New Year, New Hopes, New Goals

Since July I’ve had a number of niggling yet intrusive injuries, the kind that force you off your schedule for just enough time to lose some fitness. Stress fracture on the plateau of my left tibia, back strain, Achilles tendon strain, right hip and knee pain for no apparent reason than that I slept on them (I’m a left side sleeper, normally), and just before Christmas I rolled my left ankle inward — a first — and my good friends lent me crutches for the rest of Christmas Eve eve, Christmas Eve, and most of Christmas. By the afternoon the swelling had gone down enough that I could put my foot into a cycling shoe, so Chris, Colin & Anastasia went for a bike ride. (Colin got Ani a new bike and she needed a shake-out ride. It was lovely and so fun; she loves her bike as we all love ours.)

My excellent doctor gave a Rx for a NSAID that has been very helpful. After nearly 4 wks. from the appointment I saw the orthopedist, and had an MRI on Wednesday. I’m still waiting on the results. My hip doesn’t hurt, my knee is okay if I don’t run or push a heavy gear on the bike or squat/lunge too much weight. So until I know what’s wrong with my knee, I can’t begin rehab. I hate this kind of pergatory — I’m a doer, not a waiter. I’m all ready to begin rehab, if only I knew what I need to do.

So, I’m stuck — I won’t take classes that involve lunges and squats, I won’t do leg weight-training, I won’t do steep hill climbing on my bike, until I know what’s up. I dislike this place I’m holding right now.

We’re planning a West Coast bike ride with our friends with whom we rode Skyline Dr. in the Shenandoah National Park last May, for this coming May — from Crescent City to San Francisco — we hope before the June Gloom (aka seasonal coastal fog) sets in. We’re putting together a new tandem bike, one of carbon fiber with couplers, so we can pack it to within the airlines’ rules so we don’t have to pay extra to ship it to Ireland or Italy or other places.

We also want to remodel the master bath, but that’s maybe a post-retirement goal.

Chris wants to do some triathlons this year. I want to do some time trials. Mostly we want to have fun on our bikes. That should be the easiest goal of all.

Aside from that? Life’s great! Happy New Year!

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Thursday Musings

I like running under the radar. I’m sure my blog posts appeal to a very select group (love you all who ride bikes! And run!) so i don’t have a lot of followers.  My real estate coaches say I need a real estate-centre blog, to reel in more business. I just cannot. I’m not a relentless salesperson.I won’t tell you to buy or sell if it isn’t in your best interest to do so. I’m that rare jewel, the agent who won’t be pushy.

That said, I’m fighting like a tigress for some aggressive buyers, and am not bringing them to success. It’s not them, or the property,but rather their price range. They aren’t happy with what $299K will get them. Meet my other 3 buyers in that range, and prepare for multiple offers. And be prepared to lose, because you’re too cheap and ignore my statistics. Good luck finding a place that meets your criteria and price range, and I hope the appraiser us on your side.

Meanwhile, my research indicates a stabilizing/decliniing market.



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History Was Made This Week

…and we were present. I was moved to tears more than once.

I don’t ascribe to a political affiliation because I tend to vote for the most qualified candidate, regardless of party affiliation. I want the best, most qualified person to be our fearless leader.

I was moved 8 years ago but didn’t actively campaign, I gave money and didn’t have the courage to leave my name. I really thought Obama would lose. And when he won, I was so moved, that our country could vote an African-American into the highest office in the world, was stunning. I supported him in his second election and although I don’t agree with everything he’s done, I’m more onboard than not.

Now we have Hillary, the first woman to be nominated by a major political party. I know that she’s not everyone’s jam.She wasn’t mine, 8 years ago. Yet given the alternative I’m more with her than not. I’m so moved that I’m considering joining her campaign. My Texas in-laws will object, as they always do, with lack of facts, and because I’m related to them by marriage (and I love them unconditionally, they are my family, and I don’t have to agree with their views to love them as my relatives), and I’m still with her. Hillary for president!

