The Wedding

 

 

On September 15th, I woke up an hour earlier than I should have.  In my excitement to marry my soulmate I couldn’t fall back asleep.  It was a beautiful morning, cool and crisp.  When my alarm went off I got up and got dressed to meet my friends for a ride.  

When I arrived to the start of the ride I discovered that I was the only one there.  I got ready and did CCP loops.  Only one of my friends showed up.  I knew my girl wouldn’t be there because she had a really bad cold.  We had a nice ride the day before just her and I.  My friend and I had a very nice ride at a social pace.  That was all we could muster with the blinding sun in our eyes.  We bumped into another friend on the path, Scuba Cyclist.  She asked me what I was doing there and I informed her I had a little less than five hours to go.  We counted down over the course of the ride and made it back to my car with plenty of time to spare.  I did my post ride ritual and then we parted ways.  We would see each other again in about four hours.

In my excitement I forgot to tell my groom that I was on my way back.  I let him know I was outside when I saw his car.  I forgot that he was getting dressed at home.  He hid in the other room and I darted into the bathroom.  Luckily, I didn’t see him.  We said goodbye through the bathroom door.  I took a shower, put on a casual outfit, and headed over to the makeup artist.

The makeup artist greeted me with a smile and immediately sat me down.  I let her know I was into a more natural look with bold eyes.  She assured me that, being that I have good skin, I wouldn’t need much makeup.  She put a flattering amount of makeup on me.  I looked pretty but something was missing.  I didn’t need to say anything, she knew what I was thinking.  She offered me some shimmer for my eyes.  It wouldn’t be visible unless I was looking down.  I would be looking down while reading my vows so it was perfect.  I was complete.  My makeup didn’t take much time.  I was going to do my own hair in the bridal suite but, at the last moment, I decided to get my hair done while I was there.  They were able to squeeze me in. I enjoyed being pampered and I watched in awe as my hair came to life.  I forgot all about the phone in my purse.  I didn’t hear it over the hair dryer.  My hair stylist took great care of me and thought of all the things I didn’t.  I didn’t think to dye my hair in advance so she sprayed some color to hide my grays.  She put on my jeweled headband and I was amazed at the princess looking back at me in the mirror.  Now I was truly ready for the day ahead of me.

I rushed out to my car.  I was running way late! I read all the texts I got.  One of them informed me of a street fair that caused a lot of traffic.  I was able to bypass it and made it to The Stewart Manor Country Club with only 15 minutes to get dressed before the ceremony.  I pulled up and abandoned my car outside with the door wide open and the keys inside.  I ran in and went straight to the bridal suite.  My girl was there with our photographer and she told me how beautiful I looked.  I forgot that I was pretty and I was happy to receive the compliment.  I thought she looked very pretty too.  She had very little makeup on and looked stunning.  I loved the shimmer of her eye makeup.  I told her how silly I was to have such a beautiful maid of honor.  Then the photographer took pics of me before getting dressed and then excused himself so my girl and I could get into our gowns.  

My right hand man, the guy who runs everything, came up to the suite and we let him in.  He informed me that there was no reason to rush as the ceremony couldn’t start without me.  He also informed me that the ceremony itself wouldn’t be more than 20 minutes.  He told us when he would come back for us and gave us pointers.  He took the framed pictures that I brought in to display in the entryway where the place cards were.  Our photographer came back and took more pics of my girl and I in our gowns.  Then we were beckoned to come downstairs for the start of the ceremony.  My father was at the base of the stairs waiting for me.  We were very happy to see each other.  I have five older brothers so he was excited to finally give someone away.

We were escorted to the door that led to the gazebo.  My right hand man opened the door and I saw my groom in the gazebo as well as all of our guests.  It was a perfect day for a wedding, warm and slightly overcast.  I got choked up for a second and tears welled up in my eyes but then I caught myself.  My father and I made our way to the gazebo and he gave me a kiss before giving me to my groom.  I told him how handsome he looked and he told me I was gorgeous. My dad was invited to stand in the gazebo for a few words.  He was then asked who gives me away and he answered, with pride, that he does.  He then left the gazebo and we continued with the ceremony.  I originally wanted a general, non religious ceremony but then our parents got involved.  God was mentioned so many times, even after I gave a three God limit.  We exchanged our rings.  We decided to say our own vows as well as the regular vows.  My groom almost made me cry but I held it together somehow without tearing up.  His vows to me were wonderful.  I read him my vows, a poem that I had written.  Afterwards I handed him the card that I had read from.  We went on with the regular vows and before I knew it we were wed and kissing.

I was glowing as we made our way down the aisle.  We were stopped and we greeted our guests as they went in to the cocktail hour.  I was so happy that it was a small ceremony with only a few guests because I couldn’t imagine kissing any more cheeks.  Then our photographer turned to us to take pics and we informed him that we ourselves were heading to the cocktail hour.  I cut the line and made myself a plate.  I sat down and ate until I was satisfied while talking to my new family members.  We then informed our photographer that we were ready.  We went back outside for more pics.

