Sunday, July 27, 2014

Race #8: Shenandoah Time Trial

The Shenandoah Time Trial was held in the Shenandoah Valley which is about a two hour drive from DC. If you have not EVER been to the Shenandoah Valley, you MUST go. Shenandoah Valley is surrounded by some of the most beautiful mountains. The scenery there is completely amazing, and I am highly recommending it.

A Time Trial Race is a race where each cyclist is given a different start time, and each person rides the course as fast as he/she can to see how people rank in his/her respective categories. The course is normally out and back. The Shenandoah time trial was about 21 miles of some pretty steep climbs and some of what we call false flats; a road that appears to be flat but really is not.

I picked up Tina and Lydia, my teammates and friends, and we rode out to Shenandoah for the race. We got there early, climbed a few hills to warm-up, and we eventually started the race.

My people, I felt strong on this race. The hills were tough, but I must admit that I am climbing them a whole lot better than I was a few months ago. I ended strong and was greeted by my teammates and the lovely ladies of Sticky Fingers Cycling Team. 

We checked out the race results, stopped at a barbecue place where we sat outside and ate, and we drove back home to prepare to drive to Shenandoah the next morning. (Yes, we love cycling!)

The ladies of Sticky Fingers were hosting a pre-ride for the Page Valley Road Race that is going to take place next week. No, I'm not doing this race, I'll be out of town, but I couldn't resist doing another ride with the ladies of Veloworks and Sticky Fingers.

Tina picked Lydia and me this morning, and we drove out to the Shenandoah Valley AGAIN. We met up with the ladies of Sticky Fingers and the race organizer, and we rode the difficult course that has quite a few climbs. My people, I am getting stronger for sure!!!

After the ride, we went to relax at the house that the ladies of Sticky Fingers rented for the weekend, we ate at a very good restaurants with homemade burgers that were around $2.00. Yea, $2.00, and we drove home......

This was a very satisfying weekend in so many ways. My body is happy, because it got some great workouts, and my soul is happy, because I spent the weekend with some sho 'nuff good people!

Road racing season ends in August, and because August is a travel month for me, I will miss the last few races....

This racing season has been one of highs and lows with more highs than lows. I have learned a lot, met new friends that I will cherish forever, and I have gotten much stronger in a short period of time...

My take away from this season is "If We Put Time and Effort Into Anything, We Will Get Better!"

I wouldn't take nothing for this journey....HAPPY SUNDAY!

This fall and winter, I will attempt cyclo-cross which is a  cross between road racing and mountain biking. Cyclist race laps around a course which may have pavement, grass, sand, gravel, dirt, etc. while negotiating a number of obstacles that may require them to dismount and remount their bicycle. (Oh, Boy!)

Stay Tuned!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Intentional Thursday: Gratitude!

This past week, we were suppose to practice Being Someone's Miracle by being intentionally present, with an emphatic heart, with everyone that we were in contact with.

My people, I was given soooo many chances to practice this week....

Last Thursday I went to a hip-hop concert with my dear friend Chee, and I was intentional with him. I tried to do more listening than talking and the evening was quite refreshing.

On Friday, I met my dear friend Levonia for lunch. I met Levonia when we were both freshmen at Tuskegee, and we have been friend every since. The lunch lasted for quite awhile, and I did not want it to end. I intentionally tried to do more listening than talking, and I felt soooo happy after having lunch with my old college buddy. Listening with an ear of empathy did my heart good.

Saturday, I went to visit my friend, Terry, after I cycled. Nope, I did not go home to shower, I just went to his house, and we sat outside and talked. I was intentional in the moments that we shared. However, I slipped up and gave unsolicited advice when he wanted to have a smoothie, but I instantly recognized the slip-up and instantly shut down the advice....I left his house feeling quite fulfilled!

Saturday afternoon, I went to visit my friend, Toya, who is expecting her first child. Her baby girl, Turner, is going to be here any day. We talked, shared ideas, and I felt that we were both listening with an emphatic ear. I had some things that I needed to share with her. I felt heard and not judged, and I tried to do the same for her... I felt real happy when I left Toya's.

Sunday, I biked with a whole lot of ladies, and I made sure to be intentional in every moment. When I finally made it home, I felt extremely happy and grateful. I was happy, because cycling makes me happy and grateful because the experience was good for my soul. I listened more than I talked and that felt extremely good.