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A Week Full of Events

Santa Barbara county is burning, midway between where we lived in Lompoc, and Santa Barbara city. I hate that it’s burning but there’s nothing I can do from 400 mi. north except pray that it’s contained and snuffed out ASAP. The smoke, according my friends in LA, is already detectable in their area. I remember the all-too-close-for-comfort fires from last summer, and I feel for those affected by the Sherpa Fire.

It’s been quite a week, with our Bike the Bridges on the tandem, then driving home after a very fun event, listening to the massacre in Orlando on NPR. Just give those people space, media, unless they approach you. I cannot imagine, and I hold those affected in my thoughts, which isn’t helpful, but I don’t know what else to do. My way of keeping good thoughts and praying aren’t the usual Christian way, because I don’t limit myself to that, and I hope the positive thoughts for healing and peace land on those families and friends who were so abruptly affected.

I implore you, media, and fame-seekers, just let these people be. Do some back-story on the perp, without mentioning his name, so as to minimize his “fame.” Investigate who his victims were, and lift them up, and minimize the perp. They deserve the mentions; he does not. Otherwise, leave those people to grieve, and to learn how to incorporate their sudden loss into their lives. Because you know there’s not getting over it. You just learn to live with it. Nobody sets up a ladder to climb and get over it.

In local cycling news we showed up for the Monticello Cycling Club ride which only went Hammerhead-adjacent for the first 3rd; we managed. I took a monster pull at 24 mph (thank you, tail wind!) and the five in my draft were impressed. I guess I thrive on front, hate being boxed in, and am wary of new and/or sketchy riders. I can tell I’m getting more fit, and so can my friends. I’m stoked to hit the July, August and Sept. races. Full disclosure: I couldn’t hang on the last climb. Our climb to the start of the ride was 12% for ½ mile, and I put it all there, and on the pace lines. I can live without that QOM…for now.

Today we attended the Centennial Dog Park committee meeting for updates and ideas how to proceed with fundraising. This park will separate small and large dogs (the Schipperkes are in favor of that) and the city of Vacaville can give us $40K. We need $95K to do it right — shade for humans and dogs, water, benches, etc. Please hit me up if you can help. The dogs and their humans love you for it.

Hug your loved ones, talk to your dads, and if you’re a dad, hugs to you. There would be no children if not for you. We moms love you for that.  Happy Father’s Day.


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Another Club Ride

So this club ride, which I’ve done many Thursdays since 2006, is a love/hate affair. It’s a standard  Winters Loop, and for the first 4 years I did this ride, it was a total hammerfest. If you were new to group riding you learned as you rode; there was little emphasis on etiquette or safety. I learned much and generally enjoyed them.

After my crash and broken wrist in the Solvang Century of 2009, I spent weeks trying (and failing) to keep up with the group, as I’d lost fitness post-surgery, during the 8 weeks I spent angrily grinding out trainer rides. If I’d been able to get past my anger I could’ve made those trainer rides matter.

Eventually I rode myself back into fitness to hang onto those Thursday rides and back into racing. And the following couple of years I (and my husband) found ourselves displeased that a “social” ride demanded so much attention and fitness that we no longer enjoyed those rides, so we did our own rides, with people who also valued the social aspect of riding together. I went from miles per hour to smiles per mile. That was quite a revelation for me, and to this day I incorporate those kinds of rides into my schedule. (Sunday’s Bike the Bridges ride on the tandem was definitely a “smiles per mile” ride.)

I climbed hills on Tuesday, and two of my GFs were going on tonight’s ride, so I showed up…and was able to hang on, even taking a monster pull (I thrive on the front, it seems) at speeds that impressed those on my wheel. Many thanks for the encouragement, you guys, it was what I needed.

Husband and I definitely feel the effort and — I can’t speak for him — I’m very pleased with my effort and contribution to the faster riders — I’m reminded of how I rode myself back in shape 7 years ago, and I see it happening again, and I’m stoked.

Next up: Tuesday hills with the girls. Team E FTW!

