Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day for me

It's Mother's Day today. I am sitting in bed with a cup of coffee, reading the newspaper online. I came across an article on women that have "turned into" their mothers.

At 47 years of age, I do not feel like I have done this. Could it be that I don't want to? I think so.

Being raised by my adopted Mom, I always struggled with my identity growing up. I definitely knew I wasn't my Mom's daughter or my brothers' sister. I was very loved by my adopted family, no doubt about it, but I always felt different.

Because if this, I searched for, and found, my birth mother when I was 21 years old. At first it was really cool. She was only 15 years older than me, half that of my adopted Mom. We became party buddies, going to bars on Friday nights and attracting so much attention. We became great friends and spent a lot of time together.

Soon after, I became a mother to a daughter myself. Less time was spent with my birth mother and I grew a much greater appreciation for my adopted Mom. I was raising one child and learned such respect for the woman who had raised me along with my three older brothers, all by herself. She did whatever she had to, to provide for us. She never let us down.

I watched my birth mother burn through more relationships in her life, have yet another child after I had my daughter and then years later abandon all her children and grandchildren once again.

So when I read the article on "turning into" your mother, I started thinking about the "nurture vs nature" thing.

In a lot of physical ways I am like my birth mother. When I begin to put on unwanted weight, I immediately see her in me. I walk just like her. Our hair color is the same, our smile almost identical. When it comes to traits my birth mother has, I'm happy to say I have been able to conquer a few of the very bad ones and refuse to take on some of the others.

Although I haven't "turned into" either of my mothers, I am thrilled to be able to reflect this morning and realize the nurturing from my Mom has helped me become the woman and mother I am today.

I am so blessed to have that woman in my life today.

Happy Mother's Day!

Until later.........

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Race ready?

I signed up for the Metro Triathlon  at the end of last year.

January came around and I began my training, especially for the swim.  Every week for the past 4+ months I have spent many hours in the water.  I started off barely able to swim 50 yards without passing out.  After a few weeks I had to learn all over again because I was breathing on one side only, every second stroke.  It felt like I was a beginner swimmer.  Finally I was able to swim 100 yards, then 200 and 500 yards.  The day came when I swam 3 500's with just a 30 second break in between.  I was on cloud 9.

A month ago I went into the lake with my wetsuit for the first time.  It was 52 degrees.  When I put my face in, I instantly got brain freeze.  I don't think I swam with my face in the water that day.  It took a couple of trips to the lake to swim with my face in the water.  I remember the first day I was able to do it tho, I felt wonderful.  Week after week, the water was getting warmer and warmer - 54, 56, 57, 58.  I was getting very comfortable with my wetsuit and could go further and further each time, without stopping. 

Last Monday I went to swim in the lake and had a horrible day!  I could not get more than 100 yards without stopping.  I could not get my breath under control.  I was so frustrated.  I had less than a week until my triathlon, where I need to swim 1500 yards and I can't even go 100 yards without stopping and treading water?  This sucks!  I went again on Wednesday and had a great swim.  I was able to do the entire distance.  I went again yesterday and when I was done swimming, I was very excited for my triathlon tomorrow.  I told my friend that I no longer had anxiety about the swim.  I felt very positive about it.

Then this morning came.

I woke up extra early so I can go to sleep early tonight for my 4:00 a.m. wake up call tomorrow morning.  I checked my email and see that the swim portion of my triathlon has been canceled.  No swim!!!  The water conditions are unhealthy.  I am beyond disappointed.  I have trained SO hard for this swim and dedicated SO much time to it. 

Now we will be doing a 1 mile run, 40k bike, and the 10k run.  Not ideal, that's for sure but I will make the most of it and try to have a fun time doing it.

I have other triathlons in the works for the year but this was the one that I was training for, the one that would show me I am prepared for the rest.  Oh well, at least my transition area will be a lot easier to set up and I get to ride my bike without a wet head. 

Until later.............

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


Two years ago yesterday, I was lying in a hospital bed while my husband and daughter waited for me to wake up from an alcohol induced "outage". 

