Sunday, March 27, 2011

it's funny what we write about

i realize that for the most part here in this blog i write mostly about my bike and what i do on my bike. Over the last year with the addition of some of the other crazy events that have occured i've added a bit about other things going on, you know, like being diagnosed with cancer and getting my leg cut off, but for the most part, even now that i'm an amputee, i write about riding my bike. I throw other things in here or there, i.e. something about the garden or a little complaint about the papers i have to grade, but i mostly write about riding my bike. The irony of that really hit me this week, see, i'm not really all that good at riding my bike. Actually let me rephrase that, i'm not really all that good at riding my bike fast. T-dub is good at riding her bike fast, but i'm not. I love riding my bike, even though at some point in every race i feel like i want to puke, i love riding my bike. But it's not something i excel at. I excel at teaching. I am an excellent teacher. and i love teaching. The irony, then, that so much of my blog is dedicated to something i'm not really that good at and i almost never write about something i am really good at, hit me this last week when i found out i have been awarded two awards for my work as an educator at the University of Utah. It's a little goofy right, that i don't mind posting my results in the local crit race (i did move up form last place in the first crit to 18th out of a field of 50 or so this last week), but i'm a tad bit self-conscious about posting my teaching accomplishments and recognitions. So, here they are. This year i have been awarded the University Equity and Diversity Award and selected as the UofU Honors College Distinguished Professor of the year.

Ashley, Yamila, me, Heidi, José, Alonso, Marti at the award luncheon for the Equity and Diversity Awards.

I am deeply honored by these awards. They are a tribute to the incredible colleagues, mentors, and students that i have the privilege of working with every day. My heartfelt thanks to those who nominated me. Thank you very much!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Double Century Weekend

Today marks seven months since my amputation. I'm getting used to life without my right foot. With the prosthesis I can get around and do pretty much everything i did before. Going down stairs is still a little awkard, and it doesn't always fit quite right because my leg is still reshaping itself so by the end of the day sometimes my residual limb gets a little sore, but overall i can't complain. I can still do most of the things i love. Case in point, this weekend i went down to St. George with the artist, Cousin Kevin, and a few other guys to do some riding. Friday we rode from St. George to Zions and back (98.5 miles), and then Sunday we did the Old Highway 191 ride from St. George to Mesquite and back (110 miles) for a double century weekend.

The weather was perfect both days: 70 degrees, light winds, and blue skies. Friday i felt pretty good and even put in a couple of hard efforts to keep up with the artist and Mitch on some short climbs. Saturday was a different story. I was dragging a bit from the get go. It didn't help that Cousin Kevin didn't ride with us friday, so he was pushing it on the front from moment we left the house. I got dropped pretty quickly once we hit Utah hill heading west. On the way back, however, i got a little second wind, and settled into a nice pace up the world's longest, straightest climb. It's only 2-4%, but that damn road heading east from Littlefield to the summit goes on for stinking ever. I was feeling pretty good though, settled into a nice cadence and HR and kept the legs cranking, then about 4 miles from the top I cracked. It took all the energy i had to get to the summit. Fortunately the last 30 miles or so back from the top back to the house were mostly down hill. I definitely found the limits of my fitness and endurance. It felt like Utah Hill was harder than it's ever been, but the artist and the others thought the same, so we surmised it may have been because in the past we've always done the mesquite ride the first day and the Zions ride on the second day.
I was so beat by the time we got back i fell asleep in the tub until I heard kevin yelling at me that we were 30 minutes late for dinner.

The artist in his new DNA Cycling body mapping bibs and jersey. The orange contrast stitching matched the red rock and sand.

R3 on the Utah Hill climb.

Regrouping at the Utah Hill Summit.

My least favorite part of the whole ride, the 15% hill back up to Cousin Kevin's pad. It's only 300 meters or so, but at the end of a long ride, it sucks!

Race season officially started last weekend with the first crit. I rode out with the artist and raced with the B-flight. I felt pretty good for the first 30-minutes, then started to fade a little near the end. With two laps to go i made a stupid mistake, and got caught off the back around the 180 turn, then got stuck in the wind, couldn't close the gap, and got dropped. I placed dead last in the B-flight, but the upside is the only place to go from last place is up.

In contrast to my last place, T-dub had a great first race of the season at the Merco Cycling Classic with her new team Peanut Butter & Co./Twenty12. Her teamie Alison Starnes held onto the the best time for the overall GC after a great TT, and T-dub took 6th overall.

Putting it down in the TT.

T-dub leading out the Blue and White train in the Almond Blossom Road Race.