Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Hot Chocolate 5K (ADHD Blogger Version)

On Sunday morning, bright and early, Alli and I ran the Hot Chocolate 5K in Seattle. Alli had been so excited about this one, but because her mom is evil mommy is not made of money, I had nixed this event due to the $45/each entry fee. You know, it's one thing to do an event with a friend, when each of you pays your own way. It's another thing altogether when you're the schmuck paying all the race fees for you and your running buddy!

Anyway, we were super lucky, because Runner Maybe Jen was kind enough to gift her admission to Alli for her 14th birthday last month. I was willing to spring for my own entry fee, haha. *After* I registered, I balked at the 6:45 a.m. (IN THE MORNING!) start time on a Sunday (otherwise known as Mad Men Morning, when I lay in bed and watch the two Mad Men reruns aired on A&E. Even though I have seen them before. Don't judge.)

Well. Saturday started out nice, and Mr. W and my buddy T and I went for a bike ride. Lucky us, we finished our 28-ish miles JUST as the skies opened up with a rainy fury. (Fury would not be expressed in heat, in my book, anyway, because being warm is nice. Being cold and wet is baaaaaad.)*

*Sidebar: I once played a game on a radio call-in show. Offline, before I started, as part of the deal, win or lose, the DJ told me that after the game, he would ask me how I felt and I had to say, "I'm so happy I could baaaaaaaaa like a sheep!" I did. :)  Plus, I won $150 in gift certificates to Fred Meyer's (non-Northwesterners, think Target.) I think of this whenever I type baaaaaaad, which is more often than you would think.

Oh! Let me derail this little thought train and tell you about the moment I realized Mr. W is not, in fact, wonderful, but evil! Well, maybe not evil. But do you want to know how the geek engineer science brain can  get you in trouble with your girlfriend? Let me tell you.

I live near a rather steep hill. If I tell you that it is 16% grade, that might not mean much to you. I don't fully understand it myself. (I always ask myself if 100% grade is then straight up and down. So wouldn't a 45 degree angle be 50% grade? I don't think so.) So I'll put this picture here and even though you can't see the hill, really, you can see the disappointed look on the cyclist's face, sorta:

Really steep. Not all the way, but most way.

View Larger Map
(if you see the little white arrows on the screen, you can actually navigate up my steep hill!)

Here's a page that sort of explains it, but more importantly talks about "rise over run times 100" which reminds me of something I learned in school. And nope, it says a 45 degree angle is the equivalent of a 100% grade because rise = run.

Anyway. I live near a very steep hill. I have not been able to ride a bike up this hill, it is so steep. The first time I *almost* rode my bike up this hill, minus the very steep part at the bottom, I had my neighbor take this picture to celebrate. Now, because I did not actually ride my bike up the hill, I think my standards for myself are pretty lax, haha.

Steep hill. I hadn't actually tried riding it on my racy new bike (that's my old cruiser style bike), because I was so sure I couldn't get up it, I just didn't try. Well! On Saturday at the end of our ride, I suggested we climb this hill, which is the shortest, but steepest, way home. Mr. W had mentioned he'd like to ride it one day, anyway.

I went into it sure that I'd need to *gasp* get off and push the bike. Even though I just said in my last entry, "Bikes are for riding, not pushing!" (I am nothing if not hypocritical, haha.) But, you know what? I didn't! I was slow, and the riding was hard, but me no pushy. Success! I would have had Mr. W take an updated bike lifting shot, but...

Seriously - as I'm whooping and hollering going up this hill, totally invigorated by my success, Mr. W, who also chugged straight up the hill, much faster and stronger than me, said, "You've got a real gear advantage over me with your bike..." I don't remember what else, if anything, he said, because all the triumphant bike dominator blood turned into roiling angry blood pounding in my ears.

Seriously. I just made a major milestone for me. OMG. Tell me how trivial my success was, please. My bike has a granny gear and yours doesn't? Well, thankyouverymuch, I don't care. Which I told him. When I am riding, or running, I compete against me. Just me! Well, me and Strava, but that's just a formalized way of competing against me. I told him that the science of our bikes doesn't interest me ONE WHIT while I am actively IN THE MOMENT of celebrating what I consider a major win.


Geek. Just absolutely could not suppress the thought that my three-little-gear-wheel bike has an advantage over his two-little-gear-wheel bike. The science must be shared, even while his not-at-all scientific girlfriend is still WHOOPING LOUDLY up the hill. Sigh.

It was not meant to be mean, but it was mean. Likewise, our fellow riding friend who called me out on facebook for missing recent Wednesday night rides and then pooh-poohed me for saying the weather has been too bad for me to want to ride. I told Mr. W that if biking begins to feel like an obligation, I already have plenty of obligations, and if it ceases to be fun to ride with them, I can go back to riding by myself.

He's not mean, he's just (book)smart.
Roar. I was mad. Mr. W is good and kind and thoughtful, though, and said all the right things. It is behind us. (Except for the last bit of boiling blood I am still feeling as I write this, haha.) Oh! I was just so HAPPY to have made it up that hill!

