Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Best Lemonade Ever, Part 1

“When Life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”

There really are no words to adequately express the Pure awesomeness of this past weekend. Let me try it this way: 




Ya see what I did there? ðŸĪŠðŸ˜Ž

Even all of those words aren’t enough. Once in a lifetime? Perhaps but I hope not! 😝 
The festivities started on Friday night with a charity gala at Bill Walton’s house. At one point I wondered if we’d even make it there! Babysitter mixup and my husband’s busy stressful week at work...but God did not disappoint us! In fact, when I think back about our plans for this weekend, it was similar to our birth plan when I was pregnant! 😂 A lot of things did not go as planned and everything worked out perfectly! My angel mom friend Toni came over to help me get fancy (hair, makeup, etc) AND she stayed to watch BG for us 💚 We arrived later than hoped but we managed a few minutes to mingle before dinner.

Two hundred people mingled throughout Bill’s memorabilia-filled downstairs and patio over appetizers and special IPA craft brewed specifically for the weekend event. I even got the chance to chat with the guy who used to hold the record for winning the most green jerseys in the Tour de France, Erik Zabel. He asked about my arm and when I explained it to him, he immediately made me feel better. “Ah yes I have done that as well! It happens so fast there is not enough time to clip out of your pedahls. Lots of professional cyclists have done the same. It is very common actually!” Such a nice guy! Another guy asked if my green cast was just for this event and we got to tell him the story. I even had a couple of people come by and take pictures of my cast ðŸĪŠ Too funny.

Dinner and the rest of the event occurred out on Bill’s tennis courts—imagine 200 people converging on fancy-lit tennis courts. It was super cool and I wish I’d taken more pictures. The atmosphere was amazing, as was the food and all the people we met. Interestingly, there seemed to be a lot of chatter about the Tour of California not happening next year. 

Once the program began and all the “shop talk” started, I felt like I was finally among the people of the cycling world. I thought, “OMG These are my people!!!” It felt like Cycling Twitter had come to life for me and it was so exciting to be around this kind of energy ðŸĪĐ

The interviews with Erik and Peter were awesome! I recorded Peter’s (and then of course watched a much better quality video of it the next morning from Twitter!), and the auction was jaw dropping ðŸ˜ģ💊 In a very short time, nearly $100K was raised for CAF and Outride. The items auctioned off were so amazing, we may have to budget for one of them for next year!

We got to chat with Gabri for awhile at the end and what a fantastic conversation we had! That guy is absolutely hilarious ðŸĪĢ and so fun to talk with about anything!

We got home to a beautiful sleeping princess who had been on the couch waiting for us. And none of us could have imagined how amazing our weekend adventures would turn out. Especially for this little one 😉

Stay tuned...

Friday, November 8, 2019

Getting dropped...

In cycling, the phrase “getting dropped” means you’re falling behind the group you’re riding with. So with regard to timely posts in this blog, you could say I’ve been dropped. There’s always a reason for getting dropped, and my case is no exception (wink).

Two weeks ago, during our 5-hour training ride, I experienced a significant setback that ultimately ended my training ðŸ˜Đ After 3 hours in the saddle I made a really stupid mistake and boy did I learn from this one! ðŸ˜ģ I stupidly decided to follow my husband off trail and then, when I realized the incline was too steep and I was going way to slow, I forgot to clip out, and fell, comically apparently, onto my right side. I landed very hard on my right wrist. My dear husband gave me a few minutes to gather myself before approaching, which gave me time to cry a little, more for my bike than me at that moment. I was mad at myself for hurting my bike right after it got tuned up.

My wrist hurt but I could move it (barely), and I guess I’m a true cyclist now because I rode my bike injured for a good 3km back to the car. I’ll spare the details for now and just summarize with this: If I could take that moment back, I would not hesitate.

The last two weeks have been challenging, to say the least. I’m in a cast, and I need assistance with the most basic daily tasks. I’m even typing this with my left hand. Oh yeah and I’m right handed ðŸ˜ģ

The bottom line: I’ve got a hairline fracture on my radius ðŸĶī  right where the bone meets my wrist, and besides being told I can’t drive, I am officially out of the ride this weekend. That has been very hard for me to accept. However, my husband will ride and we will make the most of it with all the other festivities starting tonight at the charity gala at Bill Walton’s house!