From February 28th through March 5th of 2010, I was at the ER twice due to a relapse of my disease that is called alcoholism.  The last time, March 5th, my blood alcohol level was .422 and the doctor told my husband, "she may not come out of this."  My husband found me that morning, hiding behind a cylinder block wall, literally drinking myself to death.  How he found me was truly a divine intervention by God.  He made the right turn at the right time and caught a glimpse of Boomer on his extended leash.  Yes, I said I was 'going for a walk' and never came back.

I drive by that cylinder block wall often and I still have to look away.  I still get feelings of guilt.  How could I have done that?  I almost died because I wanted just one more drink. 

Since then, of course, I have been able to see my beautiful daughter get married and now get to celebrate her becoming a mom herself.  To think I would have missed this and to know that she wouldn't have had me there during these special events in her life, it makes me so sad sometimes.

I have to remember March 5, 2010.  Once I forget, it could easily happen again.  If it does, I may not be found.  I may try to hide even better.  With a progressive disease such as this, I would more than likely end up dead for sure.

So, today I celebrate.  I celebrate being alive and everything that goes along with that. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Open water swimming. Help!!

I was very happy to get two nice trail runs in this past week.  My beloved Garin is turning green (finally).  Look at this beautiful single track trail.  Aaaaah - heavenly!

And Boomer was having a great time on the soft ground, shortly after one of the light rains we received.  

Last week's Cinderella training went remarkably well.  There were 11 of us on the ride and we completed 50 miles with a little over 1,200 feet of elevation gain.  There weren't a lot of hills but the ones we did have were pretty serious.  Each week the rides either get longer or have more climbing.  This coming Saturday we have less miles (45) BUT twice as much climbing (over 2,400 feet).

I've been starting some double workout days.  So far they consist of swimming in the morning and a spin class at night.  I've done this twice now and then throw in a "rest" day the next day.  Yesterday was one of those days.  I swam 2,850 yards in the morning, mostly 200's.  I used my buoy and I used my paddles.  I really worked on pulling a lot.  I love that feeling!  I am working up to (as I said before) 100 lengths without stopping.  A couple of weeks ago I was feeling good about completing 8.  Yesterday I could do 20!!!  That's 500 yards folks.  Little by little, I'm improving.

A very special someone GAVE me her full body wetsuit (she's upgrading).  She GAVE it to me.  I am so blessed to have such great friends in my life.  I don't know how I got so lucky.  Now I just need to get into the open water.  I was looking at doing a sprint triathlon (in the bay) at the end of this month.  I am just too scared of the open water.  I thought if I had a wetsuit it would be easier to think of getting in.  I'm still so scared.  I have two friends that are willing to take me out, it's just a matter of timing right now.

Does anyone have any advice or hints on how to get over the fear of open water? Please share with me, even if it's something small. 

On the baby front (as of last Friday):  At 14 weeks, Sara is now in her second trimester.  Her baby can now squint, frown, grimace, and possibly suck his or her thumb!  Baby is 3-1/2 inches, about the size of a lemon.  Sara is actually starting to show a little bit.  :)

Until later.............

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Cinderella training - Palomares ride

That is Soraya and Amy, and this is the view I have when I ride with them.  Yet, I continue to ride with them on a weekly basis, on very challenging rides.  One of these days, I just know it, I am going to get stronger!!  This particular day we rode 26 miles, 20 of which included Palomares up and over and back again.  And just for good suffering measure, we rode three miles into Castro Valley on some narrow, rolling road and back.  On the climb back over Palomares, we encountered this: 
We had no choice, we had to get back to our cars.  It was a lot colder than when we left.  We survived, like we always do. 

Speaking of Palomares...

