[code"> [/code"> Courtenay Brown: May 2007

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Quotes from Mt. Hood

On the radios during yesterday's stage:

Lisa: Katie, you are ahead of Kat by 4 seconds, and the time bonuses at the finish are 15 seconds for first place, 10 seconds for second place, and 5 seconds for third, so if she wins the race and you come in second you will still be in the leader's jersey.

Me: Um, Lisa? I dunno about your math. If Kat wins and Katie is second, Kat is in the leader's jersey. This is Courtenay who is setting you straight btw. Do you copy?

Lisa: OK Courtenay a.k.a Albert Einstein, so I failed math...


Michael's explanation of why bike racers need health insurance:

We ride around in our underwear at thirty miles an hour. You need insurance.


Yours truly the Einsteinian smartypants being not so smart in the kitchen of our host house, with our host dad Paul and his 5 year old daughter Rosie:

Me: So this cupboard here is the super top-secret hiding spot for the chocolate, right?

Paul: Yeah, but it's kind of not so effectively secret anymore since Rosie is right here.

Me: Oh. Right. Sorry. That makes sense. I am not exactly kid-proofed. Should I put it somewhere else?

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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Brief Good News

As the paucity of posts might indicate, the internet situation here is not all-access wireless.

But, the gist:

We are here!

We are having fun!

We are winning!

Here is the We:

L-R Katie M., Me, Sharon A., Hannah B., Martina P., with Mt. Hood in the Background

Cuties after today's hard hot stage (check out those tan lines!):

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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Off to Mt. Hood...

Wish us luck!

Prolific reportage to ensue, pending wireless internet availability in Hood River (haven't quite gotten there yet).

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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Selling some Nice Stuff

I am going to momentarily use the blog as my Personal Advertising Marketplace Sell Stuff Venue. Here's what's up for new ownership:

One TIME Carbon Edge First Bicycle, size XXS (50 cm seat tube, 51.5 cm top tube):

One Powertap Pro powermeter, scientifically proven to get you uphill at warp speed** (no photo for this one)

One Pair Mavic Cosmic Carbone SL Wheels:

I will not bore the uninterested with specs, pricing, and other details here. If you or anyone you know might be interested in anything above, in any combination or non-combination, please let me know! (cour10ay at gmail dot com)


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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

No-legged Friend on the Mountain

Today, I am pedaling up hill for forever singing along to something on my ipod.

I see a wiggling stick in the road.

"OOO," I think, "a GARTER SNAKE needs to be RESCUED from certain squishing-by-a-car!!"

Then I get a little closer.

Mr. Garter Snake has teeth, which he shows me. Mr. Garter Snake has spots not stripes. Mr. Garter Snake has a wide head. Mr. Garter Snake is kind of fat. And, oh my, Mr. Garter Snake has a bizarre sort of tail.

Mr. Garter Snake is no garter snake, he is a rattler.

I ask him to pretty please not go anywhere while I get my phone out for documentation purposes. He obliges, sticks his tongue out, then wiggles off. And I spend the next three hours thinking every crack, every stick, every thin shadow in the road is a snake...

How exciting! My first ever wild rattlesnake sighting!

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JD once again informs me that I am silly

Me: My ride went O.K. I think I overheated.
JD: How come?
Me: Well, I was wearing an undershirt so I wouldn't feel obligated to bring a vest, and I was wearing arm warmers so I don't get a cycling tan, but it was like 90 degrees in Castro Valley when I got there.
JD: Arm warmers? Are you retarded? Why not just wear sunscreen?
Me: I had 45 on under the warmers but you still get a tan with that.
JD: -stupefied pause-
JD: Courtenay, you are a cyclist! You're going to have tan lines! Just embrace it!
Me: Easy for you to say, you don't have summertime tank tops and sundresses looming over your head.
JD: Ridiculous. You are ridiculous.


