Sunday, October 26, 2014

back at it (part II)...backing off

I haven't been moved to blog/write much lately, but was inspired (at 3:30am, no less) by fellow blogger, Angie, to get back at it. (Angie is the Bikinator...I used to read her blog and think, "Wow, who is this woman? Every ride is a race?? Really??" I was bemused by her take-no-prisoners approach to training and racing and similarly, her seemingly boastful style of blogging. But you know what? She set some pretty hardcore goals for herself and did everything she could to meet and exceed those goals in a relatively short period of time. I have nothing but huge respect for her and it's been exciting to see the evolution of her blog. One of the nicest people I've ever had the privilege to line up with, Angie has truly earned the moniker Bikinator).

Anyway.
Last Sunday, I raced close to home at the West Chester Cross Classic at Rustin High School. As a spectator at this venue two years ago (when I was pregnant with Maeve), I watched the competition longingly thinking this is my kind of course...can't wait to get back at it!
Despite finishing in the back of the pack, I had such a great time on that course (which I can best describe as super flowy with the perfect balance of challenging, yet subtle elevation changes and just enough recovery to maintain energy and enthusiasm on every lap, if that even makes sense).
Although I haven't been training for this season and have only been riding once a week at best, all the little nuances of racing cross feel familiar and comfortable to me (you know, except for the part where I'm grossly out of race form and hanging on by a mere thread from the get-go).  
Surprisingly, I have felt nothing but calm and relaxed while staging and waiting for that whistle...
Surprisingly, I've been relieved to start in the last row...
I'm just having fun with it.
Racing is fun when I have nothing to prove to myself or anybody else (conversely, racing is fun in an entirely different sense of the word when I am kicking ass and ripping legs off, but I'm pretty sure those days are behind me for now).

Having said all that, I was all set to show up at Crossasurus Awesome this weekend and keep up my "racing" streak; however, I woke up today feeling especially sh*tty with a sore throat and body aches.
No need to push through, as there are still plenty of races left on the calendar in the coming months.

I've been running and dabbling in a little strength training more than I've been riding.
At this stage of the game, I'm happy to squeeze in whatever kind of workout I can between kid stuff/grownup stuff/life...stuff.
In short, breaking a sweat is more about preserving my mental health than gaining fitness right now.
I'm feeling much better.
I still think about the loss of my mom every day, but I am not wallowing in my grief.
My dad reminded me that my mom wouldn't want me to be consumed by this or to be so upset by her death.
He's right.

As for therapy and medication, I've accepted that I do need a little help and probably always will to some degree.
I am depressed and I do have serious anxiety issues.
Not because my mom died or because my brother is in jail or because crazy sh*t is happening in the world...
With the understanding that there are biological/genetic/chemical pieces to my "puzzle", that my depression and anxiety are not just situational (although my situation as of late has certainly exacerbated those issues...duh), I can handle it better.
Or more willingly.
(or something)
All this to say, to reiterate, I'm feeling much better.

Wow, if that's not a rambling, narcissistic update, I don't know what is...

   
look, mom, I'm "racing"! Photo courtesy of Dennis Smith from Whirlybird 2014

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Back at it (cross)

I have no pictures to share from Whirlybird (you don't really need to see my muddy race number or a gratuitous shot of a Nutella-drenched post-race waffle, do you?)...
I don't have much of a race report to share, either.
It (the race/my race) went down quite predictably, all things considered (haven't raced cross in three years, have downgraded to Cat 3, riding once a week at best, blah blah blah...):
Lined up in the last row.
Didn't experience any jitters or nerves.
Clipped in and just went when the whistle blew.
Passed a handful of women, duked it out with some really fast & wily juniors (young enough to be my kids), got muddy, stayed upright, and doggedly dug in for a solid forty-five minutes.
Upon finishing, I soft-pedaled around the wet grass with a goofy smile on my face...it felt really, really good to be back.

