Thursday, June 26, 2008

My Day: Doctor's, Motorpacing, Coffee, Sangria, Voetbal

It started off with a trip to the doctor for an appointment at 8-friggin-a.m.. What a shock. I never wake up before 9am so needless to day it was a trying morning - trying to wake up was how i spent the first two hours after the alarm sounded. Luckily, Jonas was kind enough to drive me there so I at least was able to sleep in until a whopping 7am.

Thanks to Jonas, our hour of waiting time in the reception area was entertaining. As we sat there in a semiconscious state, Jonas asked me for a piece of gum. I handed him a cardboard gum packet then immediately went back sleep mode. Twenty seconds later, Jonas turned to me, looking quite perturbed, and said, "I think there is something wrong with this gum. I think it went bad." He opened his mouth and revealed not a piece of gum but a chewed vitamin C tablet - the huge 1000 mg size. Clearly he was still sleeping too. I totally forgot that i put some vitamin C in my gum packet for emergencies. Oops.

As he quickly ran to the toilet to spit out the partly digested tablet, I sat in the waiting room, doubled over, in absolute stitches. But since i was in a doctor's office, I sat there doing a poor rendition of silent film laughing while tears streamed down my face. When Jonas came back a minute later and declared that he just realized he could have simply swallowed the vitamin, I started silent laughing again. And once Jonas got over himself, he joined in. We must have looked so idiotic to the other patients as we howled in silence so hard our shirts were soaked with tears.

Once home, I had a strong cup of french press coffee with a homemade hummus tortilla wrap, switched into cycling clothes and headed back out for motorpacing. Usually i don't particularly enjoy these sessions but today was different. It was the first time where i actually felt comfortable riding at 55kph behind the scooter - yet another triumph in my slow recovery process.

At one of the recent races, I was told that i had won the "World's Whitest Legs in the Peloton" recognition so on the ride today i dared to do something about it - i left the house with bare legs. Yep, no SPF30 for me. And whaddya know...I got a slight tan line. Not sure if i will have the courage to do that a few more times but we'll see.

After elevating the legs, eating, and semi-napping, I headed back out for downtown Leuven to meet up with Johan for our usual Tuesday night out (moved to Wednesday this week to accomodate my motorpacing prep.) To get the evening started we had a coffee at Cafe Onan on Parijsstraat. It's the only place in all of Leuven that has really rich coffee. They serve it with dark chocolate which makes it a real treat.

Then we had dinner at a nondescript Italian restaurant on Muntstraat (Leuven's version of restaurant row.) To finish up the evening, we headed over to Grote Markt to sit outside and enjoy the great weather we've been having here. While we were sipping/eating Sangrias, we watched the European Championships soccer game on TV. Many of the cafes had extra large tv screens set up outside so the cafe-goers can enjoy the game. Great way to get people to choose your cafe over the twenty others on the square.

At the end of the evening, as Johan and I waited at the bus stop, we had our first flemish (Belgian version of Dutch language) conversation. I've known him for over five years and we've never spoken a single word in flemish to each other. (All in flemish) he said "hello christine," I said "hello Johan." He then said, "Have you had enough sangria?" My reply was, "Never." Although I only uttered two words in dutch to him, his impression was enormous. He said, "Once you can joke in a foreign language, you've mastered it." Nice compliment even though I knew it was far from the truth in this case. Heck, if only he knew how thrilled I was that he picked the one question I can understand.

p.s. You may notice that no exclamation points were used in the writing of this post. Chr15 and E.C. Chamberlain will be proud.

30 comments:

MT said...

Not a bad day at all =)!! Still smokey in CA and NV...

MT said...

Not a bad day at all =)!! Still smokey in CA and NV...

Anonymous said...

So, what do you call that thing that follows the phrase 'absolute stitches' in the third paragraph?
-- E.C. Chamberlain

PEANUT said...

