Thursday, November 18, 2010

Of Yoga and Circles

Made it back to yoga today for the first time in about 9 months.  Turns out biking and running don't really improve one's yoga practice.   I was way creakier than the older crowd.  But it's a lovely part of my off-season routine, and there's a teacher I love at the Y (cheap!), so I'm back on the horse - Tuesday and Thursday mornings at the Y with Julia.

And this, friends, is exactly what my yoga practice looks like.  Freaky man in banana-hammock standing on my back in odd Christ-like pose while I press my forehead gracefully to my shins.  Except that that's totally not what I look like at all.  For one, my forehead doesn't even come close to my shins, and for two, even if it did, there would be no sweaty fellow in a speedo standing on top of me.  Because that's just weird.

But in the world of real pictures, here's a preview of the new circular glass tile necklaces.  This one's still in its infancy - not trimmed or finished - but I'm pretty happy with how it's coming.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

We Have a Winner! And amazingly beautiful video clip.

First - Leslie drew the winner for the lantern - and the winner is. . . .Anna Katherine Montgomery!  Yay!!!

Second - I just saw this video on a friend's facebook page (isn't that how everyone gets all of their information??), and was blown away:

I've seen clips of this guy riding before, and it's always AMAZING, but this one is also beautiful.

In other news, I'm actually getting back in the saddle with some work-type stuff.  I've found some round glass tiles that I'm rather taken with, and am making a bunch of those this week, as well as some more large pendants.

City Market is closed this week - because of the Holiday Parade.  But we'll be at the Vance Craft Explosion at Vance Elementary on Sunday noon-5, which looks to have a rather good lineup this year.  It's always fun - and if nothing else, being in an elementary school gym brings a good hit of nostalgia.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Race Report - Swank!

Soooo, it's official - I survived Swank!  It had been one of those big goals that loomed out in the distance for a while, and it's slightly surreal to actually have it finished.  To be sure, for people who are serious endurance mountain bike racers, it's not that huge of a deal.  But then, how many serious endurance mountain bike racers are there??  So for the rest of us, those that like riding a bike and find the idea of a big goal appealing, it was kind of a big deal.  And I guess women must find it a bigger deal anyway, because out of the 150 registered entrants, only 7 were women.  Yep.  Seven.

So. . . the start was actually quite civilized.  A 10am start, which with the time change felt like 11, so no crazy early alarm action.  My mom (the uber-sherpa) came with me, and we carpooled in with another woman racer who I was randomly paired up with, but really liked (in one of the fortuitous turns of fate), and we all had a rather enjoyable time hanging out before the start.  Here I am right before it was time to go:

You might notice we aren't actually on our bikes.  Because it's a LeMans start - meaning you run a loop around a field before jumping on your bikes and heading out.  And theoretically this should be the one place where I would actually excel - being a runner and all.  Except that I see no reason to go sprinting like a crazy woman at the beginning of a 6 hour race, so I was pretty firmly in the back half for the beginning.

This was my first time racing with a heart rate monitor, and it was the bomb. (If you aren't used to that expression, and/or don't know my neighbor Geoffrey, I mean that phrase in the best possible way: "It was the bomb!!!")  I loved it - easy to tell when I was going too hard (e.g., climbing up Long Branch, I looked down and my heart rate was 185.  Not the bomb!! ), and also easy to tell when I was doing pretty well and was not actually going to expire regardless of how it felt (e.g., the last climb at hour 5.)  So overall I felt pretty in control, walked down Farlow Gap as planned (I have a great deal of respect for people who ride that trail, but not much desire to actually do it myself), FINALLY got my nutrition figured out (it mainly involved a LOT of Perpetuem), and finished feeling pretty good.

Here I am coming through the finish:

That pretty much says it all.  I was REALLY happy to be finished, REALLY happy to have met my time goal (I wanted to be under 6 hours, and I was 5:46), and REALLY happy to have kept myself more or less upright for the duration.

My friend Robin (my usual biking partner-in-crime) came to watch the finish, which was such a nice surprise, and took these pictures.   Here I am just after.  Again, looking quite happy just to be off the bike.

It turned out that my 5:46 was good enough for 4th place woman (out of the very slim women's field), and they actually gave prizes.  Here's the jersey I won:

Cool, right?  That's a good thing about mountain bike races - they always give out really good stuff.  Sure, sure, it's all about the personal satisfaction, but who's going to turn down really good stuff??

And here Robin and I are under the finish line.

A good day complete, a big goal accomplished, a good friend to share it with - yay!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Win Free Stuff!!

Seriously, who wouldn't read this with a title like that??  Best of all - it's true!  And it involves the lanterns:

Here's the story:  my friend Leslie just started her blog and FB page for her business - Roost Interior Design.  To kick it off, she's giving away one of my lanterns (pictured below - although if you're familiar with my lanterns, and you have your heart set on cosmos instead of maidenhair, for example, I'm happy to do a little swapping around.)  

Here's the lantern looking sultry with its red velvet:

And here it is with a more casual day look:

So, to enter the drawing all you have to do is like her FB page (for one entry) or my FB page (for one entry), or share either of our pages with a friend (for another entry). And then leave either of us a comment on our blogs letting us know what you did, and how many entries to give you.  (Example:  "Wow, what an awesome contest!!  I liked both of your pages, and recommended them to a friend (or 30), so put me in for 3 entries!")  Even if you're not quite that enthusiastic, any sort of comment that lets us know will work.

 Soooooo - once more:  like either of our pages - one entry!  Like both of our pages - two entries! Like both of our pages and share either/both with a friend - 3 entries in the contest for you!  What could be easier??  (And, if you already like my FB page, and thus can't like it again, just let me know and that will count for an entry.)

Spotted Dog's FB Page:  here
Roost's FB Page:  here

So - leave a comment and let us give you free stuff!  What could be simpler??

In other news, tomorrow is the premier for Race Across the Sky 2010 - the documentary of the Leadville Trail 100 - and it's showing at the Carolina.  Yes I purchased my tickets the day they went on sale weeks ago.  Yes I'm genuinely excited to see it.  Yes I'm a total geek.  But take a look at this trailer - how cool is that???  

Race Across The Sky 2010 from Citizen Pictures on Vimeo.

And the timing's perfect - Swank is on Sunday, so I'm hoping to be totally inspired.  (yes, I'm a geek.)