Thursday, June 25, 2015

Ramping up has begun!

I admit I’ve been on a pretty long taper – or, as I call it, “sitting on my fat lazy ass for way too long.” SOMFLA for short. But now it’s time to take the bull by the reins and forge ahead blindly and recklessly, as I’m wont to do.
But first, I need to impart a few life lessons from my most amazing recent trip to Costa Rica with SuperCancerChickFriend Cori. To wit:

Animals are smart. There we were driving along to Arenal, when we spied by the side of the road some kind of animal loping along, making his way to his burrow across the road. As one does in such countries, we came to a sudden screeching halt.

Me: Hey look! An animal of some sort loping along! What do you think it is?
SCCF Cori: I have no idea. A monkey? No. It looks like a big raccoon. Omg, it’s coming towards the car! Here, I’ll throw it some chips!

As the enraged (curious) animal is making its way towards us menacingly (curiously, and as if he’s done this before), Cori tosses out a few chips, which stops the chupacabra (coatimundi) dead in its tracks. Apparently the love of chips is universal. We ooh and aah over the beastie for a little while longer, and then drive on.

Whereupon not 5 minutes later we see a sign on the side of the road, which clearly has a picture of said animal, with a slash through it, saying “do not feed.”

Me: So basically our little friend made his home RIGHT before the sign that says to not feed him.
SCCF Cori: Smart guy.
Me: Indeed.

* * * * * * * * *

Miss Tasha is an idiot. SCCF Cori and I are on a night tour, hoping to see cougars and tree frogs and monkeys and possibly some kangaroos. Hope springs eternal and all that. Our guide is lovely, and is pointing out all the flora and fauna in the rain forest, from industrious leaf cutter ants to shampoo flowers to…..
Ana: So this is a small fruit (holds up pod the size of a large grape), and when it’s ripe, the seeds inside smell like coffee. (breaks it open to show us)
Me: Oh neat! So does one actually use it for anything?
Ana: No, it’s really just ornamental…..wait, what are you doing?
Me: I’m tasting it to see if it tastes like coffee of course.
SCCF Cori: Okay, so ONE of us is an intrepid experienced explorer who’s been all over the world in every kind of situation, and the other is an idiot who tries random things from the jungle to see what they taste like. Oh wait, they’re the same person!

I pulled this same stunt a couple of days later when SCCF Cori and I were doing a daytime tour of the cloud forest, and our guide pointed out something on the ground that  “could be a passionfruit, but who really knows?”

Me: So I can take it with us for us to try?
Julio: Oh sure, haha!
Julio: Wait, what are you doing?
Me: Umm, taking it with us of course.

I was thwarted in this attempt too, dammit. Just what DOES one have to do to face down a possibly deadly tropical ailment??

Anyway. With the fun and games of Costa Rica over, I decided it was finally time to do something about the impending Ragbrai, beyond just dusting off my bicycle and getting it tuned up. Fine first steps as it were, but a tad insufficient on their own.

Thus, I’ve mapped out a detailed Ramping Up process, which starts out at a short 6 miles a day, then basically doubles every day. According to my mathy (ahem) Wharton skills, this will have me biking 3,042 miles a day by the time Ragbrai rolls around. That should be enough, but we’ll see if I have to tinker with that a bit.

As we all know, I’m a finely honed athletic individual, so I wouldn’t suggest trying this at home, folks. I will report back.