Sorry to hear it's still smokey. That sucks. Maybe you can train with that sars mask and paint a closed, relaxed mouth on it so it permanently looks like you're putting out a piano effort at all times.
ec chaimberlain: I don't know what you're talking about. hehe!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

OK, it seems you went back and did some editing. I have fifteen minutes' worth of spare time. I'll look for ampersands and instances of the possessive "its" with a rogue apostrophe. Perhaps I can find the word "plus" in a non-arithmetic context.
-- E.C. chamberlain

PEANUT said...

I used Blogger's grammatical check so I'm sure it's all perfect.

Rickie Rainwater said...

Christine,
Motorpacing sounds like fun. You two are so good together. I guess you had to drive far or wait a long time in the waiting room. I have to get up at 4:30am 4 days a week and at the end of the week I am really wiped out. If I stay up just one night to long, I really feel it. I think it would be great if I felt sleepy like I feel when I wake up when it is time for me to go to bed. Sleep is the most profound part of training.
rickie

Rickie Rainwater said...

Oh yeah, !!!!!!! just to keep the universe balanced.

chr15 tree said...

Woo hoo! A name check :)

Nice work on getting through your post without using the '!', even if it was after a little judicious editing.

Should we instigate an International, Non use of any unnecessary or incorrect punctuation Day?

As for the ampersand I love it! And when writing it try to make it as flambouyant as possible. Such history behind it.

***************

Love the post today. Jonas' face must have been a picture, chewing on that Vit. C tablet. Ewwww!

55k's is great behind the scooter, do you do that as a constant effort, tempo type ride or is that intervals, I'd be happy with that DOWNHILL.

Sounds like a nice evening out too, coffee, sangria and people watching in the square. Lovely!

Oh yeah and those 'white' legs of yours, could be your secret weapon. Keep 'em white, tan lines give away the secret of many many miles in the saddle. Lull the opposition into a false sense of security then hustle them on the last lap.

GCDavid said...

9:00am??? My training usually starts at 5:00am or 6:00am. Like this morning: 5:00am on the trainer for one hour of one legged drills i the aero position, then off for a 6 mile run. What pure joy.

Roadies sure do live the life.

PEANUT said...

Hey gc: Do you do 1-legged runs too? haha. That could be funny to watch! I may never have done a one-legged pedalstroke but it would sure feel like it if i had to get up that early for a ride. I remember one year I got up that early to head into SF for the SF Grand Prix that started at 7am. From the gun, the race took off at 45kph avg. I remember gaining full consciousness five minutes into the race only to look behind and realized that 1/3 of the field was already shot off the back. I think they were too awake to deal with that sort of pain early in the morning.
chr: 55 is tempo. It wasn't too long ago that 35kph was my UPPER limit behind the scooter so i'm thrilled to see some improvement. Downhills are a little scary to do with scooters because a bicycle can usually handle any bends in the road better than a scooter at high speed.
White legs will probably stay, whether i like it or not.
I like the idea of a correct punctuation day in theory. But in practice, it may not work too well for me. Definitely no blog post that day for fear of being chastised.
rickie: I agree with your sentiment on sleep. I get 8-10 hours a night and it never feels like enough. I wish i were better about taking naps.

GCDavid said...

Many tris start at 7:00am, especially the long ones. Always nice to start the day with a 1.2 mile swim (or longer), while getting kicked and hit. We never go off later than 8:00am.

No one legged running, but plyometrics are definitely a good idea. I do one-armed swimming drills though!

PEANUT said...

hey gcdavid:
I have never done a single triathlon nor do i have any designs on doing one in the future. To train for three completely unrelated sports is just more than i could do - too hard. It's hard enough to train for cyclo-cross with the running and cycling. I can't even imagine adding swimming too. crazy. And those swimming starts where everyone swims on top of each other scare the heck out of me. Can you just find the fastest guy and catch a ride on his back? I suppose not but the idea made me laugh and that's what's most important. I hope I added enough apostrophe's (one extra for good luck) in this comment to keep everyone happy. haha.

GCDavid said...

The idea is to find some 'fast feet' and draft off of them. Yes, there is drafting in swimming. Things can get interested at the buoys where you turn as well. Kind of like a crit in water.

Not a huge fan of swimming, but the fast runners who don't swim stay with duathlons. My run is not fast enough for that! Being in the water keeps the cyclist and runners away! And the swimmers can't run worth a damn usually : ).