Our Cinderella training ride this week was 45 miles and included Palomares.  This is only the third training ride and I was a little concerned for my girls.  But I am quite proud to say, all 18 girls made it up just fine. We took it slow and chatted a lot of the way up the front, which is a 5-mile climb.  Ewa was one of the first ones up.  When I got up to the summit she was telling me what a "bitch of a hill" that was.  Please!
Ewa, Leanne and me
Me and Leanne

Going down the other side of Palomares is FUN, no doubt about it.  What we told the girls is, take note of how fast you get down the next 5 miles. Notice how steep it is.  The steepest part coming back up is at a 17% grade and you feel every single inch of that!  There was no chatting on the return trip.  Just a lot of slow pedaling and heavy breathing.  I pulled over half way up and gave encouragement to the ones that came by.  I waited a few minutes and finally made the final part of the climb myself.  I was greeted at the summit by everyone else that was already there and did the same for each and every girl that came up after me.  It was awesome! 
One of the other ride leaders came up the hill quickly and said one of the riders was "stuck" about 1/4 mile down and needed some encouragement.  Leanne, Ewa, and I went down the 17% grade hill and found this girl off of her bike on the side of the road.  She was scared to start up again, on the steep hill, with her clip-in pedals.  With a little encouragement from the four of us, she was up and rolling again.  We rode beside her and talked to her as she pushed as hard as she could.  Three of us were a little bit ahead of her and reached the summit first.  I watched as the girl finally peaked the summit and you should have heard the roar or the group.  We were all yelling great things to her and clapping for her.  She came over to the group and a bunch of women gathered around her and hugged her.  She was so appreciative and emotional at that time. 

That right there is what this training is all about!!!!  There was a bond made that day that will never be broken.

After that it was downhill for 5 miles and then off to our much deserved coffee stop.  I led the final 10 miles back to our cars after coffee and was very impressed with our entire group staying in a tight line.  Spirits were pretty high when our ride ended.  I felt like a proud momma!

My triathlon training is continuing.  This week I swam 3 days (1750, 2450, 2000 yards), went to one spin class, rode 2 days and ran 2 days - with this guy:

Baby news this week - At 13 weeks now, fingerprints have formed on the baby's tiny fingertips.  Baby is almost 3 inches long, the size of a medium shrimp, and weighs nearly an ounce.  <3

Until later.............

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Riding, running and swimming. Oh my!

The Bay Area has had a very unusual dry spell this winter.  We have had perfectly beautiful weather for months.  So beautiful that I still have a tan line on my legs from wearing shorts on my rides and runs! 

This nice weather came to a complete halt, however, once my Cinderella training began yesterday.  We had very gloomy skies when we started out at 8:00.  The sun threatened to come out but never really made an appearance.  It was cold and windy but not unbearable.  Just a drastic change from what we've been having. 

There were 12 girls and 3 ride leaders for our ride.  We began at Club Sport and rode out to Alum Rock Park in San Jose.  We had a couple of very good hills to climb and I am happy to report all my girls did awesome!  I love their spirits.  On one hill that I was afraid they would have trouble, Ewa was the first one up.  I was thoroughly impressed with her.  One girl had to stop half way up but I think that's because she was in a very low gear, spinning too fast, before she even started climbing.  I talked to her about it on the return trip and I think she will be better next week.  One girl ended up dropping from our group, saying it was too fast for her and she didn't want to hold us up.  Unfortunately, we were almost half way through the ride so one of the other ride leaders stayed with her while the rest of us went ahead. 

We stopped for coffee in Milpitas and had to make it short because as we were all standing around I could feel myself getting too cold.  I was concerned for the other girls so made a 15-minute limit and gave them a warning when we had 5 minutes left.  The way back was into a horrible headwind.  We tried to stay as tight as we could though and everyone was pretty quiet as we just tried to hold on to the wheel in front of us.  At one point, mile 26 of 35, the rain came.  A hard, cold rain.  We were getting pelted.  We pulled off onto a side street under a tree and let the cloud pass over.  After a few minutes we took off and finished our ride.  It was slow going into the bad headwind though. 

We all finished strong and I could tell they all felt good about themselves.

I am beginning to get into the triathlon training even more now.  I make sure to do one of the three disciplines every single day.  This past week I was able to complete 3 runs, 2 bike rides and 1 swim day.  And to my credit, I tried to get a 2nd swim day in but one pool was closed for maintenance and the other one had a bad accident near it that closed the road in and out.  So, that day I just ended up with a long walk with Boomer. 