Oh yeah, and of course I got a GREEN cast! 💚 I mean, we ARE celebrating SEVEN GREEN JERSEYS in the Tour de France after all. And when I get asked how I did it, my answer will be “Practicing my wheelies!” ðŸĪŠ Why so serious ðŸĪŠ


Monday, October 14, 2019

Setbacks, scrapes and successes

You might want to sit down and read this over a large glass of wine or stein of beer or carafe of coffee, whichever you prefer. It came out long...oops.

After a great weekend on the bike, I was very optimistic about last week. One of my fitness friends even pointed me toward a Yoga for Cyclists workout to do! I took Monday off cuz I was wiped out and did this yoga workout on Tuesday morning. I started sneezing in the afternoon and by morning I had a full-blown cold with chills and everything. Talk about disappointing! I was all geared up psychologically to get on the trainer on Wednesday morning; instead, I spent the morning wiping my nose and scrambling to get the morning's activities reworked. (We had a MOPS meeting that morning (a REALLY good one!) and I had to let people know and make sure the women at my table were taken care of). Oh yeah, and my husband had a medical procedure that afternoon. So no rest for the weary, eh? Long story short, I made it through the day, and the week, nursing myself back to health (while also trying to help my husband who had that procedure on Wed....AND keep an eye on my little one), never once getting on the trainer.

Saturday morning arrives, and there was never a question. We were going for our scheduled training ride. After watching Il Lombardia of course. We rode the trail near our house, and it was super cool to just stroll out on our bikes from our driveway instead of hauling the bikes someplace. Of course, this meant we had to go downhill FIRST, and it was all uphill on the way back. I remained calm and just went with it...full of Tylenol Sinus+Headache medicine in my bloodstream. (My husband jokingly called me a doper. Cuz I rarely ever take medicine when I have a cold.)

Surprisingly, I felt good! And after an hour I felt even better. I was surprised how well I handled the slow 15km incline back up to the top, especially The Wall (remember from last week?). I did stop once when I had about 200m to go, but hey I had a cold! The worst part was when I continued on and realized it had leveled off a lot and I was nearly at the end! Never give up...

Sunday was more of the same, except after Paris-Tours this time. Well, almost the same. I left a little more blood on the pavement, and this time it was just stupid. I had a really clumsy day on the bike! I lost count after the third time (eyeroll emoji), but I literally fell over and wasn't even moving! The first time I made an embarrassing rookie move at a stop light of all places - fell over still clipped into a pedal. OMG I think I actually did that twice (where's that head smack emoji when you really need it)! THIS my friends, is why you don't buy a beginner a $4000 Roubaix as her first ride. smh

So yeah, the back of my right leg is getting really intimate with my chain. If I continue this, I'll have nothing but ground meat back there by the time November 10th gets here. Fortunately/Unfortunately, this scrape didn't hit the previous wound. I really need to take better care of my bike! And ME! The worst part was in one of my "falls" I banged up the derailleur enough that I had a mechanical right in the middle of our ride up The Wall. Thank goodness I married my husband because he knows how to work on bikes. He fixed my chain so I could finish the hill and get home. Boy is this bike gonna be ready for it's "initial tune up" in a couple of weeks!

I'm not the only one who got a couple more scrapes. My brand new saddle (oh right! I got a new saddle!! Hold that thought...) had a scuff mark on the back, and my pretty new bike also has a couple of scuff marks. Maybe I should have started with a used mountain bike that was already scuffed up. Oh but I LOVE my bike!!!

So my new saddle. OMG I FINALLY have a proper saddle! My last one was such a mismatch for my new bike, we affectionately referred to it as my "big booty seat" or "Big Bertha." It was like sitting on a freaking squishy pillow instead of a bike seat. On Saturday, I barely felt my new seat (which is a positive thing), and on Sunday, I felt MY seat as soon as I put it on the new seat - yup I was a little sore. But adrenaline is an amazing thing, is it not? Once I got warmed up and the adrenaline kicked in, I no longer felt the seat underneath me.

We met our first "fellow cyclist" along the trail. A retired military gentleman who had a very cool carbon LOOK bike. He said he only started riding since he turned 50. How's THAT for some motivation?! He also wore a kit from a bike shop we want to visit up the coast. Great chat. Hope we run into him again.