Speaking of Silly, here is JD's marginally funny joke of the week:

JD: Knock knock.
Me: Who's there?
JD: Control freak. O.K. now you say "control freak who?" and then I say...

And that's it. Although I will admit that I did laugh.

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Monday, May 21, 2007

Report from Super Exciting Weekend

This was my last weekend of domesticity and social shenanigans before the summer racing frenzy officially begins...

The gory details: Late late late night Friday (and I didn't even drink!) led to sleeping pretty much all day Saturday, with the exception of a short bike ride and a drive down to Lake Merritt to sell my mountain bike to the cutest new-biker ever (she was embarassed to ride the bike in front of me, she walked it around the corner before she got on! how adorable!). Sunday was occuppied by yet another round of house-cleaning. Emily says I seem to be cleaning house like all the time. There are two phenomena going on here:

1. Good enough for government work. I tidy, but I don't put the unending important mail items away, I just shove everything somewhere out of sight. Or I sweep but I can't be bothered to mop. So there is always more cleaning to be done. Entropy unquestionably rules my apartment.

2. Big talk little do. I do talk about cleaning all the time, a lot of times I do the dishes and call it a day, or more often, I call someone on the phone for moral cleaning support... and "OMG are you SERIOUS" talk rapidly becomes more important than the windex.

While I would love to bore you further about yesterday's progression through the closets, under the bed, and down to the trash area a ton of times, I'll move on to the good and super exciting news.

My man won the Columbia Triathlon yesterday!! I have never been so pleased to get a 6:30 a.m. phone call on a Sunday...

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Saturday, May 19, 2007

Quotes of the Week

Whilst at massage:

Me: How was your weekend?
JD: Good. Busy. We spent Sunday running all around doing family stuff all freakin' day, hanging out with my mom, taking her out to eat, that kind of thing.
Me: Whoa, that's really nice of you, was it her birthday or something?
JD: No, genius. It was Mother's Day.
Me: Oh, right...


How I got suckered into "planning" what turned out to be a really fun party (may post the PG-rated photos...):

Me: So I haven't gotten an invitation to your birthday party yet?
Devon: I'm not having one.
Me: Why not?!
Devon: Well, the Sharps don't want to host it, and I don't want to call people and organize it myself. I mean, it's pretty lame to plan your own birthday party right? So I'll just, I don't know, watch a movie or something.


Whilst at Devon's birthday party, after I explained that I had duct tape on my feet because of a running blister (not a fashion faux pas, not to worry, my shoes covered it, it was just a little piece):

: Court, I don't know why you are (bleep)ing with that (bleep). Running is (bleep).
Pat: I think it's tight. I'm going to do the same thing. I am going to start running when I retire from racing too.
Devon: Dude, she's not retired.
Pat: Right, I am just saying, it's a good idea, running is sick, when I retire I am going to run too.
Devon: Dude, she's not retired.
Kate: Maybe if you don't say "too" it will work.
Pat: O.K. When I retire, I am going to start running. Right, that's what I meant.

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Friday, May 18, 2007

Sickage Update

So, the terrible bug that beset me earlier in the week is officially ousted! I am back to my busy I-can't-keep-up-with-my-life self!

Activities of the past day and a half included but were not limited to:

  • washed and sold Ultegra gruppo
  • gossipped with my mom about my little sister's latest crafty plot to go back to Bogota because "six weeks just isn't enough time to spend in Colorado with her aunt and uncle and cousins, it just wouldn't be fair to them to spend so little time, so that is a much better idea for next summer instead..." the little brat is cracking me up!
  • cleaned apartment
  • laundry
  • back to work!
  • last-minute planned a 30th birthday for tonight (not mine! we have a year and 4 months to get ready for that one)
  • made salad and salad dressing and cd's for my friend who is leaving for BOSTON for the summer, I still remember reading about the Boston heat wave in the summer of 1988 when people were dying in the 100 degree nastiness
  • cleaned apartment some more (btw does anyone need any stuff? I have a lot to spare so if you need any just let me know)
  • cleaned out closets whilst singing and dancing to eminem
  • got a massage
  • got teased by JD during massage, big shocker there
  • corresponded with potential buyer of my mountain bike (cross your fingers for me)
  • weighed pros and cons of selling last year's TIME bike with cosmic SL wheelset
  • continued to tease Lisa about my budding running career
  • dug through the trash for all the ten billion recyclable items that everyone insists on putting in there, including newspapers, which don't even require rinsing like food packaging so honestly what is the holdup with putting them in the recyling?!

