Category Archives: waves to wine

Waves to Wine 2013

Forecast: rain

Outlook: hopeful

post-ride. i love how it stopped raining after we were done riding

post-ride. i love how it stopped raining after we were done riding

it rained the ENTIRE ride. it was freezing and the toes of my shoes had puddles of water in them. i didn’t bring any sort of rain jacket. but i rode it anyways. the ride was just right–not too hard, not too easy. Sonoma is just rolling hills and copses of eucalyptus trees. the eucalyptus smelled amazing in the rain…the cow pastures did not.

special 30th anniversary cupcakes. OMG so good... and absolutely NOT gluten and dairy free

special 30th anniversary cupcakes. OMG so good… and absolutely NOT gluten and dairy free

you know how they say that in SF there are more dogs than children? well, in sonoma there are more cows than humans. and it smells it.  that is reason enough for both of us to do the 75 or 100 next year!

postride

our plan was to stay in sonoma and go wine tasting sunday. but since it rained, we weren’t super excited about staying in a tent and risking a downpour overnight. so we came back and had pizza and soda for dinner then slept fitfully.

CnK

my good friend chris came out to cheer us on at the finish line. love this guy!

since we didn’t make it wine tasting, we had dinner at a wine bar with a friend this afternoon. it felt right. i’m satisfied with my experience of waves to wine. i didn’t ride to the point of exhaustion so i got to enjoy today. AND i have tomorrow off. 🙂

outtakes

toasting to a great ride

toasting to a great ride

K and birdie sleeping it off

K and birdie sleeping it off

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2 years. alternately titled: “fuck all this shit”

i don’t want to call it an anniversary because those are meant to be celebrated– its been 2 years today since i was diagnosed.

the last week has not been an easy one. i found out that i am full of active inflammation and demyelination. as a result of this constant ongoing stress of my over-active immune system i have felt very fatigued. while the doc i saw was eager to dish out info and options for medications with dangerous and deadly side effects, she wasn’t exactly open to doing anything at ALL about the fact that i don’t want to get off the couch…ever, really. i am now taking a full cabinet’s worth of supplements and green smoothies in an attempt to feel somewhat energetic. its sort of working.

aside from that its been a week of harsh realities. last monday i did a 53 mile ride. i rode in the mid day heat till it was nearly dark and at the end of it i had two thoughts: 1) that triple chain ring was totally worth it; and 2) there is no way i am riding the 100, or even the 75. there just simply isn’t enough time to get the rest of my training in so i will be riding the 40 mile instead. i feel so disappointed in myself. i have never truly believed that i wasn’t physically able to do something because of MS until that moment, 6 miles from the end of my ride when it was getting dark and my legs were screaming in hot burning pain that i came to terms with the fact that i simply didn’t have the energy. i rode those last few miles feeling totally defeated.

if i had felt better i could have trained more. i’m trying to be kind to myself and not furious. i’m trying not to call myself lazy, and weak, and a quitter. but that’s how i feel. i know i can’t compare myself to others and i know that even people without MS would struggle with this ride. i just wanted it so badly. i have been uncharacteristically tearful over it, and in general this week.  i refuse to think that i can’t ever ride a century just because i couldn’t this time. i know i can and that i will. but for now i have to accept that i couldn’t. that having MS limited me. i am finding that incredibly hard.

in the midst of personal failure, i started working full time. i now commute 20 miles (roughly 45 minutes) each way m-f. it’s my first job as an OT and i’m doing ok with it. i feel like i’m winging it a lot at this point. but i know thats just how its going to feel for awhile. i know my stuff, but it’s the first time i’m truly being asked to use it. all of the nuances of treatment the other therapists have down pat are brand new to me. i come home exhausted and starving each day. but it’s one step closer to my goal of traveling so i’ll take it.

i found out that today is the birthday of a good friend. she passed away from colon cancer last march. i hadn’t realized until today that her birthday is the day i was diagnosed with MS. it seems fitting though. she was one of my biggest supporters. we named our waves to wine team and designed our jersey in honor of her. so it feels full-circle to me that we share this day.

Rel and I walking over golden gate bridge

Rel and I walking over golden gate bridge

its been a hard week, but even so i’m doing pretty well. i’ve been relapsing for over 4 months now and my EDSS score is still a 2. i have 3 new lesions which brings my total up to somewhere in the 15 range and i still walk normally. i can still do everything i need to within a day with almost no limitation (except for fatigue!!!!!). i know how lucky i am.  even though i’m feeling sad and angry i still feel grateful that i am doing so well 2 years after diagnosis.

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waves to wine update

it’s been awhile since i have talked about the ride and at the prompting of a reader, i figured i should get around to updating. earlier this month our team captain was in a hit and run accident while riding his motorcycle. he was in the hospital for about a week and was fortunate enough to walk away mostly ok…mostly being relative of course. he broke his back and his collar bone, and at this point almost a month after the accident is finally realizing that riding in waves to wine may not be an option this year. he is really upset about it i think more than he lets on.

the rest of us spent lots of time with him in the hospital advocating for him (“excuse me nurse, why is my friend in a room with a patient who has contact isolation precautions?!?!”), making sure he had plenty of food to eat, asking plenty of questions on his behalf, and making sure he got home and settled in alright. as a result, our riding suffered a little. BUT we are back on track now.

