Friday, April 06, 2007

Victory, but not really

Date: April 5
Mileage: 7.2
Temperature upon departure: 37

Today I swam for just over an hour and rode a bicycle for well under an hour, but my most rewarding activity of the day was choking down death salsa at Fernando's. For a divey little Mexican joint with regular entrees as bland as funeral casseroles, that place has amazing salsa. You scoop up a small amount on a chip - it could be a tomato chunk, or it could be a chili pepper, not that it matters. Then, you stuff the entire chip as far back in your mouth and as far away from your lips as it will go, bite down hard and chew fast. The ensuing pain is beyond what any workout could prescribe; it will stomp all over your nagging knee pains, your sore calves and burning quads. It will rip through your nasal passage, shut down your vision and shoot a steady stream of white fire into your brain. It is real; immediate and an amazingly effective source of endorphins. And I will say, I normally have what I would consider an above-average tolerance for heat.

Geoff took me out to Fernando's to celebrate my first "complete" (meaning I kept both feet on the pedals the entire time) bike ride since Susitna. The salsa was the clincher, though, because I was definitely feeling a little down. I had only planned to ride 5-10 miles, but in the back of my mind was hoping for longer. Before this afternoon, part of me was convinced my injured phase had nearly ended. Part of me feared that I had made no progress at all. The reality is, as it always is, somewhere neatly in between. This is progress, though. I think I count now four outdoor rides in six weeks. The first, I only made it 50 feet without pain. The next, about 500 yards. The third, just over a mile. And this, pain only right at the end, mile 7. I can say that I am becoming better at judging when harshness is approaching, and turning my butt around accordingly.

Improvement? Yes. Miracle cure? No. It's all in good time. And at least I know now that if cycling doesn't work out, I'll always have death salsa.


  1. I too love spicy food. I wonder if there's a correlation between that and the enjoyment of long distance cycling? It would make sense as they're both ways to get that endorphine kick.

    A word of warning: never mention that you like it "Really hot." to the owner of an East Indian restaurant. I was seated next to owner of one of the better Indian places in town and he overheard me quizing the waitress about how hot something was. I've found that being as pasty white as I am means that unless you make a fuss they won't make it hot enough.

    He said something in Hindi to my waitress before she went to the kitchen. It probably was "Tell the chef to kill this guy." I have never eaten anything like it. I was sweating instantly and literally shaking by the time I was done. I only finished it because I was in my early twenties and was damned if I was going to let this guy see me quit. I never found out what exactly I had because I couldn't talk from the first bite to almost an hour after. :)

  2. i read a theme of seats being too
    high among folks with jumper's knee who were cyclists.
    i lowered the seats on my bikes and voila, the pain appears to be subsiding.

  3. Look -- is there a correlation between any kind of food and cycling? You betcha -- the more food the better.

    Any body shows up in SF -- we can talk hot -- and we can talk Mexican. Let me know and I can set you up with where to go. I have good list.

  4. Sounds like my kinna place =)

    Salsa&Chips should be its own food group!

  5. Sorry but I think your writing is awful. You write like what I call "flighty." Or maybe its just your age. But you need to try making sense. There's little flow in your ideas. You jump all over the place.

  6. Yeah ... but aren't my photo's cool?

  7. Jill, how are you?

    I think you do pretty well as a journalist and blogger. Yes, you can probably improve your site a little or incrementally. I think you are an interesting person.

    Haveavoice, you are in error. To start with, you aren't a very good writer. Also you are incorrect. Yes the writing could be "tightened up" somewhat, but it is already newsworthy and lively.


Feedback is always appreciated!