Friday, December 26, 2008

A good holiday

I've been in Texas for the last week, cerebrating Xmas, the Solstice,
Saturnalia and Festivus with the family. It's been pretty relaxing and
fun, and as much as I am glad to no longer live here, it has been a
nice visit. For some reason, my relationship with my parents has
improved over the last 5 years - maybe that has something to do with
getting older. Anyway, as I write this, I am sitting out by the pool
in short sleeves, half-amazed and half-amused by the fact that it is
over 70 degrees, whereas the west coast is still trying to thaw from
more than 12 days of snowfall and freezing temps. And as much as I
like a snow day or two, I have to say that this weather here is much
better.

I've been taking it easy over the course of the trip, not exercising
much (by my new standards) but keeping my fitness up by putting in
some time in the elliptical. I haven't been on a bike the whole time I
have been here. (kind of weird.) It's been a great vacation, but I am
starting to itch for a return to normalcy, and a chance to start
working toward some of the goals I have for 2009. It seems like an
opportune time to put some goals into writing here, so here we go:
Kat's 2009 goals.

1. Eat better. More on this later, but I signed up for a nutrition
program for athletes (precisionnutrition.com), which should help me
reach this goal, overcome my fear/hate of cooking, and make me a
stronger rider.

2. Ride more. I want to try to put in 200 mile weeks, but that isn't
terribly realistic given my time commitments, so let's say, 3 hours 4
days a week. More when I can, less when I have lots of other stuff
going on.

3. Join a lab and find a Ph.D advisor. This one shouldn't be too hard
considering I have a very good idea if which lab it'll be, but it's
still significant.

4. Raise a thousand dollars to fight cancer, and ride 70 miles in the
LAF LiveStrong Challenge.

5. Race cyclocross in category B, and finish in the top half of the
field at a Cross Crusade event at least once. Coming from the
Beginners field this will be hard and will require training throughout
the course of the year. But I figure I can use road season as good
training, try to get out on an MTB as much as I can, and look forward
to September and the start of next 'cross season. This is probably my
biggest riding goal of the year and will be refined and enumerated
better in the coming months.

6. Do my best in the collegiate road season. Learn to ride with a
team. Work on team time trials especially. Improve my bike handling,
cornering and descending skills, and become a better climber as well.
(ok, several goals in one, but still.)

7. Continue my weight and cross training. I am, at 25, in the best
shape of my life. Keep being able to say that for 26.

8. Drink less beer. This one shouldn't be too hard, being away from
the Elysian and from Gregg.

9. Work on my verbal communication skills, especially in teaching and
writing.

10. Give thanks to the amazing people around me who make me who I am.
Appreciate more the amazing hand I have been dealt in life and
acknowledge those who have made it possible, starting with my family
and amazing friends. If you are reading this, you are included in
this: thank you.

Happy holidays, and best wishes for a happy 2009!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

music for...

this is appropriate: listening Brian Eno's Music for Airports while
waiting to board. I wish every airport would just have this album on
repeat- it's far better than the monitors blaring CNN. People would be
in better moods everywhere.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

the internet is for this

I've missed my fuzzy bear-kitty, since she's been here in Seattle staying with Gregg for the past quarter.. I think this is her "I've missed you too" face.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

11 days until the solstice

the quarter is wrapping up, and many people are done with finals, so there's an air of relief and relaxation all around. i spent today in the saddle, mostly, which was awesome since i've been pretty much too busy to ride at all during daylight hours, and have been kind of taking a break since cyclocross season is over for me (sadly). which isn't to say i haven't been active... i just haven't been out on the road. the official milage counter hit 42 for the day, but it took us the better part of 6 hours due to flat tire situations (not mine). major props to gilad for sag-wagoning us from the outskirts of civilization... the error was not having a tube with a long enough valve stem. know your stem length, kids, and always carry an appropriate tube (or two, and a patch kit never hurts). i'm learning that you should multiply this rule for riding with people, because the more people on a ride, the more likely there will be mechanicals. it would have been faster to patch it - we ended up at the side of the road for an hour - but it was beautiful out, and sunny, so i sat by the side of the highway eating a luna bar (given in return for use of tire levers & offer of tube) and enjoying the view.

after a car ride to the shop and a new tube, we set out again, into the chilly afternoon for a loop around north eugene, including mckenzie view drive, which (as the name suggests) includes some nice views of the mckenzie river. i wish i had pictures to post, but sadly, the iphone camera does no justice whatsoever to landscapes...

it's days like this that remind me how fortunate i am: i live in a place where i can ride bikes across beautiful landscapes, through lush forests and fertile fields, over rolling hills and along rushing rivers. it's almost surreal: it's certainly quite different from seattle, or from any other place i've lived.

i think i like it here.

seattle on friday, texas next wednesday.

Friday, December 5, 2008

LIVESTRONG Challenge: help me raise funds!

Guess what? Cancer sucks. If you don't have a close relative who has had cancer, chances are several of your best friends do. Cancer therapies and survival odds are improving, thanks to research, but there is still a long way to go before we can say we've beaten cancer.

The Lance Armstrong Foundation does a lot of great work, from funding basic research on cancer and cancer survivorship to supporting cancer victims and survivors as well as their families. The work that the foundation has done is amazing, but since cancer hasn't declared defeat yet, there's still work to be done.

That's why I'm going to participate in the LAF LiveStrong Challenge in Seattle on 6/21/2009. I'm registered for the 70-mile bike ride, which is farther than I've ever ridden in a single day, and will definitely be a challenge for me physically and mentally. I'd like to ask all of you to help me in this pursuit. I have to raise at least $250 by June to be able to participate, but I really want to raise a lot more than that. I'm teaming up with Elden Nelson of Fat Cyclist, and hundreds (if not thousands) of other cyclists, runners, and people who have been affected by cancer for the 2009 LiveStrong Challenge as Team Fat Cyclist: Fighting for Susan. (Susan is Elden's wife, who has been struggling with metastatic breast cancer for a few years now. The team is named for her, but I am also riding in honor of my parents, Bill and Cindy Reinhart, who are both cancer survivors, as well as my grandma, Sally Hightower, who is currently fighting - and winning - against breast cancer.) Our collective goal is to raise a million dollars together - and if we all chip in as much as we can, we can easily exceed that. Even if you can only donate $5, every little bit adds up!

To help out, visit my fundraising page (also linked in the sidebar) and donate now, donate later, donate early and donate often! It's all tax-deductible and all goes directly to the LAF to help people with cancer. (Registration fees, which I have already paid, cover the event overhead.) Give $1 or $100, every bit helps!

Thanks for your help!

Monday, December 1, 2008

New wheelset!

Campy Veloce, campy skewers,mavic cxp22 rims. $140 inc. shipping. Win!