Anyway, shortly after that, the skies opened up with heavy rains. I dreaded the early start time for the 5K, afraid it would still be raining. I told myself, "You will not bail." I told myself Alli loves the super cute sweatshirts that came with the entries, and that there is great pride in being able to wear them, but not if you bailed on the event (even if it was your mom that made you bail). Okay, whatever, we'll go no matter what.

Sunday morning came early, but it was GORGEOUS. Cold, but gorgeous. A perfect winter day. Hope for spring. The event, which I was afraid might be a disorganized fiasco, based on some comments on their facebook page, was beautifully done. Tons of volunteers. Tons of traffic control. Eight thousand or more runners, our first large event. The treats at the end were as good or better than promised. The course was fairly hilly, which we have not encountered on a race. But we did well and had a blast. We will definitely do it again next year.

I sure love my girl.


  1. I had a victory like that last summer, when I rode up a hill I had never been able to ride up before, and my husband (who was waiting at the top for me) said, "I never understood why you couldn't ride up this hill BEFORE. It's not THAT hard." He's lucky I didn't wring his scrawny neck.

    Anyway, congrats on riding up the hill, and on making it to the 5K! I'm glad it turned out to be a good experience.

  2. Great job! I ran that too with my kids:) It was so much fun! So nice of Jen to gift your daughter her entry:)

  3. Congratulations to your daughter on finishing the 5k!

  4. Congratulations! I totally feel your pain about the running buddy thing. I have been taking my daughters with me to Zumba, which adds up fast with three daughters and a twice a week class. Luckily, they rarely all go at the same time.

  5. Ok, woman... I am a long distance cyclist, so I know EXACTLY what a 16% grade hill is. That said..... YOU. ARE. TOTALLY. AWESOME! That is worth celebrating!!!!! It's a huge incline and takes a lot of work---especially on a cruiser! You rock! Great job!


    P.S. I'm new here! I dont know how I found you, but I'm glad I did!

  6. Ok I just had to go back and read like 10-12 previous posts to get all caught up. I feel like someone who missed too many episodes of their favorite show and now has to catch up. I see Greg is history and suddenly you look to have some young, good looking boyfriend. My my!!!!! So I had to go back and read previous posts scrolling through trying desperately to find the entrance of Mr. W into the scene. After reading through Bikey Bikey friend straight through to Mr. Wonderful to his now abbreviated Mr.W, I feel at last caught up. I'm excited for you as I also missed the plastic surgery as well. WOW. You have had some big things happening and now you're a cyclist. You never cease to amaze me. You attack life You don't give up . You keep going for it. And your blog often reads like an addictive novel!!!!!!!

  7. This is a very, very brief summary/generalisation of the evolution of the original races. It is just designed to give a very quick to read idea of how we all came to be today.

    The original Scandinavian race was the blonde haired, blue eyed, white skinned race (light featured) that originated from Scandinavia some 45,000 to 50,000 years ago.

    The Scandinavian race evolved from the Black African race that migrated out of Africa some 125,000 years ago and settled in Scandinavia. 80,000 years of total isolation in Scandinavia and the original Black Africans evolved to the original Scandinavians.

    The Indian race also evolved from the Black African race that migrated out of Africa and then settled in India. Tens of thousands of years of isolation in India and the original Black Africans evolved to the original Indians. (Indian = dark hair, dark eyes, dark skin, dark featured)
    The Oriental race also evolved from the Black African race that migrated out of Africa and then settled in Far East Asia. Tens of thousands of years of isolation in Far East Asia and the original Black Africans evolved to the original Orientals.(Oriental = dark hair, dark eyes, dark skin, dark featured) The Australian Aboriginal race also evolved from the Black African race that migrated out of Africa and then settled in Australia. Tens of thousands of years of isolation in Australia and the original Black Africans evolved to the original Australian Aboriginals.(Australian Aboriginal = dark hair, dark eyes, dark skin, dark featured) 45,000 years ago there was a lot of movement as the Ice-Age pushed these Scandinavians out of Scandinavia. These Scandinavian spread out through Europe and into Asia and in Asia they mixed with the Indians, this formed the Arabic peoples (Indo-Scandinavians).

    The Scandinavians also migrated into Far East Asia and mixed with the Orientals forming the Korean/Chinese/Japanese types.
    Arabic peoples moved back West into North Africa and then up into Spain, Italy and Greece mixing with the Scandinavians that had originally settled there, this formed the original Spanish, Italian and Greek ethnicities. Oriental Scandinavians also moved back West and mixed with the original Scandinavians in Europe forming what we now know as ‘Slavic’ types. What with brown hair and brown eyes being dominant over blonde hair and blue eyes more Scandinavians in Europe became darker. Yes, Europeans are mostly Scandinavian race with varying amounts of Indian race and Oriental race in them which gives many these darker features.