Before I end this week's novel (ahem), I must mention the successes I've had. Personally, I think knocking out over 60km in a weekend with a cold is pretty cool for someone who was merely a cycling "FAN" only three months ago. But on the weight loss end, I've reached the minus 10 pounds mark! Yay me! Yay CYCLING!! Who knew doing something so fun with my husband outside of the bedroom could also be such a great calorie burner! Win-win all over the place, up hills and down hills and all around :)  So my clothes are getting a little looser and I finally don't feel like my boobs are up to my eyeballs anymore. FINALLY! Hallelujah! (It's the little things that matter most, seriously.)

If I had time to edit and shorten this thing, I would. But it's bedtime now and someone is trying to convince Daddy she still needs to play. Tomorrow is Reptile Day at Preschool, and she LOVES creepy things that only boys are supposed to like, so we need to go make sure she gets her little princess beauty rest before her encounter with snakes and Galapagos turtles. Am I right?

Thanks for reading.

Go ride your bike this week. If you fall off, get back on. Keep moving forward.

Seize the Ride.  PS - THE Ride is in LESS THAN A MONTH!!! OMG! And Peter has finally officially posted about it on his social media channels. Thanks Gabri ;) See y'all soon.

Monday, October 7, 2019

First climb, First bloodshed

This weekend I felt like we finally started our REAL training. I experienced the "Hurt Locker" for the first time. M and I decided it was time to ride outside of our comfort zone at the lake and try a real trail. I admit I was kinda nervous. Nervous excitement? Perhaps.

We rode the trail near our house that leads down to the beach. From our town it's downhill most of the way, so we ain't no dummies. We drove down to the west end and started from the bottom of the hill.

I was immediately intimidated as soon as I stepped onto the trail as 2 riders, in full gear, riding side by side, whizzed by having a casual conversation as if they do it all the time. Probably because they do! I quickly realized that we had entered a for-real bike trail with actual cycling people. There were still a fair number of MTB's who rode by, but a much larger number of roadies than at the lake. And OOOHHH you should have HEARD the awful commentary by Gladis in my head (We've given those negative thoughts a name. It's more fun that way. My husband is a pretty fun guy. Actually. He's not funny. But he thinks he is. (Just kidding honey :) Please don't drop me on our next ride!). "You don't belong here! You're out of your element. This place is for REAL cyclists, not amateurs who don't know what they're doing like YOU!" And on and on she went. (Insert eyeroll emoji here) So before I even had a chance to say SHUT UP LEGS, I was saying "Shut up Gladys!" Rather than give in to those awful thoughts, I decided right then and there that I wanted to belong on that trail. I want to feel comfortable riding side by side with my husband having a conversation at 20mph. And much later, I decided I want to do this train again and again until I feel comfortable and confident on it -- ESPECIALLY on the hilly parts!

The hilly parts...sigh. One thing's for sure, I will NEVER again scoff at a 5% gradient. O.M.G. Shut Up Legs alright. What about everything else though?!, I thought to myself and giggled. At the lake there are little 2% bursts but this was a solid 1.5-2K climb at 4-6% the whole way. M calls it "The Wall." I called it pain and suffering. But man oh man when we got to the top of that hill, it felt so good! And as we turned around and went down it, the wind in my red hot face, I felt like I had earned that descent. Oh and descending is a whole new thing too.

We found out this weekend that I'm more of a climber than M, but he's a much better descender than me! Maybe it'll get easier the more I do it, but while he was flying down at 20mph, I think my max speed was about 16mph. I probably averaged more like 13-14 LOL

All I could think of during this ride was "ML is for sissies! This is a real trail!" Yeah. Until we went to ML on Sunday. I thought I didn't want to ride around the lake anymore, but my smart husband reassured me the lake is a good place for training. It's also kind of an ego boost for a rider like me. While I was intimidated and getting passed on the real deal, I got to pass riders at the lake.

Okay, so what about this first bloodshed business. After Saturday's ride, as I took off my shoes, I noticed my right leg was bleeding a little and had what looked like chain marks. Apparently at some point along the ride, I'd rubbed my leg against my chain...and with a new bike, the chain tends to be a little sharp. Funny how I didn't even feel it. My husband said that's because I told my legs to shut up...and they listened! Hahaha So not only did a puke a little in my mouth going up that hill (YAY! You know you're working hard when that happens, right?!), but I ended up bleeding too. As a wise Marine once said, "If you're not bleeding you're not playing" Hoo-rah But let's not lose anymore blood, mkay?