When we came back inside everyone was being escorted to the main dining room.  We lined up at the door ready for the introductions.  We made our way in and then danced to the first and second dances, we each picked a song.  My song was first and then his.  We mingled around and did a bit of dancing.  Our fathers spoke, then the best man and maid of honor made their speeches.  They were all very touching speeches.  I was very touched by all the things my girl had to say.  I love her and I couldn’t have picked a better woman to stand by my side.  Some of the best family members are the ones that you choose.

We had an awards ceremony where we gave out awards for various talents among our family and friends.  It was so much fun.  We said a few words, announced the recipients, and then took pics with them.  It was very important to us to do this ceremony.  It’s important to spread cheer and let the people that you love know what you love most about them.  We did the cake cutting ceremony and then it was time for the bouquet and garter toss.  My right hand man made me a small bouquet to throw so I wouldn’t ruin my beautiful flowers.  Some of the single women had already left so we were very short on single women, I even had my elderly aunt ready to catch.  One of my male friends offered to fill in.  We thought it was very funny so, at the last moment, we made it coed.  My oldest stepson caught it and then shared it with my special brother which was the sweetest thing ever.  Then everyone dispersed before the garter toss.  Being that both of our families are conservative, we made the last minute decision not to do the garter toss.  

We did the Cha Cha Slide and a bit more dancing and then that was it.  The reception was over.  I was a bit down, it was all over so fast.  This day that took year to plan was over in a flash.  We went home and my groom left to take the kids back to their place.  That’s when it started.  My friends posted pics on Facebook and the feeling of being on cloud nine went on into the evening.  I am very fortunate to have made so many wonderful friends.  They’re all very special in their own way and I’m so happy to call them my family.  My groom came home and we shared this joy together before we finished packing for our honeymoon in Aruba.

Will the next post be about the honeymoon in Aruba? There’s only one way to find out 😉

This Past Weekend (9/8-9/10)

 

 

For all those who celebrate, Happy New Year!  This past week was good and short.  I had the pleasure of having two Mondays off in a row!  I tried taking that FTP test on Wednesday but it didn’t go so well.  I wasn’t recovered enough to take it.  I’ve learned a valuable lesson about proper recovery.  I had a rest day after the long weekend of hammering but it wasn’t enough to get my legs back on track.

Saturday I woke up like any other day of racing at Floyd except earlier.  I forgot to register in advance so I could’ve not gone if I didn’t want to.  When I left it was raining but I looked at the weather forecast and it said it would stop within the hour.  I called my girl but she didn’t answer.  When I was halfway there she called back and informed me that it wasn’t raining where she was.  I took that as a good sign of the rain clearing within the hour.  When I got there it was still raining.  None of us ventured outside of our cars to start getting ready.  There’s no cellular reception there so information is hard to come by.  We finally got an email of the race being cancelled.  One of the guys made a call and let the race organizer know that there were enough people there to race.  The race was back on except, being that it was cancelled, the points wouldn’t count towards the series.  We were a all a bit bummed but we were also itching to race.  We all woke up with the intent to race and so racing is what we would do.  It was chilly but the rain had slowed down to a very light drizzle.  The race was due to start about 45 minutes past the scheduled time.  It was a combined field of cat 4/5 men and women.  I was a little nervous because the turns were wet and sandy.  I did a warmup lap and we lined up to the start about 5 minutes after I returned.  I hung in for a lap and a half.  My new friend is really nice and was encouraging me to stay on his wheel.  I stayed there for a while but I couldn’t hang on for very long.  I stayed on my teammate’s wheel for a bit but I lost his wheel on the tightest of the turns.  Shortly after that I saw him get dropped but I was too far to get to him before turning into the brutal headwind.  One of the other ladies stayed with me for a couple of laps and we took turns pulling but then I couldn’t keep up with her anymore either.  I was lapped twice but I finished the race.  It’s true that I came in last but I’m just happy to be the kind of person that finishes what I start.  That wasn’t always my thing.

After the race we got ready and my girl took me for a pre wedding night on the town.  We went to dinner at a nice little Italian restaurant and saw Chicago.  It was a great show.  The set and costumes were simple.  The story was told with amazing music and great lighting concepts.  I’m just so happy.  She took me out and made me feel so good about myself.  She went through great lengths to make the night very special.  What an amazing friend!

On Sunday I had a hangover, not a drinking hangover, I only overindulged in coffee.  I was tired from getting up early and staying up late.  I woke up at the same time I aways do.  I wasn’t motivated to exercise and, even if I was, my muscles were sore.  It was also raining and the roads were very wet.  I decided to listen to my body and be lazy.  Being that I had the following day off I found it to be more beneficial to save my legs and ride stronger on Monday.  I did a couple of errands and chores but, for the most part, I napped and watched TV.  I never get to watch TV so it was a nice and welcomed way to spend a rainy day.

On Monday it rained again so I slept in just a little bit and exercised all morning long.  I did intervals at my new FTP that I set for myself based on my recent efforts.  It was tough but very doable.  I still had legs so I went for another hour on the course.  I did my planks and, after not doing them all weekend, I felt very good.  I spent a half hour at the gym doing weight training.  It felt so good to exercise the morning away.  I spent the rest of the day doing wedding related errands.  I’m very excited for the big day.  

