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Monday, November 12, 2012

Installation Looms

All I've done has lead to this moment, this accolade. In 4 days I'll accept the gavel and become the 55th president of the Northern Solano County Association of REALTORS(R) President. It all seems surreal, like an out-of-body experience, yet I have to own it every step of the way.

It's been a 7 yr. journey. I remember when I accepted the invitation to run for Director, I told a friend that one day I'd be president. I feel both ready and underprepared at the same time. Yet I know what I do will be my best; intelligence guided by experience.

My agenda and program are done. The tickets feature me on my TT bike, where I look quite fast. I think I'm the first serious cyclist to become President. Thus my theme, Cycles of Success. If it wasn't for real estate I'd not have rediscovered my love of riding; if not for my bike, I'd not be HTFU enough to be in real estate.

If the agenda and detailed script are acceptable, then I have 3 days to tweak my speech.

The irony is, that after 11 mos. of ad libbing while following the agenda, I harbor insecurities regarding my time at the microphone. That's never been an issue for me -- from the beginning of my Jazzercise career, I embraced the microphone. Yet I harbor trepidation, as though I'm not up to the task.

I have 4 days to figure it out. Place your bets, peeps, and tune in. I might just surprise you.

That is all.

Monday, November 5, 2012

New Accomplishments

Saturday was a busy day -- our dear friend Lynnette was getting married, and our Fuji Oval race team was having the annual party. We were diligent in ensuring we could attend both, as both events were important to us.

Lynette was a beautiful bride, Rick was a stylish groom, and the ceremony was sweet and moving.  We were honored to witness it. In fact, we were reminded of when we exchanged vows, way back in August '81. That we're still holding those promises true knocks my socks off. I love my man, and I know he loves me. We keep our vows alive, and expand on them.  We're a blessed couple, and we give thanks daily.

Then we moved to the race team party. Mary cooked and defied her injury to  make multiple dishes over a period of days, and pretend it was no big deal. It was a big deal! We all brought side dishes to complement the pulled pork and Italian sausage. I'm sure I'm not the only one who gained weight at that party.

We didn't get recognition as a tandem team, which made me mad.  We're the only tandem team and we scored big-time at Rio Vista (as in the only tandem team and we hauled ass anyway), and Chris wrangled the bike and me and we still scored. That, and we manage to exceed expectations on every ride. So I was miffed that we weren't given our props.

OTOH, I won the Most Enthusiastic Member award -- and rightly so. Last year I cobbled together a TTT at the last minute, and we scored!  And it was fun, despite the frustration of finding a 3rd team member. It was a collaborative exercise, and a great effort, and I'm pleased to have been a part of it.

This year I cheer-leaded our team, repped at the Putah Creek Smack Down (and scored some PBs as well), and had fewer raced than I'd intended. Nonetheless, I tirelessly cheerlead our team, acknowledge results, invite teammates to try new things -- I'm not always successful, but I give it a go. One for all and all for one -- and help the team every chance you get.

That's why I won that award, and why Saturday was so fun for me. A team got me here, and I'm on the team to get the next person to their PB.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Sunday, October 21, 2012, was my 58th birthday. What does one who behaves as though she's half that age do?

She rides her age, on the tandem with her BFF/hubby, with a retired professional cyclist. The Fuji Team Pro fit him just right. We have not ridden the tandem since August, as my memory serves.

Bombing down Steiger Hill Rd. I knew Chris would be balls-out, and I started the Lamaze breathing early. Good idea; bombing down Cardiac and setting a new Strava score required me just tucking in and breathing. Holy crap, I had serious fear!  I kept squeezing imaginary brakes, Lamaze breathing, reminding myself that we've done this multiple times and it's been all good.

We rode 128 to Winters and shared a sandwich and a cup of really good soup. The sun played hide-and-seek, and wouldn't just shine. So soup helped to warm me up.  Stokers should be warm.

We had 18 miles to get my age, so off we went along Putah Creek Rd., my usual TT route.  Fun on the tandem + friend, and on we went, with a final result of 64.3 miles, beer at home, and off went our friend. We'd planned dinner around his presence, so when he bailed, we reconnoitered, and went to the Buck Horn for dinner.  We ate ourselves almost stupid and came home with leftovers.

Bottom line: Birthday ride-your-age-in-miles:http://app.strava.com/rides/25728331

Bone miles: Done

Recovery meal: Consumed.

It was a great day! 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


I had some issues with that carbon clincher wheel so I road it Mercks-style. 27:13,  a new Merckx PR.