Until Sunday at least. I experienced my first crash on my new bike. Huge sigh of relief actually. PHEW Got that out of the way! It's kinda like getting that first ding on your brand new car or first scuff mark on a new pair of white shoes. And fortunately, nobody got hurt. My knee got banged up, and I even got my first bits of "road rash" - I'll take this 2 square inch bit thank you very much. I cringe when I think of seeing those guys in the pro peleton crash and slide across the road. Eeew. I landed on my backside and sure enough this morning it's all bruised back there. But it didn't stop me. I still had 3 more laps to do! And we turned around for two of them and went the other way around the lake. Didn't like that as much. Too rough and bumpy. So we did our last lap the "right" way around. But as we finished lap 5, I had to stop. I felt a hot spot on my left foot and I could not go on. So I stopped to rest my feet (and my knees, legs, arms, hands, shoulders, and everything else that was complaining by this time) and stretched my upper body a bit to relax my cramped shoulders. Had some water and a waffle and waited for M to get back to me. After a few minutes rest I was able to continue and finished the last lap in little pain.

So the suffering really began this weekend. Woohoo. I feel like we made some real progress actually. The pain near the end was informative, and I want to learn how to power through that or, preferably, prevent it. More time on the trainer during the week for sure.

Overall, I am so surprised how much I am LOVING this cycling thing!!! I feel so great afterwards and it's sooooo awesome that we have finally found something to do together that we both enjoy xoxo And it's getting expensive. It was inevitable. I had to get a new saddle. It arrives on Friday just in time for the weekend rides.

We rode a total of just over 5 hours this weekend and 80KM (50mi)! That's more than half the distance of the ride we're doing next month. OMG did I just say next month?!!! Breathe...breathe...we've got a lot of work to do to be ready for this thing. We will see.

I was a bit reassured when I looked up the biggest "climb" on this ride and found out it maxes at 5% -- so we definitely have to do the real deal trail some more. So many goals, so little time.

Shut up Gladys. And shut up legs.

Thanks for reading my ramble ;)

Monday, September 30, 2019

New Bike Fun and Sunday Disappointment

Quicky today. All week I had been waiting for Saturday to get here so I could ride my new bike around the lake. What do I wake up to on Saturday morning? Rain. WTF, right? I felt like I was in Yorkshire, where I'd been seeing cyclists competing in the World Championships in RAIN all week. So I was a little nervous as we headed to the lake that morning, hoping and praying the road would be dry enough that I wouldn't send myself sliding across the pavement on my brand new bike.

Fortunately it was a perfect day for a bike ride. We did 2 hours and I felt like I was FLYING! OMG I LOVE MY NEW BIKE!!!! Wow what a feeling! I was a bit tentative the first lap, but by halfway through the second lap I was having so much fun! And the Blue Angels were flying overhead which was also super fun. After 4 laps, I wasn't ready to stop. But my training partner was. So we stopped, hopeful for another fun ride on Sunday, which would be our first 3-hour ride.

Instead, Sunday's ride became a leisurely family ride around the neighborhood, which is probably what I needed after a very disappointing morning. My world champion cyclist didn't win the road race that morning. So I was just BUMMED. OUT. A LOT. He was by far the strongest rider, and throughout the race CT (Cycling Twitter) was commenting on just how relaxed he looked. So relaxed in fact, that he didn't get into the chase group (a mistake he admitted later), and by the time he attacked, the rainbow jersey had already been claimed. He thought the lead group would be brought back for a sprint, but it never did. Either those guys out front were too strong or the Belgians forgot to work in the peloton to bring them back. (Oopsie, did I just say that? Sorry no offense to Belgium, but I'm not sure what those guys were doing back there to be honest.)  Anyway, although PS attacked in the last 3-4km and rode his heart out, he was still 43 seconds too late...the amazing part about that was he was about 90 seconds back when he started. If only he had another km or two. If only...

Oh well. So what about that 3 hour bike ride? Well, our sitter didn't work out. And by the time I found this out, it was too late to confirm someone else. Oh well.

