Monday, July 19, 2010

SavageMan Bike Course, Take One

Find out about SavageMan here.
Sado-Masochistic, is what it is. 
My son Jon and I took it very slow for his first riding of it and my first this year, and I declare, I think that's at least as hard as pushing a little harder because you're out there longer.
We both made the Wall. Except I cheated.... stopped after the first 3 preliminary hills to get my breath before I tackled it. Jon rode straight up all 4. 
I bonked halfway up Maynardier Ridge (the last of the nasty hills, about mile 44) and had to sit and rest a little before continuing. It's the first time ever that I haven't made it up that hill. I was surprised because I'd just gone up all the other hills ,including "Killer Miller" Hill , without any distress. I took a couple salt tablets (cheapies from the drugstore) and a breather and then walked the rest of the hill. Jon gave me a Hammer Gel. (I'd been using a concoction of peanut butter and honey.) A few miles later I still was feeling bad, hamstrings and calves were trying to tie square knots, and Jon gave me an Endurolyte. He was carrying freebies from the Gran Fondo. I was just stupid, is all, and didn't plan right. I know better.
Or else I'm just getting too old for this.
About 15 min after the gel and lyte tab, I felt better, and by the last 5 miles I felt  normal. When we got back to the cars, Jon put on running shoes and ran for 10 min, while I drank recovery drink, guarded his bike, and waited to see what I'd come back as in my next life. Guess I'll have to wait for another day to find that out, though.
I feel OK now. But I'm done w/ homebrew gels and drugstore salt tablets. Put out the money, honey, and put the hammer down.
5 hours for the 56 miles = 11.1mph. Bleah. I need 12mph to make the cutoff, which I did handily last year by 10 minutes. 
There are still 2 months left.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


Just a quick review, my husband and I are living with my mother because I/we don't feel it's safe for her to live alone anymore (89 yo, has trouble getting around due to arthritis, osteoporosis, and shortness of breath.)

Found out today during a routine doctor visit that she's been having episodes of chest pain for quite some time but hasn't mentioned it because she doesn't want to be a "fussbudget."

At first I was angry; how could she not tell her daughter, an R.N. who lives with her to look after her and her health, that she gets chest pain???

But after awhile I started realizing it wasn't deliberate, it was just ignorance and an odd form of being considerate. I shouldn't be angry.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


I have such a short attention span. And so much going on in my life. It's hard to remember that God is a part of it all. Hours or half a day go by when I forget all about Him.

Brother Lawrence says that will happen, when a person first sets out to form the habit of continual communion with God. And he pretty much advises, "Just press the 'reset' button. You will get the hang of it."

Of course, since The Practice of the Presence of God was written over 300 years ago, those aren't the exact words. But that's the jist.

When I first opened the book a couple weeks ago, I opened to this sentence:

"That our sanctification did not depend upon changing our works, but in doing for God's sake that which we commonly do for our own."

And right there, my life was changed.

He is in my swimming, biking, and running, as much as my son is when we arrange to train together. I forgot to ask the Lord to swim (40 minutes) and run (20 minutes) with me today. I choose to believe He was with me anyway, inviting Himself as a silent partner..... as silent as I was. My thoughts were elsewhere but He knows I would have asked Him if I had remembered. He's not bound by human-type "I wasn't invited" huffiness. He knows you meant to ask Him.

Until I get in the habit, I'm thinking I might set my watch to beep every hour I'm awake. Just to remember to check in.

You can download the book, read it, and/or print it out for free here.

Monday, July 12, 2010


....after I just finished 24 miles on the bike in the rain. I set out hoping to beat it, but got rained on anyway, just enough to keep me cool and make me a little cautious of curves, descents, and my brakes. Heard a little thunder, had one lightning flash a mile away, but didn't get struck or have to take refuge in a house (which I did once last year and made new friends.)

Anyway.... if I'd waited a few hours, I could have done it in clear weather.

But now I've had recent practice riding in the rain.

24 miles included 4 of the major hills of the SavageMan course: McAndrews Hill, Otto Lane, "Killer Miller," and Maynardier Ridge. Plus another long climb (Twin Churches Road) to get to McAndrews Hill.

I am so blessed to live practically on the bike course. Just a couple-mile ride gets me to either of 2 of the dreaded climbs. I'm getting so I don't even need to go into my lowest granny gear much of the time, which makes me very happy!

Sunday, July 11, 2010


I want to get back to blogging. I have had so many unwritten pages, so many unrecorded chapters, of the story of my life fly away in the wind this summer. I can only hazily remember that I lived them.... I can't ever read about those days or truly relive them, or remember the truths I learned from them And nobody else ever will, either.

I have been so consumed with myself. That's why I haven't been able to share myself.

We just had a wonderful week in a truck-camper at a small lake in Michigan, with our son Jon, his daughters Sarah, 2, and Abbie, 7, and our 11-yo granddaughter Gracie. Gracie and I took time for an overnight trip to Chicago, by train, just the 2 of us. We had never been anywhere alone together except maybe Wal-Mart or Kroger's. It was a special treat.

So were the next couple days at the lake, our family, swimming, playing on the playground, catching minnows in buckets, and visiting or being visited by many family members we rarely get to see.

Kind of crowded in the little truck-camper and even more so riding to and from in the truck itself, but togetherness is what it's all about.

In case you're wondering..... we sold the RV in which we'd lived for the past 5 years. We live only in my mother's house now, keeping her company and making sure she's OK, and have recently gotten the truck-top camper, which sleeps 5 somewhat comfortably. It was our first trip in it. Next month we'll take our grandson.

I had much, very much care of the 3 young ones during this time. Gracie's 11 and needed companionship and alone-time more than she needed care. (Except when she tripped on an escalator in flip flops and mangled her toe; she needed care then.) So I applied myself to caring for the little girls, and making room for downtime for the hardworking men and the almost-woman girl, who loved floating on a raft without little ones tethered to her. During the week I got in one run with Jon (sprained my ankle) and one 20-min lap swim while Jon took all the girls out on a pedal boat. I worked to give each member of the family some of myself all week, and I didn't have that stressed out feeling I get when I whine about there not being enough of me to go around. Just giving myself up to the needs of the others, encouraging them to help themselves and the others when possible, thanking them for doing so, doing it for them if they didn't, speaking gently even when I wanted to raise my voice to get a response..... it went so smoothly because I took along a lifelong friend that I haven't been in close touch with for some time but who was thrilled to go along and help out and spend time with me.... Jesus. What a help he was, how pertinent his suggestions, how soothing his frequent "That's OK, I'll handle it." He's gently pointing out to me places where my words will add to the conversation, and places where it will just muddy the waters. Often I spew in words about some similar experience and start realizing that no one is listening, they've started other conversations.... they don't care what my experience was. If they do, they will ask me. If they don't, I'm off the hook, don't have to worry about how what I said came across.

Talking less doesn't mean I'm withdrawing. I pray it's the beginning of greater fellowship, now that I realize I'm here to appreciate and help them, not to yak about my own passions, roadblocks, burdens fair or unfair, whether other people's opinions are right or wrong...those things shouldn't be important to me. All that matters is saying what God nudges me to say, and he's provided me with some pithy stuff this week.

And with that I'll leave you all wondering till another day.

On this trip I learned major things:
  • It's not about me.
  • Pray without ceasing.
  • All things work together for those who love God.

I can face life again.