I'm mainly concerned about the swim for my upcoming triathlon.  And actually, it's not "the swim" I'm concerned about.  It's the open water part of it.  So, my focus for training is really getting my confidence in the swim. 
My swim work out consisted of 16 50's, 8 100's, and 4 200's.  I rested 20 seconds between each set and did not let myself "push" off walls.  My goal is to be able to swim 100 lenghts without stopping by March 1st.  Swimming 3 days a week is what I'm shooting for.  Since the pool I go to is indoor and available nearly 24 hours a day, I have no excuses.

One of my runs was a trail run with Kristi which was FUN!  The other two were flat, on the road.  It's nice to know I only have to "work up" to 6.2 miles on the run.  I'm not going to train for anything more than that, what I am going to do is work on getting faster for the 6.2 miles.

On the baby front - now at 12 weeks, the baby is 2 inches long, about the size of a lime, and weighs half an ounce.  I went to Sara's sonogram appointment Friday and saw the heart beating again and this time we were actually able to hear it.  :)

Until later.............

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Someone new, some things old....

How often do you say to someone, "Let's get together soon, okay?"  And how long does it take, IF you ever get together?  I seem to do it all the time.  What happens when I do this is, I lose out on either meeting someone new or spending time with someone I enjoy.  Not this time though!  I wished Ewa a happy new year and said those exact words to her on Facebook.  And I actually followed through with it and made plans to meet her for a hike less than a week later.

I took her to Garin and she even got to meet Boomer.  Boomer loved her and so did I.  What a great women she is.  We hiked for a couple of hours and got to know each other well.  We talked about her signing up for the Cinderella Challenge training and she ended up doing that and we started our training today.

I went on quite a few bike rides this week.  Most of them around 20 miles.  Of course, Soraya took me up Palomares one day.  It was 34 degrees when we started.  Luckily it's just a long climb for the first 5 miles so we warmed up rather quickly.  Other than it being cold, I can't complain about how beautiful it is here right now.

Keith and I went on a couple of rides together.  He's getting so good on hills.  Well, he's complaining less and letting me take him on rides that have a lot of hills.  That must mean he's liking them more, right?  ;)
Two days ago we were on a ride and he had a "tip over".  Of course he fell from an almost complete stand still but ended up hurting himself pretty badly.  Yesterday he had no use of his left arm.  Today he has a little mobility.  He thinks he pulled a muscle and is hoping it will work itself out in a day or two.  I hope so too. 

I guess you could say I started my triathlon training this week.  Let's just say it.  I started my triathlon training this week.  I went swimming!!  Soraya got me a 5-day pass for Club Sport and I met her on Wednesday to swim.  She presented me with my Christmas gift - a pair of Zoomers and took me out to the pool with a swim plan in hand.  We spent a full hour doing 25's, 50's, and drills with buoys, my flippers and paddles.  At first I thought I was going to lose a lung after each 25 yard lap I swam.  By the end of the session, I was able to do a couple of 100's.  Afterward, I was actually excited about our next swim session. 

Today we started our Cinderella training rides through Fremont Freewheelers Bicycle Club.  I am a leader for the Challenge 1 riders which is the 90-mile ride.  Challenge 1 means we go at a slower pace to begin (14-18 mph).  We have some awesome ladies in our group.  They all seem like they are experienced on the road and not new to riding.  I led the majority of the ride and kept it at 15 mph and didn't lose anybody so that was good.  It was a 26.65 mile ride through Fremont.  We had one 14% grade hill that everyone made their way up nicely.  I'm very excited about this training series.  I get to spend the next 12 Saturdays with these great ladies.  After our ride, Ewa and I walked over to Starbuck's and had a drink while we talked about the ride.  She certainly sounded like she had a great time.

On the baby front:  At 11 weeks now, baby is just over 1-1/2 inches long and is about the size of a fig. 

Until later.............