Thursday, September 30, 2010

Sucker Brook

Sunday was Sucker Brook, a super fun race in NH. I had a cold all week (thanks a lot, Elliot!) so my only "training" consisted of practicing turns on a mini-'cross course in our backyard.

Despite all the time in the world, I was of course running late. My two guys thoughtfully loaded my bike on the car.

Guys in the sand pit. I don't remember which field this was. But there's my teammate Mark.

Eric M. was showing Kerry the lines during the pre-ride, so I tagged along to see if I could learn something. (Yes.) Then, the race. It was super fun, with a swoopy turny section before the barriers, then some woods, then a sand pit, then pavement up to the start/finish. I felt like I was handling my bike much better than at Quad 'Cross. In fact, I think I did all right on all parts of the course -- no particular issues turning or shouldering my bike or "running," but I just did everything very, very slowly.

With two to go I alternately worried that I would, or wouldn't, get lapped. But then I did about 2/3 of the way through. DFL. Next time. :)

I rode around afterward to cool down with MegA and Solobreak, who is staying strong in his protest against the new BOB kit. Solo showed us a nice gravel road behind the course, which linked up with some of the awesome trails I rode during the Big Ring Rumpus. I could have ridden around back there for hours, which I guess means my "fitness" is entirely aerobic right now. Dammit.

Fall is here:

I got to try one of the famous Sucker Brook cupcakes. Tasty, but too much with the muchness. This was more of a two-person cupcake.

Ed and Elliot stayed home, as I encouraged them to save their 'cross-spectating energy for Gloucester. There are seriously going to be 100 women in my race on Saturday and almost as many on Sunday. My team is all set with tents and grills. I can't wait! Can sheer excitement make me fast? I rode the trainer twice this week just in case it doesn't.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Quad 'Cross

It is almost fall. Time for cyclocross. I did my first real 'cross race in 2 years last weekend. Ed was in RI doing a half-Ironman, so I dropped off Elliot with Uncle Brad and Auntie Kris before riding over the venue (only 7 miles or so). I could have driven, but was loathe to uninstall the car seat to fit my bike in the car. :)

Anyway, it was great to be there and catch up with people I hadn't seen in a while, including Solobreak, who entertained me with complaints about his team's new kit. And I saw my former teammate Pauline, which was so great. And of course I got to hang with my new teammates from Hup, who were all so fun and cheered so hard for me.

I had signed up for the 1/2/3, for numerous reasons: 1) I wanted to sleep in, and so did my babysitters, 2) the race was 10 minutes longer than the 3/4 and cost the same, 3) I like smaller fields so I can have lots of personal space. But I could tell I was going to be in trouble when I saw Adam M., who gave me a big hug and asked if I'd already raced (the 3/4 was at 9 am and the 1/2/3 was at 2 pm). And when I said I was about to race, he said, very kindly, "Oh."

I was a little nervous on the line. I helped another woman get her number pinned on right side up and listened to people chatting. The woman next to me, who was tiny, mentioned her 3 kids, the youngest of whom was 8 months -- one month younger than Elliot. There goes my excuse for sucking! (She trounced me.)

So anyway, long story short, I purposely soft-pedaled the start and tried to get into my own rhythm at the back. The race was much harder than I expected -- yes, I don't have 'cross fitness, which I expected, but the I was really shocked at how crappy my bike-handling skills are. The course was really twisty and required finesse, and I was riding like I was on a 58cm bike with broken brakes. (Thank goodness for Mike and Cathy, who ran a small clinic a couple of days after the race and helped me figure out what I need to work on, and how to work on it.)

Here's a pic that my friend Bob R. took. I don't think he'd mind if I included it:

I never really got to the point where I felt like I was using the little fitness I had, as there were so few spots where I could build up speed because of my bike-handling issues. But I did try to turn it on just a bit at the end, and managed to finish third from last, ahead of a friend who was racing for the second time that day and someone else who got a flat in the first half-lap and didn't have a spare wheel in the pit.

