30 January, 2009

The problem with having time

I've had a lot of time recently, and it's been really hard. Now, I know that that sounds silly, so let me explain. First of all, I'm not used to having time. I'm used to being so busy that I'm continually running and have to plan my days down to the minute to get everything done that I need to. And even then, I'm frequently late and I don't get enough sleep. So having time has been really weird to me. The last couple of months, I have had time to blog, program, get into graphic design, ride my bike (a ton), play on the internet, cook, and get enough sleep. The issue is that because I have so much time, I haven't been good about planning or using it well. I stay up too late, get up too late, and then feel lazy for waking up so late. Then I make and eat food, ride my bike, go on the computer, and then it seems like it's time to go to bed again. I know this sounds great, but there are so many other things that I want (and need) to do. For example, I need to make some money, so I've been building a website and creating a logo for someone I met via Twitter. Both of these have been cool projects, but have taken quite a bit of time. I also want to blog more, but haven't made the time to do that. I also want to meet some people from San Martin who are my age, because I think that hanging out with them would really, really help my Spanish. Plus it would be fun. And then there are even more things on the computer that I want to learn and do. I have been trying to learn Adobe Illustrator and Adobe InDesign, but haven't really had time, and I really want to create (program) an online bike social network (that's another story). And finally, I want to spend more time with Victoria. I get to see her all the time, but we don't really spend quality time together. Instead, we are simply near one another, location-wise, and this just means that all of our time is half-time and we never get individual-time or together-time.
Here is where my time is going:
Riding: I've been riding way more than I ever have at this time of the year. On one hand, it has been really fun and I think that it will pay off this race season, but it has also been really hard not having anyone to join me on my really long rides. I tend to get lonely and it makes the rides somewhat less fun. It is also hard because I know the majority of the trails in the area, so my only option on 5-6 hour rides is to ride trails I already know and try to switch the order up...And right now, my fork has decided to act up, so I can't do anything until it is fixed.

Playing around on my bike

Cooking: I've never really had to cook for myself before this year, and I didn't realize how time consuming it is. Making a tasty, healthy, home-cooked meal is a process. For example, I would say that on average, it takes Victoria and I 1-2 hours daily to make dinner. I prefer cooking for myself over eating out because it is cheaper, tastier, and healthier, but it eats up your time.

Yummy, homemade food

Computer: This is a big one, but I feel justified because my computer time is not spent on only one thing. I keep in touch with people, work, learn, and have free time all on the computer, so it isn't surprising that it takes up a lot of time. But here is my problem. I need to be on the computer to work and stay in touch, but it is such an incredible source of knowledge that all I want to do is learn. I just want to spend all of my time on the computer learning things and applying those things to my personal projects without having to worry about money. But that is not the way things are meant to be right now...
Here is my solution: SCHEDULE. I know it sounds silly to make a schedule for vacation, but it seems to be the best way for me to get the things I want to get done done. I have tried this a couple of times already, but my schedule keeps getting screwed up by not going to bed when I say I'm going to. This in turn screws up the next day's schedule because I wake up too late. I would just force myself to wake up, but one of my cycling goals this year is to get enough sleep and I am intent on sticking to that.
So that's my rant. Kinda silly I realize, but it has been causing me considerable stress (which is partially because I'm not good at not stressing). I hope everyone is doing well and using their time more wisely than I am.

16 January, 2009

Two Whole Years

That's how long Victoria and I have been dating, as of today, January 15th, 2009. That's a really long time. I'd say it has all been a piece of cake, but that would be a lie. It hasn't all been easy, but the fact that we've worked through the hard parts just speaks to the fact that we really care about one another (at least I think so).

It was an interesting day to be a 2 year anniversary. First of all, I had a 5 hour ride. With 4 20-minute steady state intervals. Unfortunately, they weren't real steady (I'm planning to blog about that tomorrow on TwoWheelTales.com). So I was gone for a good chunk of the day. Unfortunately.
But before I left for my ride, my wonderful Victoria gave me "Tuskan". That's what I named him (because of the tusks). I have been wanting a stuffed friend for a while because she has "Pinkbunny" (yes, all one word) and I was hoping to get one when I was down here because then it would have a story behind it... So here is a picture of Tuskan and Pinkbunny, who are now best friends (we already caught them trying to steal food from the fridge together):
When I finally got back from my ride, I was exhausted and found no Victoria, but instead an amazing breakfast sandwich waiting for me. It was delicious. When Victoria did get back (from her ride), I sat and wasted some time on the internet while Victoria took a nap (apparently she was tired). Then we went out and bought some groceries and made some delicious sweet and sour chicken for dinner. If you want the recipe, here it is (note that we substituted flour for cornstarch because we couldn't find cornstarch): http://is.gd/2P8V And here's a picture of how it turned out:
So there's a brief update of what is going on. It wasn't a real romantic 2 year anniversary, but it was fun. And as I always promise: I'll try to blog more regularly.
Oh yeah, almost forgot to mention that my friend Kat (see his blog) asked me to be his best man! I've never been a best man before. Wow, that's cool...

11 January, 2009

Questions (with a desire for feedback)

I recently wrote a post on TwoWheelTales.com asking for feedback from readers on why they think that road bike racing is so much more popular than mountain bike racing among the general public. Instead of rewriting that post here, I would love of you would head over to my article and leave me a comment there.

10 January, 2009

Insomnia (or "I hate mosquitos")

I started off the new year planning to get enough sleep every night (see my post about my 2009 Racing Goals). I have been successful in this, but it has been significantly harder than I thought it was going to be. The first two nights of the new year (actually the last night of 2008 and the first of 2009) I couldn't sleep. Most of all, it was too hot (we don't have air conditioning), and then I had to deal with mosquitos buzzing around my head. Honestly, they wouldn't have bothered me much, because mosquito bites don't bother me much, except that you can hear them when they're near your face. And these ones are especially mean, fast, and sneaky. For example, it you wait for one to land on your face, then swat at it, you end up hitting yourself in the face, and it gets away. And then, when you can't deal with them any more, and turn on the light to go on a killing spree, they stop flying around and sit on the wall or ceiling where they blend into the wood and brick. Finally, my mind simply goes out of control when I lay down to sleep. I start thinking about all of the things I want to do on the computer - websites I want to build, jerseys I want to design, things I want to learn, blog posts I want to write - and I can't shut them out.

Fortunately, I have had a few nights free of insomnia. And Victoria and I have started sleeping with the windows open, which helps with the heat. But those darned mosquitos just will not leave me alone. I've also realized that our schedule of going to bed at 2:00AM has made our attempts to go to bed at a reasonable time significantly more difficult, since our internal clocks are all out of whack. Finally, I've begun to wonder if restarting training has affected me. I actually had Sean (my coach) mention that to me once, but I never understood why that would NEGATIVELY affect your sleep.
So that's my rant about not sleeping. Basically, it stinks. If you can avoid it, do. (And don't ever go to bed with "A Whole New World" stuck in your head, it doesn't help).