Posts Tagged ‘cycling’

Saturday, November 20, 2010

For some time now, I’ve been lusting after the new Bianchi road bikes at one of the bike shops in town. Today, I finally got one. My wife has a Masi, so we both have Italian bikes now, but I’ve just always had a thing for Bianchi.

We’re having a very small thanksgiving meal with some family this weekend, because we’ll be taking the Restoration Tour to Chicago on Wednesday and be spending the actual holiday there. We also are taking part in an outreach our church does where they give you a list and you go to the store with a plastic bag and you buy all the ingredients for a traditional holiday meal except the turkey.

Everyone brings their bags to the church and another local charity provides the turkeys. Needy families are identified through the public schools and they are sent an invitation to receive an entire meal for their family.

Ceecee and I don’t usually shop at Wal-Mart because we find it very aggravating. We finally decided that instead of complaining about it, we’d just quit going and shop elsewhere. Today, we shopped at Wal-Mart for our bag from church, mainly because we could get everything in one place and they want everyone to get pretty much the same stuff, so no one feels slighted.

The store was really crowded as usual and there was little or no service from employees, as usual, but it didn’t bother me. In the past, I would become upset and very negative and my wife would often get the brunt of it, even though I never meant for that to happen. Today, I have a new peace inside and I realized that it just didn’t matter. It was pretty nice to go through the whole Wal-Mart experience and be able to keep smiling.

It’s little things like that, as well as the big things that continue to show that I’ve really changed. Not just on the outside, but on the inside, where the changes are real and permanent. Anyone can temporarily change their behavior, but that’s only an outward change. Willpower can only take you so far. Only God can truly change a heart and I’m so thankful that He has and that I let Him.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Yesterday was the day Veteran’s Day was observed, so it was a day off for Ceecee and me. We did something crazy that we may regret later, but for now it makes a fun story.
For the bass pro marathon, they put these huge stickers on the roads and sidewalks at various points along the route that had encouraging sayings on them. They are rectangular and approximately 2 x 3 feet in dimensions. A week after the race, they were all still there.

You may have guessed what happens next. We took our bikes out and came across more than one of them. Ceecee commented about wanting one for the loft, so when we found one along the trail, away from traffic, we dismounted to have a closer look.

It was very thick and peeled right off, so I rolled it up inside out and carried it home. The loft has a concrete floor and we stuck it down right at the end of the hall where it opens up into the living area. I suppose it may have been stealing, but nobody seemed intent on gathering them back up, and even if they did, it’s not like they could be re-used. I’m sure they would simply be thrown away.

Anyway, now it’s our souvenir. Ceecee says she’ll probably never run another full marathon, but she is now one of very few who have not only completed one, but brought a little part of the course home and made it part of the décor.

Sunday, November 7. 2010

I wanted to be part of the marathon somehow. I didn’t want to just be sitting in a chair somewhere along the route and hoping to make eye contact when she went by. This started out as such a big deal and she trained so intensely for several months.

Ironically, after we got back together, she has trained a lot less and she even said recently that actually running the marathon isn’t so important now. She’s still going to do it, and I wanted to be there in some capacity, so I volunteered to be a traffic director at one of the intersections.

They put me at about the 11 mile mark, so I saw her not quite halfway through. I got a chance to jog over alongside her and encourage her for a hundred yards of so before going back to my spot. She said she was doing well and she had gotten in a little group of people from her Galloway training group and they were helping each other.

I brought my bike with me, so when the last runner had gone by and my responsibility was over, I headed out on two wheels to look for her on the course. I had no idea where she might be, so I rode to the finish and worked my way backward. I found her at around mile 21 and she was struggling. I could tell she was in pain, so I stayed with her, talking to her and trying to keep her mind off it.

I knew from working at a fitness center during college that if you talked with someone who was having a hard time working out, it would pass the time quicker and help them forget about how they were feeling. I figured it couldn’t hurt to use that strategy now and it worked. She still had to get through those last five miles and I just kept talking to her and riding along beside her.

We finally reached a sign that said “26 miles down, .2 to go.” We couldn’t see the finish line yet, but knew it was just ahead. About that time, Angie was waiting along the side of the street and she started running in her high heels and cheering Ceecee on. As we came around the corner, I let her go and cross the finish line by herself. It didn’t seem right for me to cross it, since I wasn’t a runner in the race. This was her victory, her moment, and it was for her alone.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Yesterday’s doctor’s appointment was frustrating. I was really hoping he would say that my experience was common and would know what to do about it. Instead, he acted like he’d never heard of anything like it. He had me do a bunch of things and asked if it hurt or had me resist against pressure from him.

Finally he said that he thinks it’s because my hips are weak and it makes me unstable when I run long distances. I don’t know about that, but that’s what he came up with. He scheduled me for an MRI Monday and we’ll go from there.

Tomorrow is Ceecee’s marathon. It still overwhelms me and confuses me to no end when I think about all of this from when she first decided to run this marathon and everything we’ve been through since. I wouldn’t trade what we have now for anything in the world, and I’m not sure if there was another way we could have gotten here. Even so, I can’t help but wonder what really caused our separation and if we could have avoided it.

Can’t live in the past though, so it’s onward to better things. Ceecee has really lavished love on me lately and I’m basking in that. I finally feel the way I’ve always wanted to, but never thought I could. She makes me feel like I’m the most valuable and special person in the world.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

We decided to take a long ride on the same trail where Ceecee ran the half marathon this past Spring. That was the day my re-commitment to fitness began, and it was right at the time that our marriage as we knew it was coming to an end. I’ve never been more proud of my wife than I was that day. When she crossed the finish line, something changed inside me and I wanted to be a better man. It was too late for her at that time, but eventually we got to where we are now and I’m so thankful to be where we are.