Monday, I cycled early in the morning with my cycling buddies Patti and Tina. We had an extremely difficult workout that made me feel strong, and we ended our training ride at a coffee shop with lots of laughter and sharing. I was definitely intentional in every moment of that morning listening intensely to every word.

Tuesday, my friend Maya and her daughter, Zora, came over to swim. Maya and I haven't had a chance to catch up in quite awhile, and it was good to have catch up time. We shared things, and we both spent time listening and giving advice when it was needed... I was loving Maya's empathetic ear that was not-judgmental, and I tried to practice the same thing with her. This was a perfect encounter..

Tuesday night was spent with my friend and neighbor at the Lionel Richie concert. She and I both enjoyed this awesome concert, and it really was "Easy like Sunday morning!"....We had great conversations, and neither one of us felt the need to give any advice...That was quite refreshing.

I spent Wednesday and today with my dear friends, Tim and Dominic, and being with them just felt right. I listened to Dominic and Tim a lot and allowed them to just BE....Their needs and ideas were first, and guess what? My needs were met when I met their needs.

This week, I needed to practice being someone's miracle, and God gave me more than a few opportunities. Not sure if I was a miracle for anybody, but I sure was trying to be, and My people, this felt so good......

For this upcoming week, let's intentionally practice gratitude. Let's be in a constant state of giving praise to a higher being for EVERYTHING and not just the good stuff.

Do not waste one ounce of time complaining, use that time being grateful!

I have learned over the years to be grateful for everything. I think God daily for my cycling buddies, for my balcony with the rocking chairs, for my friends, for my 10 year old car, for my computer, for my trainer, for my desire to take care of my health, for my pool, for my summers off.... I Thank him for everything, big and small, all of the time.

Join me this week by being in an Intentional State of Gratitude!

I know that Gratitude changes Attitudes.....

Happy Intentional Thursday, My People!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Have I Told You Lately That...

I love Berhane and working out with him?

Berhane and Me!

Berhane is not only an awesome trainer who accepts no excuses, but he is also a good person. I love working out with him by myself, because it is therapeutic. He helps me to see things from different perspectives, he is patient, he is kind, he is non-judgemental, and he cares about my health just as much as I do; I wouldn't take nothing for Berhane

I love where I live?

View from my balcony

I absolutely love my condo, my balcony with the rocking chairs, the City of Alexandria, Washington DC etc. I love this place. The possibility of things to do is endless. Museums, plays, festivals, concerts, parties, happy hours, biking groups, running groups, nearby beaches, nearby national attractions, countless numbers of restaurants etc. Living here is like being on vacation all of the time... I LOVE WHERE I LIVE!

I love early morning cycling workouts?

My cycling friends

Yep, I do. I normally meet my teammates Patti and Tina about two days a week around 6am for some sho 'nuff hard workouts. We talk, laugh, are supportive of each other, have great conversation, and if we are lucky like today, after our rides, we go to a local coffee shop for coffee. I love those morning cycling workouts.

I love not working in the summer?

Summer Time Fun!

My people, to have the stress of work off my back for about nine weeks is really heaven on earth. My Sundays are no longer days where I am a little uptight, because I need to prepare for work on Monday. Sundays are relaxing days just like Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday......The peace that I feel right now is soooo good. I have time to think and evaluate and work on me with few pressures. I love extended time off like for real!

Not sure if I have told you these things lately......

Happy Monday, My People!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Rapha Women's 100km Bike Ride DC

Girl Power!

The Rapha's Women's 100 was a movement to try and get women around the world to ride together and complete a 100km ride.

To participate in this journey, women cyclist in DC met at The Joan of Arc statue in the wonderful Malcolm X park! (How awesome was that?)

Joan of Arc Statue

Malcolm X Park!

We rode approximately sixty-eight miles through the streets of DC and Maryland.....

We had great fellowship during our rest time....

We had an even better time during our post-ride dinner at Matchbox, a great restaurant in DC....

My people, my heart and soul are happy!

What did you do today?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Intentional Thursday: Become Someone's Miracle.....

Rehoboth Beach: Where I spent the day reading, meditating, and in complete
amazement of the greatness of our God! He is amazing....

