Friday, October 30, 2015

All of Her Dreams Have Gone Dry

Me and my sister looking ghostly at Tonto National Well. Look how big my feet were, even back then.

 In honor of my blog's 10th anniversary, here is a very long post I wrote in 2006 about my mom dying. I don't remember the exact date that she died, but it was right before Halloween:

She looked sick when she woke me up for school and I told her so.

"I know. I'm not feeling well, but I don't have any more sick time left. I'll be okay. Don't worry about me."

I waited until I heard her leave the house before I got out of bed. I had on the same brown polyester bell bottoms and mustard colored shirt with the big collar that I had worn the day before. I wanted to wear it that day too and I was afraid my mom would catch me.

* * * *

When I got home from school there were at least five cars parked outside our house. My grandma told me that my mom had had a stroke on her way to work. She was alive but in intensive care at the hospital. My mother had been in and out of the hospital for uncontrolled high blood pressure most of my life. I could tell this was different. Usually, my grandma came over and took care of us when my mom was in the hospital. Sometimes she would go at night when we were asleep and we would wake up and notice that someone had cleaned the toaster and know that meant my grandmother was there.

This time though, there were aunts and uncles and cousins and talk of my mom's sister coming from Chicago and my mom's brother coming from California. This time there was a lot of food and everyone was being nice to me. This time I knew something was up.

* * * *

The next day my aunt and uncle flew into Sky Harbor. My mom was out of intensive care already, but they were going to stay for a while anyway. That night they went to see her at the hospital with my sister. Erin was sixteen and the only one of us allowed in the hospital. The rest of us stayed home with my grandma.

My mother died during Medical Center. I'm sure of it. We were watching and a patient flatlined and right then I knew my mom was dead too. If my family had come back from the hospital and told us everything was fine, I may not have even remembered that moment. It's only when a bad feeling is confirmed, that it becomes a moment.

* * * *

I went to school the next day. No one thought it was a good idea. I went anyway. If I could just do everything the way I always had, things would go back to normal. I'd come home from school and play with my friends and then at 5:30 my mom would drive up in our little white Toyota that we had named, Helen Wheels. She would make dinner and we'd eat it while watching The Andy Griffith Show and then later, Little House on the Prairie would come on and even later than that we would go to bed and sleep until my mom woke us up again.

I told one girl at school that my mom died - Leanne Heaton. I made her promise not to tell anyone else. After lunch my teacher called me outside to talk about my loss. I was so mad at Leanne Heaton. I even wrote about it in my journal with the use of several underlines and exclamation points.

* * * *

My next theory was that my mother wasn't really dead at all. It was just a ruse to give her some time alone to rest and get better. Maybe if I was really good, everyone in my family would let her know that it was okay and she would come back again. It was very hard to behave because I was angry and I hated all my relatives - they were telling me what to do and they weren't my mom. I constantly reminded myself to be good. I would repeat it in my head like a mantra. When I walked to school I would think, "Be good, be good, be good, be good..." When I was going to the bathroom I would sit there a little longer to have some time alone so I could really concentrate, "Be good, be good, be good, be good."

But I was not good. I was greedy and angry and disagreeable. We were moving with my aunt to Chicago. She lived in a suburb called, Alsip. It was on the southside and had gigantic water towers painted red, white and blue for the Bicentennial next year. I was excited to see a basement and snow. I imagined that Alsip would look like places on TV.

Some of my aunts bought me wool sweaters in preparation for Midwestern winters. I hated wool. The sweaters itched and choked me at the neck.

"You'll appreciate those when it's below zero outside," one of my aunts assured me. But I never appreciated them, even in January.

My aunts took me shopping right before we left. I asked for anything I thought I could get. They bought me a teen magazine with John Denver on the cover. I loved John Denver and was sure that when I grew up, I would move to Colorado and live off the land. Be good, be good, be good, be good, be good.

* * * *

None of us kids attended my mom's funeral. It was a decision made by my older sister and we all went with it. Her thinking was that she didn't want our last memory of my mother to be of her dead in her casket. It only helped to support my theory - If I didn't see her dead, then it wasn't true.

I went trick-or-treating on Halloween. I have no idea what my costume was that year. I didn't do any tricks - no burning bags of poo, no ding dong ditch 'em and no stealing my brother's candy. Be good, be good, be good, be good.