Really, I wanted to bail: nothing on the TT bike was working out, and I could have so easily stayed home...and I'm so glad I didn't.  I needed to figure out how to make this happen. And I needed the way to make this work for me and my buyers.

Done. Very happy.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Winters RR and Vacaville GP

Saturday, 8/25, was the Winters Road Race, a fun event on roads I ride all the time. Chris & I reluctantly attended the Earthquake festival the night before, and I was skeptical as to the town's clean up crew.

When we showed up on Saturday morning the streets were spotless. You'd never know that crowds had blocked the streets just 12 hrs. before. Props to Winters for making that happen -- that's huge!

The Juniors started in front of us, and my teammate Kathy and I went to the front, right behind them.  The rest of the group thought they were leading but they came up behind us giving us the edge.

We had a neutral lead-out for about 1/2 mile and then we were set loose. Those Juniors, fueled by testosterone, went off fast. The women all lined up behind me (I was feeling strong and didn't mind leading) and I pulled for 7+ mi. before Kathy came up, apologizing, tried to split the group on the rollers.Nothing doing -- we all stuck together.

We hit Cantelow and the group was all together. I faded towards the back with a couple women behind me; Kathy was up front. As we were descending/ascending an off-camber part of the road a moto ref neutralized us. A sketchy, maybe new rider jerked left, leaned into Kathy who leaned back. The rider let up, then took out 2 girls to her right, and Kathy and another girl to the left. I didn't see her but saw the carnage & heard the squeal of brakes; I stopped, laid down the Diva off the road, and after the huge P/1/2 group passed, ran to aid Kathy. She was hurt and required some sensitive hands-on help. The SAG driver gathered her bottles, I helped her get out of her shoes as her back was hurt, into the truck, and off she went.

I had an easy 2 mi. ride to the neutral feed zone, where I pulled out of the race -- my group was >30 min. ahead of me, so what was the point?  I felt as though my job was done. Chris & I handed bottles to other teammates, then we drove home.

That night we had dinner with our CAT3 teammie...the Vacaville GP was combining 3/4 women, and a CAT4 'mate was already signed up. Kameo threw down the gauntlet so I showed up...a very technical race I've marshaled for several years but have always feared riding, With no expectations and a wee bit of a hangover I showed up and rode my guts out, ignoring the scary turns and just racing. Eventually I was dropped by the main field and picked up 7 women, and we alternated who rode with whom.  I had many opportunities to play with cornering, hill climbing, etc., and had a blast -- esp. picking off women half my age on the hill -- I'd tell them "Once you're over the hill you begin to pick up speed" but they weren't getting it. One day they will.

So this group I worked with/dropped/worked with, we were lapped at the bell lap. I pulled out but Leon said if I wasn't pulled by an official I could still race. So my last lap was a time trial -- I passed my group of 5 and a lady said "Good for you" as I passed her on the hill. She and another racer passed me on the downhill, and on the straightaway I found some sprint in my legs and beat the pair of them for a top 20 finish.

And the Friday before we closed an escrow. Sweet! Win win win!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Searching for the No Limits Mindset

I've been a bad blogger. 

Many days the thought "update blog now" in a Siri voice went through my brain.

I ignored it.

My new postition and duties as President-elect of my local Assoc. of REALTORs (R) sometimes sucks the life out of me, as well as my training and riding

For instance, 8/15 was the local time trial practice extended 40 km ride. I was in Chicago; I ran 4-ish miles along the lakefront, which was amazing, took a pic, ran back to the hotel. Later, stuck in an airport, I saw the reminder about the race and silently chafed.

Showed up tonight; reinforced the common knowledge that I'm old and slow.

My signature race on Sunday will be painful and perhaps without payoff.  I'm trying to remain positive.  From now until I cross the finish line, it's all a mind game.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Oh, I'm so far behind!

I feel bad about it. On a weekly basis, I beat myself up.

Then I remind myself that this isn't that kind of blog.

It's for sharing major life-changing events, and hoping to inspire y'all to new successes.

Fail. Fail. Fail.

So much learning in the fail. I see that I should make "update blog" a weekly or more frequent reminder.

We have a long weekend ahead. I don't have a full showing schedule. I'll catch up on my rides and take-aways then. 

I predict an unprecedented weekend. 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

I have been remiss in updating. In my head I'm updating all the time. I just can't get it out of my head. Sorry.

Google has made some changes as well, and I need to examine them before I make a decision as to how I proceed.