Anyway, the Frisco Line trail is supposed to run 43 miles and it was built on an old railroad track that is no longer used. The trail head is about 7 miles from our loft, so the plan was to ride to the trail head and then go as far as we could, possibly all the way to the end of the trail. At the half marathon, they went about 6.5 miles out, turned around and came back.

What we discovered today is that it’s only paved for 8 miles and then it turns to gravel. Since we have road bikes, gravel wasn’t an option, so we did the only thing we could do. We turned around and headed back the way we came from. We had ridden 15 miles to get there, so even if we just went home, it would still be a decent ride.

There’s a little town called Willard that the trail cuts right through. On the way back, on a whim, we decided to pull into a little place called Coffee Guru and see what they had to offer. We didn’t have real high expectations and were blown away when we were served what I’d have to consider the best pumpkin spice latte I’ve ever had. It broke up the ride and it was just a fun little blessing on a beautiful day.

Monday, October 25, 2010

I had to ride my bike while Ceecee ran 12 miles this morning. I can’t run on my knee, but she’s still training for her marathon. It seems crazy now that when this all started, she was saying she was going to run a marathon to prove she isn’t old.

The game was fun yesterday. My team lost and hers won. We both cheered for our teams, but we almost wanted the other to win so that each other wouldn’t feel bad. What we have now is so good. I’ll take it over any football win anytime, anywhere.

We drove home through rain for most of the way, while listening to Jack Johnson on the CD player. The scenery was beautiful and we enjoyed every bit of it. Nine days of celebration surrounding an anniversary that almost wasn’t and now we’re back home.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Tennessee is so beautiful at this time of year. Ceecee and I brought our bikes and took a ride through the country near my in-laws’ house this morning. The scenery was spectacular and, at one point, we rode through a shower of leaves falling from the trees alongside the road. My knee can handle cycling, just not running at this point. When we get back to Springfield, I’ll have to find a doctor and find out what’s going on, but for now, I’m thankful to be able to ride.

We made our third visit this week to an Old Chicago restaurant today. They have a club called the World Beer Tour, and you get a card that keeps track of all your purchases. There are incentives and prizes you can win and they have what they call mini-tours throughout the year. Some are holiday themed, while others revolve around major events.

Currently, they are holding the Halloween mini-tour. Normally, we don’t spend this much money on beer, but you get a free t-shirt if you complete the tour and I really wanted the shirt. We only needed one more visit, and there was an Old Chicago just minutes from my in-laws” house, so we went for lunch today.

Now remember, we’re in Tennessee for a football game, and I’m a fan of the “other team,” so I got into talking smack with our waiter, who good-naturedly gave it right back. Our last beer to complete the tour was the “manager’s choice,” so we didn’t get to order it. We just had to take whatever it was. My wife got a really cool craft beer from New England, while I got something awful in a brown paper bag. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t the manager’s, but rather our Tennessee Titans fan server’s choice. Ceecee and I laughed over me “taking one for the team” and drinking it anyway.

It’s so wonderful to have found this new peace and to have rediscovered the fun in our relationship. There were so many years of tension and never knowing when one of us was going to say or do the wrong thing and the downward spiral was going to start again. The laughter had been missing for so long. I clearly remember one day very shortly before we separated when my wife asked me if I was happy and I told her honestly that I was no longer sure I even understood the concept. Looking back, I understand why she came to believe that she needed to leave. Now, I can’t be more thankful that I not only have another chance, but that we’ve both been so transformed and that we can make our future so much different from our past.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Victory is ours! We’ve been riding our bikes to work and back a few times a week (17 miles one way), and there are a lot of hills in between Springfield (where we live) and Ozark (where we work). It’s tougher coming home, plus we’re tired from work, and there’s this one hill that we always have to get off and walk at least part way up.

It’s really long and steep until you hit a little shoulder and then there’s an even steeper part to the top. Ceecee calls it The Beast. I call it Ridgecrest because that’s what the street sign at the very top says. The shoulder is the farthest we’ve ever made it until today. Today, we weren’t feeling particularly energetic, so I wasn’t expecting anything different.

When we got to about the place where we usually fail, Ceecee didn’t make any move to dismount from her bike. She was going really slow and I was right behind her, so I just kept going too. We were past the shoulder and all of a sudden, I realized we were going to make it!

It was a pretty awesome feeling. It’s always a little embarrassing to have to walk it up even though it’s a killer hill. In fact, the name of the area is Fremont Hills and a lot of cyclists train there just because it is so tough. Now that we’ve done it once and know that we can, I don’t think we’ll ever walk it again!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

We took our bikes out today instead of running because I hurt my knee last weekend. I was running with Ceecee and we were interval training (run/walk) and I don’t know what happened. It was at about the 8 mile mark that I started getting a stabbing pain in my right knee. I tried to just run through it, but I couldn’t. The pain became unbearable at about 9 miles and I couldn’t keep going.

The problem was, we were about two miles from the car and I still had to walk back to it, hurting every step of the way. Going up the stairs at the loft was awful, but by the next day it had mostly settled down, so we’re just kind of watching it to see what happens. I figure that if I mostly rest it, I’ll still be able to run the 10K on the 17th.

Anyway, we were in Nathaniel Greene Park – a place we really love that the South Creek Trail goes through – and a walnut fell from a tree and got me right on the forearm. Ceecee thought it was funny, but it really hurt. I guess it was funny actually, but I wasn’t laughing at the time.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Today, we rode our bikes to work and on the way home, we could see a storm approaching right where we were heading. We raced it, and right as we were reaching downtown, it hit.

I almost got blown over by a powerful wind gust and we were still trying to get to the loft when the rain started. We were right on the corner where our favorite cupcake place is, so we went for it and dashed inside. After the storm, we went home and Ceecee made Italian wedding soup!