And other boring and not-so-boring typicalities.

So, it is up to you whether you deem this as good or bad news, but I think I am back to normal!

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Still Sick

But Pox is taking good care of me.

(Scare, this one is for you...)

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Sympathy from Mom #2

So I called my mom a couple hours ago to tell her I was sick and ask her what to do, she wasn't there so I left a message.

She called me back. And by the way, if you are ever sick or upset or anything and need some good motherly ears and advice, you should definitely call my mom. I know this from lots of past experience.

Sal: Hi Sweetie. You are sick? What happened?

Me: About a half hour after dinner last night my stomach started really hurting and it hadn't gone away this morning but I went to work anyway and then I threw up so then I came home and have been laying around all day. What should I do?

Sal: Well I can't really talk right now because I am driving to Mousie's but it sounds like you have the flu. Go buy Coke and Ginger Ale.

Me: O.K. You don't think it's food poisoning?

Sal: NO, it sounds like the FLU and you probably have a TEMPERATURE! I'd love to talk to you about this but I CAN'T DRIVE and TALK at the SAME TIME!! And-

Me: Well then why'd you call me?

Sal: -and I could KILL someone! This is how ACCIDENTS happen! AND WHATEVER YOU DO, DON'T go out and ride your BIKE for ten miles!

etc. etc. I actually held the phone away from my ear. It took a lot of energy, since I am sick and everything, but I managed, for the good of my blood pressure and overall health soon to be regained I hope...

Me: O.K. o.k. I will let you go. Bye...

Sal: Good. Love you.

Sheesh. But I did just walk down to the corner Valero station to stock up on Gatorade and Vitamin Water. My tongue is already purple!

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Last night after dinner, my stomach gave me some very distinct f*ck-you signals. I chose to ignore said signals, figuring I would just go to bed and it would feel better in the morning. Everything feels better in the morning, right?


I woke up feeling like crap and, being a smart girl who sure does a lot of dumb things, I came into work anyway.

I got carsick on the bike shuttle. I never get carsick.

I am not hungry for breakfast. I am always starving in the mornings.

I think I am about to throw up. I haven't thrown up since the sixth grade.

Sooo, I need to --


I just sprinted to the bathroom and threw up. Ew. Sorry.

I am such an idiot. Why why why did I come into work. Now I need to summon the energy and guts (literally) to head to BART and make my way home. And of course I have my bike here which I can't take on BART for another hour and a half so do I suck it up and walk the mile to BART?? Ugh.

Moral of the Story: it is neither cowardly nor stupid to call in sick when you are sick.

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Saturday, May 12, 2007

Berkerkerlery Hills

O.K. I have waited patiently for 6 hours for other people to blog and photo blog about today's race but so far, nothing, and I am just going to bite the bullet, wax rhapsodic, and toot some horns or something all on my own.

I don't have any photos at the moment though, just so you know.

I have never had a good Berkeley Hills, even back when the race finished on Mama Bear and was much more flatlander-friendly. Somehow I nevertheless optimistically set out for a top-5 today. Without any VAC teammates to join me, my strategy was simple. Be patient and be selective about who to follow. 71 miles of being patient is a loooong time for me, let me tell you, but I managed to stick to the plan and I crossed the line in 5th place! I couldn't believe it! I feel like I have gotten so much stronger and better at racing over the past few months, and I am still incredulous about it. Happy sigh.