K and i are still riding and i am still planning on the century ride as opposed to the 75 mile ride. we are also still seeking donations from kind souls on the interwebs… if you  are reading this i’m looking at you 🙂 donate to our team! its tax deductible!!

ok, enough of that. we did get our jersey design finalized and the jersey company sent out sizing kits. check out this picture of me. don’t i look legit in the kit?! hehe.Imageit’s not our actual jersey, ours will look different…this ride is getting real. i would be lying if i said that it doesn’t make me a little nervous. i’m mostly worried about the heat. the actual misery of the ride i think i can handle. i hope! our plan is to ride the 100 on saturday then do some wine touring and massages on sunday, then follow all of that up with a trip to some hot springs monday. i think it sounds amazing!!

this weekend, part of our team might be hitting up paradise loop while i slave away at work. but then i will be heading out solo for a long ride monday to keep the momentum going. we went hiking in big sur this past weekend. 10 miles uphill. totally not joking. then 10 miles out the next day. that’s a story for another blog though. i’ll tell you about our dramatic run-in with a rattlesnake and how we lived to tell about it (no pictures, apparently rattlesnakes don’t appreciate iphone-wielding paparazzi on the trail).

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hawk hill

yesterday, we rode 31.3 miles up hawk hill. it was hard but not nearly as hard as i thought it would be. the ride was beautiful and fun and i am so proud of K and i for actually going through with it! this was our first ride on our own and we totally rocked it.

hawk hill map

the map here only shows the route from chrissy field and as pictured is about 20 miles, but we started from the center of SF and rode an additional 5 miles each way on the route.

hawk hill

the view was absolutely gorgeous and we could not have picked a better day to go. the mountain in the middle of this shot has a road carved out of it…this is the road that we took from the bridge. we basically rode from below sea level to a couple thousand feet of elevation. not too shabby for a lacey-brained weakling!

guns hawk hill

worst two things about the ride: 1) tourists on the bridge… tandem bikes UGH!!!; 2) the wind.

best two things about the ride: 1) the meal we ate afterwards. glorious, delectable carbs and salt! food always tastes amazing after a ride; 2) the moment in the above picture. we made it! holy shit, we actually made it!!! also, my arms look pretty buff which is nice. even if it is just the shadows. i’ll take it!

 

 

 

 

my ride

after my diagnosis, waves to wine felt completely unattainable. i was filled with shock and anxiety, sure that at any moment i was going to lose all faculties and be permanently relegated to a wheelchair. but it’s been almost 2 years and that hasn’t happened yet…

so maybe its time to get back in the saddle.

i was drawn to the ride for all of the obvious reasons: get in shape, sense of accomplishment, raise awareness for MS. but none of these was the reason. sure, i felt a connection since the ride itself benefits people with MS…or at least it benefits the bloated, beureaucratic non-profit that claims it benefits people with MS. consider it trickle down philanthropy.

i digress.

last week while on a stationary bike at the gym, i reflected on the state of my body. i am weak. my joints are a mess. i hurt way more than a 32 year old should. as i lamented on the sad state of my physique, the reason came to me. cheesy as it sounds, while pedaling up another “hill” on the screen with leg muscles burning and screaming i imagined myself as a phoenix rising above all of my fear and pain and anxiety that has held me back since diagnosis: this ride is about making a come back. it has taken a huge amount of trial and error to prove to myself that i am strong enough to do the things i used to and beyond that, to push myself harder, and that it really will be ok. 

and THAT’S the reason for my ride!

not much to say

i have been pretty quiet lately. i guess thats because life is just chugging along and each day i think about having MS a little bit less. i LOVE that! i love that there are whole days i don’t even talk about it. it is exhausting to be constantly on guard and vigilant in your mind trying to solve every what-if of having this stupid disease. instead, i have been putting my free time to good use. now that SF has warmed up a bit i have focused on solving tangible problems in my day to day life instead.

for instance, we live in a building that has a coin-op washer and dryer. this has long been an issue. we hate doing the laundry because its expensive, the dryer doesn’t actually get the clothes dry, and its a pain to schlep everything up and down the stairs. in fact, one night K slipped on the steps and fell. i guess that makes doing laundry a hazard as well. SO, we have been looking into portable washers and line drying our clothes. if you have your own washer and dryer then you are blessed, but if you don’t you may understand what a HUGE improvement in our lives it would be to not pay $4.00 a load and have to use the washer that cat lady washes her litter covered floor mats in. i never thought i would talk so much about laundry!!

clothesline made from 3/4" wooden dowels cut to fit over bath tub

clothesline made from 3/4″ wooden dowels cut to fit over bath tub

bath tub clothesline in use

in use–holds a whole load of laundry and with the curtain pulled the laundry is out of sight 🙂

the next project i have been busy with is our back yard. its tiny, its mostly covered in shade by the upper decks of the building and at this point its completely neglected. i scored some great reclaimed redwood on craigslist for free and have been busy building a 4’x9′ planter box. the planter box so far has cost us about $15, which is an amazing deal for that size. i also hung up my hammock in the yard that i bought in thailand 6 years ago. i love hammocks!

backyard before

our backyard now

planter bed mockup

planter bed mock up. can’t wait to have this done!

other than that, we did our first training ride about 10 days ago and it was really fun and exhausting. my body was twitching from exhaustion afterwards but it was reassuring to know that i could do it. we made it 11 miles before we stopped for beer and food. not bad. 11% on the first ride towards our goal of 100 miles!

so thats about all that is going on in my life right now, i should be studying for my board exams but i haven’t gotten very far. i was never very good at studying and now i just feel completely overwhelmed with the amount of material i’m supposed to know for this exam. sigh. i’d rather build a planter or go for a ride. guess i better suck it up though, can’t be a kid forever i guess.

sharkmouth

on a hike in the northbay looking happy and shark-mouthed and CUTE

also, just because she’s adorable, heres a pic of birds. she had her first day of bad rap pit ed class and she did pretty well. a bit scatter-brained but she’ll get it.

that’s all for now!

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