ski/bike/hike today in Michaux, but mother nature doesn't want to seem to cooperate so I'm heading to the trainer and maybe the YMCA before we head to the Weisers for some holiday festivities at 4:00. I got a lot of reading done: Skinny Bitch and Precious were both quick reads. Neicey took Precious along and couldn't wait to read it and then see the movie (she usually reads the books first THEN goes to see the movie unless it gets poors reviews). It's a heart-wrenching story. Very graphic and sad.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

"No one Over 40 Should be Using A Snow Shovel"

The weekend snow and removal of such white, fluffy substance was the topic at the start of meeting yesterday. This one guy was "bragging" about snow blowing snow from 194 feet of sidewalk and xxx feet of driveway. Somehow the discussion got into using a shovel to remove snow and the snow blower guy says (after he proceeded to tell us about a friend of his losing fingers in the snow blower), "my wife's cardiologist told her that no one over the age of 40 should be shoveling snow." Another guy in the room agreed; "yes, my friend who works at xxx heart hospital in Philadelphia said their doctors are saying the same thing." Huh?!?! And big mouth me says, "gee... I'd WANT to use the shovel to get some exercise." The room went silent, nothing more was said (maybe 'cause the meeting started?!) But I kept thinking about this. Granted if the "average" individual gets no cardio exercise, yes, shoveling snow is taxing. And yes, maybe those two guys in the room had heart issues and SHOULD be taking it easy (the one is a bit overweight). But shouldn't the doctors be saying, "shovel snow carefully. Start slowly and end slowly. Take smaller scoops, take breaks. It can be a good form of exercise." Shouldn't the doctors be encouraging activity and not encouraging people to lead such sedentary lifestyles like the majority of the population currently does? Then there's the snow blower and usage of gas to make it go. Hmm... yup - we need more gas powered devices in this world and inactive people to operate them. ARGH! Let's go shovel some snow... my driveway is 435 feet. Yeh baby...

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Fallout of Born to Run

It appears the best-selling book about ultra running, Born to Run, is creating a bit of a phenomenon on several fronts. The two crazes catching on most from what I can tell are chia seeds and barefoot running. I too was sucked in by the compelling arguments in the book. First, the chia seeds. The Tarauhmara get their energy from Chia seeds. In addition to the incredible nutritional benefits, experts claim the seeds increase hydration, prolong stamina, and builds/repairs muscle tissues. Site upon site say the same things about chia seed consumption, so I'd say the facts are in and chia is a plus. The mexicans make a "fresca" with water, chia and lime juice, and make a "pinole" which is cornmeal, water, sugar, spices and the seeds. I haven't gotten as far as making the pinole yet, but I HAVE made chia pudding and simply love it. 2 tablespoons chia mixed in a cup of almond milk, with a squirt of honey and a sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg. Yummy... if you can get past the fact it totally mimics frog eggs. Yup, when you mix the chia with liquid, it forms a frog-egg like gel around the seed. But it still tastes good. Oh, if you mix chia in your granola, the seeds will stick to your teeth and forms a gel with your saliva so you get frog eggs stuck in your teeth. mmmmm... And the energy? I'm not sure yet... the jury is still out and hasn't put it through a real test.

The other phenom from Born to Run is barefoot running. This too will give you tons of returns on a google search. My friend, Kera, has tried it on a treadmill, but I don't think the treadmill was a good test for her so she's waiting until warm weather to test it outside. Born to Run goes into an in depth discussion on human physiology and feet and the fact that many running shoes actually screw up our god-given alignment and form for running, thus the aches and pains (not the running). Athlete upon athlete have come forth and claim they have been healed of aches and pains by running barefoot. If you look at the evolution of the running shoe, you can see its all about "style," not so much your feet. There must be something to it. But alas, it's not really "barefoot." Our feet would be lunch meat in no time. A layer of rubber is on the bottom of your feet, but it's basically flat with no supportive upper. The Mexicans run in sandals which are just what I described above. Five-finger Vibrams are the newest craze to mimic running barefoot. They have a coat of rubber to prevent lunch meat production, with unsupported tops and toe slots to allow toe usage in running (supposedly it helps). I'm gonna try a pair of water shoes I got years ago that are non-supportive, flat, and have a nice sole of rubber. They should work just fine. So Born to Run is spreading some interesting trends. It'll be fun to see if they catch on and become a way of life, especially the barefoot part.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Trainer Riding 101

This class synopsis is written to provide an objective perspective or “how-to” of riding a bicycle trainer (no dummy; not training wheels… but a “trainer” described under definitions) to new students of this activity.

Bicycle: A two-wheeled device with a metal(ish) frame that is propelled forward when you rotate pedals connected to a chain. It also has handlebars for your hands and a small seat to park your butt.
Trainer: An individual that trains another individual, bug, or animal on a specific activity. Whoops… wrong trainer. A device you can “park” the rear tire of your bicycle on, raising the rear wheel off the floor allowing an individual to pedal like hell for miles upon miles and hours upon hours and never move an inch.
Individual: A person foolish enough to sit on his/her bike parked on a trainer and pedal like hell for hours upon hours and miles upon miles never move an inch.