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Sometimes There Are No Words

While we were fast asleep on the eve of the Ride the Bridges benefit  bicycle ride on Sunday the 15th, a ride to benefit the Northern California Special Olympics (we were riding the  55 km on the tandem), a horrible, horrible person killed innocent people in Orlando for no reason. I couldn’t comprehend it when I heard it on NPR as we drove to the start of the ride, and 4 days later, I still cannot. I see outrage, grief, outpourings of feelings on social media, outrageous words emanating from the mouths of people who command a huge share of media content, and none of what they say makes any sense, or adds perspective, or comforts the families and friends who are suffering loss.

You all know me, I have words and I use them, usually (I think) cleverly and interestingly, or you wouldn’t read my blog (all 3 of you; I love you!), but in this instance, I have nothing. I have feelings, and I have not the words to describe them. Mostly, I want to cry, and cry for the parents whose child was dragged into a man-made lagoon at the Disney Resort in Orlando (why not “alligators live here; pay attention” signs, Disney? Boo!). So many feelings, so much sadness, and no words.

I read the words of other people with a fair amount of social media influence, or opinions, or more words than I have, and I wonder what drives them to say those words, to opine on a topic of which they have no actual experience or knowledge, and their words are splashed all over periodicals and the Internet. I halfway admire that, and halfway am repulsed that they can sum up their feelings and knowledge of what happened so quickly.

I suspect it will be months before the people immediately affected by this awful, terrible action by a disturbed person can even begin to process this event, especially given how the media is in their faces, looking for their words before those people have even begun to understand their lives without their loved ones. I wish the media would relax and let these suddenly and unexpectedly bereft people deal with their awfully-altered lives.

I have no clever words, no time to refine my feelings. I wish I could hug all those survivors and families who lost loved ones, to give them a piece of humanity,because the virtual stuff is okay, but cold, and these people need a human touch.

I offer sympathy and peace to them, and to the Universe, and hope these two tragic and unrelated incidents offer ways for people to reconnect and share peace and love with the world.

Orlando, I’m sorry for your losses. That is all.

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I’m awake far too late. Beau, the elder Schipperke, the blond one, isn’t feeling well. I suspect he’s having another bout with pancreatitis, and I’m monitoring him as he lays by the open back door, the coolest spot in the house. Last year he sought out all the cool spots, as he had internal inflammation, and that (and his ugly diarrhea) clued us in that he wasn’t well.

It’s been a busy spring…I ended my business partnership for strictly business reasons (I was doing all the work and still splitting my commissions 50/50; duh, why?) and immediately got busy, our daughter got married in April and we had a mini family reunion (my sister & BIL, son & his SO, daughter and now SIL, and us; love how close we are); we took a week to ride Skyline Drive in the Shenandoah National Park with 4 of our best cycling friends. That was amazing! The beauty, the views, the climbs & suffering, the company, the learning about how unfit I was for those hills, how gratifying it was to summit those climbs. Yeah, that was special.

We rode through a nearby state park close to our friends’ home, and it was pretty and fun. Then we rode some good roads to the Atlantic Ocean. Of course I had to step in it; I haven’t been in the Atlantic since 1997, at Ft. Lauderdale, before my mother died. So of course I shucked my shoes and socks to go push Doris in and scrabble in the water. Doris had not seen nor touch the Atlantic, so we fooled around there a bit. And it was fun!

Later we walked along the Chesapeake Bay to a diner on the pier, and of course I walked in the tiny waves. I love walking in salt water. I’ve loved it since I was a kid, walking in the Atlantic in Ship Bottom or Beach Haven, on Long Beach Island, where my dad would rent a house for a week. We spent so much time in the water and making sand castles that our fingers and toes looked like raisins. And despite the outdoor shower we always tracked sand into our apartment. Anyway…I love walking through small waves.

Our last day in Virginia we walked along the MUP and veered off into the State Park. I didn’t wear the right shoes; I thought we’d be walking on a beach again. Oops. The park is really pretty and has topography so it wasn’t totally flat. I heard bird calls that I didn’t recognize but liked. We walked about 6 miles.

Then we packed our bags and K & S drove us to the airport. And just like that, back to reality.

That was May 29th, when we returned and found all kinds of vegetables to harvest in our front yard garden, and took a day to decompress. A couple weeks later, boom!


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