Badass of the day award goes to Stacy Marple, who soloed in for the win after two windy laps alone off the front. During which time she was consistently gaining on us... proving my theory that she is superhuman.

Major bummer of the day award goes to Sarah Bamberger, whose crankarm fell off 2k from the finish, when she was making 20 mph uphill into the wind look easy and I was making drool look like a permanent fixture on my face.

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Friday, May 11, 2007

Taking a Rumor and Running With It

Lisa, our Team VAC director, came to my house last night to exchange some team goodies.

Lisa: Here are your race wheels. Be sure to ride them at least once or twice before Mt. Hood, so you can get used to them.

Me: Um, o.k. But I am not doing anything between Berkeley Hills and Hood.

Lisa: Huh? You mean you aren't even riding?! What?

Me: Nope. All I am doing between the two is running.

Lisa: DON'T you DARE!!!

Hehehe. I got her!

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Thursday, May 10, 2007

More On Kids

Here is my latest favouritest ever blog post. Smithers is brilliant.

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Careful Out There

Roman slid out on Happy Valley Road, sustaining road rash but thankfully not anything worse.

Emily crashed spectacularly down a Boulder descent and is sporting a very glamorous Bride of Frankenstein look whilst patiently waiting to heal enough to get back on the bike. "Why am I staying up so late these days? Because I am not an athlete anymore!" (I am bummed that my partner in crime is temporarily sidelined, although I am sure there are other members of the women's peloton who are relieved that she is absent from a few start lines... Really strong AND blonde AND pretty! That bitch!!)

Taitt got hit-and-run by some streetracer type dude yesterday, nothing is broken (except her helmet) but something is not right and as of now she is on crutches. She sees a specialist today to figure out what's wrong, please cross your fingers for her.

And as for me: I am hiding at home under my comforter, hoping I am not the next victim, yet nevertheless plotting another trip to South Park Fast-descent road...

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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Conversation about Mother's Day

I have this friend whose mom died of cancer when the friend was a child. Said friend is having a going-away party this weekend, on Sunday. I called another friend to see if she was going to the party since, you know, girls can't, like, go to parties and stuff if there aren't going to be other friends at the parties.

Me: Hey are you going to the party on Sunday?

Her: Yeah, I am... Wait. Sunday?! My mom will be here. It's Mother's Day! Who the fuck has a party on MOTHER'S DAY!?!

Me: Um, someone whose mom died when she was 8?

Her: Whoa. I forgot about that. I'm such an asshole.

Me: Yeah, don't feel bad. And you are talking to me right now, not her. A couple years ago I decided to call all my friends and other random people to wish them a happy Mother's Day, and I called her and was like "Hi! Happy Mother's Day! How are -- oh shit, sorry! I forgot! Are you O.K.?!" Talk about awkward, I felt like such a retarded friend.

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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Serves Me Right

I had this grand plan to take a picture and post it today as a sort of cough-cough look-at-me-and-how-cool-I-am the-photo-speaks-for-itself post.

It started when I went down South Park Rd on my bike on Sunday and noted that I hit a max speed of 50.9 mph. Whoa. I never go that fast! But when I got home my powertap computer had somehow zeroed itself.

So, I planned my entire ride today in a way that would specifically send me down South Park again. This time I hit 52.6, giddily stopped at the bottom and got out my cameraphone, made sure the light was coming from the right direction, adjusted the powertap computer so there would be no glare, and then cursed like a sailor as I watched the stupid thing zero itself out again.

My precious max speed and the 8 excruciating intervals that I did beforehand were gone. Completely evaporated.

So, no photo to proudly prove that I, I who was once known to get off her bike and walk it down hills, went 52.6 miles per hour down a hill today. Sigh. You will just have to take my word for it.

AND, on top of that, this morning I peeled myself out of bed without snoozing so that I could move my car to the non-street cleaning side of the street. I just realized that I actually moved it to the don't-park-here-today side of the street, after feeling all smug that everyone else in the building apparently forgot it was street-cleaning day. I am too annoyed to go get the ticket, but I know it's there.