My plan was to ride back to my sister's, but a handsome man showed up (Brad described Ed later as a "knight in a shiney Subaru") and drove me home.

Friday, September 17, 2010

New skills

Elliot is acquiring all kinds of new skills. He finally got the hang of the sippy cup.

He's started "cruising," which led to the purchse of a baby gate for the bottom of the stairs. Then I returned it because it didn't work with our banister. Got another one, same story. I hope the third one is the charm.

Elliot is a highly skilled cat monitor.

Elliot is also excellent at spoon evasion and graham-cracker crumbling.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Thursday, September 9, 2010


We took Elliot with us to dinner at Flatbread on Saturday. He had a great time and sampled a little pizza. He also loved watching the "Pizza Wizard" work the huge stone pizza oven.

Who needs toys when there are napkins around?


The last time we took Elliot to Flatbread, he was 5 weeks old.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Weekend pics

This is what Elliot's crazy hair looks like from the back. He has two cowlicks and lots of curls (like my dad) when it gets humid.

We just put the legs on the Learning Table from Auntie Heather (it was also enjoyed for many months without legs). Elliot loves it!

This awesome toy piano is from Auntie Paige. It also has legs that can be added later, as well as a little bench.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A new record

In 2003, Ed and I had the mixed tandem Charlie Baker Time Trial record for about a week. In 2006, he rode it several times on the tandem with our friend Brooke and traded the mixed tandem record back and forth with our friends Mike and Cathy.

This summer, I noticed that while there was a mixed record and a men's record, there was no women's record. So I went out and rode the course by myself on my TT bike to gauge my fitness. My time was embarrassingly slow -- I don't love TTing and baby-wrangling has wrecked my forearms, so the aerobars hurt. But Ed talked me into giving it a try anyway. I asked Brooke if she was interested. We started training together a few weeks ago, and it turns out she's an absolute natural as a tandem pilot. (And it's nice for me that I can use drop bars as the stoker.) We first met at a bike race in 1999 and have done many of the same races throughout the years, so we're each pretty comfortable with the other's riding style and worked together really well.

We made it to the time trial last Wednesday and set the women's tandem record at 22:27.5, 26.05 mph for 9.75 miles. This is only 50 seconds slower than the last time I rode the tandem on that course, with Ed, in 2006. :) Brooke and I had a lot of fun and we'll be back again tomorrow!

Having such a cute Supporters Club president to cheer us on at the finish helped!

Monday, September 6, 2010

I love these jammies

They have robots on them. And they come in Molteni orange.

Trying to restrain myself from buying every cute item of baby clothing I come across that features robots, dinosaurs, the space shuttle, the solar system, bugs, or bicycles is quite difficult.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Party time, excellent

We spent last weekend on the Connecticut shore at a reunion of the Sloan Fellows. First we attended a lovely and exceptionally well-executed party at the home of one of Ed's classmates, Brian, and Brian's lovely wife, Shelly. Sadly, Elliot was too young to enjoy the awesome treehouse platform and zip-line that Shelly built.

Ed took this artsy shot.

Ed and I each brought one small bag for our overnight stay in a hotel. Elliot had, I don't know, about 6 bags. He usually sleeps well at night but seemed cranky about not being at home, which combined with all his crying in the car made me not want to go anywhere with him until he's 10 years old. At least. :)

After a yummy brunch with the Fellows at a diner in New London, we took Elliot to the Mystic Aquarium. He loved the fishies!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

On the move

Elliot crawls like it's his job. We now have a lock on that cabinet...

Friday, September 3, 2010

Big. Little.

It was cold last week, so Elliot got to wear a few outfits that he last wore in the spring. This photo was taken on August 24 (Elliot was a few days shy of 9 months old). I laughed when I saw his wrists and little belly hanging out, but I really like that shirt and it was nice to get one last wearing out of it.

For contrast, this was taken April 12 (half a lifetime ago!).

The shirt was a "hand-me-up" from Rachel and Elijah, so it's time to return it so Elijah can wear it this fall. :)