So we rode around the neighborhood with one very happy little girl on her brand new bike, and me trying to pick up my attitude. Thanks to my awesome husband who tried getting me out of my funk. He's always good at that.

Today is another day. BG is at a gymnastics camp while I work a little, and right now it's time for me to go stretch my legs a little. On my bike! Why not? #SeizeTheRide

Thursday, September 26, 2019

When you can't ride the one you love...

Did I mention in my last post about the incredible machine of a bike I test-rode a few weeks ago? Well, of course that bike is not only NOT in our budget but it's not exactly something I deserve at this point in time. I mean, I JUST started riding a bike for real, and I'm NOT some rich person with lots of money to throw away.

Yet I still need a bike for this ride coming up in November since I've just been riding my husband's mountain bike and it's too big for me. So of course the sensible thing to do in the situation is to go find a less expensive bike that FITS your budget, right? Right.

SO last weekend has officially been declared "New Bike Weekend" for our family. BG got a new bike and OMG she is so unbelievably EXCITED about it! I love seeing her so happy! And of course I immediately had bike envy!!! LOL

My amazing husband is so awesome that he made sure my bike envy only lasted 24 hours. We found an AWESOME bike for me, and I was surprised on Sunday afternoon when he said to me, "So. Wanna go get that bike?" WHAT?!! YESSS! I can't wait to ride this thing around the lake this weekend! I have ridden it a couple of times around the neighborhood and I absolutely LOVE IT! And it even (sort of) matches BG's bike :)

Instead of the super brand new, high-end Specialized Roubaix, I found an older model discontinued "women's version" of the Roubaix called the Specialized Ruby, and it is excellent!

So...when you can't ride the one you love, you buy her cheaper, older sister :) And she ain't so bad either! In fact, I may never need to buy another bike ever again...especially since Daddy is next in line for a new bike 😃😃😃

And it was the perfect way to spend the First Day of Autumn in San Diego ;)

Friday, September 20, 2019

Seize the Moment

Wow! Let's resurrect this blog! If anyone tries to tell you "life changes when you have kids" - no matter how much you believe them, you are still NOT prepared for the massive transformation you and your partner's lives will change! Case in point - I had intended on blogging throughout my pregnancy. Nope. Then I thought for sure I'd pick it up after the baby was born. Nope again. Surely once she gets a little older and more independent...? Nuh-uh! Okay, how about those preschool years when she's playing more independently and maybe even going to school for a few hours a week? Big cup o'nope!

I still KNEW that one day I'd post something was only a matter of time. That time is now. But I've gotta keep it short cuz I hear her playing out in the backyard right now and my time is also very short.

So quickly, we had a baby girl (if you don't know that by now, you've been living under a rock, seriously.)! And I went from working from home full time to part time to not at all, transforming overnight into a SAHM (stay at home mom)! I LOVE IT!!! Well, now baby girl (BG) is FOUR! And in PRESCHOOL! AHHH!!!! So I have all kinds of free time now, right? WRONG! Mama had to get a part time "yob" so we can afford the wonderful preschool we wanted BG to attend. And we thought she was teaching us something new everyday just be her mere existence...NOW she's teaching us all kinds of other things I never dreamed of! (Insert incredulous emoji here...sorry not enough time to go find a cool gif or something).

And the sort of biggest thing going on in our lives right now (besides stressful work and super fun times with a 4 yo) is that Mama has started riding a bike!! (Of course BG has a bike...don't all 4 year olds?!) But this mama who has been unable to find the right kind of motivation she needs to lose that "baby weight" (Guess what - it's not called baby weight when your "baby" is FOUR!) and all the other stuff around the middle that's appeared over the last couple of years, has finally found that motivation. In the form of a 150 kilometre bike ride that is happening a mere week before my husband and I celebrate our 6th wedding anniversary.

THAT is what I hope to find time to share about in these next 7 or so weeks. The motivation. The fun. The suffering. The sweat. The suffering. The transformation. Have I mentioned the suffering? Actually, I hope there is more fun than suffering, but I have only just begun to train for the ride of my life. And so it shall be called my "Seize the Ride" experience.

WHY? More on that later. The little one downstairs has become eerily silent...

Will I survive or will it kill me?

Stay tuned

We will see

To be continued...