The riding's been great, the training is 3 mos. ahead of schedule, thanks to 30 Days of Biking in April, and my adherence to attending all the PCSD TT practices I can handle.

Sadly, my road races will suffer, since the women on my team are incredibly faster than I am. So I figure I'll be off the back, working with a group who also can't keep up with the leaders. I'll be their erstwhile mentor and they'll pedal their guts out. Much easier to do when someone is cheering you on. (Ask me how I know.)

Had a very satisfactory result in last week's Dunlop Time Trial in Davis; 7th overall and 3rd in my category. New PR -- first time doing in on the Diva; in previous years this was a tandem race.

New PR in the PCSD on Wed. too.  Nice to be 3 mos. ahead of last year's fitness.

Another TT practice on Wed. Not sure of the distance but I'll be there and ready to race.

Happy for the gains this spring...both on and off the bike.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Musings on 30 Days of Biking

I realized tonight that I've ridden 548 miles this month, and there are still 3 days left of 30 Days of Cycling. It's been stressful, fulfilling, fun, enlightening,

This is mid-summer mileage.  I'm blown away by that number, so early in the season...and I'm not finished yet.

You can see by the Strava scores that I did some work this week. (Sidebar: I'm less than 30 sec. slower than my fastest time last summer on the PCSD 40k ride. Extremely stoked; looking for sub-60 min. next month. Back-pat.) Last night, the women's ride, I thought would be more casual than it was; sadly, all 12 of us are serious roadies, so the pace back to the start (uphill and into the wind) wiped me.  Kameo & Mary hung with me, bless them for that, and when they turned left onto Cantelow I cringed, yet joined them; passed some of our group, hit the top feeling really good. Secretly congratulated me for doing hill repeats).

I really craved a recovery ride, a ride with no Strava PMs or QOMs to meet or exceed, so this evening I had one...and found the Zen in Z1.  I reveled in being enveloped  in a cloud of orange blossom heaven for a few seconds, then nothing, then wildflowers, freshly-cut alfalfa, or grass.  Winter wheat has its own earthy smell, not one that I'd prefer, but there it was.  Pedaling in a decent gear at a non-hammerfest speed.

And the sounds...the house finches, the robins, the mockingbirds, the occasional hawk/eagle.  When I pass a red-winged blackbird, perched on a shaft of wheat, and he lets loose his song, and the meadowlark on a fence post waits until I'm even with him to belt out his tune -- ah, those moments, surprisingly frequent, yet still rare, nourish me and make my heart soar. It's as though they were waiting for me to ride by before they sang their hearts out.  I love them for that, and pedal on.

These are just a few of the reasons why I ride...the shifts in perspective I achieve on some of my rides are fodder for my next post.

Thanks for reading...now go ride your bike!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Loving My Progeny

I heard 3rd hand that our kids are planning an epic Mother's Day for me. Chris will be on turn-around and probably not able to join us.  Since 2001 our default has been to arrive at Cafe Bernardo around 10 a.m. (sometimes on the tandem and without kids), enjoy brunch and a mimosa or two, cruise over to campus for the Whole Earth Festival (which is very fragrant, if you get my drift), buy something or have the kids buy it, and ride home.

Since I can't imagine life without my amazingly brilliant and talented kids, I cannot imagine a Mother's Day that doesn't involve them. They are the best works I've ever done. Thanks to Chris, the Bestest Dad in the World, and me, the Total Mother Bear, we have these amazing, awesome (I don't use that adjective freely), intelligent, talented, etc. etc.kids whom we love almost more than lie itself.  If something awful happened to them I'd probably stop breathing. Just sayin' that they rock my world, and without them I'd be...unimaginable.

Yeah, I get my prejudice...and I also see how savvy, smart, grounded, and able to amaze us with their humanness. The Best Kids Ever.  I'm so over-the-moon being their mom.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A New Truth Dawns

After my Board meeting I was waiting for our coaching group to begin, I had maybe 11 min. to kill, and surfed www.sfgate.com, and found an article about a blog that fascinated me. I read a couple excerpts and decided I needed to devote some time to it.

So after our coaching group (there's a better name for it but I haven't nailed it yet) finished I found the blog and started reading, breaking for phone calls and colleague conversations only.  I'm hooked.

Disclaimer: I'm headed towards celebrating our 31st wedding anniversary this summer. I've never been divorced. I had a nasty, ugly breakup with a live-in b.f. in which I experienced many of the blogger's feelings. There were no children or pets involved, however.  And I'm a mother now.