Overview: Riding a trainer sucks. This class will provide some non-sucky advice on tolerating sitting on your bike parked in a trainer and pedaling like hell for hours upon hours and miles upon miles and never move an inch.
Advice: Avoid riding a trainer at all costs. Your butt will get sore, you’ll start hallucinating and singing, and its boring as hell.
Alternative Activity: Curling, Darts, or indoor Badmitton. Cards are good too.

Extra points: Buy as many DVDs of other individuals foolish enough to sit on their bike parked in a trainer for hours upon hours and miles upon miles and never move an inch and see just how many hours upon hours you can tolerate by watching them pedal like hell and never move. Have another individual in your household (not one that is foolish enough to sit on their bike parked in a trainer for hours upon hours and miles upon miles and never moving an inch) document the time spent beyond 10 minutes. If the DVDs of other individuals don’t’ help you stay on for longer than 10 minutes, buy a device that pumps loud music into your eardrums to a melodic tune of your liking. Yanni may not work - AC/DC will. Take a YOGA class to learn how to endure the impossible. Yes, there’s a reason Yogis can twist their bodies into pretzels. That same philosophy can be applied to figuring out how to sit on your bike parked in your trainer for hours upon hours and miles upon miles and never move an inch.

Final Exam: There ain’t one. You already did it. You accomplished the impossible and now know how to set your butt on your bike seat parked in your trainer and pedal like hell for hours upon hours and miles upon miles and never move an inch. Congratulations.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

First Cars

Do you remember your first car? Oh what fun if you're my age or a little older. Here's my first...

1969 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight Sedan. It wasn't really mine. Like most kids, I got the family hand-me-down. It didn't last too long once I got a hold of it.

But my 2nd car rocked:

No, this one wasn't mine either. My dad had a fetish for Volkswagens so this was his, but he left me drive it to school my senior year. To this day, I wish I still had it and tease Rick if I had money to waste, there would be a classic VW sitting in the garage. And here is my 3rd car which was truly mine -- I made the payments for it.

A 1977 Chevy Nova. Boring. But affordable. And your first???

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The First Cold Weekend

The biking has officially moved indoors for the winter unless we get some nice, sunny 40+ temp days. I'm a cold-weather wimp when it comes to biking. Rick is too. But have no fear... trainers are here! Between the two of us, we are on our 3rd trainer. Mine crapped out two years ago, and Rick had bought one that he seldom used, so I took his. He decided this year he wants another trainer so he just set one up last evening. Add to the trainer our constant 60-degree cellar, a DVD player, and we have the perfect set-up for a training room. No, it ain't perty - but who cares! And my collection of Coach Troy DVDs (Spinervals) takes the boredom out out trainerdom. I have about 11 DVDs now (you HAVE to have a lot to keep it from getting boring). Lately though, I've been reaching for the same DVD nearly every time I get on the bike for a long ride (3+ hrs). I love Hardcore 100. It's a group of maybe 30 people that Coach Troy coaches through a 5:30 hr ride! Yup, it's a 3-DVD set totalling over 5 and half hours of riding if you stick it out for the duration. I've made it to three hours, but fully intend to go longer 'cause the way the DVD is set up makes it interesting - you get to watch the folks on their bikes and train with them through really long sets and repetitions. Coach Troy has you shifting, standing, and changing things up throughout. But what makes it REAL fun is you start to learn the people. I haven't learned them by name, but "features" make them stick out. There's a much older gentleman that is always smiling at the camera and talking (but you can't hear what he's saying). Dang it if HE can get through this DVD, so can I! The one gal really needs to pull her zipper up on her top - I guess that's why the camera is focused on her tits all the time. Another gal wobbles back and forth in her seat; and the personal trainer seems SO full of energy that even at the 5 hour marker she's about to start spinning around the room. It's fun -- I really like the DVD. But there ARE moments of boredom... so the safety glasses went on for fun.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Fun at Christmas

Oh what fun it is perusing the sale sections of newspapers. Check out these bargains:

Personal cup coffee brewers: $89.99 ($90 for one cup of coffee? Seems a little salty, doesn’t it?)

Single wine bottle chiller: $79.99 (add $200 and you can get an entire refrigerator WITH a freezer compartment!)
Automatic Wine Opener: $29.99 (What… it’s too hard to crank, turn, and pull by hand?!)
Automatic Hands-free soap dispenser - $29.99 (yup… that pumping hurts the heal of my hand)
Frappe Maker - $79.99 (what the hell is a frappe?)
Steam Jewelry Cleaner - $79.99
Triple-track electric shaver - $199.99
Deluxe Nose/Ear Hair Trimmer with Vacuum - $29.99 (just what I need, a nose hair vacuum -- Eewe!)
Bone-shaped dog bed - $12.99

And my favorite: the “Mangroomer” (an electric back hair shaver) - $39.99