PEANUT said...

gcd: what do you enjoy most about triathlons? What is the draw? It seems like a multitasking nightmare to me, something i have not mastered.

GCDavid said...

Pretty simple:

As a cyclist, I am a little above average
As a runner, I am a little above average.

Or, put differently, for a cyclist I am a pretty good runner, and for a runner I am a pretty good cyclist. So, put the two together and I can be pretty competitive (locally).

With the swimming, it is a zen-like activity. Constantly focusing, refining, striving to become one with the water. The more you fight it, the slower you go. You can't power through a swim. You have to finesse it, working on your form constantly.

Once mid-August hits, I become a cyclocross guy. Doing 45 minute races after doing 2+ hour races doesn't seem so bad.

My favorite thing is running because it is pure: you can't buy speed. More expensive shoes don't make you faster. Running faster and training harder makes you faster. Tris are plagued by people with more money than talent, on their Zipp 808s and Cervelo P3s, but 20 pounds overweight. Silly.

PEANUT said...

Considering i know just about nothing about triathlons, you just quadrupled my tri knowledgebase.

GCDavid said...

Glad I could help! Now you are ready to make the jump. Saul Raisin just started doing tris, which is a great story. Laurent Jalabert is an impressive Ironman competitor. Alisha Lions, a former US pro cyclist as well. There are some others from the pro ranks who make the switch. It's your turn!!!!

PEANUT said...

The two triathletes/cyclists that come to mind are Steve Larsen and lance armstrong. I remember that steve just killed the field even though he came out of the water in last place at the events.

GCDavid said...

Lance is of course huge in terms of his tri talent. But, multisport training is not conducive to dating Kate Hudson.

Triathletes are notoriously bad bike handlers. Fun to watch people try to handle rigs that are made to go straight and fast. I remember in the last Olympics a woman ran right into some barriers (not the kind you jump over) for no explicable reason. Sadly, it wasn't surprising to see.

Any more tri questions? Just ask!

Anonymous said...

Surfing the www from my treo in buffalo, NY. that french press and chocolate sounds devine. hahaha Vit C gum...what a pair of sleepy heads for sure. Very fast christine 55 WoW..
Don S.

PEANUT said...

hey GC: I did watch last year's olympics with some cycling buddies. I must admit we all watched it for the cycling section. We heard there was a left hand bend in the road on the course. We weren't disappointed.
I heard about the kate hudson thing. By the way, did you know i'm a celebrity too? I'm the newest columnist for vegnews magazine? If you go to your local healthfoodstore or bookstore, you can find it. Yipppeee! I haven't read it yet myself. Hey, maybe now i have a chance with Lance.
Don s: Thanks for checking in from Buffalo. I suppose actual surfing is out of the question there where your body parts would freeze off upon stepping into the water, leaving you with nothing but a torso. have a great trip.

GCDavid said...

I see the current issue of Vegnews is about "Modern Love, and vegan vows, ethical sex, and the kid conundrum."

Hmm. Anything you would like to tell us?

PEANUT said...

Modern love is the old issue. I haven't actually seen the cover of the new issue yet but i heard it's on newsstands now. Again, yippee.

bikesgonewild said...

...let's not gloss the issue of an "international punctuation (& other stuff) day" thingy, over...

...i am obviously & accordingly concerned...

...just sayin'...

PEANUT said...

BGW Thanks to your message i laughed so hard i fell off the couch and landed on my head which made me laugh even harder that i can now add a sore throat and laugh wrinkles to the headache

adeline said...

I don't remember my smile... Are you sure ? lol

It was realy a bad day to me !!!
48 at the finish and it was a flamish championship! I'm very angry about me!!

That was so difficult... No sprint for me ! So disgusted!

PEANUT said...

Actually you were 49th. Hey what are friends for other than to kick you when you are down. haha. If you were suffering you didn't show it. See you next week.

bikesgonewild said...

...i hope your 'couch' injuries were not too extensive & that your recovery will be quick...

PEANUT said...

My couch injuries are minimal and i'm already sitting upright again. Thanks for asking.