I did the ride in Italy last weekend for the third year in a row. It was fabulous - we went in the night before and stayed in a local hotel with an amazing, huge suite - room for 4 bikes, sofa chairs big tv, etc. We did a sort of potluck thing, looked at vacation pictures, watched the Ranger game and tattooed. Temporarily.
The day of the ride was such a rarity, weatherwise. It was cool, but muggy, and completely overcast the whole morning. And there was NO wind. Let me repeat that - NO wind. Needless to say, those factors just don't come together often for a ride in Texas in late June. It was the stuff that dreams are made of.
It's a very strange thing with me - I must start out slowly. I must. If I start out too fast, my legs turn to lead within minutes. This is the main reason that I never thought myself athletic - I didn't realize that I could be an endurance athlete and that if warmed up properly, I could do more. Anyway, as we were finishing the second leg of the ride, I remarked to Talia how we had struggled up those "hills" on our first trip out there and how this time, we just chewed them up, without even breathing hard.
At the last rest stop, there was about ten miles left and I decided to see if I had a "fast" (relative term) ten miles left in me. I mentally chose two men in their thirties/forties to try to keep in my sights for the last ten. And I took off! I did it! I kept myself within spitting distance of them. Actually, I could have passed one of the guys in the last half mile, but that didn't seem sporting. Now granted, these guys weren't of the greyhound groups, but they were fast enough. It was nice to see that I could ride hard and fast for ten miles and still have a little in the gas tank at the end. It may be time to step up my game.
Take good care. Be kind to others. There is strength in strength.
The past few weeks have passed in a blur of work - both at home and at the office. I'm pleased to say that I have the back garden somewhat tamed. It looks lush (we've had rain) without being overgrown. I've gotten pretty hardcore this spring about pruning and dividing things and that has made all the difference in the world. I'm still cleaning up damage from last winter's harshness.
Body-wise, I was surprised to find that I'd dropped a couple of pounds since my pre-vacation weigh in (only to try to gauge how much my suitcase weighed). So, for a while, I'm going to weigh everyday. I'm back to an "induction" phase, making sure I get enough fats in my diet. I am doing my best just to trust the process and not get all caught up in the other crap. It's just weight. I'm 20 pounds higher than I'd like to be - but I'm also three inches shorter than I'd like to be and I feel like I need to think about those things in exactly the same way :-).
The kids are still adjusting to the loss of the big dog. Pebbles is as depressed as I've seen her in years, which is probably understandable. I am feeling pretty good, actually, so I'll try to ride that wave for a while.
If you are the least bit interested in the photos from the trip - send me an email and I'll send you a link.
Take good care. Be kind to others. Stay in the moment.
The trip was amazing. Easy, breezy (more on that later) and without stress. London was fabulous. Cycling through the countryside was like stepping back into a fairy tale. Amazing, even with the constant rain, wind, and oh-my-god hills. Hardest cycling I've ever done. I learned it's possible to be miserable and having the time of my life at the same time!
Still mourning the loss of The Grandbeast. Pebbles and Slater are grieving but coping. Bless his snot-slinging heart - I adored that walking disaster. But he had as good a life as a dog gets with his condition. Not everyone would have cared for him, in both time and money, like they did. They did all they could humanely do - he was seizing daily, multiple grand mals. And it was time. Tough, tough call to have to make. But she waited until I could get home to say goodbye. My flight came in on Sunday evening and she called me to tell me that Monday was to be "his best day ever" and that required my presence. She told me to wear my oldest clothes, that it was required that I get snot and snoozle all over me! So I went over and we played all his favorite games. The four of us sat close together (like he liked) and we went for a walk, played stick, three of us cried a whole bunch. They said goodbye on Tuesday morning.
Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Feel your feelings.
I came up short. I haven't done the final tally, but I didn't make it. The last few days have been so busy that it wasn't easy to get in my steps and so I didn't. I'll figure out how short later today. The good news is that I know that I got a lot more exercise over the last 49 days than I would have had I not been in "challenge" mode.
Today is departure day. Our flight leaves at 9pm with an 12:25 pm arrival in London. My hope is to get some sleep on the flight and be able to hit the ground running. Oh, and because I like to live on the edge? I'm getting my haircut today. By a new stylist. FYI - I am taking THREE hats on this trip :-). And four pair of shoes. This trip is NOT my usual travel-light outing. In fact, I think my bag is overweight, but it, too, has a scale aversion going on right now and won't weigh properly. So, I'll find out at the airport and can pull my gifts for our hostess out of my checked bag and put them in my carry-on and I should be okay.
Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Keep Calm and Carry-On.