The day after Halloween, I watched my uncle sweep up my room. It was hard to see a pile of my toys, stuffed animals and the ribbon I got for the best Bicentennial themed drawing of a Minuteman all mixed with dust balls and thown into a green plastic garbage bag.

* * * *

In movies and books, people were always saved at the last minute. The knight in shining armor showed up right before the princess married the hideous ogre. I was sure that's what would happen to me. I stepped up my mantra on the drive to the airport, even moving my lips at the risk of teasing from my brother and sisters. Be good, be good, be good, be good.

It wasn't too late. She could be waiting at the airport. My mom might be at the gate, with our dog and our cats that we supposedly gave to different neighbors. Supposedly. She would take us home and we would burn my wool sweaters together while I showed her my John Denver magazine.

On my very first plane ride, I simultaneously wondered if the new kids we would meet in Chicago would still be able to hear the Arizona stations on our radio and if my mother would be waiting in the terminal at O'Hare.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

October and the Trees are Stripped Bear of All They Wear.

A view from our driveway this weekend. Aaaahhhhhh!

Okay. I did try to run a couple of miles VERY slowly on Monday and it didn't kill me. At one point, I was running on the bike path behind my house and a woman bike racer from another team, ran by with her dog and passed me like I was standing still...Which, I practically was. I was only a little embarrassed.

Tuesday it was pouring down rain and I came home drenched from my bike commute and yesterday, I didn't realize how cold and windy it was going to become in the afternoon, so after riding home in my little skirt and sandals with my ungloved hands almost frozen to the handle bars, I thought I'd forgo a sweaty run in the cold for the day. But....Today. I'm sure I'll run another very slow, two miles today.

So, since I'm not over my cold yet, I've decided to call it and not race this weekend. We already planned not to race the following weekend, so I'll just keep doing my mild training and hopefully bump it up in the next week or so, when I'm SURE I'll be better.Please, oh please.

On other fronts, It is amazingly beautiful here this Fall and I have been reading some really good books. Last week I finished Patrick Modiano's "Suspended Sentences". He won the Nobel prize in 2014 and his writing is incredible. When I watch people who are really good at racing Cyclocross, I imagine that I can do the same things, forgetting that I have way more fear and way worse bike handling skills and I simply can't ride that fast. I have the same feeling when I read Modiano - I feel like I could write that well, but I forget that I have a messy brain and I'm simply not that eloquent. I guess the sign of a good writer, is that they make you think you can write well as well.

With all of this lazing around and not running this week, I got to hang out with Coadster on Tuesday night and have popcorn and soda for dinner (so healthy. I put nutritional yeast on it , so it's okay, right?) and watch House Hunters and make fun of the people and, in turn, feel better about ourselves. Last night, John and I watched "Sleepy Hollow". I love celebrating the season by watching creepy movies.

Here's to training instead of racing for the next couple of weeks. I actually really love training, especially when it means I'm feeling better.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

And When You Wake Up It's a New Morning. The Sun is Shining, It's a New Morning.

On Sunday, I thought I might try to implement my plan of doing a slow, 2 mile run to start working on my fitness. After I woke-up and felt like crap, I bagged that plan and decided to get under a soft blanket on the couch and read and have tea with Archie.

John went out to look at possible new Cyclcross courses for races next year, so I had the whole house to myself to listen to  my girly Joni Mitchell Pandora station. It was heavenly.

By the time John got home, we had to start getting ready for a social ride with our friends. We chose to head to Riverside, because it's a nice, easy, ride and only 35 miles, there and back. It was a lovely day. I felt fine, while we kept a nice easy pace, but when we hit some rolling hills, and the boys tried to race up to the top of the biggest one, I couldn't keep up with them, when I usually can and I was wheezing every time I breathed in. Not that I was being overly dramatic or anything, (ahem) but I started to wonder if I had bronchitis or something. It's not that improbable, since a lot of people in my office have had it in the last week or two. John rolled his eyes when I mentioned it. He said that I probably had the same cold he has had for a week longer than mine and a harder effort would bring stuff up out of my lungs (mmmmmm. Pretty) and that's probably why I was wheezing and hacking. Fair enough.

 We got to Murphy's in Riverside, apparently, right after the tour bus. Que' lastima! It took us 45 minutes to get our food, but our waitress was very sweet and very apologetic and we all knew going in after a big bus of people, that it would take some time.

We made it back to Iowa City, about a half hour before we were supposed to be at a pumpkin carving party.