So while I've not been in this woman's shoes exactly, I get her.

Chris recently ordered, received and framed 3 pictures from our San Diego 1/2 marathon. The first one, we're in the stadium, I'm looking down, he's looking at me reaching for my hand. The second picture we're holding hands crossing the finish line. And the 3rd we're gasping for breath, elated to have finished, showing off our medals. (I'll post pictures soon, I promise.)

So yeah, I'm critical of myself in photos, and wasn't thrilled with how I looked in these.

After reading the blog today I had an epiphany. I've been playing small as a wife and life partner.  I've failed to acknowledge my husband as much as he deserves. I've failed to acknowledge myself as much as I deserve. I fell into the "take it for granted" trap that we so often do.

That first picture, where he's looking at me and reaching for my hand -- that's our relationship in a snapshot -- he looks out for me, leans on me, wants to share goals and accomplishments with me.  I'm looking down, hoping I don't trip and fall on my face.  He's all about us and I'm all about me.


It hit me like an ice cube down your shirt on the hottest day of the year -- shocking, exhilarating, freezing -- I'm not the person I want to be.

Watch me change that.

Monday, April 16, 2012


All the apps out there, thousands, I suppose, and none can capture the heady, complex, unendingly uplifting scent of my orange tree in bloom.  It's possibly one of my most favorite smells ever. It's epic.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Setting the Tone for the Year

Saturday, Sunday and Monday all began with bike rides (see the stats on the Stava app below).  The Monday ride was the least-intense but because it was my 3rd ride in a row -- something I hadn't done since early November -- I was already fatigued. Once I came home, I made a turkey, Comte' cheese & fresh lettuce sandwich and drank a tall glass of water. As I stiffly  made my way upstairs to shower, Chris announced that he was going to take a 3-mile run, since Monday was Day 1 of our 10-week training plan for the San Diego 1/2 Marathon in March.  Briefly did I consider pulling a Scarlett O'Hara, but decided WTHI -- I was already sweaty.

So I swapped my cycling knickers for running knickers, my demure-brimmed cycling cap for a proper ball cap, laced up my shoes and off we went. 3 miles, no problem, right?

Wrong. Painfully, achingly, torturously wrong. It was the most brutal and awful run I've done to date. I hated every step and regretted ever taking the challenge.  But I finished the run, glad to be done with it, pleased that I didn't quit.

Finished the afternoon a hot shower, compression tights, and some wine. Dinner was simple. I'm looking forward to what other challenges the year will present me -- as well as how I'll meet them.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year, New Goals, New Musings

So we did this today. Yesterday's ride was more challenging (especially mentally) than expected, and today's ride, ostensibly a "recovery" ride, had its challenges as well. I'm happy to have ended a terrific year and begun a new terrificer year with bike rides.  In amazing weather, no less. (Although I wouldn't mind some rain, please.)

When my kids were little and they wanted me to read them a book I'd read a gazillion times (tell me I'm not the only parent to have memorized Goodnight Moon or Where the Wild Things Are), I'd counter by telling them what I called "Peanut Butter and Jelly Stories."  That was their favorite sandwich, and the stories involved two fictitious kids, Emily and her little brother Timothy, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  The stories were situational:  whatever my kids did, I retold with the sandwich featured somewhere, and a moral or different outcome attached.  For example, if I was taking them to tap & ballet class after school and they got into a spat, I'd use the PB&J story to reflect that, and demonstrate how it might have gone differently.  I don't know that they got that, but they hung onto every word, esp. the adjectives and adverbs. (I'm sure you have no problem imagining flowery speech from me, right?) And it got me out of reading another book that I'd read so many times that I could hardly muster the enthusiasm to re-read. It was also an outlet for my closet author.

Lately I've been thinking it might be a good idea to put those PB&J stories into book form, publish it, and give my kids something to give their kids.  I asked my daughter today if she would sit down with me (she's a writer, a copy editor, a blogger and English, French & CompLit major) and help me recreate them.  I was blown away by her response: "I don't really remember the details, they were largely situational, but I remember I really loved them."  She didn't remember the specifics...but she remembered how they made her feel.  That's huge for an author.  And I'm not one, really.  (Closet-author, yes. Not out yet.) 

I think I'm going to start telling PB&J stories again, and blog them, and link them to where my kids can read them.  Maybe the world needs more PB&J stories...I know kids in the world need more interaction and reflection with their parents. Let's see what happens.