This may be my last post for a little while but I hope you all spend this time doing whatever it is that will bring you health and happiness.  Remember that your short term goals are just as important as your long term goals.  Have a great week!

 

Healthy Living Fridays (vol 17)

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Raw Energy Balls

 

I had never thought to make my own riding snacks.  I always bought Cliff bars.  Lately I haven’t been eating on the bike, possibly because Cliff bars aren’t very appetizing or convenient to eat.  My friend, Affluent Lady Cyclist, showed me her balls and I immediately asked her for the recipe.  She also gave me permission to share it with all of you.

What you will need:

  • Organic Dates (1 cup)
  • Organic Whole Grain Rolled Oats (3/4 cup, I prefer the quick rolled oats)
  • Salt (a dash, I prefer pink Himalayan salt)
  • Organic Cacao or Cocoa Powder (4 tsp)

How to make it:

Put the rolled oats and cacao powder in the food processor and mix until its a powder.  Add the dates and the salt and mix everything until its a huge ball.  Take small amounts from that ball and roll them into smaller balls.  If you desire, roll your balls in dry ingredients like coconut or minced nuts for a nice coating.  They can be consumed immediately.  Put them in the freezer so they can become more firm.  When you remove them from the freezer, they don’t take much time to soften up.  Enjoy your balls as a snack or take them on the ride with you.  They hold up well in your jersey pocket. 

This Past Weekend (Labor Day Weekend)

 

 

This past week was good.  I’m making gains at the gym and feeling great.  I’m at the point where I’m looking forward to my gym workouts.  With the help of my friends, I found apps that I can search through different weight training exercises.   I’ve been mixing my routine up a bit and having fun trying different things.  I’ve been making gains on Zwift and I was advised to do an FTP test since it has clearly increased.  I plan to do that this week.  I was looking into the benefits of doing planks every day and I found a 5 minute planking workout. I was loosely thinking about it so I showed my friend, Affluent Lady Cyclist, and she said she would join me!  We are now 5 days in.  ALC has given me lots of useful tips over the past week.

On Saturday I decided to challenge myself and do the faster ride.  I surprised myself by hanging in there on the climb that I normally fall behind on.  It felt so nice to stay with the group.  I assumed that the group was going slow but, when I uploaded my stats, I saw that I had a PR there.  That means I climbed faster that I had when I was pushed up that hill.  I stayed with the group for more than half of the ride when I started to fall behind.  I eventually got dropped but my friend was nice enough to stay with me.  I really am lucky to have great friends.  There were a couple of mechanicals early on and some drama but it was a very nice ride despite all of that.  

On Sunday I led my wild ride to Centre Island.  My friend that stayed with me the day before came and pulled the group.  A lot of the people that I normally ride with went with the faster group.  The group just below mine had no leader so they came on my ride.  They complained about the pace and I was quick to tell them they came on my ride and would do it at that pace.  Then these guys tried to go in the bushes in a very affluent neighborhood known for their increased surveillance.  I had to tell them no while wagging my finger, as if they were dogs.  There was a bathroom about 2 miles up the road that we were going to stop at.  After the rest stop I got tired.  These guys, after sitting in the whole ride, took off and left me behind.  Those dirty dogs!  My men waited up for me and escorted me back to the shop.  At one point some random guys mingled in with us and wouldn’t let me in behind one of my guys.  I demanded to be let in.  It should be obvious, if we’re all wearing the same jersey, that I belong on that ride behind my guy.  I’m not sure why some cyclists have no class but it makes us all look bad.  Please be courteous when mixing in with other groups and give them their right of way.  

On a sad note, I learned of the passing of a fellow cyclist when I returned from the ride.  It wasn’t just any cyclist but the most supportive Strava friend I’ve ever had.  He was truly a great person and was loved by many.  After years of Strava friendship I had the pleasure of meeting him and he was just as enchanting in person as he was on my computer.  I’m not going into any details but his death was a tragedy that could have been prevented.  I can only pray that this never happens to anyone ever again.  RIP my friend, you really were one of a kind and will be missed by so many.  

On Monday, even though my legs were toast, I decided to race.  It wasn’t the best idea I ever had but it certainly wasn’t the worst.  I decided to go out there and get some more experience.  I will get stronger and, when I’m ready, I’d like to have enough races to upgrade.  I hung in for about half of a lap.  The wheel I was holding pulled off and I couldn’t catch the main group.  I was toast from the weekend rides and wasn’t putting out the power.  At one point I let out a primal scream that powered me up a little but not enough to get me anywhere.  My average normalized power was so low, even for a group ride.  It’s all a learning experience.  From now on I’m only going to attempt to race when my legs are fresh.  

Thank you to my friends who are always there for me and thank you all for reading!  I appreciate your support and, after the wedding, I will resume posting more regularly.  I hope you’re enjoying reading from the Archives tab on the sidebar.  Have a great week!