Here is the route Big Jim took us on today--4 hills, 4 hours, 77 miles, 19.2 mph average speed, max speed 46mph, 3500 feet of climbing, and 5,000 calories burned. I saw my maximum heart rate (181 beats per minute for anyone who cares) on 3 of the 4 hills. Big Jim likes to go uphill really fast. I was pleased that I stayed with the climbers on 3 of the 4 hills (Tower road climb is too long and steep for me, especially after 2 previous hard climbs).
I was even more pleased that Big Jim had invited Larry Foss from THE FIX Active Body Massage to do hour-long sports specific massages after the ride. There is an audible and visible difference between a sports specific massage and a girlie massage: in the latter you may hear oohs and aahs and see eyes gently closed and little smiles playing about the lips of the recipient. In the former you may hear short shrieks of pain or long wails or moans and eyes screwed tightly shut and a risus sardonicus as the therapist grinds out all the tight ligaments and spasmed muscles.
Once Larry was done with my legs I felt like I could go for another 4 hills in 4 hours. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe not.
On an entirely different subject, a friend of ours shipped over to "Southwest Asia" a few weeks ago and happened to be posted to one of the bases visited by Senator Obama in his visit there last week. Our friend is in the media center of the base, and is in charge of publicity on the base, so she was integrally involved both in publicizing the Candidate's visit and in enforcing a mandatory ban on non-military press coverage. Yes, she talked to him and shook his hand. I have a picture of it but decided not to post it in the interests of national security.
Attention Katie addicts: we have installed a baby swing under the deck so Soulmate and I can get a backache pushing Katie in it all day long. Of course she loves it, though not as much as being lugged around constantly (she doesn't care for the baby bjorn anymore so it's all the hard way). Our only consolation is that this clingy stage will end as soon as she starts to crawl and walk, so we're making the most of the cuddle time, even if both of my shoulders (operated and unoperated) feel like the ball is out of the socket chronically.