The pumpkin carving party was lovely. The weather was perfect and John and I were able to ride our bikes there and back. The hostess of the party originally lived in Prague and she made some wonderful mulled wine and it was delicious. I tasted it, but I can't really drink red wine because it gives me migraines. How sad is that?

Anyway, we got to talk to a bunch of little kids about what their Halloween costumes were and watched the kids and adults carve pumpkins, sat in front of a fire, rode back and still got home by about 8. Not bad for all we tried to pack in on a Sunday.

Monday, October 26, 2015

It's Just Another Day for You and Me in Paradise.

 I know I sound like a broken record lately. Blah, blah, blah, sick, wah, wah, no strength, boo hoo, snot and bitterness and bile...But I'm STILL sick.

Remember how last week I said I wasn't feeling well and I was surprised I did so well in my race? Well, I think a lot of it had to do with the fact that there were no power sections in it and the women I raced against were more cautious about riding the trickier sections than I was (which almost never happens). This Saturday when I tried to race at our local race, which is also one of my favorites, I had absolutely nothing. No power, no strength and I felt like I couldn't get any air into my lungs the entire race. I came in last and was beat by people who hadn't beaten me this year.

Of course, it was rainy and cold for the duration of my race, which probably didn't help with my recovery. Most bike racers will generally say, "At least you're out there racing..." When you have a bad race. We're all insane, so for us, the best thing you can do is be out there. So, when people said that to me after my "race of shame", I thought it was very sweet, but also had to laugh, because being "out there" when it's cold and rainy probably wasn't the best idea when trying to get over a bad bug.

My youngest daughter and John cheered me on the entire time and gave me hugs after the race when I was feeling particularly lame. I was shaking and coughing so badly after the race, that we decided not to stick around. Instead, we went to Big Grove for lunch and then home to take a nice, long nap.

The drag about being sick this long as far as racing is concerned,is that it's been long enough that I'm starting to lose fitness. So, even once I'm done being weak from being sick, I will still be weak because I'm not able to train. What I will try this week, is doing short, easy efforts that hopefully won't drain me so much that my cold lasts even longer, but keeps my fitness from decaying even more. We'll see how that works...

Later that evening, we went to our friends' wedding. We ride RAGBRAI with them and John has been friends with Bry since the late 90's. The wedding reception was lovely and short and sweet. Perfect.

Here my friend G. and I were trying to do an ironic wedding selfie, of us front and center and the bride and groom in the background. We weren't able to capture the bride and groom dancing behind us at a flattering angle for us. So, in the nature of the word selfie (a derivative of the word, selfish, I believe), we said, "screw them" and just took a photo of ourselves. At least it cracked us up...

They hired Coadster to clean-up and make sure the food and drink were stocked. Which made the wedding even more fun. We got to heckle her and she returned our heckles in kind with some lovely eye rolls and scowls.

The boys seemed to have lively discussions about, I'm assuming, bike parts and specs and tire pressure and the best routes to ride and probably, also, beer.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Wind Was Blowing, Time Stood Still

This morning, I asked Archie if he would please trade places with me today. He could go to work and do the adulting and I would stay home and hang-out on the couch and do the catting. I took his snores and fat old man wheezing as a no. Damn it!

 So, since I HAD to go to work today, at least I had a lovely evening last night to make up for it. I rode my bike to Apres after work and met John. It was a lovely evening for a ride, and riding to a date is like two great tastes in one candy bar.

We got the veggie fondue that had bread and tempura carrots and asparagus to stick in the lovely melted cheese. We also got escargot and some lobster bisque soup. Everything was amazing and wonderful.

Because it was Happy Hour, we got buy one, get one half off on cocktails. So, we tried a couple. There was one made with carrot juice and walnut liqueur, among other things. The bartender told us it was the healthiest cocktail they made. It was also really, really good. When we got home, we watched an HBO documentary about Billie Jean King. It looks like I owe her a HUGE thank-you for all the work she did trying to get equality for women athletes. I remember what it was like when I was a kid trying to run track and getting made fun of for wanting to do sports like a guy and the football coach not wanting us to use the weight room because we were girls and we would ruin them somehow and some guys in my school used to tell me, the muscles in my legs were gross and made me look like a dude. I'm glad things have changed, but we still have a long way to go.

