Saturday, September 28, 2013


I have a couple of topics on my mind today.

  1. cycling
  2. sunglasses
I will cover them in that order, and probably other things as well.

I rode this morning with the ever-smaller-and-ever-mighty fall team (today represented by C and D, joined by  C). This is the longest ride I've done since getting back in the saddle a couple weeks ago, and I felt OK. I have a bit of a headache now and am going to rest this afternoon. I opted out of the two loops because I knew I didn't have it in my legs (they would have added 10 miles and quite a bit of climbing), as I'm still easing myself back into this being active thing. After Thursday's commute and subsequent migraine, I think playing it safe was wise. 

I am a wise person.

Although I still use the cyclocomputer while riding, I have been simultaneously using the Strava app or the Garmin watch C loaned me and all the relevant details are saved and presented there in handy fashion. The five readers of this blog, I'm sure, will not be disappointed to see me change the format from including the list of stats here to instead pasting a link thusly.

This week has been rough for me. I had a really tough time academically, the details of which do not need to be included here. The short version: I need to be done with school. I need to graduate. I need support for that to happen. So, there. But, stress from that has caused me to be very unhappy, especially when on and around campus. Every day, it seems, is a "Jonah Day"; particularly those days when I have to interact with traffic in any form.

Back to Strava. One of the highlights of my week landed in my inbox this morning: an e-mail from "Alex at Strava". I had previously gotten an e-mail from said Alex, "calling all Atlanta cyclists", looking for Strava Ambassadors. As I am usually cheerful, full of goodwill to man, etc., I applied. I learned first thing this morning that I was accepted.

Atlanta, things are looking up! 

Of course, I need to figure out how to take things less personally, so that I can be less miserable while on this mission of cycling peace. 

On to my second point (sunglasses). When I was little, "sunglasses" was a tickle word. That is, if I ever said "sunglasses" I was on the receiving end of unrelenting tickles until I cried "uncle". And then I had to specify which uncle, and I have a lot of uncles to cycle through. Such was the life of a Lutz child.

But that's not the point of sunglasses today. No, instead, today I was thinking of the bizarre (and privileged, though I hate the word) irony about the transience of my sunglasses ownership/possession. I began this year as I did last year, in the possession of five pairs of sunglasses (and one pair of untinted cycling glasses, but they are not germane to the story). None of the pairs cost more than $14, because I am cheap and poor, which is a combination of traits that often go hand-in-hand. 

  • one pair (polarized, running/cycling) broke this spring
  • three pairs triggered migraines by being too tight, were scratched in the focal area beyond utility and were recycled over the course of the last three months
  • the last pair (my favorite) had no faults: no scratches, not too tight, and were sadly lost in transit last weekend
I have never just lost sunglasses. Even though I don't spend much on them, I still generally keep track of them (the low cost is, again, because I'm poor and because they are likely to get scratched). This pair just disappeared. Poof. (poof!) Gone.

Now I have zero sunglasses, which is challenging in a city as sunny as Atlanta, and for a girl who has always had at least one pair on her person at all times for at least a decade. Again, there are more pressing concerns in the world, but I find it odd that I can go from an overabundance to none so quickly. There must be a lesson in there somewhere, but I'm not sure how to tease it out.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Ugh, it's been ages

But not epochs. I don't believe in full-frontal exaggeration. I do, however, believe in bullet lists, so that's how I will present the things I have been doing besides posting updates. I have no doubt that, when the list is over, it will be quite a bit shorter than I originally expected.

In no particular order, in the last few months I have/have been

  • prepped/taught Social Psych (a class I took once, 10 years ago, providing my my only exposure to the subject)
  • prepping/teaching General Psych (a class I have never taken, so I'm out of my depth on some of the topics)
  • floundering on my dissertation
  • assistant-coaching the small-but-mighty fall cycle team for Team in Training
  • less active than I would like
    • 860 miles biking and running since the beginning of June 
      • 500 of those miles were in June
      • 32 of those miles were in September, and all since Sunday this week
    • marathoned all of Star Trek: The Next Generation on Netflix (and then Amazon because Netflix didn't have all seven seasons. Weird).
      • while knitting
      • and quilting
    • started Deep Space Nine: enjoy, not nearly as much.
  • dealing with un-managed "complicated migraine", but now it appears to be managed (hence the 30 miles since Sunday)
Of all those things on the list, I think the only one I really excelled at was the floundering. No one can suck at research quite like I can, I'm quite sure. But, now the medical stuff seems to be under control, I feel like myself again, and I have a few irons in the fire as far as research goes. Unfortunately, none of those irons causes the program to run any faster, so it will be another 24 hours or so to know whether they bear fruit (is that even a mixed metaphor?), but it's good to have something new to try, and to actually be excited and energetic about, well, anything. 

So I feel great, albeit very sleepy, and excited and motivated. I'm looking forward to being on the bike and running again, especially as falls comes around and starts to cool things off. It's going to be a good season.