Smarty braggy pants over here has been brought down a couple of notches, at least for now...

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Monday, May 07, 2007

Quotes of the Weekend

"Hmph. So when are you going to start swimming."

said Devon, after I told him I went running after the bike race on Saturday

"I like your arms. Where do you work out?"

said a lady to me at the Piedmont Ave. Peets on Saturday, I sat there silently laughing at the thought that one's arms can be toned simply by having the right gym membership card, then I got my manners back and said Thank You, I race bikes. She thought I meant moto-cross...

"He wasn't rich enough!"

said a Lady in Montclair to her friends as I was riding by yesterday

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Saturday, May 05, 2007

Cat's Hill

That's me in the shadows on the right...

Cool things from today's race, in no particular order:

* Despite the field being small and the course being headwindy, it was nevertheless an active race

* I picked up 4 primes and 3rd in the race!

* When I filled the tank in my car this morning, the total came to $33.33... this was an accident but I think next Saturday I will aim on getting $11.11 worth of gas, just in case there is some performance correlation going on.

* Karen Brems won for something like the 9th time!?!

* Second time up the eponymous hill, a neighborhood cat ran out onto the road right in the middle of the peloton. Miraculously, none of us ran over it, and it ran off scared but unscathed.

Anyway, as usual Cat's Hill was a blast! I love that downhill into the last corner, it's so much fun. Last year my race ended early with a dropped chain, so I was really pleased to get to race hard the whole time this year.

For some strange reason, this morning I packed my running clothes and sneakers in my race bag. I guess this was another act of fate or something, because I really needed to run on my way home from Cat's Hill. After our race ended, I found out that someone very close to me had to be taken to the hospital today. Teeming with worry, helplessness, and post-race adrenaline and what-if's, I headed to the trails in the Oakland hills to pound it out for half an hour. It was great - 6 p.m. on a Saturday is a wonderful time for a trail run, hardly anyone was out there, and there were definitely no high school cross country posses running four abreast across the whole trail! Plus I love running after riding, my legs seem to open up immediately. Both riding and running put me into meditative states, but something about the constant, solid rhythm of running is better for me when I am upset or agitated. I came home in a great frame of mind, ready for what's next.

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Thursday, May 03, 2007

Conversation with a Street Urchin

According to a neighborhood child, who was very dirty and mismatched so I didn't really take her too seriously, anyway, according to her, "sometimes" I look like a boy. Further, according to her, this gender duality (not her words) is because of my nose.

My nose?! Not my non-boobs or my arms or other more valid responses? I have a girl's face. Trust me.

Too bad I couldn't really bring myself to ask a 7-ish year old what she was smoking...

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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Additions to the File

A while ago I blogged about how I say really dumb things during my massage appointments. JD likes referring to the Don't Listen To What Courtenay Says file (and btw I have long since earned the Most Talkative Massage Client designation). But it's not my fault that I say dumb things, he turns me into Squirmy McWorm on the massage table and it's just so hard to talk sensibly when I'm being treated like a stress reliever ball.

Anyhow tonight for some reason I was on a roll and now I feel like sharing.


Me: Yeah, my legs hurt today, but I guess I am not surprised because a. I was traveling for forever yesterday, b. I went for a run instead of taking a nap, and c. um, well, both of those things.


Me:... so then the guy that fixed my bike was cheering for me at the race! I made friends! Can you believe it?!

JD: Yes. You'll talk to ANYbody.

Me: Well fine then. I am not talking to you.

-5 second pause-

Me: Oh my god I remember the rest of the story now! So...

JD: Not talking to me, huh?


Me: AND, I even cleaned out my fridge!

JD: What about the freezer?

Me: No, I didn't clean that, there's nothing really in there.

JD: Did you defrost it then?

Me: No. There is too much crap in there to defrost it.

Me: OW!

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