Anyway, I had a lovely night and it is definitely getting me though this rainy, incredibly busy workday Friday.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Geese in Flight and Dogs That Bite

Oh, kids. It's been a rough month for me. October always has been, for whatever reason. This year I've been plagued with  a new job at my office that has been confusing and not at all what I was hired for originally, migraines and a cold and just last weekend I crashed in my race on Saturday and bruised my butt so badly that I couldn't run until yesterday. See? Cyclocross can literally be a pain in the ass...

Because of all of the really bad things that have happened to me in my life, I know that these are really just  annoyances and not tragedies and I am as lucky as a girl can be..But just because I'm tired of being cranky, I have been trying to read as many novels as possible for escape, and tonight I planned a special date after work for John and myself at Apres. I'm sure tapas and cocktails will make everything all better, right?

And now for something completely different...I know this has nothing to do with the rest of my post, but my daughter told me that one of the old school,  male science teachers scheduled a field trip during finals week and it conflicted with her test. He called to bully her into changing the date of her final. Since it was the only day she could have it, and hers is a class required for students to graduate, she refused. The science teacher then went to the principal and told him that Coadster sure was assertive for a girl and wondered if she had been in the military. The principal sided with Coadster and they worked out a solution, but seriously? Are we still in the 1950's? Ugh. I suppose the good thing about all of this, is that I tried so hard to raise my girls to be assertive and strong-willed, and mostly they used it against me when they were younger. It's nice to see it working against someone else and FOR Coadster. Way to assertively adult, daughter!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

And the Miles Upon Miles Keep Fallin' From the Sky

So, here's a cool thing that I won at my race last Saturday. It's a little wallet thing made from a bike innertube. I'm assuming it's waterproof, but even if it's not, it's pretty cool, huh?

I love it when Run for the Schools goes past our house once a year.

So, still this week I am having cold systems. Le sigh. I haven't had a migraine since Friday, so that's something...

On Sunday I slept in until 7:30'ish for the first time in about a month. It was lovely. We had to get ready to meet our friend Todd at a few locations to see if we can get some more local cyclocross races going in town next year. Todd is one of the best CX course makers - and when I say best, I mean cruelest. he loves to make the hills ridiculously high and everything else incredibly technical. It worried me a little about how excited he got when we showed him the areas we were considering for new races..Because it means those races could be really, really tough.

After we met Todd, we went downtown to meet a few friends for a Sunday fun day social ride to Kalona. It's one of my favorite routes. The hills are rolling, the little gravel there is, is more like easy to ride dirt, and the Amish farms are gorgeous.

We always do "no drop" rides, so we stop and regroup if anyone falls behind. That way we never have to worry if someone crashed or had a mechanical and is stuck on the side of the road somewhere.

See what I mean about the scenery?

Our friend Susie met us at the Brew Pub. She had gone back to Mexico to visit her family after 14 years of being away and she just got back. It was lovely to see her...As always.

It was the first weekend day in a month that we didn't have a race in another town. We were supposed to be getting stuff done around our house, but our house chores will always be there and this incredible weather will be very short lived, I'm sure. Like I always do, I looked at it like, if I died tomorrow, would I be upset that I didn't get the popcorn ceiling replaced in my kitchen, or would I be more unhappy that I didn't take advantage of a beautiful, bucolic day on my bike? I think we all know the answer to that.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Oh, Oh, Oh. It's Magic, You Know.

This weekend I was finally able to race again. I wasn't 100% better, but I was willing to give it a go. We had our race at a vineyard in Madrid, Iowa. It was a technical course with lots of tight turns and some ridiculously large and soft gravel to try and ride and turn on.

John did really well in his race. He got 2nd and the winner was a crazy fast guy from the Denver, Colorado.

My race was weird. I was still a little sick and hadn't trained at all in the last 2 weeks. Plus, I don't know if I had the wrong tread on my tires or if it was operator error or what, but I kept sliding out like crazy on almost every turn. Errrrgggghhhh! The weird part, is that I did really well. The woman who always beats me, wasn't anywhere close to me and only one woman out of both the master's categories beat me and she was in the younger category. I'm still not sure how that happened.

I had the best start ever. In cyclocross races, you usually start in a wide straightaway, and at some point you make a tight'ish turn on the course. Everyone sprints as hard as possible (Not my strong suit) to be the first person through that turn, so you don't stuck behind the bottleneck of riders that usually happens. Being the first person through the turn is called, "getting the hole shot". I have never been fast enough to get the hole shot...Before Saturday.

Thanks for the photo, Kim Pierce.

