Death Valley in March was spectacular, and a week of camping was just what the acupuncturist ordered for de-stressing and getting out of the rat race. I came back to a partially-constructed kitchen and two more weeks of chaos at home, but now that the kitchen is mostly back together I’m loving the new gas stove and granite countertops. Someday I’ll find homes for the last few serving platters, bowls, and small appliances. I’m not sure it is possible for all my cooking stuff to fit into one kitchen, unless it has been custom designed just for me!
My April Napa trip has come and gone, and I’m already fantasizing about the next one. I had a great time catching up with all of my out of town friends while eating and drinking my way through the eating and drinking capitol of the Western world. Highlights include dinners at Mustard’s and Morimoto, and wine tasting in the Howell Mountain region including a very personalized experience in the owner’s dining room at Haber Family Vineyards.
In May I rode the San Diego Century, a 100 mile bike ride all over the northeast portion of San Diego County. The route highlighted over 6000 feet of climbing including the infamous Scripps Poway Parkway and the Mt. Woodson grade coming into Ramona. With the route snafu I encountered, I ended up riding a total of 112 miles that day. Despite a case of bronchitis two weeks before the ride and all the extra miles, I finished strong and feeling great.
Since that went well, I decided to try an even bigger ride, and spent most of June training for my first double century. Yes, this really is 200 miles on a bicycle in one day!
Training for these events has been a fascinating exercise in physical and mental endurance. Watching the way my brain has tried to talk me out of doing training rides has been truly interesting.
100 miles is somewhat equivalent to running a marathon. It takes consistent effort to get there, and doesn’t hurt too much if you are adequately trained. You can get by on bananas, bars, and the occasional pickle, and it’s pretty easy to carry everything you’ll need on the average bike. 200 miles is another ballgame entirely. For someone who rides slowly like me, 200 miles can take 18 hours or more. This means you start and end in the dark, and you need a full day of calories in addition to keeping up with what you are burning on the ride. Adding to the challenge, it gets harder and harder to digest food as the day goes on, because all of your energy is going towards pedaling and making sure your brain and muscles have enough glucose. On a warm day, it is hard to drink enough water to stay hydrated, and if you do drink enough you can’t keep up with electrolytes without supplementing or very careful planning. I have never been willing to rely on engineered food for my endurance activities, though I don’t mind supplementing with a bar or two.
June was pretty much consumed with getting butt time on the bike and sorting out lights and food for the big day. I settled on pieces of roasted chicken and tiny fingerling potatoes as my primary food, with an assortment of bars and Cliff blocks to supplement. I had plenty of calories for the day, and my body did fine digesting what I gave it. I really did enjoy the Cup-O-Noodles at mile 148, followed by a handful of M&Ms. You just never know what will taste good at that point in the day! I succeeded in completing the LA Grand Tour on June 25, 2011. My official time was 19 hours, 2 minutes, which included an extra 12 bonus miles for a missed turn.
The next big ride will be the Moab Century in September with one of my East coast friends. I’m sincerely hoping to have a new and modern bike by then, and July has been consumed by the search for the perfect two-wheeled riding machine. I think I’ve just about picked one out, so stay tuned…
Closer to the office, Veronica has settled in nicely, and is rapidly growing her massage practice. Her partner, Carlos, has been around the office quite a bit as well, helping her out with the front office stuff while studying to become a personal trainer. Kelly, Mailette, and Kristin (the skincare and sugaring specialists) have decided to move on, and have relocated to a spa in Bay Park as of August 1. If anyone you know is looking for office space, please send them my way! We’re still planning to have an open house, but have decided to wait another month or two until the office is filled again. The tentative date is September 25, 2011. Look for an announcement about this in the next month or so.