I had kind of given up on any notions of racing cross this year...it hasn't really been in the cards what with a myriad of reasons/excuses (I'm broke, I haven't trained at all, I'm barely riding, all my energy is devoted to my kids/therapy/staying afloat).
Still, a spark was lit whenever my dad talked about his race, whenever I saw a little cyclocross action on my Facebook feed, whenever I saw my cross steed hanging dejectedly among all the other bikes I don't ride these days.
When I got the official okay to downgrade (not just "okay"...a get-back-out-there-and-enjoy-it okay), I figured why not?
So, last Friday night I packed up my gear (and then packed doubles of everything, knowing a wet race was forecasted) and went to bed thinking, "I'm waking up early to race."
At 3am, a steady rain woke me...I imagined the muddy preview of the course, hurriedly changing into dry gear, shivering and soaked on the starting grid...Admittedly, none of that sounded remotely appealing to me and I went back to sleep wondering if I'd have a change of heart come morning.
Well, morning came and I burrowed into my warm blanket as the rain fell, thinking, "Staying in bed would be the easy thing to do."
I didn't want to do the easy thing.
So I raced.
Out of shape, out of sorts, out of my comfort zone (I find I barely have a comfort zone lately, anyway).
It was awesome and it breathed a little life back into me, which is really all I could have hoped for.
A win, in my book, even toward the back of the pack.


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Happy Birthday, Mom...

Dear Mom,
Today you should be turning 61, but you are no longer with us (here, in the flesh, at least).
I feel your presence and see you in my dreams (and I'm sorry I was short with you in that dream last night)...
I wake up some mornings anticipating seeing you, as if we have plans.
I reach for the phone and catch myself...you won't answer it, you're not here/there.
Duh.
Luckily, I heard you laugh and speak and sing for 39 years.
Long enough to remember, long enough to have those sounds ingrained within me.
Yet...not long enough.
I miss you, mom.
I wish things had turned out differently & I wish we were celebrating another birthday with you.
But.
Here we are. 
We'll share a Delirium in your honor and we will keep remembering. xo
With love,
Kim


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Perspective

A member of my local Mom's Group lost her baby girl yesterday at twenty weeks.
So, yeah, September hasn't been my best month, but I'm done bitching about my "troubles."
I'm going to ease out of September gently...
I'm going to start over, slowly, next month and try harder to recognize and honor all the things I am grateful for.

I see single track, miles of trails littered with acorns in my near future.
And.
Halloween costumes for two blessedly healthy kids.
Pumpkinpalooza.
Eating my weight in candy corn.
Campfires in the back yard.
Cider donuts.
Jumping into giant piles of leaves with my kids...
(Sike...that last one freaks me out...all those spiders and sh*t)

Perspective. Working on it.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Not ready for All the Fun...

Went to an end-of-summer BBQ tonight with Bill and Max.
In spite of all the friendly faces and festivities, I felt like a complete outsider.
I've never felt so disconnected from everything and everybody.
I feel safe and comfortable amongst my own little tribe/family, but the moment I step out of that bubble, I'm a mess.
Exiting a party like a ninja ("ghosting", I believe, is what it's called) is my signature move no matter the mood or occasion and tonight was no exception...
The difference is, I didn't quite feel like I was even really there in the first place.
I'm sure I made small talk and exchanged pleasantries...
I'm (fairly) sure I didn't make an ass of myself...
But, I felt like the words coming out of my  (very sober) mouth were coming from somebody else.
Feeling this way is a fucking nightmare.
Yesterday, I discovered my pharmacy made a pretty drastic error with my medication and now I'm paying the price.
I know I'll get through this, hopefully without any serious implications, but right now it sucks and I don't even want to have fun.

Wtf, indeed...

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Mad at myself

This morning, I had every intention of riding my bike to my therapy appointment.
New tires on my cross bike.
Fresh Stans (thanks, Bill).
Gear laid out, at the ready, the night before.
As for the weather today? Perfect.
What is my deal??
Instead of riding, I headed out (in my car), stopped for coffee and found myself sitting on a park bench with a half hour to kill.
It's not even like I don't get quiet time to myself like that...
Daily, I have a decent chunk of time while my little one naps to do nothing, if that's what I need.
Lately, I feel paralyzed...stuck, whenever I have the opportunity to ride/run/enjoy the glorious weather we've been having.
No doubt, I'll be kicking myself come the freezing, gray days of winter...
Kicking myself for wasting this time.

I seriously need to get over this because moving/going hard (or even going easy...but, at least going in some capacity) is probably exactly what I need to rid myself of this feeling.

I think I'm still relatively fit.
If anything, I've lost weight this past month in spite of my sloth-like behavior.
So, yeah...
I'm mad at myself for this.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Music

One of my earliest memories:
Me, sitting on the faded green director's chair in front of my dad's stereo, headphones perched on my curly mop, listening to Stevie Wonder's "Isn't She Lovely" on vinyl...

My dad is taking me to see Songs in the Key of Life performed live by Mr. Stevie Wonder in November.
To say I'm excited would be an understatement.
I've been jonesing to see/hear some live music & I can only imagine what a treat this will be...

Thanks, BP, for instilling your deep love of music in me...what a gift.