Of course, once I got through first, I had no idea how to pace myself. Normally, I try to hang onto whoever is in front of me and hope for the best. Once I was in the lead, I had no idea of my pace. Was I going too hard so that I would die in a lap or two, or was I going too slowly, so that the whole race would soon all be whizzing past me? No one caught me for the first part of the course. The 35+ woman got me at the 2nd set of barriers.  Not long after that I had my first crash. I went down hard and said a bad word, very, very loudly. Oops!

I hit my butt and my shoulder really hard and broke my left shifter. It took me a bit of time to get up and back on my bike, and only one person passed me. Whew! I battled that wonderful woman the whole race. I slowed down after I crashed on a turn for the second time and slid-out multiple times after that. I really think that the woman I battled could easily have beaten me, but she is in it for fun and stopped quickly for a beer hand-up once and never fought me when I passed her. She claims she could only hang on by sucking my wheel, but I think she was just being nice.

Anyway, she was in the younger category and it wouldn't have affected my place in the oldest lady category either way. By the end of the race, I was 2nd overall for both master's categories and 1st for the 45+ women's category.

 I was happy to be done, happy to have won and happy that John was going to a bachelor party that night, so I had the whole house to myself, with only the cats to annoy me. I coughed and sneezed and was exhausted, but I hope that my cold will be completely gone by next week and I can figure out the tread issues on my tires.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Oh, and You Come Crash Into Me, Baby

 Well it's Friday and here I am without any cat photos...

Instead, I want to celebrate the 5th anniversary of John getting hit by an F-150 pick-up truck while riding his bicycle...Or really, his recovery from that.

He had gone to Lone Tree to visit his dad's and his grandparent's graves and was heading back to Iowa City when an older man dropped something on the floor of his pick-up and bent to retrieve it while driving 55 MPH. When he sat up, he found John on his windshield, at which time he braked hard and John went flying into the ditch. John said he yelled the F word really loudly and worried that it would be the last word he ever said. I told him that it would at least be appropriate to the situation.

John got Chris Horner to sign his back brace at Jingle Cross in 2010. Who else can say that?

We were supposed to go on a date that night. John called me from the emergency room in the afternoon and told me he had to cancel. I asked why and he told me about the truck crashing into him. I asked him if his mom was with him and he said he had told her not to come. At that time, he thought he only had a broken leg. I asked him if he wanted me to meet him. He hesitated and then said he'd probably be okay by himself. Since I had been in that weird horse and buggy accident in 1992, I knew how scary and lonely an ER room could be by yourself, so I took his hesitation as a yes.

I showed up and the woman at the front desk asked me if I was married to John. In my head, I laughed to myself and thought, "Well, we've been dating for about 3 weeks now, so...we're practically married. Right?" To the woman, I said no, but that I was his girlfriend. She let me in and I helped John get some pain meds finally. After all the CT scans and x-rays, it turned out that he had a burst fracture in his lower spine and a broken bone in one of his legs. He said when he was in the ambulance, the EMT guy gave him his helmet and told him to check it out. It didn't have a scratch on it. John was so lucky that he didn't hit his head.

John had a spinal fusion surgery and his doctor told him he didn't think John would be able to run again. Since John was fastidious about doing his PT, he was able to spin on a bike trainer a couple months after the surgery and did his first bike race after the crash at Kent Park at the end of March. Also, he not only still runs, he does a crazy 25K trail race every Spring. They say that cats have nine lives. If that's true, I hope humans get at least that many, because John is already down one. Here's to the first 5 years of John's second life. May there be many, many more.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Every Picture Tells a Story, Don't It?

Okay. So, remember when I said last month that I was SURE I'd get around to finishing my painting this month? Apparently, I wasn't lying. I had been trying to think of a way to paint this photo I took of my daughter when she was about 8 years old. She was so annoyed that I wanted to take photos in a stinky old laundromat, and so she is full of the kind of attitude most people have when in a laundromat. I actually love this shot.

When trying to paint it, I didn't want any kind of direct representation. I wanted to combine some different elements of the kind of art she liked when she was younger - cartoons and pop art. So, I finally decided to paint a background and then use ink and paper to make the cartoon image and affix it to the painting. Luckily, one of the guys on my bike racing team is the manager at Dick Blick and helped me figure out the best way to stick the image to the canvass. We had a great talk about how to do it at a mountain bike race this Summer. It isn't exactly how I imagined it in my head (nothing I paint ever is), but I'm happy with it.

