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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