From last Thursday until today, we were suppose to spend time doing some type of meditation. This week confirmed to me how important it is to do some type of calming of the mind and/or having purposeful thoughts regularly if not everyday.

For the past week, I either practiced mindfulness and/or had purposefully thoughts everyday except Sunday. And, Sunday was the day that I needed it the most. I would either be present with my thoughts or I would declare something like "I am mighty." My people, let me tell you that this stuff works. With mindfulness it was so helpful to see how many thoughts that we can have in fifteen minutes and how important it is to quiet those thoughts. With purposefully thoughts, I felt so powerful to know that I can determine my mood by my declarations. Thoughts are soooo powerful and are just thoughts. We must be intentional about keeping them in check.

So, I am planning to continue to meditate and/or do purposeful confession everyday forever, because it works.....

I started reading a daily word by Joel Osteen called I Declare: 31 Promises to Speak Over Your Life. Everyday, I declare something for my life and read the brief illustration of that declaration. Today, my declaration is "Today I will live as a healer. I am sensitive to the needs of those around me. I will lift up the fallen, restore the broken, and encourage the discouraged....." (Helping others actually heals us according to Harville Hendrix in his book Getting the Love You want.)

So, this week, let's intentionally reach out to people with a heart of empathy without giving unsolicited advice. Let's be present with every person who we are in contact with this week, and try to walk in their shoes completely. Joel states in I Declare, that "our job is not to judge. Our job is not to figure out if someone deserves something, or to decide who is right or wrong. Our job is to lift the fallen, to restore the broken, and to heal the hurting."

This week, let's intentionally become someone's miracle... and heal ourselves!

God is Awesome, Ain't he.....

Happy Intentional Thursday, My People!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples (20th Anniversary Edition) by Harville Hendrix

If you are married, single, want to be married, about to get divorced, divorced... regardless of your relationship status, Read this book!

If you are single, this book may add a little clarity to why we date who we date, but at the same time it may scare you or make you feel overwhelmed with the effort that it may take to have a conscious relationship.

If you are married, you may have the same feelings as the single person, but I do believe that this book will help couples to have a more intense, conscious relationship. Once we are true to ourselves, then we can be true to others????? (Not sure about this, but it sounds good.)

If you are anywhere between married and single, you should also read this book; we can always work on becoming better people for sure....
"When you direct your energy away from yourself and toward your partner that deep-level psychological and spiritual healing begins to take place." (Deep right? However, complicated at the same time when we are taught to look out for our own needs first.) 
The basis of this entire book is agape love which is selfless, sacrificial, unconditional love: the highest of the four types of love in the Bible. Agape love describes the kind of love that Jesus has for his Father and for his followers. (Oh Boy!)

1 Corinthians 13:4-8
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails.

I know, I know, I know that I say often Read this book, but REALLY Read this book!

My people, READ THIS BOOK....

Check out Harville's website here. 

My next read is On the Road by Jack Kerouac.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Race #7: Giro di Coppi

Race #7, Giro di Coppi, was held in Barnesville, Maryland on Saturday. Barnesville is about one hour from my house.

Giro di Coppi was a road race. This meant that for my category of lady racers, we were going to ride about three loops of 12.5 miles of hills.

I got to the race early with my teammate, Tina. We did a few warm-up laps, and I felt good. I've been doing a lot of training, and I am a lot stronger so, on that day, I needed to trust the training. (Yaaaaa Me!)

The whistle was blown, and I took off with the pack. Those first few hills wore me out, and I was dropped by the pack but not by much. They group took a turn, and I missed the turn. (Oh boy!) I ended up riding about four miles of hills out of the way, and I had to ride four miles of hills to get back on track and decided that I was finished. I was ok with that decision.

When I got back to the finish line, quite a few of the other ladies were on the sideline as well. I must admit that I felt relieved. I was not the only girl who did one lap and either stopped or got pulled from the race. My teammate, Tina, also made a wrong turn and gave up after the first lap. (Misery loves company sometimes.)

I hugged the other girls, we sat around and talked, and Tina and I drove home....

Even though I took a wrong turn, I felt good about the race. I burned quite a few calories and had a ball. I even laughed out loud when I realized that I had missed the turn.

My people, from this race I learned that s@#$ happens, and we move on.....

I am still training and working to get better, and I am finally enjoying this journey.

Until the next time..........

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