Monday, September 26, 2011

A stretch

I surprised myself this morning by feeling a touch ansy about my re-inaugral bike ride to work. It's true, I recently had an accident, and some body parts have not quite returned to normal function - still a shade of jaw tenderness and an uncooperative pinkie on the left hand - but last night as I listened to the optomistic weather report I was excited by the prospect of biking to work this morning. The new Bess was waiting for me near my door, as was my new obsidian black helmet. As I whipped up a breakfast protein shake and packed up, I knew I had to get back on the horse.

Yes, Bessie is back with me, now with a beautiful new back wheel and cables that function smoothly. Her time at the spa was transcendant, for sure. She feels like a brand new ride.

I eased out on to the street, testing out the brakes and noticing with wonder that they too were smooth and effective. Just a tap and they sprung into action. Forget the speed today, I was falling in love with my new brakes and I wanted to be with them at all times.

And you know, it's a good thing I was riding leasurely because a black squirrel dashed from a plastic garbage can on the edge of a lawn to beneath my wheels and out the other side in the blink of one of my saucer-sized eyes! Bessie didn't topple or swerve so I was fine, but what of the innocent rodent? I slowed to a stop, expecting gore, but insead saw the creature scampering along another lawn, no doubt waiting for another cyclist to startle. Maybe he was trying to impress a romantic partner, or feeling suicidal, but either way he was lucky. The rest of the trip was lusciously placid and plain.

The day ended with some heated room yoga. I stretched and sweat out some tension and insecurity, and walked home on a cloud of ease, taking measured steps and, without meaning to, paying attention to seemingly everything from beneath half-closed eyelids. The night was dark and beautiful.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

No play

Pizza? I'm sure I ordered the Meow Mix.
 It was a dog day in the rat race. BS office politics. Heavy workload and hectic pace. Two hours on the bus with no seats available... I think my shoulders are still hovering around my ears from the stress. Why am I doing this?

The winter is going to be very, very long and the isolation will be grim, given that my M-F life has only three spheres: work, commute and sleep. And from Oct-April, cold.

Speaking of which, cold pizza makes a fast and easy dinner when you've had it up to here with the capitalist world and its ridiculous insistence that we pay with our lives for the privilege of being alive. No slaving over a hot stove!


On a brighter side, the pizza was incredibly delicious.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Finch and a long run

I ran 15k this evening. It's been a long time since I hit that distance. I kept the pace steady and slow, and chose a loop to follow so that I would complete the distance even if it became difficult. I was determined.

It was much longer than I am used to but I feel great, even revived, and will attempt something longer next weekend.

I wonder if my running performance was obscured by my former 90min commute, and assisted by its discontinuation.

On a foody note, if you ever have a deep craving for good pizza and you happen to be near Finch, Ontario, you need to hit up Finch Pizzaria. OK so it's the town's sole restaurant but it is also the best eaterie in a radius of several towns around. We were gifted with a medium-size pizza that was like manna from heaven, but decorated with tomato, mushrooms, green olives and green pepper with a fantastic mozzarella top layer. I think the star of the pizza ensemble however was the tomato sauce which was clearly homemade and featuring just a hint of spice. Delicious and totally worth the gas money to drive to Finch.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Taking a spin

I gave up biking for the week after my teensy-weensy accident Tuesday morning. Bessie had to be institutionalized for a rear wheel replacement, so I took the bus to work for the first time and suffered through the stares. I was a little surprised by the number of old women who gaped at the bruise on my face. Did they raise their kids to stare wide-eyed at those who look differently, I wondered to myself. At the office, I noticed that no one wanted to look like they were checking out the bruise, which runs along the left side of my chin and jaw, and only one person who didn't know about my accident pointedly asked me what happened, which I appreciated. Otherwise, the blue bruise on the face becomes the elephant in the room, and then I secretly despise everyone for being chicken. Buck up and ask, people!

After work I signed up for a spinning class taught by sport guru Ian, which was immensely enjoyable. I wish I had his access to his playlist, too. Disco, AC/DC, funk and styles I couldn't even categorize...when you get away from pop music you can see there are universes of musical styles that appropriate for spinning.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Surf n' turf

Is any dish as culturally pliable as the humble fishcake? Plenty of sea-soaked countries have a fishcake recipe or two on their historical menu, perhaps as a nod to the economical side of things, or a responsible way to rid the fridge of leftovers. Or a prompt way to feed a hungry family of twelve.

Or a love of cod and spuds. I have to admit that my hands touched no animal, vegetable or mineral during the development of these cakes. They were a gift. I just heated the pan and warmed them up with a few slices of red cabbage for extra nightshade sparkle.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Concrete quads

I've been missing running.

When I was holidaying with no bike in sight and only a white Mustang convertible complete with a hot Greek chauffeur with which to whisk me away (hi Pan!), I ran on several occasions and in two provinces. A short jaunt to the red beach in Cavendish. A few beautiful morning runs in the countryside (NS). A foggy, salty-smelling run along a wooden boardwalk in Summerside. Now that I'm back to work, I'm off the running. I just can't seem to fit it in. I can't run after work because my quads are tired - pleasantly so, mind you, but tired enough to convince me to stay on the couch after locking the front door behind me. And when I bring running clothes to work, Murphy's Law dictates that work demands will rise just before lunch, and prevent me from leaving.

There have been a few times when I thought I might run after work, and in these cases the first half of the run is wobbly, and the second half tiring. During these runs, my quads feel like concrete, reminding me of my very brief tri career during which I discovered the conrete quad phenomenon, which pops up in the first few minutes of the run portion.

Sunday long runs and weight training will keep me sane until bike season is over.

How about some lobster poutine and sweet tea at the Englishtown Bus Cafe? We witnessed this doubledecker while waiting for the shortest ferry ever in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. I was jonesing for some brekkie but didn't get to the order window in time.