I have a few ideas for other paintings, but I may never get to all of the house projects I wanted to do this month. My high school English teacher used to always say, "You always make time for the things you love". Apparently, I don't love house projects...

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

So Wild and Free. So Far From Me.

I made the troll grumpy by trying to take away his beer.

What a weekend, what a weekend... We took Friday off and headed to Madison, Wisconsin around 11'ish. It was a beautiful day.

We decided to stop in Mt Horeb and get lunch and a beer at the Grumpy Troll. Sadly, the pizza place didn't open until 4, but we got nice sandwiches and fish tacos and the beer was very nice too. I love October, because everyone's seasonal beer is an Oktoberfest brew and I love those.

We got into Madison around 3. We had an Air BnB place there and paid very little money for it. This was our view. Nice, huh? Since neither one of us was feeling 100% yet, we took a little nap before we headed out.

Our race was located at the Trek headquarters. We got pint glasses with the race logo on it and they were giving away lots of  swag and free frites. Yum!

My plan was to preride the course and see how I felt and then decide whether I would try to race this weekend or not. Oh, holy hell! The course was crazy tough and technical. just rode it VERY slowly once and I was wrecked. I was willing to keep an open mind, but it was  pretty unlikely that I'd be able to race, at least on Saturday.

I went back to the parking lot and talked to my friend, Linda while John finished riding the course. We found the name of a great pizza place that was only two blocks from where we were staying and headed to Salvatore's. The food was amazing. At one point we realized we were sitting next to the light switches and we joked with the waitress that I was going to turn the lights on and off really quickly and make it like a strobe light. The waitress looked at us blankly and then laughed. When she walked away, John said she was probably too young to even know what a strobe light was...

 I woke-up the next morning with a migraine. It was my 3rd one in a week. Oy! Taking migraine meds can be dangerous and even taking them once in a week, can make me pretty weak. There was on way I could race...Or even ride around on the course, for that matter. I sat in the car and read my book while John prerode. He was well enough to race and did a great job. He still wasn't at the top of his game, but he did well on such a tough course.  On Sunday, he was a little spent form still being sick and racing the day before, but I was amazed at how well he did under those conditions.

 I got to see most of the Iowa people race over the weekend. The Iowa women kicked some serious butt. I get a little excited and probably cheer too loudly, but I am always so impressed with my women friends who race. What can I say?

 I always love the heckling that goes on during CX races. My favorite from this weekend came during the Single Speed race. The guy in the photo above was closing the gap with the first place guy, and one of the guys with a megaphone said, "Watch out! The guy from Def Leppard is catching you!"

 Some other fun heckles during the single speed race:

"You know the coolest thing about a single speed bike?....Nothing"

"Single Speed - a HUGE excuse to go really, really slow."

I also love that CX races are so family friendly. Along with a free keg of beer, there was poster board and markers for the kids to make signs. Drunken kids making signs, is always fun. I also love that this photo is of a baby beating his mom with a cowbell. So sweet.

So, once again. I was sad that I couldn't race, but I had one hell of a fun weekend anyway.

Friday, October 09, 2015

Ooooh, You're the Best Friend That I Ever Had.

Well, kids, it's been an interesting week. I'm not sure if I'm quite over my cold yet or not. I went to test it out this morning and ran a little over to miles at a leisurely pace. Mostly, I did a lot of leaf crunching. My favorite.

The week wasn't all sickly and sad and snotty. On Wednesday, John and I decided to go to the Rec Services Building and sit in the steam room to try and get stuff moving out of our lungs. I think I may still have had a bit of a fever, though, because I couldn't handle the heat and therefore had to get out of the steam room. I tried the sauna and it was a little much for me too.

Before we left for the gym, my girls were converging at my house to head to Woodpecker Trail for a hike together in the amazing weather. I told them to meet us at Shorts afterward for dinner and a beer. If there was one thing I could have hoped for my girls, was that they would be good friends as adults and look out for each other, and decide to take hikes in the woods together. Okay, if there was one thing I could have hoped for my girls, it would have really been two things...Those three things I just mentioned. Anyway, I'm happy it came to fruition.

We are all set and ready to head back to Madison for the Trek CXC Cup. We registered long before I got sick and got a cute AirBnB place for next to nothing. I have no idea if I'll be able to race or not. We'll see how I feel. According to Heidi, it's a nail biter.