Monday, April 28, 2008

Sometimes a DNF is not so bad

So, as was made obvious by my last post, I was really not ready for Palmer. I wasn't able to ride at all over the past week, since my classes are wrapping up for the semester. I spent several days sitting in front a computer alternating between procrastinating on writing my national ID paper and writing it. There went my planned training sessions for Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. On Friday the many late nights caught up with me. On Saturday I was busy finishing a group paper on e-textbooks, cleaning up our spare room for the kitty we're adopting (more on that next weekend when we pick her up), studying for and taking my weekly econ quiz... So when I woke up this morning, wondering why I had sacrificed sleep to fold six loads of laundry at midnight, I really knew I was not ready.

I got to Palmer at 10 for our annual team photo (outtake below).

This photo was the result of Ed trying to mix things up by telling us to "look serious." Brenda said, "Yeah, like we just had a book club meeting where we discussed Descarte." Obviously, this comment made it impossible to keep a straight face.

I decided a reasonable goal would be to "finish with people." At about mile 7, my teammate Silke had a mechanical. Of course it sucked that she had a mechanical, but I was happy to know that I'd have something to do for the team before getting dropped and stopped to help. After she had her front derailleur adjusted, we worked together to get back to the pack. I was sure that was it for me, but we went fairly slow for most of the rest of the lap while a super super sketchy rider (who has been riding in this incredibly sketchy manner for almost 10 years -- lots of complaints made about her to the officials today) was off the front, where she couldn't hurt anyone. (She got dropped sometime on the second lap.)

Around the same point where Silke stopped on lap 1, I got dropped when an attack went up a small climb on lap 2. My goal for the day was quickly downgraded from "finish with people" to "finish." As I rode on alone, hurting all over, for the rest of the lap, my goal downgraded further to "finish riding after 2 laps and forget about the third." I got cleaned up and waited for my teammates to come in -- and Silke won! It turned out she had an additional mechanical, for which Pauline dropped back. (Not all of my teammates are lucky enough to have 24/7 access to a mechanic like Ed.) When they made it back to the pack, Silke went straight on through and off the front. Brenda and Zoe were also really active on the front, so all in all it was a great race for the team. I was really happy to have played a small part. :) And I'm really going to work on catching up with my training in May and June now that school is nearly finished.

We made a side trip on our way home to take Ed's mom out to dinner for her birthday. Very fun. And now I'm tying up some loose ends with school and work before I leave tomorrow for my vacation in Asheville, NC, with my friend Heather.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Myles Standish

All in all, this was a good day. I was feeling kind of sad about not getting to see Josh and Jen, who have moved to Philly. For the past several years, we've reconnected after a winter away from bike racing at this race. Imagine my surprise when I saw them both!! They were in town so Jen could catch up with some work at her old lab and they could spend Passover with Josh's parents. My field was quite small, but we all rode pretty hard. Cathy kept things exciting with a long solo breakaway. I was in the group that caught her. A woman named Lydia got away solo on the last climb, followed by Michelle H.. I didn't have the legs to follow either of them, so pulled through in the chase group until it was clear we weren't getting Michelle and settled in for the cat-and-mouse of the sprint. I managed to get the sprint and ended up with 3rd overall -- and made back my entry fee. Woohoo!

Now, I'm not complaining, but I do feel woefully out of shape despite this success and am worried about Palmer next week (my first team race). My two longest rides of the year are today (32 mi total) and Wells last week (my best Wells in recent memory - 40 mi total). Palmer is 60 miles and lots of fast women will be there, including my teammates of course. I'll try to stay positive.

In the meantime, I'm really struggling with my last paper for my policy class on national IDs. I should have a draft by now. But I don't. Argh.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


My dad is blogging his three-week trip in Southeast Asia. Check it out.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Return to the stage

Ed returned to the stage last night at the Sloan Fellows end-of-Orientation-Week dinner at the JFK Museum. His singing group? The "Tone Bellows." I'll post a video if/when it shows up on YouTube.

The evening featured several skits and videos. Here's a video of the soccer group (Ed makes a brief appearance). Ale ale ale!

Monday, April 7, 2008

I am so lucky

My econ tutor is HOT. Sometimes it's a little distracting.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Two social outings in one day!

I went to my first bridal shower since 1999 (so maybe my second bridal shower ever?) yesterday for Rachel. Neilie was my "date" (she's also my date to Rachel's wedding, since both of our husbands have school obligations that weekend) and we had a blast. We worked on the ribbon "bouquet." Rachel was gorgeous, but sadly none of my photos do her justice.

Last night, Ed and I went to a party hosted by a couple of Ed's classmates. There were about 20 of us there, half American and half from Europe, Asia, and South America. After an amazing home-cooked Indian meal, someone got out a guitar and suddenly we were all singing "Sweet Home Alabama." True story.

Edited to add: I thought you'd like to know that I just recovered a memory of attending another bridal shower. It might have been in 2004.


I moved my flight back a couple of hours on Friday (at no cost) and, after I turned in my rental car, made a quick trip on the Metro to the Smithsonian stop. After lugging my rolly-bag along the purposely textured sidewalk (why?) for a few blocks, I joined the throngs of snap-happy tourists enjoying the cherry blossoms around the Washington Monument and the Tidal Basin.

Friday, April 4, 2008

The Democrat War

I'm back from an overnight trip to northern VA for work. I don't have the radio stations figured out yet (I haven't looked them up and I never know if I'm getting a car with satellite radio or regular radio, and sometimes I don't rent a car and get an International Man of Mystery to drive me instead). So I ended up listening to C-SPAN, and I have to say the hearings on Bear Sterns and Southwest were really interesting. This morning I heard a call-in show.

Michele [8:46 AM]: I heard the funniest thing on the radio this morning - I think it was C-SPAN

Michele [8:46 AM]: a woman called in and insisted that the Iraq war is a "Democrat war"

Alison [8:46 AM]: no frakkin' way!

Michele [8:46 AM]: "George Bush said 'Mission Accomplished!' It was the Democrats who said 'No!' "

Alison [8:46 AM]: LOL!

Michele [8:46 AM]: she had a heavy Southern accent and sounded like she was about 90 years old

Michele [8:46 AM]: the host thanked her and made no comment, then picked up the next call

Alison [8:47 AM]: omg. do you think it was a prank call?

Michele [8:53 AM]: No.

Michele [8:53 AM]: It was simply breathtaking.

Alison [8:53 AM]: jeez--do you think she still drives, too?

Michele [8:53 AM]: ha!

Michele [8:53 AM]: probably not, what with the Democrats making gas prices so high